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

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Being Proven

Exo 15:25  And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,

I stood once in the test room of a great steel mill. All around me were little partitions and compartments. Steel had been tested to the limit, and marked with figures that showed its breaking point. 

Some pieces had been twisted until they broke, and the strength of torsion was marked on them. Some had been stretched to the breaking point and their tensile strength indicated. 

Some had been compressed to the crushing point, and also marked. The master of the steel mill knew just what these pieces of steel would stand under strain. 

He knew just what they would bear if placed in the great ship, building, or bridge. He knew this because his testing room revealed it.

It is often so with God's children. God does not want us to be like vases of glass or porcelain. He would have us like these toughened pieces of steel, able to bear twisting and crushing to the uttermost without collapse.

He wants us to be, not hothouse plants, but storm-beaten oaks; not sand dunes driven with every gust of wind, but granite rocks withstanding the fiercest storms. 

To make us such He must needs bring us into His testing room of suffering.

Many of us need no other argument than our own experiences to prove that suffering is indeed God's testing room of faith.

~J. H. McC~

It is very easy for us to speak and theorize about faith, but God often casts us into crucibles to try our gold, and to separate it from the dross and alloy. 

Oh, happy are we if the hurricanes that ripple life's unquiet sea have the effect of making Jesus more precious. 

Better the storm with Christ than smooth waters without Him.


What if God could not manage to ripen your life without suffering?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hard Places Are for the Glory of God

Hard places make us patterns and object lessons for the help of others and for the glory of God, showing to the world what Christ can do for His children, and what Christ-lives may accomplish where others fail.

God wants us to be a spectacle to angels and to men, showing to them in our example that Christ can keep in every situation, and that the power of His grace is practical, supernatural and adapted to every human life.

Hard places fit us to help others by the lessons we have learned in our own experience.

The callous and immature heart is little qualified to comfort, counsel and bless a suffering world. God has to burn in us first what we are to give out to our fellows.

The painful ordeal of a real experience qualifies us to comfort, strengthen and encourage the souls to whom He has to send us, and to whom we can say, "I have been there, and I can tell you from the depths of my own experience that ‘my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus’ " (Phil. 4:19).
Hard places make Christ real, just as real as the trouble is. They are the heavenly stamps by which God’s messages and God’s communications of grace and blessing are embossed and made to stand out in relief from our lives.

The picture is first cut, and then burned into that card by the heavy stamp and the glowing flame, and then it becomes what we call relief work, and everybody can see it and feel it.

So God cuts and burns His messages into human lives until Christ becomes to us real as the tears we have shed, the fears under which we have trembled, the sorrows that were ready to overwhelm us, and the difficulties which rose like mountains before us – so that the sweetest memories of our lives are the hard places which have become stepping stones and monuments of divine and heavenly things.

Hard places win for us eternal crowns. They become occasions for victory and reward. The soldier of Christ is winning a record and a crown which will never pass away.

~A. B. Simpson~

Sunday, February 22, 2015

No Miracles

 And the rest, some on boards, some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass that they escaped all safe to land" (Acts 27:44). 

The marvelous story of Paul's voyage to Rome, with its trials and triumphs, is a fine pattern of the lights and shades of the way of faith all through the story of human life. 

The remarkable feature of it is the hard and narrow places which we find intermingled with God's most extraordinary interpositions and providences.

It is the common idea that the pathway of faith is strewn with flowers, and that when God interposes in the life of His people, He does it on a scale so grand that He lifts us quite out of the plane of difficulties.

The actual fact, however, is that the real experience is quite contrary. The story of the Bible is one of alternate trial and triumph in the case of everyone of the cloud of witnesses from Abel down to the latest martyr.

Paul, more than anyone else, was an example of how much a child of God can suffer without being crushed or broken in spirit. 

On account of his testifying in Damascus, he was hunted down by persecutors and obliged to fly for his life. but we behold no heavenly chariot transporting the holy apostle amid thunderbolts of flame from the reach of his foes, but "through a window in a basket," was he let down over the walls of Damascus and so escaped their hands. 

In an old clothes basket, like a bundle of laundry, or groceries, the servant of Jesus Christ was dropped from the window and ignominiously fled from the hate of his foes.

Again we find him left for months in the lonely dungeons; we find him telling of his watchings, his fastings, and his desertion by friends, of his brutal and shameful beatings, and here even after God has promised to deliver him, we see him for days left to toss upon a stormy sea, obliged to stand guard over the treacherous seaman, and at last when the deliverance comes, there is no heavenly galley sailing from the skies to take off the noble prisoner; there is no angel form walking along the waters and stilling the raging breakers; there is no supernatural sign of the transcendent miracle that is being wrought; but one is compelled to seize a spar, another a floating plank, another to climb on a fragment of the wreck, another to strike out and swim for his life.

Here is God's pattern for our own lives. Here is a Gospel of help for people that have to live in this every day world with real and ordinary surroundings, and a thousand practical conditions which have to be met in a thoroughly practical way.

God's promises and God's providences do not lift us out of the plane of common sense and commonplace trial, but it is through these very things that faith is perfected, and that God loves to interweave the golden threads of His love along the warp and woof of our every day experience.

~A. B. Simpson~

Thursday, February 19, 2015

There Is A Limit To Affliction

Nahum 1:12  Thus saith the LORD; Though they be quiet, and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more.  

There is a limit to affliction. God sends it, and God removes it. Do you sigh and say, "When will the end be?" 

Remember that our griefs will surely and finally end when this poor earthly life is over, Let us quietly wait and patiently endure the will of the LORD till He cometh.

Meanwhile, our Father in heaven takes away the rod when His design in using it is fully served. When He has whipped away our folly, there will be no more strokes.

Or, if the affliction is sent for testing us, that our graces may glorify God, it will end when the LORD has made us bear witness to His praise. 

We would not wish the affliction to depart till God has gotten out of us all the honor which we can possibly yield Him.

There may today be "a great calm." Who knows how soon those raging billows will give place to a sea of glass, and the sea birds sit on the gentle waves?

After long tribulation the Rail is hung up, and the wheat rests in the garner.

We may, before many hours are past, be just as happy as now we are sorrowful. It is not hard for the LORD to turn night into day. He that sends the clouds can as easily clear the skies. 

Let us be of good cheer. It is better on before. Let us sing hallelujah by anticipation.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Master-Stroke Of The Great Perverter Has Been Confusion

Gal 1:6  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:   

Gal 1:7  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

It does not require a great deal of intelligence in order to recognize that, throughout the history of God's work, the master-stroke of the great perverter has been confusion.

God is not the God of confusion, but of order. 

Satan is the god of confusion.  

To get order out of chaos, God said: "Let there be light."

To get chaos out of order, Satan says "Let there be confusion." His it is to confuse issues and elements. 

To do this, he must – as the word suggests – fuse (or try to fuse) elements which are constitutionally different and do not belong to each other.

Thus there is a constitutional contradiction and inconsistency.

It is only when his master-method runs amok that we have utter and unmitigated wickedness.

His main work is deception by mixture.

It is just here that the place, meaning, and sovereignty of the Holy Spirit in the life of the child of God has its meaning and importance. He is "The Spirit of Truth."

He alone knows where truth ends and falsehood begins.

Only as we truly "walk in the Spirit" shall we know the truth and be made free from error. 

A walk in the Spirit demands a "circumcised heart," a heart in which the severance has been made between flesh and spirit, Christ and self.  

There has never been a heresy that has not had in it sufficient truth to deceive very good people. 

Likewise, there has never been anything wholly of God but the strategy of the Evil One has been to fasten on to it some implication, insinuation, interpretation, or suggestion that would make it questionable or "dangerous." 

He even did this with the Lord Jesus Himself.

He did it with Paul all through his life.... A good thing can be made its own enemy, by being either confused, or taken out of its true meaning.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Friday, February 13, 2015

Who Are These Philistines?

Who are these Philistines? They always bring famine to the land because they are the sort of people who live in God's things, but do not know the living experience of His Word. 

They come into Canaan by their own route and are not led, as were the children of Israel into Egypt, and Abraham from Ur. 

They have no exercises in the wilderness, know no crossing of the Jordan, but come along the coast.

They hate God's Word to be sharp...when they were in control of the children of Israel they would not allow them to sharpen their swords.

They like the truth of the ark and keep it in their temple so that they can bring it out at special times, like an Armistice Day parade.

They are the sort of people who make a lot of men, especially big men...and Goliath was one of their biggest.

The Philistines are people who handle the things of God-but God is not handling them.

That finger of the Lord is not able to spring in their life and write a story. 

What was it they dropped down the wells to keep the Spirit of God at bay? (Genesis 26:15-20) 

Again, can I suggest this? I do not think it was rubbish, nor was it dirty, but just earth -- and earth is important. 

If there is no earth there is no well, for there must be something round the hole so that the water can come up the hole, but the earth that the Philistines put into the wells was earth in the wrong place.

There must be earth in a well, and we must have the historical facts of Christianity. 

We have to have the earth of facts that happened on the earth in the earthly body of the Lord Jesus.

We must have the earth of doctrines, formulations of truth, and interpretations that come through the mind, but that, too, is the earth. It goes through a brain which is earthly. 

Now put the earth in the right place. It goes at the bottom of the well and up the sides, but not right in the middle where there has to be a hole. There is nothing earthly there! 

There is a spirit there, with our body of earth around it. There must be earth in order to have human beings; there had to be earth for the body of the Lord Jesus, and for the Prophets to be able to speak and for the Scriptures to be written; 

But there is the unseen Spirit of God who writes on our hearts and who springs up in everlasting life whenever we make room for Him in our spirits.

~Roger T. Forster~

Monday, February 9, 2015

Bearing The Sting

Isa 53:7  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

How much grace it requires to bear a misunderstanding rightly, and to receive an unkind judgment in holy sweetness!

Nothing tests the Christian character more than to have some evil thing said about him. This is the file that soon proves whether we are electro-plate or solid gold.

If we could only know the blessings that lie hidden in our trials we would say like David, when Shimei cursed him, "Let him curse; it may be that the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day."

Some people get easily turned aside from the grandeur of their life-work by pursuing their own grievances and enemies, until their life gets turned into one little petty whirl of warfare.

It is like a nest of hornets. You may disperse the hornets, but you will probably get terribly stung, and get nothing for your pains, for even their honey is not worth a search.

~Mrs. Charles E. Cowman~

God give us more of His Spirit, "who, when he was reviled, reviled not again"; but "committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." "Consider him that endureth such contradiction of sinners against himself."

~A. B. Simpson~

Before you...He trod all the path of woe, He took the sharp thrusts with His head bent low.

He knew deepest sorrow and pain and grief, He knew long endurance without relief,

He took all the bitter from death's deep cup, He kept not a blood-drop but gave all up.

Before you and for you, He won the fight To bring you to glory and realms of light.


Friday, February 6, 2015

Seven Marks Of A Right Heart Before GOD

1. A right heart is a NEW heart (Ezek. 36:26). It is not the heart with which a person is born but another heart put in them by the Holy Spirit.

It is a heart which has new tastes, new joys, new sorrows, new desires, new hopes, new fears, new likes, new dislikes.

It has new views about the soul, sin, God, Christ, salvation, the Bible, prayer, heaven, hell, the world, and holiness.

It is like a farm with a new and good tenant. “Old things are passed away. Behold all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
2. A right heart is a BROKEN and CONTRITE heart (Psalm 51:17). It is broken off from pride, self-conceit, and self-righteousness. 

Its former high thoughts of self are cracked, shattered, and shivered to atoms. It thinks itself guilty, unworthy, and corrupt. 

Its former stubbornness, heaviness, and insensibility have thawed, disappeared, and passed away. 

It no longer thinks lightly of offending God. 

It is tender, sensitive, and jealously fearful of running into sin (2 Kings 22:19). It is humble, lowly, and self-abased, and sees in itself no good thing.
3. A right heart is a heart which BELIEVES ON CHRIST ALONE for salvation, and in which Christ dwells by faith (Rom. 10:10; Eph. 3:17).

It rests all its hopes of pardon and eternal life on Christ’s atonement, Christ’s mediation, and Christ’s intercession. 

It is sprinkled in Christ’s blood from an evil conscience (Heb. 10:22).

It turns to Christ as the compass-needle turns to the north. It looks to Christ for daily peace, mercy, and grace—as the sun-flower looks to the sun.

It feeds on Christ for its daily sustenance, as Israel fed on the manna in the wilderness.

It sees in Christ a special fitness to supply all its needs and requirements. It leans on Him, hangs on Him, builds on Him, cleaves to Him, as its physician, guardian, husband, and friend.

4. A Right Heart is a PURIFIED heart (Acts 15:9; Matt. 5:8). It loves holiness, and hates sin.

It strives daily to cleanse itself from all filthiness of flesh and spirit (2 Cor. 7:1).

It abhors that which is evil, and cleaves to that which is good. 

It delights in the law of God, and has that law engraved on it, that it may not forget it (Psalm 119:11).

It longs to keep the law more perfectly, and takes pleasure in those who love the law. It loves God and people.

Its affections are set on things above. It never feels so light and happy as when it is most holy; and it looks forward to heaven with joy, as the place where perfect holiness will at length be attained.
5.  A right heart is a PRAYING heart. It has within it “the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba Father” (Rom. 8:15). Its daily feeling is, “Your face, Lord, will I seek” (Psalm 27:8). 

It is drawn by an habitual inclination to speak to God about spiritual things—weakly, feebly, and imperfectly perhaps-but speak it must.

It finds it necessary to pour out itself before God, as before a friend, and to spread before Him all its needs and desires.

It tells Him all its secrets. It keeps back nothing from Him. 

You might as well try to persuade a person to live without breathing, as to persuade the possessor of a right heart to live without praying.
6. A right heart is a heart that FEELS CONFLICT within it (Gal. 5:17). It finds within itself two opposing principles contending for the mastery—the flesh lusting against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.

It knows by experience what Paul means when he says, “I see a law in my members warring against the law of my mind” (Rom. 7:23).

The wrong heart knows nothing of this strife. 

The strong man keeps the wrong heart as their palace, and their goods are at peace (Luke 11:21). 

But when the rightful King takes possession of the heart, a struggle begins which never ends until death.

The right heart may be known by its warfare, quite as much as by its peace.
7. A right heart is HONEST, UNDIVIDED and TRUE (Luke 8:15; 1 Chron. 12:33; Heb. 10:22). 

There is nothing about it of falsehood, hypocrisy, or image-acting. It is not double or divided. 

It really is what it professes to be, feels what it professes to feel, and believes what it professes to believe.

Its faith may be feeble. Its obedience may be very imperfect. 

But one thing will always distinguish the right heart. Its religion will be real, genuine, thorough, and sincere.

~J. C. Ryle~

Sunday, February 1, 2015

This Is MY Doing

This is my doing. (1 Kings 12:24)

The disappointments of life are simply the hidden appointments of love. 

~C.A. Fox~

My child, I have a message for you today. Let me whisper it
in your ear so any storm clouds that may arise will shine with
glory, and the rough places you may have to walk will be made

It is only four words, but let them sink into your inner being, and use them as a pillow to rest your weary head. “This is my doing.”

Have you ever realized that whatever concerns you concerns
Me too? “For whoever touches you touches the apple of [my]

eye” (Zech.2:8).

You are precious and honored in my sight” (Isa. 43:4). Therefore it is My special delight to teach you.

I want you to learn when temptations attack you, and the
enemy comes in “like a pent-up flood” (Isa. 59:19), that “this
is my doing” and that your weakness needs My strength, and
your safety lies in letting Me fight for you.

Are you in difficult circumstances, surrounded by people who do not understand you, never ask your opinion, and always push you aside? “This is my doing.” I am the God of circumstances.

You did not come to this place by accident—you are exactly where I meant for you to be.

Have you not asked Me to make you humble? Then see that
I have placed you in the perfect school where this lesson is

Your circumstances and the people around you are only being used to accomplish My will.

Are you having problems with money, finding it hard to make ends meet? “This is my doing,” for I am the One who keeps your finances, and I want you to learn to depend upon Me.

My supply is limitless and I “will meet all your needs” (Phil. 4:19). 

I want you to prove My promises so no one may say,“You did not trust in the Lord your God” (Deut. 1:32).

Are you experiencing a time of sorrow? “This is my doing.” I
am “a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering” (Isa. 53:3). 

I have allowed your earthly comforters to fail you, so that by turning to Me you may receive “eternal encouragement and good hope” (2 Thess. 2:16). 

Have you longed to do some great work for Me but instead have been set aside on a bed of sickness and pain? “This is my doing.”You were so busy I could not get your attention, and I wanted to teach you some of My deepest truths.

They also serve who only stand and wait.” In fact, some of My
greatest workers are those physically unable to serve, but who have learned to wield the powerful weapon of prayer.

Today I place a cup of holy oil in your hands. Use it freely, My child. 

Anoint with it every new circumstance, every word that hurts you, every interruption that makes you impatient, and every weakness you have.The pain will leave as you learn to see Me in all things. 

~Laura A. Barter Snow~

This is from Me, the Savior said, As bending low He kissed my brow, For One who loves you thus has led.

Just rest in Me, be patient now, Your Father knows you have need of this,mThough, why perhaps you cannot see.

Grieve not for things you’ve seemed to miss.

The thing I send is best for thee. Then, looking through my tears, I plead, “Dear Lord, forgive, I did not know, It will not be hard since You do tread, Each path before me here below.”

And for my good this thing must be, His grace sufficient for each test.

So still I’ll sing,“Whatever be God’s way for me is always best.”