How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!”
Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments,
From: Our Daily Journey
Each year, my son and I travel to the other side of the country to spend time with his honorary grandparents, Gwen and Jim Johnson. It’s not possible for me to express the significance of these visits and all that my son and I learn from this remarkable couple, each of whom are in their mid-nineties.
Though no longer able to skydive, Jajja (grandmother) Gwen did parachute from the sky on her ninetieth birthday! The Johnson’s model a deep faith in Jesus, a contagious zest for life, an unwavering commitment to service, and an undeniable love for and devotion to each other.
Throughout their more than 70 years of marriage, Gwen and Jim have exemplified Ephesians 4:2-3 as they’ve treated each other humbly and gently—and that still continues in their golden years. Because they know and trust Jesus, they continue to “be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of . . . love” (Ephesians 4:2). They know that each minute they have on earth is more time to serve Him and His children and to love each other.
Their example of profound love has been evident to my son and me again and again. But this past summer, at the swimming pool, as we watched Jim tenderly rub suntan lotion on Gwen’s shoulder, I thanked God for allowing my son to witness unconditional love between a husband and a wife.
Grandpa Jim and Jajja Gwen, to all who know them, are an example of the beauty that results when people choose to “make every effort to keep [themselves] united in the Spirit, binding [themselves] together in peace” (Ephesians 4:3).
When we allow the Holy Spirit and Scripture to guide us, nothing can veil the beauty God intended for us to experience in our relationships.
Paul was overwhelmed with the sense of his indebtedness to Jesus Christ, and he spent his life to express it. The greatest inspiration in Paul’s life was his view of Jesus Christ as his spiritual creditor. Do I feel that same sense of indebtedness to Christ regarding every unsaved soul? As a saint, my life’s spiritual honor and duty is to fulfill my debt to Christ in relation to these lost souls. Every tiny bit of my life that has value I owe to the redemption of Jesus Christ. Am I doing anything to enable Him to bring His redemption into evident reality in the lives of others? I will only be able to do this as the Spirit of God works into me this sense of indebtedness.
I am not a superior person among other people— I am a bondservant of the Lord Jesus. Paul said, “…you are not your own…you were bought at a price…” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Paul sold himself to Jesus Christ and he said, in effect, “I am a debtor to everyone on the face of the earth because of the gospel of Jesus; I am free only that I may be an absolute bondservant of His.” That is the characteristic of a Christian’s life once this level of spiritual honor and duty becomes real. Quit praying about yourself and spend your life for the sake of others as the bondservant of Jesus. That is the true meaning of being broken bread and poured-out wine in real life.
Order and argument in prayer
From: Charles Spurgeon
‘Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat! I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.’ Job 23:3–4
Suggested Further Reading: Daniel 9:1–19
The true spiritual order of prayer seems to me to consist of something more than mere arrangement. It is most fitting for us first to feel that we are now doing something that is real; that we are about to address ourselves to God, whom we cannot see, but who is really present; whom we can neither touch nor hear, nor by our own senses can apprehend, but who, nevertheless, is as truly with us as though we are speaking to a friend of flesh and blood like ourselves. Feeling the reality of God’s presence, our mind will be led by divine grace into a humble state; we shall feel like Abraham, when he said, ‘I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes.’ Consequently we shall not deliver ourselves of our prayer as boys repeating their lessons, as a mere matter of rote, much less shall we speak as if we were rabbis instructing our pupils, or as I have heard some do, with the coarseness of a highwayman stopping a person on the road and demanding his purse of him; but we shall be humble yet bold petitioners, humbly importuning mercy through the Saviour’s blood. We shall not have the reserve of a slave but the loving reverence of a child, yet not an impudent, impertinent child, but a teachable obedient child, honouring his Father, and therefore asking earnestly, but with deferential submission to his Father’s will. When I feel that I am in the presence of God, and take my rightful position in that presence, the next thing I shall want to recognise will be that I have no right to what I am seeking, and cannot expect to obtain it except as a gift of grace, and I must recollect that God limits the channel through which he will give me mercy—he will give it to me through his dear Son. Let me put myself then under the patronage of the great Redeemer.