Open Up the Heavens live.
Try keeping your feet still….
Open Up the Heavens live.
Try keeping your feet still….
Enjoy serving the LORD, and he will give you what you want. PSALM 37:4
When we submit to God’s plans, we can trust our desires. Our assignment is found at the intersection of God’s plan and our pleasures. What do you love to do? What brings you joy? What gives you a sense of satisfaction?
Some long to feed the poor. Others enjoy leading the church.… Each of us has been made to serve God in a unique way.…
The longings of your heart, then, are not incidental; they are critical messages. The desires of your heart are not to be ignored; they are to be consulted. As the wind turns the weather vane, so God uses your passions to turn your life. God is too gracious to ask you to do something you hate.
Just Like Jesus
“I was naked when I was born, and I will be naked when I die.” JOB 1:21
Think for just a moment about the things you own. Think about the house you have, the car you drive, the money you’ve saved. Think about the stocks you’ve traded and the clothes you’ve purchased. Envision all your stuff, and let me remind you of two biblical truths.
Your stuff isn’t yours. Ask any coroner … No one takes anything with him. When one of the wealthiest men in history, John D. Rockefeller, died, his accountant was asked, “How much did John D. leave?” The accountant’s reply? “All of it.”
All that stuff—it’s not yours. And you know what else about all that stuff? It’s not you. Who you are has nothing to do with the clothes you wear or the car you drive. Jesus said, “Life is not measured by how much one owns” (Luke 12:15). Heaven does not know you as the fellow with the nice suit or the woman with the big house or the kid with the new bike. Heaven knows your heart.
from TRAVELING LIGHT
“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:17)
There is no more exalted theme in the world than the will of God, nor is there a more important practical question than how to know the will of God. Of greatest significance is the recognition that it is His will—not man’s will—which is important.
God desires for us to know His will—both His will in general, as revealed in Scripture, and His specific will in each particular decision. The latter must in every instance, of course, be fully compatible with the former, as the Holy Spirit, who leads us, will never contradict the Scriptures which He inspired. Thus, an indispensable prerequisite to finding the personal will of God is knowing His general will.
The general will of God is expressed, first of all, in the fact of special creation (Revelation 4:11). Then Christ became man in order to accomplish God’s will (Hebrews 10:7) as our sin-bearing substitute; “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10). It is His will that this should provide salvation to all who believe. “This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life” (John 6:40). This in turn entails individual regeneration of all who receive Him, “which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13).
Furthermore, His will includes absolute security in Him (John 6:39), our sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4:3), and ultimate glorification (John 17:24). Thankfulness in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and a virtuous (“well doing”—1 Peter 2:15) life are also God’s will. A believer who understands, believes, and obeys God’s general will is then prepared to know and follow His specific will. HMM
“IS.” (2 Cor. 12:9.)
IT had pleased God to remove my youngest child under circumstances of peculiar trial and pain; and as I had just laid my little one’s body in the churchyard, on return home, I felt it my duty to preach to my people on the meaning of trial.
Finding that this text was in the lesson for the following Sabbath, I chose it as my Master’s message to them and myself; but on trying to prepare the notes, I found that in honesty I could not say that the words were true; and therefore I knelt down and asked God to let His grace be sufficient for me. While I was thus pleading, I opened my eyes and saw a framed illuminated text, which my mother had given me only a few days before, and which I had told my servant to place upon the wall during my absence at the holiday resort where my little one was taken away from us.
I did not notice the words on returning to my house; but as I looked up and wiped my eyes, the words met my gaze, “My grace is sufficient for thee.”
The “is” was picked out in bright green while the “My” and the “thee” were painted in another color.
In one moment the message came straight to my soul, as a rebuke for offering such a prayer as, “Lord, let Thy grace be sufficient for me”; for the answer was almost as an audible voice, “How dare you ask that which is?” God cannot make it any more sufficient than He has made it; get up and believe it, and you will find it true, because the Lord says it in the simplest way: “My grace is (not shall be or may be) sufficient for thee.”
“My,” “is,” and “thee” were from that moment, I hope, indelibly fixed upon my heart; and I (thank God) have been trying to live in the reality of the message from that day forward to the present time.
The lesson that came to me, and which I seek to convey to others, is, Never turn God’s facts into hopes, or prayers, but simply use them as realities, and you will find, them powerful as you believe them.—Prebendary H. W. Webb Peploe.
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added affliction He addeth His mercies,
To multiplied trials His multiplied peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.
—Annie Johnson Flint.
“Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?” Numbers 32:6
Kindred has its obligations. The Reubenites and Gadites would have been unbrotherly if they had claimed the land which had been conquered, and had left the rest of the people to fight for their portions alone. We have received much by means of the efforts and sufferings of the saints in years gone by, and if we do not make some return to the church of Christ by giving her our best energies, we are unworthy to be enrolled in her ranks. Others are combating the errors of the age manfully, or excavating perishing ones from amid the ruins of the fall, and if we fold our hands in idleness we had need be warned, lest the curse of Meroz fall upon us.
The Master of the vineyard saith, “Why stand ye here all the day idle?” What is the idler’s excuse? Personal service of Jesus becomes all the more the duty of all because it is cheerfully and abundantly rendered by some. The toils of devoted missionaries and fervent ministers shame us if we sit still in indolence. Shrinking from trial is the temptation of those who are at ease in Zion: they would fain escape the cross and yet wear the crown; to them the question for this evening’s meditation is very applicable. If the most precious are tried in the fire, are we to escape the crucible? If the diamond must be vexed upon the wheel, are we to be made perfect without suffering? Who hath commanded the wind to cease from blowing because our bark is on the deep?
Why and wherefore should we be treated better than our Lord? The firstborn felt the rod, and why not the younger brethren? It is a cowardly pride which would choose a downy pillow and a silken couch for a soldier of the cross. Wiser far is he who, being first resigned to the divine will, groweth by the energy of grace to be pleased with it, and so learns to gather lilies at the cross foot, and, like Samson, to find honey in the lion.
“We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” Romans 8:28
Upon some points a believer is absolutely sure. He knows, for instance, that God sits in the stern sheets of the vessel when it rocks most. He believes that an invisible hand is always on the world’s tiller, and that wherever providence may drift, Jehovah steers it. That re-assuring knowledge prepares him for everything. He looks over the raging waters and sees the spirit of Jesus treading the billows, and he hears a voice saying, “It is I, be not afraid.” He knows too that God is always wise, and, knowing this, he is confident that there can be no accidents, no mistakes; that nothing can occur which ought not to arise. He can say, “If I should lose all I have, it is better that I should lose than have, if God so wills: the worst calamity is the wisest and the kindest thing that could befall to me if God ordains it.” “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” The Christian does not merely hold this as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact.
Everything has worked for good as yet; the poisonous drugs mixed in fit proportions have worked the cure; the sharp cuts of the lancet have cleansed out the proud flesh and facilitated the healing. Every event as yet has worked out the most divinely blessed results; and so, believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil, the believer’s heart is assured, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes. The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, “Send me what thou wilt, my God, so long as it comes from Thee; never came there an ill portion from Thy table to any of Thy children.”
“Say not my soul, ‘From whence can God relieve my care?
Remember that Omnipotence has servants everywhere.
His method is sublime, His heart profoundly kind,
God never is before His time, and never is behind.'”