Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Just Had To Post........

I don't know, I just needed to post tonight. I know it's been a long time, but i wanted to post a note about the joy of knowing Christ, just in the everyday ins & outs of living. He once said that we should come to Him & He would give us rest! I wonder if you've done that? I did that for the first time about 32 years ago this very week, & my life has not been the same since. Oh, it surely has not been a parade or Sunday School picnic! But it has been a joy! Joy as we know doesn't mean all happiness & giddiness all the time. But it does include a deep sense of His presence even in hurtful & sometimes excruciating pain, & not all of it is physical. This post may be the most convoluted mess you've ever seen! If so, I apologize, but the joy of knowing Christ just bubbled over tonight & I wanted to share it with my friends! His joy is not a feeling only, but that is included. I'll end with this word from the Word! One of my favorite texts! The psalmist Asaph has just come through one of the most horrendous spiritual battles of his life, & God brought him through it. Hey, Asaph, been there, done that, will probably do it again. God will be there then too. Here is our buddy Asaph's words, & God Bless!

"Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (Ps.73:23-26)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

No Comparison!

I'm a baseball fan. I'm a Cincinnati Reds fan, & I congratulate them on winning the National League Central championship tonight. As I watched them rightfully celebrate a hard-fought win that caps off a hard-fought season, I couldn't help but think about our meeting with our wonderful Savior one Day! As exciting as this win was for me, it will pale in comparison, in fact there is NO comparison with what it will be like when we see our beloved Savior face to magnificent Face! It is so wonderful to know Him! If you don't, you can, He wants to be your Savior too. As He Himself said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My Word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." (Jn.5:24). May the Lord bless you!

Friday, July 2, 2010

I've Seen the Light!

There's a grand old hymn that says, "Send the Light, the blessed Gospel light, let it shine from shore to shore. Send the Light, the blessed Gospel light, let it shine forevermore!" I've seen the reality of that once again. While chatting with someone who felt he had to endure in good works to be assured he was saved, it became apparent that this person was becoming more & more in despair, thinking he was hopeless. He wanted to be saved, but saw no changes in his life & concluded he could never be saved. He thought there must be more to receiving salvation than faith in Christ because he thought he believed in Him. He found out that his "belief" was only a general belief that Jesus was in fact God, but he was still thinking he had to get to a certain point of faithfulness to conclude God had saved him. When I was able to show him that the Bible says that salvation is not of works but by trusting in the Lord Jesus alone, he became joyful, seeing the truth that salvation is by faith in Christ alone! Jesus died & rose again to pay for his sins, & though they were many, as it is with us all, he saw that they were all paid for! He was ecstatic & so was I! The LIGHT came on for him! He saw it! I saw it again too! It really "works" when a sin-darkened soul sees the Light of the glorious Gospel of Christ! "For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." I trust you've seen it for yourself too!

Monday, April 26, 2010

What Is Our Influence?

Many if not most know the title of this humble blog is taken from one of the many beautiful hymns of Mr. Philip Bliss, who has come to be my very favorite hymn-writer. The more I know of this humble man of God, the more I appreciate him. Knowing the truth of fallen human nature, I am positive that brother Bliss had his sins & faults, but I have never read of one of them. Most all that I have read about the man was written by those who knew him personally & very closely. I won't go into a whole lot here, except to say that in reading about the funeral service & the days following, it is no exaggeration to say that hundreds came to know the Savior through the Godly influence of this dear brother's short 38 years. I like especially part of what the pastor who preached his funeral said. Roughly, it was that no one should try to answer all the questions that were undoubtedly swirling through friends' & family's minds about why such a vibrant & young man of God's life should be snuffed out so soon & so violently, as the train wreck that killed him & his wife was absolutely horrific & ghastly. There would be no help from thinking that a colossal mistake was made, as the man said, no mistake was made, God cannot make one. As the lives that were touched & changed for Christ through his influence began to add up, the truth of God's grace even in horrific death shines forth & bathes even our darkest fears & doubts in its marvelous light! I'll close this brief post by quoting the apostle Peter, in his 1st Epistle, chapter 2, verses 9 & 10 which describes our salvation experience to a "T": "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy." I trust all that read this have come to Christ in simple faith & found these words exceedingly true. If not, why not come today? May the Lord bless you!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Miracle of Grace

Jesus said as He prayed, "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (Jn.17:3) I recently, just today actually, have begun to recover from a nasty (is there any other kind?) stomach bug, & missed 2 days of work. I rarely miss work, so I know I was sick! But as I was just a few minutes ago thanking the Lord for bringing me through it, I began to think about folks who have illnesses from which they will not recover, barring a miracle from God. That also made me think that the grace of God itself is the greatest miracle of all. Just recently I heard a lady say that she had been diagnosed with inoperable cancer just over a year ago, but that this last year since that diagnosis had been the best year of her life! The reason: she had come to know the Lord better! That brought our verse to mind when Jesus prayed to His Father about what the experience of eternal life is all about! I could just as easily have titled this post, "the miracle that is grace" since there can be no greater miracle.
As I look back over my life, I can recall at least once when we were going through a time that I would not wish upon an enemy, but I also recall the Lord's closeness & peace as almost never before. Sometimes those who don't know God question why or how a supposed as they would say, loving God could allow all the sickness & disaster in the world. Of course, none of us presumes to be able to answer all questions of this nature, & I most certainly do not mean to minimize the pain that people suffer. But we know from God's Word that sin is the reason that pain & suffering & ultimately death have invaded God's once-perfect creation, & that those who know Him through faith in His Son have eternal life in Him. This world & its sin & suffering as well as its delights are not all we have. We have the Lord in our lives to comfort us as we go through it, & also eternal life with Him in Heaven. That is at least part of why the Bible speaks of eternal life not only as in Heaven after we leave this world, but beginning the moment we trust Christ! Those who have neglected or rejected Him only have the here & now, & therefore when they lose it, they lose it all. We as believers in Christ can say with Paul, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Phil.1:21) But no one has to be without Christ! He died for all & therefore for YOU & me! Thank you for letting me get this off my chest! May the Lord bless you all.