Thursday, May 31, 2012

Because God is my sovereign Lord...

Because God is my sovereign Lord, I was not worried. He manages perfectly, day and night, year in and year out, the movements of the stars, the wheeling of the planets, the staggering coordination of events that goes on the molecular level in order to hold things together. There is no doubt that he can manage the timing of my days and weeks.
...Elisabeth Elliot (photo by Raymond Dague)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

O Holy Spirit of God, abide with us...

O Holy Spirit of God, abide with us; inspire all our thoughts; pervade our imaginations; suggest all our decisions; order all our doings. Be with us in our silence and in our speech, in our haste and in our leisure, in company and in solitude, in the freshness of the morning and in the weariness of the evening; and give us grace at all times humbly to rejoice in Thy mysterious companionship. John Baillie

Since the days of Pentecost...

Since the days of Pentecost, has the whole church ever put aside every other work and waited upon Him for ten days, that the Spirit's power might be manifested? We give too much attention to method and machinery and resources, and too little to the source of power. ...Jeremy Taylor imageby prakhar

Oh, for the baptism of fire!

Oh, for the baptism of fire! Oh, for the living coal upon the burning lips of love! 0h, for men and women God-possessed and self-surrendered, grasping God's great idea and pressing forward toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. ...AB Simpson image by polandeze

Come down, O love divine...

Come down, O love divine,
seek Thou this soul of mine,
And visit it with Thine own ardor glowing.
O Comforter, draw near, within my heart appear,
And kindle it, Thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn, til earthly passions turn
To dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
And let Thy glorious light shine ever on my sight,
And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity mine outward vesture be,
And lowliness become mine inner clothing;
True lowliness of heart, which takes the humbler part,
And o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

And so the yearning strong, with which the soul will long,
Shall far outpass the power of human telling;
For none can guess its grace, till he become the place
Wherein the Holy Spirit makes His dwelling.
...Bi­an­co of Si­e­na  image by Ben Sutherland

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Modern culture is a mighty force...

Modern culture is a mighty force. It is either subservient to the gospel or else it is the deadliest enemy of the gospel. For making it subservient, religious emotion is not enough, intellectual labor is also necessary. And that labor is being neglected. The Church has turned to easier tasks. And now she is reaping the fruits of her indolence. Now she must battle for her life. ...J. Gresham Machen image by Vic Nanda

Saturday, May 19, 2012

What are you haunted by?

What man is he that feareth the Lord?" Psalm 25:12

What are you haunted by? You will say - By nothing, but we are all haunted by something, generally by ourselves, or, if we are Christians, by our experience. The Psalmist says we are to be haunted by God. The abiding consciousness of the life is to be God, not thinking about Him. The whole of our life inside and out is to be absolutely haunted by the presence of God. A child's consciousness is so mother-haunted that although the child is not consciously thinking of its mother, yet when calamity arises, the relationship that abides is that of the mother. So we are to live and move and have our being in God, to look at everything in relation to God, because the abiding consciousness of God pushes itself to the front all the time.

If we are haunted by God, nothing else can get in, no cares, no tribulation, no anxieties. We see now why Our Lord so emphasized the sin of worry. How can we dare be so utterly unbelieving when God is round about us? To be haunted by God is to have an effective barricade against all the onslaughts of the enemy.

"His soul shall dwell at ease." In tribulation, misunderstanding, slander, in the midst of all these things, if our life is hid with Christ in God, He will keep us at ease. We rob ourselves of the marvellous revelation of this abiding companionship of God. "God is our Refuge" - nothing can come through that shelter. ...
Oswald Chambers image by Michael Neel

Devotion is not a passing emotion...

Devotion is not a passing emotion: it is a fixed, enduring habit of mind permeating the whole life and shaping every action. It rests upon a conviction that God is the Sole Source of Holiness, and that our part is to lean upon Him and be absolutely guided and governed by Him; and it necessitates an abiding hold on Him, a perpetual habit of listening for His Voice within the heart, as of readiness to obey the dictates of that Voice. ... Jean N. Grou

A Shepherd Secures Them

They shall feed and lie down,
and none shall make them afraid. -Zephaniah 3:13

Yesterday we thought of the afflicted and poor people whom the Lord left to be a living seed in a dead world. The prophet says of such that they shall not work iniquity nor speak lies. So that while they had neither rank nor riches to guard them, they were also quite unable to use those weapons in which the wicked place so much reliance: they could neither defend themselves by sin nor by subtlety.

What then? Would they be destroyed? By no means! They should both feed and rest and be not merely free from danger but even quiet from fear of evil. Sheep are very feeble creatures, and wolves are terrible enemies; yet at this hour sheep are more numerous than wolves, and the cause of the sheep is always winning, while the cause of the wolves is always declining. One day flocks of sheep will cover the plains, and not a wolf will be left. The fact is that sheep have a Shepherd, and this gives them provender, protection, and peace. "None"—which means not one, whether in human or diabolical form—"shall make them afraid." Who shall terrify the Lord's Rock when He is near? We lie down in green pastures, for Jesus Himself is food and rest to our souls.
CH Spurgeon photo

Listen, my friend!

Listen, my friend! Your helplessness is your best prayer. It calls from your heart to the heart of God with greater effect than all your uttered pleas. He hears it from the very moment that you are seized with helplessness, and He becomes actively engaged at once in hearing and answering the prayer of your helplessness. ...O. Hallesby image by Horia Varlan

Little Sins

"Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines."
—Song of Solomon 2:15

A little thorn may cause much suffering. A little cloud may hide the sun. Little foxes spoil the vines; and little sins do mischief to the tender heart. These little sins burrow in the soul, and make it so full of that which is hateful to Christ, that He will hold no comfortable fellowship and communion with us. A great sin cannot destroy a Christian, but a little sin can make him miserable. Jesus will not walk with His people unless they drive out every known sin. He says, "If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love."

Some Christians very seldom enjoy their Saviour's presence. How is this? Surely it must be an affliction for a tender child to be separated from his father. Art thou a child of God, and yet satisfied to go on without seeing thy Father's face? What! thou the spouse of Christ, and yet content without His company! Surely, thou hast fallen into a sad state, for the chaste spouse of Christ mourns like a dove without her mate, when he has left her. Ask, then, the question, what has driven Christ from thee? He hides His face behind the wall of thy sins. That wall may be built up of little pebbles, as easily as of great stones. The sea is made of drops; the rocks are made of grains: and the sea which divides thee from Christ may be filled with the drops of thy little sins; and the rock which has well nigh wrecked thy barque, may have been made by the daily working of the coral insects of thy little sins. If thou wouldst live with Christ, and walk with Christ, and see Christ, and have fellowship with Christ, take heed of "the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes." Jesus invites you to go with Him and take them. He will surely, like Samson, take the foxes at once and easily. Go with Him to the hunting. ...CH Spurgeon
image by Emma Jane Hogbin

Prayer can no more be divorced from worship...

Prayer can no more be divorced from worship than life can be divorced from breathing. If we follow his impulse, the Holy Spirit will always lead us to pray. When we allow him to work freely, he will always bring the Church to extensive praying. Conversely, when the Spirit is absent, we will find excuses not to pray. We may say, "God understands. He knows I love him. But I'm tired... I'm so busy... It's just not convenient now..." When the Spirit is absent, our excuses always seem right, but in the presence of the Spirit our excuses fade away. RT Kendall


Holiness is as indispensable for a spiritual warrior as is eyesight for a military fighter pilot. ...C. Peter Wagner image

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

God formed us for His pleasure...

God formed us for His pleasure, and so formed us that we as well as He can in divine communion enjoy the sweet and mysterious mingling of kindred personalities. He meant us to see Him and live with Him and draw our life from His smile. But we have been guilty of that `foul revolt' of which Milton speaks when describing the rebellion of Satan and his hosts. We have broken with God. We have ceased to obey Him or love Him and in guilt and fear have fled as far as possible from His Presence.

Yet who can flee from His Presence when the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him? when as the wisdom of Solomon testifies, `the Spirit of the Lord filleth the world'? The omnipresence of the Lord is one thing, and is a solemn fact necessary to His perfection; the manifest Presence is another thing altogether, and from that Presence we have fled, like Adam, to hide among the trees of the garden, or like Peter to shrink away crying, `Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.' So the life of man upon the earth is a life away from the Presence, wrenched loose from that `blissful center' which is our right and proper dwelling place, our first state which we kept not, the loss of which is the cause of our unceasing restlessness.

The whole work of God in redemption is to undo the tragic effects of that foul revolt, and to bring us back again into right and eternal relationship with Himself.This required that our sins be disposed of satisfactorily, that a full reconciliation be effected and the way opened for us to return again into conscious communion with God and to live again in the Presence as before. Then by His prevenient working within us He moves us to return. This first comes to our notice when our restless hearts feel a yearning for the Presence of God and we say within ourselves, `I will arise and go to my Father.'
AW Tozer  image

The Furious Love of God

"Justification by grace through faith" is the theologian’s learned phrase for what Chesterton once called ‘the furious love of God.’ He is not moody or capricious; He knows no seasons of change. He has a single relentless stance toward us: He loves us. He is the only God man has ever heard of who loves sinners. False gods – the gods of human manufacturing – despise sinners, but the Father of Jesus loves all, no matter what they do. But of course this is almost too incredible for us to accept. Nevertheless, the central affirmation of the Reformation stands: through no merit of ours, but by His mercy, we have been restored to a right relationship with God through the life, death, and resurrection of His beloved Son. This is the Good News, the gospel of grace." ..Brennan Manning photo

There is nothing that pleases the Lord so much as praise...

There is nothing that pleases the Lord so much as praise. There is no test of faith so true as the grace of thanksgiving. Are you praising God enough? Are you thanking Him for your actual blessings that are more than can be numbered, and are you daring to praise Him even for those trials which are but blessings in disguise? Have you learned to praise Him in advance for the things that have not yet come? ...Anonymous photo

If, then, we would pray aright...

If, then, we would pray aright, the first thing that we should do is to see to it that we really get an audience with God, that we really get into His very presence. Before a word of petition is offered, we should have the definite and vivid consciousness that we are talking to God, and should believe that He is listening to our petition and is going to grant the thing that we ask of Him. This is only possible by the Holy Spirit’s power, so we should look to the Holy Spirit to really lead us into the presence of God, and should not be hasty in words until He has actually brought us there. ...RA Torrey image

Friday, May 11, 2012

What we need today is not anger but anguish...

What we need today is not anger but anguish, the kind of anguish that Moses displayed when he broke the two tablets of the law and then climbed the mountain to intercede for his people, or that Jesus displayed when He cleansed the temple and then wept over the city. The difference between anger and anguish is a broken heart. It's easy to get angry, especially at somebody else's sins; but it's not easy to look at sin, our own included, and weep over it.
...Warren W. Wiersbe image

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Humility is perfect quietness of heart...

Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is for me to have no trouble; never to be fretted or vexed or irritated or sore or disappointed. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord where I can go in and shut the door and kneel to my Father in secret and be at peace as in a deep sea of calmness when all around is trouble. It is the fruit of the Lord Jesus Christ's redemptive work on Calvary's cross, manifested in those of His own who are definitely subject to the Holy Spirit. ...Andrew Murray image by Dennis Tai

The purest joy in the world...

The purest joy in the world is joy in Christ Jesus. When the Spirit is poured down, His people get very near and clear views of the Lord Jesus. They eat His flesh and drink His blood. They come to a personal cleaving to the Lord. They taste that the Lord is gracious. His blood and righteousness appear infinitely perfect, full, and free to their souls. They sit under His shadow with great delight. They rest in the cleft of the rock. Their defense is the munitions of rocks. They lean on the Beloved. They find infinite strength in Him for the use of their soul - grace for grace - all they can need in any hour of trial and suffering to the very end.
 ...Robert Murray M'Cheyne image

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sun of my soul, Thou Savior dear...

Sun of my soul, Thou Savior dear,
It is not night if Thou be near;
O may no earth-born cloud arise
To hide Thee from thy servant's eyes.
... John Keble

From the tiny birds of the air...

From the tiny birds of the air and from the fragile lilies of the field, we learn the same truth...God takes care of His own.... At just the right moment, He steps in and proves Himself as our faithful heavenly Father. ...Chuck Swindoll image

Friday, May 4, 2012

O Thou who camest from above...

O Thou who camest from above,
The pure celestial fire to impart
Kindle a flame of sacred love
Upon the mean altar of my heart.

There let it for thy glory burn
With inextinguishable blaze,
And trembling to its source return,
In humble prayer and fervent praise.

Jesus, confirm my heart's desire
To work and speak and think for thee;
Still let me guard the holy fire,
And still stir up thy gift in me.

Ready for all thy perfect will,
My acts of faith and love repeat,
Till death thy endless mercies seal,
And make my sacrifice complete.
...Charles Wesley image by Angus MacRae

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Master is accomplishing the purity of the grain

 "For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth."—Amos 9:9

EVERY sifting comes by divine command and permission. Satan must ask leave before he can lay a finger upon Job. Nay, more, in some sense our siftings are directly the work of heaven, for the text says, "I will sift the house of Israel." Satan, like a drudge, may hold the sieve, hoping to destroy the corn; but the overruling hand of the Master is accomplishing the purity of the grain by the very process which the enemy intended to be destructive. Precious, but much sifted corn of the Lord's floor, be comforted by the blessed fact that the Lord directeth both flail and sieve to His own glory, and to thine eternal profit.

The Lord Jesus will surely use the fan which is in His hand, and will divide the precious from the vile. All are not Israel that are of Israel; the heap on the barn floor is not clean provender, and hence the winnowing process must be performed. In the sieve true weight alone has power. Husks and chaff being devoid of substance must fly before the wind, and only solid corn will remain.

Observe the complete safety of the Lord's wheat; even the least grain has a promise of preservation. God Himself sifts, and therefore it is stern and terrible work; He sifts them in all places, "among all nations"; He sifts them in the most effectual manner, "like as corn is sifted in a sieve"; and yet for all this, not the smallest, lightest, or most shrivelled grain, is permitted to fall to the ground. Every individual believer is precious in the sight of the Lord, a shepherd would not lose one sheep, nor a jeweller one diamond, nor a mother one child, nor a man one limb of his body, nor will the Lord lose one of His redeemed people. However little we may be, if we are the Lord's, we may rejoice that we are preserved in Christ Jesus. ...CH Spurgeon

If you look up into His face...

If you look up into His face and say, "Yes, Lord, whatever it costs," at that moment He'll flood your life with His presence and power. ...Alan Redpath image

Outside of Christ, I am only a sinner...

Outside of Christ, I am only a sinner, 
but in Christ, I am saved.
Outside of Christ, I am empty;
in Christ, I am full.
Outside of Christ, I am weak;
in Christ, I am strong.
Outside of Christ, I cannot;
in Christ, I am more than able. 
Outside of Christ, I have been defeated;
in Christ, I am already victorious.
How meaningful are the words, "in Christ."
Watchman Nee

What was our Lord thinking about...

What was our Lord thinking about as He walked along the roads of Galilee, so often alone? What were His thoughts in times of repose during the journeys by boat that He liked making with His disciples after a day's exhausting preaching? What occupied His mind among the hills where He liked to go alone, without even the disciples? The answer, we may think, is easy: He was thinking of men, of sinners and their salvation, and what He had to do to effect that salvation.

But, surprising as it may seem to us, it wasn't with us that Jesus was concerned. The constant object of His meditation, the natural orientation of His heart and mind and soul, the food that constantly nourished Him, was His Father. Louis Everly photo

But we must call evil evil, and sin sin...

While extremely sensitive as to the slightest approach to slander, you must also guard against an extreme into which some people fall who, in their desire to speak evil of no one, actually uphold and speak well of vice. If you have to do with one who is unquestionably a slanderer, do not excuse him by calling him frank and free-spoken; do not call one who is notoriously vain, liberal and elegant; do not call dangerous levities mere simplicity; do not screen disobedience under the name of zeal; or arrogance, of frankness; or evil intimacy, of friendship. No, my friends, we must never, in our wish to shun slander, foster or flatter vice in others: but we must call evil evil, and sin sin, and so doing we shall serve God's glory. ...Francis de Sales  image