Bulletin Edition July 2017

Believer, did you awake this morning with the weight of everyone under your influence on your shoulders?  What a heavy load to bear: sick loved ones, erring loved ones, lost loved ones, along with all your own trouble and heartache, sin and sorrow?  Perhaps the thought has crossed your mind, “How did it all come to this?” Thus saith the Lord your God, “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

A child of God can rejoice in the midst of our greatest suffering because, though the pain is pain and the sorrow is sorrow, we have Christ our Redeemer and are washed in his precious blood.  Accepted of God—what a reason to rejoice evermore!  And God instructs us to pray without ceasing.  Is this not the reason we suffer?  It is to draw us to the giver of all grace to ask for grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4: 16)  Christ knows exactly what we suffer—he has suffered it and knows the feeling of the infirmities of each of his blood-bought children.  As we pray, our great God reminds us, in everything to give thanks.  Why?  For this—this very suffering you suffer at this present moment—is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  Oh, how this helps to ease the pain of our suffering.  If my Father, my faithful Father, my sovereign Father, my loving Father, my ever-present Father is ruling over all of this then it is for my good.  Anything that brings us to look away from ourselves and cast all our care into Christ’s hands is for our good.  Therefore, we thank God for it. May God help you now to see that this is not to make light of your suffering but it is to comfort you that this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Clay Curtis.

Look to Christ

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up” John 3:14

There can be no hope of salvation apart from the Lord Jesus Christ bearing the sins of His people in His body on the tree of Calvary.  There was no other way to put away sin. The son of man MUST be lifted up.  He bore all the sins of all God’s elect of all ages, fully satisfying Divine justice once for all.

The serpent is obviously a picture of God making Him sin for us who knew no sin….  Those stung by the fiery serpents of sin MUST look to the serpent on the pole to live.  Num. 21:8-9.  Yet, in spite of God’s promise many Israelites died from the serpents. I can only think of one reason why anyone in the camp of Israel would not look to the serpent on the pole. They were too busy looking at the serpents on the ground and the wounds they had caused in their flesh.  Grant it, poisonous snakes around your feet would be an alarming sight.   But, God did not say; ‘try to avoid the snakes’, or ‘tend to your wounds’. No, He said look to the One on the pole and you shall live.

Do we not do the same thing today.   We wallow in the guilt and shame of our sin, rather than looking to Christ.  We try to mend the wounds of our sin, rather than looking to Christ. We set but rules and regulations to avoid the serpents on the ground, instead of looking to Christ.
So how do we view our sin?   All we need to know about the evil of our sin is seen in what it took God to redeem us from it. There is no greater evidence of how God sees our sin than when He sheathed the sword of His Divine justice into the heart of His beloved Son. Herein is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins. Oh, that we could simply look to Christ and believe that in Him we are, ‘INDEED dead unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord’.
Greg Elmquist.

The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away
Last Sunday I pointed to the fact that when we really believe the above statement and are confident that by the providence, power, and purpose of God “all things work together” for our good and His glory, it keeps us from blaming others, from bitterness, and from depression. With that in mind, I repeat an article. ”

“It is GOOD for me that I have been AFFLICTED; that I MIGHT LEARN Thy ways” (Psalm 119:71). God’s ways and God’s word are best learned by experience and in time of trouble. When our Lord is pleased to lay His hand heavily upon us, we do not soon forget the lessons learned. When the Lord singles out a believer or a church for special affliction and adversity, it is not for punishment nor lack of love for them; it is for eternal blessings and because He does love them. “Whom the Lord loveth” he chastens, corrects, and teaches! When Job sat before his friends, who was afflicted? THE ONE GOD LOVED! When Paul stood before King Agrippa, who wore the chains? THE ONE GOD LOVED! Humanly speaking, which path of life would you prefer to live on earth, that of Esau or Jacob? Esau had the life of prosperity and ease; Jacob was full of trouble and conflict, BUT GOD LOVED JACOB! Thank God He has loved us in Christ and is pleased to teach us His ways by dealing with us in such a way that we are weaned from the world and find our life, comfort, and hope only in Him. A person who measures his blessings and relationship with God by his prosperity, health, happiness, and worldly comforts makes a fatal mistake. “If ye be without chastisement, whereof all believers are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons” (Heb. 12:8). Paul said, “Most gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (II Cor. 12:9-10). He who sends the trial for His glory and my good will supply the grace sufficient. Those who know the Redeemer, also know that when we are weak, we are strong; when we are poor, we are rich; when we are empty, we are full; when we die we live!
Henry Mahan.

God’s People Are a Broken People
“The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
A broken heart, a contrite spirit and a subdued will are rare things. In this day of human rights, everyone extols the imaginary dignity of man, and every man does that which is right in his own eyes. Self-esteem, self-worth, and self-promotion are the cry of the day. All men demand what they call “their rights”. All men by nature are exceedingly proud and selfish. Preachers today, knowing man’s natural pride, have capitalized upon it. They have developed a flesh pleasing theology of pride. Our forefathers exalted the dignity, majesty, and supremacy of the eternal God. But the smooth-tongued prophets of deceit in our day exalt the dignity, majesty, and supremacy of man. The religious world around us is dedicated, not to the honor of God, but to the honor of man. It’s purpose is to-make man feel good about himself. Therefore we hear little about brokenness of heart, contrition of the soul, and the subduing of man’s will.
Must be Broken
Of this one thing you may be sure — “The sacrifices of God are (still) a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, 0 God, thou wilt not despise”(Psalm 51: 17). The Lord God declares, “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my Word” (Isaiah 66:2). God will have broken material with which to build his kingdom. He accepts and uses nothing he has not broken. Until the Lord God brings us to nothingness before his presence, we will never experience his salvation. God’s people, all of them, are a broken people. No one has experienced the grace of God in salvation, until his heart is thoroughly broken before the Holy Lord God as he is revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ. If ever a sinner finds out who he is, who God is, who the Lord Jesus Christ is, and what he has done for sinners, — if a man ever really learns these things, he will be broken.
God’s Servant Job
When God’s servant Job saw himself, in the presence of his three miserable friends, he vindicated himself, and even cursed his day. He said, “Why did I not perish from the womb? Why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?” But when he stood in the presence of God, he was a broken man; and he spoke as a broken man. He saw himself, in all the hideousness of his sin; and he saw God in all the holiness of his majesty. Then he said, “Behold I am vile! I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 40:4; 42:5-6). There is no pride and egotism here, no haughtiness, no self-vindication. Once Job had seen the Lord, he was broken. He loathed himself and blamed himself. Once he had seen the Lord, he honored God and vindicated him. The truly broken heart will always vindicate God.
A Work of Grace
Such brokenness is a work of grace. It can be produced in us only by a saving revelation of Christ in our hearts. Brokenness is found only at the cross. The Lord God declares that when he pours upon the hearts of his elect the Spirit of grace, “they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10). Have you been to the cross? Has the crucified Christ been revealed in your heart? Is your heart broken before him? O Lord God, our Savior, evermore break our hearts before Thee!
Don Fortner

The call of a sinner
When the Lord came to His disciples on the dark stormy sea he saw them “toiling in rowing”. He saw their fear and futility against an angry sea and a contrary wind. They needed to be saved!

He came there on purpose to save; but He made like He would pass by. Is this not the case of every sinner the Lord saves? He makes like He will pass them by then listens close for their call. It is exactly this experience that causes us to call on Him. One thing I know by experience is that no true sinner will ever let Him pass by. He will cry, plead, and fight his way through the press but he must and will reach the Savior. His call is not a call of discussion or option but of desperation. It is now or never – life or death – Heaven or Hell. He is done with the oars, done with the storm, and done with the darkness.

In the midst of it all he sees the Lord and while he is able to see he calls.
Darvin Pruitt

Comments are closed.