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Posted on June 02,2015

Though it broke my heart so deeply for two and a half years over the loss of my family, I have no regret whatsoever other than my little children losing their father.  For having my heart broken into so many pieces it led me so willingly and thankfully to the Lord three weeks after she left. It was the greatest experience I ever had in my life, and it changed my life forever. 

I have rarely spoken of this to people, but perhaps some might find a need they have never known before.  The Lord used her leaving as the means to reveal to me my true person. I thought I knew Him for fifteen years - taking my family to church, studying my Bible, having devotions with the kids, living a decent life, but my heart remained the same. It was still full of darkness. I saw some people in the churches I went to who truly loved the Lord, and I always asked myself, Why, do these few people love the Lord so much, and I don't?? I just couldn't understand it, and I even asked my friend Why don't I have such love for the Lord?

Anyway, one day, about three weeks after her leaving, my sinful, self deceitful life had become so increasingly burdensome on my heart during those three weeks, with the weight of my sins so heavy from a lifetime of sins and disobedience, that evening around the twilight hour, I remember I sat in my favorite chair in the living room in a broken mess and poured my heart out to the Lord with confession for my entire life. 

I thought I would literally drown in my tears which made my sinuses open up and the mucus flowed as much as the tears and my handkerchief was full very quickly. I prayed with great sincerity and confession, and the Lord heard my prayer and had forgiven all (Psa.145:18), but then I found myself as if I was actually floating off the chair I was sitting in, for I felt as light as a feather, 

The weight of my sins that was only increasing day after day for three weeks finally brought me to my knees, and I remember reaching out with my hand for the Lord to take hold of it, for I needed Him so much. I kept reaching out, feeling, and grasping the air for His hand while in prayer, for I wanted to take hold of His hand so much. 

And with His forgiveness, I felt as if I was truly floating off that chair, and so I just sat there thinking of what just happened. Never, had I experienced the Lord like this before, and after a few moments I began thanking Him for what had just taken place. I couldn't stop. Great weeping began again, and my prayer of thanksgiving continued for a couple hours more. I finally rose from the chair very weak, but that heavy burden I carried was all gone. I experienced the pardon and forgiveness from the Lord for the first time in my life, like I never knew before. A very disobedient and self deceitful life was forgiven. 

But with my family gone, I was then able to turn to His word with sincere truth and need, to know more of Him. I was now in Christ a free man without the weight of my sins keeping me down (II Cor.3:17; Gal.5:1). The pain over the loss of my kids continued, and every day I was in prayer for the Lord to restore my family. I continued with this for two and a half years, right up to the day she married the guy she ran off with. But then, what relief filled my soul, for then I finally knew what the will of the Lord was. And that burden also, disappeared, and I devoted myself to knowing more of my Saviour.

 

I was growing in grace so rapidly and within a few months the Lord led me to a biblical church where I found it so thankful to be, compared to the church I was in.  Much spiritual growth continued for about five years, but by the sixth year my heart began to sink for lack of answer to prayer concerning a godly mate.  My spirit began to falter and so did my church attendance.  I lost my fellowship with the Lord for another five or six years, occasionally being in church, but in a rejected spirit. 

 

We often say we love the Lord, but we never really do until we experience His sufferings (II Cor.1:5; 4:10; Phil.1:29; 3:10; Tim.3:12).  Near the end of this time I then began the worst three years of my life I had ever known.  The Lord had laid on me the most intense oppression, physically, mentally, financially, and emotionally, all at the same time.  A couple I know even likened me to Job. 

 

Two things in particular saw me though those very grave years – grace, and the promises of God.    Many times the weight of what I was enduring was so heavy I would ask for grace.  But no sooner when I asked, God delivered that grace (Isa.30:19; 65:24), and it truly was like rivers of flowing water refreshing my spirit.  The Lord never failed answering my call for grace.  Oftentimes, I would need it hour by hour.  Sometimes minute by minute.  So I would keep asking for that grace as often as I needed it, and the Lord kept delivering.

 

The other thing that kept me going was Gods promises.  They were continual needed reminders that one day all this would pass.  Many times I found myself in prayer for hours at a time.  And when light finally appeared through all the darkness I found a love for the Saviour I never knew before, even far greater than my conversion.  "I will not contend forever," He says, and it broke my heart to pieces seeing all those promises materializing before my eyes (Isa.57:18).

 

“I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you’…But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him…’for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found’ “ (Lk.15:18, 20. 24).

 

There was one thing I continually noticed many years ago, when I couldn’t find such love for the Lord as some had, though I had made a profession of faith, and which eventually led to my spiritual conversion - being told a series of biblical facts, I agreed to and accepted all of them.  I was then told I was a Christian and encouraged to be grounded in God’s word.  During the following fifteen years I faithfully heard these same facts from the several churches I was in at the time.  Briefly, these facts all said the same thing – confess my sins, believe in, or place my faith in Jesus Christ, and receive eternal life. 

 

As these facts are most certainly true, and while I was reading my Bible during these years, a certain message continued to appear before me from one Book or another, which I found kind of perplexing, and even a little uneasy at times.  From just a few of these messages, I read –

 

“…without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb.11:6).  And so I thought - Diligently seek Him??  I was greatly taken aback.  But I had already confessed my faith!  I was even told by the pastor I was a Christian in doing this!

 

“…so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him (which I found myself actually doing in my conversion) and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).  Seek the Lord??  Grope for what??  Find Him?  I have already confessed my sins!

 

“…from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut.4:29).  But I must have done this, for I confessed my sins, and believed in Him through faith!!   

 

 “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jer.29:13).  Lord, why do you keep telling me to SEARCH and SEEK You??  Have I not FOUND YOU??

 

It is often said, “The only way to be saved is to personally accept Jesus as your Saviour.”  I did this very thing.  I agreed to, and accepted a series of biblical facts.  It changed my life to the degree that I no longer demonstrated for the most part, an obvious outward appearance of disobedient living.  I went to church.  I even proudly stopped my foul language and the use of the Lord’s Name in vain.  God says –

 

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph.1:7), with the Amplified Bible saying –

 

“In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favor.”  For grace, is God giving us what we do not deserve.

 

We see, the only way to be saved, is not “personally accepting Jesus,” as I was told to do, but through the riches of His grace.  Through the riches in the generosity of His gracious favor, which we have no biblical right or interest to even ask for.  The only way to be saved is through the grace of His, personal revelation to us (Rom.10:20; 3:9-12; Jer.13:23; Jn.6:44, 65; Rom.11:35-36; I Cor.2:14; 4:7; II Cor.3:5).  We would never “accept” Jesus in our natural born condition.

 

This is the only way hearts are changed.  We read – “The Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (I Sam.16:7).  We 

 

Cont...

 

simply cannot change our hearts ourselves in truth, by “accepting” Jesus .  “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?  No one!” (Job 14:4).  “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots??  Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil??” (Jer.13:23).

 

Goodness in our eyes, is far from the goodness in God’s eyes (Gal.3:10).  I was in church 2-3 times a week.  I was studying my Bible.  I was living a decent life associating with people of faith.  “I was a Christian.”  I know I was, for I was told I was, don’t you know?  For I made a profession of faith.  But yet, at the same time during those fifteen years it seemed there were always a few who loved the Lord so dearly, and I confessed, I didn’t have such love, and didn’t understand why.

 

In addition to these external truths, there are also internal truths just as necessary that must agree with those external truths which we profess, if salvation is to take place.  These are the internal truths which God prepares in our hearts aforetime, as His redeemed, by preparing us to receive that grace, when the gospel comes in the power of the Holy Spirit (I Thes.1:5); where the external meets the internal – the mind (knowledge), communicates with the heart (or nature) of the individual.

 

God tells us much about our hearts, that is, our disobedient nature received from the first man:

 

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mk.7:21-23).   This is the natural condition of man until the heart is renewed (John 3:3-6).   

 

This condition doesn’t come by the environment we live, or work in as some say.  They come through our own hearts, by “…having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Eph.4:17-19).

 

“Past feeling,” because of sinful perverseness and depravity.  How thankful I am, God didn’t wait for me, to “personally ‘accept’ Jesus” as my Saviour, for any feeling of need was never previously known to me.  I was a church going “Christian” living in the midst of God’s people, with all the outwardappearances of salvation.  But He prepares the hearts of His redeemed to respond when He calls

 

But how does He do this, when we say – “You will not require an account” (Psa.10:13), or, “We will walk according to our own plans, and we will every one obey the dictates of his heart” (Jer.18:12), or saying in our hearts “God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see” (Psa.10:11)?  What about changing the truth of God for a lie (Rom.1:25)?  How, does He do this when we think we are pleasing God through whatever we are doing in our lives?  May we be so mindful, we have hearts which are evil from our youth (Gen.8:21).  A heart that finds so many ways, to suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom.1:18). 

 

How does He prepare such a heart to respond?

 

“And I said: ‘O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens.  Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been very guilty’ ” (Ezra

9:6, 7; Rom.3:19, 20; Jas.2:10).  Recognition of guilt.

 

How does He prepare such a heart to respond when He calls?

 

And we see, “He brought down their heart with labor (overburden):” (over their guilt; Matt.11:28), “they fell down and there was none to help (Psa.107:12),”… “and because of their iniquities, were afflicted (17b).”…

Have we ever been “overburdened” with our guilt before God?  This is how He prepares hearts to receive Him in truth.  Genuine recognition of guilt.

 

How does He prepare such a heart to respond?

 

“For You do not desire sacrifice (empty offerings of faith, or trying to be Christian), or else would I give it;

You do not delight in burnt offerings (of trying to please God with such a perverse heart).

The sacrifices (offering) of God (that He desires of us) are a broken spirit.  A broken and a contrite heart (over that guilt) – these O God You will not despise” (Psa.51:16, 17).

 

How does He prepare such a heart to respond when He calls?

 

“When they are diminished and brought low, through oppression, affliction and sorrow” (over their sins; Psa.107:39).

 

Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness” (Psa.51:19).

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs, is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt.5:3).

 

“It is good for me that I have been afflicted,

That I may learn Your statutes” (Psa.119:71).

 

 

God will use any measure to call in His redeemed.  May the death of a loved one, or losing one’s family be the extreme He uses to do that.  Has your heart ever been broken in guilt over its sins, that we might come to the Lord in truth?

Dear -----, Please don't be teary eyed.  Rejoice in the power and mercy of God.  He does what He has to do to conform His redeemed into His image (Rom.8:29).  Far better than letting me perish in my sins (Phil.3:10; I Pet.5:10 ). 
 
Let grace be shown to the wicked,
Yet he will not learn righteousness;
In the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly,
And will not behold the majesty of the Lord.
(Isa.26:10)
 
Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
(Ex.33:19)
 
Where can God's people know a better love as undeserving as we are?  Where?

Learning to ride

 

When we fall from a bicycle, we don’t put it away never to use again.  God’s people will always climb back up on it, and learn to ride.

 

that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

 

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things (those falls) which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are aheadI press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Phil.3:10-14).

Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand (Psa.37:24).

Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave;
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. (Psa.30:3)

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart

(over the guilt of their sins),
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.

(Psa34:17-19). 

(Those who submit under God’s law and repent under His judgment; Isa.57:15).

 

For the Lord will not cast off His people,
Nor will He forsake His inheritance. (Psa.94:14; 97:10)

Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness;
He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. (Psa.112:4)

The pains of death surrounded me,
And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me;
I found trouble and sorrow.
Then I called upon the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul!” (Psa.116:3, 4)

If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared. (Psa.130:3, 4)

For a righteous man may fall seven times
And rise again,
But the wicked shall fall by calamity. (Pro.24:16)  

Do we know this love?

 

“I notice that lately, several of my batchmates in HS are posting their kind of a thing in our fb group.  I need to post something funny (clean of course) at times so they see spiritually is not necessarily equated to being religious nor legalistic nor forlorn.  I pray that more of them would really read.” 

<> 

 

But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.

Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things (Titus 2).

Godly spirituality is neither “religious, legalistic, nor forlorn,” but it is speaking properly, soberly, reverently, in sound faith, admonishing the weak, exhorting to be sober-minded, being an example, showing integrity, reverent, incorruptible, showing all fidelity, that we may, “…adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.”

<> 

 

But Pastor _____, with his posts does make it so like an OT survey class... how could the rest who aren't reading the Bible at all relate?”

 

There are good, and not so good, ways to teach.  The “rest” won’t relate.  Only the chosen few (Jn.15:16; Matt.1:21), and only through the power of the Holy Spirit who are being drawn by the Spirit (I Thes.1:5; Jn.6:44,65).  There may be none of the “few” in that group.  But if there is, His word never comes back to Him void (empty, without fruit).  It will accomplish that which He pleases, and it will prosper in the thing for which He sends it (Isa.55:11; 46:9-11; II Tim.1:9; Eph.1:1-12; Heb.2:10).

 

 2 Corinthians 3:18; Amplified Bible

And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued tobehold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory toanother; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.

 

 

John 4:42

Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

 

God is faithful, and will save every last one of His redeemed (Matt.1:21; Heb.9:28).

 

Our duty as Christians is to teach God’s word, though only the teachable (those who hear), will receive it (for blind eyes must be opened, ears made to hear, and hearts made to understand), for only He knows who His elect are.  It reminds me of many years ago, when I was taking night classes at the Florida Bible College long before I ever knew the Lord in truth, but every week the president would tell us to go out and get so many professions of faith in the community. 

 

Of course, it wasn’t really that difficult to do with that objective in the gospel, for the gospel was only half truth, as repentance had been separated from faith in the preaching of Charles Finny way back during the 1850’s, and since salvation was now so easy to obtain without having to give serious thought for any change of life, it caught on like wild fire in the church and is still the dominate gospel today, while Satan continues to jump with glee.  So now we are saved through an external expression of the gospel, with no internal change of heart. 

 

Little did he understand it was not God’s intention to save the human race for reason of their rejection of Him (Gen.3:24), but that it is His intention to save His “people,” those whom He calls to Himself (Matt.1:21; Heb.9:12-15, 28), those He sacrificed Himself in behalf of, to become the very image and likeness of Himself (Rom.8:29; II Tim.2:19; Eph.1:5, 11; II Cor.3:18), and when His Name would be hallowed before the unbelieving world (Ezek.36:23).

 

So your pastor will teach what he may, and the elect of God will hide it away in their hearts without even realizing it, as He prepares them to come to Himself on that day He calls them.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity (the bondage of sin and death)” (Jer.29:11-14).

 

For the Lord will not cast off His people,
Nor will He forsake His inheritance. (Psa.94:14; 97:10)

Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness;
He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. (Psa.112:4)

 

The pains of death surrounded me,
And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me;
I found trouble and sorrow.
Then I called upon the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul!” (Psa.116:3, 4)

 

 

Scientific method?

 

OK...  So as per the scientific method we are 1/2 way there... 

·         Ask a Question

·         Do Background Research

·         Construct a Hypothesis


Now how to do the next three...

·         Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment

·         Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion

·         Communicate Your Results


Let me know after you do as I think there are a lot of people interested in the results...

¨     <><><>  

 

My apologies _____.  I read your message a couple weeks ago, then forgot all about it.  I should say first, God really isn’t interested in the scientific methods of men since He is the Creator of all things seen or unseen.  I noticed the first definition of the word “science” is – “a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged.”  Well, we have that knowledge of facts and truths systematically arranged recorded in Genesis 1, and where certain facts and truths were laid out each day for a total of six days.

 

In Romans 1, we get a little further insight into these six days when we read – “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (v.20), of course, referring to those who will not believe what God says, even though “…what may be known of God is manifest (known) in them, for God has shown it to them” (v.19) in His creation.   

 

So we see God’s “facts or truths systematically arranged” in His Divine invisibility, eternity, and power, and which are all expressed in, and through the created order

 

The heavens declare the glory of God;

And the firmament shows His handiwork.

(Psalm 19:1)

 

The invisible God is revealed through the visible medium of creation.  The revelation is manifest (known).  It is not obscured, but clearly seen.

 

Here, God, through the apostle Paul, stresses that humanity not only has the opportunity to know God through general revelation, but that the revelation reveals real knowledge.  Humanity’s sin is the individual refusal to acknowledge what is already known to be true.  In Romans 2:2, we read, “But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things,” which are listed in the previous chapters.  Here we see God’s judgment is based on the reality of the individual’s response or non-response to Him, not on other considerations.  The judgment of God is according to whether you receive truth.  A refusal to honor God leads all intellectual pursuits to frustration, including the scientific method.

 

So _____, do you want to “hypothesis by doing an experiment,” with your eternal soul?  It doesn’t matter whether you believe you have one or not.  You still possess it.  Creation itself, shows the guilt of humanity.  Or would you rather  “analyze the data” given in God’s word, “and draw a conclusion?”  No need to “communicate your results,” _____.  Be honest to your own heart.  Not with some man-made method. 

 

Another definition of the word “science” is:  “knowledge, as of facts or principles, knowledge gained by systematic study.”  Abiding by this definition will determine your eternal welfare in where you chose to apply it.  I hope you will be opened-minded enough to apply this definition to God’s word, and leave the methods of man, to men.

 

“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb.10:21).  Don’t take my word for it, _____.  Just apply this definition of science to what will save your soul.

 

 

Yes, I hope there will be many interested in the results.

Zacchaeus and the seed of Abraham
 
 
What a good example we have in Zacchaeus. He was at that place of destiny that the Lord had chosen at His appointed time to come to faith. Speaking for myself it was a day I will never forget. But it brings gratitude to my heart, and humbles me all the more when I read the words of Jesus - “Today salvation has come to this house, because He ALSO is a son of Abraham” (Luke 19:9). 

It reminds me a few chapters back when the ruler of the synagogue chastised Jesus for healing a woman of her infirmity on the Sabbath day. And He said to them -

“Hypocrites Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound —think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath? And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.” (Lk.13:15, 17).

Doing good on the Lord’s day is not sinful, though the ruler of the synagogue objects to Jesus’ act of compassion for this woman suffering for eighteen years. Here is another example where the Lord has chosen to use this woman at His appointed time for the church to learn from. 

But what gives me greater joy is knowing that he use’s a son and daughter “of Abraham,” and which God’s people can apply to themselves as His promise of using those who are His people, when we are at our place of destiny in His appointed time by abiding in Him. For these two are children of Abraham, not speaking of physically, but spiritually, and so are all those who are of the faith of Abraham. For we are his spiritual seed.

For God established a covenant with Isaac, as the following verses state, that they would be Abraham’s spiritual descendants through Isaac, who are the “seed,” and with Christ, as the “Seed.” - 

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 
(Gal.3:16) This is the promise pertaining to the Lord Jesus Christ as the Seed. 

And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. 
(Gen.12:7) The land of Canaan is given to Abraham’s physical seed, and that heavenly Canaan is given to his spiritual seed of faith. 

Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; TO THE END the promise might BE SURE TO ALL THE SEED; not to that only which is of the law, but TO THAT ALSO which is OF THE FAITH of Abraham; who is the father of us all (who have received their righteousness by faith, as Abraham did, Rom.4:20-21). 

Now it was not written FOR HIS SAKE ALONE, that it was imputed to him; BUT FOR US ALSO, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; (Rom.4:16, 23-24) 

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 

29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and HEIRS according TO THE PROMISE. (the everlasting promise of God). 
(Gal.3:26-29) 

We, the seed of Abraham have such a wonderful promise, not only in our salvation by the covenant God made with Abraham as his spiritual descendant’s as well as the everlasting covenant, but that when we abide in Him we are at our appointed place to fulfill God’s will. 

As the seed of Abraham, we see Zacchaeus diligently seeking the Lord, for he would not let Jesus pass him by, and along with the woman of infirmity as spiritual children of Abraham, God is working through the advancement of His eternal plan. Let us be faithful to our calling, whereto He has called us. 

 

What a great story this is I just received.  How well I learned what she is writing about...

 

What If God Wants Me to Marry Someone Ugly?

My six-year-old daughter and I were doing a Bible study together that introduced the topic of purity. We had some pretty entertaining discussions, and I realized that it’s much harder to explain ideas like God’s sovereignty and purity to a six year old than it is to explain them to another adult. I never quite knew what would come out of her mouth during our meeting.

 

One night, as we talked about the beauty of God’s sovereignty in planning our futures — and how if God calls her to be married, he has already picked out just the right husband for her — she looked at me with concerned eyes.

“Mom, what if I don’t like the person God wants me to marry?”

And then, with even more concern, she said, “What if the man he wants me to marry isn’t — you know — very good-looking?”

Part of me wanted to chuckle at these extremely candid questions. But really, I have asked the same questions in different ways. The question isn’t as simple as “What if I don’t like the man I am supposed to marry?” but rather, “Do I trust that God is for me and gives good gifts to his children?”

Matthew 7:11 reminds us that, if we know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more does our heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.

 

Is God Giving Me His Best?

It can be easy to look at the less-than-ideal circumstances that surround us and wonder whether God is saving the best for someone else. I became a Christian my freshman year of college. I had been dating my Christian boyfriend since my senior year of high school, and by the time I finally realized what a gift his faith was, and that I really desired to marry him, he (wisely) had become convinced that we needed to break up. It was devastating. I looked around at my other slim prospects for marriage at my 40,000-student, secular university and was not encouraged.

Sunday mornings were often a desolate time in the cafeteria before I headed off to church by myself. Plus my heart was aching for the young man who had gone after God whole-heartedly and left me in the dust. But in God’s goodness to me, the sadness of my soul caused me to crack open my dusty Bible and begin reading and searching for comfort.

I stumbled upon Psalm 84:11. “The Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

In my immature, bare-bones faith, I clung to this single promise with all I had. It became the words that lifted my heart out of despair. God protects us. He gives us hope like a ray of sunshine. He blesses us with his favor. And the best part is this: He promises to withhold nothing good from those who walk with him.

So I reasoned in my mind and heart that as long as I was seeking the Lord and following him, he would give me only what was good for me. The young man I so desired to be with was not who I needed during those two years.

I had to trust that for whatever reason, God deemed it good and right for me to be single for the time. He deemed it good and right for the aching in my soul to cause me to turn to him for comfort and hope, instead of a relationship with a man. And whether he chose to bless me with marriage or singleness, Psalm 84:11promised me that God wasn’t going to give me second best. He wasn’t hiding his gifts from me, but was blessing me instead.

 

No Ultimate Good Withheld

So when my daughter questioned me about possibly having to marry someone she doesn’t like, or doesn’t find attractive, I directed her to the promise of Psalm 84:11. God will give only good gifts to those who are following him. And although those gifts might not be exactly what we would plan for ourselves, nonetheless they are precisely what we need — for our ultimate good. (And I think this promise will ensure that my daughter, if she does marry someday, will actually like her future husband and even find him attractive. He will change her heart to make it so.)

In God’s good providence, that young man who broke my heart came back into my life just before my senior year of college. We were married shortly after graduation. I look back at Psalm 84:11 as the verse that sustained me and gave me hope those two long years while we were apart — and would have sustained me if he hadn’t come back.

 

So for the single person waiting for a spouse, the young married woman longing for a positive sign on the pregnancy test, the new graduate waiting for a first job offer, or even at the devastating news of a positive cancer test, those of us who are hoping in Christ and following his path can trust that he will not hide any gift from us for our ultimate good.

 

Instead, he will lavish us with the blessings he deems fit for our lives, even when we don’t yet see how they are good.

This is the poem of an old man which was found in his belongings in his nursing home following his death, and with nothing else left to give to the world.  It is a sad poem, and only fills me with great sorrow he didn't know my Saviour.  Thankfully, the love and grace of God has prevented me from that sorrowful scene with a better hope.

 

Cranky Old Man.....


What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you're looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . ... . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . ... lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . ..my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. ...Babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future ... . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that I've known.
I'm now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
It's jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. .... . ME!!

 

[There is no exemption] but he who is joined to all the living has hope—for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; and they have no more reward [here], for the memory of them is forgotten (Ecc.9:4, 5).

 

For the Law never made anything perfect—but instead a better hope is introduced through which we [now] come close to God (Heb.7:19).

54 And when this perishable puts on the imperishable and this that was capable of dying puts on freedom from death, then shall be fulfilled the Scripture that says, Death is swallowed up (utterly vanquished forever) in and unto victory.

55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?

56 Now sin is the sting of death, and sin exercises its power [upon the soul] through [the abuse of] the Law (I Cor.15:54-56).

(Amplified Bible)

A better hope, is to all, who “come close to God.”

 

This poem appeared all over the US in magazines and given to all the nurses, without speaking of that better hope in Christ in a new life.  Nothing can be more sad, than facing death without the comfort of the presence in the Lord Jesus Christ.  May we be so much more conscious of our sinfulness before God, that we will never know that sting of death.

 

For those especially who work with the elderly, comfort their hearts with the love of the Saviour.  My gracious God – make us glad according to the days in which you have afflicted us (Psa.90:15).  Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom (v.12).  

Broken cisterns

 

“Most of us wouldn't want to return to the old-fashioned ways. But more than 2,500 years ago, Jeremiah reminded us that there is nothing more relevant than the truth of the past. Even though he was regarded as a relic of his time, he urged his neighbors to walk in the old paths of truth so that they would find peace, and rest for their souls  (Jer. 6:16). Today we can still find rest and peace in Jesus, our eternal source of truth (Matt. 11:28).”

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May we never overlook the truth, that to “…find rest and peace in Jesus, our eternal source of truth,” surely is as you say, “the old paths of truth,” and so it is to recognize the entirety of God’s word.  You said it well –

 

Thus says the Lord: Stand by the roads and look; and ask for the eternal paths, where the good, old way is; then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls” (Jer.6:16).  Then we note in the next sentence – “But they said, We will not walk in it!”  And the Lord said –

 

“Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hear and obey the sound of the trumpet!” And we read – “But they said, We will not listen or obey (v.17).

 

Even though some may regard Jeremiah as a “relic” of his time, he is also widely known as the “weeping Prophet,” as he laments over the disobedience of Israel.  Just a few chapters before Jeremiah spoke those consoling words of truth, he wrote under inspiration –

 

“For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, and they have hewn for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns which cannot hold water” (Jer.2:13). 

 

Jeremiah is speaking of the two evils which tell us why they said – “We will not walk in it, [and] We will not listen and obey.”  He is stressing the seriousness of Judah’s sin when he speaks of these two evils, of why they will not “find rest for their souls.” 

 

As the “Fountain of living waters,” God is saying that He alone provides life giving water –

 

“Wait and listen, everyone who is thirsty! Come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Yes, come, buy [priceless, spiritual] wine and milk without money and without price [simply for the self-surrender that accepts the blessing]” (Isa.55:1).

 

“Jesus answered her, If you had only known and had recognized God’s gift and Who this is that is saying to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him [instead] and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10). 

37 Now on the final and most important day of the Feast, Jesus stood, and He cried in a loud voice, If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink!

38 He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water.

39 But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed (trusted, had faith) in Him were afterward to receive. For the [Holy] Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honor).

(John 7:37-39).

 

Have we ever experienced a “self-surrender” of our wills that receives that spiritual blessing which is without price?  A blessing that only Jesus Christ can provide?  Have we ever heard Him say, Give Me a drink, that He may provide Living water “continuously” for the eternal soul through His indwelling Spirit?  Have we ever been so thirsty, for His pardon and forgiveness for sinful and disobedient lives?

 

The other evil Jeremiah speaks of, are the gods the people took for themselves, as broken cisterns.  They have chosen to hewn (fashion, adopt) these cisterns for themselves, but they were useless and empty for they cannot hold water.

 

What kind of cisterns have we hewn, adopted, for ourselves?  Is it church attendance?  Is it the keeping of the seven sacraments, or attempting to keep God’s law?  Perhaps it’s giving our time and effort to a worthy institution of humanity or the church?  Perhaps it’s just a consciousness of being good and attempting to live life as such.

 

God says these cisterns do not hold water with Me, and calls them “evil” (Jer.2:13).  He says that He alone is the Fountain of life giving water (the possession of His Spirit).  Can we open our hearts to see His words?  Do you truly desire peace and rest for your eternal souls?  It starts with the Fountain of life giving water Who fills the soul

 

All the things we can do in belief as pleasing God for His favor, are not only vain, but evil, and are merely broken cisterns, vessels, that will not hold water (Tit.3:5).  But what He demands from a disobedient race (Rom.6:20) is a sincere, contrite humble spirit (Psa.51:16, 17), through a will of self-surrender, admitting to the disobedience we have lived and enjoyed all our lives.

 

The living water of His Spirit from the Fountain of Christ will then fill you with His cistern, in righteousness, peace, and rest.

 

25 At that time Jesus began to say, I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth [and I acknowledge openly and joyfully to Your honor], that You have hidden these things from the wise and clever and learned, and revealed them to babies [to the childish, untaught, and unskilled].

26 Yes, Father, [I praise You that] such was Your gracious will and good pleasure.

27 All things have been entrusted and delivered to Me by My Father; and no one fully knows and accurately understands the Son except the Father, and no one fully knows and accurately understands the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son deliberately wills to make Him known.

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]

29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.

30 For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.

(Matt.11:25-30).

 

 

(Scripture from the Amplified Bible)

PERSEVERANCE – THE MANY MERCIES OF REDEMPTION

Those who know Him, have a God Whose purpose in all that He does, will never fail, but will always prevail.  Those who know the Lord in truth will never leave Him permanently, for it’s His merciful purpose to save the unlovable.  But if they do leave such undeserving grace as I myself have done, He is always faithful to bring them back to Himself.

 

To the unrepentant, God says –

 26 But you do not believe and trust and rely on Me because you do not belong to My fold [you are no sheep of Mine].

But to His redeemed, He says -

27 The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me.

28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand (John 10:26-28).

God remains faithful to His redeemed as their True Shepherd –

11 For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I Myself, will search for My sheep and will seek them out.

12 As a shepherd seeks out his sheep in the day that he is among his flock that are scattered, so will I seek out My sheep; and I will rescue them out of all places where they have been scattered in the day of clouds and thick darkness (regressing back into sin and the world).

13 And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and will bring them to their own land (the Kingdom of God); and I will feed them upon the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited places of the country.

14 I will feed them with good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be; there shall they lie down in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.

15 I will feed My sheep and I will cause them to lie down, says the Lord God.

16 I will seek that which was lost and bring back that which has strayed, and I will bandage the hurt and the crippled and will strengthen the weak and the (spiritually) sick, but I will destroy the fat and the strong [who have become hardhearted and perverse]; I will feed them with judgment and punishment.

23 And I will raise up over them one Shepherd and He shall feed them, even My ServantDavid (the Messiah); He shall feed them and He shall be their Shepherd.

25 And I will confirm with them a covenant of peace and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land (the heart), and [My people] shall dwell safely in the wilderness (of sin and misery), desert, or pastureland and sleep [confidently] in the woods (of the heavenly Kingdom).

26 And I will make them and the places round about My hill a blessing, and I will cause the showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing [of good insured by God’s favor].  (Showers of Blessing is a great hymn.  Unfortunately, many churches of the modern age no longer sing’s these great hymns and replaced them with many shallow contemporary songs). 

27 And the tree of the field shall yield its fruit and the earth shall yield its increase; and [My people] shall be secure in their land (the heavenly Kingdom), and they shall be confident and know (understand and realize) that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bars of their yoke (to the bondage of sin) and have delivered them out of the hand of those who made slaves of them (the world, with Satan and his hosts).

30 Then shall they know [positively] that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the (spiritual) house of Israel, are My people, says the Lord God,

31 And that you, My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, are [only] men and I am your God, says the Lord God (Ezek.34).

God chose for Himself His own flock, out of a sinful and perverse race of people in love with their sins, self, and the world.  He has redeemed them, calls them to Himself, seeks them out when they wander to bring them back to Himself, carries them through sanctifying grace, on the Day of the Lord finds them not guilty, and replaces earthly bodies with glorified bodies.  

 

“And we also [especially] thank God continually for this (that CHRIST has taken OUR sins upon HIMSELF), that when you received the message of God [which you heard] from us, you welcomed it not as the word of [mere] men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe exercising its superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it].”

(I Thess.2:13)

 

“But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

 

Let us "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ASHAMED, ‘rightly dividing’ the word of truth" (II Tim.2:15).

 

[NOT in your own strength] for it IS GOD Who is all the while effectually at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.

(Phil.2:13).

 

One of the greatest blessings of the believer’s salvation -

 

"I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from
doing good to them
. And I will put the fear of Me in their hearts, that they
will not turn from Me."
(Jer.32:40).

 

The greatest wonder of the believer’s salvation next to the knowledge that grace and mercy has been granted him by no merit of their own, is the wonderful and faithful promise of God that He will never turn away from them, nor allow them to permanently turn from Him.

 

"Now the JUST shall live by faith; BUT, if anyone draws back, My soul has no
pleasure in him. but we, (the just), are not of those who draw back to
perdition
, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul." (Heb. 10:38).
For "...whom He called, these He also justified" (Rom.8: 30).

 

If your church cannot meet the truths in God’s word, I sincerely pray you seek a biblical church.  “…praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints“(Eph.6:18).

May all professors of the faith live our lives in that which pleases the Lord Jesus Christ.  God didn’t give us His word to pick and choose from it, but to receive it and obey it.  Only the redeemed sheep of Christ will do that.  Will you be numbered among His redeemed?  If His word isn’t the final authority in your professed Christian life, I urge you to –

 

Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Lk.21:36).

 

God’s people are willing to obey their Saviour, even unto death sometimes, when they have experienced the chastening of the Lord.  Hearts must be broken and spirits made contrite that they may see their sinful standing in the eyes of God (Psa.34:18; 51:17; Isa.57:15; 66:2).  For we have natures that God did not create in us.  Sin has done that. 

 

 

Great biblical truths!
If I may add for some clarification , and because we are dealing with the Philippines in particular where religion has engulfed 90% of the population in directing our minds to certain spiritual things concerning salvation and faith itself, I think it is needful to see what God says about a few things. 
 
When we speak of disobedience, the article is generally assuming the readers are Christians, and which is why the author can use the term very loosely – “Jesus has redeemed mankind.”  This is where we begin to wander off on a rabbit trail running every which direction as religion has done to this country.   But as I mentioned above, we are dealing with a very religious country, and it should not be assumed in the least, that we are speaking to God’s people known as “Christians.” 
 
It is certainly true, that some do backslide as I myself had done for several years, though it is also true, that whenever God’s people backslide our Lord is faithful in seeking them out and bringing them back to Himself, and which He says, and where I have found in my own heart, our love is even greater for Him, when He finds us, then it was before we wandered.  But it pleases me greatly to see we do have Christians on this site.  Though they are surely a minority. 
 
So let us not assume so much, that disobedience is blocking God’s blessing in our lives, which it can, and does, but let us realize the true need of the people.  Without Christ there will always be disobedience.  The heart must be changed from above (Jn.3:3).  Religion can never do it.  This is only done with His Redemption, the redeemed, not “mankind” in general.  Realizing the guilt of our sins of disobedience before a holy and just God, is when we experience the need for a Saviour.  Not religion.  This is what will change lives that God approves.
 
Can we be honest within our own hearts, and say as the Psalmist – “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight – that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge”? (Psa.51:4).
 
“Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe (despise) yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations” (Ezek.36:31, 32).  This is what changes hearts.  Loathing our own sinful nature.  But it only comes through brokenness of heart.
 
“ ‘Now therefore,’ says the Lord, ‘Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.  So rend (tear) your heart, and not your garments, return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He relents from doing harm’ ” (Joel 2:12, 13).  Loathing our own sinful nature.
 
In doing this, what do we find in the result?
 
“Surely, after my turning, I repented, and after I was instructed, I struck myself on the thigh; I was ashamed, yes, even humiliated, because I bore the reproach of my youth” (Jer.31:18, 19).
        
Let us never assume the majority on this site knows the Lord, and that straightening up their act will produce answers to their prayers.  It is not so much that disobedience is blocking God's blessing in our lives, but it’s the heart that has never been changed from above for lack of seeing our own guilt in the eyes of God. 
 
 
But as I have written many times, “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart (over their sins of disobedience), and saves such as have a contrite (humble) spirit (literally, “are crushed in spirit;” Psa.34:18).  This is what true and genuine  “belief” is, in the New Testament.  It’s the reason lives are changed through God’s own Power (I Thess.1:5).  “On this one will I look: On him who is poor (in spirit) and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isa.66:2).  Only a broken heart in our guilt will find God’s interest in us. 

The guilty knowledge of God

 

All people are naturally inclined to some form of religion, yet they fail to worship their Creator, whose general revelation makes Him universally known .  Sinful egotism and aversion to our Creator’s claims have driven humanity into idolatry, the error of giving worship and homage to any power or object other than God (Isa.44:9-20; Rom.1:21-23; Col.3:5).  Idolatry is much more than wooden or stone idols. It's whatever we give our time and homage to more than Christ.

 

Doing this in their idolatry, apostate humans “suppress the truth” (Rom.1:18, 23).  They smother and quench, as far as they can, the awareness that general revelation provides of a transcendent Judge and Creator.  It carries a sense making it impossible to forget the deity, to unworthy objects.  God has built this truth into us.  Accordingly, it leads to drastic moral decline and misery, the first sign of God’s wrath against apostasy  (Rom.1:18, 24-32).  

 

But God will not allow human beings to suppress entirely their sense of God and of His judgment.  Some sense of right and wrong, as well as of accountability to God, always remains.  Even in the fallen world everyone is endowed with a conscience that from time to time condemns them, telling them that they ought to suffer for wrongs they have done.  When conscience speaks in these terms it speaks with the voice of God

 

In one sense, fallen humanity does not know God, since what people believe about the objects of their worship falsifies and distorts the truth about God in whatever idol they run after.  In another sense all human beings do know God, but in guilt, with uncomfortable inklings of the judgment they cannot avoid

 

Only the gospel of Christ can speak peace to this aspect of the human condition (I Thes.1:5).  If we profess Christ, let us acknowledge our guilt and be certain of the faith we profess.  Let us not be as adulterous Israel when Jeremiah says, "You refuse to be ashamed" (3:3).  Genuine shame will bring need for pardon and forgiveness.  Christ is there to freely extend that pardon, through broken hearts of sinful lives and disobedience (Psa.34:18; 51:16, 17; 145:18; Isa.57:15).  

In publication with OMF, Manila.



For He will Save His People from their sins - Matthew 1:21

A testimony to God’s grace





For He will save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21)
Bound in self deceit

Though it broke my heart so deeply for two and a half years over the loss of my family, I have no regret whatsoever other than my little children losing their father. For having my heart broken into so many pieces it led me so willingly and thankfully to the Lord three weeks after she left. It was the greatest experience I ever had in my life, and it changed my life forever. 

I have rarely spoken of this to people, but perhaps some might find a need they have never known before. The Lord used her leaving as the means to reveal to me my true person. I thought I knew Him for fifteen years - taking my family to church, studying my Bible, having devotions with the kids, living a decent life, but my heart remained the same. It was still full of darkness. I saw some people in the churches I went to who truly loved the Lord, and I always asked myself, Why, do these few people love the Lord so much, and I don't?? I just couldn't understand it, and I even asked my friend Why don't I have such love for the Lord?

Anyway, one day, about three weeks after her leaving, my sinful, self-deceitful life had become so increasingly burdensome on my heart during those three weeks, with the weight of my sins so heavy from a lifetime of sins and disobedience, that evening around the twilight hour, I remember I sat in my favorite chair in the living room in a broken mess and poured my heart out to the Lord with confession for my entire life. 

I thought I would literally drown in my tears which made my sinuses open up and the mucus flowed as much as the tears and my handkerchief was full very quickly. I prayed with great sincerity and confession, and the Lord heard my prayer and had forgiven all (Psa.145:18), but then I found myself as if I was actually floating off the chair I was sitting in, for I felt as light as a feather, 

The weight of my sins that was only increasing day after day for three weeks finally brought me to my knees, and I remember reaching out with my hand for the Lord to take hold of it, for I needed Him so much. I kept reaching out, feeling, and grasping the air for His hand while in prayer, for I wanted to take hold of His hand so much. 

And with His forgiveness, I felt as if I was truly floating off that chair, and so I just sat there thinking of what just happened. Never, had I experienced the Lord like this before, and after a few moments I began thanking Him for what had just taken place. I couldn't stop. Great weeping began again, and my prayer of thanksgiving continued for a couple hours more. I finally rose from the chair very weak, but that heavy burden I carried was all gone. I experienced the pardon and forgiveness from the Lord for the first time in my life, like I never knew before. A very disobedient and self-deceitful life was forgiven. 

But with my family gone, I was then able to turn to His word with sincere truth and need, to know more of Him. I was now in Christ a free man without the weight of my sins keeping me down (II Cor.3:17; Gal.5:1). The pain over the loss of my kids continued, and every day I was in prayer for the Lord to restore my family. I continued with this for two and a half years, right up to the day she married the guy she ran off with. But then, what relief filled my soul, for then I finally knew what the will of the Lord was. And that burden also, disappeared, and I devoted myself to knowing more of my Saviour.

I was growing in grace so rapidly and within a few months the Lord led me to a biblical church where I found it so thankful to be, compared to the church I was in. Much spiritual growth continued for about five years, but by the sixth year my heart began to sink for lack of answer to prayer concerning a godly mate. My spirit began to falter and so did my church attendance. I lost my fellowship with the Lord for another five or six years, occasionally being in church, but in a rejected spirit. 

The hand of the Lord

We often say we love the Lord, but we never really do until we experience His sufferings (II Cor.1:5; 4:10; Phil.1:29; 3:10; Tim.3:12). Near the end of this time I then began the worst three years of my life I had ever known. The Lord had laid on me the most intense oppression, physically, mentally, financially, and emotionally, all at the same time. A couple I know even likened me to Job. 

Two things in particular saw me though those very grave years – grace, and the promises of God. Many times the weight of what I was enduring was so heavy I would ask for grace. But no sooner when I asked, God delivered that grace (Isa.30:19; 65:24), and it truly was like rivers of flowing water refreshing my spirit. The Lord never failed answering my call for grace. Oftentimes, I would need it hour by hour. Sometimes minute by minute. So I would keep asking for that grace as often as I needed it, and the Lord kept delivering.

The other thing that kept me going was Gods promises. They were continual needed reminders that one day all this would pass. Many times I found myself in prayer for hours at a time. And when light finally appeared through all the darkness I found a love for the Saviour I never knew before, even far greater than my conversion. "I will not contend forever," He says, and it broke my heart to pieces seeing all those promises materializing before my eyes (Isa.57:18).

“I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you’…But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him…’for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found’ “ (Lk.15:18, 20. 24).

There was one thing I continually noticed many years ago, when I couldn’t find such love for the Lord as some had, though I had made a profession of faith, and which eventually led to my spiritual conversion - being told a series of biblical facts, I agreed to and accepted all of them. I was then told I was a Christian and encouraged to be grounded in God’s word. During the following fifteen years I faithfully heard these same facts from the several churches I was in at the time. Briefly, these facts all said the same thing – confess my sins, believe in, or place my faith in Jesus Christ, and receive eternal life. 

As these facts are most certainly true, and while I was reading my Bible during these years, a certain message continued to appear before me from one Book or another, which I found kind of perplexing, and even a little uneasy at times. From just a few of these messages, I read –

“…without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb.11:6). And so I thought - Diligently seek Him?? I was greatly taken aback. But I had already confessed my faith! I was even told by the pastor I was a Christian in doing this!

“…so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him (which I found myself actually doing in my conversion) and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). Seek the Lord?? Grope for what?? Find Him? I have already confessed my sins!

“…from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut.4:29). But I must have done this, for I confessed my sins, and believed in Him through faith!! 

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jer.29:13). Lord, why do you keep telling me to SEARCH and SEEK You?? Have I not FOUND YOU??

It is often said, “The only way to be saved is to personally accept Jesus as your Saviour.” I did this very thing. I agreed to, and accepted a series of biblical facts. It changed my life to the degree that I no longer demonstrated for the most part, an obvious outward appearance of disobedient living. I went to church. I even proudly stopped my foul language and the use of the Lord’s Name in vain. God says –

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph.1:7), with the Amplified Bible saying –

“In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favor.” For grace, is God giving us what we do not deserve.

The problem

We see, the only way to be saved, is not “personally accepting Jesus,” as I was told to do, but through the riches of His grace. Through the riches in the generosity of His gracious favor, which we have no biblical right or interest to even ask for. The only way to be saved is through the grace of His, personal revelation to us (Rom.10:20; 3:9-12; Jer.13:23; Jn.6:44, 65; Rom.11:35-36; I Cor.2:14; 4:7; II Cor.3:5). We would never “accept” Jesus in our natural born condition.

This is the only way hearts are changed (Ezek.36:23-28; Jn.3:5, 6)). We read – “The Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (I Sam.16:7). We simply cannot change our hearts ourselves in truth, by “accepting” Jesus . “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one!” (Job 14:4). “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil??” (Jer.13:23).

Goodness in our eyes, is far from the goodness in God’s eyes (Gal.3:10; Jas.2:10). I was in church 2-3 times a week. I was studying my Bible. I was living a decent life associating with people of faith. “I was a Christian.” I know I was, for I was told I was, don’t you know? For I made a profession of faith. But yet, at the same time during those fifteen years it seemed there were always a few who loved the Lord so dearly, and I confessed, I didn’t have such love, and didn’t understand why.

In addition to these external truths, there are also internal truths just as necessary that must agree with those external truths which we profess, if salvation is to take place. These are the internal truths which God prepares in our hearts aforetime, as His redeemed, by preparing us to receive that grace (I Chron.29:18; Rom.9:23, 24; Psa.10:17; 40:6; 61:7; Isa.55:11; Jer.32:40; Phil.2:13; I Thes.2:13; Heb.13:20, 21; Eph.1:5), when the gospel comes in the power of the Holy Spirit (I Thes.1:5); where the external meets the internal – the mind (knowledge), communicates with the heart (or nature) of the individual.

God tells us much about our hearts, that is, our disobedient nature received from the first man:

“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mk.7:21-23). This is the natural condition of man until the heart is renewed (John 3:3-6). 

This condition doesn’t come by the environment we live, or work in as some say. They come through our own hearts, by “…having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Eph.4:17-19).

“Past feeling,” because of sinful perverseness and depravity. How thankful I am, God didn’t wait for me, to “personally ‘accept’ Jesus” as my Saviour, for any feeling of need was never previously known to me. I was a church going “Christian” living in the midst of God’s people, with all the outward appearances of salvation. But He prepares the hearts of His redeemed to respond when He calls. 

Enters grace

But how does He do this, when we say – “You will not require an account” (Psa.10:13), or, “We will walk according to our own plans, and we will every one obey the dictates of his heart” (Jer.18:12), or saying in our hearts “God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see” (Psa.10:11)? What about changing the truth of God for a lie (Rom.1:25)? 

How, does He do this when we think we are pleasing God through whatever we are doing in our lives? May we be so mindful, we have hearts which are evil from our youth (Gen.8:21). A heart that finds so many ways, to suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom.1:18). 

How does He prepare such a heart to respond?

“And I said: ‘O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens. Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been very guilty’ ” (Ezra
9:6, 7; Rom.3:19, 20; Jas.2:10). Recognition of guilt.

How does He prepare such a heart to respond when He calls?

And we see, “He brought down their heart with labor (overburden):” (over their guilt; Matt.11:28), “they fell down and there was none to help (Psa.107:12),”… “and because of their iniquities, were afflicted (17b).”…
Have we ever been “overburdened” with our guilt before God? This is how He prepares hearts to receive Him in truth. Genuine recognition of guilt.

How does He prepare such a heart to respond?

“For You do not desire sacrifice (empty offerings of faith, or trying to be Christian), or else would I give it;
You do not delight in burnt offerings (of trying to please God with such a perverse heart).
The sacrifices (offering) of God (that He desires of us) are a broken spirit. A broken and a contrite heart (over that guilt) – these O God You will not despise” (Psa.51:16, 17).

How does He prepare such a heart to respond when He calls?

“When they are diminished and brought low, through oppression, affliction and sorrow” (over their sins; Psa.107:39).

Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness” (Psa.51:19).
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs, is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt.5:3).

“It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
That I may learn Your statutes” (Psa.119:71).

The new creature in Christ

God will use any measure to call in His redeemed (Matt.1:21). Will you be among them? May the death of a loved one, or losing one’s family be the extreme He uses to do that. Has your heart ever been broken in guilt over its sins, that we might come to the Lord in truth (Psa.145:18)?

Wanted to add the following to the above post, but too late...

 

 I was just an ungodly sinner saved by the grace of God. The same saving grace He extends to all who come to Him in their need. He said we will all have to stand before Him to give account of ourselves for our sinful lives when He returns to earth. If we can't see our need for Him now, it will be too late on His return when He comes in judgment.

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