Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Holiday

We hear it so often around this time of year: "Happy Holiday!" "Season's Greetings!" Everyone seems to be in the mood for some kind of festive celebration. Exactly what is the holiday that we are celebrating? Are we allowed to say it? Is it a forbidden word? Are we afraid to say it? Will people be offended if we actually tell them what the holiday is?

What ever happened to Christmas? What ever happened to the Christ of Christmas? Long ago there was no room in the inn. Is there any room for Him in today's celebration? What ever happened to the birth of the Saviour? Has it been a giant mistake that all of our calendars mark His birth as the starting point, and that His birth divides all of this world's history into B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (anno Domini, in the year of the Lord)?

Should we give up Christmas and abandon it as a holy day? After all, no one wants to mention it anymore, and it seems to have evolved into a meaningless, festive, gift-giving occasion apart from any spiritual significance. If the God of the entire universe, the Maker of heaven and earth, decided to pay a visit to this earth, that is highly significant and worthy of at least a yearly remembrance and thankful celebration! "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world" (1 John 4:14).

Here is the Christmas story according to John, a man who knew Jesus Christ very well: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.... And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:1-3,14).

John also makes very clear the reason God came to earth as Man. He came on a saving mission: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:16,17).

Why did God have to become a man? In order to save sinful men, someone holy would have to die for them. But there is no one holy except God, and God cannot die. Therefore God would have to become a man in order to be able to save mankind. This was made possible through the miracle of the virgin birth. Although God could not die, the God-man (the Lord Jesus Christ) could die and did die for our sins: "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him [the Messiah] the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6). "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

On that first Christmas night, the angel announced the good news which summarizes the true meaning of Christmas: "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10,11).

The Saviour has been born! Do you know Him as your personal Saviour? He died as the sinner's Substitute and He rose again to provide eternal life for all who trust in Him. "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12). Have you realized your condition as a needy sinner and come to Him, the only Saviour? Jesus said, "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37).

--George Zeller

From MWTB.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Church Within a Yard of Hell

Steve Lawson preaching on 1 Corinthians 1:1-3

Watch the full sermon here.

An Early Christmas

I have done my share of grumbling about the way merchandising seems to seek an earlier beginning to the Christmas season every year. But, to be honest, in my own way I'm much worse than the merchant and the advertising guru. I vote for an early Christmas. A very early Christmas


Isaiah would understand what I mean. He was a prophet seven centuries before the birth of our Lord. Isaiah watched his nation go through good times and bad, and with it all, he envisioned an utterly better day. "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light" (Isaiah 9:2). And what is this great light? "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).

Isaiah's vision was of a government with a high God-content, with results that will go far beyond our usual political platforms. Isaiah was reaching into matters of heart and thought.


Micah was a prophet at roughly the same time as Isaiah. We remember him for the words he spoke and wrote. Especially one verse that still thrills us more than twenty-five centuries later: "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 5:2).

The little town of Bethlehem was uniquely significant to the Jewish people because their most revered king, David, had come from there. But now Micah was promising something far beyond David.


Job didn't celebrate Christmas, but he wanted its benefit, and he wanted it desperately. He lived in the land of Uz, and "was the greatest of all the men of the east" (Job 1:3). Job's greatness was not simply a matter of wealth and community standing. He was a truly fine human being, someone of whom God could say, "There is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man" (Job 1:8).

Job seemed to live a charmed life. But suddenly it all changed. In a devastating series of events, Job lost his considerable fortune, his seven sons and three daughters, and his health. It seemed so hopeless to Job that he saw God as his enemy. Then Job turns to his friends, hoping they will understand his predicament with God, since they too are human: "For He is not a man, as I am, that I should answer Him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both" (Job 9:32,33).

In truth, Job's request is a pretty hopeless one. He wants a very special kind of mediator, someone with enough standing to lay a hand on God, and enough understanding of our human condition to lay a hand on Job. Job was appealing for Christmas, the event that gives us the only One able to lay a hand on God because He is God, and understanding of humanity because he is human.

What About You?

Are you ready for an early Christmas? Do you feel the need of One who will bring light to your dark world? One who has the authority to forgive your sins and the power to make you a new person?

Maybe, like Job, your life has taken a turn you didn't see coming. Perhaps you have lost the possessions, abilities, or relationships that meant the most to you. Let me assure you of one thing: God has not abandoned you! He loves you so much that He sent His only Son to die for you, and earnestly desires you to come to Him: "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

There is nothing we can do in our own efforts to make ourselves clean in God's sight. Jesus has paid the price we could never pay. All we need to do--all we can do--is turn to Him and trust what He has done. Won't you turn to Jesus Christ today? Then, no matter what time of year it is, you will receive the true Gift of Christmas!

"If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.... For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:9,10,13).

--Adapted from Christmas from the Back Side by J. Ellsworth Kalas. Copyright (c) Abingdon Press.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why I’m Ungrateful

by Russell Moore

“If I hear the word ‘Daddy’ again, I’m going to scream!”

I heard myself saying those words. And, in my defense, it was loud around here. I was trying to work on something, and all I could hear were feet pounding down the stairs with four boys competing with one another to tell me one thing after another. I just wanted five minutes of silence.

My vocal chords were still vibrating when an image hit my brain. It was the picture of me, on my face, praying for children. The house was certainly quiet then. And in those years of infertility and miscarriage and seemingly unanswered prayers, I would have given anything to hear steps on that staircase. I feared I would never hear the word “Daddy,” ever, directed to me. Come to think of it, I even wrote a book about the Christian cry of “Abba, Father.”

Continue reading here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thoughts for Thanksgiving

by James McAlister

In an era not so long ago, our country was being ripped asunder by internal turmoils and differences—much as it is today. Yet even in the midst of the darkness of civil war, Abraham Lincoln cast a ray of hope that the nation might once again have "full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

We would do well to review some key thoughts of Lincoln's proclamation of October 3, 1863, which set the precedent for our national Thanksgiving holiday.

"The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God . . . . "Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore . . . . No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

"It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens . . . to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience . . . fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union."

As in Lincoln's day, our nation's deep wounds beg to be healed. Peace, harmony and tranquillity cry for restoration. Our moral compass pleads for calibration.

Perhaps it is time to move our Thanksgiving holiday beyond feasting, fellowship and football. Perhaps it is time to embrace Lincoln's advice to observe a "day of thanksgiving and praise. . . . with an attitude of humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience"?

The results might be surprising—and enduring.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.- 2 Chronicles 7:14

Copyright © 2004 James McAlister. Used by Permission.
www.BulletinInserts.org, a ministry of Christian Communicators Worldwide: www.CCWtoday.org

Manna in the Morning

by Tim Challies

Have you ever stopped to ponder what it might have been like for the Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness, knowing that each day they would completely exhaust their food supply? Have you thought what it would be like knowing that they would go to bed with no food, but that the next day their supplies would be fully and miraculously replenished? It is an interesting, thought, really, and one that is worth considering.

Continue reading here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Legalism and Mr. Fearing

by Mark Priestap

Recently, while reading John Bunyan’s Pilgrim's Progress to my family, I ran across an insightful character named “Mr. Fearing”. With him I also found one of the clearest descriptions of the effect of legalism I’d ever run across.
He doubted that his acceptance of Christ had made him worthy to claim all the promises of God. Therefore he was afraid he would not be accepted by God. He doubtless believed in a brand of religious legalism—that we must obey law to obtain sufficient grace to become worthy of acceptance.
How true this is for so many of us. Initially we believe in Christ alone for justification, but because our eyes have been opened to our sin, we are deceived into thinking that law-keeping is now necessary to prove that we are worthy of his acceptance, forgetting that it is because of this sin that Christ died in the first place, while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8).

Continue reading here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sensual Worship — A Sign of Impending Apostasy

By Iain H. Murray

When interest in the churches begins to centre round the visual and the sensual it is commonly a sign of impending apostasy. By ‘sensual’ I mean that which appeals to the senses of man (sight, smell, hearing), as opposed to ‘spirit’, that is, the capacity that belongs to those born of the Spirit of God. Hence the antithesis, ‘sensual, having not the Spirit’ (Jude 19). ‘Sensual’ is also translated ‘natural’ or ‘worldly’; the meaning is the same. It does not take regeneration to give the sensual or the aesthetic a religious appeal to the natural man or woman.

In the Old Testament the people of God were in measure taught by their senses as God imposed the form of worship. As a check against any misuse of that means of teaching no additions to or subtractions from it were allowed. But with the finished work of Christ, and the coming of the Holy Spirit, a momentous change took place. The church was raised to the higher privilege of worship in ‘spirit and truth’ (John 4:24). She belongs to the ‘Jerusalem which is above’ (Gal. 4:26).

Continue reading here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Are We Thankful?

I recently received a letter from a young brother in Christ which gives food for thought. He quotes Jonah 2:9, "But I will sacrifice unto Thee with the voice of thanksgiving: I will pay that that I vowed. Salvation is of the Lord."
He then goes on to write: "Jonah is thankful in Jonah 2:9, but not in Jonah 4:1, showing how easily we can change our attitudes. In Jonah 2:9, in spite of many discomforts, Jonah was thankful." He then lists several discomforts Jonah had in the fish's belly, and points out the fact that we take many of our blessings--the light and air and freedom we have which Jonah did not have, and yet fail to be thankful for them or even acknowledge they are God's mercies to us! He then asks, "Have we been spared the judgment our sins deserved? If so, how much we have to be thankful for!"

Truly, the greatest of all blessings is the eternal salvation of our souls through our Lord Jesus Christ. He came to earth to die in our place that we might be forgiven of all our sins and possess eternal life by faith in Him. Only thus can we be saved from the judgment to come which we deserve. Are we genuinely thankful for the love which took Him to Calvary to suffer, bleed and die for us?

The spiritual blessing of salvation which God bestows upon all who receive His Son as their Saviour becomes more precious as time goes by. This is quite the opposite of the many material blessings we have which soon deteriorate, or pass away altogether. As one has written: "We thank the Lord for food, clothing and shelter. However, a suit of clothes is not considered precious after it has been worn for 10 years. The food we eat satisfies only for a few hours. But my salvation means more to me now than it did 25 years ago." How true! Let me ask again, Are we thankful for both material and spiritual blessings we possess?

In Colossians 3:15, God says, "Be ye thankful." Isn't it strange that God would have to command us to give thanks? Alas, the callousness of our hearts seems to take all His blessings for granted and hardly ever responds in expressions of gratitude! The Psalmist writes, "Forget not all His benefits" (Psalm 103:2). How soon we forget the blessings, but remember instead the few trials and bitter experiences which, if we only viewed them by faith as allowed of Him, would draw forth our thanksgiving even for these!

Another has said, "To be thankful means to be thinkful." Is it not true that if we do think more upon the blessings God has given, our hearts would overflow with thanksgiving and love to Him? I believe that would be the case. And as Jesus said, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." If our minds are set on "things above," (Col. 3:2), and we "behold the beauty of the Lord" (Psa. 27:4), our hearts will be filled to overflowing and our mouths will speak thanksgiving and praise to Him. Thanksgiving will then become a day by day experience and not merely a one day a year observance.

From Moments With The Book

Have It All or Want It All?

by Jamie Munson

The American Reality

The Rich Fool of Jesus’ parable could be a poster boy for the American Dream. He worked his land, earned a good living, and planned to enjoy the fruits of his labor. But he could also pass for what is too often the American Reality. Ruled by selfishness and greed, he ignored the One who created the land, the One who made it produce a harvest, and the One who numbered his very days.

Continue reading here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Definition of a Watered Down Gospel: "Just Be Nice!"

by Jamin Hubner
The vanity of values continues.

In this case, it continued in an article entitled "Message Fits to a T" on the front page of the Rapid City Journal's section on Religion, published November 13, 2010. What did it say? And how does it demonstrate the continuing promulgation of valueless values?

Let us first refresh our memory.

There are many enemies and threats to the purity, organization, and existence of the Christian faith. There are unbelieving and oppressive governments. The secularism of the university, media, and the arts. False religions, false teachings, and the accuser of faithful Christian leaders. Yes, there's alot of bad stuff "out there."

But far worse, is the tendency of professing Christians to completely neuter the power of the faith by erasing the content of their own message. The greatest threats to God's people come from within, not from outside. Uncomfortable thought, isn't it? But, this at least explains some of the warnings in the New Testament regarding internal corruption (Romans 16:17, Ephesians 4:11-14, I Tim. 6:3-4, Titus 2:1). Defending the faith and protecting the faithful is all too easy when we can point to "them" and rest assured about "us." The real challenge comes when those who claim to know God and label themselves as gospel-preachers preach non-gospel. Christless Christianity. No-news "good news." "All foam and no beer."

Continue reading here.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Thanksgiving Lesson

by J. R. Miller, 1912

Gladness may not be thanksgiving. It certainly is not all of thanksgiving. One may have a heart bubbling with joy, without a note of thanksgiving. The task of happiness is one to which we should all firmly set ourselves. To be miserable in this glorious world, is most unfit. We should cultivate joyousness. But our present lesson is a larger and deeper one. Thanksgiving implies thought of God. One may be glad all the day—and never think of God. Thanksgiving looks up with every breath, and sees God as Father from whom all blessings come. Thanksgiving is praise. The heart is full of gratitude. Every moment has something in it to inspire love. The lilies made Jesus think of his Father, for it was he who clothed them in beauty. The providence of our lives, if we think rightly of it, is simply God caring for us. Our circumstances may sometimes be hard, our experiences painful, and we may see nothing in them to make us glad. But faith teaches us that God is always good and always kind, whatever the present events may be. We may be thankful, therefore, even when we cannot be glad. Our hearts may be grateful, knowing that good will come to us even out of pain and loss.

This is the secret of true thanksgiving. It thinks always of God and praises him for everything. The song never dies out in the heart, however little there may be in the circumstances of life to make us glad. Thanksgiving is a quality of all noble and unselfish life. No man is so unworthy, as he who never cherishes the sentiment of gratitude, who receives life's gifts and favors—and never gives back anything in return for all he gets.

Until we think seriously of it, we do not begin to realize what we are receiving continually from those about us. None may give us money, or do for us things which the world counts gifts or favors, but these are not the best things. Our teachers are ever enriching us by the lessons they give us. Those who require hard tasks of us and severely demand of us the best we can do, are our truest benefactors.

Sometimes we complain of the hardness of our lives, that we have had so little of ease and luxury, that we have had to work so hard, bear so many burdens, and sometimes we let ourselves grow bitter and unthankful as we think of the severity of our experience. But of all times—it has been in these very severities that we have got the richest qualities in our character. If we are living truly, serving God and following Christ, there is no event or experience for which we may not be thankful. Every voice of our lips should be praise. Every day of our years should be a thanksgiving day. He who has learned the Thanksgiving lesson, well has found the secret of a beautiful life.

"Praise is lovely," says the Hebrew Psalmist. Lovely means fit, graceful, pleasing, attractive. Ingratitude is never lovely. The life that is always thankful is winsome, ever a joy to all who know it.

The influence of an ever-praising life on those it touches, is almost divine. The way to make others good—is to be good yourself. The way to diffuse a spirit of thanksgiving—is to be thankful yourself. A complaining spirit makes unhappiness everywhere.

How may we learn this thanksgiving lesson? It comes not merely through a glad natural disposition. There are some favored people who were born cheerful. They have in them a spirit of happiness which nothing ever quenches. They always see the bright side of things. They are naturally optimistic. But the true thanksgiving spirit is more than this. It is something which can take even an unhappy and an ungrateful spirit—and make it new in its sweetness and beauty. It is something which can change discontent and complaining into praise; ingratitude into grateful, joyful trust.

Christian thanksgiving is the life of Christ in the heart, transforming the disposition and the whole character. Thanksgiving must be wrought into the life as a habit—before it can become a fixed and permanent quality. An occasional burst of praise, in the midst of years of complaining, is not what is required. Songs on rare, sunshiny days; and no songs when skies are cloudy—will not make a life of gratitude. The heart must learn to sing always. This lesson is learned only when it becomes a habit which nothing can weaken. We must persist in being thankful. When we can see no reason for praise—we must believe in the divine love and goodness, and sing in the darkness. Thanksgiving has attained its rightful place in us, only when it is part of all our days and dominates all our experiences.

We may call one day in the year Thanksgiving Day, and fill it with song and gladness, remembering all the happy things we have enjoyed, all the pleasant events, all the blessings of our friendships, all our prosperities. But we cannot gather all our year's thanksgivings into any brightest day. We cannot leave today without thanks, and then thank God tomorrow for today and tomorrow both. Today's sunshine will not light tomorrow's skies. Every day must be a thanksgiving day for itself.

HT: www.gracegems.org

The Seeker Sensitive Movement

HT: Truth Matters

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Every Thing Give Thanks

While we look on Thanksgiving Day in the United States as an annual celebration of thanksgiving for the mercies of the closing year, it was really born of man's gratitude toward the Giver of ever good and perfect gift, as recorded in most ancient days.

The Pilgrims came to America in the Mayflower, landing in Massachusetts. They were in search of a land where they would be free to worship the Lord as they desired. After a winter of hardships, when they harvested their first crops, the Pilgrim fathers, through Governor Bradford, proclaimed a Thanksgiving feast October 24, 1621. Under our present government a day of thanksgiving was appointed by President Washington at the request of Congress, upon the occasion of the adoption of the Constitution of the United States. Its national celebration in recognition of the year's blessings was first recommended by proclamation of President Lincoln in 1863, and has since been annually observed.

It is a profitable lesson when we learn that we are not the source of our blessings. We are the receivers. All comes from God. It is He who gives us strength and wisdom to obtain each rightfully gotten blessing. The founders of our country realized this.

The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18: "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." Let us remember that true thankfulness comes not from circumstances, but from the heart.

Jesus once healed ten lepers but only one of them came to thank Him (Luke 17:11-18). Ingratitude was prevalent in Jesus' days on earth just as it is now (2 Tim. 3:12). But that fact does not excuse any true Christian for being unthankful to the Lord for His many blessings and for His sacrifice on the cross to put away his sins. For that we should constantly thank Him!

--E.L.J. from MWTB

Read No Thanksgiving post from last year.

Suffering Does Not Rob You Of Joy—Idolatry Does

by Tullian Tchividjian

A few weeks back I was expounding on Job’s sweeping losses and his response to those losses in chapters 1 and 2. What we learned together was stunning.

Job’s maintained his joy and perspective in a season of suffering because he held onto a robust theology of grace. Job knew that he was not entitled to anything he had—God held the title to everything. He knew that everything he had was on loan from God—he understood he was an owner of nothing and a steward of everything. So he was able to say, “I came with nothing from the womb; I go with nothing to the tomb. God gave me children freely then, He took them to himself again. At last I taste the bitter rod, my wise and ever blessed God” (John Piper). While he loved his health and children and reputation and wealth, he didn’t locate his identity in those things.

This clearly shows that if the foundation of your identity is your things—the thing that makes me who I am is this position, these relationships, having this name, having this money, and so on—then suffering will be pulling you away from the uttermost foundations of your joy, and that will make you mad, bitter, and sad. But if your identity is anchored in Christ, so that you are able to say, “Everything I need I already possess in Him”, then suffering drives you deeper into your source of joy. Suffering, in other words, shows us where we are locating our identity. Suffering reveals what we’re building our life on and what we’re depending on to make life worth living.

Read the complete article here.

HT: Truth Matters

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

True Christianity

by J.C. Ryle, from "What Is Needed?" 1895

(1) True Christianity has always taught the inspiration, sufficiency, and supremacy of Holy Scripture. It has told men that "God's written Word" is the only trustworthy rule of faith and practice in religion; that God requires nothing to be believed that is not in this Word; and that nothing is right which contradicts it. It has never allowed reason, or the voice of the Church, to be placed above, or on a level with Scripture. It has steadily maintained that, however imperfectly we may understand it, the Old Book is meant to be the only standard of life and doctrine.

(2) True Christianity has always taught fully the sinfulness, guilt and corruption of human nature. It has told men, that they are born in sin, deserve God's wrath and condemnation, and are naturally inclined to do evil. It has never allowed that men and women are only weak and pitiable creatures, who can become good when they please, and make their own peace with God. On the contrary, it has steadily declared man's danger and vileness, and his pressing need of a Divine forgiveness and atonement for his sins, a new birth or conversion, and an entire change of heart.

(3) True Christianity has always set before men, the Lord Jesus Christ as the chief object of faith and hope in religion—as the Divine Mediator between God and men, the only source of peace of conscience, and the root of all spiritual life. The main things it has ever insisted on about Christ, are—the atonement for sin He made by His death, His sacrifice on the cross, the complete redemption from guilt and condemnation by His blood, His victory over the grave by His resurrection, His active life of intercession at God's right hand, and the absolute necessity of simple faith in Him. In short, it has made Christ the Alpha and the Omega in Christian theology.

(4) True Christianity has always honored the Person of God the Holy Spirit, and magnified His work. It has never taught that all professing Christians have the grace of the Spirit in their hearts, as a matter of course—because they are baptized, or because they belong to a Church. It has steadily maintained that the fruits of the Spirit are the only evidence of having the Spirit, and that those fruits must be seen! It has always taught, that we must be born of the Spirit, led by the Spirit, sanctified by the Spirit, and feel the operations of the Spirit—and that a close walk with God in the path of His commandments, a life of holiness, love, self-denial, purity, and zeal to do good—are the only satisfactory marks of the Holy Spirit.

Continue reading here.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rekindling the Gratitude

by John MacArthur

The Thanksgiving season is a wonderful time to heighten your sensitivity to the blessings bestowed by God. Thanksgiving grabs your attention, shakes the cobwebs loose, and reminds you of all God's most precious gifts. That's one reason Thanksgiving has always held such a special place in my heart. It rekindles in me the kind of God-centered gratitude that our Lord demands and deserves—the kind that should readily be on our lips year round.

To help stimulate that kind of deeper gratitude, my family has adopted a Thanksgiving tradition we've found extremely helpful. Each year after our Thanksgiving meal we gather in our living room and simply recite the blessings of God that have touched our lives. One by one we circle the room, each one of us expressing our gratitude to God for His many physical and spiritual blessings.

Allow me to share with you just five blessings that deeply touch me every year and prompt me to thank God. Perhaps it'll catch and you'll be able to rekindle your gratitude!

Continue reading here.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Deity of Christ Debate - Part 1

This is a debate that took place on the Jewish Voice Broadcast with James White, Michael Brown vs. Joseph Good and Sir Anthony Buzzard. The actual debate takes place approximately 8 minutes into this video clip.

Friday, November 5, 2010

And There He Prayed by Mack Tomlinson

Personal Disciplines of Private Prayer

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place and there he prayed. – Mark 1:35

There are no short cuts in the Christian life. Jesus had to do what was necessary to maintain his walk with the Father. He felt the need to pray and had to choose to do it.

He had spent the previous night at Peter’s house after the fullest day imaginable. He had begun that Sabbath morning in the temple, teaching and healing a demonized man, then headed to Peter’s house probably for some rest and fellowship with the other men, only to find Peter’s mother-in-law very ill with a fever. The Lord healed her completely, so that she arose and served them.

The day was not finished yet, for as the Sabbath was concluding at sunset, a great number of people from all over town came to the door of the house for help. Both the diseased and the demonized came for healing and deliverance and all went away free and whole.

So by the time the Lord went to sleep that evening at Peter’s house, he must have been drained and somewhat exhausted. If anyone should have slept in, showing up for breakfast at 9:00 a.m., it should be Jesus after such a day.

But when Peter awoke, he could not find the Lord anywhere. Jesus was already gone to begin the new day. He had an appointment he wanted to keep.

He was up before the crack of dawn and had gone to a lonely quiet place to be alone. But he was not alone. He was with his Father. He was alone in the desert, isolated area just praying, long before the day light would reveal his form.

The Lord attached great importance to private prayer by his public teaching and his personal example. We see several things here about Jesus’ prayer life.

Continue reading here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Live for Eternity - Paul Washer

No one has ever been able to bare the preaching of the Gospel.
They will either turn against it with a fierceness of an animal or they will be converted.

Throw yourself upon Christ! Trust in Him, trust in Him!

We are not called to build empires!
We are not called to be accepted!
We are called to glorify God!


The day you stand in those granite halls
before the Lord of Glory.

And kings, the greatest men on earth are divided and split and culled.
Some cast into eternal hell, and some invited into eternal glory.
Live for eternity!

These Olympians, how, how majestic they are, but only for a moment.
They start training when they are four and five years old, they never do anything but train until they're twenty two, they run a nine second race for a medal they hang up and that's it!

Cannot, you give equal for eternal things?

There is one there who is infinite in Glory, and you will spend an eternity of eternities tracking Him down and you will never get your arms even around the foothill of his mountain.

I can't live like this anymore, I can't live just reading books, I can't live just reading about revivals and about people who knew somebody, who knew somebody, who knew somebody who knew you(God).

So many different things you want to know and do and all the books, get out a book on God, this one(points to bible).

For it is, for this we labor and strive because we fixed our hope on the living God.
This is not some martyr thing, in which we uselessly give our lives to nothing, only to be pulverized without hope, no, we serve God and God will honor us. We have fixed our hope on that and that gives us strength... strength.

Oh this life is a vapor, I am fourty-seven, and yesterday I was twenty-one, were did it all go, it is a vapor! While you have strength, preach! I praise God that in his providence as a young man I spent myself in the Andes Mountains, in the jungles of Peru doing what I no longer have the strength to do. While you are a young man, while there is strength in you, labor with all your might, take those stupid video games of yours and crush them under your feet. Throw the TV out the window you were made for greater things then these.

If you are a child of the King nothing on this earth can satisfy you, nothing.

I want the power of God on my life! Then somethings gotta go! I wanna know Him! Then some separation has to occur.

Anything it takes, you have to, literally be before the Lord. "Lord anything it takes! Anything it takes!"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

If I Was The Devil

If I Was The Devil - TheDevilisReal.com from Denton Bible on Vimeo.

Download at TheDevilisReal.com
Tommy Nelson speaking at the Denton Bible Mens conference.