GOD GOES WITH US

The LORD showed them the way; during the day he went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud, and during the night he was in a pillar of fire to give them light. EXODUS 13:21

When God calls us into the deep valley of death, he will be with us. Dare we think that he would abandon us in the moment of death? … Would the shepherd require his sheep to journey to the highlands alone? Of course not. Would God require his child to journey to eternity alone? Absolutely not! He is with you!

What God said to Moses, he says to you: “I myself will go with you, and I will give you victory” (Exodus 33:14).

What God said to Jacob, he says to you: “I am with you and will protect you everywhere you go” (Genesis 28:15).

What God said to Joshua, he says to you: “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forget you” (Joshua 1:5).

from TRAVELING LIGHT

The Greenhouse of the Heart

People harvest only what they plant. GALATIANS 6:7

Think for a moment of your heart as a greenhouse.… And your heart, like a greenhouse, has to be managed.

Consider for a moment your thoughts as seed. Some thoughts become flowers. Others become weeds. Sow seeds of hope and enjoy optimism. Sow seeds of doubt and expect insecurity.…

The proof is everywhere you look. Ever wonder why some people have the Teflon capacity to resist negativism and remain patient, optimistic, and forgiving? Could it be that they have diligently sown seeds of goodness and are enjoying the harvest?

Ever wonder why others have such a sour outlook? Such a gloomy attitude? You would, too, if your heart were a greenhouse of weeds and thorns.

Just Like Jesus

Root of Bitterness

“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” (Hebrews 12:15)

Bitterness and a bitter spirit should never characterize a person who has experienced the saving grace of God through Jesus Christ. No matter how seriously one may have been wronged, if he has known God’s forgiving grace for his own wrongdoings, he should manifest that same grace in his life toward others, even though they do not merit it (for neither did he merit God’s forgiving grace himself).

Bitterness is a characteristic of the ungodly “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness” (Romans 3:14). A Christian must never try to rationalize it as “righteous indignation” or to think that certain injustices give him the “right” to be bitter and resentful. “If ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish” (James 3:14-15). Rooted bitterness will soon “spring up,” not only robbing the bitter believer of joy and true fruitfulness, but bearing bitter fruit whereby many others will “be defiled.”

The antidote, of course, is never to “fail of the grace of God.” That is, we need to be “looking diligently,” moment by moment, at the wonderful grace of God by which we were saved through faith and in which we continue to live each day.

Therefore, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32). Otherwise, we not only hurt both ourselves and others, but we also grieve “the holy Spirit of God” (v. 30)

by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

Ask What Ye Will

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15:7)

The precious promise in this verse has been an inspiration to the faithful down through the centuries. It becomes even more amazing when attention is paid to the original Greek language in which it was written.

Abiding implies a close personal fellowship with someone; in this case, the personal, loving Lord Jesus: “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love” (v. 9). Such an abiding on our part will be evidenced by obedience, love for Him and for the brethren, and joy (vv. 10-14). Our minds and hearts will be in total harmony with His, guided by such a walk and His words.

“Ye shall ask” does not carry the proper force in English. This is a command in the imperative mode in Greek–a challenge, if you will. He challenges us to “ask what ye will” (literally, “whatever ye desire”) and see Him faithful. Desire speaks of something different than need, indeed it speaks of an “inclination.” He is not afraid we will ask for selfish inclinations, for if we “abide” in Him, our desires are His desires, and we will naturally ask for those things which glorify Him. “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (v. 8).

Notice the word “done,” which in Greek stems from the word meaning “to come into existence.” God will answer our unselfish prayers, even if He has to transcend natural law or even create something to do so. He even challenges us to “ask” without hesitation, as implied by the Greek construction.

If we meet the condition of “abiding” in Him, as a branch “abides” in the vine (vv. 1-5), He will place in us the desire to bring forth much fruit (v. 5) to His glory and to our everlasting delight.

by John D. Morris, Ph.D.

Life’s disappointments are veiled love’s appointments

“This thing is from me” (1 Kings 12:24.)

“Life’s disappointments are veiled love’s appointments.”—Rev. C. A. Fox.

MY child, I have a message for you today; let me whisper it in your ear, that it may gild with glory any storm clouds which may arise, and smooth the rough places upon which you may have to tread. It is short, only five words, but let them sink into your inmost soul; use them as a pillow upon which to rest your weary head. This thing is from ME.

Have you ever thought of it, that all that concerns you concerns Me too? For, “he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of mine eye” (Zech. 2:8). You are very precious in My sight. (Isa. 43:4.) Therefore, it is My special delight to educate you.

I would have you learn when temptations assail you, and the “enemy comes in like a flood,” that this thing is from Me, that your weakness needs My might, and your safety lies in letting Me fight for you.

Are you in difficult circumstances, surrounded by people who do not understand you, who never consult your taste, who put you in the background? This thing is from Me. I am the God of circumstances. Thou camest not to thy place by accident, it is the very place God meant for thee.

Have you not asked to be made humble? See then, I have placed you in the very school where this lesson is taught; your surroundings and companions are only working out My will.

Are you in money difficulties? Is it hard to make both ends meet? This thing is from Me, for I am your purse-bearer and would have you draw from and depend upon Me. My supplies are limitless (Phil. 4:19). I would have you prove my promises. Let it not be said of you, “In this thing ye did not believe the Lord your God” (Deut. 1:32).

Are you passing through a night of sorrow? This thing is from Me. I am the Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief. I have let earthly comforters fail you, that by turning to Me you may obtain everlasting consolation (2 Thess. 2:16, 17). Have you longed to do some great work for Me and instead have been laid aside on a bed of pain and weakness? This thing is from Me. I could not get your attention in your busy days and I want to teach you some of my deepest lessons. “They also serve who only stand and wait.” Some of My greatest workers are those shut out from active service, that they may learn to wield the weapon of all-prayer.

This day I place in your hand this pot of holy oil. Make use of it free, my child. Let every circumstance that arises, every word that pains you, every interruption that would make you impatient, every revelation of your weakness be anointed with it. The sting will go as you learn to see Me in all things. —Laura A. Barter Snow.

“‘This is from Me,’ the Saviour said,
As bending low He kissed my brow,

‘For One who loves you thus has led.
Just rest in Me, be patient now,

Your Father knows you have need of this,
Tho’, why perchance you cannot see.—

Grieve not for things you’ve seemed to miss.
The thing I send is best for thee.’

“Then, looking through my tears, I plead,
‘Dear Lord, forgive, I did not know,

‘Twill not be hard since Thou dost tread,
Each path before me here below.

And for my good this thing must be,
His grace sufficient for each test.

So still I’ll sing, “Whatever be
God’s way for me is always best.”‘”