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

Showing posts with label god's blessing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label god's blessing. Show all posts

Friday, 6 April 2018

A Christ-Centred Life And A Christ-Centred Ministry

  • “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
One ministry was about to end. Another ministry was about to begin.
The second ministry would be greater than the first ministry.
- The first ministry was the ministry of John the Baptist.
- The second ministry was the ministry of Jesus the Saviour.
What a difference there is between a Baptist and the Saviour.
Plenty of people can baptize. Only one can save – Jesus.
  • “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
This is an abiding principle of the Christian life. The servant must decrease. The Saviour must increase. There must be less of self, and more of Christ. We must learn to focus on Christ as the very centre of our faith and life, our worship and witness. We will receive blessing from our Saviour, as we learn to keep Him at the centre of every part of our life.
  • “No one can receive anything except what is given him from heaven” (John 3:27).
What does the servant of the Lord bring to the people of God? We can only bring what is given to us by the Lord. God gives His Word to His servants, so that His people may give glory to the Lord.
  • In the service of the Lord, there is something we must never forget: “He who comes from above is above all” (John 3:31). In the service of the Lord, is there a guarantee of ‘success’? – Let’s look at Jesus’ ministry: “He bears witness to what He has seen and heard, yet no one receives His testimony” (John 3:32). “No one receives his testimony” – Does that sound depressing? Are all of us to expect a great ‘success story’? Is the authenticity of a ministry to be assessed by human criteria – How many people are coming to the services? How much money is being given to the church? We must always ask the question, what is most important – ‘success’ or obedience? Have not some become so infatuated with the idea of success that they have sacrificed reality and depth in order to get the success that means so much to them? What does this kind of success amount to? Not very much at all – if it amounts to a denial of the principle: “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
  • Worship in the Spirit and truth (John 4;24), preaching in the power of the Spirit (Acts 4:31) – These are the things that matter so much to the Lord. To lose sight of the importance of the things that matter most is to turn things around. It’s to make “I must increase” more important than “He must increase.” What happens when we start thinking like this? – “The glory has departed” (1 Samuel 4:21-22).
  • “The One whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit” (John 3:34).
In the ministry of our Saviour, we see something very different from the departure of the glory. We see the revelation of the glory. God’s Spirit is given. God’s Word is spoken. God is glorified. Sinners are saved. There’s a new song of praise to the Lord, a song that exalts the Name of Jesus our Saviour, a song that says, “Hallelujah”, a song that says, “Praise the Lord.”
  • “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” (John 3:36).
Wherever Christ is preached in the power of the Spirit, there will be salvation. This blessing comes when the Lord’s servants are faithful in preaching both the Gospel promise and the Gospel warning. How will people seek salvation unless they are told that they need to be saved? The warning is to be heeded, the promise is to be believed – and Christ is to be glorified.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Let Us Pray For More Of God's Blessing.

What God did for His people, Israel, was very great. There is a striking contrast between their slavery in Egypt and their abundance in the promised land. God had multiplied His blessing upon them, just as Jesus did when He turned water into wine (John 2:1-11). If the blessing is to be maintained and increased, we must honour the Lord. We must cry to Him for blessing: "Hear my prayer, O God, listen to the words of my mouth." We must call upon Him with faith: "Surely God is my help; the Lord is the One who sustains me" (Psalm 54:2,4).

The Rock and the River

The Rock and the River are still there – even when I can’t see them! We look out towards Dumbarton Rock and the River Clyde. There is, however, a problem! Straight ahead of us, there are some large trees. When the leaves are on the trees, we can’t see anything that’s behind the trees. We can’t see the Rock and the River – but they’re still there!
There is another Rock – Jesus Christ, the Rock of our salvation. There is another River – the Holy Spirit, the River of God’s blessing. When our faith is weak, we must remember this: Jesus is still the Rock of our salvation. When we don’t feel very blessed, we must remember this: the Holy Spirit is still the River of God’s blessing.
Jesus told a story about two builders. One was wise. He built his house on a rock. The other was foolish. He built his house on sand.  How are we to build our lives on Jesus Christ, the Rock of our salvation? We must hear His Word. We must obey His Word (Matthew 7:24). Hearing and obeying – this is the way of blessing. We read, in Ezekiel 47, about the River of God’s blessing: “The water came only to my ankles … the water came up to my knees … the water was up to my waist … the stream was so deep I could not wade through it. It was too deep to cross except by swimming” (verses 3-5). What an increase of blessing there is “when we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word” (Mission Praise, 760)!
 * There will be storms. There will be clouds. Beyond the storms and the clouds, there is the sunshine of God’s love. We must learn to lift up our eyes – and catch a glimpse of the glory of God. We walk about the streets of Bellsmyre. We hardly notice the beauty that’s all around us. Look to the north. Look to the south. Look to the west. Look to the east. What do you see? – “How clearly the sky reveals God’s glory! How plainly it shows what He has done!” (Psalm 19:1). When we see that our whole life is surrounded by the presence of God our Creator, we are encouraged. We look at our problems, and we say, “I look to the mountains; where will my help come from? My help will come from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2). 
 * We come to the Lord’s House. We gather together to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. We are called to remember Jesus and His love for us. We find it difficult to focus our attention on Him. We feel that His love is not really getting through to us. At the Lord’s Table, is there a word of encouragement for us? Yes! There is! The Lord’s Supper is not so much about our remembering Jesus. It’s about Jesus remembering us. When we forget Him, He never forgets us. What a wonderful message this is! We are loved with the greatest love of all. It’s the love that will never let us go. Jesus loves us with “an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). When we are assured of Christ’s love for us, we begin to say, in our hearts, “To God be the glory! Great things He hath done” (Mission Praise, 708).
 * As we come to the House of the Lord, we hear the words, “Let us worship God.” Jesus reminds us that “God is Spirit, and only by the power of His Spirit can people worship Him as He really is” (John 4:24). We hear about being “in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day” (Revelation 1:10). All of this seems so far beyond us. We are “weak.” In our hearts, we say, “we do not know how we ought to pray.” Coming to the Lord in our weakness, we hear His Word of encouragement: “the Spirit comes to help us” (Romans 8:26). Jesus loves us. The Holy Spirit helps us. The Lord is with us. He wants to bless us: “He is here, He is here, He is moving among us; He is here, He is here, as we gather in His Name! He is here, He is here, and He wants to work a wonder; He is here as we gather in His Name” (Mission Praise, 218).
May the Lord bless each and every one of us as we gather together to worship Him. Let us look to Him in eager expectation of His abundant blessing.

Friday, 13 January 2017

What does the future hold for us?

God’s Word encourages us to look forward to His future. Here’s a prayer which will help you to do this: We think, Lord about the future, and all we can say is this, “We don’t know what the future holds.” We turn to You. We ask You, “What does the future hold for us?” You give us Your answer to our question. It may not be the answer that we were looking for – but it is always the true answer, the best answer, the only answer. You say to us, “I know what the future holds.” Help us, Lord, to trust You. Help us to say more than “I know not what the future holds.” Help us to say something else – “I know who holds the future.”
“May God’s blessing surround you each day, as you trust Him and walk in His way. May His presence within guard and keep you from sin. Go in peace. Go in joy. Go in love.” (Cliff Barrows – Mission Praise, 460).

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