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Posts Tagged ‘DAYS OF PRAISE’

Three crosses on a hill

April 16, 2017

The Resurrection and the Believer

“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18)

 The resurrection of Christ is no less crucial to the gospel than the death of Christ. If He did not rise from the dead, then we who believe in Him “are of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:19).

 Christ’s resurrection assures us, first of all, of our justification. Speaking of Abraham’s faith and the imputation of God’s righteousness to him, Paul writes, “For us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:24-25).

 God imparts to us the power to serve Him effectively through the resurrection, “that [we] may know . . . what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead” (Ephesians 1:18-20). As the passage continues, Paul declares that through the resurrection Christ is now “the head over all things to the church, which is His body” (vv. 22-23 and also in our text).

 In His resurrected and glorified state, Christ continues His ministry to us. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens. . . . Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14, 16).

 Finally, Christ’s resurrection assures us that we too will one day be resurrected, if we should die before He returns. “He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus” (2 Corinthians 4:14). JDM

 http://www.icr.org/article/9885

 

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12961475_1212701902076004_1399088672895187467_ndop_bannerBecoming the Gospel

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“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:27)

The Greek word translated “conversation” emphasizes “citizenship,” with all of its attendant loyalties and expectations for appropriate behavior. The structure of the introductory word “only” indicates that it is an adjective, not an adverb. Thus, the opening phrase could be rendered, “Your only citizenship must be lived out so that it becomes the gospel.”

The New Testament employs three different Greek terms that are translated “conversation.”Anastrepho is best understood as “dwelling” or “remaining” in a certain place: “Put off concerning the former conversation,” we are commanded in Ephesians 4:22. Tropos stresses the manner of life, perhaps implying the reputation one gains by the lifestyle: “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example” (Jude 1:7). Politeuo, the term used by Paul in our text, conveys citizenship: “For our conversation is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20,politeuma). The emphasis of our text is on our lifestyle and testimony as “ambassadors” in a foreign land (2 Corinthians 5:20). As such, we are to live in a manner that “becometh” the gospel—“that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1).

We are to stand fast in a unity of one spirit with one mind. Paul closed his letter to the Philippians with this: “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved” (Philippians 4:1). HMM III

http://www.icr.org/article/9208 13010745_1212696098743251_2079006942549690061_n

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dop_bannerLoaded with Blessing

December 31, 2015

“Blessed be the LORD, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.” (Psalm 68:19)

As we come to this year’s end, it is salutary for the believer to think back over the days of the year and to meditate upon his blessings. He may, indeed, have experienced defeats and losses, disappointments and injuries in great number. If he is honest with himself, however, the Christian will always have to acknowledge that his blessings far outweigh his burdens. God “loadeth us with benefits,” and is even working in and through all the trials and hurtful things together for our good (Romans 8:28).

In our text verse, the words “with benefits” have been supplied by the translators. Some might, therefore, conclude that the verse could mean that God is daily loading us with burdens, instead of benefits. The context, however, assures us that the emphasis is really on His blessings. For that matter, even a burden can become a blessing, if we take it as a gift from God for our spiritual benefit.

Therefore: “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:2). “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).

He has given us “life, and breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25). Far more importantly, He is “the God of our salvation.” Whatever else we have, or don’t have, in this life, we have the great gift of eternal life, through faith in Christ and His finished work of redemption. We have it every day of the year and are daily ready to meet the Lord, whenever He calls. Each day we have the indwelling presence of His Spirit, the illuminating guidance of His Word, the daily provision of all real needs, and the assurance of His love. He has surely loaded us with benefits! HMM

 http://www.icr.org/article/904610258703_1086316284765725_283153485084323433_o

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Signs of Christmas

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“Moreover the LORD spoke again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.” (Isaiah 7:10-11)

Although “the Jews require a sign” (1 Corinthians 1:22), and this attitude was rebuked by Christ when He said that “an evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign” (Matthew 12:39), God has given three specific signs with respect to the incarnation of Christ. There were other signs too, no doubt, such as the star of Bethlehem, but three events were specifically called signs.

First, to the unwilling King Ahaz, He said: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). Immanuel means “God with us,” and the sign of the virgin birth, biologically impossible without a mighty miracle of divine creation, assures us that the omnipotent God has entered the human family once for all.

That entrance was not made in an emperor’s palace as a great conqueror, however, but in the very humblest of human circumstances, and this also was a sign. “And this shall be a sign unto you,” said the leader of the angelic host; “Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12).a-simeon

And there was a third sign. When the infant Jesus was brought to the temple, the aged prophet Simeon said: “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against . . . that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34-35).

That is, the God/man would Himself be God’s great sign to Israel and the whole world. The attitude of men and women to God, in Christ, would reveal the state of their hearts and seal their eternal destiny, whether rising again to everlasting life or falling forever away from God. 

* Dr. Morris (1918-2006) was Founder of the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on December 24, 2015.

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1919201_10153816031248524_5360725228128999634_nMary and the Grace of God

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“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.” (Luke 1:30)

This announcement by the angel Gabriel to the virgin Mary, that she had been chosen as the mother of the coming Savior, contains the first mention in the New Testament of the Greek word for grace (charis). Mary was chosen, not for anything she had done, but because she had “found grace.”

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In a remarkable parallel, certainly implying divine inspiration, the first mention of grace in the Old Testament is also associated with the coming of a new dispensation in God’s dealings with men. “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8).1604872_10153635133411558_493531212709952288_n

Just as Mary found grace, so Noah had found grace. Grace is not something one earns or purchases; grace is a treasure that is found! When a person finally realizes that salvation is only by the grace of God, received through faith in the saving work of Christ, he or she has made the greatest discovery that could ever be made, for it brings eternal life.

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But there is an even greater dimension to the grace of God. When we do “find” grace, it is actually because God in His infinitely precious grace has found us and revealed to us the Savior of our souls. Just as God found Moses in the desert and found Paul on the road to Damascus, then saved and called them to His service, so He finds us, and then we also find His saving grace.

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Mary’s discovery of God’s grace in salvation, through the coming of the “seed of the woman” into the world, is revealed in her Magnificat: “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour” (Luke 1:46-47). This could well have also been the testimony of Noah long ago, and it surely should be the testimony of each of us who has found grace today. HMM

Days of Praise

http://www.icr.org/article/9039 

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10632858_686727148120489_1984549095517284348_nMay 10, 2015

The Faith of Our Mothers11007730_941419102546968_1534404293597614071_n

“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” (2 Timothy 1:5)

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The “dearly beloved son” (v. 2) of the apostle Paul was a young disciple whose strong and sincere Christian faith was due, more than anything else, to the lives and teachings of a godly mother and grandmother. As Paul wrote to Timothy in his last letter, “from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).

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Timothy’s mother was a Christian Jew (Acts 16:1), but his father was a Greek who evidently was not a believer. In the ideal Christian home, the father is to assume spiritual leadership (Ephesians 5:22, 25; 6:4), but countless fathers, for some reason, are either unable or unwilling to do this. Many have been the homes where a mother or grandmother, usually by default, has had to assume this all-important responsibility, and the Christian world owes these godly women a great debt of gratitude. The writer himself was raised in such a home, and much of his own concern for the Word of God is due to the concerned dedication of a Christian mother and two Christian grandmothers.

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It is significant that the fifth of God’s Ten Commandments requires children to honor their parents, and it is the only one of the ten which carries a special promise: “Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:2-3). Every godly parent is worthy of real honor, every day—not just once each year. And when a Christian mother, like Timothy’s mother, must assume all the responsibility for leading her children in the ways of God, she deserves very special praise. HMM

 http://www.icr.org/article/8607The Institute for Creation Research

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10805593_755431754506399_4028516016922208000_n (1)Creation and the New Year

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“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

It is appropriate for Christians to begin the New Year by referring back to the beginning of the very first year. The first verse of God’s Word is also its most important verse, since it is the foundation on which everything else is built. Even God’s great work of salvation is irrelevant and futile without His prior work of creation, for only the Creator of all things could ever become the Savior of all things.10888564_751269284922646_6825617842839580224_n

If a person really believes Genesis 1:1, he or she should have no difficulty believing anything else inthe Bible. The very first object of saving faith (Hebrews 10:39) is the fact of special creation by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3).

The verse is comprehensive and scientific, viewing space (“the heavens”) and matter (“the earth”) as functioning in a framework of time (“in the beginning”). This space/matter/time “continuum” (as scientists call it) has not existed eternally, nor is it still being created, both of which heresies are standard beliefs of all forms of evolutionary pantheism (including most of the world’s religions and philosophies, ancient or modern). It was created—and even completed in the past.

This foundation of all foundations is, clearly, the only sure foundation upon which one should build a life, or an organization, or anything. A firm renewal of one’s commitment to special creation, as literally recorded by divine revelation in the inerrant Word of God, is thus the proper way to begin a New Year, or a new home, or a new career, or a new family, or any phase of a Christian life. This is the time to confess and forsake all doubts and trust God’s Word! In the beginning of the first year, God created all things. At the beginning of this year, we should resolve to believe and obey all things in His Word. HMM

http://www.icr.org/article/8421

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