Tag Archives: herbs

God Can Renew Your Strength

 

Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.    Isaiah 40:31

Are You Exhausted Spiritually?

From: Utmost.org

Exhaustion means that our vital energies are completely worn out and spent. Spiritual exhaustion is never the result of sin, but of service. Whether or not you experience exhaustion will depend on where you get your supplies. Jesus said to Peter, “Feed My sheep,” but He gave him nothing with which to feed them (John 21:17). The process of being made broken bread and poured-out wine means that you have to be the nourishment for other people’s souls until they learn to feed on God. They must drain you completely— to the very last drop. But be careful to replenish your supply, or you will quickly be utterly exhausted. Until others learn to draw on the life of the Lord Jesus directly, they will have to draw on His life through you. You must literally be their source of supply, until they learn to take their nourishment from God. We owe it to God to be our best for His lambs and sheep, as well as for Him.

Have you delivered yourself over to exhaustion because of the way you have been serving God? If so, then renew and rekindle your desires and affections. Examine your reasons for service. Is your source based on your own understanding or is it grounded on the redemption of Jesus Christ? Continually look back to the foundation of your love and affection and remember where your Source of power lies. You have no right to complain, “O Lord, I am so exhausted.” He saved and sanctified you to exhaust you. Be exhausted for God, but remember that He is your supply. “All my springs are in you” (Psalm 87:7).

Joy of Loving Jesus

From: Getmorestrength

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:11

Ever been in love? If so, you know what it means to be preoccupied. I met my wife Martie in the fall of our freshman year at college. It didn’t take long for me to know that my heart had become hopelessly lost to her. When summer came, she went home to Cleveland, and I went on the road for 10 weeks with a team of musicians to represent our college.

We had a great summer. Our days were filled with exciting experiences, interesting places, and chances to meet all kinds of people. But no matter how new and exciting the trip, my mind kept returning to Martie. I hoped there would be a letter from her at the next church, and that she would be at home when I called. I wondered where she was, what she was doing, and what we’d be doing if we were together. I looked forward to the joy we would experience when we were together again.

It’s like that for those of us who are developing an ever-deepening relationship with Jesus. Though busy in our daily routines, we find that He increasingly becomes the backdrop to all of life. We love to hear from Him in His Word, where we find out more about Him and about what He wants us to know. We are thrilled to learn about Him and His ways, and we listen carefully to His direction for our lives. We increasingly enjoy times of prayer, as we speak with Him and sense His communication with us. And we find ourselves longing for the day we will see him face-to-face.

Loving Jesus is not an escape from life, nor is it a brief encounter on some monastic retreat. It’s the joy of staying in touch and the pleasure of knowing that regardless of what a day may bring, the best day is still to come.

YOUR JOURNEY…

  • What people, places, or things occupy your heart? In what ways can you keep them from eclipsing your love for Jesus?
  • How have you experienced the joy of spending time with Him recently?
  • How are you doing in your love relationship with Jesus? What joy has He brought to your heart this day?

Lions lacking–but the children satisfied

“The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” Psalm 34:10

From: Biblegateway

We take it concerning things spiritual. Are we wanting a sense of pardon? We shall not want it long. Are we desiring stronger faith? We shall not want it long. Do you wish to have more love to your Saviour, to understand more concerning inward communion with Jesus? You shall have it. “They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” Do you desire to renounce your sins, to be able to overcome this corruption or that, to attain this virtue, or that excellency? “They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” Is it adoption, justification, sanctification that you want? “You shall not lack any good thing.” But are your wants temporal? Do you want bread and water? No, I know you do not, for it is said, “Bread shall be given, and water shall be sure.” Or, if you do want it somewhat, it shall come before long; it shall not be to starvation. David said, “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” Do you want clothes? You shall have them. “He that clothes the lilies of the valley, will he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” Do you need temporary supplies? You shall receive them, for “your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.” Whatever your desire, there is the promise, only go and plead it at the throne, and God will fulfil it. We have no right to look for the fulfilment of the promises unless we put the Promiser in mind of them, although truly, at times, he exceeds our desires or wishes.

For meditation: A true seeking of God will mould our desires to the things which we need and which please him—as such he cannot but answer when we call (Psalm 37:3-5).

Threefold sanctification

‘Through sanctification of the Spirit.’ 1 Peter 1:2

From: Biblegateway

We may without the slightest mistake speak of sanctification as the work of the Spirit, yet we must take heed that we do not view it as if the Father and the Son had no part therein. It is correct to speak of sanctification as the work of the Father, of the Spirit, and of the Son. Jehovah says, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,’ and thus ‘we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.’ My brethren, I beg you to notice and carefully consider the value which God sets upon real holiness, since the Trinity is represented as co-working to produce a church without ‘spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.’ Holiness is the architectural plan upon which God builds up his living temple. We read in Scripture of the ‘beauties of holiness;’ nothing is beautiful before God but that which is holy. All the glory of Lucifer, that son of the morning, could not screen him from divine abhorrence when he had defiled himself by sin. ‘Holy, Holy, Holy,’—the continual cry of cherubim is the loftiest song that creature can offer, and the noblest that the divine Being can accept. See then, he counts holiness to be his choice treasure. It is as the seal upon his heart, and as the signet upon his right hand. I pray you who profess to be followers of Christ, set a high value upon purity of life and godliness of conversation. Value the blood of Christ as the foundation of your hope, but never speak disparagingly of the work of the Spirit.

For meditation: Some overemphasise the work of the Holy Spirit so much that they appear to worship him alone as a unity. Others in reaction seem to overlook the work of the Holy Spirit so much that they appear to worship only the Father and Son as a duality. Real Trinitarians give due honour to all three persons of the Godhead. Something is seriously wrong if any one is belittled or omitted (John 5:23; Acts 19:2).

The Cost Of Sanctification

 

 Romans 6:22:   But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to
God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome eternal life.

PIctures representing the Holy Angels

The Cost of Sanctification

From: Utmost.org

When we pray, asking God to sanctify us, are we prepared to measure up to what that really means? We take the word sanctification much too lightly. Are we prepared to pay the cost of sanctification? The cost will be a deep restriction of all our earthly concerns, and an extensive cultivation of all our godly concerns. Sanctification means to be intensely focused on God’s point of view. It means to secure and to keep all the strength of our body, soul, and spirit for God’s purpose alone. Are we really prepared for God to perform in us everything for which He separated us? And after He has done His work, are we then prepared to separate ourselves to God just as Jesus did? “For their sakes I sanctify Myself…” (John 17:19). The reason some of us have not entered into the experience of sanctification is that we have not realized the meaning of sanctification from God’s perspective. Sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the nature that controlled Him will control us. Are we really prepared for what that will cost? It will cost absolutely everything in us which is not of God.

Are we prepared to be caught up into the full meaning of Paul’s prayer in this verse? Are we prepared to say, “Lord, make me, a sinner saved by grace, as holy as You can”? Jesus prayed that we might be one with Him, just as He is one with the Father (see John 17:21-23). The resounding evidence of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life is the unmistakable family likeness to Jesus Christ, and the freedom from everything which is not like Him. Are we prepared to set ourselves apart for the Holy Spirit’s work in us?

Streams In The Desert

And, lo, I am with you alway (Matthew 28:20).

Never look ahead to the changes and challenges of this life in fear. Instead, as they arise look at them with the full assurance that God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them. Hasn’t He kept you safe up to now? So hold His loving hand tightly, and He will lead you safely through all things. And when you cannot stand, He will carry you in His arms.

Do not look ahead to what may happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you His unwavering strength that you may bear it. Be at peace, then, and set aside all anxious thoughts and worries.
–Francis de Sales

The Lord is my shepherd. Psalm 23:1

Not was, not may be, nor will be. “The Lord is my shepherd.” He is on Sunday, on Monday, and through every day of the week. He is in January, in December, and every month of the year. He iswhen I’m at home and in China. He is during peace and war, and in times of abundance or poverty.
–J. Hudson Taylor

He will silently plan for you,
His object of omniscient care;
God Himself undertakes to be
Your Pilot through each subtle snare.
He WILL silently plan for you,
So certainly, He cannot fail!
Rest on the faithfulness of God,
In Him you will surely prevail.
He will SILENTLY plan for you
Some wonderful surprise of love.
No eye has seen, nor ear has heard,
But it is kept for you above.
He will silently PLAN for you,
His purposes will all unfold;
Your tangled life will shine at last,
A masterpiece of skill untold.
He will silently plan FOR YOU,
Happy child of a Father’s care,
As if no other claimed His love,
But you alone to Him were dear.

–E. Mary Grimes

Whatever our faith says God is, He will be.

Teach me to forgive

From: Inspire21.com

— Author unknown

One day a while back, a man, his heart heavy with grief, was walking in the woods. As he thought about his life this day, he knew many things were not right. He thought about those who had lied about him back when he had a job.

His thoughts turned to those who had stolen his things and cheated him. He remembered family that had passed on. His mind turned to the illness he had that no one could cure. His very soul was filled with anger, resentment and frustration.

Standing there this day, searching for answers he could not find, knowing all else had failed him, he knelt at the base of an old oak tree to seek the one he knew would always be there, and with  tears in his eyes, he prayed

“Lord – You have done wonderful things for me in this life. You have told me to do many things for you, and I happily obeyed.

Today, you have told me to forgive. I am sad, Lord, because I cannot. I don’t know how. It is not fair Lord. I didn’t deserve these wrongs that were done against me and I shouldn’t have to forgive. As perfect as your way is Lord, this one thing I cannot do, for I don’t know how to forgive. My anger is so deep Lord, I fear I may not hear you, but I pray that you teach me to do this one thing I cannot do – Teach me To Forgive.”

As he knelt there in the quiet shade of that old oak tree, he felt something fall onto his shoulder. He opened his eyes. Out of the corner of one eye, he saw something red on his shirt. He could not turn to see what it was because where the oak tree had been was a large square piece of wood in the ground. He raised his head and saw two feet held to the wood with a large spike through them. He raised his head more, and tears came to his eyes as he saw Jesus hanging on a cross. He saw spikes in His hands, a gash in His side, a torn and battered body, deep thorns sunk into His head.

Finally he saw the suffering and pain on His precious face. As their eyes met, the man’s tears turned to sobbing, and Jesus began to speak.

“Have you ever told a lie, He asked?” The man answered, “Yes, Lord.”

“Have you ever been given too much change and kept it?” The man answered, “Yes, Lord.” And the man sobbed more and more.

“Have you ever taken something from work that wasn’t yours,” Jesus asked? And the man answered, “Yes, Lord.”

“Have you ever sworn, using my Father’s name in vain?” The man, crying now, answered
, “Yes, Lord.”

As Jesus asked many more times, “Have you ever”? The man’s crying became uncontrollable, for he could only answer
, “Yes, Lord.”

Then Jesus turned His head from one side to the other, and the man felt something fall on his other shoulder. He looked and saw that it was the blood of Jesus. When he looked back up, his eyes met those of Jesus, and there was a look of love the man had never seen or known before. Jesus said, “I didn’t deserve this either, but I forgive you.”

It may be hard to see how you’re going to get through something. But, when
you look back in life, you realize how true this statement is…
“If God brings you to it… He will bring you through it.”

 

God Tested Them

From: Through the Bible

February 8

Exodus 15:25b-26 (NIV)There the LORD made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them. 26He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.”

The people were thirsty and had come to a place of bitter water. It would have taken an entire lake to give that many people and their herds a drink. They asked if God was able to provide their needs. The Psalmist said they were testing God (Psalm 78:19). Both in the verse for today and in the next chapter, when they demand food, God turned it around and said the test is not if He was able to provide, but it is if they are able to obey. That is still the test. God provides food for every living thing in the world daily. Most starvation is due to wars that do not allow food to enter into areas where there is need. Man gets in the way and will be held accountable. But the point God is making is that if we are listening and obeying His directions, He will provide our needs.

In that day, God gave them health laws that if followed carefully would prevent much of the diseases they witnessed in Egypt. Today we are no longer under those laws but are to be led by the Holy Spirit. If we will listen and obey, we will not need affliction to help turn our ear toward God for our good. When God gave instructions for the collection of manna, He again says it is to test them to see if they can learn to obey. When we operate in a dependency on God, we will always have enough. It is when we go our own way that we find we are in need, because our own ways are not blessed. The test is for us, not God.

Consider: How should I respond to God’s testing?

Evening

February 8

Matthew 6:25, 33-34 (NIV) 25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

In the verse just prior to this, Jesus told His disciples they had to choose between serving God and serving money. Loving one causes a detesting of the other. If you are going to rely on your own ability and what you can earn, your trust in God will fade. If you rely on God and His provision, your trust in self will fade. We all choose where we will place our faith. We may say it is in God, and yet our actions show we are relying on the money we earn.

Jesus is asking a question we should consider. What is life about? What is the importance of life? Is it to be dressed nicely and eat the nicest food? Or is it about the kingdom and His righteousness? You will act on what your heart really believes. Do we live for our taste buds? Once put so plainly, we see the absurdity of it. This is the way unbelievers live. If we have come to believe in the God who desires intimate fellowship with us, then we should be living for much greater goals than food and clothes. Surely, as we live in pursuit of His kingdom and righteousness, He will take care of those things for us.

How worry free the life of the Christian should be! We have a God who provides our needs day by day. We have found life to be more than the physical. We have found that our provision is not from our ability. We may struggle and go through difficulty, but we have purpose and meaning in our life. The great Provider will provide our every need in His perfect time. Rest in Him. Trust Him to be who He declares Himself to be. Focus on the real importance of life, and your temporary lack of a physical need will seem as insignificant as it really is. Before you know it, He will meet the need.

Remember: Stay focused on His kingdom and His righteousness.

Your Spiritual New Birth Day

Pictures of birthdays to remember our spiritual day of salvation.

 

When you accept Jesus as your Savior, you are born again. Many of us remember that day well. It was the day we entered the family of God through our Savior.  Thank you Jesus for saving our souls.

Spiritual Dejection

From: Utmost.org

Every fact that the disciples stated was right, but the conclusions they drew from those facts were wrong. Anything that has even a hint of dejection spiritually is always wrong. If I am depressed or burdened, I am to blame, not God or anyone else. Dejection stems from one of two sources— I have either satisfied a lust or I have not had it satisfied. In either case, dejection is the result. Lust means “I must have it at once.” Spiritual lust causes me to demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Himself who gives the answer. What have I been hoping or trusting God would do? Is today “the third day” and He has still not done what I expected? Am I therefore justified in being dejected and in blaming God? Whenever we insist that God should give us an answer to prayer we are off track. The purpose of prayer is that we get ahold of God, not of the answer. It is impossible to be well physically and to be dejected, because dejection is a sign of sickness. This is also true spiritually. Dejection spiritually is wrong, and we are always to blame for it.

We look for visions from heaven and for earth-shaking events to see God’s power. Even the fact that we are dejected is proof that we do this. Yet we never realize that all the time God is at work in our everyday events and in the people around us. If we will only obey, and do the task that He has placed closest to us, we will see Him. One of the most amazing revelations of God comes to us when we learn that it is in the everyday things of life that we realize the magnificent deity of Jesus Christ.

Hats Off to Birthdays

From: Getmorestrength.org

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

Hey, today’s my birthday! Don’t ask . . . I’m trying not to think about how many candles I’ll have on the cake. But it hasn’t always been like that. There was a time when I loved having birthdays. Turning 5 was really big. I couldn’t wait for the birthdays that qualified me to go to high school, get a driver’s license, and become a legal adult! Back then, people who were 35 seemed ancient.

But let’s face it, time marches on. And looking in the mirror, you begin to feel that it’s marching right across your face! The real wake-up call is when you get an invitation in the mail to join the American Association of Retired Persons and to qualify for senior discounts. I hate to sound so grumpy, but to this day I refuse to join the old people’s club or to claim my discounts!

Yet I’ve come to realize that there is something important about having mile markers in life. They force us to stop long enough to measure where we are in life and to assess the true significance of what we are devoting our time and attention to. When I hit the ancient mark of 35, I remember feeling like a kid who had a five-dollar bill and had spent half of it any way he wanted only to realize that he only had $2.50 left. I figured if I only had half of my life left, I wanted to spend it in wise and fruitful ways. I wanted to minimize my regrets and maximize my opportunities. Things of long-term significance like my wife and kids became more important to me. How I used and where I spent my money took on a greater sense of significance. And the work of Christ through me became a more pressing priority.

Thinking about the work of Jesus reminds me that birthdays also help us to keep in mind that year-by-year we are closer to our final destination. One of the wisest things we can do is to remember that the only thing of true value here is what we do for eternity. Using your time, talents, emotions, energy, and cash for the cause of Jesus on this earth will result in rewarding outcomes in heaven.

Imagine stepping onto the other side and realizing that we have brought nothing with us of eternal worth. Think of looking into the face of Jesus and realizing that the only things we have with us are the wood, hay, and straw of earth-side stuff (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). If we don’t let the markers of life remind us of how close heaven is, we may make the mistake of pouring our lives into the bottomless bucket of stuff that doesn’t really make a difference after all.

Thank God for birthdays! They remind us that life is short and that heaven is near. If you take them seriously, you may just stand a chance of making it home with more than an empty bucket.

 

Strerams in the Desert

Why art thou cast down, O my soul (Ps. 43:5).

Is there ever any ground to be cast down? There are two reasons, but only two. If we are as yet unconverted, we have ground to be cast down; or if we have been converted and live in sin, then we are rightly cast down.

But except for these two things there is no ground to be cast down, for all else may be brought before God in prayer with supplication and thanksgiving. And regarding all our necessities, all our difficulties, all our trials, we may exercise faith in the power of God, and in the love of God.

“Hope thou in God.” Oh, remember this: There is never a time when we may not hope in God. Whatever our necessities, however great our difficulties, and though to all appearance help is impossible, yet our business is to hope in God, and it will be found that it is not in vain. In the Lord’s own time help will come.

Oh, the hundreds, yea, the thousands of times that I have found it thus within the past seventy years and four months! When it seemed impossible that help could come, help did come; for God has His own resources. He is not confined. In ten thousand different ways, and at ten thousand different times God may help us.

Our business is to spread our cases before the Lord, in childlike simplicity to pour out all our heart before God, saying, “I do not deserve that Thou shouldst hear me and answer my requests, but for the sake of my precious Lord Jesus; for His sake answer my prayer, and give me grace quietly to wait till it please Thee to answer my prayer. For I believe Thou wilt do it in Thine own time and way.”

“For I shall yet praise him.” More prayer, more exercise of faith, more patient waiting, and the result will be blessing, abundant blessing. Thus I have found it many hundreds of times, and therefore I continually say to myself, “Hope thou in God.”
–George Mueller

 

“Arise, and depart.”

From: Biblegateway

Micah 2:10

The hour is approaching when the message will come to us, as it comes to all–“Arise, and go forth from the home in which thou hast dwelt, from the city in which thou hast done thy business, from thy family, from thy friends. Arise, and take thy last journey.” And what know we of the journey? And what know we of the country to which we are bound? A little we have read thereof, and somewhat has been revealed to us by the Spirit; but how little do we know of the realms of the future! We know that there is a black and stormy river called “Death.” God bids us cross it, promising to be with us. And, after death, what cometh? What wonder-world will open upon our astonished sight? What scene of glory will be unfolded to our view? No traveller has ever returned to tell. But we know enough of the heavenly land to make us welcome our summons thither with joy and gladness. The journey of death may be dark, but we may go forth on it fearlessly, knowing that God is with us as we walk through the gloomy valley, and therefore we need fear no evil. We shall be departing from all we have known and loved here, but we shall be going to our Father’s house–to our Father’s home, where Jesus is–to that royal “city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” This shall be our last removal, to dwell forever with him we love, in the midst of his people, in the presence of God. Christian, meditate much on heaven, it will help thee to press on, and to forget the toil of the way. This vale of tears is but the pathway to the better country: this world of woe is but the stepping-stone to a world of bliss.

“Prepare us, Lord, by grace divine,

For thy bright courts on high;

Then bid our spirits rise, and join

The chorus of the sky.”

Evening

“And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither.”
Revelation 11:12

Without considering these words in their prophetical connection, let us regard them as the invitation of our great Forerunner to his sanctified people. In due time there shall be heard “a great voice from heaven” to every believer, saying, “Come up hither.” This should be to the saints the subject of joyful anticipation. Instead of dreading the time when we shall leave this world to go unto the Father, we should be panting for the hour of our emancipation. Our song should be–

“My heart is with him on his throne,

And ill can brook delay;

Each moment listening for the voice,

Rise up and come away.'”

We are not called down to the grave, but up to the skies. Our heaven-born spirits should long for their native air. Yet should the celestial summons be the object of patient waiting. Our God knows best when to bid us “Come up hither.” We must not wish to antedate the period of our departure. I know that strong love will make us cry,

“O Lord of Hosts, the waves divide,

And land us all in heaven;”

but patience must have her perfect work. God ordains with accurate wisdom the most fitting time for the redeemed to abide below. Surely, if there could be regrets in heaven, the saints might mourn that they did not live longer here to do more good. Oh, for more sheaves for my Lord’s garner! more jewels for his crown! But how, unless there be more work? True, there is the other side of it, that, living so briefly, our sins are the fewer; but oh! when we are fully serving God, and he is giving us to scatter precious seed, and reap a hundredfold, we would even say it is well for us to abide where we are. Whether our Master shall say “go,” or “stay,” let us be equally well pleased so long as he indulges us with his presence.

Reconsider Your Outcome

 

Think And Reconsider Your Outcome

 

Look Again and Think

From: Utmost.org

A warning which needs to be repeated is that “the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches,” and the lust for other things, will choke out the life of God in us (Matthew 13:22). We are never free from the recurring waves of this invasion. If the frontline of attack is not about clothes and food, it may be about money or the lack of money; or friends or lack of friends; or the line may be drawn over difficult circumstances. It is one steady invasion, and these things will come in like a flood, unless we allow the Spirit of God to raise up the banner against it.

“I say to you, do not worry about your life….” Our Lord says to be careful only about one thing— our relationship to Him. But our common sense shouts loudly and says, “That is absurd, I must consider how I am going to live, and I must consider what I am going to eat and drink.” Jesus says you must not. Beware of allowing yourself to think that He says this while not understanding your circumstances. Jesus Christ knows our circumstances better than we do, and He says we must not think about these things to the point where they become the primary concern of our life. Whenever there are competing concerns in your life, be sure you always put your relationship to God first.

“Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34). How much trouble has begun to threaten you today? What kind of mean little demons have been looking into your life and saying, “What are your plans for next month— or next summer?” Jesus tells us not to worry about any of these things. Look again and think. Keep your mind on the “much more” of your heavenly Father (Matthew 6:30).

 Streams in the Desert

Stablish, strengthen, settle you (1 Peter 5:10).

In taking Christ in any new relationship, we must first have sufficient intellectual light to satisfy our mind that we are entitled to stand in this relationship. The shadow of a question here will wreck our confidence. Then, having seen this, we must make the venture, the committal, the choice, and take the place just as definitely as the tree is planted in the soil, or the bride gives herself away at the marriage altar. It must be once for all, without reserve, without recall.

Then there is a season of establishing, settling and testing, during which we must “stay put” until the new relationship gets so fixed as to become a permanent habit. It is just the same as when the surgeon sets the broken arm. He puts it in splints to keep it from vibration. So God has His spiritual splints that He wants to put upon His children and keep them quiet and unmoved until they pass the first stage of faith. It is not always easy work for us, “but the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after that ye have suffered awhile, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”
–A. B. Simpson

There is a natural law in sin and sickness; and if we just let ourselves go and sink into the trend of circumstances, we shall go down and sink under the power of the tempter. But there is another law of spiritual life and of physical life in Christ Jesus to which we can rise, and through which we can counterpoise and overcome the other law that bears us down.

But to do this requires real spiritual energy and fixed purpose and a settled posture and habit of faith. It is just the same as when we use the power in our factory. We must turn on the belt and keep it on. The power is there, but we must keep the connection; and while we do so, the higher power will work and all the machinery will be in operation.

There is a spiritual law of choosing, believing, abiding, and holding steady in our walk with God, which is essential to the working of the Holy Ghost either in our sanctification or healing.
–Days of Heaven upon Earth

 

Laughter is The Best Medicine

From: academic Tips.org

Many years ago, Norman Cousins was diagnosed as “terminally ill”. He was given six months to live. His chance for recovery was 1 in 500.

He could see the worry, depression and anger in his life contributed to, and perhaps helped cause, his disease. He wondered, “If illness can be caused by negativity, can wellness be created by positivity?”

He decided to make an experiment of himself. Laughter was one of the most positive activities he knew. He rented all the funny movies he could find – Keaton, Chaplin, Fields, the Marx Brothers. (This was before VCRs, so he had to rent the actual films.) He read funny stories. He asked his friends to call him whenever they said, heard or did something funny.

His pain was so great he could not sleep. Laughing for 10 solid minutes, he found, relieved the pain for several hours so he could sleep.

He fully recovered from his illness and lived another 20 happy, healthy and productive years. (His journey is detailed in his book, Anatomy of an Illness.) He credits visualization, the love of his family and friends, and laughter for his recovery.


Some people think laughter is a waste of time. It is a luxury, they say, a frivolity, something to indulge in only every so often.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Laughter is essential to our equilibrium, to our well-being, to our aliveness. If we’re not well, laughter helps us get well; if we are well, laughter helps us stay that way.

Since Cousins’ ground-breaking subjective work, scientific studies have shown that laughter has a curative effect on the body, the mind and the emotions.

So, if you like laughter, consider it sound medical advice to indulge in it as often as you can. If you don’t like laughter, then take your medicine – laugh anyway.

Use whatever makes you laugh – movies, sitcoms, Monty Python, records, books, New Yorker cartoons, jokes, friends.

Give yourself permission to laugh – long and loud and out loud – whenever anything strikes you as funny. The people around you may think you’re strange, but sooner or later they’ll join in even if they don’t know what you’re laughing about.

Some diseases may be contagious, but none is as contagious as the cure. . . laughter.

By Peter McWilliams
From “Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul”

 

Face Difficulties Positively

From: AcademicTips.org

This parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the mule praying or whatever mules do when they fall into wells.

After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together, told them what had happened, and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.

Initially the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back, a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back, HE WOULD SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP!

This he did, blow after blow. “Shake it off and step up… shake it off and step up… shake it off and step up!” He repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows, or how distressing the situation seemed, the old mule fought panic and just kept right on SHAKING IT OFF AND STEPPING UP!

It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well! What seemed like it would bury him actually helped him … all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.

THAT’S LIFE! If we face our problems and respond to them positively, and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity.

Sacrifice and Service

 

 

Are You Ready To Be Poured Out As an Offering? (1)

From: Utmost.org
02
05
2015
If I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. —Philippians 2:17
Are you willing to sacrifice yourself for the work of another believer—to pour out your life sacrificially for the ministry and faith of others? Or do you say, “I am not willing to be poured out right now, and I don’t want God to tell me how to serve Him. I want to choose the place of my own sacrifice. And I want to have certain people watching me and saying, ‘Well done.’ ”

It is one thing to follow God’s way of service if you are regarded as a hero, but quite another thing if the road marked out for you by God requires becoming a “doormat” under other people’s feet. God’s purpose may be to teach you to say, “I know how to be abased…” (Philippians 4:12). Are you ready to be sacrificed like that? Are you ready to be less than a mere drop in the bucket— to be so totally insignificant that no one remembers you even if they think of those you served? Are you willing to give and be poured out until you are used up and exhausted— not seeking to be ministered to, but to minister? Some saints cannot do menial work while maintaining a saintly attitude, because they feel such service is beneath their dignity.

 

Streams in the Desert

Ye shall not go out with haste (Isaiah 52:12).

I do not believe that we have begun to understand the marvelous power there is in stillness. We are in such a hurry–we must be doing–so that we are in danger of not giving God a chance to work. You may depend upon it, God never says to us, “Stand still,” or “Sit still,” or “Be still,” unless He is going to do something. This is our trouble in regard to our Christian life; we want to do something to be Christians when we need to let Him work in us.

Do you know how still you have to be when your likeness is being taken? Now God has one eternal purpose concerning us, and that is that we should be like His Son; and in order that this may be so, we must be passive. We hear so much about activity, may be we need to know what it is to be quiet.
–Crumbs

Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
Nor deem these days–these waiting days–as ill!
The One who loves thee best, who plans thy way,
Hath not forgotten thy great need today!
And, if He waits, ’tis sure He waits to prove
To thee, His tender child, His heart’s deep love.
Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
Thou longest much to know thy dear Lord’s will!
While anxious thoughts would almost steal their way
Corrodingly within, because of His delay
Persuade thyself in simple faith to rest
That He, who knows and loves, will do the best.
Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
Nor move one step, not even one, until
His way hath opened. Then, ah then, how sweet!
How glad thy heart, and then how swift thy feet
Thy inner being then, ah then, how strong!
And waiting days not counted then too long.
Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
What higher service could’st thou for Him fill?
‘Tis hard! ah yes! But choicest things must cost!
For lack of losing all how much is lost!
‘Tis hard, ’tis true! But then–He giveth grace
To count the hardest spot the sweetest place.
–J. D. Smith
FEBRUARY 5, 2015

From: Crosswalk.com

When Your Husband Has Given Up
LYSA TERKEURST
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV)

I know the heart-ripping hopelessness of a relationship unraveling.

The silence. The rejection. The harsh words. The absence of intimacy. The questions. The lack of answers. The hurt.

The first five years of my marriage were really hard. Two sinners coming together with loads of baggage, unrealistic expectations and extremely strong wills.

My heart aches for anyone in a marriage that’s struggling. Many of us have been there.

But I think the deepest hurt comes when one spouse resigns while the other is still trying. There is a panic that arises to somehow make the other person wake up, stop their resignation and help you fix this relationship.

A situation like this is much more complicated than simple answers I could offer here. But might I give you one stepping stone upon which to stand, to stop the panic and balance yourself?

Decide today that you are worthy.

Because you are. Worthy. You may not feel like it. But a quick glimpse at Psalm 139 assures me, you are. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by a loving God who cares for you. Who loves you. And I’d rather depend on the solid truth of God than the rollercoaster of fickle feelings.

You are beautiful and captivating and attractive and smart and capable. But if you are in a relationship full of unmet expectations, unresolved issues and frustrating communication, I suspect you feel a little less than all I’ve described.

Broken-down relationships can really break down a woman.

And if you’re anything like me, when you feel broken down, those around you get your worst. Then upon all the hurt and anxiety you layer regret, shame and the feeling that you’ve lost yourself. You’ve lost that girl inside who used to be so positive and happy and ready to take on the world.

Can I whisper a tender truth to you? The only way to recapture her is to come up for air and remember: You are worthy because the Creator of the Universe says you are.

Then you can act worthy.

And step aside from the emotional yuck to make some levelheaded decisions. Get a plan. Talk to wise people who love you, provide godly counsel and will walk this tough journey with you.

Draw some boundaries with your husband, if some are needed.

Pray like crazy for clear discernment. Because Jesus is the best source of help.

Honest cries for help, lifted up to Jesus, will not go unheard. He sees. He knows. He loves. And Jesus will direct you as long as you stick with Him.

Remember, you can’t control how your husband acts and reacts, but you can control how you act and react.

Reclaim who you are.

I pray your relationship survives. I pray it with every fiber of my being. But if it doesn’t, I pray most of all that the beautiful woman you are rises above all the yuck, still clinging tightly to the only opinion that matters — the One who forever calls you worthy.

The Gift

From: Inspirationalarchives.com

Sharon was rich and lived in a large house. Beth was from a poor family and lived in a little house that had thin walls and bare pine floors. Sharon and Beth went to the same school, were in the same class and one day entered the same contest for reading books and writing reports.  At the end of the contest, both girls had completed the exact same number of reports and both girls had done reports of very high quality. The contest was declared a tie and the two girls were asked to draw straws—short straw to win.

An ecstatic Beth won the prize, a music box of bright blue plastic. When the music played, a tiny screen showed a series of different pictures as the wheel revolved. Beth placed her prize next to the front door of her small house so if there was ever a fire she would be able to rescue it on her way out.

Sharon was very disturbed that she had not won the drawing. After all, she had written just as many good book reports as Beth.  She went home and complained loudly to her parents.  The next day her parents came to school and complained loudly.  Before you know it, the contest judges decided to buy another music box for Sharon.

Sharon was pleased to have gotten her own way, but after playing the music box she was not impressed.  She shoved it on a shelf in her closet with many other forgotten toys.

While it was Beth who worried about fire, it was Sharon who suffered that catastrophe.  Early that winter, a fire caused by a careless maid destroyed Sharon’s home.   The family escaped but all their possessions were destroyed.

When Beth heard about the fire, she was dismayed. At school, it was said that all of Sharon’s many toys had burned except for the pony cart that was in the barn. All her clothes had burned.  Many of the little children were not too kind about Sharon’s hardship.  One little girl even said, “It serves her right for being so hoity-toity all the time.”

Beth, however, was sad for Sharon. On the way home after school, she thought and thought.   She was home only a minute before she rushed back out the door carrying a small bag.  She raced to a large brick house—the home of Sharon’s grandmother where Sharon was now staying.  When the maid brought Sharon to the parlor where Beth was waiting, Beth opened the bag and pulled out her cherished music box.  “I’m sorry about your fire,” she said.  “I want you to have this in place of the one you lost.”

“Thank you,” said Sharon.  “I’m sorry I can’t visit now.  Grandma is taking me shopping to get new clothes.”

A few minutes later, the maid closed the door behind Beth as Sharon raced upstairs to the bedroom she had been given in her grandmother’s home the moment she was born. As she pulled out a warm coat to wear on her shopping trip, she took a moment to shove the music box to the back of a shelf.  “It’s a stupid toy,” she thought.  “No wonder Beth gave it to me.”

Sharon went off shopping with Grandma with no understanding of the great gift she had been given while Beth went home to her little house, watched and guarded all the way by a thousand angels.

B. Killebrew

 

The Sacrifice Flower
From: InspirationalArchives.com

My mother, who was a native American, taught me all kinds of wonderful ways to pray when I was a child. A very special one was the Sacrifice Flower prayer, which she adapted from the heritage of her people, the Seneca Iroquois.

She taught me to say this prayer when I was feeling low or had a burden I wanted to lifted. Later, I learned to use it for happy occasions and when I had a special request I wanted to make of God.

Like all mothers, she could always tell when something was bothering me. She’d say to me, “All right, Jo, I think it’s time you went outside and find yourself a Sacrifice Flower. It’s time you get your burden lifted from your heart and give it to God.

So, I’d go looking for a flower. Sometimes Mother would go out with me to help me with my flower or talk about what was bothering me. Sometimes, too, she had something weighing on her heart and she would find a Sacrifice Flower of her own.

The flower was supposed to be special, one that meant a lot to me. As a girl, I picked dandelions, hollyhocks, and daises. So, I usually picked one of them. In addition, Mother said I was to be very careful with the flower because it had been selected for a holy purpose. I lovingly cupped it in my hands so nothing would happen to it.

When I got home, I did as my mother instructed and told the flower what burden I wanted lifted and taken to God. How was the flower to do this? Remember, this was a Sacrifice Flower, one that was going to die. The idea was that as life went out of the flower, it would carry my prayer to God.

That meant, of course, the flower was not to be placed in water. I had a shelf in my room that I liked to use for my Sacrifice Flower because it was sort of private and yet I could see it as I went in and out.

Everytime I saw the flower, I could see it giving its life for me and I could imagine my prayer being carried to the Lord. That was true even when I was elsewhere and was just thinking about the flower. Either way, I had a strong sense my prayer was being heard. My flower and I were in union.

Sometimes it took a few days, sometimes a couple of weeks. When the flower finally died, I would take it outside, say goodbye to it, and thank it for giving its life for me and for delivering my prayer. Then I would bury it so it would have a chance at a new life, and I always hoped it would come back as an even nicer flower.

In this simple, graphic way my mother taught me how uplifting prayer can be. And, in the process, she taught me about life, too–how basic both dying and rising are to living and how important it is that we become Sacrifice Flowers for each other.

–By Jose Hobday

Making Room

 

God is making room for you

 

God is making plans for you in heaven. He is preparing a place for you. Earth does not know how wonderful His plans are for His children. His plans are marvelous I’m sure. John 14. The question is are you making room for God here on earth?

 

Leave Room for God

From: Utmost.org

As servants of God, we must learn to make room for Him— to give God “elbow room.” We plan and figure and predict that this or that will happen, but we forget to make room for God to come in as He chooses. Would we be surprised if God came into our meeting or into our preaching in a way we had never expected Him to come? Do not look for God to come in a particular way, but do look for Him. The way to make room for Him is to expect Him to come, but not in a certain way. No matter how well we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that He may break in at any minute. We tend to overlook this element of surprise, yet God never works in any other way. Suddenly—God meets our life “…when it pleased God….”

Keep your life so constantly in touch with God that His surprising power can break through at any point. Live in a constant state of expectancy, and leave room for God to come in as He decides.

JANUARY 23, 2015What if I Fall?
TRACIE MILES

From: Crosswalk

“Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” James 4:17 (NLT)

It seemed like a great idea at first, until my fear and procrastination caused me to miss a blessing.

I’d been invited to speak at a summer camp and my daughter Kaitlyn joined me. In between attending the worship events, we were given the opportunity to sign up for outdoor activities, one of which was a ropes and zip line course dangling high in the mountain trees.

After putting on safety gear and listening to basic instructions, Kaitlyn and I waited our turn in line. Yet while she was filled with excitement, dread filled my heart.

I watched each girl clip her carabineer and climb up the towering tree to the first platform landing. My heart raced and my inner voice of reason worked overtime. What was I thinking? Why would anyone want to climb all the way up there, just for fun? What if I get up there and I’m too scared to get back down? What if I can’t finish the course and get embarrassed? What if my rope breaks and I fall?

The more I procrastinated, the more people moved ahead and the more I convinced myself I could not accomplish this task. Finally it was my turn. I started up the tree. Slowly. Hesitantly. Fearfully. I looked down the entire time, though the camp leaders constantly encouraged me to look up instead. After just a few moments, I caved into all those irrational fears, climbed down the tree and removed my safety gear.

Later, I watched Kaitlyn climb high into the treetops, safely attached to the ropes, moving from platform to platform. I regretted my procrastination and fear of taking a risk. As the wind rustled through her long blonde hair and the sun shone on her face, she smiled and hollered down how beautiful the view was from high above. As she zoomed down the zip line and splashed into the lake water below, I could sense the accomplishment and joy that washed across her face.

And then I realized I’d missed the blessing of experiencing something new — seeing the beauty of the forest from a higher view instead of my limited view from the ground. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the first time I’d let fear and procrastination interfere with God’s blessings in my life.

Jesus knew we would struggle with procrastination. He gave us Truths in His Word to combat it. But in today’s key verse we also see that not doing what we feel called to do is not only procrastination, but sin.

When God calls us to make a “risky” move for Him, we often worry and try to reason ourselves out of it. We might spend time looking at our obstacles rather than at God, which makes courage flee and fear paralyze us. In fact, when we wait for every life circumstance to be perfect before we step out in faith, the devil is happy to spend his time trying to bring us down and convince us to never move at all.

Procrastination may seem to come normal for us, but it is never God’s best for us. We don’t often think of it as sin, but anytime we don’t do what God called us to do, when He calls us to do it, it is sin. It’s easier said than done, but we mustn’t let fear outweigh faith.

Jesus encourages us to fulfill the work He called us to do and not to waste time procrastinating. Not simply because it’s a sin, but because time is precious, and He promises that obedience brings blessings. How sad to miss the abundant blessings that come when we follow God’s call, simply because we keep putting it off.

Not pushing past my fears to a zip line obviously was not sin, but not doing what God instructs me to do always is. I’ve finally learned that when we take a leap of faith, with God, we have everything to gain and nothing to lose but fear.

Father, give me the courage to take a risk for You and the strength to take a leap of faith in whatever You call me to do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

hospital window

From: Inspire21

— Author Unknown

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window.
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it. In his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

Epilogue:

There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.

Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.

If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy.

“Today is a gift, that’s why it is called the Present.”

Swans and flowers

how to be happy

From: Inspire21

— Author Unknown

Are you almost disgusted with life, little man?
I’ll tell you a wonderful trick
that will bring you contentment, if anything can
Do something for somebody, quick!

Are you awfully tired with play, little girl?
Wearied, discouraged, and sick –
I’ll tell you the loveliest game in the world,
Do something for somebody, quick!

Though it rains like the rain of the flood, little man
and the clouds are forbidding and thick,
You can make the sun shine in your soul, little man
Do something for somebody, quick!

Though the stars are like brass overhead, little girl,
and the walks like a well-heated brick
and our earthly affairs in a terrible whirl,
Do something for somebody, quick!

Clap Your Hands To Praise God

Psalm 47:1

47 O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

Becoming the “Filth of the World”

From: Utmost.org

These words are not an exaggeration. The only reason they may not be true of us who call ourselves ministers of the gospel is not that Paul forgot or misunderstood the exact truth of them, but that we are too cautious and concerned about our own desires to allow ourselves to become the refuse or “filth of the world.” “Fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ…” (Colossians 1:24) is not the result of the holiness of sanctification, but the evidence of consecration— being “separated to the gospel of God…” (Romans 1:1).

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you…” (1 Peter 4:12). If we do think the things we encounter are strange, it is because we are fearful and cowardly. We pay such close attention to our own interests and desires that we stay out of the mire and say, “I won’t submit; I won’t bow or bend.” And you don’t have to— you can be saved by the “skin of your teeth” if you like. You can refuse to let God count you as one who is “separated to the gospel….” Or you can say, “I don’t care if I am treated like ‘the filth of the world’ as long as the gospel is proclaimed.” A true servant of Jesus Christ is one who is willing to experience martyrdom for the reality of the gospel of God. When a moral person is confronted with contempt, immorality, disloyalty, or dishonesty, he is so repulsed by the offense that he turns away and in despair closes his heart to the offender. But the miracle of the redemptive reality of God is that the worst and the vilest offender can never exhaust the depths of His love. Paul did not say that God separated him to show what a wonderful man He could make of him, but “to reveal His Son in me…” (Galatians 1:16).

Let Me Show You to Your Room

From: Getmorestrength.org

“In my Father’s house are many rooms . . . . I am going there to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

Every once in a while when I travel to speak at a conference, the organization puts me up in a five-star hotel. You know the type—lobbies with lavish flower arrangements, a staff that is sensitive to your every need, robes in the bathroom that are so big and fluffy you could safely fall into them from a five-story building, and exotic soaps ready to fill your shower with fragrant aromas.

I’ll admit I’m carnal enough to love staying in those kinds of places. Do I have a witness?

But here’s the flip side. Most of the time when I travel, I feel like I’m on a points program with every budget motel across the States. You walk in carrying your own luggage, wait in vain for someone to greet you as you bang the little bell on the desk next to the vase with the wimpy plastic flower in it. When you finally get to your room (on your own, thank you), you can’t help but notice that the towels look like somebody cut up some used sheets. On the sink there’s a tiny little bar of soap all wrapped up like they don’t want you to use it, and if you take it into the shower it goes down the drain.

So now, let me ask you, where would you rather stay—really?

Just as there’s no comparison between a five-star hotel and the local economy motel, we can’t compare our experience on earth with the wonders that await us in heaven. That’s not to say that there are no wonderful aspects about earth. Without question, God created a beautiful world for us to live in. But let’s face it: we’re a fallen race living in a fallen place, which means that, inevitably, living in this place is going to be a disappointing experience.

Which is exactly how the disciples must have felt when they met with Jesus in the Upper Room. They had been following Him for 3 years and thought He was the one who would make Israel a wonderful place to live. In their mind, they had won the lotto! They expected that He would restore Israel to its former glory and that they would be the big shots in the government. Until, that is, Jesus unraveled their dreams. In John 13:1-38, He told them that one of them would betray Him and that He was leaving them and they couldn’t go with Him. In the other gospels, we read that He also told them of His suffering and warned them of the fact that they would suffer for Him as well. But, knowing that no matter how bad it gets in this place, Jesus knew that He had a better place for them just down the road. So He turned their eyes to the future and said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. . . . In my Father’s house are many rooms. . . I am going there to prepare a place for you” (John 14:1-2). And, as Paul reminds us, it is a place that is “far better” (Phil. 1:23). What an amazing promise!

Of course, those of us who grew up in King James world might be wondering what happened to the “mansions.” If we’re totally honest, that probably has a lot more appeal than “rooms”! And in case you’re thinking about carrying a KJV with you into heaven and asking for an upgrade, don’t worry about it. When you are shown to your room, you can bet it will be like no other place you’ve ever stayed.

So, next time you feel that you’re stuck in a really bad place, don’t forget what’s ahead. As a friend of mine recently said, “If Jesus is your Savior, the future is your friend!”

YOUR JOURNEY…

  • What aspects of life in this world are you looking forward to leaving behind?
  • How does it make you feel to know that Jesus is preparing a place for you?
  • Why is this promise important to you personally?

 

Oh, Clap Your Hands!

From: Closed Doors, Open Windows

 
 
“Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of triumph!
For the Lord Most High is awesome;
He is a great King over all the earth.
He will subdue the peoples under us,
and the nations under our feet.
He will choose our inheritance for us,
the excellence of Jacob whom He loves.
 
God has gone up with a shout,
The Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
sing praises with understanding.
 
God reigns over the nations;
God sits on His holy throne.
The princes of the people have gathered together,
The people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth 
belong to God;
He is greatly exalted.”
Psalm 47
 
When I first read this Psalm yesterday morning my first reaction was to
CLAP MY HANDS!
And then I wanted to
SHOUT TO GOD WITH THE VOICE OF TRIUMPH!
Why?  Because
“THE LORD MOST HIGH IS AWESOME; HE IS A GREAT KING OVER ALL THE EARTH!”
 
And that was a good enough reason for me!  Let me ask you, do you ever get so excited over the way God works, and the marvelous things that He does, and the beauty of His Holiness…the glory of His power…the awesomeness of His majesty…the power of His love…and the mystery of His grace…
There are not enough words to describe Him, not enough ways to express this…I just have to
“CLAP (MY) YOUR HANDS!
SHOUT TO GOD WITH THE VOICE OF TRIUMPH!
SING PRAISES TO GOD, SING PRAISES!
SING PRAISES TO OUR KING, SING PRAISES!
FOR GOD IS THE KING OF ALL THE EARTH;
SING PRAISES WITH UNDERSTANDING!”
 
If you have never felt this way about our marvelous and awesome God, just start counting your blessings.  Look around you at the magnificence of all creation…look into the heavens and try to count the stars and try to understand that God not only “counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name…” (Psalm 147:4)… and this God of the universe, Who created and named every single star

(Image Credit: Photos.com)

in every single galaxy…also knows my name.  He knows me inside and out…Heknew me before I ever took my first breath…

“For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb….
My frame was not hidden from You,
when I was made in secret,
and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance,
being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them!”
Psalm 139: 13, 15-16
 
“Oh, that  men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
and for His wonderful works 
to the children of men!
Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people,
and praise Him in the company of elders.”
Psalm 107:31-32
 
Wow!  All I can say is, “Glory!”  Sing along with me this Doxology of Praise:
“Praise God from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Amen.”

February 3

Exodus 12:13 (NIV) 13The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.

The Exodus is a story of deliverance. After God showed the Egyptians that He was greater than all things they worshipped as gods, they still refused to let the Israelites go to worship Him. The last plague was the death of the firstborn. Pharaoh was worshipped as god by the Egyptians, and his son would take his place. This was the last god of the Egyptians to be plagued, because God is merciful.

God gave His people a way to escape the angel of death. They were to take an unblemished lamb and kill and eat it. The blood was to go upon the doorposts. If the blood marked their dwelling, God would pass over (pacach) them. The word in Hebrew is that of a mother bird hovering over her chicks. God is not going to just skip over their home, but stand as their protector, their shield (Isaiah 31:5). If the blood was applied, no destructive plague would touch them.

The Lamb has been slain. The lamb God had promised to Abraham that He would provide died on Calvary. His blood was spilled that you and I could mark the doorposts of our home. When we do, we can be assured that He will hover over us to shield us from the plagues that come upon the world (Psalm 91). It is not that we will not face difficulty and tests, but that they will not be destructive to us. Instead they will mature us. The trials will be productive instead of destructive, and so we can count it all joy when we face them. If the blood is on your heart, the Lord will pacach you. The Destroyer will not be allowed to enter your dwelling.

Prayer: Keep me safely under the shadow of Your wings, Lord Jesus.

Evening

February 3

Matthew 5:27-29 (NIV) 27“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

In Matthew 5:21, Jesus begins a string of 5 contradictions to commonly accepted sayings of the day. Each begins with “You have heard that it was said…” Then Jesus gives His correction with “But I say unto you…” The culture in which we live has commonly accepted ideas that we absorb without much thought as to their validity. Jesus was correcting the perception of those ideas in the culture of the people of God. He was getting down to the spirit behind the letter. They had focused on the technical meaning of the letter.

The people of Jesus’ day knew that they were not to commit adultery. Jesus redefined what adultery is. His corrected interpretation included the action of the heart. The people of that day were adept at skirting around the edge of the Law. Jesus said that was a vain effort. Sin is too destructive to interpret in such a confined sense. Sin begins in the heart and mind of the individual before it becomes manifested outwardly. Sin is so destructive, so detrimental to our lives, so anti-God and all His goodness, that every form of it must be avoided. To play on the edge of a 100-meter cliff is to invite death.

It is so dangerous that Jesus recommends the amputation of any body part you can’t bring under control. That is much better than the just judgment that would be yours. From the context of Scripture as a whole, we see that Jesus is talking about anything in life that would keep you from yielding your heart to Jesus as Lord. His presence in you can bring victory over your carnal desires. We crucify them with Him on the cross and live in resurrected life, a brand new life. Has something kept you from inviting Jesus to reign in your heart? Whatever it is, it is not worth it.

Consider: Take Jesus’ serious advice to see the source of sin, your heart. Then surrender your heart to His control so that you don’t find it necessary to become a blind, deaf and voiceless quadruple amputee.

The Enjoyment Of Praising God

 

There is great joy in praising God ….Psalm 100: 1

1O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. 2Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.…  Psalm 95:1-2.

The Compelling Force of the Call

From: Utmost.org

Beware of refusing to hear the call of God. Everyone who is saved is called to testify to the fact of his salvation. That, however, is not the same as the call to preach, but is merely an illustration which can be used in preaching. In this verse, Paul was referring to the stinging pains produced in him by the compelling force of the call to preach the gospel. Never try to apply what Paul said regarding the call to preach to those souls who are being called to God for salvation. There is nothing easier than getting saved, because it is solely God’s sovereign work— “Look to Me, and be saved…” (Isaiah 45:22). Our Lord never requires the same conditions for discipleship that he requires for salvation. We are condemned to salvation through the Cross of Christ. But discipleship has an option with it— “If anyone…” (Luke 14:26).

Paul’s words have to do with our being made servants of Jesus Christ, and our permission is never asked as to what we will do or where we will go. God makes us as broken bread and poured-out wine to please Himself. To be “separated to the gospel” means being able to hear the call of God (Romans 1:1). Once someone begins to hear that call, a suffering worthy of the name of Christ is produced. Suddenly, every ambition, every desire of life, and every outlook is completely blotted out and extinguished. Only one thing remains— “…separated to the gospel…” Woe be to the soul who tries to head in any other direction once that call has come to him. The Bible Training College exists so that each of you may know whether or not God has a man or woman here who truly cares about proclaiming His gospel and to see if God grips you for this purpose. Beware of competing calls once the call of God grips you.

 

Cue Cards for Praise

From: Biblegateway.com

Psalm 95:1–11

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Psalm 95:1

Imagine meeting someone famous and having to keep that news to yourself. Or what if you had pictures of your first child and no one to show them to? Praise and thanksgiving beg for company; joining with other voices makes the worship so much sweeter!

Psalm 95 tells us to find companions as we praise: “Come, let us sing . . . let us shout . . . let us bow down . . . let us kneel before the LORD our Maker” (Psalm 95:1,6). Marriage gives us a companion in praise—someone to share all the exciting details, someone to cheer and sing and laugh with before the Lord.

Psalms is our songbook; the psalms, our cue cards for praising God. Psalm 95 puts words in our mouths to express the joy in our hearts. And if our songs have gone all mumbly and dull, this psalm helps us rejuvenate our singing together.

This song has four stanzas that give us a structure for our praise. Verses 1–2 have us on our feet, singing at the tops of our voices to our champion, the Lord. The reason for such exuberance is described in the second stanza, in verses 3–5. We worship by picturing great mountains, pounding seas and majestic sunsets. And we come away ready to trust our mountain-moving God, our sea-parting Savior, our world-holding King.

We can praise God in a similar way, but we sing this kind of praise best when we gather with God’s people in church. Don’t miss such celebrations!

The third stanza, verses 6–7a, is an entirely different kind of melody; it is soft and thoughtful. This music bows our heads and brings us to our knees. We sing softly that the great God who made us is the Good Shepherd who feeds and leads us, who guards and guides our lives.

Try worshiping by recounting God’s provision—your first apartment, for example, or unexpected money when things were very tight. Praising God for his “shepherd care” is important for our future, for it is how we learn to trust God to guide us through the next dark valley or be our protection in a troubled tomorrow.

Psalm 95 ends in a minor key (verses 7b–11), reminding us of what happens when we fail to let worship shape our will and our ways. Israel had sung songs about God’s greatness and care when he had miraculously delivered them from Egypt and provided for them in the desert. But later, when God didn’t come through for them as quickly as they wanted, the people lost faith in the God they had sung about, and they ended up being prohibited from entering the promised land, the place where God intended to give them “rest” (verse 11).

What a great reminder to be full of praise—praise that is both exuberant and humble. When we worship God in our times of triumph, it prepares us to trust God in our times of struggle and prevents us from hardening our hearts toward him.
Lee Eclov

Let’s Talk

  • How does worshiping God as a couple help us spiritually? How can worshiping together have the kind of variety and breadth that we see in this psalm?
  • How do we worship together with other believers? What could we do to worship more effectively with them?
  • When might we be most tempted to “harden [our] hearts” (Psalm 95:8) and not trust God? How can we use worship times to fortify ourselves against such temptations?

Laughter is The Best Medicine

From: Academic Tips

Many years ago, Norman Cousins was diagnosed as “terminally ill”. He was given six months to live. His chance for recovery was 1 in 500.

He could see the worry, depression and anger in his life contributed to, and perhaps helped cause, his disease. He wondered, “If illness can be caused by negativity, can wellness be created by positivity?”

He decided to make an experiment of himself. Laughter was one of the most positive activities he knew. He rented all the funny movies he could find – Keaton, Chaplin, Fields, the Marx Brothers. (This was before VCRs, so he had to rent the actual films.) He read funny stories. He asked his friends to call him whenever they said, heard or did something funny.

His pain was so great he could not sleep. Laughing for 10 solid minutes, he found, relieved the pain for several hours so he could sleep.

He fully recovered from his illness and lived another 20 happy, healthy and productive years. (His journey is detailed in his book, Anatomy of an Illness.) He credits visualization, the love of his family and friends, and laughter for his recovery.


Some people think laughter is a waste of time. It is a luxury, they say, a frivolity, something to indulge in only every so often.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Laughter is essential to our equilibrium, to our well-being, to our aliveness. If we’re not well, laughter helps us get well; if we are well, laughter helps us stay that way.

Since Cousins’ ground-breaking subjective work, scientific studies have shown that laughter has a curative effect on the body, the mind and the emotions.

So, if you like laughter, consider it sound medical advice to indulge in it as often as you can. If you don’t like laughter, then take your medicine – laugh anyway.

Use whatever makes you laugh – movies, sitcoms, Monty Python, records, books, New Yorker cartoons, jokes, friends.

Give yourself permission to laugh – long and loud and out loud – whenever anything strikes you as funny. The people around you may think you’re strange, but sooner or later they’ll join in even if they don’t know what you’re laughing about.

Some diseases may be contagious, but none is as contagious as the cure. . . laughter.

By Peter McWilliams
From “Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul”

 

I have learned…

From: Academic Tips

I’ve learned-

that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.

I’ve learned-

that no matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back.

I’ve learned-

that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

I’ve learned-

that no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I’ve learned-

that it’s not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned-

that you should never ruin an apology with an excuse.

I’ve learned-

that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you’d better know something.

I’ve learned-

that you shouldn’t compare yourself to the best others can do.

I’ve learned-

that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I’ve learned-

that it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I’ve learned-

that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I’ve learned-

that you can keep going long after you can’t.

I’ve learned-

that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I’ve learned-

that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I’ve learned-

that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

I’ve learned-

that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I’ve learned-

that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I’ve learned-

that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I’ve learned-

that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down will be the ones to help you get back up.

I’ve learned-

that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.

I’ve learned-

that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I’ve learned-

that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned-

that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.

I’ve learned-

that you should never tell a child their dreams are unlikely or outlandish. Few things are more humiliating, and what a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

I’ve learned-

that your family won’t always be there for you. It may seem funny, but people you aren’t related to can take care of you and love you and teach you to trust people again. Families aren’t biological.

I’ve learned-

that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you are to learn to forgive yourself.

I’ve learned-

that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned-

that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I’ve learned-

that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but is one who needs the least.

I’ve learned-

that just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.

I’ve learned-

that we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I’ve learned-

that you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I’ve learned-

that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I’ve learned-

that no matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt and you will hurt in the process.

I’ve learned-

that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned-

that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I’ve learned-

that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

I’ve learned-

that it’s hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people’s feelings, and standing up for what you believe.

I’ve learned-

that people will forget what you said, and people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

By Omer B. Washington

You May Be Called

Someone reading this post may be in the process of being called to serve the Lord. He will be with you. Exercise your faith and answer His call with humility.

 

The Call of God

From: Utmost.org

Paul states here that the call of God is to preach the gospel. But remember what Paul means by “the gospel,” namely, the reality of redemption in our Lord Jesus Christ. We are inclined to make sanctification the goal of our preaching. Paul refers to personal experiences only by way of illustration, never as the end of the matter. We are not commissioned to preach salvation or sanctification— we are commissioned to lift up Jesus Christ (see John 12:32). It is an injustice to say that Jesus Christ labored in redemption to make me a saint. Jesus Christ labored in redemption to redeem the whole world and to place it perfectly whole and restored before the throne of God. The fact that we can experience redemption illustrates the power of its reality, but that experience is a byproduct and not the goal of redemption. If God were human, how sick and tired He would be of the constant requests we make for our salvation and for our sanctification. We burden His energies from morning till night asking for things for ourselves or for something from which we want to be delivered! When we finally touch the underlying foundation of the reality of the gospel of God, we will never bother Him anymore with little personal complaints.

The one passion of Paul’s life was to proclaim the gospel of God. He welcomed heartbreak, disillusionment, and tribulation for only one reason— these things kept him unmovable in his devotion to the gospel of God.

Making The Cut

From: getmorestrength.org

[Jesus] said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” —Matthew 4:19

Every year, high-school seniors apply to their favorite universities and then watch the mailbox for the letter announcing their acceptance.

It was different for teens in New Testament times. Jewish boys would often attend rabbinical schools until age 13. Then only the best and brightest would be chosen to “follow” the local rabbi. This small, select group of disciples would go where he went and eat what he ate—modeling their lives after the rabbi. Those who didn’t make the cut would pick up a trade like carpentry, sheep-herding, or fishing.

Guys like Simon, Andrew, James, and John hadn’t made the cut. So instead of following the local rabbi, they were down by the docks, knee-deep in the family business. It’s interesting that Jesus sought out the men the local rabbi had rejected. Instead of targeting the best and brightest, Jesus offered His invitation, “Follow Me,” to ordinary run-of-the-mill fishermen. What an honor! They would become followers of the ultimate Rabbi.

Jesus extends the same honor to you and me—not because we are the best or brightest, but because He needs ordinary people like us to model His life and to lovingly rescue people on His behalf. So, follow Him and let Him make something of your life!

As followers of Jesus
Who love Him from the heart,
We may be ordinary,
But we’ve been set apart. —Sper

Even the ordinary and the outcast can make the cut to follow Jesus.

 

The Throne of Glory

From: Charles Stanley

1 John 1:1-4

When you pray, how do you approach God? Numerous Christians visualize a holy, righteous being and approach Him with feelings of fear, unworthiness, and reluctance. On the other hand, many believers picture the Lord as a pal and talk to Him with little reverence.

Neither approach is healthy. Our finite minds cannot fully grasp that God is both loving and holy. Let’s first explore the holy, fear-provoking side of the Lord. As you read today’s passage, visualize the incredible power around heaven’s throne. It fills my heart with awe and wonder.

Before Jesus walked on earth, the temple contained an area called the Holy of Holies, where God’s presence resided. Only the priest could enter—and just on specified days, after ritual cleansing and preparation. If he did not get himself ready exactly according to scriptural rules, he would be struck dead. To be in God’s presence requires obedience. In fact, because of the Almighty’s absolute holiness and perfection, He is unable to commune with sinfulness, which is the condition of all mankind (Rom. 3:9). Therefore, every one of us is guilty and deserving of condemnation. Thankfully, though, God did not leave us helpless, but out of His grace and love, sent His Son to be our Redeemer.

Every page of Scripture can deepen our understanding of God’s greatness. Are you amazed at His presence and deeds? To understand more about His character, discipline yourself to read and meditate on the Word. Then take time to praise Him, for He alone is worthy of our adoration.

 

Streams in the Desert

This is my doing. (1 Kings 12:24)

The disappointments of life are simply the hidden appointments of love.
–C.A. Fox

My child, I have a message for you today. Let me whisper it in your ear so any storm clouds that may arise will shine with glory, and the rough places you may have to walk will be made smooth. It is only four words, but let them sink into your inner being, and use them as a pillow to rest your weary head.“This is my doing.”

Have you ever realized that whatever concerns you concerns Me too? “For whoever touches you touches the apple of [my] eye” (Zech. 2:8). “You are precious and honored in my sight” (Isa. 43:4). Therefore it is My special delight to teach you.

I want you to learn when temptations attack you, and the enemy comes in “like a pent up flood” (Isa. 59:19)., that “this is my doing” and that your weakness needs My strength, and your safety lies in letting Me fight for you.

Are you in difficult circumstances, surrounded by people who do not understand you, never ask your opinion, and always push you aside? “This is my doing.” I am the God of circumstances. You did not come to this place by accident — you are exactly where I meant for you to be.

Have you not asked Me to make you humble? Then see that I have placed you in the perfect school where this lesson is taught. Your circumstances and the people around you are only being used to accomplish My will.

Are you having problems with money, finding it hard to make ends meet? “This is my doing,” for I am the One who keeps your finances, and I want you to learn to depend upon Me. My supply is limitless and I “will meet your needs” (Phil. 4:19). I want you to prove My promises so no one may say, “You did not trust in the Lord your God” (Deut. 1:32).

Are you experiencing a time of sorrow? “This is my doing.” I am “a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering” (Isa. 53:3). I have allowed your earthly comforters to fail you, so that by turning to Me you may receive “eternal encouragement and good hope” (2 Thess. 2:16). Have you longed to do some great work for Me but instead have been set aside on a bed of sickness and pain? “This is my doing.”You were so busy I could not get your attention, and I wanted to teach you some of My deepest truths. “They also serve who only stand and wait.” In fact, some of My greatest workers are those physically unable to serve, but who have learned to wield the powerful weapon of prayer.

Today I place a cup of holy oil in your hands. Use it freely, My child. Anoint with it every new circumstance, every word that hurts you, every interruption that makes you impatient, and every weakness you have. The pain will leave as you learn to see Me in all things.
–Laura A. Barter Snow

“This is from Me,” the Savior said,
As bending low He kissed my brow,
“For One who loves you thus has led.
Just rest in Me, be patient now,
Your Father knows you have need of this,
Though, why perhaps you cannot see–
Grieve not for things you’ve seemed to miss.
The thing I send is best for thee.”
Then, looking through my tears, I plead,
“Dear Lord, forgive, I did not know,
It will not be hard since You do tread,
Each path before me here below.”
And for my good this thing must be,
His grace sufficient for each test.
So still I’ll sing, “Whatever be
God’s way for me is always best.”

Do you see your calling?

 

Do You See Your Calling?

From: Utmost.org

Our calling is not primarily to be holy men and women, but to be proclaimers of the gospel of God. The one all-important thing is that the gospel of God should be recognized as the abiding reality. Reality is not human goodness, or holiness, or heaven, or hell— it is redemption. The need to perceive this is the most vital need of the Christian worker today. As workers, we have to get used to the revelation that redemption is the only reality. Personal holiness is an effect of redemption, not the cause of it. If we place our faith in human goodness we will go under when testing comes.

Paul did not say that he separated himself, but “when it pleased God, who separated me…” (Galatians 1:15). Paul was not overly interested in his own character. And as long as our eyes are focused on our own personal holiness, we will never even get close to the full reality of redemption. Christian workers fail because they place their desire for their own holiness above their desire to know God. “Don’t ask me to be confronted with the strong reality of redemption on behalf of the filth of human life surrounding me today; what I want is anything God can do for me to make me more desirable in my own eyes.” To talk that way is a sign that the reality of the gospel of God has not begun to touch me. There is no reckless abandon to God in that. God cannot deliver me while my interest is merely in my own character. Paul was not conscious of himself. He was recklessly abandoned, totally surrendered, and separated by God for one purpose— to proclaim the gospel of God (see Romans 9:3).

 

At Just The Right Time

From: Get more Strength

[Written by Joe Stowell for Our Daily Bread.]

When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son. —Galatians 4:4

Why is being on time so challenging for some of us? Even when we start early, something inevitably gets in our way to make us late.

But here’s the good news: God is always on time! Speaking of the arrival of Jesus, Paul said, “When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son” (Gal. 4:4). The long-awaited, promised Savior came at just the right time.

Jesus’ arrival during the Roman Empire’s Pax Romana (the peace of Rome) was perfect timing. The known world was united by one language of commerce. A network of global trade routes provided open access to the whole world. All of this guaranteed that the gospel could move rapidly in one tongue. No visas. No impenetrable borders. Only unhindered access to help spread the news of the Savior whose crucifixion fulfilled the prophecy of the Lamb who would be slain for our sins (Isa. 53:1-12). All in God’s perfect timing!

All of this should remind us that the Lord knows what time is best for us as well. If you’re waiting for answered prayer or the fulfillment of one of His promises, don’t give up. If you think He has forgotten you, think again. When the fullness of time is right for you, He’ll show up—and you’ll be amazed by His brilliant timing!

Not ours to know the reason why
Unanswered is our prayer,
But ours to wait for God’s own time
To lift the cross we bear. —Anon.

God’s timing is always perfect.

 

You Are a Slave to Whatever Controls You

by Sheri Rose Shepherd
From: Biblegateway
When you stop consuming junk food, your body begins to release toxins in order to rebuild healthy cells. This can cause you to feel sick at first, but when the detox is over you will feel more alive than you ever have before.

The same is true with your emotions. When you begin to let go of the emotional “junk” in your life, you may experience more pain in the beginning. But as you allow your mind and spirit to detox and begin to embrace God’s best for you, it may take a while, but God will change this transition into real transformation. Some of us, like myself have denied and hidden things inside of us for so long that, after taking the steps to release these toxins, having a healthy mind and spirit can feel foreign. Be encouraged; this is only temporary. These steps are not always easy. You will have to fight your flesh to do what’s right! Scripture tells us that our flesh wages a battle against the spirit (Romans 7). Take heart! The greater your battle, the greater your victory will be!

I believe you are going to find real freedom from today’s teaching! So if you are ready to be free click the video link below!

God’s Letter to You

I believe if The Lord was going to write you a personal letter about battles this life brings it may read like this….

My Precious Daughter,

I want you to know that I am only one whisper away, My beloved. In those times when you need a special touch from Me, I will come and be your comfort and your healer. Because you are My girl, you have access to Me any time. I am never too busy to reach out to you. I love to hear you call My name when you’re in need. Don’t let your discomfort deceive you into believing I am not here. Believe that I am the one who can take care of you and who carries your burdens and feels your pain. I am compassionate and cannot resist you in your time of need. When all hope of healing is gone, you will know Me as the true healer of your heart and soul.

Love,
Your Heavenly Daddy

 

“The Lord our Righteousness.”

From: Biblegateway
Jeremiah 23:6

It will always give a Christian the greatest calm, quiet, ease, and peace, to think of the perfect righteousness of Christ. How often are the saints of God downcast and sad! I do not think they ought to be. I do not think they would if they could always see their perfection in Christ. There are some who are always talking about corruption, and the depravity of the heart, and the innate evil of the soul. This is quite true, but why not go a little further, and remember that we are “perfect in Christ Jesus.” It is no wonder that those who are dwelling upon their own corruption should wear such downcast looks; but surely if we call to mind that “Christ is made unto us righteousness,” we shall be of good cheer. What though distresses afflict me, though Satan assault me, though there may be many things to be experienced before I get to heaven, those are done for me in the covenant of divine grace; there is nothing wanting in my Lord, Christ hath done it all. On the cross he said, “It is finished!” and if it be finished, then am I complete in him, and can rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, “Not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” You will not find on this side heaven a holier people than those who receive into their hearts the doctrine of Christ’s righteousness. When the believer says, “I live on Christ alone; I rest on him solely for salvation; and I believe that, however unworthy, I am still saved in Jesus;” then there rises up as a motive of gratitude this thought–“Shall I not live to Christ? Shall I not love him and serve him, seeing that I am saved by his merits?” “The love of Christ constraineth us,” “that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves but unto him which died for them.” If saved by imputed righteousness, we shall greatly value imparted righteousness.

Evening

“Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Cushi.”
2 Samuel 18:23

Running is not everything, there is much in the way which we select: a swift foot over hill and down dale will not keep pace with a slower traveller upon level ground. How is it with my spiritual journey, am I labouring up the hill of my own works and down into the ravines of my own humiliations and resolutions, or do I run by the plain way of “Believe and live”? How blessed is it to wait upon the Lord by faith! The soul runs without weariness, and walks without fainting, in the way of believing. Christ Jesus is the way of life, and he is a plain way, a pleasant way, a way suitable for the tottering feet and feeble knees of trembling sinners: am I found in this way, or am I hunting after another track such as priestcraft or metaphysics may promise me? I read of the way of holiness, that the wayfaring man, though a fool, shall not err therein: have I been delivered from proud reason and been brought as a little child to rest in Jesus’ love and blood? If so, by God’s grace I shall outrun the strongest runner who chooses any other path. This truth I may remember to my profit in my daily cares and needs. It will be my wisest course to go at once to my God, and not to wander in a roundabout manner to this friend and that. He knows my wants and can relieve them, to whom should I repair but to himself by the direct appeal of prayer, and the plain argument of the promise. “Straightforward makes the best runner.” I will not parlay with the servants, but hasten to their master.

In reading this passage, it strikes me that if men vie with each other in common matters, and one outruns the other, I ought to be in solemn earnestness so to run that I may obtain. Lord, help me to gird up the loins of my mind, and may I press forward towards the mark for the prize of my high calling of God in Christ Jesus.