The Future Is As Bright As The Promises Of God

Archive for April, 2014

Christ Rules

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These art in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and domination, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fill all in all.” Ephesians 1:18-23 (NASB)
The powers control the world, according to the apostle Paul, but they do not control Christ. They though they had Him on the cross, but God showed what real power was when He raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him in heaven. Paul uses the image of a seated ruler, with a footstool carved to represent the different parts of the empire–as if the ruler rested his foot on the globe, symbolizing world domination. Christ’s foot rests not just on the world but on all the powers.
Christ is in charge. Does that really change my life? Yes it does! Christ rules for us.
This passage of Scripture is not a recipe, but a photograph; not a plan, but an analysis. This is the truth: There are forces, powers, that control the way things are for the world. But God raised Jesus and placed Him above the powers, to rule the powers for us who are included in the Body of Christ. That fact, that truth, liberates us from the lies of the powers. “His power toward us who believe” sets us free to live under Christ.

The Gospel According To Jesus – Part 98

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“Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
Mark 7:27 (NKJV)

Strangers And Pilgrims With Purpose

Redbird's Roost

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“This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through.”  Perhaps you have heard or sung these words of that old gospel song.  Peter reminds us in his first epistle not to be too comfortable on earth.  We are “strangers and pilgrims” (1 Peter 2:11), marching to Zion.  As strangers we live here, but never really become citizens.  As pilgrims we are here for only a short time.  What matters is how we live until we die or until Christ returns.

This perspective places us in conflict with the surrounding society and its values.  Christians live in a culture that makes every attempt to seduce them and to ridicule their faith.  Peter does not deny the pressures to give up the faith, but he does stress the need for continued perseverance through the resources that are available for victorious living, even in the middle of trials.  Throughout his letter there is…

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God’s Unchanging Kindness

“Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses, for they have been from old. Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, for Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.” Psalm 25:6-7 (NASB)
Kindness is invariably associated with mercy. It is impossible to be kind without being merciful. Likewise to be merciful is to be kind. It implies that there is a deep and genuine concern for another. This concern is one of compassion and mercy.
Throughout the Scriptures the great theme of God’s unrelenting kindness throbs like a powerful heartbeat.
The kindness of God has drawn me to Him with bonds of love stronger than steel. The mercy of my Lord has endeared me to Him with enormous gratitude and thanksgiving.
It is the kindness of God, expressed in Christ and revealed to us by His Spirit that supplies my salvation. His kindness makes provision for my pardon from sins and selfishness at the cost of His own laid down life. It is His kindness that forgives my faults and accepts me into His family as His dearly beloved child. His kindness enables me to stand acquitted of my wrongdoing, justified freely in His presence. God’s kindness removes my guilt and I am one with Him and others in peace. It is the kindness of God that enables Him to share Himself with me in the inner sanctuary of my spirit, soul, and body. His kindness enables me to be re-made, refashioned, re-formed gently into His likeness. His kindness gives enormous meaning and dignity to this life and endless delight in the life yet to come.
It is the constant, enduring, unchanging kindness of God that gives me every reason to rejoice and revel in life…all of life…this one and the next.
W. Phillip Keller

The Gospel According To Jesus – Part 97

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“…Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from the outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods. What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
Mark 7:18-23 (NKJV)

Joy through Tribulation

The Quest for God

The underlying foundation of the Christian faith is the undeserved, limitless miracle of the love of God that was exhibited on the cross; a love that is not earned and can never be. Paul said this is the reason that “in all these things we are more than conquerors.” We are super-victors with a joy that comes from experiencing the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us.

Huge waves that would frighten an ordinary swimmer produce a tremendous thrill for the surfer who has ridden them. Let’s apply that to our own circumstances. The things we try to avoid and fight against—tribulation, suffering, depression, and persecution—are the very things that produce abundant joy in us. “We are more than conquerors through Him” “in all these things”; not in spite of them, but in the midst of them. A saint doesn’t know the joy of the…

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A Lamp Unto My Feet

“Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn and I will confirm it, that I will keep your righteous ordinances.” Psalm 109:105-106 (NASB)

When an unbeliever reads the Bible he finds it dull, full of hidden meaning, and filled with contradiction and absurdity. But when a believer reads the Bible he reads living words. He sees Jesus as “a root out of dry ground.” He sees Him as the Rose of Sharon, The Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star–One altogether lovely, pure, holy, glorious and mighty.
Ask an unbeliever what he thinks of Christ and you will get a variety of answers. Ask a believer what he thinks of Christ and he will declare that Christ is his Savior, his Friend, the One in whom he hopes, the One who will receive him into heaven when he departs this life.

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