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Let us sing praises to our God and King!
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Success has become a modern fetish, it seems — from self-help seminars, to multi-level marketing schemes, to the yuppie mentality. A motivational and success-oriented mindset has even spilled over into the church. Instead of employing such worldly methods, however, we should emulate the lives and methods of successful biblical examples, such as the apostle Paul.
In this passage, Paul explains his secrets. First, he kept his attention on important things. Earthly things were of no value (vv. 7-8), while the knowledge of Christ and His sufferings was of great value (vv. 8,10). Paul’s desire was to acquire the ‘righteousness…which is through the faith of Christ’ (v. 9), and to attain eternal life (v. 11).
Second, he had a proper view of himself. He knew he was imperfect (v. 12) and incomplete (v. 13), having worth only through the work of Christ. Third, he didn’t dwell on past mistakes. Once forgiven through repentance and faith in Christ, he knew that he need no longer bear the guilt for his mistakes, and must not let them hinder his present ministry.
Fourth, Paul looked forward to the future, stretching himself to reach his goals (vv. 13-14). And his goals were high — ‘the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’ (v. 14).
What is the prize which awaits those who are successful in this high calling? ‘Our [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body’ (vv. 20-21).
~John D. Morris, Ph. D.
Days of Praise
Thursday, February 4
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his hosts!
3 Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For he commanded and they were created.
6 And he established them forever and ever;
he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.
7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!
9 Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Beasts and all livestock,
creeping things and flying birds!
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and maidens together,
old men and children!
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his saints,
for the people of Israel who are near to him.
Praise the Lord!
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“For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.”
(2 Corinthians 1:20)
The word “amen” is a most remarkable word. It is transliterated directly from the Hebrew into the Greek of the New Testament, then into Latin and into English and many other languages so that it is practically a universal word. It has been called the best-known word in human speech.
The word is directly related–in fact, almost identical–to the Hebrew word for “believe” (aman), or “faithful.” Thus, it came to mean “sure” or “truly,” an expression of absolute trust and confidence. When one believes God, he indicates his faith by an “amen.” When God makes a promise, the believer’s response is “amen”–“so it will be!” In the New Testament it is often translated “verily” or “truly.” When we pray according to His Word and His will, we know God will answer, so we close with an “amen,” and so also do we conclude a great hymn or anthem of praise and faith.
The word is even a title of Christ Himself. The last of His letters to the seven churches begins with a remarkable salutation by the glorified Lord: “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God” (Revelation 3:4). We can be preeminently certain that His Word is always faithful and true because He is none other than the Creator of all things, and thus He is our eternal “Amen.”
As our text reminds us, every promise of God in Christ is “yea and amen,” as strong and affirmation of truth as can be expressed in the Greek language.
It is, therefore, profoundly meaningful that the entire Bible closes with an “amen.” “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Revelation 22:21), assuring everyone who reads these words that the whole Book is absolutely true and trustworthy. Amen!
Henry M. Morris, Ph.D
Days of Praise, Tuesday, June 16