Vol. 33, No. 12 December, 2009
“THANKS BE UNTO GOD FOR HIS UNSPEAKABLE GIFT.” (2Cor. 9:15).
(A Gift that keeps on giving)
By Dr. George Mills
It is hard to realize that another year has passed and it is Christmas Time again! The years are swiftly passing. We want to take this opportunity to wish for everyone out there, wherever you may be, that you and yours will have a Wonderful Christmas Season, and for the New Year, a Happy, Prosperous, Christ Honoring 2010. We will be starting on the 34th year of this Publication. Thanks to everyone who prays, and in various ways support this Ministry of Publications, Tracts, Booklets, Prisons, Missions, Internet, Broadcast, and all efforts to reach others with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We wish for all A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Of course we equate Christmas with giving. The wise men brought GIFTS of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh.”
Paul, in writing to the Corinthians was encouraging Churches to send an offering to the poor Saints at Jerusalem (Ro. 15:25-28, 1Cor. 16:1-3). In his
thinking about giving, his heart is
overwhelmed with the thought about the Greatest Gift of all, the Gift of God’s son. “THANKS BE UNTO GOD FOR HIS UNSPEAKABLE GIFT!” Let us all join in with his Praise to God for the Gift of His Son.
Did you ever receive a gift that so impressed your heart that you could not find words to adequately describe how much you really appreciated that particular gift? I believe that all of us at one time or another have received such a gift…INDESCRIBABLE! Today, let us see just a few things from God’s Gift that KEEPS ON GIVING.
1. SAVIOUR. A Gift unspeakable. “Incapable of being expressed in words.” “For unto you is born this day, in the city of David A SAVIOUR which is Christ the Lord.” (Lk 2:11). “And thou shalt call His Name Jesus for He shall SAVE His people from their sins.” (Mt 1:21) JESUS, SAVIOUR! At the right time, in God’s timing, when the nations were right, the languages were right, seasons were right, at the proper time, and not before, or late, Jesus was born of the virgin, to live a sinless life, to die for the sin of all mankind. “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son that whosoever
believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Jn 3:16). At this time of shopping, planning, family togetherness and all the sweet things of the Christmas season, let us remember the PERSON of Christmas, the PURPOSE of Christmas, and the PRICE of Christmas. God gave His Son!
2. SALVATION. a Gift unfathomable. “Impossible to comprehend.” Man is a sinner, God is HOLY. This is a chasm uncrossable by man, but not so for the Holy God. The man Simeon went into the temple at the circumcision of Christ, took the Babe in his arms and said, “Lord lettest thy servant depart in peace according to Thy Word. For mine eyes have seen thy SALVATION.” (Lk 2:25-33). SALVATION, What a Gift!
SALVATION, meaning, “to be delivered from the bondage of sin.” God’s SALVATION is a three-fold deliverance:
(A) Deliverance from all PAST SIN When we, in Faith believe the Message of the Gospel, ALL past sin is forgiven, paid for, by the work of Christ in His death on the Cross. An inmate wrote to me; “I am in prison for child abuse. I worshipped Satan. I have a 666 Tattoo on my body. Can I be forgiven?”
“OH YES, Christ paid for ALL sin.”
(B) Deliverance from all PRESENT SIN. “If we (Christians) confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”(1Jn 1:9) I wish that I could say that since we have confessed Christ, we never sin again. NOT SO! There are sins of commission, and sins of omission. Both are wrong. God’s SALVATION has provided daily cleansing from sin. When we fail God (and we do fail) Claim the promise of this wonderful verse.
(C) Deliverance from all POSSIBLE SIN.. Our Salvation delivers us from all PAST, PRESENT and POSSIBLE sin. Salvation one day will raise us to a higher plain, far beyond our understanding. Christ will one day return in the air and call His Church home. There we will live in a place where sin has no access. (Rev 21:1-5). “For the wages of sin is death but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Ro. 6:23) What an immeasurable GIFT!
3. SONSHIP. A Gift unchangeable. “Immutable, changeless.”
“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name.” (Jn 1:12). The very moment we received Christ, we became a Son of God. As we were born into our earthly family, we were born into God’s family by way of the New Birth, (John 3:1-7). Sonship never changes. I will always be the son of my father. My Father and I were separated when I was three years old, and I never saw him again. That separation had nothing to do with my relationship to my father. I will always be his son. I have a Heavenly Father. Nothing can ever change that relationship. No angel, no devil, no principality, no power present, past, or potential, no, nothing can ever separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Ro 8:31-39).
4. SPIRIT. A Gift unutterable. “Beyond the power of description.”
The best friend one can have is the presence of the Holy Spirit. This Dear Friend came into our lives the moment we received Christ as our Saviour. (Eph 1:13). He is our Guide, our Helper, and our Teacher. He teaches us the things of Christ. He is like a giant spotlight as He illuminates Christ. He is the Author of the Holy Scriptures. He is our Power. our Strength. Our first words every morning should be, “GOOD MORNING HOLY SPIRIT. PLEASE BE MY POWER, WISDOM, AND STRENGTH FOR THIS DAY.” Get to know Him. He is that still small voice in you that seeks to say to each one of us, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” (Isa 30:21). No, mere words can adequately describe these wonderful Gifts, THEY ARE TO BE EXPERIENCED.
5. SUPPLICATION. A Gift unthinkable. “Not capable of being grasped by the mind.” Supplication, meaning prayers and access to God. Who would have ever believed that lowly man can communicate with the High, and Holy God? He invites us to “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things that thou knowest not.” (Jer. 33:3). What king would allow his subjects free and unlimited access into his presence? NONE! But our God, by way of the Cross, invokes the prayers of His people. “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my Name. Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” (Jn 16:24-26).
God knows all things, but He limits Himself to the prayers of His people. What an unthinkable, immeasurable Gift of God.
6. SCRIPTURES. A Gift unalterable. “Not capable of being altered or changed.” Oh yes, men try. Through the ages man has tried to change, alter, or improve, but it cannot be done. The battle of the ages rages today. That battle concerns the Holy SCRIPTURES.” Forever O Lord, thy Word is settled in Heaven.” His Word is forever settled for me. I do not try to explain it away, or look for definitions. I do not try to impress anyone with my knowledge of Greek or Hebrew. God promised that He would PRESERVE His WORD forever. (Psa 12:6-7). Many a time I have searched for something that I had been using. I searched every place I could think of. I retraced my steps, and would you know it? I found it right where I laid it down. Man searches for the Scriptures today. He looks through commentaries, dictionaries, and Lexicons, trying to find the Word. I believe that if he really wants to find It, all he has to do is look where he laid it down. God gave His Word, in English, in 1611. This has been the BOOK of books for 400 years. In spite of the attacks against it, it is still the BOOK of books. Thank God for His Unalterable, unshakeable, immeasurable, fathomless GIFT of the HOLY SCRIPTURES.
Oh, there is so much more. God has decorated for you a beautiful Christmas tree laden with gifts. “This is marvelous in our eyes” His Christmas Tree is the CROSS OF CALVARY. Every one of these Gifts, and so many, many more are just hanging there, waiting to be received. That sparkling ornament on the top of His Tree is HIS GRACE. Grace enough to forgive all, to change all, to deliver all.
A Gift is just that, A GIFT. All we need to do is reach out and take it. We do not earn it, we just receive it. Just reach out by Faith alone and tell God that you believe and that you receive His Gift of Salvation. Begin TODAY to live FOREVER!
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
ARE YOU QUALIFIED?
Don’t you just love those dear ones that always have advice to spew out when problems arise!?! Nothing wrong with giving advice if you can back it up with your life. The life we live determines whether or not we are qualified to give advice. And of course make sure the advice we give is in line with the Scriptures. Are you saved? Do you know for sure you have a home in Heaven? Do you attend Church regularly and fellowship with God’s children? After all, if you are saved these are your brothers and sisters in the Lord. Do you love being around God’s people or are you more comfortable around ones that have never claimed Him as their Saviour? Do you have a forgiving and loving spirit that only God can give you? I could go on and on. Feel free to give advise if you are qualified. On the other hand don’t give advise to others if you have a cold heart with little or no evidence of being born again. How can you advise others concerning their life if you don’t know how to live? How can you advise others on how to raise their children if you have never had any children? If you can’t drive, how in the world can you tell someone else how to drive? You would be surprised at the ones that can’t push a grocery cart down the aisle without running over someone, but they can certainly tell others how to drive a car. Then we have those advice givers that have carried on a grudge for years and still carrying it against someone that didn’t do things their way. Grudge carriers are the ones that advise others in a time of upset to just; “Let it go! Drop it! Forget it! You just need to let it go!” I don’t know about you but that sounds a bit hypocritical to me. Make sure you are saved and then you can advise others to be saved; now that’s good advice! Then live a life that others can see that you are qualified to advise them. Until then just refrain from advising others. Take advice from God’s Word and make sure you are saved. “For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13). “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37).
Now that you are saved, Jesus is your Counselor and His Word is filled with perfect advice! “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and he shall direct thy paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6). “Call unto me and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.”
THINK ABOUT IT…The heaviest load to carry through life is a grudge!
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS…It is no friend to the Christian. The advice of the world is; “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes.” (Eccl. 11:9).
The advice of God is, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”(Eccl. 12:13)..
FOR THE NEW YEAR
“I WILL TAKE THE CUP OF SALVATION AND CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD” (Psa 116:13).
“What shall I render unto the LORD for all His benefits?” (v12).
The Psalmist had been in an awful fix. But he found help in the Lord.
1. HIS PLIGHT… (v1-4)
DEATH surrounded him. v3.
HELL was upon him, v3.
TROUBLE was about him. v3.
SORROW was in him. v3.
Did you ever feel like that? No matter where you turn, trouble is there waiting for you.
I cannot think of any worse condition to be in. The Psalmist evidently sought help, but he found that his advisers were just a bunch of liars, v11.
This accurately describes the condition of the lost man who does not know Christ.
2. HIS PLEA. “Then called I upon the Name of the LORD. O LORD, I beseech Thee, deliver my soul.”v4. “I was brought low. And He helped me.” v6. Conviction had brought him to his knees. “I looked on my right hand, but there was no man that would know me. Refuge failed me, no man cared for my soul. I cried unto thee O LORD; I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.” (Psa 142:4-5).
God always hears the cry of the heart. The Psalmist has poured out his heart to God. “Thou hast heard the voice of my supplications.” v1.
3. HIS PRAISE. “I love the Lord because” v1. The Psalmist begins to PRAISE GOD for His bountiful blessings.
He found Grace, v5. “Gracious is the Lord.” We know that Grace is the Attribute of God that gives us what we do not deserve.
He found Mercy, v5. Mercy is the Attribute of God that keeps us from getting what we rightly deserve.
He found Righteousness, v5. The Psalmist knew that whatever God chose to do that He would be Right in so doing. “If God refused to hear my cry, He would still be Right.” BUT “He hath heard my voice.” v1.
His soul is delivered from death, v8. The penalty of sin is death. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.”(Eze 18:4). God’s Mercy has removed that awful fate. Christ bore ALL sin in His body on the Cross.
His tears are dry. v8. No doubt the Psalmist had shed many tears before he called out to God. Now he can clearly see what God has done for him.
His feet are firmly planted. v8. The Psalmist said in Ch. 40, “He hath brought me out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” How wonderful it is to know that your feet are firmly set upon that solid Rock which is Christ.
He has the promise of Heaven.v9. “I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.” According to Rev. 21:4-5, the Land of the living is in Heaven, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain for the former things are passes away…these words are true and faithful.”
4. HIS PROMISE. “What shall I render unto the LORD for all His benefits toward me?” v12. As he rehearses the goodness of God in his life, “What can I do for Him?”
1. “I WILL take the cup of Salvation and call upon the Name of the LORD.” v13. Although Salvation is FREE, it may bring with it one or more “cups.”
For Christ, His was…
A CUP OF BITTERNESS. “And He went a little further and fell on His face, and prayed saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this CUP pass from me, nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” Before Christ that awful night was a CUP that contained all of the sin, the filth, the vileness, all of the bad of all the ages. Christ drank that BITTER CUP for me, and for you, and for the world.
A CUP OF BETRAYAL. As He instituted the Lord’s supper, He said,” This CUP is the New Testament in my blood which is shed for you. Behold the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table.” Lk. 22:20-21. Judas Iscariot sitting with Him in that room went out and betrayed Christ for 30 pieces of silver.
A CUP OF BAPTISM. When answering the Mother of James and John about her sons sitting on His right and left in the kingdom He said, “Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the CUP that I shall drink of and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto Him, we are able. And He saith unto them ye SHALL drink indeed of my CUP.” Mt 20:22-23. Our Salvation may bring with it one of these or other CUPS. The Christian life is not a life of ease and luxury as many try to paint it. The PROMISE of the Psalmist is, “Whatever CUP God has for me, I will drink of it.” Now, don’t get me wrong, there is JOY in serving Jesus. There are also times of TOIL.
2. “I WILL faithfully call upon the Name of the LORD.” v13, v2. The Psalmist experienced the power of prayer. “Then called I upon the Name of The LORD” v4. He had seen Prayer work in his own life, he knew it would work for others
These are wonderful resolutions for the New Year.
3. “I WILL offer to Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving” v17. I wonder. Just what does he mean, “I will offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving?” The word ‘sacrifice’ means, “an act of offering to Deity something precious.” The most valuable thing I have to offer Him is myself, my time, my all. “That ye present your bodies a living sacrifice.” That’s the least, and most that we can do.
4. “I WILL pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all His people.”
v14, also v18. A vow does not necessarily mean money. It may, or may not. A vow is something that I promised God that I would do for Him. How many times have I heard someone say, “If God will do this for me, then I will be faithful to His church, etc.” But, 4 weeks later, the vow is forgotten. Now there are many illustrations I could mention here, but you know what you have said, and have promised God. “When thou vowest a vow unto God defer not to pay it, for He hath no pleasure in fools; pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than thou shouldest vow and not pay.” (Eccl. 5:4-5).
Now, let each of us be mindful in the NEW YEAR, 2010 that we must keep the promises we have made to God. Here are some resolutions for 2010;
1. I will gladly take whatever CUP that Salvation brings with it. Whatever God has for me to do, that will I do.
2. I will faithfully Pray. You, your loved ones, your neighbors, your Church, your nation needs daily prayer. God would not have commanded us to pray if our prayers would not make a difference.
3. I will offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving. I will offer God my best, my time, my all.
4. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of his people.
Now if each one of us will remember to keep these promises through 2010, what a difference our lives, our homes, our Churches will be.
GOD BLESS YOU. HAVE A GREAT AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!
“Begin again, in 2010”
As we bid farewell to the old year we must not forget to say to one and all who pray for us, who encourage us, for every offering, for every nice and thoughtful thing you have done, THANK YOU!
CHRIST IS ALREADY THERE
By Pastor George Mills
(For the New Year)
“Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling
place in all generations.” (Ps. 90:1)
I will not fear this bright New Year,
I will face it without dread,
My Lord is here,
He’s always near,
And He knows what lies ahead.
This New Year will bring it’s care,
And trials, hard to bear,
I’ll face each day,
Christ knows the way,
For He is already there.
Each day I’ll live in fullness free,
His Will, I’ll do my best,
With Christ to lead,
His Grace to plead,
He’ll see me through each test.
Who knows just what tomorrow brings?
Christ is already there,
Perhaps this year,
His voice we’ll hear,
And meet Him in the air.
It may well be this very year,
Our Blessed Lord will come,
We’ll see his smile,
At our last mile,
“My child, you’re welcome home.”
So let us face this Bright New Year,
With hope, without a care,
And do our best,
For tomorrow we rest,
Christ is already there!
IF I DO MY BEST, WILL I GO TO HEAVEN WHEN I DIE???
Millions of people around the world have the idea that if they try hard enough, that if they live up to a certain standard, that if they refrain enough, reform enough, if they are sincere enough, that if they just do their best, God will receive them into Heaven when they die.
BUT WHAT DOES GOD SAY?
First, your best IS NOT good enough. The Bible says that “All of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” In the light of what God has done for us, our best just does not measure up.
Second, the BEST has already been done.
A. God gave His BEST. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
(B) Jesus gave His BEST. “For when we were without strength in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Jesus Christ, through His finished work of the Cross, His burial, and His bodily resurrection from the dead supplies everything needed for time and eternity.
The BEST has been done. You must Receive that, or Reject that. There is no other way.
RECOGNIZE that your best is not good enough.
REALIZE That Jesus Christ is God’s standard for righteousness. We all fall short of that standard.
RECEIVE Jesus Christ as your Personal Saviour. He will forgive your sin and make you ready for Heaven WHEN YOU DIE. How do you receive Him? Tell God in your own words, “Lord, in the best way I know how, I now, by faith alone receive Jesus Christ as my Saviour. I accept His sacrifice on the Cross as full payment for all my sin.” Then and only then will God’s Best be your best!