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Post  Admin on Sat 09 Feb 2013, 8:45 pm

*A LIFE DRIVEN BY PURPOSE*
*Part 3 of 4*
*By Joel McGarvey*

*- Study the Word - *
*
There is no better place to begin than 2 Timothy 2:15, where the Apostle
instructs us to study the Word of God. We begin here, for without a
proper foundation gained through the study of God's Word, a proper walk
and work would be empty and useless, if not impossible. One must spend
time daily in the Scriptures if he is to be truly approved of God. In a
parallel passage, the Apostle prayed for the saints at Philippi that
they might "approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere
and without offence till the day of Christ" (Phil. 1:10). Again, it was
the Apostle' s desire that the saints be grounded in the Word of God and
especially the Word rightly divided. But in his letter to the Colossae
church, Paul wrote directly concerning the place of the Word in relation
to man's so-called wisdom. "Rooted and built up in him, and stablished
in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with
thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain
deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world,
and not after Christ" (Col. 2:7-8). Here "the faith" (one's Biblical
belief system) is placed in contrast to human reason and tradition. In
fact, the reader will notice the caution given against all that is not
after or according to Christ or His Word.

*
*- Preach the Word-

*
*If the child of God is going to find his purpose for life, it can only
be done as he seeks to study the Word of God. All else is merely the
so-called wisdom of man and is flawed at best.

But what do we do with the Scripture after studying it and growing in
knowledge? The answer to this can be gained by examining the words of
Paul to the saints at Ephesus. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Church of
Ephesus and told them that the risen Christ had given certain gifts to
the Church. (It is not our intent to discuss the details of these gifts
and their functions down through history.) In Ephesians 4:11-12, Paul
wrote that the gifts were given for the purpose of perfecting, or
educating/training, the saints "for the work of the ministry." (We wrote
of this "professional& quot; mentality in a previous article so we will not
spend a lot of time addressing it here. But contrary to popular opinion,
the work of the ministry belongs to the saints of God and not just to a
band of professionals/ pastors.) This work of the ministry involves all
areas of the believer' s life, and in every case it includes the
application of the Word of God. It includes the obvious areas such as
the various teaching ministries in and through the local church, giving
of one's finances, visiting the sick, encouraging the saints, and
praying and caring for one another (Rom. 12:4-21; 1 Cor. 12:12-25).
Certainly the work of the ministry extends to the saints of God, our
earthly spiritual family. To this end, the saints are instructed to
reach out in love to those who are hurting, to rejoice with those that
rejoice and grieve with those that grieve. This is not to the exclusion
of correction or discipline when that is called for. The failure to
discipline is not an act of grace, but rather of hatred (Prov. 13:24),
as well as a disregard of Scripture (Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 5:1-7, 11-13; 2
Thess. 3:6,14; 1 Tim. 5:20; Titus 1:13). The work of the ministry is
wide and varied and belongs to all of the saints of God. It always
amuses me that that most of those who criticize the pastor for not
visiting enough don't visit at all unless it is a very close relative or
friend.

Paul's words to Timothy, "Preach the Word" (2 Tim. 4:2), form an
excellent foundation for what we are to be doing on a day-to-day basis
as part of the work of the ministry. We are to take the Word that we
have studied and live it out and share it with others. This forms what I
believe to be the very heart of our purpose, for it comes from the very
heart of our Heavenly Father. Keep this in mind when it's used in
conjunction with Paul's instruction to the saints of Ephesus. There the
work of the ministry was to be carried out for the edifying (building up
or expanding) of the Body of Christ. This enlarging is the increasing or
expanding of the Body through soul winning. In other words, the saints
of God are called upon to be soul winners - to be sharing the saving
Gospel of the Grace of God with a lost and dying world.

Consider Paul's words to the saints at Corinth when he spoke of the
ministry that had been given to them. "Therefore if any man be in
Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all
things are become new. And all things are of God, Who hath reconciled us
to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of
reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world
unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath
committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are
ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you
in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him to be
sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of
God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:17-21). It will be noticed that he stated they had
been given the "ministry of reconciliation, " and then he explained what
it was by telling them what the Father had done through the Son at
Calvary. This was the work of Christ on behalf of the lost: paying the
price of sin. To the Romans, Paul called that work of Christ our
"propitiation, " the full satisfying of the Father's righteousness
through the finished work of the Son. Then to the Corinthian saints,
Paul stated that to them had been given the "word of reconciliation. "
You see, friends, we have been given an awesome task to share Christ
with a lost world, a world that is headed for the Lake of Fire.

Once again the point is driven home that this ministry belongs to
everyone who names the name of Christ as Savior. Someone may point to
the Church and ask, "Who is the minister of the Church?" Some may
respond by pointing to the Pastor, but this would not be totally
accurate. He is the Pastor, but every child of God is to be a minister
(servant) of God. Every saved individual has been given the ministry of
reconciliation and is, therefore, a minister. As a minister of God, an
ambassador of reconciliation, every child of God is to preach the Word.

Again to Timothy, the Apostle wrote, "Be instant in season, out of
season" (2 Tim. 4:2). The Apostle Peter would give similar instructions
to the saints when he wrote, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:
and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a
reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear" (1 Pet. 3:15).
The idea is a prepared people ready at all times to tell others of the
hope they have and how they received it. Peter stated that this
readiness sanctified the Lord in their hearts. By this he meant that
through their ready willingness, they were consecrating or setting the
Lord apart in their daily living. Paul urged the same thing when he gave
the instruction to make Christ preeminent (Col. 1:18). As we set Christ
apart, or make Him preeminent in our lives, we are, first of all,
glorifying Him above all else, and secondly, serving him wholeheartedly
(Col. 3:17,23).

*May we be found faithful in prayer, faithful in reading the Bible, and*
*faithful in sharing the faith with others.*
*GraceNTheTruth@COX.NET*
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Post  Admin on Thu 07 Feb 2013, 10:52 pm

A LIFE DRIVEN BY PURPOSE*
*Part 2 of 4*
*By Joel McGarvey*

The problem with the world and especially the Church today is its
attempt to address the issues of the day from a purely humanistic point
of view and not the Word of God. Within the Church there is a growing
tendency toward this humanistic approach rather than a purely Biblical
one. Even well-intentioned saints gain more of their direction in life
from their neighbors, fellow workers and television than they do the
Word of God. Oprah and Dr. Phil are top-rated television programs known
for the advice and counsel freely dispensed. The advice may sound good
and logical, but if it isn't based squarely upon the Word of God, its
value is extremely limited, if not worthless.

In my years as a pastor I can't begin to count how many times I was told
in the course of a counseling setting that actions taken were okay
because it made one feel good. "It can't be wrong if I feel good; can
it?" "Everyone is doing it." "I (he/she) deserve(s) it." I found that
the greatest source of advice sought after and followed (even by
believers) was from fellow workers, not the Scriptures nor even the
counsel of Biblically-based saints of God. The sad thing is that often
the party involved would admit that it may be contrary to Scripture but
they were going to press forward anyway because they felt good.

Friends, if the Word of God is not our only source of direction, then
our compass will never point true. Any source apart from Scripture is
man's thoughts and those will change with every blowing wind. If we are
truly to find our purpose in life, our direction, then we would do well
to spend time in the Word and in prayer, seeking the Lord's direction
for our life and not the thinking of man.

So what does the Word hold out as our purpose in life? From the very
creation, man's purpose has been to glorify and give praise to our
Heavenly Father. "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God
in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Cor. 6:20). "Being
filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto
the glory and praise of God" (Phil. 1:11). "If any man speak, let him
speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of
the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified
through Jesus Christ, to Whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever.
Amen" (1 Pet. 4:11).

Our very lives, the way we conduct ourselves (in private and public), is
to bring honor and glory to the Father. How important is it that our
lives and lips are united as one? The Scriptures have as much or more to
say about the conduct or walk, as it does the work of the believer. Even
in this present Age of Grace there are many instructions - commands
given to the saints of God in how they are to live in this world.

*- Glorify the Word - *
So the first "purpose" of the saints is to glorify God through their
lives and in their worship of Him. This may run counter to what has been
the driving force in the lives of many - generally referred to as the
"American dream." From the time a child is old enough to walk, he is
encouraged to strive for success in the world which is measured by the
size of one's possessions and the amount of money in the bank. But this
is not our purpose; this is not the reason we were created. We were
created to bring glory to the Father and serve Him with our whole heart
and mind. I may add that this mentality is what, I believe, is being
used by Satan to keep men and women out of the ministry. Sons and
daughters are encouraged to choose a profession and seek a college
education with dollars in view. It is said that this is true success.
The ministry is not encouraged, and is often discouraged, because of the
smaller wages involved. Obviously a forty-hour work week is to be
preferred over the 24/7/365 of the pastor or missionary. This is not to
imply that well-paying professions are out of the will of God, for that
is not necessarily the case. But to choose wealth over ministry
certainly is a choice that is not glorifying God.

Then beyond the worship, glory and praise come those daily deeds that
are outlined for us in Scripture in order to provide us with yet another
daily driving purpose. It is in these that we find purpose and meaning
to our lives. To discover these, let us take a simple journey through
some of Paul's writings and gather a list of things that we are
instructed to carry out.

*THOUGHT *

There is no situation so chaotic that God cannot from that
situation, create something that is surpassingly good. He did it
at the creation. He did it at the cross. He is doing it today.
-- Handley C. G. Moule
*GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET*
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Post  Admin on Wed 06 Feb 2013, 5:05 pm

A LIFE DRIVEN BY PURPOSE*
*Part 1 of 4*
*By Joel McGarvey*

During the 60's and 70's, many wandered in search for the meaning of
life. They asked themselves questions such as, "Who am I?" and, "Why am
I here?" Unfortunately, many sought the answers to these questions in
drugs and alcohol, thus never discovering their purpose. The modern-day
religious search is not in the negative elements of the past. We know
that lasting answers cannot be found in the mind-altering effects of
drugs and alcohol. We are older and wiser than we were thirty and forty
years ago. And so today we turn to the emotions and intellect of the
present.

The religious community has been absorbed of late, whether individually
or as a corporate body, seeking to find its purpose. A whole industry
has sprung up around this notion of discovering the purpose of one's
life or church. Books, notebooks, posters and trinkets geared to this
journey of discovery can be found in most religious bookstores.

But must the church spend thousands of dollars buying books to discover
its purpose in life? Is a forty-day odyssey of discovery really
necessary? Or can the purpose of life for each individual child of God,
as well as the corporate body, be found in a much simpler fashion?

In the spiritual realm, using the measurement of God's Word, can we,
should we, trust the writings and schemes of man that are based
primarily on human reasoning and logic? True, we all use a degree of
these each day to guide us in many of the decisions we must make. A
little common sense and a little logic can go a long way in helping us
find solutions to daily questions. But in the scheme of eternity, in the
overall plan of God for our lives, should we rely upon anything limited
by its very nature? Or is there a far greater source of direction
available to the child of God?

What is the source that every child of God should rely upon? And what is
our purpose in life? What should the driving purpose be in the life of
each individual who has put his faith and trust in the Lord Jesus
Christ? What should the purpose be in driving each child of God and the
Church?

The first word in our name, Bible, reveals the source we turn to and
seek to follow here at Bible Doctrines to Live By. It is to the Bible
alone that we must turn to find God's direction for our lives. The Bible
is the Word of God, not only in name but in fact. The Apostle Paul
wrote, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" ( 2 Tim. 3:16).
The three words, "inspiration of God," are actually one word in the
Greek - theopneustos - and literally means "the breath of God" or "God
breathed." Thus, when we use the term, "the Word of God," to speak of
the Bible, we are literally declaring that the Bible is the very Word of
God. As such, then, the Scriptures are the only absolute source of
direction available to mankind. All else is merely thoughts of man and
naturally flawed by the very limited thought process available to man.
As wise as man may believe he is, he is still far from the mind of God.
Note how Isaiah compared the thoughts of man to those of God: "Let the
wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let
him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our
God, for He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts are not your
thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the
heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isa. 55:7-9). The Apostle Paul
wrote, concerning the so-called wisdom of this world, "Where is the
wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not
God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" (1 Cor. 1:20). The
brilliance of man is seen as mere foolishness when held in comparison to
the mind of God.
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Post  Admin on Tue 05 Feb 2013, 9:02 pm

LOOK AND LIVE! *
*By Miles Stanford
"But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of
the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as
by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Cor. 3:18).

As the plant to the sun, we look to the Son for growth!

"What is the good of a man being ennobled, made a prince of, if he feels
he has gained no more or sensible acquisition by it? This is the
disappointment which souls feel without being able to account for it;
and they are subject to nights of wrestling, because they have rested in
their grand title, instead of in the means of supporting their titles,
which is dependence on, and ever deepening acquaintance with, the One
who has conferred them." -J .B.S.

"I cannot conceive anything more satisfying or cheering to the heart
than the consciousness that I may not only draw near, but that I draw
near in answer to the thought and interest that the Lord Jesus has about
me, and that I draw nigh to enjoy myself in His presence where there is
so much thought and interest about me. It is there my heart goes out in
acknowledgment of Him in answer to His deep, gracious, and everlasting
love."

"By means of the Word, look to the Lord Jesus in faith. Exercise the
blessed trust that He is yours, and that He has given Himself to you,
and that you have a claim to all that is in Him. It is His purpose to
work out His image in you. Behold Him with the joyful and certain
expectation: the glory that I behold in Him is destined for me!" -A.M.

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shone
in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in
the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6).
*ALL GLORY TO GOD *
*By Miles Stanford*

"Whether, therefore, ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to
the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31).

The present and eternal ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the
Son; the past, present, and future ministry of the Son is to glorify the
Father. Our life and ministry will bring glory to our Father to the
extent that we abide in the Son, and are controlled by the Holy Spirit.

"When one's ministry or outreach flows from close communion with the
Father, one's influence and moral authority will be recognized.
Moreover, such a workman is not carried beyond what he has received from
the Lord, so that his ministry finds sanction in hearts without any
pressure." -J.N.D.

"The object of all Christian life and ministry, of whatever kind, must
surely be to bring glory to God. Any lesser motive is inferior. If this
were kept in the forefront of our thinking and praying, it would have
two beneficial results. The hectic strain would be taken out of our
lives and service, and spontaneous fruitfulness would follow.

"We can aim to meet the needs of people as a primary objective, and fret
because so many of our efforts prove abortive. We may secretly pride
ourselves on our ability to minister, or on our efficient service, and
reap nothing but frustration. It is only when our whole outlook is made
radiant by His glory, because we are hungry to do His will and that
only, that our activities will be quickened into new life, and others be
truly blessed." -J.C.M.

"He [Abraham] ... was strong in faith, giving glory to God" (Rom. 4:20).
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Post  Admin on Mon 04 Feb 2013, 11:29 am

THE FAITH THAT SAVES*
*By Pastor Paul Hume*
Scripture Reading: Mark 11:22; Gal. 2:20; Heb.12:1-2

It has been truly said that Satan has a counterfeit for almost
everything that God does (except to give Life). The Apostle Paul speaks
of "another gospel" (2 Cor.11:4a; Gal 1:6,9), "another Jesus" (2 Cor.
11:4b: much of Christendom today worships this "Jesus! "), "another
spirit" (2 Cor. 11:4c: how prevalent is this "spirit" now); "false
apostles of Christ" ( 2 Cor. 11:13: witness the Mormons and their chief
apostle, Joseph Smith!), and "ministers of righteousness" (2 Cor. 11:
15: how many priests and ministers fall into this category today!).

Obviously, therefore, there must be a counterfeit faith. We know there
are many false "faiths" today ..the apostate Protestant "faith, " the
Roman Catholic "faith, " and the Jehovah' s Witnesses "faith" (and the
like). Yes, many of the people involved in these false systems have
"faith. " I heard a liberal preacher on the radio only yesterday
broadcasting from a popular church which is only four blocks from our
church and exhorting his hearers that the way to keep one's life from
being empty is to "have faith in God." This sounds real good. It even
sounds Biblical!'

Did not our Lord exhort his wondering disciples in Mark 11:22, "Have
faith in God?" But a more accurate rendering of this command makes the
meaning clearer: "Hold to the faith of God!" True; saving faith is not
naturally generated. All of us have a "natural faith:" e..g., we believe
that the cooks in the restaurant where we are eating haven't put poison
in our food; we trust the car in which we ride; we believe what history
tells us about out great country, and etc. But the kind of faith which
our Lord speaks of is identical to that which Paul speaks of:
"...justified by the faith of Christ" (Gal. 2:16); "...I live by (or in)
the faith of the Son of God" (Gal. 2:20); "...boldness and access with
confidence by the faith of Him" (Eph. 3:12).

We have a blessed truth in Hebrews 12:2: "Look away (from all else) unto
Jesus, the Author (that is, the Originator) and Finisher (that is, the
Completer) of faith." True, saving faith comes from God in Christ Jesus.
This faith saves. This faith sanctifies. This faith sustains. This faith
pleases God. Does this faith operate in you?

*THOUGHT FOR WEEK*
*While we are to be encouragers*
*to each other, *
*Only Jesus can look into the hidden corners of our hearts*
* and see the tears, frustrations, heartaches, loneliness, terror and
agony*
* that we keep hidden from people.*
* Only Jesus can heal a broken heart and restore our joy. *
*-- Joanne Lowe*

*REMEMBER THIS*

*Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all
principality and power: *

*It is a sure mark of grace to desire more.*
*-- Robert Murray M'Cheyne*

*If you are blessed by this devotional, please *

*forward it to your friends*

*GraceNTheTruth@COX.NET*
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Post  Admin on Sun 03 Feb 2013, 7:22 pm

THE MARCH OF TIME*
*By Miles Stanford*
"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him" (Ps. 37:7).

The difference between knowing the Lord Jesus as Savior and knowing Him
as Life, is the better part of a lifetime; even for the hungriest of
hearts. "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of
God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:14).

"In receiving the Word of God by faith, there is first, light; then
exercise of conscience; third, prayer---you are cast on God; fourth, the
work of the Spirit to lead you into it.

"Not one of us is beyond the work of the Spirit in us. Many think,
because they have the light of a truth that they are in the power and
reality of it. No! you may have all the Bible, have much light, but
there is no growth beyond the measure of the Spirit's work in us."

"Conception of a truth is one thing, and execution is quite another.
Grace may have been furnished you with a true conception, but you must
wait on the Lord to carry it out by His Spirit. The working out of a
true conception is the real discipline."

"Do not be discouraged because you may not carry out your purpose at
once; God will carry it out, but you must keep in the place where you
will be preserved, in the circle of His interests.

"Moses had to wait forty years to carry out his purpose, which was a
right one, though in the first flush the flesh sought to carry it out;
but in the Lord's time, how fully every purpose of his heart was met
---all the way to the Mount of Transfiguration! "

"Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord* (Hosea 6:3)
We don't change God's message -- His message changes us.*
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Post  Admin on Sat 02 Feb 2013, 7:54 pm

*THE GOD OF MIGHT AND MIRACLES*
*By Pastor Paul Hume*
Scripture Reading: Mark 4:35-41; .Psalm 147:18

We often hear John Peterson' s hymn, "It Took A Miracle." The words in
this hymn indeed reveal the sovereignty of our God in relation to the
affairs even of "Nature. "

"My Father is omnipotent,
And that you can't deny;
A God of might and miracles,
'Tis written in the sky."

In Mark's inspired account of the sudden storm on the Sea of Galilee,
let us examine those wondrous words of our Lord when He commanded the
winds and the waves: "Peace, be still!" A more exact translation reads:
"Silence! Be muzzled!" Obviously He was not merely speaking out into the
air. He was commanding Satan, the one who was behind this ferocious
storm. We see in Job 1:19 that even Satan can control the weather. But
where was God in this storm? True, in the Person of the Lord Jesus, He
was in the boat with His frightened disciples. But what about the
Father? Yes, He knew well what His beloved Son was going through, but He
also knew that His Son had the authority over the winds and the waves to
command them to be still. "And there was (came to be) a great calm." No
wonder the disciples said one to another, "What manner of man is this,
that even the wind and the sea obey Him?"

Far further investigation about His obvious control of the elements,
turn to the prophecy of the book of the Revelation. Here we are given
glimpses of things which definitely will take place in the heavens and
on this earth during the future "Day of the Lord" (Rev. 1:10). See His
control of the elements, and the sun, and the stars in chapters 6, 8,
and 16! Is He in control today--during this Dispensation when He is
"silent? " Indeed He is! No wonder the devout believer in Christ can find
complete comfort in the words of Romans 8:28--even in relation to the
weather and circumstances!

"Wondrous sovereign of the sea,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me."
*SEALED WITH THE SPIRIT *
*by C. R. Stam *
"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of truth, the
gospel of your salvation: in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were
sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise" (Eph. 1:13).

Most careful commentaries of the Bible make it clear that the words
"after that," in the above passage, actually have an immediate result in
view. Upon hearing (or heeding) we believed, and upon believing we were
sealed with the Spirit.

What is perhaps even more important to note, is the fact that upon
believing "the gospel of... salvation," we are "sealed with" the "Holy
Spirit," not "by" the Spirit. There is a difference between the two,
which can be simply illustrated.

Here is a housewife, let us say, who is "putting up" jam or preserves
and sealing each jar with wax. Now, the jars are being sealed by the
woman, but she is sealing them with wax. Thus the Holy Spirit does not
merely cause believers to be sealed and made secure. Rather He Himself
is the Seal that keeps us eternally secure as God's beloved children. We
are sealed, not "by the Spirit," but "with the Spirit," -- the Spirit
Himself the Seal!

It is wonderful indeed to know that before the bar of God, the simplest
believer in Christ has been fully justified (Acts 13:38,39). But this is
a court action, a matter of law and justice. Besides this, the Spirit,
who first brought the sinner under conviction, now gives him life --
eternal life. This is why Rom. 8:2 tells us that "the law of the Spirit,
[that] of life in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law of sin
and death." Thank God for the Spirit, who convicts, regenerates and
seals every believer in Christ!

Eph 1:13 In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of
truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye
believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption
of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

*In the total expanse of human life there is not a square inch of which
the Christ, who alone is sovereign, does not declare, "That is mine!" *
*-- Abraham Kuyper *
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Post  Admin on Thu 31 Jan 2013, 10:27 pm

~FULFILLED LAW~*
*By Miles Stanford*
*

"For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law
but under grace" (Rom. 6:14).

The believer' s attitude toward the law is that it is "holy.. .and just,
and good" (Rom. 7:12). He does not belittle it by refusing to be under
it; he honors it by acknowledging its fulfillment. "For I, through the
law, am dead to the law, that I might live unto God" (Gal. 2:19).

"If I say I am under law, and stop there, I am left in spiritual
anarchy. If I say I am under law and under grace, I am in the current
Galatian heresy which seeks to combine law and grace. But if I say I am
not under the law but under grace, I am giving a biblical and Christian
testimony." - C.I.S.

"Our identification with Christ in His death places us in perfect
reconciliation to a violated law. God has said, 'The soul that sinneth,
it shall die.' The believer has sinned, and has died in Christ's death.
The law has said, 'Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things
which are written in the book of the law to do them.' None have
continued in obedience. But Christ has been 'made a curse for us'; for
it is written, 'Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.' Hence,
crucified with Christ, we have been accursed in Him. Not one jot or
tittle has then passed away from the law, but all has been fulfilled. -
A.J.G.
"If, then, when you died with Christ, you put away the childish lessons
of outward things, why, as though you still lived in outward things, do
you submit yourselves to decrees?" (Col. 2:20, Wey.).

*THOUGHT FOR TODAY *
This moment is all you're guaranteed, tomorrow may never come......(in
this world)...... so live it up,.....love it up....laugh it up........and
put Jesus at the very center of every moment...... .and enjoy.

This is the abundant life God was talking about....... .seize
it.......sufficient to each day are it's troubles.... .we can either live
in those troubles or by faith in God........cast all our cares on Him
and live in His joy......... ......you choose.
.......Wendell. ..His servant
HUMILITY AND WISDOM *
*By Pastor Robert Hanna*
*Scripture Reading: I Kings 3:5-14
In his epistle to the Romans Paul exhorts, "Be not wise in your own
conceits" (Romans 12:16). Certainly this is good advice, as is the
apostle' s admonition to the Corinthians: "Let no man deceive himself. If
any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a
fool, that he may be wise" (I Corinthians 3:18).

Solomon, when he became king, exemplified the acknowledgment of this
truth. In response to God's offer, "Ask what I shall give thee," the new
ruler of all Israel pled, "I am but a little child: I know not how to go
out or come in ... Give therefore Thy servant an understanding heart to
judge Thy people, that I may discern between good and bad." God
graciously granted Solomon' s expressed desire, and in addition He
bestowed the gifts of riches, honor and the conditional promise of a
long life.

The prayer of Solomon and the answer thereto, serve to illustrate the
great contrast between the weakness of the flesh and the strength of the
Spirit. If we are to be filled, we must first be emptied out. Paul said,
"When I am weak (in human strength), then am I (truly) strong-able,
powerful in divine strength" (II Corinthians 12:10, Ampl. N. T.).

Even as King Solomon, we in the dispensation of the grace of God will
reap even greater spiritual riches than we can comprehend-if we present
ourselves before Him as the helpless children that we are. "(He) is able
to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think ... "
(Ephesians 3:20.)

*THOUGHT TO PONDER **
If Christians had ever been brave enough to make Christ alive,*
*nobody would now be saying that Christianity*
*is dead.*
-- Winifred Kirkland*
SCRIPTURE TODAY*
**Phi 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of
Christ: ...... that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving
together for the faith of the gospel;**
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Post  Admin on Tue 29 Jan 2013, 10:32 pm

GOD'S WORD TO US
by C. R. Stam

In charging Timothy to "preach the Word," the Apostle does not mean, as
some have supposed, that the pastor should draw his sermon material
equally from all parts of the Bible. True, "all Scripture" is given so
that the "man of God" may be fully equipped for his ministry. But in
this same letter the Apostle Paul indicates that the Scriptures must be
"rightly divided" (Second Timothy 2:15) and that his own God-given
message is the Word of God in particular for the present dispensation of
grace (See Second Timothy 1:7-14; 2:7-9). Thus the Apostle declares by
inspiration that believers are established by "my gospel and the
preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery"
(Romans 16:25).

How often the Apostle insists that his message is the Word of God! To
the Thessalonian believers he writes with joy:
"For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye
received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the
word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God..." (First
Thessalonians 2:13).

Thus the Apostle writes to Timothy, in this his last letter:
"Hold fast the form of sound words which thou hast heard of me..."
(Second Timothy 1:13).

"And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the
same commit thou to faithful men..." (2:2).
"Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the
dead according to my gospel" (2:8).

The charge to "preach the Word," therefore, refers to "all Scripture" in
general, but to Paul's God-given message in particular. This is obvious,
for it is in urging Timothy to faithfully carry on in his place that the
Apostle charges him to "preach the Word."

LISTEN AND ENJOY
http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=RzLY3nUGBNM

SCRIPTURE FOR TODAY
Rom 6:22 But now being made free from sin,
and become servants to God,
ye have your fruit unto holiness,
and the end everlasting life.
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Post  Admin on Mon 28 Jan 2013, 11:13 am

*ANALYSIS OF PHILEMON *
*By REV. ARTHUR T. PIERSON, D.D. *

THE KEY WORD: RECEIVE (Intercession)
THE KEY VERSE: 17

If "Ephesians IS the Lyric," Philemon is "the Idyll of the New
Testament," combining beauty with brevity. Onesimus was a slave who had
stolen, and then run away, from Philemon. Converted and cherished by
Paul, he was by him sent back to his master, whom the Apostle besought
to receive him no longer as a slave, but a brother, and to put to Paul's
account any wrong he had done him as master.

Philemon seems to have been affluent in circumstances, and hospitable
toward saints. Onesimus means PROFITABLE. Paul plays on the name,
acknowledging that he had been very unprofitable, but was now profitable
to them both, as a renewed man, and had, by ministering to Paul in his
bonds, endeared himself to him so as to become as his own vital organs.
He therefore becomes intercessor for the slave and thief, and beseeches
Philemon for his sake to receive him, counting him no longer either a
bondservant or a transgressor; and the Epistle is especially rich in
expression of PAUL'S IDENTIFICATION with this converted slave, who was
to him his SON, his own bowels, his brother beloved, his second self.

No epistle is richer in TYPICAL TEACHING. We have here In profile an
illustration of the WHOLE SCHEME OF REDEMPTION: "I BESEECH THEE RECEIVE
HIM." Roman law gave the slave no right of asylum, but conceded one
right, that of appeal. He might flee to his master's friend, not for
concealment, but for intercession. The owner was absolute, but might be
BESOUGHT through a friend whom he counted as a PARTNER, and the slave
who fled thus to an intercessor did not incur the guilt and penalty of a
fugitive. Again, the Roman law provided for a slave's MANUMISSION: he
might be adopted by his master as a son and so be freed. This short
Epistle is full of references to these facts which conditioned Roman slaves.

The illustration becomes almost an analogy when applied to the sinner.
He is God's property, but he has not only run away from his Master, but
robbed Him. The Law affords him no right of asylum, but grace concedes
him the right of appeal. He flees for refuge to Christ, whom God counts
a partner. IN HIM he is begotten anew as a son, and finds both PRECATOR,
an intercessor, and GENITOR, a begetting father; FROM HIM he returns to
God, and is received not as a runaway slave and thief, but as a brother
beloved, as Christ himself, and all the debt that he owes to God is put
to Christ's account. Here is both intercession and manumission.

*God can do anything He wants to have done. *
*He doesn't want what you can do ...*
*Instead, He wants you. *
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Post  Admin on Sat 26 Jan 2013, 9:27 pm

Are You a Pauline Epistle?*
* by Pastor Ricky Kurth*
"Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men"
(II Cor. 3:2).

Since the Corinthians were saved by Paul's gospel (I Cor. 15:1-4), the
apostle calls them his epistles. Webster said that an epistle is "a
writing" communicating intelligence to a distant person. Surely the
intelligence, i.e., the information that the Corinthians communicated to
the world was that even the most sinful of men could be justified by
God's grace (I Cor.6:9-11).

But if Paul could say to the Corinthians, "ye are our epistle," why does
he go on to say that they were "manifestly declared to be the epistle of
Christ" (3:3) Ah, a letter written by an apostle under the inspiration
of the Spirit was a letter from Christ! And since everyone who is saved
today is also saved as a result of having believed Paul's gospel, you
too are a Pauline epistle! And so the debate over whether Paul wrote 14
or just 13 epistles is over! The apostle penned millions of letters over
the past many centuries.

It has often been said that you are the only Bible that some people will
ever read, and this is sadly so. What a responsibility this places on us
to live lives worthy of the Lord! Handwriting experts can tell who a
letter is from by the way the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed,
etc. Can men tell who sent you, Christian friend? Are you dotting all
the i's and crossing all the t's when it comes to godliness? Many
Christians who wouldn't dream of corrupting the written word of God
found in Paul's epistles (II Cor. 2:17) carelessly corrupt the living
epistles of their lives by inconsistent godliness. Remember, letters
don't get time off! They read the same today as they did yesterday, and
we too should be as consistent in our Christian testimony. If you are
holy on Sunday and a holy terror the rest of the week, this is
unacceptable to God (Rom. 12:1,2).

Since the epistle of our life is "known and read of all men" (II Cor.
3:2), we want to make sure we don't give men a faulty reading of Christ.
All men understand by the stars that God exists, as the stars too are
known and read of all men (Psa. 19:1-3). But while all men understand by
the stars that God exists, all men understand by us what kind of God He
is. When we live "soberly, righteously, and godly" (Titus 2:12), we
prove to others what is acceptable to the Lord (Eph. 5:8-10).

*SCRIPTURE FOR TODAY*

*Tit 2:12 Teaching us that,*
* denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,*
* we should live soberly,*
* righteously, and godly, in this present world;

*GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY & THE COMING DAYS*
*By Paul Hume*
Scripture Reading: 2 Thes. 2:1-12; Rev. 1:1-8; 9:20-21

Since I love to dabble with the weather, I remember several things in
the past connected thereunto. I remember when I still lived in
Minneapolis, Minn. how I was caught out in the open in the worst
windstorm ever to strike that city. I knew that something radical was
approaching that evening. My barometer was falling rapidly; hot, heavy,
humid air was upon us; dark thunder-heads were piling up in the
southwest; and the air was still as death. After several sharp
thundershowers, a "burst" came from the northwest. Winds of above 100
miles per hour hit, blowing from between 80 and 11O miles per hour for
almost a half an hour. Rains lashed the city, and great bolts of
lightning struck here and there. Wires were down all over; store-fronts
were sucked out (an evidence of tornadic conditions); huge trees were
uprooted in every block; and streets were washed out in places. What a
mess the city was in! Yet, there had been ample warnings!

The "barometer&quo t; of time is telling us that terrible, unprecedented days
lie ahead. The Word of God amply warns us, and even the secular leaders
of our society are warning that civilization is on the brink of a
world-wide catastrophe. The "barometer&quo t; is dropping. The huge storm
clouds are gathering; and thunder is rumbling; and the air is deathly
still (with not only its "air pollution;" but its antichrist poisons and
lawlessness of every shade and hue). The "things which must speedily
come to pass" (Rev. 1:1), (lit. are about to take place). The
"consummation of the age" is upon us! Great and terrible days are at
hand! What days are these in which to be living--days of great
opportunities for the Gospel of the Grace of God!

What should we do? Be terrified? That would be human! But no, for us, we
should "take courage" and "redeem the time, for the days are evil." We
should "be looking [with expectancy) for that blessed hope," and bless
the One Who is still on the throne, and Who is very much in control of
things--even the Devil and evil men!

Great days are these, we say again; but greater is our Savior-God who is
able "to guard you from stumbling" until that day!"

*Let’s focus on the wonders of God’s grace, *
*training ourselves to make a spirit of gratitude pervade our lives.*
* That’s the way to experience joy today and to be forever joyful.
—Vernon C Grounds*
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Post  Admin on Fri 25 Jan 2013, 9:19 pm

*ARE BELIEVERS ABOVE THE LAW?*
*by Russell S. Miller *
*Some people understand the grace principal to mean that living "under
grace" we may do as we please, but grace is, by no means, a license to
sin. However, it is argued that because the covenant of the law was made
with Israel, Gentiles were not under the law, and Romans 3:19 is cited
in support of this thinking:

"Now we know that what things so ever the law saith, it saith to them
who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the
world may become guilty before God."

The covenant of the law was, indeed, made with God’s chosen nation,
Israel, and no such covenant was ever made with any other nation, but
that did not exclude Gentiles from God’s law. The law was given, we
read, "that every mouth might be stopped, and all the world might become
guilty before God" (Rom.3:19). So, Israel represented the righteous and
holy standards of the Law of God in the world. And "when the Gentiles,
which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law,
these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves" (Rom.2:14). This
bears witness that Gentiles had "the law written in their hearts"
(Rom.2:15). It is no wonder that we have such a lawless society today
when believers feel themselves to be above the law.

In this dispensation of grace it is blessedly true of us, that "sin
shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but
under grace" (Rom.6:14). "Free from the Law" does not mean that we are
above the law, although we are to produce that fruit which is spiritual
(Col.3:1-4), and heavenly (Eph.1:20,21; 2:6), in character. In so doing
we shall, by His grace, accomplish what the law could never do.

Therefore as members of the Body of Christ the Apostle Paul exhorts us:

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust
of the flesh" (Gal.5:16).

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is
no law" (Gal.5:22,23) .

*SCRIPTURE FOR THE DAY

*2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, *
*as though God did beseech [you] by us:*
* we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. *

*Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, *
*Jesus Christ *
*and the American G.I.*

*One died for your soul,*
*the other for your freedom! *
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Post  Admin on Wed 23 Jan 2013, 11:31 pm

~A HEAVENLY HOPE~
By JOHN McKAY, Pastor
Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:5

If you are trusting the Lord Jesus with His death and resurrection, for your salvation, you have a wonderful future ahead of you. Your future will be significantly different from Israel's future. The Hope of Israel involved an eternal king - the Messiah - ruling the world in the eternal kingdom. The resurrection of the dead would provide the realization of Israel's hope. See Isaiah 26:19 and Daniel 12:2, also Luke 1:32-33, 67-79.

Our Hope is somewhat different. We are already seated with Christ in the heavenlies. Our future will give us the realization of what we already have spiritually. We will have a resurrection body, joint ownership of all things, fellowship with our Lord eternally without interruption, rewards, deliverance from Satan, sin, and frustration.

What a wonderful future! The certain expectation of these things in the believer's life is the result of Christ IN us. If the Lord Jesus is in us, and we have been placed in Him by the Holy Spirit baptizing us into His Body, we can be certain that glory will be ours. "God...hath called you unto His kingdom and glory...to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." In Romans 8:18, we read about the "glory which shall be revealed in us."

Is it surprising that the Apostle Paul thanks God for what we have? "We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ..for the hope which is laid up for you in Heaven..." (Colossians 1:3, 5). Let's study to show ourselves approved of God concerning the content and the difference of our hope. Grace Bible Church, Ohio


THOUGHT FOR THIS DAY
Have you given thought to the grace you walk under? You *never have to wonder* if it’s okay to approach your Father; you *don’t have to ask* a priest/pastor to pray for you; you don’t have to* go to anyone else *to pray for your healing; you have *direct access* to your Heavenly Father. The welcome mat is *always *out for you. Let me hasten to say that there's *nothing wrong* with asking a priest or pastor to pray for you. I just want you to understand that it's *not *necessary; you have the *same access* to God as they do.


Rom 8:18Â For I reckon that the sufferings of this
 present time [are] not worthy [to be compared]
 with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
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Post  Admin on Tue 22 Jan 2013, 12:17 pm

~THE HOPE OF CREATION~
By RALPH F. BALOG,
Scripture Reading: Romans 8:20, 21

Tornadoes - Hurricanes - Floods - Raging fires - Drought - Famine. What do these things have in common? They are symptoms of a creation "groaning and travailing in pain until now."

Is it always going to be this way on earth? Things appear to be on the downswing weather wise, worldwide. Scientists bemoaning the loss of something called the ozone layer, etc.

Sin has brought a curse upon God's perfect original creation. Just as Adam's sin brought physical death upon all men (Rom. 5:12), so too, it brought creation under the curse. Genesis 3:17-18: ".....cursed is the ground for thy sake...thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee......"

Disobedience to God was calamitous in consequences to man and creation. Is it to be this way forever? What is the "hope of creation"?

The deliverance in verse 21 of Romans 9 comes after members of the Body of Christ have been taken into His presence. Verse 23 states it is the redemption of our bodies that will trigger future earthly condition changes. While we, members of the Body of Christ, are physically on this planet earth in our mortal bodies, creation too, must wait for its hope. First, the members of the Body are changed and then creation.

The phrase in verse 21 "bondage of corruption" is sobering. It states why the earth is in such turmoil. Sin has caused the "bondage or corruption" and we abhor such humanistic signs as: "Love your mother - earth." The ungodly do not know this is a present evil age and that fervent heat awaits this sinful earth as described in II Peter 3:10. As 2 Peter 3:13 states there will be: "........a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness."
SCRIPTURE FOR TODAY
2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,
as though God did beseech [you] by us:
we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Truth can't be judged on the basis of popularity.
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Post  Admin on Mon 21 Jan 2013, 10:35 pm

THE LOVE OF GOD IN CHRIST *
*By Pastor Floyd Baker*
*Scripture Reading: Romans 8:39

In our pre-marital counseling we spend a great deal of time in Ephesians
chapter five looking at the responsibility of the wife and the husband
to each other in the marriage. One of the most difficult instructions we
find is when the wife is told "submit yourself unto your own husband, as
unto the Lord." What we point out to the husband to be, is that the wife
"needs" the security of his love. That is why we see that the husband is
"to love his wife as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it."
There is security in love!

What blessed security the child of God has in God's love. This is why
Paul could write, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor
angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things
to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to
separate us from the LOVE OF GOD which is IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD"
(Romans 8:38, 39). How needful it is for us to realize that God has our
welfare in mind in all that He does and allows in our lives. This is the
reality of Romans 8:28.

We have the confidence that in death, absent from the body is at home
with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). But what about life, when things
appear to go wrong? Yes, Paul declares that not even life with all of
its problems and difficulties will remove us out of God's love. This
love as we note is "in Christ Jesus," and we are in Him for time and
eternity. How wonderful for us to rest in that love, and to enjoy it
each day. May we too be "persuaded&quo t; of the wonderful love of God

**Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the
One who is leading.
-Oswald Chambers**.
*Compassion is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.*
<><
Saved, Settled, and Sure
By Ike T. Sidebottom
Is it possible for us to know that we are saved and that we never can be
lost?

Is every saved person complete in Christ without membership in any
Church organization and without the practice of any of the Church
ordinances?

Do we go immediately to Heaven or Hell when we leave this world?

If there ever was a time the Church needed to give a positive, clear
ringing testimony in answer to these questions, that time is today. The
world is in confusion because of "Wars and rumors of wars." The Church
is hopelessly divided in "mind and judgment," because of
denominationalism; and desperately sick because of the improper diet
prescribed by Church leaders and rationed out to the multitudes by
hirelings.

The individual sinner has a desire to be saved, but he doesn't often
hear the plain scriptural plan of salvation given from the pulpit, over
the air, or from the printed page. The babe in Christ has a desire to
grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus
Christ, but when he goes to the meeting place for food from the precious
Word of God, he usually gets a sermonette on churchanity and must return
home with a hungry heart.

We May Know

that we are saved, because God has said so in His infallible Word.

"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and
this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that
hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto
you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye
have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of
God." (1 John 5:11
This is God's record that all who have His Son are in possession of His
own eternal life. He wrote these things in order that those who
"believe" may "know."

Dear Reader, If you are in doubt about your salvation or if you feel
that you are now saved, but fear that some day you may lose your
salvation, will you not get your Bible and read the above passage on
your knees before the God of glory. Read and re-read this, His own
testimony, which He has borne concerning His Son and the eternal life
given through Him.

If you are among those who "believe on the name of the Son of God," you
have the scriptural right to know that you have eternal life.

In connection with this comforting certainty, I suggest that you read
and meditate upon the following kindred passages---Ecclesia stes 3:14
http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=Ecclesiastes+ 3.14&t=NKJV>;
John 3:16-18
http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=John+3.1618&t=NKJV>;
10:27-29
http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=John+10.27-29&t=NKJV>;
Colossians 3:3
http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=Colossians+ 3.3&t=NKJV>;
Ephesians 1:13-14
http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=Ephesians+1.13-14&t= NKJV>;
Philippians 1:6
http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=Philippians+1.6&t=NKJV>;
Romans 8:35-39
http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=Romans+8.3539&t=NKJV>
and 2 Timothy 1:12
http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=2Timothy+1.12&t=NKJV>.
In these closing days of the Church Age, things are terribly unsettled.
The unsaved man looks about him for something that is substantial and
sure. All he can see in the world is change and decay. Oh, that we who
are really saved might bear a sound, solid, positive testimony
concerning the eternal life which God has given to us in His Son. How
refreshing it is to hear a believer say, "I know I'm saved."

Remember, my dear friends, when we testify to the fact that we are saved
and sure of our salvation, we are not bragging on ourselves but we are
boasting in our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One who saved us! He is the
One who keeps us! He is the One who will carry us safely through to
glory, without the loss of one! To Him belongeth all the praise.

Church Joining

is a very popular movement in these days, spoken of by the Apostle Paul
as "perilous times." The idea of forming church organizations and
promoting church-joining programs originated with man and not with God.
The proud flesh of churchmen cries out for manpower when the real need
of the church is God-power.

The children of Noah said, "Go to, let us build us a city and a tower,
whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name" (Genesis
11:4
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Gen&c=11&v=4&t=NKJV#top
The modern church program of today is built on this same foundation,
hence the confusion and scattering of the church members into more than
four hundred different sects and creeds. Just as the organized effort at
the Tower of Babel failed (Genesis 11:5-9
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Gen&c=11&v=5&t=NKJV#top
so the organized efforts of churchanity are doomed to confusion and failure.

Paul describes the conditions in the professing Church at the close of
this age in 2 Timothy 3:1-5
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=2Ti&c=3&v=1&t=NKJV#top
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For
men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud,
blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural
affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers
of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures
more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the
power thereof: from such turn away."

It is very easy for the majority of God's faithful children to see that
the above quotation applies directly to organized churches. However, it
is painfully difficult and extremely hard on the flesh for us to apply
the last four words of verse five in a practical way. If every child of
God would obey this imperative command---" From such turn away"-- -the
religious system would be forced to cease their commercialism in the
name of Jesus Christ.

Independent Churches

are springing up everywhere. Just as the conscientious Protestants in
the days of Martin Luther organized themselves into churches like unto
the Catholic system from whence they came, so are the independent
Fundamentalists of today organizing themselves after the fashion of
denominational systems. It seems that preachers and church leaders
refuse to be satisfied with the church and its doctrine, as set forth by
the Holy Spirit through the writings of Paul. They insist upon enlisting
the members of the body of Christ in a competitive work of building
churches.

The moment a group of believers give themselves any other name than that
which designates them as an assembly at a given address, they mark
themselves as another sectarian group. Usually a second step is taken
immediately after the church name is selected. This second step is a
doctrinal statement including a part of the Bible and emphasizing one
Biblical doctrine above that of another. A third step usually follows,
which binds the members of the assembly into an organization with voting
power to control the policies of the said organization. Such doctrines
of men can never be fitted in to the order of God as laid down in
Ephesians 4:11-16
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Eph&c=4&v=11&t=NKJV#11
The Biblical Church

of this dispensation is spoken of in Ephesians 1:22-23
http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/preSearch.cfm?Criteria=Ephesians+1.22-23&t=NKJV>
as "The church, which is the body of Christ." Christ is the one head of
this church, and every saved person on the face of the earth is included
in its membership. "We are all baptized by one spirit into one body."
The baptism here referred to is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The body
is the "Body of Christ."

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of
your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of
all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." (Ephesians
4:4-6
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Eph&c=4&v=4&t=NKJV#top
If you are a member of the church which is Christ's body, you are
"complete in Him" (Colossians 2:10
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Col&c=2&v=10&t=NKJV#10
It is just as unscriptural for a believer to be dissatisfied with the
church membership which God gives him as it is for him to be
dissatisfied with the salvation which God offers. We do not need man's
work added to God's plan of salvation; neither do we need the touch of
man-made organizations for everyday service in God's church. If you are
satisfied with your salvation, you should be satisfied with your
position in Christ.

Our Hope of Glory

will be realized when our Saviour returns from heaven to "change our
vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body"
(Philippians 3:20-21
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Phl&c=3&v=20&t=NKJV#20
If we who are members of the body of Christ die before He returns for
His church, we are immediately "Absent from the body, and present with
the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=2Cr&c=5&v=8&t=NKJV#8
The body goes back to dust, but the spirit goes to be with the Lord. We
may expect the return of the Lord for His church at any moment, and at
His coming the bodies of those who have fallen asleep in Christ will be
raised and joined with their spirits that are now present with the Lord,
and the living saints will be changed and caught up into glory with the
resurrected ones. At this time the church which is the body of Christ,
will be presented to Christ, the Head, according to Ephesians 5:25-27
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Eph&c=5&v=25&t=NKJV#25
All who die without the Lord Jesus Christ go immediately into the flames
of torment. This truth is illustrated in Luke 16:19-31
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Luk&c=16&v=19&t=NKJV#19
The rich man of this passage actually lived on the earth, died as other
men die, and then lifted up his eyes, "being in torments," and
recognized his terrible condition.

All Unbelievers

must either meet the Lord Jesus Christ at the cross of Calvary and
accept Him as their personal Saviour, or else they must take their place
in the flames of torment when this life is over.

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that
believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth
on him." (John 3:36
http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Jhn&c=3&v=36&t=NKJV#36
Our Purpose and Mission
The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging
Christians to believe what God says.
We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and
the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till
we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son
of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the
fulness of Christ:"
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Post  Admin on Sun 20 Jan 2013, 10:16 am

THE GOSPEL PRODUCES ASSURANCE *
* by Russell S. Miller*

"For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and
in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men
we were among you for your sake" (IThes.1:5).

Many people do not have assurance in these days in which we live. They
base their salvation upon what some man has said, or upon some church
doctrine, rather than God's Word. Even their so-called "good works"
cannot please God because they have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ and
refused to believe Paul's God-given "gospel" of the saving grace of
Jesus Christ.

"In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of
sins, according to the riches of His grace" (Eph.1:7).

The Lord has told us that "the gift of God is eternal life through
Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom.6:23). If God's "gift" is eternal life, and
we are "justified by [Christ' s] blood" (Rom.5:9), should we not believe
what God has said? He is well able to perform that which He has said He
will do.

"BEING CONFIDENT OF THIS VERY THING, THAT HE WHICH HATH BEGUN A GOOD
WORK IN YOU WILL PERFORM IT UNTIL THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST" (Phil.1:6).

The "performance&q uot;, here, also goes beyond our salvation to include our
daily walk with Him. It is true that "we are HIS workmanship"
(Eph.2:10), but it is equally true that we are to "work out our own
salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil.2,12). "Shall we continue in
sin [then], that grace may abound?" (Rom.6:1). Paul answers this with an
emphatic: "God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any
longer therein?" (Rom.6:2). This lifestyle does not produce assurance;
it rather produces guilt as we can readily see from the world about us!
It therefore behooves every child of God to "present your bodies a
living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable
service.

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the
renewing of your mind, THAT YE MAY PROVE WHAT IS THAT GOOD AND
ACCEPTABLE AND PERFECT WILL OF GOD (Rom. 12:1,2).

There is more. To the yielded believer, "God works in you both to will
and to do of His good pleasure" (Phil.2:13). Indeed our wonderful
Saviour desires greater things yet --- "That our hearts might be
comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full
assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment [full knowledge] of
the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ" (Col.2:2).

This is the "gospel" that "established&q uot; the believers at Thessalonica
and also produces assurance in us today. Listen to what the Apostle
wrote in his first letter to them:

"For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and
in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance... ." When we believe Paul's
gospel, we have that assurance of being true "followers of the Lord"
(IThess.1:5, 6).

THOUGHT FOR THIS WEEK
Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it
the seed of an equal or greater benefit.
Napoleon Hill
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Post  Admin on Sat 19 Jan 2013, 12:01 am

*THE GRACE MOUNTAINS*
*EPHESIANS 2:1-22 *
*PART 3 OF 3*
*By Evangelist S. Lee Homoki*

*Resurrected to the Top of the Grace Mountains (vss. 4-12) *

What marvel! What mystery! How do we explain it? How do we describe it?
How do we fully appreciate the change of scenery that takes place within
the space of one verse? It cannot be so except God is introduced into
the picture! God's remedy for death is another death - meaning Christ's
death on the cross! Christ was the divine substitute for dead sinners.
His death was our death. His death paid our penalty in full! His
resurrection is our resurrection! This is great news for the hopeless!
Because He lives, we shall live also (Jn. 11 :25; Gal. 2:20)!

Look now! A resurrection! See what God has done! "But God! Who is rich
in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were
dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are
saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in
heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:4-6)!

God has resurrected the dead! God is in the soul-saving business. What
He has done is not unlike what He has promised to do someday for the
nation of Israel. He made them a promise about the national rebirth in a
future dispensation, wherein God will gather the dead, dry bones of
Israel. He said, "Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye
shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon
you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live;
and ye shall know that I am the LORD" (Ezek. 37:4-6). Some day, all
Israel will be resurrected to a national hope (Rom. 11:25), whereas, by
the same power God raised the Body of Christ to "heavenly places, " thus
denying death its victory (Phil. 3:10; Eph 1:19-20)!

Our text (vss. 4-6) uses words like "love," "mercy, " "kindness, "
"riches" and "grace" to describe how God was able to accomplish this
great regeneration (PALING-GHEN- ES-EE-AH = back again to the beginning);
the great work of taking fallen humanity back to before Adam's fall
(Titus 3:5)! How do you put a definition and limits on the greatness of
God's love? You can't! That is why God recommends His love (Rom. 5:5;
Titus 3:3-4) - because it has no equal or limit! Of course, the same is
true of all the other adjectives, mentioned above, that are used to
explain His work of saving sinners who deserve nothing but His wrath.
"Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift" (2 Cor. 9:15).

It's a gift! Of course, to be lifted from the valley of destruction,
despair and death and elevated to the very heights of God's Grace
Mountains and made to sit together in heavenly places with Christ
throughout all "the ages to come" is a gift! How hard is it for the
sinner, who is "dead" and "without strength" to receive a gift? It is
easy! It was effortless because the "gift" was available for the taking.
It's a simple matter of believing God's Word (Eph. 2:7-9). That is what
faith is:

*Faith is just believing *
*What God says He will do. *
*He will never fail us *
*His promises are true;*
*If we but believe Him,*
*His children we become. *
*Faith is just believing *
*This wondrous thing is done!*

Saved sinners are God's "workmanship "! Salvation is His work! Sinners
receive it by faith!

Salvation, however, was not cheap! God the Father exhausted the treasure
vaults of Heaven to give His Son for the sins of the world (Rom. 8:32;
Jn. 3:16). And, the personal cost to Jesus Christ was immense! He was
made "sin "! He was numbered among the "transgressors ," and "though He
was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty
might be rich" (2 Cor. 8:9). The precious "blood of Christ" was the
"cash on the barrel head" to "reconcile&quo t; sinners unto God. Be careful to
give praise and glory!
*THE GRACE MOUNTAINS*
*EPHESIANS 2:1-22 *
*CONCLUSION*
*By Evangelist S. Lee Homoki*

*Peace was Preached in the Valley (V ss. 13-18) *

"But now" indicates a definite and great change in God's way of dealing
with the Jews and Gentiles. The Jews, like the Gentiles, being the sons
of fallen Adam, must be counted with the wreckage in the valley of
death, despair and destruction at the foot of the mountain. In the
previous dispensation of Law and Commandments, the Jews occupied a place
of preeminence and privilege among humanity (Rom 3:1-2; 9:4). No people
were ever so blessed! The covenant that God had made with the Jews,
however, excluded the Gentiles and it bred severe animosity between
them. Now, the plan of God changes because Christ came "preaching
peace." Since Christ never preached to Gentiles while He was here on
earth (Mt. 15:24), we take this to mean that Christ spoke through the
Apostle Paul, who was the apostle to the Gentiles, preaching the "Gospel
of Peace " (Rom. 10:15; Eph. 6:15 and cf. Rom. 15:18; 1 Cor. 14:37; 2
Cor. 13:3; 1 Thess. 4:2,15; 1 Tim. 6:3).

Here the Apostle Paul teaches that the finished work of Christ, by the
blood of the cross, removes the barrier of "hatred. " In doing so, God
creates "in himself of twain one new man," bringing "peace" and a new
dispensation, thus causing the warfare to cease (Eph 2:13-18; Col.
3:10-11). Please note: Reconciliation implies that there was an
alienation that needed healing. Reconciliation is a grace doctrine and
is at the heart and soul of what is called the "revelation of the
Mystery" (Eph. 1:9; 3:3-4; 3:9; Col. 1:26-27; 2:2; 4:3). This
reconciliation was not said to be accomplished at the cross but, rather,
"by" the cross. By reconciliation, both believing Jew and Gentile are
"made nigh" to each other and the "one new man" is "made nigh" to God!
"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be
against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us
all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? " (Rom
8:31-32).

*Grace and Glory on the Top of the Grace Mountains *

Look! The death, darkness and dread are gone! The storm is over and the
bright sunshine of grace and glory is shining (Eph. 2:7; 3:1O)! (1) The
dead sinners are resurrected from the graveyard and transformed into
living "saints" and "citizens" ; of the "household of God. " (2) Those who
were once the children of the Devil are reborn as the children of God
and elevated to a place of privilege, being "made to sit together in
heavenly places in Christ Jesus"! (3) The hopeless now have an eternal
hope and home being "fitly framed together" into a "temple" to be
occupied by the family of God! God's great building project - a
"habitation of God" (vss. 18-22). Note: The work, role and dwelling
place of the "Godhead" in this building project - God the "Father" - God
the Son ("Him" ) - God the "Holy Spirit" !

What a change in dwelling places for God! What an adjustment from God's
habitation in the Dispensation of Israel where God dwelt in the
Tabernacle in the wilderness and then in the Temple in Jerusalem. And
now, He has chosen to build on the mountain tops of grace, a home for
Himself in this Dispensation of Grace! Bless God and give Him glory!
(See my Bible Brief Study - "Building with Paul" - sent free upon request.)

A personal message: My dear reader, if you have never trusted Christ,
you stand in dreadful danger! If your heart were to stop beating, in an
instant you would end up in the lake of eternal fire! I have a great
concern for your eternal soul. The Bible says, "Whosoever shall call on
the name of the Lord shall be saved." If you will, this moment, turn
your heart from your unbelief and trust the fact that Christ was your
substitute and that he died for you. He is alive and paid your penalty
with His blood. The moment you trust Him, your soul will be saved, your
heart changed and your sins all forgiven. You become a child of God! I
beg you, in Jesus' name, make that decision now. Will you do it? Why
will you perish? If you will take Christ, this moment, as your Savior,
write me a note and share your decision with me. If you do, I will write
you a letter of encouragement and send some literature that will help
give you assurance of salvation. Write to: Lee Homoki, PO Box 564,
Comstock Park, Michigan 49321.
Visit us online at WWW.BDTLB.org
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Post  Admin on Thu 17 Jan 2013, 11:14 am

THE GRACE MOUNTAINS
EPHESIANS 2:1-22
PART 2 OF 3
By Evangelist S. Lee Homoki

2. All the victims are children of disobedience and wrath and are under
the rulership of Satan (vs.2). The unsaved are dead to God. However,
they are physically alive and animated in sin as indicated by the verb
"walked. " These living dead are energized according to the dictates of
the "god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4) - "the prince of the power of the
air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience" (Eph 2:2).

"Walking" is not without thinking. A person lives the way he thinks
(Prov. 23:7). The Apostle Paul, twice in this verse, uses the
preposition "KATA" = ACCORDING TO - meaning, in this case, a pattern of
thinking. Disobedience does not happen in a vacuum. The Devil, the
father of all lies, dictates the "course of this world" to his
disobedient children. He is aided by the political and theological
liberals of this world who are the "mouthpiece&qu ot; or "ministers&quo t; for him.
Their damnable work is to blind the poor, lost victims as to their real
condition. They are what the Apostle Paul called, "false apostles,
deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as
the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their
works" (2 Cor. 11:13-15). Christ told the Pharisee of His day, "Ye are
of your father the Devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He
was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because
there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own:
for he is a liar and the father of it" (Jn. 8:44). The Apostle Peter
says that the Gentiles, "walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of
wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatry. "

These wretched victims are not corrupt, evil and immoral because of
their environment or lack of education, but because they have bad hearts
(Jer. 17:9; Mk. 7:21-23), controlled by a personal Devil who makes them
hostile to the will of God. That is why these "children of wrath" think
it " ... strange that [believers in Christ] run not with them to the
same excess of riot, speaking evil of believers" (1 Pet. 4:2-4).

3. All victims are under the control of the "flesh" (vs. 3). When Adam
sinned, his whole manner of life ("conversation ") crashed in a heap.
Instead of enjoying the luxury and blessings of the Garden of Eden and
the grace and presence of God, he, and all of unregenerate humanity with
him, are now under the harsh rule of Satan where they exist fulfilling
the desires of the "flesh" and the "mind." They subsist on what can be
seen, felt, touched, smelled and tasted. The human race looks at their
existence in this world, having a "seared conscience" (1 Tim. 4:2) that
is independent of the indwelling influence of God the Holy Spirit and
the revealed Word of God. But God looks on their heart and sees the
wreckage and finds nothing good in it. We can train and educate the
"flesh" so that it does not murder and steal, etc. We can cover it up
with a lovely false front and a lot of human good, but that does not
make it good or acceptable to God (Rom. 7:18; 8:8).

The Bible teaches that we are to: "Love not the world, neither the
things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of
the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the
flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the
Father, but is of the world" (1 Jn.2:15-16).

This wasting wreckage of humanity is now identified as the "natural man"
- "the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for
they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they
are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14).

Take a good look (verses 11 and 12)! There is no possibility for the
recovery or reconstruction from the ruins without what the Bible calls
"regeneration. " Gaze long and hard at the wreckage here and try to
understand! Picture if you will how the carnage is described. (1) The
human wreckage was godless and unclean - no better than a pack of wild
dogs called "the uncircumcision. " This was an uncomplimentary term that
might be used to describe some disgusting piece of garbage - no
recommendation for salvation here! (2) The human wreckage was separated
from Christ- "without Christ" - no means of salvation here! (3) The
human wreckage was excluded from the nation ("the commonwealth ") of
Israel. They were illegal aliens - salvation was of the Jews Jn. 4:22) -
no agency of salvation here! (4) The human wreckage had no special
racial or tribal connections. They were "strangers of the covenant" that
was made with Abraham the Jew - no covenant of salvation here!

Should this Inspirational be a blessing and encouragement to you, why
not send to a friend, coworker or, to your loved one who maybe defending
the USA the Word of God is so needed in our troubled world. It is our
heart at GRACE AND THE TRUTH and mission to reach as many people as we
possibly can TO SHARE with them the Word of God and all that the Lord
Jesus Christ has done for members of the body of Christ.

*SCRIPTURE FOR THE DAY

Rom 8:1-2 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in
Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath
made me free from the law of sin and death.
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Post  Admin on Tue 15 Jan 2013, 8:59 pm

*THE GRACE MOUNTAINS*
*EPHESIANS 2:1-22 *
*PART 1 OF 3*
*By Evangelist S. Lee Homoki*
*

In the second chapter of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul is addressing
believers but is talking about their past sinful condition as
unbelievers (vs. 2a). They were described as being: " .. .filled with
all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness,
maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity;
whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters,
inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding,
covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful"
(Rom. 1:29-31). It was terrible! It would be like coming upon a
horrifying train wreck! Your first thoughts and words to describe the
scene would be, "Death, destruction and devastation everywhere."
Everything is in disarray and disorder and the stench of death hangs
heavy in the air. Even the skilled eyes of a trained medical emergency
team, sent to the scene, would conclude that there is "no hope." Such a
sad evaluation! There are no sadder words to fall on human ears! Here,
the Apostle Paul, looking over the great wreck of Gentile humanity,
inspired of God the Holy Spirit, declares them as "having no hope and
without God in the world" (Eph. 2:12)!

*
*Wreckage at the Foot of the Mountain (vss. 1-3) *
*

The crash happened when Adam disobeyed God and promptly died - and all
of humanity with him! God had given Adam a solemn warning about the
"Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil" saying, "Thou shalt not eat of
it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen
2:17).

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (I
Cor. 15:22).
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;
and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Rom
5:12). "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal
life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom 6:23).

It is important for us to look carefully and honestly at this pile of
human rubble of which we are all a part. We will never fully appreciate
or understand God's saving grace if we don't! There is nothing savable!
We must be convinced that the destruction is so complete and so total
that only the divine application of God's great grace and power could
ever restore what has been lost! When the Apostle Paul surveys the
debris field, he identifies at least three reasons for his discouraging
assessment:

1. All the victims are spiritually dead (vs. 1). Adam was living in a
perfect environment. Adam had no knowledge of what death was he should
have listened and obeyed but he didn't and guilt swept over both Adam
and Eve. They learned the consequences of sin by personal experience.
They died spiritually and will eventually die physically! Externally
nothing had changed but inwardly Adam's spirit died.

There are several kinds of death mentioned in the Bible and none of them
are very appealing or exciting. If death means anything, it means the
cessation of life or the inability to do anything! The worst would not
be the cessation of physical life but, rather, spiritual death.
Spiritual death means that the unsaved have no capacity to know God,
love God, appreciate God or serve God. They are "alienated from the life
of God" (Eph. 4:18) and their destination is ultimately to the "lake
which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death" (Rev. 21
:8).

The root cause of this death was "trespass and sins " (Eph2:1; Col.
2:13; 2 Cor. 5:14). "Sin" means that man has no ability to hit the
"bulls- eye" of God's righteous demands. And "trespass" ; means that man is
outside the boundary of God's law. Mankind is guilty of both sin and
trespass. We are sinners because, by the inherited nature of Adam, we
have gone our own way - the way that "seems right unto a man, but the
end thereof are the ways of death" (Prov. 16:25). And, we are
trespassers because we have violated the boundaries of what we knew by
nature was the will of God (Rom. 2:14). The "victims" are thus declared
to be spiritually dead.

*SCRIPTURE FOR THE DAY
*
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.
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Post  Admin on Thu 03 Jan 2013, 3:58 pm

THE GIFTS OF THE SOVEREIGN GOD*
* EPHESIANS 4:5-16 *
*I CORINTHIANS 12:4-11*
*
Undoubtedly you have stopped to ask yourself, 'Why is it that one person
is so mechanically inclined and another person --- even in the same
family --- isn't? Why can one person be so musical and able to create
music while another person can't carry a tune in a bucket? Why are some
naturally diligent and prosperous while others are so lazy and couldn't
care less about getting ahead in life?' The only answer is that God, the
giver of life and being to all men (Acts 17:28) has been pleased to thus
distribute His talents in the natural realm --- even though sin has
ruined and perverted these natural gifts.

Likewise in the realm of those who are saved. All have the same
salvation. All are indwelt equally with the same Holy Spirit. All have a
new nature. All are loved by the Father. But His gifts have not been
bestowed equally. These two passages ought to make this clear. Now, lest
someone reasons, 'I don't have any gift from God other than eternal
life,' let us note what Ephesians 4:7 states, 'But in accordance with
the measure of Christ's gift, His favor has been bestowed upon each of
us.' (Williams translation) The grace mentioned in this verse does not
refer to saving grace. Nor does it even refer to sanctifying grace. It
clearly refers to serving grace! Not all the members of the Body of
Christ have the same office or function, but all members of Christ have
a function! I do not believe there is such a thing as a true believer
who does not have some spiritual gift by which he can serve the Lord!
True, only a few are called to be 'evangelists, and pastor-teachers, '
but all have been gifted sufficiently to engage in 'the work of
ministering' (Ephesians 4:12,)

Has God given you a spiritual gift? Yes indeed He has! Do you know what
it is? See also Romans 12:1-8 and I Peter 4:7-11 on this theme. True,
the sign gifts such as healings, tongues, the working of miracles, and
prophesying have passed away (I Corinthians 13:1-13). But other gifts
remain, and it is your privilege and responsibility to find out what
your gift is. Then ask the Lord for the grace to so use that gift that
He might be glorified and believers might be edified and sinners saved.
Grace, Peace and Love, Pastor Hume
Love The Truth*

*I love the truth. *
*I hate a lie.*
*Living a lie, we will die.*
*Jesus gave us the word of God.*
*The word of God is truth.*
*The word of God has set us free.*
*I was once blind, now I see.*
*For the grace of God has saved us.*
*I praise the Lord for this grace he hath set us free.*
*Jesus is the truth and the light.*
*He gave us life. *
*His Glory is so Bright.*
*For the Glory goes to Jesus Christ.*
*Let's not let be taken away.*

*In His grace and love, Paris*
*GraceNTheTruth@ COX.NET*
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Post  Admin on Tue 01 Jan 2013, 8:31 pm

LET'S LEAP INTO THE NEW YEAR 2013 KNOWING THAT*
One GOD IS ENOUGH! *
*
Not God and...but GOD! God is enough. God alone.
If I have all else my heart would desire, and have not Him, I have nothing.
If I have Him and nothing more, I have everything.
My heart must be convinced of this. Only then can I live in peace.

Otherwise, there will always be something else I need urgently, desperately.
And this lack, this urgent need of filling this lack,
will forever drive me to distraction and destroy my rightful peace and rest,
my quietness and confidence in the Lord.

This doesn't mean I don't recognize other things that might be
considered needs.
It's only that, while I may see them as good or desirable if within
God's will and purpose for me, I won't see them as ultimate needs,
because God, and God alone, is my only ultimate need.

And what He gives me, in the way and time He gives it, is fine with me.
For He alone is ultimately enough. Enough for me.

Yes, I have what humans view as responsibilities.
But only those that are God-given are truly mine.
And they are not so much responsibilities as opportunities.
Opportunities to serve and please and give pleasure to the One
who is Himself all I need, and is increasingly, by His grace, all I want.

'The man said when we say, 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the
other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to
sustain them.' Then turning toward me, he shared the following as if he
were reciting it from memory.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray
the day may appear..
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may
appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.
He then began to cry and walked away.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to
appreciate them, a day to love them; but then an entire life to forget them.
Share this with the people you will never forget.

*TAKE TIME TO LIVE..... *
*To all my friends and loved ones, *

*I WISH YOU ENOUGH. *
*GraceNTheTruth@COX.NET*
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Post  Admin on Mon 31 Dec 2012, 11:28 pm

Be Strong In the Lord" *
*Part 5 of 6*
*BY RICHARD JORDAN*
Instruction: Sin has robbed life of its true meaning and purpose. "Man
at his best state is altogether vanity" (Psa. 39:5). Consequently
humanity drifts aimlessly from event to event seeking some lasting,
permanent meaning.

"Give me exposure to enough people and things, and I will find a
meaning and purpose for my life," man's heart cries. A frantic search
for meaning and happiness abounds.

But for the believer, God has again supplied the answer in Christ.
Eph. 1:8,9 is one of those passages we should read thoughtfully:

"Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
"Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his
good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself."

In the riches of His grace God has furnished us with an
understanding of "the mystery of His will." In other words, we are
privileged to have an understanding of God's purpose in Christ which He
planned before the world began. Such insight allows us to understand our
part in what God is doing for Himself through the ages.

God the Father intends to center everything in the universe in His
Son (Eph. 1:10). As members of the Body of Christ we will have an
integral part in making this a reality. He wants us to understand that
our lives are therefore far from insignificant and meaningless. Even the
simplest believer is part of what God is doing -- because we are all in
Christ.

*"KNOWN UNTO GOD ARE ALL HIS WAYS" *
*He knows from the beginning! *
*He moves forward to a purposed point and a glorious goal.*
* Man often fails to finish what he begins,*
* but God never begins what He does not finish. *
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Post  Admin on Sun 30 Dec 2012, 3:22 pm

*"Be Strong In the Lord" *
*Part 4 of 6*
*BY RICHARD JORDAN *

Forgiveness: Without question we are guilty. Spend time talking with
people regarding their soul you will discover that unresolved guilt is
one of the greatest heartaches of our time. It hangs like an albatross
around the neck of humanity. But there is good news. Where? In Christ!

"Christ died for our sins," the gospel declares, and thus we have
the forgiveness of sins because Jesus Christ has fully paid the sin debt
at Calvary. Eph. 1:7 declares,

"In [Christ] we have ... the forgiveness of sins according to the
riches of his grace."

Forgiveness is not something we might have or that we have on some
days and not on others, or when we do certain things and don't do other
things. Forgiveness is something "we have" in the present tense. It is
something every believer lives in continually; it is a present reality
in our lives.

And how forgiven are we? Col. 2:13 answers

"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your
flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having FORGIVEN YOU ALL
TRESPASSES."

Total forgiveness is the present reality for every believer -- in
Christ. God has no more accusations against us. He has finished dealing
with our sin. For us to live under the pangs of guilt for past sins or
in fear of future failures is to live in bondage to error. It is to
occupy ourselves with the things that God is finished dealing with --
our sins -- and results in our neglecting what God is trying to do with
us today -- teach us about Christ living in and through us.

We have been forgiven. We don't have to be guilty anymore. We don't
have to have the hounds of guilt dog our heels day after day. Dear
friend, if you are plagued by a sense of guilt, take you stand in
Christ-- "Be strong in the Lord."

*THOUGHT FOR THIS WEEK *

**Even though suffering baffles our minds, *
*we can trust God to be near and to work out His purposes.
---Vernon Grounds*
*Phi 1:29 "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, *
*not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake"*
*The storms of our life prove the strength of our Anchor.---ODB* *
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Post  Admin on Fri 28 Dec 2012, 10:53 pm

"Be Strong In the Lord" *
*Part 3 of 6*
*BY RICHARD JORDAN *

*
What this all means to us is set forth in the words, "that we should
be holy and without blame before him in love. " This is our new identity
in Christ. The next verse goes on to declare what we have been chosen to:

"Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus
Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will" (Eph. 1 :5).

Adoption is a wonderful thing. God knows everything about us and
still He has adopted us -- giving us a place in His family so that we
sit at His table as full grown adults. We are somebody -- in Christ! In
ourselves we are not much. In Christ we have everything! We are to be
strong in our identity in Him. That is where our blessings and
privileges are -- that is where our strength is. Worthlessness is no
longer an issue -- we are in Christ Jesus.

Acceptance: Because of sin we all struggle with the trauma of
rejection. We feel angry and estranged; we need peace and approval. To
this end, Paul proclaims:

"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein HE HATH MADE US
ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED" (Eph.1:6).

Yes, we deserve to be rejected; no doubt about it. But the Lord
Jesus Christ has taken away the barriers. God made Him to be sin for us
that we might me made the righteousness of God in Him (II Cor. 5:21).
It's wonderful to know that we are "accepted in the Beloved!"

It is a fact of life that no one -- not our spouse, nor parents,
children, friends, nor even fellow believers -- will ever accept us
completely and unconditionally. But thanks be to God! He accepts us
unconditionally and completely in Christ. We have peace. We do not have
to be angry anymore; we do not have to be at war with God, with the
world, with our family, with our neighbors, with ourself -- the struggle
is over. We are accepted. Where? In Christ. We are to be strong there --
in who God has made us in Him. We can rest confidently in our acceptance
in Him.

Redemption: Because of the fall, mankind is enslaved to sin. This is why
the struggle for independence is so deeply seated in the human heart. We
want to be free because we sense that we are trapped. We feel boxed in,
imprisoned, enslaved--we want to be liberated. Hence everyone wants to
"come out of the closet" and do their own thing; hang it all out on the
line, as it were.

It is to this need that the Bible speaks when it says, "In whom we
have redemption through His blood" (Eph. 1:7). Redemption means liberty
-- to be set free.

Oh, we thought we were free before we trusted Christ; but we
weren't. We were the servants of sin and we couldn't help ourselves.
John 8:34 records, "Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you,
WHOSOEVER COMMITTETH SIN IS THE SERVANT OF SIN" (John 8:34).

Although we thought we had it made, doing what we wanted to do, we
were blind to reality. But Christ has paid the ransom and redeemed us,
set us free. Now we don't have to live under the bondage of sin,
enslaved to it. We don't have to sin anymore! We are free to serve Him
by His grace; motivated out of a heart of love and gratitude for Him;
not on the basis of a performance system but "according to the riches of
His grace."
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Post  Admin on Thu 27 Dec 2012, 8:16 pm

*"Be Strong In the Lord" *
*Part 2 of 6*
*BY RICHARD JORDAN *
Paul goes on in Ephesians 1 to list a sampling of these spiritual
blessings, demonstrating that the answer to all our real needs are found
in Christ.

Chosen: Because of sin, mankind struggles with a devastating sense
of alienation. All of us have a basic need to be loved and to be
important to someone .. to belong, as it were. Thus it is of great
encouragement to learn that God has chosen us for Himself and set His
love upon us in a special way:

"According as HE HATH CHOSEN US IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE
WORLD, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love"
(Eph. 1 :4).

Notice when this choice was made: "before the foundation of the
world." II Tim. 1:9,10 puts it this way:

"[God] hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not
according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace,
which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

"But is now made manifest.. .. "

Before the foundation of the world the triune Godhead established a
purpose ---an "eternal purpose" in Christ Jesus ---to form the Body of
Christ. Although this purpose was "kept secret since the world began"
(Rom. 16:25), it has now been revealed through the ministry committed to
the Apostle Paul (Eph. 3: 1-11). Thus Paul tells how we became a part of
God's great plan: "He hath chosen us in Him. "It is because we are in
Christ that we are part of this "eternal purpose which He purposed in
Christ Jesus" (Eph. 3:11).

Eph.1:4 should not be misread. It does not say that we were chosen
to be in Christ. Rather, we were "chosen in Him. "It is because we are
in Christ that we are a part of the purpose and plan God established
before the foundation of the world.

Without a doubt there is no greater, or more valuable possession that we
can hold in our hands than the word of God - The Holy Bible. And while
we hold, and read, and study God's word, we have no greater need than to
know how to handle it as God has intended that we handle it. For only
then will we handle the Bible properly. and only then will it be able to
effectually and fully function for us as "the word of truth' that it is,
and thereby be able to accomplish what God has designed it to accomplish
in our minds, and hearts, and lives.
_K. Blades

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