Friday, December 26, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Suffering and glory go together. (Romans 8:17-18) You can't have one without the other. Thus, God likens our suffering to the purifying of silver and gold. Neither metal is pure in it's natural state. Both are mixed with all sorts of things which make them impure.
Friday, December 05, 2008
I’m afraid we’ve gotten so used to what falsehood looks like that we don’t even recognize it when we see it show up in Church on Sunday morning. In fact we are almost jarred when someone is real and honest. The Church should be so full of reality that the fakers stick out like sore thumbs. This is going to include being honest about sin and current struggles, but I’d really like to see some honest confessions about the amazing goodness of God. Doesn’t He deserve that? If we actually believe that every single good thing that our lives produce is the result of Him, we would be constantly sharing what He’s been accomplishing, and we wouldn’t even think of being proud of it.
When we have put forth our greatest effort, and performed the very best we can, God says it looks like a heap of rags. I can’t see anything to be proud of there. It is only when the Life of Jesus is being worked out in our bodies, when in our daily actions God sees His beloved Son, that He is well pleased.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Nothing disciplines the inordinate desires of the flesh like service, and nothing transforms the desires of the flesh like serving in hiddenness. The flesh whines against service but screams against hidden service. It strains and pulls for honor and recognition. It will devise subtle, religiously acceptable means to call attention to the service rendered. If we stoutly refuse to give in to this lust of the flesh, we crucify it. Every time we crucify the flesh, we crucify pride and arrogance. - Richard Foster
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Sometimes God puts us through the experience and discipline of darkness to teach us to hear and obey Him. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and God puts us into "the shadow of His hand" until we learn to hear Him.Pay attention when God puts you into darkness, and keep your mouth closed while you are there. Are you in the dark right now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? If so, then remain quiet. Darkness is the time to listen.As a saint of God, my attitude toward sorrow and difficulty should not be to ask that they be prevented, but to ask that God protect me so that I may remain what He created me to be, in spite of all my fires of sorrow.-Oswald Chambers
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Losing our vision as a Christian can be a great joy stealer. We lose sight of the end of the race, the prize we are running for, the One who has made this pathway possible, and instead we fill our minds with self-pity, and consuming thoughts of the heartache and suffering we are facing. We forget that these things are just for a time, and for a purpose. Sanctification, Christlikeness - these are the things God is wanting to produce in us, with the end being an eternity in heaven with Jesus Himself. Thinking on these should be enough to fill us with joy so full and complete we cannot contain it...
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
"...we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." Acts 14:22
"No man can be wholly the Lord's unless he is wholly consecrated to the Lord; and no man can know whether he is thus wholly consecrated except by tribulation. That is the test. To rejoice in God's will, when that will imparts nothing but happiness, is easy even for the natural man. But no one but the renovated man can rejoice in the Divine will when it crosses his path, disappoints his expectations, and overwhelms him with sorrow. Trial therefore, instead of being shunned, should be welcomed as the test - and the only true test - of a true saint. Beloved souls, there are consolations which pass away, but true and abiding consolations ye will not find except in entire abandonment, and in that love which loves the Cross. He who does not welcome the Cross does not welcome God."
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Having a few "spare" minutes this afternoon, I tackled my e-mail inbox. That job is oftentimes no small feat, mind you! Buried amidst the newest notes from friends, facebook gifts, mission updates, and pictures, there was a gem from Spurgeon forwarded by a dear friend. Take the time to wade through the older writing style, and stand in awe, as I did, at the overwhelming greatness of our God! Draw your mind to the awesomeness of redemption, and though you may be walking through a dark valley, there is reason to rejoice!!
"Sing, O Barren"
Though we have brought forth some fruit unto Christ, and have a joyful hope that we are "plants of his own right hand planting," yet there are times when we feel very barren.
Prayer is lifeless, love is cold, faith is weak, each grace in the garden of our heart languishes and droops. We are like flowers in the hot sun, requiring the refreshing shower. In such a condition what are we to do? The text is addressed to us in just such a state. "Sing, O barren, break forth and cry aloud."
But what can I sing about? I cannot talk about the present, and even the past looks full of barrenness. Ah! I can sing of Jesus Christ. I can talk of visits which the Redeemer has aforetimes paid to me; or if not of these, I can magnify the great love wherewith he loved his people when he came from the heights of heaven for their redemption. I will go to the cross again.
Come, my soul, heavy laden thou wast once, and thou didst lose thy burden there. Go to Calvary again. Perhaps that very cross which gave thee life may give thee fruitfulness.
What is my barrenness? It is the platform for his fruit-creating power. What is my desolation? It is the black setting for the sapphire of his everlasting love. I will go in poverty, I will go in helplessness, I will go in all my shame and backsliding, I will tell him that I am still his child, and in confidence in His faithful heart, even I, the barren one, will sing and cry aloud.
Sing, believer, for it will cheer thine own heart, and the hearts of other desolate ones. Sing on, for now that thou art really ashamed of being barren, thou wilt be fruitful soon; now that God makes thee loath to be without fruit he will soon cover thee with clusters. The experience of our barrenness is painful, but the Lord's visitations are delightful. A sense of our own poverty drives us to Christ, and that is where we need to be, for in him is our fruit found.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee."
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
No right to a soft bed, and a well-laid table;
No right to a home of His own, a place where His own pleasure might be sought;
No right to choose pleasant, congenial companions, those who could understand Him and sympathize with Him;
No right to shrink away from filth and sin, to pull His garments closer around Him and turn aside to walk in cleaner paths;
No right to be understood and appreciated; no, not by those upon whom He had poured out a double portion of His love;
No right even never to be forsaken by His Father, the One who meant more than all to Him.
His only right was silently to endure shame, spitting, blows; to take His place as a sinner at the dock; to bear my sins in anguish on the cross.
He had no rights. And I?
A right to the “comforts” of life? No, but a right to the love of God for my pillow.
A right to physical safety? No, but a right to the security of being in His will.
A right to love and sympathy from those around me? No, but a right to the friendship of the One who understands me better than I do myself.
A right to be a leader among men? No, but the right to be led by the One to whom I have given my all, led as is a little child, with its hand in the hand of its father.
A right to a home and dear ones? No, not necessarily; but a right to dwell in the heart of God.
A right to myself? No, but, oh, I have a right to Christ.
~From the book, “Have We No Rights?”
by Mabel Williamson, missionary to China.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Monday, June 09, 2008
When we've attempted to do His will And yet His silence continues still....
Then it's time to trust. Yes, it's time to remember that the Lord is faithful to His own.
If we hope, we shall be yet be praising once again for His silence never means that we're alone.
When God is silent and all seems lost, As o'er the waves our boat is temptest tossed
When answers fail us and doubts arise But God seems distant, hid from our eyes...
Then it's time to trust. Yes, it's time to remember that the Lord is faithful to His own.
If we hope, we shall be yet be praising once again
For His silence never means that we're alone.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Faith Vs. Feelings
"Faith is a decision. It is not a deduction from the facts around us. Faith is an act of the will, a choice based on the unbreakable Word of a God Who cannot lie, and Who showed us what love and obedience and sacrifice mean in the person of Jesus Christ." E.E.
The facts say that God doesn't feel near. God's word says, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
We feel as if our spiritual life is at a standstill, and God has given up on us. God's word promises, "that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Phil. 1:6
We feel as if our prayers are availing nothing and our greatest efforts at diligently seeking the face of God are producing no fruit or providing no relief from the oppressive burden we are carrying. God's word says, "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord." Jeremiah 29:13-14
Christianity is no lyricism. The faith that bore those heroes (referring to the later part of Hebrews 11) down into the depths of darkness and suffering was not - and I hope you will remember this if you remember nothing else - that faith was not their own thing. They didn't drum it up. They didn't somehow work themselves up to it by getting to know themselves or love themselves or by doing what they felt like doing. It came from a Source outside themselves, outside the sphere of this world's understanding, from the One who said, "Without me you can do nothing." -E.EThis sort of faith takes divine grace outside of anything we can muster up. It takes faith based not in our abilities, supposed spirituality, feelings, or the circumstances around us because every one of these things will fail and disappoint us. This faith must be anchored in the Rock, our Savior Jesus Christ, as this is the only place that will not be shaken and moved when the inevitable storms of life beat and tear at the moorings of our life.
Friday, May 30, 2008
"Dear reader, you must realize that God has only one desire... His desire is to give Himself to the soul that really loves Him and to that soul which earnestly seeks Him. And yet it is true that this God who desires to give Himself to you will often conceal Himself from you - from you, the very one who seeks Him!Now why would God do that? Dear saint of God, you must learn the ways of your Lord. Yours is a God who often hides Himself. He hides Himself for a purpose. Why? His purpose is to rouse you from spiritual laziness. His purpose in removing [the sense of His presence] from you is to cause you to pursue Him."