Isa 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me

Thursday, September 21, 2017

"If You Will Believe"

John 11:40  Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

Mary and Martha could not understand what their Lord was
doing.

Each of them had said to Him, “Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.”

And behind their words we seem to read their true thoughts:“Lord, we do not understand why you waited so long to come or how you could allow the man you love so much to die.

We do not understand how you could allow such sorrow and suffering to devastate our lives, when your presence might have stopped it all.

Why didn’t you come?

Now it’s too late, because Lazarus has been dead four days!

But Jesus simply had one great truth in answer to all of this.

He said, in essence, “You may not understand, but I am telling you that if you believe, you will see.”

Abraham could not understand why God would ask him to
sacrifice his son, but he trusted Him.

Then he saw the Lord’s glory when the son he loved was restored to him.

Moses could not understand why God would require him to stay forty years in the wilderness, but he also trusted Him.

Then he saw when God called him to lead Israel from Egyptian bondage.

Joseph could not understand his brothers’ cruelty toward
him, the false testimony of a treacherous woman, or the long years of unjust imprisonment...

But he trusted God and finally he saw His glory in it all.

And Joseph’s father, Jacob, could not understand how God’s strange providence could allow Joseph to be taken from him.

Yet later he saw the Lord’s glory when he looked into the face of his son, who had become the governor for a great king and the person used to preserve his own life and the lives of an entire nation.

Perhaps there is also something in your life causing you to question God.

Do you find yourself saying, “I do not understand why God allowed my loved one to be taken...

I do not understand why affliction has been permitted to strike me...

I do not understand why the Lord has led me down these twisting paths...

I do not understand why my own plans, which seemed so good, have been so disappointing...

I do not understand why the blessings I so desperately need are so long in coming...

Dear friend, you do not have to understand all God’s ways
of dealing with you.

He does not expect you to understand them.

You do not expect your children to understand everything
you do - you simply want them to trust you.

And someday you too will see the glory of God in the things you do not understand.

~J. H. M.~

If we could push ajar the gates of life, And stand within, and all God’s working see...

We might interpret all this doubt and strife, And for each mystery could find a key...

But not today.

Then be content, dear heart;

God’s plans, like lilies pure and white, unfold.

We must not tear the close-shut leaves apart...

Time will someday reveal the blooms of gold.

And if, through patient toil, we reach the land Where tired feet, with sandals loosed, may rest...

When we shall clearly know and understand, I think that we will say,“God knew best.”

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

If Chastisement Were Not Necessary

Afflictions are always painful and days of affliction are often gloomy. 

But as we are training for eternity, as we are maturing for Heaven, and as afflictions are necessary discipline...we must be afflicted. 

If chastisement were not necessary then our loving Father would never use the rod

But as every one of us needs correction...He chastens every son whom He receives.

God's chastisements are intended for our instruction   they are designed to teach us...the evil of sin, our need of grace, the holiness of God, the preciousness of Jesus, the emptiness of the world, and the blessedness of Heaven.
 

These are lessons of the deepest importance to us...lessons that we are slow to learn; and therefore we must have line upon line, and stroke upon stroke.

Heavenly Father, help us to bow to Your sovereign will, to bear with patience every stroke of Your rod, and to learn the holy and important lessons which You intend to teach us.


May we not only submit to Your discipline but, seeing the love which ordains it, and the need there is for it - even acquiesce in it. 

Keep us from fretting at pain, repining at losses, or giving way to too much grief at bereavements-knowing that all these things come from You, and that You design them for our good. 

Help us to understand that every trial and every trouble is a blessing and will end in eternal glory. Sweet thought!

O for grace to yield ourselves to You-and to sweetly acquiesce in all Your paternal dealings!


Job 5:17  Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:

~James Smith~

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Snare Of Worldliness

It is interesting to notice the particular way in which the Apostle speaks of the world in Gal 6:14. 


Gal 6:14  But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

The world is crucified to him. 

That term is a very comprehensive term and includes a very great deal. 

What does the Apostle mean?

He sets over against this his own clear spiritual position.

Do I seek glory of men?

Do I seek to be well pleasing to men?

No!

The world is crucified to me, and I to the world.

All that sort of thing does not weigh with me.

What weighs with me is not whether my movement is successful...

Whether I am getting a lot of followers...

Whether there are all the manifestations outwardly of success...

What weighs with me is the measure of Christ in those with whom I have to do. 

You see how the world can creep in...

And how worldly we can become almost imperceptibly by taking account of things outwardly...

Of how men will think and talk...

What they will say,,,

The attitude they will take of the measure of our popularity...

The talk of our success...

That is all the world, says the Apostle, the spirit of the world; that is how the world talks.

Those are the values in the eyes of the world, but not in the eyes of the risen Christ.

In the new creation, on the resurrection side of the Cross, one thing alone determines value...and that is the measure of Christ in everything.

Nothing else is of value at all...

However big the thing may be...

However popular it may be...

However men talk favorably of it...

On the resurrection side that does not count a little bit.

What counts is how much of Christ there is. 

You and I in the Cross of the Lord Jesus must come to the place where we are crucified to all those other elements.

Ah, you may be unpopular, and the work be very small...

There may be no applause...

And the world may despise...

But in it all there may be something which is of Christ, and that is the thing upon which our hearts must be set.

The Lord gives us grace for that crucifixion.

There are few things more difficult to bear than being despised...

But He was despised and rejected of men.

What a thing is in God’s sight must be our standard.

That is a resurrection standard.

Now that is the victory of the Cross: “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world”.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Coming In; Going Out

Deu 28:6  Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.

The blessings of the law are not canceled. 

Jesus confirmed the promise when He bore the penalty. 

If I keep the commands of my LORD, I may appropriate this promise without question. 

This day I will come in to my house without fear of evil tidings...

And I will come in to my closet expecting to hear good news from my LORD.

I will not be afraid to come in unto myself by self-examination, nor to come in to my affairs by a diligent inspection of my business.

I have a good deal of work to do indoors, within my own soul; 

Oh, for a blessing upon it all, the blessing of the LORD Jesus, who has promised to abide with me.

I must also go out. 

Timidity makes me wish that I could stay within doors and never go into the sinful world again. 

But I must go out in my calling, and I must go out that I may be helpful to my brethren and useful to the ungodly. 

I must be a defender of the faith and an assailant of evil.

Oh, for a blessing upon my going out this day!

LORD, let me go where Thou leadest, on Thy errands, under Thy command, and in the power of Thy Spirit. 

LORD Jesus, turn in with me and be my guest; 

And then walk out with me and cause my heart to burn while You speak with me by the way.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Monday, September 4, 2017

Victory Without Battle

Hos 1:7  But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.
 
Precious Word. Jehovah Himself will deliver His people in the greatness of His mercy, but He will not do it by the ordinary means...

Men are slow to render to God the glory due unto His name.

If they go to battle with sword and bow and win the victory, they ought to praise their God; yet they do not, but begin to magnify their own right arm and glory in their horses and horsemen. 

For this reason our Jehovah often determines to save His people without second means, that all the honor may be to Himself alone.

Look, then, my heart, to the LORD alone and not to man. 

Expect to see God all the more clearly when there is no one else to look to. 

If I have no friend, no adviser, no one at my back, let me be none the less confident if I can feel that the LORD Himself is on my side...

Yea, let me be glad if He gives victory without battle, as the text seems to imply...

Why do I ask for horses and horsemen if Jehovah Himself has mercy upon me and lifts up His arm for my defense! 

Why need I bow or sword if God will save?

Let me trust and not be afraid from this day forth and for evermore. Amen.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Well Within~Hindrances In The Realm Of The Heart

There is another possible realm of hindrances to the up-welling of the Spirit, and this is the realm of the heart.

The Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of love.

If there is coldness towards the Lord, a lack of true devotion to Him, then this is like a heavy stone which makes the life more like a quagmire than a fresh spring.


Any reserve which we have, not in the knowing of God's will but in the willingness to do it, will inevitably stem the flow of the Spirit's power.

It is always the work of God's enemy to clog up our lives by introducing love of self or love of the world...

And it needs ruthless determination to remove the accumulated rubbish and re-dig the well in purity of devotion to Christ.

It may well be, though, that the hindrances arise from lack of love to our fellow believers.

We must remember that the Holy Spirit can never have free course in us and through us if we harbor unloving thoughts concerning other of God's children, let alone put those thoughts into actions.

He is the Spirit of fellowship, so that if we fail in that realm then we fail in the matter of love.

It is so easy to allow unworthy considerations to quench brotherly love...

To be clogged up with resentment...

Or to be wrongly influenced by our susceptibilities or hurt feelings.

What is more, we find it the easiest thing in the world to say or hear unkind things about others, things which put them in a bad light and somehow make us feel self-righteous.

We must not dismiss such matters as unimportant, for although they may seem small in themselves, they become the deposits which unite to clog up the well of the Spirit.

This matter of personal relationships is one in which we have to set ourselves definitely to digging out the earthiness which stops up the wells of the Spirit.

We must refuse to speak and refuse to listen to those critical accounts of other believers which would grieve them if they heard and do grieve the Spirit who is always present and who always hears.

More than that, we have to be active in positive cultivation of fellowship.

To some it is quite natural to be independent.

For them deference to others represents a major difficulty.

Sometimes they may deliberately ignore or despise others...

But sometimes they just prefer to do it alone and never seriously think of inter-relatedness and inter-dependence.

The Word of God, however, is most explicit in ordering us to esteem one another...

To submit to one another and to live and work together.
 

The Holy Spirit demands that the people of God live according to a team order of things, that they should be governed by a family spirit.

Anything which is of an isolated or detached nature, which fails to recognize and fully accept the family thought of God, is a check on Him.

By failing to observe fellowship we quench the Spirit.

It is not only a matter of avoiding giving offense but of active pursuit of fellowship.

Some may be wondering why there is so little up-springing from the inner well, when they are sitting back in a wrong kind of modesty, failing to bring in their own personal contribution to fellowship life and ministry.

Unkindness is not the only obstacle in this realm.

Shyness and diffidence can equally rest like a stone on the flow of life.

The only thing to do is to dig it up and move it away.

Get in, get right in, and let yourself go!

Do not always choose the back seat because you like to be left alone, but come forward in the Lord's name and give the Holy Spirit a free course in your lives.

He is well able to check you if you become too self-assertive...

But there is little He can do if your well is all stopped up with fears and inhibitions.

~T. Austin Sparks


Monday, August 28, 2017

Out Of Any Circumstance

Yes, I must and will pray. What else can I do! 

What better can I do? 

Betrayed, forsaken, grieved, baffled, O my LORD, I will call upon Thee. 

My Ziklag is in ashes, and men speak of stoning me; but I encourage my heart in the LORD, who will bear me through this trial as He has borne me through so many others.

Jehovah shall save me; I am sure He will, and I declare my faith. 

The LORD and no one else shall save me. 

I desire no other helper and would not trust in an arm of flesh even if I could. 

I will cry to Him evening, and morning, and noon, and I will cry to no one else, for He is all sufficient. 

How He will save me I cannot guess; but He will do it, I know. 

He will do it in the best and surest way, and He will do it in the largest, truest, and fullest sense.

Out of this trouble and all future troubles the great I AM will bring me as surely as He lives...

And when death comes and all the mysteries of eternity follow thereon, still will this be true: "the LORD shall save me."

This shall be my song all through this autumn day.

Is it not as a ripe apple from the tree of life?

I will feed upon it.

How sweet it is to my taste!

~Charles Spurgeon~