Monthly Archives: May, 2017

Call to Remembrance

“But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions.” (Hebrews 10:32)

Our American younger generation, like the Hebrew Christians back in the first generation after Christ, seems in grave danger of forgetting the great sacrifices of those earlier generations in this country who made our nation the land of the free. What seems almost a deliberate “dumbing down” of our great Christian heritage has been taking place in our public schools and universities ever since World War II ended.

Memorial Day should not be merely an occasion to give people a three-day time of leisure and pleasure, but rather a call to remembrance of those who suffered and died to ensure our political and religious freedoms—especially that freedom to believe and proclaim the saving gospel of Christ, which so motivated our forefathers.

And it is even more important, every day, to call to remembrance the unfathomable sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ who died, not just to give us temporal freedom, but eternal freedom, providing everlasting life to all those who believe. We have a formal time for remembering this—whenever we observe the special supper He established, remembering His broken body and shed blood. “This do in remembrance of me,” He said (1 Corinthians 11:24-25), and Christians have been remembering Him in this way ever since He met with His disciples the night before He died for our sins.

But we need also to remember Him every day, not just on the days scheduled for communion, just as we ought to remember and thank God for those who died for our country, and to do so far more often than just once each year. As Paul said concerning the dedicated, but suffering, Christians in Philippi, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” (Philippians 1:3). HMM

God’s Complete Supply

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

The key to this promise in today’s verse is the need that must be met by the riches of the great King as we render our service in His Kingdom. But how vast those needs can be and how different the supply is!

Millions of Israelites needed food in the wilderness, and the manna came fresh from heaven each day for 40 years (Exodus 16:35). Gideon needed victory over the innumerable Midianites, and God caused confusion to fall on his enemies (Judges 7:22). Elijah needed a powerful demonstration of God’s authority, and fire came down from heaven (1 Kings 18:38).

In the New Testament, a crippled man needed a new hand (Mark 3:5), a blind man needed new eyes (John 9:5-6), and a dead man needed life (John 11:43-44). Jesus made the best wine anyone had ever had when the party needed supply (John 2:10-22). He calmed the sea when the disciples needed freedom from their fear (Mark 4:38-39). And He pulled Peter up from the sea when he needed rescue (Matthew 14:30-31). No matter the size of the need, the resources are more than sufficient.

More often than not, however, the need is spiritual. We all need God’s forgiveness from the “sickness” of sin (Mark 2:17). When we first come into His Kingdom, we need the “milk” of the Word (Hebrews 5:12). We all need the wisdom to “walk honestly toward them that are without” (1 Thessalonians 4:12).

And our great God has the resources to supply all our needs. HMM III

Things We Cannot Do Without

There are many things in life we can well do without, but there are at least seven things a Christian simply cannot do without. These are:

1. The Lord Jesus Christ. Speaking of the heathen nations before Christ, Paul said: “At that time ye were without Christ, . . . having no hope, and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).

2. Christ’s shed blood. “Without shedding of blood is no remission.” “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, . . . But with the precious blood of Christ” (Hebrews 9:22; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

3. Christ’s sinlessness. The Lord Jesus “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Therefore, He could die for our sins.

4. Faith in Christ. “Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is” (Hebrews 11:6).

5. Faith-generated works. True faith in Christ inevitably produces good works. As our text reminds us, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20).

6. True holiness. “Follow . . . holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). Genuine faith in Christ both receives His imputed holiness and also generates practical holiness in the believer.

7. Heavenly chastisement. Unconfessed and unforsaken sin in a Christian’s life must receive chastisement from the Father. “If ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye . . . not sons” (Hebrews 12:8).

Without saving faith in the Lord, we have nothing of eternal value, but with Him, we have “all things” (1 Corinthians 3:21). HMM

Watching for Christ’s Return

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. . . . Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 24:42, 44)

Those who try to predict Christ’s return may become skeptical about biblical prophecy. But this would be a sad mistake. Regardless of just when it will happen, Christ will return, for so He promised, and He cannot either lie or fail. He has repeatedly made it plain that no one can determine the date of His coming. Not even He, while in His human limitations, knew that (Mark 13:32).

Again and again He urged us to watch and be ready for His return. He did not tell us to watch for the Antichrist or the revival of Rome’s empire or a great apostasy or a great revival or a world government or anything else—just for Him! Note some of His commands to do this (in addition to the two in our text):

“Take ye heed, watch and pray, for ye know not when the time is” (Mark 13:33).

“Watch ye therefore: . . . Lest coming suddenly, he find you sleeping” (Mark 13:35-36).

“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 25:13).

In addition to such exhortations by the Lord Himself, the apostles also sounded similar warnings:

“Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).

“Abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming” (1 John 2:28).

Space limitations preclude listing others, but again in the words of Christ: “And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch” (Mark 13:37). HMM

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