HOPE IN CHRIST ALONE
If there is any grace in me, God put it there. “Twas grace that set me apart in distinguishing love before the stars were made. “Twas grace that set me apart from the mass of mankind; was grace that brought me safe this far, and grace will lead me home. Lay the foundation of your hope in Jesus Christ. Begin with Christ and end with Christ. As Christ Jesus becomes more to you, self will grow less and less. If your faith puffs you up, it is not the faith of Christ. God will help us when we are weak. He will bless us as long as we confess our dependence upon His blessing. He will fill us when we are empty. He will feed us when we are hungry. He will be our all when we are nothing. He will forgive us when we are guilty. But the moment we begin to boast in ourselves and feel sufficient, we will be left to learn, in no uncertain terms, that we are naked, poor, blind, and miserable. Terrible will be the day when proud rebels discover, too late, the dust and ashes of human merit!
— John Newton
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
“I am not satisfied with my faith,” says one. No, of course you aren’t, nor will you ever be; at least I hope not! The Bible does not say, “Therefore being satisfied with our faith we have peace with God.” It says, “Being justified by faith we have peace with God.”
“I am not satisfied with my repentance.” That is wonderful! What would you do with your repentance if you were satisfied with it? Would you find peace in repentance? Would you bring it to God instead of the blood? Oh, what pride and self-righteousness must be in any person who is satisfied with his repentance and faith! That person could never find true peace, for such a refuge of lies must fall.
“I am not satisfied with my love.” What? Did you expect, on this earth, to be satisfied with any grace found in you? Was it your love for Christ or His love for you that gave you peace at first? Now then, there is but one thing with which Almighty God is satisfied – entirely satisfied – and that is the Person and Work of His Son. It is with Christ that we must be satisfied – not with ourselves nor anything about us! When we cease from our labors and all our righteousness, and enter into His rest, pardon and peace will come without delay.
— H. Bonar
HE NEVER CHANGES
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. I am so thankful that as I grow older and things change, inside and out, that there is one who never changes.
- His love never changes with time, for he loved me with an everlasting love that knows no change.
- His power never changes. He is just as able to keep me from falling today as when I first began.
- His Word never changes: “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19) Has he not magnified his word above his name?
- His election of me shall never change. He will never cast off those whom he has chosen, for they will never do anything that he did not know about and has not already taken care of.
- The Power of His Blood shall never change. It still cleanses from all sin. No matter how deep the stain has gone, his blood washes it away.
- His Sacrifice will never change; it will never lose its effectiveness because it is always fresh in the midst of the Throne of God: “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain,…” (Revelation 5:6) We have a living sacrifice standing in the midst of the Throne of God.
When we rise out of our beds in the morning and go through our changes, just remember that there is one who remains the same yesterday, today and forever: The Rock Christ Jesus.
— John Chapman
Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is the great God, and the great King above all gods. …Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.
(Psalm 95:1-3, 6-7)
REASONS FOR ATTENDING CHURCH SERVICES
Based upon the Word of God, human nature, and from personal experience, I conclude that many people who attend church services are merely RELIGIOUS. The Lord said to a group of religious folk, “Well hath Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people draweth nigh unto me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” I believe most people are religious for gain, duty, habit, social contacts and a number of other reasons. But true believers attend church services because they are in love with and desire to worship and become better acquainted with a PERSON – THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!
The true believer (one who knows, worships, loves, trusts, and follows Jesus Christ) comes to the house of God with a real desire to worship (praise and thank) his God and Savior Jesus Christ. It is a PERSON who draws him to the worship services, and that is just what he does – WORSHIP! The religious need to be entertained during the service and impressed by spiritual surroundings; but believers need only to hear God’s Word preached, pray, and sing His praises. In fact, the simpler the service and the more preaching of Christ, the better the believer likes it; for it is Christ he has come to hear about and worship.
–- Henry Mahan
The True Believer
The true believer does not love sin, he loves Christ and holiness. He would like to be perfect and without even the thought of sin, and he longs for the day when this promise in Christ will be a reality. He grieves over his sins, mourns over his infirmities, and feels that he is, indeed, the chief offender. He does not excuse, nor justify, his sins but owns and confesses them daily.
— Henry Mahan
“You will find all true theology summed up in these two short sentences—salvation is all of the Grace of God—damnation is all of the will of man.”
—- Charles Spurgeon