VIDEO Motions of Mercy

Francesca Battistelli – motions of mercy

A beautiful song with a simple message

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A Treasure Map

In the beginning there was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. JOHN 1:1

The Bible has been banned, burned, scoffed, and ridiculed. Scholars have mocked it as foolish. Kings have branded it as illegal. A thousand times over it the grave has been dug, and the dirge has begun, but somehow the Bible never stays in the grave. Not only has it survived, it has thrived. It is the single most popular book in all of history. It has been the best-selling book in the world for years!

There is no way on earth to explain it. Which perhaps is the only explanation. The answer? The Bible’s durability is not found on earth; it is found in heaven. For the millions who have tested its claims and claimed its promises there is but one answer—the Bible is God’s book and God’s voice .…

The purpose of the Bible is to proclaim God’s plan and passion to save his children. That is the reason this book has endured through the centuries.… It is the treasure map that leads us to God’s highest treasure, eternal life.

The Inspirational Study Bible

Relying on Our All-Sufficient God

2 Corinthians 3:1-6

Many people would scoff at the idea of inadequacy as a way the Lord blesses believers—the feeling can be so disheartening that it seems illogical to think in terms of benefit. Yet Christians can use shortcomings as stepping stones to blessing:

1. Our inadequacy forces us to do our work in the power of the Holy Spirit. Anything that puts us on our knees and drives us to God has to be good.

2. Awareness of our limitations can relieve us of the burden of trying to do God’s will in our own strength. Without the Holy Spirit, we will be crushed by weights we cannot carry.

3. Another blessing is that such awareness “frees” the Lord to use us to the maximum of our potential. When we are lowly enough to feel our need, then God will raise us to great heights.

4. Acknowledging our shortcomings allows God to get all the glory for His work. Spiritually minded people can tell when something is of God—and when it’s not. If you are in the Spirit, the glory will rightfully go to the Lord.

5. Inadequacy can enable us to live in contentment and quietness of spirit. Either we will give God our burdens and cease striving, or we will proceed in our own strength and become overwhelmed.

Like the apostle Paul, we should not claim competence in ourselves but rather acknowledge that our adequacy is from God (2 Cor. 3:5). What area in your life are you trying to manage in your own power? Relinquish control and anticipate God’s blessings, knowing that He desires good for His children.

The Beauty of Holiness, Part 1

“He appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.” (2 Chronicles 20:21)

In today’s verse, a key phrase occurs that is easy to miss. Some Bible translations miss it altogether. Literally, the Hebrew reads that Jehoshaphat, Judah’s king, appointed “ones praising the beauty of holiness.”

What does this phrase mean? “Holiness” translates the typical Hebrew word used for “holy,” and it carries the concept of being set apart. For example, God made the seventh day of creation holy by setting it apart from the other six (Genesis 2:3). When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, He set apart a plot of ground as “holy” (Exodus 3:5). Firstborn children of the nation of Israel were holy in that they were set apart (Exodus 13:2).

The Hebrew word for “beauty” in this verse carries the idea of intrinsic beauty and worth, not passing or shallow beauty. Thus, the “beauty of holiness” refers to the intrinsic attractiveness of “set-apart-ness.”

Intuitively, we recognize that “set-apart-ness” is beautiful. Consider a rare and expensive diamond. Its rarity sets it apart from the rest of the diamonds. What do we do with such a special diamond? We relish in its beauty by giving it its own display case. We might even put it aside in a special room reserved for this one diamond.

However, our example stops there. Some might dispute the beauty of the diamond as a matter of preference. In contrast, the beauty of holiness is not subjective or limited to cultural context. Why? Because Scripture calls holiness intrinsically beautiful. Furthermore, Jehoshaphat commanded people to praise the beauty of holiness. Something this praiseworthy must be overwhelmingly and stunningly beautiful! NTJ

THERE are weights which are not sins in themselves which become distractions and stumbling blocks

“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” (Heb. 12:1.)

THERE are weights which are not sins in themselves, but which become distractions and stumbling blocks in our Christian progress. One of the worst of these is despondency. The heavy heart is indeed a weight that will surely drag us down in our holiness and usefulness.

The failure of Israel to enter the land of promise began in murmuring, or, as the text in Numbers literally puts it, “as it were murmured.” Just a faint desire to complain and be discontented. This led on until it blossomed and ripened into rebellion and ruin. Let us give ourselves no liberty ever to doubt God or His love and faithfulness to us in everything and forever.

We can set our will against doubt just as we do against any other sin; and as we stand firm and refuse to doubt, the Holy Spirit will come to our aid and give us the faith of God and crown us with victory.

It is very easy to fall into the habit of doubting, fretting, and wondering if God has forsaken us and if after all our hopes are to end in failure. Let us refuse to be discouraged. Let us refuse to be unhappy. Let us “count it all joy” when we cannot feel one emotion of happiness. Let us rejoice by faith, by resolution, by reckoning, and we shall surely find that God will make the reckoning real.—Selected.

The devil has two master tricks. One is to get us discouraged; then for a time at least we can be of no service to others, and so are defeated. The other is to make us doubt, thus breaking the faith link by which we are bound to our Father. Look out! Do not be tricked either way.—G. E. M.

Gladness! I like to cultivate the spirit of gladness! It puts the soul so in tune again, and keeps it in tune, so that Satan is shy of touching it—the chords of the soul become too warm, or too full of heavenly electricity, for his infernal fingers, and he goes off somewhere else! Satan is always very shy of meddling with me when my heart is full of gladness and joy in the Holy Ghost.

My plan is to shun the spirit of sadness as I would Satan; but, alas! I am not always successful. Like the devil himself it meets me on the highway of usefulness, looks me so fully in my face, till my poor soul changes color!

Sadness discolors everything; it leaves all objects charmless; it involves future prospects in darkness; it deprives the soul of all its aspirations, enchains all its powers, and produces a mental
paralysis!

An old believer remarked, that cheerfulness in religion makes all its services come off with delight; and that we are never carried forward so swiftly in the ways of duty as when borne on the wings of delight; adding, that Melancholy clips such wings; or, to alter the figure, takes off our chariot wheels in duty, and makes them, like those of the Egyptians, drag heavily.

With Thee is the fountain of life

“With Thee is the fountain of life.” Psalm 36:9

There are times in our spiritual experience when human counsel or sympathy, or religious ordinances, fail to comfort or help us. Why does our gracious God permit this? Perhaps it is because we have been living too much without Him, and He therefore takes away everything upon which we have been in the habit of depending, that He may drive us to Himself. It is a blessed thing to live at the fountain head. While our skin- bottles are full, we are content, like Hagar and Ishmael, to go into the wilderness; but when those are dry, nothing will serve us but “Thou God seest me.” We are like the prodigal, we love the swine-troughs and forget our Father’s house.

Remember, we can make swine-troughs and husks even out of the forms of religion; they are blessed things, but we may put them in God’s place, and then they are of no value. Anything becomes an idol when it keeps us away from God: even the brazen serpent is to be despised as “Nehushtan,” if we worship it instead of God. The prodigal was never safer than when he was driven to his father’s bosom, because he could find sustenance nowhere else. Our Lord favours us with a famine in the land that it may make us seek after Himself the more. The best position for a Christian is living wholly and directly on God’s grace—still abiding where he stood at first— “Having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”

Let us never for a moment think that our standing is in our sanctification, our mortification, our graces, or our feelings, but know that because Christ offered a full atonement, therefore we are saved; for we are complete in Him. Having nothing of our own to trust to, but resting upon the merits of Jesus—His passion and holy life furnish us with the only sure ground of confidence. Beloved, when we are brought to a thirsting condition, we are sure to turn to the fountain of life with eagerness.

Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine

“Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine.” John 21:12

In these words the believer is invited to a holy nearness to Jesus. “Come and dine,” implies the same table, the same meat; ay, and sometimes it means to sit side by side, and lean our head upon the Saviour’s bosom. It is being brought into the banqueting-house, where waves the banner of redeeming love. “Come and dine,” gives us a vision of union with Jesus, because the only food that we can feast upon when we dine with Jesus is Himself. Oh, what union is this! It is a depth which reason cannot fathom, that we thus feed upon Jesus.

“He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him.” It is also an invitation to enjoy fellowship with the saints. Christians may differ on a variety of points, but they have all one spiritual appetite; and if we cannot all feel alike, we can all feed alike on the bread of life sent down from heaven. At the table of fellowship with Jesus we are one bread and one cup. As the loving cup goes round we pledge one another heartily therein. Get nearer to Jesus, and you will find yourself linked more and more in spirit to all who are like yourself, supported by the same heavenly manna. If we were more near to Jesus we should be more near to one another. We likewise see in these words the source of strength for every Christian.

To look at Christ is to live, but for strength to serve Him you must “come and dine.” We labour under much unnecessary weakness on account of neglecting this percept of the Master. We none of us need to put ourselves on low diet; on the contrary, we should fatten on the marrow and fatness of the gospel that we may accumulate strength therein, and urge every power to its full tension in the Master’s service. Thus, then, if you would realize nearness to Jesus, union with Jesus, love to His people and strength from Jesus, “come and dine” with Him by faith.