How to Quench Your Thirst in Life (Gospel Light Minute X #360)

This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the Gospel Light Minute X Podcast #360 titled, “How to Quench Your Thirst in Life.” I’m here to remind you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me.

Happiness, contentment, and peace of mind are the most longed-for and sought after things in all the world, and few there are who ever really find them. All around us people are searching madly for these precious treasures without success. Psychiatrists tell us that an ever-increasing number of people are aware of an inner emptiness in their lives. Their problems — personal and social — seem to increase faster than solutions can be found to solve them.

Is this all simply evidence of the emptiness of those who try to live without God? Man’s struggle for wealth, fame, and pleasure will not bring him the contentment and happiness that he yearns for. Yet, with a restlessness that is pitiful to see, people are searching from one thing to another, always hoping to find rest and satisfaction in some future accomplishment or possession. Continue reading “How to Quench Your Thirst in Life (Gospel Light Minute X #360)”

Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 33 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #202)

A series of homilies on Ephesians.

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

TEXT: Ephesians 3:20-21:

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

—-

R. Moffat Gautrey said, “The Gospel is not an old, old story, freshly told. It is a fire in the Spirit, fed by the flame of Immortal Love; and woe unto us, if, through our negligence to stir up the Gift of God which is within us, that fire burns low.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “America is not dying because of the strength of humanism but the weakness of evangelism.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Even with the death of John Wesley in 1791, Methodists continued to embrace the new awakening that was similar to the revival that had given them their spiritual birth. Baptists and Congregationalists also reported revival in their churches, as did evangelicals within the Anglican Church. Revival among Anglicans in the London upper-class suburb of Clapham empowered some of the most influential members of British society—William Wilberforce, John Howard, and Elizabeth Fry—who produced some significant social reforms.”

—-

Paul’s prayer request for the Ephesians, in which he points out that God is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” ought to challenge us in our prayer lives. How do you pray? What kinds of things do you ask for?

It is okay to ask God for the basic needs — money to pay bills, safety for yourself and your family, a good night of rest and sleep — but we serve a God who is far bigger than those things. Every Christian ought to have some goal, some dream that they know only God can help them achieve. We honor God when we come to Him in faith asking for something that is in His will, but that is impossible humanly speaking.

We ought to make a habit out of praying big prayers. We ought to make a habit out of praying prayers that, if answered, would bring glory to God through His church. Paul says that that is when God does things that are “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” God gets glory in the church by Christ Jesus, not just for now, but “throughout all ages, world without end.” What are you asking for that will further the mission of the church? What are you asking for that will make Jesus more famous in the earth? What are you asking for that will bring God glory?

Phillips Brooks said, “Pray the largest prayers. You cannot think a prayer so large that God, in answering it, will not wish you had made it larger. Pray not for crutches but for wings.”

Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 31 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #200)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians.

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

TEXT: Ephesians 3:20-21:

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

—-

Samuel Chadwick said, “Truth without enthusiasm, morality without emotion, ritual without soul, are things Christ unsparingly condemned. Destitute of fire, they are nothing more than a godless philosophy, and ethical system, and a superstition.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “Satan fools and feigns, blows and bluffs, and we so often take his threats to heart and forget the ‘exceeding greatness of God’s power to us.'”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Because the erosion of faith on both sides of the Atlantic at the end of the eighteenth century was such a great concern, one after another Christian denominations began to call the faithful to prayer. In England, the first Monday evening of each month was set aside for prayer. Two items were high on the prayer list. First, the churches prayed for a revival that would restore many who had lapsed into secularism. Second, they prayed for an extension of God’s kingdom into the unreached nations around the world.”

—-

Perhaps, the most remarkable thing about the things that God is able to do “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” is that these things are carried out “according to the power that worketh in us.” What Paul is saying is that we should not be surprised at the amazing things God is able to do. We ought to be familiar with it. In fact, we ought to expect it because that power is at work within us.

P.T. O’Brien said, “In the earlier petition of chapter 1, God’s effective power towards believers was said to be nothing less than the operation of His mighty strength exerted in the resurrection of Christ. Now that same power which raised Christ from the dead, enthroned Him in the heavenlies, and then raised and enthroned us with Him, is at work within us to achieve infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. In the doxology, Paul thus praises God for the bestowal of strength by His Spirit on His people, and affirms that the full realization of God’s gracious purposes for them and in them becomes possible.”

Now, the thing about power is that power can be at rest or in action. The batteries in a store contain power — power available to everyone — but power that is dormant. That power is not activated until the batteries are set into an electronic device.

God’s power, activated through the Holy Spirit, is present in every believer. However, in some believers, that power lies dormant because they have grieved or quenched the Holy Spirit through unconfessed sin. If we want God to do exceeding abundantly in our lives, above all that we can ask or think, we must make sure that we have not grieved the Holy Spirit in any way, for it is through the Spirit of God living inside of us that His power is activated.

Frances Havergal wrote:

Church of God, beloved and chosen,
Church of Christ for whom He died,
Claim thy gifts and praise the Giver,
Ye are washed and sanctified.
Sanctified by God the Father,
And by Jesus Christ His Son,
And by God the Holy Spirit,
Holy, Holy, Three in One.

By His will He sanctifieth,
By the Spirit’s power within;
By the loving hand that chasteneth
Fruits of righteousness to win;
By His truth and by His promise,
By the Word, His gift unpriced,
By His own blood, and by union
With the risen life of Christ.

Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 30 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #199)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians.

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

TEXT: Ephesians 3:20-21:

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

—-

P.T. Forsyth said, “It is well to get rid of the idea that faith is a matter of spiritual heroism only for a few select spirits. There are heroes of faith, but faith is not only for heroes. It is a matter of spiritual adulthood. It is a matter of maturity.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “The church as we know it today seems a million miles from the New Testament church. That may be a great generalization, but I will stand on it. There is a gulf between our average Christianity and the church of the New Testament that makes the Grand Canyon look like a cavity in someone’s tooth.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “It is by revivals of religion that the Church of God makes its most visible advance. When all things seem becalmed, when no breath stirs the air, when the sea is like lead and the sky is low and grey, when all worship seems to have ended but the worship of matter, then it is that the Spirit of God is poured upon the Church, then it is that the Christianity of the apostles and martyrs, not that of the philosophers and liberals, keeps rising … from the catacombs of oblivion, and appears young and fresh in the midst of the obsolete things of yesterday and the day before.”

—-

As Paul comes to what has been called the “doxology” of his prayer, he focuses words of praise on God whom he expects will answer the requests he has just made on behalf of the Ephesian believers. In so doing, he turns the attention of his readers to God as well.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…” Paul had asked for four things that the Ephesian believers could not do for themselves — that, perhaps, even they did not think were possible. He had asked: (1) that they would be strengthened by His Spirit; (2) that Christ would dwell in them; (3) that they would be able to comprehend or take hold of the love of God; and (4) that they would be filled with all the fullness of God. All before that, Paul had talked about how Gentiles and Jews were now members of one family in Christ — something that had been previously thought impossible.

How could all of this be done? It could only be done by God who is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.”

Dr. John Walvoord and Dr. Roy Zuck wrote: “Paul praised God who is able to do far more than one could ask or imagine, according to the standard of His power that is at work within us. No human or angel would ever think that Jews and Gentiles could function together in one body. But with God’s power of love in each believer’s life, Paul was confident that Jewish and Gentile believers can function and love one another. This is astounding and though it is not naturally possible, God is able to accomplish it. Paul therefore ascribed to God glory which is to be manifest in the church, where the miracle of love will occur, and in Christ Jesus, who made the union of Jewish and Gentile believers possible.”

Any good thing that you have experienced, God can do above that exceedingly and abundantly. Any good thing that you have thought about or imagined, God can do above that exceedingly and abundantly. Any good things that you can not even think to name, God can do above that exceedingly and abundantly.

Many believers, today, unfortunately don’t take God’s ability seriously. We have become so influenced by humanism and secularism that, mentally, we limit God. We don’t think of Him as being able to do exceedingly and abundantly, above and beyond what we can ask or think. Thus, we don’t ask for the things that we should ask for. We forget that some things may seem impossible to us, but nothing is impossible to God.

Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 28 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #197)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians.

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

TEXT: Ephesians 3:14-19:

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

—-

John Berridge said, “All decays begin in the closet; no heart thrives without much secret conversation with God, and nothing will make amends for the want of it.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “The secret of praying is praying in secret. A sinning man will stop praying, and a praying man will stop sinning.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “The First Great Awakening had tremendous political effects. Following Whitefield’s encouragement of itinerant preaching, many evangelists ended up establishing new churches without government affiliation. These churches involved lay people in ministry, but more importantly, they gave lay people a voice in the affairs of their churches. It wasn’t long before lay people were wanting a voice also in the affairs of their government and society in general. These churches competed with the tax-supported churches for members. When the political establishment in Connecticut recognized this threat, the colonial assembly passed a law banning itinerant preaching in 1742. As a result, some itinerants went to jail. The revival continued to spread, however, unchecked by the laws of men.”

—-

As we continue looking at the fourth of Paul’s requests for the Ephesian believers (and for all believers today), consider these words from Adam Clarke: “Among all the great sayings in this prayer, this is the greatest. To be filled with God is a great thing; to be filled with the fullness of God is still greater; but to be filled with all the fullness of God utterly bewilders the sense and confounds the understanding.”

As we make Paul’s prayer request our own — that we may be filled unto all the fulness of God — it is important to remember that there is nothing we can do to fill ourselves. Paul uses the passive tense in his prayer. It is God that must do the filling up, not the Ephesian believers.

One commentator compared being filled with all the fulness of God to a balloon being filled with air. A new balloon just sits there. It’s limp; it’s boring; it’s dead. But, when you start to fill a balloon with air, it perks up. It get’s bigger. It grows far bigger than the limp, dead piece of plastic that was just sitting there a few moments ago. It begins growing wide and tall. Lo and behold, the balloon begins to rise up. It begins to float; it begins to fly. In fact, you have to tie a balloon down because if you don’t it will keep going up, and up, and up.

The Christian who begins to be filled with God is like that balloon. The presence of God in that person’s life stretches and pushes him into bigger, greater, more impactful service for the kingdom of God. And as that person is filled, he grows spiritually, rises up, becomes more mature, and most importantly, he is closer to God than ever before.

That is what God wants for all His children. He wants to fill them with Himself so they can be close to Him and so they can serve and minister to others out of a Christ-like spirit.

Charles E. Orr wrote:

As men seek for hidden treasure,
As for rain thirsts the drying sod,
As the hart pants after water,
So my heart pants after God.

I seek not for worldly pleasure,
I pray not for earthly store;
My whole soul goes after Jesus—
I am seeking nothing more.

Oh, to be holy, holy, holy,
Like my Savior every day,
To be filled with all His fullness,
It is for this I pray and pray.

Let’s pray.

Jesus Comforts Troubled Hearts, Part 18 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 231)

JJMessage


TEXT: John 14:27

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

———-

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 231.

Matthew Henry said, “When Christ died He left a will in which He gave His soul to His Father, His body to Joseph of Arimathea, His clothes to the soldiers, and His mother to John. But to His disciples, who had left all to follow Him, He left not silver or gold, but something far better — His peace!”

As Jesus would be leaving the disciples, He also leaves something behind to remain with them. He says, “peace I leave with you.” Jews both greeted one another and departed from one another with the word “shalom,” or peace. The word peace means: rest, quietness, a state of tranquility. Although their hearts were troubled, Jesus says that He is leaving them with peace.

Now, peace for Jesus’ disciples does not mean the absence of trouble. Rather it means calm and confidence in the midst of the storms of life. Don’t you know that the best place to be in a hurricane is in the middle of it? There you will find an inexplicable, senseless peace and calm. William Barclay said, “In the Bible, the word for peace, shalom, never means simply the absence of trouble. It means everything which makes for our highest good. The peace which the world offers us is the peace of escape, the peace which comes from the avoidance of trouble and from refusing to face things.” Jesus gives us peace in the midst of trouble; He gives us peace that allows us to face the things that we most dread.

Jesus continues saying, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” Notice the words “my peace” as contrasted with the world’s peace. When people said “shalom” in ancient Israel, it didn’t really mean anything. It was just a manner of greeting. Kind of like how people today say things like, “My thoughts and prayer are with you.” In most cases, the person is just being polite or considerate. In the church, when most of us tell a struggling brother or sister, “I’m praying for you,” we don’t really mean it. It’s just a way of communicating with the person in that moment.

But Jesus’ peace isn’t like that. He left His disciples with a real, concrete peace. He left them in a state of peace with God and He gave them the peace of God. Jesus went away to the cross so that He could secure their peace with God. When He shed His blood for their sins and the sins of the whole world, the disciples were put into a right relationship with God. On top of that, Jesus gave them the peace of God — God’s peace living inside of their souls. They knew that they would face trouble in this world, but they no longer had trouble in their hearts.

After promising them His peace, Jesus says, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Because they have His peace, they have power over their hearts. They do not have to be troubled or afraid. Why should they? They have God’s peace now.

As Anna Proctor wrote:

Peace, blessed peace, when wild winds are raging,
Peace, blessed peace, when foes our path assail;
Peace in the tempest, with the battle waging,
Wrapped safe in love we rest within the vail.

Peace, wondrous peace, the priceless gift of heaven,
Calmly to rest, until the conflicts cease;
Father above, to us may now be given,
This blessed gift of Thine eternal peace.

You can have eternal peace — peace with God and the peace of God — no matter what troubles you are facing today, if you trust Jesus Christ as your Savior, if you make the Prince of Peace the King of your heart.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 27 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #196)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians.

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

TEXT: Ephesians 3:14-19:

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

—-

A.W. Pink said, “O that we were more deeply moved by the languishing state of Christ’s cause upon the earth today, by the inroads of the enemy and the awful desolation he has wrought in Zion. Alas that a spirit of indifference, or at least of fatalistic stoicism, is freezing so many of us.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “We live in a day of itching ears, but I have no commission from God to scratch them.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “As profound as was the impact of the First Great Awakening on the church, it had an even greater impact on the societies touched by it. It was the First Great Awakening in New England that shaped the moral character of the thirteen colonies that were to become the United States of America. When a French sociologist later toured America to determine the secret of her strength, he concluded, “America is great because America is good.” But America had not been so good prior to the awakening.”

—-

Today, we move on to the fourth of Paul’s requests for the Ephesian believers (and for all believers today). First, he prayed that they would be strengthened by God’s might through His Spirit. Second, he prayed that Christ would dwell in their hearts through faith. Third, he prayed that they would be able to comprehend the love of Jesus.

Now, he prays, as a result of all of the above, “that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Some scholars believe that means “that ye might be filled unto all the fulness of God.” The reason for this is simply that our finite human bodies and our faulty human souls cannot contain ALL the fulness of God, but we can desire to contain as much of HIm as possible.

But, what is the fulness of God?

Well, the fulness of God is simply Christ living in us through the Holy Spirit. When you examine yourself spiritually, you ought to ask, “How full am I of God?” Has God taken over every part of my life or am I still holding some parts back from Him? Is Christ’s love being expressed in all of my interactions with others or are there some people I still interact with on a flesh and blood basis? Am I so full of the Holy Spirit that He is overflowing into everything I do, think, and say throughout the day, or am I filled with myself and still trying to do some things my way?

The Bible Exposition Commentary said, “We like to measure ourselves by the weakest Christians that we know, and then boast, ‘Well, I’m better than they are.’ Paul tell us that the measure is Christ, and that we cannot boast about anything (nor should we). When we have reached His fullness, then we have reached the limit.”

Are you full of Christ today? Are you full of God and the Holy Spirit? Or are you still trying to do some things your way? Each of us ought to pray along with Paul, “Lord, fill me with all the fulness of Yourself.”

Frances Havergal wrote this hymn, which expresses the heart’s desire of a person who is filled with all the fulness of God:

Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in endless praise.

Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee.

Take my voice and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee.

Take my will and make it thine;
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is thine own;
it shall be thy royal throne.

Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 26 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #195)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians.

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

TEXT: Ephesians 3:14-19:

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

—-

D. M. McIntyre said, “Before the great revival in Austria broke out, Martin Boos spent hours and days and often nights in lonely agonies of intercession. Afterwards, when he preached, his words were as flame, and the hearts of the people as grass.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “I wish, in America, that we were as concerned about the separation of church and sin as we are about the separation of church and state. Church and sin — it’s a monstrous problem.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “The First Great Awakening lasted about fifty years worldwide (though only ten years in the American colonies) and had a profound impact on both the church and society. Within twenty-five years of the beginning of this revival in Hernhutt, the Moravians had sent out more than a hundred missionaries. Their example inspired William Carey to challenge British Baptists to consider sending missionaries to the unreached peoples of Asia. While later revivals recruited candidates for missions, the First Great Awakening restored the concept of missions to the evangelical churches.”

—-

Today, we are going to continue looking at Paul’s third request for the Ephesian believers (and for all believers today). This third request is, “That ye… may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge…” As we saw yesterday, this love of Christ can only begin to be fully known in community with other believers — when we see it in our lives and in the lives of others as well as when we show it toward others in the body of Christ.

When we do this, we have begun to comprehend Jesus’ love — “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of it. The text provides no context to determine what Paul means by these measurements, except to say that He means to impress upon us that the love of Christ is immeasurable. As the Bible Knowledge Commentary states, “it is too large to be confined by any geometrical measurements. It is wide enough to reach the whole world and beyond. It is long enough to stretch from eternity to eternity. It is high enough to raise both Gentiles and Jews to heavenly places in Christ Jesus. It is deep enough to rescue people from sin’s degradation and even from the grip of Satan himself.”

The reason why we still hope and pray for a revival and an awakening in our families, our churches, and our country is because, although it seems like all hope is lost, the love of Christ knows no bounds. Despite our sins, faults, and failures, and the moral decay in our nation, Jesus still loves us. He died for every one of us. He wants to save each of us. That is how great His love is. It is not based on anything we have said or done. We don’t deserve His love. But He extends it to us anyway.

As Fanny Crosby wrote —

O the height and depth of mercy!
O the length and breadth of love!
O the fullness of redemption—
Pledge of endless life above!

Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 25 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #194)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians.

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

TEXT: Ephesians 3:14-19:

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

—-

Watchman Nee said, “Despite a great revival in Samaria, Philip was not responsible for the follow-up labor of strengthening. He must leave immediately for the desert in order that a ‘heathen’ eunuch might be saved. Ananias had not heard of Saul’s conversion, but he could not refuse to go to pray for Saul when sent, though by standards of human judgment he was casting his life away by walking directly into the persecutor’s hand. How then dare we follow our mind, emotion or will if even the Apostles did not move on that basis? How people today have seized upon reason, thought, idea, feeling, wish, and desire as the governing factors in God’s work!”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “I’m sick and tired of only reading about church history; let’s make some history by the grace of God.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “The Fetter Lane Watch Night Revival impacted the entire nation through the Wesleys and Whitefield. Nevertheless, as the group spread out and began preaching, the response of the established church was often cool. Even Whitefield, who often drew thousands to his meetings, found churches were closing their pulpits to him. The following February, however, the twenty-five-year-old evangelist discovered an innovative way to reach the masses outside the established churches. While visiting his hometown of Bristol, Whitefield learned of opposition to his missions work in America. ‘If he will convert heathens, why does he not go to the colliers of Kingswood?’ his critics asked. Kingswood was a rough coal-mining town near Bristol without a single church. Inasmuch as the churches of Bristol were reluctant to let him preach in their pulpits, Whitefield chose to answer the challenge of his critics with action. On Saturday, February 17, he began preaching to about 200.”

—-

Today, we are going to continue looking at Paul’s third request for the Ephesian believers (and for all believers today). This third request is, “That ye… may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge…” To comprehend the love of Christ is to not just understand it (as much as one is able), but to take hold of it, to internalize it, and to express it in our life as believers.

Paul wants us to do this “with all saints.” The word “all” tells us that every believer is capable of comprehending the love of Christ. This is not a task to be set aside for theologians and scholars. Every Christian ought to plumb the depths of God’s love expressed through His Son.

D.A. Carson said that Paul “assumes that his readers, Christians though they are, do not adequately appreciate the love of Christ.” He is not praying that we should love Jesus more, but that we might better understand and experience the love of Christ that has already been shown to us. Of course, the mind is involved, but this is not a solely intellectual pursuit. We already know the love of Christ to a certain degree. Paul’s prayer request is that all of the saints would know it at a greater and deeper level.

There are two ways all the saints begin to comprehend the love of Christ.

First, by seeing it displayed in the lives of other believers. You may not have been an alcoholic or drug addict when you came to Christ, but you might look at somebody else and say, ‘Wow, God’s love extends even to her!’ People whom you may have thought were beyond the reach of God’s love have drawn in, saved, washed of their sins, and forgiven.

The second way in which saints comprehend the love of Christ is by living it out in community with other believers. You cannot say you know what God’s love is like unless you are showing it to other believers (and unbelievers) around you. Love is action, not just from God toward us, but us toward others.

Our desire ought to be the same as that of J. Denham Smith who wrote these words:

Abide in Thee! in that deep love of Thine,
My Jesus, Lord, Thou Lamb of God divine,
Down, closely down, as living branch with tree,
I would abide, my Lord, my Christ, in Thee.

Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 24 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #193)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians.

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

TEXT: Ephesians 3:14-19:

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

—-

Tom Wells said, “There are no magic formulas for revival. We cannot command it. We may await it with longing, and we are bound to express our longing in prayer.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “You know, we live in a day when we are more afraid of holiness than we are of sinfulness.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “John Wesley was so impressed with the Moravians that he encouraged many of his associates to cast their lot with them. Earlier, as a student at Oxford University, he’d been part of a ‘Holy Club,’ a student group that read Christian classics and did charitable work in the community. Most of those involved in that Holy Club were in fact at the meeting at Fetter Lane that evening. John’s brother Charles, who had experienced a conversion similar to his own only a few days earlier, was numbered among that group, as was their close friend George Whitefield, who had just returned from ministry in America.”

—-

Today, we are going to continue looking at Paul’s third request for the Ephesian believers (and for all believers today).

First, he prayed that God would strengthen them by His Spirit. Then, he prayed that they would allow Christ to take up permanent residence in their hearts. His third request is, “That ye… may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge…” But there is a prerequisite to this request which we looked at yesterday — “…that ye, being rooted and grounded in love…” Before these believers could know and comprehend the love of Christ, they first had to be rooted and grounded in love. Why? Because one cannot even begin to know and comprehend the love of Christ if one has not experienced the love of Christ.

Now that that has been established, what does it mean to “comprehend” the love of Christ? The English word comprehend means to understand something or to grasp it mentally. However, the original Greek word implies something much more vivid. This word is ka-ta-lam-ba-no, and it means to seize, to lay hold of, to apprehend, to wrestle with, or to take eagerly. In secular Greek writings, this word was used to describe a struggle against a strong opponent or the attacking and taking of a city by an army. It has to do with the seizing of something and making it your own.

That is the idea Paul is getting at. He not only wants the Ephesian believers to know and understand the love of Christ as best they can, but to take it and make it their own.

Steven J. Cole said, “‘To be able to comprehend’ or ‘to have the strength to grasp’ this immense love of Christ shows that it is not an easy or a humanly attainable goal. We must have God’s power. This is not a one-time attainment, but a lifetime and even an eternal quest. We can never say, ‘I’ve arrived!’ We will not grow towards this goal if we are not experiencing God’s power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ is coming to dwell in our hearts through faith.”

It will take all of eternity to fully understand the love of Christ. But, we should start now — not only trying to understand it, but living it out in our everyday life.

W.E. Littlewood wrote:

There is no love like the love of Jesus,
Never to fade or fall,
Till into the rest of the house of God
He has gathered us all.

Jesus’ love, precious love,
Boundless, and pure, and free;
Oh, turn to that love, weary wand’ring soul;
Jesus pleadeth for thee.