VIDEO In the Arms of the Angels: A September 11 Memorial

Sept 11 tribute
David Rushing 3 weeks ago

On that day, I was an FBI Agent working Counterterrorism from FBI Headquarters, WDC. When the 4th plane turned towards WDC, we released all of the support personnel. Panic ensued. Nowhere to go. No phones, no cell phones,no vehicles, no metro or buses. All that was left for them to do was to run, sometimes screaming and crying, across the Potomac River into Virginia. I am retired now. I am saddened at this time that many, too many have forgotten the lessons of 9/ll. Thanks for the reminder.

The Power Of Affirmation

I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus. —1 Corinthians 1:4

During a recent study, 200,000 employees were interviewed to discover the missing ingredient in their productivity. The study concluded that appreciation and affirmation topped the list of what they wanted most from their superiors. This research implies that receiving affirmation is a basic human need.

The apostle Paul seemed to realize this basic need in the Corinthian believers, so before he peppered them with firm words of discipline, he showered them with affirmation. As their spiritual leader, Paul began his letter with thanksgiving to God for the grace being displayed in their lives.

Once far from God, these believers were now participating in His grace through the death and resurrection of Christ. United with Jesus, they were drawing their spiritual life from Him, and the fruit of this union was their spiritual growth in godliness (1 Cor. 1:4-7). Paul deliberately and continually thanked God for His work in the Corinthian believers’ lives. I imagine that they were better able to bear firm criticism from Paul because of his tender affirmation.

When we see people who are obeying God, let’s take time to affirm them and to thank God for what He’s doing through them. by Marvin Williams

Lord, You are at work in so many ways in my life
and in the people around me. Help me to encourage
my brothers and sisters in Christ by telling them
how I am blessed to see Your work in them.
Praise loudly—correct softly.

Seeking God’s Favor

Proverbs 3:3-4

Were you ever tempted to think that the Lord plays favorites? Some stories in the Bible give that impression. Take Mary, for instance. When the angel Gabriel saw her, he said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). Then think about Moses—God used to speak with him face-to-face as a man speaks with his friend (Ex. 33:11). And of course there’s Samuel, who grew in favor with God and man (1 Sam. 2:26). The Bible says that God let none of his words fall to the ground (3:19 niv). Wouldn’t these be considered examples of favoritism?

In spite of appearances, it really is not. As we learned in yesterday’s lesson, God can bestow or withdraw favor, but it does not happen arbitrarily. God’s favor is available to everyone.

How, then, is the favor of the Lord obtained? First of all, by asking for it. The psalmist says, “I sought Your favor with all my heart” (Ps. 119:58). And then in today’s passage from Proverbs, we learn that we can embrace kindness and truth, and they will lead to favor in the sight of God and men.

An especially helpful scripture is found in Psalm 25. Here we are told that “the secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him” (v. 14). The word “secret” in this context refers to a sweet and private closeness. It is available to those who fear God, which means that it is not just for a few favorites. On the contrary, His precious “secrets” are for everyone who chooses to walk in kindness, obedience, and the fear of the Lord.

Satan Plots, but God Prevails

“Then entered Satan into Judas. . . . And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.” (Luke 22:3-4)

God promised from the beginning that there would be an ongoing war between the serpent’s brood and the seed of the woman, with the latter ultimately prevailing (Genesis 3:15).

The first 2,000 years of biblical history recorded one attack by Satan after another. After Adam and Eve fell, their son Cain, a child of the devil (1 John 3:10-12), murdered the righteous Abel (Genesis 4). Though God provided another seed, Seth (Genesis 4:25-26), from whom came righteous Noah (Genesis 5), this action didn’t prevent the entire world from plunging into corruption (Genesis 6:1-7). Not long after the judgment of the Flood, the whole world rebelled again at Babel, requiring another judgment of God (Genesis 11:1-9).

The next 2,000 years recorded even more conflicts with Satan. Though God promised Abram and his seed the land of Canaan forever (Genesis 12–13), Abram often stumbled. God miraculously brought his descendants into Canaan many years later, but their recurrent wickedness culminated in their captivity at the hands of pagan nations (2 Kings 17, 24).

Conflict with Satan continued into the New Testament. In our text above, Satan actively sought to put Christ on the cross . . . and it worked. For a moment, it may have appeared as if Satan—not the righteous seed of the woman—would have the final say. Yet Christ’s death was not Satan’s victory; it was Satan’s deathblow! Christ didn’t stay in the grave; He rose again! His death and resurrection defeated the devil (Hebrews 2:14) once and for all.

In trying to destroy the righteous Seed of the woman (Christ), Satan actually sealed his own fate. God used the evil machinations of the devil to accomplish His eternal purposes in a way finite man could have never conceived. NTJ

The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me

“The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me.” (Psalm 138:8.)

THERE is a Divine mystery in suffering, a strange and supernatural power in it, which has never been fathomed by the human reason. There never has been known great saintliness of soul which did not pass through great suffering. When the suffering soul reaches a calm sweet carelessness, when it can inwardly smile at its own suffering, and does not even ask God to deliver it from suffering, then it has wrought its blessed ministry; then patience has its perfect work; then the crucifixion begins to weave itself into a crown.

It is in this state of the perfection of suffering that the Holy Spirit works many marvelous things in our souls. In such a condition, our whole being lies perfectly still under the hand of God; every faculty of the mind and will and heart are at last subdued; a quietness of eternity settles down into the whole being; the tongue grows still, and has but few words to say; it stops asking God questions; it stops crying, “Why hast thou forsaken me?”

The imagination stops building air castles, or running off on foolish lines; the reason is tame and gentle; the choices are annihilated; it has no choice in anything but the purpose of God. The affections are weaned from all creatures and all things; it is so dead that nothing can hurt it, nothing can offend it, nothing can hinder it, nothing can get in its way; for, let the circumstances be what they may, it seeks only for God and His will, and it feels assured that God is making everything in the universe, good or bad, past or present, work together for its good.

Oh, the blessedness of being absolutely conquered! of losing our own strength, and wisdom, and plans, and desires, and being where every atom of our nature is like placid Galilee under the omnipotent feet of our Jesus—Soul Food.

The great thing is to suffer without being discouraged. —Fenelon.

“The heart that serves, and loves, and clings,
Hears everywhere the rush of angel wings.”

Evening wolves

“Evening wolves.” Habakkuk 1:8

While preparing the present volume, this particular expression recurred to me so frequently, that in order to be rid of its constant importunity I determined to give a page to it. The evening wolf, infuriated by a day of hunger, was fiercer and more ravenous than he would have been in the morning. May not the furious creature represent our doubts and fears after a day of distraction of mind, losses in business, and perhaps ungenerous tauntings from our fellow men? How our thoughts howl in our ears, “Where is now thy God?” How voracious and greedy they are, swallowing up all suggestions of comfort, and remaining as hungry as before.

Great Shepherd, slay these evening wolves, and bid Thy sheep lie down in green pastures, undisturbed by insatiable unbelief. How like are the fiends of hell to evening wolves, for when the flock of Christ are in a cloudy and dark day, and their sun seems going down, they hasten to tear and to devour. They will scarcely attack the Christian in the daylight of faith, but in the gloom of soul conflict they fall upon him. O Thou who hast laid down Thy life for the sheep, preserve them from the fangs of the wolf.

False teachers who craftily and industriously hunt for the precious life, devouring men by their false-hoods, are as dangerous and detestable as evening wolves. Darkness is their element, deceit is their character, destruction is their end. We are most in danger from them when they wear the sheep’s skin. Blessed is he who is kept from them, for thousands are made the prey of grievous wolves that enter within the fold of the church.

What a wonder of grace it is when fierce persecutors are converted, for then the wolf dwells with the lamb, and men of cruel ungovernable dispositions become gentle and teachable. O Lord, convert many such: for such we will pray to-night.

Rejoice that Jesus calleth whom He wills

“And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.” Mark 3:13

Here was sovereignty. Impatient spirits may fret and fume, because they are not called to the highest places in the ministry; but reader be it thine to rejoice that Jesus calleth whom He wills. If He shall leave me to be a doorkeeper in His house, I will cheerfully bless Him for His grace in permitting me to do anything in His service. The call of Christ’s servants comes from above. Jesus stands on the mountain, evermore above the world in holiness, earnestness, love and power.

Those whom He calls must go up the mountain to Him, they must seek to rise to His level by living in constant communion with Him. They may not be able to mount to classic honours, or attain scholastic eminence, but they must like Moses go up into the mount of God and have familiar intercourse with the unseen God, or they will never be fitted to proclaim the gospel of peace. Jesus went apart to hold high fellowship with the Father, and we must enter into the same divine companionship if we would bless our fellowmen. No wonder that the apostles were clothed with power when they came down fresh from the mountain where Jesus was.

This morning we must endeavour to ascend the mount of communion, that there we may be ordained to the lifework for which we are set apart. Let us not see the face of man today till we have seen Jesus. Time spent with Him is laid out at blessed interest. We too shall cast out devils and work wonders if we go down into the world girded with that divine energy which Christ alone can give. It is of no use going to the Lord’s battle till we are armed with heavenly weapons. We must see Jesus, this is essential. At the mercy-seat we will linger till He shall manifest Himself unto us as He doth not unto the world, and until we can truthfully say, “We were with Him in the Holy Mount.”