1. Watch this video.
2. Be encouraged to memorize the precious Word of God.
3. DO IT!
“There is nothing that is so calculated to promote holiness as the realization that we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, that our destiny is certain and secure, that nothing can prevent it. Realizing that, we purify ourselves even as He is pure, and we feel that there is no time to waste. That is the way to live the Christian life!"~ Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Moody Stuart, a great praying man of a past generation, once drew up a set of rules to guide him in his prayers. Among these rules is this one: "Pray till you pray." The difference between praying till you quit and praying till you pray is illustrated by the American evangelist John Wesley Lee. He often likened a season of prayer to a church service, and insisted that many of us close the meeting before the service is over. He confessed that once he arose too soon from a prayer session and started down the street to take care of some pressing business. He had only gone a short distance when an inner voice reproached him. "Son," the voice seemed to say, "did you not pronounce the benediction before the meeting was ended?" He understood, and at once hurried back to the place of prayer where he tarried till the burden lifted and the blessing came down.The habit of breaking off our prayers before we have truly prayed is as common as it is unfortunate. Often the last ten minutes may mean more to us than the first half hour, because we must spend a long time getting into the proper mood to pray effectively. We may need to struggle with our thoughts to draw them in from where they have been scattered through the multitude of distractions that result from the task of living in a disordered world.Here, as elsewhere in spiritual matters, we must be sure to distinguish the ideal from the real. Ideally we should be living moment-by-moment in a state of such perfect union with God that no special preparation is necessary. But actually there are few who can honestly say that this is their experience. Candor will compel most of us to admit that we often experience a struggle before we can escape from the emotional alienation and sense of unreality that sometimes settle over us as a sort of prevailing mood.Whatever a dreamy idealism may say, we are forced to deal with things down on the level of practical reality. If when we come to prayer our hearts feel dull and unspiritual, we should not try to argue ourselves out of it. Rather, we should admit it frankly and pray our way through. Some Christians smile at the thought of "praying through," but something of the same idea is found in the writings of practically every great praying saint from Daniel to the present day. We cannot afford to stop praying till we have actually prayed.~A.W. Tozer
If you've never listened to a message by Mr. Begg, I encourage you to do so. He's very easy to listen to--and the Scottish brogue makes it all the more pleasant! :) The Truth for Life ministry recently made thousands of his messages available for download. Browse through the archive--I'm sure you'll find something profitable.The words of the hymn writer are accurate and helpful: "There's a work for Jesus none but you can do".Do you ubelieve that? And do you know what the work is? And are you doing it? First of all you need to know that there's a work to do. Then, you need to know what the work is. Then, you need to go ahead and do it.Look at the wonderful way in which God chooses to put these people together. Timothy--the man who was apparently so disqualified for service. Naturally timid, that's why he's has all these things to say about make sure he has nothing to fear when he's with you. Physically frail, why he has to keep taking a little wine for his stomach's sake. And chronologically disadvantaged. Young. "Let no man despise your youth, Timothy", he says. People would look on and say, "It doesn't make any sense a'tall, that you, the mighty apostle Paul, would take the baton of faith and entrust it into the hands of a fellow who's always getting an upset stomach, who is always naturally timid amongst people, and frankly, looks far too young to be useful for anything." Everyone looks at him and says, "Why did you send a boy here?"And Paul says, "I understand that kind of thinking, but here's the deal--God assigns the tasks."
You have a journey to go, a race to run, a warfare to accomplish, and a great work to do.As the traveller, the racer, the warrior, and the labourer, gather in, and gird up, their long and loose garments, that they may be more ready, prompt, and expeditious in their business, so do you by your minds, your inner man, and affections seated there.Gird them, gather them in, let them not hang loose and neglected about you; restrain their extravagances, and let the loins or strength and vigour of your minds be exerted in your duty.Disengage yourselves from all that would hinder you, and go on resolutely in your obedience.Be sober, be vigilant against all your spiritual dangers and enemies, and be temperate and modest in eating, drinking, apparel, recreation, business, and in the whole of your behaviour.Learn:1. The main work of a Christian lies in the right management of his heart and mind; the apostle's first direction is to gird up the loins of the mind.2. A Christian's work is not over as soon as he has got into a state of grace; he must still hope and strive for more grace. When he has entered the strait gate, he must still walk in the narrow way, and gird up the loins of his mind for that purpose.3. A strong and perfect trust in God's grace is very consistent with our best endeavours in our duty; we must hope perfectly, and yet gird up our loins, and address ourselves vigorously to the work we have to do, encouraging ourselves from the grace of Jesus Christ.~ Matthew Henry's commentary on 1 Peter 1:13 [For ease of reading, I've adjusted a bit of punctuation and spacing--but the content and meaning has not changed.]
How happy are tried Christians, afterwards. No calm more deep than that which succeeds a storm. Who has not rejoiced in clear shinings after rain? Victorious banquets are for well-exercised soldiers. After killing the lion we eat the honey; after climbing the Hill Difficulty, we sit down in the arbour to rest; after traversing the Valley of Humiliation, after fighting with Apollyon, the shining one appears, with the healing branch from the tree of life. Our sorrows, like the passing keels of the vessels upon the sea, leave a silver line of holy light behind them "afterwards."It is peace, sweet, deep peace, which follows the horrible turmoil which once reigned in our tormented, guilty souls. See, then, the happy estate of a Christian! He has his best things last, and he therefore in this world receives his worst things first. But even his worst things are "afterward" good things, harsh ploughings yielding joyful harvests. Even now he grows rich by his losses, he rises by his falls, he lives by dying, and becomes full by being emptied.If, then, his grievous afflictions yield him so much peaceable fruit in this life, what shall be the full vintage of joy "afterwards" in heaven? If his dark nights are as bright as the world's days, what shall his days be? If even his starlight is more splendid than the sun, what must his sunlight be? If he can sing in a dungeon, how sweetly will he sing in heaven! If he can praise the Lord in the fires, how will he extol him before the eternal throne! If evil be good to him now, what will the overflowing goodness of God be to him then? Oh, blessed "afterward!" Who would not be a Christian? Who would not bear the present cross for the crown which cometh afterwards? But herein is work for patience, for the rest is not for to-day, nor the triumph for the present, but "afterward."Wait, O soul, and let patience have her perfect work.
Acts 13:39 - All That Believe Are JustifiedThe believer in Christ receives a present justification. Faith does not produce this fruit by and by, but now. So far as justification is the result of faith, it is given to the soul in the moment when it closes with Christ, and accepts Him as its all in all. Are they who stand before the throne of God justified now?—so are we, as truly and as clearly justified as they who walk in white and sing melodious praises to celestial harps.The thief upon the cross was justified the moment that he turned the eye of faith to Jesus; and Paul the aged, after years of service, was not more justified than was the thief with no service at all. We are today accepted in the Beloved, today absolved from sin, today acquitted at the bar of God. O, soul-transporting thought!There are some clusters of Eshcol’s vine which we shall not be able to gather till we enter heaven; but this is a bough which runneth over the wall. This is not as the corn of the land, which we can never eat till we cross the Jordan; but this is part of the manna in the wilderness, a portion of our daily nutriment with which God supplies us in our journeying to and fro. We are now—even now pardoned; even now are our sins put away; even now we stand in the sight of God accepted, as though we had never been guilty. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” There is not a sin in the Book of God, even now, against one of his people.Who dareth to lay anything to their charge? There is neither speck, nor spot, nor wrinkle, nor any such thing remaining upon any one believer in the matter of justification in the sight of the Judge of all the earth. Let present privilege awaken us to present duty, and now, while life lasts, let us spend and be spent for our sweet Lord Jesus.
C.S. Lewis once said that there are two equal and opposite errors that we can fall into regarding Satan and his demons. One is to act like they don't exist; the other is to be unduly and overly interested in them.God has it on His heart to communicate Satan's reality. More than 250 separate times in the New Testament God tells us about the chief enemy of our souls. He says, Watch out for him. He's trying to get access into your life. This is his strategy.You may say, "I just don't think Satan is trying to mess with me. This doesn't apply to me." If you are a follower of Christ, it does.Second Corinthians 11:14 tells us that Satan masquerades as an angel of light. The devil is not going to show up in some red Halloween outfit with the pitchfork, horns, and pointy tail. He wants you to think he looks like a cartoon character because that is no threat to you. But you're not always going to recognize him or his work. When you're least aware, he may be chiseling away at your emotional and spiritual health.Let's brainstorm for a moment on this "angel of light" concept. For one, his deception makes him appear the opposite of what he really is. That includes those on his payroll. Not everyone who claims they speak for God is from God. "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ," (2 Corinthians 11:13).The battleground for spiritual warfare is in one word: truth. As an angel of light, Satan lies to God's people. The battle is going on right now in the mind of every person reading this.We get victory by following Jesus' example in battling Satan. In Matthew 4, Satan tempted Christ with lies. Make these stones into bread... (v.3). Cast Yourself down from the temple... (v.6). In response to each taunt, Jesus named the lie and inserted the truth. Jesus said, you say this, but God says this.Although Satan is powerful, he's a weakling when faced with Scripture. He's unimpressed with our incantations or the clever things we say, but he'll run from God's Word that lives and abides forever. It's God's truth that sets you free.Here's the goal: when Satan lies to you about spiritual issues that undermine your confidence and security in Christ Jesus, name the lie and insert God's truth.
They felt their infinite responsibility as stewards of the mysteries of God, and shepherds appointed by the Chief Shepherd to gather in and watch over souls. They lived and laboured and preached like men on whose lips the immortality of thousands hung. Everything they did and spoke bore the stamp of earnestness, and proclaimed to all with whom they came into contact that the matters about which they had been sent to speak were of infinite moment, admitting of no indifference, no postponement even for a day.Yet their fervour was not that of excitement; it was the steadfast but tranquil purpose of men who felt the urgency and weight of the cause entrusted to them, and who knew that necessity was laid upon them, yea, woe was unto them if they preached not the gospel. They felt that, as ministers of the gospel they dared not act otherwise; they dared not throw less than their whole soul into the conflict; they dared not take their ease or fold their arms; they dared not be indifferent to the issue when professing to lead on the hosts of the living God against the armies of the prince of darkness.~From Horatius Bonar's True Revival and the Men God Uses (emphasis mine)
Once I had nothing but a heart of stone, and although through grace I now have a new and fleshy heart, much of my former obduracy remains. I am not affected by the death of Jesus as I ought to be; neither am I moved by the ruin of my fellow men, the wickedness of the times, the chastisement of my heavenly Father, and my own failures, as I should be. O that my heart would melt at the recital of my Saviour’s sufferings and death. Would to God I were rid of this nether millstone within me, this hateful body of death. Blessed be the name of the Lord, the disease is not incurable, the Saviour’s precious blood is the universal solvent, and me, even me, it will effectually soften, till my heart melts as wax before the fire.~Spurgeon's Morning and Evening - April 28
Here's the thing: manliness is not about bravado, and it's not about boyishness. Going out into the woods with a bunch of other men, putting on war paint, making animal noises, telling scary stories around a campfire, and then working up a good cry might be good, visceral fun and all, but that has nothing to do with the biblical idea of manliness.Real manliness is defined by Christlike character, and not just the Gentle-Jesus-meek-and-mild-style character, but the full-orbed fruit of the Spirit rounded out with strength, courage, conviction, strong passions, manly love, and a stout-hearted willingness to oppose error and fight for the truth—even to the point of laying down your life for the truth if necessary.That's what Scripture portrays as authentic manliness, and it's the duty of every man in the church to be a model of that kind of manhood.