Monday, May 30, 2011

Here lies the tremendous mystery...

Here lies the tremendous mystery - that God should be all-powerful, yet refuse to coerce. He summons us to cooperation. We are honoured in being given the opportunity to participate in his good deeds. Remember how He asked for help in performing his miracles : Fill the waterpots, stretch out your hand, distribute the loaves. ...Elisabeth Elliot image

When night comes, list thy deeds...

When night comes, list thy deeds; make plain the way
'Twixt heaven and thee; block it not with delays;
But perfect all before thou sleep'st: then say,
"There's one sun more strung on my Bead of days."
What's good, score up for joy; the bad, well scann'd
Wash off with tears, and get thy Master's hand.
... Henry Vaughan
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One way to recall the mind easily in the time of prayer...

One way to recall the mind easily in the time of prayer, and preserve it more in tranquility, is not to let it wander too far at other times. You should keep it strictly in the Presence of God; and, being accustomed to think of Him often, you will find it easy to keep your mind calm in the time of prayer, or at least to recall it from its wanderings. ...Brother Lawrence image

Do not scrutinize so closely...

Do not scrutinize so closely whether you are doing much or little, ill or well, so long as what you do is not sinful and that you are heartily seeking to do everything for God. Try as far as you can to do everything well, but when it is done, do not think about it. Try, rather, to think of what is to be done next. Go on simply in the Lord's way, and do not torment yourself. We ought to hate our faults, but with a quiet, calm hatred; not pettishly and anxiously. ...St. Francis de Sales image

Strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us....

'Strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.'
Psalm 68:28

It is our wisdom, as well as our necessity, to beseech God continually to strengthen that which He has wrought in us. It is because of their neglect in this, that many Christians may blame themselves for those trials and afflictions of spirit which arise from unbelief. It is true that Satan seeks to flood the fair garden of the heart and make it a scene of desolation, but it is also true that many Christians leave open the sluice-gates themselves, and let in the dreadful deluge through carelessness and want of prayer to their strong Helper. We often forget that the Author of our faith must be the Preserver of it also. The lamp which was burning in the temple was never allowed to go out, but it had to be daily replenished with fresh oil; in like manner, our faith can only live by being sustained with the oil of grace, and we can only obtain this from God Himself. ...CH Spurgeon image

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Unless we know the difference...

Unless we know the difference between flowers and weeds, we are not fit to take care of a garden. It is not enough to have truth planted in our minds. We must learn and labor to keep the ground clear of thorns and briars, follies and perversities, which have a wicked propensity to choke the word of life. ...Clyde Francis Lytle  image

To live by faith is to live joyfully...

To live by faith is to live joyfully, to live with assurance, untroubled by doubts and with complete confidence in all we have to do and suffer at each moment by the will of God. We must realize that it is in order to stimulate and sustain this faith that God allows the soul to be buffeted and swept away by the raging torrent of so much distress, so many troubles, so much embarrassment and weakness, and so many setbacks. For it is essential to have faith to find God behind all this.
...Jean-Pierre de Caussade image

Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed...

  How strong is the snare of the things that are seen, and how necessary for God to keep us in the things that are unseen! If Peter is to walk on the water he must walk; if he is going to swim, he must swim, but he cannot do both. If the bird is going to fly it must keep away from fences and the trees, and trust to its buoyant wings. But if it tries to keep within easy reach of the ground, it will make poor work of flying.

God had to bring Abraham to the end of his own strength, and to let him see that in his own body he could do nothing. He had to consider his own body as good as dead, and then take God for the whole work; and when he looked away from himself, and trusted God alone, then he became fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was able to perform. That is what God is teaching us, and He has to keep away encouraging results until we learn to trust without them, and then He loves to make His Word real in fact as well as faith. .
..AB Simpson image

The circumstances of a saint's life are ordained of God...

"All things work together for good to them that love God." -Romans 8:28

The circumstances of a saint's life are ordained of God. In the life of a saint there is no such thing as chance. God by His providence brings you into circumstances that you cannot understand at all, but the Spirit of God understands. God is bringing you into places and among people and into conditions in order that the intercession of the Spirit in you may take a particular line. Never put your hand in front of the circumstances and say - I am going to be my own providence here, I must watch this, and guard that. All your circumstances are in the hand of God, therefore never think it strange concerning the circumstances you are in. Your part in intercessory prayer is not to enter into the agony of intercession, but to utilize the common-sense circumstances God puts you in, and the common-sense people He puts you amongst by His providence, to bring them before God's throne and give the Spirit in you a chance to intercede for them. In this way God is going to sweep the whole world with His saints. ...Oswald Chambers image

Waiting for God...

Waiting for God means...readiness for any command; that sense of perpetual suspense which listens for the word in order that it may be immediately obeyed. Those who wait for God are pilgrim souls that have no tie that will hold them when the definite command is issued; no prejudices that will paralyze their effort when in some strange coming of the light they are commanded to take a pathway entirely different to that which was theirs before; having no interests either temporal or eternal, either material or mental or spiritual, that will conflict with the will of God when that will is made known. ...G. Campbell Morgan image

Friday, May 27, 2011

Where two or three are met together

Where two or three are met together, the prayer of one strikes fire from the soul of another; and the latter in his turn leads the way to nobler heights of devotion. And lo! as their joy increases, there is One in their midst whom they all recognize and cling to. He was there before, but it is only when their hearts begin to burn that they recognize Him; and in a true sense they may be said to bring Him there-"Where two or three are met together in My name, there am I in the midst of them."
...James Stalker image

For each of us the time is surely coming...

For each of us the time is surely coming when we shall have nothing but God. Health and wealth and friends and hiding places will all be swept away, and we shall have only God. To the man of pseudo faith that is a terrifying thought, but to real faith it is one of the most comforting thoughts the heart can entertain. ...AW Tozer image

Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you...

Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. Ezekiel 36:25

What an exceeding joy is this! He who has purified us with the blood of Jesus will also cleanse us by the water of the Holy Spirit. God hath said it, and so it must be, "Ye shall be clean." Lord, we feel and mourn our uncleanness, and it is cheering to be assured by Thine own mouth that we shall be clean. Oh, that Thou wouldst make a speedy work of it!

He will deliver us from our worst sins. The uprisings of unbelief and the deceitful lusts which war against the soul, the vile thoughts of pride, and the suggestions of Satan to blaspheme the sacred name-all these shall be so purged away as never to return.

He will also cleanse us from all our idols, whether of gold or of clay: our impure loves and our excessive love of that which in itself is pure. That which we have idolized shall either be broken from us or we shall be broken off from it.

It is God who speaks of what He Himself will do. Therefore is this word established and sure, and we may boldly look for that which it guarantees to us. Cleansing is a covenant blessing, and the covenant is ordered in all things and sure. ...CH Spurgeon image

Jesus, as a mother you gather your people to you...

Jesus, as a mother you gather your people to you:
you are gentle with us as a mother with her children;
Often you weep over our sins and our pride:
tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgement.
You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds:
in sickness you nurse us,
and with pure milk you feed us.
Jesus, by your dying we are born to new life:
by your anguish and labour we come forth in joy.
Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness:
through your gentleness we find comfort in fear.
Your warmth gives life to the dead:
your touch makes sinners righteous.
Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us:
in your love and tenderness remake us.
In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness:
for the beauty of heaven may your love prepare us.
... Anselm of Canterbury
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Is faith growing or declining as the years go by?

"Is faith growing or declining as the years go by? Does faith stand strong and four square, these days, as iniquity abounds and the love of many grows cold? Does faith maintain its hold, as religion tends to become a mere formality and worldliness increasingly prevails? The enquiry of our Lord, may, with great appropriateness, be ours. 'When the Son of Man cometh,' He asks, 'shall He find faith on the earth?' We believe that He will, and it is ours, in this our day, to see to it that the lamp of faith is trimmed and burning, lest He come who shall come, and that right early." ...EM Bounds image by Kumaravel

God does hear our prayer...

God does hear our prayer, but He may not answer it at the precise time we have appointed in our own minds. Instead, He will reveal Himself to our seeking hearts, though not necessarily when and where we expect. Therefore we have a need for perserverence and steadfast determination in our life of prayer. ...CH Spurgeon image by David Merrett

I cannot think that God would be content...

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I cannot think that God would be content
To view unmoved the toiling and the strain,
The groaning of the ages, sick and spent,
The whole creation travailing in pain.
The suffering God is no vast cosmic force,
That by some blind, unthinking, loveless power
Keeps stars and atoms swinging in their course,
And reckons naught of men in this grim hour.
Nor is the suffering God a fair ideal
Engendered in the questioning hearts of men,
A figment of the mind to help me steel
My soul to rude realities I ken.
God suffers with a love that cleanses dross;
A God like that, I see upon a cross.
... Georgia Harkness
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Don't think that love, to be true, has to be extraordinary...


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Don't think that love, to be true, has to be extraordinary. What is necessary is to continue to love. How does a lamp burn, if it is not by the continuous feeding of little drops of oil? When there is no oil, there is no light and the bridegroom will say: "I do not know you". Dear friends, what are our drops of oil in our lamps? They are the small things from every day life: the joy, the generosity, the little good things, the humility and the patience. A simple thought for someone else. Our way to be silent, to listen, to forgive, to speak and to act. That are the real drops of oil that make our lamps burn vividly our whole life. Don't look for Jesus far away, He is not there. He is in you, take care of your lamp and you will see Him." ...Mother Teresa image

Monday, May 23, 2011

The trivial round, the common task...

The trivial round, the common task,
Would furnish all we ought to ask;
Room to deny ourselves; a road
To bring us, daily, nearer God.

Seek we no more; content with these,
Let present Rapture, Comfort, Ease,
As Heaven shall bid them, come and go;—
The secret this of Rest below.

Only, O Lord, in thy dear love
Fit us for perfect rest above;
And help us, this and every day,
To live more nearly as we pray.

The truths that I know best...

The truths that I know best I have learned on my knees. I never know a thing well, till it is burned into my heart by prayer. ...John Bunyan image

By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered...

By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered,
and confidently waiting come what may,
we know that God is with us night and morning,
and never fails to greet us each new day.

Yet is this heart by its old foe tormented,
still evil days bring burdens hard to bear;
Oh, give our frightened souls the sure salvation
for which, O Lord, You taught us to prepare.

And when this cup You give is filled to brimming
with bitter suffering, hard to understand,
we take it thankfully and without trembling,
out of so good and so beloved a hand.

Yet when again in this same world You give us
the joy we had, the brightness of Your Sun,
we shall remember all the days we lived through,
and our whole life shall then be Yours alone.
...written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

in the concentration camp, shortly before his death. image

All God's revelations are sealed...

All God's revelations are sealed until they are opened to us by obedience. You will never get them open by philosophy or thinking. Immediately you obey, a flash of light comes. Let God's truth work in you by soaking in it, not by worrying into it. The only way you can get to know is to stop trying to find out and by being born again. Obey God in the thing He shows you, and instantly the next thing is opened up. One reads tomes on the work of the Holy Spirit, when one five minutes of drastic obedience would make things as clear as a sunbeam. "I suppose I shall understand these things some day!" You can understand them now. It is not study that does it, but obedience. The tiniest fragment of obedience, and heaven opens and the profoundest truths of God are yours straight away. God will never reveal more truth about Himself until you have obeyed what you know already. Beware of becoming "wise and prudent." ...Oswald Chambers image

Let a man set his heart only on doing the will of God...

Let a man set his heart only on doing the will of God and he is instantly free. If we understand our first and sole duty to consist of loving God supremely and loving everyone, even our enemies, for God's dear sake, then we can enjoy spiritual tranquility under every circumstance. ...AW Tozer image

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Thou, who art the true Sun of the world...

Thou, who art the true Sun of the world, evermore rising, and never going down: who, by Thy most wholesome appearing and sight dost nourish, and make joyful all things as well that are in heaven, and also that are on earth; we beseech Thee mercifully and favorably to shine into our hearts, that the night and darkness of sin, and the mists of error on every side, being driven away, Thou brightly shining within our hearts, we may all our life long go without any stumbling or offence, and may walk as in the daytime, being pure and clean from the works of darkness, and abounding in all good works which Thou hast prepared for us to walk in. ...Desiderius Erasmus image by Brian Snelson

Friday, May 20, 2011

That Our Joy May Be Complete: The Essence of the Christian Ministry

This is a commencement address and charge to graduates of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, delivered May 20, 2011 by R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President.
Friday, May 20, 2011

Excerpt:
The incarnation of the Word is the central truth of Christianity and the very foundation of our faith. As John tells us, he writes concerning the word of life — “the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us.”

That was the message of the Apostles, and it is the message that is now entrusted to us. The graduates we celebrate today are called by God to be the heralds of the truth that eternal life is found in Jesus Christ, and in Christ alone. They are called to declare that salvation has come, and that the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting comes to all who call upon the name of the Lord and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

John expresses this hope when he writes, “that which we have seen and heard we proclaim to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” These graduates join the long line of faithful heralds who have followed the Apostles by teaching and preaching and taking this same Gospel. We preach the Gospel and share the Gospel in order that sinners may come to the saving knowledge of Christ, and then join in fellowship with all believers throughout all the ages. The even greater affirmation in this text is that the redeemed in Christ have fellowship, not only with each other in the communion of saints, but “with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.”

This assignment — the preaching and teaching of this Gospel — represents a calling that exceeds all others in eternal importance. The graduates we celebrate today are not professionals entering one profession among others. They are standing in the faith and message of the Apostles, commissioned by Christ to feed his sheep and let the nations be glad. the rest

Thursday, May 19, 2011

We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God...

We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and cancelling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions. We may pass them by, preoccupied with our more important tasks, as the priest passed by the man who had fallen among thieves, perhaps - reading the Bible..... it is part of the discipline of humility that we must not spare our hand where it can perform a service and we do not assume that our schedule is our own to manage, but allow it to be arranged by God. ...Dietrich Bonhoeffer image

To be right with God...

To be right with God has often meant
to be in trouble with men.
... AW Tozer image

Proceed with much prayer...

Proceed with much prayer,
and your way will be made plain.
...John Wesley image

It is not necessary to maintain a conversation...

It is not necessary to maintain a conversation when we are in the presence of God. We can come into His presence and rest our weary souls in quiet contemplation of Him. Our groanings, which cannot be uttered, rise to Him and tell Him better than words how dependent we are upon Him. ...O. Hallesby image

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lord of your life...

God is not looking for ways to make you "squirm." He does, however, want to be Lord of your life. Whenever you identify a place where you refuse to allow His lordship, that is a place He will go to work. He is interested in absolute surrender. God may or may not require you to do that very thing you identified, but He will keep working until you are willing for Him to be Lord of all. ...Henry Blackaby image

There will be no "knights in shining armor" in God's kingdom...

There will be no "knights in shining armor" in God's kingdom; our armor will have many dings and dents. No, no perfect Hollywood heroes will ride to save the day; just wearied saints to look to God and, in weakness, find Christ's strength. This, indeed, is the essence of God's kingdom: divine greatness manifest in common people.
...Francis Frangipane  image

Stand up in the place where the dear Lord has put you...

Stand up in the place where the dear Lord has put you, and there do your best. God gives us trial tests. He puts life before us as an antagonist face to face. Out of the buffeting of a serious conflict we are expected to grow strong. The tree that grows where tempests toss its boughs and bend its trunk often almost to breaking, is often more firmly rooted than the tree which grows in the sequestered valley where no storm ever brings stress or strain. The same is true of life. The grandest character is grown in hardship. ...Streams in the Desert image

Am I in the light?

For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness. 2 Samuel 22:29

Am I in the light? Then Thou, O Lord, art my lamp. Take Thee away and my joy would be gone; but as long as Thou art with me, I can do without the torches of time and the candles of created comfort. What a light the presence of God casts on all things! We heard of a lighthouse which could be seen for twenty miles, but our Jehovah is not only a God at hand, but far off is He seen, even in the enemy's country. O Lord, I am as happy as an angel when Thy love fills my heart. Thou art all my desire.

Am I in the dark? Then thou, O Lord, wilt lighten my darkness. Before long things will change. Affairs may grow more and more dreary and cloud may be piled upon cloud; but if it grow so dark that I cannot see my own hand, still I shall see the hand of the Lord. When I cannot find a light within me, or among my friends, or in the whole world, the Lord, who said, "Let there be light," and there was light, can say the same again. He will speak me into the sunshine yet. I shall not die but live. The day is already breaking. This sweet text shines like a morning star. I shall clap my hands for joy ere many hours are passed. ...CH Spurgeon
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Let us shake off the intoxication of compromise

File:John Martin - Sodom and Gomorrah.jpg
Dear friends, let us shake off the intoxication of compromise. Too many of us are entertained by things we should weep over. God destroyed the world during Noah's day because of violence, yet we sit before televisions and in theaters amused by violence. The Lord ultimately destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their twisted morality, yet we do nothing to protest similar perversity entering our lands. ...Francis Frangipane image

I love you, O Lord, my strength

I love you, O Lord, my strength; through you every hostile power yields to me, worm that I am, and the guile of the ancient Serpent is laughed to scorn by the angels you send to minister to us, so that his desire to hurt is turned to our advantage instead.

I love you, Lord, my powerful defender,
wise guide, gentle consoler, generous rewarder. Confident, I cast all my care on him whose strength cannot be overthrown, whose wisdom cannot be led astray, whose loving kindness cannot be exhausted in fulfilling my every need. How much better, how much safer it is to have him caring for me than to be looking after myself. How much better it is to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man. How justly cursed is the man who, trusting in man, makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the Lord. Indeed I am poor and needy but if the Lord takes thought for me I am rich and blessed; no mistake, everything works for good in me.

Therefore let those who know your name
put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not forsake those who put their trust in you. ...Blessed Guerric of Igny image

But how may we know God's will?

But how may we know God's will? That is not always easy. Yet the difficulty is not in Him. He does not wish us to grope painfully in the dark...There is a more excellent way. Let the heart be quieted and stilled in the presence of God...Let the voice of the Son of God hush into perfect rest the storms that sweep the lake of the inner life and ruffle its calm surface...Let the whole being be centered on God Himself. And then, remembering that all who lack wisdom are to ask it of God, and that Jesus Christ is already made unto us wisdom, let us quietly appropriate Him, in that capacity, by faith; and then go forward. ...It is an immense help in any difficulty to say, "I take thee, Lord Jesus, as my wisdom," and to do the next thing, nothing doubting, assured that He will not permit those who trust in Him to be ashamed.
...FB Meyer image

God will not turn away from doing you good...

God will not turn away from doing you good. He will keep on doing good. He doesn't do good to His children sometimes and bad to them other times. He keeps on doing good and He never will stop doing good for ten thousand ages of ages. When things are going bad that does not mean God has stopped doing good. It means He is shifting things around to get them in place for more good, if you will go on loving Him. ...John Piper image

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

He comes to us as One unknown...

He comes to us as One unknown, without a name, as of old, by the lakeside, He came to those who knew Him not. He speaks to us the same word: "Follow thou me!" and sets us to the tasks which He has to fulfill for our time. He commands, and to those who obey Him, whether they be wise or simple, He will reveal Himself in the toil, the conflicts, the sufferings which they shall pass through in His fellowship, and as an ineffable mystery, they shall learn in their own experience Who He is. ...Frederick Buechner image

Monday, May 9, 2011

Wonder is a deep, profound experience...

Wonder is a deep, profound experience. The typical secular education of our day makes us suspicious or callous to wonder. It seems so unscientific, so unsophisticated, and ultimately, so seemingly unnecessary. So they say. But to lose the sense of wonder is to lose one of the great beauties of life. Worship, on the other hand, exercises our sense of wonder. It helps us see things and hear things and feel things, that not everyone recognizes. Worship, in essence, is wonderful. ...Hughes Oliphant Old image by Renee Youngblood

Wounds Still Visible

Margaret Manning

Excerpt:
Whenever I wish my scars away, I remember the curious feature of Jesus's resurrection body.  Jesus bore the wounds of violence and oppression in his body—even after his resurrection.  When the gospel writers record his appearing to his disciples, Jesus shows them "both his hands and his side" as a means by which to identify himself to them.  Indeed, the text tells us that once the disciples see these visible wounds, "they rejoiced when the saw the Lord" (John 20:20). 

The resurrection body of Jesus contained the scars from nail and sword, and these scars identified Jesus to his followers. They told the story of the violence of the crucifixion, and the sacrificial nature of God's love for humanity—a love that was wounded and pierced through by nail and sword.

His wounds reveal something else. God's work of resurrection—indeed of new-creation—begins in our wounded world. The resurrection of Jesus is not a disembodied spiritual reality simply reserved for life after the grave; it bears the marks of his wounded life here and now, yet with a new significance. N.T. Wright, who has written extensively on the central importance of Christ's bodily resurrection for Christians, says it this way:

"The resurrection of Jesus means that the present time is shot through with great significance....Acts of justice and mercy, the creation of beauty and the celebration of truth, deeds of love and the creation of communities of kindness and forgiveness—these all matter, and they matter forever. Take away the resurrection, and these things are important for the present but irrelevant for the future and hence not all that important after all even now. Enfolded in this vocation to build now, with gold, silver, and precious stones, the things that will last into God's new age, is the vocation to holiness: to the fully human life, reflecting the image of God, that is made possible by Jesus' victory on the cross and that is energized by the Spirit of the risen Jesus present within communities and persons." the rest image

If...we know Him...

If...we know Him by the revelation of the Holy Spirit and in our daily experience of Him as a personal loving heavenly Father, and are acquainted with both His gentleness and His awesome holiness, we will run to Him as children with open arms and yet deepest respect. The most important Person who ever existed loves you and me! The Creator of the universe has revealed Himself as having the tender heart of loving Father, and has by his Spirit made us His true-born children. He knows your name, He knows my name, He laughs and weeps with us! In Him we have discovered that we are valued infinitely far above our worth. How can we keep quiet about such a God? ...Graham Kendrick image by Darrel Birkett

Discipleship...

"Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. Walking on the water is easy to impulsive pluck, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is a different thing. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, but he followed Him afar off on the land. We do not need the grace of God to stand crises, human nature and pride are sufficient, we can face the strain magnificently; but it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours in every day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes."
...Oswald Chambers image

In this hour of all-but-universal darkness...

In this hour of all-but-universal darkness one cheering gleam appears: Within the fold of conservative Christianity there are to be found increasing numbers of persons whose religious lives are marked by a growing hunger after God Himself. They are eager for spiritual realities. . . They are athirst for God, and they will not be satisfied until they have drunk deep at the Fountain of Living Water. ...A.W. Tozer image

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It requires much more courage to stand and wait...

It requires much more courage to stand and wait and still not lose heart or lose hope, to submit to the will of God, to give up opportunities for work and leave honors to others, and to be quiet, confident, and rejoicing while the busy multitude goes happily along their way. The greatest life is, "after you have done everything, to stand" (Ephesians 6:13) ...JR Miller image

I will set him on high, because he hath known my name...

I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
Psalm 91:14

Does the Lord say this to me? Yes, if I have known His name. Blessed be the Lord, I am no stranger to Him. I have tried Him, proved Him, and known Him, and therefore do I trust Him. I know His name as a sin-hating God, for by His Spirit's convincing power I have been taught that He will never wink at evil. But I also know Him as the sin-pardoning God in Christ Jesus, for He has forgiven me all trespasses. His name is faithfulness, and I know it, for He has never forsaken me though my troubles have multiplied upon me.

This knowledge is a gift of grace, and the Lord makes it to be the reason why He grants another grace-gift, namely, setting on high. This is grace upon grace. Observe that if we climb on high, the position may be dangerous; but if the Lord sets us there it is safe. He may raise us to great usefulness, to eminent experience, to success in service, to leadership among workers, to a father's place among the little ones. If He does not do this, He may set us on high by near fellowship, clear insight, holy triumph, and gracious anticipation of eternal glory. When God sets us on high, Satan himself cannot pull us down. Oh, that this may be our case all through this day! ...CH Spurgeon
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Content yourself with leading a simple life...

Content yourself with leading a simple life according to your circumstances. For the rest, obey the Lord and bear your little daily crosses. You need them, and God gives them to you only out of pure mercy. The great thing is to make light of yourself sincerely, and to consent to be made light of by others if God permits it. Nourish yourself with him alone. ...Francois Fenelon image

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

To look back upon the progress of the divine kingdom...

To look back upon the progress of the divine kingdom upon earth is to review revival periods which have come like refreshing showers upon dry and thirsty ground, making the desert to blossom as the rose, and bringing new eras of spiritual life and activity just when the Church had fallen under the influence of the apathy of the times, and needed to be aroused to a new sense of her duty and responsibility.... Every mighty move of the Spirit of God has had its source in the prayer chamber. ...EM Bounds
image by Rennett Stowe

O, I hear the voice of my Beloved!

"Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away."
—Song of Solomon 2:10

O, I hear the voice of my Beloved! He speaks to me! Fair weather is smiling upon the face of the earth, and He would not have me spiritually asleep while nature is all around me awaking from her winter's rest. He bids me "Rise up," and well He may, for I have long enough been lying among the pots of worldliness. He is risen, I am risen in Him, why then should I cleave unto the dust? From lower loves, desires, pursuits, and aspirations, I would rise towards Him. He calls me by the sweet title of "My love," and counts me fair; this is a good argument for my rising. If He has thus exalted me, and thinks me thus comely, how can I linger in the tents of Kedar and find congenial associates among the sons of men? He bids me "Come away." Further and further from everything selfish, grovelling, worldly, sinful, He calls me; yea, from the outwardly religious world which knows Him not, and has no sympathy with the mystery of the higher life, He calls me. "Come away" has no harsh sound in it to my ear, for what is there to hold me in this wilderness of vanity and sin?

O my Lord, would that I could come away, but I am taken among the thorns, and cannot escape from them as I would. I would, if it were possible, have neither eyes, nor ears, nor heart for sin. Thou callest me to Thyself by saying "Come away," and this is a melodious call indeed. To come to Thee is to come home from exile, to come to land out of the raging storm, to come to rest after long labour, to come to the goal of my desires and the summit of my wishes. But Lord, how can a stone rise, how can a lump of clay come away from the horrible pit? O raise me, draw me. Thy grace can do it. Send forth Thy Holy Spirit to kindle sacred flames of love in my heart, and I will continue to rise until I leave life and time behind me, and indeed come away. ...CH Spurgeon
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You will never find Jesus so precious...

You will never find Jesus so precious as when the world is one vast howling wilderness. Then he is like a rose blooming in the midst of the desolation, a rock rising above the storm. ...Robert Murray M'Cheyne image

Is He not following thee with daily mercies?

Is He not following thee with daily mercies, moving upon thy soul, providing for thy body, preserving both? Doth He not bear thee continually in the arms of His love, and promise that all things shall work together for thy good, and suit all His dealings to thy greatest advantage, and give His angels charge over thee? And canst thou be taken up with the joys below and forget thy Lord Who forgets not thee? ...Richard Baxter image

The glory of the spring how sweet!

The glory of the spring how sweet!
The new-born life how glad!
What joy the happy earth to greet
In new, bright raiment clad!

Divine Redeemer, Thee I bless;
I greet Thy going forth;
I love Thee in the loveliness
Of Thy renew├Ęd earth.
Thomas H. Gill photo