Author Topic: A Thought For Today  (Read 47563 times)

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Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #120 on: September 27, 2011, 01:17:59 PM »
"There is a way which seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."  Sadly, there are a lot of thorns, "weeds" that have been planted in our minds. Some have more than others.  For me, since I was not in a Bible teaching church as a child, I did not have so many.  I learned the ten commandments and the golden rule. The rest was ceremony and boring to a child.

Today, these seeds of error planted by those we trust and the "religious" ones in the church make it very hard to see Bible verses in their right meaning. But, God will get through to us IF we want to do the truth. "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."  John 8:31, 32. "If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." John 7:17.

It often takes time to get to the bottom of a matter. For 6,000 long years the Great Controversy between good and evil has been raging. If it could have been ended 5,000 years ago, God would have done it. We need to see the result of sin and we need to learn of the character of our God. Then, we understand that there is only one good choice to make with our lives. We must die and Christ must live within us. It is our only hope! What a blessing to understand!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #121 on: September 27, 2011, 01:35:55 PM »
Amen! Such a blessing!
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #122 on: October 08, 2011, 03:42:05 PM »
How Much is Eternal Life Worth?

"...go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor..." Mark 10:21


Jesus saw in a rich young ruler just the help He needed if the young man would become a colaborer with Him in the work of salvation. If he would place himself under Christ's guidance, he would be a power for good. In a marked degree the ruler could have represented Christ; for he possessed qualifications, which, if he were united with the Saviour, would enable him to become a divine force among men. Christ, seeing into his character, loved him. Love for Christ was awakening in the ruler's heart; for love begets love. Jesus longed to see him a co-worker with Him. He longed to make him like Himself, a mirror in which the likeness of God would be reflected. He longed to develop the excellence of his character, and sanctify it to the Master's use. If the ruler had then given himself to Christ, he would have grown in the atmosphere of His presence. If he had made this choice, how different would have been his future!   

"One thing thou lackest," Jesus said. "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me." Christ read the ruler's heart. Only one thing he lacked, but that was a vital principle. He needed the love of God in the soul. This lack, unless supplied, would prove fatal to him; his whole nature would become corrupted. By indulgence, selfishness would strengthen. That he might receive the love of God, his supreme love of self must be surrendered. 

Christ gave this man a test. He called upon him to choose between the heavenly treasure and worldly greatness. The heavenly treasure was assured him if he would follow Christ. But self must yield; his will must be given into Christ's control. The very holiness of God was offered to the young ruler. He had the privilege of becoming a son of God, and a coheir with Christ to the heavenly treasure. But he must take up the cross, and follow the Saviour in the path of self-denial. 

Christ's words were verily to the ruler the invitation, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve." Joshua 24:15. The choice was left with him. Jesus was yearning for his conversion. He had shown him the plague spot in his character, and with what deep interest He watched the issue as the young man weighed the question! If he decided to follow Christ, he must obey His words in everything. He must turn from his ambitious projects. With what earnest, anxious longing, what soul hunger, did the Saviour look at the young man, hoping that he would yield to the invitation of the Spirit of God! 

Christ made the only terms which could place the ruler where he would perfect a Christian character. His words were words of wisdom, though they appeared severe and exacting. In accepting and obeying them was the ruler's only hope of salvation. His exalted position and his possessions were exerting a subtle influence for evil upon his character. If cherished, they would supplant God in his affections. To keep back little or much from God was to retain that which would lessen his moral strength and efficiency; for if the things of this world are cherished, however uncertain and unworthy they may be, they will become all-absorbing.

The ruler was quick to discern all that Christ's words involved, and he became sad. If he had realized the value of the offered gift, quickly would he have enrolled himself as one of Christ's followers. He was a member of the honored council of the Jews, and Satan was tempting him with flattering prospects of the future. He wanted the heavenly treasure, but he wanted also the temporal advantages his riches would bring him. He was sorry that such conditions existed; he desired eternal life, but he was not willing to make the sacrifice. The cost of eternal life seemed too great, and he went away sorrowful; "for he had great possessions." 
 
His claim that he had kept the law of God was a deception. He showed that riches were his idol. He could not keep the commandments of God while the world was first in his affections. He loved the gifts of God more than he loved the Giver. Christ had offered the young man fellowship with Himself. "Follow Me," He said. But the Saviour was not so much to him as his own name among men or his possessions. To give up his earthly treasure, that was seen, for the heavenly treasure, that was unseen, was too great a risk. He refused the offer of eternal life, and went away, and ever after the world was to receive his worship. 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #123 on: October 08, 2011, 07:00:53 PM »
It is quite a horrifying picture, isn't it? "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" Romans 6:16.

Salvation is a free gift but to the selfish at heart, the price is too high.
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #124 on: October 09, 2011, 07:51:49 AM »
"A free gift" that costs everything.  Share with us how this can be.  If it cost all that one has, how can it be a free gift? Maybe this is one of the "difficult Bible questions"?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #125 on: October 09, 2011, 09:09:38 AM »
Maybe I am naive, simple-minded enough to declare it requires no real theological unraveling or "unpacking," to use current vernacular.

Jesus says, "Here is the free gift of salvation for the taking." His requirement? Death to self and everything that follows in its wake. 

My part? Accept it through total and complete surrender to His will. The transaction is exceedingly simplistic, yet the most difficult thing the fallen nature would be asked to do: conform to the will of the Father. We cannot do it of our own power. Only Grace working in and through us can accomplish it. Sanctification. Romans 7 describes the inward struggle. The transitional period can be described as a living hell to one kicking against the pricks. We are born selfish. It is a natural state for us in a fallen world. But there is hope! Romans 8 describes the victorious life of walking in the Spirit. In Christ, we live, not bound to our own desires and love of possessions over that of God. It is a renewing of the mind that frees us from the bondage of selfishness. 

 
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #126 on: October 09, 2011, 10:49:11 AM »
What seems rather easy for some to understand is not so easy for others.  Your explanation of the process is very good, Sybil. It got me thinking again about my question. Salvation is free. Where did that wording come from? It is from Scripture, so we are on solid ground. "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."   Romans 5:18. When we look at this closer, we find that the gift is righteousness. And having righteousness is required for salvation. "But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)  Romans 5:15-17.

The term we can use to help us better understand this is "righteousness by faith".  When we surrender to Christ, the Holy Spirit comes into the heart. Then, it is Christ, not I. He abides in us and takes possession of the heart. We are then born of the Spirit. We then possess all of the fruits of the Spirit. Jesus imparts and imputes His righteousness to us.

So, again, we ask, what is the cost of salvation? It is a free gift, but it costs something.  The inquiry of many a proud heart is, "Why need I go in penitence and humiliation before I can have the assurance of my acceptance with God?" Christ was sinless, and, more than this, He was the Prince of heaven; but in man's behalf He became sin for the race. "He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." Isaiah 53:12.  But what do we give up, when we give all? A sin-polluted heart, for Jesus to purify, to cleanse by His own blood, and to save by His matchless love. And yet men think it hard to give up all! It is hard only because of man's rebellion and ignorance.  When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, then like the Apostle Paul, we gladly surrender our sin polluted heart to our Lord and Savior.  What an exchange!! How dare we say it costs something!!!  It cost more than we can comprehend for our Savior and our heavenly Father, but how could we ever say it cost something for us!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #127 on: October 09, 2011, 10:57:45 AM »
I can't stop there. A picture came to mind as I posted.  The world is having financial problems today. The word billions has been exchanged for the word trillions.  What if a bank offered to give me 100 trillion dollars if I would give them the garbage in my garbage can? That is as close as I can get in answering the question. Yes, it does cost something less valuable than my garbage in exchange for something infinitely more valuable than 100 trillion dollars.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #128 on: October 09, 2011, 11:21:33 AM »
Good analogy.

Quote
...men think it hard to give up all! It is hard only because of man's rebellion and ignorance.

Absolutely yet it seems to be the experience of many. We are wicked beyond our knowledge. The Holy Spirit woos over a long protracted time and then at some point, something happens, a life event: a death, a marriage, the birth of a child, the loss of every material thing, disasters or even a revelation that was hidden heretofore that causes the soul to look upward and surrender. We find God was there all along.

Quote
When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, then like the Apostle Paul, we gladly surrender our sin polluted heart to our Lord and Savior.

Yes - when we know God. Happy, happy is that day! 
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #129 on: October 10, 2011, 09:12:46 AM »
Amen!!

Satan lived in the glory of the knowledge of God, but we have not. There was nothing more God  could show him, but with man, we have been deceived about who God is. His character has been maligned. Through of knowledge of God, we can be reconciled to Him. It is our only hope. What a blessed hope!

A promise for us from Ephesians:
 3:17   That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 
 3:18   May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 
 3:19   And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 
 3:20   Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 
 3:21   Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #130 on: October 21, 2011, 10:53:33 PM »
Justification by Faith

"But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith." Galatians 3:11 


As penitent sinners, contrite before God, discern Christís atonement in their behalf, and accept this atonement as their only hope in this life and the future life, their sins are pardoned. This is justification by faith. Every believing soul is to conform his or her will entirely to Godís will, and keep in a state of repentance and contrition, exercising faith in the atoning merits of the Redeemer, and advancing from strength to strength, from glory to glory. Pardon and justification are one and the same thing.

Justification is the opposite of condemnation. Godís boundless mercy is exercised toward those who are wholly undeserving. He forgives transgressions and sins for the sake of Jesus, who has become the propitiation for our sins. Through faith in Christ the guilty transgressor is brought into favor with God.

It is the righteousness of Christ that makes the penitent sinner acceptable to God and works his justification. However sinful has been his life, if he believes in Jesus as his personal Saviour, he stands before God in the spotless robes of Christ's imputed righteousness.

The apostle James saw that dangers would arise in presenting the subject of justification by faith, and he labored to show that genuine faith cannot exist without corresponding works. The experience of Abraham is presented. "Seest thou," he says, "how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" Thus genuine faith does a genuine work in the believer. Faith and obedience bring a solid, valuable experience.

There is a belief that is not a saving faith. The Word declares that the devils believe and tremble. The so-called faith that does not work by love and purify the soul will not justify any man. Abraham believed God. How do we know that he believed? His works testified to the character of his faith, and his faith was accounted to him for righteousness. Justification by faith in Christ will be made manifest in transformation of character.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #131 on: October 28, 2011, 09:50:44 PM »

Righteousness by Faith

"For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. Galatians 5:5
     


And what is it to believe? It is to fully accept that Jesus Christ died as our sacrifice; that He became the curse for us, took our sins upon Himself, and imputed unto us His own righteousness. Therefore we claim this righteousness of Christ, we believe it, and it is our righteousness. He is our Saviour. He saves us because He said He would. Are we going to go into all the explanations as to how He can save us? Do we have the goodness in ourselves that will make us better and cleanse us from the spots and stains of sin, enabling us then to come to God? We simply cannot do it.

Don't you know that when the young man came to Christ and asked Him what he should do that he might have life, Christ told him to keep the commandments. Said he, "I have done it." Now the Lord wanted to bring this lesson right home. "What lack I yet? I am perfectly whole" (Matthew 19:20). He did not see that there was a thing the matter with him or why he should not have eternal life. "I have done it," he said. Now Christ touches the plague spot of his heart. He says, "Come, follow Me, and ye shall have life."  What did he do? He turned away very sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 

Now he had not kept the commandments at all. He should have accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour and taken hold of His righteousness. Then, as he had the righteousness of Christ, he could keep the law of God. The young ruler could not trample that law under his feet. He must respect it; he must love it. Then Christ would bring divine power to combine with man's efforts. 

Christ took upon Himself humanity for us. He clothed His divinity, and divinity and humanity were combined. He showed that that law which Satan declared could not be kept, could be kept. Christ took humanity to stand here in our world, to show that Satan had lied. He took humanity upon Himself to demonstrate that with divinity and humanity combined, man could keep the law of Jehovah. Separate humanity from divinity, and you can try to work out your own righteousness from now till Christ comes, and it will be nothing but a failure. 

By living faith, by earnest prayer to God, and depending upon Jesus' merits, we are clothed with His righteousness, and we are saved. "Oh, yes," some say, "we are saved in doing nothing. In fact, I am saved. I need not keep the law of God. I am saved by the righteousness of Jesus Christ." Christ came to our world to bring all men back to allegiance to God. To take the position that you can break God's law, for Christ has done it all, is a position of death, for you are as verily a transgressor as anyone. 

Then what is it? It is to hear and to see that with the righteousness of Christ which you hold by faith, righteousness supplied by His efforts and His divine power, you can keep the commandments of God. 

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #132 on: November 04, 2011, 02:19:35 PM »

Conversion

"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." John 3:6    
     


Since hearing Jesus, Nicodemus had anxiously studied the prophecies relating to the Messiah; and the more he searched, the stronger was his conviction that this was the One who was to come. With many others in Israel he had been greatly distressed by the profanation of the temple. He was a witness of the scene when Jesus drove out the buyers and the sellers; he beheld the wonderful manifestation of divine power; he saw the Saviour receiving the poor and healing the sick; he saw their looks of joy, and heard their words of praise; and he could not doubt that Jesus of Nazareth was the Sent of God.
 
He greatly desired an interview with Jesus, but shrank from seeking Him openly. It would be too humiliating for a ruler of the Jews to acknowledge himself in sympathy with a teacher as yet so little known. And should his visit come to the knowledge of the Sanhedrin, it would draw upon him their scorn and denunciation. He resolved upon a secret interview, excusing this on the ground that if he were to go openly, others might follow his example. Learning by special inquiry the Saviour's place of retirement in the Mount of Olives, he waited until the city was hushed in slumber, and then sought Him.
 
In the presence of Christ, Nicodemus felt a strange timidity, which he endeavored to conceal under an air of composure and dignity. "Rabbi," he said, "we know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with him." By speaking of Christ's rare gifts as a teacher, and also of His wonderful power to perform miracles, he hoped to pave the way for his interview. His words were designed to express and to invite confidence; but they really expressed unbelief. He did not acknowledge Jesus to be the Messiah, but only a teacher sent from God. 
 
Instead of recognizing this salutation, Jesus bent His eyes upon the speaker, as if reading his very soul. In His infinite wisdom He saw before Him a seeker after truth. He knew the object of this visit, and with a desire to deepen the conviction already resting upon His listener's mind, He came directly to the point, saying solemnly, yet kindly, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3, margin. 

Nicodemus had come to the Lord thinking to enter into a discussion with Him, but Jesus laid bare the foundation principles of truth. He said to Nicodemus, It is not theoretical knowledge you need so much as spiritual regeneration. You need not to have your curiosity satisfied, but to have a new heart. You must receive a new life from above before you can appreciate heavenly things. Until this change takes place, making all things new, it will result in no saving good for you to discuss with Me My authority or My mission. 

Nicodemus had heard the preaching of John the Baptist concerning repentance and baptism, and pointing the people to One who should baptize with the Holy Spirit. He himself had felt that there was a lack of spirituality among the Jews, that, to a great degree, they were controlled by bigotry and worldly ambition. He had hoped for a better state of things at the Messiah's coming. Yet the heart-searching message of the Baptist had failed to work in him conviction of sin. He was a strict Pharisee, and prided himself on his good works. He was widely esteemed for his benevolence and his liberality in sustaining the temple service, and he felt secure of the favor of God. He was startled at the thought of a kingdom too pure for him to see in his present state.

The figure of the new birth, which Jesus had used, was not wholly unfamiliar to Nicodemus. Converts from heathenism to the faith of Israel were often compared to children just born. Therefore he must have perceived that the words of Christ were not to be taken in a literal sense. But by virtue of his birth as an Israelite he regarded himself as sure of a place in the kingdom of God. He felt that he needed no change. Hence his surprise at the Saviour's words. He was irritated by their close application to himself. The pride of the Pharisee was struggling against the honest desire of the seeker after truth. He wondered that Christ should speak to him as He did, not respecting his position as ruler in Israel.
 
Surprised out of his self-possession, he answered Christ in words full of irony, "How can a man be born when he is old?" Like many others when cutting truth is brought home to the conscience, he revealed the fact that the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God. There is in him nothing that responds to spiritual things; for spiritual things are spiritually discerned. 

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #133 on: November 20, 2011, 11:00:26 PM »
Judged by Our Works

"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"  James 2:20
     


"We are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, . . . of what sort it is."  Let us study these words carefully and prayerfully. In order to be understood, the Bible requires much thought. Let us not neglect our part. We are to labor together with God, working out our own salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that it is God who works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. If we are faithful in doing our part, in co-operating with Him, God will work through us the good pleasure of His will. But God cannot work through us if we make no effort. If we gain eternal life, we must work, and work earnestly. If we lack in spiritual strength, we may know that we have failed of doing our part.  Our will must be in harmony with His will. 

The characters we form here will decide our eternal destiny. What kind of material are we using in our character building? We must guard well every point, seeking to gain that purity which will make our lives harmonize with the saving truth we profess to believe. Our part is to put away sin, to seek with determination for perfection of character. As we thus work, God co-operates with us, fitting us for a place in His kingdom. 

If we constantly receive grace from God, we shall be vessels unto honor, sanctified and meet for the Master's use. Daily receiving blessings, we shall daily impart blessings to those around us. But in order to be successful in this work, we must deny self. We cannot at the same time please self and serve Christ. We are not to follow our own inclinations, but look to Jesus, waiting to receive orders from our Captain. 

The doing of God's will is essential if we would have an increased knowledge of Him. Let us not be deceived by the oft-repeated assertion, "All you have to do is to believe." Faith and works are two oars which we must use equally if we press our way up the stream against the current of unbelief. "Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." The Christian is a man of thought and practice. His faith fixes its roots firmly in Christ. By faith and good works he keeps his spirituality strong and healthy, and his spiritual strength increases as he strives to work the works of God. 
 
There is a crown of eternal life to win, a heaven of bliss to gain. The way is rough, and there is much climbing to do. But those who endure the toil, urging their way through all obstacles, will receive the overcomer's reward. 

Christ has a right to our entire obedience. "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." 

When we claim to accept Christ as our Saviour, and yet continue to cherish sinful practices, we misrepresent Him and put Him to open shame. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Naja

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #134 on: December 04, 2011, 01:30:12 PM »
 :)Thanks, Richard.
    I appreciated this...
🐼

Mimi

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #135 on: December 04, 2011, 02:12:45 PM »
Naja, how are you? We have missed you.

Sybil
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Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #136 on: December 04, 2011, 04:39:57 PM »
Naja, it is good to see your post!! We have been and are praying for you!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #137 on: December 24, 2011, 04:10:13 PM »
A Christmas Message

"Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself,"  Mark 8:34
     


The Lord Jesus Christ came to our world as a helpless babe. He was born in Bethlehem, and the angel announced to the shepherds as they watched over their flocks by night, "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
 
The Redeemer of the world might have come attended by ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of angels; but instead of this He clothed his divinity with humanity, made Himself of no reputation, took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of sinful flesh. For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels, but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. For it became Him for whom are all things, and by whom all things consist, in bringing many sons and daughters unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering. For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all one, for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.

Jesus, the world's Redeemer, submitted to humiliation that we might have hope. For our sake He became poor, that through his merits we might be entitled to imperishable riches. Shall not the story of Christ's self-denial and self-sacrifice for our sakes, lead us to pour contempt on all our pride and selfishness? The Son of God could make nothing of the human family, save as He submitted to humiliation, and through suffering came in contact with suffering humanity. It was through unutterable woe that Jesus came to reach lost man where he is plunged in sin and degradation. Let us contemplate the life, nature, and purpose of the King of glory. Let us look upon the Majesty of heaven as He shrouded his glory in the form of a child, and was cradled in a manger. But though He was so lowly born, so humbly circumstanced, angels bowed in adoration before the Babe of Bethlehem, without forfeiting their place in the courts of God or marring their allegiance to the Deity. 
 
The Babe of Bethlehem, though the King of glory, was not entrusted to wealthy parents. His was a lowly lot. When presented in the temple, his parents could not offer anything but the offering of the poor,--a pair of turtle doves or young pigeons. This offering was made in behalf of the child Jesus; yet when Simeon took Him in his arms, the Holy Spirit fell upon him, and he knew the Lord's Anointed, and he blessed God, and said, "Lord, now lettest Thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel." 

The wise men from the East had not the blazing glory of the cross set before them as we have, but even so, they have left us an example of what we should do at Christmas. Jesus should be the object of our adoration, the recipient of our gifts. It is not man, but our Redeemer, that should be honored. To Him we should offer our praise and gifts and treasures; but instead of this, the world sets its treasures flowing in the channel of self-gratification, and to the honor of men. Christmas gifts are bestowed on our children, on our friends and relatives, and few think of what they can do to show their love and gratitude to God for his great love and compassion upon them. 
 
In celebrating Christmas, fathers, mothers, children, and friends are diverted from the great object to which the custom is attributed. They give their whole attention to the bestowal of gifts upon one another, and their minds are turned away from the contemplation of the Source of all their blessings both spiritual and temporal. In their attention to gifts and honors bestowed upon themselves or their friends, Jesus is unhonored and forgotten. Parents should seek to teach their children to honor Jesus. They should be instructed how He came to the world to bring light, to shine amid the moral darkness of the world. They should be impressed with the fact that "God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

We are dependent upon Christ for both spiritual and temporal blessings, we should especially remember the world's Redeemer, on those days in which others forget Him in pleasing one another, in games parties. We should show special honor to Him in whom our hope of eternal life is centered. Through all the year parents should be educating their children as to how they may honor Jesus in their gifts. They should instruct them that Christ came to the world to save perishing sinners, and that instead of spending money for needless ornaments, for candies and sweets to gratify the taste, they should deny themselves for Christ's sake, that they may offer to Him an expression of their love. The theme of Christ's amazing love can be so presented to your children that the little ones will be lost in wonder and love, and their hearts will be melted at the story of Calvary. Tell the children and youth that Jesus died to save them, that He wants them to give to Him their young lives that they may be his obedient children, and be saved from ruin. 

Christ will be pleased to see that the children and the youth, whom He loves, also love Him, and He will accept their gifts and offerings to be used in his cause. From the denial of self in children and youth, many little streams may flow into the treasury of the Lord, and missionaries may be sent out through their gifts to bring light to the heathen, who bow down to gods of wood and stone. Home missionaries also may be assisted, and there are poor who are suffering and needy, who may be blessed with the gifts of the children. Christ identifies his interest with that of his children. He says, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me." 

Brothers and sisters, what are you going to bring to Jesus as an offering of love? What will you render unto the Lord for all his benefits? Will you show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light, or will you devote your time and money to self and to pleasure seeking, as though self were the great object of attraction? O, may the coming Christmas be the best one you have ever enjoyed, because you have brought gifts to Jesus, and given yourselves and your all without reservation to Him who has given all for you. 

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #138 on: December 24, 2011, 04:18:06 PM »
Beautiful message! Amen!
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #139 on: December 24, 2011, 04:31:17 PM »
What an opportunity we  have to not only talk about our Lord, but to reflect Him!! May we be faithful servants. He is coming soon to take us home!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.