Four Years Ago – Christian, Don’t Wait Until November

Posted at: The Christian’s Report on July 9, 2016

Followers of Jesus Christ in the United States of America, in less than four months we will go to the polls and record our choice for those who will serve as our local, state, and federal elected officials.

Believers and unbelievers alike will approach that day with the hope that our lives, and the lives of our fellow countrymen and countrywomen, will be filled with hope for our future as a result of those who we elect.

Is this a child’s dream? A baseless desire?

Not according to God’s word it isn’t.

The God of Israel has spoken;
    the Rock of Israel has said to me:
When one rules justly over men,
    ruling in the fear of God,
 he dawns on them like the morning light,
    like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning,
    like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.

2 Samuel 23:3,4

Is it possible that we could find ourselves under the rule of men and women who would serve in such a manner that the promises in 2 Samuel 23 would be fulfilled?

Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testament expands on the joys of living under the rule of such a government:

These words are a further description of the king’s duty, which is not only to rule with justice and piety, but also with sweetness, and gentleness, and condescension to the infirmities of his people; to render his government as acceptable to them as is the sunshine in a clear morning, or the tender grass which springs out of the earth by the warm beams of the sun after the rain.

I realize that this nation is as far removed from these ideals as a horse’s tail is from its nose. But I ask myself why God would tell us of such a government if attaining the same was not possible?

I therefore must say that it is absolutely possible. But how?

Maybe we should approach our King, find his ear through our prayers, confess our sin, and beseech him that he would find favor on our nation.

Might we be able to find within God’s provisioning that single mustard seed worth of faith which would shake the upcoming elections at their very foundation?

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

Romans 13:1

See here? Is it not God who put our current government in place? Can not the same God answer his people’s prayers and install a government that governs with “sweetness, and gentleness, and condescension to the infirmities of his people?”

Meet with your God each morning, noon, and night. Cry out to him the words which he gives us in 2 Samuel 23 and Romans 13.

Do this for your family, your church, your nation. But most of all do this that God might be glorified through the faith of his people working as salt and light in this darkened world.

God bless you all, my prayer for God’s strength in your prayers is ongoing.

Larry

 

Our Being Filled With the Holy Spirit

C. H. Spurgeon

June 19 — Morning

“Be filled with the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18

“Walk in the Spirit (let your steps be guided by the Spirit,) and you will not gratify the evil desires of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16

Rich would the blessings of this day be, if we were filled with the Holy Spirit. The consequences of this sacred filling of the soul, would be impossible to overestimate. Life, comfort, light, purity, power, peace; and many other precious blessings are inseparable from the Spirit’s gracious presence.

As sacred oil—He anoints the head of the believer, sets him apart to the priesthood of saints, and gives him grace to execute his duties aright.

As the only truly purifying water—He cleanses us from the power of sin and sanctifies us unto holiness, working in us to will and to do of the Lord’s good pleasure.

As the holy light—He reveals the Lord Jesus to us, and guides us in the way of righteousness. Enlightened by His pure celestial ray, we are no longer walk in darkness—but in the light of Scripture truth.

As purifying fire—He both purges us from dross, and sets our consecrated nature ablaze. He is the sacrificial flame by which we are enabled to offer our whole souls as a living sacrifice unto God.

As heavenly dew—He removes our barrenness and nourishes our lives. O that He would drop from above upon us at this early hour! Such morning dew would be a sweet commencement for the day.

As the heavenly Dove, with wings of peaceful love—He broods over the souls of believers; and as a Comforter He dispels the cares and doubts which mar the peace of His beloved ones. He descends upon His chosen people, and bears witness to their sonship by working in them a filial spirit by which they cry Abba, Father!

As the wind—He brings the breath of spiritual life to men. He performs the quickening operations by which the spiritual creation is animated and sustained.

O that we might feel the Spirit’s presence and influence this day and every day!

Entering Into Our Rest

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Portion

June 17

“For we who have believed do enter into rest.” –Hebrews 4:3

We enter into rest by ceasing from our own works, and resting on Christ’s; according to the words, “For he who has entered into his rest, has also has ceased from his own works, as God did from his.” Now when you can fully rest upon the finished work of the Son of God, and believe by a living faith that your sins were laid upon his head; that he bore them in his body on the tree; that he has washed you in his precious blood, clothed you with his righteousness, and is sanctifying you by his Spirit and grace, then you can rest. There is something here firm and solid for the conscience to rest on.

While the law thunders, while Satan accuses, while conscience condemns there is no rest. But you can rest where God rests. God rests in his love; in the finished work of his dear Son; in the perfection of Christ’s humanity; in his fulfillment of all his covenant engagements; in the glorification of his holy law; in the satisfaction rendered to his justice; in the harmonizing of all his attributes; in the revelation of his grace and his glory to the children of men; for he is his beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased.

The tabernacle in the wilderness, and afterwards the temple on Mount Zion, was a type of the pure and sacred humanity of the Lord Jesus. There God rested in a visible manner by a cloud upon the mercy seat, called by the Jewish writers the Shekinah. This, therefore, was the place of his rest, as he speaks, “For the Lord has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his habitation. This is my rest forever–here will I dwell; for I have desired it” (Psalm 132:13, 14).

Our Entry

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“Behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” Matthew 27:51

No small miracle was wrought in the rending of so strong and thick a veil; but it was not intended merely as a display of power—many lessons were herein taught us.

The old law of ordinances was put away, and like a worn-out vesture, rent and laid aside. When Jesus died, the sacrifices were all finished, because all fulfilled in Him, and therefore the place of their presentation was marked with an evident token of decay.

That rent also revealed all the hidden things of the old dispensation: the mercy-seat could now be seen, and the glory of God gleamed forth above it. By the death of our Lord Jesus we have a clear revelation of God, for He was “not as Moses, who put a veil over his face.” Life and immortality are now brought to light, and things which have been hidden since the foundation of the world are manifest in Him.

The annual ceremony of atonement was thus abolished. The atoning blood which was once every year sprinkled within the veil, was now offered once for all by the great High Priest, and therefore the place of the symbolical rite was broken up. No blood of bullocks or of lambs is needed now, for Jesus has entered within the veil with his own blood. Hence access to God is now permitted, and is the privilege of every believer in Christ Jesus. There is no small space laid open through which we may peer at the mercy-seat—but the tear reaches from the top to the bottom. We may come with boldness to the throne of the heavenly grace.

Shall we err if we say that the opening of the Holy of Holies in this marvelous manner by our Lord’s expiring cry, was the type of the opening of the gates of paradise to all the saints by virtue of the Passion? Our bleeding Lord has the key of heaven; He opens—and no man shuts; let us enter in with Him into the heavenly places, and sit with Him there, until our common enemies shall be made His footstool.

Our Beholding Of Jesus

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarders

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

A view of Christ’s glory, and a foretaste of the bliss and blessedness it communicates, has a transforming effect upon the soul. We are naturally proud, covetous, and worldly, often led aside by, and grievously entangled in various lusts and passions, prone to evil, averse to good, easily elated by prosperity, soon dejected by adversity, peevish under trials, rebellious under heavy strokes, unthankful for daily mercies of food and clothing, and in other ways ever manifesting our vile origin. To be brought from under the power of these abounding evils, and be made “fit for the inheritance of the saints in light,” we need to be “transformed by the renewing of our mind,” and conformed to the image of Christ.

Now this can only be by beholding his glory by faith, as the Apostle speaks, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” It is this believing view of the glory of Christ which supports under heavy TRIALS, producing meekness and resignation to the will of God. We are, therefore, bidden to “consider him who endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest we be wearied and faint in our minds;” and to “run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus.”

SICKNESSES, also, sometimes befall us, when we need special support; the sands of our time are fast running out, and there is no turning the glass; our “days are passing away as the swift ships, as the eagle that hastens to the prey;” and death and eternity are fast hastening on. When the body sinks under a load of pain and disease, and all sources of happiness and enjoyment from health and strength are cut off; when flesh and heart fail, and the eye-strings are breaking in death, what can support the soul or bear it safe through Jordan’s swelling flood, but those discoveries of the glory of Christ, that shall make it sick of earth, sin and self, and willing to lay the poor body in the grave, that it may be forever ravished with his glory and his love?

Thus we see how the glory of Christ is not only in heaven the unspeakable delight of the saints, whose glorified souls and bodies will then bear “an exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” but here on earth, in their days of tribulation and sorrow, this same glory, as revealed to their hearts, supports and upholds their steps, draws them out of the world, delivers them from the power of sin, gives them union and communion with Christ, conforms them to his image, comforts them in death, and lands them in glory.

We thus see Christ, like the sun, not only illuminating all heaven with his glory, the delight of the Father, the joy of the spirits of just men made perfect, and the adoration of all the angelic host, but irradiating also the path of the just on earth, casting his blessed beams on all their troubles and sorrows, and lighting up the way wherein they follow their Lord from the suffering cross to the triumphant crown.

Our Treasure

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“In the house of the righteous is much treasure–but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.” Proverbs 15:6

How different is the estimate that faith makes of riches, honors, and comforts from that made by the world and the flesh! The world has no idea of riches but such as consist in gold and silver, in houses, lands, or other tangible property; no thought of honor, but such as man has to bestow; and no notion of comfort, except in “fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” But the soul that is anointed by an “unction from the Holy One,” takes a different estimate of these matters, and feels that the only true riches are those of God’s grace in the heart, that the only real honor is that which comes from God, and that the only solid comfort is that which is imparted by the Holy Spirit to a broken and contrite spirit. Now, just in proportion as we have the Spirit of God, shall we take faith’s estimate of riches, honor, and comfort; and just so much as we are imbued with the spirit of the world, shall we take the world’s estimate of these things.

When the eye of the world looked on the Apostles, it viewed them as a company of poor ignorant men, a set of wild enthusiasts, that traveled about the country preaching concerning one Jesus, who, they said, had been crucified, and was risen from the dead. The natural eye saw no beauty, no power, no glory in the truths they brought forth; nor did it see that the poor perishing tabernacles of these outcast men contained in them a heavenly treasure; and that they would one day shine as the stars forever and ever, while those who despised their word would sink into endless woe.

The spirit of the world, and the views that the flesh takes are not altered now. Nature ever remains the same, and can never understand or love the things of eternity; it can only look to, and can only rest upon, the poor perishing things of time and sense.

By this test, therefore, we may in a measure try our state. What, for instance, are our daily and hourly feelings about the things of time and sense, and what about the things of eternity? Which of the two press with more power on our minds, which occupy more of our thoughts, which are laid up more warmly in our affections? And just in proportion as the solemn things of eternity, or the things of time and sense, occupy our mind; just so much as our hearts are fixed upon heaven or earth; just so much as we are living to God, or to ourselves, in the same degree is the strength of our faith, and the depth of the work of grace upon our conscience.

Praying for the Lord’s Return

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“He shall see His seed; He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.” Isaiah 53:10

Plead for the speedy fulfillment of this promise, all you who love the Lord. It is easy work to pray when we are grounded and bottomed, as to our desires, upon God’s own promise. How can He who gave the Word refuse to keep it? Immutable veracity cannot demean itself by a lie, and eternal faithfulness cannot degrade itself by neglect. God must bless His Son, His covenant binds Him to it. That which the Spirit prompts us to ask for Jesus, is that which God decrees to give Him.

Whenever you are praying for the kingdom of Christ, let your eyes behold the dawning of the blessed day which draws near, when the Crucified One shall receive His coronation in the place where men rejected Him. Courage, you who prayerfully work and toil for Christ with success of the very smallest kind, it shall not be so always; better times are before you. Your eyes cannot see the blissful future: borrow the telescope of faith; wipe the misty breath of your doubts from the glass; look through it and behold the coming glory.

Reader, let us ask, do you make this your constant prayer? Remember that the same Christ who tells us to say, “Give us this day our daily bread,” had first given us this petition, “Hallowed be Your name; Your kingdom come; Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” Let not your prayers be all concerning your own sins, your own needs, your own imperfections, your own trials—but let them climb the starry ladder, and get up to Christ Himself, and then, as you draw near to the blood-sprinkled mercy-seat, offer this prayer continually, “Lord, extend the kingdom of Your dear Son!” Such a petition, fervently presented, will elevate the spirit of all your devotions. Mind that you prove the sincerity of your prayer by laboring to promote the Lord’s glory.

Thoughts on this world

We are instructed by God to not love the things of this world. Over the past 20 years, but especially the last 3 weeks, He has been steadily working in my heart and mind to enable me to obey this command.

But as this process unfolds, a realization emerges that separates the things that we experience from what the world offers us. And chief among those experiences are the ones that involve relationships with people.

The people in our lives assemble a tapestry that will endure throughout eternity. Jesus tells us that we will remember the times when we assisted those who were in need.

This last three weeks has been a time of reflection for me. I have pondered with gratitude the unlikely reality that at a time when I was not seeking Him, God called me; and through His love He brought me out of a dark existence and delivered me into His amazing light.

Regardless of how one interprets the current situation viz. the “virus”, it would seem apparent that God has determined that this nation’s corruption, immorality, and denial of His sovereign and righteous reign have reached the point where He will not allow the situation to continue unabated.

When I consider all that is contained in the idea of being a witness to God’s judgement on our nation it is overwhelming. I’m sure that the last three weeks have been an emotional roller coaster ride for most, if not all, people in this land. I’ve experienced fear, anger, and sadness in varying combinations and degrees.

Throughout, I never doubted that the God who was at work in this situation is a God who is faithful to His people. And so even when I was in the depths I knew that God had placed His care on those who fear Him.

If there are particularly difficult days in your life during this season I’m moved to remind you that God is already, through His Spirit, teaching you about the glory that will ultimately be revealed to you in its fullness.

For me, I am happy to report that I’ve made significant strides in letting go of the things of this world. It’s not a finished work but I thank God for the progress that I’ve seen. As for those things in this world that are lasting, and I’m speaking only of heart matters here, the music videos below captures a small bit of my past life and brings to mind some of the people that I’ve known.  And while no nation is without sin, I believe that for much or even most of our country’s history there was an abundance of goodness throughout this land.  It’s plainly apparent in my memory and I think also wonderfully so in the videos.