Friday, September 25, 2015

The Soul that Longs for God

In Psalm 42:1-2 we read, "As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?" 

There is a desire for God and a longing for fellowship with the Father that is part of a life devoted to God. Devout Christians are not dragged to the assemblies of the saints. They simply wouldn't be anywhere else. God's children are there, and they want to be with them. Devoted saints are constantly searching the Scriptures, for God can be found there. Prayer is not the exception, but the rule, for God is listening. 1 John 5:14-15 says, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him." 

King David loved God as is shown in the many Psalms which he wrote. He loved the people of God. He loved the word of God. He truly was a man after God's own heart. His joy was to meditate upon the things of God. God was the desire of his life. 

How about you? Do you desire God? Is He more important to you than anything else? Do you love His law? Do you love the people who belong to Him? The answers to these questions will determine the level of your devotion to God. 

Devotion to God is comprised of godly fear, a healthy recognition of God's boundless love, and an intense desire for God and those things that belong to Him. May God bless you, as well as me, as we seek to devote ourselves to Him every day of our life. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Faultfinding isn't difficult. In fact, its so easy that just about anybody can do it. The Pharisees were the spiritual leaders in the first century. They heaped condemnation on any person who failed to measure up to their self-imposed standards.

They found fault with the disciples of Jesus in Matthew 12:2. They carefully watched Jesus in order to find something of which to accuse Him as we're told in Mark 3:2. Of course, Jesus did nothing wrong, but if one is watching for the purpose of finding fault, he can always find something to criticize. 

No one in this life is perfect, and Christians are no exception. We shouldn't dwell on the shortcomings of anyone. Certainly we should watch others, but not for the purpose of faultfinding, but to find the good that is there. Thomas Fuller said, "We should search others for their virtues and ourselves for vices," and he's right. The person who is critical towards himself will be charitable toward others, and the one who is looking to discover the faults of others is usually blind to his own. 

Again, faultfinding isn't difficult. It's always easier to burn a house than to build one. It's easier to add burdens than to lift them. It's easier to destroy enthusiasm and confidence than instill them. 

Faultfinding is just as dangerous as it is easy. Remember, anyone can grumble, complain, and criticize, but a true spiritual Christian sees higher things. When criticized, a great soul goes on working, faithfully and lovingly rising above it all - just as Jesus did.

Let us not be faultfinders, but diligent servants of the Lord, faithfully doing His will and doing what we can to help others get to heaven.

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Gospel of Christ

In 1 Corinthians 15:3-6 we read: "For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep."

Every portion of the Bible is precious and important according to 2 Timothy 3:16-17. No portion should be slighted, neglected, or ignored. However, there is one portion of the sacred volume which is of special value - the portion that centers around the personality of Jesus of Nazareth. The story of His life upon the earth is told with remarkable vividness in four books which bear the names of their authors - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Although Jesus lived in the world for about 33 years, His public ministry only covered a period of a little more than three years. Approximately one-third of the pages of these four books are devoted to events of the last few days of His earthly existence; namely, His death, burial, resurrection, and related events. Isn't this significant? Doesn't it indicate the importance of the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of the Savior in the divine plan of things? Doesn't it agree with the language of the apostle Paul we just read? And doesn't it offer a valuable suggestion concerning where we should place the emphasis in our study today?

The fundamental facts listed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 compose the very heart of the Bible, and as the heart of the Bible, it imparts life and power to the greatest of all books.