Valleys

Preparing for the Valley
So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves
to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. 1 Peter 4:19
The primary purpose of a mountaintop experience is to prepare us for the valley. That’s why we can’t stay up there. When Peter, James, and John came down from the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9), they encountered many difficulties that eventually led to their witnessing Jesus on the cruel Roman cross.
As much as we might long to remain on the summit, God doesn’t keep us floating around in some ethereal counterfeit spiritual experience; eventually we must return to the dusty, empty plains of life. His intention is that we be strengthened by worship and His Word—and then go about our Monday routine, prepared to make an impression upon others. If Jesus walked among us today, He’d spend His time in alleyways, on street corners, and in places where few of us in our dignity would want to be caught.
The three disciples no doubt would have wanted to stay with the Lord on the mountain, but that’s not the purpose of a spiritual high. The point is that God may reveal Himself to us in a fresh way. Then He readies us through that inspiration to go back to the common places where we have to face tasks we might prefer to avoid. Life’s realities aren’t to be escaped. God wants believers to learn to live every day in reliance on His indwelling Spirit.
The Lord was using the time on the summit to prepare Peter, James, and John for their true purpose. When God lifts us up, He doesn’t intend for us to stay there. He gives exceptional spiritual experiences to strengthen us and make us more effective when we engage in everyday life.
From the sermons of Charles F. Stanley

Poured Out

“I have poured out my soul before the Lord.”   1 Sam. i. 15

HANNAH’S soul was fall of complaint and grief, which flowed over into her face and made it sorrowful. But when she had poured out her soul before the Lord, emptying out all its bitterness, the peace of God took the place of her soul-anguish, she went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad. What a glad exchange! How great the contrast! How much the better for herself, and for her home!

Is your face darkened by the bitterness of your soul? Perhaps the enemy has been vexing you sorely; or there is an unrealized hope, an unfulfilled purpose. in your life; or, perchance, the Lord seems to have forgotten you. Poor sufferer, there is nothing for it but to pour out your soul before the Lord. Empty out its contents in confession and prayer. God knows it all; yet tell Him, as if He knew nothing. “Ye people, pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us.” “In everything, by prayer and supplication make your requests known unto God.”

As we pour out our bitterness, God pours in his peace. Weeping goes out of one door whilst joy enters at another. We transmit the cup of tears to the Man of Sorrows, and He hands it back to us filled with the blessings of the new covenant. Some day you will come to the spot where you wept and prayed, bringing your offering of praise and thanksgiving.

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Friday Funnies

DOOR BELL

A pastor is walking down the street one day when he notices a small boy trying to use the doorbell on a house across the street. However, the boy is very small and the doorbell is too high for him to reach.
After watching the boys efforts for some time the pastor walks across the street up to the little fellow and rings the doorbell.
Kneeling down next to the child, the pastor smiles and asks, “And now what, my little man?” To which the boy replies, “Run!”

BIG OR LITTLE

Can you tell me why a $10 bill looks so small at the grocery store but so big at church?

DIRECTIONS

A little boy was waiting for his mother to come out of the grocery store.
As he waited, he was approached by a man who asked, “Son, can you tell me where the post office is?”
The little boy replied, “Sure, just go straight down the street a couple of blocks and turn to your right.”
The man thanked the boy kindly and said, “I’m the new pastor in town, and I’d like for you to come to church on Sunday. I’ll show you how to get to Heaven.”
The little boy replied with a chuckle, “Awww, come on; you don’t even know the way to the post office!”

COFFEE

A newly married couple were arguing who is making the coffee, the wife said that in the Bible it says that men should make the coffee and the husband asked her where it said that.

The wife opened the Bible and said: “Right here in HE BREWS!”

Bible Study

FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT- LOVE  5:22

Nine aspects of the Fruit of the Spirit: 3 inward, 3 outwards, 3 upward.  These 9 aspects all work in unison to make sure that we are right inwardly and, if right inwardly, we will be right outwardly, and, if right inwardly and outwardly, WE WILL BE RIGHT UPWARDLY.

We have seen love and joy.   Let’s look at the third aspect of the inward result of the filling of the Holy Ghost: peace.  We CANNOT have peace without love and joy!

John 14:26-27  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  (27)  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

  1.  The Person of Peace – the Comforter, the Holy Ghost.

  2.  The Availability of Peace – the Lord left His peace with us.  Peace is available to each of us.

 3.  The Responsibility of Peace – “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

There Is No Peace For The Lost – Isaiah 48:22  There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.

No Peace To The Backslider – Psalms 85:8  I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly. John 16:33  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Hebrews 12:11  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

“A clear conscience makes for a soft pillow!”

True peace comes through trust and faith.   Isaiah 26:3-4  Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.  (4)  Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

Things That Will Bring Peace To Your Soul! 

1.  Peace Comes Through Assurance of Salvation – Colossians 1:20  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

John 14:27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Psalms 29:11  The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

  Isaiah 53:5  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

2.  Peace Comes Through A Right Attitude About Oneself – Psalms 37:11  But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

3.  Peace Comes Through Living For The Lord – Psalms 37:37  Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

Proverbs 3:1-2  My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:  For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

Isaiah 32:16-18  Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.  And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.  And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;

  2 Peter 3:14  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

  Philippians 4:9  Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

4.  Peace Comes Through Loving The Word Of God – Psalms 119:165  Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

5.  Peace Comes Through Embracing Wisdom – Proverbs 3:13-18  Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.  For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.  She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.  Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.  Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.  She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

2 Peter 1:2  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

6.  Peace Comes Through Resting In The Lord – Psalms 4:8  I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

  Romans 15:13  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

7.  Peace Comes Through Loving Your Brother – James 3:18  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

  2 Corinthians 13:11  Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

  1 Thessalonians 5:13  And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

8.  Peace Comes Through Taking Your Burdens To The Lord Seeking His Will – Philippians 4:6-7  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing 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.

Victory Baptist Church 27 January 2021 victory palmetto.com

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.”