“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11) Our time on earth is short. We all know this, and as we approach old age we know it more and more. As we grow older we find that the things of this life that made us so happy and the things which grieved us most are, in light of eternity, really not that big. How do we put things in perspective? It is only by the grace of God in Christ and living out of HIS fullness is our fullness. The Lord God shows us the “path of life” – where we come from, where we are, and where we are going. As we stand in Christ, washed in His blood and clothed in His righteousness, filled with His Spirit, our path is sure unto eternal glory. Without Christ, our path is eternal death. We live life continually in His presence, and though we may forget this at times, He never leaves us nor forsakes us. But when we know His presence
we know the “fullness of joy.” In His “right hand” of power, of acceptance, of grace, “there are pleasures for evermore.” Whatever time we have on this earth, let us live it in the fullness of the grace, love, and truth of Christ our Lord and Savior.
--- Pastor Bill Parker
A RIGHTEOUSNESS PLEASING TO GOD
By the grace of God I believe the gospel of God’s sovereign grace, and I have been a believer for many years, but I still remain, in myself, a helpless sinner and in my flesh dwells no good thing. And yet, I am not filled with despair for I have a blessed Redeemer Who ever lives for me in glory. In Him I have no sin, my conscience has no sting of guilt and I have no fear of condemnation. Without a doubt, I remain a sinner as touching this present life, but “THE LORD MY RIGHTEOUSNESS” is Jesus Christ, and He is my Prophet, High Priest and King.
--- Pastor Jim Byrd
I read a little story that provides an excellent illustration of our proud, stubborn wills as sinners. We are all on a "course" in the matter of our soul, God, and eternity. The story went something like this: "One night at sea the ship's Captain saw what appeared to be the lights of another ship out in front of him. He had his signalman blink to the other ship, "Change your course." The reply came back, "Change YOUR course." The ship's Captain signaled back, "I am a Captain; change your course." To which the reply was, "I am a Seaman First Class; change your course." This infuriated the ship's Captain, so he signaled, "You fool, change your course; this is a BATTLESHIP!" The seaman replied, "And I said change your course; THIS IS A LIGHTHOUSE!"
What a picture of our spiritual blindness toward God and His Word and the pride, ignorance and rebellion that results. God declares in Malachi 3:6 "I am the Lord, I change not.." God like the lighthouse is fixed, unchangeable, eternal, holy and just. He is where He's always been, on the throne of the universe. He is as He's always been, God alone, a just God and a Savior. But He does not work things according to the course of our reasoning but according to the "counsel of His own will." His word is "forever settled in heaven" and does not change to suit the ideas of fallen men and women.
The problem of sinners before God is that they will not by nature "change their course" and that they must change it or they will perish. They will "run aground" on the sharp, solid rocks of God's justice and judgment. There is one narrow channel by which men are brought to God. It is not the way of your own human works or merit. It is not the way of religion or philosophy. It is in Christ who is "the Way, the Truth and the Life." "There is one God; and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." This narrow channel is distinguished by the gospel of the grace of God and the Holy Spirit. You cannot find it on your own! It is the way of Truth by which men are brought to God. As a God of justice, He requires a sacrifice of sinless blood for the satisfaction of His justice and such a sacrifice is to be found only in the death of God's Son. As a holy God, He requires perfect righteousness and that is only to be found in the righteousness of God's Son. Christ said, "I am THE way"; not a way, not one of many ways but the only way. Salvation is in the Person and work of Christ alone. It is the gift of God. "He that believeth on the Son hath life and he that believeth not on the Son hath not life." God chose a people in Christ before the world began (Eph.1:3,4); Christ died on the cross and by His death actually "obtained eternal redemption" for them (Heb. 9:12; John 10:15); the Holy Spirit brings these individuals to Christ in faith applying the benefits of His finished work to them (II Thess. 2:13,14; Rom. 8:30). His Will, His Work, His Word are fixed and unchanging things and we will be brought to faith and submission to them or we will perish. Man blindly imagines that he is the "Captain" of his fate but in ourselves we are but small, helpless vessels adrift on a stormy sea in the darkness of our sin and ignorance, on a collision course with the God of holiness, justice and wrath.
God must save us! The lighthouse is established and the message of the light (gospel) shines out from such low ranking "seamen" messengers as myself. "Believe on Christ, trust His finished work of salvation, repent (turn) from your dead works of self-righteousness and religion." It is only "true" light that directs a sinner to Christ alone! May God by the grace and power of His Spirit enable you to "change your course."