Saturday, October 25, 2014

The heart of the believer is Christ's garden...

My Back Yard
"I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse." —Song of Solomon 5:1
 
The heart of the believer is Christ's garden. He bought it with His precious blood, and He enters it and claims it as His own.

A garden implies separation. It is not the open common; it is not a wilderness; it is walled around, or hedged in. Would that we could see the wall of separation between the church and the world made broader and stronger. It makes one sad to hear Christians saying, "Well, there is no harm in this; there is no harm in that," thus getting as near to the world as possible. Grace is at a low ebb in that soul which can even raise the question of how far it may go in worldly conformity.

A garden is a place of beauty, it far surpasses the wild uncultivated lands. The genuine Christian must seek to be more excellent in his life than the best moralist, because Christ's garden ought to produce the best flowers in all the world. Even the best is poor compared with Christ's deservings; let us not put Him off with withering and dwarf plants. The rarest, richest, choicest lilies and roses ought to bloom in the place which Jesus calls His own.

The garden is a place of growth. The saints are not to remain undeveloped, always mere buds and blossoms. We should grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Growth should be rapid where Jesus is the Husbandman, and the Holy Spirit the dew from above.

A garden is a place of retirement. So the Lord Jesus Christ would have us reserve our souls as a place in which He can manifest Himself, as He doth not unto the world. O that Christians were more retired, that they kept their hearts more closely shut up for Christ! We often worry and trouble ourselves, like Martha, with much serving, so that we have not the room for Christ that Mary had, and do not sit at His feet as we should.

The Lord grant the sweet showers of His grace to water His garden this day. ...CH Spurgeon image

Thursday, October 23, 2014

If you want to become brilliant in prayer...

Mountain conversations
If you want to become brilliant in prayer, you have to become really good in conversation with people. You have to care about people. You have to chat to people. You have to connect with people in the messy place where their life is. And it's in those times when you give yourself to those conversations that compassion can rise up and take hold of you, and your compassion will carry you into ‪intercession‬ properly for someone. ...Graham Cooke image

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Army Hidden in the World

FMSC Distribution Partner - Liberia
October 18, 2014
by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon

If the true identity of Christ our Lord, his inner Person begotten of the Father, remains a mystery concealed from the world (John 14:22), something similar is also said rightly of those who put their hope in Christ, because they too are defined by their communion with the Father in Christ. They are known by God (John 10:14; 1 Corinthians 8:3; 13:12).

To be sure, the world is able to look at Christians and label them for social and demographic purposes (Acts 11:26), but it does not really know them.

“You died,” wrote Paul to the Colossians, “and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (3:3).

These Christians, whom the world can outwardly distinguish by remarking on peculiar cultural and social patterns, carry about in their lives, amid circumstances however humble, the only force available to mankind for the redemption and transformation of its history. On this earth the treasure of God is veiled and borne about in earthen vessels (2 Corinthians 4:7). Like the clay pitchers of Gideon, the disciples of Christ convey the secret flame that must, in the end, force flight upon the Midianite.

Consequently, the coming of Christ at the end of time will reveal to the world, not only his own glory, but the glory of those who have hoped in him... the rest image
Thus has it always been. The great majority of the saints have lived very hidden lives, their inner communion with God so quiet and concealed that only God knew it. Even those saints recognized by the Church in their own generation were often enough recognized for some trait distinct from personal holiness, such as preaching, pastoral ministry, or theological writings. Although all the saints lived in great loyalty to God, the overwhelming majority of them are beyond our ability to name.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The deepest need of men...

Shanty Town in Ica
The deepest need of men is not food and clothing and shelter, important as they are. It is God. We have mistaken the nature of poverty, and thought it was economic poverty. No, it is poverty of soul, deprivation of God's recreating, loving peace. Peer into poverty and see if we are really getting down to the deepest needs, in our economic salvation schemes. These are important. But they lie farther along the road, secondary steps toward world reconstruction. The primary step is a holy life, transformed and radiant in the glory of God. ...Thomas Kelly image

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Discipline practically has disappeared...

My violin
We must face the fact that many today are notoriously careless in their living. This attitude finds its way into the church. We have liberty, we have money, we live in comparative luxury. As a result, discipline practically has disappeared. What would a violin solo sound like if the strings on the musician's instrument were all hanging loose, not stretched tight, not "disciplined"? ...AW Tozer image

Friday, October 10, 2014

Beware of manufacturing a God of your own...

empty pews
“Beware of manufacturing a God of your own: a God who is all mercy, but not just; a God who is all love, but not holy; a God who has a heaven for every body, but a hell for none; a God who can allow good and bad to be side by side in time, but will make no distinction between good and bad in eternity. Such a God is an idol of your own, as truly an idol as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple. The hands of your own fancy and sentimentality have made him. He is not the God of the Bible, and beside the God of the Bible there is no God at all." ...JC Ryle image

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

When prayer is at its highest...

God's Grace
Prayer is not a way of making use of God; prayer is a way of offering ourselves to God in order that He should be able to make use of us. It may be that one of our great faults in prayer is that we talk too much and listen too little. When prayer is at its highest we wait in silence for God’s voice to us; we linger in His presence for His peace and His power to flow over us and around us; we lean back in His everlasting arms and feel the serenity of perfect security in Him. ...William Barclay image

Monday, October 6, 2014

Where we are anchored in God...

finding a way
For a spiritual life is simply a life in which all that we do comes from the centre, where we are anchored in God: a life soaked through and through by a sense of His reality and claim, and self-given to the great movement of His will.
...Evelyn Underhill image

Monday, September 29, 2014

Praying in faith...

Light of the World
Praying in faith comes from an abiding faith in the Person prayed to—the confidence is in Him. It is based on a knowledge of who He is, and on a trusted conviction that He is worthy to be trusted. Praying in faith is the act of a simple-hearted child of God. ...Corrie ten Boom image

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Come, weary one...

Come, weary one, use thy Lord's words as thy pillows, Lie down in peace. Dream only of Him. Jesus is thy ladder of light. See the angels coming and going upon Him between thy soul and thy God, and be sure that the promise is thine own God-given portion and that it will not be robbery for thee to take it to thyself, as spoken specially to thee. ...CH Spurgeon image