Friday, December 28, 2012

Th Sea of Change

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
- Revelation 21:1 -

In the new dispensation, there will be no division.

The sea separates nations and sunders peoples from each other.

To John in Patmos, the deep waters were like prison walls, shutting him out from his brethren and his work.

But there shall be no such barriers in the world to come.

In the bright world to which we go, there shall be unbroken fellowship for all the redeemed family.

There shall be no more sea.

The sea is the emblem of change. It is never long the same.

In this mortal state, we have too much of this.

But in the heavenly state, all mournful change shall be unknown.

Soon we shall reach that happy land where partings, and changes, and storms shall be ended!

And the Lord Jesus will waft us there.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lay Your Foundation With Sapphires

“O you afflicted one,
Tossed with tempest, and not comforted,
Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems,
And lay your foundations with sapphires."
- Isaiah 54:11

Everything of the Church, seen and unseen, is precious to God.

The foundations of the Church are out of sight.

But in God's work, everything is valuable.

The deep foundations of the work of grace are as precious as sapphires.

No human mind can measure their glory.

(1) We build upon the strong foundations of the covenant of grace.

Sapphire foundations are eternal.

The covenant abides forever.

(2) Another foundation is the person of the Lord Jesus, which is clear and spotless, everlasting and beautiful as the sapphire.

We see Him radiant with the soft blue of love, love abounding, deep, eternal.

(3) Our eternal hopes are built upon the justice and the faithfulness of God, which are clear and cloudless as the sapphire.

We are saved by mercy defeating justice.

The Lord Himself has laid the foundation of His people's hopes.

Our hopes are built upon what God had done for us.

Good works and ceremonies are not a foundation of sapphires.

They are not laid by God, but by our own conceit.

All foundations will be tried before long.

Woe to him whose foundations shall come down with a crash.

He whose foundation is built on sapphires may await trials with confidence, for he shall abide the test.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Lydia: A Conversion Experience

Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.
- Acts 16:14 -

Lydia's conversion was brought about by providential circumstances.

She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira. 
But providence had led her to the right spot at the right time to hear Paul preaching at Philippi.

Grace was preparing her soul for the blessing.

She did not know the Savior. 
But as a Jewess, she knew many truths about Jesus.

Her conversion was through the means of grace.

On a Sabbath, she was at a prayer meeting.

The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.

She did not open her own heart. 
Paul did not do it for her.

The Lord Himself opened her heart to receive His words.

The first outward evidence of the opened heart was obedience.

As soon as Lydia had believed in Jesus, she was baptized.

The next evidence was love.
It was manifested in Lydia's acts of grateful kindness to the apostles.

The Lord had opened Lydia's heart. 
Lydia immediately served Christ and she helped His people.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

There's Hope For Sinners

"...and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,..."
- 1 Corinthians 1:28 -

Sinners are everywhere.
We may find them in every lane and street of every city, town, and village.
It is for sinners that the Lord Jesus Christ died.
There are hope for sinners; the Lord Jesus Christ comes to seek and save them.
Electing love has selected some of the worst sinners to be made the best of men.
Redeeming love has set apart many of the worst sinners to be the reward of the Savior's passion.
Effectual grace has called forth many of the vilest of the vile to sit at the table of mercy.
Let none of us despair and give up hope.
Let none of us turn away from our Redeemer. Let us believe in Him and be saved.  
Let us trust our soul with Him.  He will bring us to His Father's right hand in everlasting glory.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Without Blemish

You are all fair, my love,
And there is no spot in you.
- Song of Solomon 4:7 -

The Lord pronounced His Church positively full of beauty.

He confirms His praise by a precious negative: "And there is no spot in you."

The Church is universally and entirely fair.

She is utterly devoid of stain. She is free from the slightest spot. All forms of defilement have been removed from her.

There is eternal reason for joy.

Christ Jesus has no quarrel with His spouse.

She may wander from Him.

She may grieve His Holy Spirit.

But He does not allow her faults to affect His love.

He sometimes chides, but it is always in the tenderest manner, and with the kindest intentions.

The Lord has no remembrance of our follies. 

He does not cherish ill thoughts of us.

The Lord always loves and pardons us.

He knows our silly hearts too well to take offence at our ill manners.

The Church is spotless and without blemish in His sight.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

When It Involves Money

Then Amaziah said to the man of God, “But what shall we do about the hundred talents which I have given to the troops of Israel?” And the man of God answered, “The Lord is able to give you much more than this.” (2 Chronicles 25:9)

To lose money is never pleasant. Not many are ready to make the sacrifice.
When it involves serious money, many Christians are unwilling to come forward or get involved.
We must view this matter of money in the light of faith.
We must seek to do what God commands us.
Let us remember that the Lord is able to give us much more than what we lose.
Our Father holds the money bag.
What we lose for His sake, He can repay a thousandfold.
Let us obey His will and rest assured that He will provide for us. 
The Lord is no man's debtor.
He will provide for us.
Besides, He will give us treasure in Heaven.
The Lord makes the meek to inherit the earth.
No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ministers Of Christ

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. (Zechariah 3:1)

In Joshua the high priest we see a picture of Christian believer, bought by the blood of Christ, and taught to minister in holy things.

Joshua the high priest stood to minister.

This should be the perpetual position of every true believer.

We are to be always ministering, offering the spiritual sacrifice of prayer and praise, and presenting ourselves a living sacrifice.

Joshua the high priest stood before the Angel of the Lord.

It is only through the Lord Jesus Christ our Mediator that we become priests of God.

Let us remember our perpetual position as minister of Christ: a priest standing before the Angel of the Lord.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Broad Rivers and Streams

But there the majestic Lord will be for us
A place of broad rivers and streams,
In which no galley with oars will sail,
Nor majestic ships pass by
(Isaiah 33:21)

Broad rivers and streams produce fertility and abundance for the land.

Places near broad rivers are remarkable for the variety of plants and plentiful harvests.

God is all this to His Church.

With God, the Church has abundance.

Broad rivers and streams produce commerce.

We grow and prosper in the Lord.

We have fellowship with God and His people.

We enjoy God's blessings and mercy.

Broad rivers and streams produce security.

What a defense is God to His Church!

Satan cannot destroy us.

We shall be safe and secure under the protection of the Almighty.