A Missed Lunch

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” —John 4:34

For me, food is more than a necessity—it’s a wonderfully enjoyable part of life! I enjoy sitting down to a
well-prepared meal, especially when I’m feeling hungry. I imagine that the disciples were hungry for lunch when they returned to the well where Jesus was interacting with the Samaritan woman. They urged Him, “Rabbi, eat” (John 4:31). His response? “I have food to eat of which you do not know” (v.32), which made them wonder if someone had already brought Him something to eat (v.33).

I wonder if the disciples were so consumed with thinking about food that they couldn’t see past their picnic. They didn’t understand the significance of what was going on at the well. The most important thing to Jesus was “to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (v.34). He was focused on the spiritual needs of this woman who desperately needed what only He could give.

It’s easy to become preoccupied with needs of the moment. But Jesus invites us to get beyond our own interests—our own little “lunch”—to open our eyes to the souls who are searching for answers to their deepest needs. So, join Jesus at the well, and let Him use you to tell others about the spiritual food only He can give.

Dear Lord, may my eyes be fixed not just on the things
I am interested in, but lift my eyes to see the
needy souls around me. Give me passion for the lost
and the joy of seeing others satisfied in You.

Be hungry to satisfy the needs of others around you.

The Brief Journey of Life

Our days on earth are like a shadow. 1 CHRONICLES 29:15 NIV

He who “lives forever” has placed himself at the head of a band of pilgrims who mutter, “How long, O Lord? How long?” (Psalm 89:46 NIV).

“How long must I endure this sickness?”

“How long must I endure this spouse?”

“How long must I endure this paycheck?”

Do you really want God to answer? He could, you know. He could answer in terms of the here and now with time increments we know. “Two more years on the illness.” “The rest of your life in the marriage.” “Ten more years for the bills.”

But he seldom does that. He usually opts to measure the here and now against the there and then. And when you compare this life to that life, this life ain’t long.

In the Eye of the Storm

The Opened Heavens

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” (Revelation 19:11)

This is the final climactic reference in the Bible to God’s opened heavens. Sometimes, as in this verse, heaven is opened in judgment; sometimes in blessing. Sometimes it is the atmospheric heaven that is open; sometimes the heaven of heavens where stands the throne of God.

The first such mention refers to the world-destroying Flood of Noah’s day when “the windows of heaven were opened” (Genesis 7:11). The second mention, however, speaks of blessing. God had “opened the doors of heaven, And had rained down manna upon them to eat” (Psalm 78:23-24). The windows of heaven rained down the waters of death, while the doors of heaven rained down the bread of life! Ezekiel also saw the heavens opened in judgment (Ezekiel 1:1), but God told Malachi, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse . . . and prove me now . . . if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).

At the baptism of Jesus the heavens were opened and men heard the great testimony of the Father concerning His beloved Son (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:21). Jesus promised Nathanael, “Hereafter ye shall see heaven open” (John 1:51), and Stephen and Peter actually saw the heavens open (Acts 7:56; 10:11).

Finally, the apostle John reported that “a door was opened in heaven” (Revelation 4:1), and he saw the Lord on His throne–twelve specific references (four in the Old Testament, eight in the New) to the opened heavens. HMM

He worketh

“He worketh.” (Psalm 37:5.)

THE translation that we find in Young of “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass,” reads: “Roll upon Jehovah thy way; trust upon him: and he worketh.” It calls our attention to the immediate action of God when we truly commit, or roll out of our hands into His, the burden of whatever kind it may be; a way of sorrow, of difficulty, of physical need, or of anxiety for the conversion of some dear one.

“He worketh.” When? Now. We are so in danger of postponing our expectation of His acceptance of the trust, and His undertaking to accomplish what we ask Him to do, instead of saying as we commit, “He worketh.” “He worketh” even now; and praise Him that it is so.

The very expectancy enables the Holy Spirit to do the very thing we have rolled upon Him. It is out of our reach. We are not trying to do it any more. “He worketh!”

Let us take the comfort out of it and not put our hands on it again. Oh, what a relief it brings! He is really working on the difficulty.

But someone may say, “I see no results.” Never mind. “He worketh,” if you have rolled it over and are looking to Jesus to do it. Faith may be tested, but “He worketh”; the Word is sure!—V. H. F.

“I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.” (Psalm 57:2.) The beautiful old translation says, “He shall perform the cause which I have in hand.” Does not that make it very real to us today? Just the very thing that “I have in hand”—my own particular bit of work today, this cause that I cannot manage, this thing that I undertook in miscalculation of my own powers—this is what I may ask Him to do “for me,” and rest assured that He will perform it. “The wise and their works are in the hands of God.”—Havergal.

The Lord will go through with His covenant engagements. Whatever He takes in hand He will accomplish; hence past mercies are guarantees for the future and admirable reasons for continuing to cry unto Him.—C. H. Spurgeon.

Behold, Thou art fair, my Beloved

“Behold, Thou art fair, my Beloved.” Song 1:16

From every point our Well-beloved is most fair. Our various experiences are meant by our heavenly Father to furnish fresh standpoints from which we may view the loveliness of Jesus; how amiable are our trials when they carry us aloft where we may gain clearer views of Jesus than ordinary life could afford us! We have seen Him from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, and He has shone upon us as the sun in his strength; but we have seen Him also “from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards,” and He has lost none of His loveliness.

From the languishing of a sick bed, from the borders of the grave, have we turned our eyes to our soul’s spouse, and He has never been otherwise than “all fair.” Many of His saints have looked upon Him from the gloom of dungeons, and from the red flames of the stake, yet have they never uttered an ill word of Him, but have died extolling His surpassing charms.

Oh, noble and pleasant employment to be for ever gazing at our sweet Lord Jesus! Is it not unspeakably delightful to view the Saviour in all His offices, and to perceive Him matchless in each?—to shift the kaleidoscope, as it were, and to find fresh combinations of peerless graces? In the manger and in eternity, on the cross and on His throne, in the garden and in His kingdom, among thieves or in the midst of cherubim, He is everywhere “altogether lovely.”

Examine carefully every little act of His life, and every trait of His character, and He is as lovely in the minute as in the majestic. Judge Him as you will, you cannot censure; weigh Him as you please, and He will not be found wanting.

Eternity shall not discover the shadow of a spot in our Beloved, but rather, as ages revolve, His hidden glories shall shine forth with yet more inconceivable splendour, and His unutterable loveliness shall more and more ravish all celestial minds.

He led them forth by the right way

“He led them forth by the right way.” Psalm 107:7

Changeful experience often leads the anxious believer to enquire “Why is it thus with me?” I looked for light, but lo, darkness came; for peace, but behold trouble. I said in my heart, my mountain standeth firm, I shall never be moved. Lord, thou dost hide Thy face, and I am troubled. It was but yesterday that I could read my title clear; today my evidences are bedimmed, and my hopes are clouded.

Yesterday I could climb to Pisgah’s top, and view the landscape o’er, and rejoice with confidence in my future inheritance; today, my spirit has no hopes, but many fears; no joys, but much distress. Is this part of God’s plan with me? Can this be the way in which God would bring me to heaven? Yes, it is even so. The eclipse of your faith, the darkness of your mind, the fainting of your hope, all these things are but parts of God’s method of making you ripe for the great inheritance upon which you shall soon enter.

These trials are for the testing and strengthening of your faith—they are waves that wash you further upon the rock—they are winds which waft your ship the more swiftly towards the desired haven. According to David’s words, so it might be said of you, “so He bringeth them to their desired haven.” By honour and dishonour, by evil report and by good report, by plenty and by poverty, by joy and by distress, by persecution and by peace, by all these things is the life of your souls maintained, and by each of these are you helped on your way.

Oh, think not, believer, that your sorrows are out of God’s plan; they are necessary parts of it. “We must, through much tribulation, enter the kingdom.” Learn, then, even to “count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.”

“O let my trembling soul be still,
And wait Thy wise, Thy holy will!
I cannot, Lord, Thy purpose see,
Yet all is well since ruled by Thee.”