October 8, 2021-Sermon of the Day
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, honour, and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. ( Rev 4:11 KJV)
Jesus, the Ultimate Example of Faith’s Results
"The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned , that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary …The Lord God has opened My ear …I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard ; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting . For the Lord God will help Me ; therefore, I will not be disgraced ; therefore, I have set My face like a flint , and I know that I will not be ashamed ." (Isaiah 50:4-7)
In our previous prophetic verses, we saw that the promised Servant of the Lord would undertake His Messianic mission through faith in His heavenly Father. " My God shall be My strength " (Isaiah 49:5). These verses depicted Jesus as the ultimate example of faith . Now, a corresponding prophetic passage reveals the blessed consequences of trusting in the Lord. Herein, we see Jesus as the ultimate example of faith’s results .
Once again, the prophetic parties are the Messiah and His heavenly Father. The confessions of Jesus (trusting in the Father) comprise the prophetic statements. "The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned ." Jesus was “discipled” day by day by the Father (certainly using, in part, His godly parents). "The Lord God has opened My ear ." This equipped Jesus to minister to burdened lives: "that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary ." In fact, people were amazed in general at the manner in which He spoke. " So, all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth " (Luke 4:22).
As Jesus would trust in the Father, He would also be prepared for the mounting difficulties that He would face. "I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard ; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting ." In approaching the cross, these prophecies of Jesus (and the enablement He found through depending upon the Father) were fulfilled. "Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands" (Matthew 26:67). Though He knew all of this awaited Him before He came to Jerusalem that last time, He put His faith in the Father. "For the Lord God will help Me ; therefore, I will not be disgraced ; therefore, I have set My face like a flint , and I know that I will not be ashamed ." The Father helped Him. He marched on resolutely to keep His redemption appointment at the cross. "Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up , that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem " (Luke 9:51). These are the wonderful consequences of faith.
Father, Your Son, my Savior, was prepared, strengthened, sustained, and used through faith in You. I need to experience these same blessed results of faith in my life. Please build my faith, more and more, for Your glory and service, Amen.
Despite times of sorrow and loneliness, the Lord will ever be our father. We who believe shall never be forsaken and shall never lack His provision. Praise the Lord for His lovingkindness. Praise the Lord for His unbounded mercy upon your soul. Praise forever the Lord who has delivered you from death into His everlasting and princely family. Praise the Lord and rejoice O you peoples of the Almighty God!
We learn from this narrative, the necessity of human agency. The draught of fishes was miraculous, yet neither the fisherman nor his boat, nor his fishing tackle were ignored; but all were used to take the fishes. So, in the saving of souls, God worketh by means; and while the present economy of grace shall stand, God will be pleased by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. When God worketh without instruments, doubtless He is glorified; but He hath Himself selected the plan of instrumentality as being that by which He is most magnified in the earth. Means of themselves are utterly unavailing. “Master, we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing.” What was the reason of this? Were they not fishermen plying their special calling? Verily, they were no raw hands; they understood the work. Had they gone about the toil unskillfully? No. Had they lacked industry? No, they had toiled. Had they lacked perseverance? No, they had toiled all the night. Was there a deficiency of fish in the sea? Certainly not, for as soon as the Master came, they swam to the net in shoals. What, then, is the reason? Is it because there is no power in the means of themselves apart from the presence of Jesus? “Without Him we can do nothing.” But with Christ we can do all things. Christ’s presence confers success. Jesus sat in Peter’s boat, and His will, by a mysterious influence, drew the fish to the net. When Jesus is lifted up in His Church, His presence is the Church’s power-the shout of a king is in the midst of her. “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.” Let us go out this morning on our work of soul fishing, looking up in faith, and around us in solemn anxiety. Let us toil till night comes, and we shall not labor in vain, for He who bids us let down the net, will fill it with fishes.
Mark the grand characteristic of true prayer-" In the Holy Ghost. " The seed of acceptable devotion must come from heaven’s storehouse. Only the prayer which comes from God can go to God. We must shoot the Lord’s arrows back to Him. That desire which He writes upon our heart will move His heart and bring down a blessing, but the desires of the flesh have no power with Him.
Praying in the Holy Ghost is praying in fervency. Cold prayers ask the Lord not to hear them. Those who do not plead with fervency, plead not at all. As well speak of lukewarm fire as of lukewarm prayer-it is essential that it be red hot. It is praying perseveringly. The true suppliant gathers force as he proceeds and grows more fervent when God delays answering. The longer the gate is closed, the more vehemently does he use the knocker, and the longer the angel lingers the more resolved is he that he will never let him go without the blessing. Beautiful in God’s sight is tearful, agonizing, unconquerable importunity. It means praying humbly, for the Holy Spirit never puffs us up with pride. It is His office to convince of sin, and so to bow us down in contrition and brokenness of spirit. We shall never sing Gloria in excelsis except we pray to God De Profundis : out of the depths must we cry, or we shall never behold glory in the highest. It is loving prayer. Prayer should be perfumed with love, saturated with love-love to our fellow saints, and love to Christ. Moreover, it must be a prayer full of faith. A man prevails only as he believes. The Holy Spirit is the author of faith, and strengthens it, so that we pray believing God’s promise. O that this blessed combination of excellent graces, priceless and sweet as the spices of the merchant, might be fragrant within us because the Holy Ghost is in our hearts! Most blessed Comforter, exert Thy mighty power within us, helping our infirmities in prayer.
Not a few Christians live in a state of unbroken anxiety, and others fret and fume terribly. To be perfectly at peace amid the hurly-burly of daily life is a secret worth knowing. What is the use of worrying? It never made anybody strong; never helped anybody to do God’s will; never made a way of escape for anyone out of perplexity. Worry spoils lives which would otherwise be useful and beautiful. Restlessness, anxiety, and care are absolutely forbidden by our Lord, who said: “Take no thought,” that is, no anxious thought, “saying what shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or wherewithal shall we be clothed?” He does not mean that we are not to take forethought and that our life is to be without plan or method; but that we are not to worry about these things. People know you live in the realm of anxious care by the lines on your face, the tones of your voice, the minor key in your life, and the lack of joy in your spirit. Scale the heights of a life abandoned to God, then you will look down on the clouds beneath your feet.
It is always weakness to be fretting and worrying, questioning and mistrusting. Can we gain anything by it? Do we not unfit ourselves for action, and unhinge our minds for wise decision? We are sinking by our struggles when we might float by faith.
Oh, for grace to be quiet! Oh, to be still and know that Jehovah is God! The Holy One of Israel must defend and deliver His own. We may be sure that every word of His will stand, though the mountains should depart. He deserves to be confided in. Come, my soul, return unto thy rest, and lean thy head upon the bosom of the Lord Jesus.
"Peace thy inmost soul shall fill
LINKED WITH GOD Isa_41:8-16
The exquisiteness of doing the Father’s great, tender, wise, practical will—nothing, absolutely nothing, compares with that. Then there’s God’s own peace in the heart; the inner sense of his approval. Nothing can take the place of that nor compensate for its absence. There’s the fragrant power in life and service, even while thorns tear. There’s the wondrous joy of having a part with him in his wondrous world-plan. This was the blessedness of Jesus’ earth-life, and may be ours.
“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abided in death.” — 1Jn_3:14.
IT IS a great comfort to find that Love is not regarded by the Apostle as though it were merely an emotional or sentimental matter, for every reference points to action! The love of God was manifested in the laying down of His life, and we are to be willing to follow in His steps (1Jn_3:16). The injunction is that we should love in our deeds. We are not to shut up our hearts in compassion, but to help our brother in need. If we begin with doing kind and loving actions, we shall end by feeling the same. Often when people come to me, saying that love has completely died out of their life towards some other person, I have bidden them go back again, and act with love, making the other one the centre and object of helpful ministry; the invariable result is the refreshing and rekindling of the hot geyser-springs of affection.
Do not wait to feel love, but begin at once to show it, because it is right, and your duty, and as you step out in simple faith you will find that God will make this to abound towards that also abound in grace you may this good work. Love of such kind is self-giving and it is the gift of the Spirit of God. This exotic bloom cannot flourish on our wintry soil; the heart of man cannot furnish it. There may be a few wild growths, but they bear small comparison to its beautiful flower and fruit. Love is of God. It proceeds from His Nature, and is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us. “The fruit of the Spirit is love,” and as we are united with Christ by faith, the love of God will be shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, and we shall be able to love with God’s love.
We know that we have been born from above as soon as we find ourselves willing to put the interests of another before our own, not because we have a natural affection or affinity for him, but because he and we belong to God. If there is hatred or dislike in our hearts towards any, let us beware! We must uproot it by generous action, or it will bring darkness into our own lives (1Jn_2:9-11).
Enable us, O God of patience, to bear one another’s burdens, and to forbear one another in love. Oh, teach and help us all to live in peace and to love in truth. Subdue all bitter resentments in our minds, and let the law of kindness be in our tongues. AMEN.
The Life of Drift
When the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive — Act_27:15
Causes of Drifting: Internal Breakdown
It is interesting to remember some of the causes that make vessels drift. Often it is a breakdown in the engine room. So long as the engines are in perfect order the vessel holds to its appointed course. But let the shaft snap, as sometimes happens, and immediately the ship begins to drift. And as it is with ships, so is it not infrequently with lives; they drift because of interior breakdown. It may be a breakdown in morality, though no one knows anything about it yet. It may be a breakdown in the will, for the will is the shaft of life. It may be a breakdown in some sweet and simple piety like that of prayer in the secret place— and the ship goes drifting on the sea. There is a story of an officer in the Great War who went drifting and was finally cashiered. He came back again to his old home and entered the little bedroom of his boyhood. Then, turning to his mother, “Mother,” he said, “the whole thing began when I stopped praying as a lad beside that bed.”
Drifting Caused by the Rising of the Tide or Change of Circumstances
Again, we must not forget that boats may drift because of the rising of the tide. One has had that experience on summer holidays. You draw the rowboat high up on the shore, and you leave it there, thinking it is safe. But the night is the night of a spring tide, and concurring with the tide there blows a gale. And in the morning you go to get the boat, only to find that it is gone: the spring tide has come and set it drifting. That is often how young people go drifting. Youth is the spring tide of life. Passions awake, tempestuous and turbulent; new thought and knowledge lap around the gunwale. And lives that once were safe, beached in the securities of childhood, go drifting like ships upon the sea. That often happens when a lad goes to college out of an orthodox and godly home. He enters a new world of thought and gains a new conception of the universe. And the ship that was so safe once amid the unquestioning pieties of home, finds itself drifting on the deeps. Spring tide has come, and spring tide is of God. God is in the flow as in the ebb. Lives that drift like that can be recaptured. There is One who is out to seek and save. I find a perennial and profound significance in a Savior who could walk upon the sea. Drifting stops when He is taken aboard.
A Drifting Ship Is a Danger to Other Shipping
It is well to note, too, that a drifting ship is always a danger to the other shipping. Every captain would corroborate that. You can chart a quicksand or a reef, and having them on the chart you can avoid them. But nobody can chart a drifting ship; it may be on you in a moment in the night. It is well to remember that in that regard a drifting life is like a drifting vessel; it is fraught with peril and disaster. When a man drifts from his anchorage in Christ, he affects a hundred other lives. No one can tell the hurt that he may bring when he drifts into indifference and worldliness— spoiling the fair name of Christ, damping the zeal of zealous, eager people, making it always easier to be skeptical and always harder to be true. One of the signals of a drifting iceberg is a rapid lowering of the temperature. Drifting lives are just like drifting icebergs: wherever they drift there is fall in temperature. They chill the church. They chill the congregation. They chill the eager loyalties of youth, not because they are notoriously bad, but just because they are drifting.
Christ Warns Us of Drifting Lives
That is one reason why our blessed Lord is always dead against the life of drift. He condemns it in a score of instances. Think how He describes the days of Noah. According to Genesis the earth was full of violence; but our Lord says nothing about violence as the precursor of calamity. He says that in the days before the flood men were eating, drinking, merrymaking, marrying— and then, suddenly, the flood came. Noah was a man of action, of swift decision, of determination. The others went drifting on from day to day, thoughtless, heedless, irresistible. It is the Lord’s warning against the life of drift as leading to disaster, and He is always insisting upon that. The man of the one talent took no risks. He forfeited everything for doing nothing. The man who built his house upon the sand found that in the drift was his destruction. The man who worshipped God today and tomorrow was the slave of mammon was intolerable in the eyes of Jesus. Christ calls for action, for decision, for determination of the will. If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out; if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off. Nobody knew better than our Savior that we are here not to drift but to decide if we are ever to have the music and the crown.
Christ Was Never Accused of Drifting
And how beautifully is that exemplified in His own so perfect life! Scoffers said He drank, but no one ever said He drifted. By a magnificent energy of faithful will He put from Him all the kingdoms of the world. He chose the long, hard trail and held to it, though His feet were bleeding and His heart was breaking Far off He saw the cross in its agony and shame and ridicule, and He set His face steadfastly towards Jerusalem. Nothing could divert Him nor break the steady power of His purpose, no tempting friends nor cheering multitudes nor bitter desertion nor betrayal. The great word in the life of drift is may, but the great word in the life of Christ is must, and must is the last triumph of the will. No man can share His spirit who lives on in aimless indecision. Nobody can have His joy who shrinks from full surrender. The life of drift never reaches harbor. It reaches the quicksand and the reef— from which may God in His mercy save us all.
The Unshakable Man
“Whoever does these things will never be shaken.” (Psa_15:5)
As we saw in yesterday’s post, when your life is marked by personal integrity, relational faithfulness, moral strength, sacrificial dedication, and financial honesty – you may live in the Lord’s Presence forever. And furthermore, as we will see today, you have a rock solid promise that you can stand upon in the face of anything that comes your way. The Bible says, “Whoever does these things will never be shaken” (Psa_15:5).
In the Presence of the Lord you become the Unshakable Man; the Unshakable Woman.
In a day of flim-flam personalities, posturing politicians, fame-chasing ding-bats, pontificating preachers, and waffling masses caught in the whirl of a world turned upside down by policies and procedures dictated by idiots who are clueless of God – YOU can take a stand on the Solid Rock and be unshakable.
’t for a moment underestimate the value of your decision to do so.
Now more than ever before in our history, men and women of unshakable fiber are needed. Men and women whose word is true, whose lives are solid, whose character is commendable, and whose presence make a difference that matters…and that lasts.
I pray that you may be such a person. And that I may, by the grace of God, be one with you.
The Bible says that a time is coming – indeed it may already be upon us – when all things that can be shaken will be shaken….so that only the unshakable things will remain (See Heb_12:27).
May God grant you grace to stand unshaken, and give you the profound honor of being a source of hope to all around you who see their world falling apart at the seams.