God in nature has revealed Himself, as it were, inarticulately and indistinctly; but, in His Son, He has revealed Himself as a man declares his inmost thoughts, by distinct and intelligible speech. Jesus is to the Father what speech is to us; He is the unfolding of the Father’s thoughts, the revelation of the Father’s heart.1 So says, Spurgeon. Along with this line, Jesus asked his disciples a compelling question. The answer required revelation from God. Do you know the answer to this question?
Nice picture of a church in Cavtat, Croatia, don’t you think? But, does a nice location make for a perfect church? In last week’s blog, we took a look at a few of the problems which Paul dealt with in the churches he had influence in. We were able to see how Paul didn’t cast people aside who were imperfect in their walk with Christ. In Today’s post, we follow up on this thought about imperfections by looking at the subject ‘Why There Is No Such Thing as a Perfect Church.’
In today’s post, I want to address the issue of ‘bumbling believers’. I use the term with respect as I have visited the ‘Bumbling Believers Club’ many times throughout over forty years of walking with God. Have you ever bumbled things in God? Have you ever stumbled, mishandled, and generally messed things up? I know I have. Is there any help for us bumblers? Thank God there is. When all the dust settles, there is Jesus standing right there to help pick us up. All we can do then is raise our hands and say, ‘Thank God for Jesus. Thank God for His mercy. Thank God for His blood which cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
A young man once studied violin under a world-renowned master. Eventually, the time came for the student’s first recital. Following each selection, despite the cheers of the crowd, the performer seemed dissatisfied. Even after the last number, with the shouts louder than ever, the talented violinist stood watching an old man in the balcony. Finally, the elderly one smiled and nodded in approval. Immediately the young man relaxed and beamed with happiness. You see, the man in the balcony was his teacher, and thus the applause of the crowd had meant nothing to him until he had first won the hearty approval of his master. 1 Are you seeking the approval of your Master, the Lord Jesus Christ?
Will Durant, on his seventieth birthday, says regarding the mixed blessing of a long life: “To live forever would be about the greatest curse imaginable!” 1 Unfortunately, Will Durant had it wrong. The greatest curse is dying without knowing Jesus as Savior and Lord. Many come to the end of their lives realizing they had not fulfilled their purpose in life. That’s a sad day. Your purpose is to know God, to walk with God and to build the kingdom of God. Because people don’t yield to these truths, they experience what will Durant described as the curse of life. There are reasons why things don’t go right in life as they should. Sometimes things it’s because people have chosen the wrong path. They have chosen to believe the wrong gospel. In this week’s blog, let’s take a look at how Paul pronounced a curse on a particular area of wrong choice.
In last week’s post on 2 Corinthians 5, we asked the question ‘Have you ever wondered what believers in Jesus should be involved in? What should our focus be?’ We saw in Second Corinthians that one of our roles is the ministry of reconciliation. According to the Word, every believer has this ministry. What we are endeavoring to learn is what is that ministry and how can we fulfill it? We left off in verse nine showing the strong connection between this ministry and the promised glorified body Jesus has waiting for us.
Have you ever wondered what believers in Jesus should be involved in? What should our focus be? Does the Bible tell us? The scripture says, ‘Seek first the kingdom of God’ (Matthew 6:33) Why did He tell us this? Why didn’t the Lord just save us and just take us to heaven? There must be a reason. Second Corinthians speaks of the ministry of reconciliation. According to the Word, every believer has this ministry. What is that ministry and how can we fulfill it?
In last week’s blog, we looked at one of the first signs to look for when people are disconnecting from their first love. The scriptures warn us about taking this path. They warn us about abandoning our first love (Revelation 2:4). The Greek word ‘abandon’ means ‘to give up’ or ‘to let go’. Jesus knows where your heart is. He knows if you’re giving up or letting go. Which way are you trending, up or down? In today’s post, we are going to look at the second sign people transmit when they are considering defecting from the from the ranks: boredom. If you’re seeing this sign in yourself, beware.
In the past couple of posts, we addressed the idea of how believers in Paul’s day were abandoning Jesus for another gospel. We defined some of the words Paul used in describing the defection of the Galatians. We looked at the words, ‘I marvel’, ‘turning away’, and ‘so soon’. In today’s post, we are going to look at some of the signs the Word of God warns us about when people consider turning from their first love. When the Bible says people have itching ears, just what exactly does that mean? Let’s take a look at Paul’s admonition to Timothy.
In the Virginia Medical Monthly one doctor tells the story of a woman who grew backward. This woman had grown normally, married, and had three children. Life was grand until the husband and father died when the children were in high school. The mother doubled her devotion to the children. She changed her clothes to those of a girl of twenty, joined in her children’s parties and fun. In a few years, the children noticed that as they grew older their mother was growing younger. Psychiatrists call it “personality regression,” which means “a person walking backward.” Usually, such people stop going backward at a certain age. But not this woman. She slipped backward at the rate of one year for every three or four months of time that went forward. Although she was 61 years old she acted and talked like a 6-year-old. She was sent to a sanitarium, where she insisted on wearing short dresses, playing with toys, and babbling like a child. Then she became like a three-year-old; she spilled her food, crawled on the floor, and cried “Mama.” Backward still farther to the age of one, she drank milk curled up like a tiny baby. Finally, she went back over the line and died. 1 Successful Christian life is a pressing march forward. We can’t stay stationary nor be as Lot’s wife who looked back. If you look back, you slide back. This is what the Galatians did. They looked backward at the law. Instead of looking forward to Jesus.
As a teenager, J. Stephen Conn sensed God calling him to be a preacher. But he felt a certain disadvantage. Because he had been saved when he was 7 years old, he would never be able to hold an audience spellbound with stories of a wicked past. So he asked God for permission to backslide just long enough to get some experience in a life of sin to enhance his preaching later on. Deep within he knew that God would not answer such a request, so he decided just to preach the Bible without a dramatic testimony. Some time later Conn wrote, For the past 11 years I’ve been pastoring a church. I realize now what a great testimony I really have. God not only has the power to deliver from sin, He has the even greater power to keep from sin. God not only saved my soul He saved my entire life! 1 J. Stephen Conn asked for permission to backslide. Some are backsliding without permission. We need to beware of the signs so that we can help encourage and warn others at the same time.
What An Exchange! According to “It Happened in Canada,” during the early days of Northern Ontario’s gold rush (1909), Sandy Mclntyre found what is now the famous mine bearing his name. He sold out for $25 in order to buy some liquor. Years later he still passed his time crying in beverage rooms, while the mine he discovered produced gold worth 230 million dollars. 1 As good as an exchange as this was for the man who bought the mine for $25.00, this is nothing compared to the greatest exchange ever, Jesus exchanging His life for yours. Today, we are picking up from last week’s post with these thoughts on what Jesus exchange meant for our deliverance.