From Him which is, and which was, and which is :The proper object of all religious worship is the living and true God


1. Divine worship must be presented to God, essentially considered, as possessing all those Divine perfections which form a proper object of contemplation, praise, and adoration; and a proper ground of hope and holy confidence.

2. Worship must be addressed to God, personally considered, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, as possessing all those personal characters that form a ground of confidence, love, and adoration.

3. Worship must be given to God, graciously considered, as possessing all those covenant and gracious excellences that form a ground of hope and everlasting consolation in all our approaches to the throne of grace. Such is the character recognised by the apostle in the prayer before us. The words imply the existence of three Divine persons in the adorable Trinity, and they apply equally to the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. They are also expressive of His adorable sovereignty, as the Ruler, the Lawgiver, and the Judge of the universe. They suppose the kingdoms of nature, of providence, and grace, to be under His power; and they also teach the eternity of that kingdom

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1 John 4:7


New International Version
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

Cross References

John 13:34
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

1 Corinthians 8:3
But whoever loves God is known by God.

1 John 2:3
We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.

1 John 2:4
Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.

1 John 2:7
Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard.

1 John 2:29
If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.

1 John 3:9
No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.

1 John 3:11
For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

1 John 4:8
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:11
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:16
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

1 John 5:1
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.

2 John 1:5
And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.

Struggling With the Same Sin: How Do I Break Free?


Struggling with the same sin is like the feeling of drowning. You splash around frantically trying to find your footing, but you still sink under the water. Believers who struggle with the same sin over and over feel like failures. You know the truth of God’s word, but can’t overcome the sin long enough to walk in the freedom granted by the blood of Jesus. This sinful stronghold keeps it grip over your life choking out destiny that God wants for you. You have a love/hate relationship with sin. There’s hatred of the rope tied around your neck, yet (be honest) you love the pleasure of it. Should you just give up and give in? Or is there hope for deliverance? Begin by answering the right questions for breaking free of the same old sin.

Question #1) Are you a believer?

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5, NIV). Many people think they are saved even though they can’t attest to rebirth through the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Salvation doesn’t have to be a dramatic outward event, but there does need to be a time when you moved from darkness of sin to the light of salvation. Take a few moments to reflect on how your salvation. Use Romans 10:9-10 as a guide.

Question #2) Do you really want to be free?

“All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD” (Proverbs 16:2, NIV). We may not like the consequences of our sin such as guilt, shame, or regret. Many of us can appear remorseful in front of others (especially if we get caught), but we may remain inwardly unrepentant especially if our pleasure in the sin is greater than our desire to please God. Reflect on the price of your sin on the Lord Jesus Christ. Use Philippians 2:6-8 as a guide.“However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21, NKJV). “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21, NKJV).

Question #3) Have you confessed your sin to God?

“When I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD” (Psalm 32:5, NIV). Something happens within us when we verbalize our sin to the Lord. Our spirit agrees with the Spirit of God that we’re living in error and our relationship with God can be compromised. The Lord wants us to come to Him in repentance with a desire to be changed in the likeness of Jesus. Spend time talking to God about how you first became ensnared in sin. Use James 1:13-15 as a guide.

Step #4) Have you confessed your sin to another believer?

“Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done” (Acts 19:18, NIV). Confessing your sin to a mature believer provides human accountability. Every believer regardless of their spiritual growth needs someone to confess to. You’re not alone—every believer has to overcome temptation and sin as a personal struggle. Ask the Lord to direct you to the right person of faith. Use Psalm 37:30 as a guide.

Step #5) Have you removed yourself from your “temptation triggers”?

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14, ESV).You may need to make the courageous, but tough decisions of separating yourself from certain people, places, or things that keep you in bondage to sin. It’s not easy to break off a relationship, get rid of cable/TV/internet, or to move to a different job and/or location. However the refreshing hope and freedom in Christ makes it well worth it. Start a list of what needs to be out of your life in order to be free. Use 1 Corinthians 10:13 as a guide.

Step #6) Are you prepared to set aside a time of prayer and fasting to loosen the grip of this sin on your life?

“However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21, NKJV).Sometimes the power of sin is so strong that you need a time of prayer and fasting. This typically requires an abstinence of eating food for a certain period of time. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that helps you gain control of sinful desires instead of being controlled. Decide on a period of time to fast and pray. Use Mark 2:18-20 as a guide.Step #7) Do you have the mind of Christ?

“For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16, ESV)You have the mind of Christ as you memorize, recite, meditate, and apply the scriptures in faith. The word of God is powerful enough to break all sinful strongholds in your heart and mind. You will develop the ability to see your sin as God sees it—destroyed by the blood of Jesus. Set up a schedule that puts your Bible reading as an integral part of your day. Use Hebrews 4:12 as a guide.

Did you answer yes to all the questions?

If not, don’t skip a question that was difficult—deal with it and be free. You didn’t get into this situation overnight and it may take time to complete the perfect work of God in your life. At the moment of salvation, you were made in the image of Christ to be free from all bondages of sin. Never give up on the power of God to deliver you and use your experience to snatch others out of the fiery pit of a sinful life.

THE SOLDIERS PSALM


Psalm of Confidence!

Three Voices Speak in Succession:

  • An individual proclaiming his trust in God
  • An audience then speaks to that individual, and describes God’s protection and care..
  • God speaking about the faithful person; He promises to protect him..

Psalm 91:1-2

Psalm 91

First, it examines the idea of living in God. Its personalized. The first person perspective “I” does not return until v.9 and 91:14-16. These two verses use four different names for God.

Psalm 91:1-16

  1. The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty.
  2. I will say to the LORD, My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.
  3. He Himself will deliver me from the hunter’s net, from the destructive plague.
  4. He will cover me with His feathers; I will take refuge under His wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield.
  5. I will not fear the terror of the night, the arrow that flies by day,
  6. the plague that stalks in darkness, or the pestilence that ravages at noon.
  7. Though a thousand fall at my side and ten thousand at my right hand, the pestilence will not reach me.
  8. I will only see it with my eyes and witness the punishment of the wicked.
  9. Because I have made the LORD – my refuge, the Most High – my dwelling place,
  10. no harm will come to me; no plague will come near my tent.
  11. For He will give His angels orders concerning me, to protect me in all my ways.
  12. They will support me with their hands so that I will not strike my foot against a stone.
  13. I will tread on the lion and the cobra; I will trample the young lion and the serpent.
  14. Because I’m lovingly devoted to Him, He will deliver me; He will exalt me because I know His name.
  15. When I call out To Him, He will answer me; He will be with me in trouble. He will rescue me and give me honor.
  16. He will satisfy me with a long life and show me His salvation.

Amen! Amen! Amen!

 

From the PULPIT: Love – God’s Way


On that day, a man will commit himself to his beloved, a woman will say ‘yes’ to a marriage proposal. Many college students, after a red rose and red wine, will give in to a lover’s demand for the sign of your love for me.This guy is serious,they will reason. He has done all this for me, why should I deny him what he asks for.

Before you put on your dreamy eyes and take off to cupid’s world, take deep breathe, look into your lover’s eyes and ask yourself, did he fall in love with me, or is he in love with me. Let’s go through this together. To love is divine and God is love. Therefore to love is reaching out to God.

1 Corinthians 13:13 chronicles love as the greatest of virtues and Romans 13:10asserts that love is the fulfilment of the law. So great is love that Jesus summarised it as the greatest of all in the mosaic commandments.

There’s only a little problem with February love,and that is its insistence of falling in love.It is true that God is love, but falling in loveis not love, though it may bear some components, to real love. I say this for two reasons.

  • Firstly,the experience of falling in love has baggage of sexual invecourse or desire for the same. The lovers may say to each other, I love you,but what they mean is, I want you sexually,I desire your body.Consider this, we do not fall in love with our parents, our children and siblings – even though they mean the world to up. Given, the first motivation of falling in love is basically sexual.
  • Secondly,falling in love is temporary. It doesn’t matter who we fall in love with, sooner or later we fall out of love with them – usually when our sexual need is met, or frustrated. Falling in love is the cause of many heartbreaks, abortions, unwanted pregnancies, and suicides. Bear in mind that God is love, and the consequences of falling in love are sin sin to God. Do you then think that falling in love is Godly?

True love, is ‘self giving.’ It is an extension of one’s limits or boundaries. It requires effort and sacrifice. In true love, a man continues to care for his sick and bedridden wife for years, even though he can’t have sex with her. A woman lives on with a man who is so wretched he can’t feed his family. In true love, God have His ONLY son, to redeem humanity, even though had sinned against Him John 3:16. This love is not based on looks or what the other party brings into the relationship. In true love, there is no show me proof of your lovetalk, because it isn’t about the othe loving you, but you loving the other. It is to love the neighbor, as you love yourself, Mark 12:31.

True love is eternal, not temporary. It has no ultimatums or deadlines. If someone is in love, they are in love and can do nothing about it. A lover does not therefore, get bored out of love, he or she does not suddenly ‘discover’ that the other is not the one for me.

So, when your lover goes on one knee, be sure he is in love with you and not just ‘fallen in love’ with you. When she tells you that she will commit suicide if you left her, think twice whether it is not because so something you give or do to her. And time tells all. God is the author of love and marriage. Jesus showed His reverence for marriage by beginning His miracles at a wedding in Cana of Galilee.

As in all things pertaining love, beware of things that are temporal, because those are of this world and not such as develops the spirit for eternal bliss. If your love is only for your bodies and this world, maybe you should go back to the drawing board, for what is born of human nature is human (temporary), what is born of the Spirit is spirit (eternal) John 3:6

Sacrificial Love


“You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21 ESV)

I had some misplaced priorities. I suppose at some level I’d known it for some time. But I didn’t fully recognize how misplaced they were until I took a trip to El Salvador with a Christian humanitarian organization.

I met two children on a home visit. They lifted their tarp door and invited me into mud puddles and dirt walls with just one bed where their family of five rested at night. One bed for dreaming dreams of being a doctor and police officer.

I’d come to offer gifts of detergent and food. But the children’s gifts exceeded anything I had to give. A tiny beaded bracelet smudged with dirt, drenched in love. They wanted it to be mine. They filled my hands with selfless love. Love shared in smiles and what few tangible gifts they owned.

Feeling too shy to hand me the bracelet herself, the girl nudged her brother. He presented it to me as if it were a royal crown and slid it gently on my wrist. I declare, diamonds couldn’t match the worth of their hearts, their gift in that moment.

The next morning as I was getting dressed, I felt a nudge. Give your bracelet away like those children gave theirs to you.

You see, I had another precious bracelet with me. It was one my dad had given me over twenty years ago. Just a simple wooden bracelet from South Africa, but it meant the world to me.

How could I part with it? I wrestled with indecision. My heart soared, anticipating the moment I’d spot a mama to whom I would give my bracelet. Then my heart sank, anxious at the thought of giving up one of my treasures.

And there lay the problem. My misplaced treasure.

I’m embarrassed … heartbroken. I’m sad to say I couldn’t give it away. Couldn’t? No; more like I wouldn’t. Both bracelets journeyed back home with me. One bearing selflessness; the other, selfishness.

I thought I was really something, bringing gifts to those kids in the form of beans and rice. Little did I know, I was the one in need. I needed God’s mercy. I needed a new perspective. I don’t want possessions if I’m not willing to use them to love others.

I needed the one thing I lacked … more love for the Lord than for my possessions. My heart held tighter to my bracelet than it did to what God had asked me to do. He beckoned, “Give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” A simple request, yet so difficult to follow.

I don’t want to be lacking in love for the Lord or those He cares for. Next time I’m giving it all. I’m starting by opening my hands and heart and looking for opportunities today. Are you with me?

Dear Lord, You are the perfect example of giving. Thank You for new mercies, second chances, and a heart capable of responding to Your prompting. Help me to respond to Your prompting this day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Related Resources

Remember
You need more love for the Lord than for your possessions.

Reflect
You can choose each day to bear selflessness or selfishness. Why is it sometimes easier to hold more tightly to earthy possessions?

Respond
Set up a time to volunteer with those who have less than you to help gain perspective on what’s important.

Power Verses
Matthew 6:20; 1 Timothy 6:18-19

 

A Glorious Preview


Bible Reading:Exodus 34:29-35

→The lights in the theater dim and a deep, mysterious voice booms ominously through the speakers. On the screen, a sequence of scenes quickly establishes the setting, introduces the main characters and teases about the plot. Of course, you are watching a preview for Hollywood‘s next block-buster flick.

→However, since the film’s producers want you to plop down the bucks to watch the entire movie, they give you only a sketchy outline to pique you interest. So the preview suggests a lot more than it shows. If a theatrical preview exists in the Bible, the episode about Moses‘ radiant face provides a great teaser. We catch a glimpse of God‘s glory, but the preview suggests alot more than it actually shows. Instead of detailed description, we only read that God’s glory made Moses’ face shine. Still, the effect was so powerful that it triggered fear in the Israelites, so much that Moses, had to cover his face.

→God provided another preview of His glory in the person and ministry of Jesus Christ and the new covenant He established. The Apostle Paul connects there two previews:Now If the ministry that brought death which was engraved in letters on stone, so that Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of Its glory, transitory through it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?2 Corinthians 3:7-8.

→Amazingly, the full picture of God’s glory still lies ahead. Even more incredibly, we’re not just audience members watching a preview. God gives us a starring role. We all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the LORD’s glory, one being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the LORD.2 Corinthians 3:19. Are you ready for your close-up?

To Take Away

Do you long for God’s glory? In what ways does your life show this to be true? What qualities and actions in Jesus’ life revealed God’s glory? How can you obtain a greater thirst for a close-upof God’s glory?

Pray that God will show you smaller evidences of his glory in your everyday life.

Recommended Reading:

Matthew 17:1-8;2 Corinthians 3:7-18;Revelation 21:22-22:6