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May 18, 2014 Bulletin

He Cannot Love You More!
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 The Lord cares for His children! He knows our needs—and has promised to supply them. He knows our foes—and will deliver us from them. He knows our fears—and will make us ashamed of them. All creatures and things are in His hand, and at His disposal; all circumstances are under His absolute control. He . . .directs the angel, feeds the sparrow, curbs the devil, and manages the tempest! He is your Father—and His love to you is infinite. You are His delight—His dear child. Will He neglect you? Impossible! Cast then your cares upon Him. Tell out all your desires, fears, and troubles to Him; let Him know everything; keep nothing back. And then in the confidence of faith, expect Him to fulfill His Word, and act a Parent’s part. Bless Him for all He has given, for all He has promised. Plead with Him for all you may need. But never for one moment, or under any circumstances, distrust Him! He cannot love you more! He is your ever present help. He will rejoice over you to do you good, with His whole heart, and with His whole soul. “Cast all your care upon Him, because He cares about you!” 1 Peter 5:7
James Smith

Someone on television made this statement while being critical of another person, “He has never had an original thought.” I know very little about the man to whom he was referring, but I know that when it comes to spiritual matters, every original thought of man is wrong because it comes forth from a sinner. “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” Genesis 6:5.
I am thankful God the Spirit gives us some understanding of various verses of Scripture and over time often grants additional insight on those same passages. There is great cause for concern, however, when someone raises an original thought or promotes a new teaching that has not been proclaimed by the servants of God or heard by the people of God. When it comes to the gospel, the rule is, if it is true it isn’t new and if it is new it isn’t true. Continue with “the old paths where is the good way and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls” Jeremiah 6:16. God help us to stick with the 5 R’s and the 2 J’s: man was Ruined by the fall, God’s elect were Redeemed by the blood of Christ who was Raised again because He brought in everlasting Righteousness for His People by His substitutionary death and therefore the Holy Spirit will bring about the Regeneration of all those for whom the Savior died so that they will believe the Savior. God is both Just and Justifier through the cross-death of Christ. Those doctrines are glorious, but they are not new and they certainly did not originate with man.
I do not claim originality. My goal is to say what God has said, to set forth the gospel of sovereign grace, man’s sinfulness, accomplished redemption, imputed righteousness, effectual calling and to declare, “Christ is all.” Borrowing from Mr. Spurgeon I say. “I am content to live and die as the mere repeater of scriptural teaching, as a person who has…invented nothing, as one who never thought invention to be any part of his calling, but who concluded that he was simply to be a mouth for God to the people, mourning that anything of his own should come between.” You may have your original thoughts and your novel teachings, but I am delighted to remain aligned with “the everlasting gospel,” of the blessed God. “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun” Eccl. 1:9. Pastor Jim Byrd

“No man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand” John 10:29.
Think, my soul, how eternally safe and secure must the church of Jesus be, thus kept by the mighty power of God, through faith, unto salvation! What shall unclasp the hands of Jehovah? Who shall wrest the weakest, the humblest, the poorest of Christ’s little ones from the holding of His omnipotency? Why then art thou, my soul, so frequently exercised with fears, and doubts, and misgivings? It is the Lord’s love that is the foundation of thy assurance, and not the strength of thy graces! His own free mercy, and not thy merit were the first causes of thy calling; and what is it now, in thy present preservation, but the same which holds thee up and carries thee through every difficulty? “Yea, He loved the people; all His saints are in Thy hands” Deut. 33:3. Precious Lord Jesus! It is enough. How shall a child of Thine perish when secured by such almighty support? Oh to hear Thy voice, in the soft whispers of Thy love, comforting my soul as Thou didst the church of old. “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea they may forget; yet, will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands; they walls are continually before Me” Isaiah 49:15-16. Robert Hawker

Divine Immutability
The sovereign love and unmerited grace of God is the cause of our salvation. Since his love and grace is unchangeable, the effect of it must be unchangeable. That is to say, God constantly communicates his love and grace to every believer. Once his love is revealed and his grace bestowed upon the heart, he never takes it away: “for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” God was not moved to bestow his grace upon us by anything which he saw meritorious or attractive in us. And the absence of everything good in us will not cause God to withdraw the grace he has bestowed. When he first bestowed grace upon us, the Lord God knew that we were totally depraved and sinful. He knew that we were full of evil and void of good. And though, since our conversion, we have all been guilty of ingratitude, unfaithfulness, and sin of every kind, these things do not provoke the Lord our God to change his mind and withdraw his sustaining grace. He knew what we would be before he saved us. He chastens us because of our sin, like the loving Father he is; but he never withdraws his love. If he had not intended, from the beginning, to bear with our sin in longsuffering and patience, and to forgive our sin for Christ’s sake, he would never have saved us and called us in the first place. The cause of our salvation is entirely in God. His electing love, redeeming grace and power were given to us by an act of his sovereign goodness, without any consideration of what we were or might become. There was nothing in us to attract his grace. And there is nothing in any true believer’s heart or conduct which can ever cause the Lord our God to alter his purpose of grace and withdraw his love from us. —By Pastor Don Fortner

In the Book of Acts we read that “all that believed were together, and had all things common” (2:44). There was no precept for the communal living of the Church, which seems to have been what they were practicing at the time. Yet, the principle and attitude of those early believers about their personal property is clearly a gospel principle. These men and women recognized that they were one family in Christ. Whatever God had blessed them with in his good providence, they looked upon not as something given for their personal pleasure and gratification, but as goods entrusted to them for the welfare of God’s family and the furtherance of the gospel of Christ.
Whatever the Lord has given us, individually and collectively, he has entrusted to us to use for his honor, for the welfare of his Church, and for the furtherance of the gospel. My home is an inn for God’s children. My car is a vehicle to transport God’s people from one place to another and God’s servants from one town to another. My money is a bank account for the needs of God’s church and his servants. What about my personal property? I have none. All that I am and all that I have belongs to Christ.
—Pastor Don Fortner