Bible Top 1000



God's Answer
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It's against the backdrop of mankind's awful sin and rebellion that the amazing love and grace of God shine like a great beacon of hope. As Romans 5:8 says, "...God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." God hasn't made a way of salvation for sinful man because he deserves it, but because of His own character and purpose. Think of all of the vile, unspeakable, wickedness of this present world! Only divine love could hold back its utter destruction in order to offer hope.

God's answer to man's need is not mere religion. The best that religion can do is to prescribe things for man to believe and do---in the vain hope that the practice of that religion will meet his need. NO religion can do that---including much that's called "Christianity", but has become mere religion.

God's answer instead is a person, His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The very name, Jesus, given by God to His Son, means "the LORD saves." But who is he, and how can he help? What difference could a man who died 2000 years ago on a Roman cross possibly make to anyone today?

Though He lived among us as a man, Jesus Christ was the divine Son of God. He didn't begin His life in the womb of His earthly mother, Mary. Back in eternity, before there were angels, or men, or even creation itself, He was there with His Father. In fact, it was through His Son that the Father created all things. John 1:1-3. Hebrews 1:2. Colossians 1:16-17. So it's entirely proper to call Him our Creator.

What anguish of heart it must have caused as He saw His creatures turn away from Him in sin and rebellion. We can't imagine. And yet, in His great love, He was willing...in obedience to His Father's plan, to leave all of the glory of heaven behind, to humble Himself to live among His fallen creatures. He tasted our sorrow and pain; He faced our temptations; He endured the opposition of wicked men. Yet through it all He remained untainted by sin. Where Adam failed, He didn't.

It's amazing enough that He was willing to come down and live in such a world. But to endure the suffering of the cross---that defies understanding! Why would He do such a thing? Why would the Creator submit Himself into the hands of wicked men to torture and crucify Him?

Imagine, if you will, a courtroom. There you stand. The judge has read the law and has enumerated your crimes against that law. Your mouth has been shut. There's nothing that can be said in your defense. No excuses. No protestations. Nothing to do but to simply stand there in silence awaiting your just sentence. Your head is bowed. You see no way out. Hope is gone.

Well...

The Lord of heaven and earth arose
Triumphant from the grave,
A Victor ever all his foes,
With mighty power to save.
He sits upon his throne on high,
He rules in all the earth and sky,
He bids all sinners to draw nigh,
His life for them he gave.

The Prince of Peace, the Mighty One,
The Lord of lord is he;
The gift of God---his only Son---
Our ransom price, so free!
He stands for us to intercede,
In pity waits our cause to plead,
Until we're pardoned, free indeed---
What mercy! Can it be?

Repeat the story once again,
How he was crucified;
His blood atones for sinful man,
Our substitute, he died;
But is he dead? no, no; he lives;
His all to us he freely gives;
The Father for his sake forgives,
If in him we confide.

Our risen Lord! Our risen Lord!
He lives to set the captives free,
He lives to pardon you and me:
Our risen Lord!
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What Are We Looking For?

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Phillipians 4:8)

How we live our life depends on what we're concentrating on.

A king set a task for two competitive servants. He told the first to go throughout the kingdom and gather weeds of all varieties and bring them back to him. He gave the second a similiar task, but he was instructed to gather varieties of flowers. Each one had a week to work.

At the end of the week the first servant came back with armsful of weeds...dozens of sizes and shapes! He said, "I never knew there were so many weeds! I'm convinced our kingdom is full of weeds!"

The second servant also returned with flowers of every size, color, and variety. He said, "Look at all these flowers. I've never seens so many! I think we must have only flowers growing in our kingdom!"

In some cases both men had the same plants---one brought the weed, the other the flower. Why was that? Because each man found only what he was looking for. The first man saw nothing good, the second saw only beauty.

What we're thinking to find is what we'll find. Let's think on the things of God and LOOK for the Will of God in All Things.
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We Can If We Will

Paul said, "Fight the good fight of faith." This world's a battleground of spiritual forces. If we're spiritual beings, it's impossible that we should hold ourselves neutral and stand apart from those forces that are in conflict. We must stand on one side or the other of the battle array. Jesus has said, "He that's not with me is against me." Since we must be in the conflict whether we will to be or not, it behooves us to be on the right side. When we know that we're on the right side, then the thing of greatest importance to us is the method of our warfare. Since we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers of evil, it's not strange that our weapons should be "not carnal" weapons, which are effective against material foes, but those spiritual weapons that are "mighty through God."

One great outstanding fact in this battle of life is that it's necessarily a battle of faith. As I observe some people's methods of trying to fight this Christian warfare, it seems to me that they're rather fighting the fight of unbelief or of doubts. Instead of being confident with the confidence that true faith gives, they're all the time fearful. They're never certain they're going to win. They're never certain that their methods are going to prevail. They're always trembling and uncertain. When they do gain a victory, it seems more like a piece of good fortune than the result of their fighting. When they see a conflict coming, they shrink from it and look for some way to evade it. They're filled with fear of the outcome. Sometimes they fight in desperation and win; and when they see that they've won, they're surprised. They were almost sure that they'd lose the battle; they were almost certain of defeat, but in some way they won. That victory, however, doesn't give them much courage to meet the next conflict. They meet it with the same fearfulness, with the same unbelief, with the same doubt. There's not the joyful note of victory in their song. They don't face the future with confident expectation of winning. They're continually harassed with their doubts; they're constantly troubled with forebodings. It's better to fight thus than not to fight at all, but there's a better way than this to fight.

Faith is the mightiest of all weapons. When our spirits are armed with faith, we may go confidently into any battle. We may have expectation of winning. We may know before we fight that victory is ours. We may face our adversary with calm confidence and with a consciousness of an indwelling power that's greater than his power. Has not God said, "Greater is he that's in you, than he that's in the world? If our faith claims that to be so, then God will make it so to us.

We must have faith in God. He's our leader. The army that doesn't have confidence in the ability and courage of its leader is half defeated before it goes into battle. Most of us, I think, have confidence in God's ability as a leader, and in his power and wisdom, and believe that He's able to overcome our foes. It's not his ability that we doubt. The only question that confronts us is, "Will he use that power to conquer our enemies?" We see that He's made many promises. It's easy to believe, in a general way, that they'll be fulfilled; but when it comes to making direct applications to the situations that we meet, it's "there" that faith sometimes fails. Will God fight for us on this special occasion? Will God help us now? Will He really make good His word to us? Or will He fail us in the critical moment?

If God's promises are true, then the ones that relate to our particular needs are true, and they're true now. If they're true to others, they're true to us, for God's no respecter of persons. And if they're true to us, they're true to us now as well as they were yesterday or will be tomorrow. It's so easy to think that God would help others. They're more worthy then we are. Do you feel this way? Do you feel that if it were somebody else in your place, you could easily have faith that God will help you?

This brings us to the next important thought: We must have faith in ourselves as well as in God. We must have faith in our integrity and loyalty. Do we mean real business for God? Have we thrown ourselves unreservedly on the side of God in this battle? Do we intend with all our souls to fight the good fight of faith? Do we have it really settled that we're going to do the right? So many want to do the right, but they're not sure that they'll do it. They mean to do it, but they're constantly afraid that they'll fail in doing it. This is not faith. Have confidence in yourself, not only in your loyalty and integrity and purpose to serve God, but also in your ability to do it. You can do it. You can do it as well as any one else. That doubt and fearfulness that you have will only be a hindrance to you. Get rid of it. Develop confidence in yourself---not overconfidence that depends upon yourself, but that true confidence that depends on God helping you and arms you with courage and trust in God and in yourself.

You must also have confidence in your weapons. Our weapons are "mighty through God," we're told. God has told you how to win; and just as surely as you follow his instructions and trust in him for results, he will cause you to wear the victor's crown. Our cause is a righteous one. Have faith in that cause, and know that right must triumph. But remember that you cannot win unless you put your faith into your fighting. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even your faith." Believe that you'll win. No matter how weak you are, no matter how great your foe, no matter what may confront you, go into the conflict with that courage that's born of faith. Believe that God will give you the victory. Don't consider defeat at all. Let your faith mount up, and say: "I can win, and I will win. In God I will conquer." Throw away your doubts. Make an end of them. Trust in God. His word is true. You can believe it if you will, and believing it, you shall be more than conqueror through him that loves you.




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