Author Archive

Giving Us All Things

What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 

Romans 8:31-32

After receiving these encouraging words in verse 31: “If God be for us, who can be against us?,” we find even more encouragement in the next verse.  In verse 32, we find just how much God loves us, just how much He has done for us, and just how much He is willing to do for us.

“He that spared not his own Son…”  God gave His own Son, Jesus, for us.  He sent Him to die on a cross, rejected and alone.  God the Father turned His back on His own Son Who became sin for us.  There are very few earthly fathers who would send their sons to die an agonizing death to save anyone, and for good reason.  Fathers love their sons.  God the Father loves Jesus.  But He “…spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all…”  That shows us how much God loves us.

The verse then goes on to ask us a question: “…how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”  The question is this: if God is willing to give up His beloved Son Jesus for us, what is there that He is not willing to give us?  Sometimes we wonder if God is willing to help us or to give us something.  We need not wonder.  The answer to this question is that God would obviously “freely give us all things.”  Especially when we look at what He has already given us.

We can be encouraged by that every day of our lives and we can claim that promise every time we pray.  What a wonderful Saviour!

 

 

Rock of Ages (Hymn)

Rock of Ages
Augustus Toplady (1776)

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

“Rock of Ages” is one of my favorite hymns.  This is one of the hymns that has wonderful and deep doctrinal truth in every verse.  I wanted to go through and highlight some things, but there is so much Biblical truth in every verse that I wouldn’t know where to start.  Take some time to think and meditate on the words to this hymn.  I will leave you with what is probably my favorite line of the song: “Foul, I to the fountain fly; Wash me Savior, or I die.”

 

Saturday Psalm (7c)

Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.  He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.  His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.  I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.

Psalm 7:14-17

In this passage, we get a look at a wicked life.  We then get one verse of praise to the Lord for His righteousness.

The life of the wicked is marked by many things.  A few of them are listed in this passage: iniquity, mischief, falsehood, and violence.  I think we would all agree that those are all marks of the wicked man.

Iniquity is simply sin.  The wicked man’s life is characterized by sin.  Mischief is something that is not often linked with wickedness, but it is here.  People seem to get into mischief when they don’t have anything to do.  The wicked man is characterized by doing stupid things – mischief.  He “brings forth falsehood.”  The wicked man is a liar and lies are part of his nature.  He is characterized by his lies.  He is violent.  The just man is a peaceful man.  The wicked man is characterized by his love for and use of violence.

Verse 15 describes the wicked man as digging a pit and falling in it.  That really is a perfect description of the wicked man.  He spends his time trying to destroy others and ends up destroyed himself.

The Psalm ends on a positive note, with the Psalmist praising the name of the Lord and praising Him for His righteousness.  We can be thankful for the Lord and thankful for His righteousness and thankful that He has taken us out of the ranks of the wicked!

 

If God Be For Us…

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.  What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:28-31

We looked yesterday at verse 28 and at the fact that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  Today, we see the end of this passage in verse 31: “What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?”  That is a powerful statement.

Sometimes in life we get discouraged.  Sometimes we think that everything and everyone are against us.  Sometimes it feels like we are alone in the midst of a great battle and that we are losing that battle.  We look at the world and the Devil and we feel so weak and insignificant.

It is during those times we should remember the words of verse 31, “If God be for us, who can be against us?”  God Himself – the Creator of the world, is on our side.  God Himself is for us.  Who can stand against Him?  God is greater than everything else in all of the universe.  And that God is “for us.”  There is nothing and there is no one that we need to fear with Almighty God on our side.

That can be a huge encouragement in our darkest hours!  “If God be for us, who can be against us?”

All Things Work Together

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Romans 8:28-29

These are famous verses and they are famous verses for a good reason.  “…all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  Those words have been a comfort and an encouragement to many, many people throughout the years.  They can settle our hearts and minds today if we will let them.

Most of the things that we spend our time worrying about are really pretty small.  Most of the things that we allow to produce stress in our lives are things we shouldn’t be giving a second thought to.  If we will understand that “all things work together for good…” it will take away a lot of the little stresses that creep into our lives.

It is encouraging to know that God is in complete control.  It is encouraging to know that He knows about every situation in our lives.  He knows where it came from and He knows where it is going.

One of the reasons we worry and stress about things is that we cannot see the end from the beginning.  All we can see is a (usually) temporary inconvenience.  But God knows the end from the beginning.  And God knows what His plan is for us and for everyone else.  So, whatever it is that happens to us is part of that plan.  When we accept that fact, we can rest in that fact.  God is working things together in the way that He wants them.  That is a comforting thought!

 

Following the Spirit in Prayer

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Romans 8:26

We often hear things during sermons and read things in Christian literature that deal with the subject of “following the Holy Spirit.”  We often hear (and know) that we should be “led by the Spirit.”  We know that we should allow the Holy Spirit of God to help us and to guide us through life’s decisions and through life’s trials and tribulations.  But this verse gives us another aspect to being led by the Spirit: being led by Him in our prayers.

The disciples famously asked Jesus to “teach us to pray.”  They understood that they needed help in the matter of prayer, and the Lord Jesus helped them by giving them an example prayer, which we now call “the Lord’s prayer.”  We should be as wise as the disciples were and we should be asking the same question.

This verse tells us that we do not know how to pray as we ought.  I don’t know if that means that we don’t know what we should be praying for or if it means that we don’t even know how to pray or if it means both.  But it definitely means that we have a lot of work to do in the matter of prayer.  We need to be led by the Spirit in the matter of prayer.  We need to be sensitive to His leading when comes to our prayers.  There are things we should be praying for and about that maybe we don’t.  He will guide us if we will follow.

Fortunately, even our feeble and insignificant attempts at prayer are heard and answered – also due to the Spirit.  He makes “intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”  It is good that we have such an intercessor because, despite our good intentions, we don’t even know how to pray!  Let us follow His guidance in the prayer today and every day!

Hope and Faith

For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Romans 8:24-25

Hope is a very powerful thing.  Having hope can get us through many trials, tribulations and dark nights.  Charles Spurgeon once said “Hope itself is like a star – not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the dark night of adversity.”  The previous verses in this chapter deal with the fact that all of nature (even our own bodies) are groaning under the curse of sin, awaiting the day that curse will be lifted.  These verses tell us that, even in all of that suffering, we can (and should) have hope.

It is the fact that we are dealing with all of the problems that the curse of sin has caused that allows us to have hope in the future and in God’s promises of the future.    To use a silly illustration, I can hope that I will have pizza for supper.  But if I am currently eating pizza for supper, there is no hope.  My hope has come to pass.  That is the way it is for Christians right now.  We have hope, but we have hope in something that we cannot see at this time.

When we look around at the world around us, there is suffering, trouble, and strife everywhere we look.  But we have hope and we “with patience wait for it.”  We have faith in what God has said in His Word.  We have faith that we will do as He said.  That faith gives us hope, and hope is a powerful thing indeed!

Because of Sin, Part 2

For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Romans 8:19-23

We can see around us that nature is groaning and travailing.  But we can also confirm the words of this passage when it says “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”  We can surely see the truth there.

Are any of us perfect physical specimens?  I’m sure that we are not.  All of us have problems, aches and pains.  Sometimes, having some minor aches and pains is the least of our physical problems.  We get tired, we get sick.  We get headaches and we get backaches.  Our joints get strained and injured.  Viruses and bacteria are constantly bombarding us and sometimes infect us.  And, as we get older, all of these things just continue to get worse.

Our bodies truly do groan within themselves as we wait patiently for the “redemption of our body.”  Someday we will have a new body that does not get sick, does not hurt, and does not get tired nor run down.  Sin damaged our souls and spirits, and it also damages our bodies.  But someday we will have rest even from physical problems.  What a day that will be!

 

Revive Us Again (Hymn)

Revive Us Again
William Mackay (1863)

We praise Thee, O God!
For the Son of Thy love,
For Jesus Who died,
And is now gone above.

Refrain
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Hallelujah! Amen.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Revive us again.

We praise Thee, O God!
For Thy Spirit of light,
Who hath shown us our Savior,
And scattered our night.

Refrain

All glory and praise
To the Lamb that was slain,
Who hath borne all our sins,
And hath cleansed every stain.

Refrain

All glory and praise
To the God of all grace,
Who hast brought us, and sought us,
And guided our ways.

Refrain

Revive us again;
Fill each heart with Thy love;
May each soul be rekindled
With fire from above.

Refrain

This hymn on the subject of revival is interesting.  The refrain asks the Lord to “Revive us again,” but every verse is about praising the Lord for all that He has done for us and given to us.  I think that there is some wisdom in that.  Revival starts with thankfulness in our hearts.  When we start praising the Lord for everything He has done for us, we will start to see revival in our hearts.  And revival in our hearts will soon start to spread to others.  Then we can and will begin to see true revival!

Saturday Psalm (7b)

Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.  My defence is of God, which saved the upright in heart.  God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.

Psalm 7:9-11

This part of Psalm 7 shows us some things about the nature of the wicked and the just.

The wickedness of the wicked will come to an end.  Sometimes, we look around us and wonder how the Lord could allow all of the evil and wickedness that exists in the world.  But He will not allow if forever.  It will not continue forever.  The wicked will have an end.

God will establish the just.  We can be thankful for that.  While the wicked will not last, the just will be established.  The just will last forever and they will have no end.

Verse 10 gives us the true hope of every Christian: “My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.”  Our defense is of God.  He is our only defense and our only hope of salvation, as the Psalmist recognizes.

Verse 11 makes this statement: “…God is angry with the wicked every day.”  That is a scary thought.  In the previous Psalm, we saw that the Psalmist asked the Lord to not rebuke or chasten him in His anger.  Here is says that God is angry with the wicked every day.  We don’t want to be in that category.  Thankfully, positionally we are not in that position.  But we can still do wicked things and live wickedly.  We want to do everything in our power to avoid the anger of God, which is what the Psalmist here is saying.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 46 other followers