God is God.

“Why are we afraid to declare that people in our churches must come to know God Himself? Why do we not tell them that they must get beyond the point of making God a lifeboat for their rescue or a ladder to get them out of a burning building? How can we help our people get over the idea that God exists just to help run their businesses or fly their airplanes?

“God is not a railway porter who carries your suitcase and serves you. God is God. He made heaven and earth. He holds the world in His hand. He measures the dust of the earth in the balance. He spreads the sky out like a mantle. He is the great God Almighty. He is not your servant.” A. W. Tozer

Isaiah 40:12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, Measured heaven with a span And calculated the dust of the earth

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Turn from your sins.

The sinner is not only to forsake his thoughts, but also his way (actions). It is more than an intellectual acknowledgment that he has sinned. He must turn from those sins—he must confess and forsake them (see Prov. 28:13). In doing so, he will be abundantly pardoned. Repentance is not a “work,” as some would say. It is God-given to sinners, as is faith. See Acts 5:31; 11:18.

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

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Formidable giants.

Sinners will often seem like formidable giants when we are planning to witness to them. The key is to realize that you are made strong in your weakness. Your fear will cause you to pray, and will then become your strength. So use fear to drive you to your knees. Another key is to remember the fate of the sinner if he dies in his sins. If God gives him justice he will end up in hell. Take courage, let love swallow your fears, and make your approach. Be like David—he ran toward Goliath (see 1 Sam. 17:48). You will learn that, with few exceptions, your fears will not be realized.

Matthew Henry said, “Difficulties that are in the way of salvation dwindle and vanish before a lively, active faith in the power and promise of God. All things are possible, if they are promised, to him that believes; but carnal sense and carnal professors are not to be trusted. Unbelief overlooks the promises and power of God, magnifies every danger and difficulty, and fills the heart with discouragement. May the Lord help us to believe! We shall then find all things possible.”

Numbers 13:31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and tall the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants ( the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

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The observance of the Sabbath.

Skeptics argue that these verses contradict Paul’s later statements that the Sabbath commandment was temporary and believers could decide for themselves regarding its observance (Rom. 14:5; Col. 2:14–16).

Scripture makes it clear that no one can be justified (made right with God) by keeping the Sabbath holy, or by keeping any other Commandment. All the Law does is bring the knowledge of sin to show us that we need a Savior. Jesus fulfilled the demands of the Law, which means we can be made right with God through faith in Him alone (see Eph. 2:8,9). Believers now serve in the spirit, not the letter of the law, and the principle behind the Sabbath is this: Just as God created for six days then rested on the seventh, man is to work for six days and rest on the seventh—to cease working. Those who trust in Christ’s finished work on the cross have ceased trying to be justified through their own efforts and instead find their rest in Him. (See Heb. 4:3,10.) That is why keeping the Sabbath is a non-issue for Christians when it comes to eternal salvation. It is simply a matter of conscience. Christians have incredible liberty—no one can tell us what we must eat or drink, or what days we must observe.

“The spiritual rest which God especially intends in this commandment is that we not only cease from our labor and trade but much more—that we let God alone work in us, and that in all our powers we do nothing of our own.” Martin Luther 

Exodus 35:1 Then Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said to them, “These are the words which the Lord has commanded you to do:2 Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. 3 You shall kindle no fire throughout your dwellings on the Sabbath day.

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Not called?

“‘Not called!’ did you say? ‘Not heard the call,’ I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters, and servants and masters not to come there. And then look Christ in the face, whose mercy you have professed to obey, and tell him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish his mercy to the world.” William Booth 

Isaiah 34:9 Its streams shall be turned into pitch, And its dust into brimstone; Its land shall become burning pitch.10 It shall not be quenched night or day; Its smoke shall ascend forever. From generation to generation it shall lie waste; No one shall pass through it forever and ever.

 

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Not a special audience with God.

He did speak audibly to Israel when He gave them the Ten Commandments, and the Bible says that Israel was so fearful at what they saw and heard, they pleaded that He no longer speak to them (see Exod. 20:18,19; Heb. 12:19).

When He spoke on the Mount of Transfiguration, He terrified the disciples (see Matt. 17:5,6). When He once spoke audibly to Jesus, the people thought that they heard thunder (see John 12:28,29). So why didn’t God just whisper on these occasions? Perhaps He did.

However, God (in His infinite wisdom) has chosen what the Bible calls “the foolishness of the mes- sage preached” to bring the gospel to humanity (see 1 Cor. 1:21). He has condescended to use lowly man to deliver the message of everlasting life to dying humanity.

When it comes to God speaking to us, it is important to make sure that we don’t exaggerate our im- portance. We are but very tiny specks on a tiny speck of a planet, moving through the massive infinitude of space. If you want a special audience with the President, he likely will not come running to speak es- pecially to you when, how, and where you want. Only a person with delusions of grandeur indeed would expect such treatment.

How much more so with the Creator of the universe? You are not going to get a special audience with God. So humble yourself, repent of your sins, and trust the Savior, then seek God through prayer and reading of His Word. Prayer is you speaking to God, and the Bible is God speaking to you. Make sure you listen carefully to what He says. Your eternity depends on it.

Hebrews 12:25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven,

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A check for $185,000!

A man in Connecticut just wanted to jot down a phone number when he picked up what he thought was litter on a sidewalk. But what he found was an envelope containing a check for $185,000. Guess what he did? The man, who receives food stamps and works at McDonald’s, said he didn’t think twice about trying to cash it. Instead, the 47-year-old took a bus to a bank and returned the check to the landlord to whom the check was written. That made national news, and so it should. It is big news when a human being does what is right in the face of such temptation. However, the fact that doing the right thing is so unusual as to be newsworthy simply verifies the truth of Scripture—that the heart of man is not good; it is “desperately wicked.”

Psalm 64:6 They devise iniquities: “We have perfected a shrewd scheme.” Both the inward thought and the heart of man are deep.

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