“They gathered manna every morning.”—Exodus 16:21.
ABOUR to maintain a sense of thine entire dependence upon the Lord’s good will and pleasure for the continuance of thy richest enjoyments. Never try to live on the old manna, nor seek to find help in Egypt. All must come from Jesus, or thou art undone for ever. Old anointings will not suffice to impart unction to thy spirit; thine head must have fresh oil poured upon it from the golden horn of the sanctuary, or it will cease from its glory. To-day thou mayest be upon the summit of the mount of God, but He who has put thee there must keep thee there, or thou wilt sink far more speedily than thou dreamest. Thy mountain only stands firm when He settles it in its place; if He hide His face, thou wilt soon be troubled.
If the Saviour should see fit, there is not a window through which thou seest the light of heaven which He could not darken in an instant. Joshua bade the sun stand still, but Jesus can shroud it in total darkness. He can withdraw the joy of thine heart, the light of thine eyes, and the strength of thy life; in His hand thy comforts lie, and at His will they can depart from thee. This hourly dependence our Lord is determined that we shall feel and recognize, for He only permits us to pray for “daily bread,” and only promises that “as our days our strength shall be.” Is it not best for us that it should be so, that we may often repair to His throne, and constantly be reminded of His love?
Oh! how rich the grace which supplies us so continually, and doth not refrain itself because of our ingratitude! The golden shower never ceases, the cloud of blessing tarries evermore above our habitation.
O Lord Jesus, we would bow at Thy feet, conscious of our utter inability to do anything without Thee, and in every favour which we are privileged to receive, we would adore Thy blessed name and acknowledge Thine unexhausted love.
Awesome Word by Chris Hayward.
By Mary A. Parks
Did you ever try to solve a problem, only to get discouraged because you couldn’t find the source? For many of us, that is our life story. For as long as we can remember, we’ve tried to make everyone around them like them. We did what we thought people wanted us to do, said what we thought people wanted us to say, acted like we thought people wanted us to act – all so others would like or love us. Deep down we know why, but often it takes years to acknowledge and come to grips with the underlying reason(s). For many who are born into relationships where our father is not present or early contact with our mother is denied due to various factors, a spirit of rejection hovers over us all of our life, often before we draw our first breath. Over…
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You have not the making of your own cross, although unbelief is a master carpenter at cross-making; neither are you permitted to choose your own cross, although self-will would fain be lord and master; but your cross is prepared and appointed for you by divine love, and you are cheerfully to accept it; you are to take up the cross as your chosen badge and burden, and not to stand cavilling at it. This night Jesus bids you submit your shoulder to his easy yoke. Do not kick at it in petulance, or trample on it in vain-glory, or fall under it in despair, or run away from it in fear, but take it up like a true follower of Jesus. Jesus was a cross-bearer; he leads the way in the path of sorrow. Surely you could not desire a better guide! And if he carried a cross, what nobler burden would you desire? The Via Crucis is the way of safety; fear not to tread its thorny paths.
Beloved, the cross is not made of feathers, or lined with velvet, it is heavy and galling to disobedient shoulders; but it is not an iron cross, though your fears have painted it with iron colours, it is a wooden cross, and a man can carry it, for the Man of sorrows tried the load. Take up your cross, and by the power of the Spirit of God you will soon be so in love with it, that like Moses, you would not exchange the reproach of Christ for all the treasures of Egypt. Remember that Jesus carried it, and it will smell sweetly; remember that it will soon be followed by the crown, and the thought of the coming weight of glory will greatly lighten the present heaviness of trouble. The Lord help you to bow your spirit in submission to the divine will ere you fall asleep this night, that waking with to-morrow’s sun, you may go forth to the day’s cross with the holy and submissive spirit which becomes a follower of the Crucified.
C. H. Spurgeon
Thanks to Apostle Dutch Sheets for this meaningful blog on behalf of Dr. Martin Luther King Day.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on 4/4/1968. A few days later, Democratic Senator from MI, John Conyers, presented the idea of a day to commemorate this leader of the modern-day civil rights movement. “Conyers would persist year after year, Congress after Congress, in introducing the same bill again and again, gathering co-sponsors along the way, until his persistence finally paid off,” writes historian Don Wolfensberger. Finally, in the 1980’s, a petition with over 6 million signatures, a song by Stevie Wonder, and a 20-year anniversary of Civil Rights Movement Veterans gathering at the Washington Monument, in Washington, DC, finally garnered enough attention. It was brought up in Congress again. It passed and President Ronald Reagan signed it into law. It wasn’t until the year 2000 that every state in the Union finally observed the federal holiday, and even then, only with some strange compromises. We aren’t quite there yet.1
“And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10; ESV)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
- Thank God for men like Dr. King and other Civil Rights Movement participants for their work to end racism in the United States.
- Ask God to take the Civil Rights Movement another step forward in this generation, as we are not there yet.
- Decide to be a part of the Lord’s strategy to heal America.
- Decide to be persistent in asking God to end racism in this nation. Intercede whenever He encourages you to. Make a difference daily.
A prayer you can pray:
God, I thank you for all those brave men and women, such as Dr. King, who have helped our nation break free of the racist sins of the past. Thank you for their persistence. Thank you for a day like today to celebrate and remember their struggles. I want to be a part of ending racism in America. Grace me to join the battle in intercession, as well as in interaction on a daily basis. In Jesus’ name, amen.
I decree that the persistence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will be multiplied in the United States until racism is vanquished.
A Warfare Prayer Before Starting Your Day
Say this prayer at the start of each day and watch the changes that will come into your life.
Heavenly Father, I bow in worship and praise before You. I cover myseIf with the blood of Jesus Christ and claim the protection of the Blood for my family, my finances, my home, my spirit and my soul and body. I surrender myself completely in every area of my life to You.
I take a stand against all the workings of the Devil that would try and hinder me and my family from best serving You. I address myself only to the true and living God who has power and control over everything. Satan I command you and all of your demon forces of darkness in the name of Jesus Christ to leave my presence. I bring the blood of Jesus Christ between the Devil and my family, my home, my finances, my spirit, my soul and body. I declare, therefore, that Satan and his wicked spirits are subject to me in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Furthermore, in my own life today, I destroy and tear down ,all strongholds of Satan and smash the plans of Satan that have been formed against me and my family. I tear down the strongholds of the devil against my mind and I surrender my mind to your blessed Holy Spirit.
I affirm heavenly Father that you have not given me the spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind. Therefore, I resist the spirit of fear in the name of Jesus the Son of the living God and I refuse to doubt, refuse to worry, because I have authtority over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt me. I claim complete and absolute victory over the force of darkness in the name of Jesus, and bind the Devil and command him to loose my peace, joy, prosperity, and every member of my family for the glory of God and by faith I call it done. I break and smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my emotions today and give my emotions to you, Lord Jesus, realizing that I am the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Again, I cover myself with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and pray that the Holy Ghost would bring all the work of the crucifixion, resurrection and all the work of the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ into my life today. I surrender my life and possessions to you. I refuse to fear, worry or to be discouraged in the name of Jesus. I will not hate, envy or show any type of bitterness toward my brothers, sisters, or my enemies, but will love them with the love of God in my heart by the Holy Ghost.
Open my eyes and show me the areas of my life that do not please you and give me the strength, grace and wisdom to remove any sin or weight that would that would give the devil a foothold against me. I claim in every way the victory of the cross over all satanic forces in my life. I pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ with thanksgiving and I welcome the ministry of the Holy Ghost. Amen. Author Unknown
They go from strength to strength.”
They go from strength to strength. There are various renderings of these words, but all of them contain the idea of progress.
Our own good translation of the authorized version is enough for us this morning. “They go from strength to strength.” That is, they grow stronger and stronger. Usually, if we are walking, we go from strength to weakness; we start fresh and in good order for our journey, but by-and-by the road is rough, and the sun is hot, we sit down by the wayside, and then again painfully pursue our weary way. But the Christian pilgrim having obtained fresh supplies of grace, is as vigorous after years of toilsome travel and struggle as when he first set out. He may not be quite so elate and buoyant, nor perhaps quite so hot and hasty in his zeal as he once was, but he is much stronger in all that constitutes real power, and travels, if more slowly, far more surely. Some gray-haired veterans have been as firm in their grasp of truth, and as zealous in diffusing it, as they were in their younger days; but, alas, it must be confessed it is often otherwise, for the love of many waxes cold and iniquity abounds, but this is their own sin and not the fault of the promise which still holds good: “The youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.” Fretful spirits sit down and trouble themselves about the future. “Alas!” say they, “we go from affliction to affliction.” Very true, O thou of little faith, but then thou goest from strength to strength also. Thou shalt never find a bundle of affliction which has not bound up in the midst of it sufficient grace. God will give the strength of ripe manhood with the burden allotted to full-grown shoulders. C. H. Spurgeon
His ways are everlasting.
What He hath done at one time, He will do yet again. Man’s ways are variable, but God’s ways are everlasting. There are many reasons for this most comforting truth: among them are the following-the Lord’s ways are the result of wise deliberation; He ordereth all things according to the counsel of His own will. Human action is frequently the hasty result of passion, or fear, and is followed by regret and alteration; but nothing can take the Almighty by surprise, or happen otherwise than He has foreseen. His ways are the outgrowth of an immutable character, and in them the fixed and settled attributes of God are clearly to be seen. Unless the Eternal One Himself can undergo change, His ways, which are Himself in action, must remain for ever the same. Is He eternally just, gracious, faithful, wise, tender?-then His ways must ever be distinguished for the same excellences. Beings act according to their nature: when those natures change, their conduct varies also; but since God cannot know the shadow of a turning, His ways will abide everlastingly the same. Moreover there is no reason from without which could reverse the divine ways, since they are the embodiment of irresistible might. The earth is said, by the prophet, to be cleft with rivers, mountains tremble, the deep lifts up its hands, and sun and moon stand still, when Jehovah marches forth for the salvation of His people. Who can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou? But it is not might alone which gives stability; God’s ways are the manifestation of the eternal principles of right, and therefore can never pass away. Wrong breeds decay and involves ruin, but the true and the good have about them a vitality which ages cannot diminish. This morning let us go to our heavenly Father with confidence, remembering that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, and in Him the Lord is ever gracious to His people. C. H. Spurgeon
1 Corinthians 13The Message (MSG)
The Way of Love
13 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
8-10 Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
11 When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. Eugene Peterson from the Message Bible