Grow Up

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Today’s Passages – Ephesians 4 – 6 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 51 – 55; Proverbs 11)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 55:17

Read the “1211 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” (Ephesians 4:13-15)

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:1)

“For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.” (Hebrews 5:12)

One of the many problems with the modern concept of Christianity in our world today, is that it is producing very immature Christians. At one time the churches of America understood that they had a responsibility to teach and preach sound Bible doctrine. Unfortunately, in most of our churches the Bible has been replaced with entertainment; and in some cases the Word of God has been almost removed altogether. If you were to travel back in time to the first half of the 20th century you would see that all Bible believing churches had multiple opportunities for the people to come to the House of God in order to learn Truth. Gradually, as the years passed, sermon lengths became shorter, and whole services were eliminated. It is rare to find an evangelical church with Sunday School for adults or evening services on Sunday, or Bible studies / Prayer Meetings during the week. It is no wonder that our country is rapidly deteriorating when God’s people are feeding sparsely on Jello and Tapioca, instead of meat. It is also not surprising that Christians are dropping like flies into all kinds of immorality when they are not taking in enough spiritual nourishment to strengthen them against the wiles of the Devil.

This lack of Bible can also be seen in our homes. There used to be such a thing as “a family altar” and family devotions. There was a time when it would not be uncommon for Christian fathers and mothers to read the Bible with their children. It was not at all unusual for a mom to insist that her children get up out of bed a little earlier so that they could spend some time in the Word of God before they faced the day. Now, we are too busy finding out what all our friends are doing on Facebook; or perhaps we are engrossed in the latest immoral sitcom on television. Shame on us. We are producing a bunch of weak, baby Christians who could not possibly be strong enough to carry the torch to the next generation.

In our passage today we see that God gave us all that we need in order to grow and mature in the faith. Notice vs. 11 – 12:

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11-12)

God gave us pastors and teachers, but unfortunately they are too busy trying to please a carnal group of people instead preaching the Word of God. I heard recently of a pastor of a church (that was once a fundamental Baptist church) who went to a football game on  a Sunday morning instead of going to his pulpit. He got his wife to fill in for him. Shame on that pastor, and shame on that church for not firing him.

We need to get back to the basics; back to the Bible. We need to get rid of all of the technology that is supposed to be helping us so much, get rid of the social media, the filth on television, the mindless video games and internet surfing, and get back to “study[ing] to show [ourselves] approved unto God, [workmen] that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” And our churches need to get back to filling their services with sound doctrine, and lots of it. We are losing the battle. Few are getting saved today because our lights are too dim, and our salt has lost its savor. We need to wake up and go back to what worked before we completely lose this generation.


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Saved to Good Works – Not By Good Works

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Today’s Passages – Ephesians 1 – 3; (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 46 – 50; Proverbs 10)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 40:31

Read the “1210 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” – (Ephesians 2:8-10)

These verses in Ephesians are perhaps among the most familiar in the Bible. We often use vs. 8 – 9 to convince people that salvation is not through our good works, but solely though the grace of God, which is available only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace has been defined as unmerited favor, or receiving something that we do not deserve. What a wonderful truth it is to know that our salvation is not dependent upon our good works, which are totally insufficient, and fall miserably short of the mark. As the verse teaches, salvation comes through the free gift of God’s grace. Jesus paid the price for our sins when He died on the cross, and now makes salvation available to any who will simply receive Him by faith.

However, just because works are not acceptable as payment for our sins, it doesn’t mean that we should not “work” for the Lord after we are saved. Verse 10, which is not quoted nearly as often as vs. 8 & 9, teaches very plainly that God has ordained that we should work for Him, after salvation. God has got a specific plan for each one of His children. He has something for all of us to do. Our job is to determine what God’s will is for our lives, and then do it. There are lots of opportunities for service in a local church.


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JUST FOR LADIES – BY CAMILLE STAHL

Today’s Passages – Ephesians 1 – 3 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read –Psalms 46 – 50Proverbs 10)

Scripture Memorization for December – The Incarnation

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 51

Read a great article by Pastor Chappell– “Making the Most of Christmas

Watch the Growth Points video by Pastor Chappell – “Pressing Into the New Year with Godly Passion

Read the “1210 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this passage – “Saved To Good Works”

Dead To Sin

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:1-7)

Did you ever have someone cross you in some way?  Maybe they lied about you or to you.  Maybe stole something or even picked a fist fight with you.  How about deserting you when you really needed them the most.  I guess you would say they weren’t very nice people and you would have a hard time being friendly with them again.  But can I tell you, that’s exactly what we do to our Heavenly Father everyday yet He still loves us.  His love for us is beyond what we could ever imagine.

We were all the children of wrath.  All of our desires were under the evil one.  Our spirit was dead.  There was no good in us.  Yet Jesus freely gave his life for us.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

We don’t have to be sinless for God to accept us, we just have to accept what His son Jesus did for us, died.

How can you describe that kind of love?

There are two thoughts I have from these passages.

First is the greatness of our Saviour’s love.  If He did nothing but save my souls from Hell, I should be His slave for life.  But He didn’t allow me to be a slave, He made me His child.  I must strive to please Him.  There is no way I could ever repay Him for what He did and continues to do for me.  God don’t even remember my sin.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalms 103:12)

It’s would be like me buying a hundred million dollar home and not being able to pay for it.  When the bank comes to my door to throw me out, someone comes along and pays for it in full.   Most people would feel as if they owed that person their life.  How much more do we owe God our life for pulling us out of Hell?

My second thought is that if God can forgive us of all our unrighteousness, why do we have such a hard time forgiving one another?

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.” (Matthew 18:21-35)

Conclusion

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)

Thank You

1 John 5:13


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