A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Monday, December 28, 2015

Hey! The Lord Is at Hand!

December 27, 2015 Philippians 4:4-7

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your

moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful
for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the
peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your
hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Php 4:4-7 AV)

We confess, O Father, that in our hearts we often fall short of our
profession, for we do not trust You as we ought and our joy is
depressed. We know that we are so preserved of You that without
your will not a hair can fall from our head; yea, that all things must
work together for our salvation and good. This we know and
confess. We pray that that assurance would break through the
gloom of our hearts and that our joy would be pure and sure.

We pray for moderation to be known of all men. That we can be
thankful for good things that come, and patience when bad things
come, for we know that both come to us from You for training and
growth in Christ. May what look like storms not create storms in
our hearts, knowing that they soon will pass. May what look like
unmitigated blessings not arouse fleshly pleasures, for they, too,
will soon pass away.

You are always at hand, Dear Lord. Your ear is always open to our
cry, and you are more ready to hear than a father to hear the cry of
his child. You will do us good and not evil all the days of our lives,
we do confess. The wicked are in your hand and will vanish like
snow before the hot sun, when you choose.

Hence, we sin, if we do not in everything by prayer and
supplication with thanksgiving let our requests be made known
unto God. We are to pray without ceasing and to be careful for
nothing. Nothing should fill our hearts with care, because you care
for us.  

Our hearts, then, will be kept be kept by the peace of God in a way
that is far beyond our understanding; our affections will be
enclosed in your love and compassion and our wandering minds
will be disciplined by your doctrine and assurance, as you have
promised, and so we believe.  In the Name of Our Lord Jesus.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Christmas Prayer, Philippians 3:20, 21

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the
working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Php 3:20-21)

Our Precious Father in Heaven. The coming of your Son to Bethlehem was an exclamation point in
the history of the world, for it reveals that there is far more to reality than man’s kingdoms, societies
and cultures.  

For Jesus who was in heaven came from Heaven to reveal and secure for us a whole world of angels
and spirits and power and glory that we could have had no idea of except for His coming. No man has
seen God at any time, but The Son who is in the bosom of the father has revealed Him.

What a wonderful world was opened up to us by the coming of our Lord Jesus, the Only Begotten
Son of God. He opened up vistas that eyes had not seen, nor ears heard, nor the heart of man could
have imagined, but by our Lord Jesus Christ, these wonderful things that God had prepared for those
that love Him have been revealed by the Holy Spirit.

What a wonderful world this must be, O Lord Jesus, and you went there and prepared it for us, and
you will come to take us to where you are now, with your Father and a new heaven and a new earth.
Even our bodies of sin and death will be fashioned like unto His glorious body, for our corruption shall
put on incorruption, this mortal shall put on immortality, dishonor shall put on glory, natural shall put
on spiritual, the earthy shall put on the heavenly for flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of

And we shall not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the
last trump: for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and this vile body
shall be fashioned like unto his glorious body, and so shall we ever be with the Lord in his heavenly
kingdom. Amen and Amen.

You came, dear precious Lord Jesus, into our world of blood and hair and filth, our world of sin and
misery, of death and sorrow and tears and grief, so that you could take away our sins by your
suffering and righteousness and take us to be forever with you, our Lord of Glory, the mansions of
eternal glory and honor. "So shall we ever be with the Lord."

This our Lord Jesus came to teach us. Though he was rich, yet he became poor that we by his poverty
might be made rich. May we, O Lord, even now in the days of our pilgrimage, learn to set our
affections on things above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God for we have been risen with
Christ, and when Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory. As
the apostle Peter wrote, we have been begotten to 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 us.

What a world opens for us by that little baby, the Lord of Glory, the crown of Heaven, the beauty of
worlds unknown before. And we belong to You, O Heavenly Father, for He brings to us our
inheritance, purchased with His Own Blood. Amen and Amen.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Prayer for the Advent Season: Meditation on Isaiah 9:6

December 6, 2015.   Isaiah 9:6

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isa 9:6 AV)


Our Precious Father in Heaven. We rejoice in your wonderful gift to your church on that first Christmas morning so many years ago. You gave us your most precious gift, Your only Begotton Son. The fairest treasure of Heaven, the Word and Wisdom of God, the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star. If we do not love Him, we are cold indeed of heart, and blind to the things of God.


How Wonderful He is. The more we meditate on His Person and Word, the more we are amazed and filled with Wonder.  The Son of God and the Son of Man. Truly God and Truly Man. He must be Man in order to bear the sins of the world; in order to fulfill all the requirements of your Holy Law and Suffer all that your Holy Justice required to put away sins and bring in everlasting righteousness.  True, eye did not see, nor had ear heard the things that You had prepared for Your people, but You have revealed them to us by the holy words that Your Holy Spirit as delivered unto us—the holy Scriptures.


Therefore, O Precious Father, we are completely safe when we trust in Him, for He is a most Wonderful Counsellor.  How foolish we are to walk in our own ways and trust our own hearts, for those that do that are fool indeed. You are the only safe guide of our feet and the happy counselor of our youth, through life, and even to old age.  How wonderful if the gift of Your Son, O Precious Father, for you have not left us to wander  in the darkness or try to see our way by the sparks that we kindle in our own minds How foolish we are; and Wise is He, or Lord and Savior.


For the One that you gave us is the Mighty God.  He not only died for sins, but He is the eternal God who can die for all Your people. He not only is wise, but He is powerfully wise. He does not make promises that He cannot keep. He truly gives rest to those who trust Him. He provides all the needs of those who trust Him.  He truly forgives all the sins of those who trust Him. He truly gives new life to those who trust Him. He is able to save to the uttermost to all those who trust in Him.


What a marvelous gift on that Christmas so many years ago. But there so much more that overwhelms our souls, for in Him we also find the everlasting Father. For His is one with the Father in Creation and providence, and everything that can be said about God as Father and Creator is also said of the Son. He said, “Have I been so long with you and yet hast thou not known me. He that has seen me hath seen the Father.” We look no where else for God except to the Son, for in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. All that the godhead is, Jesus of Nazareth is. He is our Lord and our God.


And He alone is the Prince of Peace.  We have no peace in our hearts until He reigns there. He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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.” This promise was sealed with His blood, the blood of the New Testament. Therefore we can absolutely depend upon You. As you have promised we can let the peace of God rule our hearts and minds, because you have promised that we are in one body we are called to thanksgiving.  The peace of God passes understanding, and we must reject our own reasonings and cogitations for these leads to fears, and it this peace which passes understanding that keeps our hearts and minds.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Types and Imagination: 1 Corinthians 10

There are several things that need to be said concerning this passage. The apostle uses the word
“example.” This is the word from which we get “type,” which means a pattern. For instance, in
Romans 5, Adam is said to be a “type” or a pattern of Christ. As Reformed Christians we tend to be
very modest and temperate in the use of types. That there are types is without question, that the Bible
is not to be interpreted by an unrestrained imagination is also without question. The bible does hook
our imaginations in such passages as Psalm 23, where the Lord is called “My shepherd,” and where
Jesus calls Himself the “Good shepherd,” but this does not mean that we are to take wild flights of

The word is used twice in I Cor. 10, in verse 6 and verse 11. That the manna and the rock are types of
Christ is without question, and Christ refers to Himself and the water of life, and the bread of life.
These figures are very rich indeed. But because of the very nature of imagination, whatever we may
think we learn from the figures must be subjected to the rule of consistency with the rest of Scripture
and the rule of faith. It also must be subjected to the rule of language. What ever Jesus meant when
He said He was the Good Shepherd is tied to the words “good” and “shepherd.” Conceivable, it could
not mean that He is a skillful soccer player.

This word is also used in Hebrews 8:5, when the things that Moses prepared for the tabernacle in the
wilderness are said to be made after the “patterns” of things in heaven. This is the reason such strict
injunctions were given to Moses to be very careful how they prepared the things, because they were
types of heavenly things—that is of spiritual things—are Moses was to be very careful he did not
distort the meaning. For the same reason, we must be very sober in our interpretation of these figures
that we do not go beyond that which is intended by Scripture. The figure must be permitted to say
what it says, but it must not be stretched beyond what God actually said.

The word is also used in I Peter 5:3, and I Thess. 1:7 where ministers are called to be examples to the
flock. Ministers are called to pattern Christian obedience to the people of God. Again, we must not
push the figure beyond the rest of Scripture, as if Christ were not the only express image of God.  

It is important for us to realize the nature of the figures. The things referred to in I Cor. 10 are things
in the history of Israel that are figures of the things of Christ. It is not the other way around. I have
often said that Christ did not come to lead us to Moses; but that Moses came to lead us to Christ.
Once you have found the treasure that the pirates buried, it might be curious to look over the
topography in order to understand the map better, but why? The map has filled its purpose when the
treasure is found. So the Scriptures are to be our lifelong study—not simply that we know what they
say, for the Jews did this—but that we know who Christ is and love and follow Him. In heaven, when
our knowledge of Christ is complete, we will have no further need of the Scriptures.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Lay of the Last Minstrel, quotation

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
'This is my own, my native land!'
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned,
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Lawless Liberty

The Threat of Lawless Liberty

March 03, 2012 in Basket of Figs.

"And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts." --Psalm 119:45

"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." --2 Corinthians 3:17

"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." --John 8:36

"While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man

is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage." --2 Peter 2:19

There is no question that liberty and freedom are among the greatest blessings of God and is one of

the passions of the human heart. The heart longs to be free to express its religious sentiments, to

make choices that it thinks will bring him happiness, and to be "at large" [the meaning of "liberty" in

Ps. 119:45], to go and come he chooses.

This writer thinks that in the next few decades the idea of "liberty" will gain a new intensity in the

world. The idea of liberty is under attack by Islamic fundamentalism, for this is one of the major

complaints that Islamists have with the West. In fact, they call the United States the "Great Satan"

because the liberty in United States is a temptation to good Muslims to relax in his/her keeping of

Sharia law, which they insist on imposing on the whole world. There is no question that Sharia law

would have a dramatic effect in the view of the United States for what we believe are fundamental

rights: for women, for speech, for the press, for the practice of religion, for sexual practices, for

immigration, for the right to be armed, for ownership of property, and in hundreds of ways not


The United States may be our own worst enemy with regard for these things, for along with the

erosion of the doctrine of the Bible has come a shift in our view of what "liberty" itself is. The

Biblical view of liberty emphatically does not mean that each man is free to do whatever he wants,

whenever he wants, to whomever he wants.

Liberty has become an abstraction in the United States, for it is abstracted from the Christian idea of

God, the Creator. Our fathers said that men was "endowed by their creator with certain inalienable

rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness — That to secure these rights,

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

— That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the

People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such

principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their

Safety and Happiness."

Our father's emphatically did not mean that any individual had the right to "alter or to abolish it, and

to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in

such form, as to him shall seem most likely to effect his Safety and Happiness." The individualist

expression of rebellion and revolution was strongly opposed by the Framers, for they feared radical

democracy as much as they feared monarchy and tribal elitism.

The Framers recognized that men are sinners ["If men were angels, no government would be

necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would

be necessary," James Madison wrote in Federalist 51.] Of course, Madison thoroughly educated in

the Reformed Faith, and knew the difference between the holy angels and those that followed Satan

in his rebellion. He was NOT referring to the latter.

Because of this, the Framers made it very difficult to radically change and alter the government of the

United States, to protect the gift of liberty, given by the Creator, from the phony liberty promised by

the godless and rebellion, the spirit of lawlessness and rebellion that sweep over peoples from time to

time whipped up by demagogues seeking their own power and wealth, promising liberty while they

themselves are in bondage to sins and lawlessness.

In granting men the wonderful gift of liberty, God most emphatically did not free men from Himself,

from His rule, or from His righteousness. Jesus said that he that commits sin is the servant of sin,

because no man would stupidly sin if he were not in some respect deceived and bound by it. But

Jesus promised, "If the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed." John 8

Benjamin Franklin, when asked if the people refused to be ruled by God, is supposed to have replied,

"Then, by God, they will be ruled!"

Monday, May 25, 2015

Better than the Prophets?

What will you say to your Master on why you didn't do your "ministry" according to Scripture? That
you knew better than the prophets? That those who tried were unpopular and failed often? That you
couldn't make a living at it? That people laughed at those who tried to be biblical? that none of your
friends were doing it?

47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?

48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?

I do not boast it in, but do affirm, that I promised the Lord many years ago that I would never preach
anything for the purpose of being a success or popular. I would seek to preach the truth plainly as I
understood it and let the chips fall where they may. I do not regret that vow and I have kept it as
faithfully as I knew how. I have also fled from those who wanted something else.

I also tried to do my homework. If everyone disagreed with me, I considered that I was probably
wrong. That took me to the masters, Calvin, Turretin, Bavinck [in later years], Witsius, Owen, the
Puritans, and a host of modern writers including Packer, Berkhof, Strong, Van Til, Murray, Hodge,
Tozer, Spurgeon, etc. Most modern books I didn't finish, for they tend to say the same things in a
shallow way, over and over.

Philosophy I found boring in general and not worth the labor, although I did read all of Plato and
dipped into many others. I was stimulated by Emerson as a young man, but rejected him for his
blasphemy. I learned much from literature and history. Tolstoi was great for a young man and I
discovered the darker Russians later in life. Shakspeare remains a fountain of inspiration as is Milton
and many others.

But the Bible towers so far above everything else that is differs in kind, not just in degree of
excellence. In it breathes the very Spirit of God and all in contained in each part in a unity that cannot
be natural or contrived. Even Shakespeare did not command such unity of thought.

Two non Biblical or theological books that greatly influenced me as a young man were Foxe's Book
of Martyrs [read in the summer following my 8th grade), and Whitaker Chambers' Witness, read
following my graduation from college. The depth of depravity revealed in these books and the hatred
of mankind for truth and goodness, showed me in no uncertain terms the need for a Savior suffering
for sinners and rising from the dead to discipline the race in godliness and truth.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Truth According to Godliness

The great principles of the Christian faith, the Trinity, Inspiration of Scripture, Deity/humanity of
Christ, Justification by faith in the blood of Christ, etc., are not known by reason, although the
propositions are understandable. They are known on the authority of God who has revealed them
through the holy prophets and committed to the inspired Scriptures.

People say they do not understand "divine sovereignty and predestination." There is really nothing
difficult to understand about the proposition that God ordains all things from eternity and brings all
things to pass including who shall be saved and lost. If you didn't understand the proposition, then
you couldn't disagree with it. It really comes down to two questions: Does the Bible teach it? and do I
believe it? The first is called "the faith" that was once delivered to the saints by the Holy Ghost
through the prophets and the truth that is according to godliness, the faith of God' s elect [Titus 1:1] ;
the other is the faith of the believer, also of the Holy Ghost, to believe all that God has written in the
Holy Scriptures. Matt. 28:20 and:

Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have
spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And
beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things
concerning himself.

All the Scriptures speak of Christ and the truth that is according to godliness, the faith of God's elect.
 It is very foolish not to believe them.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Love in Action

It takes love to tell people this, any way you can: Those who wallow unrepentant and unwashed in
their sins will go to hell and cannot inherit the kingdom of God. It is through faith in his blood that
we are cleansed from sin and begin those good works which God hath before ordained that we should
walk in them. Paul did not continue to be a persecutor of the church, but repented, was washed and
made clean, and had his life set in a new direction, the opposite of before. Amen and Amen.

9 ¶ Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither
fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom
of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the
name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
I Cor 6.

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his
righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
 Romans 3.

Monday, March 09, 2015

False and True Religion

After a lifetime of study and observation, I have been persuaded that there are only two kinds of

1. That in which Adam and Eve were created, the revealed true religion that seeks God's glory and
calls man to the faith and obedience that God has revealed. From the first this faith promised a
redeemer, a faithful prophet, priest, and king. This culminated in the Person and Work of Jesus of
Nazareth  and cannot be separated from the work that He did--chiefly in His sufferings on the Cross--
and the precepts He taught the Prophets and Apostles, preserved in the Holy Scriptures, confessed
with various degrees of purity in all the creeds of the Christian churches. There is no salvation
outside this true and holy religion.

2. That into which Adam and Eve fell by listening to the Serpent. This denies the glory of God, seeks
the glory of man, and seduces man to follow his own thinking and his own way. Though sometime
speaking well of someone they call "Jesus" yet in works they deny Him and fashion a Jesus and
apostleship far removed from the Scriptures and the commandments of God. They refused to be
bound by the bands of the true religion ["religion" loosely is derived from "bands which hold back or
restrain" as ligaments that hold the body together. Religion organizes the soul, either for good or for
evil, or for nothing, turning men into savages]. 2Ti 4:3   "...they will not endure sound doctrine; but
after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;, and heap to
themselves teachers, having itching ears."

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Now THAT'S Power!

Prayer on Matthew 28:18-20 Written 3-1-2015

O Precious Father, there were only eleven of them. There had been twelve, but one of them had
proved to be a traitor and in his remorse had hanged himself. One of them had denied You, our
Precious Lord Jesus, and the rest of them had fled away in Your day of trial.

But You had never promised that supernatural strength would arise in them, O Lord. You knew how
weak they were and how frail. A puff of wind could blow them away, but they had Your promises.
Your strength is made perfect in weakness, O Lord, and so it proved.

“All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.” This is what You said, when You came to them in
Galilee, Lord Jesus. You had offered up Your body and soul as a sacrifice for sins and had risen from
the dead that we might know that God had accepted Your sacrifice. Now You must go to Your
Father, as You had said, so that the Holy Spirit might be poured out upon Your people. How great
that power would prove to be.

For You, Lord Jesus, had received from the Father the fullness of the Spirit and had received gifts for
men that God might dwell among us. This Spirit that we receive is not a spirit of fear, but of power
and love and of a sound mind. “All power” You said, “in heaven and in earth.” How feeble is our
faith and our reach, O Lord. How great the commission and how great the undertaking of those
eleven men.

“Go a teach all nations.” How large the scope and the vision! “All nations,” are to be discipled,
brought under the yoke of Christ. Not by swords of steel or men’s destructive instincts, but by the
power of the Gospel. It is the power of the Gospel, the preaching of the Cross of Christ which is the
power of God unto salvation.

Come unto me, is the way the Savior put it, and I will give you rest. The message has the same appeal
to day as it did then. But we must preach it, live it, love it, and oppose every hint of antichrist and

“Make Disciples, baptize, teach.” That’s the order. They come in as little children, are baptized in
terms of the adoption, and are then taught in the way of righteousness. Works every time, when we
do it right. The power of the Triune God guarantees it. 1 Peter 1:

2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto
obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
3 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,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Now THAT’S power.

Friday, February 27, 2015

From the Depths; Prayer on Psalm 130

Precious Father, sometimes it seems that you bring us to the pit of despair as we partake of the
sufferings of Christ. We are ashamed to lift up our heads to compare our lot with the Lord Jesus but
You have said that in some sense we are called to bear our cross as He bore His, and to make up the
measure of the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death, as Paul put it.
What sufferings have been the lot of some of your choicest saints!

But we learn much from this Psalm in the midst of sufferings. It is not in vain to cry out to you, even
to double our efforts and call out over and over for you do hear the petitions of your people. You
would hear the voices of your saints. Even the Lord Jesus cried with a loud voice, “My God, my God,
why hast Thou forsaken me,” and even though He bore the sins of the whole world, yet you heard
Him on that day. When He called, You heard [Psalm 22:21, 24].

It the pit of afflictions and trials our sins rise before us, O Lord. We know that you have promised to
hear the prayers of your saints, but we know our sins that rise before our face, and we fear that you
will not hear us because of our iniquities. But grace intervenes and teaches us that there would be
none to stand before you, if you marked our iniquities. You DO mark and store up the sins of the
ungodly and they are written in your book, but it is not so with your covenant people.

We could have no godly fear of You, O Lord, if you did not forgive our sins, but only the horror and
terror of eternal night and an horrible pit of despair. There is no place for us to stand except in Your
mercy, O Precious Father. Shall we stand firm on our righteousness? In our wisdom? In our love for
one another? Even in our love for You, O Lord? How far we come short of Your Glory, O precious
Christ, and yet you do not cast us away, but discipline us as children, that afterwards we might be
partakers of Your holiness.

So, from the depths, we wait for You, O Lord. Our souls wait for you, for your promises have given
us hope. “Come unto Me,” you said, “and I will give you rest.” “Ps 50:15 “And call upon me in the
day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” And many such things. Often in
prosperity, we grow content and do not seek you, but you love us enough to send adversity, so that
we might turn to you as our only refuge and help.

O precious Father, we exalt Your Name for You are gracious and kind to all, and do not forget Your
promises to us. You have created the heavens and the earth out of nothing and sustain them with
Your powerful Word, for Your Word cannot change, they endure for as long as Your Word has
appointed for them

So are the times of Your appointment for us, precious Father, that from Your love and grace are
designed for our good and purification.

We have days of light and nights of darkness. We rejoice in the light and joy in faith and love and
righteousness and hope. How good are the days of our faith!  But You have also appointed nights for
us, and sometimes our faith is shaken and we are kept only by Your power and goodness. We cry out
to You in the darkness and sometimes we wonder if we are heard, but Your Holy Spirit works faith
and hope in us, hope that shines even in the darkness and brings us encouragement.

And so, in hope we wait for Thee, O precious Father. Sometimes the nights are long indeed, but we
wait for Thee because You have given us hope. We wait as the watchman waits through the long
night for the dawning of the day. It is Your Word that gives us hope, for the Scriptures tell us that
You are merciful and kind and gracious to Your children, and will not forsake us. There is full
redemption in You, O Father, because of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Our problem is our sins and iniquities, O Lord, and we confess that these are the causes of our
darkness. And this is our hope and trust, that You will bring to us by that same Scripture the calm
assurance that our sins are fully forgiven and put away by the blood of Christ, our redeemer. We can
put them away by Your grace and begin to make progress in our Christian walk and life. We have
faith now in the often darkness of this present life, but the light of hope shines before us because of
Your mercy, and we know that our redemption draws nigh, because of Your promises.

The morning is appointed for us, Dear Father. In the morning of Your grace there is plenty of
redemption and mercy. We are content to wait.

We pray these things in the name of our Savior, the Lord Jesus. Amen.

1 Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.
2 Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. 3 If thou, LORD,
shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? 
4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. 
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that
watch for the morning.
7 Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous
8 And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.   (Ps 130)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Receiving the Spirit?

"O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes
Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

"This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of
faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? ... 5 He
therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works
of the law, or by the hearing of faith?"

The Holy Spirit is the gift of Christ through faith in the Gospel. The power of God is the preaching of
Christ crucified, not human effort and duty. Human effort and duty must be preached, but as works of
thanksgiving, not works to obtain the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is given in fullness to Jesus Christ as the result of His perfect obedience and
atonement for sins. The Lord Jesus, from his eternal throne of David at the right hand of God,
dispenses the Holy Spirit and His gifts to whomever He pleases.

Ps 68:18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for
men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.

Acts 2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the
promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. ... 38 Then Peter said
unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Prayer for Every Day, from Isaiah 55:4-13

 Isaiah 55:4-13 Prayer February 15, 2015

O precious Father, we acknowledge this morning that our Lord Jesus Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, Your
only begotten Son, is our only leader and witness and commander. We would run and fly to Him, O
God, for He is the only One appointed for our salvation. He is our King and our God.

He has drawn near to us in the Gospel, and we may seek for him and find Him when our hearts are
tender and we are humbled before You. Teach us to forsake our way, for it is a stupid and foolish
way; teach us to turn from our own foolish thoughts and to seek You, O Lord, for You have promised
us mercy and pardon in abundance. Though our sins and many and manifold, yet Your pardon is
abundant and Your mercy is higher than the heavens.

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, the things that You have prepared for those who love You, O Lord,
but You have revealed them by Your Spirit

Only the promises of Your Word can refresh our souls, dear Lord. It is like the rain and the dew and
the gentle snow from heaven. It falls upon our dry and broken hearts, dear Lord, and causes love and
peace and joy to spring up. The tender shoots of righteousness spring out of the hard heart, faith
instead of unbelief, thankfulness instead of bitterness, mercy instead of hardness and malice, joy
instead of sorrow. These are the fruits of the Spirit, and come from You dear Lord, in whom there is
no bitterness, but true gentleness and mercy.

So Your Word accomplishes all Your will, Dear Lord. We shall go out with joy, and be led forth with
peace: the mountains and the hills shall break borth before You into singing, and all the trees of the
field shall clap their hands. There shall be fruitful trees instead of the thorn and brier. You, O Lord,
shall receive all the glory and the fame, for Your work is eternal and we shall never perish nor be
brought to shame.

4 Behold, I have given him [for] a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. 5
Behold, thou shalt call a nation [that] thou knowest not, and nations [that] knew not thee shall run
unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee. 

6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 

7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the
LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 

8 For my thoughts [are] not Your thoughts, neither [are] Your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 

9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than Your ways, and my
thoughts than Your thoughts. 

10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth
the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the

11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall
accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it.

12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break
forth before You into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap [their] hands. 

13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle
tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign [that] shall not be cut off.” (Isa
55:4-13 AV)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Son of God. Really.

He came to the most religiously literate people, whose prophets for thousands of years had predicted 
His coming. He fulfilled those prophecies in the most minute detail. He said he was the Son of God. 
Those who knew Him best said He was the Son of God. Millions since then have confessed Him to 
be the Son of God. He rose from the dead, as He said he would. He sent the Holy Spirit as He said He 
would. The Gospel was and is preached to the whole world as the prophets and He said it would.

His enemies tried to kill Him because He said He was the Son of God, for they knew that meant He 
was equal to God. He affirmed His equality in knowledge, works, life, judgment and honor. [John 5]

If Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God and sits on David's throne in Heaven as He and the apostles 
said, then the world is in a heap of trouble. YOU are in a heap of trouble if you do not believe and 
obey Him. He is very patient and has great rewards for His people, but there are horrid judgments 
awaiting His enemies. Will you argue with HIM?

You can follow your own thoughts and dream impossible dreams, but if you are wrong about this, 
nothing else matters. He said, "Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that 
believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." Will you take a chance 
that He was lying?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Prayer for This Morning, 1/24/2015 from Psalm 30

Precious Heavenly Father, You have not permitted the devil to defeat and destroy me
or any that are in Christ Jesus. You have given me everlasting life and an eternal
inheritance in Jesus Christ that none of the darkness of Satan’s kingdom of sin and
misery can take from me. You have saved my soul. And I would call on all saints to
give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness, for our God is not like anything that
He made. He is holy and perfect and totally wise in all his works of power and glory
and love.

O Lord, You are certainly angry with the sins of His people, but it is the anger of a
father and not a judge. It is anger that may endure for a night, but joy will come in the
morning as He shows His loving and fatherly face again. We see life in His grace and
weeping cannot endure forever.

Sometimes we think that we will always know and see Your favor in this life. We may
confidently boast, “I shall never be moved. I am a mountain that You have made
strong and secure,” and we live in a carnal security with our hearts far from You, O
Lord Because of Your eternal love for us, You hide Your Fatherly face from us and we
sink into despair.

In our trouble we cry to You, O Lord. We think a great deal of ourselves even in our
prayers to You, sometimes, and we think that Your work on the earth will be greatly
troubled if we are not there to look after it. “What profit is in our death,” we cry to You
and we forget that in life or in death we belong to our faithful Savior.

But imperfect though our prayers are, You are faithful to hear when we cry to You for
mercy. As a faithful Father You know how to give good gifts to Your children and
You answer when we cry, “Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be my

The weeping that endured for the night is turned into the gladness of morning, for in
my distress I have learned a most important lesson, and that lesson has turning my
mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth, and strengthen me with
gladness, for the joy of the Lord is my strength.

I have learned, O Lord, that my glory is my tongue and I will sing praise to You, O
Lord, and not be silent, but will give thanks to You forever and ever. Death will not
quiet this voice, nor diminish my joy, for to be absent from the body is to be present
with the Lord.

Amen and Amen, precious Lord my Savior, Jesus of Nazareth, exalted King of Kings.

“1 I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to
rejoice over me. 2 O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. 3 O
LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I
should not go down to the pit. 4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give
thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. 5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in
his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

“6 ¶ And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. 7 LORD, by thy favour thou
hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled. 8
I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication. 9 What profit is
there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it
declare thy truth? 10 Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my
helper. 11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my
sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; 12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to
thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.” (Ps
30:1-12 AV)


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