30 January 2010


The devastating earthquakes that occur in various countries from time to time and destroy cities and kill thousands of people makes us realize more and more the uncertainty of life. The magnitude of destruction wrought by such force is overwhelming. There is a scripture I want to mention presently that deals with a particular earthquake.

In the sixteenth chapter of the book of Acts, the account is given of the conversion of a Philippian jailor and his household. The jailor, a gentile, was a non-believer in the deity of Jesus Christ. The day that Paul and Silas were beaten and cast into prison was perhaps an ordinary one for the jailor. While the day may have started out like any other day for this particular person, it certainly did not end in a common fashion. Something transpired that transformed the life of this Roman citizen and the lives of his loved ones. Something drastically happened. An earthquake occurred in this man’s life. It was a literal tremor, a movement of the earth that the shook the foundation of the building that housed those people in the prison. The jailor was awakened by this event and was about to take his own life because he thought his prisoners had escaped. Paul prevented this tragedy by shouting, “Do thyself no harm; for we are all here!” It was at this time that the jailor sprang forth and asked the most important question: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”After hearing and believing the gospel, this man and his family were baptized into Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins (Acts 16:30-34; Mark 16:15, 16). The jailor began the day unsaved but concluded it by being redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Something wonderful came out of what seemed to be a truly horrible experience in his life.

Into every life, sometime, somewhere, somehow, ‘earthquakes’ occur. Not necessarily literal, physical movements of the earth, but events that can help to change our lives, if we accept them in a positive manner. These ‘earthquakes’ come in various forms. There was the death of a teenage son that caused his parents to turn to Jesus. A man was operated on and it was discovered that he had cancer. He repented of sins and came back to the Lord. Three months later he died. The person who lost all his material wealth realized for the first time that he had been trusting in the wrong values in life. He sought then the true riches in Christ.

Tragedies and trials can become blessings in disguise if we permit God to work in our lives (Romans 8:28 ). David stated “Before I was afflicted I went astray; But now I observe thy word.” He even declared, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I may learn thy statues” (Psalms 119:67, 71).

The gospel of Christ is God’s power to save (Romans 1:16 ). But, ‘earthquakes’ that come into our lives can and often do motivate people to realize their plight in life without God. It is then that we should seek the salvation that is the Savior.

19 January 2010

"I'm Drinking From My Saucer"

When I was a lad I often saw men pour coffee from their cups into their saucers. The reason being was to permit the coffee to cool because it was boiling hot. I can almost hear them slurping the coffee from their saucers. But the title of this article is based on a religious song that emphasizes the goodness of God. I feel sure that the thought for the song was found in Psalm 23:5 when David wrote, “My cup runs over.” There is an outstanding statement made by the apostle Paul as found in I Corinthians 3:21, “Whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come –all are yours.” The fact is you have been made richer than you have ever imagined. I am not necessarily thinking about the physical or material blessings of life, even though we are recipients of multitude of blessings from our Heavenly Father (James 1:17). But if you have given your life in full submission to the will of God and the Lord Jesus Christ as a penitent baptized believer, you are rich toward God. A child of God is “rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom” (James 2:5). Jesus said “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). We have been made “alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:5). We are a “holy priesthood” and a “royal priesthood” (I Peter 2:5, 9). Jesus Christ has made us to be “a kingdom” (Revelation 1:5). No wonder we are “drinking from my saucer ‘cause my cup has overflowed.” The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” Listed below are just a few of the spiritual blessings we possess and enjoy in Christ.

1. We have been saved by the grace of God through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:5, “by grace you have been saved”. Ephesians 1:7, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”

2. The blood of Christ continues to cleanse the faithful children of God. I John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

3. We are children of God by faith in Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:26, 27, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

4. We are members of the body of Christ which is His church. Colossians 1:18, “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all thing He may have the preeminence.” I Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free – and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.”
5. We have a peace of mind that surpasses understanding. Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

6. We have the promise that God will be our provider and protector. Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Hebrews 13:5, 6, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

7. We have the hope of eternal life. Romans 8:24, 25, “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” I John 5:11, 12, 13, “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.”

8. We have the promise that God will hear and answer our prayers. I John 5:14, 15, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”

9. He will grant us strength to face the many trials, tribulations and temptations in this life. Romans 5:3, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Afflictions in life can actually contribute to our spiritual growth in Christ. Psalms 119:67, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word.” Psalms 119:71, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.” I Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

10. For Christians, death is our passage way from this world to life everlasting. To the unsaved death is the beginning of eternal suffering but the child of God knows that it is the beginning of eternal bliss with God, Jesus Christ and the redeemed of all the ages. Philippians 1:21, 23, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” “For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.” Revelation 14:13, “Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now.’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”

It is because the Lord Jesus Christ gave His life on Calvary that we have become rich in Him and possess the manifold spiritual blessings that God has given to us. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” My, my cup is really running over and I indeed have to drink from my saucer!!