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

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Impressions

Num 10:33  And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days' journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them.

God does give us impressions, but not that we should act on them as impressions.

If the impression be from God, He will Himself give sufficient evidence to establish it beyond the possibility of a doubt.

How beautiful is the story of Jeremiah, of the impression that came to him respecting the purchase of the field of Anathoth. 

But Jeremiah did not act upon this impression until after the following day, when his uncle's son came to him and brought him external evidence by making a proposal for the purchase. 

Then Jeremiah said: "I knew this was the word of the Lord."

He waited until God seconded the impression by a providence, and then he acted in full view of the open facts, which could bring conviction unto others as well as to himself. 

God wants us to act according to His mind. 

We are not to ignore the Shepherd's personal voice but, like Paul and his companions at Troas, we are to listen to all the voices that speak and "gather" from all the circumstances, as they did, the full mind of the Lord.

~Dr. Simpson~

Where God's finger points, there God's hand will make the way.

Do not say in thine heart what thou wilt or wilt not do, but wait upon God until He makes known His way.

So long as that way is hidden it is clear that there is no need of action...

And that He accounts Himself responsible for all the results of keeping thee where thou art.

~Selected~

For God through ways we have not known, Will lead His own.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Peacemaking Requires A Watchful And Charitable Silence

Rom 14:19  Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

One of the first things that makes for social peace is a watchful and a charitable silence.

No man or woman can ever be a peacemaker who has not learned to put a bridle on his lips.

Every student of Christ must have observed the tremendous emphasis He puts on words.

 

Of every idle word, He tells us, in the day of judgment we are to give account.

And if you want to understand aright the passion and the depth of that, you will remember the beatitude, "Blessed are the peacemakers."

Think of the infinite harm that can be wrought by a malicious or a thoughtless tongue;

Think of the countless hearts it lacerates; think of the happy friendships which it chills.


And sometimes there is not even malice in it- only the foolish desire to be speaking...

For evil is wrought by want of thought as well as want of heart.

There is no more difficult task in life than to repeat exactly what someone else has said.

Alter the playful tone, you alter everything.


Subtract the smile, and you subtract the spirit.

And yet how often do we all repeat things that are almost incapable of repetition and so give pain that never was intended.

You can say good-bye in such a tone that it will carry the breaking of a heart.


You can say it in such a tone that it is a dismissal of contempt.

And yet how seldom do we think of tone, of voice, of eye, of smile, of personality when we pass on the word which we have heard.

There are times that call for all outspokenness.


No man ever denounced like Christ. "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees." "Go, tell that fox."

All that I know, and yet the fact remains that as we move along life's common ways, one of the mightiest things that makes for social peace is a wise and charitable silence.

Not to believe everything we hear...


Not to repeat everything we hear...

Or else believing it to bury it unless we are called by conscience to proclaim it.

That is a thing that makes for social peace...

 

A thing within our power today...

And it may be along that silent road lies our "Blessed are the peacemakers."

~George H. Morrison~

                                        

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Drifting Ship Is A Danger To Other Shipping

Act 27:15  And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.

It is well to note, too, that a drifting ship is always a danger to the other shipping.

Every captain would corroborate that.

You can chart a quicksand or a reef, and having them on the chart you can avoid them...

But nobody can chart a drifting ship; it may be on you in a moment in the night.

It is well to remember that in that regard a drifting life is like a drifting vessel...

It is fraught with peril and disaster.

When a man drifts from his anchorage in Christ, he affects a hundred other lives.

No one can tell the hurt that he may bring when he drifts into indifference and worldliness...

Spoiling the fair name of Christ, damping the zeal of zealous, eager people...

Making it always easier to be skeptical and always harder to be true.
 

One of the signals of a drifting iceberg is a rapid lowering of the temperature.

Drifting lives are just like drifting icebergs: wherever they drift there is fall in temperature.
 

They chill the church.
 

They chill the congregation.

They chill the eager loyalties of youth...

Not because they are notoriously bad, but just because they are drifting.

~George H. Morrison~
     

Friday, October 6, 2017

Refusing To Compromise With The World

In the very first chapter of the book of Daniel, he and his brethren determined that they would not defile themselves with the king’s dainties, nor with the wine from the king’s table...

And that is how they spoke of it when they went to Arioch, the king’s representative, to plead their case. 

They asked...you would think hardly tactfully or diplomatically! – ‘that they might not defile themselves’. 

It is hardly complimentary, at any rate, to speak so of food from the king’s table. 

They pressed this matter of defilement. 

They had seen the principle that by this means they and their testimony would in some way be compromised.

It was a link with this world and with Satan’s kingdom as in this world...

And the effect of it would be – oh, how inclusive and comprehensive this is! – that they would be denying in their very persons the all sufficiency of the Lord. 

If they were to go the way of the world and look like the people of the world, where would be the testimony of the Lord?

If they did not go the way of the world and were to refuse to have any kind of compromise with the world, there would be great opportunity for the Lord to prove that He can go one better than the world, and is more than all the world put together. 

This is the challenge. 

On various grounds and by various arguments, young people especially are tempted to compromise on this point. 

They think they will gain influence with people of the world by coming down to their level and doing as they do, thus getting on an even footing with the world; 

But they do not recognize that such a course so often involves compromise.

More rarely still do they recognize that when God’s people are going to the world for their sustenance and nourishment and pleasure and gratification and so on, it results in a question being cast upon the ability of the Lord to prove how far greater He is than this world. 

The bad spiritual state of the people in Daniel’s day was wholly due to their being in bondage to the world.

Daniel and his brethren would have none of it. 

They stood apart in complete separation from the world, its standards, its ideas and all its resources, to give God the opportunity of proving that He is better than the world, and His servants, by His grace, better than the men of the world. 

That is the testimony, and until that is true, we have no authority, no ascendency, no real testimony.

Separation therefore, unpleasant and hard as the word may sound, is a very fundamental matter if we mean by it that we are separated unto the Lord, that He may show by means of us that this world is a poor thing compared with what we have in Him.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

"Mind The Checks"

1Ki 19:12  And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 

A woman who had made rapid progress in her understanding of the Lord was once asked the secret of her seemingly easy
growth. 


Her brief response was, “Mind the checks.”
 

The reason many of us do not know and understand God better
is that we do not heed His gentle “checks”...


His delicate restraints and constraints...

His voice is “a gentle whisper.” 

A whisper can hardly be heard...

So it must be felt as a faint and steady pressure upon the heart and mind...

Like the touch of a morning breeze calmly moving across the soul.

And when it is heeded, it quietly grows clearer in the inner ear of the heart.
 

God’s voice is directed to the ear of love...

And true love is intent upon hearing even the faintest whisper. 

Yet there comes a time when His love ceases to speak, when we do not respond to or believe His message.

God is love, and if you want to know Him and His voice...

You must continually listen to His gentle touches.
 

So when you are about to say something in conversation with
others...


And you sense a gentle restraint from His quiet whisper...

Heed the restraint and refrain from speaking.

And when you are about to pursue some course of action that seems perfectly clear and right...

Yet you sense in your spirit another path being suggested with the force of quiet conviction, heed that conviction.
 

Follow the alternate course, even if the change of plans appears
to be absolute folly from the perspective of human wisdom.
 

Also learn to wait on God until He unfolds His will before
you. 


Allow Him to develop all the plans of your heart and mind,
and then let Him accomplish them. 


Do not possess any wisdom of your own...

For often His performance will appear to contradict the plan He gave you.

God will seem to work against Himself...

So simply listen...

Obey...

And trust Him...

Even when it appears to be the greatest absurdity to do so... 

Ultimately, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him”...

But many times, in the initial stages of the performance of His plans: In His own world He is content To play a losing game.

Therefore if you desire to know God’s voice, never consider
the final outcome or the possible results. 


Obey Him even when He asks you to move while you still see only darkness...

For He Himself will be a glorious light within you.

Then there will quickly spring up within your heart a knowledge of God and a fellowship with Him...

Which will be overpowering enough in themselves to hold you and Him together...

Even in the most severe tests and under the strongest pressures of life. 

~From Way of Faith~

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Broken And Used By GOD

 
Psa 51:17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. 

Those people God uses most to bring glory to Himself are those who are completely broken...

For the sacrifice He accepts is a “broken and contrite heart.”

It was not until Jacob’s natural strength was broken, when “his hip was wrenched” (Gen.32:25) at Peniel, that he came to the point where God could clothe him with spiritual power.

And it was not until Moses struck the rock at Horeb, breaking its surface, that cool “water [came] out of it for the people to drink” (Ex. 17:6).

It was not until Gideon’s three hundred specially chosen soldier “broke the jars that were in their hands” (Judg.7:19),which symbolized brokenness in their lives, that the hidden light of the torches shone forth,bringing terror to their enemies.

It was once the poor widow broke the seal on her only remaining jar of oil and began to pour it that God miraculously multiplied it to pay her debts and thereby supplied her means of support.(See 2 Kings 4:1–7.)

It was not until Esther risked her life and broke through the strict laws of a heathen king’s court that she obtained favor to rescue her people from death. (See Est. 4:16.)

It was once Jesus took “the five loaves . . . and broke them” (Luke 9:16) that the bread was multiplied to feed the five thousand.

Through the very process of the loaves being broken, the miracle occurred.

It was when Mary broke her beautiful “alabaster jar of very expensive perfume” (Matt. 26:7), destroying its future usefulness and value, that the wonderful fragrance filled the house.

And it was when Jesus allowed His precious body to be broken by thorns, nails, and a spear that His inner life was poured out like an ocean of crystal-clear water, for thirsty sinners to drink and then live.

It is not until a beautiful kernel of corn is buried and broken in the earth by DEATH that its inner heart sprouts, producing hundreds of other seeds or kernels.

And so it has always been,down through the history of plants,people, and all of spiritual life...

God uses BROKEN THINGS.

Those who have been gripped by the power of the Holy Spirit and are used for God’s glory are those who have been broken...

Broken their finances...

Broken in their self-will...

Broken in their ambitions...

Broken in their lofty ideals...

Broken in their worldly reputation...

Broken in their desires...

And often broken in their health...

Yes, He uses those who are despised by the world and who seem totally hopeless and helpless, just as Isaiah said: “The lame will carry off plunder” (Isa. 33:23).

Oh, break my heart; but break it as a field Is plowed and broken for the seeds of corn;

Oh, break it as the buds, by green leaf sealed, Are, to unloose the golden blossom, torn;

Love would I offer unto Love’s great Master, Set free the fragrance, break the alabaster.

Oh, break my heart; break it, victorious God, That life’s eternal well may flow abroad;

Oh, let it break as when the captive trees, Breaking cold bonds, regain their liberties;

And as thought’s sacred grove to life is springing, Be joys, like birds, their hope,Your victory singing.

~Thomas Toke Bunch~

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Among The Redeemed

                                                    
Num 23:9  For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.

Who would wish to dwell among the nations and to be numbered with them? 

Why, even the professing church is such that to follow the LORD fully within its bounds is very difficult. 

There is such a mingling and mixing that one often sighs for "a lodge in some vast wilderness."

Certain it is that the LORD would have His people follow a separated path as to the world and come out decidedly and distinctly from it.

We are set apart by the divine decree, purchase, and calling, and our inward experience has made us greatly to differ from men of the world...

And therefore our place is not in their Vanity Fair, nor in their City of Destruction, but in the narrow way where all true pilgrims must follow their LORD. 

This may not only reconcile us to the world's cold shoulder and sneers but even cause us to accept them with pleasure as being a part of our covenant portion. 

Our names are not in the same book...

We are not of the same seed...

We are not bound for the same place...

Neither are we trusting to the same guide...

Therefore it is well that we are not of their number.

Only let us be found in the number of the redeemed...

And we are content to be off and solitary to the end of the chapter.

~Charles Spurgeon~

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~

Monday, August 21, 2017

Night of Weeping; Joyous Day

Psa 30:5  For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

A moment under our Father's anger seems very long, and yet it is but a moment after all.

If we grieve His Spirit, we cannot look for His smile...

But He is a God ready to pardon, and He soon puts aside all remembrance of our faults.

When we faint and are ready to die because of His frown, His favor puts new life into us.

This verse has another note of the half of duration kind.

Our weeping night soon turns into joyous day.
 

Shortness of time is the mark of mercy in the hour of the chastisement of believers.

The LORD loves not to use the rod on His chosen; He gives a blow or two, and all is over...

Yea, and the life and the joy, which follow the anger and the weeping, more than make amends for the salutary sorrow.

Come, my heart, begin thy hallelujahs!

Weep not all through the night, but wipe thine eyes in anticipation of the morning.

These tears are dews which mean us as much good as the sunbeams of the morrow.

Tears clear the eyes for the sight of God in His grace and make the vision of His favor more precious.

A night of sorrow supplies those shades of the pictures by which the highlights are brought out with distinctness.
All is well.

~Charles Spurgeon~        
                                                      


Friday, August 18, 2017

Seekers, Finders

                                                     
We need our God; He is to be had for the seeking, and He will not deny Himself to any one of us if we personally seek His face.
 
It is not if thou deserve Him, or purchase His favor, but merely if thou "seek" Him.

Those who already know the LORD must go on seeking His face by prayer, by diligent service, and by holy gratitude:

To such He will not refuse His favor and fellowship. 

Those who, as yet, have not known Him to their souls' rest should at once commence seeking and never cease till they find Him as their Savior, their Friend, their Father, and their God. 

What strong assurance this promise gives to the seeker! "He that seeketh findeth."

You, yes you, if you seek your God shall find Him. 

When you find Him you have found life, pardon, sanctification, preservation, and glory.

Will you not seek, and seek on, since you shall not seek in vain' Dear friend, seek the LORD at once. 

Here is the place, and now is the time. 

Bend that stiff knee; yes, bend that stiffer neck, and cry out for God, for the living God. 

In the name of Jesus, seek cleansing and justification. 

You shall not be refused.

Here is David's testimony to his son Solomon, and it is the writer's personal witness to the reader. 

Believe it and act upon it, for Christ's sake.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Monday, August 14, 2017

Child Chastisement Not Forever

1Ki 11:39  And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever. 

In the family of grace there is discipline, and that discipline is severe enough to make it an evil and a bitter thing to sin.

Solomon, turned aside by his foreign wives, had set up other gods and grievously provoked the God of his father; therefore, ten parts out of twelve of the kingdom were rent away and set up as a rival state. 

This was a sore affliction to the house of David, and it came upon that dynasty distinctly from the hand of God, as the result of unholy conduct. 

The LORD will chasten His best beloved servants if they cease from full obedience to His laws: perhaps at this very hour such chastening is upon us.

Let us humbly cry, "O LORD, show me wherefore thou contendest with me."

What a sweet saving clause is that..."but not for ever"!

The punishment of sin is everlasting, but the fatherly chastisement of it in a child of God is but for a season.

The sickness, the poverty, the depression of spirit, will pass away when they have had their intended effect.

Remember, we are not under law but under grace, The rod may make us smart, but the sword shall not make us die. 

Our present grief is meant to bring us to repentance that we may not be destroyed with the wicked.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Saturday, August 12, 2017

“Oh That I Were As In Months Past.”

                                                  
Numbers of Christians can view the past with pleasure, but regard the present with dissatisfaction...

They look back upon the days which they have passed in communing with the Lord as being the sweetest and the best they have ever known, but as to the present, it is clad in a sable garb of gloom and dreariness.

Once they lived near to Jesus, but now they feel that they have wandered from him, and they say, “O that I were as in months past!”

They complain that they have lost their evidences, or that they have not present peace of mind, or that they have no enjoyment in the means of grace, or that conscience is not so tender, or that they have not so much zeal for God’s glory.

The causes of this mournful state of things are manifold.

It may arise through a comparative neglect of prayer, for a neglected closet is the beginning of all spiritual decline.

Or it may be the result of idolatry.

The heart has been occupied with something else, more than with God; the affections have been set on the things of earth, instead of the things of heaven.

A jealous God will not be content with a divided heart; he must be loved first and best.

He will withdraw the sunshine of his presence from a cold, wandering heart.

Or the cause may be found in self-confidence and self-righteousness.

Pride is busy in the heart, and self is exalted instead of lying low at the foot of the cross.

Christian, if you are not now as you “were in months past,” do not rest satisfied with wishing for a return of former happiness, but go at once to seek your Master, and tell him your sad state.

Ask his grace and strength to help you to walk more closely with him; humble yourself before him, and he will lift you up, and give you yet again to enjoy the light of his countenance.

Do not sit down to sigh and lament; while the beloved Physician lives there is hope, nay there is a certainty of recovery for the worst cases.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The LORD Desires Us To Go On


Php 3:13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

Php 3:14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

The Lord desires us to go on.

Sometimes going on means loneliness in going on where others cannot go with us.

That means a price is bound up with obedience.

It may mean a big break, a big change.

It is the challenge of whether we are adjustable before the Lord.

Our adjustability is the proof of our utterness for the Lord.

That proof being there, the Lord is able to bring us on into all His thought.

Let us remember always that we shall never get to a place while we are here where there is not some higher level and some greater fullness of Christ.

There will always be yet another step, and perhaps another after that, higher on.

Let us have our hearts set upon reaching all.

The Lord will so graduate things as to make the challenge not too severe.

He takes us a step at a time, and He does not want us to take six steps at a bound, or to contemplate six steps at a time.

He shows us our next step, and that is all we have to be concerned about now.

The other steps will come at the right time.

Every step prepares us for the next.

Very often our lives are like mountain climbing.

You see from below to a certain height, and that seems to be the top, and you make for it.

And when you get to it, you see a little further on that there is another top.

You think that must be the very top, and so you make for it, and when you get to it there is something still further.

You never do seem to get to the top!

But we shall arrive at last.

The Lord hides the other things and says: "Now, that is your next step; obey that and fuller revelation will come after that."

Those of us who look back and see how terrible a thing it would have been if the Lord had shown us at one time all that to which we have been brought, know that if we had seen it all at one time, we could not have gone on.

We see that He brought us by stages, and today we are not ungrateful for the price paid, in view of the measure of Christ which we enjoy and the greater fullness of revelation.

Let us ask the Lord to put into us the spirit of His servant: “Not that I have already obtained it... but one thing I do... I press on....”

~T. Austin Sparks~


Saturday, August 5, 2017

God's Plans Demand Implicit Obedience.

So he arose and went to Zarephath, as before he had gone to Cherith, and as presently he would go to show himself to Ahab. 

A Christian lady, who had learned amongst us the blessedness of a surrendered life, and was soon after obliged to find
another home across the ocean, came back quite recently, over thousands of miles of land and water, to visit the scene of that act, in the hope that she would find again her former joy, which had faded like the hues of a too radiant dawn. 


But to her disappointment, though she worshiped on the
same sacred spot, and listened to the sounds of the well-known voice, she could not recover the priceless jewel she had lost. 


At last the cause appeared. 

She had been living in conscious disobedience to the will of Christ, expressed through her conscience and His Word. 

The motives that prompted the disobedience had a touch of nobility about them; but it was disobedience still, and it
wrought its own penalty.
 

This is the true cause of failure in so many Christian lives. 

We catch sight of God's ideal...

We are enamored with it...

We vow to be only His...
 

We use the most emphatic words...

We dedicate ourselves upon the altar...

For a while we seem to tread another world, bathed in heavenly light.
 

Then there comes a command clear and unmistakable.
 

We must leave some beloved Cherith, and go to some unwelcome Zarephath...

We must speak some word...

Take some step...

Cut off some habit...

And we shrink from it...

The cost is too great...

But, directly we refuse obedience, the light dies off the
landscape of our lives, and dark clouds fling their
shadows far and near. 


We do not win salvation by our obedience; that
is altogether the gift of God, to be received by faith
in the finished work of Jesus Christ our Lord.
 

But, being saved, we must obey. 

Our Savior adjures us, by the love we bear to Himself, to keep
His commandments. 


And He does so because He wants us to taste His rarest gifts, and because He knows that in the keeping of His commandments there is great reward.
 

Search the Bible from board to board, and see if strict, implicit, and instant obedience has not been the secret of the noblest lives that ever lit up the dull monotony of the world.

The proudest title of our King was the Servant of Jehovah. 

And none of us can seek to realize a nobler aim than that which was the inspiration of His heart: "I come to do Thy will, O my God." 

Mary, the simple-hearted mother, uttered a word which is
pertinent to every age, when, at the marriage-feast, she turned to the servants and said, "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it."
 

F. B. Meyer

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Wait With Patience

Psa 37:7  Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.  

Have you prayed and prayed and waited and waited, and still there is no manifestation?

Are you tired of seeing nothing move? 

Are you just at the point of giving it all up?

Perhaps you have not waited in the right way?

This would take you out of the right place the place where He can meet you.

With patience wait.

Rom 8:25  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Patience takes away worry. 

He said He would come, and His promise is equal to His presence. 

Patience takes away your weeping. 

Why feel sad and despondent?

He knows your need better than you do, and His purpose in waiting is to bring more glory out of it all. 

Patience takes away self-works.

The work He desires is that you "believe". (John 6:29), and when you believe, you may then know that all is well. 

Patience takes away all want. 

Your desire for the thing you wish is perhaps stronger than your desire for the will of God to be fulfilled in its arrival.
     
 Patience takes away all weakening.


Instead of having the delaying time, a time of letting go, know that God is getting a larger supply ready and must get you ready too.

Patience takes away all wobbling. 

Make me stand upon my standing (Daniel 8:18, margin). 

God's foundations are steady; and when His patience is within, we are steady while we wait.

Patience gives worship. 

A praiseful patience sometimes "long-suffering with joyfulness" (Col. 1:11) is the best part of it all. 

Let (all these phases of) patience have her perfect work" (James 1:4), while you wait, and you will find great enrichment.

~C. H. P~.
 

Hold steady when the fires burn, When inner lessons come to learn,
     

And from this path there seems no turn  "Let patience have her perfect work."
 

~L.S.P.~

Saturday, July 29, 2017

He Routs Our Enemy

                                                 
What a casting out was that!

Satan has lost his throne in our nature even as he lost his seat in heaven. 

Our LORD Jesus has destroyed the enemy's reigning power over us. 

He may worry us, but he cannot claim us as his own.

His bonds are no longer upon our spirits: the Son has made us free, and we are free indeed.

Still is the archenemy the accuser of the brethren...


But even from this position our LORD has driven him. 

Our Advocate silences our accuser. 

The LORD rebukes our enemies and pleads the causes of our soul, so that no harm comes of all the devil's revilings.

As a tempter, the evil spirit still assails us and insinuates himself into our minds; but thence also is he cast out as to his former preeminence. 


He wriggles about like a serpent, but he cannot rule like a sovereign.

He hurls in blasphemous thoughts when he has opportunity;...

But what a relief it is when he is told to be quiet and is made to slink off like a whipped cur! 

LORD, do this for any who are at this time worried and wearied by his barkings.

Cast out their enemy, and be Thou glorious in their eyes. 

Thou hast cast him down; LORD, cast him out. 

Oh, that Thou wouldst banish him from the world! 

~Charles Spurgeon~

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~