VIDEO Be Not Afraid

Nov 15, 2008

You shall cross the barren desert
But you shall not die of thirst
You shall wander far in safety
Though you do not know the way
You shall speak your words in foreign lands
And all will understand
You shall see the face of God and live

Be not afraid
I go before you always
Come, follow me
And I will give you rest

If you pass the raging waters in the sea
You shall not drown
If you walk amid the burning flames
You shall not be harmed
If you stand before the power of hell
And death is at your side
Know that I am with you
Through it all

Be not afraid
I go before you always
Come, follow me
And I will give you rest

Blessed are your poor
For the kingdom shall be theirs
Blessed are you that weep and mourn
For one day you shall laugh
And if wicked tongues insult and hate you
All because of me
Blessed, blessed are you!

Be not afraid
I go before you always
Come, follow me
And I will give you rest

Confident in the Father

The LORD comforts his people and will have pity on those who suffer. ISAIAH 49:13

If you’ll celebrate a marriage anniversary alone this year, [God] speaks to you.

If your child made it to heaven before making it to kindergarten, he speaks to you.…

If your dreams were buried as they lowered the casket, God speaks to you.

He speaks to all of us who have stood or will stand in the soft dirt near an open grave. And to us he gives this confident word: “I want you to know what happens to a Christian when he dies so that when it happens, you will not be full of sorrow, as those are who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and then came back to life again, we can also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him all the Christians who have died” (1 Thess. 4:13–14 TLB).

When Christ Comes

Having Increased Faith

Genesis 22:1-14

We’re determined to make spiritual progress. No longer content with little faith, we are removing our gaze from ourselves and putting it onto the Lord. We are reaching for greater faith.

We start by becoming students of the Bible who have a compelling desire to experience the Lord’s presence, develop greater intimacy with Him, and be conformed to Christlikeness. A second characteristic of deeper trust is a heavy reliance on the Holy Spirit, evidenced by the habit of looking to Him before making decisions. Third, we demonstrate the willingness to wait on God and trust what He says. The Lord commended the centurion for his strong convictions. Trusting in the person and character of Jesus, the soldier believed Christ’s words were all that was required (Matthew 8:5-10).

But there is an even higher level of faith, where unbelief is cast out and only trust in God remains. Abraham displayed such flawless confidence when the Lord commanded him to sacrifice Isaac. Little faith would never have cut any wood or saddled donkeys to make the trip. Great faith—though it may have balked about putting Isaac on the altar—would have traveled as instructed, believing in God to work things out. Complete faith will act as Abraham did: he believed what the Lord had promised him yet carried out the divine instructions, even though they appeared to contradict God’s pledge.

May complete faith be the prayer and aspiration of your heart. The Holy Spirit is always ready to help you reach that next level of faith.

The Beauty of Holiness, Part 4

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16)

Slavery to sin is an awful predicament. The filth of sin should repulse us, but we often fall prey to its grip. Why? Sin seduces because sin looks attractive; it appeals to “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16).

The solution? “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).

The scriptural revelation of the beauty of moral purity—of holiness—answers the allure of sin. How? First, by its superior beauty. Holiness is so stunning that Israel sang its praises (2 Chronicles 20:21). Sin, by contrast, is filthy and despicable, though we don’t always see it as such.

Second, holiness answers the allure of sin by its permanence. Since Scripture describes holiness as intrinsically beautiful, there is no debate over its quality or appeal; it is objectively beautiful. Regardless of what sinners claim, holiness is always striking.

On occasion, the gleam of moral purity does shine into our hearts. We are hushed by the beauty of a soldier’s self-denying sacrifice of love and courage. We admire couples who have faithfully kept their marriage vows for decades despite temptations to bitterness or immorality.

Yet when it comes to our own personal holiness, the beauty of holiness often doesn’t captivate us. Why not? Holiness is commanded, as today’s verse illustrates, implying that we must make an effort to be captivated by the beauty of holiness. Furthermore, we’re commanded to reflect God’s holiness. Fixing our gaze on His overwhelming beauty keeps our eyes from the deceptive charm of sin. NTJ

The ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them

“The ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them.” (Num. 10:33.)

GOD does give us impressions, but not that we should act on them as impressions. If the impression be from God, He will Himself give sufficient evidence to establish it beyond the possibility of a doubt.

How beautiful is the story of Jeremiah, of the impression that came to him respecting the purchase of the field of Anathoth. But Jeremiah did not act upon this impression until after the following day, when his uncle’s son came to him and brought him external evidence by making a proposal for the purchase. Then Jeremiah said: “I knew this was the word of the Lord.”

He waited until God seconded the impression by a providence, and then he acted in full view of the open facts, which could bring conviction unto others as well as to himself. God wants us to act according to His mind. We are not to ignore the Shepherd’s personal voice but, like Paul and his companions at Troas, we are to listen to all the voices that speak and “gather” from all the circumstances, as they did, the full mind of the Lord.—Dr. Simpson.

“Where God’s finger points, there God’s hand will make the way.”

Do not say in thine heart what thou wilt or wilt not do, but wait upon God until He makes known His way. So long as that way is hidden it is clear that there is no need of action, and that He accounts Himself responsible for all the results of keeping thee where thou art.—Selected.

“For God through ways we have not known, Will lead His own.”

God, my Maker, who giveth songs in the night

“God, my Maker, who giveth songs in the night.” Job 35:10

Any man can sing in the day. When the cup is full, man draws inspiration from it. When wealth rolls in abundance around him, any man can praise the God who gives a plenteous harvest or sends home a loaded argosy. It is easy enough for an Aeolian harp to whisper music when the winds blow—the difficulty is for music to swell forth when no wind is stirring. It is easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight; but he is skilful who sings when there is not a ray of light to read by—who sings from his heart.

No man can make a song in the night of himself; he may attempt it, but he will find that a song in the night must be divinely inspired. Let all things go well, I can weave songs, fashioning them wherever I go out of the flowers that grow upon my path; but put me in a desert, where no green thing grows, and wherewith shall I frame a hymn of praise to God? How shall a mortal man make a crown for the Lord where no jewels are? Let but this voice be clear, and this body full of health, and I can sing God’s praise: silence my tongue, lay me upon the bed of languishing, and how shall I then chant God’s high praises, unless He Himself give me the song?

No, it is not in man’s power to sing when all is adverse, unless an altar-coal shall touch his lip. It was a divine song, which Habakkuk sang, when in the night he said, “Although the figtree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Then, since our Maker gives songs in the night, let us wait upon Him for the music. O Thou chief musician, let us not remain songless because affliction is upon us, but tune Thou our lips to the melody of thanksgiving.

Babes in Christ

“Babes in Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:1

Are you mourning, believer, because you are so weak in the divine life: because your faith is so little, your love so feeble? Cheer up, for you have cause for gratitude. Remember that in some things you are equal to the greatest and most full-grown Christian. You are as much bought with blood as he is. You are as much an adopted child of God as any other believer. An infant is as truly a child of its parents as is the full-grown man.

You are as completely justified, for your justification is not a thing of degrees: your little faith has made you clean every whit. You have as much right to the precious things of the covenant as the most advanced believers, for your right to covenant mercies lies not in your growth, but in the covenant itself; and your faith in Jesus is not the measure, but the token of your inheritance in Him.

You are as rich as the richest, if not in enjoyment, yet in real possession. The smallest star that gleams is set in heaven; the faintest ray of light has affinity with the great orb of day. In the family register of glory the small and the great are written with the same pen. You are as dear to your Father’s heart as the greatest in the family. Jesus is very tender over you. You are like the smoking flax; a rougher spirit would say, “put out that smoking flax, it fills the room with an offensive odour!” but the smoking flax He will not quench.

You are like a bruised reed; and any less tender hand than that of the Chief Musician would tread upon you or throw you away, but He will never break the bruised reed. Instead of being downcast by reason of what you are, you should triumph in Christ. Am I but little in Israel? Yet in Christ I am made to sit in heavenly places. Am I poor in faith? Still in Jesus I am heir of all things. Though “less than nothing I can boast, and vanity confess.” yet, if the root of the matter be in me I will rejoice in the Lord, and glory in the God of my salvation.