VIDEO It Is Well With My Soul

It Is Well With My Soul – Amy Grant with lyrics

It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8, NIV

With his own pierced hands, Jesus created a pasture for the soul. He tore out the thorny underbrush of condemnation. He pried loose the huge boulders of sin. In their place he planted seeds of grace and dug ponds of mercy.

And he invites us to rest there. Can you imagine the satisfaction in the heart of the shepherd when, with work completed, he sees his sheep rest in the tender grass?
-Max Lucado-

Sorrow For Sin

If we confess our sins,he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. 1 JOHN 1:9

“If we confess our sins …” The biggest word in Scriptures just might be that two letter one, if. For confessing sins—admitting failure—is exactly what prisoners of pride refuse to do.

“Me a sinner? Oh sure, I get rowdy every so often, but I’m a pretty good ol’ boy.”

“Listen, I’m just as good as the next guy. I pay my taxes.…”

Justification. Rationalization. Comparison.… They sound good. They sound familiar. They even sound American. But in the kingdom, they sound hollow.…

When you get to the point of sorrow for your sins, when you admit that you have no other option, … then cast all your cares on him for he is waiting.

The Applause of Heaven

THE VERDICT

Jesus said, “I also don’t judge you guilty. You may go now, but don’t sin anymore.” JOHN 8:11

If you have ever wondered how God reacts when you fail, frame the words [of that verse] and hang them on the wall. Read them. Ponder them … Or better still, take him with you to your canyon of shame. Invite Christ to journey with you … to stand beside you as you retell the events of the darkest nights of your soul.

And then listen. Listen carefully. He’s speaking … “I don’t judge you guilty.”

And watch. Watch carefully. He’s writing. He’s leaving a message. Not in the sand, but on a cross.

Not with his hand, but with his blood.

His message has two words: Not guilty.

from HE STILL MOVES STONES

Memory and the Holy Spirit

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26)

John wrote his detailed discourses of Jesus (almost half of the verses in John’s gospel consist of His words) approximately fifty years after Christ spoke them, yet John was able to report them verbatim because of the supernatural memory of them brought back by the Holy Spirit. The same must have been true for the other biblical writers as they recalled words and events of years before.

In a real, though different, sense, the Holy Spirit also can “bring to our remembrance” the words of Scriptures just when they are especially needed in witnessing or for personal guidance or some other need. This will only be operational, of course, if they have first been stored in our memory, either by direct memorization or by such frequent reading and studying of the Bible as to make it a part of our subconscious memory.

Recall how the unlearned fisherman Peter was able to quote long passages of Scripture when he needed them (see, for example, Acts 2:16-21, 25-28, 34-35). He had apparently spent much time in studying and even memorizing key portions of the Old Testament. Jesus, of course, frequently quoted Scripture in His conversations, and Paul quoted Scripture abundantly in his epistles. Should we not do the same?

Scripture memorization has been a great blessing to many Christians over the years but seems to have become almost a lost art in this day and age. Nevertheless, Christ has promised answered prayer: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you” (John 15:7). So, as Paul urged, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16). HMM

At the set time of which God had spoken to him

“Sarah bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.” (Gen. 21:2.)

THE counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:11). But we must be prepared to wait God’s time. God has His set times. It is not for us to know them; indeed, we cannot know them; we must wait for them.

If God had told Abraham in Haran that he must wait for thirty years until he pressed the promised child to his bosom, his heart would have failed him. So, in gracious love, the length of the weary years was hidden, and only as they were nearly spent, and there were only a few more months to wait, God told him that “according to the time of life, Sarah shall have a son.” (Gen. 18:14.)

The set time came at last; and then the laughter that filled the patriarch’s home made the aged pair forget the long and weary vigil.

Take heart, waiting one, thou waitest for One who cannot disappoint thee; and who will not be five minutes behind the appointed moment: ere long “your sorrow shall be turned into joy.”

Ah, happy soul, when God makes thee laugh! Then sorrow and crying shall flee away forever, as darkness before the dawn.—Selected.

It is not for us who are passengers, to meddle with the chart and with the compass. Let that all skilled Pilot alone with His own work.—Hall.

“Some things cannot be done in a day. God does not make a sunset glory in a moment, but for days may be massing the mist out of which He builds His palaces beautiful in the west.”

“Some glorious morn—but when? Ah, who shall say?
The steepest mountain will become a plain,
And the parched land be satisfied with rain.
The gates of brass all broken; iron bars,
Transfigured, form a ladder to the stars.
Rough places plain, and crooked ways all straight,
For him who with a patient heart can wait.
These things shall be on God’s appointed day:
It may not be tomorrow—yet it may.”

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ.” Philippians 1:27

The word “conversation” does not merely mean our talk and converse with one another, but the whole course of our life and behaviour in the world. The Greek word signifies the actions and the privileges of citizenship: and thus we are commanded to let our actions, as citizens of the New Jerusalem, be such as becometh the gospel of Christ. What sort of conversation is this? In the first place, the gospel is very simple. So Christians should be simple and plain in their habits.

There should be about our manner, our speech, our dress, our whole behaviour, that simplicity which is the very soul of beauty. The gospel is pre-eminently true, it is gold without dross; and the Christian’s life will be lustreless and valueless without the jewel of truth. The gospel is a very fearless gospel, it boldly proclaims the truth, whether men like it or not: we must be equally faithful and unflinching. But the gospel is also very gentle. Mark this spirit in its Founder: “a bruised reed He will not break.” Some professors are sharper than a thorn-hedge; such men are not like Jesus.

Let us seek to win others by the gentleness of our words and acts. The gospel is very loving. It is the message of the God of love to a lost and fallen race. Christ’s last command to His disciples was, “Love one another.” O for more real, hearty union and love to all the saints; for more tender compassion towards the souls of the worst and vilest of men! We must not forget that the gospel of Christ is holy. It never excuses sin: it pardons it, but only through an atonement. If our life is to resemble the gospel, we must shun, not merely the grosser vices, but everything that would hinder our perfect conformity to Christ. For His sake, for our own sakes, and for the sakes of others, we must strive day by day to let our conversation be more in accordance with His gospel.

Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer

“Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer.” Psalm 66:20

In looking back upon the character of our prayers, if we do it honestly, we shall be filled with wonder that God has ever answered them. There may be some who think their I prayers worthy of acceptance—as the Pharisee did; but the true Christian, in a more enlightened retrospect, weeps over his prayers, and if he could retrace his steps he would desire to pray more earnestly. Remember, Christian, how cold thy prayers have been.

When in thy closet thou shouldst have wrestled as Jacob did; but instead thereof, thy petitions have been faint and few—far removed from that humble, believing, persevering faith, which cries, “I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me.”

Yet, wonderful to say, God has heard these cold prayers of thine, and not only heard, but answered them. Reflect also, how infrequent have been thy prayers, unless thou hast been in trouble, and then thou hast gone often to the mercy-seat: but when deliverance has come, where has been thy constant supplication? Yet, notwithstanding thou hast ceased to pray as once thou didst, God has not ceased to bless. When thou hast neglected the mercy-seat, God has not deserted it, but the bright light of the Shekinah has always been visible between the wings of the cherubim.

Oh! it is marvellous that the Lord should regard those intermittent spasms of importunity which come and
go with our necessities. What a God is He thus to hear the prayers of those who come to Him when they have pressing wants, but neglect Him when they have received a mercy; who approach Him when they are forced to come, but who almost forget to address Him when mercies are plentiful and sorrows are few. Let His gracious kindness in hearing such prayers touch our hearts, so that we may henceforth be found “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.”