Archive for December, 2015

Daily Devotion: Overcoming Temptation Successfully

Daily Devotion: Overcoming Temptation Successfully

Message by Wil Pounds

Overcoming Temptation Successfully
The successful method Jesus used in dealing with temptation was to submit every desire to the word and will of God and then obey the verdict found there. That is the only method that works.

In an intense inner agony of choice and decision, Jesus refused to compromise the will of God. He refused to compromise His own integrity. For Him everything in His life was completely subjected to the will of His Father.

The temptations Satan threw into His face were to use His divine power selfishly. He would have Jesus focus on the material kingdom that can be seen rather than the unseen spiritual kingdom, seek quick results by sensational means, win popularity by tolerance and compromise. He tempted Jesus to doubt who He is in relation to the Father and the Father’s will for His life (Matthew 3:1-11).

There was nothing in Christ that would answer to sin. The Devil challenged the first man and won. The Second Man challenged Satan and won. The last Adam spoiled Satan. Jesus dragged Satan in to the light and exposed his personality and methods.

“If you are the Son of God…” Satan snarled (Matt. 3:3,6). In Genesis 3:1 he asked, “Indeed, has God said…”

The first attacks of Satan are always on God’s Word. Eve did not refute the false assumptions and hypothesis of Satan. Jesus did, however. He said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’” (Matt. 3:4).

Satan misquoted God in Genesis 3:4-5. He even called God a liar. Satan tried the same thing on Jesus and got caught in the process. He took Jesus to a high pinnacle of the temple and said; “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down” and then he quoted Psalm 91:11-12. It is important for us to remember that Jesus rejected each of the temptations by quoting Scriptures. Anything and everything that goes against what is written in the Bible must be resisted. God has spoken. Each temptation was defeated by citing a passage of Scripture that had reference to the temptations.

Ultimately it comes down to a choice we make regarding the will of God. Jesus chose God’s way; Eve chose her own will. Just a Jesus decided on the methods He would follow, we must do likewise.

Jesus made the right choice. He told Satan, “Be gone Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and serve Him only’” (Matt. 3:10). Only then did the devil leave Him (v. 11). “Go away” is a decisive rejection of the propositions Satan made to Jesus.

Some things seem never to change. None of the temptations were obviously evil. The “forbidden fruit” which tempted Eve was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and to be desired to make one wise (Gen. 3:6). Satan makes temptations attractive and advantageous to the tempted. The power of temptation is its ability to make evil look like something good.

What is wrong with turning stones to bread after you have fasted forty days in a desert? What is wrong with performing great spectacular miracles to demonstrate the power of God upon you? Why not take the easy way instead of being executed on the cross for something you did not do? On the face it looks so good.

Jesus chose to consistently worship God only, and all power in heaven and earth was give to Him (Matt.28: 18). We face the same choice Jesus did. We can choose to trust God and follow consistently the road He has set before us. We will obey Him or go the way of the world, the flesh and the devil.

The path to victory is the path Jesus took! “It is written! … It is written! … It is written!”

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

 

 

 

Daily Devotion: You Can Count On Me

Daily Devotion: You Can Count On Me

Message by Wil Pounds

You Can Count on Me

Everything in the Christian life depends upon what Christ has done for us on the cross, and what He continues to do in and through us as He lives His life in us. Not only has He died for us, but also through a mystical union of the believer with Him we are “in Christ,” and He is “in you.”

The most important principle of sanctification is counting as true what God Himself has already done for us. We are to count as true what is, according to God’s Word, true.

The key to our progressive sanctification is in knowing that God has taken us out of Adam and has joined us to Jesus Christ. We are no longer subject to the reign of sin and death, but are now transferred to the kingdom of God.

The apostle Paul says our responsibility is to “consider [reckon] yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11). He uses an accounting term in the imperative tense. Be constantly counting upon the fact that you are dead to sin, but also alive to God in Christ Jesus.

The word translated “reckon” or “consider” is a key word in the apostle Paul’s teaching on sanctification. He calls upon us to “count, reckon, impute” on certain facts. It is an accounting word that means to take into account, to calculate, to estimate. We are to impute or “to put to one’s account” certain facts. The idea “to reckon” means “to put to one’s account.” It simply means to believe that what God says in His Word is really true in your life.

Paul is admonishing the believer in Christ to recognize something that is already an accomplished fact. Consider, and keep constantly before you, this truth about who you are in Christ. We are commanded to reckon as facts who we are in our relationship with Christ.

How tragic that most Christians do not know who they are in Christ. They have no idea about their vital union in Christ.

They are to “count themselves “dead in reference to “sin but alive to God.” When did you die? When you put your faith in Christ and were born again. Since they are dead to its power (Rom. 6:2), they ought to recognize that fact and not continue in sin. Instead they are to realize they have new “life in Christ,” and they share His resurrection life (Eph. 2:5-6; Col. 2:12-13).

Our sins have been reckoned to Christ and punished in His death on the cross. This is a fact that cannot be changed. His righteousness has been credited to our account. This happened the moment we put our faith in Christ as our Savior. Jesus actually died for our sins as our substitute. He suffered our transgressions (Isa. 53:5-6). “The wages of sin is death,” and Christ paid that debt in full. That is a fact to be reckoned upon ever day of our lives. It is our responsibility to count upon this fact and apply it to our daily lives.

Moreover, He not only died for our sins, but God has credited the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ to our accounting ledger. His right standing in the Father’s sight has been transferred to our account, and God now accounts us righteous in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

The critical point is that the born again Christian count as true this great fact as God sees it. It is a completed transaction. God has acquitted us forever. We must reckon as true what God has already done for us.

We are no longer subject to the reign of sin and death. We are now under the power of the kingdom of God and His rule by grace.

The apostle Paul did not tell us to feel a certain way, but to act on God’s Word and claim these truths for ourselves. When we count on these facts they result in actions and changes in our behaviors. We act by faith on what we know to be the truth. The result is a behavioral change.

Remember, Paul is using an accounting term. If I give my employees a check and say there is money in the bank to cover your check I expect them to go to the bank and cash their checks and collect their money. If they do not they are not reckoning or counting on the money being theirs in the bank. Reckoning is acting on the fact that the money is there.

In these Scriptures God does not command us to become dead to sin. He tells us that we are already dead to sin and alive unto God. He commands us to act on this great truth. These facts are still true even if we do not act on them. That is the tragedy in many believer’s lives. They do not act on the truths about their relationship with Christ.

“We are dead to sin” does not mean we are immune to sin. It does not mean that sin as a force in me is dead. Sin is a force in me, even though its effective power over the believer has been broken. We no longer have to be slaves of sin (Romans 6:6). Sin does not have to dominate our bodies. We do not have to yield to it. We now have a new power within and available to us at all times. We are to learn to think of ourselves as individuals who have been delivered from the power of sin. It does not have to rule over us. There is a sense in which we can be as holy as we want to be.

Sin has not been eradicated from the believer, but we are freed from the bondage of sin. We were slaves whose bondage has been broken. We were slaves to our sinful nature, who have now become new creatures in Christ. We are to count upon the fact that we are dead to sin, and alive to God in Jesus Christ.

Sin is not dead in Christians. It is something that we have to deal with daily because we are sinners. We do face temptation daily, but we do not have to yield to it. Its power has been broken.

Sin has its hold on the believer through our bodies. Sin dwells within. The new man in Christ is dead to sin meaning that the hold is on my body. I now have a choice as to whether I will use my body to serve sin or God. Sin cannot dominate or destroy what I have become in Christ. I can yield to sin, but the new person will abhor sin and long for righteousness. This is why Paul admonishes the Christian, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts” (Rom. 6:12).

We often do sin; therefore, Paul exhorts us to not yield our bodies to sin because we do not have to. We have other options. We are pressing forward to new goals because we no longer are satisfied by what the body of sin offers (Phil. 3:12-14; 2 Cor. 5:17-18). The sharing in this resurrection life of Christ begins at the moment of regeneration, but it will continue as a believer shares eternity with the Lord. Resurrection life is eternal in quality and everlasting in duration.

“Do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Rom. 6:13). Sin does not have to be master over the true Christian. “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (v. 14).

A life of holiness begins with a change in the way we think about what Christ did for us. “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Then we must always act on what we know to be the truth.

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Daily Devotion: You in Me, and I in You

Daily Devotion: You in Me, and I in You

Message by Wil Pounds

You in Me, and I in You

Jesus said to His disciples, “After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (John 14:19-20).

Jesus was speaking of His resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 1-3). God the Father sent the Spirit so that the members of the body would be joined to their Head in a living union. The indwelling Holy Spirit today unites believers to Christ.

The greatest possible incentive to live the Christian life is to realize that you have a perfect standing with God in Christ Jesus. We no longer strive vainly to make ourselves acceptable to God. We have been “made acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” We are already “accepted in the Beloved” because of His death for us on the cross. We are now made the righteousness of God in Christ, and that right relationship with God will abide without change throughout eternity. Relying upon that great Biblical truth gives peace that is beyond all comprehension.

Jesus said, “You in Me, and I in you.” The believer is “in Christ.” The equivalent expression in the letters of the apostle Paul is “in Him.” It is the picture of an organic union with Christ; formed through the power of God the moment a person puts his faith in Christ for salvation. It is the work of the Holy Spirit when we are born spiritually. The Holy Spirit baptizes the believer into the body of Christ.

The apostle Paul uses the figure of a limb in the body being joined into a human body (1 Cor. 12:13). Before a person believes on Christ for salvation he is without Christ, and a time comes when he puts his faith in Christ and he is then “in Christ.” “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” In this beautiful organism, the Holy Spirit joins all believers to Christ the Head of the body. This is the spiritual Body of Christ, and it is not to be confused with any outward, visible organization.

When the sinner trusts Christ, he is born again, and the Spirit immediately enters his body and bears witness that he is a child of God. The Spirit is a resident and will not depart from the believer. Every Christian at the moment he believers on Christ is perfectly and eternally joined by the baptism of the Holy Spirit to the Body of Christ.

It is equally important to keep in mind that because we are “in Christ” we have a new standing before God that is “the infinite righteousness of God” in Christ. God reckons the righteousness of Christ to the person who believes on Him (Rom. 3:22). This righteousness of Christ gives the believer a perfect standing before God. This we receive when we are vitally joined to Christ in the new birth. This new standing with God is nothing less than the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21). It is “made” unto the believer by God (1 Cor. 1:30; Rom. 10:2-4; Phil. 3:8-9; Rom. 3:21-22; 4:3-6, 22-25; Gal. 3:13; Eph. 1:6; Rom. 1:16-17). “We are justified freely by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” God makes us the very righteousness of God in Christ. We are made righteous in His sight. He clothes us with the robes of Christ’s righteousness and justifies us forever. Christ, who is the very righteousness of God, is made the righteousness of God unto us when we are found “in Him.” This is now our standing before God. We are now made the righteousness of God, and it is so related to Christ in vital union with Him that it can and will abide without change for all eternity. This is our perfect standing in Christ. It is also perfectly illustrated by the allegory of the vine (John 15).

Not only does Jesus say we are “in Him,” but He says, “I am in you.” Yes, we are “in Christ,” and Christ is in the believer. Jesus Christ is the current possession of all believers. “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life.” “He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life” (1 John 5:12). “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:17). “Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). The new divine imparted life, eternal life, is the indwelling Son of God.

When we put our faith in Christ, we receive Him. Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). The Holy Spirit has imparted a new life to us. Only the born again believer has this new divine life. It is “Christ in you” (2 Cor. 13:5).

Our experience with God ought to go deeper and deeper, and it will as we yield to the Spirit of Truth and permit Him to teach us and guide us. If we love God and obey Him, He will manifest His love to us in a deeper way each day.

Because of our vital union with Christ, our Head we receive from Him a constant supply of energy and resources for our every need. As we make ourselves available to Him we receive His wisdom, grace and power to live the abundant life. The life of the Head and the Vine flows into the members of His body. The life that I now live is “Christ in me,” and I in Christ.

Selah!

Christian Article, Houses, Part 1

Christian Article, Houses, Part 1

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

Human freedom requires the “FAMILY” to be stable and obedient to God’s love laws. In this world of consequences, free will, sin, hatred, and violence; discontented man constantly places himself and others into unstable conditions, all because we fail to pursue Trinity’s perfect path. Agape love, goodness, and forgiveness is thus replaced by disobedience and fruits of the flesh. . For the sake of eternal freedom and dominion of earth; so sufferers can find Christ-filled hope; and so the church and parents can manufacture quality future leaders of tomorrow; we must all surrender to the Holy Spirit, the source of all freedom.

 

In a consequential world, where actions of one affect the well-being of another, freedom requires sound decision making. Too many times, bad decisions of self and or others place a person into unstable conditions, creating struggles to remain free and to have hope. For example, John steals from Joan, creating financial chaos in Joan’s life. Ralph has premarital intercourse with a sixteen year old girl, Amy, and then leaves Amy, after she gets pregnant. Amy thus has to live with the guilt of the sin, and also the struggles of being a single parent.  Finally, Ron gets drunk and accidentally kills a teenage pedestrian while intoxicated.  Unsound decisions have irreversible consequences, not just for self, but also possibly for others.

 

Just as one man’s mistakes (Adam) imprisoned generations to sin, another man’s (Jesus) obedience gave mankind to opportunity to experience both freedom and intimacy with God. Even though our actions will presumably never affect society like how Jesus and Adam did, never underestimate the rippling effect of our decisions’ consequences upon the human race.

 

 

Point 1: God created mankind: to love, be fruitful, multiply, and have dominion

 

God purposed man to have dominion over the Earth, rather than “life becoming masters of men.” This happens when we absolutely love God and, other humans life self. These are the purposes of men:

“Be fruitful and multiply.  Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” (Genesis 1:28)

“And you must Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:3-31)

Romans 13:10 says “Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

When we love a person like self, and rely upon God’s wisdom for direction, interdependency would rule as man would cease creating “stumbling blocks” to another.

In man’s quest to be fruitful and multiply, man must choose Holy Spirit to produce fruit of the spirit (agape love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, and self-control) in his life. If we want to multiply in number through sexual reproduction, then it is critical for our actions not to teach them how to evil.

Christian Article, Houses, part 2

Christian Article, Houses, part 2

Point 2: Building Your House Upon a Solid Foundation
Key verses: Luke 6:46-49

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? ‘Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. “But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”

Building a house requires having a solid foundation to base itself upon. When the house isn’t built structurally right, or if the mortar isn’t the right materials or not cohesive to keeping bricks firm and united, then the house becomes very susceptible to collapse as floodwaters beat against the structure.

Using an analogy, a “house” can represent “I, you, we, family, school, church, community, nation, and or world”. Going back to Luke 6:46-49, if “houses” don’t base its foundation upon “listening and obeying Christ’s teachings”, then people in it are susceptible to collapsing into a “heap of ruins.” Inversely, obedience makes “our house” rigid and firm in spite of floodwaters, “because it is well-built”.

Floodwaters today beat upon our “house” as our sins have done us in. Riots and rabid racism, countless killings of the innocent, domestic violence and endless wars, disheartening criticism and quarreling, thievery and deceit, rape and child abuse, anger outbursts, drunkenness and adultery, and selfishness, greed, etc. has for many, made life masters of men.

Who is the tyrant that tyrannizes mankind? Man, himself.

“Small communities grow great through harmony, great ones fall to pieces through discord”. (Sallust, Roman historian & politician (86 BC – 34 BC)

Christian Article, Houses, part 3

Christian article, “Houses”, part 3

 

Point 3: Billy Graham once said, “Man has two great spiritual needs. One is for forgiveness. The other is for goodness.”

3.A, “Selfishness and greed, individual or national, cause most of our troubles” (Harry Truman).
Selfishness and greed are problematic when the desire of attaining something leads to personal injury of another, inclusive of self. For example, if someone selfishly rapes a girl to satisfy his greedy, lustful, sexual desires for sex; the consequence is that the woman now struggles with PSTD her entire life as her world is now scarred, Selfish acts can definitely have negative consequence to man.

“Divisions in mankind are unnatural. They are man-made” (D’Andre Lampkin). When man first sinned, he felt shame, rejection, and unworthiness as sin separated him from God. This separation between man and God is the prime division of all man’s divisions; once it is properly taken care off, then all the other ones in time presumably will fall in place. For when you are right with God, then you are right with your neighbor, since LOVE (God) is not happy when human relationships aren’t right.

Man is often faced with life struggles. Trying to overcome this is very hard, especially when the circumstances require much faith and perseverance. If someone greedily injures the life struggler for personal gain, then the loss suffered by the injured party can potentially cripple the individual’s chance of freedom and morale, to continue on.

Many times we are like a “spiritual wanderer” who roams about place to place, trying to find closure from a dark past, influenced by selfishness and greed. Taking a chance, risking what you have, and placing your faith in hope of a better life occurs – until someone’s sin (or your own) sabotages your chance of freedom. So you try, try again until you get hurt by another sin, and so on.

Williams Shakespeare once said, “In time we hate which we often fear”. After repeated injuries, man becomes fearful, anxious, and vigilant toward potential sources of harm. Soon after man becomes hateful, angry, bitter, and possibly retribution. What we do next determines the fate of man.

Man is greedy because of perceived unmet needs. He is selfish when he thinks more about self than others. Sin not only separated man from God, but also man from man. Getting hurt by another often leads to isolation and then selfishness. “Why should I trust someone to help me when the chances I will get hurt in doing so?”, says the injured person.

Margaret J. Wheatley once said, “There is so much anger, distrust, greed, and pettiness that we are losing our capacity to work well together”

“Hate is a cancer that spreads one cell at a time.” (David Pelzer). It grows when God’s Love is not present, and multiplies when children are not taught responsible living. The more people in this world who sin and harm others, the more angry people get in this overpopulated world. Without being filled with the Spirit, anger leads to bitterness, hatred, destruction, and retribution. Houses cannot continue to be erect if retribution continues to become the habits of life.

In our own capacities, man is unable to love and forgive the ways he should. Daily we should pray for God’s empowerment to love and forgive the persons who have hurt us in the past. With our sin natures potentially creating havoc on other’s lives, we need to be filled with the fruit of the spirit, in order to love and forgive properly.

Once we realize this, and become dependent upon the work of the Spirit, we will find victories in our battles versus for retribution and forgiveness.

In Romans 12:17-21, it says:
“Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back, says the Lord. Instead, ‘If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, given them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads. Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.”

Bitterness imprisons life; love releases it. Harry Emerson Fosdick

Point 4 “Love is the only sane and satisfactory solution to the problem of human existence”. Erich Fromm

Point 4A: “The presence of the Holy Spirit is the keystone of all our hopes.” – John Nelson Darby

Man desperately needs his broken, evil broke heart fixed. He has a spiritual thirst that only Christ and the Holy Spirit can correct. In John 4:114, it says “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Rivers of living water shall flow from his heart.

When the unbeliever becomes a Christian, the Holy Spirit now resides in his soul, giving him everlasting life. When the new believer daily surrenders his life to the Spirit, will produce “godliness and contentment, leading to great gain”. (1 Timothy 6:6).

The Apostle Paul experienced joy in spite of the fact that he had no possessions, and that he suffered greatly. The conversion of Saul, a heinous Christian murderer, to the Apostle Paul, one of the greatest saints ever, proves that God can make hearts of evil into good.

In 2 Corinthians 6:4-10, Paul “patiently endured troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. He was beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. . . He was ignored, even though well known. Paul lived close to death, but was still alive. Beaten but not killed. In spite of all that, Paul writes: “Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.”

POINT 5: THE SECRET OF EXPERIENCING JOY

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. John 15:9-11

Man experiences the joy of Christ when man “remains in God’s Love” and “obeys God’s commands”. The command God has for us – “Love one another as I have loved you”.

 

Love and obedience is the key to freedom. Without the Holy Spirit, we are unable to Love like we should.

God gives us a command which is impossible for us to do alone in our own strength – to love unconditionally like Christ. Only when the Holy Spirit is present inside us and is given permission to spread to those in our sphere can man have the capacity to love like Christ. It’s man’s responsibility to choose to love like Christ, but it is the Holy Spirit responsibility to put it into action, by producing fruits of the spirit, revealed in our actions. “With man, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

 

Holy Spirit only exists in the lives of the believer, which takes place at time of spiritual conversion. Thus, if the majority of Christians would only surrender to their life purpose of leading people to Christ, and daily allow the Holy Spirit to implement that God-given dream into action, many of the problems of hate, etc. would go away, as the Spirit and his fruit of the spirit would be in their hearts. Then through sanctification, the Holy Spirit can daily work to make us more obedient and Christ-like, so the Trinity can use us more in His work of transforming this world.

christian article, houses (part 4)

Christian article, houses (part 4)

POINT 6: THE FAMILY
Here are some quotes, depicting dire need of producing moral families:
– “The way you help heal the world is you start with your own family”. Mother Teresa

– Mohandas Gandhi once said, “If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.”
– The most important of the Lord’s work you will ever do will be the work you do within the walls of your own home. Harold B. Lee

Deborah Butler said:

The home or family is the basic unit of all society. Strong families are important for the success of society and the success of the Church. When you have a society as we have now, that doesn’t recognize the family, that society will eventually fall apart. (Deborah Butler)

And when you have a particular church that doesn’t recognize the family or the importance of the home life, you will have an unsuccessful church. (Deborah Butler)

FAMILY/COMMUNITY BUILDING

God created us to be “fruitful and multiply”. Goodness and forgiveness should be the fruit we produce though the Spirit, and not selfishness, greed, and hatred. KEEP BOTH THE CHURCH AND FAMILY STRONG so we can go about rebuilding this country and world.

Only through schools and parents can the child learn right from wrong, in significance to goodness and forgiveness, proven in the life of Jesus and His death on the cross.

Churches are comprised of families, which consists of parents and children. Rebellious children are developed when schools and parents teach “junk” rather than goodness, love, and forgiveness.

Families and churches of today must lead families and churches of tomorrow toward goodness and forgiveness. It not, our future leaders’ sinful natures will lead them to endless acts of retribution.

Leaders of future generations must be taught at an early age to build habits of God-centered living (no selfishness, greed, hatred.)

According to Adam Smith, ‘To feel much for others and little for ourselves; to restrain our selfishness and exercise our benevolent affections, constitute the perfection of human nature”.

People in the CHURCH are also FAMILY members in their home, as well as being members of SOCIETY. Thus, when the moral character of the CHURCH’s members is changed, also affected is FAMILY people and society members. Since moral character of an individual can be changed for the worst or better, it is critical that the CHURCH is right, to make families and citizens of society morally right. If the CHURCH is not teaching LOVE and SANCTIFICATION to family parents and children, as well as to society, the world thus, suffers.

A house needs to be built with a stable foundation to remain firm in spite of the floodwaters of life. If our children – future leaders and future parents of society – are not being taught the dire need of “obedience” and “loving unconditionally”, we are setting them up with more detrimental unnecessary hardships, failures, and destruction.

Freedom of the human race happens when man choose obedience, LOVE, and surrender to the Holy Spirit, over sin, selfishness, hatred, and retribution.

Galatians 5:16, “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.”

christian article, “Houses” (part 5)

christian article, part 5

POINT 7: CHANGING THE WORLD
According to Adam Smith, ‘To feel much for others and little for ourselves; to restrain our selfishness and exercise our benevolent affections, constitute the perfection of human nature”

God has a giant-sized purpose for each of us to achieve – to create a better world for the human race. All we have to do is to seek God’s will, obey His teachings, and to LOVE one another, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

A lot of people think you have to do great things to make change in this world. However, Howard Zinn once said,

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world”.

Concluding quotes

“It’s funny how one thing, one moment, and one person can change your life in seconds”. (Pininterest)

”With one kind gesture you can change a life. One person at a time you can change the world, one day at a time we can change everything. (Steve Maraboli)

“It’s amazing how one person’s act of kindness can change the course of your life. Today follow their lead. Pay it forward.” (Pinterest)

One smile, can start a friendship. One word can end a fight. One look can save a relationship. One person can change your life. (Unknown)

“I am only one, but still am one. I cannot do everything, but I still can do something. I will not refuse to do something I can do”. Helen Keller

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try”. John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Conclusion

Ephesians 2:14-18

“For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.

He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us’.

Barriers: because of sin, since Adam, man has struggled with disunity, hostility, and separation, from man to man, man to God. God didn’t want this happen so badly that His Son died on the cross, giving man another choice toward godliness and being masters of all life.

Because of the cross, the walls have been “broken down”. There can now be reconciliation with man and God; selfish, greedy hearts can become Holy Spirit-filled ones; and man can become as one. Differences in race, gender, religious affiliation, levels of income – it doesn’t matter, someday every day Christian would be considered a child of God, and the differences that separate us will separate us no more.

There will be a day where the walls of selfishness, hostility, greed, and disunity won’t prevents us from loving one another, there would be a day when everyone is considered the same, and where people trust one another without boundaries. There is victory in Ephesians 2:14-15.

In our houses, let’s knock down some walls. “With man, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

Daily Devotion: Our Old Carnal Sinful Nature

Daily Devotion: Our Old Carnal Sinful Nature

Message by Wil Pounds

Our Old Carnal Sinful Nature
The Christian makes progress in sanctification in his daily life as he yields to the Holy Spirit. He is in perpetual war against the old nature or flesh. The greater power in the conflict is the Spirit of God who indwells the true believer. The indwelling and filling of the Holy Spirit is the secret to our spiritual growth in the likeness of Christ.

The apostle Paul recognized the true believer’s battle with sin in Galatians 5:16-17. The flesh and the spirit are in continuous war. The human body is not evil per se, but we do have an old nature with its continuing tendency to sin and rebellion against God. It is this old flesh nature or self that wars with the Spirit. “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please” (Galatians 5:16-17).

We have an old nature that has a continuing tendency to sin and rebel against God. The born again believer does have within him contrary desires and urges. The old fallen instincts of the Adamic nature are not yet destroyed. They constantly distract us from doing the will of God and cause us to sin.

However, we do have the indwelling Holy Spirit who constantly wages war against this old fallen nature. He is progressively working within us to renew us in the likeness of Christ.

When we are born again, a new nature or disposition is created within the soul. The work of the Holy Spirit in our progressive sanctification affects both this new disposition as well as the old self.

We have a responsibility to cooperate with the gracious operation of the Holy Spirit by which He delivers us from the pollution of sin, renews our whole person according to the image of God, and enable us to please Him in our daily lives.

It is by the work of sanctification that this “pollution” or corruption of our nature is in the process of being removed. Of course, it will not be totally removed until we see Jesus in His glory.

It is by progressive sanctification that God cures our sinning precisely by curing our sinful nature. He makes the tree good that the fruit may be good. Our personal sanctification is a progressive and gradual process, not an instantaneous one. In fact, it is a lifetime process which began with our spiritual regeneration and will continue until we see Jesus in glory.

The Holy Spirit lives within us in order to change us in the inner most depths of our person, not merely to influence our emotions and behaviors. He works in order to eradicate our sinfulness and not merely to counteract its effects. He is working toward a radical change in us (2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 12:2).

God’s way of cleansing the stream is to cleanse the fountain. The Holy Spirit goes to the source of our problem. He is not content to attack the stream of our activities; He goes directly to the heart out of which the issues of life flow (Mk. 7:20-23). The Bible does not give us any promise that the fountain will be completely cleansed all at once, and therefore no promise that the stream will flow perfectly pure from the beginning. There is no promise of a once-for-all eradication of our old nature in this life. It does, however, teach a progressive sanctification of the believer in this life.

When we were born again, a change in direction and disposition took place in our lives. We are now a “new creature” (2 Cor. 5:17). We now have a new direction, new disposition, new attitudes, etc. toward God.

Even though we are a new creation, we are not totally new. We still have in us an inclination toward sin, and we will until that day when “we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2).

We do have “native tendencies toward evil” which consists of those old characteristics or attributes which incline the believer toward sin. It is our old nature or old self that we still retain even though we have experienced spiritual regeneration.

In the work of the Holy Spirit, this old nature is progressively being eradicated and the new nature is being “nourished” and perfected.

The more we can mature and grow in Christ likeness, the more we become aware of sin in our lives. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. But He also comforts our hearts with the knowledge that “there is now no condemnation for those in Christ.”

The apostle Paul is emphasizing a continual habitual action on the part of the believer as he conducts his daily “Walk by the Spirit.” Let this be your habitual manner of life. When we are under the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit, we “will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

Verse seventeen stresses the continual opposition of “the flesh against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh.”

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Daily Devotion: Christ Our Sanctification

Daily Devotion: Christ Our Sanctification

Message by Wil Pounds

Christ Our Sanctification
The cross of Jesus Christ is a demonstration of the infinite wisdom of God.

Every philosophy of life is proven by what it ultimately produces in a person’s life. God’s wisdom produces perfect righteousness.

God made Jesus “who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).

God in His grace gives a believing sinner a right relationship with Him based on the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ. Jesus died in the sinner’s place. “The wages of sin is death,” and Jesus died that death for us. Christ is our righteousness and for all who trust in Him as their Savior.

The apostle Paul tells us not only that Jesus Christ is the wisdom and the righteousness of God, but He is also our sanctification. “By His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30, NASB 1995).

The Scriptures presents three tenses of our sanctification. We have a positional sanctification. Our position in Christ by faith is true regardless of the degree of our spirituality (1 Cor. 6:11; 1:2; Heb. 10:10). We have a progressive sanctification, which refers to our whole life (1 Pet. 1:6). We shall also have a future sanctification because we are not yet fully set apart. We shall see Christ and be complete in Him (1 Jn. 3:1-3; Eph. 5:26-27; Jude 24-25).

Christ imputed is not our sanctification. Christ accredited to the believer by the work of the Holy Spirit is our sanctification. Our sanctification is a process of development and growth. It will not be completed until the day of our complete and perfect redemption with resurrected bodies when Christ returns.

We are to grow up in all things to Christ. It is a matter of growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Sanctification is a process of separation by which our Lord Jesus Christ is imparted by the Holy Spirit to our daily life. It does take time to grow spiritually. But it should be a steady and continuous process of growing in the likeness of Christ.

The bottom line of all true wisdom is, “Am I becoming more and more like Jesus Christ?” God’s wisdom in Christ brings us into conformity with Him who was perfectly conformed to God the Father.

Christ imputed is my righteousness. Christ imparted is my sanctification. One day I will be perfectly conformed to God in Christ. That will be my glorification.

“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2-3, NASB 1995).

In the matchless wisdom of God, we are to be in continual pursuit of holiness. The standard had not changed: “Be holy, for I am holy.”

In His wisdom God has given us the responsibility of walking in holiness. He still says, “Pursue holiness, for without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). It is a lifelong task.

This practical daily work of sanctification is a process, and it’s something we never completely attain in this life. As we grow in our separation from sin and conform to the will of God in one area, the Holy Spirit reveals a need in another area. We will always be pursuing holiness in this lifetime.

We are not alone in this spiritual struggle. No one can attain this goal in his or her own strength. God has equipped us with the indwelling Holy Spirit and spiritual amour.

God wants us to walk in obedience to Him. As we obey His Word, we grow in our sanctification. God gives us the power to live the Christian life, but in His wisdom He expects us to assume our responsibility in obeying Him.

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

 

Daily Devotion: Persevering Grace

Daily Devotion: Persevering Grace

Message by Wil Pounds

Persevering Grace
If the grace of God were suddenly taken away from you, what would you be? If God removed all of His restraints of love and grace, what would you do?

Jude, in the last two verses of his postcard epistle, stated our need to preserve clearly. “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).

It is impossible to live the Christian life without keeping ourselves in the love of God. “Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life” (v. 21). He is able if we are willing!

True believers are “preserved” and cannot be lost. However, there is the danger of our stumbling or going astray in out daily walk. We can lose our fellowship, but not our sonship. If we persist in our disobedience, the Holy Spirit will chasten us and bring us back into fellowship with God. God in His sovereign grace has chosen and has saved some of the greatest sinners who have walked on the face of the earth. He has reached down and cleansed some of the foulest sins ever committed, and He is still doing it and will continue until Jesus returns.

The LORD God will be glorified throughout all eternity by that great body of people who are trophies of God’s grace. “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him” (Ephesians 1:4). We have been adopted and placed in God’s family “to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved” (v.6). Our whole life is to be lived “to the praise of His glory.”

Spurgeon observed, “A thousand Christians can scarcely do such honor to their Master as one hypocrite can do dishonor to Him. If you have ever tasted that the Lord is gracious, pray that your foot slip not. It would be infinitely better to bury you in the earth than see you buried in sin.”

When Jesus returns in glory with those saints who have gone to heaven before us, they will be arrayed in the righteousness of Christ to the praise of God’s glory. Christ will “present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:27).

The constant appeal in the New Testament epistles is for the believer to persevere in prayer, “So that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,” (Philippians 2:15).

To remain faithful we must live and walk as in the sight of God. Every born again believer must give great care to perseverance. “Give all diligence to make your calling and election sure.”

Those individuals whom Jesus Christ has taken into vital union with Himself shall be with Him where He is for all eternity.

A simple faith brings us into that vital union with Christ. Jesus Christ keeps that new born faith alive, and that faith enables us to persevere and enter heaven. “What is the value of union to Christ if that union does not insure salvation?” Spurgeon asked. God makes all His chosen people persevere to the end.

Jude teaches us that there are none so bad as those who once seemed to be good. They are like salt that has lost its character. It is good for nothing.

The person who has been truly saved will persevere. He brings forth fruits of grace through the inner work of the Holy Spirit. Perseverance is the badge of the true child of God.

The blood of Jesus shall never lose its power to cleanse all who call upon His name.

Free grace saves the humble sinner who will believe on Jesus Christ. But it not only saves, it keeps us saved. The way to be saved is to simply trust Christ. There is nothing the sinner can do, great or small, because Jesus Christ has done it all for everyone who believes on Him.

All that a just and righteous God owes any of us is punishment in hell, but God in His sovereign, saving grace has chosen to reach down to us in our sin and spiritual poverty and save us. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.”

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Daily Devotion: Come With Boldness For Grace and Mercy

Come with Boldness for Grace and Mercy

message by Wil Pounds

The main argument of the Epistle of Hebrews is that “we have a great High Priest” (Heb. 4:14; 1:3; 2:17f; 3:1; 4:14-12:3). Jesus has passed through the upper heavens to the throne of God (1:3). The writer of Hebrews makes it clear that Aaron was a “high priest,” but Jesus Christ is “the great High Priest.” No Old Testament priest could ever assume that awesome title.

Jesus is great because He is both God and man. He is “Jesus, the Son of God.” He is the Savior who became flesh, and He is “the Son of God.” Jesus affirmed His humanity and His deity. As a great High Priest Jesus has “passed through the heavens” and ascended to the Father. He is enthroned. It is His “throne of grace” to which we go as believers.

On the Day of Atonement the high priest of Israel would go behind the veil and sprinkle blood on the “mercy seat” (Lev. 16). However, every believer in Jesus Christ is encouraged to “come boldly unto the throne of grace” where He ministers grace and mercy. We are invited to go to our High Priest at any time, in any circumstance, indeed daily, and find help in our need. There is no trial too great, or temptation too strong that our great High Priest cannot give us His grace and strength.

“Let us draw near” to our great High Priest “that we may receive mercy.” Where do you turn when you have a sense of sin and guilt and unworthiness? When we go to Jesus we receive mercy. Jesus did not give us what we deserve, but what we do not deserve. At the throne we experience and learn that God pardons, loves and accepts us in His grace.

Grace is the power of God working in us. At the throne of grace He gives us strength in the inner life to conquer temptation. The grace of God is always well-timed. It comes just when we need it. We find the infinite mercy of God’s love and grace working in us when we come to His throne.

Moreover, we are not just encouraged to go to the throne when we are in need. We are to “draw near with boldness.” We have “confidence to enter.” The blood of Jesus gives us perfect confidence in drawing near to our righteous Father. We enter in with boldness and confidence because we enter covered with the perfect righteousness of Christ.

Jesus encourages us to enter in with the highest level of confidence, and the unhesitating assurance that there is nothing that can hinder us. The writer of Hebrews has in mind our drawing near to God’s throne without fear, without doubt, with no other feeling but that which a child feels in going to his loving father.

The Scriptures admonish us to draw near with boldness. Jesus the Son of God is our High Priest. We do not have to work ourselves up emotionally or psych ourselves up to enter into his presence. No, the living, loving High Priest, who is able to sympathize and give grace for timely help, breathes and works this boldness in the soul that is willing to lose itself in Him. All that He asks of us is to make ourselves available to Him. This boldness is natural when we are gazing with our eyes fixed upon Him! Jesus, found and experienced within our heart by faith, is our boldness. As the Son, whose house we are will dwell within us, and by His Spirit’s working, He will be our boldness and our entrance to the Father.

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Daily Devotion: Servants Have No Rights

Daily Devotion: Servants Have No Rights

Message by Wil Pounds

Servants Have No Rights
We live in a day when everyone insists on his or her personal rights. The courts of law are full of people who feel their “rights” have been infringed upon grievously. It is the theme in every lawyer’s office. “You have your rights,” the highway billboard shouts to passing passengers.

While pastoring in the U. S., I received phone calls from lawyers quite often saying they were “Christian lawyers” looking out for the “rights” of pastors and if I ever needed good legal counsel they were readily available.

That is the sad state of affairs in the world in which we live.

However, Jesus said servants have no rights. Read carefully His words to would be followers:

q “Whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5:39).

q “And if anyone wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also” (v. 40).

q “And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two” (v. 41).

q “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you” (v. 42).

Have you ever seen those posted in a law office?

Christians have no rights to retaliation, “getting even,” to their own time, money, etc.

How can this be?

We are stewards of God’s possessions. He owns it all, and we belong to Him.

The apostle Paul reminded members of a church that was quick to enter into lawsuits, “You were bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23).

Even how we use our bodies is to be in accordance with God’s perfect will (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:17-20; 7:23-24; 2 Cor. 6:14-18).

If is a strange cry when we hear women say, “It is my body; I can do with it as I please.”

It is hard giving up our perceived human rights. We give them up in order to exercise a greater purpose. The apostle Paul said, “Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible” (1 Cor. 9:16). We can sum up his philosophy of freedom in his words in verse twenty-two. “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak, I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some.” Paul did not want anything to stand in the way of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

What are the “rights” of the servant of Christ? When we give up our perceived self-rights God takes over and operates according to His rights.

“Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:19-21).

There is a great relief in knowing that we do not have to lower ourselves to “tit for tat, hate for hate,” “eye for eye,” and “tooth for tooth.”

It is easy to become slaves to people and things. “He who dies with the most toys wins.” Or does he?

A better way is to realize that everything we have comes from the loving hands of a gracious God. We receive by giving, and we gain by losing. How can I use what He has entrusted to me in the best possible way to bring honor and glory to His name?

Speaking of the Father’s kingdom Jesus said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). In the context Jesus is speaking of all those things people fight over.

Jesus set the example for every servant. He “committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (1 Peter 2:22-24).

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

Daily devotion: The Guidance Of The Holy Spirit

Daily Devotion: The Guidance of the Holy Spirit

Message by Wil Pounds
The apostle Paul experienced the leading of the Holy Spirit in his daily life. He saw a great spiritual principle in the Christian life. “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14).

How has God been leading you lately? Is the Spirit of God taking you deeper and deeper into the love of Christ? Has He illumined your mind and heart to a greater longing for God’s righteousness? Has He led you to individuals hungering and thirsting for the righteousness of God? Has He brought into your life unbelievers with whom to share the saving grace of God?

It is the ministry of the Holy spirit to take sinners and sanctify them. He sets them apart for God’s unique purpose.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of holiness and He can only lead and guide holy people. He can lead us into nothing else than the very holiness of God.

There is a place in which the unsanctified mind and heart cannot enter. There are hidden recesses of the heart, deep down in the unseen realm of the human life, where the Holy Spirit dwells and where He teaches us right decisions and sanctified purposes. It is in this hidden sphere of activity in the inner life that the Holy Spirit takes up His residence and there He moves and impels us to become filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Spiritual understanding comes only with the growth of the spiritual person. One who wishes to know the leading of God must yield himself completely—mind, heart, will, imagination, personality—to the control of the Holy Spirit. The Christian must open up his life to the continual abiding presence of the Spirit of holiness and power.

“An angel of the Lord” told Philip the evangelist to go down a “desert road” (Acts 8:27). In obedience “he rose and went” and along the way he met a court official to the queen of the Ethiopians. God had prepared the official’s heart as he sat in his chariot reading Isaiah 53. The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this chariot” (v. 29). Philip explained the meaning of Isaiah 53:7-8, “and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him” (v. 35). Guided and directed by the Holy Spirit Philip “kept preaching the gospel to all the cities, until he came to Caesarea” (v. 40).

The Holy Spirit is the administrator of world missions. He chooses the people and the places where He wants us to serve. He puts the right person in the right place at the right time to share Jesus Christ with the right person. He leads, guides, opens and closes door at just the right time—His own perfect timing.

The apostle Paul was on his second missionary journey revisiting churches that were planted on his previous missionary trip. Paul, Silas and Timothy were passing through cities, strengthening the churches in the faith, as well as seeing daily increase in people being saved (Acts 16:4-5).

“They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and when they came to Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas” (vv. 6-9). It seemed that everywhere Paul and his team tried to enter to preach the gospel the door was closed after they left Galatia. Did Paul give up? No. He “kept on trying, attempting” to go into Bithynia. He was not being disobedient. Paul was searching to see where God was at work and in the process it became evident the Holy Spirit was the one doing the forbidding. The Administrator of missions closed the door. That is not where He was at work. “The Spirit of Jesus did not permit them” (v. 7).

Paul and his missionary team were in Troas, “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a certain man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us’” (v. 9). Dr. Luke who wrote Acts gives us the impression that he could have identified the man if he wanted to. Perhaps it was Luke the beloved physician who was the man in the vision. Paul saw the vision and “immediately we sought to ago into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them” (v. 10). Paul shared the vision with Silas and Timothy and “immediately we sought to go into Macedonia.” Their hearts were united as they sought the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

In obedience to His leading they “Therefore put out to sea from Troas, we ran a straight course . . .” (v. 11). “We ran a course.” “We—the author joined them at Troas. We will not know until we get to heaven who that “man” was, but I suspect he has already subtly informed us.

The Holy Spirit led Paul to Philippi (v. 12), and a prayer meeting down by a riverside (v. 13). That is where God was at work and the place He wanted His messengers to proclaim His message of sovereign grace.

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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