Saturday, January 23, 2016

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
    In the Book of Hebrews we learn more and more about Jesus of Nazareth: Who He was; why He was incarnated; why He suffered, bled and died for us; the greatness of His victory over Satan and the kingdom of Darkness; His ongoing work on His Father's Right hand as our Intercessor, Advocate and Heavenly High Priest!
     St. Paul writes: “God, Who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, Whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds;
     “Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Person, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, when He had by Himself PURGED our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High; Being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by INHERITANCE obtained a more excellent name than they.
     “For unto which of the angels said He at any time, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee? And again, when He bringeth in the First Begotten into the world, He saith:  And let all the angels of God WORSHIP Him. But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy Kingdom.
      “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hateth iniquity; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows. And, Thou, LORD, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Thine hands: They shall perish: but Thou remainest; and they shall wax old as doth a garment;
       “And as a vesture shalt Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed; but Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail. But to which of the angels said He at any time, Sit on My Right Hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Heb.1: 1-14)
                         SECOND PERSON OF THE TRIUNE GOD!
   Jesus Christ is the Divine, Uncreated Second Person of the Triune God. He is Creator, Sustainer, Liberator, Saviour and Healer of all who call upon Him in sincerity, humility, faith and truth. He is the Final Word of God given to mankind. He is the First Cause of Creation, having created all things. He is the Sustainer of His creative works and keeps His universe operating perfectly. He is our Saviour, Physician, Advocate, Intercessor and High Priest.
     Through the shed BLOOD of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit makes the Father known to us. And we are made known to Him only through His Son Jesus Christ, Who is the Mediator between God and man! (1 Tim.2: 3-6)
     St. Paul writes that Christ Who is our Peace, has brought Jews and Gentiles together through His sacrificial death on the Cross, “having broken down the middle wall of partition between us. That He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the CROSS, having slain the enmity thereby:
  “And came and preached PEACE to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through Him (Jesus Christ) we both (Jews and Greeks) have access by one Spirit (Holy Spirit) unto the Father.” (Eph.2:14, 16-18).
   This Scripture proves the VALIDITY of the Holy Spirit as a Person, and the TRUTH of the Triune God; God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! These three are ONE! Blessed be His Name forever and ever. Amen.
      Jesus said: “No man knoweth the Father but the Son and whosoever He will reveal Him unto.” (Matt.11: 27);“The Father loveth the Son and hath given all things into His hands.” (John 3:36). Thank God, we are in His hands! 
     The Bible states: “Giving thanks unto the Father, Who has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in LIGHT: Who hath delivered us from the power of Darkness and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear SON: In Whom we have REDEMPTION through His BLOOD, even the forgiveness of sins.” (Col.2: 12-14)
    St. Paul warns: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him (Jesus Christ) dwelleth all the fullness of the GODHEAD bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.” (Col.1: 9,10)
     This the Gospel of Christ: “Buried with Him in Baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, Who hath RAISED Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses:
     “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, NAILING it to His Cross. And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col. 2: 12-15)
    A miner lay dying alone in a shack in the hills of California during the Gold Rush. A wonderful Christian lady came to visit him. He was at the point of death as she read John 3: 16 from the New Testament: “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.”
    Suddenly, the dying man opened his eyes and in a weak voice asked, “Is that in the Bible?” She answered, “Yes, it is in the Bible.” He asked: “Who is He speaking to? Is He speaking to me?” The lady answered: “Yes. He is speaking to you.” Weakly the man asked: “Did He say anything else?” She said: “Yes. He said, unto them who receive Him, He gives the power to have eternal life.”
   The dying man said: “I receive Him. I'm satisfied.” Then, he closed his eyes as the angels came and carried him Home to JESUS!
     Our Lord said: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Is.1: 18)
    JESUS stated: “Come unto Me all ye who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of God; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11: 28, 29)
     “Ye are from beneath; I am from Above: ye are of the world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins.” (John 8: 23, 24)
     Our Lord declared: “Ye shall know the truth, and the TRUTH shall make you FREE. If the Son therefore shall make you FREE, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8: 32, 36)
     “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me, and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from Heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.
      “And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have EVERLASTING LIFE: and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6: 37-40)
     “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this He spoke of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7: 37 -39)
    JESUS said: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with Me.” (Rev.3: 20). Having purchased our eternal salvation through the shedding of His pure and precious BLOOD and rising victoriously from the dead, He is waiting NOW to receive sinners and saints  into His arms of Love and Mercy! Here is an old Gospel Hymn, Lord I'm Coming Home by William J. Kirkpatrick.
I’ve wandered far away from God, now I’m coming home
The paths of sin too long I’ve trod, Lord I’m coming home
Coming Home, coming home, never more to roam,
Open wide Thine arms of love, Lord I’m coming home.

I’ve tired of sin and straying Lord, now I’m coming home
I now repent in bitter tears, Lord, I’m coming home
Coming Home, coming home, never more to roam,
Open wide Thine arms of love, Lord I’m coming home

   The Bible says: “Therefore being justified through FAITH, we have Peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By Whom also we have access by Faith into this GRACE wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. But God commandeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom.5: 1,2, 6,8)
MARTIN LUTHER was found lying under a cruxifix sobbing uncontrolably, and saying: “For me, my God, for me! (Fur mich, mien Gott, fur mich.') He had been reading Romans and suddenly realized that Jesus Christ, God's Son had died for him personally. Not just for the entire world, but for Martin Luther! This is the work of the blessed Holy Spirit, to reveal Christ to every seeking soul!
    The number one prerequisite to get to the Father’s heart, is to believe that He sent Jesus Christ to this world to save sinners. When we love His Son, the Father has pledged to love us and make His abode with us.
     Jesus promised: “He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, He it is that loveth Me; and He that loveth Me shall be LOVED of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.
     “If a man love Me, He will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We (My Father and I) will come unto him, and make OUR abode with him.” (John 14: 21, 23). “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureh not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him.
     “Verily, verily I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him who sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5: 23, 24)
   On a number of occasions God the Father honoured His Son, exalting Jesus of NazarethThe first was when He commanded the holy angels to worship Him. (Heb.1: 6). The second was when He sent angels to the shepherds to herald His Birth. (Luke 2: 8-14).
    At His Baptism, God the Father spoke in an audible voice, saying, “This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.” (Matt.3:17). During His Transfiguration on the Mount, He spoke again, saying, “This is my Beloved Son, Hear ye Him.” (Luke 9: 35)
     St. John wrote: “And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this LIFE is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life and he that hath not the Son of God hath not Life.” (1 John 5: 12)
      “Who is a LIAR, but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is Antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. Whoso denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” (1 John 2:22, 23)
    “He came unto His own and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” (John 1: 11, 12)
      “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, Who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of  a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
   “Wherefore, God also has highly EXALTED HIM, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven, and things in earth, and of things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.” (Phil.2: 5-11)
     Andre Crouch wrote the song, 'Oh, it is Jesus. Yes, it is Jesus in My Soul'.
Oh, it is Jesus, Yes it is Jesus.
Oh, it Jesus in my soul
For I have touched the hem of His Garment
And His blood has made me whole.

I tried all that I could,
seemed like nothing did me any good.
Then I heard Jesus, He was passing by,
and I decided to give Him a try.
Oh, it is Jesus, Yes it is Jesus.
Oh, it Jesus in my soul
For I have touched the hem of His Garment
And His blood has made me whole

   William R. Newell wrote one of the Church's greatesy hymns titled, 'At Calvary'. When I first heard that hymn my heart was stirred and today it is stirred even more as I read the lyrics and sing the words of the song. And I am grieved that millions of Christians today have never heard it. How sad! How quickly Satan conspired with worldly-minded, fad-driven Christians in these last few decades to replace genuine Gospel hymns for feel-good lyrics, often written by popular artists who earn large sums of money, and feeds a not-so-Christian Secular Music Industry.

               AT CALVARY
    All doubt has vanished and we no longer trust in ourselves for FORGIVENESS or HEALING, but we TRUST only in His merit for life eternal, liberty and freedom. His Word becomes a reality: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph.2: 8, 9)
    It is easy to trust a man's word when you know the reliabilty of the man! Our trust is in CHRIST JESUS, the Author and Finisher (perfecter) of our FAITH, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down on the right hand of the Throne of God.” (Heb.2: 2)
     The BIBLE states: For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is ONE God, and ONE Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself, a Ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Tim.2: 3-6)
     "For when we were yet without strength (hopeless), in due time Christ died for the ungodly. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Rom.5: 6,8,9)
   “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Rom. 10: 9,10)
                               THE TRUTH & ONLY THE TRUTH!
   Herein lies the Truth of the whole matter! Only those who believe that Jesus of Nazareth was God the Son from eternity - God incarnate – but humbled Himself and was made in the likeness of human flesh so that He might die as God's Paschal Lamb for the sins of the world and rise again from the dead, can be SAVED.
    All others who refuse God's provision of salvation, trusting only in the lying words of false prophets and their own goodness will be LOST. Period!
     St. John declares: “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is Greater: for this is the witness of God which He testified of His SON. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth NOT hath made Him a LIAR; because he believeth not the Record that God gave of His Son. And this is the Record that God hath given to us Eternal Life and this Life is in His Son.
    “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written to you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have Eternal Life, and that ye may BELIEVE on the name of the Son of God.
     “And this the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hear us: And if we KNOW that He hear us, whatsoever we ASK, we KNOW that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” (1 John 5:9-15)
      Jesus said: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. I am the Way, the TRUTH and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father but Me.” (John 14: 1, 6).
   This old hymn brings out an important aspect of Christianity, ‘Only Trust Him Now’. Evangelist D.L. Moody and singer Ira Sankey used it in their successful crusades in England.

Come, every soul by sin oppressed;
There’s mercy with the Lord,
And He will surely give you rest
By trusting in His Word.

Only trust Him, only trust Him,
Only trust Him now;
He will save you, He will save you,
He will save you now.

For Jesus shed His precious blood
Rich blessings to bestow;
Plunge now into the crimson flood
That washes white as snow.

Yes, Jesus is the truth, the way,
That leads you into rest;
Believe in Him without delay
And you are fully blessed.

Come, then, and join this holy band,
And on to glory go
To dwell in that celestial land
Where joys immortal flow.

O Jesus, blessed Jesus, dear,
I’m coming now to Thee;
Since Thou hast made the way so clear
And full salvation free.

    The BIBLE states: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”(Prov. 3: 5, 6); “Now the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Rom.15: 13,)
     “TRUST in the Lord, and do good. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart; Commit thy way unto the Lord; TRUST also in Him; and He will bring it to pass. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” (Psalms 37: 3-7).
       Louisa M.R. Stead wrote the marvellous old Gospel Hymn 'Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus':

Jesus, Jesus, How I trust Him
How I’ve proved Him oer and oer
Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus
O for grace to trust Him more

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus.
 Just to take Him at His Word
Just in simple faith to trust Him
And to know, Thus saith the Lord

I’m so glad I’ve learned to trust Him
Precious Jesus, Saviour, Friend
And to Know He’ll never leave us
He’ll be with us to the end

Jesus, Jesus, How I trust Him
How I’ve proved Him oer and oer
Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus
                                               O for grace to trust Him more 

     St. Paul declared: “Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.
         And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the Faith of Christ, the Righteousness which is of God by FAITH. That I may KNOW Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” (Phil.3: 8-10)
          “For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore FOLLOW after the things which make for PEACE and the things wherewith one may edify another.” (Rom.14: 17-19)
  In His High Priestly Prayer Jesus said: “And this is Life Eternal that they may KNOW Thee, the Only True God, and Jesus Christ which Thou hast sent.” (John 17:3). 
    Hosea paints us the prophetic picture of Jesus Christ the Coming Messiah: “Then shall we KNOW, if we follow on to KNOW the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as rain, as the latter and the former rain on the earth.” (Hosea 6: 3).
  “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may KNOW Him that is True, and we are in Him that is True, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is True God, and Eternal Life.” (1 John 5: 20)
     “These words spoke Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to Heaven, and said, Father the hour is come: glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son may also glorify Thee. As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give ETERNAL LIFE unto as many as Thou hast given Him.
      “And this is Life Eternal, that they might Know Thee the Only TRUE God, and Jesus Christ, which Thou hast sent.” (John 17: 1-3).

Anna W. Waterman wrote, Yes, I Know I Surely Know:

Come ye sinners, lost and lonely
Jesus' blood can make you free.
For he saved the worst among you
When He saved a wretch like me

nd I know, yes, I know,
Jesus' blood can make the vilest sinner clean.
and I know, yes, I know,
Jesus' blood can make the vilest sinner clean.

To the faint He giveth power
Through the mountains makes a way
Findeth water in the desert
Turns the night to golden day.

In temptation He is near thee,
Holds the powers of Hell at bay.
Guides you to the path of safety
Gives you grace for every day.

    Jesus called four fishermen to follow Him. Immediately, they left their Commercial Business to join His band.  Peter, Andrew, James and John heard the Master’s call: “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matt.4: 19). Mark’s Gospel tells us the process in becoming genuine fishers of men. Jesus trains us for this important work. He said: “Come ye after Me and I will make you to BECOME fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17).  
    The Rich Young Ruler sadly rejected Christ’s offer: “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, Go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven: and come and FOLLOW Me. And when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.” (Matt.19: 21)
    Oh, what a poor choice he made. He chose riches and wealth over being a follower of Jesus and a disciple of Christ; and possibly even Heaven over Hell. Riches and money will pass away, but God’s Kingdom will never pass away!
    JAN CALVIN stated: “I gave up all for Christ and what have I found, I have found everything in Christ.”  About JONATHON EDWARDS, it was said: “When he found his own soul needed Jesus Christ, it became a passion with him to take Jesus Christ to every soul.”
   HUDSON TAYLOR said: “We are asked to do an impossible task, lest we work with Him Who can do the impossible.”  (‘Go Forward on your Knees’).
    On a plaque in a church seating 1,000 people in the New Hebrides Island Aneytim in the South Pacific, are these words:  “When John Geddie landed in 1849 there were NO Christians here, but when returned home in 1877 there were NO Heathen.” 
   Ten years before Geddie’s arrival, Presbyterian missionaries, John Williams and James Harris had been killed and eaten by cannibals in Ebromanga. Altogether three Canadian missionaries were killed by cannibals. JOHN GEDDIE took up the challenge and won them all to Christ within 28 years. What a Victory!
    C.T.STUDD stated: “Some people want to live near to the Church and Chapel bell, but I want to set up a rescue shop within a yard of Hell. Let the Victors when they come, when the Forts of folly fall, find the body near the wall.”
    RICHARD BAXTER said: "I preach like a dying man to dying men. Every time I preach, I preach as if it were the last time  I would preach."
    DR. DAVID LIVINGSTONE wrote: "For my own part, I have never ceased to rejoice that God has appointed me to such an office. People talk of the sacrifices I have made in spending so much of my time in Africa. Can that be called  a sacrifice which is simply paid back  of a small part of  a great debt owing to our God, which can never repay? Is that a sacrifice which brings its own best reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peac of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destny hereafter?
     "Away with such  a word, in such a view, and with such a thought! It is emphatically not a sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering or danger now and then with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver and sink, but let this be for only a moment. All these are nothing compared with the glory which shall hereafter be revealed in and for us. 
    "I never made a sacrifice. Of this we ought not to talk when we remember the GREAT SACRIFICE which He made when He left His Father's Throne on High, to give Himself for us." 
    Dr. Livingstone stated, "I march to the Drumbeat of Heaven."  When his wife Mary passed away, he buried her with his own hands. He wrote that he felt like something of himself had died, when she left him. 
    The first time Dr. Stanley, the Explorer, found Dr. Livingstone after searching for him for a long time, the Missionary said, "I cannot go back home. Africa is LOST and I cannot leave. I must remain here."  The second time, Stanley found  him on his knees, out in the bogs with his face on the Bible. He was dead!Taken from The Call To Be a Missinary.

Redd Harper wrote this hymn that has touched thousands of lives:

  I’m following Jesus one step at a time
 I live for the moment by His love divine
Why think of tomorrow just live for today
 I’m following Jesus each step of the way

The pathway seems narrow but He leads me on
I walk in His shadow my fears are all gone
My spirit grows stronger each moment each day
I’m following Jesus each step of the way

    Jesus said: “Let not your heart be troubled. Ye believe in God, believe also in Me.” (John 14:1). “Jesus said unto him. I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me. Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of Myself; but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.
   “And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ASK anything in My name, I will DO it. At that day ye shall know that I am in the Father and the Father in Me.” (John 14: 10-14)
     Many people in the Bible accounts, prayed directly to Jesus and He forgave and healed them. They knew that He was the Messiah, the Son of God and therefore divine. The lepers, paralytics, blind, tormented, sinful and dying reached out to Him calling Him the Son of David, meaning Messiah, the Son of God!
    When he was sinking, Peter cried out: “Master save me I perish.” Our Lord leaped over the boisterous waves and rescued him (Matt.14: 30). The thief on the cross who called out to Him, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into Thy Kingdom” was heard and granted Eternal Life! (Luke 23: 42). 
    Saul of Tarsus cried out from his prostate position on the Damascus Road, “Who art Thou, Lord”, and “What wilt Thou have me to do?” (Acts 9: 5)
   St. Paul writes: “Unto the Church of God which is in Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, both theirs and ours.” (1 Cor. 1: 2)
Bill Gaither wrote Touched Me,  an anointed Worship song:

Shackled by a heavy burden
'Neath a load of guilt and shame
Then the hand of Jesus touched me
Now I am no longer the same.

He touched me, oh He touched me
And oh the joy that floods my soul
Something happened and now I know
He touched me and made me whole.

Since I met the blessed Saviour
Since He cleansed and made me whole
I will never cease to praise Him
I'll shout it while eternity rolls.

He touched me, oh He touched me
And oh the joy that floods my soul
Something happened and now I know
He touched me and made me whole...

     “And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith He to Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing. (John 20: 27).    
    Since Jesus Christ is God we must worship Him as God! Thomas had refused to believe that Christ had risen from the dead, until he saw the nail-prints in His hands and the wound in His side: “And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God.” (John 20: 28)
     There are numerous accounts in the Word of God to verify that Jesus Christ - True God from eternity and True man through His virgin birth – accepted worship as God, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit!
    St. John calls Him the Word of God, the True Light, the Only Begotten of the Father full of Grace and Truth (John 1: 1-18), and John the Baptist declared Him to be the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world. (John 1: 19)
   The Word of God states: “God…hath in these last days spoken unto us By His SON, Whom He hath appointed heir of all things, of Whom also He made the worlds; Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Person, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, when He had by HIMSELF purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High.” (Heb.1: 1-3)
    God the Father called Him, My Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased: “Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten thee; I will be to a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son. And let all the angels WORSHIP Him.” (Heb.1: 5, 6)
    “But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Thy Kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity;therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.
     “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of Thine hands. They shall perish, but Thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment. 
"And as a vesture shalt Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but Thou art the SAME, and Thy years shall not fail. But to which of the angels said He at any time, Sit on My Right Hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool?” (Heb.1: 10-13)
     JESUS said: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, Which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. And when I saw Him, I fell at his feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me. Fear not. I am the First and the Last: I am He that liveth and was dead: and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen: and have the Keys of hell and of Death.”(Rev.1: 8,17,18)
    In 1863, William P. Mackay wrote the powerful hymn, ‘We Praise Thee O God’
     We praise Thee, O God!
For the Son of Thy love,
For Jesus Who died,
And is now gone above..
     We praise Thee, O God!
For Thy Spirit of light,
Who hath shown us our Savior,
And scattered our night.
     All glory and praise
To the Lamb that was slain,
Who hath borne all our sins,
And hath cleansed every stain.
     All glory and praise
To the God of all grace,
Who hast brought us, and sought us,
And guided our ways.
      Revive us again;
Fill each heart with Thy love;
May each soul be rekindled
With fire from above.
     Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Hallelujah! Amen.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory.
Revive us again.
    St. Paul stated: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. For if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour; yet what I choose I do not know. I am in a straight betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.”  (Phil.1: 21-23)
    The great Apostle met Jesus Christ in a blinding light on the Damascus Road and his life was changed. He was tutored by our Lord during his two year stay in Arabia. On several occasions he had been visited personally by the resurrected Christ and was even taken to Heaven and heard words which he was forbidden to speak.
   It is little wonder then that he longed to go to be with Christ! St. Paul knew, however, that his presence was of vital importance among the Churches he had founded in the Gentile world. He knew his calling and the work Jesus had outlined for him to fulfill.
    Writing to the Galatian Church, he stated: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” (Gal.2: 20)
Here is solid Bible teaching on how to please God in Holy Living: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are Above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
    “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is HID with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our LIFE, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.”(Col.3: 1-3)
   In my message, ‘What is a Christian?’ I maintain that a Christian is Christ living out His life through us. In John’s Gospel our Lord makes it clear that His desire is to dwell within us through the Blessed Holy Spirit!
  A CHRISTIAN is a heart through which Christ loves, forgives and pardons, a mind through which Christ thinks and understands, a voice through which Christ pours out His invitation and warning to the sinful and hurting, hands through which Christ heals the sick and suffering, eyes through which Christ sees the poor, lonely and struggling, ears that hear the cries of those who have been left behind, the disadvantaged, the backslider, feet that carry Christ’s Gospel of Mercy and Compassion to a world of lost, sinning and wounded people. Amen.
    He said: “If ye abide in Me and My Words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15: 7). In His High Priestly prayer, He articulated the same message: He is in His father, we are in Him, and He is in us:
   “That they all may be one: as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in US: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.
    “And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them: that they may be one, even as WE are one. I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.” (John 17: 21-23)

     The Story behind the Gospel Hymn, ‘I have Decided to Follow Jesus’: About 150 years ago missionaries stirred by the Welsh Revival went to India. A Welsh missionary brought a man and his family to Christ in Assam. A number of his neighbours received Jesus Christ through their witness. The Tribal Chief called the village together. He demanded that the man and his family publically recant their belief in Jesus Christ.
     The man refused and the Chief was enraged, saying that they would all be killed if he did not give up his faith in Jesus Christ. He was unmoved and began to sing: “I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus, No turning back. No turning back. The chief signaled his archers and the man's two sons were arrowed. The Chief asked him if he would change his position.
     With his two sons dying on the ground, the man continued to sing: “If none go with me still I will follow; If none go with me still I will follow. If none go with me still I will follow. No turning back, No turning back.” The Chief signalled the archers and the man's wife was killed. Again the Chief asked the man to reject Jesus Christ. He sang these words as his final reply: “The Cross before me, the World behind me; the Cross before me, the World behind me; The Cross before me, the World behind me. No turning back, No turning back.”
    Again, arrows found its targent and Christ's true believers all lay dead on the ground. The Chief couldn't understand why a man would give his life and those of his family for a belief in a man who had died so many years ago in a land so far away. There must be something special about such a faith. He decided that he would taste that faith for himself and publicly made that confession and when he did the entire village of Assam was converted to Christ.
   As a little boy, I sang that song in the Evangelical Lutheran Church and can remember those days when our Church still believed the Gospel of Christ and the Holy Bible as Gods Word.

                                        I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS!
I have decided to follow Jesus
I have decided to follow Jesus
I have decided to follow Jesus
   No turning back, no turning back
The cross before me, the world behind me
No turning back, no turning back
The cross before me, the world behind me
No turning back, No turning back

Though none go with me, still I will follow
No turning back, no turning back
Though none go with me, still I will follow
No turning back, no turning back

      St. Peter wrote: "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should FOLLOW HIS STEPS:(1 Peter 2:21)
        JESUS said: “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me: for I am lowly and meek in heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt.11: 28-30)
        St. John declared: “But if we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. But if we WALK in the Light as He is in the Light, we have fellowship one with anotyer, and the BLOOD of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1: 6,7)
       “And hereby we do know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that sayeth, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a LIAR, and the TRUTH is not in him. But whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that sayeth he abideth in Him ought himself also WALK, even as He walked.” (1 John 2:4-6)
         St. Paul stated: “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so WALK ye in him: Rooted and built up in Him, established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding thereunto with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy or vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 
         "For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, Which is the Head of all principality and power.” (Col.2: 6-10)
    The great Apostle said: “Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. Follow me as I follow Christ.” (1 Cor. 4:16); “Be ye followers of Me even as I also am of Christ.” (1 Cor. 11: 1)
         “Brethren, be followers together of me, and MARK them which WALK so as ye have us for an example. For many WALK, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” (Phil.3: 17-19)
                                  WHAT OUR PRAYER SHOULD BE!

        My Prayer: “Let me walk with You Jesus. I want to feel Your strong hand in mine. I need Your powerful arms around me. Breathe Your life into me, Lord Jesus; into my spirit, soul and body. Fill my mind with Your thoughts. Breathe upon me, O' breath of God. Heal my inner man as well as my outer man. Grant unto me the gifts of the Holy Spirit. 
        Open my spiritual eyes to the needs of others and my spiritual ears to the cries of the poor, lonely, fearful and sick and suffering. Give me the anointing and Holy Spirit unction to pray the prayer of faith for all who suffer, for Thy honour and glory and the advancent of Thy Kingdom. 
         Help me always to be a stepping stone instead of a stumbling block. Help me always to believe instead of doubt, to be kind instead of unkind, to be caring instead uncaring, to be a help instead of a hindrance, to be a part of the building crew instead of the wrecking crew. 
         O' God , give me grace to always lift the heavy end of the load when helping my neighbour and put the best construction on all that he does. If I cannot, help me to bite my tongue and say nothing! In Jesus' holy and precious Name. Amen.
                    I CAN'T EVEN WALK written by Pastor Colbert & Joyce Croft:

I thought number one would surely be me,

I thought I could be what I wanted to be

I thought I could build on life's sinking sand

But I can't even walk without You holding my hand.

I can't even walk without You holding my hand.
The mountain's too high and the valley's too wide.
Down on my knees, I learned to stay.
And I can't even walk without You holding my hand.

I think I'll make Jesus my One and my All
From now on when in trouble, only His name I'll call
And If I can't trust Him, I'll be less of a man
'Cause I can't even walk without You holding my hand.

I can't even walk without You holding my hand.
The mountain's too high and the valley's too wide.
Down on my knees, I learned to stand.
And I can't even walk without You holding my hand.
Down on my knees, I learned to stand.
And I can't even walk without You holding my hand.

     Like St. Paul, we should all live crucified lives, wholly given over to our Lord and His Gospel. He declared: “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom the world is crucified to me, and I am crucified to the world.” (Gal. 6: 14)
    “From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the Marks of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Gal 6: 17).
     The horrible persecutions that St. Paul suffered for his Lord had marked his body with many scars from the beatings, scourging and stoning he had endured from the Jews and the Roman Authorities. No one could fault his love for Jesus Christ and His loyalty to the church!  He was saying, “If you doubt my beliefs, check out the ugly marks on my battered body.”    
   Like St. Paul, the great soul winner, prayer warrior and preacher ROBERT MURRAY McCHENE said: “I will never listen to a man who has not sat, where I have sat.”
     Jesus said: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have Peace. In the world ye shall have TRIBULATION: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.” (John 16: 33)
     St. Paul says: “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my Gospel. Wherein I suffer as an evil doer, even untoBONDS, but the Word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sake that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
     “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we SUFFER, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us: If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim.2: 8-13)
    Our Lord and Saviour warned: “Whosever will come after Me, Let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the Gospel’s, the same shall save it.
    “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation: of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the Holy angels.” (Mark 8: 34-38).  

  ‘Where He leads Me I will Follow’ was written by E.W. Blandy in 1894. Blandy, a Salvation Army officer, wrote this song after choosing between a comfortable post at an established church, and an alternate assignment to the New York City waterfront and slum called Hell's Kitchen. He chose the latter.

                                                I can hear my Savior calling,
I can hear my Savior calling,
I can hear my Savior calling, 
Take thy cross and follow, follow me.

Where he leads me I will follow,
Where he leads me I will follow,
Where he leads me I will follow;
I'll go with him, with him all the way.

 I'll go with him through the garden,
I'll go with him through the garden,
I'll go with him through the garden,
I'll go with him, with him all the way.

I'll go with him through the judgment,
I'll go with him through the judgment,
I'll go with him through the judgment,
I'll go with him, with him all the way.
He will give me grace and glory,

He will give me grace and glory,
He will give me grace and glory,
and go with me, with me all the way.

     For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
     “Looking for that Blessed Hope, and the glorious appearing of the Great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar (purchased) people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2: 11-14)
    The Return of Christ is called “The Blessed Hope” and it is! It will be the Crowning Day for all of us who believe the Gospel and especially for those who preach the gospel. Titus calls it, “the Glorious Appearing.  He also refers to Jesus Christ as the Great God and our Saviour!
     What a moment that will be, to look upon Him Who gave Himself for us that He might Redeem us from our iniquities. He will not come as the lowly Galilean Who walked the dusty streets and roads of Israel, or riding on a donkey into Jerusalem, or as God’s paschal Lamb hanging on the cursed tree!
   He will come as the Great God to judge and to Reign. He appeared ONCE as the Lamb of God to put away Sin by the SACRIFICE of Himself, and He shall appear the SECOND time as the Great God and the Lord of Glory!
   When Jesus of Nazareth arose from the dead, triumphant over death, hell and the devil, He ascended into Heaven carrying His own precious blood into the Holy of Holies!
   The Bible says: “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own BLOOD, He entered in ONCE into the Holy Place, having obtained Eternal Redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh;
     “How much more shall the BLOOD of Christ Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God.” (Heb. 9: 11-14)
     “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figure of the true, but into Heaven itself, NOW to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer Himself often, as the high priest entered into the Holy Place every year with the blood of others;
     “For then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now ONCE in the end of the world hath he appeared to PUT AWAY SIN by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed unto men ONCE to die, but after this the judgment.
    “So Christ was ONCE offered to bear the sins of many: and unto them that look for Him shall He APPEAR theSecond Time without Sin unto Salvation.” (Heb.9: 24-28)
   He came the FIRST TIME as the Saviour to bear away the sins of the world and PUT AWAY SIN through His sacrificial Death on the cross. When He comes the Second Time it will not be to SAVE, but to JUDGE and to REIGN forever!
   St. Paul wrote: “For from you sounded out the Word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to Godward is spread abroad: so that we need not speak anything. 
    “For they themselves show of us what nanner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the Living God: and to WAIT for His Son from Heaven, Whom He raised from the dead, evenJESUS, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thess. 1: 8-10)
     The Gospel that St. Paul preached had brought real fruit in Thessalonica. The pagan had turned to God from the worship of idols to serve the Living God and they had prepared themselves for the Coming of Christ whom thy worshipped as Saviour and God.
    He remembered their work of faith, their labour of loveand their patience of Hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. He stated: “For our Gospel came not unto you in Word only, but also in power and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.” (1 Thess. 1: 5)
This is the secret to true evangelism! The message we articulate must not only be God’s Word, but it must be delivered in the power of the Holy Spirit and assurance!
   The great Apostle had informed them of Jesus' promise to Return for His Church when all things were fulfilled. It was a part of the Gospel message then and it still is today!  St. Peter declared:
     “Repent ye therefore, and be converted that your sins may be botted out, when then times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; Whom the Heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”(Acts 3: 19-21)
     According to this prophecy, there will be a great revival across the world prior to the Return of Jesus Christ. We believe that we are seeing that today across Latin America, Brazil, the Philippines, Africa, Eastern Europe and believe it will as happen in Canada.
      To wait for his Son’s return is to expect, earnestly desire and long for His Coming in a prayerful and joyful attitude as we continually declare His Gospel! The Word of God warns us:
    “Cast not away your confidence (faith) which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and He that shall come, will come and will not tarry.” (Heb.10: 35-37)
     St. John writes: “And now, little children, Abide in Him; that when He shall APPEAR, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed at his Coming.” (1 John 2: 28):
    “Beloved, now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when He shall APPEAR, we shall be like him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3: 3)
    “And when the Chief Shepherd shall APPEAR, ye shall receive a crown of Glory that fadeth not away.” (1 Peter 5: 4); ‘He which testifieth these things sayeth, Surely, I Come Soon. Amen, Even so, come Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen.” (Rev. 22: 20, 21).
When the Roll is Called up Yonder – James M. Black, 1893

When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more,
And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair;
When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.
When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll, is called up yon-der,
When the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there.
On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise,
And the glory of His resurrection share;
When His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.
Let us labor for the Master from the dawn till setting sun,
Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care;
Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

    About Christ, GEORGE W. TRUETT stated: “I find no fault in Him."...You can find fault in anyone else, but you can find no fault in Jesus. Holy, harmless, undefiled, sinless: there He is! Christ is God's way to man; Christ is man's way to God. Christ is the true Jacob's ladder. By Him the penitent sinner, the believing soul, the redeemed child of God may come unto the Father and enter into the house of many mansions.”
      Jesus is the Word of God; His Ultimate, Final and Last Word to the world. He is the Creator of all things and therefore, the First Cause of creation. He is the fullness of the Godhead bodily and the Sustainer and the Guardian of all things. He is the Forgiver of our sins, the Healer of our sicknesses and diseases and the Finisher and Completer of our Eternal Salvation. 
He is the Believer’s Merciful and Compassionate High Priest, Intercessor and Soon Coming King! All glory and praise to our Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ Who reigns forever with our God and Father and the Blessed Holy Spirit. World without End! Amen.
    The Holy Scriptures declare: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of Adoption whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
    “The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. And if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ: if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.”(Rom.8: 14-17);  “Beloved, now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when He shall APPEAR, we shall be like him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3: 3)
     “It is a faithful saying; For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with him. If we suffer with Him we shall also REIGNwith Him; if we deny Him, He will also deny us. If we believe not, yet He abideth  faithful: He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Timothy 3: 11-13). Amen.

The King Is Coming – Written by Bill and Gloria Gaither
The marketplace is empty, no more traffic in the street
All the builder's tools are silent, no more time to harvest wheat
Busy housewives cease their labor, in the courtroom no debate
Work on earth has been suspended as the King comes through the gate
Happy faces line the hallway, those whose lives have been redeemed
Broken homes He has mended, those from prison He has freed
Little children and the aged hand in hand stand all aglow
Who were crippled, broken, ruined, clad in garments white as snow
The King is coming, the King is coming
I just heard the trumpet sounding and soon His face I'll see
The King is coming, the King is coming
Praise God, He's coming for me

I can hear the chariots rumble, I can see the marching throng
And the flurry of God's trumpet spells the end of sin and wrong
Regal robes are now unfolded, heaven's grandstands all in place
Heaven's choir is now assembled, start to sing "Amazing Grace".