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12/6/02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel."

"So foolish was I, and ignorant; I was as a beast before Thee." --Psalm 73:22
 
Remember this is the confession of the man after God's own heart; and in telling us his inner life, he writes, "So foolish was I, and ignorant." The word "foolish," here, means more than it signifies in ordinary language. David, in a former verse of the Psalm, writes, "I was envious at the foolish when I saw the prosperity of the wicked," which shows that the folly he intended had sin in it. He puts himself down as being thus "foolish," and adds a word which is to give intensity to it; "so foolish was I." How foolish he could not tell.

It was a sinful folly, a folly which was not to be excused by frailty, but to be condemned because of its perverseness and willful ignorance, for he had been envious of the present prosperity of the ungodly, forgetful of the dreadful end awaiting all such. And are we better than David that we should call ourselves wise! Do we profess that we have attained perfection, or to have been so chastened that the rod has taken all our willfulness out of us? Ah, this is pride indeed!

 If David was foolish, how foolish should we be in our own esteem if we could but see ourselves! Look back, believer: think of your doubting God when He has been so faithful to you--think of your foolish outcry of "Not so, my Father," when He crossed His hands in affliction to give you the larger blessing; think of the many times when you have read His providences in the dark, misinterpreted His dispensations, and groaned out, "All these things are against me," when they are all working together for your good!

Think how often you have chosen sin because of its pleasure, when indeed, that pleasure was a root of bitterness to you! Surely if we know our own heart we must plead guilty to the indictment of a sinful folly; and conscious of this "foolishness," we must make David's consequent resolve our own--"Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel." The Word Works!
  

12/10/02

 

 

 

 

 

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"I am El Shaddai." 

And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I AM THE ALMIGHTY GOD; walk before me, and be thou perfect.-Genesis 17:1

The original Hebrew of this Old Testament verse reads that God said, "I am El Shaddai."  God was revealed to Israel by seven covenant names, one of which is El Shaddai - which literally means "the God who is more than enough," or, "the All-Sufficient One." 

It will help your faith to think of God as "the One who is more than enough!"

Throughout the Old Testament, God revealed Himself as El Shaddai - the God who is more than enough. For example, as God was bringing the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, Pharaoh's soldiers went after them to recapture them and make them slaves again. On one side of the children of Israel was the wilderness; on the other side, mountains. The Red Sea lay before them. They seemingly were boxed in, but they looked to God - the God who is more than enough - and He divided the sea! He congealed the depths in the heart of the sea (Exodus 15:8)! He froze the waters! The waters stood up on each side like a wall, and Israel walked across to the other side.

Our God is more than enough!
 

12/11/02

 

 

 

 

 

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...the sun stood still

And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies.
-Joshua 10:13


We see El Shaddai with Israel in Canaan's land. (And incidentally, Canaan is not a type of heaven. It couldn't be. In heaven there won't be battles to fight, cities to take, or enemies or giants to overcome - they're here in this world. No, Canaan is a type of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and our rights and privileges in Christ Jesus.) When Israel ran into difficulty in Canaan, Joshua, their leader, spoke to the Lord. And God stopped the whole universe because a man of God prayed! God can do that - He's the God who is more than enough!

All through the Old Testament, we see El Shaddai moving in the lives of men and women, prophets, priests, and kings. But He's not just the God of yesterday; He's the God of now! He didn't identify Himself as "the God who WAS more than enough," or "the God who WILL be more than enough." Too often we relegate everything to the past, saying, "Oh, it was wonderful back when God did such things," or to the future, saying, "When we all get to heaven, everything will be wonderful."

No, things will be different here and now if you will trust in the God who is more than enough!

12/12/02

 

 

 

 

 

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Jesus is our Deliverer

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him... -Psalm 91:14

"I will," or "I shall" is the strongest assertion that can be made in the English language. And in the last part of Psalm 91, there are seven things our God who is more than enough says He will do for the person who has set his love upon Him.

Notice that God didn't say, "I may do it," or "If I don't run out of energy, I'll do it. If my power doesn't wane, I'll do it."

No! He is the All-Sufficient One, and He said, "I will do it."

First, God said, "I will deliver them..." This God who is more than enough is a delivering God. He kept His word with Abraham, and delivered Israel - and He's still the Deliverer today.

Our God is not the oppressor; He is the Deliverer! Acts 10:38 makes that clear. Satan is the oppressor of mankind - but Jesus is our Deliverer!

12/13/02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Out of Them All!

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore...He shall call upon me, and I will answer him...-Psalm 91:14,15

And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you...ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.-John 16:23,24


These Scriptures alone are enough to set our hearts on fire. They're enough to light the spark of fervent burning prayer. El Shaddai said to us, "I will answer." The Almighty God - the One who is more than enough - has promised to answer those who set their love on Him!

 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore...I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him...-Psalms 91:14,1

God didn't say you weren't going to have trouble. In fact, He rather infers that you will have trouble because you are a Christian! The world will victimize you, gossip about you, speaking evil of you. An irreconcilable enemy is arrayed against you. The god of this world (2 Corinthian 4:4) presses in at every turn, trying to crush our spirit.

Some people think it's God who is putting pressure of them, but it isn't. Jesus contrasted His works and the works of the devil like this: "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). God is not a thief. That which steals, kills, and destroys is the devil - not God.

God says in His Word, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all" (Psalm 34:19). The word "afflictions" here means tests and trials. And that's what your troubles are. But the Lord has promised to deliver you out of how many of them: half?

NO! Out of them all!

The Lord didn't just promise to be with you in trouble and then stop there. He's there to deliver you out of that trouble. And He's more than enough!

12/16/02

 

 

 

 

 

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Jesus' Favor

Because He hath set his love upon me, therefore...I will set him on hight...and honour him.
-Psalm 91:14,15


I'd rather have God honor me than to have all the acclaim this world can offer.

The story is told that one day Napoleon was reviewing his troops when his horse began to buck. A young private stepped over, took the horse by the bridle, and quieted him down. Napoleon said, "Thank you, Captain." And the private moved into the rank of a captain. But the other officers shunned this young man. They had earned their rank, but his had been granted to him. Napoleon noticed this and called for a full, gala review of his army. He sat this young man on a horse by his side, they rode out to the parade grounds together. The other officers then began to say, "That fellow is a favorite with Napoleon." And they began to court his favor.

The world may not know it, but the time is coming when they are going to find out that we are favorites with the King of kings and Lord of lords. And they will wish they had courted our favor. Jesus Himself said, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Revelation 3:21). Jesus' favor far outshines any that this world can bestow.

12/17/02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I can be forgiven

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. -Romans 3:23

Man did the unthinkable! Given dominion over all the works of God's hand, Adam was originally the god of the this world. But Adam knowingly committed high treason against God by selling out to Satan the dominion which God had originally bestowed upon him. Adam's high treason was done upon the legal basis that God could not annul the contract He had made with Adam, and which Adam had passed on to Satan. Hence, Satan not Adam, became the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). And thus began Satan's destructive reign.

So spiritual death - which is separation from God - came to man. When God came down in the cool of the day to walk and talk with Adam, God called, "Adam, where art thou?" And Adam said, "I hid myself." Adam's treachery caused hi to be pulled asunder from his Father, God!

Another ghastly consequence of Adam's spiritual death -was his inheritance of Satan's nature. The devil became man's spiritual father. Notice Jesus said to the Pharisees, "Ye are of your father the devil" (John 8:44). Fallen man is spiritually a child of the devil. He partakes of his father's nature. This explains why man cannot be saved by conduct. Man cannot stand in the presence of God as he is, having the nature of his father, this dammed spirit the devil, in him.

If man is ever to be saved, he must be saved by someone without sin paying the penalty for man's sins, and this someone must give man a new nature.

Jesus said,
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

SAY THIS:
JESUS FORGIVE ME OF MY SIN AND COME INTO MY HEART. THANK YOU, FATHER, FOR MY NEW NATURE. THANK YOU, FATHER, THAT YOU HAVE MADE PROVISION FOR ME TO BE A "PARTAKER OF THE DIVINE NATURE" (2 PETER 1:4).

12/18/02

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Redeemer Would Come

And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? 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 7:13-14

God began to speak through His prophets, promising that a Redeemer would come who would break Satan's dominion and restore to man his lost dominion.

The prophet Isaiah, for example, looked down through time and pointed to a daughter of David who would give birth to that promised Redeemer 750 years later.

"The Lord Himself will give you a sign," Isaiah prophesied. "He will show you a miracle, a wonder, something out of the ordinary."

What will it be?

A virgin shall conceive, and bear a son. A virgin shall give birth to a son in a supernatural way.

His Name shall be called Immanuel - which means "God with us," or "Incarnation." Here, God suggests the union of deity and humanity. God's love manifest toward us to bring Joy and Praise to us.

12/19/02

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Glory of the Lord

"The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." --Isaiah 40:5

We anticipate the happy day when the whole world shall be converted to Christ; when the gods of the heathen shall be cast to the moles and the bats; when the crescent of Mohammed shall wane, never again to cast its baleful rays upon the nations; when kings shall bow down before the Prince of Peace, and all nations shall call their Redeemer blessed. Some despair of this. They look upon the world as a vessel breaking up and going to pieces, never to float again. We look for new heavens and for a new earth!

"Jesus shall reign wherever the sun does his successive journeys run."

We are not discouraged by the length of His delays; we are not disheartened by the long period which He allots to the church in which to struggle. We believe that God will never suffer this world, which has once seen Christ's blood shed upon it, to be always the devil's stronghold. Christ came hither to deliver this world from the detested sway of the powers of darkness.

What a shout when men and angels shall unite to cry "Hallelujah, hallelujah, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth!" What a satisfaction will it be in that day to have had a share in the fight, to have helped to break the arrows of the bow, and to have aided in winning the victory for our Lord!

Happy are they who trust themselves with this conquering Lord, and who fight side by side with Him, doing mighty feats of valor all in His name and by His strength!

12/23/02

 

 

 

 

 

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A Child is Born

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. -ISAIAH 9:6

Divine names and titles ascribed to Jesus prove that He is, by nature, divine and a member of the Godhead:

Emmanuel (Matt. 1:23)... God (John 1:1)... Lord (Luke 19:34)... Lord Of All (Acts 10:36)... Lord Of Glory (1 Cor. 2:8)... Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince Of Peace (Isa. 9:6,7)... The Lord's Christ (Luke 2:26)... Son Of God (Rom. 1:4)... His Son (John 3:16-18)... My Son (Matt. 3:17)... Only Begotten Son (John 1:18)... Alpha And Omega, Beginning And The End, First And The Last (Rev. 22:13)... The Lord (Acts 9:17)... Son Of The Highest (Luke 1:32)... Bread Of God (John 6:33)... Holy One Of God (Mark 1:24)... Thy Holy Child Jesus (Acts 4:30)... King Of Kings And Lord Of Lords (Rev. 19:16)... Lord And Savior (2 Pet. 3:2)... Word Of God (Rev. 19:13)

SAY THIS: Jesus is my Lord. My Lord is called Emmanuel...God...Lord of All...Lord of Glory...Wonderful...Counselor...Mighty God...Everlasting Father...Prince of Peace...The Lord's Christ...Son of God...His Son...Only Begotten Son...Alpha and Omega...Beginning and the End...First and the Last...The Lord...Son of the Highest...Bread of God...Holy One of God...They Holy Child Jesus...King of kings and Lord of lords...Lord and Savior...Word of God. That's who my Lord is! No wonder Satan cannot dominate me!

12/24/02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Same Miracle

Who [Christ Jesus], being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

-PHILIPPIANS 2:6-8

Christ has always existed in the form of God. But He emptied Himself and took the form of a bond servant, being made in the likeness of men.

This suggests a distinct operation of God which was totally different from natural generation: A miracle. First, God took Christ from the Godhead in heaven - and then He placed Christ in the womb of a virgin to be united with flesh in a unique conception.

Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me. -HEBREWS 10:5

God prepared a body - a special body - for this Being called the Son of God. In the Incarnation, Christ became a man!

This same miracle can be your miracle this Christmas. God will forgive you of your sin and move into your heart making you a new creature in Christ.

Say this,Dear Lord Jesus forgive me of my sin and come into my heart. Give me a new life and I will serve you from this day forward Thank you Jesus for saving me.

12/25/02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The First Promise

"Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." --Isaiah 7:14

Let us to-day go down to Bethlehem, and in company with wondering shepherds and adoring Magi, let us see Him who was born King of the Jews, for we by faith can claim an interest in Him, and can sing, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given." Jesus is Jehovah incarnate, our Lord and our God, and yet our brother and friend; let us adore and admire.

Let us notice at the very first glance His miraculous conception. It was a thing unheard of before, and unparalleled since, that a virgin should conceive and bear a Son. The first promise ran thus, "The seed of the woman," not the offspring of the man. Since venturous woman led the way in the sin which brought forth Paradise lost, she, and she alone, ushers in the Regainer of Paradise.

Our Savior, although truly man, was as to His human nature the Holy One of God. Let us reverently bow before the holy Child whose innocence restores to manhood its ancient glory; and let us pray that He may be formed in us, the hope of glory. Fail not to note His humble parentage.

His mother has been described simply as "a virgin," not a princess, or prophetess, nor a matron of large estate. True the blood of kings ran in her veins; nor was her mind a weak and untaught one, for she could sing most sweetly a song of praise; but yet how humble her position, how poor the man to whom she stood affianced, and how miserable the accommodation afforded to the new-born King!

Immanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather

…we with Him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendor.

12/26/02

 

 

 

 

 

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We Gazed Upon His Glory

And the Word became flesh, And pitched his tent among us, And we gazed upon his glory, - A glory...Full of favour and truth. -JOHN 1:14 Rotherham

I love Rotherham's translation of John 1:14 - it is so beautiful.

We've tended to think of Christ's coming to the earth as a man only in terms of His self-denial in leaving glory, or else in terms of His suffering on this earth. But I believe it was a joy to Christ, who so loved man and so desired man's fellowship, to "pitch His tent" among us so that He might give to alienated man - who had never known his Creator - a true conception of His heavenly Father.

It was good tidings of great joy which the angel proclaimed to the shepherds - and to all people everywhere. Man, separated from God for 4000 years, could now gaze upon God's glory, could now see God, could now know God as He is, and could now be reunited with Him!

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, 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. -LUKE 2:10-11

The Word has become flesh!

12/27/02

 

 

 

 

 

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The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth. -John 1:1,14

Webster’s defines Incarnation as "The union of divinity with humanity in Jesus Christ."

Incarnation was the only solution to the human problem - the only hope for mankind to be reunited with God. Any religion that denies the Incarnation of Jesus of Nazareth is false!

This Eternal Being, called Emmanuel - God with us, or Jesus the Christ - is here called the Word. The Word existed in the beginning. The Word was with God - with God in fellowship, in purpose, working with Him, God made the worlds through the Word (Hebrews 1:2; John 1:3).

And this Eternal Being was God! He possessed the same nature. He existed in the same form and on an equality with God (Philippians 2:6).

And this Being became flesh! The Word became a man and dwelt among us. He became human - as much a man as if He'd never been anything else, yet He did not cease to be what He had been. The Word made His home among us, and we beheld the glory of God (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3).

12/31/02

 

 

 

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He Hath Declared Him

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. -John 1:18

How Jesus realized and appreciated the phase of His mission on earth which had to do with declaring the true nature of His Father!

A Bible scholar once said, concerning the Incarnation, "We know now that God is like this that we have seen in Jesus. He is Christ-like. And if He is, He is a good God and trustable.

If the heart that is back of the universe is like this gentle heart that broke upon the Cross, He can have my heart without qualifications and with reservations. I know nothing higher to say of God than that He should live like Christ... by thinking of God in terms of Jesus we heighten our views of God. All those who have tried to think of God in other terms have lowered and impoverished our idea of Him."

12/31/02

 

 

 

 

 

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Who Giveth Us Richly All Things To Enjoy

"Who giveth us richly all things to enjoy." --1 Timothy 6:17

Our Lord Jesus is ever giving, and does not for a solitary instant withdraw His hand. As long as there is a vessel of grace not yet full to the brim, the oil shall not be stayed. He is a sun ever-shining; He is manna always falling round the camp; He is a rock in the desert, ever sending out streams of life from His smitten side; the rain of His grace is always dropping; the river of His bounty is ever-flowing, and the well-spring of His love is constantly overflowing.

As the King can never die, so His grace can never fail. Daily we pluck His fruit, and daily His branches bend down to our hand with a fresh store of mercy. Who has ever returned from His door unblessed? Who has ever risen from His table unsatisfied, or from His bosom un-loved? His mercies are new every morning and fresh every evening.

Who can know the number of His benefits, or recount the list of His bounties? Every sand which drops from the glass of time is but the tardy follower of a myriad of mercies. Who can count the dust of the benefits which He bestows? How shall my soul extol Him who daily overflows us with benefits, and who crowns us with loving-kindness?

O that my praise could be as ceaseless as His bounty! "Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake right early."

   
   

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Published by Amazing Grace Ministries Publishing, Westchester. Illinois Distributed by Amazing Grace Ministries Publishing, Westchester. Illinois Unless otherwise indicated all Scripture quotations are from the Authorized / King James Version (KJV)  No part of these articles or  books  may be reproduced without written permission except for brief quotation in books and critical reviews.
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