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“You are stewards here. God has committed unto you your mind, your heart, your physical skills. Your spiritual gifts, preaching, teaching, helps, administration, exhortation, the gift of giving, the gift of showing mercy. These are all spiritual gifts and every Christian has them and they are your stewardship. Are you a faithful person in distributing that stewardship to the rest of the family of God? Or do you live in isolation. Are you using your ministries? Are you using your gifts, your abilities? Are you responsible in the areas of fellowship, to care and to pray and to edify and exhort and to challenge each other and to reprove each other and to restore each other? Are you fulfilling these things? This is your stewardship. And that’s why in 1 Peter Chapter 4 and verse 10, Peter says “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” God graciously has given you gifts. He wants them managed properly for the benefit of the unity of the body.” ~ John MacArthur, ‘The Mystery Revealed’, Ephesians 3: 1-4
“Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.”
“Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.”
“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.”
God has not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God has not promised, sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
God has not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He has not told us, we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care.
God has not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain, rocky and steep,
Never a river, turbid and deep.
But God has promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love!
“God will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever!”
~Annie J. Flint, 1919
HT: Grace Gems
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us! God is love.”
(1 John 4:16)
The sweeter the truth–the more backward we often are to receive and believe it. Therefore it must be presented to us again and again. What is more pleasant, than the fact that “God is love”?
Yet so quickly we doubt it, or forget it, or fail to realize it. Therefore the Gospel presents it to us again and again, and in almost every possible form. Twice within the scope of a few verses, John tells us that “God is love” (1 John 4:8,16).
Belief in this portrayal of God lies at the root of our holiness, happiness, and peace. To the extent that we believe that “God is love”–we will . . .
consecrate ourselves to His service,
enjoy peace in our consciences,
and be happy in His ways.
God loves us, and therefore He planned our salvation, sending His one and only Son to take away our sins by the sacrifice of Himself. He also sent His Holy Spirit to teach us our need of Christ and lead us to Him. And, finally, He has put His blessed Word in our hands so that through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures, we might have hope.
God loves us–and therefore He . . .
strips us, and
He will not let us live satisfied without Himself.
God is love–therefore He has provided an atonement for all our sins. His justice is satisfied, and Heaven is prepared for us!
Yes, though we were sinners by nature, and deeply feel it–though we are not all that we wish to be, and deeply deplore it–yet God loves us!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, who in His love and in His pity has redeemed me!
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins!”
(1 John 4:10)
~James Smith, “Comfort for Christians!”
HT: Grace Gems
“And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to His teaching.”
“But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part” Luke 10:39, 42
Let not the many trifles of time affect, distract, and bewilder you; but let the one thing needful be the constant object of pursuit and desire. Live at the feet of Jesus–and you are safe.
Seek, above all things, to enjoy Jesus–and you will be happy.
Aim in all things to glorify Jesus–and you will be holy.
Look daily for the coming of Jesus–and you will be consistent.
Seek to . . .
obey Him, and
O Jesus! manifest Yourself to me; draw me to Your feet, and keep me there!
~James Smith, ‘The Pastor’s Morning Visit’
HT: Grace Gems
It is astonishing that such a worm should be
so favored with discoveries of His beauty–whom
glorified saints and angels gaze with ineffable
delight. But, after all, I know not a thousandth
part of what He is, and what I have in Him.
Surely Christ is all!
How little, how verily nothing, am I.
Oh! that my lips, my life, and every action–
might speak His praise and glorify His name,
who is a Heaven to me!
~Ruth Bryan, ‘Gleanings from the Inner Life”
HT: Grace Gems
from John MacArthur’s teaching on Ephesians 1: 6-10
There are five Greek words in the New Testament that come from the legal vocabulary. They have to do with legal things in the Roman world, a legal background. Let me share them with you and then I’ll show you how they differ.
The first one is dikaiosis. Now dikaiosis is a word that means acquittal. It means acquittal in the court. When somebody was acquitted of a crime, we translate it in the Bible justification. Justification. Somebody is justified.
All right, there is a second word, aphesis. That word means to cancel a debt, to cancel a debt. Sometimes it would be a lawsuit or something would be wrangling in the court and there would be a judgment that would say you don’t owe that man anything the debt is cancelled, or whatever, retribution has been made, the price is paid, there’s the canceling of the debt. Aphesis in its legal sense means to cancel a debt, we translate it in the Bible, are you ready, forgiveness, forgiveness.
The third word is huiothesia. And that is a word that means in legalese, it means in the Greek world – adoption. Like a family would go to court to adopt a child. Now the Bible really uses it to speak of sonship, sonship. Becoming a son of God.
And then there is the word katallasso which legally means reconciliation. Sometimes people go to court for a divorce and they will be reconciled. Or sometimes two fighting factions will be brought into a suit and there will be reconciliation brought about. Now it means in a courtroom reconciliation and that’s exactly the way we translate it in the Bible. Paul talks about being reconciled to God.
The fifth word is apolutrosis, it means to redeem, to purchase to set free. And it is translated redemption.
Now listen and I’ll show you the distinction of these words.
In justification the sinner stands before God accused but he is declared righteous. In justification he stands before God accused but he is declared righteous.
In forgiveness, the second word, the sinner stands before God as a debtor and receives a cancellation of his debt.
In adoption the sinner stands before God as a stranger but he is made a…what? … son.
In reconciliation the sinner stands before God as an enemy but he is made a friend.
In redemption the sinner stands before God as a slave and he is receiving his freedom, you see.
All of those terms speak of the wondrous miracle of salvation. All of those things; justification,
forgiveness, adoption, reconciliation and redemption are provided because Jesus paid the price.
A song for morning worship that we sang in church yesterday. “I rest my weary soul in thee…”
“As your days–so shall your strength be.”
Sufficient to each day are the duties to be
done–and the trials to be endured. God never
built a Christian strong enough to carry today’s
duties and tomorrow’s anxieties piled on the
top of them!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each
day has enough trouble of its own.”
HT: Grace Gems