WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?

GEORGE MUELLER, THE GREAT ENGLISH (GERMAN IMMIGRANT) PRAYER WARRIOR OF THE 19TH  CENTURY (1805 – 1898) SAID: “ATTEMPT GREAT THINGS FOR GOD – EXPECT GREAT THING FROM GOD!”

This seems to be something that we, in this day and age are hesitant to do.

O yes, there are those who claim they do so who are imprisoned in a warped system of theology, such as the prosperity preachers who have lost sight of God’s will and purpose altogether, and live in a “la la” land of their own making.  Therefore, I’m not speaking of the “If you want a Cadillac, ask for one and you’ll get it” people.  But, I’m referring to those who desire to see God glorified in the salvation and sanctification of precious souls, which is the real mission of churches today, in accordance with God’s purpose.  Their concern is, or should be, the gathering together of God’s people “chosen from the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blame before him, in love having been predestined to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself.” When the last of God’s elect have come by faith to the Lord Jesus, then will the Lord Jesus come in “power and great glory.”  Many ask, “Why is the Lord seemingly delaying his coming?”  The reason is all of the sheep aren’t in the fold as yet.

Meanwhile, are we expecting God to do great things?  I must admit that I both do and don’t.  I know that God is working to will and to do of his eternal purpose; and yet, I find myself being doubtful at times.  Like the Apostle Paul, “the things that I would, I do not, and the very things that I would and should not, are often the very things that I do.”  And so, I find myself crying out as the Apostle Paul did: “O wretched man that I am.  Who will deliver me from this body of death?”  My answer, as Paul’s answer: “I thank God, through Jesus Christ my Lord.”

Now there are those who claim never to have such problems.  They claim that the old nature within them is totally eradicated; but, they are either deceived by Satan, or just plain not truthful.  A real study of the New Testament Scriptures teach an entirely different reality.  That is, in the flesh, we can but sin; and in the Spirit we can but serve God.  Difficult to understand?  Most definitely!  True nonetheless?  Absolutely!  What then are we to do?  We are to get in sync with God’s program!  He has given us the ministry of reconciliation; and consequently, we are his ambassadors.  “Bring them in, bring them in, bring them in from the fields of sin!”  As Mueller said, “Attempt great things for God – expect great things from God !”  Even so Lord Jesus, come!”

With love from a sinner saved by sovereign grace,

Bill

 

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?

GOD IS EVERYTHING!

HE IS ALL POWERFUL! HE IS ALL KNOWING! HE IS PRESENT IN EVERY PLACE! HE IS “GOD THE ALL!”

One of my favorite books is “The Valley of Vision,” a book of Puritan prayers compiled by Arthur Bennett, and published by The Banner of Truth Trust.  It’s a wonderful book, full of praise and glory to God, beautifully expressed in old time Biblical terms not greatly popular in our day of “easy-believism” and “feel good” pseudo-Christianity.  Consequently the prayers within the book speak much more of God’s sovereignty, his grace, his will and his purpose, than of humankind’s efforts to add to what God has done, is doing, and will do.

In keeping with those thoughts, I’d like to share one of the prayers from the “Valley of Vision” entitled “God the All.”  It follows:

O God whose will conquers all,

There is no comfort in anything apart from enjoying thee and being engaged in thy service; Thou art All in All, and all enjoyments are to me what thou makest them, and no more.  I am well pleased with thy will, or should be in all respects.  And if thou bidst me decide for myself in any affair, I would choose to refer all to thee, for thou art all wise and cannot do amiss, as I am in danger of doing.  I rejoice to think that all things are at thy disposal, and it delights me to leave them there.  Then prayer turns wholly into praise, and all I can do is to adore and bless thee.  What shall I give thee for all thy benefits?  I am in a straight betwixt two, knowing not what to do; I long to make some return, but have nothing to offer, and can only rejoice that thou doest all, and none in heaven or earth shares thy honor; I can of myself do nothing to glorify thy blessed name, but I can through grace cheerfully surrender soul and body to thee.  I know that thou art the author and finisher of faith, that the whole work of redemption is thine alone, and every good work or thought found in me is the effect of thy power and grace, that thy sole motive in working in me to will and to do is thy good pleasure.

O God, it is amazing that men can talk so much about man’s creaturely power and goodness, when, if thou didst not hold us back every moment, we should be devils incarnate.  This by bitter experience, thou hast taught me concerning myself.  (In that I concur, and say – Amen!  [Bill])

The depth of thought, and of expression found in that prayer, are no longer in vogue in “mainstream Christianity.”  In our day and age, it’s more about what we foolishly think we can do to improve on God’s Sovereign will and grace, than what he has done for his children, (to which absolutely nothing can be added, and from which absolutely nothing can be  detracted.)  What is not being talked about (or realized) in most churches, is that there is a new Reformation taking place even now.  As the earlier Reformation came in a time of great apostasy within the Universal Church, so  it is today.  Consequently, by the  will of Almighty God, myriads of people are realizing anew that God in Christ is indeed, “All in All!”  How can we, in our “Valley of Vision,” sensibly expect anything less than revival, and subsequent reformation among God’s people?  Do it again Lord Jesus!  Do it again!   Amen!

From a sinner saved by God’s sovereign grace,

Bill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GOD IS EVERYTHING!

PRAYERS FROM THE HEART

A PRAYER CONCERNING CHRIST, THE KING OF KINGS

PSALM 45:1-8: “My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.  Thou art fairer than the children of men; grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God has blessed thee for ever.

Sovereign and gracious God, I come to you, seeking your face in the name of Jesus Christ, who is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.  When I think or speak of things which I have made touching the King, I can but worship Thee!

For many years the King sought me by the wooing of the Holy Spirit.  My heart was slow to waken to his call.  Yet, by irresistible grace he pursued me, woke me, and put life into the dry bones of my being; until at last I came in repentance to you my Heavenly Father, and by faith to Jesus Christ.

What had I to do in all of this?  Absolutely nothing!  But you, the Three in One God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit chose me from the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blame, before you.  Therefore O God, you predestined that I should be adopted as a son, by Jesus Christ, into the your family, according to the good pleasure of your will.  All to the praise of the glory of your grace;  wherein I am accepted in the Beloved.  It is not proper that I should boast in this at all; but rather, that I should give thanks, bowing before you, The True and Living God, in reverence, and with gladness and joy.

My Savior, my Lord, and my King!  You made a Covenant with me in the blood of Jesus Christ.  Therefore I am in Holy Covenant with you, and with all those of like precious faith, who have been chosen by unconditional election; saved by the atonement limited to God’s elect; drawn to him by irresistible grace; and, with your help and guidance, we will persevere unto the Day of the Lord.  All of this O God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty, is to the praise of the glory of your grace.

Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit, I love you because you first loved me, and worship you in newness of life, as a newly created child of God, because you deigned that it be so.

I bow before you, Almighty God, a sinner saved by your sovereign grace,  Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRAYERS FROM THE HEART

EVER THE SAME – GRACE THRU FAITH

Titus 3:5-8: “Not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works.  These things are good and profitable unto men.”

Strictly out of habit, we are inclined to stop at the end of verse 5, i. e., those who adhere to Biblical doctrine and teaching.  Why?  Because we think we have said enough, and don’t consider that we give an entrance to unsound (salvation by works and sacraments) exegesis, if we stop at that point.  However, if we go on through to verse 8, it becomes abundantly and perfectly clear, that works are the product of salvation, and not the means of obtaining salvation.  Therefore, I say, it’s “ever the same – grace thru faith!”  There’s no other way to come to God; no other way to please God; indeed, no other way to serve God, but by grace thru faith.

Churches who teach that salvation is by works, or by sacrament, no matter by what name they are called, are an affront to Almighty God!  I don’t say this in an effort to appear wiser, or more holy than anyone else; but with the desire that dear people may hear the true gospel, may believe in Christ as He’s revealed in Scripture, and be saved.  By all means, search the Scripture prayerfully!  Be like the Berean Church: Search the Scriptures daily and see that God is a God of grace.  As Charles Spurgeon declared: “It’s All of Grace!”

The popular “exposition” of Scripture today, is to read the Bible and apply it to cute witticisms of one’s own devising.  Just read most of the religious articles posted in newspapers and magazines today, or popular books full of positive thinking, and “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” theology, and see if this is not so.  The problem is: “Seven Ways to a Better You,” or being driven (however purposely it may be done), will not save you. Jesus Christ alone does that (Acts 4:12; Ephesians 2:8-10).

As ever, for the sake of Jesus Christ and the Gospel,

Bill (a sinner saved by grace)

EVER THE SAME – GRACE THRU FAITH