BLESSINGS AT GOD’S TABLE

You prepare a meal for me in front of my enemies. PSALM 23:5

Pause and envision the scene in [God’s] royal dining room … Driven not by our beauty but by his promise,he calls us to himself and invites us to take a permanent place at his table … We take our place next to the other sinners-made-saints and we share in God’s glory.

May I share a partial list of what awaits you at his table?
You are beyond condemnation (Romans 8:1).
You are a member of his kingdom (Colossians 1:13).
You have been adopted (Romans 8:15).
You have access to God at any moment (Ephesians 2:18).
You will never be abandoned (Hebrews 13:5).
You have an imperishable inheritance (1 Peter 1:4).

from IN THE GRIP OF GRACE

Sacred Delight

Those people who know they have great spiritual needs are happy, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them MATTHEW 5:3

[God] promises [sacred delight]. And he promises it to an unlikely crowd:

• “The poor in spirit.” Beggars in God’s soup kitchen.

• “Those who mourn.” Sinners Anonymous bound together by the truth of their introduction: “Hi, I am me.
I’m a sinner.” …

• “The merciful.” Winners of the million-dollar lottery who share the prize with their enemies.

• “The pure in heart.” Physicians who love lepers and escape infection.

• “The peacemakers.” Architects who build bridges with wood from a Roman cross.…

• “The persecuted.” Those who manage to keep an eye on heaven while walking through hell on earth.
It is to this band of pilgrims that God promises a special blessing. A heavenly joy. A sacred delight.

The Applause of Heaven

Our Hiding Place

“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.” (Psalm 27:5)

There are times in the life of each believer when the trials become overwhelming and the whole world seems to be falling apart. Without the Lord, it would be impossible to escape, but with the Lord there can be safety and restoration, for He can be our precious hiding place until the storm is done.

There are many gracious promises to this effect in His Word, and we need only to claim them to experience them. The “pavilion” in our text is best understood as the tent of the commander-in-chief, well-protected and away from the battlefront. Surely, we are safe there. “Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues” (Psalm 31:20). There is a wonderful Messianic promise in Isaiah 32:2: “And a man |that Man is Christ!| shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.”

There, sheltered from the storm, our gracious Lord gives comfort and sweet counsel, until we are able to face the tempest victoriously. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust” (Psalm 91:1-2).

One of the most beautiful of these promises introduces David’s great song of deliverance: “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my Saviour; thou savest me from violence” (2 Samuel 22:2-3).

by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

Crying Out To God

After all these years, I still don’t fully understand prayer. It’s something of a mystery to me. But one thing I know: When we’re in desperate need, prayer springs naturally from our lips and from the deepest level of our hearts.

When we’re frightened out of our wits, when we’re pushed beyond our limits, when we’re pulled out of our
comfort zones, when our well-being is challenged and endangered, we reflexively and involuntarily resort to prayer. “Help, Lord!” is our natural cry.

Author Eugene Peterson wrote: “The language of prayer is forged in the crucible of trouble. When we can’t help ourselves and call for help, when we don’t like where we are and want out, when we don’t like who we are and want a change, we use primal language, and this language becomes the root language of prayer.”

Prayer begins in trouble, and it continues because we’re always in trouble at some level. It requires no special preparation, no precise vocabulary, no appropriate posture. It springs from us in the face of necessity and, in time, becomes our habitual response to every issue—good and bad—we face in this life (Phil. 4:6). What a privilege it is to carry everything to God in prayer!

What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer. —Scriven

God’s help is only a prayer away.