The love of our Lord for His people


by Mike Ratliff

1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, 4 *got up from supper, and *laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself.
5 Then He *poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. John 13:1-5 (NASB)

My brethren, let us not take our salvation for granted or believe that we have in any way earned or deserved it. Our salvation is entirely God’s work from beginning to end and we are in Christ by His grace through faith as His gift (Eph. 2:8). That being said, who amongst us can honestly say that they are not in constant battles with their flesh and those battles includes who knows how many failures. That is why we have the throne of grace.

8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10 (NASB) 

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16 (NASB)

What we must never forget is that our savior knows the truth about us yet still loves us. He knows about our sins and is waiting for us to confess them to Him at the throne of grace to be forgiven and washed clean which is what Jesus washing the disciple’s feet symbolized. Do not let our enemy defeat you because of your failures. Go to our Lord and confess your sins and get right with Him. Continue reading

For the love of Christ controls us


by Mike Ratliff

14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NASB) 

We be liars if we told all who would listen that every day was a great day and that because we are in Christ we never stumble nor reveal to others how vulnerable or weak we really are. However, the closer we walk with Christ the fewer should be those periods like that even though, sadly, we shall never be free from them until we are freed from this flesh. This being so, we should look at the tremendous love and affection we have received from Christ. None of us deserve it nor did we do anything to earn it. Yes, I have had a few try to tell me they did indeed make that decision for Christ all on their own with no help from the Holy Spirit. I often wonder if those who told me that are still “walking the walk.” In this morning’s devotion by Charles Spurgeon in his Morning by Morning he tells us how much we are blessed and what is expected of us. Continue reading

The Excellency of Christ’s Deity


by Mike Ratliff

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (NASB) 

All genuine Christians are involved in some form of spiritual conflict. They are tempted to doubt their salvation because their assurance is under attack or they are being tempted to turn aside for some fleshly “diversion” or they are tempted to compromise in some fashion in a way that would be an act against conscience, et cetera. Some reading this have contacted me for prayer because of family or health issues. We are all in desperate need of our hearts being strengthened in the resignation of ourselves unto the Lordship of  Jesus Christ. We need our affections as the Bride of Christ to be stirred up and made more apparent to our regenerate hearts. How do we do this? What can we do that will endear our hearts unto Christ? Continue reading

What can believers do that will endear their hearts unto Christ?


by Mike Ratliff

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 NASB)

All genuine Christians are involved in some form of spiritual conflict. They are tempted to doubt their salvation because of spiritual warfare or they are being tempted to turn aside for some fleshly “diversion” or they are tempted to compromise in some fashion in a way that would be an act against conscience, et cetera. Some reading this have contacted me for prayer because of family or health issues. We are all in desperate need of our hearts being strengthened in the resignation of ourselves unto the Lordship of  Jesus Christ. All genuine believers need their affections as the Bride of Christ to be stirred up and made more apparent to their regenerate hearts. How is this done? What can believers do that will endear their hearts unto Christ? Continue reading

Jesus Christ is Exceedingly Excellent and Desirable in his Deity


by Mike Ratliff

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 NASB)

All genuine Christians are involved in some form of spiritual conflict. They are tempted to doubt their salvation because their assurance is under attack or they are being tempted to turn aside for some fleshly “diversion” or they are tempted to compromise in some fashion in a way that would be an act against conscience, et cetera. Some reading this have contacted me for prayer because of family or health issues. We are all in desperate need of our hearts being strengthened in the resignation of ourselves unto the Lordship of  Jesus Christ. We need our affections as the Bride of Christ to be stirred up and made more apparent to our regenerate hearts. How do we do this? What can we do that will endear our hearts unto Christ? Continue reading

Our Father Who is in Heaven


by Mike Ratliff

9 Οὕτως οὖν προσεύχεσθε ὑμεῖς· Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς· ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου· (Matthew 6:9 NA27)

9 “You, therefore, pray in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, let your name be hallowed, (Matthew 6:9 a personal translation of from the NA27 Greek Text.) 

As one who desperately wants to stay on the narrow way, bearing my own cross as I follow my Lord each and every day, I have found that there are times when my circumstances seem to overwhelm me and there is anything but peace in my life as those very circumstances appear to be about to consume me or destroy me or something indeed horrible. It is as I am driven to prayer as per Hebrews 4:14-16:

[14] Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. [15] For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. [16] Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV)

that my perspective is altered and what seemed such a large problem is seen in a completely different light. Do the issues or problems still exist? Yes they do, but when viewed from the perspective of a child who has come before his heavenly father who has properly prayed for him to reveal himself, his majesty, his power, his grace, his mercy, his love, et cetera to me in a way that brings him glory in and through me then I know that my temporal problems are nothing when it comes to eternity.  Continue reading

The Intensity of Christ’s Love and the Intentionality of His Death


by John Piper

The love of Christ for us in his dying was as conscious as his suffering was intentional. “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). If he was intentional in laying down his life, it was for us. It was love. “When Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (John 13:1). Every step on the Calvary road meant, “I love you.” Continue reading

Believers Must Receive the Love of the Father


 

by Mike Ratliff

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.  (1 John 4:8 ESV)

As most of you reading this know, I took about 8 days off from both work, writing, and blogging. My wife and I traveled to the Oklahoma City area to visit our daughter and son-in-law. We celebrated her birthday on Saturday then on Tuesday we went with them to observe her Ultra Sound. They estimate that our first grand child will be born in the middle of September. I am not sure what I expected while watching the Ultra Sound, but I came away from it with much joy. Continue reading