Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Now the God of patience and consolation give you that ye be like-minded one towards another, according to Christ Jesus, That ye with one mind, and with one mouth may praise God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
The Epistle to the Romans 15:5-7

Monday, September 29, 2014

16 Cause not your commodity to be evil spoken of. 17 For the kingdom of God, is not meat nor drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the holy Ghost. 18 For whosoever in these things serveth Christ, is acceptable unto God, and is approved of men. 19 Let us then follow those things which concern peace, and wherewith one may edify another.
The Epistle to the Romans 14:16-19

Also to meditate upon;
Ephesians 4:29; Philippians 4:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Second Coming of Christ 
by Billy Sunday  (1862-1935)
"Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them  
in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words" (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18).

The meeting here mentioned is to be the greatest meeting the Bible tells us anything about. There have been some wonderful meetings, but never has there been one to compare with this.  It was a wonderful meeting the children of Israel had on the shore of the Red Sea, after Pharaoh's pursuing host had been destroyed in the angry waters, and Miriam, the prophetess, with her timbrel, led the people in singing, "Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea" (Exod. 15:21). 

And it was another great meeting they had at the foot of Mount Sinai, when the Law of God was given to them amid thunders and lightnings and fire and smoke. 

That was a great meeting, too, on Mount Carmel, when Elijah, the sturdy Tishbite, defied the prophets of Bal; and that was a great meeting where David danced before the Ark of God, as it was home into Jerusalem. It was a great meeting when Solomon dedicated the temple, and the glory of the Lord came upon the people, and those were great meetings that were held on the banks of the Jordan when Jerusalem and all Judea went out to hear the man who dressed in camel's hair and wore a linen girdle, and lived on locusts and wild honey. 

It was a wonderful meeting when Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, and another when He fed the multitude with five loaves and two fishes.  And that was a great meeting on the day of Pentecost, when the Spirit came like a rushing mighty wind, and under Peter's preaching about three thousand were converted.

All these were great meetings, and any number of others have been held, both in former times and in our own day. Those were great meetings in the early days of Methodism, when Wesley and Whitefield preached to great multitudes in the fields.  Those were great meetings when multitudes were flocking to hear Finney and Moody; and great meetings have since been held by other great evangelists all around the world. But no meeting has ever been held anywhere or in any time that could begin to compare in importance with the greatest of all meetings that is to be held in the air, when our Lord comes to make up His jewels. 

That meeting is the one for which all others have been preparing the way.  It will be the crowning meeting of all history.  The purpose of all that has been done in this world up to the present time has been to prepare for that great meeting in the air. 

From Adam, mankind has been marching step by step up a grand stairway leading direct to that meeting in the air.  The call of Abraham was one step toward it, and Jacob and his twelve sons were another.  Joseph ruling Egypt  was another; the deliverance under Moses another; the conquest of Canaan under Joshua another, and so on with every event in sacred history. It was for this Jesus suffered on the Cross to make atonement for sin.  It was for this He arose from the dead and ascended into Heaven, where he took His place at the right hand of the Father.  It was for this the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, and it was for this that Churches have been organized and missionaries sent to the ends of the earth. 

These things have all been done to prepare the way, and lead up to the meeting which is so graphically described in the text. It was for this meeting God made His plans before He laid the foundations of the earth, and it was of this meeting He was thinking before the morning stars sang together. 

We are not told when Jesus will come, but we are told that His coming is sure, and we are charged to watch for it. 

Anybody who says that he knows when Jesus is coming is a liar.  When they say that they know when He is coming they lie. 

Only Jesus and the Father know when the Savior is coming again. Yet the Church today shows as little concern about His coming again as His disciples did about His going away.  All this is fully in accord with Peter: "There shall come in the last days scoffers walking after their own lusts, saying, Where is the promise of His coming, for since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning until now?" (2 Pet. 3:3-4). 

Jesus not only foretold His going away, but charged His followers to expect His return, and be ready for it: "Watch, therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. Therefore, be ye also ready, for in such an hour as Ye think not the Son of Man cometh" (Matt. 24:42-44). 

Jesus said: "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; then shall the end come" (Matt. 24:14). 

Before I started to Preach in Omaha God knew the names of every man, woman and child who would be saved as a result Of my preaching - If God didn't know that, He wouldn't be God. And God knew all about the fools who wouldn't be saved, and He knew that all of Omaha wouldn't be saved. I tell you that God is pretty wise to who are going to Hell and who are going to Heaven - The sooner you get that through your head and don't try to sidestep Jesus, the sooner the devil will let go the stranglehold he has upon most of you. 

There is not a nation on the face of the earth that has not had the Gospel preached within its bounds. The second coming of Christ is the emphatic doctrine of the New Testament.  It is mentioned and referred to more than 350 times, and yet the majority of Church members never heard a sermon on the subject; that is the reason they think so little of looking into the matter themselves. 

The Church makes much of Baptism, but in all of Paul's epistles Baptism is only mentioned or referred to thirteen times, while the return of the Lord is mentioned fifty times.  This certainly shows which he considered the most important. McCheyne, the great Scotch preacher, once said to some of his friends: "Do you think Christ will come back tonight?" One after another they said: "I think not." Then he solemnly repeated: "Watch, therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.  Therefore, be ye also ready,  for in such an hour as ye think not the son of man cometh" (Matt. 24:42-44). With such admonitions as this, what right have we to be unconcerned about it and say, as many preachers do, "It is nothing to me; I take no interest in the subject, whatever." Who would care to travel on a train where the engineer would never read his orders?  Who would ride on a ship where the captain never looked at the compass?  You may call it rubbish, but the disciples called it the "blessed hope." 

"Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say" If Jesus had said: "I will not return for 2,000 years," nobody would have begun to took for Him before the time was near, but He expects his followers to be always looking for His return.  Just as Simeon and Anna watched and waited for His coming, so we should be watching and waiting for His return. 

It is not enough to say, "Oh, I'm a Christian; I'm all right." We are not all right unless we obey the command to watch, for it is certainly as much of a command to look for the coming of the Lord as it is to keep the Sabbath holy.  Nothing else will do so much to keep us right where we should be in our religious experience. Knowing that the bank examiner may drop in at any moment keeps many a cashier from becoming dishonest. We should purify the Church that it may be the proper Bride to meet the Lord in the air.  How pure is the Church today?  How pure are the Church members?  How pure are the Preachers? 

I suppose there would be a mighty scramble to get right with God if you all found out that Jesus was going to return tonight.  It wouldn't make any difference to Jesus if you had to do the right thing just because He turned up unexpectedly.  You would have to prove to Him that you were on the level with Him, and although you might all be baptized, sprinkled and immersed, there would be nothing doing in the salvation line if you didn't play square with the Lord. 

This old world is going to wake up some morning and find that all good men and women have beaten it, and she'll rub her eyes when she finds out that the Lord has been here on the job and taken his own with Him. 

Every time I preach and every time you do personal work, I feel that we are helping to bring about the second coming of the Lord, and it sets my bones on fire when I think that the last man or woman need only be saved before this campaign is over in order that the Lord may come. That is my incentive to do the work I am doing.  It is my hope that, before I finish here, the Church will be purified as a Bride, ready to meet Jesus, the Bridegroom, in the air. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

12 The night is past, and the day is at hand, let us therefore cast away the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light, 13 So that we walk honestly, as in the day: not in gluttony, and drunkenness, neither in chambering and wantonness, nor in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord JESUS CHRIST, and take no thought for the flesh, to fulfill the lust of it.
The Epistle to the Romans 13:12-14

Also for your meditation today;
Luke 21:34; Ephesians 2:1-4, 6:10-12; Galatians 5:16; 1 Peter 2:11;

Thursday, September 25, 2014

8 Owe nothing to any man, but to love one another: for he that loveth another, hath fulfilled the Law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet: and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 10 Love doeth not evil to his neighbor: therefore is love the fulfilling of the Law.
The Epistle to the Romans 13:8-10

Additional scripture for meditation;
Matthew 22:36-40; Galatians 5:13-14; 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Being in the Service of God and the Service of Others.

3 For I say through the grace that is given unto me, to everyone that is among you, that no man presume to understand above that which is meet to understand, but that he understand according to sobriety, as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not one office, 5 So we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one, one anothers members. 6 Seeing then that we have gifts that are divers, according to the grace that is given unto us, whether we have prophecy, let us prophesy according to the portion of faith. 7 Or an office, let us wait on the office: or he that teacheth, on teaching: 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that distributeth, let him do it with simplicity: he that ruleth, with diligence: he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil, and cleave unto that which is good. 10 Be affectioned to love one another with brotherly love. In giving honor, go one before another. 11 Not slothful to do service, fervent in spirit serving the Lord, 12 Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing in prayer. 13 Distributing unto the necessities of the Saints: giving yourselves to hospitality. 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, I say, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16 Be like affectioned one towards another: be not high-minded: but make yourselves equal to them of the lower sort: be not wise in yourselves. 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil: procure things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as in you is, have peace with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him: if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with goodness.
The Epistle to the Romans 12:3-21

Also for your meditation today;
Proverbs 25:27; Ephesians 4:7; Matthew 5:39-48,  22:36-40

Monday, September 22, 2014

1 I Beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye give up your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable serving of God. 2 And fashion not yourselves like unto this world, but be ye changed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God is.
The Epistle to the Romans 12:1-2

Also for your meditation this day;
2 Corinthians 10:1-4, Hebrews 10:18-20, 1 John 2:15, Ephesians 4:23, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7

Saturday, September 20, 2014

33 O the deepness of the riches, both of the wisdom, and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
36 For of him, and through him, and for him are all things: to him be glory forever. Amen
The Epistle to the Romans 11:33, 36

Also for your consideration and thoughts;
John 1:1-4; Hebrews 2:10, 13:21; 

Friday, September 19, 2014

29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. (a) 30 For even as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so now have they not believed by the mercy showed unto you, that they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God hath shut up all in unbelief, that he might have mercy on all.

(a) Also for your meditation today - Numbers 23:19-20; Ezekiel 33:11; John 3:13; 2 Peter 3:9

Thursday, September 18, 2014

22 Behold therefore the bountifulness, and severity of God: toward them which have fallen, severity: but toward thee, bountifulness, if thou continue in his bountifulness: or else thou shalt also be cut off. (a) 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. (b) 24 For if thou wast cut out of the Olive tree, which was wild by nature, and was grafted contrary to nature in a right Olive tree, how much more shall they that are by nature, be grafted in their own Olive tree? 25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this secret (lest ye should be arrogant in yourselves) that partly obstinacy is come to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.
The Epistle to the Romans 11:22-25

(a)Seeing the matter itself is declared that election comes not by inheritance (although the fault be in men, and not in God, why the blessing of God is not perpetual) we must take good heed, that that be not found in ourselves, which we think blameworthy in others, for the election is sure, but they that are truly elect and are grafted in, are not proud in themselves with contempt of others, but with due reverence to God, and love towards their neighbor, run to the mark which is set before them.

(b) Also for your consideration and meditation - Luke 1:37

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

13 For in that I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the Apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office, 14 To try if by any means I might provoke them of my flesh to follow them, and might save some of them. 15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving be, but life from the dead? 16 For if the firstfruits be holy, so is the whole lump: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 17 And though some of the branches be broken off, and thou being a wild Olive tree, wast grafted in for them, and made partaker of the root and fatness of the Olive tree: 18 Boast not thyself against the branches: and if thou boast thyself, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches are broken off, that I might be grafted in. 20 Well: through unbelief they are broken off, and thou standest by faith: be not high-minded, but fear. (a)
The Epistle to the Romans 11:13-21

(a) Consider also reading Revelations Chapters 2-3

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Sermon
Matthew Henry on Philemon

1 Paul a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and our brother Timothy, unto Philemon our dear friend, and fellow helper, 2 And to our dear sister Apphia, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the Church that is in thine house: 3 Grace be with you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I give thanks to my God, making mention always of thee in my prayers,
5 (When I hear of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all Saints.) 6 That the fellowship of thy faith may be made effectual, and that whatsoever good thing is in you through Christ Jesus, may be known. 7 For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because by thee, brother, the Saints bowels are comforted.
The Epistle of Paul to Philemon 1:1-7 (GNV Translation Ed. 1599)

In the first two verses of the preface we have the persons from and to whom it is written, with some annexed note or title, implying somewhat of argument to the purpose of the letter.1. The persons writing: Paul, the principal, who calls himself a prisoner of Jesus Christ, that is, for Jesus Christ. To be a prisoner simply is no comfort nor honour; but such as Paul was, for the faith and preaching of the gospel, this was true glory, and proper to move Philemon upon the request made to him by such a one. A petition from one suffering for Christ and his gospel would surely be tenderly regarded by a believer and minister of Christ, especially when strengthened too with the concurrence of Timothy, one eminent in the church, sometimes called by Paul his son in the faith, but now, it is likely, grown more in years, he styles him his brother. What could be denied to two such petitioners? Paul is not slight in serving a poor convert; he gets all the additional help he can in it.2. The persons written to are Philemon and Apphia, and with them Archippus, and the church in Philemon’s house. Philemon, the master of Onesimus, was the principal, to whom the letter is inscribed, the head of the family, in whom were the authority and power of taking in or shutting out, and whose property Onesimus was: with him therefore chiefly lay the business. To Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellow-labourer; a good man he was, and probably a minister, and on both accounts dearly beloved by Paul. A lover of good men is one property of a good minister (Tit. 1:8 ), and especially must such love those who labour with them in the work of the gospel, and who are faithful therein. The general calling as Christians knits those together who are Christian; but, when conjunction in the special calling as ministers is added, this will be further endearing. Paul, in the highest degree of ministry, not only calls Timothy, an evangelist, his brother, but Philemon, an ordinary pastor, his dearly beloved fellow-labourer—an example of humility and condescension, and of all affectionate regards, even in those that are highest in the church, towards others that are labourers in the same special heavenly calling. With Philemon Apphia is joined, probably his yoke-fellow; and, having a concern in the domestic affairs, the apostle directs to her likewise. She was a party offended and injured by Onesimus, and therefore proper to be taken notice of in a letter for reconciliation and forgiveness. Justice and prudence would direct Paul to this express notice of her, who might be helpful in furthering the good ends of his writing. She is set before Archippus, as more concerned and having more interest. A kind conjunction there is in domestic matters between husband and wife, whose interests are one, and whose affections and actings must correspond. These are the principal parties written to. The less principal are, Archippus, and the church in Philemon’s house. Archippus was a minister in the church of Colosse, Philemon’s friend, and probably co-pastor with him; Paul might think him one whom Philemon would advise with, and who might be capable of furthering the good work of peace-making and forgiveness, and therefore might judge fit to put him in the inscription of the letter, with the adjunct of fellow-soldier. He had called Philemon his fellow-labourer. Ministers must look on themselves as labourers and soldiers, who must therefore take pains, and endure hardship; they must stand on their guard, and make good their post; must look on one another as fellow-labourers, and fellow-soldiers, who must stand together, and strengthen one another’s hands and hearts in any work of their holy function and calling: they need see to it that they be provided with spiritual weapons, and skill to use them; as labourers they must minister the word, and sacraments, and discipline, and watch over souls, as those that must give an account of them; and, as soldiers, they must fight the Lord’s battles, and not entangle themselves in the things of this life, but attend to the pleasing of him who hath chosen them to be soldiers, 2 Tim. 2:4 . To those it is added, And to the church in thy house, his whole family, in which the worship of God was kept up, so that he had, as it were, a church in his house. Observe, (1.) Families which generally may be most pious and orderly may yet have one or other in them impious and wicked. This was the aggravation of Onesimus’s sin, that it was where he might and should have learned better; it is likely that he was secret in him misconduct, till his flight discovered him. Hearts are unknown but to God, till overt acts discover them. (2.) This one evil servant did not hinder Philemon’s house from being called and counted a church, for the religious worship and order that were kept up in it; and such should all families be-nurseries of religion, societies where God is called on, his word is read, his sabbaths are observed, and the members are instructed in the knowledge of him and of their duty to him, neglect of which is followed with ignorance and all corruption. Wicked families are nurseries for hell, as good ones are for heaven. (3.) Masters and others of the family may not think it enough to be good, singly and severally in their personal capacities, but they must be socially so; as here Philemon’s house was a church; and Paul, for some concern that all might have in this matter of Onesimus, directs to them all, that their affection as well as Philemon’s might return to him, and that in their way and place they might further, and not hinder, the reconciliation wished and sought. Desirable it is that all in a family be well affected towards one another, for furthering their particular welfare and for the common good and benefit of all. On such accounts might it be that Paul inscribed his letter here so generally, that all might be the more ready to own and receive this poor convert, and to behave affectionately towards him. Next to this inscription is,II. The apostle’s salutation of those named by him (v. 3): Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the token in every epistle; so the apostle writes. He is a hearty well-wisher to all his friends, and wishes for them the best things; not gold, nor silver, nor any earthly good, in the first or chief place, but grace and peace from God in Christ; he cannot give them himself, but he prays for them from him who can bestow them. Grace, the free favour and good-will of God, the spring and fountain of all blessings; and peace, all good, as the fruit and effect of that grace. To you, that is, be bestowed on you, and continued to you, with the comfortable feeling and sense of it in yourselves. From God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit also is understood, though not named; for all acts towards the creatures of the whole Trinity: from the Father, who is our Father in Christ, the first in order of acting as of subsisting; and from Christ, his favour and good-will as God, and the fruits of it through him as Mediator, God—man. It is in the beloved that we are accepted, and through him we have peace and all good things, who is, with the Father and Spirit, to be looked to and blessed and praised for all, and to be owned, not only as Jesus and Christ, but as Lord also. In 2 Co. 13:14 the apostle’s benediction is full: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all, Amen. Observe, Spiritual blessings are first and especially to be sought for ourselves and others. The favour of God and peace with him, as in itself it is the best and most desirable good, so is it the cause of all other, and what puts sweetness into every mercy and can make happy even in the want of all earthly things. Though there be no herd in the stall, and the labour of the olive fail, yet may such rejoice in the Lord, and joy in the God of their salvation, Hab. 3:17, Hab. 3:18 . There are many that say, Who will show us any good? But, if God lift up the light of his countenance, this will put more joy and gladness into the heart than all worldly increase, Ps. 4:6, Ps. 4:7 . And Num. 6:26 , The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. In this is summarily all good, and from this one fountain, God the Father, Son, and Spirit, all comes. After this salutation of the apostle to Philemon, and his friends and family, for better making way still for his suit to him,III. He expresses the singular and affection he had for him, by thanksgiving and prayer to God in his behalf, and the great joy for the many good things he knew and heard to be in him, v. 4-7. The apostle’s thanksgiving and prayer for Philemon are here set forth by the object, circumstance, and matter of them, with the way whereby much of the knowledge of Philemon’s goodness came to him.1. Here is the object of Paul’s praises and prayers for Philemon: I thank my God, making mention of thee in my prayers, v. 4. Observe, (1.) God is the author of all the good that is in any, or that is done by them. From me is thy fruit found, Hos. 14:8 . To him therefore is all the praise due. 1 Chr. 29:13, 1 Chr. 29:14 , But [or for] who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? For all things come of thee, both wherewith to offer, and the will and heart to do it. On this account (says he) we thank thee our God, and praise thy glorious name. (2.) It is the privilege of good men that their praises and prayers they come to God as their God: Our God, we thank thee, said David; and I thank my God, said Paul. (3.) Our prayers and praises should be offered up to God, not for ourselves only, but for others also. Private addresses should not be altogether with a private spirit, minding our own things only, but others must be remembered by us. We must be affected with joy and thankfulness for any good in them, or done by them, or bestowed on them, as far as is known to us, and seek for them what they need. In this lies no little part of the communion of saints. Paul, in his private thanksgivings and prayers, was often particular in remembering his friends: I thank my God, making mention of thee in my prayers; sometimes it may be by name, or at least having them particularly in his thoughts; and God knows who is meant, though not named. This is a means of exercising love, and obtaining good for others. Strive with me, by your prayers to God for me, said the apostle: and what he desired for himself he surely practised on behalf of others; so should all. Pray one for another, says James, 5:16.2. Here is the circumstance: Always making mention of thee. Always —usually, not once or twice only, but frequently. So must we remember Christian friends much and often, as their case may need, bearing them in our thoughts and upon our hearts before our God.3. Here is the matter both of his praises and prayers, in reference to Philemon.(1.) Of his praises. [1.] He thanks God for the love which he heard Philemon had towards the Lord Jesus. He is to be loved as God superlatively, as his divine perfections require; and as related to us, the Lord, and our Lord, our Maker, Redeemer, and Saviour, who loved us, and gave himself for us. Paul thanks God for what he heard of this, the signal marks and expressions of it in Philemon. [2.] For his faith in Christ also. Love to Christ, and faith in him, are prime Christian graces, for which there is great ground of praise to God, where he has blessed any with them, as Rom. 1:8 , I thank my God because your faith is published throughout the world; and, in reference to the Colossians ch. 1:3, ch. 1:4 ), We give thanks to God since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus. This is a saving grace, and the very principle of Christian life and of all good works. [3.] He praises God likewise for Philemon’s love to all the saints. These two must go together; for he who loveth him that begat must and will love those also that are begotten of him. The apostle joins them in that (Col. 1:3, Col. 1:4 ), We give thanks to God since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which you have to all the saints. These bear the image of Christ, which will be loved by every Christian. Different sentiments and ways in what is not essential will not make a difference of affection as to the truth, though difference in the degrees of love will be according as more or less of that image is discerned. Mere external differences are nothing here. Paul calls a poor converted slave his bowels. We must love, as God does, all saints. Paul thanked God for the good that was not only in the churches, but in the particular persons he wrote to, and though this too was known to him merely by report: Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast towards the Lord Jesus, and towards all saints. This was what he enquired after concerning his friends, the truth, and growth, and fruitfulness of their graces, their faith in Christ, and love to him and to all the saints. Love to saints, if it be sincere, will be catholic and universal love towards all saints; but faith and love, though in the heart they are hidden things, are known by the effects of them. Therefore,(2.) The apostle joins prayer with his praises, that the fruits of Philemon’s faith and love might be more and more conspicuous, so as that the communication of them might constrain others to the acknowledgment of all the good things that were in him and in his house towards Christ Jesus; that their light might so shine before men that they, seeing their good works, might be stirred up to imitate them, and to glorify their Father who is in heaven. Good works must be done, not of vain-glory to be seen, yet such as may be seen to God’s glory and the good of men.4. He adds a reason, both of his prayer and his praises (v. 7): For "we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother. The good thou hast done and still doest is abundant matter of joy and comfort to me and others, who therefore desire you may continue and abound in such good fruits more and more, to God’s honour and the credit of religion. The administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God,’’ 2 Co. 9:12 .

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Audio Bible Reading September 09 2014

Grace Is Freely Given, Not Earned

6 And if it be of grace, it is no more of works: or else were grace no more grace: but if it be of works, it is no more grace: or else were work no more work.
The Epistle to the Romans 11:6 (GNV Translation Ed. 1599)

In the mighty name of Jesus Christ; greetings and good morning

Friends and brethren, grace is a free gift of God. It cannot be earned as was required under the Law. If it were, then the not only would God’s gift no longer be a gift, (for we would have earned it), but it would likewise no longer needed to receive redemption.  

Please note however, that grace does not give us license to live continually in sin. We are to take the grace as given to us, and use it to renew ourselves and to live as best as our ability according to the righteousness of God. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Audio Bible Reading September 09 2014

4 But he answering, said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
The Gospel According to Matthew 4:4 (GNV Translation Ed. 1599)

17 Then faith is by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
The Epistle to the Romans 10:17 (GNV Translation Ed. 1599)

Good morning to all people in the name of Christ Jesus

Today we read that all faith is based upon the Word of God. It proceeds from the mouth of the Father to ears of His children. The Word of God is alive and gives life to all who choose to listen. But how should others know unless we are sent with it? How can they hear, unless we speak it? Brethren, today’s reading is aimed at us that already hear. It is our duty to bring that message, to those that are yet to hear it. Show it to your neighbors, your family, your friends, your coworkers. Indeed, you may be scorned by them afterwards but you have done your job as a watchman, and gave them able time to read and see for themselves in order that they may accept or reject it.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Audio Bible Reading September 07 2014

Christ's Greatest Trophy
by J. C. Ryle (1816-1900) 

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.  —Luke 23:39-43

There are few passages in the New Testament which are more familiar to men’s ears than the verses which head this message. They contain the well known story of ‘the penitent thief.’

And it is right and good that these verses should be well known. They have comforted many troubled minds; they have brought peace to many uneasy consciences; they have been a healing balm to many wounded hearts; they have been a medicine to many sin–sick souls; they have smoothed down not a few dying pillows. Wherever the gospel of Christ is preached, they will always be honored, loved and had in remembrance.

I wish to say something about these verses. I will try to unfold the Leading lessons which they are meant to teach. I cannot see the peculiar mental state of anyone into whose hands this message may fall. But I can see truths in this passage which no man can ever know too well. Here is the greatest trophy which Christ ever won. 

I ask anyone to say whether a case could look more hopeless and desperate than that of this penitent thief once did.

He was a wicked man, a malefactor, a thief, if not a murderer. We know this, for such only were crucified. He was suffering a just punishment for breaking the laws. And as he had lived wicked, so he seemed determined to die wicked, for at first, when he was crucified, he railed on our Lord.

And he was a dying man. He hung there, nailed to a cross, from which he was never to come down alive. He had no longer power to stir hand or foot. His hours were numbered; the grave was ready for him. There was but a step between him and death.

If ever there was a soul hovering on the brink of hell, it was the soul of this thief. If ever there was a case that seemed lost, gone and past recovery, it was his. If ever there was a child of Adam whom the devil made sure of as his own, it was this man.

But see now what happened. He ceased to rail and blaspheme, as he had done at the first; he began to speak in another manner altogether. He turned to our blessed Lord in prayer. He prayed Jesus to ‘remember him when He came into His kingdom’. He asked that his soul might be cared for, his sins pardoned and himself thought of in another world. Truly this was a wonderful change!

And then mark what kind of answer he received. Some would have said he was too wicked a man to be saved; but it was not so. Some would have fancied it was too late, the door was shut, and there was no room for mercy; but it proved not too late at all. The Lord Jesus returned him an immediate answer, spoke kindly to him, assured him he should be with Him that day in paradise, pardoned him completely, cleansed him thoroughly from his sins, received him graciously, justified him freely, raised him from the gates of hell, gave him a title to glory. Of all the multitude of saved souls, none ever received so glorious an assurance of his own salvation as did this penitent thief. Go over the whole list, from Genesis to Revelation, and you will find none who had such words spoken to him as these ‘Today shall you be with Me in paradise.’

I believe the Lord Jesus never gave so complete a proof of His power and will to save, as He did upon this occasion. In the day when He seemed most weak, He showed that He was a strong deliverer. In the hour when His body was racked with pain, He showed that He could feel tenderly for others. At the time when He Himself was dying, He conferred on a sinner eternal life.

Now, have I not a right to say, ‘Christ is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by Him?’ (Heb. 7:25) Behold the proof of it. If ever sinner was too far gone to be saved, it was this thief. Yet he was plucked as a brand from the fire. Have I not a right to say, ‘Christ will receive any poor sinner who comes to Him with the prayer of faith, and cast out none?’ Behold the proof of it. If ever there was one that seemed too bad to be received, this was the man. Yet the door of mercy was wide open even for him. Have I not a right to say, ‘By grace you may be saved through faith, not of works fear not, only believe?’ Behold the proof of it. This thief was never baptized; he belonged to no visible church; he never received the Lord’s Supper; he never did any work for Christ; he never gave money to Christ’s cause! But he had faith, and so he was saved. Have I not a right to say, ‘The youngest faith will save a man’s soul, if it only be true,? Behold the proof of it. This man’s faith was only one day old; but it led him to Christ, and preserved him from hell. Why then should any man or woman despair with such a passage as this in the Bible? Jesus is a Physician who can cure hopeless cases. He can quicken dead souls, and call the things which be not as though they were. Never should any man or woman despair! Jesus is still the same now that He was eighteen hundred years ago. The keys of death and hell are in His hand. When He opens none can shut.

Are your sins forgiven? If not, I set before you this day a full and free salvation. I invite you to follow the steps of the penitent thief come to Christ and live. I tell you that Jesus is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. I tell you He can do everything that your soul requires. Though your sins be as scarlet, He can make them white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Why should you not be saved as well as another? Come unto Christ and live.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Audio Bible Reading September 06 2014

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:18

14 But how shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him, of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
The Epistle to the Romans 10:14 (GNV Translation Ed. 1599)

Also for your contemplation; Matthew 9:38, 28:18-20; John 20:31; Acts 8:26-35; Titus 1:3 

Good morning in the might name of our risen Savior Christ Jesus

Isaiah asks, who shall believe our report? (Isaiah 53:1). This is a legitimate question, who indeed will believe it? Yet it is not so much our worry to ask who will, but more our concern to make it known to them in the first place.  God wants all His children to accept His offer of grace and mercy. Yes, we worry that they are told, as to what they do with that knowledge is up to them in the end. 

“They cannot call on him in whom they have not believed. Except they believe that he is God, they will not call upon him by prayer; to what purpose should they? The grace of faith is absolutely necessary to the duty of prayer; we cannot pray aright, nor pray to acceptation, without it. He that comes to God by prayer must believe, Hebrews 11:6. Till they believed the true God, they were calling upon idols, O Baal, hear us. They cannot believe in him of whom they have not heard. some way or other the divine revelation must be made known to us, before we can receive it and assent to it; it is not born with us. In hearing is included reading, which is tantamount, and by which many are brought to believe. But hearing only is mentioned, as the more ordinary and natural way of receiving information. They cannot hear without a preacher; how should they? Somebody must tell them what they are to believe. Preachers and hearers are correlates; it is a blessed thing when they mutually rejoice in each other—the hearers in the skill and faithfulness of the preacher, and the preacher in the willingness and obedience of the hearers. They cannot preach except they be sent, except they be both commissioned and in some measure qualified for their preaching work. How shall a man act as an ambassador, unless he have both his credentials and his instructions from the prince that sends him?” - Source Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Audio Bible Reading September 05 2014

11 For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth in him, shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Grecian: for he that is Lord over all, is rich unto all that call on him.
The Epistle to the Romans 10:11-12 (GNV Translation Ed. 1599)

Study also Galatians 3:26-28; 1 Timothy 2:5

Good morning and greetings to all people in the name of Jesus Christ

What more can be said? If God is over all, then all are brethren in God, and in Christ. The same Spirit, the Helper that He sent down dwells within each of us. The same mediator, makes intercession for each of us daily. We are restored to Him, not only as sons and daughters, but as heirs to His kingdom. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Audio Bible Reading September 04 2014

8 But what saith it? The word is near thee, even in thy mouth, and in thine heart. This is the word of faith which we preach. 9 For if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart, that God raised him up from the dead, thou shalt be saved: 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth man confesseth to salvation.
The Epistle to the Romans 10:8-10 (GNV Translation Ed. 1599)

See also Matthew 10:32, 16:16; Luke 12:8, 24:17-32; John 6:69, 9:35-38, 11:25-27 Acts 8:37

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ

In order to understand this better, we must understand the righteousness of God. It is true that He is a God of love, for if not, the offer of grace would not have been made. Yet more importantly, He is a God of righteousness, and truth. In order for Him to give us grace, we must understand that we cannot attain that righteousness on our own. As such, we must now rely on the righteousness as brought to us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This is to say, that to do so, we must confess our sins, believe in God’s ability to rise Christ from the dead with all our heart Who thereby defeated death, (the wages of sin), and we are therefore covered now under a new covenant, by God’s righteousness. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Redemption for All

1 Brethren, mine hearts desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have the zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness unto everyone that believeth.
The Epistle to the Romans 10:1-4

Additional Scripture on which to meditate - Romans 1:18-19

Greetings in the name of Christ

Today’s study is focused on just one word in the above; everyone. Think upon this in relation to the rest of the verse dear reader. God’s mercy, and grace, is available to all, and it is through His righteousness that it is established.