Why are men saved?
By: Charles Spurgeon
“Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake.” Psalm 106:8
Jesus Christ is the Saviour; but not more so than God the Father, or God the Holy Spirit. Some persons who are ignorant of the system of divine truth think of God the Father as being a great being full of wrath, and anger, and justice, but having no love, they think of God the Spirit perhaps as a mere influence proceeding from the Father and the Son. Now, nothing can be more incorrect than such opinions. It is true the Son redeems me, but then the Father gave the Son to die for me, and the Father chose me in the everlasting election of his grace. The Father blots out my sin; the Father accepts me and adopts me into his family through Christ. The Son could not save without the Father any more than the Father without the Son; and as for the Holy Spirit, if the Son redeems, do you not know that the Holy Spirit regenerates? It is he that makes us new creatures in Christ, who “begets us again unto a lively hope,” who purifies our soul, who sanctifies our spirit, and who, at last, presents us spotless and faultless before the throne of the Most High, accepted in the beloved. When you say, “Saviour,” remember there is a Trinity in that word—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, this Saviour being three persons under one name. You cannot be saved by the Son without the Father, nor by the Father without the Son, nor by Father and Son without the Spirit. But as they are one in creation, so are they one in salvation, working together in one God for our salvation, and unto that God be glory everlasting, world without end. Amen.
For meditation: We are to be baptised in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19) in acknowledgement of the fact that all three persons of the Trinity have accomplished our salvation.
Streams in the Desert – February 1
- 20231 Feb
This is my doing. (1 Kings 12:24)
The disappointments of life are simply the hidden appointments of love.
My child, I have a message for you today. Let me whisper it in your ear so any storm clouds that may arise will shine with glory, and the rough places you may have to walk will be made smooth. It is only four words, but let them sink into your inner being, and use them as a pillow to rest your weary head. “This is my doing.”
Have you ever realized that whatever concerns you concerns Me too? “For whoever touches you touches the apple of [my] eye” (Zech. 2:8). “You are precious and honored in my sight” (Isa. 43:4). Therefore it is My special delight to teach you.
I want you to learn when temptations attack you, and the enemy comes in “like a pent up flood” (Isa. 59:19)., that “this is my doing” and that your weakness needs My strength, and your safety lies in letting Me fight for you.
Are you in difficult circumstances, surrounded by people who do not understand you, never ask your opinion, and always push you aside? “This is my doing.” I am the God of circumstances. You did not come to this place by accident — you are exactly where I meant for you to be.
Have you not asked Me to make you humble? Then see that I have placed you in the perfect school where this lesson is taught. Your circumstances and the people around you are only being used to accomplish My will.
Are you having problems with money, finding it hard to make ends meet? “This is my doing,” for I am the One who keeps your finances, and I want you to learn to depend upon Me. My supply is limitless and I “will meet your needs” (Phil. 4:19). I want you to prove My promises so no one may say, “You did not trust in the Lord your God” (Deut. 1:32).
Are you experiencing a time of sorrow? “This is my doing.” I am “a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering” (Isa. 53:3). I have allowed your earthly comforters to fail you, so that by turning to Me you may receive “eternal encouragement and good hope” (2 Thess. 2:16). Have you longed to do some great work for Me but instead have been set aside on a bed of sickness and pain? “This is my doing.” You were so busy I could not get your attention, and I wanted to teach you some of My deepest truths. “They also serve who only stand and wait.” In fact, some of My greatest workers are those physically unable to serve, but who have learned to wield the powerful weapon of prayer.
Today I place a cup of holy oil in your hands. Use it freely, My child. Anoint with it every new circumstance, every word that hurts you, every interruption that makes you impatient, and every weakness you have. The pain will leave as you learn to see Me in all things.
–Laura A. Barter Snow
He Makes Beautiful Things
By Amanda Idleman, Crosswalk.com
Ecclesiastes 3:11, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”
God is doing the work of creating beauty not perfection. A part of the Christian faith looks like growth, change, and obedience. We are always looking to our Savior asking him to make us more like Him. If we are not careful this holy process of sanctification can quickly transform into us striving for perfection. We stop relying on God as the one that creates new things out of our lives and start believing that by our own strength we can become “good enough” to earn our own salvation.
Shame and guilt can distract us from the work of grace that God is doing in our lives. When all we see is how we are less than perfect, we can get distracted from the hope that is alive in our world. Our hope is that He makes beauty from our ashes.
As a parent I fall short yet amazingly I can behold so much beauty in the lives of my children everyday. As a wife I make mistakes, oftentimes over and over again, yet the perseverance and love that is enduring in our home is stunning. In my friendships and with my family, I don’t always have the right words but I am grateful for the way the stories of our lives are being written together. As a Christ-Follower, I often fall short and lack wisdom but God is still doing a good work in my life.
Our hearts can be encouraged by the knowledge that even though the headlines in our world and sometimes the headlining thoughts in our minds are filled with negativity, ugliness, and darkness; God is still alive and active in our world. His light is illuminating the dark places, showing his ability to redeem his fallen creation. He has not given up on us.
Genesis tells us the story of how God formed our world. When he finished and finally breathed life into his creation, he paused to say “It is good” (Genesis 1:31). This world began as something good but soon sin and death entered the scene and began to cast a shadow on God’s work. Since then the story of the world has been God coming down to Earth doing all he can to rescue, redeem, and illuminate his fallen creation. Beauty is being made of us despite our fallen nature.
The book of Revelation tells us that one day God’s beauty will be forever in our sights. We won’t have to struggle under the shadow that evil casts on this world. The new Heaven and new Earth will be our eternal home, with our God set securely on his throne of grace (Revelation 21). Our souls long for such a peace filled day! For now, we are a part of his work to bring His Kingdom down. His Kingdom is a place of creativity, beauty, light, and vibrance. Let’s be those that look for that beauty everyday, fighting against the urge to fixate on the problems.
May the Holy Spirit illuminate the beauty of God’s creation for you. He is making everything beautiful in his perfect timing. He offers hope, peace, joy, healing, redemption, reconciliation, and comfort to his children even in our profound brokenness. His grace is enough for us (2 Corinthians 12:9).