Are You Ready?

“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.”  Joshua 1:8

When led of the Spirit, the child of God must be ready to wait as to go, as prepared to be silent as to speak. Lewis Sperry Chafer

Lord, I want to be obedient to you in all things, to gain blessings not just for myself, but for others.  Help me Lord to faithfully serve you.  To go when you say go, and to pause and wait for your instructions.   Amen

 

A Ode to Meekness

” O, you who search for the Heavenly life! Strive for meekness; increase your patience and mercy day by day; bid your tongue cease from all harsh words; withdraw your mind from selfish arguments, and refuse to brood upon your wrongs: so living, you shall carefully tend and cultivate the pure and delicate flower of meekness in your heart, until at last, its divine sweetness and purity and beauteous perfection shall be revealed to you, and you shall become gentle, joyful, and strong.

Repine not that you are surrounded by irritable and selfish people; but rather rejoice that you are so favored as to have your own imperfections revealed to you, and that you are so placed as to necessitate within you a constant struggle for self-mastery and attainment, of perfection.  The more there is of harshness and selfishness around you the greater is the need of your Meekness and love.  If others seek to wrong you, all the more is it needful that you should cease for all wrong, and live in love; if others preach Meekness, humility, and love and do not practice these, trouble not, nor be annoyed; but do, in the silence of your heart, and in your contact with others, practice these things, and they shall preach themselves.

And though you utter no melodramatic word, and stand before no gathered audience, you shall teach the whole world.  As you become meek, you shall learn the deepest secrets of the universe.  Nothing is hidden from him who overcomes himself.  Into the cause of causes shall you penetrate, and lifting, one after another, every veil of illusion, shall reach at last the inmost heart of being.

Canopied with gentleness [meekness], you shall bless where others curse; love where others hate; forgive where others condemn; yield where others strive; give up where other grasp; lose where others gain, and in their strength they shall be weak and your weakness you shall be strong; yes, you shall mightily prevail.”   James Allen

Psalm 37:11 “But the meek shall inherit the earth..” Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.”

1 Peter 3:4, “…rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle (meek) and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”

 

I will rejoice over them

A Classic Devotional from C.H. Spurgeon

“I will rejoice over them to do them good.” Jeremiah 32:41

How heart-cheering to the believers is the delight which God has in his saints! We cannot see any reason in ourselves why the Lord should take pleasure in us; we cannot take delight in ourselves, for we often have to groan, being burdened; conscious of our sinfulness, and deploring our unfaithfulness; and we fear that God’s people cannot take much delight in us, for they must perceive so much of our imperfections and our follies, that they may rather lament our infirmities than admire our graces.

But we love to dwell upon this transcendent truth, this glorious mystery: that as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so does the Lord rejoice over us. We do not read anywhere that God delighteth in the cloud-capped mountains, or the sparkling stars, but we do read that he delighteth in the habitable parts of the earth, and that his delights are with the sons of men. We do not find it written that even angels give his soul delight; nor doth he say, concerning cherubim and seraphim, “Thou shalt be called Hephzibah, for the Lord delighteth in thee; but he does say all that to poor fallen creatures like ourselves, debased and depraved by sin, but saved, exalted, and glorified by his grace.  In what strong language he expresses his delight in his people!

Who could have conceived of the eternal One as bursting forth into a song?  Yet it is written, “He will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”  As he looked upon the world he had made, he said, “It is very good;” but when he beheld those who are the purchase of Jesus’ blood, his own chosen ones, it seemed as if the great heart of the Infinite could restrain itself no longer, but overflowed in divine exclamations of joy.  Should not we utter declaration of his love, and sing, ” I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation?”

May this give you hope and blessed assurance in our God, who rejoices over you.  Have a blessed day.

Listening To God

Listening to God requires that we first listen for God, Robert Benson once said.  We have to be in a position to want to hear from God, by being still and knowing God is God.

“Has God trusted you with silence-a silence that is big with meaning?  God’s silences are His answers. Think of those days of absolute silence in the home of Bethany! Is there anything analogous to those days in your life? Can God trust you like that, or are you still asking for a visible answer? God will give you the blessings you ask if you will not go any further without them; but His silence is the sign that He is bringing you into a marvelous understanding of Himself.” Oswald Chambers   Are you satisfied with the silence?  Make no mistake that silence is also God speaking.

We are to listen for Him, and not be concerned about the manner or method He chooses to speak to us. Remember that burning bush. God spoke to Moses on the backside of a mountain in a bush. Scripture is filled with different ways God spoke to His people.  Our responsibility is to be attentive when He speaks, and obey. His voice is unmistakable. It is like the dawning of the sun. It fills the soul and spirit with hope, joy, love and warms your heart.  He is probably speaking to you right now.  Telling you don’t worry about this day; He has everything under control.
St.Teresa of Avila said, “We should accept with simplicity whatever understanding the Lord gives us; and what He doesn’t we shouldn’t tire ourselves over. For one word of God’s will contain within itself a thousand mysteries.” The value of listening to God is that we will finally hear him as He is – God. All those questions are answered, we cease from struggling over the mundane and trivial.  We seek Him knowing all is well with our souls.  Peace, Power, Presence.  Are you listening to God?
Listening to God provides our way home.

He is Already There

In the midst of your day, in every meeting, appointment, activity, or event, Christ is already there.  He is Risen.  The master’s hand is already at work.  He has gone ahead to make the way smooth.  His power, love, and glory is already in the room.  And you will see Him there.

He is already there.  No need to worry, fear, fret or be concerned about what to say or do; he is already there.  Eugene Peterson once said, “We are always coming in on something that is already going on. Sometimes we clarify a word or feeling, sometimes we identify an overlooked relationship, sometimes we help recover an essential piece of memory – but always we are dealing with what the risen Christ has already set in motion, already brought into being.”

He is already there.  Take comfort in knowing Christ is already there.  Matthew 28:5-7 (MSG)

Quiet

It is quiet today.  A time to pause and reflect on the goodness of God.  While so much of the world whirling, take a few quiet moments and say yes to God.  Feel His presence, bathe in His love.  No need to rush, or seek to do anything, just rest in Him.   Let your soul and spirit find expression in His perfect peace.

Have a day of quiet, and discover what fulfillment there is with God.

Wait for the Lord

Wait patiently for the Lord.

On the anniversary of the attacks at the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and the loss of Flight 93, there is a silent cry for the Lord from the families, and communities who lost loved ones.  The horror of that dreadful day as we stood in disbelief as thousands were viciously killed still brings pain and sorrow.  Let us pause for a moment, and ask for healing for our world, and comfort for those who lives were forever changed.

Oh Lord, we still need you.  Help us, Lord to learn the lessons of that day.  May we reach out to one another in love and peace.  May we show how to live, really live as you want us to.  Help us to show the love of YOU today.  May we extend hands of comfort, hearts of compassion, and arms filled with the joy of you.    In Jesus’ name.  Amen

 

God is our refuge

“God is our refuge and our strength (Psalm 46:1-3)…a very present help in the time of need.”

 Yesterday, I attended a women’s conference where speaker after speaker gave powerful testimony of the truth of this familiar passage.  A damaged heart healed, tumors miraculously gone, shattered lives mended.  Stories of enormous physical and emotional suffering, and lost, and how God truly became their refuge and their strength.  This was not fantasy.   These women had a personal encounter with the living God, and their stories became ours.

God is our refuge and our strength.  God’s power provides strength.  His presence gives grace.   We can face our todays and tomorrows, because we are sheltered from and within.  Sheltered in God’s arms, we have confidence, and faith in Him who will not leave us.  There is unwavering belief in a God that cannot lie.  He said He will be with us until the end.  We have a blessed assurance in a God that can accomplish what man cannot.  Knowing and believing in who God is changes us.  Our lives become a beacon; a shining lighthouse for those washed up by life’s stormy seas.  And just like these women, we reflect the beauty and glory of God; a God who will never leave us, nor forsake us, even during the worst times of our lives.

As the conference ended, there was renewed hope and strength.  We can tell their stories, and ours of how God rebuilds, restores, and became for each of us our refuge and our strength.    

Lights in the World

A Classic Devotional from C.H. Spurgeon

We use lights to make manifest.  A Christian [man] should so shine in his life that a person could not live with him a week without knowing the gospel. His conversation should be such that all who are about him should clearly perceive whose he is, and whom he serves; and should see the image of Jesus reflected in his daily actions.

Lights are intended for guidance.  We are to help those around us who are in the dark.  We are to hold forth to them the Word of life. We are to point sinners to the Saviour, and the weary to a divine resting place.  Men sometimes read their Bibles, and fail to understand them; we should be ready, like Philip, to instruct the inquirer in the meaning of God’s Word, the way of salvation, and the life of godliness.

Lights are also used for warning. On our rocks and shoals a light-house is sure to be erected.  Christian [men] should know that there are many false lights shown everywhere in the world, and therefore the right light is needed.  The wreckers of Satan are always abroad, tempting the ungodly to sin under the name of pleasure; they hoist the wrong light, be it ours to put up the true light upon every dangerous rock, to point out every sin, and tell what it leads to, that so we may be clear of the blood of all men, shining as lights in the world.

Lights also have very cheering influence, and so have Christians.  A Christian ought to be a comforter, with kind words on his lips, and sympathy in his heart; he should carry sunshine wherever he goes, and diffuse happiness around him.

“In the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.”  Philippians 2:15

Are you a passionate worshipper?

When was the last time you really worship? I mean experience God’s presence to the point you felt free.  Are you a passionate worshipper? Oftentimes, our culture conflicts with our inner desire to “enter into the Holy of holies.”   As one writer wrote, ” Passion for His presence will mark all that we are, and nothing will be more important than maintaining His presence in our midst.”   Feeling the blaze of the Lord, the oil of joy, and the beauty of His holiness transcends earthly pleasures.  It lifts us.   “Simply being with Him cleanses, refreshes, and satisfies.”

So much of our “worship experience” on Sunday is more performance than passion, more formal than informal, more staged than serene.   Now it has becomes an activity mainly marked by singing, clapping and perhaps dancing.   It lacks genuine connection with Him who is our all in all. Our worship experience with God should be so much more.  It should be like the sounds of heaven, where the angels and 24 elders continuously sing glory and praises to God and our Lord.  Passionate worship should make us one with the angelic chorus…our voices, our lives moving in harmony and rhythm to the great “I AM” in gratitude and thanksgiving for joy that besets our souls.

Are you a passionate worshipper?  Passionate worship should be daily, and not just relegated to a few short minutes on Sunday.  When was the last time you really worship God?  Can you recall it?  Where was it?  What were you doing?  How did it make you feel?  Does your life, your essence express glory to Him who is worthy of all our praise? Just like the 24 elders around the heavenly throne, we should worship Him each and every day.  We should never limit when to worship God.

How does one become a passionate worshipper?  God provided very clear and specific about what is biblical worship.

  1. Standing  – 2 Chronicles 9:7
  2. Lifting our hands – Psalm 28:2, 1 Timothy 2:8
  3. Clapping our hands  – Psalm 47:1
  4. Bowing – Psalm 95:6
  5. With all forms of instruments – Psalm 150
  6. Loudly, with crashing symbols – Psalm 150
  7. Dancing – Exodus 15:20; Psalm 30:11
  8. Leaping – Acts 3:8
  9. Shouting – Psalm 47:1

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord”, everyday.  Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise, daily.  Passionate worship; expressions of joy and thanksgiving transforms our spiritual walk.  It releases us to experience more of the abundant life.  We become healers, givers, providers, mighty men of valor,  virtuous women, builders of God’s kingdom, creators of beauty,  restorers of the breaches.  Passionate worship puts a finger in the oozing hole of guilt, pain, and suffering.

God wants us to worship to Him with all of our hearts, all of our hearts, and with all of our souls.    When we experience exuberant, intense, intimate, passionate worship, it releases “joy unspeakable.”

Passionate worship is loving God.  Are you a passionate worshipper?