IDOLS

Jonathan EdwardsJonathan Edwards:

Many of those things that are worshipped as gods are idols made by their worshippers: mere stocks and stones that know nothing. They are indeed made with ears, but they hear not the prayers of them that cry to them. They have eyes, but they see not, etc. Psa. 115:5, 6. — Others, though not the work of men’s hands, yet are things without life. Thus, many worship the sun, moon, and stars, which though glorious creatures, yet are not capable of knowing anything of the wants and desires of those who pray to them. — Some worship certain kinds of animals, as the Egyptians were wont to worship bulls, which though not without life, yet are destitute of that reason whereby they would be capable of knowing the requests of their worshippers. Others worship devils instead of the true God. 1 Cor. 10:20, “but I say, that the things sermon_IdolFactorywhich the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils.” These, though beings of great power, have not knowledge necessary to capacitate them fully to understand the state, circumstances, necessities, and desires of those who pray to them. But the true God perfectly knows the circumstances of everyone that prays to him throughout the world. Though millions pray to him at once, in different parts of the world, it is no more difficult for him who is infinite in knowledge, to take notice of all than of one alone. God is so perfect in knowledge, that he does not need to be informed by us in order to have knowledge of our wants, for he know what things we need before we ask him. The worshippers of false gods were wont to lift their voices and cry aloud, lest their gods should fail of hearing them, as Elijah tauntingly bid the worshippers of Baal [to] do, 1 Kin. 18:27. But the true God hears the silent petitions of his people. He needs not that we should cry aloud: yea, he knows and perfectly understands when we only pray in our hearts, as Hannah did, 1 Sam. 1:13.

FACING OPPOSING FORCES

Samuel A Cain“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:10-12 ESV)

There are times in life when we face opposition. This opposition may consist of personal antagonism or even hostility. People may disagree with us and try to obstruct our plans. They may challenge our character in order to raise disapproval toward us and our motives. Take up God’s cause on any issue and our old adversary, the devil, will raise his head in resistance.

The great English evangelist George Whitefield (1714-1770) experienced this many times in his life. Whitefield sought to honor God even when he was falsely accused by his enemies. On one occasion, Whitefield received a malicious letter accusing him of wrongdoing. He replied, “I thank you heartily for your letter. As for what you and my other enemies are saying against me, I know worse things about myself than you will ever say about me. With love in Christ, George Whitefield.” He offered no defense because he was seeking to please God – not men.

Jesus Christ faced continuous opposition during His ministry on earth. He taught His followers to expect opposition as well. Jesus said: Continue reading

WHEN YOU HAVE NO HOPE

Samuel A CainHope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12 ESV)

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. (Psalm 43:5 ESV)

Life apart from Jesus Christ is a life without hope in God. We all need hope. Hope gives us a future to look forward to. The circumstances of our lives, however, often make that future impossible to imagine. I think most people experience times when they feel no hope. Sometimes, it seems as if the experience of hopelessness goes on and on. Sometimes, you feel as if it is dragging you to your grave.

Loss of hope may be the result of bad choices. Hopelessness may be caused by disastrous circumstances which have erupted in your life which you cannot control. There are emotional conflicts with the people around you at work or at home which often throw your life into chaos. I think most of us would prefer to live positive and upbeat lives. Yet, most of us have experienced a season of hopelessness in our lives. Continue reading

GOD WILL BLESS HIS WORD

Billy GrahamBilly Graham:

“When we preach or teach the Scriptures, we open the door for the Holy Spirit to do His work. God has not promised to bless oratory or clever preaching. He has promised to bless His Word.”

 

CHOSEN TO BE HOLY

Samuel A CainEven as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, (Ephesians 1:4-5 ESV)

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16 ESV)

God is holy and therefore, is not apathetic about sin. Because God is holy, He cannot be appeased by the sinner’s own works. The God of the Bible takes sin so seriously that our own efforts cannot erase the guilt of our sin. Only a holy God can deal with it. The example of the holiness we need in our lives was found in the life of Christ. In Christ we have the holiness of the invisible God lived out in human life, conduct, and character. Through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, God has forgiven our sins that we may take part in His holiness.

Salvation is in Christ. If you are saved, it is because God has forgiven you and imparted to you the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Continue reading

COMPROMISED PREACHING

Alistair BeggAlistair Begg:

“Unfortunately, preachers who distort God’s Word are all too common today. Sometimes this springs from a sincere desire to soften hard hearts, but hearts are not changed by compromise.”

 

PLEASANT PLACES

A. W. PinkArthur W. Pink:

Faith endures as seeing Him who is invisible (Heb. 11:27); endures the disappointments, the hardships, and the heart-aches of life, by recognizing that all comes from the hand of Him who is too wise to err and too loving to be unkind. But so long as we are occupied with any other object than God Himself, there will be neither rest for the heart nor peace for the mind. But when we receive all that enters our lives as from His hand, then, no matter what may be our circumstances or surroundings—whether in a hovel or prison-dungeon, or at a martyr’s stake—we shall be enabled to say, ” The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places” (Ps. 16:6). But that is the language of faith, not of sight nor of sense.

 

 

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