VIDEO An Evening Prayer

Dec 20, 2012 Jim Reeves – An Evening Prayer with lyrics

An Evening Prayer (with lyrics and liberal translation in Chinese)

All rights are reserved respectively to the original composer, singer, photographers and translator

Eureka Stone

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. —Matthew 13:44

In 1867 on a farm in South Africa, 15-year-old Erasmus Jacobs saw a stone glistening in the sun. The shining rock was eventually reported to a neighbor, who wanted to buy it from the family. Not knowing its value, Erasmus’ mother told the neighbor, “You can keep the stone, if you want it.”

Eventually, a mineralogist determined the stone to be a 21.25 carat diamond and worth a great sum. It became known as the “Eureka Diamond.” (The Greek word eureka means “I found it!”) Soon the fields near the Jacobs’ farm soared in value. Underneath the land was one of the richest diamond deposits ever discovered.

Jesus said that the value of being part of God’s kingdom is like treasure: “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matt. 13:44).

When we put our faith in Christ, a spiritual “eureka moment” arrives. God gives us forgiveness in His Son. It is the greatest treasure that could ever be found. Now all of life can begin to center on the value of becoming a joyous member of His eternal kingdom. It’s our joy to share that valuable discovery with others. by Dennis Fisher

How we need a keen awareness
Of the joys God wants to share!
Priceless treasures found in Jesus—
We are rich beyond compare! —D. DeHaan

God’s kingdom is a treasure meant to be shared.

The Pathway to Spiritual Growth

2 Peter 3:18

Not many people can say that on the day they accepted Christ, someone explained how to grow spiritually. Sadly, some believers aren’t ever taught. God wants His children to bear the image of Christ, but we do not grow in our faith unless we take action.

First, we are responsible for renewing our mind (Rom. 12:2). Though God saves us and gives us a new spirit, He does not give us a new brain. Our minds have many trenches that have been dug or worn by rebellion, self-focus, or habit. That is why it’s important to meditate on the Bible, which expresses the thoughts of God. Meditation is more than reading—it involves thinking about what the words mean and then applying truth. There’s no way to grow spiritually without absorbing Scripture into our thinking.

A second step toward Christian maturity is being ready to admit and assume responsibility for failure. When we deny our sins, we delay spiritual growth, but as we learn to confess wrongdoing, the opposite happens—growth is inevitable.

The third step naturally follows the second: after confession should come repentance. This is more than a mere acknowledgement of wrongdoing or a promise to try harder. Repentance means that we commit to make an about-face and head in the opposite direction from our sin.

Our Father’s goal is for all believers to continually make progress toward Christlikeness. With these steps, you’ll develop in that direction. And the most important consequence is that your relationship with God will deepen.

Not Giving, but Sowing

“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully, shall reap also bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6)

As John Calvin pointed out long ago in expounding this key passage, “We are not giving, but sowing” when we contribute of our financial means to the work of the Lord, for it miraculously is considered by the Lord of the harvest as seed sown in the soil of the hearts of men.

And it is a rule of the harvest that, other things being equal, the more seed planted, the more harvested. He who is deficient with his seed must necessarily anticipate a meager crop.

Of course, a bountiful harvest presupposes not only an abundance of seed, but also good soil, properly prepared, watered, and cultivated. It is no good simply to give money to anyone or any cause, any more than it is good simply to throw a seed on a rocky slope or city street or weed-infested yard. One is responsible to give where God’s Word is honored—not just to give, but to give responsibly.

Furthermore, even though an abundant harvest is promised, the motive in giving is also vital. The harvest is souls—not gold! “God loveth a cheerful giver”—not a conditional giver (v. 7). “He that giveth, let him do it with simplicity” (Romans 12:8). Often God does bring financial blessing to a Christian who has proved faithful in the grace of giving, but this is so he can give still more and thus lay up still more treasure in heaven. “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48). “Therefore,” as Paul said, “. . . see that ye abound in this grace also” (2 Corinthians 8:7).

And as we give, we must never forget that Christ has given more: “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor” (2 Corinthians 8:9). HMM

He went up into a mountain apart

“He went up into a mountain apart.” (Matt. 14:23.)

ONE of the blessings of the old-time Sabbath was its calm, its restfulness, its holy peace. There is a strange strength conceived in solitude. Crows go in flocks and wolves in packs, but the lion and the eagle are solitaires.

Strength is not in bluster and noise. Strength is in quietness. The lake must be calm if the heavens are to be reflected on its surface. Our Lord loved the people, but how often we read of His going away from them for a brief season. He tried every little while to withdraw from the crowd. He was always stealing away at evening to the hills. Most of His ministry was carried on in the towns and cities by the seashore, but He loved the hills the best, and oftentimes when night fell He would plunge into their peaceful depths.

The one thing needed above all others today is that we shall go apart with our Lord, and sit at His feet in the sacred privacy of His blessed presence. Oh, for the lost art of meditation! Oh, for the culture of the secret place! Oh, for the tonic of waiting upon God!—Selected.

“It is well to live in the valley sweet,
Where the work of the world is done,
Where the reapers sing in the fields of wheat,
As they toil till the set of sun.
But beyond the meadows, the hills I see
Where the noises of traffic cease,
And I follow a Voice that calleth to me
From the hilltop regions of peace.

“Aye, to live is sweet in the valley fair,
And to toil till the set of sun;
But my spirit yearns for the hilltop’s air
When the day and its work are done.
For a Presence breathes o’er the silent hills,
And its sweetness is living yet;
The same deep calm all the hillside fills,
As breathed over Olivet.”

“Every life that would be strong must have its Holy of Holies into which only God enters.”

Even we ourselves groan within ourselves

“Even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:23

This groaning is universal among the saints: to a greater or less extent we all feel it. It is not the groan of murmuring or complaint: it is rather the note of desire than of distress. Having received an earnest, we desire the whole of our portion; we are sighing that our entire manhood, in its trinity of spirit, soul, and body, may be set free from the last vestige of the fall; we long to put off corruption, weakness, and dishonour, and to wrap ourselves in incorruption, in immortality, in glory, in the spiritual body which the Lord Jesus will bestow upon His people. We long for the manifestation of our adoption as the children of God.

“We groan,” but it is “within ourselves.” It is not the hypocrite’s groan, by which he would make men believe that he is a saint because he is wretched. Our sighs are sacred things, too hallowed for us to tell abroad. We keep our longings to our Lord alone. Then the apostle says we are “waiting,” by which we learn that we are not to be petulant, like Jonah or Elijah, when they said, “Let me die”; nor are we to whimper and sigh for the end of life because we are tired of work, nor wish to escape from our present sufferings till the will of the Lord is done. We are to groan for glorification, but we are to wait patiently for it, knowing that what the Lord appoints is best.

Waiting implies being ready. We are to stand at the door expecting the Beloved to open it and take us away to Himself. This “groaning” is a test. You may judge of a man by what he groans after. Some men groan after wealth—they worship Mammon; some groan continually under the troubles of life—they are merely impatient; but the man who sighs after God, who is uneasy till he is made like Christ, that is the blessed man. May God help us to groan for the coming of the Lord, and the resurrection which He will bring to us.

I have much people in this city

“I have much people in this city.” Acts 18:10

This should be a great encouragement to try to do good, since God has among the vilest of the vile, the most reprobate, the most debauched and drunken, an elect people who must be saved. When you take the Word to them, you do so because God has ordained you to be the messenger of life to their souls, and they must receive it, for so the decree of predestination runs. They are as much redeemed by blood as the saints before the eternal throne.

They are Christ’s property, and yet perhaps they are lovers of the ale-house, and haters of holiness; but if Jesus Christ purchased them He will have them. God is not unfaithful to forget the price which His Son has paid. He will not suffer His substitution to be in any case an ineffectual, dead thing. Tens of thousands of redeemed ones are not regenerated yet, but regenerated they must be; and this is our comfort when we go forth to them with the quickening Word of God.

Nay, more, these ungodly ones are prayed for by Christ before the throne. “Neither pray I for these alone,” saith the great Intercessor, “but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word.” Poor, ignorant souls, they know nothing about prayer for themselves, but Jesus prays for them. Their names are on His breastplate, and ere long they must bow their stubborn knee, breathing the penitential sigh before the throne of grace.

“The time of figs is not yet.” The predestinated moment has not struck; but, when it comes, they shall obey, for God will have His own; they must, for the Spirit is not to be withstood when He cometh forth with fulness of power—they must become the willing servants of the living God. “My people shall be willing in the day of my power.” “He shall justify many.” “He shall see of the travail of His soul.” “I will divide him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong.”