GIFT OF SALVATION

The gift of salvation

HE BORN THIS FOR US!

HE BORN THIS FOR US!

None Can Boast

God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

Ephesians 2:8-9

The Holy Club

Charles Wesley and two friends began a small Christian group at Oxford University in 1728. John Wesley, who had already graduated from Oxford, returned the following year as a tutor and assumed its leadership. Oxford students made fun of the group, referring to it as the “Holy Club” or “Methodists.”

The focus of the Holy Club was on religious self-discipline. Exhorting each other to live piously and do good works, they were motivated by the belief that they were working for the salvation of their souls.

George Whitefield was the first Holy Club member to question their practices. His solution, however, was to try to become a new creation through further extremes of self-denial. During Lent in 1735 he only ate a little coarse bread with tea. By Holy Week he was so weak that he could not study or even walk up a flight of stairs. After hitting bottom, he later wrote, “God was pleased to remove the heavy load, to enable me to lay hold of his dear Son by a living faith…”

On May 5, 1735, Whitefield wrote a letter to John Wesley, attempting to share what had happened to him. It would be three more years before the Wesleys found His gracious arms.

Reflection

Have you ever found yourself trying to earn your salvation? Salvation is a gift to be received from God, and there is nothing we can do to earn it. Good works do not lead us to Christ—it is out of our relationship with Christ that good works flow.

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Christian History by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten (Tyndale, 2003), entry for May 5.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

GOD KNOWS OUR SUFFERING

God protects His people

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Does God Care When You Suffer?

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later. Romans 8:18

The problem of suffering

On my shelf is a little book that asks a big question. It is titled Does God Care When We Suffer? and was written by Randy Becton. Randy is a good friend and a cancer survivor who has spent much of his life ministering to people with terminal illnesses. Randy writes:

“Of the hard ‘why’ questions, ‘why is there suffering?’ may be the hardest. This is probably because it not attacks us personally, but also because whenever the question is raised, the question of God’s part in suffering follows close behind… We are desperate for the meaning behind all this. We seek some someone to blame or deliver us, and that always leads to our view of God.”

Doesn’t God care when we suffer? Of course he does. Then why doesn’t he do something about it? He did. Becton sums it up this way:

“The answer is the cross of Jesus Christ.… From now on all human suffering must be understood in the light of his suffering; it is the source of meaning, hope, and new life for sufferers. When someone cries out, ‘He doesn’t care. He’s immune to pain,’ they are brought to the foot of the cross to see for themselves.… The cross and resurrection hold the key to the mystery of suffering.”

Adapted from Embracing Eternity by Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins and Frank M. Martin,, Tyndale House Publishers (2004), p 3


God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
C S LEWIS

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Jehovah Shammah

Morning

1 John 4 11-12 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

1 John 4 11-12
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

“Isaac dwelt by the well Lahai-roi.”
Genesis 25:11

Hagar had once found deliverance there and Ishmael had drank from the water so graciously revealed by the God who liveth and seeth the sons of men; but this was a merely casual visit, such as worldlings pay to the Lord in times of need, when it serves their turn. They cry to him in trouble, but forsake him in prosperity. Isaac dwelt there, and made the well of the living and all-seeing God his constant source of supply. The usual tenor of a man’s life, the dwelling of his soul, is the true test of his state. Perhaps the providential visitation experienced by Hagar struck Isaac’s mind, and led him to revere the place; its mystical name endeared it to him; his frequent musings by its brim at eventide made him familiar with the well; his meeting Rebecca there had made his spirit feel at home near the spot; but best of all, the fact that he there enjoyed fellowship with the living God, had made him select that hallowed ground for his dwelling. Let us learn to live in the presence of the living God; let us pray the Holy Spirit that this day, and every other day, we may feel, “Thou God seest me.” May the Lord Jehovah be as a well to us, delightful, comforting, unfailing, springing up unto eternal life. The bottle of the creature cracks and dries up, but the well of the Creator never fails; happy is he who dwells at the well, and so has abundant and constant supplies near at hand. The Lord has been a sure helper to others: his name is Shaddai, God All-sufficient; our hearts have often had most delightful intercourse with him; through him our soul has found her glorious Husband, the Lord Jesus; and in him this day we live, and move, and have our being; let us, then, dwell in closest fellowship with him. Glorious Lord, constrain us that we may never leave thee, but dwell by the well of the living God.

Evening

PSALM 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

PSALM 91:1
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

“Whereas the Lord was there.”
Ezekiel 35:10

Edom’s princes saw the whole country left desolate, and counted upon its easy conquest; but there was one great difficulty in their way–quite unknown to them–“The Lord was there;” and in his presence lay the special security of the chosen land. Whatever may be the machinations and devices of the enemies of God’s people, there is still the same effectual barrier to thwart their design. The saints are God’s heritage, and he is in the midst of them, and will protect his own. What comfort this assurance yields us in our troubles and spiritual conflicts! We are constantly opposed, and yet perpetually preserved! How often Satan shoots his arrows against our faith, but our faith defies the power of hell’s fiery darts; they are not only turned aside, but they are quenched upon its shield, for “the Lord is there.” Our good works are the subjects of Satan’s attacks. A saint never yet had a virtue or a grace which was not the target for hellish bullets: whether it was hope bright and sparkling, or love warm and fervent, or patience all-enduring, or zeal flaming like coals of fire, the old enemy of everything that is good has tried to destroy it. The only reason why anything virtuous or lovely survives in us is this, “the Lord is there.”

If the Lord be with us through life, we need not fear for our dying confidence; for when we come to die, we shall find that “the Lord is there;” where the billows are most tempestuous, and the water is most chill, we shall feel the bottom, and know that it is good: our feet shall stand upon the Rock of Ages when time is passing away. Beloved, from the first of a Christian’s life to the last, the only reason why he does not perish is because “the Lord is there.” When the God of everlasting love shall change and leave his elect to perish, then may the Church of God be destroyed; but not till then, because it is written, Jehovah Shammah, “The Lord is there.”

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