Faithfully Present

The Son of Man came to find lost people and save them.
LUKE 19:10

Our God is the God who follows. Have you sensed Him following you? He is the one who came to seek and save the lost. Have you sensed Him seeking you?

Have you felt his presence through the kindness of a stranger? Through the majesty of a sunset or the mystery of romance? Through the question of a child or the commitment of a spouse? Through a word well spoken or a touch well timed, have you sensed him? …

God gives us Himself. Even when we choose our hovel over His house and our trash over His grace, still He follows. Never forcing us. Never leaving us. Patiently persistent. Faithfully present. He uses all His power to convince us that He is who He is and He can be trusted to lead us home.

The Gift for All People

Are You Storing Up Comfort?

“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.” (Isa. 40:1.)

STORE up comfort. This was the prophet’s mission. The world is full of comfortless hearts, and ere thou art sufficient for this lofty ministry, thou must be trained. And thy training is costly in the extreme; for, to render it perfect, thou too must pass through the same afflictions as are wringing countless hearts of tears and blood. Thus thy own life becomes the hospital ward where thou art taught the Divine art of comfort. Thou art wounded, that in the binding up of thy wounds by the Great Physician, thou mayest learn how to render first aid to the wounded everywhere.

Dost thou wonder why thou art passing through some special sorrow? Wait till ten years are passed, and thou wilt find many others afflicted as thou art. Thou wilt tell them how thou hast suffered and hast been comforted; then as the tale is unfolded, and the anodynes applied which once thy God wrapped around thee, in the eager look and the gleam of hope that shall chase the shadow of despair across the soul, thou shalt know why thou wast afflicted, and bless God for the discipline that stored thy life with such a fund of experience and helpfulness.—Selected.

God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters.—Dr. Jowett.

“They tell me I must bruise
The rose’s leaf,
Ere I can keep and use
Its fragrance brief.

“They tell me I must break
The skylark’s heart,
Ere her cage song will make
The silence start.

“They tell me love must bleed,
And friendship weep,
Ere in my deepest need
I touch that deep.

“Must it be always so
With precious things?
Must they be bruised and go
With beaten wings?

“Ah, yes! by crushing days,
By caging nights, by scar
Of thorn and stony ways,
These blessings are!”

THE TRUE SON OF GOD

His followers went to Him and woke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We will drown!” Jesus answered, “Why are you afraid?”
MATTHEW 8:25–26

Read this verse: “Then those who were in the boat worshiped Jesus and said, ‘Truly you are the Son of God!’ ” (Matthew 14:33). After the storm, [the disciples] worshiped Him. They had never, as a group, done that before. Never. Check it out. Open your Bible. Search for a time when the disciples corporately praised Him.

You won’t find it.

You won’t find them worshiping when He heals the leper. Forgives the adulteress. Preaches to the masses. They were willing to follow. Willing to leave family. Willing to cast out demons. Willing to be in the army.

But only after the incident on the sea did they worship Him. Why?

Simple. This time they were the ones who were saved.

from IN THE EYE OF THE STORM

Your Roots?

“These have no root.” Luke 8:13

My soul, examine thyself this morning by the light of this text. Thou hast received the word with joy; thy feelings have been stirred and a lively impression has been made; but, remember, that to receive the word in the ear is one thing, and to receive Jesus into thy very soul is quite another; superficial feeling is often joined to inward hardness of heart, and a lively impression of the word is not always a lasting one.

In the parable, the seed in one case fell upon ground having a rocky bottom, covered over with a thin layer of earth; when the seed began to take root, its downward growth was hindered by the hard stone and therefore it spent its strength in pushing its green shoot aloft as high as it could, but having no inward moisture derived from root nourishment, it withered away. Is this my case? Have I been making a fair show in the flesh without having a corresponding inner life? Good growth takes place upwards and downwards at the same time. Am I rooted in sincere fidelity and love to Jesus? If my heart remains unsoftened and unfertilized by grace, the good seed may germinate for a season, but it must ultimately
wither, for it cannot flourish on a rocky, unbroken, unsanctified heart.

Let me dread a godliness as rapid in growth and as wanting in endurance as Jonah’s gourd; let me count the cost of being a follower of Jesus, above all let me feel the energy of His Holy Spirit, and then I shall possess an abiding and enduring seed in my soul. If my mind remains as obdurate as it was by nature, the sun of trial will scorch, and my hard heart will help to cast the heat the more terribly upon the ill covered seed, and my religion will soon die, and my despair will be terrible; therefore, O heavenly

Sower, plough me first, and then cast the truth into me, and let me yield Thee a bounteous harvest.