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I FIND MY REST IN CHRIST TUNE: "SALVATION BY GRACE" SM/DOUBLE WORDS BY JIM BYRD
1. O what a mystery, Descending from His throne; The Son of God comes down to earth, To seek and save His own. â€˜Twas not for righteous souls, That He a Man became; For guilty sinners Jesus came, O praise His precious Name.
2. This was the only way, God could in justice save, Those sinners chosen by His grace, That He to Jesus gave. So bearing all our sin, The Savior bowed His head; And put away our guilt and shame, Expiring in our stead.
3. I find my rest in Christ, Who for me bled and died; He rose and mediates for me, And I am justified. Soon with Him I shall be, To see His blessed face; There I will sing redemptionâ€™s song And praise Him for His grace.
SCRIPTURE READINGS TODAY: MORNING: ISAIAH 55:6-13 EVENING: JOHN 12:37-50
"What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee." (Psalm 56:3)
SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). Many think that spiritual blessings are held in reserve for those who plead with God for them. They acknowledge He has a storehouse of gifts, but the distribution of those blessings they believe to be conditioned upon the willingness of sinners to request and accept them. It is clear, however, that God has already blessed a chosen people with all benefits in Christ. They are not kept from men because of non-request; they already belong to the children of God. Nothing pertaining to eternal salvation is given because sinners beg God. His greatest gift was His own Son, and God did not send Him in response to men pleading for a Savior. The "unspeakable Gift" was unasked for, and when He did come, He was unwanted. He was sent according to the eternal purpose of God to save a people by His sacrifice on the cross. God gives freely, making those to whom He gives thankful to be the recipients, and His gifts never go unclaimed. Rather than the Lord giving because we ask, He gives in spite of not being asked and in spite of our rebellion, enmity and unbelief. Furthermore, not only does God give unnumbered blessings on His own initiative, He gives with no condition to be met on our part. There are no laws to be kept, no rules to be followed, nothing to be given Him in exchange. Salvation is by grace alone through Christ alone. â€“Pastor Jim Byrd
RETHINK CHURCH? We see a lot of religious gatherings today using the slogan on their signs or in their advertisements â€“ "LET US HELP YOU RETHINK CHURCH." What most of them are saying is that their religious gatherings will not be a place where people dress up and participate in boring services singing outdated hymns and hearing dry sermons. Their way of thinking is that the "church" is a place where you "come as you are," even if you are in your pajamas. Just be comfortable and "rock on with us" or sit around with the warm fuzzies singing "Kumbaya." Our services are con-temporary and keep people active so they wonâ€™t go to sleep.
Well, one matter in which I do agree with them is that they should all re-think "church," but not in the ways described above. What is the church as defined in Godâ€™s Word? It is not a building or denomination. It is the elect of God, chosen before the foundation of the world, whose names are written in the Lambâ€™s book of life (1 Pet. 1:2; 2:7-9). It is the church Christ has built against which the gates of hell will not prevail (Matt. 16:18). It is the redeemed of the Lord, purchased by Him with His own precious blood (Acts 20:28). It is the bride of Christ, united to Him and clothed in the wedding garment of His righteousness imputed (Isa. 61:10; Rev. 19:7-9). It is the "called out" ones who have been born again by the Holy Spirit, called to faith in Jesus Christ and repentance of dead works (2 Thess. 2:13-14; 2 Pet. 1:1-4,10). It is the witness of Christ and His Gospel here on earth to honor, worship, and point sinners to Him for all salvation (Matt. 5:16; 1 Tim. 3:15). Where the church is gathered to worship God in Christ, there is a hospital for sinners, not a social or religious country club where people can display their wealth, works, or fashion. And though it is true that the issue is not what we wear or even the style of music we sing, the issue for the true church is reverence and respect for God Almighty, the Savior of our souls. When you come to worship, dress appropriately, not to draw attention to yourself, but to participate in worshiping God in spirit and in truth. Sing hymns, not to entertain the masses or get caught up in the beat, but to express your love, gratitude, and respect for the Lord Jesus Christ. â€“Pastor Bill Parker