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Repairing the Altar of Praise

PreacherJP.2004 • July 13, 2020


Day 193: Repairing the Altar of Praise

And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. — 1Ki 18:30 KJV

God's program for reviving His people is definite and clear. First Elijah "repaired the altar of Jehovah that was thrown down." That is the place to begin. All the ruin that sin has wrought must be cleared away by confession. Things must be made right with God; restitution must be made where it is due. Unless this is done definitely and thoroughly, prayer for reviving is vain...Too many are praying today without repairing the altar by confession of sin, without digging a trench of separation from the world and without a surrender that is even into death. No wonder such prayer is fruitless." -Andrew Gih

Our praise is in vain if our hearts are not right. Sin is like bugs that splatter on our windshield and block our view of God. We turn on the wipers to clear it up, but all it does is smear even worse. A clean windshield requires more than turning on the wipers. It involves washing and scrubbing and rinsing. 

I remember driving up from Texas to Indianapolis without cleaning my windshield from the bug guts splattered across it. I thought it would be funny until my truck broke down 3 hours from Indianapolis. A friend had to drive to tow my vehicle the one hundred and fifty miles in the middle of the night. He used a tow strap to pull me. If you've ever had to do that, you understand that the towed vehicle has the responsibility to do the braking for both cars. My friend was a speeder. He was pulling me at ninety miles per hour! The oncoming traffic's headlights were reflecting off the bug guts and blinding me. I could barely see a thing! I regretted my idea of not cleaning the windshield! 

Sin saps our power with God. It grieves His heart. It breaks down our relationship with others. It hinders our ability to see oncoming problems. We need to keep the windshield clean! 

Just like our personal altar with God. When was the last time we cleared the ashes and prepared for a new fire to be started? 

The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out. — Lev 6:13 KJV

Have we let our fire for God go out? It's best if we admit we have. We must make it right and must make amends. Only the blood of Christ will right our relationship with God, and only confession and restitution can make our relationships right toward others. Then, and only then can God light the fire of our altars once more!

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A Praise Awakening

PreacherJP.2004 • July 13, 2020


Day 193: A Praise Awakening

Ephesians 5:14 (AV) — 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.  

The Holy Spirit indwells every child of God. This means that the latent Power for a God-sent revival is already available in the hearts and lives of His people (Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 6:19). This...was written, not with the aim of a revival falling down from heaven, but rather to provoke a springing up awakening out of the lives of those who are already saved. --Evangelist Lou Rossi, Jr. -Countdown to Revival

The Apostle Paul was issuing an appeal for revival. The Ephesians were already languishing in their love for Christ (See Revelation 2:4) and were growing cold. Before we show what revival looks like, first we must address the causes of decay in the spiritual life. It's straightforward. We start taking steps in our strength. A little self-reliance will take us a long way from the power of God. Before long, we sing hymns and say they're dead because, in all actuality, we're the ones that are dead! We seek shorter sermons, because the preacher is too long-winded, and we can't sit that long, but it's not the preacher, it's us! We skip out on prayer meetings because nothing happens, and it's boring. The flesh is not going to benefit from the preaching and singing and praying. So we start substituting it for something else, anything else that looks like life.

Most churches are like wax museums. If a fire did break out, everyone would melt! We need life again! We need the fire of God to fall once more! But like Evangelist Lou Rossi said, "not a falling down from heaven, but a springing up awakening out of the lives of those who are already saved."

Paul spoke of what it would look like if the church were revived.

  • He said that they would walk right and live for eternity (Ephesians 5:15-16).
  • He said they would know what God's will for their lives were (Ephesians 5:17).
  • He said they would be filled with a dynamic love relationship with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)
  • He said their lives would be full of praise for God's grace in their lives (Ephesians 5:19)

Are you experiencing this? Is your life a life lived in victory and for eternity? Do you know what God's will for your life is, and are you living in it? Do you have a dynamic love relationship with the Holy Spirit, who makes Jesus real to you? Are you living a life that regularly praises your Maker? 

If not, revival is needed. 

God's methods have not changed. Many churches are going out of their way to adjust their methods because the old ways of old-fashioned prayer-meetings, and old-fashioned preaching, and old-fashioned door-to-door soul-winning doesn't work as it used too. Let me repeat this. God's methods have not changed.

It's still the Gospel propelled forth by a praying people who preach a living Jesus to a dead world that saves.

We're missing the heart of the matter altogether. We're missing the tears. We're missing the fasting and praying. We're missing the presence of God's intervention. We don't need new worship styles, new evangelism methods, and modern preachers. We need the old stuff with new hearts. We need the old Gospel with hearts afire and afresh with anointing from the Spirit of God.

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Obedience's Relationship to Joy

PreacherJP.2004 • July 12, 2020


Day 192: Obedience’s Relationship to Joy

John 13:17 (AV) — 17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.  

It has been thought that only those who had the fulness of the Spirit could be obedient. It was not seen that obedience was the lower platform,—that the baptism of the Spirit, the full revelation of the glorified Lord as the Indwelling One, taking power to work in us and through us His mighty works, was something higher, the Presence that the obedient should inherit. It was not seen that simple and full allegiance to every dictate of conscience, and every precept of the word, that a ‘walk worthy of the Lord to all well-pleasing,’ was to be the passport to that full life in the Spirit in which He would witness to the abiding Presence of the Lord in the heart.1

We want the fullness of God. Do we not? It starts with a simple step of faith, a step of simple obedience. Jesus’ words provide the salve for all our sorrowful maladies, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if you do them” (Italics mine). 

Joy is the direct result of our simple obedience to the Lord’s will. We’re continually searching for what God wants us to do, that “life’s work” for which we spend most of our time seeking and longing for, but not knowing that our path to that place of usefulness must be tread by taking steps of simple obedience. 

I keep using that word simply because that’s what it is. It is walking in truth and walking in trust. Simple because what God asks of us isn’t burdensome, but burden-relieving. His commands are not grievous. 

Matthew 11:28 (AV) — 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  

1 John 5:3 (AV) — 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.  

Walking in truth, concisely means walking in integrity.

Proverbs 11:3 (AV) — 3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.  

One preacher defines integrity as “Living with our lives what our mouths speak.” In other words, practicing what we preach. Webster said it means “moral soundness or purity; incorruptness; uprightness; honesty.”

 I long to be more obedient, but often I find myself struggling. But the steps for me to take are right in front of me. I do not have to wish for some better circumstance or some better ministry, some better church, or some better experience, and I just have to take that next step with integrity. David put it this way,

Psalm 86:11 (AV) — 11 Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.  

A heart that is not united means it lacks integrity. David longed for a heart that would walk in the ways of God and fear His name. Is that our longing? Happiness is at the end of the road for the one walks in integrity, in wholeness.

Do we lack joy? Is there some point of conviction upon which we haven’t yielded to God? Start there. Yield to God, and keep walking in obedience. 

Let us cry to God very earnestly, that He may waken His Church and people to take in this double lesson: A living obedience is indispensable to the full experience of the indwelling; the full experience of the indwelling is what a loving obedience may certainly claim. --Andrew Murray

1 Murray, Andrew. The Spirit of Christ: Thoughts on the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the Believer and the Church. New York: Anson D. F. Randolph & Company, 1888. Print.

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Praise's Proclamation
Praise's Proclamation

PreacherJP.2004 • July 11, 2020


Day 191: Praise's Proclamation

John 3:17 (AV) — 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  

Tozer called this verse, God's proclamation extraordinary. He said this because of the nigh unbelievable statement Christ makes concerning the Father. In that statement, Jesus tells three things about God:

1) God sent His Son into the world.

2) He did not send Him to condemn the world.

3) He sent Him so that the world might be saved.

If our hearts could grasp the significance of these three statements, what kind of change would be wrought upon our hearts? I don't believe we would be able to see the world through the same eyes again. Wonder would grip us, love would constrain us, and mercy would restrain us. How often do we speak words like daggers to those around us when we don't get our way! Oh, if we only embraced the proclamation that God didn't send His Son to condemn the world, but save them!

The reality is, God is going to condemn the world officially. The truth is, they are already condemned. The world is poisoned by sin and blinded by its venom. It courses through our blood until alas, its deadly toxins finish its destructive course, and the soul is lost to a godless eternity in hell.

John 3:18 (AV) — 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  

Tozer continued to assert that no statement made by man has been equaled to this. Not even our famed declaration of independence, nor the emancipation proclamation declared by Abraham Lincoln to free the slaves. God sent His Son to save the world.

The world around us is still redeemable because the blood of Christ is still efficacious. Simply put, there is still power in the blood! He can wash the stains of the foulest villain to the most polished elitist. It's the purpose for which Christ came. Can we get a hold of that truth? Can we allow it to move our hearts to see as His heart sees?

Tozer described the world for which God sent His Son to rescue by imagining us seeing things from the bird's eye view. I quote at length:

Imagine if we could take a bird' s-eye view of the entire world at one glance. Suppose we could be a star looking down upon the vast sea of humanity. What would we see? We would see the crippled, the blind and the lepers. We would see the fat, the lean, the tall, and the short. We would see the dirty and the clean. We would see them walking the Avenue bold and upright without fearing any police officer. We also would see them scuttling the back alleys and crawling through windows. We would see them twisting and twitching in the last agonies of death. We would see them kicking footballs over the fields and running around the baseball track. We would see them tiny and sick and great and strong. We would see them ignorant, not able to put one letter behind the other. We would see them walking gravely under the elms in some college town, dreaming deep dreams of a fourth dimension, or dreaming up some great poem or play to astonish and delight the world.

We would see people. Plain people, black people, people whose eyes slant different from ours, people whose hair is not like our hair at all. People whose diets are not like ours. People with customs, unlike our habits, and very different from us, but we would see people. Their differences are external; their similarities are internal. Their differences would be customs and habits, and their likenesses would have to do with nature. The human nature Jesus Christ came to rescue.

So they would be there as the thief and the liar. They would be there as the martyr, the mother of a dying soldier, and the boy on the stretcher that was sent away with the sound of the "Star-Spangled Banner" to be forgotten out of the hospital. They are people, nevertheless, and God sent His Son to the people. He is the people's Savior. Jesus Christ came to people like your family and mine and other people like us.

Not only to the learned theologians, to men who can spout Greek and Hebrew. Jesus came to them too—their ability to read Greek and Hebrew is only incidental. What they are is the same as the ignorant boy whose language simply will not order itself. You scratch a professor, and you find a hillbilly. Take a pin or a knife blade and prick the skin a little of that dignified woman, the carefully groomed egotist walking around with an elitist book under her arm, on her way to hear some opera. Prick her a little, and she is just one more squawking woman.1

1 Tozer, A. W. And He Dwelt among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John. Ed. James L. Snyder. Ventura, CA: Regal, 2009. Print.

That's praise's proclamation: Christ came to save us from ourselves. May God help us get a hold of that and remember it in our dealings with fallen humanity.

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Praise Rests On God's Shoulders
Praise Rests On God's Shoulders

PreacherJP.2004 • July 09, 2020


Day 190: Praise Rests On God's Shoulders

Exodus 18:18 (AV) — 18 Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.  

There is great spiritual danger in burning the candle at both ends. Not only is that path fraught with perils against the body, but also against vital relationships that human beings require. Whether we like to admit or not, we cannot do it alone. Here's a truth: we were not created to do it alone. 

Genesis 2:18 (AV) — 18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.  

The context of our passage introduces us to the family reunion Moses had with his wife and children. They had been staying with Moses' father-in-law, all the while Moses was leading God's people under God's direction from under the bondage of Egypt. Much time had elapsed between then, and this should've been a happy day indeed. Moses expressed as much, and they all had a great big dinner to celebrate. The next day, however, Moses began to do something that revealed a wrong motive in his leadership. Moses' father-in-law, Jethro, noticed it. Moses spent his entire day listening to the needs of the millions of Israel. Serving others requires physical, psychological, and emotional energy. If he spent the whole day expending himself, not only was he going to wear out the people who didn't get their turn, but he was also going to wear out his family who watch as their father makes time for all Israel's needs but has no remaining energy for their needs.

Jethro had wisdom in this. He pointed it out, "In fading, thou shalt fade." That's what the King James Translators put in the marginal reading. Jethro's instruction on this was explicit, "Get help!" But not just any help. He needed to find men to trust that could help shoulder the burden. So that's what Moses did. He found faithful men that could be counted on to take on the small matters and leave the major decisions up to him.

That makes for better efficiency, but it still doesn't answer this: Who will shoulder Moses' burden? 

Only God can carry our burdens. 

Psalm 81:6 (AV) — 6 I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots.  

Luke 15:5 (AV) — 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  

There ought to be several times throughout the day where you get away for a moment and get into God's presence.

We all need help, but we need more than help. 

We need healing. We need restoring. We always hope a vacation will do that for us, but the truth is that it can only provide an atmosphere to get away for a while. If we do not allow God to minister to us during a vacation, our bodies might be recharged, but our spiritual reservoirs will still be empty. On another note, if we only make time for God when we go on vacation, we will be in big trouble!

For Moses, he would soon discover that when he began to fade, all He had to do was get out of the shade and into the light of God's presence. When Moses talked with God, it was like Moses was a solar battery, soaking up the rays of the Sonshine, and when he walked away, it showed.

Exodus 34:29 (AV) — 29 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.  

Are we shining the light of Jesus? If not, its because we've been away from His presence too long. What we need is to get back into it and charge back up! We're like glow sticks. Hold us to the Light and we'll shine in the dark.

Days are filled with sorrow and care,

Hearts are lonely and drear;

Burdens are lifted at Calvary,

Jesus is very near.


Burdens are lifted at Calvary,

Calvary, Calvary;

Burdens are lifted at Calvary,

Jesus is very near.

Cast your care on Jesus today,

Leave your worry and fear;

Burdens are lifted at Calvary,

Jesus is very near.

Troubled soul, the Saviour can see

Ev'ry heartache and tear;

Burdens are lifted at Calvary,

Jesus is very near.

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When Things Go Wrong
When Things Go Wrong

PreacherJP.2004 • July 08, 2020


Day 189: When Things Go Wrong, Praise Him Anyhow

Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no judgment. — Job 19:7 KJV

I look forward to the day when things won't go wrong. For now, Murphy's Law is still in effect: What can go wrong will go wrong. 

I've always envied those positive thinkers. They still have something useful to say to you when everything is crashing down around you. John C. Maxwell likes to teach an inverted Murphy's Law. What can go right will go right. 

Job did not feel that way when he said what he did. Do you blame him? He did everything right that could be expected of a mortal, and yet it still went wrong. I'd like to see Mr. Maxwell convince Job of his inverted law! 

What gives us the perspective that things are going wrong? Have our plans been disrupted? Have our expectations been shattered? What kind of response do we often have when things go wrong? 

These are questions we should be asking when our tower of dreams topple. Where was God's hand in this? What is He trying to teach us? 

God has a way of fleshing us out when things go wrong. 

That was the case for Jonah. He ran from God's call to preach to the Assyrians of Nineveh because he wanted God to judge them. He knew that by preaching repentance, if they responded with repentance, God would bestow mercy. So after surrendering to God's call (after being thrown overboard and swallowed by a whale), Jonah preached to them, and they repented. So Jonah goes outside the city in hopes that God will judge them anyhow. It gets scorching out, and Jonah gets some shade under a gourd. The gourd whithers in the heat. Things went wrong, according to Jonah. Not only did God not punish Nineveh, but He also destroyed Jonah's gourd. Here's God and Jonah's conversation:

And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. — Jon 4:9 KJV

Wow! Here Jonah is, with perhaps one of the greatest revivals of all time taking place, and he's mad about a gourd! 

Things may not be going as we planned it, but nothing surprises God. We can go ahead and praise Him. If things aren't going according to our plans, we can expect them to go according to God. 

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. — Rom 8:28 KJV

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You Must Come Down
You Must Come Down

PreacherJP.2004 • July 08, 2020


Day 188: You Must Come Down

Philippians 2:5

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  

Have you ever felt as if Jesus were distant? You must come down. You've gotten too high. You can't praise Him when you're up there. It's easy to do, you know. A little bit of success goes to your head. Things are going smoothly. You're handling yourself well. Yes, sir, you must come down.

Jesus stooped from Eternity's Throne, to dwell within the bounds of limitation. He condescended further than that, all the way to a lowly manger in Judah's smallest town among some of Judah's poorest residents. He was raised by a humble carpenter and brought up in the dusty village of Nazareth, not even in the excellent Rabbinical schools of Jerusalem.

You must come down.


He doesn't even have a home. He's handpicked a ragtag bunch, a dozen men to be exact, to follow Him as He preaches His itinerant ministry in the countryside. He doesn't even set up shop in the big town. He had all the most exceptional schools to choose from, yet He bypasses the lofty heights of the religious intellectualism for the common ones. Some were even less than standard. About four of them were fishers. One was a rebel, and one a tax-collector. These men were the opposite of high. You must come down.

He's poor. He's derided. He's hated. You won't find Him hanging with the high-societal folk, but with the bums in the slums, whores and sinners, demon-possessed, and drunkards. Not the likes of the proud and lofty. You must come down.

If the presence of Jesus is distant, come a little lower. Watch as they take Him in chains, tying Him to a post, and beating Him. They've ripped the skin and muscle from His back. He doesn't pull a gun. He doesn't yell insults. He doesn't defend Himself. This makes absolutely no sense at all. Every ounce in me screams as I read this story, DO SOMETHING!! He does. He lowers Himself. He takes every bit of it. He gets nailed between two thieves. You must come down.

This High and Holy Jesus, having never sinned, is being crucified with wicked, vile men? This is insane! Not a grumble comes from His lips. He cries out to His Father in agony as His soul is made sin for the sinner, and He gives up the fight.

Where will you find Jesus? Way up there. He is seated at the right hand of God. You can't get any higher than that!

Philippians 2:9

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  

How can you get there? You must come down. The way up is down. Praise God! I don't have to climb the highest peak to get there! I don't have to dig to China to get there! I just have to humble myself in His sight. He'll meet me right where I am.

Isaiah 66:1–2 (AV) — 1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? 2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.  

He's waiting for you. Just come down. He'll receive you, not up there, but down here. It's good to be in His presence. You'll know you're getting close when all your scars start showing, and your sins aren't so quiet to your conscience anymore. 

Jesus took those 12 men and changed the world. So when an atheist says God doesn't exist, I mean, You must come down. Death and Hell, the Devil, and the Roman Empire couldn't stop Jesus and His ragtag group of 12 men, and you think you're that big to say, It's all fake? I pity you. Come down. Your eyes will get opened down here.

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When the Deck is Stacked Against You
When the Deck is Stacked Against You

PreacherJP.2004 • July 07, 2020


Day 188: When the Deck is Stacked Against You

2 Chronicles 20:12

12 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.  

No one likes a game that's rigged unless you are the one who rigged it.

Our life's circumstances at times seem as if we are in a game that has been rigged, and we are set to lose. I am speaking to the Christian. We know the end game, and we know God wins, but we want to see present, glorious victory now, do we not?

Judah wanted to see victory. They'd experienced a great revival under the leadership of king Jehoshaphat. But now, all that they saw God do and all that they worked so hard for was now under threat of immediate annihilation. They were outnumbered ten to one. "We have no might against this great company."

Well, somebody needs to do something, right? That's the thought that runs through our minds.

But faith teaches another lesson about what not to do.

Do not take matters into your own hands.

One of the hardest tests of faith is when God allows our circumstances to box us in and makes victory in our strength impossible. Moses and the children of Israel experienced this when they were camped at the Red Sea. One little teenager named David, with only a slingshot, experienced it when facing a giant warrior with armor and spear. The disciples of Jesus experienced it as they watched helplessly as they laid the body of Jesus in the tomb. It is not out of the norm for the life of faith.

Faith teaches us this lesson:

"But our eyes are upon thee."

A. B. Simpson said:

A life was lost in Israel because a pair of human hands were laid unbidden upon the ark of God. They were placed upon it with the best intent, to steady it when trembling and shaking as the oxen drew it along the rough way; but they touched God's work presumptuously, and they fell paralyzed and lifeless. Much of the life of faith consists in letting things alone.

The worst thing that we can do in these situations is anything at all. We feel we must do something! And there is one thing and one thing alone we can do:

We train our hearts to look up to our El-Shaddai, our Almighty God. He will deliver, and He will do it to maximize His glory.

It's in those moments of trying that I have to remind myself that I've been in this place before. Every time I tried to work out my deliverance, I ended up making matters worse. It's only when with the eye of faith that I looked upon God and praised Him for His faithfulness and mercy did I begin to see my situation change.

The deck may be stacked against you, my friend, but God overrules the enemy's hand.

Isaiah 54:17

17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.  

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Praise After Failure
Praise After Failure

PreacherJP.2004 • July 05, 2020


Day 187: Praise After Failure

Philippians 3:13

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  

There is no greater moment of triumph for the devil than when God’s people fail and stay down; neither is there a greater opportunity for God to show just how amazing grace is. 

Ecclesiastes 7:20

20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.  

You know the devil likes to accuse you, right? He wants you to wallow in your failure so that he might define you by it. Don’t let him. Yes, you shouldn’t have sinned. Yes, you disobeyed, and there will be consequences. But that’s not the end of the story. When we sin, we come to a fork in the road. We can either get it right with Jesus or allow our sins to remain upon us and allow guilt to drive us to do worse things. YOU are human, and humans (thanks to Adam) have a high inclination to do wrong. My preacher always says, “The only thing you need to do to backslide is to do nothing.” We have the natural gravitational pull, like a black hole, that pulls us toward certain destruction.

Thank God we don’t have to fight that pull of sin alone! (Unless we wallow in self-pity) We can turn to Christ right this moment, and praise Him for the blood that was shed on Calvary for sins both past and present (yes, and even future).

Colossians 2:14

14 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;  

Every sin I’ve ever committed was nailed to the cross through the body of Jesus. I can look forward because He took my punishment. I can live because He lives. Is there not a cause to praise? Is there not a cause to get back up?

Proverbs 24:16

16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.  

The distinguishing mark between the righteous and the wicked isn’t sin. We’re all sinners. The difference is in the getting up and forsaking it even if that means doing it over and over (seven times=the number of completion) until you get the victory over it through Jesus’ name.

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Freedom to Praise
Freedom to Praise

PreacherJP.2004 • July 05, 2020


Day 186: Freedom to Praise 

2 Corinthians 3:17

17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  

There is always danger that a free nation may imperil its freedom by a series of small choices destructive to that freedom. In the realm of religion right choices are even more critically important! --A. W. Tozer

We are watching the erosion of American liberty take place right before our very eyes. But don’t be surprised. The church has lost her freedom a long time now and has been unwittingly serving the devil. We lack any real power because our power is derived from technology and programming and not from the Spirit of God being poured forth in holy power. We watch as the world shackles the hearts of believers by the droves and can only weep as we pray for deliverance to come once again.

The key to our liberty is found in our yielding to the Spirit of the Lord. Every time I say yes to me and no to God, I am putting the shackles of bondage back on and saying yes to my old master.

God, through His word, instructs me to pray, to read my Bible and study its precepts, to faithfully assemble with believers to form the local church. He also teaches me to give and labor to bring others the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, to resist sin, to yield to the life of Jesus within, and to live my life daily in His praise. All of this, He gives me the liberty to do.

Tozer went on to say,

The casual indifference with which millions...view their God-blessed religious liberty is ominous. Being let go, they go on weekends at the lakes and mountains and beaches to and sunbathe. They go where their heart is and come back to praying company only when the bad weather drives them in. Let this continue long enough and evangelicals...will be ripe for a takeover...

There is nothing wrong with going to any of those places. But when our hearts ignore the liberty of the Spirit, and we mistake freedom in Jesus for the license to do as we please that we end up in bondage. We have the freedom to praise, the freedom to look to Jesus, and to look away from the sinful ways of the world. We do not, however, have the liberty to live as we please and expect spiritual freedom.

Galatians 5:13

13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  

The Christian’s freedom is found in serving one another in the power of God’s love. Let’s get back to that.

The choice is fast approaching as to whether we are going to stand up for Jesus. We can be at liberty in Him, or we can be in bondage by complying with the edicts of a God-rejecting culture. Early Christians were fed to lions for refusing to acknowledge Caesar as Lord and only bowed the knee to Jesus. What will we do? 

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