Nuggets – Keeping the Law

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. (James 2:10)

The law of God, centered in the Ten Commandments, is “holy, and just, and good” (Romans 7:12) and expresses perfectly the will of God for holy living. “The man that doeth them shall live in them” (Galatians 3:12).

The problem is that no man can possibly do them all. He may keep most of the commandments most of the time, but he will inevitably fail in some of them some of the time. Since the law is a divine unit, breaking any commandment—as our text reminds us—breaks the whole law, bringing the guilty one under God’s curse of death. “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them” (Galatians 3:10). “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight” (Romans 3:20).

All men, having sinned against God’s law, are therefore lost and in urgent need of salvation. This is where God’s wonderful grace comes in. “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested….Even the righteousness…which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe” (Romans 3:21-22), “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). He kept the law for us, and bore its curse for us. Thus, we are saved through trusting Him.

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid” (Romans 6:1-2). We now desire to keep His commandments, because we love Him. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3). We are now able to keep them, because His Spirit now lives in us, and we are “strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16). HMM

From Days of Praise

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Walking through the valley of the shadow of death

Immortality Road

I write these words to those on the lonely journey– my brothers and sisters in Christ, fellow pilgrims walking on through “the valley of the shadow of death” (Psm. 23).

We are called and chosen by Yahweh to tread through death’s shadow. Who are the dead that casts such ominous shade? Christ said it, “Let the dead bury the dead.” They did not have the Spirit, so they were the dead walking around the earth.

And we, the children of light, intersect with their shadows daily when we come in contact with them. We are kind to them, even merciful, for we were once them. We once cast shadows of death and doubt, but now we, according to his great mercy, are rays of His brilliance called to burn brighter and brighter as we wait on the day to dawn.

But we usually wait alone, it seems. Most around us…

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FILIPINO EXPAT ENCOURAGEMENT 22014

Promises of God

If you do not know the Word and promises of God, you cannot claim them for your life. Have them readily available in document form or in your minds for remembrance in the darkest hours of your life.

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Nuggets – The New Covenant

Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (Luke 22:20)

The Greek word diatheke, translated as both “testament” and “covenant,” occurs 33 times in the New Testament, 17 of which are in the book of Hebrews. The Hebrew word for “covenant” (berith) comes from a word meaning to “cut, or divide,” referring to the fact that blood had to be shed to bind the parties involved to the covenant. (See Genesis 15:10Jeremiah 34:18-19.) God had made covenants with Abraham and Moses on the part of the people of Israel. He had kept His part of the agreement; but in each case the others involved “continued not in my covenant” (Hebrews 8:9). But God, in His grace, has issued a new covenant.

This covenant or testament is not unlike a human “last will and testament,” but there are some differences. He did not merely die, thereby enabling His children to inherit His fortune, but He is now “the mediator of a better covenant” (Hebrews 8:6). He is the sacrifice whose death was necessary to make the covenant binding, and yet He is the “surety of a better testament” (Hebrews 7:22).

He cannot fail, and hence the new covenant cannot be done away with. Through His death, He not only has removed the penalty for our previous failures, but qualified us to receive the inheritance. “For this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator” (Hebrews 9:15-16). “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). JDM

From Days of Praise

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Nuggets – To End All Wars

And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4)

It has been over 100 years since “The War to End All Wars” ended in victory for those who had “fought to make the world safe for democracy.” A celebration of thanksgiving followed, and a holiday was established to commemorate that great Armistice Day (now Veterans Day).

However, an even greater war soon followed, only to be repeated by innumerable local wars and revolutions. Instead of a world of liberty and democracy, many of the world’s nations are now under the brutal heel of totalitarian dictatorships. With the threat of potential nuclear obliteration hanging over the world, the prophecy of Christ is being literally fulfilled: “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth” (Luke 21:26).

In the 25 centuries since our text was first uttered, there has been a war going on somewhere in the world at least 11 out of every 12 years, and it certainly seems unlikely that such a promise will ever be fulfilled.

Yet it is God who has promised, and only He can accomplish it. “He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people” (our text for today). “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end….The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7). When the Lord Jesus Christ comes again, “he shall speak peace unto the (nations): and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:10). Finally, world peace will come, and Christ “shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). HMM

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