Friday, February 27, 2015

Words of Comfort: Daily Confession.

“I know I’m a sinner, but I confess my sins to God daily. I tell Him that I’m sorry and I won’t sin again.”

If you find yourself in court with a $50,000 fine, will a judge let you go simply because you say you’re sorry and you won’t commit the crime again? Of course not. You should be sorry for
breaking the law and, of course, you shouldn’t commit the crime again. But only when someone pays your $50,000 fine will you be free from the demands of the law. God will not forgive a sinner on the basis that he is sorry. Of course we should be sorry for sin—we have a conscience to tell us that adultery, rape, lust, murder, hatred, lying, stealing, etc., are wrong. And of course we shouldn’t sin again. However, God will only release us from the demands for eternal justice on the basis that someone else paid our fine. Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for the sins of the world. His words on the cross were, “It is finished!” In other words, the debt has been paid in full. All who repent and trust in Him receive forgiveness of sins. Their case is dismissed on the basis of His suffering death.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Words of Comfort: Sainthood.

There are those who believe that someone must be dead for many years, and have performed miracles, before he can be “exalted” to sainthood. Not so. Paul is writing to living people and, as he often begins his letters, he refers to them as “saints.” The word “saint” comes from the same Hebrew root as “sanctified” and “holy,” which mean “set apart.” The moment we are born again, God sets us apart from the world (sanctifies us) for His use. In addressing the Corinthian church, Paul writes: “to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:2). A saint is not someone who has lived a “holy” life, but a forgiven sinner who has called upon the name of Jesus and been made righteous by the grace of God.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Words of Comfort: Works follow.

Dumb Maxim: “You can’t take it with you.” The Christian’s works “follow” him (see Revelation 14:13). I came into this world with nothing, and I will leave it with my hand in the hand of Jesus. Die in your sins, and you die alone. Please don’t let that happen. See

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Words of Comfort: Seeing is believing.

Dumb Maxim: “Seeing is believing.” Any magician knows that isn’t true. Our eyes are easily fooled (see Proverbs 28:26). There are many things we believe in without seeing, including the wind, history, love, radio and television waves, etc. Without seeing him we believe there was a painter, simply because a painting exists. Paintings are proof that there was a painter. The same applies with every building. We need not see a builder to know that he exists. The building is proof enough.  

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Words of Comfort: Pastor, lead the flock.

Pastors often ask me how they can be more effective in reaching their city. This is what I tell them. Ask your congregation how many are concerned for their city. There will be a forest of hands. Ask how many are praying daily for the city. Many hands will appear. Then ask how many are sharing their faith on a regular basis. Give a gauge by asking how many have verbally spoken of the way of salvation to twelve people in the preceding twelve months. About 5 percent will raise their hands.
I once attended an interdenominational prayer meeting, where I could tell who attended a particular church simply by the way they prayed. I could recognize phrases of their pastors in their prayers. It confirmed that congregations imitate their pastor. This is why I would advise a pastor to join a secular health club, or a golf club, or somewhere where he will rub shoulders with the ungodly. I encourage him to regularly tell his congregation of his witnessing experiences and to share his fears—to show not only that he “condescends” to witness to the unsaved, but that he has the same fears they have. In this way he can “lead the flock of God,” and it won’t be long before they imitate him.

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Words of Comfort: Crumble into dust.

“If we work on marble, it will perish; if on brass, time will efface it; if we rear up temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work on immortal minds and imbue them with principles, with the just fear of God and the love of our fellow men, we engrave on those tablets something that will brighten to all eternity.” Daniel Webster

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Words of Comfort: Hawking.

Stephen Hawking wrote, “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us” (A Brief History of Time). He also stated: “Then we shall . . . be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason—for then we would know the mind of God.”

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Words of Comfort: Your brain.

We can get a glimpse of the incredible mind of God simply by looking at His creation. Take one (very) small part—the mind of man: The brain is a soft lump of tissue weighing about 3 pounds. It is one of the most watery organs of the body, its outer tissue being 85% water. There is very little relationship between brain size and intelligence. Some very bright people have smaller brains than those who are less intelligent. The brain feels no pain because it has no pain receptors. It floats in fluid inside the skull, and the fluid (derived from blood) acts as a shock absorber. The brain stops growing in size at about age 15. Its surface is covered with folds. If it were laid out flat, the brain surface would cover two average student desks. The brain has four times as many nerve cells as there are people on Earth. With its 10 billion neurons, it can record 86 million bits of information each day of our lives. Supporting, protecting, and nourishing these 10 billion neurons are 100 billion glia cells, which make up half the mass of the brain.
Let’s now look to the heavens: “They defined the exact shape of the closest major galaxy, a
beautiful spiral named Andromeda, containing more than 300 billion stars. The nearest of these is (an incredible) thirteen quintillion (13,000,000,000,000,000,000) miles, or 2.2 million light-years, beyond the Milky Way, a distance calculated by comparing the star’s apparent brightness with a star of similar brightness and known distance from Earth. And beyond Andromeda lay billions of other galaxies.” Solar System (Time-Life Books)

The incredible complexity of the human brain and the vastness of the heavens speak of the
awesome power of the Creator’s mind, and together “declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1).

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Words of Comfort: Transformed by God.

If someone has been converted to the Christian faith by the wisdom of men, all it would take is the wisdom of unconverted men to talk him out of his faith. However, if he is transformed by the power of God, he is not solely motivated to Christianity by his intellect. The Holy Spirit has convicted him of sin, righteousness, and judgment. The motivation is the Law of God working upon his conscience. That has given him the knowledge that he has offended a holy God. His repentance is therefore directed at God, who responds in mercy. Those who are converted by God cannot be talked out of their faith because they were not talked into it.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Words of Comfort: Understanding Chinese.

“I’ve tried to read the Bible, but I can’t understand it.”
The Scriptures tell us that the “natural man” cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God. Most Americans would find it difficult to understand the Chinese language. However, a child who is born into a Chinese family can understand every word. That’s why you must be born again with God’s Spirit living within you (see John 3:3). The moment you become part of God’s family, the Bible will begin to make sense.

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