Daily Archives: June 1, 2021

Riches In Glory Are Riches That Last

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Terry Meeuwsen: From Rags to Riches

You probably remember Esther’s amazing rags-to-riches story. She was a beautiful Jewish girl in Susa, the capital city of Persia. Esther had to leave her home. Now established in the royal palace as queen, she learned of an evil plot to destroy all the Jews across the empire. Mordecai, her uncle, heard about it, too, and in great distress sent an urgent message to Esther. He urged her to approach the king and plead for the life of her people.

But Esther hesitated.

Who wouldn’t? The penalty for entering the king’s presence without a specific invitation was death. (I wonder how he would have handled telemarketers calling during the dinner hour?) Under extraordinary circumstances, the king might extend his golden scepter and spare the petitioner’s life—but the prospects of taking that sort of chance were terrifying.

The young queen reported all these things in a message to her guardian, and he sent back this word … this small slice of dialogue I can’t get out of my mind.

“Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14, NKJV)

Notice the second sentence in Mordecai’s message: “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place …” In other words, Mordecai was saying, “I have faith that the God of our Fathers will not allow His people to be totally destroyed in this way. Somehow, He will step in. Somehow, He will spare a remnant of His people. If you sit back and remain silent, Esther, God will use someone else to achieve His purposes. But you are His first choice, and it’s up to you how you’re going to respond.”

Esther determined to step into this God adventure—this opportunity to save her people. Esther said, “And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” (Esther 4:16 NKJV).

When God wants something done, when He has some kingdom “mission impossible” to accomplish, He goes looking for a man or woman to take the assignment. The Bible tells us that “the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His” (2 Chronicles 16:9, NASB).

He’s looking for people who will take on risky operations of love and mercy. He is looking for men and women who will put His will above everything else in life. And every now and then, perhaps even today, His eye rests on you, and He offers you that opportunity.

You can take it, or you can let it go by. If you don’t do it, He’ll probably select someone else— “relief and deliverance will arise…from another place”— and the job will get done. But you won’t even be able to imagine what you’ve missed!

 

When You Feel Like You’ve Lost Time

By Debbie McDaniel, crosswalk.com

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten. You will have plenty… and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Then you will know… that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other.” – Joel 2:25-27

If we’ve lived long enough, we know this to be true… sometimes, life is hard. It doesn’t always go our way. Things don’t always work out in our timing. And often, it seems we get hit from all sides. Problems can leave us spinning, wondering why we didn’t see it coming.

Days, months, even years can go by. We look back and wonder how it all went so fast, yet seemed so slow when we trudged through the difficulties. And though we might try our best to live our lives in a way that honors God, it doesn’t erase the fact that we live in a fallen world. We’re constantly face-to-face with so many battles –  hardship, struggles, broken relationships, illness, and our own weaknesses too.

In the midst of all that, we may sometimes feel like we’ve lost time, missed opportunities, or blown chances along the way. We may struggle with feeling as if we’ve walked through too many broken years of pain. Like God could never work through that stuff, it’s just too messy, or too difficult.

But the good news is this: there’s still hope. For He alone is our Hope-giver.

Restorer.

Redeemer.

Healer.

Friend.

God is able to restore all that’s been stolen.

He knows our way, He is close, and He’s working far beyond what we can fully see.

There’s a new season up ahead, don’t give up. If we woke up this morning, then God’s not finished with us yet, there’s still good in store.

He is able.

He is faithful.

He is greater than anything we face in this life, and much bigger than our own brokenness or weakness.

Keep moving forward in His grace and power.

 

Streams in the Desert – June 1

Times have changed, but life’s hard times haven’t

The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. (Exod 14:15)

In the past he said to them, “This is where security can be found. Provide security for the one who is exhausted! This is where rest can be found.” But they refused to listen. (Isa 28:12)

Why dost thou worry thyself? What use can thy fretting serve? Thou art on board a vessel which thou couldst not steer even if the great Captain put thee at the helm, of which thou couldst not so much as reef a sail, yet thou worriest as if thou wert captain and helmsman. Oh, be quiet; God is Master!

Dost thou think that all this din and hurly-burly that is abroad betokens that God has left His throne?

No, man, His coursers rush furiously on, and His chariot is the storm; but there is a bit between their jaws, and He holds the reins, and guides them as He wills! Jehovah is Master yet; believe it; peace be unto thee! be not afraid.
–C. H. Spurgeon

“Tonight, my soul, be still and sleep;
The storms are raging on God’s deep—
God’s deep, not thine; be still and sleep.

“Tonight, my soul, be still and sleep;
God’s hands shall still the tempter’s sweep—
God’s hands, not thine; be still and sleep.

“Tonight, my soul, be still and sleep;
God’s love is strong while night hours creep—
God’s love, not thine; be still and sleep.

“Tonight, my soul, be still and sleep;
God’s heaven will comfort those who weep—
God’s heaven, not thine; be still and sleep.”

I entreat you, give no place to despondency. This is a dangerous temptation—a refined, not a gross temptation of the adversary. Melancholy contracts and withers the heart, and renders it unfit to receive the impressions of grace. It magnifies and gives a false coloring to objects, and thus renders your burdens too heavy to bear. God’s designs regarding you, and His methods of bringing about these designs, are infinitely wise.
–Madame Guyon

 

Indwelling sin

“Then Job answered the Lord, and said, Behold, I am vile.” Job 40:3,4

Suggested Further Reading: Galatians 5:13-24

When we believe in Jesus Christ all our sins are pardoned; yet the power of sin, although it is weakened and kept under by the dominion of the new-born nature which God infuses into our souls, does not cease, but still lingers in us, and will do so to our dying day. It is a doctrine held by all the orthodox, that there still dwells in the regenerate the lusts of the flesh, and that there still remains in the hearts of those who are converted by God’s mercy, the evil of carnal nature. I have found it very difficult to distinguish, in experimental matters, concerning sin. It is usual with many writers, especially with hymn writers, to confound the two natures of a Christian. Now, I hold that there is in every Christian two natures, as distinct as were the two natures of the God-Man Christ Jesus. There is one nature which cannot sin, because it is born of God—a spiritual nature, coming directly from heaven, as pure and as perfect as God himself, who is the author of it; and there is also in man that ancient nature which, by the fall of Adam, has become altogether vile, corrupt, sinful, and devilish. There remains in the heart of the Christian a nature which cannot do that which is right, any more than it could before regeneration, and which is as evil as it was before the new birth—as sinful, as altogether hostile to God’s laws, as ever it was—a nature which, as I said before, is curbed and kept under by the new nature in a great measure, but which is not removed and never will be until this tabernacle of our flesh is broken down, and we soar into that land into which there shall never enter anything that defiles.

For meditation: Are there times when you cannot understand your own behaviour? You are in good company (Romans 7:15-25). But the Christian, having received the new nature, need not and should not give in to the old nature as if he could do nothing about it.