Category Archives: Christians

A Close Personal Relationship

by Pastor John Fredericksen

Shortly after meeting the woman who became my wife, I knew she was the one for me.  It was hard to explain, but she had captured my heart.  I thought about her as soon as I woke in the morning, continually during the day, and she was one of the last things I thought about before going to sleep.  I consistently pursued a relationship with her allowing all other relationships to become secondary.  I not only confirmed that I loved her, I also expressed to her that she satisfied and completed me like no other woman could.

Many of the same principles that make close human relationships work are the same in our personal relationship with the Lord, after salvation.  Even though the program has changed from the Law of Moses to the principles of grace, walking with the Lord every day is essentially the same now as it was for David.  In Psalm 63, he expresses many of the things that made his daily walk with the Lord such a sweet and joyous experience.

David did not merely have a passive interest in the Lord.  He longed for a vibrant relationship with the God of his salvation.  He told the Lord, “my flesh longeth for Thee [as] in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is” (v. 1).  Since David wrote these words “when he was in the wilderness of Judah”, where water was extremely scarce, his description of being thirsty for the Lord pictured his surroundings.  Just as only water can satisfy the need of one in the desert, David realized that only God could satisfy the thirst of his soul.

These were not mere empty words on the part of David.  He promised the Lord: “early will I seek Thee” (v. 1).  David, like Abraham before him (Gen. 19:27), was in the habit of beginning the early part of his day in communion with the Lord (Psa. 5:3).  Just as two people in love long to see each other, David longed “to see Thy power and Thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary” (63:2).  As David went through the day, he continued to think about the Lord and talk about Him.  He wrote, “…my lips shall praise Thee.  Thus will I bless [or praise aloud] Thee while I live” (vv. 3b-4a).  When a man and woman love each other, they talk to others about the one they love, extoling each other’s virtues.  It was the same with David, who happily expressed the virtues of the Almighty.

David’s walk with the Lord was so fulfilling that he couldn’t help but express it.  He told the Lord, “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips…in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice” (vv. 5,7b).  When two people are in love and maintain a healthy, growing relationship, they too make a conscious decision to be satisfied and joyful in time together.  David experienced an even richer and more complete joy by being in the satisfying presence of his God.

David not only began his day in fellowship with the Lord and spoke of Him throughout the day, he also ended his day with the Lord.  He wrote, “I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night watches” (v. 6).  For soldiers and shepherds, the night was divided into three watches: from sunset to 10 p.m., from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., and from 2 a.m. until dawn.  In verse six, David is sharing that, throughout the night, sleep sometimes evaded him because even then he was thinking about the Lord and His greatness.

David also explained: “My soul followeth hard after thee” (v. 8).  Just as a young man oftentimes pursues hard after a young woman to win her love, David fervently pursued his relationship with the Lord.  Of course, David did not have to win His love.  The Lord already loved David.  Nonetheless, David was not casual or complacent in the way he nurtured his relationship with the Lord.  His walk with the Lord meant too much to him for his efforts to be anything less than diligent and wholehearted.  In principle, we should exert the same kind of effort in our relationship with the Lord as we read that David did.

Are you following hard after the Lord?  We encourage you to pattern your walk with Christ after the example of David’s wholeheartedness.  Make a strong effort to make each day one of fellowship with the Lord from beginning to end.

How God Empowers His Witnesses

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

As we know, Paul wrought mighty miracles, as Peter and the Pentecostal believers had done. Indeed, a comparison of Paul’s miracles with those of Peter shows Paul’s to have been the mightier. This was mainly in divine confirmation of his apostleship, since Paul was not one of the twelve (II Cor. 12:11,12).

But it is clear from a study of Paul’s ministry and his epistles that these miraculous demonstrations were to vanish away as the dispensation of grace was fully ushered in (See I Cor. 13:8; Rom. 8:22,23; II Cor. 4:16-5:4; 12:10; Phil. 3:20,21; I Tim. 5:23; II Tim. 4:20). In fact, in the last seven of Paul’s epistles nothing whatever is said about signs, miracles, healings, tongues, visions or the casting out of demons.

How, then, does God now empower His servants in their conflict with Satan and his demons? The answer is: by the Holy Spirit through His Word, as it is preached with conviction. There is a great volume of evidence as to this in Paul’s epistles, including his early epistles. Two examples:

I Cor. 2:4: “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing [persuasive] words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”

Mark well, this was power in his preaching, not in performing miracles. Indeed at the very same time when he proclaimed his God-given message with such power, he himself was very weak, for in the preceding verse he says:

“And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.”

The other example is I Thes. 1:5:

“For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance…”

In Thessalonica too, Paul had suffered much opposition and persecution, until the whole city was in an uproar (Acts 17:1-5), and this may well have been the result of his powerful preaching. Out of the “uproar,” however, sprang the beloved Thessalonian church, an example and inspiration to those won to Christ under more benign circumstances.

The One True Church And How To Join It 

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

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Many people have been saved and have truly come to know Christ after having been sincere, religious “church members” for years. Though faithful supporters of some earthly church organization they had never experienced the truth of II Cor. 5:17: “If any man [be] in Christ there is a new creation.”It is possible to be a member in good standing of a church organization, yet be outside the one true Church of which the Bible speaks.

This is because the true Bible Church is not an organization, much less a political state. It is a living organism, a spiritual body, with a living Head and living members. Again and again St. Paul, by divine inspiration, calls the Church, the Body of Christ (Rom. 12:5; I Cor. 12:27; Eph. 5:30).

It should be observed too, that the true Bible Church has one Head — not a man on earth, but the glorified Christ in heaven (Eph. 1:22; 4:4,5; 5:23; Col. 1:18). Nowhere in Scripture do we read that any man is to act as His earthly representative as Head of the Body.

How, then, do we become members of this one true Bible Church, the Body of Christ? First, we must acknowledge ourselves to be sinners in God’s sight, for Ephesians 2:16 relates how Christ died for sinful men “that He might RECONCILE both [Jew and Gentile] to God in one Body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.” Thus, when believing sinners are RECONCILED to God by faith in Christ, they are REGENERATED, given a new life, by the Spirit, and by the Spirit are BAPTIZED into the Church, the Body of Christ.

Titus 3:5: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of REGENERATION, and renewing of the Holy Spirit.”

I Corinthians 12:13: “For BY ONE SPIRIT ARE WE ALL BAPTIZED INTO ONE BODY”.

Every one of us should ask himself: “Have I been baptized by the Spirit into the Body of Christ?” Those who have not, do not belong to the one Church which God recognizes. But membership in the true Church is still open. Simply, but sincerely, trust Christ as your Savior. He is the Head of the Church. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). Then associate yourself with some local assembly where Christ is honored and the Bible taught, rightly divided. We will be glad to suggest such a place of worship.

The Christ Bell

by Anonymous

I KNOW WHO I AM

I am God’s child (Rom. 8:16)
I am a light in the world (Phil. 2:15)
I am sealed by God (II Cor. 1:21-22)
I am bought with a price (I Cor. 6:19,20)
I am a saint (set apart for God) (Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ (Acts 22:15)
I have peace with God through Christ (Rom. 5:1)
I have been saved in order to bear fruit (Rom. 7:4)
I am a member of the Body of Christ (I Cor. 12:27)
I am a citizen of Heaven living on earth (Phil. 3:20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom. 8:31-34)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm (Eph. 2:6)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (II Cor. 5:17-21)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom. 8:35-39)
I am assured all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28)
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3:12)
I have been crucified with Christ and He liveth in me (Gal. 2:20)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)
I am God’s temple (I Cor. 6:19). I am complete in Christ (Col. 2:10)
I have been justified (Rom. 3:24). I am hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3)
I am God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works (Eph. 2:10)
I am confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected (Phil. 1:6)
I am redeemed and forgiven (Col. 1:14). I have been adopted as God’s child (Eph. 1:5)
I belong to God. Do you know. Who you are?

Without Christ you are blind and lost (II Cor. 4:3,4), but the good news is, God loves you and Christ died to pay for your sins (I Cor. 15:3,4). The only question is, do you believe He died to pay for your sins, or are you still trying to pay for them in your own way, by doing good works? God says, “to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:5). Why not “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”(Acts 16:31).

 


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