The Carpenter's Chapel (4)

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Jim1999, May 9, 2004.

  1. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    The Carpenter's Chapel is a quiet place for devotional studies, and led by three pastors. The aim is to bring us all to the place where we find the Master Carpenter who will do a work in us.

    If you come to visit, you are welcome, regardless of your denominational affiliation.

    Cheers, and God bless,

    Jim
     
  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Monday, 10th May, 2004

    Apollyon has tried to persuade Christian to come back to the old way, but Christian has stood firmly. Now we see a new, vicious, terrible side of Apollyon. A serious battle ensues and Christian is nigh unto defeated.

    How often have we been in Christian’s shoes? The battle is intense, Satan is attacking us with every weapon at his disposal. Even fully protected with the whole armour we have found ourselves flat on our backs with Satan poised to “finish us off.” If you have never been there my friend, the day will come when you will know what Christian is experiencing.

    Now is when the real test comes. You are flat on your back, your strength is almost gone, and the enemy is ready for the kill. What do you do? Do you resign yourself to defeat and yield to Satan’s blows.

    Christian must be our example when that times comes. He reaches for His sword (the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God – Ephesians 6v17) and shouts out the words of the profit Micah – “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.” (Micah 7v8) Chances are the day will come when we will stumble and fall. Yet, we must get back on our feet! From nowhere Christian stands and plunges his sword into Apollyon with the great victory shout – “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8v37) By his courageous use of the Word of God Apollyon is forced to flee – “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4v7)

    If it hasn’t happened already and you are serving the Lord faithfully the day will come when you will feel that you have stood face to face with Satan himself. He is a mighty foe and in our own strength we will be defeated. The battle may go his way for a time. But we never have to go down in defeat.

    We each have the Sword of the Spirit in our hands. How often do you use it in your daily walk, Every swordsman must practice to become an expert at using his sword. How are you at wielding this mighty weapon? Is your sword clean, polished, and keenly honed? Or is it put away on a shelf someplace, maybe gathering dust and rust because of disuse?

    Are you knocked down flat on your back in your battle with Satan today. The battle is won, vanquish the foe. Put him to flight through the use of you Sword today!
     
  3. following-Him

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    Great devotion Roger,

    Thank you.
    Blessings

    Sheila
     
  4. Watchman

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    Thank You Roger.

    Against this foe human reasoning is useless. Compromise is self-defeating.
    Only the Sword of The Spirit-the Word of God-can vanquish this foe!
     
  5. Dan Todd

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    Thank you Roger!
     
  6. Jim1999

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    I think the great problem in the church to-day is that we don't take the devil seriously. Indeed, we have the armour of God at hand, and we are best to employ it daily. This is what the Quiet Time will do for us, and this is how important it is to crawl into this secret place with God.

    Thank you for the reminder,

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    Tuesday May 11, 2004

    1 Corinthians 3

    “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be
    saved; yet so as by fire.” 3:15

    The strife within the Cornthian church continues. The Christians are putting great
    stock in the preachers of choice. One is of Paul, another of Apollos and another of
    Peter. Traditional teaching tells us that Paul was plain speaking, and may even have
    had a speech impediment. Apollos was a silver-tongued speaker who could sway by
    his word alone. Peter had his following by the fact he was the leader of the apostles.

    It is quite natural for us to have our favourites. Paul, is not condemning the speakers
    in this instance. In fact, he talks about himself planting the seed and Apollos
    watering. Where Paul stops praising man’s gift is when he attributes God with the
    addition, the results of the preaching. It is when we rob God of the glory our praise
    of men falls short. This is what Paul is saying. Each person does his job, fulfills his
    calling in Christ, but ultimately it is always God who gives the increase.

    Paul is clear when he speaks in verse one. “I could not speak to you as spiritual
    people, but as carnal...” Now he talks about the fact they are redeemed, but they
    have been greatly influenced by the world. Their spiritual life is virtually
    nonexistent. We do not have to look far to find this, do we? I fear it abounds. We
    know all the right words to say when it suits us. There are so many who get the
    feeling that the doctrine about the eternal security of the believer is their redeeming
    grace. It is a wrong understanding of perseverance, but it does prevail. We get the
    impression that heaven will be a glorious place when we die and we forget that
    man’s works will be tried so as by fire. We will stand naked before the Master and
    the purifying fire will be employed. We will be left with nothing but our spiritual
    life. Oh, how many of us will hang our heads in shame. There were times when
    praise was given to this preacher, and it was intended to lift my spirits. I shuddered
    to hear it. It meant that since much had been given, much would be required, and I
    would have to give account for what I had done. Had I done enough? Yes, the
    people could witness some actions, but had I done enough. Someone once said, I
    have not worked hard enough unless my Saviour is lifted high at all times. Why was
    this church carnal? Many open sins were obvious, but mainly it was the praise for
    individual leaders, even for those who used the excuse that they were followers of
    Christ. This became a religion unto itself, and Jesus never intended this. All praise
    was given to the Father.

    Going beyond verse 14 we have, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and
    that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.” We need not ask for a second blessing, as it
    is called in some circles. The Spirit of God dwells in us. We have the power. We
    also have the duty to live our lives accordingly. What is our witness in the world? It
    is not that we tell people about Christ, but that we demonstrate this Spirit within us.
    People should ask us about Christ because of our internal witness.

    Having said this does not excuse the preaching of the gospel. It is the God ordained
    method of telling forth the gospel. Our internal witness, however, gives credence to
    what we are saying. There is an old saying, “I can’t hear what you are saying. Your
    life speaks so loudly.”

    Corinthians is not the model church, but it is extolling what the model church
    should be. This is a perfect time to read between the lines and hear what Paul is
    saying to the church to-day.

    “Let no man deceive himself....” For, we shall be tried as by fire.

    Lord, help us to always lift the Saviour high, lay the sinner low, remembering we
    are but sinners ourselves saved by Your marvellous grace.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  8. Dan Todd

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    Some sobering thoughts! Thank you Jim.
     
  9. following-Him

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    Thank you Jim,

    God Bless

    Sheila
     
  10. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Amen Jim, thanks
     
  11. Watchman

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    Thanks Jim.
     
  12. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Wednesday, 12th May, 2004

    I want to take a one day break from my series on Pilgrim’s Progress to share a passage which God has used over and over in our lives to encourage when we are down. This is the kind of passage that Christian would have used when he was knocked flat on his back by Apollyon and he reached out for his sword to strike a blow. How many times Satan has been knocked back by this little gem.

    Habakkuk was in a dilemma. All he saw around him was how bad things had become. His nation was wicked and when he asked God to help God said that He was going to use the sworn enemy of the nation to judge them. Mystified about how God could do such a thing Habakkuk simply lays it before the Lord – “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.” (Habakkuk 2v1)

    God sends His reproof in chapter 2 mentioning the wonderful words, “..the just shall live by his faith” (v4). In chapter 3 Habakkuk prays and expresses his thoughts and anxieties about the situation.

    Finally we come to the end of chapter 3. After all of his fears and apprehensions Habakkuk speaks thusly:

    “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.” (3v17-19)

    Habakkuk has revealed that he has learned the truth of “the just shall live by his faith.”

    Look at his statement – even though there is no fruit being borne, even though his labours were failing, and even though there was no herd in the stalls (or money in the bank in today’s culture) Habakkuk said this:

    I will rejoice in the Lord.
    I will joy in the God of my salvation.
    The Lord God is my strength; not my resources, my labour, or my savings.
    He will make my feet like hinds feet and make me to walk upon mine high places.

    O what confidence. It reminds me of what Paul wrote in Ephesians 2v6, “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

    How do we respond to trials and difficulties? I praise the Lord for godly examples that I have seen though the years of folks who have struggled and chosen in the midst of their trials to “rejoice in the God of their salvation.”

    Notice here that Habakkuk’s praise was not conditional on the trees bearing fruit and the stall being full. He rejoiced in that fact that God was his strength and chose to live above the trials.

    Friend, your trials may seem overwhelming today. Choose to rejoice in the Lord and let Him make you to “walk upon the high places” and not in the “Slough of Despond” where we too often find ourselves.
     
  13. following-Him

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    Roger,

    Thank you for that devotional. I know of someone who would also benefit from this message today.

    God Bless

    Sheila
     
  14. Dan Todd

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    Spoken from the heart - thanks Roger!
     
  15. Jim1999

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    Roger,

    Bang on with the purpose of devotionals; that God may be eminent.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  16. Jim1999

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    Thursday, May 13, 2004

    1 Corinthians 4

    “ We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ: we are weak, but ye are
    srong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.......For the kingdom of God is not in
    word, but in power.” 1 Cor 4: 10, 20.

    In this passage we find the strange attitude of the world toward the servants of
    Christ, and the church body at large. For example, it is amazing how religious
    people become for weddings and funerals. They attend the wedding and the next
    time we see them will be the funeral. We see the disdain for the church and yet
    these same people display a certain public respect for the church.

    Paul is not talking about the world here. He is contrasting the apostles work with
    the church at Corinth. This is where I like some translations. The NIV has it: “ We
    are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong!
    You are honoured, we are dishonoured! To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty,
    we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our
    own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;
    when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the
    scum of the earth, the refuse of the world.

    Wow! Imagine a preacher coming to your church and preaching such a sermon! I
    can see the uproar in the pews already. Paul says, “I write not these things to shame
    you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. The Corinthian Church thought they were
    doing so well. They had grown beyond imagination. The Sunday School enrolment
    is beyond expectation. What is Paul saying, “I warn you.” “For the kingdom of God
    is not in word, but in power.” (vs 20). Look around you folks. The kingdom of God
    is not in all the fancy construction of bricks and mortar, but it is in the meekness
    and mildness of power in Christ. The kingdom of God is not even in being precise
    in one’s wording. How many organizations have you seen that follow the word to
    the letter, but are still wrong? We tend to call these the legalistic churches. What are
    they lacking? We call it the spirit of the gospel. Isn’t this the power that Paul is
    speaking about? The word is but another fancy sentence without the power, and that
    power is the evidence of God’s work.

    Now, we are to be fools, as scripture ays, but it is further defined as being fools for
    Christ’s sake. In other words, we are not to be foolish, but we are to be deemed
    fools by the world because we dare to follow what Christ taught. This is a far cry
    from just being foolish. If we take an empty vessel and fill it with water and call it
    soda. We are being foolish. That is not what Paul is talking about. Yet this is what
    so many Christians will try to get away with. They want the outward appearance,
    but lack the content. This is the thrust of Paul’s message to the Christians at
    Corinth. In essence Paul is telling them to fill the bottle with soda and don’t be
    pawning off that which isn’t. Don’t be a fool, but be prepared to be called a fool for
    Christ’s sake.

    Lord, help us, each one, to not only do what is right, but also that which appears to
    be right. Give us the power that comes with the kingdom.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  17. Dan Todd

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  18. following-Him

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    Amen. Thank you Jim.

    Blessings

    Sheila
     
  19. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Friday, 14th May, 2004

    We will return to Christian in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. However, my thoughts are still drawn back to his last scenario, the battle with Apollyon. We saw that in that fight he had to rely firmly on the Word of God. He quoted another verse and I want to look into that passage for this morning’s thoughts.

    Micah 7v1-8

    Micah 7v1-8 Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit. The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net. That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up. The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity. Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house. Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.

    There are three brief thoughts for us this morning.

    Micah’s condition
    Micah’s confidence
    Micah’s conquest

    Look first at his condition. There are no grapes on the vine, there were no good men left, he was surrounded by wickedness, and he didn’t feel like he could trust anyone. Unfortunately, when we find ourselves we are tempted to say with Micah, “Woe is me!” and leave it at that. We become so absorbed in our problems that we a mired in defeat. However, like Habakkuk, Micah does not wait for a sign or for an improvement before he expresses his confidence.

    There are several aspects to his confidence:
    I WILL look to the Lord
    I WILL wait for the God of my salvation
    MY GOD WILL hear me.

    Micah had learned the lesson of looking not on the things that are seen, but on the things that are not seen. “I will look to the Lord” he said. When Peter fell while walking on the water he “looked to the Lord.” When the writer of Hebrews gives advice on running the race he says, “Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. The first step out of any difficulty is to look toward the Saviour.

    Next he said “I will wait for the God of my salvation.” I don’t know anyone who likes to wait. It even seems worse when we wait and wait and wait and wait. The hard part about waiting is that we never know when the waiting is going to end. We may not like it, but Lamentations 3v26 says, “It is good that a man should both hope, and wait quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”

    His confidence is in this – “My God will hear me.” We cannot almost hear his confidence building when he changes his focus. He knows that God is not going to forsake him and that leads him to the assurance of his victory.

    “Don’t rejoice yet,” he says to his enemies. “When I fall I WILL arise!” Amen and amen. There is no delusion that there will be no fall, but “the just man falls seven times and rises up again!” When I fall I will arise, when I fall again I will arise again, and on and on.

    Our Christian life is a series of battles. We will have victories, but there are also times when we will fall. When that happens there is only one solution, get back up and back into the fight.

    “When I sit in darkness the Lord will be a light unto me.” Thank God for the Light in darkness! Apart from the Light of the glorious gospel we would all be in darkness. Our task is to turn men from darkness to the Light by sharing that gospel.

    There is an application here for Christians. There will be times when as children of God we will still find ourselves in the darkness of discouragement and even depression. The wonderful news is that we need not dwell in that darkness! “The Lord will be a Light to me!” The wonderful thing is that we are even told how to experience that Light, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” When you find yourself in those dark days open up the word of God for there, and there only will we find the way out of darkness. Praise God for the light of His Word!

    If you are in a Micah-like situation today, take his words to heart. Look for the Lord, wait for the God of salvation, and take confidence that He will hear. Rise up in His deliverance and walk in the light of His perfect Word!
     
  20. Watchman

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    Catching up on posts here.
    Roger; Psalm 119:105 was what I thought of in reading your devotional and then you mentioned it:
    "Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path."

    Jim,
    "But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness"
    1Cor. 1:23. If presenting the truth of God's word and Jesus Christ and Him crucified is foolishness, then God help me (and us all) to be a fool!
     

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