Bible Top 1000

The Hope Of The Gospel
[ Selected ]

The following scriptures are great promises of God for those who believe. Many of them have become merely trite religious sayings having no real power. But remember that the gospel, "is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes." If these scriptures haven't become that for you then I pray that you will seek God until they are. Their truth and power cannot be conveyed through mere human communication. God must reveal them---and Himself---to the heart.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." John 3:16-18.

"But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood." Romans 3:21-25.

"What does the Scripture say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.'

Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness." Romans 4:3-5. "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!" Romans 5:6-9.

"At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life." Titus 3:3-7.

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith --- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God --- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:8-10.

"Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes." Romans 10:1-4. "But the righteousness that is by faith says: 'Do not say in your heart, "Who will ascend into heaven?" (that is, to bring Christ down) or "Who will descend into the deep?"' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? 'The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,' that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, 'Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.' For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile --- the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'" Romans 10:6-13. "We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." 1 John 5:9-13.

I'd like to conclude with the words of a great old hymn by William R. Newell, "At Calvary." I'm afraid that it's often sung without people paying too much attention to the real meaning of the words. I pray that you will consider the words now in the light of what I've shared about the gospel. Have you experienced what the hymn writer was writing about?

Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died on Calvary.

Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary.

By God's Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I'd spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned to Calvary.

Now I've given to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing of Calvary!

Oh, the love that drew salvation's plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary!

In All Grace!

"Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
(2 Peter 3:18)

"Grow in grace"---not in one grace only, but in all grace. Let's grow in that root-grace, faith. Let's believe the promises more firmly than we have done. Let faith increase in fulness, constancy and simplicity. Let's grow also in love. Let's ask that our love may become extended, more intense, more practical, influencing every thought, word, and deed. Oh, let us grow likewise in humility. Let's seek to "lie very low", and know more of our own nothingness. As we grow "downward in humility", let's seek also to grow upward---having nearer approaches to God in prayer and more intimate fellowship with Jesus. May God the Holy Spirit enable us to "grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior." He who grows not in the knowledge of Jesus, refuses to be blessed. To know Him is "life eternal," and to advance in the knowledge of Him is to increase in happiness. He who doesn't long to know more of Christ, knows nothing of Him yet. Whoever hath "sipped this wine" will thirst for more, for although Christ doth satisfy, yet it is such a satisfaction, that the appetite is not cloyed, but whetted. If we know the love of Jesus---as the hart panteth for the water-brooks, so will we pant after deeper draughts of His love. If we don't desire to know Him better, then we surely love Him not, for love always cries, "Nearer, nearer." Absence from Christ is "hell"; but the presence of Jesus is "heaven". Let's rest not then, content without an increasing acquaintance with Jesus. Let's seek to know more of Him in His divine nature, in His human relationship, in His finished work, in His death, in His resurrection, in His present glorious intercession, and in His future "royal" advent. Let's abide hard by the Cross, and search the mystery of His wounds. An increase of love to Jesus, and a more perfect apprehension of His love to us is one of the best tests of growth in grace. Amen...

The Power of ONE! Just You!

Who am I, anyway, to think that I could make a difference? How many did it take to rescue the man on the Jericho road? One good Samaritan.

How many did it take to confront Pharaoh and lead the Exodus? One man - Moses. In 1645, one vote gave Oliver Cromwell control of England. In 1776, one vote gave America the English language instead of German. In 1868, one vote saved President Andrew Jackson from impeachment. In 1941, one vote gave Adolph Hitler control of the Nazi party!

Esther, a Jewish girl who was married to a pagan king, broke longstanding tradition, marched into her husband's throne room, spoke her mind and rescued her nation from a Holocaust. One woman - only one - saved the nation, because she was willing to get personally involved to the point of sacrifice. She said, "If I perish, I perish" (Est 4:16). Before you say, "Somebody else should be doing this instead of me," read these words: "I am only one, but I'm still one. I cannot do everything - but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do." Ask God today, "What can I do in this situation?"

The Power of One Spirit
To a mathematician, having something raised to the power of 1 makes no change to it. One times any number yields that number. One times two is two. One times one is one.

But in the mathematics of personal achievement, the power of one is incredibly important.

It's now vogue for people to talk about the dynamics of teams. Self-governing teams, customer service teams, management teams. No matter how good a team or committee may be, it still all comes down to the individual, not the team. Individuals make the difference, even in teams. A team may collectively make a contribution, but it's likely to be an individual who determines the vision that team may follow.

In most teams, one person tends to set the pace. One person tends to mend the fences. One person will organize. One person may lead. It's easy in today's corporate environment to discount the impact that one person makes to a team. Let's look at a military team, for example. A military unit, no matter what service it may be in, depends on the contributions of each member of the unit, especially the leader. The leader may be the person in command, or it may be a leader that people will follow (the old standard of a battle-hardened sergeant teaching a wet-behind-the-ears lieutenant comes to mind), but there will always be a leader. Without that one individual, the leader, the unit falls apart. If the leader is successful, the unit is successful. That one individual has an inordinate effect on the unit's success, the individual contribution is what matters.

It's not just the more visible individuals who make a difference. If an electrician wires a socket wrong, a fire may erupt. A mechanic misses a bolt, and an airliner falls from the sky. A man decides to drink and drive, and a family dies. People are part of groups, it's true, but they make a difference as individuals.

Abraham Lincoln was just one person, but he kept a country together. Thomas Edison was just one person, but his individual abilities were so great that he made a major impact on the world.

Patton, Eisenhower, Washington, Bradley, all great military leaders who pushed, encouraged, and led their units to victory. Bell, Edison, Carnegie, all great business leaders who made such a difference to the world, that their last names alone still provoke awe. Lincoln, Jefferson, Churchill, Reagan---all great statesmen who moved their country through personal leadership and vision. Einstein, Newton, -- great scientists who changed unalterably the vision of a world.

Even in the lowly committee, one person can move a group just by personal pizazz. Even in the self-governing team, one individual can make a difference, by enthusiasm and personal warmth, an individual can make such a significant difference that the power of the group will magnify that one person's personal vision enthusiasm and spirit.

Be an individual. Use the power of one to magnify your contributions to this world. Be a leader, whether you lead a nation, a battlefield, a business, a family, or just yourself. Do it with consensus, but do it, first and foremost, with the vision that only an individual can have. Make a stand. Take a chance. Lead the field. Save the country. Use the power of one.

Each of us is either a stench in the nostrils of The Almighty; or we are a sweet smelling savor!

Actions create attitudes. Actions and attitudes in time create an atmosphere. Sin is a stench. Grace and Truth in proper balance is a sweet smelling savor.

Monday, January 8, 2007
"Mysterious Gas-Like Odor Hits New York City Mayor Says No Indication Air Unsafe to Breathe. The Fire Department began getting calls about the odor around 9 a.m., said spokesman Tim Hinchey. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey temporarily suspended some of its PATH commuter train service between New Jersey and Manhattan as a precaution. People reported the smell from the northern tip of Manhattan down to Greenwich Village and across the Hudson River to New Jersey..."

To others we're either an aroma or an odor, and there's a difference!