Morning Prayers

Because of Your great love for me, You, God, who are rich in mercy, made me alive with Christ even when I was dead in transgressions. It is by grace I have been saved (Eph. 2:4-5).

O Lord, I earnestly pray that I may live a life worthy of You and may please You in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to Your glorious might so that I may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified me to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light (Col. 1:10-12).

Praying God’s Word

Blog: Colossians 3:17 – Verse for Dec. 14th

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:17


Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.

Source: Daily Wisdom from Heartlight

Blog: Quote for Dec. 14th, 2018

"Watch your thoughts; they become words.|Watch your words; they become actions.|Watch your actions; they become habits.|Watch your habits; they become character.|Watch your character; it becomes your destiny."

—Frank Outlaw


Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.

Source: Quotemeal from Heartlight

Vesper

Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Matthew 20:15

This parable preeminently sets forth the spirit of humility and the sense of unworthiness that should characterize the servant of God. The servant should always remember that even after he has done all, he is unprofitable, for he has only then done his rightful duty.
Moreover, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25). Who is the servant to question His justice?

It is very obvious that the grumbling servants of this parable were more concerned about their pay than about their faithfulness to the landowner who had called them into service, for no other reason than the fact that he was full of grace and kindness. Who am I? Why should I be called—let alone chosen—to serve God, when thousands are not? This must be our spirit.

Lord, I am humbled that You would call me to serve You.

According to Your Word

We Have Our Orders

I use the phrase “The Bible says” because the Word of God is the authoritative basis of our faith. I do not continually distinguish between the authority of God and the authority of the Bible because I am confident that He has made His will known authoritatively in the Scriptures.
The world is not a little weary of our doubts and our conflicting opinions and views. But I have discovered that there is much common ground in the Bible—broad acres of it—upon which most churches can agree. Could anything be more basic than the acknowledgment of sin, the Atonement, man’s need of repentance and forgiveness, the prospect of immortality, and the dangers of spiritual neglect?
There need be no adulteration of truth nor compromise on the great Biblical doctrines. I think it was Goethe who said, after hearing a young minister, “When I go to hear a preacher preach, I may not agree with what he says, but I want him to believe it.” Even a vacillating unbeliever has no respect for the man who lacks the courage to preach what he believes.

We are holding a light, and we are to let It shine. Though it may seem but a twinkling candle in a world of blackness, it is our business to let it shine.
We are blowing a trumpet. In the din and noise of battle the sound of our little trumpet may seem to be lost, but we must keep sounding the alarm to those in danger.
We are kindling a fire in this cold world full of hatred and selfishness. Our little blaze may seem to have no effect, but we must keep our fire burning.
We are striking with a hammer. The blows may seem only to jar our hands as we strike, but we are to keep on hammering.
We are using a sword. The first or second thrust of our sword may be parried, and all our efforts to strike deep into the enemy flank may seem hopeless. But we are to keep on wielding our sword.
We have bread for a hungry world. The people may seem to be feeding busily on other things, ignoring the Bread of Life, but we must keep on offering it to the souls of men.
We have water for parched souls. We must keep standing and crying out, “Ho, every one that thirsts, come ye to the waters.”

Billy Graham

Hungry for God’s Word

I am convinced, through my travels and experiences, that people all over the world are hungry to hear the Word of God. As the people came to a desert place to hear John the Baptist proclaim, “Thus saith the Lord,” so modern man in his confusions, frustrations, and bewilderments will come to hear the minister who preaches with authority.

I remember how in London many secular and religious journalists remarked on this very point as being perhaps the greatest secret of the meetings there.   One of the thousands who came to commit their lives to Christ in that crusade was a brilliant young Communist. She was a student at the Royal Academy of Drama and Arts, and was already a successful young actress. She had joined the Young Communist League because the members were zealous and seemed to have the answers to the problems of life. Out of curiosity she and some of her fellow students came to our meetings at the Harringay Arena “to see the show.” She later testified how startled she was to hear not a lecture on sociology, politics, psychology, or philosophy, but the simple word of God quoted. This fascinated her and her companions. They came back several nights until the Word of God did its work of breaking open their hearts. They surrendered their lives to Christ.

I am not advocating bibliolatry. I am not suggesting that we should worship the Bible, any more than a soldier worships his sword or a surgeon worships his scalpel. I am, however, fervently urging a return to Bible-centered preaching, a Gospel presentation that says without apology and without ambiguity, “Thus saith the Lord.”
The world longs for authority, finality, and conclusiveness. It is weary of theological floundering and uncertainty. Belief exhilarates the human spirit; doubt depresses. Nothing is gained psychologically or spiritually by casting aspersions on the Bible. A generation that occupied itself with criticism of the Scriptures all too soon found itself questioning Divine revelation.
It is my conviction that if the preaching of the Gospel is to be authoritative, if it is to produce conviction of sin, if it is to challenge men and women to walk in newness of life, if it is to be attended by the Spirit’s power, then the Bible with its discerning, piercing, burning message must become the basis of our preaching.
From my experience in preaching across America, I am convinced that the average American is vulnerable to the Christian message if it is seasoned with authority and proclaimed as verily from God through His Word.
Do we not have authority in other realms of life? Mathematics has its inviolable rules, formulas, and equations; if these are ignored, no provable answers can be found.
Music has its rules of harmony, progression, and time. The greatest music of the ages has been composed in accordance with these rules. To break the rules is to produce discord and “audio-bedlam.” The composer uses imagination and creative genius, to be sure, but his work must be done within the framework of the accepted forms of time, melody, and harmony. He must go by the book. To ignore the laws of music would be to make no music.
Every intelligent action takes place in a climate of authority.

Billy Graham…to be continued

A Word of Confession

In 1949 I had been having a great many doubts concerning the Bible. I thought I saw apparent contradictions in Scripture. Some things I could not reconcile with my restricted concept of God. When I stood up to preach, the authoritative note so characteristic of all great preachers of the past was lacking. Like hundreds of other young seminary students, I was waging the intellectual battle of my life. The outcome could certainly affect my future ministry.
In August of that year I had been invited to Forest Home, Presbyterian conference center high in the mountains outside Los Angeles. I remember walking down a trail, tramping into the woods, and almost wrestling with God. I dueled with my doubts, and my soul seemed to be caught in the crossfire. Finally, in desperation, I surrendered my will to the living God revealed in Scripture. I knelt before the open Bible and said: “Lord, many things in this Book I do not understand. But Thou hast said, ‘The just shall live by faith.’ All I have received from Thee, I have taken by faith. Here and now, by faith, I accept the Bible as Thy word. I take it all. I take it without reservations. Where there are things I cannot understand, I will reserve judgment until I receive more light. If this pleases Thee, give me authority as I proclaim Thy word, and through that authority convict me of sin and turn sinners to the Savior.”

Within six weeks we started our Los Angeles crusade, which is now history. During that crusade I discovered the secret that changed my ministry. I stopped trying to prove that the Bible was true. I had settled in my own mind that it was, and this faith was conveyed to the audience. Over and over again I found myself saying “The Bible says.” I felt as though I were merely a voice through which the Holy Spirit was speaking.
Authority created faith. Faith generated response, and hundreds of people were impelled to come to Christ. A crusade scheduled for three weeks lengthened into eight weeks, with hundreds of thousands of people in attendance. The people were not coming to hear great oratory, nor were they interested merely in my ideas. I found they were desperately hungry to hear what God had to say through His Holy Word.
I felt as though I had a rapier in my hand and, through the power of the Bible, was slashing deeply into men’s consciences, leading them to surrender to God. Does not the Bible say of itself, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12)?

Billy Graham…to be continued

The Prophets of Revelation

Today, I want to share some excerpts from the beloved preacher and statesman, Billy Graham in his address on biblical authority in evangelism.  I find them current and poignant.

The great prophets of the past had also spoken with authority. The impact of their preaching cannot be traced simply to an authoritative technique. Nor was their authoritative note based on confidence merely in the rightness of their own intentions and speculations. Their secret is traceable to nothing less than the confidence that they were the mediators of Divine revelation. Throughout the Old Testament we find Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, and the other prophets continually using such expressions as “The word of the Lord came unto me” or “Thus saith the Lord.” The flaming prophets of old gained their authority from this: they were not simply speaking their own words, they were mouthpieces for God.
The authority of Jesus is more than a prophetic authority. The Christian Church rightly acknowledges that in Him alone the incarnate God entered history; the very words He spoke are the words of the one and only God-man. Yet the remarkable fact is that in His teachings Jesus continually referred to passages in the Old Testament as fully authoritative. His Messianic self-consciousness, His very authority as the Son of God, are combined with the highest regard for the Old Testament as the authoritative record of the will of God.
Even a casual study of Church history will reveal that the great giants of pulpit and pen, from Augustine to Wesley, relied heavily on Scripture for their authority. in this, they followed a sacred precedent hallowed by Christ and the apostles…to be continued.

 

Morning Prayers

Because of Your great love for me, You, God, who are rich in mercy, made me alive with Christ even when I was dead in transgressions. It is by grace I have been saved (Eph. 2:4-5).

O Lord, I earnestly pray that I may live a life worthy of You and may please You in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to Your glorious might so that I may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified me to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light (Col. 1:10-12).

Praying God’s Word