Hymn of the Day
(Tune "O, God, Our Help in Ages Past," p. 10)
What can we say, O, Lord, our God,
About this closing year,
But that by grace we've come this far;
Your hand has brought us here?
Through troubled times and grievous trial,
When all had seemed a loss;
Your hand was guiding all the while,
To keep us near Your cross.
In many joys and precious time,
In number, not a few!
You opened up our clouded minds,
That we might heaven view!
In wisdom, grace and power and love,
With bitter and with sweet,
You've mixed Your providential plan,
To make our souls complete.
Oh, Lord, our God, in coming days,
Whate'er You plan for us;
We pray You, "Guide us in Your way,
And cause us You to trust!"
Blessed Be the Fountain of Love – 196 (Bread)
Just as I Am – 249 (Wine) ~ My Savior – 226
Special Dates: Keith and Neleigh – 27 ~ Jim and Sharon – 28
Cornell Hoogendorn – 30 ~ Albert and Carolyn - 2
The main purpose of "preaching the gospel" is to magnify the NAME of the SAVIOR. Through that magnification, the LORD is pleased to bring the knowledge of CHRIST to those whom HE gives ears to hear it. "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." (2Timothy 1:9-10)
The LORD will not share HIS glory with any. Any message which does not have the exaltation of CHRIST as its main goal, through the proclamation of that work which HE has performed for sinners, in obtaining eternal redemption for them, cannot be the gospel of the "glory of the blessed GOD" as Paul described it. The LORD spoke of both the death HE would die and of HIS subsequent magnification in the preaching of the Gospel when HE said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me" (John 12:32). -Mike McInnis
As we near the end of this stressful year, let us give thanks to our God that He has proven faithful to all of His promises. We can all say, "He has not dealt with us according to our iniquities." But we may declare even more, "O, give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever." We have experienced the loss of some temporal blessings, but not one of those spiritual blessings given us in Christ has been in the least bit diminished. In fact, I am certain that this year's difficulties have made us all the more aware of the value of our eternal inheritance in Christ and the benefit that comes from seeking those things which are above rather than those things which are below.
I certainly do hope that the coming year is less stressful. But no matter what kind of year it is in temporal things, it will be another year of Divine faithfulness in eternal things.
From my vantage point, God's faithfulness is seen in your faithfulness! Paul wrote, "[He] will confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" (1 Corinthians 1.8,9). His faithfulness is revealed in ours, for there is no doubt that, were He not to faithfully uphold us and confirm us, we would immediately fall! Whatever work God begins, he finishes. And we are proof of that to the glory and praise of the God of our salvation.
May the coming year yield fresh revelations of the love, grace, and goodness of our God. And may He work in us to faithfully proclaim His good news for another year. -Joe
When we preach the gospel, we do not address men by any other description than sinner. Sinner is the only characteristic of man that has any relevance to gospel preaching. We do not specifically address lost sinners, awakened sinners, mourning sinners, seeking sinners, elect sinners, saved sinners or any other kind of sinner – just sinners in general. The Scriptures are plain: among men "there is no difference, for all sinned and fall short of the glory of God." -Joe
More and more I am made aware of the importance of worship, prayer, Bible study, and the fellowship of other believers during our earthly journey. "Then they that feared the Lord spake OFTEN one to another; and the LORD hearkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name" (Malachi 3:16). I need HIM, HIS WORD, AND HIS PEOPLE! By His grace I shall NOT forsake the assembly of believers for any reason; and being like Joshua, the spokesman for my family, I can say, "As for me AND MY HOUSE, we will serve the Lord." To be involved with this world in such a way that week after week, Sunday after Sunday passes by without worship, instruction in righteousness, and fellowship with other believers is UNTHINKABLE! Such would be a miserable existence for His sheep. –Henry Mahan
The Lord exhorted men to count the cost of following Him before they started. But while counting such a cost, it would be wise also to consider the cost of not following Him. -Joe
When the early believers met, they preached and heard of Christ, they sang of Christ, they prayed to God through Christ, and they called on Christ. Moreover, when they went out from their assemblies into the world of their day-to-day lives, they testified of Christ to the ones who lived around them. Therefore, their neighbors came up with a name for them: Christians.
If we were to leave it to our neighbors to give us a name, what would they call us? It would be interesting to know, for whatever they were to call us, it is likely that such is what we are. May it be that the world would know us as this: those who are consumed with Christ! -Joe