Thursday, April 24, 2014

Let Us Not Stand Silently By

Dear Professing Christian,

If you're not deeply insulted and repulsed by the effort to silence or marginalize Christianity, then you should seriously consider whether or not you have anything of substance to lose. Because we were not purchased by the blood of Baptists nor Methodists nor Catholics nor any other denomination under the sun, but by the pure and holy blood of the Son of the great I AM -- the same Son who was with the Father at the beginning of creation and now sits at His right hand in Heaven. So, while it may be considered acceptable to ignore so great a sacrifice when made by a mere sinful man, it must be held entirely reprehensible to ignore the sacrifice of One so completely holy and Supreme -- if indeed we are, as we claim, purchased by that blood.

For such is this salvation -- if we are in Him as His children, then He is everything to us. The desire to please, to serve, to glorify Him permeates every part of our life. To expect us to be silent is akin to asking us to cease to breathe or take nourishment. Our hearts yearn to share Him with others, our minds are filled with His words, and our souls overflow with His love. To disregard His sacrifice as though it mattered not is profoundly reprehensible – unthinkable even, because He is our holy and most worthy Lord. Whether profitable by the standards of man or not; we must speak of His righteousness, His mercy, and the eternal wealth of belonging to Him.

Consider rightly then to whom you align yourself. If man, then silence is acceptable. But if God, would not that same silence be both highly offensive and unacceptable to Him?

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the Spirit He caused to live in us envies intensely? – James 4:4-5

The simple truth is that our God, the great Creator of the Bible, is a jealous God. When we prefer man’s approval more than His, we literally say to Him we value man more than Him. Further, the idea that we should “keep the peace” is contrary to the will of the God we claim to serve. We are not here to “play nice” with others. We are here to fight for the souls of our neighbors, our relatives, and even those strangers we meet in our everyday lives. That is what it is to be truly Christian, to contend for the faith. Consider how the disciples lived. Did they not contend for the faith as though salvation was all that mattered, giving even their very lives to reconcile us to Him? Therefore if being silenced in regards to the things of Him does not offend us to our very core, then we need to recognize that our core must – by the examples set before us -- not be fully His.

In closing, to stand by while the truth of the cross is silenced, marginalized, belittled, maligned, and/or compromised; is to say that we regard Him not and, having said that, that we are indeed not nearly as committed to Him as we profess – for salvation does not lie in the mere professing of belief – even the demons believe (James 2:19); but rather, in the transformation of our sinful natures by the Spirit of God within us (Romans 12:1-3).

God’s peace.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A word of appreciation this morning:

by Betty Baker Bailey

Without God I would have been dead long ago. Granted, I would never have even been born had God not first created me, but I'm referring to the mistakes I've made since my birth. When I look back, I'm seriously humbled by the abundance of grace and mercy poured out on someone as insignificant as me. What I do have to offer the God who lacks nothing? What possible worth is there in my life?

I tell you the truth it is mercy upon mercy that God has had on me. Mercy I did not deserve. Mercy I could never earn. Yet, at every turn He has reached out His mercy to lift me up, to carry me forward, and to put me back in His army. I stand completely amazed at His generous abiding love.

How can I not love this awesome, inspiring God! He gives me hope when I am at the bottom of the darkest pit. He moves my soul beyond this earthly boundary until I am overshadowed by His wings. He is my everything. He is my God, the One true God, and He is awesome indeed!

When i think of how my Lord hung on that cross, how He took those awful beatings . . . I am moved to tears and sacrificial gratitude. I would impart to the whole world the loving mercy I receive on my face before His throne. (There is no greater position for a servant; and yet, it is the most satisfying position I have found.) I love to worship Him, to seek Him, and to submit to Him. There is a peace that comes from abandoning all for Him, a joy unspeakable. I would that the world knew Him this way. No servant could ask for a better Master. No other slavery could possibly be so dear.

To Him be the glory! To Him be all praise! Come, let us worship this Savior who was raised from the dead that we, too, might die to sin and be reunited with Him.

Hallelujah, Thine the Glory! Hallelujah, Amen!
Hallelujah, Thine the Glory! Revive us again!

Thank You, Lord, that You!

Friday, April 11, 2014

"Come, see . . ."

by Betty Baker Bailey

When the Lord witnessed to the Samaritan woman, she was so struck by the reality of who He was that she went back to the town, calling her people to, "Come, see . . ." (John 4:28-29). She could not keep this incredible revelation to herself. It was too great for that. No, she wanted everyone to know that she had met the Messiah. He had shown Himself to her and she was forever changed.

Most true Christians feel exactly the same way today. We have met the Lord and found Him so completely awe-inspiring that we cannot keep Him to ourselves. We want everyone to know Him. We want everyone to partake of Him.

My walk with the Lord has been marked with miracles and wonders, inexplicable joy and peace, and a comfort and security that nothing can shake. Even with all odds against me, He has carried me through time and time again. These days I hear angels singing in my sleep -- beautiful songs of worship performed by a heavenly choir. I get up to put them down so that I can sing them myself and they literally write themselves, because I've been listening to them in my dreams.

God is good. He is infinitely loving and kind to those who are His. With all that's wrong around us; He gives us His peace, His joy, and lifts us away from this earthly plane. Satan may roar like a lion, but he is defeated. The battle is over. Yeshua won. Come, see, my friends. Belonging to the Lord is the most important decision we will ever make. The benefits are amazing.

Psalm 34:8 declares, "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed in the man who takes refuge in Him."

God's peace.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Righteous and the Wicked

Psalm 37

Do not fret because of evil men
  or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
  like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the LORD and do good;
  dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the LORD
  and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the LORD;
  trust in Him and He will do this;
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
  the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him;
  do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
  when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
  do not fret -- it only leads to evil.
For evil men will be cut off,
  but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
  though you look for them, they will not be found.
But the meek will inherit the land
  and enjoy great peace.

The wicked plot against the righteous
  and gnash their teeth at them;
but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
  for He knows their day is coming.

The wicked draw the sword
  and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
  to slay those whose ways are upright.
But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
  and their bows will be broken.

Better the little that the righteous have
  than the wealth of many wicked;
for the power of the wicked will be broken,
  but the Lord upholds the righteous.

The days of the blameless are known to the Lord,
  and their inheritance will endure forever.
In times of disaster they will not wither;
  in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.

But the wicked will perish;
  The LORD's enemies will be like the beauty of the fields,
  they will vanish -- vanish like smoke.

The wicked borrow and do not repay,
  but the righteous give generously.
those the LORD blesses will inherit the land,
  but those HE curses will be cut off.

If the LORD delight in a man's way,
  He makes his steps firm;
though he stumble, he will not fall,
  for the LORD upholds him with His hand.

I was young and now I am old,
  yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
  or their children begging bread.
They are always generous and lend freely;
  their children will be blessed.

TURN from evil and do good;
  then you will dwell in the land forever.
For the LORD loves the just
  and WILL NOT forsake His faithful ones.

They will be protected forever,
  but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off;
the righteous will inherit the land
  and dwell in it forever.

The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom,
  and his tongue speaks what is just.
The law of God is in his heart;
  his feet do not slip.

The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,
  seeking their very lives;
but the LORD will not leave them in their power
  or let them be condemned when brought to trial.

Wait for the LORD
  and keep His way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
  when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
  flourishing like a green tree in its native soil,
but he soon passed away and was no more;
  though I looked for him, he could not be found.

Consider the blameless, observe the upright;
  there is a future for the man of peace.
But all sinners will be destroyed;
  the future of the wicked will be cut off.

The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD;
  He is their stronghold in time of trouble.
The LORD helps them and delivers them;
  HE delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
  because they take refuge in Him.

Although this is a long Psalm it is well worth studying for the contrast it reveals between the wicked and the righteous, most importantly the way God deals with them. For the righteous, there are great promises and assurances. For the wicked, there are dire warnings and admonitions.

While the righteous are instructed to trust in Him, the wicked are warned that their evil ways will cost them everything. The righteous will be upheld, protected, and provided for. The wicked will be destroyed and removed! Though the wicked give all that they have to rid the world of the righteous, it is the wicked who will not survive.

In keeping with the compassion of God, the wicked are cautioned to turn back from their evil ways, to consider and observe the path of righteousness as the better way. From this we know that it is possible for the wicked to become righteous. Indeed, because the righteousness of man is from God, man is able to turn from evil to God. Thereby, becoming the blessed rather than the cursed.

Come then, dear weary and scarred soul, seek the One true God of the Bible -- setting aside the worries of this world for the eternal joy found in Him. Replace that fleeting moment of sin's superficial pleasure with eternal peaceful bliss in the One Who sent His only Son to save you. Christ does not turn away those who come to Him in earnest; but rather, welcomes them with love.

God's peace.