“It is GOOD for me that I have been AFFLICTED, that I MIGHT LEARN thy ways” (Psalm 119:71).
God’s ways and God’s Word are best learned by experience and in time of trouble. When our Lord is pleased to lay His hand heavily upon us, we do not soon forget the lessons learned. When the Lord singles out a believer or a church for special affliction and adversity, it is not for punishment, nor lack of love for them; it is for eternal blessings and because He does love them. “Whom the Lord loveth” He chastens, corrects and teaches! When Job sat before his friends, who was afflicted? THE ONE GOD LOVED! When Paul stood before King Agrippa, who wore the chains? THE ONE GOD LOVED! Humanly speaking, which path of life would you prefer to live on earth, that of Esau or Jacob? Esau had the life of prosperity and ease; Jacob was full of trouble and conflict, BUT GOD LOVED JACOB! Thank God He has loved us in Christ and is pleased to teach us His ways by dealing with us in such a way that we are weaned from the world and find our life, comfort and hope only in Him. A person who measures his blessings and relationship with God by his prosperity, health, happiness and worldly comforts makes a fatal mistake. “If ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons” (Hebrews 12:8). Paul said, “Most gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians12:9-10). He who sends the trial for His glory and my good will supply sufficient grace. Those who know the Redeemer, also know that when we are weak, we are strong; when we are poor, we are rich; when we are empty, we are full; when we die, we live! —Pastor Henry Mahan
“They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:) That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.” Psalm 49:6-9
The Doctrine Of Balaam
When Balak called for Balaam to curse Israel, God restrained him. Much to Balak’s disgust, God forced Balaam to bless his people (Numbers 22-24). Yet, Israel became involved in the worship of Baal (Numbers 25:1-3) as the result of Balaam’s counsel (Numbers 31:16). Balaam’s doctrine is compromise with the religion of the world. He did not advise Israel to give up the worship of Jehovah. He simply told them it would be wise to accept the worship of Baal and go along with the religious customs, traditions, and practices of their pagan neighbors (Numbers 25:1-9). Be warned! Compromise with false religion is damning to the souls of men. Compromise is the way of least resistance, the way approved of by the world, the way that is easiest on the flesh. But any compromise of God’s truth is an outright denial of Christ (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1). We must never give any credibility to the religion of this world. The only way to remove the offense of the gospel is to deny the gospel. Those who preach man’s free will deny God’s sovereignty. Those who preach salvation by the will, works, or worth of the sinner deny salvation by grace. Those who preach universal atonement deny the efficacy of Christ’s blood. Those who preach universal grace deny the efficacy of God’s saving grace. Such people may talk about grace, redemption, and salvation; but their doctrine is free will and works, and results in damnation to all who follow them in the way of Balaam. We must never seek agreement with such men, even in the name of peace, unity, and brotherly love. The only way we who believe the gospel can get along with those who do not is for us to deny the gospel. That we must not do! Don Fortner
WHO CAN TAME THE TONGUE?
“The tongue can no man tame: it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). Obviously, no man can tame the tongue. I have tried to tame mine, and out come words of criticism, hurt, and self justification. But God can and does tame the tongue. I cannot tame my tongue, but I want my tongue to be tamed by the grace of God! Lord, tame my tongue, so that the words that come out of my mouth are true, gracious, kind, and encouraging. Somebody once said that everything that passes through our lips ought to go through these three checkpoints. (1) Is it true? (2) Is it necessary to say? (3) Is it kind? When, by the grace of God, our words go through those three checkpoints, we are speaking with a tamed tongue. Tamed by the grace of God.
– Pastor Todd Nibert
SOVEREIGN BUT MERCIFUL
“For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” –Romans 9:15
Why is it that when God’s servants preach the sovereignty of God in the salvation of elect sinners that many charge God with being an unfair tyrant? We declare plainly that God has mercy on whom He will have mercy and that He will have compassion on whom He will have compassion and the unbelieving, whether religious or reprobate, charge us with declaring that God delights in sending wicked men and women to hell. How can this be?
The problem some have in considering ‘Sovereignty’ is that they tend to make God altogether like unto themselves. Outside of Christ, man can only be described as evil. God, in the totality of his being, can only be described as ‘good.’ God is good, both in the punishment of sin, and in the forgiveness of sin. In either case he is just. When Moses, after seeing all of the plagues and miracles, asked God to show him his glory, he made all his ‘goodness’ pass before him. His goodness is, “I will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy” (Exodus 33:19). He will, because he is good, because he is able to do so in his goodness, because he is determined that not all of us are going to perish, in spite of ourselves. God declares, “I will shew mercy,”… and he will, to whomsoever He is pleased.
God forbid that any should preach God’s sovereignty in the salvation of sinners in a way that would portray God as being unmerciful! God is a Sovereign God who does what He wills, when He wills, how he wills, to whom He wills, but He wills to have mercy and compassion. Yes, my God is a Sovereign God, but, my God is also a merciful God who keeps mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…(Exodus 34:7).
Micah 7:18, Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy.
–Pastor David Eddmenson
The law offends us because it tells us what to do; grace offends us even more because it tells us we can’t do anything!” – Copied
Sometimes God calms the storm…and sometimes He lets the storm rage, and calms his child. – Copied