• OVER 5,000 ARTICLES AND QUOTES PUBLISHED!
  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,396,120 Visits
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,268 other followers
  • December 2022
    M T W T F S S
     1234
    567891011
    12131415161718
    19202122232425
    262728293031  
  • Recommended Reading

GOD’S WILL BE DONE

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)

Most Christians are familiar with the Lord’s Prayer. If you attended Sunday School as a child, you are probably able to recite it. I have prayed this prayer many times over the years and have often meditated on these verses and what they mean. I sometimes wonder when we say the words of this prayer if, in the secret places of our hearts, we are really thinking: “MY kingdom come, MY will be done…” Submission to the will of another is very difficult for most of us; even submission to the will of God.

Continue reading

OBEDIENCE REQUIRES HUMILITY

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8 ESV)

In the verse above, we see that Jesus left His glory in heaven to become a human man. He came in the form of a servant; not a ruler. He was a man like other men, but He did not sin. Yet, He humbled Himself in obedience to die on the cross. Such a death was considered the most degrading and most humiliating kind of death. This was the penalty for the most wretched of slaves and the wickedest of criminals who were considered cursed by God.

Continue reading

OBEDIENCE AND REVIVAL

A. W. TozerA. W. Tozer:

“Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late – and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work. To pray for revival while ignoring the plain precept laid down in Scripture is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble. Prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience.”

COMMANDMENTS, COMMUNION, AND FEELINGS

. . . do not inquire about their [other nation’s] gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the LORD hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it. (Deuteronomy 12:30-32 ESV)

Samuel A CainThere is a particular mindset in this age which makes “truth” the product of a popularity contest. If a celebrity, voices an opinion – then it must be true. Right? If someone from your political party says something negative about the opposition party, it must be true. Right? If you read it on Twitter or Facebook, it’s the absolute truth. Right? Many people today think that if they believe something to be true because many other people believe it, it must be true. This attitude has also crept into the church.

Suppose you attend church one Sunday and the pastor announces that the church leadership team has voted to change future communion services. After a lot of thought, discussion, and a sample polling of the congregation – the leadership decided that chocolate cake and Pepsi Cola will be substituted for the bread and wine (or grape juice) during communion. This announcement is welcomed with a warm round of applause from most of the congregation. How would this announcement concern you? Does this manner of communion honor God according to the Bible? Continue reading

SLOUCHING AWAY FROM HOLINESS

D.A. Carson:

“People do not drift toward Holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”

TRUST AND OBEY

Samuel A CainTrusting and obeying Christ may not be simple at times. Let’s face the truth, it can be very uncomfortable. Some of your old friends may stop calling. Some in your family may think you are nuts. The guys at work may not hang out with you as before. You find that Christianity does not make you immune to health problems and you may lose your high salary job because your company is downsizing. Yet, no matter what negatives the world throws your way, you must still trust and obey Christ. We must join the Apostle Paul in saying, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” (Philippians 3:7-8 ESV)

THE GOSPEL AND OBEDIENCE

Charles H. Spurgeon by Ron AdairCharles H. Spurgeon:

“If you get condemnation out of the Gospel, you put the condemnation into it yourselves! It is not the Gospel, but your rejection of it, that will condemn you.” (1893, Sermon #2300)

“I say, again, that detailed obedience is the surest evidence that the Lord has forgiven your sin. For instance, ‘He who believes and is baptized shall be saved.’ Do not omit any part of that precept. And if Christ bids you come to His Table and thus remember Him, do not live in neglect of that command. At the same time, remember to live soberly, righteously, honestly, godly in this present evil age, for if you do not, if there is not a detailed obedience, there may be a fear that, after all, the Lord has never said to you, ‘Your sins are forgiven you.’”” (1893, Sermon #2337)

“Think not of the sinner, or of the greatness of his sin, but think of the greatness of the Savior!” (1895, Sermon #2434)

Faith and Obedience

A. W. TozerA. W. Tozer:

“The Bible recognizes no faith that does not lead to obedience, nor does it recognize any obedience that does not spring from faith. The two are at opposite sides of the same coin.

The Altogether Christian

What is it like to live fully as a Christian in comparison to the “almost Christian” who Matthew Meade discusses here?

The altogether Christian is much in duty and yet much above duty in regard of dependence. He lives in his obedience, but not upon his obedience. He lives upon Christ and His righteousness. The almost Christian fails in this: He is much in duty, but not above it, but rests in it. He works for rest, and he rests in his works. He cannot come to believe and obey too. If he believes, then he thinks there is no need of obedience, and so casts off that; if he be much in obedience, then he casts off believing, and thinks there is no need of that. He cannot say with David: “I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments” (Psa 119:166).

The altogether Christian is universal in his obedience. He does not obey one command and neglect another, do one duty and cast off another; but he has respect to all the commandments. He endeavors to leave every sin, and love every duty. The almost Christian fails in this. His obedience is partial and piece-meal. If he obeys one command, he breaks another. The duties that least cross his lust, he is much in; but those that do, he lays aside. The Pharisees fasted, paid tithes etc., but they did not lay aside their covetousness, their oppression; they “devoured widows’ houses;” they were unnatural to parents.

The altogether Christian makes God the chief end of all his performances. Now the almost Christian fails in this. For he that was never truly cast out of himself, can have no higher end than himself. It is dangerous to be almost a Christian, in that it stills and serves to quiet conscience. Now it is very dangerous to quiet conscience with anything but the blood of Christ. It is bad being at peace till Christ speaks peace. Nothing can truly pacify conscience less than that which pacifies God, and that is the blood of Christ (Heb 9:14). Now the almost Christian quiets conscience but not with the blood of Christ; it is not a peace flowing from Christ’s propitiation, but a peace rising from a formal profession; not a peace of Christ’s giving, but a peace of his own making. He silences and bridles conscience with a form of godliness and so makes it give way to an undoing soul destroying peace. He rocks it asleep in the cradle of duties, and probably never wakes more till death or judgment. Ah, my brethren, it is better to have a conscience never quiet than quieted any way but by the blood of sprinkling. A good conscience is the greatest affliction to the saints, and an evil conscience, quiet, is the greatest judgment to sinners.

Why Waste Time Complaining?

Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. (Philippians 2:14-16)

Complaining is a hard habit to break. It seems that some people are born with a negative disposition. They seem to be on the lookout for the bad things in life. We may sometimes feel we are surrounded by complainers. People will gripe about anything even if they seem to have everything. They perpetually wake up on the wrong side of the bed. They believe everyone else gets a break and they are not treated fairly.

The fact of the matter, however, is that life is not fair and God never said it would be. In fact, the Bible never promises anything approaching fairness, but it does promise justice or mercy. Allow me to give you a hint: “Pray for mercy!”

Many complainers act as if they have been given the gift of discernment and their mission in life is to share, with whoever will listen, their wise counsel. Now it is easy to spot this negative personality trait in others, but it is not so easy to admit that we also often act with a critical spirit in our conversations.

In the verses above (Philippians 2) Paul is discussing obedience to God. God commands obedience specifically in getting along with other people. Do you argue angrily? Do you grumble? Have you done an attitude of the heart check recently?

Our obedience to God must be free from complaining because it is opposed to glorifying God in our lives. We are not to have a critical spirit, nor are we to give others any reason to criticize us.

If we obey God we will become blameless and pure. Our obedience is not from a sense of obligation, but out of a genuine desire to please God to His glory. We act according to our high calling. We live an unexpected life. We must never forget that the most often repeated sin of Israel which angered God was complaining. Most often when we complain we are actually complaining against God. You are sinning against God!

Do not forget that it is God who foreordains whatsoever shall come to pass. Complaining is equated with the sin of rebellion. When we complain, we rebel against a loving Father. It is simply too hard to accept, for most of us, that God always has us right where He wants us at the time.

Complaining not only undermines our obedience, it denies our calling, and is opposed to our worship. The cross should shut down all complaining. The Cross says that you and I deserve to hang there. However, it also says you and I are forgiven, blessed with eternal life with God, and adopted as sons of God. Life’s great mystery has now been revealed and we have been chosen to glorify our Creator. “[Y]ou are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God . . .” (Ephesians 2:19) So why waste time complaining?

%d bloggers like this: