Category Archives: Inspirational

Breaking The Chains

Acts 12: 6-8
6   On the night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, with sentries standing guard at the entrance to the prison.
8   “Get dressed and put on your sandals,” said the angel. Peter did so, and the angel told him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.”…
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Breaking the Chains

From: Our Daily Bread

Breaking the Chains

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins. Ephesians 1:7

We found our visit to Christ Church Cathedral in Stone Town, Zanzibar, deeply moving, for it sits on the site of what was formerly the largest slave market in East Africa. The designers of this cathedral wanted to show through a physical symbol how the gospel breaks the chains of slavery. No longer would the location be a place of evil deeds and horrible atrocities, but of God’s embodied grace.

Those who built the cathedral wanted to express how Jesus’s death on the cross provides freedom from sin—that which the apostle Paul speaks of in his letter to the church at Ephesus: “In him we have redemption through his blood” (Ephesians 1:7). Here the word redemption points to the Old Testament’s notion of the marketplace, with someone buying back a person or item. Jesus buys back a person from a life of slavery to sin and wrongdoing.

In Paul’s opening words in this letter (vv. 3–14), he bubbles over with joy at the thought of his freedom in Christ. He points, in layer after layer of praise, to God’s work of grace for us through Jesus’s death, which sets us free from the cords of sin. No longer do we need to be slaves to sin, for we are set free to live for God and His glory.

Lord God, through the death of Your Son, You have given us life forever. Help me to share this gift of grace with someone today.

Jesus redeems us from the slavery of sin.

Freed for Justice

From: Our Daily Journey

Freed for Justice

Read:

Romans 5:1-56:13-18
Use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God (Romans 6:13).

I once heard Ken Wytsma, founder of the Justice Conference, comment on the surprising skepticism many have about whether justice is central to the gospel. He reflected ironically, “The gospel is that unjust people are reconciled to a just God to be a just people . . . but justice isn’t related to the gospel?”

Justice is central to the heart of God—the One who “gives justice to the oppressed,” “lifts up those who are weighed down,” “protects the foreigners,” and “cares for the orphans and widows” (Psalm 146:7-9).

In an unjust world, it’s often easier to say we love our neighbors than to seek justice for them—which may involve resisting powerful forces and often comes at a high cost. But if our fears prevent us from seeking justice for others, we aren’t walking in the freedom and joy that is ours in Jesus. As Paul reminds us in Romans 5, those who “confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory” (Romans 5:2) should see suffering as an opportunity to grow into people of endurance and character (Romans 5:3-5).

When we live in fear of what others might say or do if we stand up for what’s right, in effect we’re still living in bondage. As Paul put it starkly, we have two choices: “You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living” (Romans 6:16).

It’s when we fearlessly “use [our] whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God” (Romans 6:13)—led and strengthened by Him—that we show we’re truly walking in the joy and “freedom of [His] grace” (Romans 6:14).

Today, as Nelson Mandela—fearless opponent of apartheid in South Africa—once put it, “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”

Spontaneous Love

By Oswald Chambers

 Spontaneous Love

Love is not premeditated– it is spontaneous; that is, it bursts forth in extraordinary ways. There is nothing of precise certainty in Paul’s description of love. We cannot predetermine our thoughts and actions by saying, “Now I will never think any evil thoughts, and I will believe everything that Jesus would have me to believe.” No, the characteristic of love is spontaneity. We don’t deliberately set the statements of Jesus before us as our standard, but when His Spirit is having His way with us, we live according to His standard without even realizing it. And when we look back, we are amazed at how unconcerned we have been over our emotions, which is the very evidence that real spontaneous love was there. The nature of everything involved in the life of God in us is only discerned when we have been through it and it is in our past.

The fountains from which love flows are in God, not in us. It is absurd to think that the love of God is naturally in our hearts, as a result of our own nature. His love is there only because it “has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit…” (Romans 5:5).

If we try to prove to God how much we love Him, it is a sure sign that we really don’t love Him. The evidence of our love for Him is the absolute spontaneity of our love, which flows naturally from His nature within us. And when we look back, we will not be able to determine why we did certain things, but we can know that we did them according to the spontaneous nature of His love in us. The life of God exhibits itself in this spontaneous way because the fountains of His love are in the Holy Spirit.

 

The Fruit Of The Holy Spirit

 The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

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The Fruit of Joy

From: Our Daily Journey

The Fruit of Joy

Read:

Galatians 5:16-26
The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

I love how joy can bubble up, unbidden. It can surprise me when I walk next to a gurgling brook or when I catch a glimpse of the faces of family and friends. Even when I fret about the friend whose feelings I’ve hurt, I can seek God’s help and peace as I release to Him my anxiety and receive the gift of His joy.

The apostle Paul listed joy as a fruit of the Spirit when he wrote to the church at Galatia because it’s something the Holy Spirit brings about in a believer’s life. Paul yearned that the Galatians would experience the Spirit’s grace, because many of them were being led astray by some who wanted them to adopt various rules and regulations (Galatians 1:6-7). He didn’t want them weighed down with requirements God hadn’t established; rather, he wanted them to live out of God’s freedom, which would result in the fruit He would bring to life within them: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

We may think that Paul’s list of the fruit of the Spirit is exhaustive, but in naming the nine qualities, he was actually following a common Greek practice of outlining virtues and vices. He roots this list, however, in what God effects in His children, that is, how Christ living within them brings transformation and change (2 Corinthians 5:17).

We can’t demand or create joy from ourselves or from others. We can, however, ask God to give us His joy as we rest in His presence, have fellowship with others, and look with wonder at His creation around us. And we can pray that as He cultivates in us His joy that this fruit would be something sweet and refreshing we can share with others.

 

Sweet savor

From: Charles Spurgeon

‘I will accept you with your sweet savor.’ Ezekiel 20:41

Suggested Further Reading: Matthew 11:20–30

The Saviour’s character has all goodness in all perfection; he is full of grace and truth. Some men, nowadays, talk of him as if he were simply incarnate benevolence. It is not so. No lips ever spoke with such thundering indignation against sin as the lips of the Messiah. ‘He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap;’ his ‘fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor.’ While in tenderness he prays for his tempted disciple, that his faith may not fail, yet with awful sternness he winnows the heap, and drives away the chaff into unquenchable fire. We speak of Christ as being meek and lowly in spirit, and so he was, but his meekness was balanced by his courage, and by the boldness with which he denounced hypocrisy. ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! …Ye fools and blind; …ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?’ These are not the words of the milksop some authors represent Christ to have been. He is a man—a real man throughout—a God-like man—gentle as a woman, but yet stern as a warrior in the midst of the day of battle. The character is balanced; as much of one virtue as of another. As in Deity every attribute is full orbed; justice never eclipses mercy, nor mercy justice, nor justice faithfulness; so in the character of Christ you have all the excellent things, ‘whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report;’ you have them all; but not one of them casts a shadow on another; they shine each and all with undimmed splendour.

For meditation: Is this the Jesus you love and worship, or do you only believe in a ‘Gentle Jesus, meek and mild’? Failure to accept fully the Lord Jesus Christ of the New Testament, is to follow a ‘false Christ’ (Matthew 24:24) or ‘another Jesus’ (2 Corinthians 11:4), an idol of your own or somebody else’s imagination. That is no better than following Baal or some other false god!

 

Christ’s people—imitators of him

By: Charles Spurgeon

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13

Suggested Further Reading: Ephesians 4:11-16

I will ever maintain—that by grace we are saved, and not by ourselves; but equally must I testify, that where the grace of God is, it will produce fitting deeds. To these I am ever bound to exhort you, while you are ever expected to have good works for necessary purposes. Again, I do not, when I say that a believer should be a striking likeness of Jesus, suppose that any one Christian will perfectly exhibit all the features of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; yet my brethren, the fact that perfection is beyond our reach, should not diminish the ardour of our desire after it. The artist, when he paints, knows right well that he shall not be able to excel Apelles; but that does not discourage him; he uses his brush with all the greater pains, that he may at least in some humble measure resemble the great master. So the sculptor; though persuaded that he will not rival Praxiteles, will hew out the marble still, and seek to be as near the model as possible. Just so the Christian man; though he feels he never can mount to the height of complete excellence, and perceives that he never can on earth become the exact image of Christ, still holds it up before him, and measures his own deficiencies by the distance between himself and Jesus. This will he do, forgetting all he has attained, he will press forward, crying, Excelsior! Going upwards still, desiring to be conformed more and more to the image of Christ Jesus.

Gracious Uncertainty

By Oswald Chambers

 Gracious Uncertainty

Our natural inclination is to be so precise– trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next– that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We think that we must reach some predetermined goal, but that is not the nature of the spiritual life. The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Consequently, we do not put down roots. Our common sense says, “Well, what if I were in that circumstance?” We cannot presume to see ourselves in any circumstance in which we have never been.

Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life– gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God– it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “…unless you…become as little children…” (Matthew 18:3). The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, “…believe also in Me” (John 14:1), not, “Believe certain things about Me”. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in– but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.

 

 

 

Give Praise To Christ The Lord

Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago.     Isaiah 25:1 

Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you.      Exodus 23:25 

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. 
Praise the Lord.           Psalm 150:6 

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Where to Worship

From: Our Daily Journey

Where to Worship

Read:

John 4:19-24
The time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem (John 4:21).

During a visit to Melbourne, Australia, my hosts took me on a mini-tour of the city. Along the way, they pointed out some buildings that had been converted from churches to bars. I’ve learned that this is a common practice—not only in Australia, but around the world. Troubled, I wondered what the future held for places of worship. Imagine my elation when I read of a bar that’s reversing the trend and returning to its roots as a church!

As important as physical spaces of worship are, true worship doesn’t depend on a specific kind of building or location. Jesus taught this when the Samaritan woman He’d met asked, “Why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?” (John 4:19-20). Rather than commend one location or condemn the other, Jesus replied, “Dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem” (John 4:21).

Considering that the temple and synagogues were at the center of religious life in Jesus’ day, this response must have taken the woman by surprise. Knowing this, Jesus went on to explain, “The time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. . . . For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24).

When we absorb the truth that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), we can begin to understand why worship isn’t confined to one kind of physical location. As we stand in God’s presence, filled with His Spirit, any place can become a place to experience and worship Him.

 

What You Will Get

By Oswald Chambers

 What You Will Get

This is the firm and immovable secret of the Lord to those who trust Him– “I will give your life to you….” What more does a man want than his life? It is the essential thing. “…your life…as a prize…” means that wherever you may go, even if it is into hell, you will come out with your life and nothing can harm it. So many of us are caught up in exhibiting things for others to see, not showing off property and possessions, but our blessings. All these things that we so proudly show have to go. But there is something greater that can never go– the life that “is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).

Are you prepared to let God take you into total oneness with Himself, paying no more attention to what you call the great things of life? Are you prepared to surrender totally and let go? The true test of abandonment or surrender is in refusing to say, “Well, what about this?” Beware of your own ideas and speculations. The moment you allow yourself to think, “What about this?” you show that you have not surrendered and that you do not really trust God. But once you do surrender, you will no longer think about what God is going to do. Abandonment means to refuse yourself the luxury of asking any questions. If you totally abandon yourself to God, He immediately says to you, “I will give your life to you as a prize….” The reason people are tired of life is that God has not given them anything— they have not been given their life “as a prize.” The way to get out of that condition is to abandon yourself to God. And once you do get to the point of total surrender to Him, you will be the most surprised and delighted person on earth. God will have you absolutely, without any limitations, and He will have given you your life. If you are not there, it is either because of disobedience in your life or your refusal to be simple enough.

 

Streams In The Desert

God Prepares Heros

When the Israelites cried out for help to the Lord, he raised up a deliverer for the Israelites who rescued them. His name was Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. The Lord’s spirit empowered him and he led Israel. When he went to do battle, the Lord handed over to him King Cushan-Rishathaim of Aram and he overpowered him (Judg 3:9-10)

God is preparing His heroes; and when opportunity comes, He can fit them into their place in a moment, and the world will wonder where they came from.

Let the Holy Ghost prepare you, dear friend, by the discipline of life; and when the last finishing touch has been given to the marble, it will be easy for God to put it on the pedestal, and fit it into its niche.

There is a day coming when, like Othniel, we, too, shall judge the nations, and rule and reign with Christ on the millennial earth. But ere that glorious day can be we must let God prepare us, as He did Othniel at Kirjath-sepher, amid the trials of our present life, and the little victories, the significance of which, perhaps, we little dream. At least, let us be sure of this, and if the Holy Ghost has an Othniel ready, the Lord of Heaven and earth has a throne prepared for him.
—A. B. Simpson

“Human strength and human greatness
Spring not from life’s sunny side,
Heroes must be more than driftwood 
Floating on a waveless tide.”

“Every highway of human life dips in the dale now and then. Every man must go through the tunnel of tribulation before he can travel on the elevated road of triumph.”

Christ Was Risen From The Dead

Luke 24

The empty tomb    (The women came early to the tomb)

24 Very early in the morning on the first day of the week, the women went to the tomb, bringing the fragrant spices they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. They didn’t know what to make of this. Suddenly, two men were standing beside them in gleaming bright clothing. The women were frightened and bowed their faces toward the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He isn’t here, but has been raised. Remember what he told you while he was still in Galilee, that the Human One[a]must be handed over to sinners, be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words. When they returned from the tomb, they reported all these things to the eleven and all the others.10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles. 11 Their words struck the apostles as nonsense, and they didn’t believe the women. 12 But Peter ran to the tomb. When he bent over to look inside, he saw only the linen cloth. Then he returned home, wondering what had happened.

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Shuddering and Wild

From: Our Daily Journey

Shuddering and Wild

Read:

Matthew 28:1-10
The women . . . were very frightened but also filled with great joy (Matthew 28:8).

After the cross finished its cruel work, Jesus’ bewildered friends laid His ravaged body in a cold tomb. Night fell, and an eerie silence descended. Jesus’ followers huddled in grief and confusion. What do you do when your entire world crumbles with violent implosion? What’s left when everything you thought you knew, everything you’d hoped in, lies smoldering in ashes? What do you do when God has died?

Mary Magdalene and another Mary, compelled by fierce love, went to Jesus’ grave. But nearing the tomb, their upheaval only intensified. A “great earthquake” shook the ground, and a blazing angel whose “face shone like lightning” sat atop the stone rolled from the empty tomb (Matthew 28:2-3). Even the Roman guards “shook with fear when they saw [the angel], and they fell into a dead faint” (Matthew 28:4).

The angel told the disoriented women shocking news: Jesus was alive. The Savior, bloodied and lifeless, had been laid in a grave; but then He miraculously left the tomb. Rushing from the grave to announce this impossible fact, the women were simultaneously “very frightened but also filled with great joy” (Matthew 28:8). Poet and novelist Reynolds Price describes the women as “shuddering and wild.” Fear andjoy—isn’t that a strange tandem?

There’s a kind of fear that debilitates and ravages. But when we encounter God, we discover another kind of fear: a holy trembling that evokes humility and awe. This holy fear doesn’t make us cower in terror, but it bends our hearts and hopes toward God. When we encounter the Jesus who rose from the dead and who promises to overwhelm every kind of death for us, it shakes our soul. It shakes away all the false fears, unleashing profound joy and hope.

The Lord’s care of His people

From: Charles Spurgeon

‘He that touches you, touches the apple of mine eye.’ Zechariah 2:8

Suggested Further Reading: Ecclesiastes 8:10–14

I am not one of those who look upon everything that happens in this world as being a judgment from God. If a boat goes down to the bottom of the sea on a Sunday, I do not look upon that as a judgment on those who are in it, any more than if it had gone to the bottom on a Monday; and though many good people get frightened when they hear one affirm this doctrine, yet I cannot help their frights, but like my Master I must tell them that they who perish so are not sinners above all the sinners that be in Jerusalem. I looked the other day at Foxe’s Book of Martyrs,and I saw there an illustration of that deeply-rooted mistake of Christian people, concerning God’s always punishing men’s sins in this life. Foxe draws a picture of a Popish priest who is insulting the faith, speaking lightly of the blood of Jesus, and exalting Mary, and he drops down dead in the pulpit; and Foxe holds him up as a picture of a great sinner who dropped down dead for speaking lightly of Jesus, and the good man affirms the wicked priest’s death to be a judgment from heaven. Well, perhaps Foxe is correct, but still I do not see the connection between his dropping down dead and the language he employed, for many a preacher who has been exalting Christ has fallen down dead in the pulpit; and happy was it for such a man that he was engaged in minding his charge at the time. The fact is, providence smites good men and bad men too; and when the storm rages, and the hurricane howls through the forest, not only are the brambles and briars shaken and uprooted, but goodly oaks crack and break too. We are not to look for God’s judgments, except in special cases, in this life. This judgment is in the world to come.

For meditation: Beware of jumping to false conclusions. The apostle Paul was the frequent victim not only of persecution (2 Corinthians 11:23–25), but also of natural accidents (2 Corinthians 11:25–27). The latter were not inconsistent with him being in the centre of God’s will (Acts 27:21–26).

 

Gospel missions

From: Charles Spurgeon

“And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.” Acts 13:49

Suggested Further Reading: Matthew 28:16-20

The claim of authority ensures a degree of progress. How did Mohammed come to have so strong a religion in his time? He was all alone, and he went into the market-place and said, “I have received a revelation from heaven.” He persuaded men to believe it. He said, “I have a revelation from heaven.” People looked at his face; they saw that he looked upon them earnestly as believing what he said, and some five or six of them joined him. Did he prove what he said? Not he. “You must,” he said, “believe what I say, or there is no Paradise for you.” There is a power in that kind of thing, and wherever he went his statement was believed, not on the ground of reasoning, but on his authority, which he declared to be from Allah; and a century later, a thousand sabres had flashed from a thousand sheaths, and his word had been proclaimed through Africa, Turkey, Asia, and even in Spain. The man claimed authority—he claimed divinity; therefore he had power. Take again the increase of Mormonism. What has been its strength? Simply this—the assertion of power from heaven. That claim is made, and the people believe it, and now they have missionaries in almost every country of the habitable globe, and the book of Mormon is translated into many languages. Though there never could be a delusion more transparent, or a counterfeit less skilful, and more lying upon the very surface, yet this simple pretension to power has been the means of carrying power with it. Now, my brethren, we have power; we are God’s ministers; we preach God’s truth; the great Judge of heaven and earth has told us the truth.

For meditation: Christ preached with authority which made men sit up and take notice (Luke 4:31-37). His power has not weakened, but are we limiting him in any way (1 Corinthians 1:172:4,5)?

The Widow’s Faith

Luke 7:11-17

Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son

11 Soon afterward[a] he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. 12 As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus[b]gave him to his mother.

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(These pictures are widows throughout  the Bible)
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The Widow’s Faith

From: Our Daily Bread

The Widow’s Faith

The pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. Matthew 6:32

It is pitch dark when Ah-pi starts her day. Others in the village will wake up soon to make their way to the rubber plantation. Harvesting latex is one of the main sources of income for people living in Hongzhuang Village, China. To collect as much latex as possible, the trees must be tapped very early in the morning, before daybreak. Ah-pi will be among the rubber tappers, but first she will spend time communing with God.

Ah-pi’s father, husband, and only son have passed away, and she—with her daughter-in-law—is providing for an elderly mother and two young grandsons. Her story reminds me of another widow in the Bible who trusted God.

The widow’s husband had died and left her in debt (2 Kings 4:1). In her distress, she looked to God for help by turning to His servant Elisha. She believed that God cared and that He could do something about her situation. And God did. He provided miraculously for the dire needs of this widow (vv. 5–6). This same God also provided for Ah-pi—though less miraculously—through the toil of her hands, the produce from the ground, and gifts from His people.

Though life can make various demands on us, we can always draw strength from God. We can entrust our cares to Him, do all we can, and let Him amaze us with what He can do with our situation.

Father, thank You for Your patience when I trust in my own resources and turn to You only as a last resort. Teach me to seek Your help in all I do.

We may face situations beyond our reserves, but never beyond God’s resources.

The Supreme Climb

From: Utmost.org

April 26 

The Supreme Climb

By Oswald Chambers

A person’s character determines how he interprets God’s will (see Psalm 18:25-26). Abraham interpreted God’s command to mean that he had to kill his son, and he could only leave this traditional belief behind through the pain of a tremendous ordeal. God could purify his faith in no other way. If we obey what God says according to our sincere belief, God will break us from those traditional beliefs that misrepresent Him. There are many such beliefs which must be removed– for example, that God removes a child because his mother loves him too much. That is the devil’s lie and a travesty on the true nature of God! If the devil can hinder us from taking the supreme climb and getting rid of our wrong traditional beliefs about God, he will do so. But if we will stay true to God, God will take us through an ordeal that will serve to bring us into a better knowledge of Himself.

The great lesson to be learned from Abraham’s faith in God is that he was prepared to do anything for God. He was there to obey God, no matter what contrary belief of his might be violated by his obedience. Abraham was not devoted to his own convictions or else he would have slain Isaac and said that the voice of the angel was actually the voice of the devil. That is the attitude of a fanatic. If you will remain true to God, God will lead you directly through every barrier and right into the inner chamber of the knowledge of Himself. But you must always be willing to come to the point of giving up your own convictions and traditional beliefs. Don’t ask God to test you. Never declare as Peter did that you are willing to do anything, even “to go …both to prison and to death” (Luke 22:33). Abraham did not make any such statement— he simply remained true to God, and God purified his faith.

God’s estimate of time

From: Charles Spurgeon

‘But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.’ 2 Peter 3:8

Suggested Further Reading: Exodus 3:1–15

With God there is neither past, present, nor future. He takes for his name the ‘I AM.’ He does not call himself the ‘I was,’ for then we should conceive that he used to be something which he is not now, that some part of his character had changed, or some attribute ceased from existence; for there is an ominous sound of annihilation in the sound of the word, ‘he was.’ Is it not rather a knell for the dead, than a name for the living? Nor does our Lord God speak of himself as the ‘I shall be,’ for that might lead us to imagine that he is not now something which he is to be in the ages to come: whereas we know that his being is perfect, his essence infinite, his dominion absolute, his power unlimited, and his glory transcendent. Development is out of the question; he is all today that he will be in the future. Of the Lord Jesus we read that he is the everlasting Father, and yet he has the dew of his youth. Childhood, manhood and old age belong to creatures, but at the right hand of the Most High they have no abode. Growth, progress, advancement, all these are virtues in finite beings, but to the Infinite the thought of such change would be an insult. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow belong to dying mortals; the Immortal King lives in an eternal today. He is the I AM; I AM in the present; I AM in the past; and I AM in the future. Just as we say of God that he is everywhere, so we may say of him that he is always; he is everywhere in space; he is everywhere in time. God is today in the past; he is today already in the future; he is today in that present in which we are.

For meditation: The fact that God never changes is absolutely fundamental and essential to the wellbeing and survival of his people (Malachi 3:6Mark 12:26–27Hebrews 13:5,8James 1:17).

David’s dying prayer

From: Charles Spurgeon

“Let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.” Psalm 72:19

Suggested Further Reading: Isaiah 6:1-8

Is there not one among you that can win a laurel wreath? Have I not one true Christian heart here that is set for work and labour? Have I not one man that will devote himself for God and for his truth? Henry Martyn! Thou art dead; and is thy mantle buried with thee? Brainerd, thou sleepest with thy fathers; and is thy spirit dead too, and shall there never be another Brainerd? Knibb, thou hast ascended to thy God; and is there nowhere another Knibb? Williams, thy martyred blood still crieth from the ground; and is there nowhere another Williams? What! Not among this dense mass of young and burning spirits? Is there not one that can say in his heart, “Here am I, send me”? “This hour, being saved by God’s grace, I give myself up to him, to go wherever he shall be pleased to send me, to testify his gospel in foreign lands”? What! Are there no Pauls now? Have we none who will be apostles for the Lord of hosts? I think I see one who, putting his lips together, makes this silent resolve—“By God’s grace I this day devote myself to him; through trouble and through trial I will be his, if he will help me; for missionary work or for anything else I give up my all to God; and if I may die as Williams did, and wear the blood-red crown of martyrdom, I will be proud; and if I may live to serve my Master, like a Brainerd, and die at last worn out, here I am, do but have me, Master; give me the honour of leading the forlorn hope, of leading the vanguard of Christianity; here I am, send me.”

For meditation: The earth is going to be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God (Habakkuk 2:14). Every believer has a contribution to make towards that goal, big or small. Are you playing your part?

Amnesia

Nebuchadnezzar was a great general and king. God taught him who He was after 
he lost his mind, acted like an animal, and later was restored as king of Babylon. You find
this story in Daniel chapter 4.
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Amnesia

From: Our Daily Bread

Amnesia

My understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High. Daniel 4:34 nkjv

Emergency Services in Carlsbad, California, came to the rescue of a woman with an Australian accent who couldn’t recall who she was. Because she was suffering from amnesia and had no ID with her, she was unable to provide her name or where she had come from. It took the help of doctors and international media to restore her health, tell her story, and reunite her with her family.

Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, also lost sight of who he was and where he had come from. His “amnesia,” though, was spiritual. In taking credit for the kingdom he’d been given, he forgot that God is the King of Kings, and everything he had was from Him (Daniel 4:17, 28–30).

God dramatized the king’s state of mind by driving him into the fields to live with wild animals and graze like a cow (vv. 32–33). Finally, after seven years Nebuchadnezzar looked up to the skies, and his memory of who he was and who had given him his kingdom returned. With his senses restored, he declared, “I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven” (v. 37).

What about us? Who do we think we are? Where did we come from? Since we are inclined to forget, who can we count on to help us remember but the King of Kings?

Father, we are so inclined to forget who we are, where we’ve come from, and that we belong to You. Help us to remember that in Christ we are Your children—known, loved, gifted, and cared for—now and forever.

When we forget who we are, our Father cares.

Comes in Pretty Handy

From: Our Daily Journey

Comes in Pretty Handy

Read:

Romans 15:23-33
Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well.” . . . What good does that do? (James 2:15-16).

“We don’t use money in heaven,” says Clarence the angel in the classic movie It’s a Wonderful Life. “It comes in pretty handy down here, Bub!” replies an exasperated, earthbound George Bailey.

Joe Holman could relate to George. He needed $700 to fund a medical-mission event in a remote region. By posting the need online, he raised $210. At the same time, a friend of Joe’s posted that he needed $4,000 to make a music CD. He received $4,300.

Joe doesn’t like to discuss finances. As a missionary, he says, “We have to appear above money.” But money does matter. And it especially matters to those who serve at the front lines of our poorest areas.

As the apostle Paul wrapped up his letter to the church in Rome, he touched on this practical matter. He was about to take a financial gift to the believers in Jerusalem from Gentile believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Gentiles had heard the good news about Jesus from Jerusalem missionaries and now wanted to help in some small way (Romans 15:26). “They feel the least they can do in return is to help them financially,” Paul wrote (Romans 15:27).

Remarkably, the church in Macedonia gave out of their poverty (2 Corinthians 8:1-3). Paul used their generosity to challenge wealthier churches to give as well. (Note that the apostle wasn’t asking for money for himself.)

It isn’t all about the money, of course. When Paul asked for his own needs, he said, “Join in my struggle by praying to God for me” (Romans 15:30). But money does indeed “come in pretty handy down here.” By using it wisely as our generous God provides, we bless others even while we serve Him. Consider helping missions or a faith-based charity in a tangible way today as He supplies what you need.

 

High-Tech Communication

[Written by Joe Stowell for Our Daily Bread.]

Now we have received . . . the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. —1 Corinthians 2:12

When it comes to communication, our world is becoming increasingly high-tech. The popularity of things like Twitter and Facebook might cause some to think the Bible is too old-school. The tech-savvy people of our world might feel deterred because there are no sounds and no nifty graphics in the Bible. But the truth is, there’s more high-tech power in God’s Word than in any cutting-edge communication tool our world will ever know.

It’s not uncommon for a pastor to be told, “When you said that in your message, it was just what I needed.” Somehow during the sermon, God spoke to the person’s heart with a message tailor-made for him or her. If you’ve ever read the Bible and sensed God speaking directly to you, you know what I’m talking about. God has hard-wired you with His Spirit, who illumines your mind to understand His Word.

Imagine getting a “text message” directly from the Creator of the universe telling you exactly what you need at exactly the right time. No matter how high-tech this world gets, you’ll never experience a more powerful mode of communication!

Rejoice in the reality that “we have received . . . the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God” (1 Cor. 2:12).

Give me the insight, Lord,
As I hear Your Word today,
So I will truly understand
Your message and Your way. —Monroe

The Bible may be old, but its truths are always new.

A Worthy Sacrifice

A Worthy Offering

Cain, in the Bible (Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament), firstborn son of Adam and Eve, who
murdered his brother Abel (Genesis 4:1–16). Cain, a farmer, became enraged when the
Lord accepted the offering of his brother Abel, a shepherd, in preference to his own.
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Peace With God Through Christ

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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.     John 16:33

 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do
not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.       John 14:27
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The Secret of Peace

From: Our Daily Bread

The Secret of Peace

The Lord of peace himself give you peace. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Grace is a very special lady. One word comes to mind when I think of her: peace. The quiet and restful expression on her face has seldom changed in the six months I have known her, even though her husband was diagnosed with a rare disease and then hospitalized.

When I asked Grace the secret of her peace, she said, “It’s not a secret, it’s a person. It’s Jesus in me. There is no other way I can explain the quietness I feel in the midst of this storm.”

The secret of peace is our relationship to Jesus Christ. He is our peace. When Jesus is our Savior and Lord, and as we become more like Him, peace becomes real. Things like sickness, financial difficulties, or danger may be present, but peace reassures us that God holds our lives in His hands (Daniel 5:23), and we can trust that things will work together for good.

Have we experienced this peace that goes beyond logic and understanding? Do we have the inner confidence that God is in control? My wish for all of us today echoes the words of the apostle Paul: “May the Lord of peace himself give you peace.” And may we feel this peace “at all times and in every way” (2 Thessalonians 3:16).

Dear Lord, please give us Your peace at all times and in every situation.

To trust in Jesus is peace.

 

The Kingdom Believer

From: Michael Plemmons, Author

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We live in a world that is beset by constant change. Daily, the day’s headlines give mute testimony to this fact. Everyone in our world today in every nation can sense that we are experiencing something quite unlike anything we have seen before. In a world seemingly spinning more and more out of control, millions all over the world are searching for answers.

The answers we all seek in this hour can only be found in one place and from one heart. It is a heart that has too long been misunderstood. It is a heart that flows in the greatest love and compassion that has ever existed.

Father God is about to reveal himself in a new and revolutionary way. The kingdom of God and planet earth are on a collision course. The church of Jesus Christ is about to be freed from the chains of tradition and religion.

All over the world hungry hearts are seeking the face of God. These devoted followers of Jesus Christ are united on a holy quest to seek the presence of God. I believe we have entered a new day and that Father God is preparing the hearts of his church for the greatest outpouring of his Spirit ever seen. The kingdom of God is about to be established and with it what I shall call the kingdom believer.

The kingdom believer longs to experience the anointing and glory of the Kingdom of their heavenly Father. Those who have walked in, tasted, and seen with the eyes of their hearts His kingdom, have by experiencing it forever, purged from them any desire for a kingdom of their own. As we experience the wonders of the age to come, our desires for the world and its seductive inducements are forever lost in the expanding inner revelation of the realm of heaven.

Those whose hearts hunger for a new revelation of the heart of God shall experience the glory of union with God. The Triune God of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, exist in perfect unity, as they are both three and one. The heart, which hungers for union with God, shall walk in a new revelation of the glory of God. Those who receive this revelation shall never be satisfied with the power of God simply resting on them. Having been given a new awareness of God they will rather hunger that they will be a vessel through whom Father shall flow that others may be transformed by the heart of Father God that this new awareness of him brings.

Never again shall the church of Jesus Christ be satisfied with just an anointing without an inner revelation of the heart of God. The world is in desperate need in this day and hour for a new source of hope. All around us the seeds of tribulation have been sown. Mankind, if the word of God be true, is facing its most desperate hour. Saints of God, the work that Father is doing in the hearts of believers all over the world is preparing the church for the dark days ahead.

We have the answers the world is seeking. The kingdom believers shall be a force of righteous conviction in the world. They shall walk in a new understanding of the plans of their God in this day. This new understanding shall bring the most powerful force of compassion and love ever seen into the world of men. If the truth be known, one age is coming to an end in fiery judgment and a new one is being established in its place. Let us not give in to the fear and terror of these times but rather rest secure in the knowledge that a new kingdom is coming.

So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:7)

Do You Worship The Work?

Beware of any work for God that causes or allows you to avoid concentrating on Him. A great number of Christian workers worship their work. The only concern of Christian workers should be their concentration on God. This will mean that all the other boundaries of life, whether they are mental, moral, or spiritual limits, are completely free with the freedom God gives His child; that is, a worshiping child, not a wayward one. A worker who lacks this serious controlling emphasis of concentration on God is apt to become overly burdened by his work. He is a slave to his own limits, having no freedom of his body, mind, or spirit. Consequently, he becomes burned out and defeated. There is no freedom and no delight in life at all. His nerves, mind, and heart are so overwhelmed that God’s blessing cannot rest on him.

But the opposite case is equally true– once our concentration is on God, all the limits of our life are free and under the control and mastery of God alone. There is no longer any responsibility on you for the work. The only responsibility you have is to stay in living constant touch with God, and to see that you allow nothing to hinder your cooperation with Him. The freedom that comes after sanctification is the freedom of a child, and the things that used to hold your life down are gone. But be careful to remember that you have been freed for only one thing– to be absolutely devoted to your co-Worker.

We have no right to decide where we should be placed, or to have preconceived ideas as to what God is preparing us to do. God engineers everything; and wherever He places us, our one supreme goal should be to pour out our lives in wholehearted devotion to Him in that particular work. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

Full Redemption

Ephesians 1:7

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to
the riches of His grace
Titus 2:14

who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Ephesians 4:30

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Romans 3:24

being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus

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Full redemption

By: Charles Spurgeon

“There shall not an hoof be left behind.” Exodus 10:26

Suggested Further Reading: Revelation 20:1-10

A man once wrote a book to prove the devil a fool. Certainly, when all matters shall come to their destined consummation, Satan will prove to have been a magnificent fool. Folly, magnified to the highest degree by subtlety, shall be developed in Satan. Ah! Thou trailing serpent, what hast thou now after all? I saw thee but a few thousand years ago, twining around the tree of life, and hissing out thy deceptive words. Ah! how glorious was the serpent then—a winged creature, with his azure scales. Yes, and thou didst triumph over God. I heard thee as thou didst go hissing down to thy den. I heard thee say to thy brood,—vipers in the nest as they are,—“My children, I have stained the Almighty’s works: I have turned aside his loyal subjects; I have injected my poison into the heart of Eve, and Adam hath fallen too; my children let us hold a jubilee, for I have defeated God.” Oh, my enemy; I think I see thee now, with thy head all broken, and thy jaw-teeth smashed, and thy venom-bags all emptied, and thou thyself a weary length of agony, rolling miles afloat along a sea of fire, tortured, destroyed, overcome, tormented, ashamed, hacked, hewed, dashed in pieces, and made a hissing, and a scorn for children to laugh at, and made a scoff throughout eternity. Ah! well, brethren, the great Goliath hath gained nothing by his boasting: Christ and his people have really lost nothing by Satan. All they lost once, has been re-taken. The victory has not simply been a capture of that which was lost, but a gaining of something more. We are in Christ more than we were before we fell. “Not a hoof shall be left behind.”

For meditation: Victory over Satan will be celebrated with joy (Revelation 12:10-12Romans 16:20) but for the moment we must remain on our guard against him (1 Corinthians 7:52 Corinthians 2:11Ephesians 4:276:111 Timothy 3:6,71 Peter 5:8,9).

Childlike Faith

From: Our Daily Journey

Childlike Faith

Read:

Luke 10:1-23
Jesus . . . said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike” (Luke 10:21).

Every Sunday morning in the foyer, our eyes meet. Her eyes are full of joy, twinkling. Immediately she breaks into song, loudly singing my name, “Mar-le-na!” She ambles over, we hug, and I say, “It is so good to see you.” She always responds with, “It is good to be seen.” And then I remind her, “You know I love you.” And she trustingly offers, “I know you do.” My dear friend, who is seventy-five and dealing with progressing dementia, remains full of the joy of the Lord. She’s childlike in her trust of Jesus and those who love Him.

I marvel at my friend, so joyful in spite of her circumstances. Her true joy reminds me of the Scriptures that describe Jesus’ joy. In Luke 10, for example, Jesus had just sent seventy-two of His disciples ahead of Him to minister in the towns He planned on visiting (Luke 10:1). They returned full of joy and in awe of God’s power. “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!” they reported (Luke 10:17). After Jesus heard their updates, the Bible tells us that He was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit and said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way” (Luke 10:21).

God’s ways are revealed to the humble, to those who, with simple trust, believe that Jesus is who He says He is: “Unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 18:3). When we trust Christ and exchange our ways and the world’s ways for His ways, joy comes. Every time I see my friend, I’m reminded of the beauty of this truth.

 

The Light That Never Fails

By Oswald Chambers

 The Light That Never Fails

A servant of God must stand so very much alone that he never realizes he is alone. In the early stages of the Christian life, disappointments will come— people who used to be lights will flicker out, and those who used to stand with us will turn away. We have to get so used to it that we will not even realize we are standing alone. Paul said, “…no one stood with me, but all forsook me….But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me…” (2 Timothy 4:16-17). We must build our faith not on fading lights but on the Light that never fails. When “important” individuals go away we are sad, until we see that they are meant to go, so that only one thing is left for us to do— to look into the face of God for ourselves.

Allow nothing to keep you from looking with strong determination into the face of God regarding yourself and your doctrine. And every time you preach make sure you look God in the face about the message first, then the glory will remain through all of it. A Christian servant is one who perpetually looks into the face of God and then goes forth to talk to others. The ministry of Christ is characterized by an abiding glory of which the servant is totally unaware— “…Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him” (Exodus 34:29).

We are never called on to display our doubts openly or to express the hidden joys and delights of our life with God. The secret of the servant’s life is that he stays in tune with God all the time.

Fasting and Prayer

Matthew 6

16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which sees in secret, shall reward thee openly.

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Feasting after Fasting

From: Our Daily Journey

Feasting after Fasting

Read:

John 15:7-11
I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! (John 15:11).

“How can they observe the season of Lent and then miss out on the feasting afterwards?” a friend asked, mulling over the seemingly lost practice of celebrating the season of Easter—the fifty days following Resurrection Sunday. Christians who follow a more liturgical tradition dedicate the forty days before Easter as a season of prayer and fasting (while celebrating the resurrection each Sunday), but they sometimes neglect to embrace the discipline of celebration during the Easter season. Fasting without the subsequent feasting loses the experience of joy that God longs for His people to know and embrace.

When Jesus spoke to His disciples before His death and resurrection, He promised them joy. He said He would remain close to them and that they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (see John 14:3,16-17). Instructing them to obey the Father and remain in His love, He said they would receive joy overflowing (John 15:10-11). Indeed, after His resurrection, the first words Jesus spoke to His friends assembled behind locked doors were, “Peace be with you.” And the disciples “were filled with joy” (John 20:19-20).

The risen Christ appeared to His disciples back then, but He also lives today. As we obey Him and join in His work, we rejoice knowing that He’s alive and that we’ll see Him again (John 16:22). He willingly fills us with the gift of joy.

Have you ever considered celebrating the weeks after Easter as a season of jubilee and feasting? We may not host extravagant parties, but we can foster an attitude of joy as we embrace Jesus’ final words on Earth before He died, rose again, and returned to dwell among us. May our joy be complete and overflowing in Him.

 

Stepping Stones to the Throne

From: Missey Butler, Author

Have you ever felt as if you’ve lost your way? I mean, you can’t really put into words what has happened to you. All you know is that things aren’t the same. It’s as if you are slowly drying up on the inside and you don’t know when or how it all started. Life seems to have kept moving but you decided not to. I remember reading that when it comes to our spiritual walk, we are doing one of two things. We are either moving forward or falling back. There is no neutral ground.

Boy, that really did bother me because honestly, I wanted a little breather. You know what I mean? And then, I kept hearing this catchy little jingle – “You deserve a break today” – so, needless to say, I did. I took a break from working on my spiritual life. Unnoticeably to me, the moments turned into an hour, an hour turned into a day, a day into a week, and before I realized it six months had passed by. I finally realized I had fallen into what felt like a serious backslidden condition.

My mind had turned into a raging battlefield of guilt, resentments, anger, justifications, and one of my personal favorites – indifference. The things I once cared about, even had convictions over, no longer bothered me. My heart used to be so sensitive. Now it was very calloused, so much that it was almost unrecognizable to me.

Immediately, God’s Word, ever faithful and always on time, began to minister to me. I heard Him say, “Break up the fallow ground of your heart and allow me to redeem back the time the enemy has stolen.” His voice was so gentle, but yet firm. He was not at all the condemning, finger-shaking, personality my imagination had conjured up. Instead, I saw my Lord and myself suspended above a shallow pond. I watched him as He slowly bent down and placed before my feet a stepping stone that had writing on it. I leaned over and saw these words:

Romans 2:4b, the goodness of the Lord leads men to repentance.

I felt my eyes swell with tears as I looked up at Him. He very lovingly smiled at me and said, “Step here my beloved.” As I lowered my foot onto the stone, He bent forward with another stone upon which read:

1 John 1:9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I heard His tender voice speak to me again, “Step here my beloved.” As I stepped onto the warm sandstone, I sensed such a cleansing and lifting of a heavy weight off of my soul. I felt so clean and free. The last stone the Lord put before me had inscribed upon it a verse that was very familiar to me, but I had lost sight of it. It was one of those commands that was simple, yet filled with such meaning:

Matthew 3:8Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

I hesitated for a moment before stepping out. I closed my eyes and whispered, “Oh Lord, you know how I have failed you in this area. How will it be any different this time?” Then I heard the Lord say, “The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord. My strength is made perfect in your weakness. Now, take another step.”

Don’t Hurt the Lord

April 21 

By Oswald Chambers

Don’t Hurt the Lord

Our Lord must be repeatedly astounded at us— astounded at how “un-simple” we are. It is our own opinions that make us dense and slow to understand, but when we are simple we are never dense; we have discernment all the time. Philip expected the future revelation of a tremendous mystery, but not in Jesus, the Person he thought he already knew. The mystery of God is not in what is going to be— it is now, though we look for it to be revealed in the future in some overwhelming, momentous event. We have no reluctance to obey Jesus, but it is highly probable that we are hurting Him by what we ask— “Lord, show us the Father…” (John 14:8). His response immediately comes back to us as He says, “Can’t you see Him? He is always right here or He is nowhere to be found.” We look for God to exhibit Himself to His children, but God only exhibits Himself inHis children. And while others see the evidence, the child of God does not. We want to be fully aware of what God is doing in us, but we cannot have complete awareness and expect to remain reasonable or balanced in our expectations of Him. If all we are asking God to give us is experiences, and the awareness of those experiences is blocking our way, we hurt the Lord. The very questions we ask hurt Jesus, because they are not the questions of a child.

“Let not your heart be troubled…” (14:1, 27). Am I then hurting Jesus by allowing my heart to be troubled? If I believe in Jesus and His attributes, am I living up to my belief? Am I allowing anything to disturb my heart, or am I allowing any questions to come in which are unsound or unbalanced? I have to get to the point of the absolute and unquestionable relationship that takes everything exactly as it comes from Him. God never guides us at some time in the future, but always here and now. Realize that the Lord is here now, and the freedom you receive is immediate.