Monthly Archives: January 2022

God’s Word

 If Your law had not been my delight, Then I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have revived me. I am Yours, save me; For I have sought Your precepts. The wicked wait for me to destroy me; I shall diligently consider Your testimonies. I have seen a limit to all perfection; Your commandment is exceedingly broad.

Psalm 119:92-96

Psalm 119 teaches us the importance of God’s Word. It is the longest chapter in Holy Scripture and it is all about the Word of God. Let’s look at three things the midpoint of this chapter reveals to us.

God’s Word protects us. The Bible protects us from sinful behavior and bad decisions that lead to awful consequences. When we read and obey it, we are spared the horrible ramifications of sin.

God’s Word preserves us. The Bible provides spiritual nourishment that keeps us healthy. The spiritual nutrition of the Word preserves our spirit just as physical food preserves our body. Read it each day and replenish your soul through the precepts of God.

God’s Word perfects us.  Reading and studying the Bible helps us to relinquish sinful behaviors and attitudes. The Word also reveals to us the proper practices of holy living. We are changed by the Scriptures when we absorb them into our lives.

Let us give thanks today for God’s Holy Word. The Bible protects us, preserves us, and perfects us. Read it every day, dear Christian.

Tony French  

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Strong In The Lord

Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant , saying, 2 “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. 3 “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. 4 “From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. 5 “No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. 6 “Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 “Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. 8 “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. 9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”   Joshua 1:1-9

After the death of Moses, Joshua is called to lead Israel into the land of promise. He has observed Moses for many years. Now, Joshua will take the mantle of Moses and lead the people through the conquest.

The words of this chapter still speak and instruct us today. We may not be leading an army on a military campaign. However, Christians today are called to fight (among other battles) the battle for holiness, Godliness, and self-control. May we take the word of God to heart today just as Joshua did in his day.

1) Trust in God’s promises. Joshua was told to trust in God because God is faithful. The Lord had been faithful to Moses and He would be faithful to Joshua. And God will be faithful to us.

Joshua declared God’s faithfulness at the end of His life as well. Not one of God’s promises had failed. (Joshua 21:45) Trust in God knowing He is able to keep His promises!

2) Be strong in the Lord. God’s Word commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous three separate times in these verses. The point cannot be missed. We are to be strong and courageous knowing that we trust in the all-powerful, all-seeing, unchanging, one true God!

3) Cling to God’s Word. Joshua is taught to hold to God’s Word. He is to meditate on it at all times while never straying from God’s Word. Our efforts to fight our battles must be grounded in the Bible as well. Let us seek to observe and obey all that it teaches us day by day.  

Tony French

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Live Again

1 “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. 2 He comes forth like a flower and fades away; He flees like a shadow and does not continue. 3 And do You open Your eyes on such a one, And bring me to judgment with Yourself? 4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one! 5 Since his days are determined, The number of his months is with You; You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass. 6 Look away from him that he may rest, Till like a hired man he finishes his day. 7 “For there is hope for a tree, If it is cut down, that it will sprout again, And that its tender shoots will not cease. 8 Though its root may grow old in the earth, And its stump may die in the ground, 9 Yet at the scent of water it will bud And bring forth branches like a plant. 10 But man dies and is laid away; Indeed he breathes his last And where is he? 11 As water disappears from the sea, And a river becomes parched and dries up, 12 So man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more, They will not awake Nor be roused from their sleep. 13 “Oh, that You would hide me in the grave, That You would conceal me until Your wrath is past, That You would appoint me a set time, and remember me! 14 If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, Till my change comes.

Job 14:1-14

Job’s soliloquy in chapter 14 is difficult to read. He tells us that nature can spring back to life, yet, mankind dies, is buried, and ultimately forgotten in the grave. Job’s diatribe is similar to what one reads in the book of Ecclesiastes about life under the sun.

In verse 14, Job asks an important question. If a man dies, shall he live again? As one examines Scripture, they find the answer to that inquiry to be one word—yes! Those who know Christ will be raised to life just as Jesus was resurrected. Christians may experience physical death but resurrection awaits all true Believers. The New Testament teaches important aspects of this truth time and again. Let’s examine three of them this week.

**Believers will receive a new body at the resurrection of the saints. (1 Corinthians 15:35-58) This body will be imperishable, incorruptible, and like unto the body of our Savior. Christians will inhabit these new bodies forever with Jesus. What a day that will be!

**Believers will receive rewards at the last resurrection. (Colossians 2:18, 3:24, Hebrews 10:35) These rewards will be based on how the Christian lives in this present day. The rewards are separate from salvation which is based on grace through faith and is irrevocable. However, God’s people will be given crowns for serving Christ faithfully. Then, we will all cast our crowns at Jesus feet when we see Him as He is. (Revelation 4:9-11)

**Christians will dwell with Christ forever. (John 14:1-3) The greatest reward that the Saved receive is the prize of Jesus’ presence. Just being with our savior will make everything worthwhile.

Will Christians live again? Absolutely. Thanks be to God for His glorious mercy and grace!    

Tony French

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God is Able

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.     Ephesians 3:20-21

God is able! He is able in every circumstance, every situation, and every problem. Nothing overwhelms God. He is able!

God is able! He is able to do more than we can ask. Christ is able to do more than we can ever think or even imagine. Pray in faith. He is able!

God is able! The power of the Holy Spirit is at work in us. He is changing us, comforting us, and abiding with us every day of our lives. Lean into His power every day, dear Christian. He is able!

God is able! He is able to do more than we could ever imagine doing. Give God the glory. Trust in Christ each day to provide for you, protect you, and be with you.

Trust in God today. Believe Him and obey Him. For He is able!

Tony French

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Strength from the Lord

Dear Christian, are you down? Does your life seem more difficult each day? If that is the case, be uplifted today from God’s Word. Hear what God has declared about you!

1) God is working all things for your good and for His glory.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:28-29

2) God is for you, God loves you, and He cares for you.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?  Romans 8:31

3) God will give us everything we need for life and service to Him.

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?  Romans 8:32

4) God will never leave you.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Romans 8:38-39

Tony French

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Former Wretch

O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.   Romans 7:24-25

Wretched. It’s a difficult word. The word is defined as one who is in a miserable state, one who is pitiable. Wretched is a word we don’t use very often and it’s is not a word we use of ourselves.

Paul reveals that he considers himself to be wretched and contemptible apart from Christ. Though we may not use the word, deep down we know the same is true of us. We know that we have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. (Romans 3:23) We perceive that our righteousness and goodness will never be enough. We understand that we are guilty of breaking God’s law.

Thankfully, Paul tells us the rest of the story. He gives thanks to God through Jesus Christ. Why? Because he knows of God’s grace. Paul explains this as he writes the inspired letter to the church at Rome. Paul knows that Jesus paid the penalty and died as our substitute. He teaches that God justifies believers by faith. Paul proclaims that his sin has been imputed to Jesus account and that Jesus righteousness has been imputed to his account. Jesus won the victory over sin!

What Paul revealed is true of all Christians. Our sin has been removed, forgiven, and cleansed. We have been given the righteousness of Christ through the grace and mercy of God. In our own flesh we are wretched.  But, in Christ, we are wholly new, completely saved, and on our way to Heaven. We ought to be thankful to Jesus every moment of every day!

Tony French 

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God Is

“I love You, O Lord, my strength.” The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies.

Psalm 18:1-3

This Scripture teaches us how God functions in the lives of Believers. We are encouraged and uplifted in short order by this passage. Look what it reveals.

God is my rock—I will not be shaken.

God is my fortress—I have a place of safety.

God is my deliverer—I will make it through.

God is my refuge—I have a place to hide from my enemies.

God is my shield—I have one who fights for me.

God is my horn of salvation—I am secure in Christ forever.

God is my stronghold—I am victorious through Christ Jesus.

What should our response be to these glorious thoughts? We are to praise the Lord who is worthy of all praise. He saves us from our enemies and He will bring us safely into His presence.  Blessings upon you today through our Lord Jesus!

Tony French

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God’s Creation

God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Genesis 1:31

The creation accounts in Genesis 1-2 detail God’s handiwork and power. Everything is made and completed in these creation days. Order, structure, and design are woven into the very fabric of creation.

God declares it all to be very good at the end of the sixth day. Earlier, the Lord declared creation good. (Genesis 1:25) But at the conclusion, the Creator proclaims “it is very good.”

Sin entered the world after creation and marred God’s handiwork mightily. The very ground was cursed after Adam’s sin in the garden. (Genesis 3:17-18) Adam and Eve were driven from the garden and were separated from God’s presence.

While it is true that sin has corrupted creation and human beings, it also correct to say that we can still the goodness of God’s creation. The beauty of this earth is unmatched by anything made with human hands. The Creator provides for this planet and sustains it by His power and might. His goodness flows to this earth even when people reject the Lord. One can still see the goodness of God in creation.

As Christians, we are glad that there is hope for future restoration. There is a “New Heaven” and a “New Earth” coming one day. (Revelation 21-22) All that was lost in the garden because of sin will be renewed and restored when Jesus rules over all the earth visibly and powerfully. We look forward to that day when we shall see it. I would imagine when we do, we will declare with the Lord, “it is good, it is very good.”

Tony French

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Oh, The Blood Of Jesus

Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.  For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments—I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

Exodus 12:7, 12-13

After centuries of slavery and nine plagues visited on Egypt, the promise of God was beginning to unfold. Moses would lead the people out the land of bondage after one more plague—the death of the firstborn. A night of death and destruction awaited the people of Egypt.

God instructed the Hebrews to prepare themselves for departure. Several instructions are mentioned in Exodus 11-12 including the meal they would prepare and being ready to plunder the land of their hardship. They would also take a lamb, slaughter it, and take the blood of the animal and place it on the door frame of their houses. When the death angel saw the blood, it would pass over the house and all who were inside the dwelling would be saved. Those acted who by faith would be protected while those outside would suffer. The Israelites did as they were told and were given their freedom and victory.

When Christians look at this account from Exodus, we see more than meets the eye. For in this narrative, we find a symbolic picture of Jesus. Christ shed His blood and died just as the lamb did. The blood of the “Lamb of God” and the Passover lamb provided protection, salvation, and deliverance for those who believed by faith. All who are saved under the New Covenant have the “blood” of Christ metaphorically applied to their lives as a cleansing agent for their sin.  And the angel of spiritual death passes over those who are saved and redeemed by Christ’s blood. The end result of these wonderful works of God is that Believers are given a home in heaven forever.

These chapters are a wonderful and powerful symbol of what Christ has done for us and for all who will believe in Him. Through His death and resurrection, those who trust in the Savior by faith are saved from their sin, redeemed and set free, and delivered from God’s judgement. (Romans 10:9-10, 13) We give thanks today for the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)

Tony French   

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Reason for Trouble

Why do we have so much trouble in our local churches? Why are dissension, disunity, and incessant complaining so common in our churches? These things sap the strength of the church and keep us from experiencing true blessing and growth. But what causes them?

Let me offer three possible reasons for the trouble in our local fellowships. This list is not exhaustive by any means. There are many reasons churches struggle. Let us focus on these three for the sake of brevity.

1) We are still sinners. Though we are Christians and though we are in Christ we still struggle with our own sinfulness and our own selfishness. Therefore, when we don’t get our way we complain and stir up conflict. Christians sometimes fall into old patterns of sin which causes strife and pain. We will not be complete until we are in the presence of Christ. We’re still sinners and we need to remember that fact.

2) We don’t communicate. We don’t like having the difficult conversations that sometimes arise amongst family. Instead of asking for clarification and seeking to understand, we jump to conclusions and assume the worst of our fellow Christians.  Then, we talk about these situations to anyone and everyone who will listen. Pretty soon, sides form and you have a full-scale conflict. Failure to communicate has doomed many churches to irrelevancy and decline.   

3) Not everyone in the church is a Christian. Even those who claim to be Believers may actually be lost and unconverted. Jesus said there will be tares among the wheat. He promised that false believers would exist with genuine Christians until the time of judgement. (Matthew 13:24-30) False Christians can stir up dissension easily and effortlessly.

These aspects of church trouble I have mentioned are possible in every realm of the church. Even Pastors, Staff Members, Deacons, and church leaders are not immune. We all must be on guard against those entities which would divide us.

Tony French

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