Faith, which is a gift from God, is the ability to believe the seemingly impossible things which God has promised and is able to do for us. Our faith is not strong enough to accomplish much for God. Faith comes by praying, fasting, and hearing the word of God.
God grants the power and faith to expect great things from him and to do great things for his glory when we sincerely draw near unto him, and seek his face and fellowship.
If we could have genuine faith, even as small as a grain of mustard seed, and if we are in fellowship with God, nothing shall be impossible for us.
“And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, saying, Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is lunatic, and sore vexed - for offtimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation , how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” Matthew 17: 14-21.
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Thought For Today - September 28
From The Depths Of The Heart!
“The heart is desperately wicked, who can know it?” Jeremiah17: 9. Out of the depths of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adultery, fornication , thefts,and every evil thing.
The scribes and Pharisees accused Jesus of transgressing the tradition of the elders by not washing their hands before eating. These hypocrites, as Jesus called them, were zealous of outward appearances and the attending to rituals in a pretense of seeming to be Holy before God, but Jesus was swift to remind them that they were transgressing the laws of God by their tradition.
Like many of us today, they drew near to God with their mouth, but their hearts were far from him, they were careful to give a vane show of worship of God by following the doctrine of good works of men.
Jesus who examines the heart of all men, and knows our thoughts afar off, and knows the motives behind every deed, emphasized that it is not what we do, or what we put into our mouths that matters so much to God, but the thoughts and intents of the heart that produce either evil or good. If the thoughts and meditations of our hearts are pure and pleasing to God, then will follow obedience and good works that will be pleasing and honoring to God. Only God can purify our hearts by the constant indwelling of his Holy Spirit.
“Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, why do ye also transgress the commandments of God by your traditions? For God commanded, saying, honor thy father and mother: and, he that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, it is a gift, by whatsoever thou might be profited by me; and honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.? Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, this people draweth nigh unto me with their lips; but their heart is far from me, But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the doctrines of men. And he called the multitude, and said unto them, hear, and undersand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man, but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” Matthew 15-1-11.
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Thought For Today - September 27
If perchance someone may be reading these lines who is not a Christian, and does not know what it means to be saved, and you do not have the joy of fellowship with our wonderful Lord and savior Jesus Christ, you ought to stop right where you are and consider the alternatives.
It is possible to have a pearl of great price slip through your fingers and be lost to you forever, and it is possibe to be so close to much treasure, and yet to lose or neglect it all.
Perhaps a wife or husband, a mother or father, or a son or a daughter has been praying for your salvation. Perhaps they have very lovingly told you of Jesus and his power to save. Perhaps they have very patiently and kindly explained to you God’s simple plan of salvation. It may be that at times the Holy Spirit has tugged at your heart and you have been almost persuaded to believe and confess your sins and call upon Christ to save you, almost but not yet, another time perhaps, when I am older, after I have exhausted all the temporary pleasures of a worldly lifestyle; almost persuaded to believe and trust Jesus, almost, but still lost.
You, no doubt, have heard the gospel preached at church, or on the radio, or television, or from literature such as you are now reading, and yet you continue to neglect your salvation.
My dear friend or relative, whoever you may be, millions throughout the ages have tried and tested the word of God and have found it to be sure and steadfast and trustworthy. The word of God teaches us that it is appointed unto man once to die and after this the judgment. All must stand before God and give an account for what he did with God’s greatest gift to mankind, his only begotten son, the Lord Jesus Christ - That whosoever should believe on him and call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
My friend, the only alternative to being saved is to be lost, and to be lost does not mean cessation of existence or annihilation, but it means to spend eternity in an eternal hell, separated from God and saved loved ones forever.
“How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” Hebrews 2: 3,4.
If you have neglected your salvation, won’t you please reconsider before it is eternally too late?
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When we go forth to sow the seed of the word of God, we must expect that not every single seed that we sow will take root and grow and bring forth fruit for the glory of God.
Just as when the farmer sows seeds of grain, some seed will fall by the wayside and be lost, or the birds will devour them. Some seed fall into rocky places where there is not much to nuture them, and they are left for the sun to wither them away. Some seeds fall among thorns which choke them up and hinder their growth.
When the word of God falls upon an unsaved person’s ears for the first time, if God has not prepared that person’s heart to receive the seed of the word, even as the farmer has prepared the soil to receive the grain seed, then the seed fall upon dry ground, and Satan is ever around and ready to snatch away the seed of the word of God.
Some people have had their hearts stirred by God and are ready to receive God’s truth, and for a little while the seeds spring forth, but before long the heart is dried up and hardened by trials and tribulations, and no fruit is produced. Then, there is the seed that has fallen among the thorns. The thorns represent those who at one time, with joy and gladness, have received the word of God, and for a time it sprang up in them to produce healthy plants for the Lord and for a season bore fruit; but because of associations, with the wrong kinds of people, or associations with worldly things, the cares and riches of the world have choked them, and now they no longer grow and bear fruit.
We who are the sowers of the word of God must not become discouraged when some of our seed falls by the wayside, or upon dry ground, or among thorns, because some will always fall upon good ground. That which falls upon good ground will bring forth abundantly for the Lord.
“And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, behold, a sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: and when the sun was up, they were scorched: and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns: and the thorns sprung up, and choked them but other fell unto good ground and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 13: 3-9.
“Hear ye therefore the parable of he sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. this is he which received seed by the wayside. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he no root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulations or persecutions ariseth because of the word: and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choketh the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it, which also beareth fruit and bringeth forth some an hundredfold, soime sixty, some thirty.”Matthew 13: 18- 23.
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Thought For Today - September 25 - Christ's Kinsmen!
Thought For Today - September 25
Who are the brothers and sisters and kinsmen of Christ? Those who have truly believed his word, and have accepted him as their Lord and Savior, and by faith have been born again into the family of God. These are considered to be his family, his mother, and brothers and sisters.
In order to be his kinsmen, we must have a deep personal relationship with him. We must love him with all our heart and soul, we must eagerly listen to his word of instruction and obey him, and trust him implicitly. Those who want the will of God to be done in their lives, and do what God asks them to do are his kinsmen.
“While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, who is my mother? And who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Matthew 12: 46-50.
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Thought For Today - September 24
We Are What We Speak!
The words that proceed from our mouth echo the thoughts and intentions of our heart. The heart, or our innermost being, is the place where the spirit of God dwells, or the spirit of the devil and evil.
When the spirit of evil dominates the heart, no good thing can come from our lips, but when the spirit of God dominates the heart, the words of our mouth bring forth good things.
As a cesspool when open to the air gives forth foul odors, so the corrupt evil heart of man sends forth a stench from the mouth which speaks blasphemy, and dishonors God and pollutes men. Only after the heart of man is cleansed and purified, and purged of all evil, and the Holy Spirit enters in, by having received Christ as savior, will the words of our mouth have a sweet fragrance and be pleasing to God and edify men.
“Be careful little tongue what you speak”, for God holds us accountable for every word that proceeds from our lips.
“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. for by thy words thou shall be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matthew 12: 34-37.
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Thought For Today - September 23 -
Lord Of The Sabbath!
Jesus and his disciples were accused by the Pharisees of breaking the law by picking corn on the Sabbath day. The Pharisees, who were strict keepers of the law, would condemn anyone for working on the Sabbath day which according to the law was to be kept holy with no work being done.
Jesus pointed out to them that sometimes necessity requires that God in his mercy allows us to do certain things that we would not normally do under different circumstances, as in the case of David when he and his men ate the shewbread in the temple which was lawful for only the priest to eat. God poured out his mercy on David and his men by making the shewbread available to them to satisfy their hunger. In the case of Jesus and his disciples, God showed mercy upon them by allowing them to pick the corn and eat on the Sabbath.
Here in the cornfield with his disciples was one greater than the temple and the law, the divine son of God himself in human flesh. He who was Lord of the Sabbath wanted all men to know that God is merciful and would rather pour out his mercy on his creatures than to require sacrifice.
“At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it they said unto him, behold thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. But he said unto them, have ye not read what David did when he was an hungered, and they that were with him; how he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbaths, and are blameless? But I say unto you, that in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice, ye woud not have condemned the guiltless. For the son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.” Matthew 12: 1-8.
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Thought For Today - September 21
Do We Look For Another?
John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness and baptizing in the Jordan river, pointed to Jesus and proclaimed - “Behold the lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world”. Now,John being in prison, has doubts within himself. John sent two of his disciples to Jesus to ask him plainly - “Are you the one or should we look for another”?
Today, we Christians, though we live by faith and believe the word of God, yet, in trying times it is possible that doubts and fears may creep into our lives, especially if we are not as close to the Lord as we ought to be, and faithful in studying God’s word and praying. If we are perfectly honest, we must admit that down in our hearts we have all asked the questions - is it true? Is the bible relevant for us today? Is Christ alive? Will he return as he said he would? Is there life after death? Will God forgive and forget our sins? Is he the one, or do we look for another?
John being in prison and about to be executed, probably was wondering in his heart: If Jesus was the one, the Lamb of God, the mighty God in human flesh, why would he allow him to be imprisioned and executed?
We ask very similar questions today: Why am I going through such troubling times? Why am I sick and afflicted with a terrible disease? Why am I lonely? Why am I going through financial difficulties? Why am I so afraid?
Jesus’s reply to John’s disciples was that he examine the evidence. Consider all that came to Jesus for help. The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, and even the dead are raised.
When Satan whispers in our ears and tries to get us to question as to whether or not Jesus is real and our faith genuine, then we need to stop and remember the goodness of God in our lives in times past. Remember when the burden of guilt was lifted off our shoulders when we first believed? Remember all our childhood prayers that were answered? Remember the times that we were afraid when the Holy Spirit of God was there to calm our fears? Remember when the Lord healed us when we were sick, and came to our assistance when we were experiencing financial difficulties? Let us carefully examine the scriptures and hear again the testimonies of all the eye witnesses of Christ’s resurrection and ascension into heaven. Let us once again examine all the fulfilled prophecies of where and when Christ should be born, and the validity of all his miraculous works.
“Now when John had heard in prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, and said unto him, art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them, and blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me.” Matthew 11: 2-6
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“ Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, there is no help for him in God. But thou, O Lord art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O Lord: save me, O my God for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.” Psalm 3.
We need to diligently seek the Lord every day, and ask for his protection from all the things that could come against us to destroy us and keep us from enjoying his blessings. When we are constantly in fellowship and communion with God, he puts an invisible shield all around us to protect us from evil forces and influences.
When we call out to God he hears our most feeble and weak whispers and is more than ready to answer us and come to our rescue. We can rest assured that God our Father and Christ our savior will protect us and save us if we will but believe and rest in complete confidence of his love for us. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life” John 3: 16. It is not enough just to believe these words, but we must receive them for ourselves as a free gift of God and be grateful.
If you who read this message believe this and are grateful, why not share this with your friends?
Thought For Today - September 19
What Is His Name?
God forbid that we should be afraid or ashamed to speak the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and proclaim him as our savior.
The name of Jesus Christ is forbidden to be mentioned in public ceremonies and other places today in our great country which was founded upon the principles of Jesus Christ and Christianity. At sporting events, commencement exercises and other public events, those who are called upon to pray are warned not to mention his holy name lest they offend non-believers and disturb their guilty conscience. It is ok, we are told, to pray to a generic unknown god-the man upstairs-the divine power or influence, the god that will satisfy everyone’s own individual convictions.
Sad it is to observe that many professed Christians, who claim to be saved and redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, hesitate to speak his name among friends and acquaintances. It seems that the only time public prayer is permissible nowadays in our great country is when our country is in great danger. Then, we are urged to cry out with a loud voice and sing “God bless America”; but who is the God that we want to bless America?
I, for one will tell you who he is. He is the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God. There is no other name under heaven among men whereby we must be saved. “This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4; 11,12.
Jesus said: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32,33.
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