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The Wednesday Word: GRACE IN TWO SMALL WORDS

December 23, 2020 Leave a comment

“Fear not, you worm Jacob, and you men of Israel; I will help you, says the Lord, and your Redeemer” (Isaiah 41:14).

This text gives us grace in two small words.

What are the 2 words?

They are, “Fear Not.”

In the Middle East there is an ancient fable that Pestilence met a caravan on the way to Baghdad.

“Why must you travel to Baghdad?” asked the Caravan Master. “To take five thousand lives,” he answered.

On the way back Pestilence again met the caravan.

“You deceived me,” said the Caravan master. “You took 50,000 lives.”

“No,’ insisted Pestilence. ‘I took 5,000 lives. Fear killed the rest.”

That is a fable.

But, here’s a fact … fear kills.

At one time or another, most of us have been gripped with fear. It’s no wonder then that these two words, ‘Fear Not’ are found frequently throughout the scriptures. In fact, the phrases, “Fear not” or “Be not afraid”, occur more than 100 times in the King James Bible.

In all our fears may we learn to look to Jesus. He is the antidote to fear, anxiety and worry.

When the Lord applies these two words ‘fear not’ to our hearts, they sustain and support us.

Consider the context of our verse. The people of Israel had just found out they were going to be sent into captivity to Babylon. They needed a word from the Lord, and He gave it … “Fear Not!” The Lord was on their side. Consider this; if the Lord is on our side, all must eventually be well.

The Lord is all-sufficient for every emergency and each need. In Christ we lack nothing. In Christ, we are graced with all-sufficient, spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). In Christ, we have enough to meet every necessity.

“Fear not.”

“Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,

The clouds ye so much dread

Are big with mercy, and shall break

In blessings on your head.”

Notice how the people of Israel are called worms yet the Lord has grace for them. And that’s the way it is with us. Jesus takes us at our worst and gives us grace. If He only took notice of us when we were great and continually strong, we would perish. But the Lord looks at us in our lowest … when we are down in the depths and gives us grace. Fear not!

These two words, ‘Fear Not’ revive, restore and renew us. He is not scolding us … He’s not saying …” Here you!! You’d best fear not!!! Now get it straight!!!

No! He says … “Fear not, I will help you. I, Yahweh will support you.”

We look at the future and there seems to be a mountain of rugged obstacles fast approaching us … But, here’s the good news. God is the God of the mountains. He is with us, no matter what we are going through. Fear Not!

Because of the shed blood of Calvary there is no longer separation between us and God. There are no mountains of division. As Paul says, “ For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39).

Fear not,

Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.

“And though this world, with devils filled,

Should threaten to undo us,

We will not fear, for God has willed

His truth to triumph through us.

The prince of darkness grim—

We tremble not for him;

His rage we can endure,

For lo! his doom is sure,

Two little words shall fell him.”—Martin Luther.

Fear Not!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: A Little to a Lot

December 16, 2020 3 comments

The Lord can do a lot with a little. Just consider how in John 6:1-14 the Lord was given a little food (5 loaves and 2 fish) and turned it into a feast. Little was placed in hands of the Lord and He made it a lot. Isn’t that just like Jesus?

I recently read of how an evangelist was ministering many years ago in the Lake District of England. There he met an 80-year-old lady who told him how her shop had come into being. It all started in her Sunday school class when, one day, one of her young students came to her after class with a request. He held up a shining sixpence and said, “Please, Mrs. Cameron, will you give this sixpence to Jesus?” Startled, she almost told the child she couldn’t do that, but upon her shoulder she felt the restraining hand of the Lord who seemed to direct her, “Take it.” “Alright,” Mrs. Cameron told the boy, “I’ll give it to Jesus.”

That night she held up the sixpence and prayed, “Lord Jesus, this is your sixpence. What do you want me to do with it?”

The next morning, she took the sixpence and bought currants and self-rising flour and made some buns. She put them in the front window of her cottage on two plates, and within half an hour, they had all sold. With the money, she made more buns, and sold them. She continued making buns, selling buns, making buns and selling buns. After a time, she went down to the grocer. “Mr. Smith,” she asked, “would you have any damaged tins of beans, fruit, anything that you would sell to me at a reduced price?” “Why yes, Mrs. Cameron, I would.” So now in the front room window of her cottage she was selling, along with her buns, tins which were dented or had missing labels. This went on for a while, and then she thought, “Why not sell Bibles?” Soon she was selling buns, beans, and Bibles. She made so much money, she decided to remove her front window and to install a shop window. Then she began a line of Christian books. She was truly in business now, selling buns, beans, Bibles and books. Her sales continued to increase. Mrs. Cameron led the evangelist into her shop. “I want to show you something,” she said as she opened a ledger book. Turning the pages over, she pointed to listing after listing: George Mueller’s orphanage £125 (a considerable sum in those days) … £150, China Inland Mission … £200, Congo Evangelistic Mission. Page after page recorded money she had sent out across the world ministering to countless missionary organizations and orphanages … and it all began with a little boy’s sixpence.

It wasn’t so important what the boy had, but where he put it. He put it into the hands of Jesus.

Jesus is the Lord of multiplication and abundance. He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). He is supernatural. The amazing thing is that He uses what we have to accomplish His purposes. What we have is what Christ uses. “But”, says someone, “I have so little faith.” That´s OK, just use what faith you have in His service and you will be amazed as to how the Lord Jesus works.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

Hope in Christ in the face of death

November 30, 2020 9 comments

On Tuesday, Nov. 17th of this year, my wife and I celebrated our 31st anniversary. To many this is a joyous occasion. There might be roses, a ring, a bottle of wine, and maybe a night out for a dinner for two. However, this was not the events of which transpired in our lives on that day.

On that day, a few weeks back, we were sitting in a doctor’s office. It was after 6:00 pm. and my wife was the last patient of the day. The doctor had already performed a colonoscopy the Thursday before. She had a cat scan the day before and we were already anticipating the news which the doctor would enter to tell us.

When he entered he began to explain the procedure of the colonoscopy and how he couldn’t enter with his scope. He informed us that instead of being able to enter the colon from the rear-end, that he instead had to go through her throat. He also explained the cat scan and what he was looking for as a result of this procedure. Upon giving us all the ends and outs of these procedures he just came right out and told us that my wife had a tumor and it was cancerous.

So last week we had to visit the surgeon. He explained to us that the tumor wasn’t just in the colon, but had also spread outside the colon, into her stomach muscles, and possibly into her kidney. Tomorrow he performs surgery and there is a whole list of possibles that will be involved due to the fact that he doesn’t know what all he has to take out when he goes in.

The word cancer produces a certain amount of fear into a person. This is understandable because no one wants to die. Nevertheless, having been born, then death is certain if the Lord tarries. Scripture is plain, that it is appointed unto man once to die. However, death is not the end. Death is just the transferring from one world to another. Yet in all this we can still have hope.

There is one who has defeated death.

His name is Jesus Christ!

He defeated it upon an old rugged cross.

His name is Jesus Christ!

He defeated it while being forsaken by the Father.

His name is Jesus Christ!

No matter what we go through in this life, it will never be compared to what Christ endured for us. We have never been forsaken by the Father. Nor have we been forsaken by the Son who sits beside the Father making intercession for us. Nor have we been forsaken seeing that Christ is no longer on earth with us because he sent us a Comforter. One who comforts us concerning the promises of God.

We do not have to fear! What we must do is trust! What we must do is have faith in God and cling to his promises! Cling to the promise of Christ who said, I will never leave you or forsake you!

One thing more and I will close:

Christ even comforts us with his body. He has a body of believers of whom he has entrusted to care for one another. Therefore I call on all God’s saints, to pray. Pray to the Father! Ask him to move upon this situation and if it be His will to allow the surgeon to perform this operation without any complications. Nevertheless, let His, the Father’s, will be done!

Even so, Amen!

Reformedontheweb

The Wednesday Word: The Healing of the Nobleman’s Son

“The nobleman said unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die” (see John 4:46-53).

This nobleman had made an arduous and difficult journey to plead for the healing of his sick boy. Jesus, however, looked into this man’s heart and said, “Except you see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” That’s a sharp rebuke.

I like this nobleman. He didn’t become angry when corrected; he didn’t get offended. He didn’t get into a huff. Instead, he continued to press Jesus, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”

He is to be commended but notice the weakness of his faith. He’s got faith, but it has room for growth! Notice how He asks that the Lord should “come down” to Capernaum. He believed that Christ could heal if He was close by, but not if he was far away; Jesus he thought could work a miracle at short range, but not at a distance.

Before we get too critical of this man, we must ask if we are not just like him. Do we not sometimes think, “If Jesus were here in real life, I wouldn’t be in this trouble. Or, “if Jesus were here in person this prayer of mine would be answered.” We too often only believe in the Christ of the short range!

Then in Verse 50, “Jesus said unto him, Go your way; your son lives.”

Notice the graciousness of our Lord. He doesn’t demand that the man’s faith increase before He acts. If Jesus had been a legalist, he would have required more faith. Legalism and religion say, “Put this amount in and you’ll get this amount back—do this and do that, and you’ll get a result—But Jesus doesn’t treat this man that way! Our Lord is God in human flesh (John 1:14) showing us what God is really like! The Lord Jesus does not reject the man’s imperfect faith; the boy is in Capernaum, and Jesus is 25 miles away in Cana, and the nobleman thinks that Jesus can only heal if he is in the same place as his child.

“Come down with me so that my child might not die.” The Lord’s answer is not, “Brother I see your weak and imperfect faith. To move me to action you will have to have increased faith. To get higher faith you will need to take a class on the subject. The seminar I recommend for you is called ‘Advanced Faith and How to Get It’. It has six easy lessons and is on sale, this week, for a special price of $36.”

No, in grace, Jesus says, “Go your way your son lives.”

We read, that Jesus did not go down to Capernaum to see the sick boy, but only spoke the word, “Your son lives.” Almighty divine power went with that little sentence. That very hour the patient began to get better. Christ merely spoke, and the cure was accomplished. Strictly speaking, He didn’t even speak. He merely spoke to tell the man what He’d already accomplished.

Christ silently commanded the healing, and the deadly disease disappeared. Think about it…this is the kind of thing that only God can do.

Look at Jesus; He healed the boy even though He was 25 miles away, just by thinking Him healed. This is the power of God.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Puritan Family

by Oliver Allmand-Smith

Samuel Sewall lived with his family in Puritan America between 1652 and 1730, and he suffered in ways unimaginable to us today. Over a period of 24 years, he and his wife Hannah had 14 children: his first son John died aged 17 months; his third son Hull died aged 23 months; his fourth son Henry died aged two weeks; his fifth son Stephen died aged 6 months; his third daughter Judith died aged 6 weeks; his fourth daughter Mary died following childbirth aged just 19 years; his fifth daughter Jane died at 5 weeks; his sixth daughter, Sarah, after just five weeks of life, was laid in the family tomb, and his seventh son never saw the world alive, being stillborn.

Of their 14 children, one was stillborn and seven died before they reached the age of three. Out of the 6 who survived to adulthood, only three outlived their father meaning that Samuel Sewall buried 11 out of his 14 children. In the years 1685, 1686 and 1687 Samuel buried three sons, Henry, Hull, and Steven.

In Samuel’s diary, we read of a nightmare he experienced. In it, he woke up and all of his children were dead – his nightmare nearly came true.

We also read that when his children were not actually dying, they battled with smallpox, measles, the flux, ague, colds and numerous…

Read the entire article at Reformation21.

Benjamin Keach on Justification

by Tom Nettles

Editor’s Introduction

Benjamin Keach (1640–1704) became a Baptist at age 15, preached as a General Baptist, and suffered persecution, imprisonment, and the pillory for his convictions as a Baptist. After serving as an elder in a General Baptist congregation from 1668-1672, he became a Particular Baptist minister and founded the church at Horse-lie-Down in Southwark in London. He spent the remainder of his years as a zealous preacher of the gospel, an effective polemicist, a theoretician on principles of biblical interpretation, a poet, a hymn-writer, and a writer of allegory. His clear and bold defense of the doctrines of grace was informed by his previous years as an Arminian. He lived with sincere conviction that the doctrine of justification by faith was indeed the doctrine on which the church stands or falls. His sermons and expositional writings were filled with explanations of the centrality of this doctrine to a proper understanding of the grace of God.

In an exposition of Luke 7:42, “And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both,” Keach had an applicatory section explain how grace reigns through righteousness. Grace is not elevated in an unjust way………..

Read the entire article at Founders Ministries.

Reformed Credobaptism

In this post, I want to investigate the relation of faith to baptism in the Reformed tradition, and how it relates to modern discussions and debates.

Common Argument: Sacraments are God’s word to us, not our word to God

In my experience with debates about credobaptism vs. paedobaptism, one of the common arguments that modern Reformed Christians direct toward Baptists is that Baptists misunderstand the nature of sacraments. The common argument goes like this:

Sacraments are God’s word to us, not our profession of faith to God. Infant Baptism fits this perfectly because it is a picture of God’s grace promised to a helpless individual. Baptists turn baptism into a work performed by man, rather than a sign of divine grace given by God.

Let’s be clear, up front. It would be very easy to provide numerous examples of Baptists laying a heavy emphasis….

Read the entire article over at Petty France  

The Wednesday Word: What Faith Sees

“Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). But how is faith obtained? Listen to this! “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

Its no wonder the Word of God is under such attack nowadays

Real faith, is not faith in ourselves or faith in what we do. No indeed! But real faith is a living, personal faith, in that living, personal Saviour who came to earth and lived, died, was buried and rose again. And real faith now informs us that this same Saviour ascended into heaven and is now ruling and reigning and seated in cosmic authority (see Acts 2:33; Hebrews 10:12).

“Behold Him there, the risen Lord,

The sinless spotless sacrifice.

Upward I look and see Him there,

Who made an end of all my sin.”

As we listen to what God’s word says about Christ Jesus and His work for us, faith grows. Faith bows to the divine record of the person, work and offices of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Faith sees, in a personal way, that the Bible is true when it says that all have sinned (Romans 3:23).

Faith causes us to agree that, in ourselves, we are lost and undone (Isaiah 53:6).

Faith leads us to fully trust in Christ Jesus as our sin-bearer (1 Peter 2:24-25).

Faith sees that Christ alone did all the work that was needed to cleanse us and make us fit for the presence of God (John 19:30).

Faith rests on the fact that the work which Christ finished on the cross 2000 years ago, is really finished.

Faith agrees that we cannot add to this work (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Faith agrees that we cannot take away from this work. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Faith grasps that peace is not only a thing of enjoyment within us, but it is Christ outside of us: for He is our peace (Ephesians 2:4).

“My love is oftimes low,

My joy still ebbs and flows,

But peace with Him remains the same;

No change Jehovah knows.”

Bonar

Salvation is received by faith plus nothing. If there was a way for us to contribute to our own salvation; or if it depended on our merits; or indeed, if there were some way we could earn it or deserve it — then we would not receive our salvation by faith alone; we would be saved by faith plus works. But salvation is God’s gift. It is all by grace! There is nothing we can possibly add to what God has already done to save us in Jesus Christ. There is no other way to receive the benefits of Christ Crucified than by faith alone.

Some years ago, an old preacher had just finished giving a lecture at a Bible College and asked for questions. One student raised his hand and asked, “Sir, when were you saved.” The old pastor knew what the student wanted to know. He wanted to know where and when the Pastor had received Christ … was it at a gospel meeting, or in a church, did he raise his hand or walk to the front of the church?

The old preacher smiled and said, “When was I saved? Ï was saved 2000 years ago at Calvary, for it says in 2 Corinthians 5:19 “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself not imputing their trespasses to them.” I received that salvation by faith alone 50 years ago.

To receive this glorious salvation, we don’t do anything…we simply rest on His doing, dying and rising again.

Salvation was accomplished by Christ alone, it is received by faith alone without the addition of any works of our own.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com   

The Wednesday Word: KEPT

“Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last lime.”

l Peter 1: 5.

What is meant by being “kept by the power of God?” There are often great mistakes made on this point. Some teach that this verse tells us that we are:

(1) kept from accidents;

(2) kept from misfortune;

(3) kept from trials;

(4) kept from affliction; and

(5) kept from sin.

But the wording of our text, the facts of Scripture and the experience of the believer do not agree with such conclusions.

I´ve known believers who have been maimed or killed in accidents. I´ve seen believers overcome with misfortunes, trials, and afflictions. Though “kept by the power of God” believers often sin.

“What, then is the use of the power of God?” Let´s look at the text again: “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.” According to the text we are kept by the power of God unto salvation. Our salvation is secured. We are kept securely in Him despite all accidents, misfortunes, trials, afflictions and through all sin. What Power! What Goodness! What Grace!

God is in the keeping business. Jesus said, “Of all Thou hast given me I have lost none” (John 18:9) and “those that you gave me I have kept, and none of them is lost” (Jn 17:12).

God’s keeping means that He preserves us through all the troubles and changes of this mortal life unto eternal glory.

Who more afflicted than Job? But he was kept!

Who was more harassed by his own wicked flesh than David? But he was kept!

Who more tried than Paul?

He was beaten by the Jews five times. But he was kept!

He was beaten with a rod three times. But he was kept!

He was stoned once. But he was kept!

He was shipwrecked three times, spending at least 24 hours afloat at sea. But he was kept!

He often fled for his life under persecution. But he was kept!

He suffered from hunger, thirst, the elements, and inadequate clothing. But he was kept!

On a personal level, I have known many uncomplicated periods free from accident and misfortune in this life. I also have known the opposite. But in all such seasons, I have been kept by the power of God. My salvation has been secure.

Believers are the children of God through Christ (Galatians 3:26). We are inheritors of everlasting life through grace alone. We have been given the Holy Spirit and we will be kept forever (John 14:16-17; 16:12-15; Ephesians 1:13-14).

So, let no one jump to false conclusions. When a saint breaks down and falls, don´t assume that he is not kept unto salvation. Don´t assume that he is a lost cause. If he is the Lord´s, he is kept by the power of God unto salvation.

May we always remember, our salvation is based on Christ´s performance not ours. He is the one who keeps. He is the Shepherd who seeks and saves the lost.

Because of the Gospel we can be assured of the power of God working on our behalf. Sometimes it feels like our faith has keeled over and died but, even so, we are “kept by the power of God.” Our God never changes. He is forever faithful to His word.

May we believe what has been written.

May we always remember that we, His blood washed people, are the objects of God’s eternal kindness, care, protection and keeping.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word: The Vital Gift of Faith

The gift of faith is vital for salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9), yet faith is not our saviour. By faith, we not only acknowledge our debt of sin but also recognize that we don’t have to pay a penny of it.

Spurgeon said it like this, ´´My faith rests not upon what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in who and what Christ is, in what He has done … ´´

As we grow in grace (2 Peter 3:18) we learn more of the ways of faith.

For example,

We learn that faith is the adopting grace. “We are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3: 26).

Faith is the justifying grace. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God” (Romans 5:1).

Faith is the conquering grace. “This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith” (1 John 5: 4).

Faith is the wonder-working grace. Saints “through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens” (Hebrews 11: 33-34).

Faith is not merely a hope so, it is the way forward when we are stagnant. Faith brings certainty. Faith brings us continually to the Gospel for genuine faith has the Lord Jesus as its object. Though we may be saturated with sin, faith takes us to Christ.

Faith causes us to embrace Jesus.

Faith causes us to cling to Him.

Faith sees that He is our only hope.

Henry Law said it like this,

´´Faith is the eye which sees Him,

the ear which hears Him,

the hand which holds Him,

the feet which follow hard after Him,

the heart which loves Him,

the head which knows Him,

the memory which retains Him,

the affections which are entwined around Him,

the trust which trusts in Him,

the hope which hopes in Him¨.

Indeed, faith is the entire person loving Jesus, looking only unto Him, swallowed up in Him, making Him the All in All.’ (Henry Law, Meditations on the Epistle to the Ephesians.)

There was once a French tightrope walker, Charles Blondin, who did incredible aerial feats. All over Paris, he would do tightrope acts blindfolded and pushing a wheelbarrow. An American promoter read about this and wrote to Blondin, saying, “Sir, I don’t believe you can do it, but I’m willing to make you an offer. For a very substantial sum of money, besides all your travel expenses, I would like to challenge you to do your act over Niagara Falls.”

Blondin wrote back, “Sir, I’d love to attempt this.”

On September 14, 1860 after a lot of promotion many people came to see the event. The tightrope acrobat was to start on the Canadian side and walk to the American side. The Drums rolled, and Blondin set out across the rope which was suspended over the most treacherous part of the falls. As usual, he was blindfolded and pushing a wheelbarrow!! And he made it across easily. The crowds went wild, and he came to the promoter saying, “Well Sir, now do you believe I can do it?”

“Well of course I do. I mean, I just saw you do it.”

“No,” said Blondin, “do you really believe I can do it?”

“Well of course I do, you just did it.”

“No, no, no,” said Blondin, “do you trust that I can do it?”

“Yes,” said the Promoter, “I believe you can do it.”

“Good,” said Blondin, “then get in the wheelbarrow and I´ll take you across.”

What an excellent illustration of faith! Faith, as it were, causes us to get into the wheelbarrow of life embracing Jesus in every situation.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com