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

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

If The LORD Wills

                                                     
James 4:13  Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

James 4:14  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

James 4:15  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

James 4:16  But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

A sick-bed teaches many lessons.

Among others, it teaches this: "You do not know what will happen tomorrow!"

For a sick-bed cuts short many a work and brings to nothing many a plan and makes a total change in many a life.

It is not only the aged and infirm who have to do with the sick-bed.

Many a man in his prime is laid there.

Many an active, busy person, full of life and strength, is suddenly smitten with illness and taken away from all his earthly concerns.

All the work he had planned for this time must be left undone.

All that he thought he would be so busy in - he can have nothing to do with.

If it is done at all - others must do it.

For the present, at least, a complete stop is put to all his doings.

There on the sick-bed he lies and there he must lie.

How few think of this beforehand!

How few of those who form plans in their health and strength, seem to think it possible that sickness may come and put a stop to them all!

Yet we have warnings all around us.

If we ourselves are in health...there is no time when we have not some sick among our neighbors or friends.
 

Sometimes they rise from the sick-bed and go about among us again.

Sometimes they never again appear...the sick-bed proves to be a death-bed.

We "do not know what will happen tomorrow!"...what changes may befall us, what loss may come, what sickness may seize us, or how that sickness may end.

The present we know, and the past we know...but the future we know not.

Even tomorrow is hidden from us.

Life itself is but "a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away!"

Like the mist on the mountains, which the rising sun quickly disperses; or like the curling smoke, caught and scattered by the breeze as it issues from the chimney top.
 

At the longest...life is but "for a little while," but often it is cut short in its prime.

Men ought to bear this in mind.

Plans ought not to be formed with no thought of God.

All rests with Him.

We ought to say, "If the Lord wills...we shall live and do this or that."

For that is the simple truth.

Whether we consider it or not...all will be just as our sovereign God pleases.

This need not make us unhappy or interfere with the business of life.

If we are God's loving children...then we shall rejoice to think that all our concerns are ordered by Him.

If we are walking in the way in which God would have us to walk...then we have but to go straight on, fearing nothing.

And then, uncertain as we may be whether we shall do such and such a thing or not, whether health or sickness will be our portion, and even whether we shall live or die...we shall still be able to feel that "it shall be well with those who fear God! (Ecclesiastes 8:12).

Ecc 8:12  Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him:

Whatever may befall us, we shall be in our merciful Father's hands...our reconciled Father in Christ Jesus.

He will order all for us and He always orders what is best.

Happy are those who pass their days in the constant recollection of God...trusting in Him, loving Him, following His guidance, contented with His will.

They have committed their souls to their Redeemer in humble faith and all their lesser concerns they now cheerfully leave to God.

They desire to have no wish, but that His will should be  done...whatever it might be.

They know that His will is best.

They believe that He loves them.

They are sure that what He does, will be perfectly right and wise and good.

What more can any desire for peace, contentment, or happiness?

~Francis Bourdillon~1864

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Pattern Son’s Inward Separation

Let us look again at the One who has set for us the pattern.

Firstly, it was His inward separation from sin that is important.

There was a great gap between Him and sin.

It is said of Him that He “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21), that He was “separated from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26).

That is, that in His nature He was separate from the rest of men, there was an inward separation.

Now, we are not constituted as He was, as sinless, but we are told and made to understand in the New Testament that that inward separation, which was so true of Him, can be made true in us.

Paul has a way of putting it.

He calls it: “the circumcision of Christ” (Colossians 2:11), and he says that it is a thing of the heart, an inward separating between what we are in ourselves and what we are in Christ, the putting of a gap between the two.

And then the New Testament says that by the Holy Spirit’s enablement, by the Holy Spirit’s power, you need not live on the ground of what you are in yourself...


You can live on the ground of Christ; and living on the ground of Christ you need not be the slave of yourself and your sinfulness.

You are delivered.

That sounds very technical, I know, but it is very practical.

We know it very well.

We who are Christians know that a cleavage has been made in us, and that we are now two people.

There is that side which is our new life, our new relationship, which is our Christ-connection.

There is that other side which is still our old relationship with the old Adam.

It is there: it is not cauterized, it is not annihilated; 


And we know now that it is for us to take continually the power of the Holy Spirit, in virtue of that separating cross, to keep on the Christ side, on the new side; and if we do, we know that it is glory.

Very often we know more of the meaning of the glory by a touch of the other.

Step over on to the other side and give way to the old Adam, and you know quite well there is no glory there.

The enemy, the great enemy of the glory, was ever seeking to contaminate Him, involve Him, pollute Him, corrupt Him.

Let us not think that He never had to resist anything, that He never had to say ‘No’ to another.

That matter of how a sinless Man could be tempted is of course an old theological problem, but there is no doubt about it, that He fought our battle in all reality.

So that is the first thing – an inward separation, a divide; and on the one side, the new life, the ground of the incorruptible, which is the ground of glory.

This mystery, says Paul, “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

~T. Austin Sparks~

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Natural Emotions Or The Love Of Christ?

Paul wrote to the Galatians: “Ye were running well: what did hinder…?” 

Something had broken in and interrupted their running in the spiritual race. 

This was extremely serious and disturbed Paul to the depths of his being. 

They seem to have been of that temperamental constitution which corresponds to Christ’s words in the parable about seed falling into shallow soil. 

The seed was received quickly and earnestly, but did not go on to produce a harvest. 

There are some people who make an enthusiastic start in this way and make quite a stir about it, but then do not go steadily on. 

These Galatians were like that; they made a tremendous response; they loudly protested their devotion; and then they were very quick to drop out of the race. 

Why? 

Because they lived on their emotions, on their feelings, and these were changeable. 

This may well be a matter of temperament, but in fact something of such a characteristic can be found in most of us. 

We respond to an appeal, come under the power of a great emotion, and then slack off. 

In the words of the Lord Jesus: “When tribulation or persecution ariseth…he is offended”.

Mat 13:21  Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Clearly, then, if you and I are going to persevere to the end we must have a greater power than that of our natural emotional life. 

The only hope is that it may be true of us, as of Paul: “The love of Christ constraineth”.

2Co 5:14  For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

There is all the difference between the natural and the spiritual in this matter of the energy of love. 

This word translated ‘constraineth’ is the same one used over the arrest of Jesus when it says: “the men that HELD Jesus” (Luke 22:63).

Luk 22:63  And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.

So it is that the love of Christ should hold or grip us, conquering our natural emotions by the mighty power of the Spirit.

Our feelings come and go. 

They may be strong at times but they can also grow very weak. 

If we do not know something of the mighty grip of Christ’s love, we will never go right through to the end of this strenuous race. 

After all, it is the love of Christ which makes for the fullness of Christ.

If we finally come to that fullness it can only be by the constraint and holding power of His love.

Ye were running well: who did hinder you?

The answer is: you ran in the strength of your own emotions; you ran as your enthusiastic response to God’s call because it affected your feelings for the time. 

The letter to the Galatians is devoted to emphasizing the place of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer, for He alone can supply the necessary energy of love for us to go on running well.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Obeying GOD

Gen 22:16  And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
 

Gen 22:17  That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
 

Gen 22:18  And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
 

Because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky...because you have obeyed me.
 

From the time of Abraham, people have been learning that
when they obey God’s voice and surrender to Him whatever
they hold most precious, He multiplies it thousands of times.
 

Abraham gave up his one and only son at the Lord’s command,
and in doing so, all his desires and dreams for Isaac’s life, as well as his own hope for a notable heritage, disappeared.


Yet God restored Isaac to his father, and Abraham’s family became “as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore”. 

And through his descendants, “when the time had fully come, God sent his Son”

Gal 4:4  But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
 

This is exactly how God deals with every child of His when
we truly sacrifice.


We surrender everything we own and accept poverty then He sends wealth.

We leave a growing area of ministry at His command then He provides one better than we had ever dreamed.

We surrender all our cherished hopes and die to self...then He sends overflowing joy and His “life...that [we] might have it more abundantly”.

John 10:10  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

The greatest gift of all was Jesus Christ Himself, and we can
never fully comprehend the enormity of His sacrifice. 


Abraham, as the earthly father of the family of Christ, had to begin by surrendering himself and his only son, just as our heavenly Father sacrificed His only Son, Jesus.

We could never have come to enjoy the privileges and joys as members of God’s family through any other way. 

~Charles Gallaudet Trumbull~
 

We sometimes seem to forget that what God takes from us, He takes with fire, and that the only road to a life of resurrection
and ascension power leads us first to Gethsemane, the cross, and the tomb.
 

Dear soul, do you believe that Abraham’s experience was
unique and isolated?


It is only an example and a pattern of how God deals with those who are prepared to obey Him whatever the cost. 

After waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised”, and so will you.

Heb 6:15  And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

The moment of your greatest sacrifice will also be the precise moment of your greatest and most miraculous blessing.

God’s river, which never runs dry, will overflow its banks, bringing you a flood of wealth and grace.
 

Indeed, there is nothing God will not do for those who will
dare to step out in faith onto what appears to be only a mist.
 

As they take their first step, they will find a rock beneath their
feet.


~F. B. Meyer~

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Whom, When, How to Deliver

                                                    
The godly are tempted and tried. 

That is not true faith which is never put to the test. 

But the godly are delivered out of their trials, and that not by chance, nor by secondary agencies, but by the LORD Himself. 

He personally undertakes the office of delivering those who trust Him.

God loves the godly or godlike, and He makes a point of knowing where they are and how they fare.

Sometimes their way seems to be a labyrinth, and they cannot imagine how they are to escape from threatening danger. 


What they do not know, their LORD knows. 

He knows whom to deliver, and when to deliver, and how to deliver.

He delivers in the way which is most beneficial to the godly, most crushing to the tempter, and most glorifying to Himself.

We may leave the "how" with the LORD and be content to rejoice in the fact that He will, in some way or other, bring His own people through all the dangers, trials, and temptations for this mortal life to His own right hand in glory.

This day it is not for me to pry into my LORD's secrets but patiently to wait His time...


Knowing this, that though I know nothing, my heavenly Father knows. 

~Charles Spurgeon~

Saturday, July 8, 2017

You Are Being Summoned To Pray

I therefore call you, friend, to remember the ministry of prayer. 

The times are wakening us to the great need of it, and we must not miss the summons of the times. 

Some of you perhaps have never really prayed, though you have always kept to the daily habit of it. 

Some of you may have ceased long years ago even to preserve the form of prayer. 

And all of us, however we have been serving, know that our greatest failure has been here, for none of us have been praying as we should. 

My brother, God is using these present times to bring thousands back to prayer again. 

In every country of the world today there are multitudes praying who never prayed before. 

And if only you, with all your opportunities, will join in that mighty ministry of prayer, we shall yet live to see such blessings given as will make it bliss for us to be alive. 

It is not easy, but nothing high is easy. 

There is little time, but you can make time. 

For anything your heart is really set on, it is wonderful how time can be made always. 

Blessings are waiting us, and power is waiting us, and I believe that peace is waiting us, waiting and ready for that hour when God is given His own place again. 

When our life is drawing to a close and we look back over the years that we have had, there will be a thousand things we shall regret, for they will seem to us then to have been vanity. 

But there is one thing that we shall not regret even on the margin of the grave, and that is the time we gave to prayer. 

Then it will be far more real to us than it was in the hour when we were praying. 

Then it will be far more real to us than things that once were of supreme importance. 

Then we shall wonder at our inveterate folly in having toiled and served and labored for the Master, and been so forgetful of the amazing promises that He has given to everyone who prays. 

My brother and sister, anticipate that hour. 

It is coming swiftly and it is coming surely. 

Live today as you would like to have lived when you look back from the end upon it all. 

And remember that whatever Christ hath taught you, by precept, by example, He hath taught you this, that men ought always to pray and not to faint.

~George H. Morrison~

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Heart-Work

Pro 4:23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

It is very important for you to know what duties and which part of your work demands your first thought. 

You might be very busy all day from early in the morning until late in the evening...yet perhaps through forgetfulness you might leave undone some work that required your attention more than all the rest.

Now what work requires most pains and effort?

I have no doubt whatever, that it is heart-work

Watch over your heart with all diligence or as you find in the margin, above all keeping, for out of it are the issues of life. 

However important may be your daily occupations in the house where you live, or in your particular calling...yet the chief matter is to keep the heart right. 

Take a very simple illustration: look at the clock in your room, or the watch that perhaps you wear; you want them to keep good time. 

But if either of them stops or goes wrong, what course do you take?

You would not move the hands, perpetually putting them backwards or forwards according as the time might be. 

This would do no good...it is the inner works that need looking after. 

Perhaps there needs a new mainspring, or perhaps a chain has gone off the wheel, or perhaps it only requires cleaning, or regulating. 

But when the inner works go right, you may be quite sure the hands will go right...the second-hand, and the minute-hand, and the hour-hand will each point out the right time.

Act with yourself with the same common sense. 

Remember that the heart regulates the life

If the heart is right, then...the hands will do right; they will not steal or be idle, but do their work faithfully;

The feet will move right, not going where they should not, standing in the way of sinners, or treading forbidden paths...but walking straight in the ways of godliness;

The eyes will look right, not coveting forbidden fruit, or reading debasing literature...but spying out work that ought to be done, and looking kindly and pleasantly on those around;

The ears will hearken aright, not eagerly drinking in idle reports, or the advice of those who have not yet learned to teach themselves...but ever willing to listen to a faithful reproof, or to a word of wise counsel;

The lips will speak aright, not uttering words of slander, or falsehood, or folly...but words of truth and purity and love, words of earnest prayer and of grateful praise.

But how shall the heart be kept right?

First of all, remember that He alone who made the heart, can fashion and dispose it to that which is good. 

Whatever is amiss, He knows how to remedy it. 

He gives it a new mainspring: He puts within it the love of Christ instead of the love of the world. 

He sends His Holy Spirit to control and order its unruly passions and affections. 

He can cleanse it from all its defilements. 

When the chain is off the wheel He can replace it...I mean when something has turned our desires from their right object, He can restore them.

Then ask earnestly for grace. 

Create in me a clean heart, O God! 

Incline my heart to Your testimonies! 

Let my heart be sound in Your statutes that I may honor You!

But then, He bids us to be workers together with Him in this matter. 

There is that which He alone can do...but there is that which is our part by His grace to do also. 

You must take care not to run into scenes of temptation. 

If a man carried a bag of gunpowder with him, he would be very careful not to go where sparks were flying about...he would feel that in a moment a spark might be his destruction. 

Now your heart is very like that gunpowder...a little thing may set it all alight with evil passions. 

Words may be spoken that may arouse unholy thoughts or desires...therefore be careful.

Never go near places where the devil is accustomed to come. 

Keep far away from the theater, the dancing-room, and never enter the bar of a tavern if you can avoid it.

He who loves danger, shall perish in danger. 

You must watch against any evil thoughts lodging in your mind. 

You may not be able to prevent them arising, but endeavor to drive them away as soon as you can. 

A flock of birds may fly over your head, but you would not let them build a nest in your hair! 

Little flies or insects in summer are very troublesome sometimes, but you take pains to keep them from getting into your eye, or irritating your face and hands. 

In the same way watch against every bad thought.

Remember that among the thousands of thoughts that pass through your mind in a day, there is not one hidden from God. 

He understands your thoughts afar off, and in His sight the thought of foolishness is sin

Therefore be watchful...do not dwell on anything that may pollute the mind. 

Cast away murmuring thoughts, angry thoughts, impure thoughts and pray that God would preserve you from them. 

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be always acceptable in Your sight, O Lord!

But to keep away thoughts that do harm...nourish thoughts that will do you good. 

Php 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

There is a good old proverb, "Fill the sack with wheat and there will be no room for chaff!

Fill your heart with kind thoughts, grateful thoughts, holy thoughts and you will be safe. 

Let God's thoughts which are given to us in the Bible leaven all your thoughts. 

Hide in your heart the promises and precepts of His Word. 

In the morning, take a text of Scripture about Christ, about His love, or His coming again and make it your friend and companion through the day. 

When something has occurred to trouble you, go back to your text. 

When some temptation is near to turn your thoughts aside, think of it again so it will strengthen you, and help you to overcome.

With thoughts of Christ, and things divine,  Fill up this foolish heart of mine.

Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.

But above all, live in a spirit of prayer. 

Believe that God is always ready to hear you, and often go to Him for help. 

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. 

Nothing will keep your heart in a holy, happy frame, so much as prayer.

A little boy was coming home from India. 

He was obliged to come to England because of his health, but he very much grieved to come away from his father, who was not able to accompany him. 

But on the voyage one thing gave him great comfort...he would go down into his cabin every day, and write out for his father what he did all day long...

And this brought his father to mind, and it almost seemed as if he were speaking to his father.

He would call these hours his heart-visits to India. 

Now why should not you each day pay heart-visits to Heaven? 

If the boy could have made his father hear him in some way when he went into the cabin, or have received messages from him it would have given him still more pleasure. 

But this is just what you can do. 

When you pay a heart-visit to Heaven you can make your Father understand the very least word you speak. 

And more than this He can send you a message in return.

He can speak to you by His Spirit teaching you out of the Scriptures. 

In this way He can fill your heart with peace and joy. 

He can make you so happy in His love, that your heart is at liberty to love Him and serve Him.

Oh, then pray to Him often in the name of Jesus; often shoot upwards the arrow of an earnest petition, and it will never be in vain.

Here is my heart!

Ah, Holy Spirit, come,  Its nature to renew...

And consecrate it wholly as Your home...A temple, fair and true;

Teach it to love and serve You more, To fear You, trust You, and adore.
 
Here is my heart! 

~George Everard~