Monday, February 25, 2013

A song in my heart!

One Day
Wilbur Chapman, 1908

One day when heaven was filled with His praises,
One day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin--
Dwelt among men, my example is He!

Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me; Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever: One day He's coming--O glorious day!

One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain,
One day they nailed Him to die on the tree;
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected;
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He.

Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me; Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever: One day He's coming--O glorious day!

One day they left Him alone in the garden,
One day He rested, from suffering free;
Angels came down over His tomb to keep vigil;
Hope of the hopeless, my Savior is He.

Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me; Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever: One day He's coming--O glorious day!

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door;
Then He arose, over death He had conquered;
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore.

Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me; Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever: One day He's coming--O glorious day!

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming,
One day the skies with His glory will shine;
Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing;
Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine!

Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me; Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever: One day He's coming--O glorious day!

Oh, rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ!!! Such a glorious day that I sing and yearn for!!! :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Real Faith

One of the most influential people the Lord has used in my life is George Müller. I don't think I've ever read a more condensed, clear, wise, and encouraging summarization of this man's life of faith than in this article, "Real Faith," written in 1872. He wrote it later in life, after all his years of experience of living by faith and walking with the Lord, which makes it that much more precious to me. As George Müller's wish would be - to God, and God alone, be all the glory!

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." Hebrews 11:1,3

"First:  What is faith? In the simplest manner in which I am able to express it, I answer: Faith is the assurance that the thing which God has said in His Word is true, and that God will act according to what He has said in His Word. This assurance, this reliance on God's Word, this confidence, is faith.

No impressions are to be taken in connection with faith. Impressions have neither one thing nor the other to do with faith. Faith has to do with the Word of God. It is not impressions, strong or weak, which will make any difference. We have to do with the written Word and not ourselves or our impressions.

Probabilities are not to be taken into account. Many people are willing to believe regarding those things that seem probable to them. Faith has nothing to do with probabilities. The province of faith begins where probabilities cease and sight and sense fail. A great many of God's children are cast down and lament their want of faith. They write to me and say that they have no impressions, no feeling, they see no probability that the things they wish will come to pass. Appearances are not to be taken into account. The question is--whether God has spoken it in His Word.

And now, my beloved friends, you are in great need to ask yourselves whether you are in the habit of thus confiding, in your inmost soul, in what God has said, and whether you are in earnest in seeking to find whether the thing you want is in accordance with what He has said in His Word.

Secondly:  How faith may be increased. God delights to increase the faith of His children. Our faith, which is feeble at first, is developed and strengthened more and more by use. We ought, instead of wanting no trials before victory, no exercise for patience, to be willing to take them from God's hand as a means. I say--and say it deliberately--trials, obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes defeats, are the very food of faith. I get letters from so many of God's dear children who say: "Dear Brother Muller: I'm writing this because I am so weak and feeble in faith." Just so surely as we ask to have our faith strengthened, we must feel a willingness to take from God's hand the means for strengthening it. We must allow Him to educate us through trials and bereavements and troubles. It is through trials that faith is exercised and developed more and more. God affectionately permits difficulties, that He may develop unceasingly that which He is willing to do for us, and to this end we should not shrink, but if He gives us sorrow and hindrances and losses and afflictions, we should take them out of His hands as evidences of His love and care for us in developing more and more that faith which He is seeking to strengthen in us.

The Church of God is not aroused to see God as the beautiful and lovable One He is, and hence the littleness of blessedness. Oh, beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, seek to learn for yourselves, for I cannot tell you the blessedness! In the darkest moments I am able to confide in Him, for I know what a beautiful and kind and lovable Being He is, and, if it be the will of God to put us in the furnace, let Him do it, that so we may acquaint ourselves with Him as He will reveal Himself, and that we may know Him better. We come then to the conclusion that God is a lovable Being, and we are satisfied with Him, and say: "It is my Father, let Him do as He pleases."

When I first began to allow God to deal with me, relying on Him, taking Him at His word, and set out fifty years ago simply relying on Him for myself, family, taxes, travelling expenses and every other need, I rested on the simple promises I found in the sixth chapter of Matthew. I believed the Word, I rested on it and practiced it. I took God at His Word. A stranger, a foreigner in England, I knew seven languages and might have used them perhaps as a means of remunerative employment, but I had consecrated myself to labor for the Lord, I put my reliance in the God who has promised, and He has acted according to His Word. I've lacked nothing--nothing. I have had my trials and difficulties, and my purse empty, but my receipts have aggregated. I have received thousands and thousands of dollars, while the work has gone on these fifty-one years. Then, with regard to my pastoral work; for the past fifty-one years I have had great difficulties, great trials and perplexities. There will always be difficulties, always trials. But God has sustained me out of them, and the work has gone on.

Now, this is not, as some have said, because I am a man of great mental power, or endowed with energy and perseverance--these are not the reasons. It is because I have confided in God; because I have sought God, and He has cared for the Institution, which, under His direction, has one hundred schools, with masters and mistresses, and other departments of which I have told you before.

I do not carry the burden. And now in my sixty-seventh year, I have physical strength and mental vigor for as much work as when I was a young man in the university, studying and preparing Latin orations. I am just as vigorous as at that time. How comes this? Because in the last half-century of labor I've been able with the simplicity of a child, to rely upon God. I have had my trials, but I have laid hold upon God, and so it has come to pass that I have been sustained. It is not only permission, but positive command that He gives, to cast the burdens upon Him. Oh, let us do it! My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee. Day by day I do it. This morning sixty matters in connection with the church of which I am pastor, I brought before the Lord, and thus it is, day by day I do it, and year by year; ten years, thirty years, forty years.

Do not, however, expect to obtain full faith at once. All such things as jumping into full exercise of faith in such things I discountenance. I do not believe in it. I do not believe in it, I do not believe in it, I do not believe in it, and I wish you plainly to understand I do not believe in it. All such things go on in a natural way. The little I did obtain I did not obtain all at once. All this I say particularly, because letters come to me full of questions from those who seek to have their faith strengthened. Begin over again, staying your soul in the Word of God, and you will have an increase of your faith as you exercise it.

One thing more. Some say, "Oh, I shall never have the gift of faith Mr. Muller has got." This is a mistake--it is the greatest error--there is not a particle of truth in it. My faith is the same kind of faith that all God's children have had. It is the same kind that Simon Peter has, and all Christians may obtain the like faith. My faith is their faith, though there may be more of it because my faith has been a little more developed by exercise than theirs; but their faith is precisely the faith I exercise, only, with regard to degree, mine may be more strongly exercised.

Now, my beloved brothers and sisters, begin in a little way. At first, I was able to trust the Lord for ten dollars, then for a hundred dollars, then for a thousand dollars, and now, with the greatest ease, I could trust Him for a million dollars, if there was occasion. But first, I should quietly, carefully, deliberately examine and see whether what I was trusting for, was something in accordance with His promises in His written Word."
-George Müller
Taken from the booklet, "An Hour With George Muller," by Charles R. Parsons, 1872

Thursday, February 14, 2013


I don't think any word could more perfectly summarize the message of the Holy Bible than love. Nor could any word better describe who the living God is to me than love. Love is truly the strongest bond on earth and in heaven.

"For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again."
2 Corinthians 5:14-15

A few months ago I read an article by a pastor who listed some of the "one another" verses in the New Testament as a reason for the importance of being part of a local church. Although I would agree with him, I saw so much more in it than just that. I was utterly humbled to my knees at realizing that  the enormity of the Father's love for us is the reason why He wants us to have an enormity of love for one another. It led me to think of things going on in the Church today; of why so many believers are living in the slums of the world's mediocrity, or why so many are going astray from the Lord, and I became convinced that the ultimate solution to our problems lies in this verse: "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these.'" Mark 12:30-31.

There is absolutely nothing mediocre about love! Our love is merely an imitation of the love with which we are loved by God, and I think most of the time we don't even realize this. I think it is possible to fall from love, because when we fall from love, we are falling, as sinners, from the glory of God, which is encapsulated with love. Even when unbelievers love, their love is a reflection of our Creator's love, because "He has put eternity in their hearts" Ec 3:11. Apart from God, love does not exist. So then, of all peoples on earth, it should be the Church who shows forth God's love the most. We should be the least judgmental, the most forgiving, the most gracious, the least back-biting, the most kind, the least quarrelsome, the most long-suffering, the least boastful, the most humble, the least selfish, the most giving, the least arrogant, the least envious, the most gentle, and absolutely the most loving. These things will merely be the fruit of the strong bond of love between you and our precious Lord Jesus Christ, for "the fruit of the Spirit is love" Ga 5:22.

There is a time and place for everything, which is why I think there are so many important "one another" verses, but nothing outweighs them more than loving one another, for I've found that love is the foundation of them all; "Now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Cor 13:13. If love is sincerely your center, it is unique in that it makes the faults of others just simply melt away. No wonder, then, why Paul said, "Let all that you do be done with love" 1 Co 16:14, and, "Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us" Eph 5:2. When you become "rooted and grounded in love" Eph 3:17, you'll discover the fullness of living life in Christ! It is then, that we can declare with Paul and Timothy that "the love of Christ compels us" to live no longer for ourselves but for Christ! Instead of doing everything backwards in the Christian life, instead we will be driven first by His love to want to do the things that please Him most. His love will compel us to hate sin more and more and love holiness more and more! His love will compel us to love the brotherhood! His love will compel us to tell others about the good news of His great love! We will find that the things we do, as Christians, is done not because we think we "have" to do it, but because we are so driven by His love that nothing could ever possibly hold us back from living our absolute all for Christ. Oh, how the sweet, sweet love of Jesus overflows in me!

So...go fall in the love of Christ today before you do anything else! May we love in the Church the most, so to God "be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever" Eph 3:21. Oh, may the love of Christ compel us to do all these things toward one another!

Have fervent love for one another   (1 Pe 4:8)
Pray for one another   (Jas 5:16)
Have peace with one another   (Mr 9:50)
Be kindly affectionate to one another   (Ro 12:10)
Love one another   (1 Jo 3:11)
Have compassion for one another   (1 Pe 3:8)
Forgive one another   (Col 3:13)
Through love serve one another   (Ga 5:13)
Love one another   (2 Jo 1:5)
Greet one another with a holy kiss   (2 Cor 13:12)
Be like-minded toward one another   (Ro 15:5)
Be kind to one another   (Eph 4:32)
Love one another as I have loved you   (Jn 15:12)
Break bread together with one another   (1 Cor 11:33, 23-34)
Edify one another   (1 Th 5:11)
Bear with one another   (Col 3:13)
Abound in love to one another   (1 Th 3:12)
Bear with one another in love   (Eph 4:2)
Greet one another with a holy kiss   (Ro 16:16)
Don’t bite and devour one another   (Ga 5:15)
Have love for one another   (Jn 13:35)
Confess your trespasses to one another   (Jas 5:16)
Give preference to one another in honor   (Ro 12:10)
Don’t envy one another   (Ga 5:26)
Love one another fervently   (1 Pe 1:22)
Speak to one another in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual songs   (Eph 5:19)
Have fellowship with one another   (1 Jo 1:7)
Receive one another, just as Christ also received us   (Ro 15:7)
Love one another   (Jn 15:17)
Forgive one another   (Eph 4:32)
Greet one another with a kiss of love   (1 Pe 5:14)
Exhort one another daily   (Heb 3:13)
Love one another   (1 Jo 4:11)
Don’t judge one another   (Ro 14:13)
Be hospitable to one another   (1 Pe 4:9)
Don’t lie to one another   (Col 3:9)
Love one another   (1 Th 4:9)
Don’t provoke one another   (Ga 5:26)
Be of the same mind toward one another   (Ro 12:16)
Don’t speak evil of one another   (Jas 4:11)
Love one another   (1 Jo 4:7)
Greet one another with a holy kiss   (1 Cor 16:20)
Submit to one another   (Eph 5:21)
Admonish one another   (Ro 15:14)
Love one another   (Jn 13:34)
Stimulate one another to love and good deeds   (Heb 10:24)
Be submissive to one another   (1 Pe 5:5)
Teach and admonish one another in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual songs   (Col 3:16)
Love one another   (1 Jo 3:23)
Don’t grumble against one another   (Jas 5:9)
Have the same care for one another   (1 Cor 12:25)
Wash one another’s feet   (Jn 13:14)
Owe no one anything except to love one another   (Ro 13:8)
Bear one another’s burdens   (Ga 6:2)
Comfort one another   (1 Th 4:18)
Minister your gift to one another   (1 Pe 4:10)
Encourage one another to not forsake assembling together   (Heb 10:25)

"And above all things have fervent love for one another,  for 'love will cover a multitude of sins.'"
1 Peter 4:8

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Discipled to Christ

"Let us see that to be the Lord's disciple it cannot be based upon your own strength, it has to come from Him. He is the One who calls and He is the One who will work it out. It does not depend upon yourself. Do not think because you have an iron will you can be His disciple; do not assume because you have natural love you can be His disciple; do not think because you understand you can therefore be His disciple. If you try to be a follower by relying upon yourself you will completely fail. If you try to be absolute with the Lord in and of yourself, let me tell you that you cannot. It is impossible. With man this is utterly impossible. Nevertheless, you need not be afraid. The Lord knows you. The Lord does not expect you to be His disciple on your own basis. For hear again the gracious words of the Lord: 'Fear not, I am with you; I will do it; you are but clay in My hand.'

"...The skill of the Master is shown in transforming the dullest and the most worthless into the wisest and the worthiest. All which is needed of the disciple is a full committal and willingness to learn. And so we see that Peter left everything and followed the Lord. And by such action this discipleship was sealed at last, and from that day onward we find Peter in the school of Christ--full time, totally committed, and following the Master.

"O Lord, show Yourself to us, show us Your glory. Make us to see You and hear You that we may respond to You as we ought. Reveal Yourself to us in all Your beauty, greatness and loveliness that we may be completely abandoned to You. So fill our hearts with Your love, Lord, that we may be constrained to rise up and follow You.

"We do desire that Your image shall be seen through us as Your disciples. Yet Lord, evermore tell us that it does not depend upon ourselves to be a good disciple, but that it depends upon You. May we learn to entrust ourselves into Your hands and let You mold and shape us to be a new vessel for Your glory. We ask that as You do call us, let none of us escape; even so, we cannot escape, for You have attracted us.

"Lord, You know our hearts. Search us. Do not let this day pass by without something very real being done by Your Spirit in each one of us. To those who have not heard Your call, make us hear; to those who are hesitating, make us see You in all Your glory; to those who are afraid and feel unworthy -- oh, overcome us by Your worthiness and by Your strength and obtain in us disciples for Yourself."

-Stephen Kaung, Discipled to Christ, 1976

If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me, [for] whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple, [because] you did not choose Me, but I chose you that you should go and bear fruit, [and so] become fishers of men.
-Mt 16:24; Lu 14:27; Jn 15:16; Mr 1:17