Hymn of the Day
(tune: "Faith of Our Fathers"p.183)
Thy presence, gracious God, afford,
Prepare us to receive Thy Word, Now
let Thy voice engage our ear,
And faith be mixed with what we hear.
Chorus: Thus, Lord, Thy waiting people bless,
And crown Thy gospel with success.
Distracting thoughts and cares remove,
And fix our hearts and hopes above;
With food divine may we be fed,
And satisfied with Living Bread.
Father, to us Thy Son reveal,
Teach us to know and do thy will;
And may we in Thy faith and fear,
Love, trust and follow what we hear.
O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus - #61
O Zion Haste – #cb9
Crown Him with Many Crowns - #62
Special Dates: Joe Terrell – 28 ~ Nathan Koedam – 2
John & Helen Vlastuin – 5 ~ Brooklyn Riebeling - 8
Jesus crucified should be the Alpha and Omega of all our preaching and teaching. Woe to the man who makes anything else the subject of his ministry. "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world" (Galatians 6:14). Do not tell me you preach sound doctrine; you preach rotten doctrine if you do not preach Christ. Preach nothing up but Christ, and nothing down but sin. Preach Christ; lift Him up high on the pole of the gospel, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, and you will accomplish your life's end, but preach orthodoxy, or any form of doxy, if you have left out Christ, there is no manna from heaven, no water from the rock, no refuge from the storm, no healing for the sick, no life for the dead. If you leave out Christ, you have left the sun out of the day, and the moon out of the night; you have left the waters out of the sea, and the floods out of the river; you have left the harvest out of the year, the soul out of the body; you have left joy out of heaven, yea, you have robbed all of its all. There is no gospel worth thinking of, much less worth proclaiming in Jehovah's name, if Jesus be forgotten. We must have Jesus, then, as Alpha and Omega in all our ministrations among the sons of men. -Charles H. Spurgeon
What do you want? -John 1.32
This is a very probing question and one we should regularly ask ourselves. It is not always easily answered for we have many desires within us and many of our desires are mutually exclusive making it impossible to realize all of them.
But it is not really all that difficult if we approach the question in another way. Some translations put the question as, "What are you seeking?" The Greek word can be translated either way, but its essential meaning is to seek. Its use to describe what one desires is tied up in the reality that, whatever a person gives his energy to seek or to pursue, that is what he really wants. It does not matter what a person says he wants; what he wants is revealed by what he seeks – what he gives his himself to pursuing.
Many professed Christians know to say that they want Christ. Like Paul, they want to know Him and to be found in Him. Yet, having said that, it seems they put little effort into seeking or pursuing Him. Paul said that He counted all things to be loss and forgot all that was behind in His pursuit of Christ. Is such true of us? Could we make such a claim?
However, it is possible that a person who truly does want Christ can be sidetracked from his pursuit of Him. Satan is always at the work of distancing Christ and His people. If we are not sober and vigilant in this matter, he can bit by bit draw us away from our beloved, and the process is so slow that, before we realize it, we find ourselves cold and indifferent to spiritual things. We become like Laodecia – lukewarm.
Let us be careful that we do not allow ourselves to be distracted from our essential pursuit. Do not let the cares of the world or the deceitfulness of riches trip or just plain laziness you up. The devil will never be able to separate a single one of Christ's beloved ones from Himself. But there will be many a careless person who will awake to find that they were never really seeking Christ at all, and for their lack of seeking, they did not find Him! -Joe
Life eternal is not promised to those looking back and reflecting upon their past, looking to their self-righteous acts, as those of Matthew 7:22 for acceptance with God. Life eternal is not promised to those presumptuously looking to the future for a more convenient season as Felix did. But life eternal is promised to all who by faith hear and believe the Lord Jesus today, the I AM, of Whom the Scripture says, "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:22). -Marvin Stalnaker
"My times are in Thy hands." -Psalm 31:15
Let this precious truth divest your mind of all needless, anxious care for the present or the future. Exercising simple faith in God, "be careful for nothing." Learn to be content with your present lot, with God's dealings with you, and His disposal of you. You are just where His providence has, in its inscrutable but all-wise and righteous decision, placed you. It may be a position painful, irksome, trying, but it is right. Oh, yes! It is right. Only aim to glorify Him in it. Wherever you are placed, God has a work for you to do, a purpose through you to be accomplished, in which He blends your happiness with His glory. And, when you have learned the lessons of His love, He will transfer you to another and wider sphere, for whose nobler duties and higher responsibilities the present is, perhaps, but disciplining and preparing you. Covet, then, to live a life of daily dependence upon God. Oh, it is a sweet and holy life! It saves from many a desponding feeling, a corroding care, and anxious thought, a sleepless night, a tearful eye, and an imprudent and sinful scheme. Repairing to the "covenant, ordered in all things, and sure" (2 Sam.23:5), you may confide children, friends, calling, and yourself, to the Lord's care, in the fullest assurance that all their "times" and yours are in His hand. -Octavius Winslow
Truth feareth nothing so much as concealment, and desireth nothing so much as clearly to be laid open to the view of all: when it is most naked, it is most lovely and powerful. -Richard Sibbes