Check out these Christmas songs.
- It’s About the Cross: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyR0lwO-nXc. This is probably my favorite Christmas song.
- Christmas With a Capital ‘C’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAckfn8yiAQ.
Check out these Christmas songs.
Because He is all-powerful, I know that nothing is too hard for him. I know He will neither tire nor need a rest.
Because He is omniscient, nothing takes Him by surprise. He does not wonder about the future.
Because He is self-sufficient, He is not helpless without me. Even if no one served God, He could make the rocks cry out – He could still do whatever He wants.
Because He was willing to die in my place, taking my sins upon Himself and giving me His righteousness. He did not want me to die and be cast into Hell to be tormented for all eternity.
Because He rose from the dead, He now makes intercession for me as my only mediator.
Because He is my comforter, He is always there for me. He never feels blue nor withdraws from me. He is always making intercession for me even when I don’t know what I need.
Because God recorded His word, I can learn more about Him and about the ultimate sacrifice Christ made for a poor, wretched sinner such as me.
Because she completes me, I am able to be the man, husband, and father that God wants me to be. She is truly a blessing from God.
Happy is the man that has his quiver full. From my children, I’ve learned a lot about my relationship with God. Each one brings me joy in each one’s own way.
Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah. And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley. And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye showed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal. And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. 1 Samuel 15:1-23
God commanded Saul to utterly (completely) destroy the Amalekites. This command included the destruction of men, women, children, and beasts. Saul was not to leave a single thing alive. However, Saul did not utterly destroy the Amalekites. He kept alive the king, Agag, as well as the best of the cattle. You could say that Saul obeyed God for the most part – maybe for 90% or even 99%. But was God satisfied? Absolutely not! In God’s estimation, 99% obedience is disobedience. We cannot perform two-thirds of what God commands and expect God to be pleased. We must perform 100% of God’s command or else we are disobedient. We can see this in Joshua 1.
Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spoke unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I swore unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:1-9
Notice that God stresses to Joshua that he is to do all that God commanded him. Some will use this passage to say that the measure of our prosperity is proportionate to the measure of how well we obey God’s command – the better you obey, the more prosperous you will be; the less you obey, the less prosperous you will be. But that is not what the passage says. God says to be prosperous, Joshua had to obey all. God expects 100% obedience. There is no sliding scale of prosperity. It is “obey 100% and be prosperous; obey 99.9% and you will not be prosperous.”
We do see one group in the Bible who thought there was a sliding scale of obedience that resulted in a corresponding level of prosperity and righteousness.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Matthew 23:23
Our Lord Jesus Christ called the Pharisees hypocrites because they thought their partial obedience was worthy of something good. They obeyed the parts that others could see and they thought they were righteous. The Pharisees were men-pleasers. They thought their level of righteousness and prosperity was based on their level of obedience. Jesus did not think so. He was not pleased with their partial obedience.
So am I saying that God is not pleased unless we obey 100%? Isn’t that what 1 Samuel 15 said? Isn’t that what Joshua 1 said? I haven’t seen where it says God is pleased with us merely striving. He would have been pleased with Saul if Saul had obeyed completely. He told Joshua prosperity and success would come when Joshua did all that he was commanded.
Why is God not pleased with less than 100%?
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. James 2:10
If you obey the law 99.9% and just offend in 0.1%, God says you are guilty of 100%. In other words, if you satisfy 99.9% of the commands, God sees you as 100% guilty. That is why trying to keep God’s law is called a curse.
They cleaved to their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God’s law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and his judgments and his statutes; Nehemiah 10:29
Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. Daniel 9:11
If you compel someone to keeping the law, you are putting them under the curse.
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Galatians 3:10
God demands 100% obedience. He says nothing about being pleased with trying our best to keep the law. However, since God demands 100% obedience and even offending in one point brings us under the curse, compelling someone to keep the law is only setting that person up for failure and God’s displeasure. Fortunately, God has provided a solution.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:13-14
Are you depending on yourself or are you depending on Christ? Don’t let someone bring you into bondage again by compelling you to keep the law. You cannot please God by doing your best to keep the law. Striving to keep the law only results in the curse. The faith that brings about justification is the same faith that brings about sanctification. Your righteousness still is as filthy rags. The just shall live by faith.