Monday, January 31, 2011

Memorization Monday - Resources - Power

Colossians 1:11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.

Topic titles taken from Navigators Topical Memory System

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hymn of the Week - He Hideth My Soul

  1. A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
    A wonderful Savior to me;
    He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
    Where rivers of pleasure I see.
    • Refrain:
      He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
      That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
      He hideth my life in the depths of His love,
      And covers me there with His hand,
      And covers me there with His hand.
  2. A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
    He taketh my burden away,
    He holdeth me up and I shall not be moved,
    He giveth me strength as my day.
  3. With numberless blessings each moment He crowns,
    And filled with His fullness divine,
    I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God!
    For such a Redeemer as mine.
  4. When clothed with His brightness transported I rise
    To meet Him in clouds of the sky,
    His perfect salvation, His wonderful love,
    I’ll shout with the millions on high.

Friday, January 28, 2011

He Was Wounded for Our Transgressions

The other night I had been reading about Martin Luther's struggle with the demands of the law and how he finally understood God's gift of justification by faith. Later in the middle of the night I found myself thinking through the words of Merrill Dunlop's hymn, "He Was Wounded for Our Transgressions"

He was wounded for our transgressions,
He bore our sins in His body on the tree;
For our guilt He gave us peace,
From our bondage gave release,
And with His stripes our souls are healed.

He was numbered among transgressors,
We did esteem Him forsaken by His God;
As our sacrifice He died that the law be satisfied,
And all our sin was laid on Him.

We had wandered, we all had wandered
Far from the fold of the Shepherd of the sheep;
But He sought us where we were,
On the mountains bleak and bare,
And brought us safely home to God.

Who can number His generation?
Who shall declare all the triumphs of His cross?
Millions, dead, now live again,
Myriads follow in His train!
Victorious Lord, victorious Lord and coming King!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Responding to God's Promises in Prayer - Part 2

In light of yesterday’s posting about David’s prayer, I thought it would be interesting for me to try to put this into practice with a very well known promise of God. Now let the record show that I am not a poet or very emotive with words so you may actually be able to do a better job at this than I can. But here’s my attempt.

In Hebrews 13:5 our Lord is quoted as saying, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Let’s use that promise along with the points we observed in David’s prayer yesterday.

O Lord, you are a great and awesome God and I am a creature made of dust. That you should promise to never leave me or forsake me is an amazing thing. I have sinned often against you and if I were sinned against, I might forsake those who sinned against me. But you are not like we are. You have made a promise to stick with me and you will fulfill that promise.

I realize, God, that you have made this promise to me because of your reputation as a covenant keeping God. You have called me to be your child through faith in Christ and if you should leave me or forsake me, the whole gospel promise would come into question. You saved me for your sake and you have promised to keep me, all for your name’s sake. Thank you.

Based on your faithfulness, I ask that you do for me what you have promised. Please stay with me and do not forsake me, the one whom you made and saved.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Responding to God's Promises in Prayer

How should we respond to the promises of God? Is there a way that in prayer we can respond with more than a simple “thank you”? This morning as I was reading in 2 Samuel 7, I saw such a response in action.

David had intended to build a house for God. God basically told him that he had been too much a warrior to build God a house. But then God turned the table on David and promised to build him a house. That is, he promised to give him and his sons after him a great kingdom.

First he responds in humility. In verse 18 he says, “Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far?” He realizes that he is unworthy of such a promise.

In humility he recognizes the greatness of God who is able to accomplish all of this for generations to come. In verse 19 he says, “And yet this was a small thing in Your sight, O Lord God; and You have also spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come. Is this the manner of man, O Lord God?”

In continuing humility he also acknowledges that it is through God’s condescending mercy that He would even make known to David such a plan. In verse 21 he says, “For Your word’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have done all these great things, to make Your servant know them.” We need to remember that it is only through the mercy and grace of God that He reveals anything at all to us.

Because of what God was able to do, David exults into praise: “Therefore You are great, O Lord God. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.”

One of the things we need to remember when we are thanking God for things He has done or promised to do is that He does what He does for His own name’s sake. Sometimes we become quite egocentric when it comes to our praying as though everything God does somehow revolves around us. David says in verse 23, “And who is like Your people, like Israel, the one nation on the earth whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people, to make for Himself a name—and to do for Yourself great and awesome deeds for Your land – before Your people whom You redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, the nations, and their gods?”

Finally he asks God to do what He has promised. Sometimes we shy away from this kind of praying because we think, “God said it, why should I pray it again?” But David doesn’t think this way. He says, “Now, O Lord God, the word which You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house, establish it forever and do as You have said. …And let the house of Your servant David be established before You.” And he continues in verse 28, “And now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are true, and You have promised this goodness to your servant. Now therefore, let it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue before You forever; for You, O Lord God, have spoken it, and with Your blessing let the house of Your servant be blessed forever.” Do you see what he is doing? God promised to bless David’s house and so David asks God to bless his house.

Let’s use this as an opportunity to improve our prayer life and increase our faith by praying back to God what He has promised.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our President Doesn't Get It

This past Saturday was the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. In his brief remarks, President Obama made no mention of the tragedy that is abortion. Dr. Albert Mohler writes about this better than I can. Please see his article "In His Own Words".

If you can, please take the time to view this video which is excerpted from one of John Piper's sermons. You can view the video here. It is Dr. Piper's response to one of President Obama's earlier Roe v. Wade speeches.

Then let us pray that this atrocity will be brought to an end.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Memorization Monday - Resources - New Nature

2 Peter 1:4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hymn of the Week -What A Wonderful Savior

Christ has for sin atonement made
What a wonderful Savior!
We are redeemed, the price is paid
What a wonderful Savior!


What a wonderful Savior is Jesus, my Jesus!
What a wonderful Savior is Jesus, my Lord!

I praise Him for the cleansing blood
What a wonderful Savior!
That reconciled my soul to God
What a wonderful Savior!


He cleansed my heart from all its sin
What a wonderful Savior!
And now He reigns and rules therein
What a wonderful Savior!


He walks beside me in the way:
What a wonderful Savior!
And keeps me faithful day by day;
What a wonderful Savior!


He gives me overcoming power
What a wonderful Savior!
And triumph in each trying hour
What a wonderful Savior!


To Him I've given all my heart:
What a wonderful Savior!
The world shall never share a part:
What a wonderful Savior!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Another Excerpt from "Our Lord Prays for His Own"

This excerpt continues in John 17:12 with the phrase “the son of perdition is lost, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”

There is something unutterably mysterious about the person and character of Judas Iscariot. The Lord says he was “the son of perdition.” The only other place in the New Testament, indeed in the Bible, where this expression occurs is in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4 in speaking of the antichrist.

The Lord also declares (John 6:70) that he was “a devil.” As God was in Christ, so Satan was in Judas, But, of course, we only express an opinion. It is a remarkable fact that the Lord should call him by the same name that Antichrist is styled by, and that He should also say of him that he was “a devil.”

Judas Iscariot never fell from grace, for he never had it, he was “the son of perdition,” he was “a thief,” he was “a devil,” and the Scripture was fulfilled in his fall, for long ago it had been foretold. And the Lord Himself alludes to the fact,

“I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.” (John 13:18)

He did fall from an exalted office, and a successor was appointed to take “part in this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell.” Judas had a high and an exalted office in the Church of God. Oh! Let us remember that it is one thing to have an office in the church, and quite another thing to be saved. Judas had unspeakable privileges; for years he had been the constant companion of Christ, he had seen Him, handled Him, he had been taught from His own lips, yet he was not saved. I have heard people rash enough to say that if the Church of God did its duty, the whole world would be brought to the knowledge of Christ. That is not so; did not Christ do His duty? Will anyone say Christ was not a faithful minister? And yet one of His twelve apostles was lost. Judas had great gifts, for it is very evident the Lord made no exception with reference to him when He sent them forth “to heal the sick, to cast out devils, and to preach the kingdom,” and if there had been any difference with regard to Judas Iscariot, when the Lord said at supper, “One of you shall betray me,” suspicion would at once have fallen upon him, but each disciple said: “Lord, is it I?” No one thought of suspecting Judas, which would not have been the case if the Lord had made any difference in His dealings personally or relatively between him and the other disciples, as to his office, privileges, or gifts; here, then is a most solemn fact: we might have the highest office possible in the Church of Gid, and be lost; we may sit under the most privileged ministry, and be lost; we may see what patriarchs and prophets desired to see and never saw; we may hear what patriarchs and righteous men desired to hear and never heard, and be utterly lost.

Excerpt from “Our Lord Prays for His Own” by Marcus Rainsford, Moody Press, 1950, page 210-211

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Excerpt from "Our Lord Prays for His Own"

I encourage you to read this encouraging excerpt from “Our Lord Prays for His Own”. Read the whole thing. It’s not long. In this excerpt the author is discussing the phrase, “I kept them in thy name which thou hast given me” found in John 17:12.

The Shepherd of the sheep keeps His people in the eternal power of God! In the eternal wisdom of God! Compassed in the eternal faithfulness of God! Enshrined in the eternal love of God! Quickened with the eternal life of God! Possessed with the eternal grace of God! And to be crowned with the eternal glory of God!

“Kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” I Peter 1:5

Ascribing praise to Him who is “Able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” Jude 24

Observe, He not only renders a general, but a particular account; “none of them perished, none of them is lost.” A blessed emphasis, not one of them. We read in John 6:39, “This is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing” – nothing—not even their dust, much less their souls, nothing.

But perhaps it may be said the apostles were a better order of men than we are! Not so, the Lord Jesus Christ sought, and found them, for they were lost; He quickened them, for they were dead; and He kept them. Everything but God was against them; the world against them, the flesh against them, the devil against them, everything against them but God, and everything is against us but God. When shall we learn to view God in this light?

Excerpt from “Our Lord Prays for His Own” by Marcus Rainsford, Moody Press, 1950, page 209.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Technology and the Christian Man - Some Questions

I plan to do some writing about technology and the Christian man. I have a feeling that we don’t always connect our status as followers of Jesus with the responsibility to buy and use technology for the glory of God. So I thought it might be good to get your thoughts. I’m going to pose some questions for thought and discussion. I’m not asking just for yes and no answers. I would like some thoughtful feedback as to how we should use and interact with the new technologies as Christians. I’m looking for pros and cons from your point of view. What kind of precautions do you take to make sure your Christian life and testimony stay strong?
If you want to answer anonymously through blog comments, that would be fine. I just need to hear from you – especially the younger guys and the heavy technology (cell phone, ipod, ipad, Facebook) users.
Before I begin, let me say one more thing for those readers who don’t know me. I’m in my mid-sixties, retired from a technology job, an avid technology user, and use Facebook and Twitter regularly as well as maintain this blog. So with that in mind here are my questions:
1. Do you think some people may struggle with covetousness or jealousy because of reading what their Facebook friends have or do? If so, is that just a fact of life that we would have anyway, or do you think it is increased by the Facebook experience? Are there ways we should guard what we say in order to help our brothers or sisters in this area?
2. As I look at the cost of data plans for cell phones, what kind of planning do you think is advisable related to personal budgeting and allocation of resources? Do we need to examine what benefit we gain from having data plans with us 24/7 rather than just checking email and FB when we’re at a computer? I guess I’m asking what process of thought do we need to go through biblically when we are making a decision to spend $600 a year to have voice/data/web at all times?
3. When using Facebook, or just browsing the Internet, how do you handle the fact that you are sometimes exposed to pictures and text that may tempt you morally?
4. Do you think Facebook and other social media provide a good opportunity for witness and discipleship? And if so, how do you use it for those purposes?
5. Some people say that cell phone use has become addictive to some people. Do you find that true among the people you know or in yourself? If so, how can we as Christians take steps to avoid that addiction while still using the technology profitably?
6. What precautions do you take or do you think it’s wise to take to minimize your personal access to pornography.
7. Do you think the use of technology (I’m including TV, Internet, Ipods – all of it) has affected the time the average Christian spends reading – either the Bible or other books? I ask this because there is some evidence educationally that computer use and TV viewing do not build vocabulary as well as reading does and therefore people read less.
8. Because people can communicate by cell phone or computer at all times of the day or night, do you think parents should restrict the use of either one after certain times of day? Do you get the feeling they actually make those restrictions?
9. Do you use technology to do your reading and study of the Bible? If so, how is that working out for you?
10. Should spouses voluntarily share email accounts or Facebook accounts to minimize contacts that the other doesn’t know about so that all communication is in the open? Why or why not?
Those are my questions. I am really interested in hearing from as many people as possible, so take some time to take one or two questions, think them through and then let me know what you think.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Memorization Monday - Resources - New Birth

Ephesians 4:23, 24 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hymn of the Week - My Savior's Love

  1. I stand amazed in the presence
    Of Jesus the Nazarene,
    And wonder how He could love me,
    A sinner, condemned, unclean.
    • Refrain:
      Oh, how marvelous! Oh, how wonderful!
      And my song shall ever be:
      Oh, how marvelous! Oh, how wonderful!
      Is my Savior’s love for me!
  2. For me it was in the garden
    He prayed: “Not My will, but Thine.”
    He had no tears for His own griefs,
    But sweat drops of blood for mine.
  3. In pity angels beheld Him,
    And came from the world of light
    To comfort Him in the sorrows
    He bore for my soul that night.
  4. He took my sins and my sorrows,
    He made them His very own;
    He bore the burden to Calv’ry,
    And suffered and died alone.
  5. When with the ransomed in glory
    His face I at last shall see,
    ’Twill be my joy through the ages
    To sing of His love for me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Meditating, Not Just Reading the Word

Have you ever been frustrated with the Read-Through-The-Bible-In-A-Year plans because you cover a lot of ground, but really don't take time to think through and meditate on the scriptures before you. God promises us spiritual success if we take time to meditate on The Word throughout our days. (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1)

I finally gave up the notion of trying to read the Bible through in a year. Instead I use one of the same plans, but just read a smaller amount each day and if it takes me several years, that's ok.

Another idea is a scheduled plan that doesn't cover as much ground and therefore gives you time to think through the passage in front of you. I discovered such a plan this week and thought I would pass on the link to all of you. It can be found here. I hope you find it helpful.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Memorization Monday - Resources - New Nature

1 Peter 1:23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God. (ESV)

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Hymn of the Week - One Day

One day when heaven was filled with his praises,
One day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin—
Dwelt amongst men, my example is he!

Living, he loved me; dying, he saved me;
Buried, he carried my sins far away;
Rising, he justified freely, for ever:
One day he's coming—O, glorious day!

One day they led him up Calvary's mountain,
One day they nailed him to die on the tree;
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected:
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is he!

One day they left him alone in the garden,
One day he rested, from suffering free;
Angels came down o'er his tomb to keep vigil;
Hope of the hopeless, my Saviour is he!

One day the grave could conceal him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door;
Then he arose, over death he had conquered;
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore!

One day the trumpet will sound for his coming,
One day the skies with his glories will shine;
Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing;
Glorious Saviour, this Jesus is mine!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Encouragement from "Our Lord Prays for His Own"

Jesus prayed, "I kept them." His love passes knowledge; He rested not in creation until He had made man in His own image; and when man fell, He rested not in His redeeming love till He came down from heaven into man's nature to restore him again to the image he had lost. And then since He went up to the throne, He rests not until in the marvelous abundance of His grace we are all filled with the Holy Ghost; nor will He rest in the glory until He can say, Come and sit with me in My throne, "Even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in this throne." (Rev. 3:21) ~Marcus Rainsford

Thursday, January 06, 2011

We're continuing a two-part Bible Study of Galatians 3. The first part was posted yesterday. If you're not in the habit of studying the Bible verse by verse, here's an opportunity for you to participate in this short study.

Beginning in verse 15 Paul goes through the argument again in a different way.

10. According to Paul in verse 15, what is true of a man-made covenant (contract)?

11. God also made a contract. He made it to Abraham and to his _______.

12. Now if you put verses 15 and 16 together, it must be the case that a covenant ratified by God cannot be broken either. In other words if human contracts can’t be broken, then certainly a contract by God can’t be broken.

13. If this is so, then the law which came 430 years after the contract with Abraham can’t annul it. If I as a grandparent promise my grandson a bike for his birthday and then when the day comes I tell him he can have it if he splits wood for me for a week, I have broken my promise and turned a gift into a wage that had to be earned. This is Paul’s argument in verse 18. God won’t break his promise and change the conditions.

14. An obvious question arises. What is the law for then? He answers the question in verse 19. Why was it added? … until when?

15. According to verse 22 the “Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.” So according to verses 23 and 24 when does that imprisonment end?

16. In Christ then, those who are of faith are the sons of God. (vs 26)

17. The conclusion reached in verse 29 states that “if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, and heirs according to promise.” You see God made a promise to bless Abraham and his offspring (seed). That promise can’t be canceled by the law because it predates the law. Being in Christ makes a person the recipient of that promise of blessing, unrelated to any legal requirements that the law might set forth.

The argument continues a little bit into chapter 4. Paul continues the thought of being an heir and he tells us that an heir is no different than a slave if the heir is a child. The child of a king or millionaire still has people telling him what to do and hauling him to this or that event. He can’t make his own decisions. So is that the kind of heir we are in Christ?

18. How long does he say that childhood lasts? (See 4:3-5)

19. Now that Christ has come, we are adult sons and heirs, not child heirs.

20. What’s the conclusion then in 4:7? In Romans 8:16-17 Paul says, The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”

If I may summarize this entire section then I would say it this way.

A person isn’t justified (saved) by keeping the law and he does not grow in his likeness to Christ by keeping the law. Both come through faith. God gave a promise of blessing to Abraham and his seed and we are the recipients of that blessing if we have come to God by faith in Christ. That blessing has been given as a contract by God prior to any commandments being given and therefore does not depend on them to be fulfilled.

This should not be taken to mean that we can live any way we want, because God wants us to be like him. But that becoming like him will come as work of God from within us and not from our efforts to accomplish it by keeping the law.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Bible Study - Galatians 3

Bible study is such an important activity and yet many Christians don’t actually do much. For that reason, once in a while on this blog I hope to encourage you to do some studying of a particular passage using the questions and comments that I’ll provide for you. I strongly encourage you to delve into these studies whenever you have an opportunity, especially if you don’t have a study program of your own. Dad’s, use these guides to study the Bible with your wife or older children. It will help you be the spiritual leader you desire to be.

In this study we are going to look at Galatians 3. It’s hard to say that one portion of Scripture is more important than any other, but I would have to say that this is an extremely important passage. I’ll be using the ESV version of the Bible in the quotations I provide.

To begin then, you should take the time to read through the chapter a couple of times – maybe even once a day for a week.

Many Christians realize that we are saved and justified by faith, but return to an effort of works to produce the fruit and sanctification of the Christian life. (Sanctification is the process of transformation that makes us more and more like Christ.) What Paul is trying to explain to the Galatian people is that it’s all faith from beginning to end.

1. Look at the questions he asks in verses 2 – 5. Notice how he is connecting the initial salvation to the rest of the Christian life.

2. In verse 6 then what was counted as righteousness for Abraham? What did Abraham have to do to be counted righteousness? In other words what task did he have to perform?

3. Read verses 7-9. Who are the sons of Abraham? What do the Gentiles receive by faith? (vs 8) What do those of faith have? (vs 9)

4. Do some thinking about what it means to be blessed. It means to have God speak kindly toward someone and to act favorable toward someone.

5. Moving on to verse 10 now, you will notice a complete contrast to blessing. What is the opposite of blessing mentioned in verse 10?

6. Who is under that curse? How perfect does one have to be under the law to avoid the curse?

7. What Paul is saying then in verses 11 and 12 is that there are two ways to live – either by faith which he quotes from Habakkuk 2:4 or by the law where he quotes from Leviticus 18:5. The two can’t be mixed.

8. Then in verse 13 he quotes from Deuteronomy 21:23. According to that verse who is cursed? What does that say about Christ then seeing that he was hung on a tree?

9. The point he is working up to then comes in verse 14 where he tells us that since Christ was a curse for us, we can receive the blessing of Abraham. In other words the promised Spirit and all of the benefits of His work in our lives comes as a result of faith, not as a result of putting yourself under some legal system. The curse has already been dealt to Christ and therefore we are free to receive the blessing.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Encouragement for Today

I read something today that was very encouraging and uplifting and wanted to share it with each of you. My wife and I are reading “Our Lord Prays for His Own” by Marcus Rainsford, published by Moody Press in 1950 . I have included excerpts several times in this blog. Today’s reading was very interesting and encouraging I thought. I’m going to paraphrase his thoughts since the original is somewhat difficult to work through. This is from pages 201-202.

The author is discussing Jesus’ prayer for his people and is particularly focusing on the phrase, “I kept them in thy name.”

So with apologies to Marcus Rainsford, here’s my rendition:

One principal way in which our precious Savior kept His people “in His name,” is by allowing them to learn in their daily experience all the many varieties of their needs. While he is doing that, he is demonstrating there is no need or even partial need for which there is not an abundant supply of help from the fullness and faithfulness of their God. In this way they are kept in a way so that they remain humble while Christ is glorified and all the praise goes to Him. It is very difficult and humbling to our pride to have God deal with us this way, but it is the way the Son of God kept His disciples, and it is the way our heavenly Father keeps us now.

We are often very much distressed by supposing, perhaps correctly, that there is something in us, some temptation or response to life that causes us to doubt we are Christians. We sometimes think we have a trial or temptation which we are not aware of anyone else having, and knowing that we are assaulted and sometimes fall before temptations which we never heard or read of in the experience of any other Christian. We stagger in unbelief, we write bitter things against ourselves almost to the point of letting go altogether.

Now, there is not a single sample of fallen humanity, there is not a phase of human weakness, there not any imaginable illustration of human depravity or ruin that there is not a remedy for in the Lord Jesus Christ. And God uses those remedies as a declaration of the glory of Christ and the Father. Suppose I am a part of the Church, suppose I have a makeup like no one else, suppose the history of my experience is unlike that of any other Christian. Suppose my temptation is unusual and my trial unparalleled in the history of Christianity. It’s necessary for there to be cases like mine in order to show the glory of God, that there is a provision in Christ’s fullness for such a case as mine. I might as well be that individual as any one else. Would it be better if you and I changed places? What I want to learn is that there is in the name of my Christ that which meets my need, and that there is in “the fountain open for sin and uncleanness,” that which has washed away my guilt. As a result, my song will be the loudest when the chorus of the redeemed singers sing His praises, because my need was the greatest.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Memorization Monday -- Resources - Holy Spirit

If you make New Year's resolutions, a good one might be to memorize a verse of Scripture each week. Just check back here each Monday. And to make things easier for you, sometimes my weekends are busy and I don't get a verse posted for that week and so you have extra time to review the verses you have been working on.

This series of verses and their topics is from the Navigator's Topical Memory plan.

You can see the entire list posted on my website here:

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Hymn of the Week - My Hope is Built on Nothing Less

The hymn I've chosen for this week is "My Hope is Built on Nothing Less". The second verse has the phrase "my anchor holds within the veil."

We are studying the book of Hebrews in Sunday School and in chapter 6 the writer speaks of the strong confidence we can have in God because He not only made a promise to His people, but He confirmed it with an oath. The writer tells us that this hope we have is an anchor for the soul. This anchor is grounded behind the veil where Jesus Christ our forerunner has gone ahead of us and for us. In the earthly tabernacle, God dwelt behind the veil and only the high priest could go there and only once a year. Now, one of us, the God-Man Jesus Christ has entered there on our behalf and is a foundation and guarantee for those of us who have fled to Christ for refuge.

My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less:

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus' name.

On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.

When Darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil.


His oath, his covenant, his blood
supports me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
he then is all my hope and stay.


When he shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in him be found!
Dressed in his righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne!


Saturday, January 01, 2011

A New Year; A New Beginning

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I used to, but I found that I was not able to keep most of them. One of the things that I discovered about myself is that when I would fail to keep my resolution I would subconsciously think that I couldn’t begin again until the next New Years Day. I would sometimes do that with Bible reading. I would determine that I would read the Bible through in a year and then in about March or April when I would get further and further behind, instead of just picking up and reading from where I left off, I would give up entirely on the goal of reading it through until the next year began. Then I would begin the cycle all over again. I certainly got to know Genesis through Leviticus pretty well!

The thing a new year offers is the sense that we can set a goal and work toward that goal. That’s not a bad thing. Some of us need to lose some weight. Some need to reinvigorate their spiritual lives. Some need to cultivate serving others rather than self. These are all worthwhile goals but we need to remember that if we fall down somewhere along the way, we can get back up and renew our “resolution” right then. We don’t have to wait for another year to roll around. Proverbs 24:16 says, “For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again.”