Then Jesus took the loaves of bread, thanked God for them, and gave them to the people … He did the same with the fish, giving as much as the people wanted. JOHN 6:11
“The Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many people” (Mark 10:45). The world needs servants. People like Jesus who did not come to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45). He chose remote Nazareth over center stage Jerusalem, his dad’s carpentry shop over a marble-columned palace, and three decades of anonymity over a life of popularity.
Jesus came to serve. He selected prayer over sleep, the wilderness over the Jordan, irascible apostles over obedient angels. I’d have gone with the angels. Given the choice, I would have built my apostle team out of cherubim and seraphim or Gabriel and Michael, eyewitnesses of Red Sea rescues and Mount Carmel falling fires. I’d choose the angels.
Not Jesus. He picked the people. Peter, Andrew, John, and Matthew. When they feared the storm, he stilled it. When they had no coin for taxes, he supplied it. And when they had no wine for the wedding or food for the multitude, he made both.
from CURE FOR THE COMMON LIFE
Susan Boyle is one of the most Beautiful singers in the entire World. She is so talented and the voice is that of an Angel.
Susan Boyle came on the world stage with a humility the “stage,” seldom sees. It should be a lesson to us all, myself included, if not especially, that true greatness is only found through the eyes of the humble, humiliation is found through the eyes seeking only the greatness.
If God is for us, who can be against us? ROMANS 8:31 NIV
The question is not simply, “Who can be against us?” You could answer that one. Who is against you? Disease, inflation, corruption, exhaustion. Calamities confront, and fears imprison. Were Paul’s question, “Who can be against us?” we could list our foes much easier than we could fight them. But that is not the question. The question is, If GOD IS FOR US, who can be against us?
God is for you. Your parents may have forgotten you, your teachers may have neglected you, your siblings may be ashamed of you; but within reach of your prayers is the maker of the oceans. God!
In the Grip of Grace
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:17-18)
In order to mark and avoid those professing Christian teachers and leaders who are promoting doctrinal heresy (thus causing divisions among Christian believers), it is obvious that we must exercise sound biblical discernment and judgment. This judgment must be based on “the doctrine which ye have learned” from God’s word. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).
Such decisions are not to be based on supposed scholarship, tolerance, or eloquence, for such teachers “by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” Instead, we must know and apply God’s word, the Holy Scriptures. We must be like the Bereans, who, when they heard new teachings, “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).
It is sadly true today that many who call themselves Christians have compromised with the pseudo-scientific worldview of evolutionary humanism that controls all secular schools and colleges, hoping thereby to avoid the “offence of the cross” (Galatians 5:11), and to remain on good terms with “the princes of this world” and “the wisdom of this world” (1 Corinthians 2:6).
They do this for their own personal gain or prestige, however, not serving Christ, “but their own belly” (Romans 16:18). Those who are simple Bible-believing Christians are, therefore, not to be deceived by their “good words,” but to “mark” and avoid them. HMM
And it came to pass, before he had done speaking… and he said, Blessed be Jehovah… who hath not forsaken his lovingkindness and his truth.” (Gen. 24:15, 27.)
EVERY right prayer is answered before the prayer itself is finished—before we have “done speaking.” This is because God has pledged His Word to us that whatsoever we ask in Christ’s name (that is, in oneness with Christ and His will) and in faith, shall be done. As God’s Word cannot fail, whenever we meet those simple conditions in prayer, the answer to our prayer has been granted and completed in Heaven as we pray, even though its showing forth on earth may not occur until long afterward.
So it is well to close every prayer with praise to God for the answer that He has already granted; He who never forsakes His lovingkindness and His truth. (See Daniel 9:20-27 and 10:12.)— Messages for the Morning Watch.
When we believe for a blessing, we must take the attitude of faith; and begin to act and pray as if we had the blessing. We must treat God as if He had given us our request. We must lean our weight over upon Him for the thing that we have claimed, and just take it for granted that He gives it, and is going to continue to give it. This is the attitude of trust.
When the wife is married, she at once falls into a new attitude, and acts in accordance with the fact; and so when we take Christ as our Savior, as our Sanctifier, as our Healer, or as our Deliverer, He expects us to fall into the attitude of recognizing Him in the capacity that we have claimed, and expect Him to be to us all that we have trusted Him for.—Selected.
“The thing I ask when God doth bid me pray,
Begins in that same act to come my way.”
“And he requested for himself that he might die.” 1 Kings 19:4
It was a remarkable thing that the man who was never to die, for whom God had ordained an infinitely better lot, the man who should be carried to heaven in a chariot of fire, and be translated, that he should not see death—should thus pray, “Let me die, I am no better than my fathers.” We have here a memorable proof that God does not always answer prayer in kind, though He always does in effect.
He gave Elias something better than that which he asked for, and thus really heard and answered him. Strange was it that the lion-hearted Elijah should be so depressed by Jezebel’s threat as to ask to die, and blessedly kind was it on the part of our heavenly Father that He did not take His desponding servant at his word. There is a limit to the doctrine of the prayer of faith. We are not to expect that God will give us everything we choose to ask for. We know that we sometimes ask, and do not receive, because we ask amiss. If we ask for that which is not promised—if we run counter to the spirit which the Lord would have us cultivate—if we ask contrary to His will, or to the decrees of His providence—if we ask merely for the gratification of our own ease, and without an eye to His glory, we must not expect that we shall receive.
Yet, when we ask in faith, nothing doubting, if we receive not the precise thing asked for, we shall receive an equivalent, and more than an equivalent, for it. As one remarks, “If the Lord does not pay in silver, He will in gold; and if He does not pay in gold, He will in diamonds.” If He does not give you precisely what you ask for, He will give you that which is tantamount to it, and that which you will greatly rejoice to receive in lieu thereof. Be then, dear reader, much in prayer, and make this evening a season of earnest intercession, but take heed what you ask.
“I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.” Ecclesiastes 10:7
Upstarts frequently usurp the highest places, while the truly great pine in obscurity. This is a riddle in providence whose solution will one day gladden the hearts of the upright; but it is so common a fact, that none of us should murmur if it should fall to our own lot. When our Lord was upon earth, although He is the Prince of the kings of the earth, yet He walked the footpath of weariness and service as the Servant of servants: what wonder is it if His followers, who are princes of the blood, should also be looked down upon as inferior and contemptible persons?
The world is upside down, and therefore, the first are last and the last first. See how the servile sons of Satan lord it in the earth! What a high horse they ride! How they lift up their horn on high! Haman is in the court, while Mordecai sits in the gate; David wanders on the mountains, while Saul reigns in state; Elijah is complaining in the cave while Jezebel is boasting in the palace; yet who would wish to take the places of the proud rebels? and who, on the other hand, might not envy the despised saints? When the wheel turns, those who are lowest rise, and the highest sink. Patience, then, believer, eternity will right the wrongs of time.
Let us not fall into the error of letting our passions and carnal appetites ride in triumph, while our nobler powers walk in the dust. Grace must reign as a prince, and make the members of the body instruments of righteousness. The Holy Spirit loves order, and He therefore sets our powers and faculties in due rank and place, giving the highest room to those spiritual faculties which link us with the great King; let us not disturb the divine arrangement, but ask for grace that we may keep under our body and bring it into subjection. We were not new created to allow our passions to rule over us, but that we, as kings, may reign in Christ Jesus over the triple kingdom of spirit, soul, and body, to the glory of God the Father.