Charles’s quotes

"It is surely ours to combine these elements of mourning for sin and joy in our salvation in one complex and composite experience which keeps us perpetually humble and yet perpetually joyful too."— Rev William Still

Friday, 22 February 2019

Lord, we thank You that Jesus came to earth for us ...

Lord, we thank You that Jesus came to earth for us – and we thank You that He died for us.
He ‘came to seek and to save the lost’ (Luke 19:10). He came to bring us back from our wandering about in the shadows of our life. He came to bring us into the light of Your love.
Lord, we give You thanks for Jesus.

“Love Is God” Or “”God Is Love”?

Some people begin with their own idea of “love” and then say, “That’s what God is like.” They may dip into the Bible, reading their favourite passages. They will not take the trouble and make the time for reading the whole Bible. They say, “Why bother putting a lot of time and effort into studying the Bible. We already know what God is like.” They quote the words, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). What they really mean is, “Love is God.” When the Bible says, “God is love”, it doesn’t encourage us to start from our own idea of “love.” It encourages us to begin with God. We learn of Him as we read His Word. As we learn of His love, we learn that it is a holy love. God’s love is a holy love because God is a holy God. The difference between “love is God” and “God is love” cannot be overemphasized. To say “All you need is love. Love is all you need” is not the same as saying, “We need God.” When we say, “We need God”, we will not say, “all you need is love.” We will say, “We need God’s love and we also need His holiness.” Where do we learn of both God’s love and His holiness? – It’s from His Word that we learn of His holy love. We bow before Him in worship, echoing the words of Isaiah 6:3 – “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord … ” We rejoice in the wonder of His love, giving thanks for the great words of Isaiah 6:7 – “Your sin is forgiven.”

Lord, we thank You that You want to bless us ...

Genesis 27:1-40
Lord, we thank You that You want to bless us - more than we want to be blessed by You. We don't deserve to be blessed - but You keep on blessing us. Help us never to forget to say, "Thank You, Lord." Help us always to treasure Your blessing - and to keep on praying that it will grow and grow and ...

Great Sin And Even Greater Grace

"The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth" (Genesis 6: 5) - This is great sin. "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord" (Genesis 6:8) - This is even greater grace. God could have looked on the whole human race , and said, "Enough is enough. That's us finished." He didn't do this. He didn't give up on us. He kept on going - with His purpose of grace, His plan of salvation. Beyond the flood, there was the new beginning. God was doing a new thing. This was the work of His grace. It had nothing to do with human righteousness. It had everything to do with divine mercy - the saving grace of God. When you read about the flood, look beyond the destruction - and see the salvation of God.

God's Blessing - Given, Accepted And Enjoyed (Genesis 12 & 13)

The “land” was given to Abraham by God. It was to be the land of His “blessing” (Genesis 12:1-3).  God’s gift of grace calls forth our response – “Abraham went, as the Lord had spoken to him” (Genesis 12:4). God had spoken. Abraham had acted upon God’s Word. Was it all plain sailing after that? No! There were trying times ahead of Abraham, times when he had to keep his eyes on the Lord. Receiving God’s gift of salvation does not guarantee that we will always walk with the Lord. We fall into sin – when we take our eyes off the Lord. “Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land” (Genesis 12:10). What are we make of this? What was going on here? Here are two different ways of looking at this situation – “Even when we are where God wants us to be, all will not necessarily go well for us materially – no matter what the prosperity gospel teaches. Abram was in the land God had sent him to, but that land was afflicted by famine (Genesis 12:10). The Lord does, however, guarantee to provide a way out. While there was famine in Canaan, there was enough food in Egypt and so Abram went there to wait till the famine in Canaan was over (Genesis 12:11)” (Africa Bible Commentary); “During a time of serious famine, Abram left the place of God’s choosing and fled to Egypt, a symbol of the world. This move bred trouble” (Believer’s Bible Commentary). Was Abram led by the Lord to go to Egypt? or Did he take a wrong turning? One thing we can say is this: When Abraham arrived in Egypt, he needed to be very careful. There’s a lesson for us here: We are not to rest content with receiving God’s gift of salvation. We are to press on from the beginnings of our faith. We are to press on to a greater enjoyment of our salvation. This growing joy in the Lord is more than looking back and saying, “There was a day in my life when I accepted Jesus as my Saviour.” We look back with thanksgiving. We say, “O happy day that fixed my choice on You, my Saviour and my God” – but we must not remain in the past. The life of faith is for here-and-now. The vow that we made to the Lord when we first came is to be renews day-by-day: “So God, who heard my solemn vow, in daily prayer shall hear my voice till in my final breath I bow and bless the day that fixed my choice” (P. Doddridge, this version - Jubilate Hymns). Abraham let the Lord down. He had accepted the Lord’s will for his life, and then he had lost his way. Did he lose his way by going to Egypt? or Did he lose his way once he had arrived in Egypt? Whatever may be said about Abraham losing his way, there is something we must not overlook: Abraham found his way back to the Lord. He learned from his mistakes.If his time in Egypt taught him anything, it taught him this: Be careful. Abram saw that “the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord” – and Abraham made sure that he kept well away from that place (Genesis 13:8-13, “Lot got grass for his cattle. Abram got grace for his children”, Believer’s Bible Commentary – Lot plunged into worldliness. Abraham progressed into holiness). We are not saved by our great holiness. We are saved by the grace of God – the God who gives to us His salvation. We receive this salvation through faith in Christ – “it is not our own doing, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). We need, however, to be reminded, again and again, that our joy in the Lord will only grow strong when we are learning to walk with Him on the pathway of holiness – “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, for good works … ” (Ephesians 2:10).

Let The Living Water Flow.

“And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water, which Abimelech’s servants had violently taken away” (Genesis 21:25, King James Version).
As I read this verse, I found myself thinking about God’s Word and God’s Spirit. Through God’s written Word, the Holy Spirit speaks to us His Word of “reproof” and “correction” (2 Timothy 3:16). In His ministry of reproof, He says to us, “This is not the way you are to go.” In His ministry of correction, He says to us, “This is the way you are to go.” Leading us out of the wrong way and into the right way – this is the Spirit’s ministry of reproof and correction. Jesus speaks of this ministry of the Spirit – He leads us out of “sin” and into “righteousness” (John 16:8). The Holy Spirit calls us to look at ourselves honestly. He shows us that we “have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters” (Jeremiah 2:13). Jesus calls us to “come to Him and drink.” He says to us that, when we believe in Him, “rivers of living water will flow from our hearts” (John 7:37-38).

Gathered To His People

“Gathered to his people” (Genesis 25:8,17)
This phrase caught my attention. It brought to mind the words of Jesus – ” … they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect … from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:30-31). What a great and glorious future the Lord is preparing for His people! We thank the Lord for what He done. We look forward, and we say, “The best is yet to be” – “if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10).

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