In Luke 18:13 (NASB), the tax-collector prayed saying “God be merciful to me THE sinner.” He called himself, “THE sinner”. What he meant was that he felt that everyone around him was a saint compared to him! In his eyes, he was THE ONLY SINNER on the face of the earth! Jesus said that that man went home justified. It is only such people whom God justifies.
Let me share something with you about what this word “justify” really means. It is a beautiful word and a liberating word (Luke.18:14). Look at the pages of a book. Do you see how the right hand margin on every page is straight, just like the left hand margin? In computer- language this is called “justification”! Even though the number of letters in each line is different, yet the computer makes the right hand edge to be perfectly straight. Now if you were to write something on your computer without “justifying” it, you will find that the right hand edge is jagged.
I am the bread of life (John 6:48).
My Lord Jesus! Out of your own free will You left your heavenly realms.
You suffered the pains of life on Earth and You became the holy bread of life for those who followed You.
What an abundance of grace You have bestowed upon those who, even today, may taste of the bread which You have become.
Grounded in that grace, I feed upon this bread daily and delight in the sweetness of it.
Apostle Paul stayed in Ephesus for three years, preaching night and day (Acts 20:31). That means that the Ephesian Christians listened to many hundreds of sermons from Paul’s lips. They had seen extraordinary miracles wrought by the Lord in their midst (Acts 19:11). From their midst, the word of God had spread to all the surrounding parts of Asia Minor during a short period of two years. They had experienced revival (Acts 19:10, 19). They were the most privileged of all the churches in apostolic times. They were also undoubtedly the most spiritual church in Asia Minor at that time. (We can see that from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, where he had to correct no error in their midst, unlike the way he had to, in the other churches to which he wrote).
But when Paul was leaving Ephesus, he warned the elders there that things would take a turn for the worse in the next generation, under the new leadership of the church. He told them that savage wolves would come into their midst and that from among their own midst would arise men speaking perverse things, drawing people after themselves, instead of drawing people to the Lord (Acts 20:29, 30).
Help me dear Savior
To look at the Cross
To look at my sin
Enable me to forgive myself
I believe Heaven is open today
My heart cries out
When I see Love so befouled
In Exodus Chapter 17, we see the Israelites coming to a place where there was no water to drink. The sine wave goes down and they start grumbling again. Again the Lord shows them His solution that is right in front of their eyes. He tells Moses, “Look at that rock in front of you. Smite it” (verse 6). Moses smites the rock and the waters begin to flow. When I first read that passage, I used to picture a little rock and a little trickle of water coming out of it and everybody drinking. But do you know how many people were thirsty there in the wilderness?
600,000 men, between the ages of 20 and 60, alone. Then there were many older men, younger men and women and children? There must have been at least 2 million people there. How much water do you think 2 million people need to drink? Was it just a little trickle? No! It had to be many rivers flowing in many directions, if all those 2 million people had to drink fairly quickly. If those two million people had to stand in line to drink from a small trickle, many would have died of thirst, before they ever got to the front of the line! No. There were rivers there in the wilderness that flowed from the smitten rock. This is the picture that Jesus gave of the Spirit-filled life that flows from a crucified man (“a smitten rock”) in John 7:37-39.
For with much wisdom comes much sorrow, the more knowledge, the more grief. (Eccl. 1,18)
My walk with the Savior has brought me wisdom and many victories but also much pain and suffering. The love I have in Him and through Him has changed my egocentric heart.
The Lord has used numerous means, of which I would not even have thought before, to soften my heart and make it surrender completely to Him. In His grace God let me see what had previously been concealed and unknowable.
It was this knowledge that brought me “more grief”. When the suffering became unbearable, my heart burst and let go of my selfishness, conceit and the love of the world.
In Acts 2:3 the tongues of fire that sat on everyone’s heads indicated that the most important part of our body that God would be using in the new covenant age would be the tongue – a tongue set on fire by the Holy Spirit and under His total control all the time. This is also part of the symbolism of the gift of tongues. God wants to use your tongue to bless others with, not only if you are a preacher, but also in your ordinary conversations with people every day. But for this, you must let the Holy Spirit have full control of your speech, 24 hours a day, and seven days a week.
One of the primary marks of being filled with the Spirit is a change in the way we speak. Our tongue will become “a tongue of fire” (Acts 2:3). This is not “speaking in other tongues”, but “speaking in our mother tongue with God’s fire of love and purity”. Our language will become heavenly.
Make me a blessing for Your saints, and for the enemies – a herald of death.
To those in death, send me with Your Word of Life, and to those in darkness, let me carry the light of Your love.
Demonstrate Your power – may the eyes of the blind be opened, and the sick stand healed before Your face.
Leviticus is a book that speaks of the Holiness of God. It’s a book that has holiness as its main theme throughout. Holiness is a word a lot of believers are afraid of. But we must boldly proclaim the standards of God’s Word – for they are all realistic and attainable. Holiness is the very nature of God. The Spirit God gives us is a Holy Spirit. When Isaiah got a vision of God, he saw Him in His Holiness and saw himself as an unclean man.
Holiness is like health. How many of you are afraid to hear messages on being perfectly healthy? Are we afraid of good health? No. Then why should we be afraid of perfect health in our spirit – which is more important than health for our body? Sin is like sickness. We see that in Leviticus. The Lord gives rules here concerning holiness and concerning health. The two are similar – one is for the spirit and one is for the body. Holiness for the body is what we call health. Health for the spirit and soul is what we call holiness.
How deserted lies the city, once so full of people! How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations! She who was queen among the provinces has now become a slave. Bitterly she weeps at night, tears are upon her cheeks. Among all her lovers there is none to comfort her. All her friends have betrayed her; they have become her enemies. After affliction and harsh labour, Judah has gone into exile. She dwells among the nations: she finds no resting place. All who pursue her have overtaken her in the midst of her distress. (Lam. 1:1-3)
Jerusalem stood empty. Israel’s sin brought judgement and destruction upon this city. Ruins all around and silence so intense that it hurt. Where life had flourished not so long ago, now there was only death.
This picture of Jerusalem in ruins brings to mind a human heart devastated by sin. Many such hearts used to be vibrant with life, immersed in God’s peace. Every moment was filled with praise and joy until the day when sin and destruction came into their lives.