For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
PEACE OF CONSCIENCE
My friends, when the Lord Jesus is truly seen, believed, and loved, there will be joy in the Lord with genuine peace of conscience. Yes, we are sinners; but Christ died for sinners! Yes, the law condemns; but Christ honored the law! Yes, justice has a claim; but Christ satisfied that claim! Yes, we are imperfect in faith, in commitment, in love; but "He knows our frame and remembers that we are dust," and loves us just the same. We are in Him by HIS CHOICE, redeemed by HIS BLOOD, called by HIS SPIRIT, and kept by HIS POWER, through faith which HE GAVE US (1 Peter 1:5) ! How can I entertain any doubts based on shortcomings found in me when the whole affair is THE LORD'S DOINGS (Psalm 118:23)?
Pastor Henry T. Mahan
TWO THINGS ALWAYS HAPPEN
When the Gospel is preached, there are two things always taking place (even though most are unaware of it); some are being prepared for glory, others are being hardened. Some are being brought to the light; some are left sitting in darkness. Some see Christ and His glory; others see no beauty about Him. Some who hear the Gospel have their hearts made tender towards sin; others have their hearts hardened in sin. No wonder we say, “Who is sufficient for these things?” The question we should all be asking is, “How is the preaching of the Gospel affecting me?” Pastor Don Bell
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)
When the Lord Himself “was reviled, He reviled not again.” We need to learn this well. When someone lashes out at you, don’t lash back. It never accomplishes anything and only worsens the situation. In the heat of conflict much is said that is not meant and is later regretted. If only we could bite our tongues. Someone once said: “If you are offended by someone, wait an hour before you respond. If it is really important, sleep on it.”And if by God’s grace, we could only respond with a “soft answer.” Experience will show that a kind and reasonable answer will often diffuse someone’s anger.
Pastor Paul E. Mahan
WE GLORY ONLY IN JESUS CHRIST
"I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God"(Rom. 15:17).
Paul was very careful throughout his ministry not to glory, boast or brag in the flesh (Phil. 3:7-9). He taught others not to do this and certainly he would not glory in himself; not in his religious heritage, nor in his attainments or gifts, nor in his labors and success in the ministry but only "through Jesus Christ" (Gal. 6:14). Read this statement carefully, "By the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me"(1 Cor. 15:10).
All the apostles and those who truly believe the gospel of God’s grace only glory "in those things that pertain to God." As a result of Adam’s sin, rebellion and fall into condemnation, we have absolutely no reason to glory in the flesh. The things that pertain to our sinful nature give us no motivation to glory or honor the old man and his deeds (Gal. 5:19-21). We are told in scripture to, "put off the old man with his deeds"(Col. 3:9). We truly can only glory in those things that pertain to God. What are those things?
1). We glory in Christ incarnate as the only hope for sinners. "God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory" (1 Tim. 3:16).
2). We glory in Christ crucified as the only remedy to put away our sin. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (1 Pet. 3:18).
3). We glory in Christ Jesus Who is all our sufficient righteousness and acceptance before a thrice holy God. "Wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace"(Eph. 1:6-7).
4). We glory in Christ Jesus exalted and seated at God’s right hand as all our justification before God. "Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification"(Rom. 4:25).
5). We glory in Christ Jesus coming again as all our hope throughout eternity. When He comes we shall not only see Him as He is, but we shall also be made like Him forever (Psa. 17:15; 1 John 3:1-2).
Every believer can say with David, "My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together" (Psalm 34:1-4).
Tom Harding is pastor of Zebulon Grace Church located at 6088 Zebulon Highway, Pikeville, Kentucky 41501. You may also contact him by telephone at (606)...