Hymn of the Day
(tune: "The Church's One Foundation" p.186)
O, Lamb of God, still keep me near to Thy wounded side,
Tis only there in safety and peace I can abide;
What foes and snares surround me, what lusts and fears within,
The grace that sought and found me alone can keep me clean.
'Tis only in Thee hiding I know my life secure,
Only in Thee abiding I steadfast shall endure;
Thine arm the vict'ry gaineth, O'er every hurtful foe,
Thy love my heart sustaineth in all its care and woe.
Soon shall my eyes behold Thee with rapture face to face,
The half hath not been told me of all Thy pow'r and grace;
Thy beauty, Lord, and glory, the wonders of Thy love,
Shall be the endless story of all Thy saints above.
Grace 'Tis a Charming Sound (verses only)- #219
Praise Him! Praise Him! #442
On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand #517,
°I was sick, and you looked after me, I was in prison, and you came to visit me. . . Then the righteous will answer him, "°When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?" The King will reply, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' ~from Matthew 25.36-40
We have experienced an unusual amount of sickness in our congregation during the past several months. But we give thanks that God has brought many of our sisters and brothers through their trouble and they are on the mend. Yet some are still suffering. Some are confined to their homes or a rest home so are cut off from the normal contact with family, friends, and us who share a common, precious faith with them. Continue to pray for them! And when you are done praying for them, contact them by whatever means you can. A phone call, a letter, or an email can be such a blessing to those who are cut off from other contact. Remind them that though they are not seen, they are not forgotten by us, and most importantly, are not forgotten by our Lord. I will email our church directory to you this week once I have made needed corrections so that you can know the address and phone numbers of each of those who regularly attend here.
God's people must have the truth for they are begotten of it; therefore, they love it, though it often cuts to the very heart. They also hunger and thirst after righteousness because they are aware of how desperate their need of it is; for in themselves they know they are destitute of it. Do you love and desire the truth? Do you hunger and thirst after righteousness? -Don Bell
The thief on the cross who trusted in Christ at the last minute of his life received the same reward as John Baptist who trusted in Christ his whole life. The reward is Christ! Most people hate this gospel because they think they should receive a greater reward for the work they have put in, versus the man who believes in Christ in his dying breath. Such thinking is earthly minded and leads to hell. The greatest reward is Christ not a mansion! There is nothing greater to receive! Also thinking you earned something in your salvation is a works-based salvation, which is no salvation at all! -Jesse Bates
The Promised Land was a short journey from Egypt, but it took Israel 40 years to get there. They zigzagged back and forth. Sometimes they even went in the opposite direction. To us, Canaan is a type of the great things of the covenant of grace which belong to believers; but without faith, none of it belongs to us. Unbelief keeps us from the rest which God gives to His people here. Moses wrote Psalms 90 in which he states, "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations," and then he spends the rest of the Psalm talking about how we change. He wrote this while seeing at least forty funerals every day. It was a sad time for Israel, though Canaan was within sight. Instead of enjoying the blessings of Canaan, they were digging graves. Many live this same way today because they fail to rest in Christ. Oh, that God would deliver us and them from this dreadful sin of unbelief! Yet, God's purpose was not frustrated because of man's unbelief. "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." -Milton Howard
[Jesus Christ] gave himself for us
to redeem us from all lawlessness
and to purify for himself a people
for his own possession
who are zealous for good works.
The purpose of God in choosing, redeeming, and calling a people as His own has many facets. One of these facets is that He might have for Himself a people who are eager to do good. In doing good, we show forth the character of our God for, "Give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever" (Psalm 106.1). Most religionists settle for works of outward righteousness. If they can do what is required, they are satisfied. Such was the attitude of Paul while under law and before grace. But the grace of God called for something more than righteousness from Paul, it called for goodness.
What is goodness and how does it differ from righteousness? The quote from Psalm 106 gives us a clue. God's righteous nature could have been fully expressed and satisfied by sending every last human being to hell. A full hell and an empty heaven would have accomplished all that righteousness required. But God's goodness could be expressed only in the display of mercy - in pitying the sinner rather than destroying him. In other words, goodness does for others more than what is required by righteousness. This is why we do not speak of "The Righteous Samaritan" but "The Good Samaritan."
If we would be like our God, if we would do what pleases Him, then we must be good to others like He was good to us. Mercy must be our goal, not mere justice. We must not seek to do for others the least that righteousness demands. Rather, no longer giving our own interests the primary place in our hearts, we must look after the needs and interests of others. As God's dear children, let us act like our Father and do good to others as He has done good for us! -Joe