Our Ailing Souls

“And as many as touched Him were made well.”

~ Mark 6:56b

Jesus’ earthly ministry was filled with times of wonderful and miraculous healings. People from far and wide would flock to Jesus simply to “touch the hem of His garment” that they might know the healing power of Christ. And as many as touched Him were made well. Yet, when we take the deeper and more spiritual application of this passage, and we speak in terms of Christ’s power to heal us of sin, that great spiritual malady, where are the multitudes seeking His divine salve for our ailing souls? May we always remember Jesus does not only heal the body, but the soul. The full manifestation of His power is it’s efficacy over sin and death. Therefore, let us flock to Christ to remedy our spirit, to touch Him, and be made well.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Oh Great Divine Physician, come and touch the hearts of Thy people that we might know Your wonderful power and love in our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Beauty Full Sight

The beauty of God,

it can’t all be seen.

His majesty high,

our sin between.

Thus came the Son,

arrayed as our Light.

That all may view,

God’s beauty full sight.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Lord Jesus, You are the Light of mankind. Help me to reflect Your light to others that, through me, they may see Your loving hope and salvation. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Before It’s Too Late

“A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before Him. Thousands upon thousands attended Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened”.

~ Daniel 7:10

Daniel’s apocalyptic vision of God’s final judgment should strike fear in the hearts of those outside the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not be one of the ten thousand times ten thousand who go to stand before our great and final Judge with nothing to plead your case but your own unworthiness. Make it your life’s ambition and supreme concern to cling to the salvation offered only by faith in the Jesus Christ. For once the court is seated, and the books of judgment are open, it will be too late.

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, this prayer is for all who do not know the redeeming touch of your Beloved Son. May You open their hearts and their souls to receive Your saving grace of eternal life before it is too late. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Excellent Grace

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

~ Romans 8:1

One of the most glorious truths of the Gospel is that faith in Jesus Christ removes the sin guilt we naturally incur. That is, by nature, we are children of God’s just wrath and rightful condemnation (Eph. 2:3). The penalty for sin is nothing less than eternal separation from God and condemnation for sin. Yet, the good news is there is hope! Those who “are in Christ Jesus” are cleansed, justified, sanctified and delivered from such a terrible condition. We are those who no longer “walk” [that is live] according to the flesh [in sinful ways] but we can be those who walk according to the Spirit [that is in faithful humble living unto God]. And it is the same to whom Jesus promised eternal life (John 3:16). May we praise the Lord for His excellent grace!

~ apl

Prayer Life Pause – Father, thank you for saving me from my sins. Now please help me to live according to Your will and Spirit each and every day. In Jesus’ name,. amen.

Certainly Not!

“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!”

~ Romans 6:16

Those who would use the grace of God and the gift of eternal salvation as license to sin understand neither grace nor salvation. Though sadly, I fear many, practically, do just that. We rationalize our sin. We think to ourselves, “I’m saved, I go to church, I’m a basically good person – surely God won’t count this sin against me”. And yet once this kind of depraved thinking has crept into our hearts and minds, then just about anything is free game at that point.

Should we think because we have tasted the wonderful grace of God it’s ok to go back and drink the bitter waters of sinful living? The Scriptures are clear: Certainly not! Some translations render that phrase “God forbid!”. The grace of God is freedom, but it is freedom from sin and strength for holy living and faithfully serving the God and Christ of our salvation. Grace is license, not to sin, but to serve. What then? Will you use the grace of God to sin or to serve?

Prayer Life Pause: Father, help me to walk away from sin and to walk more in Your grace each and every day. In Jesus’ name, amen.

~ apl

Psalm 149

Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, And His praise in the assembly of saints. Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Let them praise His name with the dance; Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp. For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory; Let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand,  To execute vengeance on the nations, And punishments on the peoples;  To bind their kings with chains, And their nobles with fetters of iron;  To execute on them the written judgment – This honor have all His saints. Praise the LORD!

Having Done All, Stand

“And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers.”

~ Acts 26:6

The Apostle Paul understood what it meant to be judged for his faith. This man who once mocked, ridiculed and persecuted Christians now stood under the same judgment of others he once stood over. Paul had come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and knew it had been promised and prophesied by God to their forefathers in Israel. Yet, the majority of the people were still blinded to this truth and self-righteously judged those who had come to confess and believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God (Mt. 16:16)

If you are judged by others for your faith in the Lord Jesus, stand firm (Phil. 4:1). Stand in humility and grace as a living testimony to the loving salvation purchased for you by your Savior. Cling to the hope that even those, like the Apostle Paul, who once judged others for their new-found faith, can be won over by the Gospel of Christ and the mercies of God seen through your faithfulness even in the most difficult of circumstances caused by the judgments, mocking and ridicule of others. And having done all, stand (Eph. 6:13).

~ apl

Saved By Works

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

~ Matthew 5:17-18

Jesus spoke in many different ways about His divine purpose in coming to this earth. He spoke in terms of offering salvation and eternal life. He talked about gathering His people together, shepherding His sheep, tending to His flocks. But what He says right here in Matthew 5:17-18 is possibly the most important aspect of Christ’s redemptive ministry on earth – that is His perfectly fulfilling God’s Law. Because, without that, without the fulfillment of the Law, there is no redemption and therefore no salvation. So why then was it imperative that Jesus fulfill the Law of God in order to save sinners?

The reason why all are now under the curse of sin as a result of Adam’s Fall is because God did not set aside His law simply because of our failure. God did not destroy His command simply because of Adam’s inability and unwillingness to keep it. God’s holy Law abides and remains as our great moral standard. Why? Because God’s perfect Law is a reflection of His own perfect character. Therefore as through one man’s disobedience to God’s law we were all lost, it is through another man’s perfect obedience we have the way of salvation. Or to put it another way, we are most certainly saved by works, they are just not our own works, we are saved through the work of Jesus Christ in perfectly fulfilling the Law of God on our behalf.

Yet salvation, we must confess the Bible teaches is also by grace through faith too, isn’t it? And how is this? Because when you come to faith in Christ, God who is rich in mercy takes the perfect obedience of His Son to His Law and graciously imputes or accounts it as your righteousness as if as if you yourself had perfectly kept God’s Law your entire life. Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t it impossible to fathom? Yet, that’s the grace God in of salvation – that the perfect unblemished work of Christ is applied to you when, by faith, you embrace Jesus Christ and His saving work.

We are saved by good works unto good works. As much as possible we are to imitate Christ. We are saved by Christ’s good work of perfect obedience to God’s Law which He came to fulfill and that He graciously imputes to us that we might in turn and with the help of the Holy Spirit, strive, however imperfectly, to do the good works of obedience ourselves. And we know we will never keep God’s law perfectly as Christ did, but God knows our heart, and He sees our motives and to Him, what the Scriptures seem to teach is that God earnestly desires from His people, not heartless cold outward conformity, but lives that are moved from a deep abiding heartfelt desire to love God and to fulfill all His Word.

~ apl