Reflections

Let me seek You in longing, let me long for You in seeking;
Let me find You in love, and love You in finding.
Love and faith are at home in the mystery of the Godhead.
Let reason kneel in reverence outside.
It is most important that we think of God as Triune,
Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.
Only so may we think rightly of God and in a manner
Worthy of Him and of our own souls.
I raise my head to You, Sovereign Lord, because You are higher than me; my Lord!
I bow my head to You, O Master, because I am lower than You; your slave.


"how much more will the blood of Christ,
who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God,
purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God" - Heb. 9:14.
How does the blood of Christ purify our conscience? From dead works? To worship the living God?


In His incarnation the Son veiled His deity, but He did not void it. The unity of the Godhead made it impossible that He should surrender anything of His deity.
When He took upon Him the nature of man, He did not degrade Himself or become even for a time less than He had been before. God can never become less than Himself.
For God to become anything than He has not been is unthinkable. [In His humanity, he expressed the Perfect Man/Son to God/Father relationship in all humility;
see Philippians 2:6-8: "who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself by
taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature. He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death –
even death on a cross!"] Humility, sacrifice, love of the highest degree! Love of the Father and love of man! It was the Father’s will for man’s well being that He was obedient to.
"I am doing just what the Father commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father” (John 14:31). He knew that even though He died yet He would live.
He is the resurrection and the life. As He says in John 11:25: "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even if he dies."


You, O Lord, belong to everyone!
[Just as everyone belongs to you]
How selfish I have been in thinking
That you belong to me alone!
Thank you for making me realize this.
You have also made me realize that
I belong to you and, as such,
Belong to everyone, just as You!

You are so good, O Father!
Your goodness brings tears of joy to my eyes.

You are my life, O Father!
Never, never depart from me,
Otherwise I would die.

God is eternal and unchangeable love. In His sovereignty, He decided to treat man in grace. It is His love that motivates His grace. Righteousness and Justice stood in the way because of the sin barrier between man and God. In Love, God the Father sent His Son to the cross to die for the sins of the whole world. Righteousness and Justice are thus satisfied, the barrier is removed, and love and grace can be given to men.


Zephaniah 3:17

The LORD your God is in your midst;
he is a warrior who can deliver.
He takes great delight in you;
he renews you by his love;
he shouts for joy over you."


Monday, December 24, 2001.

You seek us though You don’t need us.
We seek you because we need you.
Why do You seek us when You don’t need us?
Why do You care about us?
Why do You delight in helping us?


Jesus taught His disciples to call you “Father.”
We are also His disciples [though imperfect].
So we call you “Father.”
For those of us who travel alone through life,
You become very important because we need someone To talk to – to share with.
So, You can understand our deeper need of You?
And when You are silent and don’t seem to answer,
You can understand our desperation? Our helplessness?
So, we pray, don’t ever be silent! Answer us in some way.
We have no one to turn to but You.
People don’t really care; but You do!
Otherwise you wouldn’t have sought us!
We need you, O Father! Listen to us, and help us.
Don’t be silent. Cause us to realize your Presence always
And behold you glory! O Life! O Love! O Joy! O Breath!


Feed me with the Living Bread, the Living Fruit,
Give me the Living Water to drink that I may be spiritually filled.


Lion like a Lamb.
“I am gentle and humble in heart,” said the Lord-Lion-Lamb [the Serving-King!].

God serves man, but He is not man’s servant.


You are beautiful beyond description,
Too marvelous for words.
Too wonderful for comprehension,
Like nothing ever seen or heard!

Who can know your infinite wisdom,
Who can fathom your wonderful love,
You are beautiful beyond description,
Majesty, enthroned on high.

I stand, I stand, in awe of You
Holy God to Whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of You!


God has a voluntary relation to everything He has made; but He has no necessary relation to anything outside of Himself. His interest in His creatures arises from His sovereign good pleasure, not from any need those creatures can supply nor from any completeness they can bring to Him who is complete in Himself.


Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. [John 14:10-11.] God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things…by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Col.1:19, 20). (cf. “…Christ in you, the hope of glory” Col.1:27.)


Do you really want your life to count for something??
Do you really want to have a sense of genuine purpose and meaning in your life??
Do you really want to be and do something truly great in you life??

THEN...Become a SERVANT!!


Think about it:

Who was the greatest man who ever lived?...Was it not Jesus Christ?

Did He not make a greater impact on the world than any other single person who ever lived??

And how did Jesus do what He did? What was His approach? Listen to what HE said about Himself in

Mt. 20:28 "...the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many."

He did it by being a SERVANT!!


WANTED...SLAVE

"Someone who will work like a slave and never complain about long hours or poor working conditions; someone who will serve without pay or recognition; someone who will give constantly; who willingly relinquishes all earthly possessions; and never expects reimbursement for out of pocket expenses. Someone who can be constantly criticized and always return blessing for cursing; someone who can be mistreated; taken advantage of; abused; and never become angry or discouraged. Someone who is willing to die if necessary; and never take up his/her own self-defense; someone who will do anything he/she is asked to do and be willing to work without a specific job description.” If this fits your temperament and matches your career goals, you are the man for the job!


In God’s economy, true greatness is not achieved by power, position and human achievement. But by sacrifice, humility, surrender, obedience and total dependence upon Him.

Mt. 20:26 "...whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, (27) and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—"


GOD ALWAYS GIVES HIS BEST TO THOSE WHO LEAVE THE CHOICE WITH HIM!


Able to keep !
Yes, able to keep,
rough though the path be -
rugged and steep;
tender the heart that is caring for me,
mighty the grace,
sufficient for you.
Able to keep; my weakness He knows,
strong the temptation, crafty the foes,
God is my refuge, He is my shield:
power of Almighty never shall yield.
Able to keep ! how sure is the Word:
He is my keeper, Savior and Lord.
Never shall perish, one of His sheep,
Glory to God! He is able to keep...


"I was brought low, and he helped me." - Ps. 116:6.


It is blessed sometimes that the streams of creature comforts should be dry, in order to compel us to go to the fountainhead. When the fig tree does not blossom, and the field yields no meat, then a covenant God is precious to fly to. My soul, say, was not that assault of Satan sanctified, when it brought Jesus thereby to your rescue? Was not that cross sweetly timed, when it tended to wean you from the world? And would you have been without that sickness, when Jesus sat up by you, soothed you in your languor, and made all your bed in your sickness? Well was it for me that I was brought low, or I should never have known, in a thousand instances, the help of my God. Oh then, my soul, like Paul, learn to glory in your infirmities that the power of Jesus may rest upon you.


Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ;
Who, being in very nature God, made Himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant – Phil. 2:5-7.


Submission to Authorities

Be subject to every human institution for the Lord's sake, whether to a king as supreme or to governors as those he commissions to punish wrongdoers and praise those who do good. For God wants you to silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. Live as free people, not using your freedom as a pretext for evil, but as God's slaves. Honor all people, love your brothers and sisters, fear God, honor the king. Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the perverse (harsh). For this finds God's favor, if because of conscience toward God someone endures hardships in suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if you sin and are mistreated and endure it? But if you do good and suffer and so endure, this finds favor with God. For to this you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in his steps. [1 Peter 2:13-21.]
Slaves, obey your earthly masters in every respect, not only when they are watching--like those who are strictly people-pleasers--but with a sincere heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not for people, because you know that you will receive your inheritance from the Lord as the reward. Serve the Lord Christ. For the one who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there are no exceptions. Masters, treat your slaves with justice and fairness, because you know that you also have a master in heaven [Colossians 3:22-4:1.]
Slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart as to Christ, not like those who do their work only when someone is watching--as people-pleasers--but as slaves of Christ doing the will of God from the heart. Obey with enthusiasm, as though serving the Lord and not people because you know that each person, whether slave or free, if he does something good, this will be rewarded by the Lord [Ephesians 6:5-8]


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16).

There is no sweeter verse in the Bible. It declares:
(1) That God is love.
(2) That he loved the world instead of hating it.
(3) That he so loved that he gave his Son. The Son did not come to appease the Father's wrath, but the Father sent him because he loved so well.
(4) That he came to keep men from perishing.


Jesus said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

WOW!! What a verse! There it was! I had never seen it or really understood it before.

The reason I was “STRESSING INSTEAD OF RESTING” was because I had it all backwards. I had been more concerned about ACTIVITY than ABIDING. And Jesus said the first and only responsibility of the Christian is to “ABIDE IN HIM.” I had been working, driving, going, serving, and achieving, rather that abiding and resting in Him.

Suddenly I saw it and I understood it. It was not my responsibility to produce fruit. I am a branch. It is my responsibility to stay vitally connected to the vine, and the life of the vine in me would produce the fruit. Branches do not produce fruit, they only bear the fruit.

Suddenly I began to see it everywhere in Scripture. Jesus did not intend for the Christian life to add to our stress levels...But to take away the stress. Jesus invites us to enter into life with Him that brings PEACE, not added PRESSURE.

Just listen to the way God’s Word describes genuine Christian living:

Jesus said:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt 11:28-30).

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you (Isa 26:3).

The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace (Ps 29:11)

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace (Rom 8:6).


Characteristics of a servant-slave.

"Someone who will work like a slave and never complain about long hours or poor working conditions; someone who will serve without pay or recognition; someone who will give constantly; who willingly relinquishes all earthly possessions; and never expects reimbursement for out of pocket expenses. Someone who can be constantly criticized and always return blessing for cursing; someone who can be mistreated; taken advantage of; abused; and never become angry or discouraged. Someone who is willing to die if necessary; and never take up his/her own self-defense; someone who will do anything he/she is asked to do and be willing to work without a specific job description."


"The acts of the sinful nature (works of the flesh) are obvious: sexual immorality (adultery, fornication), impurity and debauchery (lasciviousness, depravity, morally corrupt); idolatry and witchcraft (sorcery); hatred (hostilities), discord (strife, variance), jealousy (emulations), fits of rage (wrath), selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; (murder) drunkenness, orgies (reveling, carousing, partying), and similar things… Those who live like this (practice such things) will not inherit the kingdom of God." [Gal.5:19-21]

"The fruit of the Spirit is love*, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness (reliability), gentleness and self-control… Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified (given up) the sinful nature (flesh) with its passions (strong physical desires of a sexual nature) and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited…" [Gal. 5:22-26]

(*5:22) Another way to punctuate this is "love" followed by a colon (love: joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control). It is thus possible to read the eight characteristics following "love" as defining love.)


Romans 8:28: And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

MORNING. - "And for their sakes I sanctify myself."-John 17:19.

Let your morning thoughts, my soul, be directed to this sweet view of your Saviour. Behold your Jesus presenting himself as the surety of his people before God and the Father. Having now received the call and authority of God the Father, and being fitted with a body suited to the service of a Redeemer, here see him entering upon the vast work; and in those blessed words, declaring the cause of it - "I sanctify myself." Did Jesus mean that he made himself more holy for the purpose? No, surely: for that was impossible. But by Jesus sanctifying himself; must be understood (as the Nazarite from the womb, consecrated, set apart, dedicated to the service to which the Father had called him), a voluntary offering - a holy unblemished sacrifice. And observe for whom: "for their sakes;" not for himself; for he needed it not. The priests under the law made their offerings, first for themselves, and then for the people. "But such a High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; and who needed not daily, as those high priests, so to offer. For the law makes men high priests which have infirmity; but the Son is consecrated for evermore."

My soul, pause over this view of your Jesus; and when you have duly pondered it, go to the mercy-seat, under the Spirit's leadings and influences, and there, by faith, behold your Jesus, in his vesture dipped in blood, there sanctified, and there appearing in the presence of God for you. There plead the dedication of Jesus; for it is of the Father's own appointment. There tell your God and Father, (for it is the Father's glory, when a poor sinner glorifies his dear Son in him) that He, that Holy One, whom the Father consecrated, and with an oath confirmed in his high priestly office forever, appears there for you. Tell God that your High Priest's holiness and sacrifice was altogether holy, pure, without a spot; and both his Person, and his nature, and offering, clean as God's own righteous law. Tell, my soul, tell your God and Father these sacred, solemn truths. And while you are thus coming to the mercy-seat, under the leadings of the Spirit, and wholly in the name and office-work of your God and Saviour, look unto Jesus, and call to mind those sweet words, for whose sake that Holy One sanctified himself; and then drop one more petition before you come away from the heavenly court: beg, and pray, and wrestle with the bountiful Lord for suited strength and grace, that as, for your sake, among the other poor sinners of his redemption-love, Jesus sanctified himself, so you may be able to be separated from every thing but Jesus; and as your happiness was Christ's end, so his glory may be your first and greatest object. Yes, dearest Jesus, I think I hear you say, -You shall be for me, and not for another: so will I be for you. Oh! You condescending, loving God, " make me Yours; that whether I live, I may live unto the Lord; or whether I die, I may die unto the Lord; so that living or dying, I may be yours."

EVENING. - "He shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe."-2 Thess. 1:10.

Among a thousand wonders that will be unfolded before the astonished world, at the great day of God, to call up the unceasing praises of the church of Christ to all eternity, there are two very blessed events which will take place, and which this scripture records; one is, how Jesus will be glorified in his own sacred person, in the view of his redeemed, when all his beauties are then displayed; and the other is, how Jesus will be glorified in them, from the saving change which his grace hath wrought in them. Let your evening meditation, my soul, be upon both. And first, think how Jesus, your Jesus, will then appear. You have indeed always known him, since he was first revealed to you by grace, as wonderful; and every act of his towards you, has fully answered to this name. For in all his perfections, offices, characters, and relations; in all things concerning and relating to him, every view of him is wonderful. But He that is now known by faith, will then become the object of sight; and think, my soul, what an object of sight will it be! Never, but in the person of Jesus, can there be any thing presented to the view of men, or of angels, of equal glory! God and man in one person can only be found in Christ. And God dwelling in flesh is only rendered capable by that union, and through that medium, of being seen. And think, if it be possible, how glorious, how unspeakably glorious, the human nature of Christ must be, and is, from its union with the Godhead: such as no excellency of angels can at all, even in the most distant degree, resemble. Pause over this contemplation; for such is your Jesus! and such will he appear, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and admired in all that believe.

When you have fully feasted yourself, (as far as your poor unripe faculties can take in the blessedness of it) by dwelling upon the contemplation of Jesus, as He is, and as he will then appear, in his own glorious person; go on, and consider that glory that shall be revealed of Jesus, in the saving change which he hath wrought in his people, whereby He will be admired in all them that believe. Oh! What a flood of glory will pour in upon the soul, and what endless praises will go forth to the great Author of the unspeakable mercy, when the vast volume comes to be opened and explained, of what Jesus hath fashioned in them; what he hath communicated to them; what everlasting blessings he has procured for them; and what glory, as their great Mediator he will have by then, through all the incalculable periods of the eternal world, in their living upon him and to him, and from him deriving all the accessions of light and life, and glory and joy, for ever and ever! My soul! Never, never lose sight of these blessed views: but add to that glorious account, that sweet testimony of Jesus, concerning this great day of God to his people: "On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you."-John 14:20. (Oh! Precious realization!)


MORNING.-"Then went king David in, and sat before the Lord. And he said, Who am I, O LORD GOD! and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? And is this the manner of man, O LORD GOD?"-2 Sam. 7:18,19.

The language of David, under the overwhelming views he had of divine goodness, as it concerned himself, is suited to the case of every child of God, as he may trace that goodness in his own history. Surely, every awakened soul may cry out, tinder the same impression,-" Who am I, O Lord God! and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?" My soul! ponder over the sweet subject, as it concerns thyself'. Behold what manner the love of God is from the manner of man. View it in each Person of the Godhead. What is the highest possible conception any man can have of the love of God our Father to us? Was it not, when, as an evidence of the love he had to our nature, he put a robe of that nature, in its pure and holy state, upon the Person of his dear Son, when he gave him a body in all points such as ours, sin only excepted, that he might not only in that body perfect salvation both by his obedience and death, but also, that he might be our everlasting Mediator for drawing nigh to the Godhead, first in grace, and then in glory? Tell me, my soul, what method, in all the stores of omnipotence, could God thy Father have adopted to convince thee of his love, as in this sweet method of his wisdom. God intimates, by this tender process, that he loveth the human nature which he hath created. And though, to answer the wise measures of his plan of redemption, he hath not as yet taken all the persons of his redeemed up to his heavenly court, yet he will have their glorious Head, their representative there, that he may behold Him, and accept the whole church in Him, and love them, and bless them in Him, now, and for ever. Oh! my soul, if this view of thy Father's love was but always uppermost in thine heart, what a ground of encouragement would it for ever give thee, to come to thy God and Father in him, and his mediation; who, while he is one in the divine nature, is one also with thee in the human, on purpose to bid thee come. And as for thee, thou blessed Jesus, thy love and thy delights were always with thy people.

From everlasting, thy tendencies of favour have been towards them; thine whole heart is ours. All thy grace, in being set up as the covenant-head for us, and all the after-actings of the same grace in time; all that thou didst then, and all that thou art doing now,-all, all testify the love of our Jesus. And may I not say to thee, thou dear Redeemer, as David did, “is this the manner of man, O Lord God?” Yes, it is: but it is of the Glory-man, of the God-man, Christ Jesus. And no less, thou Holy Spirit, whose great work is love and consolation; what a thought is it to warm my soul into the most awakened contemplation and delight in the view of thy love, that though thou art of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, yet dost thou make the very bodies of the redeemed thy temples, for thine indwelling residence. My soul, do as David did: go in before the Divine Presence; fall down and adore in the solemn thought "Who am I, O Lord God! and what is my Father's house?"

EVENING.-"A man in Christ."-2 Cor. 12:2.

My soul! thy last evening's meditation was sweet, (was it not?) in contemplating thy Jesus, as glorious in his own person, and as glorified in his people. Wilt thou add to that subject, for it is part of the same, for thy present thoughts, what is suggested in this motto, " a man in Christ?" Dost thou fully enter into the pleasing apprehension of what the phrase implies? Now, who shall fully describe it; or who is competent fully to conceive the whole extent of it? " A man in Christ," must imply every thing connected with a oneness, an union, a part of himself; yea, " a life hid with Christ in God." "A man in Christ" is as much a part in Christ's mystical body, as the head, or hand, or foot, is a part of that body to which those members belong. Hence, (which is indeed a sweet part of the subject) every one who is " a man in Christ," is, to all intents and purposes, interested in all that belongs to Christ, as the Christ of God. Hence also, it must as undeniably follow, that every member of Christ's body, the least, as well as the greatest, the humblest as well as the highest, becomes a part in him, is equally united to him, and participates in what belongs to him. The life of grace here, and time life of glory hereafter, being both derived from Christ, and enjoyed wholly from an union with him are therefore equally enjoyed; just as the smallest leaf or branch united to a tree becomes a part of that tree, as much as the largest branches. Dost thou enter, my soul, into an apprehension of these outlines of the subject? Art thou " a man in Christ," by regeneration, adoption, justification, and grace? Oh! then, turn over the transporting thought, with holy and unceasing delight, in thy constant meditation. Calculate, if thouart able, the blessed inheritance, to which thou art begotten by it, of grace here, and glory to all eternity. " A man in Christ," is accepted in Christ, justified in Christ, sanctified in Christ, and must assuredly be glorified in Christ. Oh! who that thinks of these things, and through the Holy Ghost is conscious of an interest in them, can suffer the exercises of a dying world to bring affliction into the soul? What a life of dignity, is " a man in Christ" brought into! He is brought nigh unto God, through the blood of the cross. What a state of security is " a man in Christ" placed in! " Because I live," (saith Jesus) " ye shall live also." And what an endless prospect of glory, hath " a man in Christ" opening before him; when Christ hath said, " Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold the glory which thou hast given me!" O the unspeakable blessedness of " a man in Christ!"


Slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart as to Christ, not like those who do their work only when someone is watching--as people-pleasers--but as slaves of Christ doing the will of God from the heart. Obey with enthusiasm, as though serving the Lord and not people because you know that each person, whether slave or free, if he does something good, this will be rewarded by the Lord." [Ephesians 6:5-8]


Jesus said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

WOW!! What a verse! There it was! I had never seen it or really understood it before.

The reason I was “STRESSING INSTEAD OF RESTING” was because I had it all backwards. I had been more concerned about ACTIVITY than ABIDING. And Jesus said the first and only responsibility of the Christian is to “ABIDE IN HIM.I had been working, driving, going, serving, and achieving, rather that abiding and resting in Him.

Suddenly I saw it and I understood it. It was not my responsibility to produce fruit. I am a branch. It is my responsibility to stay vitally connected to the vine, and the life of the vine in me would produce the fruit. Branches do not produce fruit, they only bear the fruit.

Suddenly I began to see it everywhere in Scripture. Jesus did not intend for the Christian life to add to our stress levels...But to take away the stress. Jesus invites us to enter into life with Him that brings PEACE, not added PRESSURE.

Just listen to the way God’s Word describes genuine Christian living:

Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matt 11:28-30)

Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27).

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you (Isa.26:3).

The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace (Ps.29:11).

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace (Rom.8:6).

These verses were not really descriptive of much of my Christian life. My life was as a Christian anything but "PEACEFUL" and "RESTFUL."

1 Cor 2:16 says clearly, "…we have the mind of Christ."

This means that we are guided by our Lord (through His Word) :

· To think God’s thoughts.
· To see the world as God sees it.
· To view life the way God views our lives.
· To have the same attitude as that of Jesus about everything.


"Truly, our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."- 1 John 1:3.

Precious, blessed consideration! Art thou, my soul, at this time in the full enjoyment of it? Pause over the inquiry. Sometimes, for the want of this search of soul, and the neglect of it, deadness, or at least leanness, creeps in. Say then, my soul, how art thou dealing with thy God? and how is thy God dealing with thee? When were his latest manifestations? When did he take thee to his banqueting-house; or when didst thou sit under his shadow? Hast thou very lately heard his voice, saying, " Fear not, I am thy salvation?" The discovery of these things are among the sweetest exercises which flow from the indwelling Spirit. Go on further in the inquiry-how art thou dealing with thy God? When hadst thou fellowship and communion with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ? What petitions hast thou now awaiting for answers from the heavenly court? What grateful acknowledgments have lately gone up for mercies received? How is thine acquaintance there advancing? How art thou growing in grace, and in the knowledge of thy Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ? If these things are neglected by thee, will not a strangeness between thy God and thee come on; such as is induced by earthly friendships, when absence and time, where there is no correspondence kept up, wears out remembrance? My soul, rouse up, and consider the vast importance of keeping up constant intercourse with thy God and Saviour. Precious Jesus! do thou keep the flame of love alive; manifest to my soul the certainty and reality of my union with thee, thou sweet Saviour, by causing this blessed communion to be constant, unceasing, and full of divine communications. Let thy Spirit call forth in me the exercise of the graces he hath planted; and do thou come forth in refreshing manifestations of love; so that, while prayers go up, blessings may come down; and while thou art graciously saying, " Seek ye my face," my heart may say unto thee, "Thy face, Lord, will I seek." Oh, the blessedness of such a life to break the power of sin; to revive and strengthen the spirits; to open and to enlarge to my view the discoveries of thy Person, thy glory, thy riches, thy suitableness, thine all-sufficiency. If, dearest Jesus, thou wilt mercifully keep this fellowship, this partnership, alive in my soul, how will my poor soul be living upon thee, and with thee; and how shall I be exchanging with thee all my leanness, poverty, wretchedness, and weakness, for thy fullness, riches, righteousness, and strength? Come, then, Lord Jesus, and " until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe, or a young hart, upon the mountains of Bether."


"A nail in a sure place."-Isaiah 22:23.

My soul! through grace, thou hast long been enabled to hang all thy grand concerns for eternity upon the Lord Jesus; and will it not be a very refreshing subject for thine evening meditation, to see how eternally firm and secure all rest, with an unshaken and unchangeable confidence? Behold him as He is in himself, in his person, work, and righteousness; " Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and for ever." Next contemplate him as the source, origin, fountain, and support of all the great things of salvation. There is not a purpose of God, but is founded on Christ; not a promise, but is made, confirmed, and fulfilled in Christ; and not a dispensation in all the kingdoms of nature, grace, and glory, but comes from Christ and his own righteous government. Go on, under a third branch of meditation, and behold Jesus as a nail in a sure place, and that the persons, concerns, and blessings of his people all hang on him; from Him they derive all their spiritual strength, gifts, graces, authority, order, and appointment; on him they all depend for life, ability, power, and disposition to carry it on; and to him the whole glory of their services return, in an endless revenue of praise. Lastly, and above all, to crown thine evening meditation, on this nail in a sure place, behold the hand of God thy Father, both fixing him there, and proclaiming it to the souls of his people; "I will fasten him," saith Jehovah, "as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his Father's house." Hail! Thou glorious almighty Mediator! Founded on such authority, and possessing in thyself such eternal principles, evermore will I hang my soul, and body, and spirit, with all I have, and all I am or hope to be, in time and to all eternity, on thee; for never can too great a stress be laid upon Jesus, nor too full a confidence be placed in him. How can a soul perish that hangs on God's Christ?


CHRISTIAN IN THE WORKPLACE

Ephesians 6:5

Slaves (servants), obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.

  1. Many slaves were Christians, and many worked for non-Christian masters during this period of time.
  2. The New Testament does not deal with slavery as a social issue.
  3. The application of this passage in modern times is to the employee, in contrast to those who are in management.
  4. In this passage we are dealing with the results of Christian growth, and the emphasis is placed on the development of a mature spiritual life through edification, and the confident, stable mental attitude that results from living according to a divine frame of reference.
"as you would obey Christ" - all authority comes from the Lord. Therefore, your boss's authority comes from the Lord. A Christian must work as if he were working for the Lord Jesus Christ as his boss.

Ephesians 6:6 : "Obey them not only to win their favour when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart."
Ephesians 6:7 : "Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men." Ephesians 6:8 : Because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ; Who, being in very nature God, made Himself nothing,taking the very nature of a servant – Phil. 2:5-7.

Slaves (servants), obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favour when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free. (Ephesians 6:5-8)


"And for their sakes I sanctify myself."-John 17:19.

Let your morning thoughts, my soul, be directed to this sweet view of your Saviour. Behold your Jesus presenting himself as the surety of his people before God and the Father. Having now received the call and authority of God the Father, and being fitted with a body suited to the service of a Redeemer, here see him entering upon the vast work; and in those blessed words, declaring the cause of it - "I sanctify myself." Did Jesus mean that he made himself more holy for the purpose? No, surely: for that was impossible. But by Jesus sanctifying himself; must be understood (as the Nazarite from the womb, consecrated, set apart, dedicated to the service to which the Father had called him), a voluntary offering - a holy unblemished sacrifice. And observe for whom: "for their sakes;" not for himself; for he needed it not. The priests under the law made their offerings, first for themselves, and then for the people. "But such a High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; and who needed not daily, as those high priests, so to offer. For the law makes men high priests which have infirmity; but the Son is consecrated for evermore."

My soul, pause over this view of your Jesus; and when you have duly pondered it, go to the mercy-seat, under the Spirit's leadings and influences, and there, by faith, behold your Jesus, in his vesture dipped in blood, there sanctified, and there appearing in the presence of God for you. There plead the dedication of Jesus; for it is of the Father's own appointment. There tell your God and Father, (for it is the Father's glory, when a poor sinner glorifies his dear Son in him) that He, that Holy One, whom the Father consecrated, and with an oath confirmed in his high priestly office forever, appears there for you. Tell God that your High Priest's holiness and sacrifice was altogether holy, pure, without a spot; and both his Person, and his nature, and offering, clean as God's own righteous law. Tell, my soul, tell your God and Father these sacred, solemn truths. And while you are thus coming to the mercy-seat, under the leadings of the Spirit, and wholly in the name and office-work of your God and Saviour, look unto Jesus, and call to mind those sweet words, for whose sake that Holy One sanctified himself; and then drop one more petition before you come away from the heavenly court: beg, and pray, and wrestle with the bountiful Lord for suited strength and grace, that as, for your sake, among the other poor sinners of his redemption-love, Jesus sanctified himself, so you may be able to be separated from every thing but Jesus; and as your happiness was Christ's end, so his glory may be your first and greatest object. Yes, dearest Jesus, I think I hear you say, -You shall be for me, and not for another: so will I be for you. Oh! You condescending, loving God, " make me Yours; that whether I live, I may live unto the Lord; or whether I die, I may die unto the Lord; so that living or dying, I may be yours."


MORNING - "'Even if the mountains are removed and the hills displaced, my devotion will not be removed from you, nor will my covenant of friendship be displaced,' says the one who has compassion on you, the LORD" (Isa.54:10).

What a rest is here for a poor redeemed sinner to stand firm upon, in time, and to all eternity! Well may he cry out concerning Jesus, and his great salvation in him, “He is a rock, and his work is perfect. “Yes, yes, you Lord God of my salvation: you are my dwelling-place in all generations. My soul, look all around you, look within you, look everywhere about you. Search, behold, examine diligently, what else will or can afford you any security. And think what a dying world it is in which you are dwelling, or rather traveling through. What friend, what brother, what child, what relation, can give you help of soul, or even of body, when you most shall need it? Think what a day, a week, an hour, may bring forth! Amidst all these changes, is Jesus yours? Does he tell you, “Even if the mountains are removed and the hills displaced, my devotion will not be removed from you, nor will my covenant of friendship be displaced?” Shout, shout, my soul, and begin the song, which in a dying hour will only swell louder, "Salvation belongs to God and to the Lamb!" (Rev.7:10)

EVENING – "For the one who enters God's rest has also rested from his works, just as God did from his own works" (Heb.4:10).

My soul, see to it, that among other blessed evidences of your union and rest in Christ, you have this also: “ We who have believed,” the apostle says, “have also rested.” Our dependence on, and knowledge of Jesus are such, that we really and truly enjoy the blessings of redemption. And as God the Father, when he had finished creation, rested from all his works which he had made; and as Jesus, when He had finished redemption, entered into his glory; so true believers, when they have once found Christ, and redemption in his blood, no longer weary themselves in the works of sin, or the works of self-righteousness, by way of justification before God; but cease from everything in self, and rest with complacency and delight in the rich, free, and full salvation that is by Christ. My soul, what do you say to this blessed testimony of your interest in Jesus? Is Jesus to you the resting-place from sin, from sorrow, from guilt, and the wrath to come? As God the Father rests in him, well pleased for his righteousness sake. Do you rest in him? Oh! the felicity of such a rest! Jesus is indeed the rest, with which the Lord causes the weary to rest: and this is the refreshing! "Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you!"


1 Corinthians 12:4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,
9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,
10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.


Matt. 6:19 Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.
6:20 But accumulate for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.
6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
6:24 "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
(The term money is used to translate mammon, the Aramaic term for wealth or possessions. The point is not that money is inherently evil, but that it is often misused so that it is a means of evil; see 1 Tim 6:6-10, 17-19. God must be first, not money or possessions.)


Romans 12.

Consecration of the Believer's Life

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Conduct in Humility

3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,
5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;
8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Conduct in Love

9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.
20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1).

If the LORD does not build a house, then those who build it work in vain. If the LORD does not guard a city, then the watchmen stands guard in vain (Psalm 127:1).

I want to do your will, my God. Your law dominates my thoughts (Psalm 40:8).

The blessing from the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow to it (Proverbs 10:22).

"...'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6b)


Bondservants and Masters

Ephesians 6

5 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ;
6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,
7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men,
8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
9 And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.

It is God’s will that we serve our earthly masters sincerely, with respect & fear, just as we would obey Christ.


John 11:25, 26 -

25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"


Vision of the Ancient of Days

DANIEL 7

9 "I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire;
10 A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened.
11 "I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame.
12 As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.
13 "I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him.
14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed."

[The Sovereign Lord, His Son, our Lord and His church depicted here! Notice that the Sovereign Lord has countless millions serving him and standing ready to serve him.]


And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior's blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
(Charles Wesley)


"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry." (Matthew 11:28-30)

"I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me--just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not come from this sheepfold. I must bring them too, and they will listen to my voice, so that there will be one flock and one shepherd. This is why the Father loves me--because I lay down my life, so that I may take it back again. No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down of my own free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again. This commandment I received from my Father." (John 10:14-18).


22 May 2002

God had come near. He came, not as a flash of light or as an unapproachable conqueror, but as one whose first cries were heard by a peasant girl and a sleepy carpenter. Mary and Joseph were anything but royal. Yet heaven entrusted its greatest treasure to these simple parents. It began in a manager, this momentous moment in time.

People came to him because he refused to be a statue in a cathedral or a priest in an elevated pulpit. He chose to be a touchable, approachable, reachable Jesus. No one was afraid to draw near to him. There was not one person who considered him too holy, too divine, or too celestial to touch. There was not one person who was reluctant to approach him for fear of being rejected.

They were like sheep with a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. –Mark 6:34.

When Jesus landed and saw a huge crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. –Matt.14:14.

When Matthew writes that Jesus has compassion on the people, he is not saying that Jesus felt casual pity for them. No, the term is far more graphic. Matthew is saying that Jesus felt their hurt in his gut. He was moved in the stomach by their needs. He was so touched by their needs that he forgot his own needs. He was so moved by the people’s hurts that he put his hurts on the back burner. Self was forgotten and others were served by the compassionate Saviour.


23 May 2002

Jesus gave more than a kiss – He gave His beauty.

He paid more than a visit – He paid for our mistakes.

He took more than a minute – He took away our sin.


24 May 2002

Come and see. He avoids no seeker. He ignores no probe. He fears no search. Nathanael saw and discovered, "Teacher, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel."

There are some people who seem to think that God, by some unintelligible sovereignty, withdraws His face. But I know that God loves His people too much to withhold His fellowship from them for any such reason. The true reason of the absence of God from us is rather to be found in our sin and unbelief, than in any supposed sovereignty of His. If the child of God is walking in faith and obedience, the Divine presence will be enjoyed in unbroken continuity.

Then there is the next blessed privilege: "All that I have is thine." Thank God, He has given us His own Son; and in giving Him, He has given us all things that are in Him, He has given us Christ's life, His love, His Spirit, His glory. "All things are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's." All the riches of His Son, the everlasting King, God bestows upon every one of His children. "Son, thou art ever with me; and all that I have is thine." Is not that the meaning of all those wonderful promises given in connection with prayer: "Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, ye shall receive."? Yes, there it is. That is the life of the children of God, as He Himself has pictured it to us.


Right or Righteous?

It wasn’t right that people spit into the eyes that had wept for them. It wasn’t right that soldiers ripped chunks of flesh out of the back of their God. It wasn’t right that spikes pierced the hands that formed the earth. And it wasn’t right that the Son of God was forced to hear the silence of God.

It wasn’t right, but it happened.

For while Jesus was on the cross, God sat on his hands. He turned his back. He ignored the screams of the innocent.

He sat in silence while the sins of the world were placed upon his Son. And he did nothing while a cry a million times bloodier that John’s echoed in the black sky: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

Was it right? No. Was it fair? No. Was it love? Yes. In a world of injustice, God once and for all tipped the scales in the favour of hope. And he did it by sitting on his hands so that we could know the kingdom of God.


Heartbroken for you

It was the most gut-wrenching cry of loneliness in history, and it came not from a prisoner or a widow or a patient. It came from a hill, from a cross, from a Messiah.

"My God, my God!" he screamed. "Why did you abandon me?"

This cry of dereliction was framed as a question not because he did not know the answer, but because he was quoting Psalm 22:1. He quoted it (as he always quoted Scripture) because he believed he was fulfilling it. The God forsakenness which he experienced was the divine judgement which our sins deserved. He was drinking the 'cup' of God’s wrath. ["This cup", is an Old Testament symbol of God’s wrath upon sin.]

"Finished!" expressed his accomplishment of the sin-bearing work he had come to do.

"Father, into your hands I commit my spirit" (Luke 23:46), to show that his death was a voluntary, self-determined act.


The miracles were signs that Jesus was the Son of God, for each was an acted parable, demonstrating one of his divine claims. The feeding of the 5,000 set forth visibly his claim to be the bread of life, his healing of the man born blind his claim to be the light of the world, and his raising of the dead his claim to be the resurrection and the life.

Salvation is by God’s grace alone and through faith alone (not by faith only but through obedient faith).

Letter of James is evidently a Jewish Christian homily, whose emphasis is that a true, living and saving faith will be evidenced by a life of brotherly love, self-control and devotion to God.

God is as polite as he is passionate. He never forces his way in. The choice is individual. He has promised a new birth for those who come to him. Does that mean the old nature will never rear its ugly head? Does that mean you will instantly be able to resist any temptation?

To answer these questions, compare your new birth in Christ to a newborn baby. Can a newborn walk? Can he feed himself? Can he sing or read or speak? No, not yet. But someday he will.

It takes time to grow. But is the parent in the delivery room ashamed of the baby? Is the mom embarrassed that the infant can’t spell, that the baby can’t walk, that the newborn can’t give a speech?

Of course not. The parents are not ashamed; they are proud. They know that growth will come with time. So does God. “God is being patient with you. He does not want anyone to be lost, but he wants all people to change their hearts and lives” (2 Peter 3:9).

God is often more patient with us than we are with ourselves. We assume that if we fall, we aren’t born again. If we stumble, then we aren’t truly converted. If we have the old desires, then we must not be a new creation.

Please remember, "God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again" (Philippians 1:6).

In many ways, your new birth in Christ is like your first: In your new birth, God provides what you need and someone else does the work. And just as parents are patient with their newborn, so God is patient with you. But there is one difference. The first time you had no choice about being born, this time you do. The power is God’s. The effort is God’s. The pain is God’s. But the choice is yours.

Living Life God's Way · 8/28/2002


God pays attention to big things and to very small ones.
What matters to me matters to Him, and that changes my life.
- Elisabeth Elliot


Finding Evidence of God in Unexpected Places
God is Always With You

You probably expect God to show up during the most extraordinary or dramatic moments of your life. But He is always with you, even in times that seem so ordinary you'd never expect to encounter Him.
Here are some ways you can find evidence of God in unexpected places in your life:

Live It from Crosswalk.com; by Whitney Hopler, Live It Channel Editor
Adapted from The Fingerprints of God: Seeing His Hand in the Unexpected,
copyright 2002 by Nancy Hoag


The Sovereign Lord purifies His people through affliction or misery (Isaiah 48:10).
If we are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, we will also be partakers of His glory.
The Second Covenant is doing God’s will; it is spiritual. (Hebrews 10:10: "By his will we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”) It is having God’s law inscribed on the mind (Hebrews 10:16 “This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days, says the Lord. I will put my laws on their hearts and I will inscribe them on their minds.")
Hebrews 10:36: For you need endurance in order to do God’s will and so receive what is promised.


God Promises Rewards

Giving to the Lord is a God-backed, guaranteed investment, not an uncertain gamble. Unfortunately, many Christians (I included) act as if this principle applies in all areas of life except in their financial dealings. I know many Christians who are convinced that they can’t afford to give to God. The reason? Fear. It’s one thing to believe in God; it’s another to trust God to provide the rent payment. (Question: Then where is logic, reason – God has given us those also? Will He provide if we do nothing?) When you’re engulfed in financial hardships, it’s humanly impossible to think about giving. Yet, “what is impossible with men is possible with God” (Luke 18:27). When God asks us to trust him with our finances, he also promises to reward us. He doesn’t always spell out the exact ways he will repay our trust, but he does promise us a rich reward (2 Corinthians 9:11) (Q. Spiritually rich reward is promises, surely?) God has promised rewards that include financial blessings, but we must be committed to following his purpose.

Specific rewards we are promised.

God promises his children many rewards when we give. Here are three specific rewards:

Reward I – You will be made rich in every way.

In his letter to the Corinthian church, Paul gives an interesting definition of the word rich:

"Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God" (2 Corinthians 9:10, 11).

God’s Word defines rich as "able to be generous." God’s Word also says we’ll be made rich in every way. This proves we should never limit the extent of God’s blessing to the spiritual or emotional arena. God promises that if we give to him, he will give us the financial capacity to be generous.
The Bible describes riches as both spiritual and material. Of all the riches we can possess, none of them is more important than riches. Scripture speaks about the riches of God’s grace, God’s glory, his understanding, his wisdom and his insight. When we are generous givers, we have access to all of these riches.
Paul explains to the Corinthians that financial decisions have physical advantages as well. He isn’t merely referring to the emotional or spiritual blessings we can receive from giving. He is saying that financial generosity leads to greater financial resources – even physical wealth! This is the clear, unbiased teaching of Scripture.
God says we should give to get to give again. Titus 3:14 "Here is another way that our people can learn to engage in good works - to meet pressing needs and so not be unfruitful."
We are hesitant to take God at his word and believe or teach what Scripture teaches. The text says we will be made rich in every way, which means we will be able to share.
If deep in your heart you have a desire to be a good manager of God’s resources and want to be generous in meeting needs so that people give thanks to God, then you must expect God to provide. Paul set the stage for the proper desires of our heart when he wrote, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). It’s difficult to twist the Scriptures into a selfish interpretation when you keep the focus on Jesus!
God doesn’t oppose blessing his servants with material well-being as long as they keep their desires and fortunes devoted to Him.
Malachi 3:10 "Bring the entire tithe into the storehouse so that there may be food in my temple. Test me in this matter," says the sovereign Lord, "to see if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until there is no room for it all."
[The Sovereign Lord expect us to pour our material offerings into His storehouse to enable Him to pour out for us a blessing until there is no room for it at all! So, let’s give unto Him! Easy to say, difficult to implement because of our selfishness.]
In the New Testament we read of wealthy followers of God, like Joseph of Arimathea, Lydia, and others. If there were no wealthy Christians, there would be no need for this kind of teaching. If God hated material wealth, why would he grant physical riches as a reward to many of his people? God want to reward his faithful, generous followers with both spiritual and material riches. I believe this is true because it is taught in God’s Word.

Reward 2 – You will receive more than you give.

When was the last time you read Luke 6:38? Jesus taught, "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." I have confession to make. For far too long I have simply not believed this passage. I have tried hard to find some way to get around the truth that is taught so clearly. I think my motivation was based partially on my opposition to "prosperity teaching." But, deep inside, I think my struggles with this passage really signaled my lack of faith in God to reward my obedient giving.
Jesus says to tap into God’s economy. The Lord is a generous provider. You won’t run out of money! Don’t be afraid to give. When you give, you also receive – “a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.” I’ve never seen an exception to this rule. You always receive more than you give. If you give love, you receive more love. If you give friendship, you receive more friends in return. I’ve even noticed if you give a smile to someone, you will receive more smiles. So it follows form Scripture and practical experience that if you give money, you receive more money. (I thought if you invest money, you receive more money!?)
For years I struggled with this text. I thought it was materialistic to think God would bless me financially when I gave money to do his work. But, in reality, the materialistic view is thinking that my own ingenuity is the only source of my ability to make money. A spiritual person obeys and trusts God to release his blessings and provide all the resources of life. The unspiritual person believes human effort is the source of material wealth.

Reward 3 – You will receive a greater blessing.

Acts 20:35 shares a familiar quotation of our Lord: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." We all agree that it’s a blessing to receive, but Jesus says it’s an even greater blessing to give! However enjoyable you think receiving is, Jesus says giving is better – it is more blessed.
I’ve pondered Jesus’ statement for years. How could giving bring a greater blessing? This made no sense to me, especially as a young child. Like most kids, I always hoped for a big haul under the tree on Christmas morning. I had my wish list and was never bashful about sharing it with my parents. My mother’s standard reply to my childish, greedy nature was to quote Acts 20:35. It’s no wonder I never cared much for that verse when I was a kid!
Now that I’m a parent of two young children, I’ve gained a fuller understanding about Jesus’ teaching. First, I receive a greater blessing by helping someone and seeing their excitement or appreciation. Second, I receive a greater blessing by realizing God has given me something to share. What if I were the one in need? Having something to share creates greater blessing because I have something else to look forward to. Giving allows me to participate in God’s economy, where my financial investments in his kingdom generate remarkable returns.

A preacher friend of mind has a quick, three-point outline on giving that he drew from Galatians 6:7. He says:

(1) You reap what you sow; (2) You reap more than you sow; and (3) You reap after you sow.

When I use this scripture to see the way God works, I see giving in a different light. Giving is not an expense; it's an opportunity!

Receive Blessings "In Kind".

Both common sense and these passages imply that the type of see you sow determines the kind of crop you will receive. If you sow corn, you will reap corn (Genesis 8:22). If you sow moral actions in your daily behaviour, you will reap a moral life (Galatians 6:7). If you sow faith, you will reap faith (Matthew 17:20). If you sow financially, you will reap financially (2 Corinthians 9:6).
This teaching is well represented throughout the Bible. If you sow obedience to the gospel, you reap eternal life. If you sow Bible study, you reap spiritual insight. In Scripture, there is an exact match between the kind of thing you sow and the kind of thing you reap. This same cause-and-effect principle applies to judging, condemning, and forgiving (Luke 6:37). Jesus promises “a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over” (v.38). Jesus wants us to know not only that we receive more than we give, but that we receive the same kind of thing that we give. So Jesus tells us that the amount and kind of gift we give determines the amount and kind of gift we receive. I have found no exception in Scripture to this insight.

Trust God to Provide

God’s Word calls us to have faith in his promises. If we see him as the source of our blessings, we won’t be afraid of running out of the physical resources we need. When you are facing too much month at the end of your money, remember God’s promise to provide for your ends – and more.
One of the most fantastic accounts of God’s provision comes from 2 Kings 4:1-7. A poor widow came to Elisha the prophet and cried out to him in despair. Creditors were threatening to take away her two sons as slaves to pay her debts. When Elisha asked what resources she possessed, the woman replied that all she had was a small amount of oil. Elisha told her to go to all her neighbours and borrow as many of their empty jars as she could get. Then she was to go inside and start pouring until all the jars were full. When she poured her oil into the last jar, the oil stopped flowing. Elisha then told her to sell the oil to pay her debts and live on what was left.
Not only did God provide for her, but the amount of God’s provision was in direct proportion to her trust. He gave her as much oil as she was prepared to receive. And God will provide material blessings to meet our physical needs and gain our spiritual attention as well.
God’s response to money problems is the same as his answer to health concerns, family problems, or any other difficult circumstances. God wants us to trust him, not our job or our bank balance. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Since God wants our hearts, he works through our finances. When we learn to trust him with our money, we will learn to trust him with anything – even our very lives!

[Adapted]


The historic Christian faith views spirituality as a dynamic relationship in which, we commune with God personally, learn to worship God exclusively, and learn to walk with God with consistency.
The Christian faith leads us to a life-changing encounter with the living God.
Christian spirituality is about being found and rescued by Someone much bigger than you or me. It’s about experiencing God who is there, the infinite and personal God of all creation. That’s why Christian spirituality is so thrilling and inexhaustible. That’s why, when we live it out with intention, Christian spirituality is always dynamic and never static.
Nothing finite will ultimately satisfy the deep yearning in our hearts.
"You [God] have made us for yourself, and our hearts will be restless until we find our rest in you" – Augustine.

Hidden under layers of denials and hypocrisy, you have thought of yourself as "god!" No wonder you have thought of yourself as noble, as someone when you were a nobody! You know how false you have been! No wonder you are hurt when people don’t acknowledge you! Why should they?
Will having superior/high knowing make you superior to others?
You will have the ability only when the Father provides it to you.
Your hidden intent is that the Father will exalt you!
Humility in its purest form doesn’t look for exaltation, but ever deeper depths of humility! God loves the humble – allows Him to extend greater degrees of grace!
Humbling yourself under God’s mighty hand – your job. Lifting you up – God’s favour.

I ask God to show Himself; He showed me Jesus!


Hebrews 10 - 9 then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first that He may establish the second.
10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

God, by His own will through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, has made us acceptable to Himself!

"Rest in the Lord," the Psalmist encourages. "Be still and know that I am God," invites the Creator Himself. He leads us beside still waters. Let us quiet our hearts and allow Him to restore our souls. God desires to lead us -- in paths of righteousness -- for the sake of His own name.

Why do I have such a negative outlook of life when I have the Almighty God as my Father and the Lord Jesus as my Saviour and the Holy Spirit as my Guide? Why?


Fill me, Lord
by: Author Unknown, Source Unknown

Fill me with the fruits of your Spirit, Lord.
Fill me with love, so that I seek to understand and appreciate the rich variety and diversity of life that surrounds me.
Fill me with joy, so that I celebrate your presence in each and every moment I am on this earth.
Fill me with peace, so that I know how to ease those angry and sometimes violent urges that well up inside of me.
Fill me with patience, so that I stop rushing long enough to witness your miraculous work taking place all around me (and within me!)
Fill me with kindness, so that I take the extra time to help the one in need, even when it isn't convenient for me.
Fill me with faithfulness, so that I place my mind, heart and all that I do in the service of your Gospel.
Fill me with gentleness, so that others know that I believe in a God who loves and cares for all people.
Fill me with self-control, so that I act not on my impulses and urges, but rather on my beliefs and values, which are rooted in you.
Fill me with these fruits of your spirit, Lord!

Amen.


There is an infinite restless yearning in the human being (heart) for the unknown, to discover, to grow bigger than his present state. A longing to see beyond the mountain, to see what lies on the other shore. To look beyond and higher than himself. It’s an endless yearning, for the urge to carry on beyond the horizon is insatiable.


Communication with God

Pray without ceasing – 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
Continuing steadfastly in prayer – Romans 12:12.
Give thanks to God – Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2.
As God for wisdom – James 1:5.
Request physical or spiritual healing – James 5:15.
Pray for fellow Christians – Ephesians 6:18.
Pray for spreading of the Word – Colossians 4:3; 2 Thessalonians 3:1.
The effective prayer of a righteous man avails much – James 5:16.
Pray for big blessing – Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4.
Understand that you serve a big God!
Paul prayed big prayers.
God wanted Abraham to know that this was His doing.
God has always used people who could not get the job done themselves to do His work.
I think we know why – because He wants us to know who is doing it.
God works through us. Often He works through us directly in answer to our prayers.
Sometimes the will of God is waiting on our prayers, waiting for us to ask.
If we are to grow spiritually, we must put off that old self and put on the new self.
We must receive the proper nourishment through the Word of God.
We must keep the line of communication open between ourselves and God.
Each Christian needs a quiet place for daily communion with God in prayer
And a quiet time when God can speak to us through His Word.
This is essential to our spiritual growth.


QUOTABLE -- "Faith's victory is not grounded in the act of believing but in the character and work of the One in whom we believe. We don't have to know all he knows -- we only have to trust that he knows. We don't have to be able to see all he sees -- we only have to gladly trust his vision. We don't have to morally achieve a certain standard -- we only have to trustingly commit to the standard to which he alone attained. He is our faith! His heart, his vision, his faith, his achievement -- these are the nature and essence of our faith and that is why our faith conquers the world (1 John 5:3-5)." Jim McGuiggan, in personal correspondence with Edward.


Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble,
it's a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.

Especially do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit
to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham,
drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From the Alt.Usage.English FAQ: "Desiderata" was written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann (1872-1945). In 1956, the rector of St. Paul's Church in Baltimore, Maryland, used the poem in a collection of mimeographed inspirational material for his congregation. Someone who subsequently printed it asserted that it was found in Old St. Paul's Church, dated 1692. The year 1692 was the founding date of the church and has nothing to do with the poem. See Fred D. Cavinder, "Desiderata", TWA Ambassador, Aug. 1973, pp. 14-15.


I Stand By The Door
by Sam Shoemaker

I stand by the door. I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out. This door is the most important door in the world. It’s the door through which men walk when they find God. There’s no use my going way inside and staying there when so many are still outside. And they, just as I, crave to know where the door is. And all that so many ever find is only a wall where that door ought to be. They creep along the wall like blind men with oustretched groping hands feeling for a door, knowing that there must be a door, yet they never find it.
So I stand by the door.

The most tremendous thing in the world is for men to find that door, the door to God. The most important thing any man can do is to take hold of one of those hands, and put it on that latch, the latch that only clicks and opens to that man’s own touch. Many die outside that door as starving beggars die on cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter, die for want of what is within their grasp. They live on the other side of that door. They live because they have not found it. Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it, and open it, and walk in and find God.
So I stand by the door.

Go in great saints, go all the way in. Go way down into the cavernous cellars and way up into the spacious attics in its vast roomy house, this house where God is. Go into the deepest of hidden casements of withdrawals, silence and sainthood. Some must inhabit those inner rooms and know the depths and heights of God, and call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is in there. Sometimes I take a deeper look in. Sometimes I venture in a little further. But my place seems to be closer to the opening.
So I stand by the door.

There’s another reason why I stand there. Some people get part way in and become afraid lest God and the zeal of His house devour them. For God is so very great and asks all of us. And these people feel a cosmic claustrophobia, and they want to get out. “Let me out!” they cry. And the people way inside only terrify them even more. Somebody must be by the door to tell them that they’re spoiled. For the old life they have seen too much. Once you taste God, nothing but God will do ever again. Somebody must be watching for the frightened who seek to sneak out just where they came in, and tell them how much better it is inside.
The people too far in don’t see how near these people are to leaving, preoccupied with the wonder of it all. Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door but would like to run away.
So, for them too, I stand by the door.

I admire the people who go way in, but I wish they wouldn’t forget how it was, before they got in. Then they would be able to help the people who have not yet even found that door, or the people who want to run away again from God. You can go in too deeply, you can stay in too long, and forget the people outside the door. As for me, I’ll take my old accustomed place, near enough to God to hear Him, and know that He is there, but not so far from men as not to hear them and remember they are there too. Where? Outside the door .. Thousands of them. Millions of them. But more important for me, one of them, two of them, ten of them, whose hands I am intended to put on the latch. So I stand by the door and wait for those who seek it. I’d rather be a doorkeeper.
So I stand by the door.

(This is the same Sam Shoemaker who was the minister who helped Bill W. and Dr. Bob meet. Those three are the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous.)


Copyright©2006-2015 - Thomas R. Dohling. [Last updated on January 15, 2015.]

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