Monthly Archives: October 2018

The Nations Rages

Category : General

Psalm 2: 1 (KJV)

11   Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing.

 

The opening words of Psalm 2 pose a question that has baffled mankind through the centuries. The Psalmist asks, “Why do the nations rage?” That is, why is it so difficult to bring about international peace? Why, after thousands of peace conferences held through the centuries, are we no closer to world peace?

 

Three remarkable questions were asked once by a UN speaker: What element is lacking so that with all our skill and all our knowledge we still find ourselves in the dark valley of discord and enmity? What is it that inhibits us from going forward together to enjoy the fruits of human endeavor and to reap the harvest of human experience? Why is it that, for all our professed ideals, our hopes and our skills, peace on earth is still a distant objective, seen only dimly through the storms and turmoils of our present difficulties? Here is an honest cry of frustration and bafflement from the heart of a statesman wrestling with the problem, “Why do the nations rage?”

 

The why is an expression of astonishment and horror at the equally foolish and impious attempt of the revolters. This is dramatically opposite to the erroneous impression held by many to the effect that, “The reign of Christ on earth will be a time of universal felicity, prosperity, and righteousness.” It will be no such thing.

The picture or rebellion and hatred against God’s Christ depicted in this prophecy is exactly the same as that which emerges throughout the New Testament. “He shall reign until he has put all enemies under his feet” (1 Corinthians 15;25; Hebrews 10:13), indicating that the reign of Christ will take place during the ages when his enemies actively oppose him, and that His reign shall end when that opposition ceases.

 

As is pointed out, a twofold consolation may be drawn from this passage:— First, as often as the world rages, in order to disturb and put an end to the prosperity of Christ’s kingdom, we have only to remember that, in all this there is just a fulfillment of what was long ago predicted, and no changes that can happen will greatly disquiet us. Yea, rather it will be highly profitable to us to compare those things which the apostles experienced with what we witness at the present time. Of itself the kingdom of Christ would be peaceable, and from it true peace issues forth to the world; but through the wickedness and malice of men, never does it rise from obscurity into open view without disturbances being excited. Nor is it at all wonderful, or unusual, if the world begin to rage as soon as a throne is erected for Christ. The other consolation which follows is, that when the ungodly have mustered their forces, and when, depending on their vast numbers, their riches, and their means of defense, they not only pour forth their proud blasphemies, but furiously assault heaven itself, we may safely laugh them to scorn, relying on this one consideration, that he whom they are assailing is the God who is in heaven. When we see Christ well nigh overwhelmed with the number and strength of his enemies, let us remember that they are making war against God over whom they shall not prevail, and therefore their attempts, whatever they may be, and however increasing, will come to naught, and be utterly ineffectual. 

 

These messages were wholly predictive when they were uttered. These nations are not only historic but are symbols of forces at work in every age and every generation. What makes this passage so real and valuable to us is that through the experience of these nations we begin to understand our own personal struggles. We as believers in Jesus Christ should not worry or fret over the rise of evil, because Christ is still on the throne!

 

 

Have a great and God filled day!

 

Pastor C


Spiritually or Carnally Minded

Category : General

Romans 8: 6 (KJV)

6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

In the preceding verse the Apostle contrasts the dispositions and practices of believers and unbelievers; here he contrasts their opposite states and conditions. These two states of carnal and spiritual mindedness include and divide the whole world. All men belong either to the one or the other.

They are either in the flesh or in the Spirit; in a state of nature or in a state of grace. For to be carnally minded is death. — This is the awful state of the carnal mind — the mind of the flesh without faith in Christ, and renovation of the Spirit of God. It is death spiritual and eternal. All the works of those who are in this state are ‘dead works,’ Hebrews 9:14. ‘The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,’ although the Lord commanded to offer sacrifices, which therefore was in itself a good work. ‘She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.’

In addition, “The minding of the flesh.” The sense is, that to follow the inclinations of the flesh, or the corrupt propensities of our nature, leads us to condemnation and death. The expression is one of great energy, and shows that it not only leads to death, or leads to misery, but that it is death itself; there is woe and condemnation in the very act and purpose of being supremely devoted to the corrupt passions, Its only tendency is condemnation and despair—this only leads to death both physically and spiritually

However, The minding of the Spirit.” That is, making it the object of the mind, the end and aim of the actions, to cultivate the graces of the Spirit, and to submit to his influence. To be spiritually minded is to seek those feelings and views which the Holy Spirit produces, and to follow his leading. This is opposed to death in Romans 8:5. It tends to life, and is in fact real life. For to possess and cultivate the graces of the spirit, to be led where he would guide us, is the design of our existence, and is the only path of happiness.

Moreover, the peace here spoken of is opposed to the terrors of conscience which the unregenerate experience, and to the opposition in their hearts to God, as well as to every species of false peace by which they may be deluded. ‘There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.’ And again it is said, ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.’ To live under the influence of the carnal mind is to live in the state of condemnation, and consequently liable to death eternal: whereas, on the contrary, he who is spiritually minded has the life and peace of God in his soul, and is in full prospect of life eternal.

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C


Create For God’s Glory

Category : General

Psalm 6: 5 (KJV)

5For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

 

This Psalm is the first of those called penitential, and composed in confession of sin. From consideration of birth sin the writer turns to the littleness of man, and the shortness of life compared with God’s greatness and goodness. As references to the silence of the grave and the departure of the dead occur frequently, we may ask in what sense we are to take such words. David evidently understood that this life is our only period of probation.

 

The “ground” of this appeal is, that it was regarded by the psalmist as a “desirable” thing to remember God and to praise him, and that this could not be done by one who was dead. He prayed, therefore, that God would spare his life, and restore him to health, that he might praise him in the land of the living. A sentiment similar to this occurs in Psalm 30:9, “What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?” So also Psalm 88:11, “Shall thy loving-kindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?” So also in Isaiah 38:18, in the language of Hezekiah, “The grave cannot praise thee; death cannot celebrate thee; they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.” See the notes at that passage. A similar sentiment also is found in Job 10:21-22

 

We know that we are placed on the earth to praise God with one mind and one mouth, and that this is the end of our life. Death, it is true, puts an end to such praises; but it does not follow from this, that the souls of the faithful, when divested of their bodies, are deprived of understanding, or touched with no affection towards God. It is also to be considered, that, on the present occasion, David dreaded the judgment of God if death should befall him, and this made him dumb as to singing the praises of God. It is only the goodness of God sensibly experienced by us which opens our mouth to celebrate His praise; and whenever, therefore, joy and gladness are taken away, praises also must cease. It is not then wonderful if the wrath of God, which overwhelms us with the fear of eternal destruction, is said to extinguish in us the praises of God. 

 

Therefore, since man is to glorify thee on earth. The end for which he was born cannot be accomplished in the grave, then we need to pray and ask God to heal our bodies, and soul, that we might be rendered capable of loving and serving our great God and Savior here below. A dead body in the grave can do no good to men, nor bring any glory to God’s name! Therefore, let us be stirred up by such thoughts to engrave for ourselves in the imperishable records of the Book of Life the record of a life spent by us, through God’s grace, to His honor and in His service.

  

Have a great and God filled day!

 

Pastor C


Representing THE Light to the World

Category : General

Mark  4: 21 (KJV)

21And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?

 

Consider the life you live-how do other people perceive your faith? While God doesn’t expect you to live in perfection, He desires that you would do all you can to shine forth His light so others will see Him clearly.”Paul Chappell

 

This parable is designed to illustrate the purpose of spiritual light. When Jesus shared the Word of God, He was giving light to the world. His light was given to speak to people trapped in spiritual darkness; to show them that there was a way for them to be saved. While Jesus was here, He was “the Light of the world”, Jn.9:5. Our Lord’s light burned brightly teaching men about the love of God, John 3:16. The light that Jesus came into this world to display not only reveals the hidden things of God to man; it also reveals the hidden things within man! That is why so many people who have heard the Gospel message have rejected it. The Gospel is a message of salvation, but it is also a message of confrontation. It is a message that reveals the darkness of the human heart. People are like insects and other creatures of the night, they flee light when it shines upon them. Why? Jesus said it was because “their deeds are evil”, John 3:16-21.

 

When the light of the Gospel shines into a person’s heart, it reveals all the darkness contained in that heart. That is a painful experience for the lost sinner. Yet, when the darkness is exposed to the light, the darkness will have to flee and salvation will be the result. The first step in coming to Jesus to be saved is having your sins exposed to the light.

 

When He saved us from our sins, the Lord placed His light within us. He does not want us to hide the light away. He wants us to allow His light to shine through our lives so that others might see the way to God, Matt.5:16; Eph.5:8; 1 Pet.2:9. Far too many Christians are guilty of hiding the light, Rom. 13:11-14. Are you one of them?

 

Have a great and God filled day!

 

Pastor C


God’s Patience Demonstrated

Category : General

Nahum 1: 3 (KJV)

3 The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

 

All things in nature are calculated to terrify the ungodly man. Sinner, hast thou ever seen the clouds as they roll along the sky! Those clouds are the dust of the feet of Jehovah. If these clouds are but the dust, what is He Himself? (C. H. Spurgeon.)

 

Our text, with its sublime and magnificent imagery, is full of consolation to the afflicted as well as terror to the impenitent. The link between the first sentence of the text and the last. He is “great in power.” He that is great in power has power over Himself. When God’s power doth restrain Himself, then it is power indeed. The purpose of this and following verses is to identify God as the real adversary of Nineveh, and thus the Lord used the most superlative terminology that men knew in order to demonstrate the impossibility of escape by the enemy.

 

These are the effects of his power; and when they appear unusual, they may be considered as the immediate effects of his power: and although he be in them to punish and destroy, he is in them to direct their course, to determine their operations, and to defend his followers from being injured by their violence. The pestilential wind which slew one hundred and eighty-five thousands of the Assyrians did not injure one Israelite.

 

Let us remember that God is able at all times to save or to destroy. He exercises much long suffering towards his enemies, that this may lead them to repentance. And it is because of this long suffering that vengeance is not speedily executed on every evil work.

 

Divine long-suffering gees along with Divine power. God can be long-suffering, because He can, whenever He sees good, punish. His long-suffering is a token, not of weakness, but of power. He can allow persons the whole extent of trial, because, when they are past cure, He can end it at once. “God is a righteous judge, strong and patient, and God wrath every day” Psalm 7:11. The wrath comes only at the last, but it is ever present with God. He cannot but be displeased with the sin; and so the Psalmist describes in the manner of men the gradual approximation to its discharge.

 

The last attribute is this–“He will not at all acquit the wicked.” Never once has God pardoned an unpunished sin. Trace this attribute to its source, and you find it in this, because He is good.” (C. H. Spurgeon.)

 

Have a great and God filled day!

 

Pastor C


To God be ALL Glory

Category : General

Philippians 2: 3 (KJV)

3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

 

“The world is eagle-eyed in spying out the faults of those who profess religion: and when they see a vain, conceited, talkative, obtrusive, uncharitable professor, they despise him in their very souls.”

 

It has been observed that these twin vices (strife and vainglory) have been spoilers of the church of God in all ages. Petty striving for place and preferment, jockeying for advantage, pushing and shoving for prestige or attention – how many congregations of believers in Christ have been blighted or destroyed by the sins Paul mentioned here.

 

This command forbids us to do anything, or attempt anything as the mere result of strife. We are to never be opposed to each other; never act from separate interests; because we are all brothers, and of one body; therefore, every member ought to feel and labor for the welfare of the whole. And, in the exercise of our different functions, and in the use of our various gifts, we are to do nothing so as to promote our own reputation, separately considered from the comfort, honor, and advantage of all.

 

This is not the principle from which we are to act, or by which we are to be governed. We are to form no plan, and aim at no object which is to be secured in this way. The command prohibits all attempts to secure anything over others by mere physical strength, or by superiority of intellect or numbers. Or as the result of dark schemes and plans formed by rivalry, or by the indulgence of angry passions, or with the spirit of ambition. We are not to attempt to do anything merely by outstripping others, or by showing that we have more talent, courage, or zeal.

 

What we do is to be by principle, and with a desire to maintain the truth, and to glorify God. And yet how often is this rule violated! How often do Christian denominations attempt to outstrip each other, and to see which shall be the greatest! How often do ministers preach with no better aim! How often do we attempt to outdo others in dress, and it the splendor of furniture and equipment! How often, even in plans of benevolence, and in the cause of virtue and religion, is the secret aim to outdo others. This is all wrong. There is no holiness in such efforts. Never once did the Redeemer act from such a motive, and never once should this motive be allowed to influence us.

 

We are to always have a humbling view of ourselves, and this will lead us to prefer others to ourselves; for, as we all know our own secret defects, charity will lead us to suppose that there are others who are more holy, and more devoted to God than we are; and they will think the same of us, their secret defects also being known only to themselves. Let us be extremely careful of our motives and especially when it comes to the things of God.

 

 

Have a great and God filled day!

 

 

Pastor C


Set Apart Unto God

Category : General

Psalm 4: 3 (KJV)

3 But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him.

 

“The greatest of all blessings is that of belonging to that special group of human beings whom God has set apart from all mankind as his very own people. God will nurture and encourage his children; he will hear them when they pray; he will forgive their sins and mistakes, provided only that they repent, acknowledge their lapses and seek the Father’s loving forgiveness.”

 

“Him that is godly for Himself” – For His own purposes, or to accomplish His Own designs. The reference is here undoubtedly to the psalmist himself; that is, to David. The word “godly,” as applied to himself, is probably used in contrast with his enemies as being engaged in wicked designs, to wit, in rebellion, and in seeking to dispossess him of his lawful throne. The psalmist felt that his cause was a righteous cause, that he had done nothing to deserve this treatment at their hands; and that he had been originally exalted to the throne because God regarded him as a friend of himself and of his cause; and because he knew that he would promote the interests of that cause. That Yahweh had done this; that is, that he had designated him to accomplish a certain work, or that he regarded him as an instrument to perform it. He would, therefore, protect him whom he had thus appointed; and their efforts were really directed against Yahweh himself, and must be vain.

 

However, while it is personal to the Psalmist, “The godly” can also be a distinguished, a peculiar people. The ones who have undergone a process of change. There may be a very exalted scale of morals observed by men, but still it amounts not to the scriptural idea of godliness, for all that comes within the range of moral observance may be entirely without reference to God. Godliness is a state of mind and heart which is derived from a source higher than man.

 

In addition, we must note that the source of godliness ,it must be God Himself. The Almighty power, acting out the dictates of Almighty grace and love, can alone bring a sinner, from his state of abject denudation, near to God, and pour into his nature the renovating Spirit that shall bring upon him the lineaments of that perfection in which he was at first created. If God “sets apart” or “chooses” a sinner, therefore, it is in order that there may be produced in him affinity to Christ, likeness to Christ–likeness to Christ in principle, in desire and intention, in motive, in affections, in actions. Incidental to this, and essential to it, is the conviction of sin which the Spirit of God creates in the heart. God usually furnishes those whom He reckons worthy of having this honor conferred upon them, with the endowment’s requisite for the exercise of their office, that they may not be as dead idols. 

 

Let this truth then, obtain a fixed place in our minds, that God will never withhold His assistance from those who go on sincerely in their course. Without this comfort, the faithful will inevitably sink into despondency every moment.

 

 

 

Have a great and God filled day!

 

Pastor C


Christ Rules in and over us NOT Sin

Category : General

Romans 6: 14 (KJV)

14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

 

“Justification by works would destroy no sin, would check no evil propensity, but would leave a man to all the ravages and rioting of unsubdued passion.”

 

It has been noted that there are different states of “sin.” There is sin latent, and fully manifest; there is sin you are striving to subdue, and sin dominant. It is concerning this last state that we have this promise–“Sin shall not lord it over you.” And there is a state beyond this when the sin is so conquered that it is actually changed into grace. A besetting sin, a characterizing virtue; strong passions, ardent love; fear, humility; credulity, faith; weakness, leaning on the strong.

 

The apostle does not affirm that Christians are not bound to obey the moral law. The whole scope of his reasoning shows that he maintains that they are. The whole structure of Christianity supposes the same thing. the apostle means to say that Christians are not under the law as legalists, or as attempting to be justified by it. They seek a different plan of justification altogether: and they do not attempt to be justified by their own obedience. The Jews did; they do not. it is implied here that the effect of an attempt to be justified by the Law was not to subdue sins, but to excite them and to lead to indulgence in them

 

This verse brings into view the ability of the Christian to survive inevitable lapses of a sinful nature. If his justification had been such as that available to the Jew in the keeping of the law, his would be a hopeless predicament. Sooner or later, some little sin would lay him low; and, no matter how trivial a lapse, any infraction of law would have been enough to destroy him. But thanks be to God, the new system is in operation. Justified, absolutely, through identity with Christ and being in fact “in him,” the Christian’s sins are truly banished forever

 

Some are under the dominion of sin in the form of anger. Those who have a quick, hot temper, are like the small pot that quickly boils over and scalds terribly. The propensity of others is to murmur. I know some who grumble at everything. With others the reigning sin is covetousness. I do not say that they should be indifferent to business, but why so penurious? “Covetousness is idolatry.” Of course, you may fall into fits of covetousness and yet be Christians, but if you are habitually covetous then your covetousness has got dominion over you, and according to the text you cannot be a child of God. Perhaps the sin of pride may be in the ascendant. Now, I do not say that you are no Christian because you occasionally forget the lowliness and modesty that become you, but I do say that if you tell me that you cannot help being proud, then pride is your master and Christ is not. The dominant sin of many is sloth.

 

If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7). “Cleanseth” is present tense active and may be translated as the present participle, and it means that the Christian is being forgiven and justified every moment of his life! The evil which we are encouraged to resist is the dominion of sin over us. Thanks be to God that we are under grace instead of law!

 

 

Have a great and God filled day!

 

Pastor C


True Happiness

Category : General

Proverbs 16: 20 (KJV)

20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.

 

This proverb builds on the ground that all men desire happiness. Philosophers, in all ages of the world, have been trying to find out and teach what is man’s greatest good; and people generally, from the days of David, have been asking, “Who will show us any good?” The Stoics gave one answer, the Epicureans another, as to man’s chief good. There are those who now ask, “Is life worth living?” agree with neither. It is doubtless the case that the devotee of wealth, of fame, of power, or social eminence finds, whenever he is successful in his efforts, that neither wealth nor fame, neither power nor eminence in social position, gives the happiness which he sought therein.

 

Whoever trusts God is no longer hostile to Him. The enmity of the heart against the Most High and the Most Holy One ceases. Accepted in the Beloved, he has peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. This gives the faithful happiness. It was no shallow source of joy for the brothers of Joseph (when their sin had found them out) to be made sure that there was peace between the ruler of Egypt and themselves; and it is not a small boon for any man, conscious of his sin, to know that there is reconciliation and peace between himself and his Omnipotent Maker and righteous Judge, through the mediation and redemption of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The results of thousands of years of experiments and of experience, before and since Solomon’s day, are set forth in the words of the proverb which is my text, “Whose trusteth in the Lord, happy is he. These clauses are parallel. The man that heeds the Word of God is exactly the same man that trusts in Jehovah. A man can do neither without doing both. “There can be no real blessedness in life without one’s trusting in the Lord. Men are so constituted that if their souls are to find rest, they must trust the loving power and wisdom of that Being who is stronger and wiser than themselves. Wisdom is man’s true path–that which enables him to accomplish best the end of his being, and which, therefore, gives to him the richest enjoyment and the fullest play for all his powers. Give man wisdom, in the true sense of the term, and he rises to all the dignity that manhood can possibly know. But where shall this wisdom be found? He that trusts in the Lord has found out the way to handle matters wisely, and he is very happy not to his own wisdom; nor in his own strength; nor in his riches, nor righteousness; nor in the favor of men, no, not of princes; but in the Lord, and in his Word.

 

Have a great and God filled day!

 

Pastor C


God Deserves our Best

Category : General

Malachi 1: 6 (KJV)

6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name.

Are you the best worshiper you can be? Are you the best giver? The best shopper? That doesn’t mean if you love to shop the best, it means can you get the best bargain for your money? Why ask these questions? Some people might actually be offended by them. After all, they ask, who’s watching? Who’s counting? It’s not anyone else’s concern how I do. Well, it really is all of our concern. If no one does their best, then the whole community, the whole family, the whole church is dramatically affected.

The phrase “doing your best” has become so clichéd that it hardly means anything anymore. Doing our best has come to mean just getting by. Our minimums have become our maximums.

In 2 Samuel 24, David came to the recognition that his own sin had led Israel astray, and God’s judgment had come in the form of a plague on the people. David interceded in prayer and then he wanted to offer a sacrifice to God. He went to a place owned by a man named Araunah and told him that he wanted to buy his threshing floor so that he could build an altar to the Lord. Araunah generously offered to give the oxen for the offering and the wood for the fire – kind of a “turn-key” sacrifice. All David had to do was sit in the pew and everything would be taken care of for him.

Instead of looking for a shortcut, David refused this discount and said in verse 24: “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” Likewise, we must give sacrificially, not sacrilegiously.

Are you giving God the best? Are you striving to give Him the first? And does your giving cost you something? Are you offering to God that which you would not dare offer a lesser person? Are you offering to God that which even a pagan would not offer to their gods? Do you honor God by the life you live?

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C


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