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"Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright." Psalms 33:1
Grover Laird, Editor
7030 Dorsey-Evergreen Rd
Fulton, MS 38843
February 2020 Short Messages
It Does Matter How We Treat Others
"Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him." (Proverbs 26:27)
Many mistreat others without realizing that this could determine how God deals with them. Many Scriptures teach this.
The Bible tells us that if we ignore the cry of the poor in their need, we can expect God to ignore our prayer for help--"Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard." (Proverbs 21:13) This verse could explain why our prayers may not bring us the help we ask for.
God will be merciful to us and will deal with us in an upright, pure manner, if we show this kindness to others. But God will deal with us differently if we are stubborn and contrary to others– "With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward." (Psalm 19:25,26) Many bring unnecessary pain upon themselves by their selfish, high-strung ways.
Sometimes a person will devise a plan to hurt another they dislike, only to find that what they had schemed for others come to themselves– "He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate." (Psalm 7:15,16. Look again at our text and also Ecclesiastes 10:8) When we plan trouble for others, we are planning trouble for ourselves.
On the other hand, if we are determine not to criticize and condemn others, we save ourselves of some of this unfair abuse--"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." (Matthew 7:1,2) If we therefore want our Heavenly Father to forgive our sins and remember them against us no more, we will need to do the same for others-- "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven." (Luke 6:37. See also Matthew 6:14,15; Mark 11:25)
Actually, forgiving others should be easy, after having been forgiven of God. For you see, the sins of others against us is nothing, when compared with our sins against God. (Matthew 18:23-35)
We cannot survive in this sinful world without the mercy of God. And by failing to be merciful to others, we hold back much of the mercy of God we so badly need . Jesus preached, "Blessed are the merciful;: for they shall obtain mercy." (Matthew 5:7) This sounds like we must find a way to be merciful to others.
Another thing, when we give liberally to the Cause of the Lord, God gives bountifully to us-- "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. for with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." (Luke 6:38. See also Proverbs 11:24,25;19:17; 11 Corinthians 9:6) There is probably nothing that determines the material blessings that Christians have and enjoy, more than how much we give "to the Lord."
When we put all of these Scriptures together we must conclude: one of the best ways to be good to ourselves is to be good to others. There is one thing more important--loving the Lord and delighting in Him. (John 14:21,23; Psalm 37:4)
FULL OF POWER
"But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin." (Micah 3:8)
After speaking of the sin and weakness of false prophets, the Prophet Micah spoke the words of our text. Though he was surely an humble person and did not seek to magnify himself,
he knew that the power of God was upon him and his preaching. Notice two things that our text should teach us.
I. The Holy Spirit Can Give Power To Our Preaching.
Much study and preparation is very important in preaching, as long as our total trust is in the Lord for the message, the words, and the power. For it is the Holy Spirit that makes preaching
interesting, profitable and powerful. The Apostle Paul is a good example of one who depended upon the Holy Spirit in his preaching.
He depended upon the Holy Spirit to give him the words to say when he preached– “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." (1 Corinthians 2:13)
Paul depended upon the Holy Spirit for the results of his preaching, not upon enticing, or
persuasable words of man's wisdom-- "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." (1 Corinthians 2:4,5)
Paul did not just say good words, the Spirit made them powerful words-- "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake." (I Thessalonians 1:5) The lack of this power in our preaching may be part of the reason that some churches are not growing today.
II. God gave Micah power to show Israel their Sins
Through the ages God has called upon His preachers to show His people their sins. While it is to be done "in love" and "with all longsuffering," (Ephesians 4:15;11 Timothy 4:2) it is still to be done.
God sent Elijah to show Ahab his sin. (1 Kings 21:17-24) He sent Hanani to rebuke Asa for wrong. (11 Chronicles 16:7-10) God sent Jehu to Jehoshaphat with a message that pointed out his transgressions. (II Chronicles 19:1,2) Isaiah was commanded to, "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." (Isaiah 58:1) Ezekiel had a similar commandment from God, "Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations," (Ezekiel 16:2) Preaching against wrong has always been part of God's assignment for his preachers.
Micah realized that one reason for God giving him the power of the Spirit was that he might "declare unto Jacob his transgressions, and to Israel his sin." Had he backed off from the preaching God sent him to do, he could have lost the power of the Spirit upon his ministry.
Surely there could be no sweeter words spoken to a lost perishing world than the words JESUS SAVES. All who are saved surely realize that are saved because the Lord has saved them. Salvation is of the Lord.
When the angel spoke to Joseph concerning the birth of Jesus, he said that JESUS SAVES. Here are his words-- "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21).
We learn that JESUS SAVES from what Jesus said to the house of Zacchaeus-- "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10) When Paul wrote to Timothy he stressed the truth that JESUS SAVES--"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." (I Timothy 1:15).
Therefore Christ did not come to help, to assist, or to just have a part in our salvation. He came to SAVE us. If our sins are ever forgiven, He will forgive them. If we ever become a new creature within, He will regenerated us. If our name is ever written in Heaven, He will see that it is put there. If we escape Hell and gain Heaven Jesus will take care of it. If we are saved at all we are saved altogether, and Jesus did it.
It was not the good that Jesus saw in us that moved him to save us. It was the mercy that He had for us that moved Him in our direction-- "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost." (Titus 2:5) If the Lord only saved those who deserved to be
saved, He would save none-- "God looked down from Heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Psalm 53:2,3) All have missed the mark-- "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) Therefore, salvation comes to man by God's grace-- "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." (Ephesians 2:8,9)
There is no need for any to go out into eternity lost. Jesus saves all that come unto God by Him, and He saves them all the way. (Hebrews 7:25) May we spread the good news to everyone--JESUS SAVES!
ALWAYS EXPECTING A VICTORY
"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place." (11 Corinthians 2:14)
To triumph means "to gain victory or success." In our text Paul is praising the Lord because He always gave him victory and success in his work. Most of us who work for the Lord do not feel this good about our ministry. Why?
There are reasons why Paul's work would turn out better that many of ours, but no reason why ours could not be triumphant. One thing, Paul was dedicated to his work. Few, if any, could speak of losing all for Christ. (Philippians 3:7,8) Paul labored more abundantly that any other Apostle, (1 Corinthians 15:10) was glad to spend and be spent in order
to help others, (11 Corinthians 12:15) placed no value upon his life that he might finish his course, (Acts 20:24) and ready to die "for the name of the Lord Jesus." (Acts 21:13) God is not going to give all the assurance of victory He gave Paul to those who serve Him half-heartedly with the "left-
Another thing, Paul moved under God's direction as he ministered. He seemed to always be in the place where God sent him at the time the Lord sent him. (Acts 16:6-10) Also, he felt his insufficiency, (11 Corinthian 3:5) and ministered in the Lord's strength, (Philippians 4:13) giving the Lord the glory for whatever was accomplished. (1 Corinthians 3:6) His prayer life was also unusual. Speaking of his praying he said, "night and day praying exceedingly." (1 Thessalonians 3:20a) Also, he spoke of his way of life being "...in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God...." (11 Corinthians 1:12)
These, and other things, put Paul close to the perfect will of God for him. And, as the Bible promised, the Lord is with those who are with Him. (11 Chronicles 15:2) The Lord therefore gave Paul victory after victory until it became easy to always expect them. This expectancy, coupled with his strong faith in God's promises, gave him this assurance he
spoke of in our text. While most of us are not there, we could be. May we press toward the mark which Paul had reached.
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