"But Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth." (Psalm 86:15)
SCRIPTURE READINGS TODAY: MORNING: PSALM 46 EVENING: LUKE 22:24-46
Daily Readings: Dec.30-Jan. 5 Sunday - Rev. 15-18 Monday - Rev. 19-22 Tuesday - Gen. 1-3 Wednesday- Gen. 4-6 Thursday - Gen. 7-9 Friday - Gen. 10-12 Saturday - Gen. 13-15
THE YEAR IS ENDING Tune to "O FOR A THOUSAND TONGUES" CM Words by JIM BYRD
1. How swiftly life upon this earth, Advances to its end; And from the moment of our birth, The years we quickly spend.
2. Another year of lifeâ€™s short day, Is fading very fast; And soon will start another year, Will this one be our last?
3. How many years before us lie? It is not ours to say. But this we know, we all must die On some appointed day.
4. By grace may we true faith possess, In Christ alone to rest; To trust His blood and righteousness, And be forever blessed.
5. Perhaps this year my life will cease, And I the Lord shall see; I pray for grace to die in peace, With Jesus then to be.
** The saints of God are Godâ€™s jewels, highly esteemed and dear to Him. They are a royal diadem in His hand. â€“Matthew Henry **
ONE SAVIOR I would never minimize the importance of repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Bless the name of our Lord, He grants us repentance to turn from our idols, to forsake our dead works and He gives us faith to embrace the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest and King. We look to the blood and righteousness of this blessed Savior as the only way whereby a holy God can justly accept fallen sinners. Still, faith and repentance are not saviors. They are not our righteousness. There is but one who is the Savior from sin and He is "THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." He is the only Mediator between a holy God and sinful men. He Alone bore the sins of His people and endured the wrath of God in their stead. Christ satisfied offended justice by His substitutionary sacrifice. Full and free salvation is found only in Him. When conscious of sin and troubled by guilt, we must not retreat to repentance and faith for our comfort and assurance of salvation. We must always flee to the blessed Redeemer Himself. Repentance forsakes all false ways and faith comes to Him who is the living Way. The ground or basis of our confidence must not be in what we have done (repenting and believing); our refuge and hope must solely be that glorious Person and work of Him Whose name is the Lord Jesus Christ. â€“Pastor Jim Byrd
"THE GOVERNMENT SHALL BE UPON HIS SHOULDER" "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, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this" (Isaiah 9:6-7).
The spiritual and eternal kingdom of Godâ€™s sovereign grace, the salvation, preservation, and prosperity of His people (His chosen subjects), is ALL upon the "shoulder" of the Lord Jesus Christ Who is identified here as a CHILD WHO IS BORN (His perfect, sinless humanity) and a SON WHO IS GIVEN (His infinite and omnipotent deity). The victory and success of the kingdom is not conditioned on the subjects but on "Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, GOD WITH US" (Matt. 1:23). Can anything bring us more peace, comfort, and security than this great truth? Can anything assure us more that CHRIST IS ABLE to save us from our sins and bring forth righteousness whereby God can justify sinners like us? Could we imagine that the Lord Jesus Christ would fail to save even one of His dear sheep for whom He laid down His life? The answer for a regenerate person, a believer, is a resounding, "NO!" Christ is my peace, comfort, and security; for He is the Lord my Righteousness! He came to this earth to fulfill all the conditions and requirements of my whole salvation. If any part of it were conditioned on me, my works or my will, the only assurance that could come from this is the assurance of failure; for my sins are great. But it was announced at His birth that Mary would "bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21), AND HE DID BY THE REDEMPTION HE ACCOMPLISHED IN HIS DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION. --Pastor Bill Parker