Tag Archives: grace

Recommended Sermons on Revelation

I’ve appreciated Pastor Tom Hilpert’s sermons on the Book of Revelation. Three I especially liked were #17 “War, Famine, Disease and Death: In All Things God Is In Control which I reblogged earlier today; #20 The Joy That Awaits at https://clearbible.blog/2018/02/27/the-joy-that-awaits/ ; and #21 The End of Grace at https://clearbible.blog/2018/03/13/revelation-21-the-end-of-grace/

I hope you’ll check them out.

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Pain to Pearls

Pearls develop in an oyster or mussel as a substance called nacre coats an irritant in layers. A grain of sand or bit of shell can act as a pearl starter. As I receive God’s grace in the troubles of life, it can become like the nacre to coat the sorrow and hurt, one layer at a time, creating pearls.
Making pains into pearls in my life takes both Jesus and me. Jesus’ part is to lead, guide, and give grace (wisdom and power) for dealing with life His way. My part is to follow Him step by step, day by day, living for Him and not for myself.


I could choose to go back to my old ways—running from difficulties, wallowing in self-pity, or blaming others. Those and similar actions lead to more trouble, not pearl creation. Or I can determine to humble myself and pray to God, believing the truth that He will hear and help. He will give me more and more grace (James 4:6).
One reason I can count it all joy when I encounter various trials (James 1:2) is that they may be pearl “seeds.” The patience they work in me may be the first layer of “nacre” (grace). The very problem I’m facing may be the irritant that begins a beautiful and valuable pearl.

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WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PETER AND JUDAS?

This sermon by Pastor Tom really helped me. One thing he points out is that we need to seek repentance, and beware of regret. He says, “If you find you are regretful but not repentant, I encourage you to ask God to help you repent instead.”

Clear Bible

peter-deniesPeter is my hero. He seems to mess up more than any of the other disciples, but he is my hero because of what he does afterhe makes mistakes. Every time, he repents, and goes back to Jesus in humility and faith. It’s not about how often you fall down: it’s about what you do after you fall. And Peter always does the right thing after he falls. He’s a terrific example for us.

To listen to the sermon, click the play button:

To download, right click on the link (or do whatever you do on a Mac) and save it to your computer:
Download Matthew Part

Matthew #96. Matthew 26:69-27:10

There is a lot going on here. Matthew tells the tale as it happened, so we are jumping back and forth between various events. So far, I have not spoken about the physical suffering that Jesus experienced…

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Mercy Received

I failed; no, messed up; no, blew it—well, actually I sinned.
Nevertheless, I can go boldly to God’s throne of grace to receive mercy and help at the time I need it (Hebrews 4:16). I can receive mercy from God because of Jesus Christ.
When I repent and confess my sin to my Father, He casts my sin behind His back (Isaiah 38:17). Then He doesn’t turn around and look at it, so He doesn’t see it anymore. I can’t see it either because He is too big for me to see around Him.
Father, I’m so grateful, I think I’ll dance.tomer_dancer_from-internet-1

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Fear the Lord

clouds-lightning--pub domain    When the people of Israel witnessed God’s thunder, lightning, trumpet sound, and smoking mountain at Sinai, they “trembled and stood afar off” (Exodus 20:18).” “And Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin’” (Exodus 20:20 New King James Version– NKJV).
Psalm 5:7-8 (NKJV) says, “…In fear of You I will worship toward your holy temple. 8 Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; make Your way straight before my face.”
 Father, I pray that I will learn to fear You as I ought. Teach me the “fear of the Lord” so that I worship only You. Lead me in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake (Psalm 5:8 and 23:3). Make Your way straight before me (Psalm 5:8), giving me grace to walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it (Psalm 119:35). Amen.

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Choose Life Today

cross w- purple cloth        Several years ago, one friend told me how she came to faith in Jesus Christ. She had attended a church most of her life and thought her relationship with God was fine. Then she ran onto Ezekiel 18:4 (“For all people are mine to judge—both parents and children alike. And this is my rule: The person who sins is the one who will die.”
It haunted her. Finally someone told her the good news that “…God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21)”
So she prayed and asked God for forgiveness for her sin because of Christ’s sacrifice. That day she believed in and received Jesus as her Savior and Lord. The last time I heard from her, she was still following Jesus.

My own commitment to following Jesus Christ began when I was a child and involved some stumbling. My friend and I came to Jesus differently, but we  have this in common—we believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Messiah of Israel, our Lord and Savior, and the only Way to the Father. He is Truth and the source of life now and forever.

If your faith and trust are in someone or something else (such as your good deeds, your religion, a church, your parents’ faith, or a belief that God is okay with our doing what we please and/or ignoring Him), please ask God to show you the truth about Himself and about Jesus. Do it today. His love for you is so great, and His plan of redemption is so marvelous that I don’t want you to miss out on it. God longs for us to be with Him forever, and we can be if we choose to go His way.

Ecclesiastes 7:20 “Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.”
John 3:16-18 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. 18 There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.”
(All Scriptures New Living Translation)

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Overruled!

Gavel p275 Serif Gallery    “God overrules human sin for His glory and the ultimate good of mankind.” –from the devotional booklet “Our Daily Bread,” 11-19-14, note on Genesis 50:15-21.
I love it that God overrules sin for His glory and our good! I can just see a courtroom. Mr. Sin stands up with an objection to good and right. But God is the judge. The gavel comes down, and God, being far more powerful than sin or Satan, says with all authority, “Overruled.” Then God proceeds to bring good out of the evil. (Romans 8:28—“ And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” New Living Translation)
God (through Paul) tells us to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). As we do, we’re being like our Father God. So I want to pray the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi which says:
“Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
“O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.”

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Recommended Pastor Tom Sermon series

Pastor Tom has done an excellent 4-sermon series on the homosexuality issue. He shares a very biblical view of the issue.  They should be read or listened to starting with the first one and going in order 1-2-3-4. Here’s the link to the first one:

https://revth.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/homosexuality-and-the-bible-i-introduction-ground-rules/

 

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Our Wonderful God

Isaiah 40:25 “‘To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?’ asks the Holy One.”cardinal 1_edited-pub dom imagecom Dr Thomas G Barnes

I see beautiful clothes, lovely and fair,
But consider the cardinal, dressed beyond compare.
Who made the cardinal and dressed him so fine?
Our great Creator, the Lord of design.
What art of man compares to what God has done?
Or what feat matches His power? There’s not even one.

Lord, You are awesome, sovereign over all.
Yet You’ve chosen to love us, both great and small.
Your wisdom is broader than the universe vast,
And Your power is stronger than imagination can grasp.
Your mercy and favor, Your grace and Your love—
Overwhelming and humbling, such gifts from above!

Walking in His Love
Colossians 3:12-13 “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
Knowing I am beloved to God puts joy and love in my heart. The more I’m rooted in this truth, the more I can be merciful, kind, and forgiving to others. The more I recognize His magnificence, might and total adequacy and my own powerlessness and inadequacy, the more I want to praise and thank Him and bring Him glory.

(Both Scriptures New Living Translation.  Picture courtesy Public Domain image.com, Dr. Thomas G. Barnes, creator.)

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Whosoever Will

I loved the January 31, 2015, devotion in the “Our Daily Bread” booklet titled “A Closing Door,” written by Poh Fang Chia. I wish everyone who doesn’t know Jesus Christ as Savior would read it and heed the invitation there. It can be found at http://odb.org/2015/01/31/a-closing-door/ .

It reminded me of the old hymn “Come to the Feast.” A web page with that hymn is https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/1330 . Lyrics include “Come for the door is open wide,” and “Hear the invitation, Come, whosoever will;” and “Delay not while this day is thine, Tomorrow may never be,” among others.

Later in the day, I read an e-mail from one of my uncles that echoed the invitation in the “A Closing Door” devotion, and I have his permission to pass it on to you:

“This time in reading through this wonderful collection of books we call the Bible, I am not on the alert for sermon material, but I’m finding the reading even more rewarding. Strange isn’t it?

“I’m reading about the great care that was to be given to the lamb that was to be killed so that Israel’s descendants might live. The firstborn son of every household would die without the blood of that lamb, that perfect lamb, that pet of the family, loved, kept close, then slain, its blood applied on the door posts and lintel of every home, for the death angel is no respecter of persons. Each firstborn male not covered by the blood died. They did not have to. Safety was provided, the message was proclaimed, time was given and action was urged. But the choice was individual. The choice is still individual. The Lamb has been slain, His blood spilled, the blood applied to the door. If you will, come in, stay in. Choice is yours. This is not a church thing; it is a faith thing. It is a Jesus Christ dying on the cross thing, only begotten Son of God thing; it is a being saved or forever lost thing.

“And it is the passion thing of every man, woman or youth called out to ‘go to all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,’ thing. You pray, prepare and you go. It may be next door or the remote places of the world, but you go.

“So says an old evangelist, pastor and missionary. My name is just Dale, thank you.”light-on-door-at-the-end-of-tunnel_w725_h544-pub dom img

The last line of Poh Fang Chia’s devotion says, “Today Jesus invites, ‘I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved’ (John 10:9).

Have you answered Him?

(Photo courtesy http://www.public-domain-image.com )

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