Whenever physical healing does not occur and suffering is prolonged, we should not minimize the pain but remember its eternal frame. This affliction is but for a moment of our eternity and works in us and in others a dependence on Christ that makes heaven’s promises surer and more precious.
Bryan Chapell, (2005-07-01). Praying Backwards: Transform Your Prayer Life by Beginning in Jesus’ Name (Kindle Locations 752-753). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Peter wrote to the Christians, “To stir you up by putting you in remembrance.” Many times we are encouraged by the Lord to go back to what He has already said and done to guide us in our walk forward toward the kingdom of heaven. We’re in a day when new ideas are being introduced continually to the church so she can be considered relevant and progressive. But is it time to go back to His Word alone in order to go on faithfully for the Lord? Following are seven examples of knowing and the valuing past.
1. Israel Ready to Enter the Promise Land. “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness … that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD …” (Deut. 8:2,3). Israel’s success in the Promised Land would come by following the Word of God, which, – they were to remember back – had guided them successfully through the wilderness.
2. Josiah’s Revival. “And the king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the passover unto the LORD your God, as it is written in the book of this covenant” (2 Kings 23:21). King Josiah led the people back to observe again the old-time feast of Passover as it was written in the Word.
3. Hezekiah’s Revival. “He appointed … the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the LORD” (2 Chron. 31:3). Similarly, Hezekiah went backward – to what was written in the book of the Lord. He restored the nation back to God, and back to His heart and ways.
4. Rebuilding of the Second Temple. “And builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God” (Ezra 3:2). Unlike their forefathers who built their own altars all over the place and introduced a new “great altar,” they now went back to God’s way – worshipping at THE altar of the Lord.
5. The Lord’s Supper. “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come” (1 Cor. 11:26). As we wait for the Lord Jesus’ coming (looking forward), we do so by remembering His historical death for us to save us (looking backward).
6. The Thessalonian Christians. “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle [written instruction]” (2 Thess. 2:14,15). As they focused on the coming Lord and glory, they were to hold (not let go) what they were already instructed.
7. The Church at Sardis. “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent” (Rev. 3:3). The church that was considered dead by the Lord was exhorted to look back in remembrance to what they had first heard and received in the beginning. This reminder John was to “write in a book” to the 7 churches (Rev. 1:11). The church also has a book (the Bible) in which we are to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
We do not to need to find some new truth to make the church more appealing in modern times. We simply need to trust and obey what has been once revealed and delivered to us by the Lord and His chosen apostles. Paul said, “The things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” So – “if it’s new, it’s not true, and if it’s true, it’s not new.”
Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I was no prophet, nor a prophet’s son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. But the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’” Amos 7:14-15 ESV
There was nothing special about Amos. By all appearances he was just a regular person going about his own business as a shepherd and a farmer. He had no experience as a prophet, nor did he come from a family of prophets.
Amos was simply going about his own vocation. However, God had a plan and a calling for Amos to prophesy to the people of Israel.
If you want to be used of God to do great things, first be faithful where you are right now! No matter how mundane or boring your daily responsibilities are, go about your daily routine for God’s glory.
God called Amos out of his daily routine to preach to kings and kingdoms. If you are faithful going about your daily routine God may call you to do even greater things than Amos did!
Editorial note: Originally published September 15, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com
“For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts 2:34-36 — Perhaps even so there were some in the crowd who still had a major objection: If Jesus really was King Messiah, where was there any evidence of his kingdom? When was he going to start putting an end to the problem of evil? And if he didn’t do that, how could he be the Messiah?
The question strikes us today with even greater force than it may have struck the Jerusalem crowd. Almost two thousand years have passed since Jesus’ exaltation. But where has there ever been any serious evidence that he has even attempted to solve the problem of evil? The twentieth century has in fact witnessed in the Holocaust, in Stalin’s purges, in the killing fields of Cambodia, and in a thousand atrocities besides, an out-flowering of evil greater perhaps than any previous century. Jesus has obviously not attempted to stamp out evil. How then is it credible that he is both Lord and Messiah?
Once more the psalm has the answer. It was never part of God’s programme that the Messiah should proceed, immediately upon his exaltation, to stamp out evil. The invitation was: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.’ There was to be an interval between his exaltation and the subjugation of his enemies, during which he would be seated at God’s right hand, awaiting the time of his second coming. Only then would his enemies be made the footstool of his feet.
And what a mercy it was that this interval was written into the programme, for the sake of us all, of course, but particularly for the crowd who stood listening to Peter. They had crucified God incarnate, and he was now elevated to the position of supreme power in the universe. What if there had been no interval and he had proceeded at once to stamp out evil? We are, Peter pointed out, already in the last days of this present age. The cosmic convulsions will occur soon enough, to be followed by the great and resplendent Day of the Lord and the dawning of the messianic age to come. But thank God for the present interval.
David W. Gooding, True to the Faith: The Acts of the Apostles: Defining and Defending the Gospel, Myrtlefield Expositions (Coleraine, Northern Ireland: Myrtlefield House, 2013), 78–79.
He will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:19b ESV
Satan loves to remind us of our sin. He doesn’t care Christ has fully paid the price of our sin! He doesn’t care God has forgiven us and chooses to never remember our sins again!
Satan wants to derail our spiritual life and render us ineffective in the Lord’s service. He often does this by holding our old sins over us and whispering in our ear, “Shame on you! You’re no good! Look at what an awful sinner you are! God could never use someone like you!”
Thankfully Micah reminds us that our sins have been fully dealt with by the blood of Jesus Christ! Micah tells us God has trampled our sins under foot, and cast them into the depths of the sea!
The ocean is deep. Very deep. According to NOAA the average depth of the World’s oceans is 12,100 feet deep (2.3 miles!). The deepest point in the ocean is 36,200 feet or a stunning 6.85 miles below the surface!
When your old sins come to mind remind yourself that God chooses not to remember those sins and has buried them in the deepest grave for all of eternity.
The next time Satan tries to remind you of your sins you can tell him to take a long walk on a short pier.
Editorial note: Originally published September 9, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com
Our weapons are the words of Jesus—these are spirit and these are life. Architecture, apparel, music, liturgies, these are neither spirit nor life: let those rest on them who will; we can do without them, by God’s help. Our sires, in the Puritanic age, fought and won the battles of Christ without these things. In later days, Whitfield stirred his age with nothing but the Word of God. Rowlands and Christmas Evans roused the men of Wales with no attraction but the cross. My dear brethren in Christ, ministers of the gospel who are now present, let me conjure you, stand to the gospel. Set your backs against the tendency of the times to depart from the simplicity of Jesus Christ.
C. H. Spurgeon, “A Blow For Puseyism,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 11. Originally preached on October 8, 1865. (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1865), 563–564.
[Andrew] brought [Simon] to Jesus… John 1:42 ESV
Andrew… said to [Jesus] there is a boy here who has barley loaves and two fish… John 6:8,9 ESV
Some Greeks… asked Philip… ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. John 12:20-22 ESV
We only read of Andrew a few times in the Gospels. But, when we do read of him he is always bringing someone to Jesus. First we read of Andrew bringing his family to Jesus… specifically his brother Simon whom the Lord would latter call Peter.
Next, he brings to Jesus a young fellow who was willing to give all that he had – a few barley loaves of bread and two fish.
Lastly, he brought foreigners to Christ. When some Greeks asked Philip to see Jesus, Philip went and consulted with Andrew! Certainly Andrew would know what to do!
Andrew was never in the limelight. He was content to work quietly in the background as an evangelist. In the same way, you do not need to be in the spotlight to do great things for Jesus Christ.
Who will you bring to Jesus today?
Editorial note: Originally published January 28, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com
Who: Young people ages 13+
What: Youth retreat
Topic: Philippians 2:15
Teacher: Keith Keyser
Where: Grace Gospel Chapel, 1642 Ehret Lane, Allentown, PA 18103
When: May 20-22, 2016
If the whole world shall run headlong down the broad road, be it yours to thread your way through the crowd against the current along the uphill way of life. The dead fish floats down the stream, the live fish goes against it. Show your life by shunning unholy example.
C. H. Spurgeon, “A Sermon From A Rush,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 11. Originally preached on September 24, 1865. (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1865), 536.
Digital Sojourner is is excited to participate in the North American Week of Prayer. The live stream of session 14 is scheduled to begin at 10:00 AM Eastern and can be viewed right here.
Details concerning the event can be found here.