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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Nothing Old (and other devotionals)

Nothing Old 

"And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new"   (Revelation 21:5).

Glory be to His name! All things need making new, for they are sadly battered and worn by sin. It is time that the old vesture was rolled up and laid aside, and that creation put on her Sunday suit. But no one else can make all things new except the LORD who made them at the first; for it needs as much power to make out of evil as to make out of nothing. Our LORD Jesus has undertaken the task, and He is fully competent for the performance of it. Already he has commenced His labor, and for centuries He has persevered in making new the hearts of men and the order of society. By and by He will make new the whole constitution of human government, and human nature shall be changed by His grace; and there shall come a day when the body shall be made new and raised like unto His glorious body. What a joy to belong to a kingdom in which everything is being made new by the power of its King! We are not dying out: we are hastening on to a more glorious life. Despite the opposition of the powers of evil, our glorious LORD Jesus is accomplishing His purpose and making us, and all things about us, "new" and as full of beauty as when they first came from the hand of the LORD.
~Charles Spurgeon~

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1.

I was trying to witness to a man one time. I knew him well. He was what you would call a self-made man, pretty comfortable in his status in life. He was standing in front of his house. We had a friendly conversation, but when I broached the subject of Jesus he said, “Oh, I’m fine. I’m fine like I am. You see that house? It’s paid for. There’s my wife on the inside. She loves me and I love her. I have my retirement income. I’m doing quite well, thank you.”

I said, “Sir, may I ask you a question?” “Well, sure,” he answered. I said, “Oh no, don’t say that lightly. I want to ask you a question, and I want you to think about it and answer me honestly. Will you?” He said, “Of course.” I said, “Sir, do you have peace in your heart?” He said, “I told you, I’m fine.” I said, “No, you said you would answer the question. Now answer it. Do you have peace in your heart?”

His chin began to quiver and his eyes brimmed with tears. He said, “No! I don’t have peace. How did you know?” I said, “Because the Bible says ‘There is no peace, said my God, to the wicked.’”

The only real peace you will ever know is found in the wonderful name of Jesus.

Do you have peace with God? If you don’t know the Lord Jesus Christ, I want to invite you to pray a prayer like this: “Dear Jesus, I need You. I’m a sinner. I’m lost I don’t want to die in my sin and go to hell. I need You, Jesus. I trust You, Jesus. I believe You’re the Son of God. You paid for my sin debt with Your shed blood on the cross. Thank You, Lord, for doing that. Thank You for saving me. Now give me the courage to make it public. In Your name I pray, amen.”
~Adrian Rogers~

Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. - Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. - A new command-ment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. - Christ ... loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.

JOHN 13:1. John 17:9,10,15,16. John 15:9. John 15:13,14. John 13:34. Phi. 1:6. Eph. 5:25,26.

EVENINGThe deep things of God.

Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. - It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.

We have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

I COR. 2:10. John 15:15. Matt. 13:11. I Cor. 2:12. Eph. 3:14 19.
~Samuel Bagster~

Today's ReadingAmos 4Revelation 7

Today’s Thoughts: Weary People with No Holiday Cheer

You, O God, sent a plentiful rain, whereby You confirmed Your Inheritance, when it was wear.  Psalm 68:9

I was shopping in Costco during the summer months and ran into an old acquaintance from a Bible study class we attended together. I asked her how she was doing and her response was, “Well, I have the most difficult time keeping the faith in the summer and during the holidays.” Her words were absolutely honest and sadly enough very true. We grow weary in doing good at different seasons of life. The holidays tend to be one of those seasons.
After talking with so many women at retreats, Bible studies, live radio programs, women’s events and even through emails, we have found that many Christians are basically weary(or at least the people who talk to us). Circumstances, people, finances, negative words and thoughts have all contributed to not having a desire to persevere. We know that the right thing is to persevere, run the race with endurance, and not lose heart, but sometimes it seems too difficult to just keep going, day in and day out.
If we were really honest, most of us would admit to having thoughts like, “How can I do it all? How is this going to work out? Why does life have to be this hard?”  The added pressure of the holiday season demands more of our time and attention. Suddenly we find ourselves having no time to pray or seek the Lord. Instead, we try to spiritualize and justify our position by saying we are doing all these things for others as if we are living a sacrificial life. However, we can’t give others something we do not have. We can become unspiritual in the process. My father frequently said, “When your output exceeds your intake, your upkeep is your downfall.” It is too easy to fall down in the holiday seasons.
 Why? Because God does not ask us to sacrifice but to obey. Jesus defined obedience in John 15 as abiding in Him. We need to take the time to be with the Lord. Lift your eyes toward Him, open your heart in prayer and seek the Lord. He will help you and He is able to provide rest for the weary soul.
~Daily Disciples Devotional~

Trusting in God's Faithfulness

Is there something God has told you to do that seems just too difficult? You can be sure that if He has called you to carry out His will, He’s going to be faithful to accomplish it through His Spirit living and working in you. So if you tell Him, “I can’t do that, Lord—what if I fail?” you’re really saying, “God doesn’t keep His word.” And yet, our total expectation should be in Him—not in our own energy, ability, or experience.
When you doubt God’s trustworthiness, that unbelief becomes a gap in your spiritual armor, and you can be sure that’s exactly where Satan will attack you. You’ll begin to doubt even more about God’s character, such as His goodness—and that distrust will become a heavy load of baggage you’ll needlessly drag through every area of your life.
You might feel that you do not have enough faith to obey, but the Lord isn’t asking you to have faith in favorable circumstances. He’s asking you to trust that He is who He says He is.
Do you believe that God is a liar? It’s really that simple: either He is truthful or He’s not. But if you believe that faithfulness is His character, then you can do anything He requires. You’ll be strengthened by your dependence on Him—whether a deluge or trials or a flood of blessing comes.
It’s actually when life gets rough and rugged that the sweetness of God’s faithfulness makes itself real in your heart. As you walk through those storms in complete reliance on His strength, your trust in His character becomes part of who you are and strengthens from within.
~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~

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