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

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~

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~

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Leave It To GOD

Psa 37:6  And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Whatever it is that presses thee, go tell the Father; put the whole matter over into His hand, and so shalt thou be freed from that dividing, perplexing care that the world is full of.

When thou art either to do or suffer anything, when thou art about any purpose or business, go tell God of it, and acquaint Him with it; 

Yes, burden Him with it, and thou hast done for matter of caring...

No more care, but quiet, sweet, diligence in thy duty, and dependence on Him for the carriage of thy matters.

Roll thy cares, and thyself with them, as one burden, all on thy God.

~R. Leighton~

Build a little fence of trust Around today; Fill the space with loving work And therein stay.

Look not through the sheltering bars Upon tomorrow; God will help thee bear what comes Of joy or sorrow.

~Mary Butts~

We shall find it impossible to commit our way unto the Lord, unless it be a way that He approves.

It is only by faith that a man can commit his way unto the Lord...

If there be the slightest doubt in the heart that "our way" is not a good one, faith will refuse to have anything to do with it. 

This committing of our way must be a continuous, not a single act.
     
However extraordinary and unexpected may seem to be His guidance, however near the precipice He may take you, you are not to snatch the guiding reins out of His hands. 

Are we willing to have all our ways submitted to God, for Him to pronounce judgment on them? 

There is nothing a Christian needs to be more scrutinizing about than about his confirmed habits and views. 

He is too apt to take for granted the Divine approbation of them. 

Why are some Christians so anxious, so fearful?

Evidently because they have not left their way with the Lord. 

They took it to Him, but brought it away with them again.

~Selected~

Thursday, June 29, 2017

And Your Ears Shall Hear A Word Behind You Saying This Is The Way Walk In It

Isa 30:21  And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

When we have doubts or are facing difficulties, when others suggest courses of action that are conflicting, when caution dictates one approach but faith another, we should be still.


We should quiet each intruding person, calm ourselves in the sacred stillness of God’s presence, study His Word for guidance, and with true devotion focus our attention on Him.

We should lift our nature into the pure light radiating from His face, having an eagerness to know only what God our Lord will determine for us.

Soon He will reveal by His secret counsel a distinct and unmistakable sense of His direction.
 

It is unwise for a new believer to depend on this approach alone.

He should wait for circumstances to also confirm what God is revealing. 

Yet Christians who have had many experiences in their walk with Him know the great value of secret fellowship with the Lord as a means of discerning His will.
 

Are you uncertain about which direction you should go?
 

Take your question to God and receive guidance from either the light of His smile or the cloud of His refusal.

You must get alone with Him, where the lights and the darknesses of this world cannot interfere and where the opinions of others cannot reach you.

You must also have the courage to wait in silent expectation, even when everyone around you is insisting on an immediate decision or action.

If you will do these things, the will of God will become clear to you. 

And you will have a deeper concept of who He is, having more insight into His nature and His heart of love.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

THE SAINT Must WALK ALONE

Most of the world's great souls have been lonely.

Loneliness seems to be One Price the saint Must Pay for his saintliness.

In the morning of the world (or should we say, in that strange darkness that came soon after the dawn of man's creation), that pious soul, Enoch, walked with God and was not, for God took him...

And while it is not stated in so many words, a fair inference is that Enoch walked a path quite apart from his contemporaries.

Another lonely man was Noah who, of all the antediluvians, found grace in the sight of God; and every shred of evidence points to the aloneness of his life even while surrounded by his people.

Again, Abraham had Sarah and Lot, as well as many servants and herdsmen, but who can read his story and the apostolic comment upon it without sensing instantly that he was a man "whose soul was alike a star and dwelt apart"?

As far as we know not one word did God ever speak to him in the company of men.

Face down he communed with his God, and the innate dignity of the man forbade that he assume this posture in the presence of others.

How sweet and solemn was the scene that night of the sacrifice when he saw the lamps of fire moving between the pieces of offering.

There, alone with a horror of great darkness upon him, he heard the voice of God and knew that he was a man marked for divine favor.

Moses also was a man apart.

While yet attached to the court of Pharaoh he took long walks alone, and during one of these walks while far removed from the crowds he saw an Egyptian and a Hebrew fighting and came to the rescue of his countryman.

After the resultant break with Egypt he dwelt in almost complete seclusion in the desert.

There, while he watched his sheep alone, the wonder of the burning bush appeared to him, and later on the peak of Sinai he crouched alone to gaze in fascinated awe at the Presence, partly hidden, partly disclosed, within the cloud and fire.

The prophets of pre-Christian times differed widely from each other, but one mark they bore in common was their enforced loneliness.

They loved their people and gloried in the religion of the fathers, but their loyalty to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their zeal for the welfare of the nation of Israel drove them away from the crowd and into long periods of heaviness.

I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children,  cried one and unwittingly spoke for all the rest.

Most revealing of all is the sight of that One of whom Moses and all the prophets did write, treading His lonely way to the cross.

His deep loneliness was unrelieved by the presence of the multitudes.

Tis midnight, and on Olive's brow The star is dimmed that lately shone; Tis midnight; in the garden now, The suffering Savior prays alone.

Tis midnight, and from all removed The Savior wrestles lone with fears; Even the disciple whom He loved Heeds not his Master's grief and tears.

~William B. Tappan~

He died alone in the darkness hidden from the sight of mortal man and no one saw Him when He arose triumphant and walked out of the tomb, though many saw Him afterward and bore witness to what they saw.

There are some things too sacred for any eye but God's to look upon.

The curiosity, the clamor, the well-meant but blundering effort to help can only hinder the waiting soul and make unlikely if not impossible the communication of the secret message of God to the worshiping heart.

Sometimes we react by a kind of religious reflex and repeat dutifully the proper words and phrases even though they fail to express our real feelings and lack the authenticity of personal experience.

Right now is such a time. A certain conventional loyalty may lead some who hear this unfamiliar truth expressed for the first time to say brightly, "Oh, I am never lonely.

Christ said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you,' and 'Lo, I am with you always.' How can I be lonely when Jesus is with me?

Now I do not want to reflect on the sincerity of any Christian soul, but this stock testimony is too neat to be real.

It is obviously what the speaker thinks should be true rather than what he has proved to be true by the test of experience.

This cheerful denial of loneliness proves only that the speaker has never walked with God without the support and encouragement afforded him by society.

The sense of companionship which he mistakenly attributes to the presence of Christ may and probably does arise from the presence of friendly people.

Always remember: you cannot carry a cross in company.

Though a man were surrounded by a vast crowd, his cross is his alone and his carrying of it marks him as a man apart.

Society has turned against him; otherwise he would have no cross.

No one is a friend to the man with a cross. 

They all forsook Him, and fled.

The pain of loneliness arises from the constitution of our nature.

God made us for each other.

The desire for human companionship is completely natural and right.

The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world.

His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ...

And because within his circle of friends there are so few who share inner experiences, he is forced to walk alone.

The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way.

The man who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him.

A certain amount of social fellowship will of course be his as he mingles with religious persons in the regular activities of the church, but true spiritual fellowship will be hard to find.

But he should not expect things to be otherwise.

After all he is a stranger and a pilgrim, and the journey he takes is not on his feet but in his heart.

He walks with God in the garden of his own soul - and who but God can walk there with him?

He is of another spirit from the multitudes that tread the courts of the Lord's house.

He has seen that of which they have only heard, and he walks among them somewhat as Zacharias walked after his return from the altar when the people whispered, "He has seen a vision."

The truly spiritual man is indeed something of an oddity.

He lives not for himself but to promote the interests of Another.

He seeks to persuade people to give all to his Lord.

He delights not to be honored but to see his Savior glorified in the eyes of men.

His joy is to see his Lord promoted and himself neglected.

He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk.

For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens.

He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none, he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.

It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. 

When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.

His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else.

He learns in inner solitude what he could not have learned in the crowd - that Christ is All in All, that He is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, that in Him we have and possess life's Highest Good.

Two things remain to be said...

One, that the lonely man of whom we speak is not a haughty man, nor is he the holier-than-thou, austere saint so bitterly satirized in popular literature. 

He is likely to feel that he is the least of all men and is sure to blame himself for his very loneliness. 

He wants to share his feelings with others and to open his heart to some like-minded soul who will understand him, but the spiritual climate around him does not encourage it, so he remains silent and tells his griefs to God alone.

The second thing is that the lonely saint is not the withdrawn man who hardens himself against human suffering and spends his days contemplating the heavens. 

Just the opposite is true. 

His loneliness makes him sympathetic to the approach of the brokenhearted and the fallen and the sin-bruised. 

Because he is detached from the world, he is all the more able to help it. 

Meister Eckhart taught his followers that if they should find themselves in prayer and happen to remember that a poor widow needed food, they should break off the prayer instantly and go care for the widow. 

God will not suffer you to lose anything by it,  he told them. 

You can take up again in prayer where you left off and the Lord will make it up to you.

This is typical of the great mystics and masters of the interior life from Paul to the present day.

The weakness of so many modern Christians is that they feel too much at home in the world. 

In their effort to achieve restful "adjustment" to unregenerate society they have lost their pilgrim character and become an essential part of the very moral order against which they are sent to protest. 

The world recognizes them and accepts them for what they are.

And this is the saddest thing that can be said about them. They are not lonely, but neither are they saints.

~A. W. Tozer~