Posts Tagged ‘Christ’


When He has come, He will convict the world of sin . . . —John 16:8

Very few of us know anything about conviction of sin. We know the experience of being disturbed because we have done wrong things. But conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit blots out every relationship on earth and makes us aware of only one— “Against You, You only, have I sinned . . .” (Psalm 51:4). When a person is convicted of sin in this way, he knows with every bit of his conscience that God would not dare to forgive him. If God did forgive him, then this person would have a stronger sense of justice than God. God does forgive, but it cost the breaking of His heart with grief in the death of Christ to enable Him to do so. The great miracle of the grace of God is that He forgives sin, and it is the death of Jesus Christ alone that enables the divine nature to forgive and to remain true to itself in doing so. It is shallow nonsense to say that God forgives us because He is love. Once we have been convicted of sin, we will never say this again. The love of God means Calvary— nothing less! The love of God is spelled out on the Cross and nowhere else. The only basis for which God can forgive me is the Cross of Christ. It is there that His conscience is satisfied.

Forgiveness doesn’t merely mean that I am saved from hell and have been made ready for heaven (no one would accept forgiveness on that level). Forgiveness means that I am forgiven into a newly created relationship which identifies me with God in Christ. The miracle of redemption is that God turns me, the unholy one, into the standard of Himself, the Holy One. He does this by putting into me a new nature, the nature of Jesus Christ.

http://utmost.org/when-he-has-come/

 

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When any great blessing is awaiting us, the devil is sure to try and make it so disagreeable to us that we shall miss it.

It is a good thing to know him as a liar, and remember, when he is trying to prejudice us strongly against any cause, that very likely the greatest blessing of our life lies there.

Spurgeon once said that the best evidence that God was on our side is the devil’s growl, and we are generally pretty safe in following a thing according to Satan’s dislike for it. Beloved, take care, lest in the very line where your prejudices are setting you off from God’s people and God’s truth, you are missing the treasures of your life.

Take the treasures of heaven no matter how they come to you, even if it be as earthly treasures generally are, like the kernel inside the rough shell, or the gem in the bosom of the hard rock.

I have seen Jesus and my heart is dead to all beside,

I have seen Jesus, and my wants are all, in Him, supplied.

I have seen Jesus, and my heart, at last, is satisfied,

Since I’ve seen Jesus.

http://devotionals.ochristian.com/a-b-simpson-devotional.shtml

 


One of the fads of 1970s America was the motorcycle jump. This trend reached its high (and low) point on September 8, 1974. Thousands of spectators gathered around the Snake River Canyon in Idaho to see if Evel Knievel could jump across the chasm in a specially designed “sky cycle.” In the end, however, it was unsuccessful. Knievel made it only part of the way across the gulf before his parachute deployed and he dropped to the canyon floor below. Some spectators asked, “How far across the canyon did he get?” But that wasn’t the point. He didn’t make it all the way across, so he fell short of his goal.

This scene is a good illustration of sin. The Bible talks about sin in Romans 3:23, where Paul declared, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” No one is capable of bridging the gap between God and ourselves by our own efforts, but the Savior came to do just that on our behalf. Christ perfectly fulfilled God’s standards, then gave His life on the cross to pay for our failure and wrongdoing. Where we could only fall short, Christ’s work, offered in love, accomplished all that was needed.

Our response is to trust Him and receive this matchless gift of salvation.

There is no other name on earth By whom salvation’s given Save Jesus Christ the Lamb of God, God’s precious gift from heaven. —Stairs
The cross of Christ bridges the gap we could never cross on our own.

Experiencing God Despite the Distractions

In the normal course of things a certain number of distractions are bound to come to each one of us; but if we learn to be inwardly still these can be rendered relatively harmless. It would not be hard to compile a long list of names of Christians who carried upon their shoulders the burden of state or the responsibilities of business and yet managed to live in great inward peace with the face of the Lord in full view. They have left us a precious legacy in the form of letters, journals, hymns and devotional books that witness to the ability of Christ to calm the troubled waters of the soul as He once calmed the waves on the Sea of Galilee. And today as always those who listen can hear His still, small voice above the earthquake and the whirlwind.

While the grace of God will enable us to overcome inevitable distractions, we dare not presume upon God’s aid and throw ourselves open to unnecessary ones. The roving imagination, an inquisitive interest in other people’s business, preoccupation with external affairs beyond what is absolutely necessary: these are certain to lead us into serious trouble sooner or later. The heart is like a garden and must be kept free from weeds and insects. To expect the fruits and flowers of Paradise to grow in an untended heart is to misunderstand completely the processes of grace and the ways of God with men. Only grief and disappointment can result from continued violation of the divine principles that underlie the spiritual life.

http://www.cmalliance.org/devotions/tozer?id=738


You’ve no doubt heard of “Black Friday,” the day after  Thanksgiving that features, along with countless sales, the more-than-occasional  trampling of shoppers by their frenzied peers.

In many ways, “Black Friday” has become a bigger deal than Thanksgiving. So  much so that many major retailers have announced that they are opening their  doors on Thursday.

The hope is that the possibility of buying something you don’t really need  for a little less than you would pay a few weeks later will help people work off  the turkey and pumpkin pie and get down to some serious Christmas shopping.

The problem is that it isn’t Christmas yet-at least not for Christians.

The weeks leading up to Christmas day are properly called Advent in Western  Christianity, from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming.”[i]

Adventus was the Latin translation of the Greek word parousia, which the New  Testament most often used to refer to Jesus’ second coming. In antiquity,  parousia was usually associated with the arrival of royalty: the leaders of a  city went outside the city gates to meet the Emperor and escort him back into  the city.

Thus, for the Christian, Advent is about preparing to greet our King. And it  is a time for both looking back to Jesus’ first coming and looking forward to  His second coming in glory.

Like Lent, Advent is a penitential season, a time for reflection and  repentance. If we’re honest with ourselves, what Titus 2 calls “our blessed  hope-the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus  Christ,”-should provoke both joy and a bit of dread. It’s a time for asking  ourselves whether we truly are “a people that are [Christ’s] very own, eager to  do what is good.”

If this doesn’t put you in the mood for shopping, well, congratulations! You  are starting to “get” Advent.

The other emotion associated with Advent is yearning. Specifically, yearning  for God to fulfill His promises to His people and to set right what has gone  terribly wrong.

This yearning permeates perhaps the greatest of all Advent hymns, “O Come, O  Come Emmanuel.” It’s a paraphrase of parts of the liturgy dating back to at  least the Middle Ages. Each verse invokes biblical titles for Christ-Emmanuel,  Root of Jesse, Day Spring, etc.-and then rehearses why His people yearn for His  presence among them.

Another Advent hymn, “Creator of the Stars of Night,” which dates from the  seventh century, captures the season’s emphasis on both Christ’s first and  second comings. After expressing the yearning at the heart of the season, it  proclaims “Thou, grieving that the ancient curse, should doom to death a  universe, hast found the medicine, full of grace, to save and heal a ruined  race.”

It then goes on to say, “At whose dread Name, majestic now, all knees must  bend, all hearts must bow; and things celestial Thee shall own, and things  terrestrial Lord alone.”

There’s a lot going on in these hymns, which is why my colleague John  Stonestreet has produced a marvelous DVD and CD teaching series on the hymns of  Advent. It’s called “He Has Come,” and contains John’s “Two-Minute Warning”  videos, study guide by T. M. Moore, “BreakPoint” commentaries by Chuck Colson on  Advent, and a bonus CD with some of the great Advent hymns. We have it for you  at BreakPoint.org. I hope you get a copy for you and your family.

This year, Advent begins on Sunday, December 2nd. Embrace the season! But  whatever you do, do not let the culture define this most Christian of times for you.  That would be a truly black Friday.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/yearning-for-his-coming-advent-is-soon-upon-us-85076/#S1xpUUdKM7s7tWDs.99


If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed —John 8:36

If there is even a trace of individual self-satisfaction left in us, it always says, “I can’t surrender,” or “I can’t be free.” But the spiritual part of our being never says “I can’t”; it simply soaks up everything around it. Our spirit hungers for more and more. It is the way we are built. We are designed with a great capacity for God, but sin, our own individuality, and wrong thinking keep us from getting to Him. God delivers us from sin— we have to deliver ourselves from our individuality. This means offering our natural life to God and sacrificing it to Him, so He may transform it into spiritual life through our obedience.

God pays no attention to our natural individuality in the development of our spiritual life. His plan runs right through our natural life. We must see to it that we aid and assist God, and not stand against Him by saying, “I can’t do that.” God will not discipline us; we must discipline ourselves. God will not bring our “arguments . . . and every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5)— we have to do it. Don’t say, “Oh, Lord, I suffer from wandering thoughts.” Don’t suffer from wandering thoughts. Stop listening to the tyranny of your individual natural life and win freedom into the spiritual life.

“If the Son makes you free . . . .” Do not substitute Savior for Son in this passage. The Savior has set us free from sin, but this is the freedom that comes from being set free from myself by the Son. It is what Paul meant in Galatians 2:20  when he said, “I have been crucified with Christ . . . .” His individuality had been broken and his spirit had been united with his Lord; not just merged into Him, but made one with Him. “. . . you shall be free indeed”— free to the very core of your being; free from the inside to the outside. We tend to rely on our own energy, instead of being energized by the power that comes from identification with Jesus.

http://utmost.org/winning-into-freedom/


“He led them forth.” Forth out of the world–forth out of sin–forth out of a profession–forth out of a name to live–forth out of everything hateful to his holy and pure eyes. “To go to a city of habitation.” They had no city to dwell in here below; but they were journeying to a city of habitation above, whose walls and bulwarks are salvation, and whose gates are praise; where there are eternal realities to be enjoyed by the soul; where there is something stable and eternal; something to satisfy all the wants of a capacious and immortal spirit, and give it that rest which it never could find while wandering here below. If we have a city here, we want no city above; and if we have a city above, we want no city here.

This then must be our state and case; either to be pilgrims, journeying onwards, through troubles, to things above, or taking up our abode below; seeking heaven here, or heaven hereafter; resting upon the world, or resting upon the Lord; panting after the things of time, or panting after the things of eternity; satisfied in self, or satisfied only in Christ. One of the two must be our state and case. The Lord decide it clearly in the hearts of his people that they are on his side; and give us to know and feel that our very restlessness and inability to find food and shelter in the things of time and sense, are leading us more earnestly and believingly to seek after the things that have reality in them; that finding no city to dwell in here below, we may press forward to be manifestly enjoying testimonies of being citizens of that city which is above, “which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God!”

http://devotionals.ochristian.com/j-c-philpot-daily-portions.shtml