Black Preaching Network
“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you ...” (Matthew 5:44).
Latest Activity: Apr 16, 2013
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The Apostle Paul declared, “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." He also stated, "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin” (Romans 7:12, 14).
Many people have a general awareness of God's Law as it is expressed in the Ten Commandments, and since they have not murdered anyone or committed adultery, they feel that they have kept the Law as much as is humanly possible. However, we must all admit to telling at least one lie, and James made this statement: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (James 2:10).
So often we acknowledge that we have broken God's Law, and take refuge in the teaching that Christ came to do away with the Law. However, Jesus said:
Command Five: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil” (Matthew 5:17).
There are three primary ways in which Jesus fulfilled God's Law. First, He fulfilled all the prophecies and analogies in the Law that related to Him. He is the spotless Lamb of God (see John 1:29), and He was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3).
Second, He perfectly fulfilled all the regulations and requirements of the Law. When the Pharisees accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath by healing a man, He pointed out a statute in the Law that allowed them to pull an ox out of the ditch on the Sabbath.
Third, He fully satisfied God's requirement for the penalty of sin. Because man sinned, blood had to be shed: “...Without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). The perfect and complete fulfillment of God's Law has great significance for us.
When a person becomes a believer, he enters into Christ and becomes one with all that Christ did—including the perfect fulfillment of God's Law. (See Romans 7:4-7.)
We have an awesome promise that when the commands of Christ reside in us, we will be able to do greater works than Jesus did—not in quality, but in quantity (see John 14:12, 15:7-8). When Jesus opened up the synagogue scroll to Isaiah 61, He read a list of the works that He came to do.
Jesus healed the sick, but eventually they all died. His greater works involve healing of the soul and spirit of a person.
Notice how the anointing of Jesus deals primarily with the soul and spirit: “The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek [the Gospel of Christ is the kingdom message of salvation (sozo) to the body, soul, and spirit]; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives [diseases of the soul, such as fear, anger, guilt, and lust], and the opening of the prison to them that are bound [by habits, addictions, and false philosophies], to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD [now is the accepted time for salvation]...” (Isaiah 61:1-2).
The greater our works are for God, the greater will be the brightness of our light and the glory that is given to God.
there is some one who is a friend of mine who told me about his friend named Teresa.
Teresa Apple's story illustrates the bondage and captivity of the soul and the urgent need for the good news of Christ's commands. For two and a half years, she had been in so much pain that she would cry every day. She was able to get only one or two hours of sleep per day, and she was taking fifteen medications at each meal.
As He talked with her, they soon discovered that the root cause of her problem was a broken heart and deep resentment for the ones who were responsible for her father-in-law's death. Three specific commands of Christ were explained to Teresa and her husband. Right then, Teresa tearfully and hopefully applied these life-giving commands.
Within an hour the pain had subsided. That evening she no longer needed her pills, and that night, for the first time in two and a half years, she was without pain! Six months have passed since the Lord healed her, and her total health continues to be strong!
As we continue to meditate on all the commands of Christ and apply them to our lives, we also will have the joy and rewards of sharing them with others. Look for opportunities today to share Christ's commands with those in bondage and see how the Lord will work to set them free!
Through Christ our Lord,
waiting to hear from you soon!
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16)
Meditation is imagining the action involved in carrying out the command. For example, imagine what would happen if you were Peter or Andrew and heard Jesus' call to follow Him and be made a fisher of men. There is a principle here.
Jesus will take our talents and skills and transform them for eternal achievement. This is what He did with Matthew's experience as a tax collector. Matthew teaches more about money in his Gospel than any other writer. The same principle is true with David; his shepherding skills were transformed by God into tools with which to shepherd, or care for, the whole nation of Israel. The skills he used for the sheep were applied to taking care of people. “So he [David] fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands” (Psalm 78:72). However, before God can use our skills, something must happen.
God will use whatever we bring to Him, but it must first be transformed by an action on our part. That action is demonstrated by the rod of Moses.
When God called Moses to follow Him back to Egypt and deliver the nation of Israel from bondage, He asked Moses to cast down his rod. That rod represented his skill and livelihood as a shepherd. The rod became a snake and was so terrifying that Moses fled from it. What a precise picture of personal skills and abilities that are not dedicated to God.
Once the rod was given to God and seen in a totally new light by Moses, God told him to pick it up. When he did, it was transformed into a new rod. No longer was it referred to as the rod of Moses, but rather the rod of God, and with it God was able to accomplish great and mighty deeds, which brought much glory to Him.
God will not use our skills or abilities, but He will transform them into His skills and abilities when we place them at His feet.
“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).
My greatest joy is watching youth and adults grow to spiritual maturity. My greatest sorrow is seeing once-dedicated believers reject Biblical commitments. What causes a believer to turn his back on that which he has learned and received from the Lord?
Commitments are good, but they do not tend to last unless they are based on foundational decisions.
Profound insights on why commitments don't hold up are given to us in the account of the rich young ruler. He had strong commitments to the commandments of God. When Jesus named several of them, the rich young ruler stated, “All these things have I kept from my youth up" (Matthew 19:20).
Jesus fixed His eyes upon him and "loved him" and said, “If thou wilt be perfect [teleios], go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me" (Matthew 19:21). These instructions constituted total, unconditional surrender.
When the rich young ruler heard this requirement, “he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions” (Matthew 19:22). He was willing to make commitments but unwilling to make a total, unconditional surrender of his life and all that he had to Christ.
Commitments are based on our control and conditions. Total, unconditional surrender is based on God's control.
When Jesus called His disciples, He did not ask them to make a commitment to forsake some things and follow Him for a few years. He required them to forsake all, take up their crosses, and follow Him for the rest of their lives, regardless of the cost.
Actually, the requirements that Jesus gave to the rich young ruler had a reasonable basis, because as a member of the Jewish nation, he had a covenant obligation to "love his neighbour as himself." This was one of the commands that Jesus recalled for him and that the rich young ruler claimed to be following. (See Leviticus 19:18.)
This same instruction is given to us. We are urged to totally surrender our bodies as living sacrifices, and then we are challenged to “distribute to the necessity of the saints.” (See Romans 12:1-2, 13.)
Paul raised the triumphant banner of victory by declaring, "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Romans 8:37). The "things" to which he was referring are tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, inadequate clothing, peril, and sword. (See Romans 8:35.)
Following this list, the Apostle Paul quoted a significant passage, found in Psalm 44:22: "Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter." It is in these things that we are able to be more than conquerors. How?
The most powerful weapon in the world is love. By using it on our enemies, we become more than conquerors.
If we overcome our enemies, we are conquerors, but if we win our enemies over to God's truth by Christ's love in us, we are more than conquerors. When a hateful official came into the interrogation room, Dr. Josef Tson vividly remembered his previous visit and the painful beating the officer had given him. Dr. Tson said, "I would like to ask your forgiveness for my screams when you beat me last time."
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