Monthly Archives: December 2009

What Will You Do Without Him?

I could not do without Him!
Jesus is more to me
Than all the richest, fairest gifts
Of earth could ever be.
But the more I find Him precious-
And the more I find Him true-
The more I long for you to find
What He can be to you.

You need not do without Him,
For He is passing by,
He is waiting to be gracious,
Only waiting for your cry:
He is waiting to receive you-
To make you all His own!
Why will you do without Him,
And wander on alone?

Why will you do without Him?
Is He not kind indeed?
Did He not die to save you?
Is He not all you need?
Do you not want a Saviour?
Do you not want a Friend?
One who will love you faithfully,
And love you to the end?

Why will you do without Him?
The Word of God is true!
The world is passing to its doom-
And you are passing too.
It may be no to-morrow
Shall dawn for you or me;
Why will you run the awful risk
Of all eternity?

What will you do without Him,
In the long and dreary day
Of trouble and perplexity,
When you do not know the way,
And no one else can help you,
And no one guides you right,
And hope comes not with morning,
And rest comes not with night?

You could not do without Him,
If once He made you see
The fetters that enchain you,
Till He hath set you free.
If once you saw the fearful load
Of sin upon your soul;
The hidden plague that ends in death,
Unless He makes you whole!

What will you do without Him,
When death is drawing near?
Without His love-the only love
That casts out every fear;
When the shadow-valley opens,
Unlighted and unknown,
And the terrors of its darkness
Must all be passed alone!

What will you do without Him,
When the great white throne is set,
And the Judge who never can mistake,
And never can forget,-
The Judge whom you have never here
As Friend and Saviour sought,
Shall summon you to give account
Of deed and word and thought?

What will you do without Him,
When He hath shut the door,
And you are left outside, because
You would not come before?
When it is no use knocking,
No use to stand and wait;
For the word of doom tolls through your heart,
That terrible “Too late!”

You cannot do without Him!
There is no other name
By which you ever can be saved,
No way, no hope, no claim!
Without Him-everlasting loss
Of love, and life, and light!
Without Him-everlasting woe,
And everlasting night.

But with Him-oh! with Jesus!
Are any words so blest?
With Jesus, everlasting joy
And everlasting rest!
With Jesus-all the empty heart
Filled with His perfect love;
With Jesus-perfect peace below,
And perfect bliss above.

Why should you do without Him?
It is not yet too late;
He has not closed the day of grace,
He has not shut the gate.
He calls you! hush! He calls you!
He would not have you go
Another step without Him,
Because He loves you so.

Why will you do without Him?
He calls and calls again-
“Come unto Me! Come unto Me!”
Oh, shall He call in vain?
He wants to have you with Him;
Do you not want Him too?
You cannot do without Him,
And He wants- even you.

-by Francis Ridley Havergal

Images courtesy of Brooklyn Museum
James Tissot collection

Tidings of Great Joy

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:8-14

Good News

In these verses we have the most joyful message that was ever proclaimed to man. The angel appeared to the humble shepherds to tell them that none other than the Savior of the world had been born. This wondrous child was the long expected Messiah, promised in Isaiah 9:6For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” He was God in the flesh!

When the angel announced the birth of Jesus, he declared himself to be the bearer of  “good news of great joy” and these glad tidings were immediately repeated and confirmed by a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men.” The gospel, properly speaking, and in its own words, simply means glad tidings. “Behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy;” the original expression is, “This is a gospel of great joy.”

Through the long, dark, weary ages man had been groaning in captivity to the tyrant powers of sin. He was incapable of saving himself. He  needed a deliverer. He needed a Savior. He needed good news. God had sent prophets many times to herald the coming Messiah. When the world was at its darkest, He sent his Son. “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.” Hebrews 1:1,2

When our blessed Lord began His public ministry, He came proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The prophet Isaiah spoke of a Messenger who would publish good tidings to mankind. The Lord Jesus Christ is undoubtedly that Messenger.

The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,”The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.  And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:17-21

Isaiah is the fullest revelation of Christ in the Old Testament—so much so, that it is often called “the gospel (good news) according to Isaiah.” A wonderful reference to the Lord is found in Isaiah 52:7. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” Never were feet so beautiful as those of the Lord Jesus.

I’m going to end this post by quoting pastor John Munro. I think his words will help you understand the greatest Christmas gift that has ever been given to mankind.

Although Jesus was truly a man, at His glorious birth He did not cease to be God. In Jesus Christ, the true light of the world comes, and His followers see “his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

This glory is manifested against the darkness of our sin and rebellion. We are held captive in a prison by sin. We are in a dark pit whose walls are so high that we cannot possibly climb out. We are all in the same darkness. We cannot help one another. But Christmas reminds us that in Jesus the Light of the world has come into our prison. “The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned” (Matthew 4:16). When Jesus comes He does not come to judge or to condemn, but to save (John 3:17). Jesus means Savior, Rescuer and Deliverer. This is what His glorious birth is all about: He comes to “save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21). John Munro

Be sure to read the rest of John Munro’s article-The Glorious Birth of Jesus Christ. “It is still proclaimed in our ears that to us is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord. These should be glad tidings to all.” (Matthew Henry)

The Path of the Just

by William Mason

The path of the just is as the shining light, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day….Prov. iv. 18.

Since the fall of man, there is no other way of being made just or righteous, but by the righteousness of the man Christ Jesus. Just Noah, righteous Lot, meek Moses, faithful Abraham, patriarchs, prophets, and apostles, all were sinners in themselves, but “their righteousness is of me,” saith Jehovah Jesus….Isa. liv. 17. Hence the Lord calls his people righteous. They are really constituted so in his sight. This truth should ever dwell in our minds. It is the foundation of all delight in God and love to him. Hence we are comforted in the way of truth and holiness. For Jesus, who is our righteousness, is also our light to direct our steps, and our path wherein we walk. He is the “light of the world, the light of life.” “I am the way,” saith Jesus. St. Paul exhorts, “As ye have received the Lord Jesus, so walk ye in him.“….Col. ii. 6.

Our faith in Jesus, is no new-fangled doctrine, but the same as was from the beginning. Christians are not left to the darkness of nature; they are not led by sudden, transient flashes of light; but by the clear, steady shining of truth upon their minds. Their walk, in the path of truth, is consistent and uniform.

Like the dawning light of the morning, the light of truth first breaks in upon the soul, and gradually increaseth brighter and brighter: so we see more clearly, believe more strongly, love more fervently, hope more steadily, obey more delightfully, and long more cheerfully for the perfect day. Though at some seasons, when vapors and mists of nature’s corruption arise, and the night of affliction and desertion overtakes the just, upright soul, he may be in fear, lest he should never hold out and see the perfect day. In such seasons he is too apt to lend his ear to a whisperer, who is ever ready to dishearten him. What with his corrupt heart, Satan’s suggestions, and men’s false doctrine, he is thrust sore at. He may fear, lest he should fail and perish for ever; but God’s power and truth will support him.

If the comforting Spirit had not left another word of proof in the whole Bible for the perseverance of the just, this one is sufficient. Wisdom hath spoken it; nor men nor devils shall reverse it. Every justified soul shall enjoy the perfect day of Jesus’ meridian glory and salvation in his kingdom. Till then, “the righteous shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.“… Job xvii. 9.

By grace I see the shining path
Which leads to perfect bliss:
Jesus, my light, my life, my way,
Will bring me where he is.

O blessed, joyful, perfect day
Of endless light and love!
Press on, my soul, nor stay thy course,
Till thou dost reign above.

From- A Spiritual Treasury for the Children of God

Photo courtesy of alicepopkorn

The Light That Cannot Be Extinguished

Jesus spoke to them, saying,  “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4,5

Jesus is the everlasting light. This Christmas season, as we remember the birth of our Lord and Savior, let us give thanks and rejoice that He came to earth and dispelled our darkness. All is darkness without Christ. Left to ourselves, we would have never found our way to the light nor out of the darkness. Thanks be to God! He has transformed us from lovers of  the darkness to lovers of the light. “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.John 3:19For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.Ephesians 5:8.

When God created the heavens and the earth, He commanded the light to shine out of darkness. He said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Before any man or woman ever becomes a Christian, God has to say, “Let light shine out of darkness.” If you believe in Christ, you have the light of life. God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined into our hearts, to give us the knowledge of the glory of God in the person of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6

Christ, who is the Light of the world, paid the penalty for our sins by enduring his Father’s wrath on our behalf.  He endured extreme darkness for our sake. In his midnight hour, when dark clouds were gathering around him, He cried,”O my Father, if this cup may not pass from me except I drink it, thy will be done.” His soul was exceedingly sorrowful, even to the point of death.

At noon on the day Christ hung on the cross,  great darkness came over the land. It seemed that all the light had gone out of the world. “It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed.Luke 23:44 This terrific darkness had no ordinary cause. In fact, this darkness was God’s wrath being poured out on His Son, Jesus Christ.

What’s happening here is divine wrath is poured out in its final form.  Eternal wrath is about to be released and the darkness is everywhere.  You could say it another way.  God brought hell to Jerusalem that day. Jesus calls hell “outer darkness,” the ultimate black hole where there’s weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth in the eternal unrelieved blackness.  It is the darkness of God’s judgment presence.

So from noon to three, hell came to Jerusalem and Judea.  God showed up in wrath.  And the interesting thing is, it wasn’t wrath on the Romans and it wasn’t wrath on the Jewish leaders, and it wasn’t wrath on the people.  It was wrath on the Son.  God unleashed the full extent of His fury on Jesus Christ.  As  Isaiah put it, ‘Wrath with fierce anger.’  Hell came there.- John MacArthur

Jesus drank the cup of wrath that belonged to us. He drank it dry. He willingly laid down His life for us. His enemies could not take His life from Him. Neither Pilate nor Herod, neither the Romans nor the Jews had authority or power to put Him to death. He laid it down of His own initiative. John 10:11, 18 His final prayer on the cross was, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.Luke 23:46 With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30

If the story had ended with Christ’s death on the cross we would have no reason to rejoice. If death had triumphed we would still be lost in our darkness and sin. Christ’s death would have been in vain. But, just as Christ had authority to lay down His life, He also had authority to take it up again. He was sovereign over His death, as He was sovereign over His resurrection.“He knew the bonds of death would be loosed, and that it was not possible He should be holden of it. One object of His dying was to destroy him who had the power of death, to destroy him by rising from the dead. He laid down His life according to the divine plan, with the determined purpose of taking it up again according to the same plan.”(Thomas James)

Now we can rejoice for we have been saved from sin and death and judgment. We are no longer living in darkness. Instead, we serve a living Savior. This Savior is the Light of the World; A Light that cannot be extinguished!

The Voice of Jesus

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto Me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down
Thy head upon My breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary, and worn, and sad:
I found in Him a resting-place,
And He has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold I freely give
The living water-thirsty one,
Stoop down, and drink, and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quench’d, my soul revived
And now I live in Him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“I am this dark world’s light;
Look unto Me, thy morn shall rise,
And all thy day be bright.”
I look’d to Jesus, and I found
In Him my star, my sun;
And in that light of life I’ll walk
Till traveling days are done.
Horatius Bonar, 1857

Our Hope Remains

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38,39

by Augustus Toplady

Immovable our Hope remains,
Within the Veil our Anchor lies;
JESUS, who washed us from our Stains,
Shall bear us safely to the Skies.

Strong in his Strength, we boldly say,
For us IMMANUEL shed his blood;
Who then shall tear our Shield away,
Or part us from the Love of God?

Can Tribulation or Distress,
Or Persecution’s fiery Sword?
Can Satan rob us of our Peace,
Or prove too mighty for the LORD?

Founded on CHRIST, secure we stand,
Sealed with his Spirit’s inward Seal;
We soon shall gain the promised Land,
Triumphant over the powers of Hell.

The Winds may roar, the Floods may beat;
And Rain, impetuous, descend;
Yet will he not his own forget,
But love and save them to the End.

Jesus acquits, and who condemns?
Cease, Satan, from thy fruitless Strife:
Thy Malice cannot reach our Names
To blot them from the Book of Life.

This is eternal Life to know
God and the Lamb for Sinners given:
Nor will the Saviour let us go,
His ransomed Candidates for Heaven.

Us to redeem his Life he paid,
And will He not his Purchase have?
Who can behold IMMANUEL bleed,
And doubt his Willingness to save?

Surely the Son hath made us free,
Who Earth, and Heaven and Hell commands;
Our Cause of Triumph this- that we
Are graven on the Saviour’s Hands.

To Him who washed us in his Blood,
And lifts apostate Man to Heaven,
And reconciles his Sheep to GOD,
Be everlasting Glory given.