Spices for the anointing oil.
Much use was made of this anointing oil under the law, and that which it represents is of primary importance under the Gospel. The Holy Spirit, who anoints us for all holy service, is indispensable to us if we would serve the Lord acceptably. Without His help our religious services are just an empty show, and our inward experience is a dead thing. Whenever our ministry is without unction, what miserable stuff it becomes! And the prayers, praises, meditations, and efforts of private Christians are no better.
A holy anointing is the soul and life of godly devotion, its absence the most serious of all calamities. To go before the Lord without anointing would be like a common Levite thrusting himself into the priest's role—his religious services would be sins, not sacrifices. May we never embark upon holy tasks without sacred anointing s. They fall upon us from our glorious Head; from His anointing we who are but the skirts of His garments receive a generous unction. Choice spices were mixed with great skill and care to form the anointing oil, to let us see how rich are all the influences of the Holy Spirit.
All good things are found in the divine Comforter. Matchless consolation, infallible instruction, immortal quickening, spiritual energy, and divine sanctification are all mixed with other excellencies in the heavenly anointing oil of the Holy Spirit. It imparts a delightful fragrance to the character and person of the one upon whom it is poured. Nothing like it can be found in all the treasures of the wealthy or the secrets of the wise. It is not to be imitated. It only comes from God, and it is freely given, through Jesus Christ, to every waiting soul. Let us seek it, for we may have it, even this very evening. O Lord, anoint Your servants.
taken from: https://info.truthforlife.org
You and your family are under attack. You probably won’t feel the siege—it’s subtle, seductive, and attractive—and that’s why this attack is infinitely more dangerous.
What in the world am I talking about?
Look at the calendar. The Advent season commences in just a few days. It should be a glorious time of remembering God’s response to his lost and rebellious image-bearers. That response wasn’t to condemn but to give the ultimate gift of grace: the gift of himself.
But instead of a peaceful season of worship and celebration, Advent has devolved into a spiritual war.
A False Christmas Story
The “Christmas Story” which the surrounding culture celebrates puts us at the center, the place for God and God alone. It looks to creation for fulfillment rather than worship of the Creator. It makes physical pleasure our primary need rather than the rescuing intervention of the Redeemer. It’s dominated by the comforts of the moment rather than eternal priorities.
In every way, the story you will hear over and over again during this season is dangerously wrong when it comes to who we are and what we need. It encourages us to find comfort where comfort can’t be found and to place our hope in things that will never deliver.
To be clear, I have no problem with beautiful decorations, family feasting, or giving gifts. The Christmas season can be a time when families gather again, renew relationships, and express love for one another.
But I’m concerned that we’re listening to a false Christmas story instead of remembering the true Advent narrative—a story that defines our beliefs about who we are, what we need, and what our lives are about.
The True Advent Narrative
Unlike that false Christmas story, the true Advent narrative is humbling and unattractive. It’s a sad story about a world terribly broken by sin, populated by self-centered rebels who are willing participants in their own destruction. It’s about beings created to live for God who in every way live for themselves.
This story is about the dethroning of the Creator and the enthroning of his creation. It’s about conditions so desperate that God did the unthinkable, sending his Son to be the sacrificial Lamb of redemption. And why did Jesus come? Because we were so lost, so enslaved, and so self-deceived that there was simply no other way.
Until we hear and understand the bad news, the good news won’t be attractive to us. The news that Jesus came on a glorious mission of grace to live, die, and rise in our place is only worth celebrating when you understand it’s our only hope.
Fight For Your Heart
The war for Advent isn’t about whether we should sing silly seasonal tunes versus gospel carols, or have worship times versus big family feasts. You can do both. Rather, this war is about what story of identity, need, meaning, and purpose we will believe and give our hearts to pursue.
Life really is a battle of stories, and the battle rages most fiercely when the true story is meant to be told most loudly.
So enjoy the gifts, the decorations, and the delicacies, but start defending your heart and your family by telling the true Advent narrative.
Before you begin to get distracted by all the traditions of holiday fun, take up the battle for your soul.
Taken from https://www.paultripp.com/wednesdays-word/posts/under-christmas-attack
The forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace. Eph 1:71:7
Could there be a sweeter word in any language than that word "forgiveness" when it sounds in a guilty sinner's ear, like the joyful notes of liberation to the captive Israelite? Blessed, forever blessed, be the dear star of pardon that shines into the condemned cell and gives the perishing a gleam of hope amid the midnight of despair! Can it be possible that sin, such sin as mine, can be forgiven, forgiven altogether and forever? Hell is my portion as a sinner—there is no possibility of my escaping from it while sin remains upon me. Can the load of guilt be lifted, the crimson stain removed? Can the unbreakable stones of my prison-house ever be loosed from their mortices, or the doors be lifted from their hinges?
Jesus tells me that I may still be cleared. Forever blessed be the revelation of atoning love that not only tells me that pardon is possible, but that it is secured to all who trust in Jesus. I have believed in the atoning sacrifice, even Jesus crucified, and therefore my sins are at this moment and forever forgiven by virtue of His substitutionary pains and death. What joy is this! What unimagined bliss to be a perfectly pardoned soul! My soul dedicates all her powers to Him who by His own unpurchased love became my Savior and provided for me redemption through His blood. What riches of grace does free forgiveness exhibit! To forgive at all, to forgive fully, to forgive freely, to forgive forever—here is a panorama of wonders.
And when I think of how great my sins were, how dear were the precious drops that cleansed me from them, and how gracious was the method by which pardon was sealed home to me, I am in a maze of wondering, worshiping affection. I bow before the throne that absolves me, I clasp the cross that delivers me, and all my days I give to serve the Incarnate God, through whom I am this night a pardoned soul.
taken from : https://info.truthforlife.org
There was only one Black Friday.
It was not the day after Thanksgiving.
It was not a day when self-oriented consumers
and hated the other consumers who were
in their way.
No, all the action of the one Black Friday
was on a hill of death
outside the city
where three souls hung on crosses,
two criminals and the Messiah
doing what he came to do
and what the world was desperate for.
That Friday the world went dark
the Father turned his back
the veil ripped in two
the Son carried the Father's anger.
Death was offered so life could be given.
Darkness fell so light would shine.
There was only one Black Friday.
No need to shop anymore for a
*Taken from https://www.paultripp.com/
The rock badgers are a people not mighty,
yet they make their homes in the cliffs.
Conscious of their own natural defenselessness, the rock badgers resort to burrows in the rocks and are secure from their enemies. My heart, be willing to learn a lesson from these feeble folk. You are as weak and as exposed to peril as the timid badger; be as wise to seek a shelter. My best security is within the fortress of an unchanging Jehovah, where His unalterable promises stand like giant walls of rock. It will be well with you, my heart, if you can always hide yourself in the bulwarks of His glorious attributes, all of which are guarantees of safety for those who put their trust in Him.
Blessed be the name of the Lord, I have so done and have found myself like David in the cave, safe from the cruelty of my enemy. I do not have to wonder how blessed it is to trust in the Lord, for long ago, when Satan and my sins pursued me, I fled to the cleft of the rock Christ Jesus, and in His wounded side I found a delightful resting-place. My heart, run to Him afresh tonight, whatever your present grief may be. Jesus feels for you; Jesus consoles you; Jesus will help you. No king in his impregnable fortress is more secure than the rock badger in his cliff home.
The master of ten thousand chariots is not one bit better protected than the little dweller in the mountain's cleft. In Jesus the weak are strong, and the defenseless safe; they could not be more strong if they were giants or more safe if they were in heaven. Faith gives to men on earth the protection of the God of heaven. They cannot need any more and need not wish for more. The badgers cannot build a castle, but they avail themselves of what is there already. I cannot make myself a refuge, but Jesus has provided it, His Father has given it, His Spirit has revealed it, and here again tonight I enter it and am safe from every foe.
taken from : https://info.truthforlife.org
It was one of those conversations you want to take back. It was one of those conversations when you go where your desires and emotions are leading you. It was one of those conversations when you know you should stop or walk away but feel you can’t.
It was one of those conversations when afterward you are confronted with the sin that still lives inside you. Can you relate?
It wasn’t a big deal in one way. Just a small conversation that had turned a bit ugly. It wasn’t a dramatic life-altering moment. It was in the privacy of my home with one of my family members.
But maybe that’s the point.
Perhaps it’s very important because that’s where I live every day. You see, you and I don’t live in a series of big, dramatic moments. We don’t careen from big decision to big decision. We all live in an endless series of mundane moments and little conversations.
So I knew I couldn’t back away from this little conversation that turned ugly. I knew I had to own my sin. But the minute I thought this, an inner struggle began.
“I wasn’t the only one at fault. If he hadn’t said what he said, I wouldn’t have become angry. I was actually pretty patient for much of the conversation.” These were some of the arguments I was giving myself.
Rather than appealing to the mercy of the Lord in the face of my sin, what I actually do instead is function as my own defense lawyer and present a list of arguments for my own righteousness.
The theology behind the defense is that my greatest problem is outside me, not inside me. In so arguing, I’m telling myself that I don’t really need to be rescued by the Lord’s mercy. Instead, I’m telling myself that what I need to be rescued from is that sinner in the conversation who caused me to respond as I did.
Here’s the point. Before you can ever make a clean and unamended confession of your sin, you have to first begin by confessing your righteousness.
It’s not just your sin that separates you from God; your righteousness does as well. Because when you are convinced you are righteous, you don’t seek the forgiving, rescuing, and restoring mercy that can be found only in Jesus Christ.
So the next time you have a little conversation that turns ugly, don’t argue for your righteousness, shift the blame, or run away. Instead, appeal to the one thing in your life that’s sure and will never fail.
Leave the courtroom of your own defense, come out of hiding, and admit whom you are. But do so unafraid, because you’ve been personally and eternally blessed. Because of what Jesus did, God looks on you with mercy.
Taken from: https://www.paultripp.com/wednesdays-word/posts/a-little-conversation-that-turned-ugly
"By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith".True faith works.
When James said, "Faith without works is dead", he stated a principle that's consistent throughout Scripture: True faith always produces righteous works.
The people described in Hebrews 11 made their genuine faith known in the things they did. The same applies to us today. Paul said, "The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age".
Perhaps better than anyone else in history, Noah illustrates the obedience of faith. Scripture characterizes him as "a righteous man, blameless in his time . . . [who] walked with God" .
I remember a sportscaster interviewing a professional football player and asking him what he thought of his team's chances of winning the Super Bowl. The player replied, "We believe that if we just do what the coach says, we'll win." The team had absolute confidence in their coach, but they realized they had to do their part as well.
That illustrates the quality of faith Noah had in God, whom he trusted absolutely as he pursued a task that seemed utterly foolish and useless from a human perspective. Imagine instantly surrendering all your time and effort to devote 120 years to building something you'd never seen (a vessel the size of a ocean liner or battleship) to protect you from something you'd never experienced (rain and flooding). Yet Noah did it without question.
Noah's faith is unique in the sheer magnitude and time span of the task God gave him to do. He didn't argue with God or deviate from his assignment. Is that true of you? Are you pursuing your ministry as faithfully and persistently as Noah did his? Is your faith a faith that works?
Suggestions for Prayer
Thank God for the ministry He's called you to. If you sense there's more you could be doing, ask Him for guidance. Pray for added faithfulness and tenacity in serving Him.
taken from: https://www.gty.org/library/devotionals
"By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain" (Heb 11:4).True worship requires coming to God on His terms.
At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses—by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God.
Centuries before Christ's death, God provided a means of worship and sacrifice. Genesis 4:3-5says, "It came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. And Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard."
Apparently God had designated a special time for sacrificing because "in the course of time" (v. 3) literally means, "at the end of days"—at the end of a certain period of time. Additionally, He initiated a particular pattern for worship and sacrifices. Otherwise Cain and Abel would have known nothing about how it was to be done.
God required a blood offering for sin. Abel came in faith, acknowledged his sin, and made the appropriate sacrifice. His offering was better than Cain's because Cain neglected the prescribed sacrifice, thereby demonstrating his unwillingness to submit to God and deal with his sin.
There was nothing intrinsically wrong with Cain's offering. Grain, fruit, or vegetable offerings were included in the Mosaic covenant. But the sin offering had to come first. Like so many today, Cain wrongly assumed he could approach God on his own terms. In doing so he became the father of all false religions, and his name became synonymous with rebellion and apostasy (cf. Jude 11).
taken from: https://www.gty.org/library/devotionals
. . . And they were unaware until the flood came, and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
The doom was universal. Neither rich nor poor escaped: the learned and the illiterate, the admired and the despised, the religious and the profane, the old and the young all sank in one common ruin. Some had doubtless ridiculed the preacher, but where were their merry jests now? Others had threatened Noah for his zeal, which they regarded as madness. What happened to their boastings and hard speeches? The critic who judged the old man's work drowns in the same sea that covers his sneering companions. Those who spoke patronizingly of the good man's faithfulness to his convictions, but did not share them, have sunk to rise no more, and the workers who for pay helped to build the wondrous ark are all lost also. The Flood swept them all away and made no single exception. Even so, outside of Christ, final destruction is sure to everyone; no rank, possession, or character will be enough to save a single soul who has not believed in the Lord Jesus. My soul, consider this widespread judgment and tremble at it.
How incredible was the general apathy! They were all eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the awful morning dawned. There was not one wise individual upon earth outside of the ark. Folly duped the whole race: folly as to self-preservation, the most fooling of all follies. Folly in doubting the most true God: the most malignant foolishness. Is it not strange, my soul? All men are negligent of their souls until grace gives them reason; then they leave their madness and act like rational beings, but not until then.
All, blessed be God, were safe in the ark; no ruin entered there. From the huge elephant down to the tiny mouse all were safe. The timid hare was equally secure with the courageous lion, the helpless lamb as safe as the laborious ox. All are safe in Jesus. My soul, are you in Him?
taken from https://info.truthforlife.org/devo-nov1-2018