VIDEO In The Garden

In The Garden – with lyrics – by Alan Jackson

The traditional Hymn, “In The Garden” sung by Alan Jackson. I hope you enjoy the video. Lyrics are included in the video so you can sing along.

Advertisements

WORKING TO PLEASE GOD

“Lazy people … refuse to work … But good people give without holding back.” PROVERBS 21:25–26
“Work as if you were serving the Lord, not as if you were serving only men and women” (Ephesians 6:7).

What if everyone worked with God in mind? Suppose no one worked to satisfy self or please the bottom line but everyone worked to please God.

Many occupations would instantly cease: drug trafficking, thievery, prostitution, nightclub and casino management. Certain careers, by their nature, cannot please God. These would cease.

Certain behaviors would cease as well. If I’m repairing a car for God, I’m not going to overcharge his children. If I’m painting a wall for God, you think I’m going to use paint thinner?

Imagine if everyone worked for the audience of One. Every nurse, thoughtful. Every officer, careful. Every professor, insightful. Every salesperson, delightful. Every teacher, hopeful. Every lawyer, skillful.

Impossible? Not entirely. All we need is someone to start a worldwide revolution. Might as well be us.

from CURE FOR THE COMMON LIFE

Where Can Wisdom Be Found?

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God. —James 1:5

Wisdom is the beauty of holiness. James says wisdom is reasonable; flexible; forgiving; peaceful; caring; given to friendly visits, small acts of courtesy, and kind words. It is humble, transparent, simple, gentle, and gracious to the core (James 3:17).

Where can wisdom be found? It comes from heaven (1:5). “Wisdom,” wrote Charles Spurgeon, “is a beauty of life that can only be produced by God’s workmanship in us.”

It’s good to ask from time to time: “Am I growing in wisdom?” After all, life is relentlessly dynamic. We’re either growing sweeter and wiser as the days go by, or we’re growing into foolish or even sour-faced curmudgeons. Into what are we growing?

It’s never too late to begin growing in wisdom. God loves us with an ardent, intense affection that can deliver us from our foolishness if we yield ourselves to Him. His love can make the most difficult nature into a miracle of astonishing beauty. It may hurt a little and it may take a while, but God relentlessly seeks our transformation. When we ask, His wisdom will begin to rise in us and pour itself out to others.

We have this promise: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to [you]” (1:5). by David H. Roper

Lord, please put an end to our foolishness and
turn our hearts toward the wisdom that comes
only from You. We ask You now to take our
lives and transform them into Your likeness.

True wisdom begins and ends with God.

When God Repents

“And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.” (1 Samuel 15:29)

There are a number of Scriptures that speak of God repenting. For example, in the days before the great Flood, “it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth” (Genesis 6:6). In the same chapter containing our text, God said: “It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments” (1 Samuel 15:11). Yet the Scriptures plainly teach that God changes not. “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent” (Numbers 23:19). Bible critics have made much of this apparent “contradiction” in the Bible.

There is no contradiction, of course. The words translated “repent” in both Old and New Testaments are used of actions which indicate outwardly that a “change of mind” has occurred inwardly. It is precisely because God does not repent concerning evil that His actions will change toward man when man truly repents (this human “repentance” can go either way, changing from good to evil, or vice versa), and God will respond accordingly, since He cannot change His own mind toward evil.

Thus, He said concerning national repentance: “If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them” (Jeremiah 18:8). That is, if the nation truly repents, then God will change His own projected course of action. He seems outwardly to “repent,” specifically because He cannot repent in His inward attitude toward good and evil.

God has greatly blessed America in the past, but America’s people have drastically changed in recent years. Can the time be long coming when God must say: “It repenteth me that I have so favored this apostate nation?” HMM

What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter

“What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.” (John 13:7.)

WE have only a partial view here of God’s dealings, His half-completed, half-developed plan; but all will stand out in fair and graceful proportions in the great finished Temple of Eternity! Go, in the reign of Israel’s greatest king, to the heights of Lebanon. See that noble cedar, the pride of its compeers, an old wrestler with northern blasts! Summer loves to smile upon it, night spangles its feathery foliage with dewdrops, the birds nestle on its branches, the weary pilgrim or wandering shepherd reposes under its shadows from the midday heat or from the furious storm; but all at once it is marked out to fall; The aged denizen of the forest is doomed to succumb to the woodman’s stroke!

As we see the axe making its first gash on its gnarled trunk, then the noble limbs stripped of their branches, and at last the “Tree of God,” as was its distinctive epithet, coming with a crash to the ground, we exclaim against the wanton destruction, the demolition of this proud pillar in the temple of nature. We are tempted to cry with the prophet, as if inviting the sympathy of every lowlier stem—invoking inanimate things to resent the affront—”Howl, fir tree; for the cedar has fallen!”

But wait a little. Follow that gigantic trunk as the workmen of Hiram launch it down the mountain side; thence conveyed in rafts along the blue waters of the Mediterranean; and last of all, behold it set a glorious polished beam in the Temple of God. As you see its destination, placed in the very Holy of Holies, in the diadem of the Great King—say, can you grudge that “the crown of Lebanon” was despoiled, in order that this jewel might have so noble a setting?

That cedar stood as a stately prop in Nature’s sanctuary, but “the glory of the latter house was greater than the glory of the former!”

How many of our souls are like these cedars of old! God’s axes of trial have stripped and bared them. We see no reason for dealings so dark and mysterious, but He has a noble end and object in view; to set them as everlasting pillars and rafters in His Heavenly Zion; to make them a “crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of our God.”—Macduff.

“I do not ask my cross to understand,
My way to see—
Better in darkness just to feel Thy hand,
And follow Thee.”

In their affliction they will seek Me early

“In their affliction they will seek Me early.” Hosea 5:15

Losses and adversities are frequently the means which the great Shepherd uses to fetch home His wandering sheep; like fierce dogs they worry the wanderers back to the fold. There is no making lions tame if they are too well fed; they must be brought down from their great strength, and their stomachs must be lowered, and then they will submit to the tamer’s hand; and often have we seen the Christian rendered obedient to the Lord’s will by straitness of bread and hard labour. When rich and increased in goods many professors carry their heads much too loftily, and speak exceeding boastfully.

Like David, they flatter themselves, “My mountain standeth fast; I shall never be moved.” When the Christian groweth wealthy, is in good repute, hath good health, and a happy family, he too often admits Mr. Carnal Security to feast at his table, and then if he be a true child of God there is a rod preparing for him. Wait awhile, and it may be you will see his substance melt away as a dream. There goes a portion of his estate—how soon the acres change hands. That debt, that dishonoured bill—how fast his losses roll in, where will they end?

It is a blessed sign of divine life if when these embarrassments occur one after another he begins to be distressed about his backslidings, and betakes himself to his God. Blessed are the waves that wash the mariner upon the rock of salvation! Losses in business are often sanctified to our soul’s enriching.

If the chosen soul will not come to the Lord full-handed, it shall come empty. If God, in His grace, findeth no other means of making us honour Him among men, He will cast us into the deep; if we fail to honour Him on the pinnacle of riches, He will bring us into the valley of poverty. Yet faint not, heir of sorrow, when thou art thus rebuked, rather recognize the loving hand which chastens, and say, “I will arise, and go unto my Father.”

He left his garment in her hand and fled

“He left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.” Genesis 39:12

In contending with certain sins there remains no mode of victory but by flight. The ancient naturalists wrote much of basilisks, whose eyes fascinated their victims and rendered them easy victims; so the mere gaze of wickedness puts us in solemn danger. He who would be safe from acts of evil must haste away from occasions of it. A covenant must be made with our eyes not even to look upon the cause of temptation, for such sins only need a spark to begin with and a blaze follows in an instant.

Who would wantonly enter the leper’s prison and sleep amid its horrible corruption? He only who desires to be leprous himself would thus court contagion. If the mariner knew how to avoid a storm, he would do anything rather than run the risk of weathering it. Cautious pilots have no desire to try how near the quicksand they can sail, or how often they may touch a rock without springing a leak; their aim is to keep as nearly as possible in the midst of a safe channel.

This day I may be exposed to great peril, let me have the serpent’s wisdom to keep out of it and avoid it. The wings of a dove may be of more use to me today than the jaws of a lion. It is true I may be an apparent loser by declining evil company, but I had better leave my cloak than lose my character; it is not needful that I should be rich, but it is imperative upon me to be pure. No ties of friendship, no chains of beauty, no flashings of talent, no shafts of ridicule must turn me from the wise resolve to flee from sin. The devil I am to resist and he will flee from me, but the lusts of the flesh, I must flee, or they will surely overcome me. O God of holiness preserve thy Josephs, that Madam Bubble bewitch them not with her vile suggestions. May the horrible trinity of the world, the flesh, and the devil, never overcome us!