The Christian Life: A constant walking and talking with God.

  • “The life of the Christian is far more than the usual activities that fill one’s day, more than what meets the eye. The life of the Christian is a life with God at all times, in all places. The life of the Christian is a walking and a talking with God, enjoying an active relationship with God. This is possible, for I am reconciled with my Creator. The distance between me and God, incurred by sin, is gone. I am God’s child. Consequently, every moment of my life I live in the presence of my God. Moment by moment God is with me, close to me, whether I am engaged in work or relaxation. There is communication between God and me; as I walk or work, I may talk to my God through prayer, and God talks to me through His Word.This means that each of my days should be characterised by prayer. God does not place a limit on the number of times I may pray to Him in one day. I may pray to God in addition to my prayers at the start and close of a day and at the commencement and conclusion of every meal. To restrict prayer to these times only is to restrict my communication with God. This means too that I may pray even when I cannot accompany prayer with folded hands, closed eyes, bent knees, or a bowed head (though there is much to be said for each of these if the situation allows it). In the ups and downs of every hour of the day I may ask the Lord for strength to do a task, wisdom to meet a challenge I don’t know how to face, patience with the children, whether I’m at home, in the office, on the work site, in the garden or in the car. I may also express my thankfulness to God at any time of the day, be it for a beautiful rainbow, for sunshine, for a good time with the children, for having received strength, wisdom, or endurance as was required. I may tell God all I feel or experience at any time of the day. There is nothing in the life of His children which does not interest God. Nothing in my life is too great or too trivial for God to take an interest in it. Such is His providence that all things are in His control, including the red traffic light when I’m running late or the empty fuel tank when there’s no fuel station in sight. I may tell God all that is in my heart, and I may tell Him my needs, plainly. My prayers don’t need to be composed of fancy words and phrases. I am allowed to be open to the Lord, for that is what it means to truly walk and talk with God.

    To be busy with God continuously is a consequence of Christ’s redeeming work for and in me. Constant communication with the Lord affects my entire attitude in life, for such close communion with the Lord makes me increasingly trusting, humble, thankful, and dependent upon God. A close relationship with God is to know myself safe in Father’s hand every moment of the day. We live on this side of the Cross of Calvary, and so may live the results of Calvary in our daily lives. Calvary, then, means more to me than the forgiveness of my sins. Calvary means that I am justified, that I am sanctified, yes, that today I live a life of communion with my Father in heaven.  Manuel Kuhs

Saul,Saul,why persecutest thou me?

 

crosses

 

Looking at a small metal depiction of the cross this morning made me think that what our Lord sought from His disciples in those terrible hours leading up to the cross, was prayer support-His fate was determined but from the human standpoint the prayers of others would help sustain Him.We still have the suffering body of Christ with us today-we are part of it!  It is His worldwide church! It needs our prayer support. Pray for sick believers and those suffering from persecution.

Compassion

An infinite attribute of God that is sovereignly expressed. Psalm 86:15,Romans 9:15
A brief word study
First mention.Exodus 2:6 of Pharaoh’s daughter on seeing and hearing baby Moses in the rushes.
Deut.13:17. God’s promise to Israel if they separate from sin.
Forgiveness is an integral part. Ps.78:38
What a suckling mother feels toward her son. Isaiah 49:15
It issued in the return from the captivity. Jer.12:15
It is part and parcel of chastisement. Lam.3:22
It is expressed by God in granting repentance. Micah 7:19
OT Hebrew ‘chamal’ meaning commiserate, have pity and ‘racham’ meaning fondle,love.
It is Christ’s attitude to His scattered sheep. Matthew 9:36
It should be shown in our forgiveness. Matthew 18:33
Shown by good Samaritan and prodigal’s father . Luke 10:33, Luke 15:20
An attribute of our High Priest and expected of us as it is a communicable attribute. Heb.5:2
To be shown to the ignorant and wandering (saint)*
Should be true of believers towards each other. I Peter 3:8,9.
Necessary in evangelism (especially of those generally despised). Jude 22.
NT words mean to have bowels for/sympathy, have pity, be gentle. Sympathy meaning ‘fellow feeling’ or to feel together ie ‘putting yourself in their shoes’.
*This is perhaps especially necessary for the Reformed saint.

Sonclick to view

Picture-victim of Syrian conflict-imagine it was your son.

Rain

A wonder of God’s hand

ark bow images imgres rain

 

‘Rain is a wonder of God’s hand’. Job 36:27ff and 37:7-16. So says John Gill in his oft-read whole commentary of the Bible in the section on Job. It is here par excellence that God reveals Himself to Job in the sphere of meteorology and zoology. It is the rain I want to concentrate on.

When it rains, the vast majority of people complain and say it is miserable. They are miserable because they do not know the Lord of the rain, neither are they content with His wonderful provision and sovereignty! As believers we should be joyful with an inner joy that transcends the weather and be thankful to God for all weathers.

The first mention of a word in Scripture is always significant and in Genesis 2:5 we see rain mentioned but interestingly as something that has not yet happened. This is because in pre-flood times the earth was enveloped by a water vapour canopy that watered the earth presumably with heavy dew and the plants took in moisture from the atmosphere. The first mention of the falling of rain was in the great worldwide flood where for forty consecutive days it rained and the water canopy that circled the earth condensed and disappeared as it was poured out upon the earth in judgement while simultaneously the water level rose markedly due to massive earth movements at the bottom of the oceans. I would refer you to ‘The Genesis Record’ by Henry Morris as an excellent source on this*.

Rain, of course, by itself simply means something coming down from heaven and it might be hail, or frogs or quail or manna or blessing or cursing. Hail is often explained as a judgement which it certainly was in Egypt in Exodus 9:18. See also Psalm1:6. Manna, of course, speaks of God’s provision and rain, in the form of water precipitation is just that-without it all life would perish. Water, on planet earth makes it unique and hence the only planet with life in all the universe.

Rain was a promised blessing for the people in the land, Leviticus 26:4, Deut.11:11,Joel 2:23,James 5:7-the former and the latter rains. In the Mediterranean rain falls in Spring and Autumn each year.

Drought, or lack of rain is a threatened judgement of God, Deut.11:17 and Amos 4:7, with the clearest example being that of three years duration in the time of Elijah and Ahab in I Kings 17:1.It is also mentioned as an answer to prayer in James 5:18. Rain, as such, a provision from God, Matthew 5:45 and Acts 14:17, is not a sign of common grace just because it falls on all men!

However what we have to realise is that ‘the earthy teaches us about the heavenly’ ie all creation teaches us about God and spiritual reality and it is rain, as a picture of God’s precious word and teaching that most interests us. In God shows us that we are totally dependent on Him. This is also true regarding His word-there may be a dearth of it in days of apostasy and judgement. Deuteronomy 32:22 and Isaiah 55 picture His word as rain coming down from heaven that waters the earth and brings forth plants and fruit. This is what He does in the lives of His people through the preaching of His word and also their personal reading and study. Similarly note that preacher/teachers are likewise clouds-they may be waterless ones as Peter calls the false teachers but a true preacher is sent from God in heaven to bring the rain of the word.

The church is both the soil and the plants that grow up in the soil. Rain causes both weeds and crops to spring up till the harvest time. The good soil of His elect people  bear different amounts of fruit. We are also trees planted by waters, Psalm 1

Just as the ground and vegetation depend on rain, we depend on our Heavenly Father for spiritual rain from good moisture-filled clouds, so we pray ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ which of necessity implies give us rain to water the ground to give us bread. We must pray for the manna from heaven who is Christ and the rain of His effective word and the working of His Holy Spirit which is like a fountain of living waters. John 7:37-39.

 

 

Psalm 135:7 and the book of Job, Job 5:10, 28:26  show that the inspired penmen knew about the hydrological cycle by which water ascends as vapour into the atmosphere, becomes clouds and then is dropped as rain later when it condenses.

Hear Gill, ‘For he maketh small the drops of rain,’ Elihu proceeds to give instances and proofs of the greatness of God, and begins with rain, and the design of this, and all other instances of this kind, is to convince Job of his folly in searching out the causes and reasons of God’s works of providence, when the common works of nature lie out of the reach of men;  by the heat of the sun out of the earth and out of the sea; (the vapours) which are drawn up in small particles, but form large bodies of waters in the clouds; and which are let down again upon the earth in small drops, in an easy and gentle manner, and so soak into the earth and make it fruitful; this is a wonderful instance of God’s power, wisdom, and goodness, and is beyond our comprehension; for no mortal man can tell how the Almighty parts and divides those large quantities of water in the clouds, that sometimes hang over our heads, into millions and ten thousand times ten thousand millions of drops, even innumerable; and causes these waters in such a manner to descend on the earth; lets them not fall at once, or in waterspouts, which would wash away the inhabitants of cities and towns, the cattle of the field, and the produce of the earth, as at the general deluge;’

‘That rain water is so truly distilled by nature, that the chemist, with all his distilling art, cannot produce purer water; for, though it is exhaled out of the dirty earth, out of miry places, bogs, and ditches, yet, being bound up in the clouds as in a garment, and passing through the atmosphere, it comes down to us pure as if it had been percolated or strained through a linen cloth; and though the water as drawn up out of the sea is salt, yet carried up into the air, and there, distilled, it descends to us sweet and fresh, and has not the least brackishness in it.’

Job 38:28ff.’ Which  the clouds do drop [and] distil upon man abundantly. Not upon the persons of men, which they take care as much as possible to shun and avoid, but upon the fields of men, and so for the profit and advantage of men; though sometimes rain falls upon the wilderness, where no man is. The rain is an emblem of the word of God, the Gospel of Christ, which drops and distils on the souls of men like rain, and refreshes them, and makes them fruitful; and is dispensed by the ministers of it, who are compared to clouds, according to the measure of the gift of grace received by them, and that freely and fully as they have received it.’

Job 36:29Also can [any] understand the spreadings of the clouds,…. Or “of a cloud” { a thick cloud, a single one; which sometimes at the beginning is very small, about the size of a man’s hand, and which in a little time spreads all over the heavens, and covers them with black clouds and darkness; none can understand, describe, and tell by what means so small a cloud at first appearance is spread to such a prodigious extent; and which is done partly for the use of God himself, to be a pavilion or tent around him, Psalm 18:11; and partly for the use of men, either to let down rain on the several parts of the world, or to be a sort of an umbrella to men, to shelter them from scorching heat; nor can any understand how the clouds, stretched out to such a compass, are poised and balanced in the air, so as to retain their position as long as it is the pleasure of God; see Job 37:16. Ben Gersom, who is followed by others interprets this of the differences of the clouds, which are unaccountable, as to the form and colour of them being curious, and the matter which they contain or what issues from them; out of some rain, others hail, others snow and sleet, others wind, others thunder and lightning; and yet all arise from the same, even from vapours exhaled from the earth and sea; some become moist and cold, others hot and dry. As clouds are emblems of Gospel ministers, Isaiah 5:6; this may lead us to observe the different gifts of grace bestowed on them, and the different uses they are of; some are Boanergeses, sons of thunder, Matt 3:17; others Barnabases, sons of consolation, Acts 4:36; and the extent of the Gospel ministry all over the world, which first began as a small cloud over the land of Judea, and then was spread throughout the Gentile world;’

Psalm 104:3, where he sits invisible, and from whence, as a general of an army, he issues out his orders, and sends forth his artillery, rain, hail, snow, thunder, and lightning, and stormy wind fulfilling his word; the noise hereof is either the noise of the waters in the clouds, the sound of an abundance of rain, 1 Kings 18:41; or of the blustering winds, by which the clouds are moved and portend rain; or of the thunder that bursts out of them with a vehement noise, and which is usually followed with rain; and the thunder of his power who can understand? Job 26:14. This may be an emblem of the voice of God in his Gospel out of his tabernacle, the church, which the natural man understands not; or the voice of God in his providences, in which he speaks to men once and twice, and they perceive it not.’

Job 36:31.’ For by them judgeth he the people,…. That is, by the clouds; which the Lord uses both in a way of judgment, as expressed in this clause; and in a way of mercy, as in the following; by these, and what issue out of them, as rain, hail, winds, thunder, and lightning, he sometimes punishes the inhabitants of the earth, as he did the old world by a deluge of water, which came partly from the fountains of the great deep, and partly from the windows of heaven, which destroyed man and beast, and the increase of the earth, Genesis 7:11; he punished the Egyptians by a violent storm of hail, Exodus 9:23; and slew many of the Canaanites with hailstones, Joshua 10:11; Pharaoh and his host sunk like lead when he blew with his wind, Exodus 15:10; and Sodom and Gomorrah, with the cities of the plain, were destroyed with thunder and lightning, fire and brimstone, from heaven, Genesis 19:24; as the army of the Philistines were discomfited by thunder in the times of Samuel, 1 Samuel 7:10; and the captains of fifties, with their men, were consumed by lightning in the times of Elijah, 2 Kings 1:14; and as the heavens and the earth will be burnt with fire at the end of all things, Matthew 13:40, 2 Peter 3:12;

He giveth meat in abundance; very plentifully, or to a multitude of creatures, both men and cattle; who have a liberal supply of food by means of the clouds and rain, which falling upon the earth make it fruitful, so that it gives bread to the eater, and seed to the sower; causes grass to grow up for the beasts of the field, and produces bread corn, oil, and wine, for the benefit of men; an emblem of the variety and plenty of spiritual food dispensed to the churches of Christ, through the ministry of the word, and by the ministers of it.

Verse 32. With clouds he covereth the light,…. Either the lightning, which is hid and covered in the black dark cloud until it bursts out of it; or the light of the sun, which is wonderful, that waters naturally clear and transparent, when formed into clouds, should obstruct the rays of the sun and darken it; see Ezekiel 32:7; and thus it was in the storm and tempest the Apostle Paul was in many days, which was so thick and dark, that the sun and stars did not appear of a long time, Acts 27:20;

And commandeth it [not to shine], by [the cloud] that cometh betwixt; that is, commands the sun that it shines not, or hinders it from shining, by reason of the intervening clouds; this is an emblem of sin interposing between God and his people, which causes him to hide his face from them and not shine upon them: sins are comparable to clouds for numbers, being more than can be told; and for their nature and quality, like clouds they rise out of the earthly and carnal heart of man; and which is also like a troubled sea which cannot rest; and which reach up unto heaven and bring down wrath and vengeance from thence on wicked men; and in God’s own people, like the clouds they intercept the light of his countenance, the bright shining of the sun of righteousness, the comfort, peace, and joy of the Holy Spirit: the words may be rendered, “with hands he covers the light, and commands [that it shine not] by [reason of] what comes between.

Verse 33.
The cattle also concerning the vapour; that is, the cattle likewise show signs of rain,(also birds especially gulls) being sensible of the vapours which rise up out of the earth, and are drawn up into the air and form clouds there; these, through their sharp sight, discern the vapours rising out of the earth insensible by men; or by their quick smell or taste discern them, these leaving some tincture upon the grass they are feeding on; and which occasion some motions and gestures in them by which husbandmen, and those that are accustomed to them, know that the rain is at hand: and there are various things observable in brutes, fowls, and cattle, and other creatures, which are signs of approaching rain; as the cawing of crows, the croaking of frogs, the flying about of cranes and swallows, the motion of ants, the retire of cattle to places of shelter, and the like.’

Truly there are many spiritual lessons in rain that comes from heaven!

 

 

Essentials of prayer

 

Praying_Hands

What is prayer? It is covenant fellowship with God. It is our response to His grace and Word. It should glorify Him.

Who may pray? Only believers have a right of access to God.

Why is it vitally important for believers? It is like breath to the body. Ananias was told he would find Paul after his conversion praying .  It is, along with the Word, our chief weapon in the spiritual battle against the world, flesh and devil. Eph.6

On what basis is it offered? Only though the mediation of Christ. I Tim.2:5

Of what does it comprise?  A.C.T.S

Adoration-praise to God for all His attributes and works

Confession of our sin so as to keep close accounts with God (Acts 24:16, Ps.66:18,Is 59:1,2)

Thanksgiving for all He gives and does

Supplication-making known our needs.

What should be our attitude?

Reverence of His majesty, power and holiness

Fervency- James 5:16. No hypocrisy (remember the publican in the temple)

Submission (Thy will, not mine)

Dependence and humility

Love for our Father in heaven.

Expectancy (faith)

What are our needs? Physical-our daily food, shelter, work. Spiritual-His grace and Spirit.

For whom should we pray? Ourselves, family, church, witness, government,wider world* (eg Jews, Unreached millions, the Persecuted-see globalprayer.prcblogs.org**)

What position should we adopt? Does not matter-in Scripture we have examples of prostration, kneeling, sitting, standing and walking about.

When? 1) Set times-morning, (noon), night. Psalm 55. All though the day (extempore,  impromptu)

Where?  Set times in a quiet place in private usually. Matthew 6:6

Some personal lessons.

1) Be honest-Ps.51:6. We can hide nothing

2) Pray about anything and everything. Phil. 4:6,7. Prov. 3:5,6. You will be amazed at answers.  Remember to thank. Keep notebook.

3) Expand your scope* (info on this site**)

4) Realise that John 15:5 is true-nothing of any spiritual benefit or eternal worth can be done without God’s work and blessing.

Our help is in the name of the Lord (Jehovah) who made heaven and earth Ps 124:8.

Christ’s coming

 

CPRC Ballymena’s Tuesday morning Bible Study 2012-3

A very necessary study in the face of the errors of premillenialism, postmillennialism, scoffers and sceptics

A summary of the last few weeks.

1.Christ’s coming occurred at fixed times in the past eg His birth, His Transfiguration (II Peter 1:16,17), the sacking of Jerusalem AD70 (Matthew 24:16-20), Pentecost (John 14:18,28). He also comes in His effectual call of His people (John 10:27), for the saint at death (John 14:3), and ultimately at the end of time (II Thess.1and 2).

 

7 tomb

2.Nearness in time may mean hundreds of years.

‘A little while’ is in Haggai 2:6,7 was actually  520 years) Deuteronomy 4:25-27 (1400 B..C till 722 and 586 B.C.)Isaiah 29:9-24 (700 years)

3.From God’s perspective (outside of time which is His creation) a 1000 years are as a day.

Psalm 90:4,10. II Peter 3:8.

4. Scripture speaks of apparent delay.

Christ… Matthew 24:48,25:5,19.

Paul…. in I Thess. It is mentioned as soon at the end of every chapter yet in II Thess.2:2 he lists things that must happen first.

Peter….I Peter 4:7 (at hand) II Peter 3 (the wait)

5.The time between Christ’s first and second comings is called the Millennium (1000 years) and therefore a long period (now over 2000 years!) in the New Testament and  also called the last days (a very short period indeed).

6. The Harvest at the end of the world (of elect and reprobate).

A harvest presupposes patient waiting by the farmer. Matthew 13:24ff and Revelation 14:15ff. Christ waits for the harvest to be ripe-the very last elect and iniquity to be    full.

7. Things that must happen first-Cup of world’s iniquity has to fill up and Christ’s cup of suffering (in His church) has also to fill up.

Our prayer must be, ‘Come Lord Jesus, come quickly!

8.The signs of His coming can be categorized into:

a) Signs in creation-Famines,earthquakes,pestilences and signs in the heavens.

b) Signs among the nations-wars

c) Signs in the church-worldwide preaching of the gospel, false christs, apostasy, persecution, abomination that makes desolate and great tribulation.

These are all found in Matthew 24 and Mark 13 and reinforced in Revelation 6 with the four horsemen.

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All these signs are footsteps of Christ’s coming and are judgements on the world and mercy to the elect.

God’s glory

God so ordains all things on earth so that ultimately He alone gets all the glory.( Isaiah 42:8 and 48:11).There is no room for glory to be given to anyone else. Hence nothing we do is of any eternal value unless it is done by grace, through faith, in obedience to His command and for His glory alone. Everything else, and that means all the works of the wicked and much of what we do is destined to destruction. This is the vanity spoken of by Solomon in Ecclesiastes.Only that which is built on the foundation of Jesus Christ in the lives of His people will remain to reward those servants who were God’s means to build them up.(Ephesians 4:12 and I Corinthians 3:10-15). Gill says, ‘These are the great, momentous, and valuable truths of the Gospel, which agree with and are suitable to the foundation they are built upon.’ For such as teach these Christ will say,’ Well done good and faithful servant.’ And they will cast their crowns at His feet proclaiming that it was all His work in them.

crowns

 

Priorities

The purpose of this website could be summed up in the acronym: PEWS-we sit and worship in them but we also we also need to get out of them and …….

P-Prayhands

E-Exercise

“Struggling up a steep hill on the tough ‘Across the Glens’ race in Glenariff on New Year’s Day 2013. Was first 60 year old home.”  Struggling up a steep hill on the tough ‘Across the Glens’ race in Glenariff on New Year’s Day 2013. Was first 60 year old home.

Tough uphill section of Race over the Glens

W-Witness

S-Study

Our authority on all matters
Pray-my other site site exists to encourage wider scope of prayer in God’s church.

Exercise-stewardship of your body by healthy living which includes physical exercise.

Witness-by life, work and lip

Study-get to know God better and His ways by hearing, reading, studying, memorizing and meditating on the Word of God and good Reformed and other Biblical Christian books.

 

Malachi 3:17 speaks of believers being God’s jewels.’And they shall be mine,saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels;’ God’s eternal purpose is the salvation of all His people from all ethnic groups on earth.

All believers are precious to God-they must be precious to us also.

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Just a thought. We need to pray daily for wisdom but…..
Should we not be really thankful that in a world full of things, people and activities clamouring for our attention we will be guided and enabled to fulfil God’s decree of our own particular good works that He has ordained before time? Ephesians 2:10.

Motives

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‘His eyelids behold, His eyelids try  the children of men.’ Psalm 11:4

Evil Motives in the Unjustified: Self-Love by Rev. Martyn McGeown, Missionary-Pastor of Limerick Reformed fellowship.
II Corinthians 5:15: “And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”
What insight the Belgic Confession has into the human condition! It identifies two main motives for so-called “good works” in those not justified by faith alone—self love and fear. When you examine the works of unbelievers—especially religious unbelievers—those are the two motivating factors. Either a sinner desires to earn for himself some great good—self love—or he desires to avoid some great evil—fear of damnation. But those two motives are not the motives behind truly good works. A truly good work is done out of love for God which flows out of gratitude for salvation.
As sinners we are naturally selfish. Before doing something we ask, “What is in it for me? How will that affect me?” That is true even in our best works. A husband might love his wife only because she makes him feel good. Friends might be friends only because of what they can do for one another. But when such love and friendship become inconvenient, begin to cost something, often the relationship feels the pressure. That is a test—do you love someone only because of what that person gives to you? When that person stops giving what you want, is the result anger and resentment? And what about God? When God gives you everything you want, do you serve Him; but when He begins to take away certain things, are you bitter against Him? Alas, the idol of self has too prominent a place in our lives!
The works of unbelievers are not merely tainted by selfishness. Their primary motive is selfishness! Many live in an outwardly moral fashion because they love the praise of men, and because they value their reputation. That is the motive behind much charity work—people want to be seen to be charitable. No wonder the Belgic Confession says that without faith we act “only out of self-love.”
Self-love can only be rooted out of our hearts by Christ’s cross. This is the teaching of II Corinthians 5:14-15. According to verse 15 sinners “live unto themselves.” Christ died so that “they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.” About us for whom Christ died Paul writes that we now live unto Christ. That is the fruit of the death of Christ in our lives. This is not something that might possibly happen, but this is the certain fruit of the death of Christ with respect to all those for whom Christ died. So true is this, that if a person does not live unto Christ, there is only one explanation—Christ did not die for him and he is an unbeliever.
This must be so because of the intimate union between Christ and the elect. The explanation is given in verse 14, “If one died for all, then were all dead.” A more accurate translation is “therefore all died.” When Christ died, He did so as the head of His people. Therefore, we died with Him and in Him. Although we were not personally present at the cross, we were there legally. This means, first, that Christ died for our sins, bearing our punishment. Second, our sinful flesh was crucified with Christ, so that it no longer has dominion over us to rule us. Therefore, by the cross we are delivered from the terrible idol of self.
But for that—the death of Christ received by faith—we produce no works which are not born of selfishness. The love of Christ—not selfishness—constrains us to do good works to the glory of Him who selflessly lived and died for us to deliver us from the sin of self!