Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It is no small honour...

It is no small honour that God for our sake has so magnificently adorned the world, in order that we may not only be spectators of this beauteous theatre, but also enjoy the multiplied abundance and variety of good things which are presented to us in it. Our gratitude in yielding to God the praise which is his due, is regarded by him as a singular recompense. ...John Calvin image by Rennett Stowe

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lord, give me faith to live from day to day...

Lord, give me faith to live from day to day,
With tranquil heart to do my simple part,
And with my hand in Thine, just go Thy way.

Lord, give me faith to trust, if not to know;
With quiet mind in all things Thee to find,
And, child-like, go where Thou wouldst have me go.

Lord, give me faith to leave it all to Thee,
The future is Thy gift, I would not lift
The veil Thy Love has hung 'twixt it and me.
...John Oxenham image

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Whatever awaits us is first encountered by Him...

Whatever awaits us is encountered first by Him-each difficulty and complication, each wild beast or wilder robber, each yawning chasm or precipitous path. Faith's eye can always discern His majestic presence in front; and when that cannot be seen, it is dangerous to move forward. Bind this comfort to your heart: that the Saviour has tried for Himself all the experiences through which He asks you to pass; and He would not ask you to pass through them unless He was sure that they were not too difficult for your feet, or too trying for your strength...

This is the Blessed Life-not anxious to see far in front, not careful about the next step, not eager to choose the path, not weighted with the heavy responsibilities of the future; but quietly following behind the Shepherd, on step at a time. ...FB Meyer

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

I have a high priest in heaven...

When old companions, old lusts, and sins crowd in upon you, and when you feel that you are ready to sink, what can save you, sinking sinner? This alone - I have a high priest in heaven, and he can support in the hour of affliction. This alone can give you peace - I have a high priest in heaven. When you are dying - when friends can do you no good - when sins rise up like spectres around your bed - what can give you peace? This - "I have a high priest in heaven"
...Robert Murray M'Cheyne image

He who has learned to pray...

He who has learned to pray has learned the greatest secret of a holy and happy life. ...William Law image

Give God your all...

Give God your all. He doesn't ask us to give Him only what we would consider perfect. Give Him everything, every scrap, every part of us, everything you've kept hidden on the back shelf of your heart. Give him those things that you judge as not good enough. Hand over those areas of your life that appear to be too broken to be used. God can and will transform the good, the bad, what you deem the ugly. Let Him sift and sort things through. You'll be amazed at what the Master Creator can make out of what you might consider the shambles of your heart. ...Katherine Walden image

Such was the life which our Lord chose...

Christ was born in a stable; He was obliged to fly into Egypt; thirty years of His life were spent in a workshop; He suffered hunger, thirst, and weariness; He was poor, despised, and miserable; He taught the doctrines of heaven, and no one would listen. The great and the wise persecuted and took Him, subjected Him to frightful torments, treated Him as a slave, and put Him to death between two malefactors, having preferred to give liberty to a robber, rather than to suffer Him to escape. Such was the life which our Lord chose; while we are horrified at any kind of humiliation, and cannot bear the slightest appearance of contempt. ...Francois Fenelon image

If I have the eyes of faith...

If I have the eyes of faith, I will look for the action of the Holy Spirit in every event which stirs a positive or negative reaction in me. I will ask how God is trying to move my life through this event. Perhaps the event will stir me to gratitude, perhaps even to yearn for a fuller union with God in heaven. Or perhaps it will show me my own impatience, my own willingness to judge others, my cowardice, my own twisted love of material things. Here I will find a call to repent and to detach myself from the idolatry which gives rise to such behavior. Or perhaps, I will be surprised by my own generosity in a situation when I am often not so generous. Then, I may have some consolation in knowing that not all is lost, that the Spirit does move through me.
...Glen Argan image by Nishanth Jois

Thursday, August 25, 2011

We are not spared dark nights...

We are not spared dark nights. They are clearly necessary, so that we can learn freedom and maturity and above all else a capacity for sympathy with others... A part of every human love is that it is only truly great and enriching if I am ready to deny myself for this other person, to come out of myself, to give of myself. And that is certainly true of our relationship with God, out of which, in the end, all our other relationships must grow. I must begin by no longer looking at myself, but by asking what he wants. I must begin by learning to love. ...Benedict XVI image

Of necessity we must be in Christ...

lf ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will,
and it shall be done unto you. John 15:7

Of necessity we must be in Christ to live unto Him, and we must abide in Him to be able to claim the largesse of this promise from Him. To abide in Jesus is never to quit Him for another love or another object, but to remain in living, loving, conscious, willing union with Him. The branch is not only ever near the stem but ever receiving life and fruitfulness horn it. All true believers abide in Christ in a sense; but there is a higher meaning, and this we must know before we can gain unlimited power at the throne. "Ask what ye will" is for Enochs who walk with God, for Johns who lie in the Lord's bosom, for those whose union with Christ leads to constant communion.

The heart must remain in love, the mind must be rooted in faith, the hope must be cemented to the Word, the whole man must be joined unto the Lord, or else it would be dangerous to trust us with power in prayer. The carte blanche can only be given to one whose very life is, "Not I, but Christ liveth in me." O you who break your fellowship, what power you lose! If you would be mighty in your pleadings, the Lord Himself must abide in you, and you in Him. ...CH Spurgeon image

From every pulpit in the land...

From every pulpit in the land it needs to be thundered forth that God still lives, that God still observes, that God still reigns. Faith is now in the crucible, it is being tested by fire, and there is no fixed and sufficient resting-place for the heart and mind but in the Throne of God. What is needed now, as never before, is a full, positive, constructive setting forth of the Godhood of God. ...AW Pink image

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Is there not comfort in knowing...

Can anything appear in us that was not anticipated by One who before taking us for His own possession sat down and counted the cost? Is there not comfort in knowing that your keel is caught by a current which emanated from the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will, and is bearing you towards His heart? Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements, and His ways past finding out! ...FB Meyer image

One of the greatest blessings the Lord ever gave us was a cross...

I believe the hard heartest, most cross grained and most unloving Christians in all the world are those who have not had much trouble in their life. And those that are the most sympathizing, loving and Christlike are generally those who have the most affliction. The worse thing that can happen to any of us is to have a path made too smooth. One of the greatest blessings the Lord ever gave us was a cross. ...Charles Spurgeon image

Thoughtfulness is the beginning of great sanctity...

Thoughtfulness is the beginning of great sanctity. If you learn this art of being thoughtful, you will become more and more Christ-like, for his heart was meek and he always thought of others. Our vocation, to be beautiful, must be full of thought for others. ...Mother Teresa of Calcutta image

The degree of blessing...

The degree of blessing enjoyed by any man will correspond exactly with the completeness of God's victory over him.
...AW Tozer image

Fear not because your prayer is stammering...

Fear not because your prayer is stammering, your words feeble, and your language poor. Jesus can understand you. Just as a mother understands the first lispings of her infant, so does the blessed Saviour understand sinners. He can read a sigh, and see a meaning in a groan. ...JC Ryle image

Monday, August 15, 2011

The 7 Habits of People Who Place Radical Trust in God

posted August 15, 2011

I read a lot of biographies and memoirs about inspiring people who place radical trust in God. (By “radical” I don’t mean reckless or imprudent, but am referring to the difficult, very counter-cultural act of recognizing God’s sovereignty over every area of our lives. More on that here.) From He Leadeth Me to God’s Smuggler, Mother Angelica to The Heavenly Man to The Shadow of His Wings, these true stories are about people from all walks of the Christian life: Catholic and Protestant, consecrated religious and lay people, men and women. And yet they all have distinct similarities in their approaches to life and the Lord.

I found it fascinating to see what common threads could be found in the lives of these incredible people who place so much trust in the Lord, and thought I’d share in case others find it inspiring as well.

1. They accept suffering.....

2. They accept the inevitability of death...

3. They have daily appointments with God...

4. In prayer, they listen more than they talk...

5. They limit distractions...

6. They submit their discernment to others

7. They offer the Lord their complete, unhesitating obedience...

Full essay-excellent!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Let our temper be under the rule of the love of Jesus...

Let our temper be under the rule of the love of Jesus: He can not alone curb it, - He can make us gentle and patient. Let the vow, that not an unkind word of others shall ever be heard from our lips, be laid trustingly at His feet. Let the gentleness that refuses to take offence, that is always ready to excuse, to think and hope the best, mark our intercourse with all. Let our life be one of self-sacrifice, always studying the welfare of others, finding our highest joy in blessing others. And let us, in studying the Divine art of doing good, yield ourselves as obedient learners to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. By His grace, the most common-place life can be transfigured with the brightness of a heavenly beauty, as the infinite love of the Divine nature shines out through our frail humanity. ...Andrew Murray image

My God, I love Thee...

My God, I love Thee --
not because I hope for heaven thereby,
Nor yet because who love Thee not must die eternally.
Thou, O my Jesus, Thou didst me upon the Cross embrace;
For me didst nails and spear endure, and manifold disgrace.
Why, then why, O blessed Jesus Christ,
should I not love Thee well?
Not for the hope of winning heaven, or of escaping hell--
Not with the hope of gaining aught, nor seeking a reward,
But as Thyself hast loved me, O ever-loving Lord!
E'en then I love Thee and will love, and in Thy praise will sing
Solely because Thou art my God and my eternal King.
... Anonymous Latin Hymn, attrib. Francis Xavier

We need to be made clean...

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8

Purity, even purity of heart, is the main thing to be aimed at. We need to be made clean within through the Spirit and the Word, and then we shall be clean without by consecration and obedience. There is a close connection between the affections and the understanding: if we love evil we cannot understand that which is good. If the heart is foul, the eye will be dim. How can those men see a holy God who love unholy things?

What a privilege it is to see God here! A glimpse of Him is heaven below! In Christ Jesus the pure in heart behold the Father. We see Him, His truth, His love, His purpose, His sovereignty, His covenant character, yea, we see Himself in Christ. But this is only apprehended as sin is kept out of the heart. Only those who aim at godliness can cry, "Mine eyes are ever towards the Lord." The desire of Moses, "I beseech thee, show me thy glory," can only be fulfilled in us as we purify ourselves from all iniquity. We shall "see him as he is," and "every one that hath this hope in him purifieth himself." The enjoyment of present fellowship and the hope of the beatific vision are urgent motives for purity of heart and life. Lord, make us pure in heart that we may see Thee.
...CH Spurgeon image

We rest on Thee...

We rest on Thee,
Our shield and our defender!
Thine is the battle, Thine shall be the praise;
When passing through the gates of pearly splendor,
Victors, we rest with Thee, through endless days.
... Edith Gilling Cherry

The Lord is my peace...

The Lord is my peace.
I shall not live in anxiety.
He puts me under his wing of comfort
and calms my spirit within me.
He takes all my anxieties on Himself
and helps me to focus on Him.
Yes, though I walk through a time
of grave uncertainties and fierce anxieties,
I will not fret-for You are my peace.
Your Word and Your presence calm me now.
You hold my uncertainties in the palm of Your hand.
You soothe my anxious mind-You smooth my wrinkled brow.
Surely serenity and trust in You shall fill
me all the days of my life.
And I shall keep my mind stayed on You forever.
...Judy Booth image

If worship is right...

If worship is right because God is worthy of it, it is also the best of all antidotes to our own self-centredness, the most effective way to "disinfect us of egotism," as one writer put it long ago. In true worship we turn the searchlight of our mind and heart upon God and temporarily forget about our troublesome and usually intrusive selves. We marvel at the beauties and intricacies of God's creation. We "survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died." We are taken up with God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit...Because we are normally so turned in on ourselves, we will not find this easy. But we have to persevere, since nothing is more right or more important. ...John R. W. Stott

Saturday, August 6, 2011

God is waiting anxiously...

God is waiting anxiously to lead each of us in the dance of praise." God is on a mission - a quest. He is looking for worshipers. As he constantly draws each of us into a deeper and more intimate friendship with himself, he is creating within us hearts that will praise him. ...Claire Cloninge image

The Lord Jesus is in the midst of His church...

The Lord Jesus is in the midst of His church. He walks among the golden candlesticks. His promise, "Lo, I am with you always," is as effectual now as it was the morning He prepared breakfast for His disciples at the lake...

If we know that Jesus is with us, every power will be developed and every grace will be strengthened. We will throw ourselves into the Lord's service with heart, soul, and strength. ...CH Spurgeon image by JP Puerta

When I am sore beset...

When I am sore beset,
I seek some quiet place,
Some lonely room or barren windswept hill,
And there in silence wait apart
Until I see again the smile upon God’s face;
Until His presence floods me like the dawn,
And I can hear His whispered,
Peace, be still,
And know the strength to do His will.
I turn to take my load and find it gone.
...Antoinette Goetschius

The Transfiguration of Jesus: 'Tis good, Lord, to be here...

’Tis good, Lord, to be here,
Thy glory fills the night;
Thy face and garments, like the sun,
Shine with unborrowed light.

’Tis good, Lord, to be here,
Thy beauty to behold
Where Moses and Elijah stand,
Thy messengers of old.

Fulfiller of the past,
Promise of things to be,
We hail Thy body glorified
And our redemption see.

Before we taste of death,
We see Thy kingdom come;
We fain would hold the vision bright
And make this hill our home.

’Tis good, Lord, to be here.
Yet we may not remain;
But since Thou bidst us leave the mount,
Come with us to the plain.
...Joseph A. Robinson

Sunlike thy visage shone with rays of splendour...

Author of all things, Christ, the world's Redeemer,
Monarch of Monarchs, judgement's dread Awarder,
Now to our praises, as to our petitions,
Graciously hearken.

While the night fleeteth, we our votive anthems
Frame to thine honour; grant that they may please thee;
And as we hymn thee, Source of Light eternal,
Ever refresh us.

Sunlike thy visage shone with rays of splendour,
Brightly thy raiment gleam'd with snowy whiteness,
When mid the Prophets, Moses and Elias.
Thou wast transfigured.

Then did the Father own thee Sole-begotten;
Thou art the glory of the holy Angels;
Thee, the Way, Virtue, Life, the world's Salvation,
Ever confess we.

Glory and power be to thee, Creator,
Who alone all things rulest and controllest,
Throned in thy kingdom, Monarch everlasting,
Trinal and Onely. Amen
O Sator Rerum image

Transfiguration: The LORD is King!

The LORD is King;
let the people tremble;
he is enthroned upon the cherubim;
let the earth shake.

The LORD is great in Zion;
he is high above all peoples.

Let them confess his Name,
which is great and awesome;
he is the Holy One.

"O mighty King, lover of justice,
you have established equity;
you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob."

Proclaim the greatness of the LORD our God
and fall down before his footstool;
he is the Holy One.
-Psalm 99: 1-5

O God, who on the holy mount revealed to chosen witnesses your well-beloved Son, wonderfully transfigured, in raiment white and glistening: Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may by faith behold the King in his beauty; who with you, O Father, and you, O Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.  image