Dwell In His House by Spurgeon

“We dwell in Him.”—1 John 4:13.

O you want a house for your soul? Do you ask, “What is the purchase?” It is something less than proud human nature will like to give. It is without money and without price. Ah! you would like to pay a respectable rent! You would love to do something to win Christ? Then you cannot have the house, for it is “without price.” Will you take my Master’s house on a lease for all eternity, with nothing to pay for it, nothing but the ground-rent of loving and serving Him for ever? Will you take Jesus and “dwell in Him?” See, this house is furnished with all you want, it is filled with riches more than you will spend as long as you live. Here you can have intimate communion with Christ and feast on His love; here are tables well-stored with food for you to live on for ever; in it, when weary, you can find rest with Jesus; and from it you can look out and see heaven itself. Will you have the house? Ah! if you are houseless, you will say, “I should like to have the house; but may I have it?” Yes; there is the key—the key is, “Come to Jesus.” “But,” you say, “I am too shabby for such a house.” Never mind; there are garments inside. If you feel guilty and condemned, come; and though the house is too good for you, Christ will make you good enough for the house by-and-by. He will wash you and cleanse you, and you will yet be able to sing, “We dwell in Him.” Believer: thrice happy art thou to have such a dwelling-place! Greatly privileged thou art, for thou hast a “strong habitation” in which thou art ever safe. And “dwelling in Him,” thou hast not only a perfect and secure house, but an everlasting one. When this world shall have melted like a dream, our house shall live, and stand more imperishable than marble, more solid than granite, self-existent as God, for it is God Himself—”We dwell in Him.”

 

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Morning Meditation from C. H. Spurgeon

“He that watereth shall be watered also himself.”—Proverbs 11:25.

We are here taught the great lesson, that to get, we must give; that to accumulate, we must scatter; that to make ourselves happy, we must make others happy; and that in order to become spiritually vigorous, we must seek the spiritual good of others. In watering others, we are ourselves watered. How? Our efforts to be useful, bring out our powers for usefulness. We have latent talents and dormant faculties, which are brought to light by exercise. Our strength for labour is hidden even from ourselves, until we venture forth to fight the Lord’s battles, or to climb the mountains of difficulty. We do not know what tender sympathies we possess until we try to dry the widow’s tears, and soothe the orphan’s grief. We often find in attempting to teach others, that we gain instruction for ourselves. Oh, what gracious lessons some of us have learned at sick beds! We went to teach the Scriptures, we came away blushing that we knew so little of them. In our converse with poor saints, we are taught the way of God more perfectly for ourselves and get a deeper insight into divine truth. So that watering others makes us humble. We discover how much grace there is where we had not looked for it; and how much the poor saint may outstrip us in knowledge. Our own comfort is also increased by our working for others. We endeavour to cheer them, and the consolation gladdens our own heart. Like the two men in the snow; one chafed the other’s limbs to keep him from dying, and in so doing kept his own blood in circulation, and saved his own life. The poor widow of Sarepta gave from her scanty store a supply for the prophet’s wants, and from that day she never again knew what want was. Give then, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and running over. 

http://www.spurgeon.org/morn_eve/this_morning.cgi

A Peculiar People

The King James Version of Deuteronomy 26:18 translates God’s people as “peculiar.” Peculiar means unusual, strange, or unconventional, and also
unique: belonging exclusively to, or identified distinctly with somebody or something. The Lord declared His sons and daughters as peculiar, unique, exclusive, belonging to Him – His treasured possession. Being different separates us from the vanities of life,and places believers in a category that oftentimes defies explanation. That distinctiveness is seen in the way we love, fight, serve, work, live, communicate, and yes, even suffer because of God’s glory.
Being peculiar is challenging at times. There are distractions, traps, and competing demands tugging for our time and attention. However, the Lord provided the only way to minimize, and even defeat those forces trying to trick us into forgetting our “pecularity.” Being different is not a bad thing, nor is it something to shake off like dust. It is our badge, label, our divine clothing God gave us. When we are fully arrayed with His glory we show the world just how wonderful it is to be a peculiar possession of God.

A Peculiar People

Daring Greatly

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat. ”  Theodore Roosevelt

This day dare greatly for the King of kings.  Get into the arena of life with gratitude, love and a passion to make a difference.

Elul

On August 6, according to the Jewish calendar the month of Elul began. This month is significant because it is in preparation for Rosh Hashanah which begin at sunset Wednesday, September 4, 2013 and ends at nightfall Friday, September 6, 2013. It is a time of repentance, reflection, and forgiveness.  It calls us to clear our minds, souls and bodies of the things which separate us from God.   As I’ve been studying this significance of this month, I’ve learned special prayers will be offered for past sins committed not only by the individual, but also for the entire family. I am reminded of Nehemiah, who upon his return to Jerusalem, asked God to forgive him, and Israel their past sins. It is a beautiful prayer.  It recounts everything Israel did in the past, and include the sins of those present at the time of the dedication of the temple. No one was exempt.

As this month continues, Jews will offer special prayers, recite the 27th Psalm, and be awaken by the shofar[ram’s horn].   The major focus is, however on repentance.  On turning away from the sins that so easily beset us, and going before a Holy God and seeking forgiveness with a sincere heart.  And as we do, our souls are restored, and “He will lead us beside still waters, and anoint our heads with His oil.” Then “goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives where we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

I’ve taken to heart the significance of this month, and asked the Lord to forgive me, and my family for our sins.  This is a holy time, and because of it,  I will be taking more time to reflect on His word.  So dear readers, my posts will not come as often as before. (You probably noticed)  I encourage you to do the same. Don’t miss this special time. Cover yourself in His word. Spend time only with Him. Turn off some stuff. Get quiet and listen for Him.  Repent. Reflect. Forgive those who wronged you.   Prepare for the coming season with joy, love, appreciation, and anticipation. It is Elul.

Go and Do like wise

Go and do likewise (Luke 10:37) …where to go, and what should you be doing?
Go forth to make it better. Better in yourself, better in your home, on your job, in your community, and within your relationships. By going forward in appreciation, you will establish the fertile soil of compassion that will blossom into a garden; a bountiful garden of God’s love. We were told to do as Jesus did, so today and every day go and do likewise. You will see a wonderful difference in yourself and the world around you.

Three Simple Questions

I recently began reading a leader’s guide for a six-week study entitled, Three Simple Questions: Knowing The God of Love, Hope, and Purpose written by Rueben P. Job and Pamela C. Hawkins. Each question is designed to deepen our understanding of our relationship with God. They nudge us to elevate our personal walk; to withstand temptation, and make decisions with integrity as we embrace, with greater clarity our love and appreciation for our Creator.  In Daniel 3, there is the account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, whose decision to not serve other gods, for the moment, placed them in great peril.   As C.H. Spurgeon wrote, ” the narrative of the manly courage and marvelous deliverance of the three holy children, or rather champions, is well calculated to excite in the minds of believers firmness and steadfastness in upholding the truth in the teeth of tyranny and in the very jaws of death.”  Their decision not to bow down, even though it meant certain death did not persuade them to seek the easy way out.  For during their captivity they had learned the answers to the three simple questions.

What are the three simple questions?

Who is God? Who am I? What are we together?

Do you know the answers to the three simple questions?  If you know the answers to the first two questions, what is your answer to the last one? What are we (God and I) together?  The challenge, and amount of soul-searching involved in all three questions is inescapable.  They require us to face, with regularity our faith in God, and our understanding of who and what we are.  Do we truly know who He is?  Do we believe in Him?  Do we know who we are? Do we understand our purpose and our destiny?  Or is our affirmative declarations merely routine responses based what is expected, and not on “the fiery furnace” personal experiences?  These questions, for some are often addressed daily.  Life’s trials and temptations lead us down the ” road to belief city” or the integrity path.”   Then the question of “what are we together” comes into operation?  Just what are we with God?  What is our function, purpose, title, assignment, position, appointment, job, role, etc., with the Almighty?  How is it [togetherness] seen by others?  Do they see it, or is it  some dreamlike mist?  The even larger question is, can it be seen by us?  How do we see ourselves with God?  Just three simple questions.

Back to C.H. Spurgeon, who reflected upon the issue of integrity as he wrote about the courage of these three young men.   Spurgeon emphasized that learning from their example, particularly for the young, “both in matters of faith in religion, and matters of uprightness in business, never to sacrifice their consciences” was paramount.  Theirs was a decision borne out of a knowing who God is, and who they were with Him. Unshakeable in their resolve to go to death if need be for their faith, cannot be overlooked in this day of flimsy, wishy-washy convictions.   He [Spurgeon] stated that “lose all rather than lose your integrity, and when all else is gone, still hold fast a clear conscience as the rarest jewel which can adorn the bosom of a mortal.”  How often have we seen princes and paupers, celebrities, the rich and famous, and not so famous, fall from grace due to lack of integrity?   “Be not guided by the will-o’-the wisp of policy, but by the pole-star of divine authority.  Follow the right at all hazards.  When you see no present advantage, walk by faith and not by sight.  Do God the honor to trust him when it comes to matters of loss for the sake of principle.  See whether he will be your debtor! See if he doth not even in this life prove his word that “Godliness, with contentment, is great gain,” and that they who “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, shall have all these things added unto them.”  Our God is worthy of our faith.  He has proven himself faithfulness since the beginning of time.

Three Simple Questions: “Who is God, who am I, and what are we together?”

“…to have a heart void of offence, to have the favor and smile of God, is greater riches than the mines of Ophir could yield, or the traffic of Tyre could win” is greater than all this world can offer.   The priceless gold of spiritual joy of knowing who God is, and who you are with Him far exceeds all.  Jesus was shown all the riches of world during his 40 days in the wilderness and did not bow down.

So, what are your answers to the three simple questions?

Loading

Have you taken noticed to the start process for each new tech gadget and app? The gadget are boxed with a nifty set of instructions. Every app has to be installed, verified, screened for authenticity. Once properly installed, we sit waiting for the gadget or app to load. The icon comes up with a message it’s loading, loading, loading.  Then finally, it is ready.
We’re like those gadgets and applications.  We also came with instructions, and we were installed to do the Master’s work.  Since our initial installation, and upgrades we’ve been loading, loading, loading.  Here’s the question of the day, are you ready to launch? Ready to be used by God? Ready to fully implement the upgraded version of you?

“God who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord who is faithful.” 1 Corinthians 1:9  The promises of God are true, and can never, ever fail.  Our initial installation may have been a bit rocky.  We may have been buffering, sputtering trying to get re-connected to the main power source.  But despite our shaky start-up, God has been true to his word.  He provided everything for our successful launch.

Stop loading and load.  “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5   You can do it! You can be it!   With each upgrade, old data must be renewed or removed to complete each assignment.  Need more wisdom – God gives it liberally to the person who asks for it.  We have not, because we ask not. Check the instructions.  Feel uncertain – God said He would never leave nor forsake us. Check the instructions. God told Joshua to be “Be strong and very courageous“, and as He was with Moses so He would be with him.  God was with Joshua, Moses, David, Ruth, Deborah, Mary, and the Apostle Paul, and He will be with you.  It’s in the instructions.

Our instructions are clear and powerful.  The authoritative word of God – The Bible provides all the data for correcting faulty wiring (our thinking), and repairing damage done by years of false starts.   Paul wrote, “God did not give us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and a sound mind.” Our internal wiring is connected to the direct power source, and it is always on.  That power, love and sound mind can defeat any giant or an army of Amalekites. God is our very present help. He is our failsafe.  It’s in the instructions.

Everything needed to properly launch is available and ready for use.  Everything!   There is a whole world waiting for the 2013 version of you.   So stop loading and LOAD.  

Grace

“Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18

“Grow in grace” – not in one grace only, but in all grace. Grow in that root-grace, faith.  Believe the promises more firmly than you have done. Let faith increase in fullness, constancy, simplicity. Grow also in love. Ask that your love may become extended, more intense, more practical, influencing every thought, word, and deed. Grow likewise in humility. Seek to lie every low, and know more of your own nothingness. As you grow downward in humility, seek also to grow upward – having nearer approaches to God in prayer and more intimate fellowship with Jesus.  May God the Holy Spirit enable you to “grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior”, [that grace may abound]. Amen   C.H. Spurgeon

January 1st

January 1st with its Rose Parade and football games grabbing for our attention. Chicken wings, nachos, or traditional meal spread out ready to satisfy our waiting appetites. January 1st when text messages, phone calls go out to those near and far wishing them a prosperous new year. January 1st, the first day of a new beginning, when we reflect about what did and did not happen last year. Thoughts about losing weight, getting better, going back to school, finishing the book, or taking the leap of faith intersect with New Year’s Day rituals and activities.  And yet January 1st is a gift – another chance “to become“. I would hasten to say with conviction, no other day on the calendar tends to move more people to ponder how to begin again.  It is our “In the beginning“, when the tug of divine fulfillment and purpose prompts many to make resolutions, set goals, and start on the path to becoming.  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (
Genesis 1:1), and during the process He created us in His image, to be stewards, caretakers, builders, worshippers, architects, and co-heirs.   January 1st is not just another day on the calendar.  It is a day of unification with the Creator, and not with a bowl game or bowl of chili.

Take a moment to unite with God, and seek your new beginning through Him this January 1st.  There’s still time.