Who Am I?

Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” —Exodus 3:11

Years ago, world-famous evangelist Billy Graham was scheduled to speak at Cambridge University in England, but he did not feel qualified to address the sophisticated thinkers. He had no advanced degrees and he had never attended seminary. Billy confided in a close friend: “I do not know that I have ever felt more inadequate and totally unprepared for a mission.” He prayed for God’s help, and God used him to share the simple truth of the gospel and the cross of Christ.

Moses also felt inadequate when God recruited him for the task of telling Pharaoh to release the Israelites. Moses asked, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” (Ex. 3:11). Although Moses may have questioned his effectiveness because he was “slow of speech” (4:10), God said, “I will certainly be with you” (3:12). Knowing he would have to share God’s rescue plan and tell the Israelites who sent him, Moses asked God, “What shall I say to them?” God replied, “I AM has sent me to you” (vv.13-14). His name, “I AM,” revealed His eternal, self-existent, and all-sufficient character.

Even when we question our ability to do what God has asked us to do, He can be trusted. Our shortcomings are less important than God’s sufficiency. When we ask, “Who am I?” we can remember that God said, “I AM.”

Dear Lord, help me to remember that You are
with me, even when I’m unsure of my own
abilities. Give me the faith to believe that You
can help me to do anything You ask me to do.

You need not be afraid of where you’re going when you know God’s going with you.

Do You Trust In God’s Sovereignty?

Psalm 103:19-22

Do you believe that the Lord has absolute control over our universe —including all the people in it? The best way to know the truth about the Lord is to see what He has inspired men to say about Him in Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16). God declares He is sovereign over . . .

• Nature. Psalm 135:6 says, “Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.” God causes the rain to fall, the grass to grow, and the land to bring forth food. There isn’t a single aspect of nature over which the Lord lacks control.

• Nations.
“He makes the nations great, then destroys them; He enlarges the nations, then leads them away” (Job 12:23). God’s rule is certain and sure. He keeps watch over the nations (Ps. 66:7), knows all that is happening, and maintains His authority over both good and evil governments (Rom. 13:1).

• Natural man. God has control over unbelievers as well as believers. “He himself gives all men life and breath and everything else” (Acts 17:25 niv). He forms us in our mother’s womb, knows the number of hairs on our head, and determines the appointed times and places of our lives (Ps. 139:13; Luke 12:7; Acts 17:26). Spiritual life as well as physical life is under His complete control (John 6:44).

When we believe God is sovereign and experience this truth in our lives, we will be filled to overflowing with peace and joy. We will rest secure in the knowledge that no matter what is happening in our world, our God reigns. His will shall be accomplished. Does your life show trust in God’s sovereignty?

Love for God

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21)

The apostle John was known as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (e.g., John 20:2). As a matter of fact, the word “love” (i.e., agape love, self-sacrificing love) occurs more often in John’s writings than in the rest of Scripture. Interestingly, it is not defined as a deep friendship, but principally as “obedience” to God’s commands. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (1 John 5:3).

The final verse of the beautiful hymn “Take My Life and Let It Be” expresses a desire to unreservedly love God, enthroning Him as King.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love” (John 15:10). He promises to send His Holy Spirit as His guarantee of our acceptance into His love. “He that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us” (1 John 3:24).

The hymn’s prayer reveals a desire to fully give oneself in obedient submission to the Lord. That is perhaps the sum total of the hymn’s message, that we must consecrate every aspect of our lives and being to Him—our life, our time, our praise, our hands and feet, our voice and song, our worldly goods, our mind and abilities, our will, our heart, our love, and indeed our whole being. Then we will truly be “all for Thee.” JDM

In me… peace

“In me… peace.” (John 16:33.)

THERE is a vast difference between happiness and blessedness. Paul had imprisonments and pains, sacrifice and suffering up to the very limit; but in the midst of it all, he was blessed. All the beatitudes came into his heart and life in the midst of those very conditions.

Paganini, the great violinist, came out before his audience one day and made the discovery just as they ended their applause that there was something wrong with his violin. He looked at it a second and then saw that it was not his famous and valuable one.

He felt paralyzed for a moment, then turned to his audience and told them there had been some mistake and he did not have his own violin. He stepped back behind the curtain thinking that it was still where he had left it, but discovered that some one had stolen his and left that old second-hand one in its place. He remained back of the curtain a moment, then came out before his audience and said:

“Ladies and Gentlemen: I will show you that the music is not in the instrument, but in the soul.” And he played as he had never played before; and out of that second-hand instrument, the music poured forth until the audience was enraptured with enthusiasm and the applause almost lifted the ceiling of the building, because the man had revealed to them that music was not in the machine but in his own soul.

It is your mission, tested and tried one, to walk out on the stage of this world and reveal to all earth and Heaven that the music is not in conditions, not in the things, not in externals, but the music of life is in your own soul.

If peace be in the heart,
The wildest winter storm is full of solemn beauty,
The midnight flash but shows the path of duty,
Each living creature tells some new and joyous story,
The very trees and stones all catch a ray of glory,
If peace be in the heart.

—Charles Francis Richardson.

Go again seven times

“Go again seven times.” 1 Kings 18:43

Success is certain when the Lord has promised it. Although you may have pleaded month after month without evidence of answer, it is not possible that the Lord should be deaf when His people are earnest in a matter which concerns His glory. The prophet on the top of Carmel continued to wrestle with God, and never for a moment gave way to a fear that he should be non-suited in Jehovah’s courts. Six times the servant returned, but on each occasion no word was spoken but “Go again.” We must not dream of unbelief, but hold to our faith even to seventy times seven. Faith sends expectant hope to look from Carmel’s brow, and if nothing is beheld, she sends again and again.

So far from being crushed by repeated disappointment, faith is animated to plead more fervently with her God. She is humbled, but not abashed: her groans are deeper, and her sighings more vehement, but she never relaxes her hold or stays her hand. It would be more agreeable to flesh and blood to have a speedy answer, but believing souls have learned to be submissive, and to find it good to wait for as well as upon the Lord. Delayed answers often set the heart searching itself, and so lead to contrition and spiritual reformation: deadly blows are thus struck at our corruption, and the chambers of imagery are cleansed. The great danger is lest men should faint, and miss the blessing.

Reader, do not fall into that sin, but continue in prayer and watching. At last the little cloud was seen, the sure forerunner of torrents of rain, and even so with you, the token for good shall surely be given, and you shall rise as a prevailing prince to enjoy the mercy you have sought. Elijah was a man of like passions with us: his power with God did not lie in his own merits. If his believing prayer availed so much, why not yours? Plead the precious blood with unceasing importunity, and it shall be with you according to your desire.

The Lord looks from heaven; He behold all the sons of men

“The Lord looketh from heaven; He beholdeth all the sons of men.” Psalm 33:13

Perhaps no figure of speech represents God in a more gracious light than when He is spoken of as stooping from His throne, and coming down from heaven to attend to the wants and to behold the woes of mankind. We love Him, who, when Sodom and Gomorrah were full of iniquity, would not destroy those cities until He had made a personal visitation of them. We cannot help pouring out our heart in affection for our Lord who inclines His ear from the highest glory, and puts it to the lip of the dying sinner, whose failing heart longs after reconciliation.

How can we but love Him when we know that He numbers the very hairs of our heads, marks our path, and orders our ways? Specially is this great truth brought near to our heart, when we recollect how attentive He is, not merely to the temporal interests of His creatures, but to their spiritual concerns. Though leagues of distance lie between the finite creature and the infinite Creator, yet there are links uniting both. When a tear is wept by thee, think not that God doth not behold; for, “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.” Thy sigh is able to move the heart of Jehovah; thy whisper can incline His ear unto thee; thy prayer can stay His hand; thy faith can move His arm. Think not that God sits on high taking no account of thee. Remember that however poor and needy thou art, yet the Lord thinketh upon thee. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards Him.

Oh! then repeat the truth that never tires;
No God is like the God my soul desires;
He at whose voice heaven trembles, even He,
Great as He is, knows how to stoop to me.