” And if it seem evil unto to you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
5. John 12:26
“If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shallow also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.”
“How much more shall the blood of Christ who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
Sealed for Service
From: Christian Broadcasting Network
A little crack – that’s all it was. But over a period of eight hours, that hardly perceptible space had a huge impact on my olfactory senses.
Phew! I tried to hold my breath upon entering the house after work. What was that awful smell? And why?
I clearly detected the strong scent of spoiling vegetables. It couldn’t be the trash. It was the middle of winter and the house wasn’t hot enough to produce that kind of pungent smell from one-day’s garbage.
The next obvious deduction was the refrigerator. Something made me really scrutinize the door seal. That’s when I saw that the suction of the seal wasn’t working probably and the door was open ever so slightly. From head-on I would never have seen that and would have assumed everything was fine. It was only because I directed my attention to the side that I saw the reason for the unpleasant fragrance in the kitchen.
And that little crack meant I had to throw away several items. All because of a little crack!
How is it that it’s often the small things that can make a big difference in our lives? Small sins, if left unchecked, will eventually leave gaping holes in our souls. If we don’t check and recheck the seal around our hearts, rottenness can enter in. Mix in a little time for that sin to marinate, and we have ourselves a nasty mess.
How do we keep a watch on our hearts and keep ourselves from spoiling? One really good way is to read God’s Word every day. We might not know what is in our hearts, but God does. Reading the Bible helps us to stay sealed in the Holy Spirit and away from the offensive odors of sin. Prayer too keeps us tightly suctioned so that we are held continually in the things of the Lord and not giving way to the air of other pleasures, our flesh, or the deception of the devil.
If you don’t know if that seal around your heart is getting loose or gaping, make this wonderful prayer from David your prayer today:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
They sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: “Great and astounding are your deeds, Lord God, the All-Powerful! Just and true are your ways, King over the nations! (Rev 15:3)
The following incident is related by Mrs. Charles Spurgeon, who was a great sufferer for more than a quarter of a century:
“At the close of a dark and gloomy day, I lay resting on my couch as the deeper night drew on; and though all was bright within my cozy room, some of the external darkness seemed to have entered into my soul and obscured its spiritual vision. Vainly I tried to see the Hand which I knew held mine, and guided my fog-enveloped feet along a steep and slippery path of suffering. In sorrow of heart I asked,
“’Why does my Lord thus deal with His child? Why does He so often send sharp and bitter pain to visit me? Why does He permit lingering weakness to hinder the sweet service I long to render to His poor servants?’
“These fretful questions were quickly answered, and through a strange language; no interpreter was needed save the conscious whisper of my heart.
“For a while silence reigned in the little room, broken only by the crackling of the oak log burning in the fireplace. Suddenly I heard a sweet, soft sound, a little, clear, musical note, like the tender trill of a robin beneath my window.
“’What can it be? surely no bird can be singing out there at this time of the year and night.’
“Again came the faint, plaintive notes, so sweet, so melodious, yet mysterious enough to provoke our wonder. My friend exclaimed,
“’It comes from the log on the fire!’ The fire was letting loose the imprisoned music from the old oak’s inmost heart!
“Perchance he had garnered up this song in the days when all was well with him, when birds twittered merrily on his branches, and the soft sunlight flecked his tender leaves with gold. But he had grown old since then, and hardened; ring after ring of knotty growth had sealed up the long-forgotten melody, until the fierce tongues of the flames came to consume his callousness, and the vehement heart of the fire wrung from him at once a song and a sacrifice. ’Ah,’ thought I, ’when the fire of affliction draws songs of praise from us, then indeed we are purified, and our God is glorified!’
“Perhaps some of us are like this old oak log, cold, hard, insensible; we should give forth no melodious sounds, were it not for the fire which kindles around us, and releases notes of trust in Him, and cheerful compliance with His will.
“’As I mused the fire burned,’ and my soul found sweet comfort in the parable so strangely set forth before me.
“Singing in the fire! Yes, God helping us, if that is the only way to get harmony out of these hard apathetic hearts, let the furnace be heated seven times hotter than before.”
[Written by Joe Stowell for Our Daily Bread.]
Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. . . . Your judgments have been manifested. —Revelation 15:4
We’ve all heard the expression, “I don’t get mad; I just get even.” Reading about the judgments described in Revelation, one might assume that God will get “even” with sinners for their phenomenal offenses throughout the history of mankind.
The truth is that God’s final judgment is a necessary expression of His holy justice. He can’t turn a blind eye to sin. In fact, if He doesn’t finally carry out justice as described in Revelation, it would be a denial of His holy character. That’s why in the midst of His judgments, the saints will sing His praise: “Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. . . . Your judgments have been manifested” (Rev. 15:4). Those who know God best do not judge Him for His judgments; rather, they worship and affirm His actions.
What should surprise us is not the massive scale of God’s judgments, but that He’s waiting so long! Desiring that none should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), God is now mercifully restraining His judgment and giving maximum space to His marvelous mercy and grace. Now is the time to repent and take advantage of His patient love. And when we do, we’ll join the saints in praising Him for all eternity!
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song. —Lehman
© Renewal 1945, Nazarene Publishing.
When God’s justice is finally and fully revealed, His praises will resound!