Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Living, Loving, Personal Savior

We are in the habit of saying that Christ saved
us by dying for us on the Cross. In an important
sense this is true. We never could have been
saved--if He had not died for us.

But we are actually saved by our relation to a
living, loving, personal Savior--into whose
hands we commit all the interests of our lives;
and who becomes our Friend, our Helper, our
Keeper, our Burden bearer--our all in all.

Christian faith is not merely laying our sins on
the Lamb of God, and trusting to His one great
sacrifice; it is the laying of ourselves on the living,
loving heart of one whose friendship becomes
thenceforward the sweetest joy of our lives!

"The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith
in the Son of God, who loved me and gave
Himself for me!" Galatians 2:20

(J. R. Miller, "Counsel and Help" 1907)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Word Of God

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrew 4:12

The word of God is life changing in power! It is unarguable, unstoppable, inexhaustable, undeniable... it is also inexcusably simple! How can you argue against the truth of God’s word? No argument formed against it will stand! How can you extinguish it? For it is eternal! How can we sound out the height, breadth and depth of its wisdom? No finite mind can comprehend God’s word in great detail, yet the smallest detail can radically transform a finite mind! How can we deny it? For we see the evidence of its abiding fruit in the life of those who not only hear it, but practice it! How can we claim ignorance of its demands, or assert that it is beyond the capacity of our own understanding? For we have been commanded to receive it as little children!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Do What It Says!

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22

Monday, January 19, 2009

Learn To Run To Him!

Though “each one is tempted when by his own evil desires he is dragged away an enticed”, we know that “He that is in us is greater than He that is in the world”. Our hope and confidence to resist temptation is not within our own ability, for we know what and who we are, but remains rather in Him! In and of ourselves we have no strength or ability to withstand the assaults of the enemy! Our flesh has been weakened by sin, in fact, before coming to Christ we were slaves to sin – unwilling and unable to mount any form of lasting resistance. Apart from Christ, we have no ability to ward of sustained attacks from the evil one. Can flesh and blood fight against principalities and powers? In the same way that the Romans besieged Jerusalem and, having cut off all means of resupply, brought the city to its destruction, so too will the enemy bring us to downfall through the means of temptation when we try to resist him in our own strength. We must learn to run to Him "who will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it"!

Friday, January 16, 2009

One Day Soon

Today my earthly father is going to a funeral. Not his own, not yet, thank God, for I fear he is still unprepared!

Knowing this, I am thankful that God is full of compassion and mercy, for "He is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

This morning I sent Dad a short message in the hope it will cause him to pause for a moment and begin to think of what awaits him when the day comes to step from time into eternity. If you have stumbled across this blog, and have no interest in the things of God - I pray you do the same!

Dad. I pray today you will reflect on the finality of death! One day soon you will be in a pine box up the front, and when that day comes, you will stand before a Holy God to be judged. Dad, unless you repent and turn to God for mercy you will perish in hell! But if you turn to Christ, He will save you! I love you Dad! Please consider these things!

For those of you who feel led, please join with me in supplication to the Father - that He would cause the light of His glorious gospel to shine forth into the deep regions of my father's heart, and bring him to repentance and faith in Christ.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Christ Died For One Such As You!

The verse 1 John 2:2 was a key to one of the locks on the chains that held me fast. Unsure that Christ had really died for me, I would fall back on sweet truth of these verses:

“He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2


“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” 1 John 4:9

Friends, if you lack assurance that Christ has died for you, meditate much on this verse! Realise that Christ did not come for the righteous; the righteous have no need for a Saviour! No, Christ came for wicked, ungodly, sinners - of which I am numbered! Don’t forget that! When the accuser whispers in your ear and reminds you of the countless transgressions that hang like torn threads from the tattered robe that is your life – remember this: Christ came and died for one such as you! Jesus will not reject you because of your many sins! No, rather, He came because of your many sins.

“He came so that He might take away our sins and in him is no sin!” 1 John 3:5

Don’t forget that!

Monday, January 12, 2009

He Who Has Deserved A Hanging!

"The Lord disciplines the one He loves, and
punishes every son whom He receives."
Hebrews 12:6

"Why should any living man complain--when
punished for his sins?" Lamentations 3:39

He who has deserved a hanging--has no
reason to charge the judge with cruelty--if
he escapes with a whipping!

And we who have deserved a damning--have
no reason to charge God for being too severe
--if we escape with a fatherly lashing!

"God disciplines us for our good---that we
may share in His holiness." Hebrews 12:10

("The Mute Christian Under the Smarting Rod" by Thomas Brooks, 1659, London.)

Friends, if you are going through a time of discipline, or chastisement, remember what we deserve! When the loving hand of God puts us through the refining fires to try our faith that is of greater worth than gold, don't forget that we deserve eternal fire!

He is full of compassion and mercy!! If discipline is necessary - then it is necessary. If chastisement is required - then it is required. Remember, God is not like many earthy fathers who vent their frustration through the means of an uncontrolled whipping with the belt. He is patient, slow to anger and abounding in much love! And the intent of such fatherly instruction is for the eternal good of our souls!

Don't forget friends, the words of Abraham: Will not the Lord of all the earth do right?

His discipline and chastisement is always right, and good - given to us for our benefit, instruction and growth!

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows" and discipline is but one of the many good and perfect gifts He lovingly gives us!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

With Him I Am Well Pleased!

And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." Matthew 3:17

When you die, if you want to take God an offering of pleasing aroma, then why on earth would you present him with a tattered bag full of your own self righteous works? Has God ever said "with him I am well pleased" about you and your "good" works?

There is only one sacrifice pleasing to the Father, the blood of His only begotten Son - who was crushed under the Fathers wrath and made to be an atoning sacrifice for all those who would be called out unto faith in Him.

The Father has not prescribed any other acceptable means for eternal salvation, save the blood of Jesus Christ!

Have you ever wondered how incensed God might be at an individual who comes before him relying on something other than the blood of Christ? Are you relying on something other than the blood of Christ to save you?

To come before God and present your own works is nothing short of declaring "I didn't think the blood of your Son was worth staking my eternity on! I didn't think the blood of your Son was enough!"

Will you say that to God? "I'm not prepared to trust the blood of your Son to save me - it is not enough!"

Take the case of an earthly father who, not sparing his own Son, puts him to death to save the life of another. What do you suppose the reaction of that father might be when the recipient of this merciful act tips the sons blood down the drain? Pleased? Indifferent? Angry?

Would not your response be, that man deserves to die!

In the same way, a man who refuses his interest in the blood of Christ deserves eternal hell!

Monday, January 5, 2009

So Near Yet So Far!

18 inches is the short distance between your head and your heart. But for some it may as well be 18 miles, for their intellectual understanding of Christ never makes that journey to the depths of their heart! Their walk remains theoretical, rather than experiential! Having a form of godliness, but denying its power to radically change the inner man - conforming him to the image of Christ - and causing him to bear much fruit for the Father's glory!

We are called to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith! To test ourselves and see whether our faith has substance and life - or whether it is simply a matter of unfruitful speculation and mere talk! To see whether we are, in fact, putting off the old self and putting on Christ and bearing fruit, good fruit, much fruit!

Don't miss salvation by 18 inches!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Little Minnow!

On Boxing Day we (my wife, myself and our two girls) left for a camping trip to Port Lincoln National Park. We spent five nights camped at September beach, which is a stone’s throw from the Cape Donington lighthouse (seen in the distance on the right hand side of the picture below).

Although the beach faces out to the Southern Ocean (next stop is Antarctica), it is surprisingly calm – a perfect beach for young kids!

We spent our days swimming, bush walking, reading, fishing and sightseeing. A lovely relaxing end to another busy year!

One afternoon while swimming with the kids I spent some time watching the small schools of minnows dart around in the shallow water a few feet from the shoreline – at times in less than a foot of water! In the distance the dark blue waters of the Southern Ocean sprawled out as far as the eye could see; filled with unsearchable underwater canyons, caves, and yet undiscovered marine life.

It dawned on me that I was a lot like these minnows! In the school of God I am a minnow, swimming in the shallows of knowledge and understanding; hugging the shoreline with but a little faith as I swim in the gentle waters of grace, timid and afraid the slightest splash – unable to comprehend the height, and breadth and depth of God’s eternal power and divine nature – Just as a minnow cannot comprehend the height, and breadth and depth of the Southern Ocean and all it contains.

Lord, you know me. You know how oftentimes I am weak and trembling. How slow I am to learn from you! How I often put my foot in it like Peter. Full of bravado one minute and denying you by the fireside the next. Please turn and look at me. Speak to me the words that I need to hear, that my faith might increase, and I might decrease. Grow me up Lord. I am but a child. An infant in understanding! Still so selfish and self centered! Lord, help me not to think more highly of myself than I ought, but to consider others more; to love as you loved me! Amen.

The Year Of Surrender!

Welcome to 2K9. The year of surrender! We’ll that’s what I have labeled it! Officially, I think it is the year of the Ox! And like a team of oxen, I desire to be yoked with Christ; to find, and surrender, more and more of my life to Him! It is my goal to be following Him more, and more closely by the years end!

This years goals:

1. Keep looking at the cross! Like Paul, I want to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified. For Christ, and the cross, to fill my every waking moment!

2. Seek Him will all my heart, soul, mind and strength! For He will let Himself be found by those who seek Him!

3. Search my heart by the light of His Word to find, and surrender, everything that I have been holding onto and not letting go of. My target: Absolute Surrender! (Note to self: Must re-read Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray again!)

4. To end this year bearing more and more fruit to His glory! To be more conformed to His image in thought, word and deed; that He might increase and I might decrease!

5. To grow in grace and godliness as a servant of the Lord, a husband and father!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Waiting On God!

"We are richly rewarded for waiting on God. He listens to the supplications of His children who put their trust in Him. But in order to have many prayers answered, a Christian must make his requests to God on the grounds and the merits and worthiness of the Lord Jesus. He must not depend on his own worthiness and merits.

Do you really believe in Jesus? Do you depend on Him alone for the salvation of your soul? Make certain that not even the least degree of your own righteousness is presented to God as grounds for acceptance. If you believe in the Lord Jesus, the things you request should be for God's honour. Suppose that we believers in the Lord Jesus make our own requests to God, suppose also that as far as we can honestly judge, the obtaining of our requests would be for our spiritual good and for the honour of God. We must then continue in prayer until the blessing is given to us. Furthermore, we have to believe that God does hear us and will answer our prayers. Frequently we fail in not continuing in prayer until the blessing is obtained and in not expecting the blessing. As assuredly as any individual uses these points, so assuredly will his requests be granted."~George Muller