All God’s Children

If they could be made God’s people by what they did, God’s gift of grace would not really be a gift. ROMANS 11:6

To whom does God offer his gift? To the brightest? The most beautiful or the most charming? No. His gift is for us all—beggars and bankers, clergy and clerks, judges and janitors. All God’s children.

And he wants us so badly, he’ll take us in any condition—“as is” reads the tag on our collars. He’s not about to wait for us to reach perfection (he knows we’ll never get there!). Do you think he’s waiting for us to overcome all temptations? Hardly. When we master the Christian walk? Far from it. Remember, Christ died for us when we were still sinners. His sacrifice, then, was not dependent on our performance.

He wants us now.

No Wonder They Call Him the Savior

GOD’S VIEW OF YOUR LIFE

LORD All-Powerful, happy are the people who trust you! PSALM 84:12

Have bad things really happened to you? You and God may have different definitions for the word bad. Parents and children do. Look up the word bad in a middle-schooler’s dictionary, and you’ll read definitions such as “pimple on nose,” or “pop quiz in geometry.” “Dad, this is really bad!” the youngster says. Dad, having been around the block a time or two, thinks differently. Pimples pass …

What you and I might rate as an absolute disaster, God may rate as a pimple-level problem that will pass. He views your life the way you view a movie after you’ve read the book. When something bad happens, you feel the air sucked out of the theater. Everyone else gasps at the crisis on the screen. Not you. Why? You’ve read the book. You know how the good guy gets out of the tight spot. God views your life with the same confidence. He’s not only read your story … he wrote it.

from COME THIRSTY

Strive Not About Words

“Of these things put them in rememberance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.” (2 Timothy 2:14)

This command emphasizes the necessity to avoid “word fights.” The apostle Paul has much to say about this in other passages. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29). Our words should be “wholesome words” (1 Timothy 6:3), “that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10).

We are not to “give heed to fables and endless genealogies” (1 Timothy 1:4), but are to “refuse profane and old wives’ fables” (1 Timothy 4:7). We are not to listen to “commandments of men, that turn from the truth” (Titus 1:14), and we must “avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law” (Titus 3:9), “knowing that they do gender strifes” (2 Timothy 2:23).

According to 1 Timothy 6:4-5, those who love “word fights” are “proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words.” Such a person is a “questionaholic.” Here is a short list of the biblical warnings about such fights.

It brings ill will toward others; wrangling; bickering.
It produces “railing” defamation or dishonor of others.
It encourages private plots to hurt.
It produces an incessant meddlesomeness.
It ends up rotting the intellect and robbing truth.
It equates personal gain with godliness.

May God protect us from those who are driven to strive “about words to no profit.” May God increase our love for “acceptable words; and that which is written, upright, even words of truth” (Ecclesiastes 12:10). HMM III

From that day to this, men have been learning at God’s voice

“Because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son…. I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven;… because thou hast obeyed my voice.” (Gen. 22:16-18.)

AND from that day to this, men have been learning that when, at God’s voice, they surrender up to Him the one thing above all else that was dearest to their very hearts, that same thing is returned to them by Him a thousand times over. Abraham gives up his one and only son, at God’s call, and with this disappear all his hopes for the boy’s life and manhood, and for a noble family bearing his name. But the boy is restored, the family becomes as the stars and sands in number, and out of it, in the fullness of time, appears Jesus Christ.

That is just the way God meets every real sacrifice of every child of His. We surrender all and accept poverty; and He sends wealth. We renounce a rich field of service; He sends us a richer one than we had dared to dream of. We give up all our cherished hopes, and die unto self; He sends us the life more abundant, and tingling joy. And the crown of it all is our Jesus Christ. For we can never know the fullness of the life that is in Christ until we have made Abraham’s supreme sacrifice. The earthly founder of the family of Christ must commence by losing himself and his only son, just as the Heavenly Founder of that family did. We cannot be members of that family with the full privileges and joys of membership upon any other basis.—C. G. Trumbull.

We sometimes seem to forget that what God takes He takes in fire; and that the only way to the resurrection life and the ascension mount is the way of the garden, the cross, and the grave. Think not, O soul of man, that Abraham’s was a unique and solitary experience. It is simply a specimen and pattern of God’s dealings with all souls who are prepared to obey Him at whatever cost. After thou hast patiently endured, thou shalt receive the promise. The moment of supreme sacrifice shall be the moment of supreme and rapturous blessing. God’s river, which is full of water, shall burst its banks, and pour upon thee a tide of wealth and grace. There is nothing, indeed, which God will not do for a man who dares to step out upon what seems to be the mist; though as he puts down his foot he finds a rock beneath him.—F. B. Meyer.

Springs of comfort entirely within himself

“Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time is come. For Thy servants rake pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof.” Psalm 102:13,14

A selfish man in trouble is exceedingly hard to comfort, because the springs of his comfort entirely within himself, and when he is sad all his springs are dry. But a large-hearted man full of Christian philanthropy, has other springs from which to supply himself with comfort beside those which lie within. He can go to his God first of all, and there find abundant help; and he can discover arguments for consolation in things relating to the world at large, to his country, and, above all, to the church.

David in this Psalm was exceedingly sorrowful; he wrote, “I am like an owl of the desert, I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.” The only way in which he could comfort himself, was in the reflection that God would arise, and have mercy upon Zion: though he was sad, yet Zion should prosper; however low his own estate, yet Zion should arise. Christian man! learn to comfort thyself in God’s gracious dealing towards the church. That which is so dear to thy Master, should it not be dear above all else to thee? What though thy way be dark, canst thou not gladden thine heart with the triumphs of His cross and the spread of His truth?

Our own personal troubles are forgotten while we look, not only upon what God has done, and is doing for Zion, but on the glorious things He will yet do for His church. Try this receipt, O believer, whenever thou art sad of heart and in heaviness of spirit: forget thyself and thy little concerns, and seek the welfare and prosperity of Zion. When thou bendest thy knee in prayer to God, limit not thy petition to the narrow circle of thine own life, tried though it be, but send out thy longing prayers for the church’s prosperity, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” and thine own soul shall be refreshed.

They gathered manna every morning

“They gathered manna every morning.” Exodus 16:21

Labour to maintain a sense of thine entire dependence upon the Lord’s good will and pleasure for the continuance of thy richest enjoyments. Never try to live on the old manna, nor seek to find help in Egypt. All must come from Jesus, or thou art undone for ever. Old anointings will not suffice to impart unction to thy spirit; thine head must have fresh oil poured upon it from the golden horn of the sanctuary, or it will cease from its glory.

To-day thou mayest be upon the summit of the mount of God, but He who has put thee there must keep thee there, or thou wilt sink far more speedily than thou dreamest. Thy mountain only stands firm when He settles it in its place; if He hide His face, thou wilt soon be troubled. If the Saviour should see fit, there is not a window through which thou seest the light of heaven which He could not darken in an instant.

Joshua bade the sun stand still, but Jesus can shroud it in total darkness. He can withdraw the joy of thine heart, the light of thine eyes, and the strength of thy life; in His hand thy comforts lie, and at His will they can depart from thee. This hourly dependence our Lord is determined that we shall feel and recognize, for He only permits us to pray for “daily bread,” and only promises that “as our days our strength shall be.” Is it not best for us that it should be so, that we may often repair to His throne, and constantly be reminded of His love? Oh! how rich the grace which supplies us so continually, and doth not refrain itself because of our ingratitude! The golden shower never ceases, the cloud of blessing tarries evermore above our habitation.

O Lord Jesus, we would bow at Thy feet, conscious of our utter inability to do anything without Thee, and in every favour which we are privileged to receive, we would adore Thy blessed name and acknowledge Thine unexhausted love.