Category Archives: General

Its a Heart Issue

Category : General

Proverbs 4: 23(KJV)

23Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

He who knows any thing of himself, knows how apt his affections are to go astray.”

The “heart,” in Scripture, implies the whole spiritual end aspiring part in man. Keeping the heart is controlling the whole spiritual condition of our nature. Amost important reason is here assigned for “keeping the heart with all diligence,” because “out of it are the issues of life.”

It has also been observed that “Men are apt to consider the regulation of external conduct as the chief object of religion. If they can act their part with decency, and maintain a fair character, they conceive their duty to be fulfilled. The wise man advises us to attend to our thoughts and desires. The issues of life are justly said to be out of the heart, because the state of the heart is what determines our moral character, and what forms our chief happiness or misery.”

The exhortation is to keep the mind from vanity, the understanding from error, the will from perverseness, the conscience clear of guilt, the affections from being inordinate and set on evil objects, the thoughts from being employed on bad subjects; and the whole from falling into the hands of the enemy, or being the possession of Satan: great diligence had need be used in keeping it, since it is naturally so deceitful and treacherous; a strict eye is to be kept upon it; all the avenues to it to be watched, that nothing hurtful enters, or evil comes out

The state of the heart determines our moral character. The tenor of our actions will always correspond to the dispositions that prevail within. On whatever side the weight of inclination hangs, it will draw the practice after it. Independent of all action, it is, in truth, the state of the heart itself which forms our character in the sight of God. In the eye of the Supreme Being, dispositions hold the place of actions; and it is not so much what we perform as the motive which moves us to performance that constitutes us good or evil in His sight. The rectification of our principles of action is the primary object of religious discipline. The regeneration of the heart is everywhere represented in the gospel as the most essential requisite in the character of a Christian.

Therefore, we are to guard it most carefully; with all kind of diligence, and above all other cares: guard it from evil thoughts and evil desires: for if we have evil desires, it is impossible for us to refrain from evil actions. Our heart, corrupted as it is, will cause our destruction, if we do not employ all our care, in dependence on the blessing of God, to guard it well; to observe its motions, to regulate its inclinations, to repress its sallies. Let the issues of life, which are said to spring from the heart, be those of eternal life, and then the words will mean, that on the state of the heart depends the salvation of the soul.

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C

Hope ONLY in God

Category : General

Romans 15: 13(KJV)

13Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

It is said, “A hopeless life is a bitter life. Surely the heart is broken when hope is gone.”

Here we are comforted with the thought, May the God of this hope. The reference is that the God who caused both Jews and Gentiles to hope that the gracious promises which he made to them should be fulfilled; and who, accordingly, has fulfilled them in the most punctual and circumstantial manner; Fill you with all joy – Give you true spiritual happiness; peace in your own hearts, and unity among yourselves; in believing not only the promises which he has given you, but believing in Christ Jesus, in whom all the promises are yea and amen. That ye may abound in hope – That ye may be excited to take more enlarged views of the salvation which God has provided for you, and have all your expectations fulfilled by the power of the Holy Ghost, enabling you to hope and believe; and then sealing the fulfillment of the promises upon your hearts.

God is called the God of hope, because He is the author of all the well-grounded hope of His people. All hope of which He is not the author, in the heart of men, is false and delusive. The world in general may have hope, but it is false hope. All true hope with respect to the Divine favor is effected in the human heart by God Himself. Not only is God the author of all true hope, but He can create this hope out of the midst of despair. The most desponding are often raised by Him to a good hope through grace; and the most guilty are in a moment relieved, and made to hope in His mercy. How remarkably was this the case with the thief on the cross, and with the three thousand on the day of Pentecost

The above blessings the Apostle prayed for to be bestowed on those whom he addressed, in order that they might abound in hope; and the more believers are filled with joy and peace the greater will be their hope. The people of God have high hopes, and it is their privilege to seek from their Lord an increase and abundance of hope — not that faint and common hope of possibility or probability but a certain hope. Such a hope springs from faith, — in effect, is one with it.

“We are saved by hope,” says Paul, and there is a depth of meaning in his words. People often say, “While there is life there is hope”; but would it not be truer still to say, “While there is hope there is life”? This cheerful hope is the Christian’s. All things are his, not in possession, but in prospect. The heart can cherish no desire which is not abundantly spread out before him. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive, what things God hath prepared for those who love Him. Let us only hope in Jehovah God

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C

Being on God’s Side

Category : General

Psalm 118: 6 (KJV)

6The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?

“It were a pity to be afraid of such a pitiful, miserable, despicable object as a man opposed to the almighty God. The Psalmist here speaks like a champion throwing down the gauntlet to all comers, defying the universe in arms; a true Bayard, without fear and without reproach, he enjoys God’s favor, and he defies every foe.”

Here we see that The Lord is said to be on the side of David, hence all his prosperity and victories, the wonderful things done by him, his exaltation to the throne, and the establishment of it; and so he was on the side of Christ, he was near unto him, at his right hand, to guide, direct, and assist him as man; and he is likewise on the side of his people, to fight their battles for them, to support them under all their afflictions, to supply all their wants, to deliver them from all evil, to carry on the work of grace in their souls, and to bring them to glory, he was on the side of David, hence all his prosperity and victories, the wonderful things done by him, his exaltation to the throne, and the establishment of it; and so he was on the side of Christ, he was near unto him, at his right hand, to guide, direct, and assist him as man; and he is likewise on the side of his people, to fight their battles for them, to support them under all their afflictions, to supply all their wants, to deliver them from all evil, to carry on the work of grace in their souls, and to bring them to glory,

Moreover, we are told David did not; and was not afraid of ten thousands of men, no, not of a whole army that encamped against him, God being for him, the strength of his life, and his salvation, Psalm 3:6; nor did the Messiah; he was not afraid of Herod when he was told he would kill him; nor of the high priests, Scribes and Pharisees, though he knew he should fall into their hands, and they would deliver him to the Gentiles, to be scourged and crucified; nor of Judas and his band of men, who came to take him; nor of Pilate his judge, who had no power against him but what was given him. Nor have the saints any reason to fear what man can do unto them, when grace is in exercise; for what is man to God, who is but flesh, and that flesh grass? Nor can he do anything without a divine permission; is often frustrated in his attempt; and what he is suffered to do is overruled for good; and the utmost he can do is to kill the body; he cannot destroy the soul, or hinder the happiness of it.

David, confiding solely in God’s help, he sets at defiance not a few enemies merely, but the whole world. “Defended by God’s hand, I may boldly and safely set at nought all the machinations of men.” When all the power of the universe is deemed as nothing, in comparison of God, then, indeed, is due honor attributed to Him. Therefore, we see that he tacitly reproves the unbelief of almost all men, who spontaneously alarm themselves with groundless fears. All, indeed, desire peace of mind; but, in consequence of robbing God of the praise due to His power, their own ingratitude does not permit them to realize this blessing. Were they, as is fitting, to submit in all things to the good pleasure and power of God, they would be always ready boldly to surmount all those difficulties, the dread of which from time to time annoys them. But paying more regard to the mischievous attempts of men, than to the help which God can give them, they deserve to tremble at the rustling of the falling leaf. 

It is the wish of David, by his own example, to correct such perversity; and, with this view, he affirms that, in the enjoyment of God’s favor, he would fear no man, being fully persuaded that he could rescue him from all the nefarious plots which were laid for him. Or if he composed this psalm after his deliverance, we see how much he had profited by the experience of the grace of God. Therefore, as frequently as God shall succor us, let our confidence in Him for the future be increased, and let us not be unmindful of his goodness and power, which we experienced in our extremity.

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C

Christ our ONLY Hope

Category : General

Psalm 71: 5 (KJV)

5For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth.

The Psalmist here repeats what he had said a little before concerning his trust or confidence. But some, perhaps, may be inclined to refer this sentence rather to the matter or ground afforded him for hope and confidence than to the emotions of his heart; supposing him to mean, that by the benefits which God had conferred upon him, he was furnished with well-grounded hope. And certainly, he does not here simply declare that he hoped in God, but with this he conjoins experience, and acknowledges that even from his youth he had received tokens of the Divine favor, from which he might learn, that confidence is to be reposed in God alone. By adverting to what God had done for him, he expresses the real cause of faith, (if I may so speak;) and from this we may easily perceive the powerful influence which the remembrance of God’s benefits had in nourishing his hope.

The expression, ‘from my youth or his earliest years.’ The meaning is, that he had always trusted in God, and had always found him a helper. All that he was, and all that he possessed, he owed to God; and he felt now that God had been his protector from his earliest years. Perhaps it could not be shown certainly from this expression that he meant to say he had “actually trusted” in God from his youth, for the “language” means no more than that God had actually protected him, and holden him up, and had continually interposed to save and keep him. As God had always been his Protector, so he felt that he might come to Him now, and put his trust in Him.

Thou art my hope. Not only is our hope in Him but He Himself is our hope. “God our Savior, and Lord Jesus Christ,” saith Paul, “our hope.” 1 Timothy 1:1. However, there is a deeper, nearer depth: “The glory of the mystery of the gospel,” says Paul, “is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Christ Himself is our hope, as the only Author of it; Christ is our hope, as the End of it; and Christ, who is the Beginning and the End, is our hope also by the way; for he saith, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27

Each yearning of our hearts, each ray of hope which gleams upon us, each touch which thrills us, each voice which whispers in our inmost hearts of the good things laid up in store for us, if we will love God, are the light of Christ enlightening us, the touch of Christ raising us to new life, the voice of Christ, “Whoso cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out;” it is “Christ in us, the hope of glory,” drawing us up by his spirit who dwelleth in us, unto himself our hope. For our hope is not the glory of heaven, not joy, not peace, not rest from labor, not fulness of our wishes, nor sweet contentment of the whole soul, nor understanding of all mysteries and all knowledge, not only a torrent of delight; it is “Christ our God,” “the hope of glory.” Nothing which God could create is what we hope for; nothing which God could give us out of himself, no created glory, or bliss, or beauty, or majesty, or riches. What we hope for is our Redeeming God Himself, His love, His bliss, the joy of our Lord himself who hath so loved us, to be our joy and our portion forever.

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C

Freely Receive, Freely Give

Category : General

2 Corinthians 9: 11 (KJV)

11Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

These words may be connected with 2 Corinthians 9:8 being included in a parenthesis; and the sense is, that God was not only able to give them a sufficiency, and would give them a sufficiency of temporal things, as food and raiment to their satisfaction, and contentment for themselves, but a fulness, an exuberancy, an overplus also; not for luxury and intemperance, but that having such an affluence in all the good things of life, they might at all times, and upon every occasion, exercise a bountiful disposition in relieving the poor. not their riches and fulness, but their liberal distribution of them to the poor saints, to which they were stirred up by the apostles; who were thankful to God who had so well succeeded their exhortations and advice, and which was the cause of thanksgivings in others: and since therefore such beneficence tended to the glory of God, as giving of thanks makes for his glory, this then ought to be attended to, and diligently performed; and so it furnishes out a new argument to this good work, which is enlarged upon in the following verses.

The classical example of the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16) is a startling demonstration of this principle. When he knelt at the feet of Jesus and asked how to inherit eternal life, the Lord commanded him to sell all that he had and give it to the poor and to come and “follow” the Lord Jesus (Mark 10:21). The Lord’s command to this rich young ruler was for the man’s own benefit, not the benefit of Jesus. The Lord did not need his money; Judas was already stealing what little the Lord had; and, in a short time, the Lord intended to die upon the cross. Furthermore, there was no special crisis among the poor, and the distribution of one man’s estate could hardly have benefited any of them permanently. Would this rich young ruler have benefited from full and complete compliance with Jesus’ command? The answer is affirmative

Let us observe, why does God give riches? The obvious purpose was so that they may be applied to His glory, and the good of men. Moreover, why does He increase riches? That those who have them may exercise all bountifulness. And if they be enriched in every thing, what will be the consequence if they do not exercise all bountifulness? Why, God will curse their blessings; the rust shall canker them, and the moth shall consume their garments. But if, on the other hand, they do thus apply them, then they cause thanksgiving to God. The 9th and 10th verses should be read in a parenthesis, for this verse connects with the eighth.

Therefore, in all respects, your riches are conferred on you for this purpose. The design of the apostle is to state to them the true reason why wealth was bestowed. It was not for the purposes of luxury and self-gratification; not to be spent in sensual enjoyment, not for parade and display; it was that it might be distributed to others in such a way as to cause thanksgiving to God. Therefore, we cheerfully lay out what belongs to us for whatever purposes He directs. He teaches us that these are the true riches of believers, when, relying upon the providence of God for the sufficiency of their support, they are not by distrust kept back from doing good. Nor is it without good reason, that he dignifies with the title of affluence the satisfying abundance of a mind that is simple, and contented with its moderate share; for nothing is more famished and starved than the distrustful, who are tormented with an anxious desire of having.

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C

Best Black Friday Deal

Category : General

2 Corinthians 5: 17 (KJV)

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

The phrase to “be in Christ,” evidently means to be united to Christ by faith; or to be in him as the branch is in the vine – that is, so united to the vine, or so in it, as to derive all its nourishment and support from it, and to be sustained entirely by it. John 15:2, “every branch in me.” John 15:4, “abide in me, and I in you.” “The branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine; no more can ye except ye abide in me.  

Here it has been explain to mean a new creation in a moral sense, and the phrase new creature is equivalent to the expression in Ephesians 4:24, “The new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” It means, evidently, that there is a change produced in the renewed heart of man that is equivalent to the act of creation, and that bears a strong resemblance to it – a change, so to speak, as if the man was made over again, and had become new. The mode or manner in which it is done is not described, nor should the words be pressed to the quick, as if the process were the same in both cases – for the words are here evidently figurative.

It is has been noted also, “We are made new creatures by a present change working in our moral nature; that is to say, through our regeneration in holy baptism. By the love of God electing us to a new birth of the spirit, and by the Holy Ghost working through that visible sacrament, we are translated from wrath to grace, from the power of darkness to the kingdom of His dear Son. Old things pass away and all things become new round the regenerate man. But further, Christians are new creatures by present, ever-growing holiness of life—by the renewing of their very inmost soul. They are absolutely new creatures—new in the truth of moral reality; new altogether, but still the same. It is moral contradiction, moral conflict, the clash of moral antagonists, that makes God and man to be two, and the race of man as divided as it is numerous; and so is it in every living soul changed by the grace of God. He was an evil creature, he is a holy one; that is, he was an old, he is new. When the flesh is subdued to the spirit, and Satan bruised under our feet, this old world passes away as a shadow, and the new stands out as the visible reality from which the shadow fell; and the whole man grows into a saint. The lowliest and most unlettered man, to whom written books are mysteries; the tiller of the ground, the toiling craftsman, the weary trader; the poor mother fostering her children for God; the little ones whose angels do always behold the face of their Father in heaven,—all these, by the Spirit of Christ working in them, are changed into a saintly newness and serve with angels, and look into the mystery of God with the cherubim and adore with the seraphim of glory.”

The individual is not only mended, but he is new made; he is a new creature,  a new creation, a little world in himself; formerly, all was in chaotic disorder; now, there is a new creation, which God Himself owns as His workmanship, and which He can look on and pronounce very good. The conversion of a man from idolatry and wickedness was among the Jews denominated a new creation. He who converts a man to the true religion is the same, says R. Eliezer, as if he had created him..” Let us, therefore, keep in view this admonition that all that are not renewed by the Spirit of God, should be looked upon as nothing in the Church, by whatever ornaments they may in other respects be distinguished. And let us learn that this new creation, wrought in a man by the word and Spirit God, is an indubitable evidence of his interest in Christ, and title to salvation; for where the new creature is, there all the saving graces of the Spirit are, as a pledge and an earnest of glory and happiness.

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C

Being Thankful

Category : General

HAPPY Thanksgiving

1 Chronicles 16: 8 (KJV)

8Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people

There is no gifted tongue requisite, there are no powers of eloquence invoked; neither laws of rhetoric nor rules of grammar are pronounced indispensable in the simple talk that my text inculcates, ‘Talk ye of all his wondrous works.’ I beg your pardon when you say you cannot do this. You cannot because you will not.” (Spurgeon)

Like many psalms, this one begins with a call to praise, viritually in the form of a commandment. Yet the psalm breathes with too much excitement for this to be a true command; it is an exhortation to the community of God’s people to join in praise to their God.

It was noted, “All the good that we enjoy comes from God. Recollect that! Alas, most men forget it. Rowland Hill used to say that worldlings were like the hogs under the oak, which eat the acorns, but never think of the oak from which they fell, nor lift up their heads to grunt out a thanksgiving. Yes, so it is. They munch the gift and murmur at the giver.”

We are also told There is no gifted tongue requisite, there are no powers of eloquence invoked; neither laws of rhetoric nor rules of grammar are pronounced indispensable in the simple talk that my text inculcates, ‘Talk ye of all his wondrous works.’ I beg your pardon when you say you cannot do this. You cannot because you will not.” (Spurgeon)  

David says that we should give thanks. Giving of thanks is not natural. We’re naturally prone to griping, complaining, and “belly-aching,”. A grateful spirit must be cultivated through constant diligence and through acting against the natural grain of our flesh. Gratitude is an attitude. It’s not something we should do occasionally or just on Thanksgiving Day. God wants us to develop an attitude of gratitude where we’re constantly, regularly LIVING a life of thanksgiving. In other words, thanks-GIVING should be thanks-LIVING—a LIFESTYLE of thanks. He not only says we should be thankful internally in our hearts, but he indicates that our thankfulness should be public—told to others. He says, “make known his deeds among the people.”

Being thankful is a witness. In this, we find that David wanted to tell everyone how great God is! The occasion of bringing the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem was no exception. David wanted everyone to join in the celebration of praise.

David’s psalm is long and rich. It sparks our praise for a wide variety of things:

for God’s wonderful acts and his holy name (vv. 9-10).

 for God’s strength, “miracles, and the judgments he pronounced” (v. 12).

that God “remembers his covenant forever” (v. 15).

 for God’s protection when his people were vulnerable (vv. 19-22).

 that “splendor & majesty are before Him, strength & joy are in His dwelling place” (v.27)

The families of all nations are then invited, even commanded, to give God “the glory due His name,” to bring an offering, and to worship Him “in the splendor of His holiness.”

What can you add today to this rich list of thanksgiving? A thankful heart is a testimony to the greatness of God! David’s song closes with a prayer asking God to save. In what ways do you need saving? Jesus Christ reaches out his nail-scarred hands to deliver you from sin. That alone can bring an eternity of thanks as you receive His amazing grace.

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C

Marks of a True Child of God

Category : General

Romans 8: 14 (KJV)

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

It has been observed that “the power of the Gospel itself is the same now as in the apostolic age, but our hearts seem harder and our ears more dull of hearing. We listen to the same unchanging message of God’s love to fallen man, of Christ’s Redemption, of the means of grace, of faith, of Christian duty, but these things sound to many as ‘idle tales.’ They cease to stir the ground of men’s hearts.”

Here is a proof of what had just been said, namely, that if, through the Spirit, those whom the Apostle addressed mortified the deeds of the body, they should live; for all who do so are led by the Spirit. In spiritual things we are as little children, who, on account of their weakness, have need to be led by the hand that they may not fall. It is necessary, then, that believers be led by the Spirit of God. The manner in which the Spirit leads them is not by violence against their inclination, but by bending and changing their will, in a manner consistent with its nature. When Jesus Christ says, ‘No man can come to Me except the Father which hath sent Me, draw Him,’ it is not meant that God forces against their will those whom He draws, but it shows us that we are naturally so indisposed to go to Jesus Christ, that it is necessary that God, by His Spirit, draw us to Him, and that by His secret but powerful influence He changes our resistance into consent.

Again we have the affirmation of what has immediately preceded; for he teaches us, that those only are deemed the sons of God who are ruled by his Spirit; for by this mark God acknowledges them as his own people. Thus the empty boasting of hypocrites is taken away, who without any reason assume the title; and the faithful are thus encouraged with unhesitating confidence to expect salvation. The import of the whole is this — “all those are the sons of God who are led by God’s Spirit; all the sons of God are heirs of eternal life: then all who are led by God’s Spirit ought to feel assured of eternal life. But the middle term or assumption is omitted, for it was indubitable.

It is important for us to understand that no man who has not Divine assistance can either find the way to heaven, or walk in it when found. As Christ, by His sacrificial offering, has opened the kingdom of God to all believers; and, as a Mediator, transacts the concerns of their kingdom before the throne; so the Spirit of God is the great agent here below, to enlighten, quicken, strengthen, and guide the true disciples of Christ. Furthermore, all that are born of God Spirit are led and guided by Him; and none can pretend to be the children of God who are not thus guided. If you have not found Him ‘a very present help in trouble,’ it is because you have sought after other comforters. If He bears not ‘His witness with our spirit that we are the children of God,’ it is because worldliness and disobedience have made us strangers to the feeling, as well as forfeited the title of ‘sons.’

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C

Forgiven by God

Category : General

Psalm 32: 1 (KJV)

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered

Sin is a transgression of the law; the guilt of it charged upon the conscience of a sinner is a heavy burden, too heavy for him to bear, and the punishment of it is intolerable: forgiveness is a removal of sin, guilt, and punishment. Sin was first taken off, and transferred from the sinner to Christ, the surety; and who laid upon him really and judicially, as the sins of the people of Israel were put upon the scapegoat typically; and was bore by him, both guilt and punishment, and taken away, finished, and made an end of; and by the application of his blood and sacrifice it is taken away from the sinner’s conscience; it is caused to pass from him, and is removed afar off, as far as the east is from the west; it is so lifted off from him as to give him ease and peace, and so as never to return to the destruction of him; wherefore such a man is a happy man; he has much peace, comfort, calmness, and serenity of mind now can appear before God with intrepidity, and serve him without fear; no bill of indictment can hereafter be found against him; no charge will be exhibited, and so no condemnation to him.

However, we are told,Blessed are they whose iniquity is forgiven. This exclamation springs from the fervent affection of the Psalmist’s heart as well as from serious consideration. Since almost the whole world turning away their thoughts from God’s judgment, bring upon themselves a fatal forgetfulness, and intoxicate themselves with deceitful pleasures; David, as if he had been stricken with the fear of God’s wrath, that he might betake himself to Divine mercy, awakens others also to the same exercise, by declaring distinctly and loudly that those only are blessed to whom God is reconciled, so as to acknowledge those for his children whom he might justly treat as his enemies. Some are so blinded with hypocrisy and pride, and some with such gross contempt of God, that they are not at all anxious in seeking forgiveness, but all acknowledge that they need forgiveness; nor is there a man in existence whose conscience does not accuse him at God’s judgment-seat, and gall him with many stings. This confession, accordingly, that all need forgiveness, because no man is perfect, and that then only is it well with us when God pardons our sins, nature herself extorts even from wicked men. But in the meantime, hypocrisy shuts the eyes of multitudes, while others are so deluded by a perverse carnal security, that they are touched either with no feelings of Divine wrath, or with only a frigid feeling of it.

The point of these verses is the happiness that comes from the knowledge that God has indeed forgiven our sins. From the New Testament, it will be remembered that when the Ethiopian eunuch was baptized into Christ, “He went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39). So it was also with the Philippian jailer, who after his baptism, along with his household, “Rejoiced greatly, with all his house” (Acts 16:34). This great rejoicing that always comes from the consciousness of God’s forgiveness has been personally experienced by every person who ever obeyed the gospel.

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C

Be Ready, Be Strong

Category : General

Ephesians 6: 10 (KJV)

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

The admonition Paul was about to give here had been in mind throughout the epistle. He mentioned the strength of God (Ephesians 1:19; 3:16) and the putting on of “the new man” (Ephesians 4:24) earlier; but now he would give final instructions for arming the Christian for the warfare against the forces which opposed him. “The cosmic purpose of God involves the believer with the spiritual hierarchy of the unseen world organized under the power of Satan.

Here Paul had stated to the Ephesians the duties which they were to perform. He had considered the various relations of life which they sustained, and the obligations resulting from them. He was not unaware that in the discharge of their duties they would need strength from above. He knew that they had great and mighty foes, and that to meet them, they needed to be clothed in the panoply of the Christian soldier. He closes, therefore, by exhorting them to put on all the strength which they could to meet the enemies with which they had to contend; and in the commencement of his exhortation he reminds them that it was only by the strength of the Lord that they could hope for victory.

It is important for us to understand that the power of God, whereunto we are to trust, is a most mighty and strong power, a power able to protect us against the might of all other powers whatsoever. According to God’s greatness is His power–infinite, incomprehensible, unutterable, inconceivable. If the Lord aids us by His mighty power, we have no reason to shrink from the combat. But it will be asked, What purpose did it serve to enjoin the Ephesians to be strong in the Lord’s mighty power, which they could not of themselves accomplish?

It has been noted and affirmed that “A Christian, above all men, needs resolution, and a daring courage: if he be possessed with fear, he is unfit to go into the field; if dispirited with strong impressions of danger, how unready for the encounter! Cowards win neither earth nor heaven. But where lies the Christian’s strength? Verily, on the Lord, and not in himself; the strength of the whole host of saints lies in the Lord of hosts, and accordingly it ought to be the Christian’s great care, in all difficulties and dangers, to strengthen his faith in the almighty power of God.”

Friends, our only hope for the future and our only means of victory against an implacable enemy is to be ‘made powerful in the Lord’, to enjoy and experience the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is His mighty strength within us by His indwelling that will enable us to overcome all obstacles. And as we walk in love (Ephesians 5:2), and in light (Ephesians 5:8), (both are necessary), this power will be at work in us. Love is the approach and attitude we have towards God and the world, light is our openness to God through His word and prayer, so that His light might shine in us and through us, dealing with anything that might diminish our strength in the Lord, and revealing to us His glory as we face the foe.

Have a great and God filled day!

Pastor C