Hymn of the Day
(tune: "Amazing Grace" p.236)
When I look in my wretched heart, And there my nature see;
This is my hope, this is my joy, That Jesus lived for me.
When I behold God's Holy Law, And there my sentence see;
This is my hope, this is my joy, That Jesus died for me.
When I see how my days are mixed, With joy and misery;
This is my hope, this is my joy; That Jesus rules for me.
And when I ponder on my life, How swift its end must be!
This is my hope, this is my joy, That Jesus lives for me.
When I look out upon this world, And there, God's judgment see;
This is my hope, this is my joy, That Jesus comes for me.
And when I stand before God's throne, To hear His just decree;
This still my hope and joy shall be, Jesus sits there for me!
Nearer, Still Nearer - #340
O, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing - #46
Praise Him! Praise Him! #442
Geoffrey Schuster – 1 ~ Gary & Fonda – 1
Bill and Dena – 3 ~ Tyler Koedam – 3 ~ Keith Ranschau - 9
Tricia Drenth – 14 ~ Madilyn Rose - 16
It seems like the entire focus of the "christian" message today concerns only temporal matters. Men turn to the Bible to find principles and precepts that will improve their life in this world. They say, "You must first be 'saved,'" but the emphasis of the message is that salvation is but a means to a greater end. The real draw of the message is completely carnal. How can I experience a happier, fuller, more prosperous and peaceful life NOW? The Bible is being used by men to fulfill the American dream, "life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." May God deliver us from such fleshly pursuits. May the Lord set our affections on things above, not on things of the earth. Let us say with the apostle Paul, I have not yet apprehended, but this one thing I do, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:-12-14). Christ Jesus, the Lord Himself, is the prize (Genesis 15.1). Let those who walk after the flesh mind the things of the flesh (Romans 8:5). By God's grace we will mind the things of the Spirit and be determined to know nothing save Jesus Christ and Him crucified (I Corinthians 2:2). When Christ, WHO IS OUR LIFE, shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory (Colossians 3:4). -Greg Elmquist
A man is never so fit for believing as when he is most unfit. It is unfitness, not fitness, that is really required. What is fitness for being washed? Filth! What is fitness for receiving pardon? Guilt! If you are filthy, if you are guilty, you have all the fitness that is required. So, come and find in Jesus Christ all that meets your greatest need. -C. H. Spurgeon
Who can express fully the blessings of these words: "In Christ?" To be "in Christ" means to be chosen "in Him before the foundation of the world". To be "in Christ" means that there is now "no condemnation," accepted "in the Beloved," and "complete in Him." It means that "as He is, so are we in this world." (Rom. 8:1, Eph. 1:6, Col. 2:10 and 1 John 4:17.) It means everything to be "in Christ." -David Pledger
Our God is not on a shelf somewhere in some building; our God does not dwell in houses made with hands. Even the heaven of heavens cannot contain him. God is too immense to be contained in a space or place. However, there is one person who contains all that God is; Colossians 2:9, "For in him (Christ) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Jesus Christ contains in him the fullness of God. If we desire to know and study God in the fullness of his person, look no further than Jesus Christ. "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" (John 14:9). -John Chapman
Now then, there is but one thing with which Almighty God is satisfied – entirely satisfied – and that is THE PERSON AND WORK OF HIS SON! It is with Christ that we must be satisfied, not with ourselves, nor anything about us! When we cease from ALL our labors, and ALL our righteousness, and ENTER INTO HIS REST, pardon and peace will come without delay. -Horatius Bonar
Recently, I had reason to look up a dictionary definition of "heaven." Several definitions were given, but I was pleased to see the following included: a spiritual state of everlasting communion with God.
While we would not deny that there are literal places called heaven and hell, the Scriptures do not tell us where these places are or give us a literal description of what they are like. This is likely because we would not be able to understand any literal descriptions made of those places.
But the primary issue in understanding these places is how they each express one's relationship to God. Hell is an eternal state of disconnection from God, being utterly given over to sin and suffering the righteous wrath of God for that sin. Heaven is an eternal state of blessed communion with God and being disconnected from our sins.
When one considers these definitions of heaven and hell, it becomes obvious that most people prefer hell to heaven. It is not that they prefer the pain of hell to the pleasure of heaven. Rather, they prefer being disconnected from God rather than being united to God. They prove this preference by their dismissal of Him in their daily lives. Some go so far as to claim there is no God, though I believe that is more of a wish than a belief in many of them. Many want nothing to do with the God of Scriptures but would be quite happy to continue in their wretched, sinful condition so long as there was no price to pay for it.
But there are a most blessed people in whose heart is a longing after God. They want "to know Him," to "gaze on his beauty," to "behold his face in righteousness," and to "dwell in His house forever." Such people show that their desire is for God Himself, not for presumed mansions and golden streets. They do not look for mere relief from their earthly burdens (though that is a legitimate desire), they look for perfect, unhindered communion with the God of their salvation.
In the end, it shall be proven that what men and women truly wanted in this life is what they shall have in the next! -Joe