Hope

Hope

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An Everlasting Covenant

This is one of my favorites I have read recently!



For he has made with me an everlasting covenant.

2 Samuel 23:5

This covenant is divine in its origin. "He has made with me an everlasting covenant." Oh, that great word "he"! My soul, consider-God, the everlasting Father, has positively made a covenant with you; yes, the God who spoke the world into existence by a word; He, stooping from His majesty, takes hold of your hand and makes a covenant with you. Isn't this act so stupendous and such an example of condescension that it would overwhelm us forever if we could really understand it? "He has made with me an everlasting covenant."

A king has not made a covenant with me-that would be something; but the Prince of the kings of the earth, Shaddai, the Lord All-sufficient, the Jehovah of ages, the everlasting Elohim-"He has made with me an everlasting covenant."

But notice, it is particular in its application. "For he has made with me an everlasting covenant." Here is the sweetness of it to each believer. It is nothing for me that He made peace for the world; I want to know whether He made peace for me! It is a small matter that He has made a covenant; I want to know whether He has made a covenant with me.

Blessed is the assurance that He has made a covenant with me! If God the Holy Spirit gives me assurance of this, then His salvation is mine, His heart is mine, He Himself is mine-He is my God.

This covenant is everlasting in its duration. An everlasting covenant means a covenant that had no beginning and that will never, ever end. How sweet in all the uncertainties of life to know that "God's foundation stands firm,"1 and to have God's own promise, "I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips."2 I will sing of this through all my days and at their ending and forever.

1 2 Timothy 2:19 2 Psalm 89:34

Devotional material is taken from "Morning and Evening," written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright (c) 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission. Today’s Bible Reading material is taken from McCheyne Bible reading plan and used by Truth For Life with permission. Scripture quotations are taken from Holy Bible: English Standard Version, copyright (c) 2001, Good News Publishers.



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Love Beyond Doubt




I have loved you with an everlasting love.
~ Jeremiah 31:3

Sometimes the Lord Jesus tells His Church His love thoughts. "He does not consider it sufficient to declare them behind her back, but in her very presence He says, 'Behold, you are beautiful, my love.'1 It is true, this is not His ordinary method. He is a wise lover and knows when to hold back the intimation of love and when to declare it; but there are times when He will make no secret of it, times when He will put it beyond all dispute in the souls of His people" (R. Erskine's Sermons).

The Holy Spirit is often pleased, in a most gracious manner, to witness with our spirits to the love of Jesus. He takes the things of Christ and reveals them to us. No voice is heard from the clouds, and no vision is seen in the night, but we have a testimony more certain than either of these

If an angel should fly from heaven and inform the believer personally of the Savior's love for him, the evidence would not be one bit more satisfactory than that which is born in the heart by the Holy Spirit.

Ask the Lord's people who have lived the nearest to the gates of heaven, and they will tell you that they have had seasons when the love of Christ toward them has been a fact so clear and sure that they could no more doubt it than they could question their own existence.

Yes, dear believer, you and I have had times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, and then our faith has soared to the heights of assurance. We have had confidence to lean our heads upon the shoulder of our Lord, and we have not questioned our Master's affection for us. The dark question, "Lord, is it I that will betray You?" has been put far from us. He has kissed us with the kisses of His mouth and killed our doubts by the closeness of His embrace. His love has been sweeter than wine to our souls.

1 Song of Solomon 1:15
Devotional material is taken from "Morning and Evening," written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright (c) 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission. Today’s Bible Reading material is taken from McCheyne Bible reading plan and used by Truth For Life with permission. Scripture quotations are taken from Holy Bible: English Standard Version, copyright (c) 2001, Good News Publishers.








Monday, December 19, 2011

A Holy Calm



The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.

Proverbs 16:33

If the decision about the lot is the Lord's, whose is the arrangement of our whole life? If the simple casting of a lot is guided by Him, how much more the events of our entire life-especially when we are told by our blessed Savior, "Even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."1 It would bring a holy calm over your mind, dear friend, if you were to constantly remember this. It would relieve your mind from anxiety and enable you to walk in patience, quietness, and cheerfulness as a Christian should. When a man is anxious he cannot pray with faith; when he is troubled about the world, he cannot serve his Master, for his thoughts are serving himself.

f you would "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,"2 all things would then be added to you. You are meddling with Christ's business and neglecting your own when you fret about your lot and circumstances. You have been trying to do the providing and forgetting to do the obeying. Be wise and pay attention to the obeying, and let Christ manage the providing. Come and survey your Father's storehouse, and ask whether He will allow you to starve while

He has so great an abundance in store. Look at His heart of mercy; see if that can ever prove unkind! Look at His unsearchable wisdom; see if that will ever be at fault. Above all, look to Jesus Christ your Intercessor, and ask yourself, while He pleads, can your Father deal ungraciously with you? If He remembers even sparrows, will He forget one of the least of His poor children? "Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved."3

My soul, rest happy in your low estate,


Nor hope nor wish to be esteem'd or great;


To take the impress of the Will Divine,


Be that your glory, and those riches thine.

1 Matthew 10:30-31 2 Matthew 6:33 3 Psalm 55:22

Devotional material is taken from "Morning and Evening," written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright (c) 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission. Today’s Bible Reading material is taken from McCheyne Bible reading plan and used by Truth For Life with permission. Scripture quotations are taken from Holy Bible: English Standard Version, copyright (c) 2001, Good News Publishers.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hearts Fixed on Jesus


Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.

Ruth 1:14


Both of them had an affection for Naomi and therefore set out with her upon her return to the land of Judah. But the test came: Naomi unselfishly set before both of them the trials that awaited them and encouraged them if they cared for ease and comfort to return to their friends in Moab.

At first both of them declared that they would take their stand with the Lord's people; but upon further consideration Orpah with much grief and a respectful kiss left her mother-in-law, and her people and her God, and went back to her idolatrous friends, while Ruth with all her heart gave herself up to the God of her mother-in-law.

It is one thing to love the ways of the Lord when all is fair, and quite another to hold to them in the face of discouragements and difficulties. The kiss of outward profession is very cheap and easy, but the practical clinging to the Lord, which must show itself in holy devotion to truth and holiness, is no small matter.

How do things stands with us? Is our heart fixed on Jesus, our body a living sacrifice? Have we counted the cost, and are we solemnly ready to suffer the loss of all things for the Master's sake? The ultimate gain will be an abundant provision, for the treasures of Egypt do not compare with the glory to be revealed.

Orpah fades from view; in glorious ease and idolatrous pleasure her life melts into the gloom of death. But Ruth lives on in history and in heaven, for grace has placed her in the noble line that produced the King of kings.

Blessed among women will be those who for Christ's sake renounce all; but forgotten, and worse than forgotten, will be those who in the hour of temptation violate their conscience and turn back to the world. This morning let us not be content with the form of devotion, which may be no better than Orpah's kiss, but may the Holy Spirit work in us a clinging of our whole heart to the Lord Jesus.

Devotional material is taken from "Morning and Evening," written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright (c) 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission. Today’s Bible Reading material is taken from McCheyne Bible reading plan and used by Truth For Life with permission. Scripture quotations are taken from Holy Bible: English Standard Version, copyright (c) 2001, Good News Publishers.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Our All-Sufficient Portion


'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul.



Lamentations 3:24


It does not say, "The Lord is partly my portion," nor "The Lord is in my portion"; but He Himself makes up the sum total of my soul's inheritance. Within the circumference of that circle lies all that we possess or desire.

The Lord is my portion. Not His grace merely, nor His love, nor His covenant, but Jehovah Himself. He has chosen us for His portion, and we have chosen Him for ours.

It is true that the Lord must first choose our inheritance for us, or else we will never choose it for ourselves; but if we are really called according to the purpose of electing love, we can sing-

Lov'd of my God for Him again

With love intense I burn;

Chosen of Him ere time began,

I choose Him in return.

The Lord is our all-sufficient portion. God fills Himself; and if God is all-sufficient in Himself, He must be all-sufficient for us. It is not easy to satisfy man's desires. When he dreams that he is satisfied, instantly he wakes to the perception that there is still something more, and his longings remain unfulfilled.

But for the believer all that we can wish for is to be found in our divine portion, so that we ask, "Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you."1 We can then delight ourselves in the Lord who allows us to drink of the river of His pleasures.

Our faith stretches her wings and soars like an eagle into the heaven of divine love, her proper dwelling-place. "The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance."2 Let us rejoice in the Lord always; let us show the world that we are a happy and a blessed people and cause them to exclaim, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."

1 Psalm 73:25 2 Psalm 16:6
- Spurgeon & Begg


Friday, November 11, 2011

Everlasting Arms...


Underneath are the everlasting arms.

Deuteronomy 33:27

God-the eternal God-is Himself our support at all times, and especially when we are sinking in deep trouble. There are seasons when the Christian sinks very low in humiliation. Under a deep sense of his great sinfulness, he is humbled before God until he hardly knows how to pray, because he appears, in his own sight, so worthless.

Well, child of God, remember that when you are at your worst and lowest, even then "underneath" you "are the everlasting arms." Sin may drag you ever so low, but Christ's great atonement is still under all. You may have descended into the depths, but you cannot have fallen so low as the uttermost; and He saves "to the uttermost."1

Again, the Christian sometimes sinks very deeply in sore trial from without. Every earthly prop is cut away. What then? Still underneath him are "the everlasting arms."

He cannot fall so deep in distress and affliction but what the covenant grace of an ever-faithful God will still encircle him. The Christian may be sinking under trouble from within through fierce conflict; but even then he cannot be brought so low as to be beyond the reach of the "everlasting arms"-they are underneath him; and, while he is sustained, all Satan's efforts to harm him achieve nothing.

This assurance of support is a comfort to any weary but sincere worker in the service of God. It implies a promise of strength for each day, grace for each need, and power for each duty.

And, finally, when death comes, the promise will still hold good. When we stand in the middle of the Jordan, we will be able to say with David, "I will fear no evil, for you are with me."2

We will descend into the grave, but we shall go no lower, for the eternal arms prevent our further fall. All through life, and at its close, we shall be upheld by the "everlasting arms"-arms that neither flag nor lose their strength, for "the everlasting God . . . does not faint or grow weary."3

1 Hebrews 7:25 2 Psalm 23:4 3 Isaiah 40:28
- Alistair Begg & C.H. Spurgeon



Friday, November 4, 2011

Made Perfect in Weakness...


'For my power is made perfect in weakness.'

2 Corinthians 12:9

A primary qualification for serving God with any amount of success, and for doing God's work well and triumphantly, is a sense of our own weakness. When God's warrior marches out to battle, strong in his own might, when he boasts, "I know that I will overcome-my own ability and my self-confidence will be enough for victory," defeat is staring him in the face.

God will not enable the man who marches in his own strength. He who reckons on victory by such means has reckoned wrongly, for "not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts."1

Those who go out to fight, boasting of their ability, will return with their banners trailing in the dust and their armor stained with disgrace. Those who serve God must serve Him in His own way and in His strength, or He will never accept their service.

Whatever a man does, unaided by divine strength, God can never own. The mere fruits of the earth He casts away; He will only reap corn the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love.

God will empty out all that you have before He will put His own into you; He will first clean out your granaries before He will fill them with the finest of wheat.

The river of God is full of water; but not one drop of it flows from earthly springs. God will have no strength used in His battles but the strength that He Himself imparts.

Are you mourning over your own weakness? Take courage, for there must be a consciousness of weakness before the Lord will give you victory. Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and you are being humbled to prepare you for being lifted up.

When I am weak then am I strong,

Grace is my shield and Christ my song.

Zechariah 4:6

- Alistair Begg


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Yet in Jesus I am heir of all things...

Infants in Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:1

Are you mourning, believer, because your spiritual life is so weak, because your faith is so small, your love so feeble?

Cheer up because you have reason to be grateful. Remember that in some things you are equal to the greatest and most mature Christian.

• You are as much purchased with blood as he is.

• You are just as much an adopted child of God as any other believer. An infant is as truly a child of its parents as is the full-grown man. \You are as completely justified, for your justification is not a matter of degree: Your little faith has made you clean every bit.

• You have as much right to the precious things of the covenant as the most advanced believers, for your right to covenant mercies does not lie in your growth but in the covenant itself; and your faith in Jesus is not the measure but the token of your inheritance in Him.

• You are as rich as the richest-if not in enjoyment, yet in real possession. The smallest star that gleams is set in heaven; the faintest ray of light has affinity with the sun. In the family register of heaven, the small and the great are written with the same pen.

• You are as dear to your Father's heart as the greatest in the family. Jesus is very tender toward you.

You are like the faintly burning wick; a rougher spirit would say, "Put out that useless flame; it fills the room with an offensive odor!" But the feeble wick He will not quench. You are like a bruised reed, and any less tender hand than that of the Chief Musician would tread upon you or throw you away; but He will never break the bruised reed. So instead of being downcast by reason of what you are, you should rejoice in Christ. Am I but small and feeble in the vast company of believers? Yet in Christ I am made to sit in heavenly places. Am I poor in faith? Yet in Jesus I am heir of all things. I do not need to boast or elevate myself; even as an infant in Christ I will rejoice in the Lord and glory in the God of my salvation.

- Alistair Begg

Friday, October 14, 2011

What is Spiritual Knowledge?


I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
Philippians 3:8


Spiritual knowledge of Christ will be a personal knowledge. I cannot know Jesus through another person's acquaintance with Him. I must know Him myself; I must know Him on my own account.


It will be an intelligent knowledge-I must know Him not as in the visionary dreams of Him, but as the Word reveals Him. I must know His natures, divine and human. I must know His offices (Prophet, Priest and King)-His attributes-His works-His shame-His glory. I must meditate upon Him until I "comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge."1


It will be an affectionate knowledge of Him; indeed, if I know Him at all, I must love Him. An ounce of heart knowledge is worth a ton of head learning. Our knowledge of Him will be a satisfying knowledge. When I know my Savior, my mind will be full to the brim-I will feel that I have that which my spirit longs for. This is the bread that satisfies all hunger.


At the same time it will be an exciting knowledge; the more I know of my Beloved, the more I will want to know. The higher I climb, the loftier will be the summits that invite my eager footsteps. I shall want more as I get more. Like the miser's treasure, my gold will make me covet more.


To conclude, this knowledge of Christ Jesus will be a most happy one; in fact, so elevating that sometimes it will completely lift me above all trials and doubts and sorrows; and it will, while I enjoy it, make me something more than "Man . . . born of a woman . . . few of days and full of trouble," for it will throw about me the immortality of the ever-living Savior and cover me with the golden cloak of His eternal joy. Come, my soul, sit at Jesus' feet, and learn of Him all this day.

1 Ephesians 3:18-19
 - Alistair Begg

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


"We Have An Anchor"
Verse 1


Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,

When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?

When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,

Will your anchor drift or firm remain?

Chorus

We have an anchor that keeps the soul

Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,

Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,

Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.
Verse 2

It is safely moored, ’twill the storm withstand,

For ’tis well secured by the Savior’s hand;

And the cables, passed from His heart to mine,

Can defy that blast, thro’ strength divine.

Verse 3

It will firmly hold in the straits of fear,

When the breakers have told the reef is near;

Tho’ the tempest rave and the wild winds blow,

Not an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow.
Verse 4

When our eyes behold thro’ the gath’ring night

The city of gold, our harbor bright,

We shall anchor fast by the heav’nly shore,

With the storms all past forevermore.





Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Because He Loves Me...

I highly recommend this Book...
Simply speaking, love changes people. Christians, then, by definition, should exhibit the greatest transformation of all because, rightly understood and cherished, God’s love makes them increasingly more like the One who has lavished his love on them.This truth is meant to tell believers who they are, their purpose and destiny, and how to faithfully persevere in their struggles. But sometimes people lose sight of this. Because He Loves Me restores that vision, reminding Christians of their true identity as beloved children of God—adopted by the Father, espoused to the Son, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.Christianity is not a self-improvement program but a transferring of identity and growth, accomplished in history through Christ and in our daily lives through his Spirit. This book explores and celebrates these truths in an unforgettable way.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

At the cross…

At the cross…



…We see God’s sovereignty—reigning with absolute control over humanity’s greatest sin.


…We see God’s purpose—making known the mystery of His will prepared before time.


…We see God’s plan—to unite all things, on heaven and on earth, in Him.


…We see God’s judgment—requiring recompense for guilt.


…We see God’s holiness—demanding the perfect sacrifice.


…We see God’s power—crushing the Son of God according to the purpose of His will.


…We see God’s wrath—punishing the wretchedness of sin.


…We see God’s sorrow—wailing as only a forsaken son can.


…We see God’s mystery—the Son, as God, separated from the Father, committing His Spirit to God.


…We see God’s compassion—pleading to the Father to forgive the ignorant.


…We see God’s gift—His one and only Son, bruised and broken on our behalf.


…We see God’s mercy—making unrighteous sinners righteous.


…We see God’s love—Christ dying for sinners.


…We see God’s rescue operation—delivering us from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of His Son.


…We see God’s proposal—pledging Himself to His bride forever.


…We see God’s revelation—the Word of God speaking His last so He might speak on behalf of many.


…We see God’s victory—disarming His enemies, putting them to shame, and triumphing over them.


…We see God’s glory—the name of the Father being magnified for the sake of all peoples.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What is irresistible grace...

Acts 16:14 …and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the

things spoken by Paul.

“All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed time, effectually to call, by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God, taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them an heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and, by His almighty power, determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ: yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace.” 1 As we know from our understanding of depravity (see “What is Total Depravity), man is hopelessly and undeniably lost. Not only do we dwell in a domain of darkness (Colossians 1:13), but we even hate the light and refuse to come to it (John 3:19-20).

Even if we could, the fact is that we do not do so (Romans 3:10- 11). We will not, cannot and do not come to Christ on our own. We are as bad off as we can be. How then can we be saved? How do we come to the light if we are unwilling and unable to do so?
Scriptures teach us that there is a distinct order in salvation.
While we may not practically experience and distinguish this order, it is theologically important nonetheless. As the Bible teaches, regeneration precedes faith and not vice versa. 2 This understanding is not all that popular in our evangelical tradition in which we often hear preached “if you just believe, you will be born again.” In reality, the Bible states, “if you are born again, you will believe.” The distinction is crucial. As John 3:21 reads, the one who comes to the light does so in order that his deeds
(surely including the very coming to the light) may be shown to have been accomplished in or by God Himself. 3 Some would take this to mean that God drags people into His kingdom kicking and screaming. Maybe that is why a lot of socalled Christians are always frowning. However, this is not at
1 Westminster Confession of Faith
2 1 John 5:1 “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God.” (ESV). Believing in the present is dependent upon being born again in the past. The tenses in the Greek are
crucial and the ESV brings out this distinction well. 3 This is similar to what John has already written in chapter 1 verse 13 “who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” Our rebirth and adoption is owing not to our first birth and all of its privileges, not to the free exercise of our or other’s wills, but solely upon God.” all what the doctrine of irresistible grace teaches. 4 Rather, the Scriptures teach that God softens the heart of men and women such that they gladly submit themselves to His commands. None who are not softened will submit and none who are softened want to rebel.

Passages which teach God’s absolute sovereignty in accomplishing salvation in His elect include:
• Daniel 4:35 All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’
• Romans 9:19-21 You will say to me then, ‘Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?’ On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?
• 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they may not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God…For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
Looking only at the 2 Corinthians passage, we see that our hearts prior to God’s calling are comparable to the empty void which existed prior to creation (Genesis 1:2). There was not a spark of light to which God responded. Rather, He spoke into absolute darkness and effectively and absolutely created light. In the same way, God does not respond to some foreseen flicker of faith or hope within us. Rather, He speaks into darkness and shines light into the darkest recesses of our hearts. His calling to His elect is irresistible. It is effective, and it is absolute.
Geoff Ashley: The Village Church

4 Also called “effective grace” so show that it is effective toward those for whom it is intended. To be sure, the word “irresistible” can be confusing is not somewhat derogatory.
5 It is important to differentiate here between the general gospel call which goes out to all and the effective call which proceeds to believers. We must not confuse the two.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

An Open Letter to My Daughter

An Open Letter to My Daughter by Byron Yawn

(And a Veiled Exhortation to Christian Fathers and Young Adult Christian Men Everywhere)

Dear L.Y.,

In a box somewhere in the garage there is footage of the two of us. Although it’s lost in storage, it streams in my memory. I am holding you. You fit neatly in my two hands. My heart fits perfectly around your little finger – small as it was. It is a long time ago. It is the embodiment of that worn out metaphor we reach for to describe fathers and daughters. “Tied around fingers” or something like that. Clearly, I am entwined. I’ve always been. Quietly, I bend down and whisper something to you. It’s hard to make out what I’m saying on this fuzzy old tape. But, I know exactly what I said. I’ve been saying it for fourteen years. You have heard me say it in word and deed every day since. “You will always be this child here in my hands. I will never leave you nor forsake you. I love you.” It is fourteen years ago, but it is easily today.

One day, if God wills, you will know how deeply a parent loves a child. It is the bottomless vein in a parent’s heart. But, you will never know how intensely a father loves a daughter. It’s hard to put into words. It is a mixture of strength and softness unique to this bond. A father’s love hovers like a citadel over the untouched treasure of his daughter’s life. (This is why your dad acts like a suspicious sniper around you.) A daughter thrives within its safe barrier. A father’s love for his daughter is a preservative against a thousand ills seeking to infect the innocence of her life.

Is it any wonder ladies are reduced to tears as they look back on the landscape of their life and cannot see a father’s sweetness? It is a deep regret… and needless. Girls need dads. Neglect here is cruel. The worst thing a dad can do sometimes is nothing. It seems I counsel the ubiquitous broken young lady on a weekly basis. She is the lost young woman who seeks self-worth in the affection of a young man – never having received it from dad. Hers is a deep pain. Tenderness is a sublime power in a father’s hand. It is amazing what time spent showing love at eight does for a little girl when she is twenty-eight. It builds a confidence as few things can. It is a foundation set deep in the heart.

You do not fully realize it now, but one day in the midst of life’s many hardships you’ll see what I’ve been doing all these years. You’ll see what I whispered to you many years ago. In the darkness of your pain, you’ll reach down and suddenly feel a foundation beneath you. I know you love me. I know you respect me more than any other man on this earth. But, I have not been turning your heart to me all these years, as much as to My God. My leadership of your life is intended to provide you the slightest glimpse of His awesome power over all things, including you. I know My God will steady you.

When the time comes you will sense a steadfastness you had not sensed before. There in that moment, His love will be my greatest gift to you. A vision of a mighty God, which I have painstakingly opened to you conversation by conversation & tenderness by tenderness, will come up and catch you. My own love, incomplete and imperfect, will now make sense in the infinite shadow of His. You will bend down quietly before your life and say, “Thank you, Daddy. God is Great. He has neither left me nor forsaken me.” Your earthly father will be content in being overshadowed by your Heavenly one. You are not mine. You are His. I will rejoice from within the cleft of His greatness as I watch my daughter worship from knees I once put Band-Aids on.

I pray that my care for you brings into sharp focus the love of Our Savior. Unconditional. Sacrificial. Patient. True. Serving. Consistent. Present. I pray my sincere affection is a contrast to the many deceptions that parade as love in this world. I pray the sight of your father in broken worship of Christ gives you the courage to raise your own heart up in praise before mankind. I pray my transparent confession of sin and weakness will incline you to retreat into Christ’s righteousness at the sight of your own. I pray most earnestly that you will have not merely copied your father’s faith, but sincerely found the Lord Jesus Christ as the supreme object of your own.

Dear child, do not settle. Love a man who loves Christ more than you – and you more than himself. Be attracted to tenderness, lowliness, self-restraint, consistency and sacrifice. Seek that man who carries the imprint of our Lord’s cross upon his life. Love that man who does not live in fear of your emotions, but in fear of your Lord. Don’t marry a boy… no matter how old he may be. Do not fall for the first young man who comes along and shows you attention. Rather, follow that man whom comes along and resembles the unconditional grace of your Lord Jesus.

I am so sorry about the condition of the average young male. I regret that they confuse lust with love. I am saddened that they are more proficient at gaming than at balancing a checkbook. I cringe that they know more of sports trivia than doctrine. I apologize that they know better how to handle a gun (which is completely respectable in one sense) than how to treat a lady. I know godliness in a man is hard to find. But, find it. Otherwise, you will spend your life raising the man you thought you married. The church and this culture are filled with boys masquerading as men. Let them pass.

The man you are looking for is no boy. He is a servant. He cares for your needs above his own. If I am at all the man I claim to be, you may look at your father’s love for your mother and know what it is I’m describing. You should be able to recognize it when you see it. That man who will lay down his life for yours is the type of man you can easily give yours to. The man who sacrifices himself is easy to serve sacrificially.

By God’s grace, I have only intended my own love to serve as a high-water mark in your soul. None except Christ’s love for you will rise above mine. This way, when that man – whom I pray for everyday – comes along and exceeds your father’s love, you will willingly give him your heart. And I (secretly desiring to shoot him and bury his remains in an undisclosed location) will lovingly pass on my treasure to that man who stormed the fortress of a father’s love with a weapon as meager as a servant’s apron.

Your Dad

1 Corinthians 2:2



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Read through the Bible...

http://www.youversion.com/reading-plans/professor-horners-bible-reading-system/1

I would love for you to take this challenge with me and read through the Bible. It is an intense read through, but I know well worth it and will greatly enrich your knowledge of the Scriptures! I was challenged to do this out at school...to really know the Word and not just read it like another book, but really read it and know it. Let's journey in this together!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Singleness...

Receiving Singleness as a Gift from God - Nancy Leigh DeMoss



I am not single by accident. I am not single because the "right man" has never asked me to marry him. I am not single because I have made up my mind not to marry. Rather, I am single because God has chosen for me the gift of singleness.

I believe that I am single according to the perfect will and purpose of God. I have no way of knowing how long He will give me this gift or whether He will ever choose to give me the gift of marriage. I do not know whether it will be His will for me to be single in five years. But I do know that it has been His will to this point in my life.

I must set my heart to respond to this and every area of my life with the words of the virgin Mary when her world was turned upside down by an angelic messenger: "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38).

Certainly there are times when I whimper and long for something God has not provided. But over and over again, He brings me back to that wonderful place of trust and surrender that says, "Oh, Lord, if it pleases You, it pleases me." We tend to think that what is really good is the fulfillment of our desires. But, in reality, the highest good in the universe is whatever God chooses for our lives.

The question is not "What do I want for myself?" but "What does God want for me?" What will please Him and bring Him the greatest glory? What will best fulfill His purposes here on this earth?

For many singles, this will mean a willingness to remain single for a period of time. For some, it will mean a willingness to embrace long-term or lifelong singleness. For most, it will mean, in God's time, the willingness to accept the commitment and obligations of marriage.

While many single men and women long to be married, this is not universally true. With the increase in divorce and widespread dissatisfaction with family life, some adults are choosing to remain single to avoid the pressures, responsibilities and restraints of having a family.

Of course, marriage does involve tremendous responsibility and restraint. But in denying ourselves and embracing God-given responsibilities, we become all that He created us to be. It all comes back to that basic issue: What is the will of God for my life?

I have come to believe that you and I can manage to acquire almost anything we are determined to have. If we want to be married badly enough, we can find someone who will marry us.

If an unhappy spouse wants to get out of marriage badly enough, he or she can get out. But we need to be reminded of how dangerous it is to insist that God give us our own will. In fact, one of my fears is that God will give me everything I want! The history of the Israelites is a vivid reminder that when God gives us what we demand, we may also get with it "leanness into their soul" (Ps. 106:15).

Over the years, I have come to realize that contentment is a choice. True joy is not the result of having everything I want but of gratefully receiving exactly what God has given me. The enemy has robbed many of us of joy by getting us to live in that foolish realm of "if only ..." We feel that we would be happy, "if only ...":

"If only I had a husband ..."

"If only I didn't have a husband ... !"

"If only I had a different husband ..."

"If only we had children ..."

"If only we didn't have so many children ..."

"If only I had a different job ..."

"If only I lived in a different place ..."

"If only I could own my own home ..."

"If only I made more money ..."

The fact is, if we're not content with what we have, we will never be content with what we think we want. I am always concerned when I meet a single person who has not learned to be content as a single.

Generally, there is an expectation that marriage would make them happy. But marriage can't make anyone happy! In fact, sooner or later, every man or woman who marries so he or she can be happy is bound to be miserable.

Marriage is not about finding someone to make us happy; it is about learning to make someone else happy. It is not about getting; it is about giving. It is not about finding fulfillment; it is about self-denial and sacrifice.

The man or woman who does not learn contentment as a single is highly unlikely to be content once married. I have listened to the heart cries of enough miserable married women to be quite sure that there is no man on the face of the earth who can really make a woman happy (and vice versa).

The deepest needs and longings of our hearts cannot be filled by any human being but only by God Himself. To expect to find our needs met in marriage is to set ourselves up for certain disappointment.

The key to joyous living is to embrace the will of God and to receive with gratitude whatever gift He has given us.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Beautiful in His hands...

So let's say tonight has not been the greatest of mine. I'm currently writing a paper on anger and stress management God's way and it's well been an interesting night. I found myself overwhelmed and panicking at one point...needless today I had a breakdown. Those don't last very long for me and are normally done in private, then as always I call of my faithful friend who always guides me to the cross and His promises (I cannot tell you how thankful I am for that). As I continued on in my paper I stumbled across the verse which states, count it all joy brothers when you encounter various kinds of trials. My heart is in the hand of the potter right now, although I am feeling all the twists and pulls, I know He is at work and hears when I call. But how often is it that I actually call? He brings me to these places in life to remind me of His greater purpose in my life, for my life. It is necessary for the beautifying of His Son in my life, because on my own I am ugly at heart. There is so much satisfaction and strength in the Word and giving over my own self willed hands causing them to let go and embrace the perfect creators hands. For He knows our needs. Precious time.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Once upon...

"As soon as I saw you I knew an adventure was going to happen."
I pray for the person who God would choose to be a part of my life and the adventure that we'll have. I get pumped ;) I hope to be able to write my Once Upon A Time...to ya'll!

Monday, May 23, 2011

What this little girl is made of...

Today is one of those days where I truly am resting on the promises of God and not my own feelings. It has been a journey of a year (well life), but this year especially has flown by and busy as ever. However through it all I cannot tell you how close I feel to the Lord. I have begun to realize that this life isn't about what you "do" per say. I mean it is in the sense, but i'm talking what I personally accomplish via my lists, jobs, etc. It is about how I LIVE. Doing things I have found are different than living things. It is easy to get caught up in the mundane things of life and the day to day chores and checklists (we like our lists). I have realized I exist for more, for a greater purpose. Each day shouldn't be about just wanting to get through today...big ugh or sigh...but, rather how we lived that day. There is freedom in pursuing to Glorify God on a daily basis. It gives us purpose and joy. When I sit and ponder Christ and who He is and how He desires a relationship with me, I kick a nice kick in the butt. He is my all...He is my abba...He is my rabbi...He is my love...He is my purpose. Even when I fail, He loves me still. I was made to reflect Him.

My brethren, let me say, be like Christ at all times. Imitate him in "public." Most of us live in some sort of public capacity—many of us are called to work before our fellow-men every day. We are watched; our words are caught; our lives are examined—taken to pieces. The eagle-eyed, argus-eyed world observes everything we do, and sharp critics are upon us. Let us live the life of Christ in public. Let us take care that we exhibit our Master, and not ourselves—so that we can say, "It is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me."
—Charles Spurgeon


Instead of complaining at his lot, a contented man is thankful that his condition and circumstances are no worse than they are. Instead of greedily desiring something more than the supply of his present need, he rejoices that God still cares for him. Such an one is "content" with such as he has (Heb. 13:5).
—Arthur W. Pink





Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Share the Truth...

2 Thessalonians chapter 3. Paul has encouraged the believers to believe the truth (2:13-14); and guard the truth (2:15); practice the truth (2:16-17); and now Paul asks them to share the truth (3:1-5). We are not to simply love the truth or learn the truth but live the truth. Alexander Maclaren wrote; “The gospel is not speculation but fact. It is truth, because it is the record of a person who is Truth.” Paul brings his letter to a close. Paul has some closing words; a request for prayer and a reminder of God’s faithfulness and love.
Paul’s Personal Request (vv.1-2)
Pray For God’s Message (v.1)
2 Thessalonians 3:1 (NKJV) Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you,
Paul knows the believer’s in Thessaly are under intense persecution and experiencing all kinds of troubles. Remember one of the reasons Paul wrote this letter was to correct misunderstandings about the coming of Christ; but also to provide comfort, consolation, and hope. Paul wants them to continue to walk faithfully in the Lord Jesus Christ. But Paul and his companions had their hands full as well. Paul’s message in Corinth (the Gospel) was stubbornly resisted by the Jews.
The word “finally” marks a transition from belief or doctrine to behavior and duty. This is the practical exhortation towards discipleship and and sanctification. Paul asks for prayer. Pray for God’s message. Prayer is power. We are left with the impression that in some sense our dependence upon God and His power provides the fuel for the success of any given ministry.
The power of God manifested in heart-felt prayer cannot be underestimated.

Paul the Apostle, God’s veteran in the trenches, knows that hope lies in believing the words of Jesus; “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it” (John 14:13-14). In the previous epistle Paul wrote; “Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith” (1 Thess. 3:10).
“the word of the Lord” is the revelation of God in Christ. It is the message Paul preaches. Paul wrote; “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing” (2 Cor. 4:3).

The gospel is the Christian message for those who have done their best and failed! David O. McKay said; “The gospel of Jesus Christ can make bad men good and good men better, can alter human nature, and change human lives”.
The phrase translated “may run swiftly” is a single Greek verb; trecho; which simply means run; and was used of those who run in a race. Paul uses it in the metaphorical sense; to run quickly or proceed swiftly and without obstacle or hindrance. Paul sees “the word of the Lord” like an Olympian runner, carrying the torch that will bring light, bring understanding, bring forgiveness and hope and redemption. Paul’s prayer is that the Gospel will be given a free course and that the Lord would be glorified in the proclamation of the Gospel and what the Gospel provides for those who hear it and believe it and are changed by it.
One of Satan’s chief strategies is to eradicate the Gospel message; if he is unable to eliminate the gospel, then pollute it, or add to it, or make the Gospel seem ludicrous, ridiculous, boring or just plain irrelevant. The gospel is all about the good news of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Donald Coggan, former Archbishop of Canterbury has said of Christian pastors: “It is their task to feed the sheep--not to entertain the goats”.
The Bible message is powerful, real, true. But for many the Bible has little power to influence or change, or transform. Why? Opposition, unprepared hearts, sleepy-eyed listeners, daydreaming minds, unprepared or carnal preachers and teachers.
“You cannot tell how much God’s servants are helped by the prayers of his people. The strongest man in Israel will be the better for the prayers of the weakest saint in Zion.” (Spurgeon)
The point of prayer is focused not on Paul but on the centrality of the Gospel.
“The gospel is not presented to mankind as an argument about religious principles. Nor is it offered as a philosophy of life. Christianity is a witness to certain facts--to events that have happened, to hopes that have been fulfilled, to realities that have been experienced, to a Person who has lived and died and been raised from the dead to reign for ever” (Massey H. Shepherd).
The mother of John and Charles Wesley was apt to remind her boys; “there are two things to do abut the gospel--believe it and behave it” (Susanna Wesley).
“When the sheep are fed, they will flock together in love, reproduce, follow the shepherd . . .It is when the sheep are hungry that they start biting each other becoming sick, and wandering away” (Warren Wiersbe; TBEC Vol.2; p.2-3). Healthy sheep reproduce.
Pray For God’s Messenger (v.2)
2 Thessalonians 3:2 (NKJV) and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.
The Holy Spirit of God can use dedicated people to support the Word of God; and Satan can use unreasonable and wicked men to oppose both the Word of God and the work of God. The word translated “unreasonable” is atopos; topos--place--a--the alpha-privative--and so negative--so literally out of place. Depending on how the word was used in the ancient Greek world it could mean strange, paradoxical, and in later Greek writings it took on an ethical connotation and so “improper, or wicked” and so here it is translated “unreasonable”. One Bible teacher translates this “moral insanity”.
The second adjective “wicked” is poneros; a word that was used to describe an active, hostile, threat, wickedness could be passive or active, here the word means harmful. Clearly Paul is speaking of the fanatical Jews who were actively opposing Paul in Corinth.
“for not all have faith”
Paul knows the unreasonable and wicked men have religious beliefs. We are not surprised that people do not have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
C.S. Lewis wrote; “I believe that there are too many accommodating preachers. . .Jesus Christ did not say, “Go into the world and tell the world that is quite right.” The gospel is something completely different. It fact, it directly opposed to the world.”
How is it that some have faith in Christ and others do not? There are those who have never felt any desire or inclination to enter into fellowship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are those who have some desire; perhaps who have made an honest inquiry into the truth, but have stumbled over some real or imagined difficulty.
Most people make at least a pretense towards the truth.
Some people set aside Jesus and the gospel because they believe Jesus will interfere with their legitimate or illegitimate pursuits; waste their time, energy or resources; or introduce gloom or restraint in their lives.
Paul asks for prayer. But he does not ask for money, or comfort, or personal needs, or to take Paul away from the pain and problems in Corinth. Paul does not ask for Government help or social justice. Paul asks for prayer that the Gospel will be preached and heard and heeded and provide help.
The Gospel preached and glorified; the gospel given, believed, souls saved and changed, people freed from sin and guilt. People free to honor God and obey Jesus; freed from immoral and evil behavior; from unjust treatment, from ignorance, from carnality. People full, instead of empty, free instead of enslaved, people saved instead of lost, people directed instead of living a life of constant doubt and uncertainty.

Paul’s Personal Reassurance (vv.3-5)

God Is Faithful (vv.3-4)

2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NKJV) But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.

Paul has high hopes that the Thessalonians will not cave in to the schemes of the devil.

The verb phylasso is related to the noun phylax a guard or a sentinel. So here it means to guard or protect; a guard that renders the subject or object being guarded as safe. Clearly the idea is to protect and keep safe. Lightfoot paraphrases this; “He will not only place you in a firm position, but also maintain you there against assaults from without” (p.125) or outside.
The evil one is the devil. This is not evil in the abstract. This is not simply bad thinking or even wicked living. The evil one influences evil men.
God promised to keep Satan on a short leash. The Lord will not allow any temptation to become too great for us (1 Corinthians 10:13), and will not allow Satan to do whatever he wants with us (Luke 22:31-32) (Guzik Outlines 2 Thess. 3:3). Jesus prayed to the Father for our protection; “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15).
We have a supernatural enemy, powerful, clever, wicked. The Bible teaches that he sows tares among God’s wheat (Matt. 13:24-30); He instigates false doctrine (1 Tim. 4:1-3); He perverts the Word of God (Gen.3:1-4); He hinders the works of God’s servants (Dan. 10:12-13); He blinds men to the truth (2 Cor. 4:4); He steals the Word of God from human hearts (Matt.13:19); Satan is involved in a constant campaign of accusation (Job 1:7-12); laying snares for men (2 Tim.2:26); tempting (Matt. 4:1); afflicting (Job 2:7; Luke 13:16; 2 Cor. 12:7); deceiving (Rev.12:9).
Satan undermines the sanctity of the home and he prompts both sinner and saint to transgress the holiness of God (Matt. 16:22-23; John 13:2; Acts 5:3).
People are often unfaithful. But God is faithful. Paul writes in 2 Timothy at the end of his life, in a prison cell in Rome, of the terrible tragedy of being abandoned by all; “for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica--Cresens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring with you, for he is useful to me for ministry” (2 Tim. 4:10-11).
2 Thessalonians 3:4 (NKJV) And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you.
Expectation is a very funny thing. What is it that Paul desires from the little band of believers in Thessaly? Paul desires the people’s prayers (vv.1-2). Paul desires that the people trust the Lord (v.3). Paul desires that the people obey what is taught (v.4).
Does that seem odd to you? It shouldn’t. This is what Jesus insisted from His disciples. Paul has confidence in the Lord that they would continue to do; that is exercise obedience to the things of God and Christ. Paul has spent a great deal of time explaining the Word of God; and the Scriptures contain promises we are to believe; and commands we are to obey. Do you remember what the Psalmist wrote; “The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Ps. 19:8).
Matthew 28:20 (NKJV) teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.

The gospel itself calls for people to repent and believe (Mark 1:15; Matt. 3:2; Acts 2:38). The duty of believers was to obey the divine commands (the Scriptures) whether the Pastor is present or absent. The “command” is not limited to the Pastor or the leaders or full time workers. The word command (1 Thess. 3:4) here is a military term; it means “a military order passed down from a superior officer.” If the Christian life can be likened to a battle; then not only must the officers fight; but so must the soldiers. What if the Army were run with the same lack of obedience, order and discipline that we find in any given local church? Battles could never be fought or won! Earthly soldiers obey and serve sometimes out of loyalty and sometimes out of fear. But we serve from a much higher motivation; we love the Lord and long for His return.

God Is Loving And Patient (v.5)

2 Thessalonians 3:5 (NKJV) Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.

Paul desires the people’s prayers (vv.1-2). Paul desires that the people trust the Lord (v.3). Paul desires that the people obey what is taught (v.4). Paul desires that the people grow spiritually (v.5).

Look at what Paul writes; the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God” The word “direct” is kateuthunai--which means to make straight or to be straight. What is the shortest distance between two points? What is the shortest distance between the love of God and the place in your heart where the love of God belongs?
The expression carries with it the idea of removing the obstacles or barriers that prevent passage. The highways in the Rocky Mountains are notorious for rock slides. Hardly a week goes by where a boulder doesn’t fall on one of the mountain roads. The Lord Jesus takes the believers hearts and removes and those boulders that come crashing down that hinders your heart in the love of God. The Lord makes straight, the Lord directs and focuses the believer’s heart upon the love of God. The result is the believer learns to love the Lord more and more.
The reassurance Paul offers is when the trial comes, when the trouble comes, when the temptation is overwhelming and the evil attack presses hard; the believer is able to stand in the love of God and overcome the attack.
The word patience is hupomone; “a remaining behind”--patient endurance; fortitude, steadfastness, perseverance. I would add patience in trial and suffering; we might even say a Christ-like fortitude. This is a patience that come from constant contact with Jesus. We could also allow the meaning a patient expectation. There is the hint of the patient expectation of Jesus Himself. There is a sense in which we can understand this as the steadfastness of Christ and waiting for Christ.
By: Gino Geraci
http://www.calvarycsd.org/sermons/2-thessalonians-31-5-share-the-truth/

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I heart Nations...be informed.

My heart is exploding at the moment and full. I was thinking over the past couple of weeks and dreaming of what I wanted to do with my life. Well here it is...I want to start an organization (or something)

I want to call it...


I <3 Nations…be informed. (still playing with it) – heart going with the verse John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease” hence the < (wink wink).

Anyway to sum it up I want to gather information on some what I think are key organizations within these categories:

Sex Trafficking

Orphans

Sponsorship

Those in Need

Hope

Then through a website first inform people, educate them on statistics, culture, stories, the need, opportunities, etc on these topics and link them with organizations. It is about informing people, educating them on what is going on in the world and offering them an opportunity to get involved, support, or go! “Changing the world one heart at a time” In a sense we’re working to inform and help equip others by touching their heart to go and serve those in need. People first need to be informed! (unfortunately most aren’t)

Most people don’t know where to start, where to look, what to do when they get there, etc.

Eventually (long term): open a store (fair trade/coffee shop/clothing/accessories) and majority of profits go to these organizations (others eventually going to support the cost of the store). Then hopefully we'll be able to go around US and World and speak on behalf of them…(far idea, but Big God).

So please join with me in prayer as I am praying through this, seeking wisdom and what the Lord wants me to do with this! However I AM SO EXCITED!!!!! There is nothing greater than serving and being used by the Lord. The organizations and people you encounter on this journey will forever change you. Let's be informed and change the world one <3 at a time.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Faith...

Faith...


If a man would lead a happy life, let him but seek a sure object for his trust [or faith], and he shall be safe: "He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord." He hath laid up his confidence in God, therefore his heart is kept in an equal poise.

—Thomas Manton

This is a life of faith, for God will try the truth of our faith, so that the world may see that God has such servants as will depend upon His bare word.

—Richard Sibbes

Faith, whereby especially Christ rules, sets the soul so high that it looks down on all other things as far below, as having represented to it, by the Spirit of Christ, riches, honor, beauty and pleasures of a higher nature.

—Richard Sibbes

As the strongest faith may be shaken, so the weakest, where truth is, is so far rooted that it will prevail. Weakness with watchfulness will stand, when strength with too much confidence fails. Weakness, with acknowledgement of it, is the fittest seat and subject for God to perfect His strength in; for consciousness of our infirmities drives us out of ourselves to Him in whom our strength lies.

—Richard Sibbes

A true faith in Jesus Christ will not suffer us to be idle. No, it is an active, lively, restless principle; it fills the heart, so that it cannot be easy till it is doing something for Jesus Christ.

—George Whitefield

Oh let us continually keep faith in exercise, till it be entirely swallowed up in the boundless ocean of beatific vision.

—George Whitefield

No doubt [women of faith in the past] were reproached for His name's sake, and accounted mad women; but they had a faith which enabled them at that time to overcome the world, and by which they climbed up to heaven.

—George Whitefield

Where reason cannot wade there faith may swim.

—Thomas Watson

It is the nature of faith to believe God upon His bare word.... It will not be, saith sense; it cannot be, saith reason; it both can and will be, saith faith, for I have a promise.


—John Trapp

How weak soever the believer finds himself, and how powerful soever he perceives his enemy to be, it is all one to him, he hath no more to do but to put faith on work, and to wait till God works.

—David Dickson

How many, alas, of the precious saints of God must we shut out from being believers, if there is no faith but what amounts to assurance.... shall we say their faith went away in the departure of their assurance? How oft then in a year may a believer be no believer? even as often as God withdraws and leaves the creature in the dark. Assurance is like the sun-flower, which opens with the day and shuts with the night. It follows the motion of God's face; if that looks smilingly on the soul, it lives; if that frowns or hides itself, it dies. But faith is a plant that can grow in the shade, a grace that can find the way to heaven in a dark night. It can "walk in darkness, and yet trust in the name of the Lord."

—William Gurnall

Faith endures as seeing Him who is invisible (Heb. 11:27); endures the disappointments, the hardships, and the heart-aches of life, by recognizing that all comes from the hand of Him who is too wise to err and too loving to be unkind. But so long as we are occupied with any other object than God Himself, there will be neither rest for the heart nor peace for the mind. But when we receive all that enters our lives as from His hand, then, no matter what may be our circumstances or surroundings—whether in a hovel or prison-dungeon, or at a martyr's stake—we shall be enabled to say, " The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places" (Ps. 16:6). But that is the language of faith, not of sight nor of sense.

—Arthur W. Pink



Thursday, March 24, 2011

Where the Rubber Meets the Road...

Maximum Impact by Wayne Mack

Love does not rejoice in personally doing what the Bible would call evil or sin. (Romans 1:32)
Love does not enjoy doing evil to others. It does not enjoy treating others in an unjust fashion - the practice of oppressing others or putting undue pressure on people. It does not make unreasonable demands or engage in the practice of cheating others out of what is rightly theirs. It doesn't make promises that are not kept or fulfilled. Love does not rejoice in gossip or slander.
Love does not rejoice in encouraging others to do what is wrong in the sight of God.
Love does not enjoy watching others do evil. (Romans 1:32)
Love does not get pleasure out of seeing others have evil done to them.
Love does not enjoy exposing the sins and faults of others.
Love does not feel good about making fun of others - about doing what the enemies of Christ did to Him in Luke 22 and Matthew 27.
Love avoids doing what would make others feel uncomfortable or foolish or stupid.
Love is grieved by the wickedness that is going on in the world.
Love is saddened by the violence, cruelty, brutality, and crime that are so prevalent in the world and so freely displayed on television and in movies and books and magazines.
Love avoids being abusive in any way whether it be physical, verbal or emotional.
Love doesn't take pleasure in pronography or sexual immorality.
Loves doesn't engage in practices God condemns.
Loves does not glorify or justify evil, does not make wrong seemright, does not call evil good. (Isaiah 5:20)
Love can say with Job when something unpleasant happens to someone else, "I have not rejoiced at the ruin of him who hated me, or exulted when evil (trouble) overtook him." (Job 31:29)
Love does not hope someone will make a mistake, suffer loss, or fall into sin.

Simon Kistemaker writes, "Love and truth are inseparable partners residing in God himself. God shares those characteristics with His people. He endowed them with love and truth, which, though tainted by sin, are renewed in Christ Jesus through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Obedience

"His servants ye are to whom ye obey." — Romans 6:16

The first thing to do in examining the power that dominates me is to take hold of the unwelcome fact that I am responsible for being thus dominated. If I am a slave to myself, I am to blame because at a point away back I yielded to myself. Likewise, if I obey God I do so because I have yielded myself to Him.

Yield in childhood to selfishness, and you will find it the most enchaining tyranny on earth. There is no power in the human soul of itself to break the bondage of a disposition formed by yielding. Yield for one second to anything in the nature of lust (remember what lust is: "I must have it at once," whether it be the lust of the flesh or the lust of the mind) - once yield and though you may hate yourself for having yielded, you are a bondslave to that thing. There is no release in human power at all but only in the Redemption. You must yield yourself in utter humiliation to the only One Who can break the dominating power viz., the Lord Jesus Christ - "He hath anointed me…to preach deliverance to all captives."

You find this out in the most ridiculously small ways - "Oh, I can give that habit up when I like." You cannot, you will find that the habit absolutely dominates you because you yielded to it willingly. It is easy to sing - "He will break every fetter" and at the same time believing a life of obvious slavery to yourself. Yielding to Jesus will break every form of slavery in any human life. - Oswald Chambers


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Time Of Relapse

"Will ye also go away?" — John 6:67

A penetrating question. Our Lord's words come home most when He talks in the most simple way. We know Who Jesus is, but in spite of that He says - "Will ye also go away?" We have to maintain a venturing attitude toward Him all the time.

"From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him." They went back from walking with Jesus, not into sin, but they relapsed. Many to-day are spending and being spent in work for Jesus Christ, but they do not walk with Him. The one thing God keeps us to steadily is that we may be one with Jesus Christ. After sanctification the discipline of our spiritual life is along this line. If God gives a clear and emphatic realization to your soul of what He wants, do not try to keep yourself in that relationship by any particular method, but live a natural life of absolute dependence on Jesus Christ. Never try to live the life with God on any other line than God's line, and that line is absolute devotion to Him. The certainty that I do not know - that is the secret of going with Jesus.

Peter only saw in Jesus Someone to minister salvation to him and to the world. Our Lord wants us to be yoke-fellows with Him.

v. 70. Jesus answers the great lack in Peter. We cannot answer for others.

- Oslwad Chambers

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Moment by Moment...

C. H. Spurgeon


"lt is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man."—Psalm 118:8.

OUBTLESS the reader has been tried with the temptation to rely upon the things which are seen, instead of resting alone upon the invisible God. Christians often look to man for help and counsel, and mar the noble simplicity of their reliance upon their God. Does this evening's portion meet the eye of a child of God anxious about temporals, then would we reason with him awhile. You trust in Jesus, and only in Jesus, for your salvation, then why are you troubled? "Because of my great care." Is it not written, "Cast thy burden upon the Lord"? "Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication make known your wants unto God." Cannot you trust God for temporals? "Ah! I wish I could." If you cannot trust God for temporals, how dare you trust Him for spirituals? Can you trust Him for your soul's redemption, and not rely upon Him for a few lesser mercies? Is not God enough for thy need, or is His all-sufficiency too narrow for thy wants? Dost thou want another eye beside that of Him who sees every secret thing? Is His heart faint? Is His arm weary? If so, seek another God; but if He be infinite, omnipotent, faithful, true, and all-wise, why gaddest thou abroad so much to seek another confidence? Why dost thou rake the earth to find another foundation, when this is strong enough to bear all the weight which thou canst ever build thereon? Christian, mix not only thy wine with water, do not alloy thy gold of faith with the dross of human confidence. Wait thou only upon God, and let thine expectation be from Him. Covet not Jonah's gourd, but rest in Jonah's God. Let the sandy foundations of terrestrial trust be the choice of fools, but do thou, like one who foresees the storm, build for thyself an abiding place upon the Rock of Ages.

I am learning the importance of this in my daily life and where my trust lies. I constantly am finding that I rely on myself and others in my life often times more than the Lord. It's a confession I am not proud of, but willingly admit to because it is something that I need to be accountable to. It is a choice of obedience or disobedience clearly...not excuses or other things coming in the way.
...priorities...something afforded or deserving prior attention...precedence...
I have found that it is what I do that determines my moment by moment, my health, my school, my exercise, etc. Notice the MY consistently...these are things that I have made my priority per say, but they are actually things that have been set there clearly because I know they need to get done. There is no "joy" in them, no heart motivation, pure intentions (at times), etc. Why is that? BECAUSE...it ISN'T ABOUT ME! It is far greater than me. It is about my Lord. He determines my steps, he determines the outcome of my day. Yes, my duty is to obey, but I am also to rely on my precious Friend. He is there to guide and lead and TRUST in...He SHOULD be in my Moment by Moment life. (These are don't get me wrong important things and things that benefit myself, but it is the way in which I go about doing them.)
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord … ”(Psalm 37:23) “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord … ”(Psalm 37:23) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5) Thus says the Lord, Your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:17) “I will instruct you and teach you in the way should go; I will guide you with My eye.” (Psalm 32:8) “For this is God, our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.” (Psalm 48:14) “The Lord will guide you continually …” (Isaiah 58:11)
We are NOT ALONE! My life is about glorifying God in everything that I do, not man, and certainly not myself. It is my responsibility to walk with Him on a moment by moment basis and see Him work through me. The things that need to get done will get done and will do so with the strength not of my own, because clearly my own strength is getting me NO WHERE! It is the mundane things that sneak in which we need to heed and be so attune too. Journey with me NOW in priorities and make them be what the Lord intended for them to be and what it feels like to do them for the glory of the Lord, not others or yourself! It is the most fulfilling thing and to know that what we need to get done will get done and that much more and the way in which it goes about getting done will be that of JOY.Here's to writing my daily lists of what needs to get done for the day...praying over it and committing a verse to read over and over again for the day, setting my mind on the one who can accomplish it!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spiritual Helps...The Valley of Vision


Spiritual Helps


Eternal Father, it is amazing love, that Thou hast sent Thy Son to suffer in my stead, that Thou hast added the Spirit to teach, comfort, guide, that Thou hast allowed the ministry of angels to wall me round; all heaven subserves the welfare of a poor worm. Permit Thy unseen servants to be ever active on my behalf, and to rejoice when grace expands in me. Suffer them never to rest until my conflict is over, and I stand victorious on salvation's shore.
Grant that my proneness to evil, deadness to good, resistance to Thy Spirit's emotions, may never provoke Thee to abandon me. May my hard heart awake Thy pity, not Thy wrath, And if the enemy gets an advantage through my corruption, let it be seen that heaven is mightier than hell, that those for me are greater than those against me.
Arise to my help in richness of covenant blessings, keep me feeding in the pastures of Thy strengthening Word, searching Scripture to find Thee there. If my waywardness is visited with a scourge, enable me to receive correction meekly, to bless the reproving hand, to discern the motive of rebuke, to respond promptly, and do the first work. Let all Thy fatherly dealings make me a partaker of Thy holiness. Grant that in every fall I may sink lower on my knees, and that when I rise it may be to loftier heights of devotion. May my every cross be sanctified, every loss be gain, every denial a spiritual advantage, every dark day a light of the Holy Spirit, every night of trial a song.

The Valley of Vision

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision. Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine; let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy life in my death, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

In Prayer...

In Prayer

O Lord, in prayer I launch far out into the eternal world, and on that broad ocean my soul triumphs over all evils on the shores of mortality. Time, with its gay amusements and cruel disappointments never appears so inconsiderate as then. In prayer I see myself as nothing; I find my heart going after Thee with intensity, and long with vehement thirst to live to Thee. Blessed be the strong gales of the Spirit that speed me on my way to the New Jerusalem. In prayer all things here below vanish, and nothing seems important but holiness of heart and the salvation of others.
In prayer all my worldly cares, fears, anxieties disappear, and are of as little significance as a puff of wind. In prayer my soul inwardly exults with lively thoughts at what Thou art doing for Thy church, and I long that Thou shouldest get Thyself a great name from sinners returning to Zion. In prayer I am lifted above the frowns and flatteries of life, and taste heavenly joys; entering into the eternal world I can give myself to Thee with all my heart, to be Thine for ever. In prayer I can place all my concerns in Thy hands, to be entirely at Thy disposal, having no will or interest of my own.
In prayer I can intercede for my friends, ministers, sinners, the church, Thy kingdom to come, with greatest freedom, ardent hopes, as a son to his father, as a lover to the beloved. Help me to be all prayer and never to cease praying.

Purification

Lord Jesus, I sin. Grant that I may never cease grieving because of it, never be content with myself, never think I can reach a point of perfection. Kill my envy, command my tongue, trample down self. Give me grace to be holy, kind, gentle, pure, peaceable, to live for Thee and not for self, to copy Thy words, acts, spirit, to be transformed into Thy likeness, to be consecrated wholly to Thee, to live entirely to Thy glory.
Deliver me from attachment to things unclean, from wrong associations, from the predominance of evil passions, from the sugar of sin as well as its gap; that with selfloathing, deep contrition, earnest heart searching I may come to Thee, cast myself on Thee, trust in Thee, cry to Thee, be delivered by Thee.
O God, the Eternal All, help me to know that all things are shadows, but Thou art substance, all things are quicksands, but Thou art mountain, all things are shifting, but Thou art anchor, all things are ignorance, but Thou art wisdom. If my life is to be a crucible amid burning heat, so be it, but do Thou sit at the furnace mouth to watch the ore that nothing be lost. If I sin wilfully, grievously, tormentedly, in grace take away my mourning and give me music; remove my sackcloth and clothe me with beauty; still my sighs and fill my mouth with song, then give me summer weather as a Christian.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Morning...


Morning

Compassionate Lord, Thy mercies have brought me to the dawn of another day. Vain will be its gift unless I grow in grace, increase in knowledge, ripen for spiritual harvest. Let me this day know Thee as Thou art, love Thee supremely, serve Thee wholly, admire Thee fully. Through grace let my will respond to Thee, knowing that power to obey is not in me, but that Thy free love alone enables me to serve Thee. Here then is my empty heart, overflow it with Thy choicest gifts; here is my blind understanding, chase away its mists of ignorance.
O ever watchful Shepherd, lead, guide, tend me this day; without Thy restraining rod I err and stray. Hedge up my path lest I wander into unwholesome pleasure, and drink its poisonous streams; direct my feet that I be not entangled in Satan's secret snares, nor fall into his hidden traps. Defend me from assailing foes, from evil circumstances, from myself. My adversaries are part and parcel of my nature; they cling to me as my very skin; I cannot escape their contact. In my rising up and sitting down they barnacle me; they entice with constant baits; my enemy is within the citadel. Come with almighty power and cast him out, pierce him to death, and abolish in me every particle of carnal life this day.

Morning Dedication
Almighty God, as I cross the threshold of this day I commit myself, soul, body, affairs, friends, to Thy care. Watch over, keep, guide, direct, sanctify, bless me. Incline my heart to thy ways. Mould me wholly into the image of Jesus, as a potter forms clay. May my lips be a well-tuned harp to sound Thy praise. Let those around see me living by Thy Spirit, trampling the world underfoot, unconformed to lying vanities, transformed by a renewed mind, clad in the entire armour of God, shining as a never-dimmed light, showing holiness in all my doings. Let no evil this day soil my thoughts, words, hands. May I travel miry paths with a life pure from spot or stain. In needful transactions let my affection be in heaven, and my love soar upwards in flames of fire, my gaze fixed on unseen things, my eyes open to the emptiness, fragility, mockery of earth and its vanities. May I view all things in the mirror of eternity, waiting for the coming of my Lord, listening for the last trumpet call, hastening unto the new heaven and earth. Order this day all my communications according to Thy wisdom, and to the gain of mutual good. Forbid that I should not be profited or made profitable. May I speak each word as if my last word, and walk each step as my final one.If my life should end today, let this be my best day.

Morning Needs
O God the author of all good, I come to Thee for the grace another day will require for its duties and events. I step out into a wicked world; I carry about with me an evil heart. I know that without Thee I can do nothing, that everything with which I shall be concerned, however harmless in itself, may prove an occasion of sin or folly, unless I am kept by Thy power. Hold Thou me up and I shall be safe.
Preserve my understanding from subtilty of error, my affections from love of idols, my character from stain of vice, my profession from every form of evil. May I engage in nothing in which I cannot implore Thy blessing, and in which I cannot invite Thy inspection. Prosper me in all lawful undertakings, or prepare me for disappointments. Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with food convenient for me, lest I be full and deny Thee and say, Who is the Lord? or be poor, and steal, and take Thy name in vain. May every creature be made good to me by prayer and Thy will. Teach me how to use the world and not abuse it, to improve my talents, to redeem my time, to walk in wisdom toward those without, and in kindness to those within, to do good to all men, and especially to my fellow Christians. And to Thee be the glory.