Born-again Believers Security

As Secure as God Is Faithful

Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called, and whom he called, them he also justified, and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Romans 8:30)

Between eternity past in God’s predestination, and eternity future in God’s glorification, none is lost.

No one who is predestined for sonship fails to be called. And no one who is called fails to be justified. And no one who is justified fails to be glorified. This is an unbreakable steel chain of divine covenant faithfulness.

And so Paul says,

Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

“…Our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:8–9)

These are the promises of our God who cannot lie. Those who are born again are as secure as God is faithful.

(copied)

John Hyde (“Praying Hyde”)

John Hyde was a missionary to India from 1892 to 1911.

Thousands of souls were won to Christ in that time.

His friends that knew him well

knew that his one great characteristic was holiness.

Prayer was his life work, and he was a great soul winner, but his soul-winning was due to his Christ-like character.  Scripture says, “Without holiness not man shall see the Lord.”  We may scripturally say without holiness no man shall be a great soul winner.  Mr. Hyde himself said in substance, “Self must not only be dead but buried out of sight, for the stench  of the unburied self-life will frighten souls away from Jesus”.  He lived the sanctified life.

His life’s desires were:

  • a closer walk with the Lord through prayer
  • live a life of holiness
  • reach the lost at any cost

Hyde discovered the power of intercessory prayer, and the results were staggering.  He proved that prayer was an evangelical force in India: by faith he claimed one soul a day, then two, then four.  Through his intercessory prayer, God was able to work in remarkable ways in conventions, churches, and personal lives.  It is no surprise that he was often called “The Apostle of Prayer”.

Some Thoughts on Grieving….

Sometimes grieving, for whatever it is in our lives, can come to the point that the grieving itself has become a sin.  You say….”That is a strange assessment.”   If we know the Lord as our Savior, and He is the All-Powerful One, the All-Knowing One in Whom we are complete (Colos. 2:10), and if He is sufficient (II Cor. 12:9) to meet all our needs, then is years of grieving with a self focus not a sin?  If our focus is on ourselves, we have not paid attention to the living, we have missed opportunities for the Lord to use us in the lives of others, then this is called “bad grief”.  I am not saying that grieving can “be accomplished” in a few weeks, or even a few months.  (Remember, grieving over a lost spouse, child, or tragedy is not like getting over a bad cold; it doesn’t just go away.)  Some losses/tragedies are deep and life changing so that it takes a great deal of time to even adjust our lives.  The real truth is that our lives are never really the same, ever again.  But there needs to be beginnings in finding a new “normal”.  Prolonged grief reflects a lack of faith and trust in the sovereignty of our Good God.  He has a plan.  Sometimes this side of Heaven we will never understand that plan, but that does not make Him any less a good God.  If we could always understand His will and His way, He would not be God; and, would not be a God worthy of our faith and praise.  He says in Isaiah 55:6-9, that His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. Thank you Lord, because He see all things and knows all that is going to happen in the future.

So the next step is to get our focus off our selves and onto Him, who is the sustainer of His children.  I am His and He loves me more that I can ever imagine.  He gave His Son’s life for me, while I was yet in my sin.  Christ died the death payment for my sin, offering me salvation, while I was yet not even knowing or caring that He loved me.  Can I trust One like that?  If I give Him my “gaze”, and my heart…as broken and suffering as it is… I can trust Him with it.

If we confess to Him our sin of lack of faith and trust in Him, and offer our broken selves to Him, He can begin to make some sense out of our life.  As we ask Him to show us His plan for our life, and give ourselves to Him for His keeping, then He delights in caring for His child.

Someone wrote this reflecting on Isaiah 61:1-3….we would then “accept the forgiveness by the blood  (of Christ),…and ask for the spirit of praise, as for any other gift of God.  So then He would exchange my ashes for Christ’s garland, my mourning for Christ’s oil of joy, my spirit of heaviness for Christ’s garment of praise”.

That is a wonderful passage.  The doing of it is by the grace of God only, as with all that the believer does.  We get to thinking when we are grieving that we need to pull ourselves out of this pit of despondency.  But as with every other “care” in our life, the Lord wants to gently and carefully guide us in this, and then out of this to the other side as He walks with us.  Remember He weeps with us as He did with Lazarus’s sisters at the death of their brother (John 11:1-44).

Praise can come for His Goodness even when all else is not making sense.  Praise that the Lord allowed us the privilege of having this one for so long a time; praise for the good of sharing a life with them; praise for the way our life was blessed through that person.  Seek to praise for the good things.  Then as He gives grace, accept his “garland” for the ashes.  That may mean that we allow Him to take a life that looks like it is ashes; plans that are in ashes, dreams that will never be (ashes), and commit them to His plan and will, for Him to give us a new life in Him.

Christ has an oil…a healing balm, that can to begin to give joy where there was only grieving.  He will be the Master Healer in our lives, if we let Him.  As we accept His grace for all this, He will lift the heaviness in our lives.  His grace is sufficient (II Cor. 12:9) for the healing process, if we yield all of this to Him.

Sometimes those who are grieving think that if they just stop grieving, and go on with life, it means that they have forgotten the loved one, or did not really love them.  This can be very profound in the life of the survivor.  Yes, we do not want to forget them, but it does not honor them to go on not living a productive life.  The lost loved one would want us to be OK, and so we must honor them by finding our Way, coping in the grace and healing of Christ.  Surrender the ashes, the mourning, and the heaviness to the One who can heal, and make us be OK.

That loved one will always hold a special place in our hearts, because no one could ever fill that place.  But it is OK to go on.  At some point we must choose life, and go on.  If we could allow Christ to take that special place in our hearts and fill it with peace from Himself, we can go on.  Peace with a past loss, tragedy or care, surrendered to Christ to make some sense of, is the only way to go on to a life used by Him. He weeps with us, and walks with us….as we Choose Him.

May He be gracious to all of us who suffer loss, and show His presence real to us. May He give to us the balm of healing in our lives (which is really Himself), that we may glorify Him.

God Bless you in your journey to a surrendered life to Him.

A Prayer Written by Elisabeth Elliot:

Lord, I offer up today…

all that I am, all that I have,

all that I do and all that I suffer,

for it to be yours today, and yours forever.

Give me grace Lord, to do all that I know of your Holy will,

purify my heart,

sanctify my thinking,

correct my desires.

Teach me in all of today’s work … trouble ….and Joy,

to respond with honest praise,

simple trust and

instant obedience.

That my life may be in truth a living sacrifice

…by the power of your Holy Spirit,

and in the Name of your Son Jesus Christ,

my Master and my All.               AMEN

Suffering….can it be our finest hour?

Suffering will come to all the saints.  Consider the verses in Philippians 3:8-10…

Paul said that he would gladly suffer the loss of all things to win Christ.  This is in no way trying to earn acceptance with Christ.  Paul is saying that he would gladly give all he had, all the accomplishments, and all that he was as a Hebrew (verse 5) to be unencumbered to know Christ (verse 10).  He makes it clear that he stands in the righteousness of Christ by faith (verse 9).  But verse 10 is telling us that those of us who know Him (Christ), and the power of His resurrection, will suffer.   It says …”the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death”.  We will be identified with Him in His sufferings. The suffering and death of Jesus Christ, He was completely surrendered to His Father at all times.  He was doing the Father’s will, and did that with no thought to His own will, or the pain He would go through. In this …was His strength, courage, peace…and JOY.  In Hebrews 12:1-2, it tells us…”looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the JOY that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”   I Peter 5:10 says…”But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after ye have suffered a while, make you perfect (mature), establish (stabilizing grace), strengthen (strengthening grace), and settle you (settling grace).”  Because He is the God of all grace….His grace is sufficient (II Corinthians  12:9)…so He is sufficient.  It is Him who fills…the scriptures say…. “He satiates the soul”….of the weary and suffering soul with His Goodness (Jere.31:13b,14,25).

For those of you who are suffering, may He satiate your soul with His Goodness…He is always Good.  He cannot be anything apart from Good.  (The sovereignty of God does not always “feel” good, but He is always Good.)  Rest in Him.

Here are some thoughts:

  • Suffering will come as we seek to identify with Christ.
  • Amy Carmichael said…referring to suffering and not knowing the answer as to why….”We are trusted by God with the unexplained.”  Amy suffered much the last 20 years of her life.
  • Seek the Lord now spiritually, so as to be able to have an attitude of gratitude when the time comes to suffer for Him.  It will take time and discipline now…. to develop a life of praise and thanksgiving to Him in all things.
  • When suffering comes, we will have to dig deeper….for deeper joy in Him.  Remember…gold doesn’t lay on top of the ground; diamonds form from extreme pressure; a pearl starts as a grain of sand irritating…!!!!
  • The Lord’s perspective is different from ours.  He will not withhold from His child anything that will bring that child into greater sweet fellowship with Him…even if it causes pain at times in the life of the child He loves deeply.
  • As we suffer, the pain we experience here becomes part of the process of “letting loose” of the things of this life…”the things of earth become strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
  • As we respond to others stories of grief, suffering, pain, or loss, be careful to be sensitive to their need at that time.  Let them talk, listen carefully…but do not make it “your story” by telling about your time of suffering.  Remember “it is not about you…”  It is their time to grieve, weep, and need support.  They need a friend to listen and support them.
  • Just think ….this season of suffering may be your finest hour.

Five Ways Afflictions Help

“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.” (Psalm 119:67)

This verse shows that God sends affliction to help us learn His Word. How does that work? How does affliction help us learn and obey the word of God?

There are innumerable answers, as there are innumerable experiences of this great mercy. But here are five:

  1. Affliction takes away the glibness of life and makes us more serious, so that our mindset is more in tune with the seriousness of God’s word. And mark this: There is not a single glib page in the book of God.
  2. Affliction knocks worldly props out from under us and forces us to rely more on God, which brings us more in tune with the aim of the Word.  For the aim of the Word is that we hope in God and trust him. “Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4). “These [things] are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:31).
  3. Affliction makes us search the Scriptures with greater desperation for help, rather than treating it as marginal to life. “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
  4. Affliction brings us into the partnership of Christ’s sufferings, so that we fellowship more closely with him and see the world more readily through His eyes. Paul’s great heart longing was “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship (may share) of His sufferings, being made conformable (becoming more like Him) in his death” (Philippians 3:10).
  5. Affliction mortifies deceitful and distracting fleshly desires, and so brings us into a more spiritual frame and makes us receptive to the spiritual Word of God. “Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin” (1 Peter 4:1). Suffering has a great sin-killing effect. And the more pure we are, the more clearly we see God (Matthew 5:8). {copied in part}

May the Holy Spirit give us grace to not begrudge the teaching of God through pain, affliction and suffering.  His grace is sufficient. (11 Corinthians 12:9) He is faithful…always. (1 Thess. 5:24; 11 Thes. 3:3;  Phil. 1:6)  He says in Jeremiah 31:13b, 14, and 25 that He will saturate the soul of the weary and sorrowful with His Goodness.  Truly, having the Awesome Lord that we serve saturate our soul …literally with Himself in His Goodness…is an amazing experience.  That means for us who have suffered in life’s trials…maybe through no fault of our own, but just as life brings them to us, we can know in our soul the everlasting, awesome Goodness of God. (This is assuming that we know Him as personal Savior, and accepted Him as the payment for our sins on the cross.  If you need to understand that Bible truth, go to the home page, and click on “Where will I spend Eternity?” God not only wants to be your Father and Savior, but He will walk with you through your afflictions. May He Bless you.)

A Walk In His Presence….

A Walk In His Presence

Our Goals:

To seek the Lord, and search for Him

with all our heart, mind, soul, and spirit (Luke 11:9; Jeremiah 29:11-13);

To honor and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by “treasuring Christ”

and to get to know Him more intimately;

To experience the joy of walking in His Presence

in our daily lives…. “the JOY of the Lord is your strength”

To learn more fully to live by faith, trusting His character…His goodness,

            His sovereign presence,  His love and grace.

Questions:  Do I consciously seek and search for the Lord each day? How?

  1.   What does it mean to search for the Lord each day? (Romans 12:1&2; Acts 20 :24)
  2.  Do I know Christ intimately? (John 20:31; I John 5:13)
  3.   Do I have joy in Him each day? (I John 1:3&4; Phil. 4:4-9)  Does my life show it? (Ephes. 5:19-21)
  4.  Do I know His presence in my daily walk? (John 15:1-17)
  5.  Does my walk of faith show that I know His character?  How do I see Him in my daily walk? (Phil. 3:9 & 10)
  6.  Do I trust His sovereign work in my life? (Phil. 2:13)
  7. What is it that I really treasure in my life? (Matt. 6:21)
  8.   If I do not see the Lord working and answering prayer in my life,  do I get discouraged or depressed?  Or can I look to Him in faith trusting the Goodness of God in my life? (Hebrews 121 & 2;  Jere. 31:13b,14,25)

 Assignment:

Write down the verses that best help you in your personal walk with Him.  These verses should help to give you a greater view of who He is and His character.

 Try to put into words who Christ really is to you.  Are you trusting Him and His presence in your life because you know Him…by experience?

Step out by faith…act upon His word and promises…accept His way and His power….thank Him for His goodness to you….rest in Him, yielded to His leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Some suggested Verses:

Hebrews 13:5 ….He will never leave us or forsake us.

I Thes. 5:24 ….He is faithful; if He calls us to it, He will do it through us. Also II Thes. 3:3 …He is faithful to establish us, and keep us from evil.

II Corinthians 12:9 …His grace is sufficient for everything the Lord allows, and brings into our lives. His strength is perfected (made perfect) in our weaknesses, as we yield to what His hand and work in our life.

Step out in faith enjoying the One who died for you, and treasures you.  Give Praise to Him…He is worthy.