“Full of Compassion!”

January 21, 2018

Psalms 86:15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

             Compassion:  A suffering with another; painful sympathy; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another; pity; Compassion is a mixed passion, compounded of love and sorrow; at least some portion of love generally attends the pain or regret, or is excited by it

 Psalms 145:8 The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

             What a blessing it is to serve a Lord who is the very definition of compassion!

 Mark 6:34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

 I am sure you will agree that there is not one of God’s children who have not been personally touched by the wonderful, matchless compassion of our Lord and Saviour!

His Compassion is matchless in our sin both before and after He saves us.  What compassion He had to reach down even while we were in our sins and deliver us from certain destruction.

Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

 And likewise, most of us can identify with the great compassion the father showed his prodical son, who chose to go his own way for a season.

 Luke 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

 Not only these, but how our God demonstrated His compassion through the storms of life, just as He spoke peace to the winds and the waves, He speaks peace to the storm or to our hearts.

 Mark 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

          Our precious Lord has not only had compassion on us in our sins and in our storms, but in our suffering and our sorrows as well. He is our Great and Proven High Priest who walks, ever so compassionately with you through the very darkest of hours to succor and sustain His dear children.

Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

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Living Proof!

January 14, 2018

Acts 10:39-41 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

             The scripture tells us here, how God chose witnesses to declare His message to the world.  The truth of the glorious gospel, which they had seen with their own eyes. The life, the death and the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

 1John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

             It was so much more than an important historical event.  It was, by far, as all believers know, the greatest event that had ever or will ever take place in all of eternity! Who knows and who cares what else may have been taking place in the world at that same time?  It was the fulfilling of God the Father’s perfect plan of redemption for the world.  They had seen it all. Their lives had been transformed, they would never be the same! How could they?  They had seen living proof of the glorified Son of God!  What a powerful, life changing story of hope they had to tell!

 2Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

God ordained the Holy Ghost inspired testimony of these chosen men, to tell those who had not seen nor heard, the story of the gospel of salvation.

1John 1:2-4 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 

Praise God, way back in 1975, the Lord in His mercy and grace, brought me all the way from Canada, to Panola Baptist Temple in Carthage, Texas, to hear this wondrous message! There is no way of knowing, how many faithful witnesses God used over those nearly 2,000 years to bring His message of grace to Pastor W.N. Otwell, and then to me, but I praise the Lord for each and every one of them!

Those chosen eye witnesses are now among that “great cloud of witnesses,” in heaven, but the message and the life-changing power of the message has never changed.  You and I, by the grace of God, are todays’ witnesses.  We are living proof that the story of the life, the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ is still and will ever be the GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD!

 2Thessalonians 1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

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“Striving Together!”

January 7, 2018

Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

             Isn’t it amazing how the Lord calls and saves each one of us separately and individually.  We miraculously become a born-again child of God, a member of a huge spiritual family, made up of all nations, languages and tongues.

Revelations 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

             The Lord could have just saved us and taken us home to heaven, but that wasn’t His plan.  Instead, he placed us in a local church where together we could grow together with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

 Ephesians 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

 Yes, He put us all together for our good and His glory so that, as we read in Philippians 1:27 we could (fight vigorously for) or strive together for the faith of the gospel.”

He wants us to Strive together in Learning His ways!

Matt 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

He wants us to strive together in  Laying aside every weight!

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

He wants us to strive together in  Loving one another!

 1John 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

             He wants us to strive together in Labouring in prayers!

Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

             And most of all He wants us to strive together in Looking unto Jesus!

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

             Lord, help us to encourage one another in striving together in one mind and spirit,  for the faith of the gospel!

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“He Careth For You!

December 31, 2017

1Peter5:6-7 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

             I still find it amazing that the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God of all creation, so cares about each one of us in such a special way!

**He cares for us in a Familiar Way!  God knows us. He knows us from the top of our head to the bottom of our feet, inside and out.  Therefore, Christ’s care is a familiar or “knowing” care.

 Matthew 10:30-31 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

 1Corinthians 8:3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

             **He cares for us in a Forgiving Way! There is nothing the Lord does not know about us, even the very deepest, darkest secret. Yet He still cares, because His care is a forgiving care.

 Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.        

** He cares for us in a Fervent Way! No, the Lord’s care is not like mine sometimes is, words with little or no action.  His care is always manifested by what He does, because His care is a fervent care!

 John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 1John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

             **He cares for us in a Faithful way!  Praise God, we do not have to worry about waking up one day to find that the Lord is just too busy to care about us that day.  His care is with us in all of God’s magnificent compassion and mercy, every second of every day, because His care is a faithful care.

Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

             **He cares for us in a Forever Way!  We need not fear that somehow, someway God’s care for His children will fade away or run out.  His care began before the foundation of the world and will continue for all eternity, because His care is a forever care.

2Thessalonians 2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,

“Good Tidings of Great Joy!”

Luke 2:10-11 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Can we do anything but join the shepherds and stand in awe, praising God for giving us eyes and ears of faith to see and to hear the glorious good tidings of great joy in our hearts!

A Saviour was born, the very Son of God! God, Himself in the flesh!

 John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….

 John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

             Can we stop and be reminded for just a moment of the WONDROUS LOVE OF GOD, that brought Him from the glory of His Holiness, to so humble Himself, as to take on a robe of flesh for us, a world full of hopeless, helpless, wicked sinners.

 John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

             As we all well know, because of this night and this birth the world has never been the same.  And because of the moment this glorious Truth of Christ was born into your heart and my heart our world has never been the same! GLORY TO GOD!

 1Peter 1:3-9 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

             Yes, let us rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, as we consider this unspeakable gift of God’s perfect salvation brought into this world in the form of a tiny baby lying in a manger.

 2Corinthians 9:15  Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

“The Light of Life!”

Sunday December 17, 2017

John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

I’m sure you remember as I do, that day the glorious light of the gospel shone brightly into your dark, dead heart and gave you life!  It has been over forty-one years now for me, but I still remember it as if it were yesterday.

First of all, God’s Light of Life, is a Light of Magnification!

Paul said God’s light was above the brightness of the sun.  When God shines His Light into our hearts, He magnifies Himself, to give us just a glimpse of His indescribable glory!

Acts 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.

 2Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

             God’s Light of Life is secondly a Light of Manifestation!

He says here in the Book of Acts, “To open their eyes…”  It was this light that manifested to us our sinfulness.             

Ephesians 5:13-14 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

God’s Light of Light is then a Light of Mercy! 

Yes, it was this glorious Light of Life that brought to us from hopelessness and helplessness into His Wondrous mercy!

 1Peter 2:9-10 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

 And lastly, God’s Light of Life, is a Light of Ministry!

This new life in Christ grows from the darkness of Satan and self to the glorious glow of Christ’s own light of sacrifice and service shining from within His children.

 Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 

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“An Eternal Investment!”

December 10, 2017

Mattew 6:19-20 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

 In one way or another, we hear much, in our world today, about making good investments for the future.  The definition of a wise investment is “to put valuable resources into something that will bring personal or financial gain in return. The popular tv show “Shark Tank,” well illustrates the principal of monetary investment.  Mark Cuban, along with other billionaires and millionaires, listen to entrepreneurs, as they attempt to convince them that investing money in their business would bring them more money in return.

In these verses in Matthew chapter six, we see that as always, God’s ways and man’s ways are very different.

The man of the world is always seeking to find ways of gaining more prosperity, power, prestige and pleasure, in his earthly life. God tells us, this is not His way.  The Lord wants His children to have far, far more than the wealthiest man in the world could even dream of, not only in this life, but throughout eternity.  He tells us, the only truly wise investment, is an ETERNAL INVESTMENT!

Can we look just a few examples in order to illustrate the huge difference?

Investing in the flourishing of their creativity.

 The man of the world is all about what he can invent to make his life more prosperous and pleasurable here on earth.  But again, God says different. He gave us great examples of those like the Apostle Paul, who gloried in the privilege of suffering for Christ, knowing the gain of glorifying God was far more blessed than anything this world had to offer him.

Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Investing in the fate of their children.

             The world sacrifices to invest in the best possible formal education for their children, so they can “be successful.”  And even the few who actually succeed, what have they gained?

             Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

On the other hand, God tells us:

 Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

 What a priceless blessing it is for us to know that by the grace of God, rich or poor, in Christ, our children have an all-powerful heavenly Father who has promised to supply all their needs and give them an eternal home in heaven!

Investing in the future of their civilization.

 The man of the world is continually seeking ways to extend their own lives, as well as the life of the planet earth.

But what a blessing it is to know that this life is but a vapor and this world is not our home for we are looking for “a city!”

Hebrews 13:14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

Lord, help us to make wise Eternal Investments!

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“Praying Always…For All Saints.”

December 3, 2017

 Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

 The Lord put a great deal of emphasis on prayer throughout the pages of scripture, so we know it must be extremely important to Him and therefore to us.  In this particular verse in Ephesians, the Lord reminded us of when we should pray, Always.  How we should pray, in the Spirit, … with all perserverance. And He also told us what, or for whom we should pray, for all saints.  I don’t think we could ask for any clearer instructions, do you?

The older I get, the more I understand why the Lord wanted us to spend a great deal of time and sincere effort and dedication in praying for one another.  I think perhaps, in the business of our day to day lives, we often do not fully realize how much it is that we really do NEED HIM, every step of the way!  Our enemies, the flesh, the devil and the world are ruthlessly and relentlessly trying to destroy everyone of us. This is why, I so desperately need your prayers and you so desperately need my prayers, not just occasionally, but ALWAYS! Lord help me!

We must pray for the STRENGTH OF THE SAINTS.

Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

 We must pray for the SINS OF THE SAINTS.

 1John 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

 1John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

We must pray for the SICKNESS OF THE SAINTS.

James 5:14-15 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

 We must pray for the SPEECH OF THE SAINTS.

 Colossians 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

We must pray for the SPIRITUALITY OF THE SAINTS

 Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

 Ephesians 1:16-17 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

  Lord help us TO PRAY ALWAYS FOR ALL SAINTS!

 

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“The LORD He is God!”

November 26, 2017

Deuteronomy 4:39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.

 What an ever so simple, but ever so powerful eternal truth!  Our pastor recently spoke of the importance of spending time meditating on our Father, God.  I’m sure you’ll agree, there is nothing which could possibly have any greater affect for good on our lives.

Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

 Just a moment of dwelling on Almighty God, brings our minds to so many awe-inspiring places.

Historic places, stepping into the pages of scripture where we see Him working His will among our forefathers.  Imagining ourselves struck speechless, as we stand among the multitude and watch the mighty hand of God, bury the entire Egyptian army in the midst of the Red Sea!

Exodus 14:31 And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.

 Humbling places, where we are reminded of our feeble frailties and of His overwhelming omnipotence!

Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Holy places, accessible only to those clothed in the wondrous righteousness of our Blessed Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. Where the sin-tainted touch of our carnal flesh is not welcome.

 Hebrews 10:19-20 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

Honorable places where we find ourselves able only to lift our hearts and souls into sincere praise and honour to the One to whom all glory and honour belongs!

Psalms 71:8 Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.

 And Heavenly places, so glorious and precious, we are left speechless in the presence of His glorious perfection and power!

Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Revelation 1:17-19 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

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Thankful For My GPS!

November 19, 2017

Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

 I was definitely putting last Sunday’s message into practice as I was heading out of San Antonio Thursday evening.  My GPS was performing at its’ finest and I was telling the Lord how thankful I was He had given man the ability to put together such a wonderful thing!

I’ve been to San Antonio maybe a half-dozen times in the past year I guess, but I assure you I still have no idea how to navigate my way around through all those underpasses, bypasses and overpasses.  I still stay about halfway lost when I try to find my way around Tyler, so you can imagine how I would do in a city about 15 times that size. So you can understand why I was so very thankful when all I had to do was listen and drive where it told me to drive!

I was thanking God for a safe trip back home and again for my good old GPS, when He reminded me of the wondrous blessing of His own Global Positioning System.

Psalms 18:30-32 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

 Yes, Praise God it is His goodness that leads us to repentance!

 Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

             It is His Guidance which brought us to and guides us in the way of truth!

 John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

 It is His grace and mercy that opens our hearts to believe and trust Jesus Christ, the ONLY way to eternal life in Heaven with Him!

John 14:5-6 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

 Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

             And it is His glorious example that is directing our steps through this dark, wicked world unto our eternal inheritance!

1Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

 John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

             Thank God, for His Gloriously Perfect Positioning System!

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