Wade’s Wednesday

Didn’t Happen To Me

Every church congregation develops a series of customs which soon become familiar. For many years in our congregation it was customary on the Sunday before December 7, Pearl Harbor Day, to have the veterans of the World War II rise and be recognized. When a new preacher was hired he was evidently not told of this custom. The veterans of the war were then few, and no recognition was given. To the old-timers in the church this seemed almost sacrilegious. The custom is now gone.

The problem is repeating itself, however. The older generations take note of the anniversary of September 11, 2001. But if you ask the next generation for the significance of that date, you will get a blank stare. They have no idea why you hold this date with regard. The reason for this is simple: September 11 didn’t happen to them. It happened to you. For many of our people, if it didn’t happen in their lifetime it’s not worth remembering.

Older heads know better. We know that there are some things that are worth memorializing even though they happen before we were born. For example:

  • We remember and memorialize great changes in our society. Who could fail to be stirred by a visit to Independence Hall in Philadelphia, touching the Liberty Bell?
  • We remember and memorialize great sacrifice. To go to Gettysburg and walk the battlefield is a moving experience. The sheer number of marble monuments tells you that the survivors were compelled to remember the great number of their fallen comrades.
  • We remember and memorialize great men. If you go to Washington DC you can see the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and many others.

These things took place; these men lived well before our time. How do we memorialize something like that? Sometimes we do it in stone; sometimes we do it in ritual.

You see, of course, that all three of these kinds of great things to remember apply to Jesus Christ.

What greater change has ever happened to the human race than the advent of the grace of God?

What sacrifice could be greater than the sinless One on the Cross?

What man could be greater than the man who was God in the flesh?

The sacrifice of the Cross happened about 2000 years ago; we remember it in ritual so that we might be reminded of an event that none of us have ever seen — but all of us know. Whenever you take the bread and the cup . . . , remember the greatness of the grace of God, the sacrifice of Jesus, the man who was God in the flesh. Take, eat and drink, and remember.

Tuesday With Karen

by Karen Icenhour
If Your Day Needs Grace
If your day needs grace, no one else knows,
The Lord will be there with goodness to show;
When you seek His face earnestly in prayer,
He hears your cry, and He is always there!
?If your day needs grace, power & strength,
He’ll be by your side, no matter the length;
He knows every care, any time of the day,
He hears His children, whenever we pray!
?If your day needs grace, be it great or small,
He listens to His own, anytime we call;
His Word tells us to ask, seek, & knock,
Under His wing, we are blessed by God!
?If your day needs grace, God has lots to give,
He does so much for us, in this life we live;
He gives us the privilege to seek His face,
Blessing us greatly by His amazing grace!

Holiness

I cannot save and sanctify myself; I cannot make atonement for sin; I cannot redeem the world; I cannot right what is wrong, purify what is impure, or make holy what is unholy. That is all the sovereign work of God. Do I have faith in what Jesus Christ has done? He has made the perfect atonement for sin. Am I in the habit of constantly realizing it? The greatest need we have is not to do things, but to believe things. The redemption of Christ is not an experience, it is the great act of God which He has performed through Christ, and I have to build my faith on it. If I construct my faith on my own experience, I produce the most unscriptural kind of life— an isolated life, with my eyes focused solely on my own holiness. Beware of that human holiness that is not based on the atonement of the Lord. It has no value for anything except a life of isolation— it is useless to God and a nuisance to man. Measure every kind of experience you have by our Lord Himself. We cannot do anything pleasing to God unless we deliberately build on the foundation of the atonement by the Cross of Christ.

The atonement of Jesus must be exhibited in practical, unassuming ways in my life. Every time I obey, the absolute deity of God is on my side, so that the grace of God and my natural obedience are in perfect agreement. Obedience means that I have completely placed my trust in the atonement, and my obedience is immediately met by the delight of the supernatural grace of God.

Beware of the human holiness that denies the reality of the natural life— it is a fraud. Continually bring yourself to the trial or test of the atonement and ask, “Where is the discernment of the atonement in this, and in that?”

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The truth is we have nothing to fear and nothing to overcome because He is all in all and we are more than conquerors through Him. The recognition of this truth is not flattering to the worker’s sense of heroics, but it is amazingly glorifying to the work of Christ.

 

God’s Abundant Provision

But my God shall supply all your needs
according to his riches in glory by  Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 4:19
Paul gives the Philippians this promise only after he has emphasized to them that he had found the Lord’s grace sufficient in good times and tough times, in times of plenty and in times of lack. The key to this promise is not just God’s provision, but also our trust upon him to satisfy what we most need in Christ Jesus. When our hearts yearn to be full of him, to be pleasing to him, to be blessed by his presence, to be given the assurance of life beyond death, surely we can rely on his supplying everything we truly need!
Prayer: Give me eyes to see, O God, all the many wonderful ways you are providing for me and graciously providing the abundance you have poured into my life. I confess that my vision is shortsighted and narrow. I need to see the panoramic view of your graciousness. Yet the “little” part of your blessings that I am able to recognize is lavish, gracious, and fulfilling. I know you have blessed me with many more things that I do not see. Thank you for being so generous! In Jesus’ name! Amen.

 

Human Depravity and Divine Mercy

By Charles H. Spurgeon

‘And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.’ Genesis 8:21

Suggested Further Reading: John 3:1–15

I cannot give myself a new nature. A crab tree cannot transform itself into an apple tree; if I am a wolf I cannot make myself a sheep; water can rise to its own proper level, but it cannot go beyond it without pressure. I must have, then, something wrought in me more than I can work in myself, and this indeed is good scriptural doctrine. ‘That which is born of the flesh’—what is it? When the flesh has done its very best—what is it? ‘That which is born of the flesh is flesh’—it is filthy to begin with and filth comes of it. Only ‘that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.’ My soul must come under the hand of the Spirit; just as a piece of clay is on the potter’s wheel and is made to revolve and is touched by the fingers of the potter and moulded into what he wishes it to be, so must I lie passively in the hand of the Spirit of God, and he must work in me to will and to do of his own good pleasure, and then I shall begin to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling, but never, never till then. I must have more than nature can give me, more than my mother gave me, more than my father gave me, more than flesh and blood can produce under the most favourable circumstances. I must have the Spirit of God from heaven. Then comes this enquiry, ‘Have I received him? What is the best evidence of it?’ The best evidence of it is this: am I resting upon Christ Jesus alone for salvation?

 

Friday Funnies

BOOK KNOWLEDGE

A bee flew into the bus and began buzzing menacingly against the window next to me and the man seated ahead of me.

For several unnerving minutes I debated what I should do until my fellow passenger decided to dispatch the insect with the paperback book he’d been reading.

After several unsuccessful swats, one blow hit its mark.

“I’m glad you got it,” I told the man.

He smiled sheepishly as he showed me the title of the book he had used— “Random Acts of Kindness.”

DOG TRICKS

“Dad, I think the Smiths next door are angry at us.”

“Why is that?”

“They’re probably mad because our dog can retrieve the newspaper, and theirs can’t.”

“How could you possibly know that? We don’t even subscribe to the paper.”

“Yeah, that’s probably got something to do with it, too.

COOKIES

An elderly man lay dying in his bed. In death’s agony, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs. He gathered his remaining strength, and lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands. With labored breath, he leaned against the doorframe, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for death’s agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven: there, spread out upon the kitchen table was literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies.

Was it heaven? Or, was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man? Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table, landing on his knees in a rumpled posture. His parched lips parted; the wondrous taste of the cookie was already in his mouth; seemingly bringing him back to life. The aged and withered hand shakily made its way to a cookie at the edge of the
table, when it was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife.

“Stay out of those,” she said, “they’re for the funeral.”

Wade’s Wednesday

The following statement was found in the belongings of a young African Christian martyred for his faith.
Do you share this same commitment to Christ?

“I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lifted by prayer and labor by His power.

“My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, lamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living and dwarfed goals.

“My face is set. My gait is fast. My goal is Heaven. My road is narrow; my way rough; my companions few; my Guide reliable; my vision clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the face of an adversary, negotiate at the table of an enemy, and ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

“I won’t give up, shut up, or let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up and preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, HE WILL HAVE NO PROBLEM RECOGNIZING ME… MY BANNER WILL BE CLEAR!”

Tuesday with Karen

Thankful for His loving touch! KI
Nothing Like His Touch

Nothing like His touch calms the raging sea,
By His compassion, His voice speaks Peace;
He comes where are in everything we face,
Nothing is bigger than God’s loving grace!

Nothing like His touch makes the sick whole,
In all situations, God’s hand is in control;
He’s never perplexed or caught by surprise,
And walks beside us, every step of our life!

Nothing like His touch keeps us all in tune,
His Word reminds us He’ll be coming soon;
Even in these unprecedented days we see,
His love is there, meeting all our needs!

Nothing like His touch comforts the heart,
His presence is in us, never to depart;
He hears every prayer, loving us so much,
There’s nothing to fear if it has His touch!
                                      1-10-21.

A SHOW OF LOVE 

MARK 14:1-9

TRICKY SCRIBES                                           MARK 14:1

Passover is the most holy and joyous festival that commemorates Israel’s deliverance from bondage in Egypt. The Jews had cried out to God in their oppression, and God delivered them. But this did not stop the enemies of Jesus from plotting to have him killed. The word “craft” refers to “a trick”. They are trying to devise a plot to trap Jesus so they can have Him executed.

TUMULTUOS SCENE                                     MARK 14:2

In consequence of the vast influx of strangers, embracing all the male population of the land who had reached a certain age, there were within the walls of Jerusalem at this festival some two million people; and in their excited state, the danger of tumult and bloodshed among “the people,” who for the most part took Jesus for a prophet, was extreme. See Josephus [Antiquities, 20.5.3].

Just as they though t their plan would not work the proposal of Judas changed all that. Bengel remarks, “then did the divine counsel take effect.”

TRUE WORSHIP                                            MARK 14:3

True worship never comes cheap and will always cost us something.

A Christian businessman was traveling in Korea. In a field by the side of the road was a young man pulling a rude plow while an old man held the handles. The businessman was amused and took a snapshot of the scene. “I suppose these people are very poor,’ he said to the missionary who was interpreter and guide to the party.

“‘Yes,’ was the quiet reply, ‘those two men happen to be Christians. When their church was being built, they were eager to give something toward it, but they had no money. So they decided to sell their one and only ox and give the proceeds to the church. This spring they are pulling the plow themselves.’

“The businessman was silent for some moments. Then he said, ‘That must have been a real sacrifice.’

“‘They did not call it that,’ said the missionary. ‘They thought themselves fortunate that they had an ox to sell!’

TANTRUM MADE                                          MARK 14:4

When it comes to money even the closest followers of Jesus can lose perception, here it says some of the disciples were complaining, the mastermind behind all this was Judas. (John 12:4-5).

TOTAL MANIPULATION                               MARK 14:5

“This he said,” remarks John (John 12:6), and the remark is of exceeding importance, “not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and had the bag”

TO BE PRAISED                                             MARK 14:6

It was good in itself, and so was acceptable to Christ; it was reasonable and it was “what she could,” and so most acceptable of all. As the song writer puts it “If just a cup of water I place within your hand, then just a cup of water is all that I’ll demand”.

TIME FOR EVERYTHING                               MARK 14:7

Jesus is not saying that we should not help the poor. We should help them and we should do our best to meet the needs of those around us. Jesus is simply saying that Mary seized the moment! The poor would always be there, but she knew that Jesus was going to the cross to die for sin and sinners. She took advantage of the opportunity she was afforded and she gave Him extravagant love and worship.

TOOK OPPORTUNITY                                   MARK 14:8

There was a lot that Mary could not do. She could not prepare Him a meal, there just wasn’t time, she could not make Him a garment, and again, there just wasn’t time. She could not take His place in Gethsemane or at Calvary. She could not take away the shame, the rejection, the hatred or any of the other pains Jesus experienced. There was a lot that she could not do. But, there was one thing she could do! She had a flask of expensive anointing ointment. She was saving it for herself, but she chose in that moment to take what she did have and to use it for the glory of God!

TRIBUTE GIVEN                                            MARK 14:9

God is teaching us that everything that represents true service to Him will never be forgotten. He notes those things and they possess lasting, eternal value. There will come a day when He will reward His servants for their service of extravagant worship for His glory.  Mark 9:41, “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.” (Ill. Matt. 25:34-40.) (Ill. Paul – 2 Tim. 4:6-8!)

Truth

A.W. Tozer

We live in a mixed-up kind of world in which many people are not at all sure of what they believe or what they ought to believe. Some churches advertise that way-you do not have to believe anything: “just be a seeker after truth.” Some actually settle for poetry, siding with Edwin Markham who “saw his bright hand sending signals from the sun.” I, for one, never had any such signals from God. We have Bibles everywhere and the gospel is preached faithfully. Yet men and women seek God in old altars and tombs-in dark and dusty places, and finally wind up believing that God is sending signals from the sun. Some folks get mad at me when I say that this kind of “seeking after truth” needs to be exposed. We need to double our efforts in telling the world that God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.It must be the Truth of God and the Spirit of God! Far from being an optional luxury in our Christian lives, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit is a necessity!