“The heart is deceitful…” Keep Reading!

An oft quoted verse from the pen of the weeping prophet Jeremiah states “The heart is more deceitful than all else and desperately sick. Who can understand it?” (Jer. 19:9)

This statement of man’s depravity is constantly being demonstrated for anyone who pays attention to the news! G.K. Chesterton once wrote that the doctrine of original sin is the easiest of all the doctrines of Scripture to prove. So, what is one to do with this question “Who can know it?”

The answer is simple: KEEP READING!

“I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.” (Jer. 17:10)

And yet we also read “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom. 5:8)

AMAZING GRACE, INDEED!

 

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“How was YOUR day, Job?”

NO ONE has ever had a day like Job had. Between loss of children, belongings, health, etc., his experience had to eclipse that of anyone this side of Christ on the cross.

Yet, in spite of all of this, he worshipped God (1:20), accepted the “trouble” from God (NOT Satan, 2:10) and vowed to trust Him, “though He slay me” (13:15).

And all this without ever reading the book that is his namesake! Extraodinary!

How was he able to do this? He listened with his faith, NOT his feelings. Job filtered his experience through solid doctrineGod is Sovereign, God is Just, God is Good.

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God will be calling The Game

Bill Klem, an umpire during a Major league record setting eighteen different Worumpireld Series, is known for his laconic quotes. One of his best: “It ain’t nothin’ until I call it!”

God is the Umpire for the Game of Life. When He calls it, it’s done! Here’s what Holy Writ has to say about this:

For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. – Isa. 64:6

and…

For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. – Eccl. 12:14

And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment. – Heb. 9:27

Sounds pretty bleak, doesn’t it? It’s the bottom of the 9th and we are facing a pitching ace with a full count against us!

Thanks be to God, Who is not only the Umpire, but provides the Answer!He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. – 1 Cor. 5:21

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. – Jn. 1:12

 

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“Root” and the “Fruit”

Fear thisI was blessed during a 10K run by a Steve Lawson sermon on The Fear of God from Proverbs (and the rest of Scripture). His statement: “The fear of God is the Root, departing from evil is the Fruit!”

Fear God“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. – Proverbs 1:7

Depart from evil“Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. – Proverbs 3:7
If you have never felt fear before the God of the universe, you may have never been before Him! When the angel comes to earth to proclaim the Everlasting Gospel to every nation, the first two words out of his mouth are: FEAR GOD.

“And I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those dwelling on the earth, even to every nation and kindred and tongue and people, saying with a great voice, Fear God and give glory to Him! For the hour of His judgment has come. And worship Him who made the heaven and the earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” – Rev. 14:6,7

 

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“Moody” Preaching…

Comparing lecturing toPreaching preaching, Steve Lawson introduced four grammatical “moods” that can be employed in True Preaching:

Indicative – Stating a fact: In John 14:6, Jesus declared, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes unto the Father except by Me.”

Interrogative – Asking a question: “What will you do with this claim of Christ?”

Imperative – Commanding action: “Repent and believe the Gospel.” – Mark 1:15

Exclamatory – Statement of enthusiastic wonder: “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called the children of God!” – I Jn. 3:1

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H.O.W. is the Gospel Good News?

Besides being translated from the Greek  εὐαγγέλιον (euaggelion), the Gospel is Good News because it answers the Bad News, as demonstrated in Ephesians 2:1-10:

H – Human Depravity “And you who were dead in trespasses and sins” (2:1)

O – Original Sin“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” (2:2,3)

W – Wrath of God against sin“…and were by nature the children of wrath.” (2:3)

God’s answer to this is The Good News.

”But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” – Eph. 2:4-10

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George Whitfield and the 3 R’s

I was introduced to these during a run while listening to a sermon by Steve Lawson on this extraordinary servant of God:

George Whitfield (called the “Chief of Pastors” by Charles Spurgeon, who himself was called the “Prince of Preachers”) focused on these 3 themes during his 3 decades of George Whitfieldpreaching:

Ruination of Sin – Rom. 3:23: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Redemption in Christ – Gal. 3:13: Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.

Regeneration by Holy Spirit – 1 Cor. 12:13: For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.

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