Saturday, June 12, 2021, 07:31 am | No Comments »

In the passage we've come to know as the Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus includes what may be the greatest testimony to His love for and the greatest encouragement to His disciples. He said, "And surely I am with you always, even to the very end of the age."

"I am with you always." Love that is present is a powerful thing. Present love from the omnipotent Lord of glory is life-giving and life-changing. 

The late Harry Bollback, found of Word of Life, wrote a hymn that includes words that express the assurance of Christ's presence wherever you go:

Jesus is with me wherever I go,
Jesus is with me, I know;
Over the mountains, the land, and the sea,
Jesus, I know, is with me.

As oft through the valley of sorrow I go,
His hand is upon me, I know, I know;
Jesus is with me wherever I go,
Jesus is with me, I know.


Friday, March 12, 2021, 05:14 am | No Comments »

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

The Christian never has to “go it alone.” Our God in all three Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – are said in Scripture to provide help when needed. The Old Testament reveals God as One who equips and provides for those He calls and sends. Jesus is help incarnate as He ministers and ultimately offers Himself as our atoning sin sacrifice. The Holy Spirit in John 14:26 is called a helper, comforter, advocate, and counselor. Hebrews 13:6 says, “The Lord is my helper…”

William Gurnall wrote, “Every believer may boldly say, ‘God will help’ not ‘perhaps He will.’ We may boldly assert it before men and devils because the Almighty said it. Our obedience and comfort become strong or weak according to our faith in this principle…No act of faith so strengthens us for duty as our belief that God’s almighty power is engaged for our assistance.”

Marvelous is the saint’s divine help for it manifests as the right type in the right manner at the right time in the right amount.


Saturday, August 29, 2020, 01:13 pm | No Comments »

"For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God..." (Colossian 1:9-10, NKJV)

I was challenged by a devotional reading from Truth for Life, the Bible-teaching ministry of Alistair Begg. He has revised and updated the class devotional Morning and Evening by C.H. Spurgeon. 

Speaking about the strict rules that Nazarites had to follow in order to avoid offending God or bring a reproach to Him, Begg writes, "Surely this is a lesson to the Lord's separated ones [all redeemed persons]...to come away from sin in every form, to avoid not merely its grosser shapes but even its spirit and likeness." This lesson is much needed today when many Christians do the opposite: they try to pursue worldliness as far as they think they can without committing "big" sins rather than pursuing godliness or holiness.

Begg continues, "He who yields a point or two to the world is in fearful peril; he who eats the grapes of Sodom will soon drink the wine of Gomorrah." But, sadly many Christians could care less about this. 

"Worldly conformity," Begg explains, "in any degree, is a snare to the soul and makes it more and more liable [read: susceptible] to presumptuous [or willful] sins." The Christian who waivers and yields to sin "cannot have a clear conscience but is constantly aware of his double standard." He claims the Word but lives for the world.

When I was a teenager, a wise Sunday School teacher offered me the adage "when in doubt, don't." It was wise counsel and I wish I'd followed it more consistently than I have. Begg expounds on that wisdom when he says that worldly things we have doubts about "we need not worry [or wonder] about; they are wrong for us. Tempting things we must not play with, but run from them speedily. Better to be sneered at as a Puritan than to be despised as a hypocrite."

To walk worthy of our Master, the Lord Jesus, we must heed the words of Paul who said in Ephesians 5:15-16, "...be careful how you live. Don't live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days."

FLM


Friday, December 20, 2019, 11:03 am | No Comments »

I heard the phrase, "Use your manners," many times as a boy. Politeness was instilled in me and I am glad. It is routine me for me to say "please" and "thank you," to hold the door for a woman to go first, and even to stand when she approaches or leaves a table. 

At Christmas, amid the rush, it is good to remind ourselves that, as Christians, we represent our Lord Jesus Christ, His kingdom, and His church. How we behave reflects on Him. In the aisle, in the checkout, at the intersection we need to remember our manners. 

Our culture does not emphasize manners. A Christian woman recently described a frantic scene in a store where many of the customers in front of her in line were giving the clerk a hard time. When the woman reached the clerk, she made a comment to which the clerk replied, "At least I haven't cried today...yet."

Christians can be bright spots in the darkness that demoralizes and defeats those who serve the public during this time of year and throughout the year.

J.B. Phillips translates 1 Corinthians 13: 5a as "Love has good manners." 

Sinclair Ferguson says of manners: 

"Christians are not rude. That negative implies a positive: they are polite, respectful, caring, thoughtful, well-mannered. That doesn't mean they are slaves of social etiquette, but lovers of biblical etiquette! Read through your New Testament and mark every verse that describes the Christian's lifestyle. You will discover that Christians are called to have deeply countercultural manners - such different manners that others can't help noticing, and wondering why!"

So, Christian, as you prevail during the holidays, use your manners!

Fred for The Prevailing Life


Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 11:43 am | No Comments »

In 1970, the Carpenters released their hit song, "They Long to Be (Close to You)." It came to be known simply as "Close to You" and told of love and a desire for nearness. But decades earlier, Fanny Crosby wrote a song about closeness based on a love of a higher order. It was called, "I Am Thine, O Lord." 

The lyrics express a heart and life that longs to experience Christ in all His fullness and to express a love that consumes the will until it cannot be distinguised from His. Read some of these lyrics and see if they echo your heart for Jesus.

"...I long to rise on the arms of faith and be closer drawn to Thee."

"Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope and my will be lost in Thine."

Fanny identifies the desire of her heart most clearly in the chorus...

"Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, Blessed Lord, to the cross where Thou hast died; draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, Blessed Lord, to Thy precious bleeding side."

The Lord Jesus longs to draw you to Himself, but as the old hymn makes clear, you must want to closer draw to Jesus; you must long for it. Do you? What are you willing to do, to change, to start, to stop in order to make possible a closeness to Jesus that make everything else pale in comparison? 

Go prevail!

Fred for The Prevailing Life


Saturday, June 12, 2021, 07:31 am | No Comments »

In the passage we've come to know as the Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus includes what may be the greatest testimony to His love for and the greatest encouragement to His disciples. He said, "And surely I am with you always, even to the very end of the age."

"I am with you always." Love that is present is a powerful thing. Present love from the omnipotent Lord of glory is life-giving and life-changing. 

The late Harry Bollback, found of Word of Life, wrote a hymn that includes words that express the assurance of Christ's presence wherever you go:

Jesus is with me wherever I go,
Jesus is with me, I know;
Over the mountains, the land, and the sea,
Jesus, I know, is with me.

As oft through the valley of sorrow I go,
His hand is upon me, I know, I know;
Jesus is with me wherever I go,
Jesus is with me, I know.


Friday, March 12, 2021, 05:14 am | No Comments »

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

The Christian never has to “go it alone.” Our God in all three Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – are said in Scripture to provide help when needed. The Old Testament reveals God as One who equips and provides for those He calls and sends. Jesus is help incarnate as He ministers and ultimately offers Himself as our atoning sin sacrifice. The Holy Spirit in John 14:26 is called a helper, comforter, advocate, and counselor. Hebrews 13:6 says, “The Lord is my helper…”

William Gurnall wrote, “Every believer may boldly say, ‘God will help’ not ‘perhaps He will.’ We may boldly assert it before men and devils because the Almighty said it. Our obedience and comfort become strong or weak according to our faith in this principle…No act of faith so strengthens us for duty as our belief that God’s almighty power is engaged for our assistance.”

Marvelous is the saint’s divine help for it manifests as the right type in the right manner at the right time in the right amount.


Saturday, August 29, 2020, 01:13 pm | No Comments »

"For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God..." (Colossian 1:9-10, NKJV)

I was challenged by a devotional reading from Truth for Life, the Bible-teaching ministry of Alistair Begg. He has revised and updated the class devotional Morning and Evening by C.H. Spurgeon. 

Speaking about the strict rules that Nazarites had to follow in order to avoid offending God or bring a reproach to Him, Begg writes, "Surely this is a lesson to the Lord's separated ones [all redeemed persons]...to come away from sin in every form, to avoid not merely its grosser shapes but even its spirit and likeness." This lesson is much needed today when many Christians do the opposite: they try to pursue worldliness as far as they think they can without committing "big" sins rather than pursuing godliness or holiness.

Begg continues, "He who yields a point or two to the world is in fearful peril; he who eats the grapes of Sodom will soon drink the wine of Gomorrah." But, sadly many Christians could care less about this. 

"Worldly conformity," Begg explains, "in any degree, is a snare to the soul and makes it more and more liable [read: susceptible] to presumptuous [or willful] sins." The Christian who waivers and yields to sin "cannot have a clear conscience but is constantly aware of his double standard." He claims the Word but lives for the world.

When I was a teenager, a wise Sunday School teacher offered me the adage "when in doubt, don't." It was wise counsel and I wish I'd followed it more consistently than I have. Begg expounds on that wisdom when he says that worldly things we have doubts about "we need not worry [or wonder] about; they are wrong for us. Tempting things we must not play with, but run from them speedily. Better to be sneered at as a Puritan than to be despised as a hypocrite."

To walk worthy of our Master, the Lord Jesus, we must heed the words of Paul who said in Ephesians 5:15-16, "...be careful how you live. Don't live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days."

FLM


Friday, December 20, 2019, 11:03 am | No Comments »

I heard the phrase, "Use your manners," many times as a boy. Politeness was instilled in me and I am glad. It is routine me for me to say "please" and "thank you," to hold the door for a woman to go first, and even to stand when she approaches or leaves a table. 

At Christmas, amid the rush, it is good to remind ourselves that, as Christians, we represent our Lord Jesus Christ, His kingdom, and His church. How we behave reflects on Him. In the aisle, in the checkout, at the intersection we need to remember our manners. 

Our culture does not emphasize manners. A Christian woman recently described a frantic scene in a store where many of the customers in front of her in line were giving the clerk a hard time. When the woman reached the clerk, she made a comment to which the clerk replied, "At least I haven't cried today...yet."

Christians can be bright spots in the darkness that demoralizes and defeats those who serve the public during this time of year and throughout the year.

J.B. Phillips translates 1 Corinthians 13: 5a as "Love has good manners." 

Sinclair Ferguson says of manners: 

"Christians are not rude. That negative implies a positive: they are polite, respectful, caring, thoughtful, well-mannered. That doesn't mean they are slaves of social etiquette, but lovers of biblical etiquette! Read through your New Testament and mark every verse that describes the Christian's lifestyle. You will discover that Christians are called to have deeply countercultural manners - such different manners that others can't help noticing, and wondering why!"

So, Christian, as you prevail during the holidays, use your manners!

Fred for The Prevailing Life


Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 11:43 am | No Comments »

In 1970, the Carpenters released their hit song, "They Long to Be (Close to You)." It came to be known simply as "Close to You" and told of love and a desire for nearness. But decades earlier, Fanny Crosby wrote a song about closeness based on a love of a higher order. It was called, "I Am Thine, O Lord." 

The lyrics express a heart and life that longs to experience Christ in all His fullness and to express a love that consumes the will until it cannot be distinguised from His. Read some of these lyrics and see if they echo your heart for Jesus.

"...I long to rise on the arms of faith and be closer drawn to Thee."

"Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope and my will be lost in Thine."

Fanny identifies the desire of her heart most clearly in the chorus...

"Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, Blessed Lord, to the cross where Thou hast died; draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, Blessed Lord, to Thy precious bleeding side."

The Lord Jesus longs to draw you to Himself, but as the old hymn makes clear, you must want to closer draw to Jesus; you must long for it. Do you? What are you willing to do, to change, to start, to stop in order to make possible a closeness to Jesus that make everything else pale in comparison? 

Go prevail!

Fred for The Prevailing Life


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