A TINY SEED and A TINY DEED

“The people should not think that small beginnings are unimportant.” ZECHARIAH 4:10

Against a towering giant, a brook pebble seems futile. But God used it to topple Goliath. Compared to the tithes of the wealthy, a widow’s coins seem puny. But Jesus used them to inspire us …

Moses had a walking stick.
David had a sling.
Samson had a jawbone.
Rahab had a string.
Mary had some perfume.
Dorcas had a needle.
All were used by God.
What do you have?

God inhabits the tiny seed, empowers the tiny deed … Don’t discount the smallness of your deeds.

from CURE FOR THE COMMON LIFE

God’s Emphasis on Jesus’ Return

Colossians 3:1-4

The idea of eternity is a hard one to grasp. Though it is difficult to wrap the human mind around the concept of endlessness, God wants His children to live with an eternal perspective. So throughout Scripture, He stresses Christ’s second coming to help us think about our life in those terms.

Realizing that Jesus could return at any time keeps the church’s focus right. Paul reminds us to set our minds on heavenly things rather than on the things of earth (Col. 3:2). Though we live in the material world, we’re to consider long-term impact when deciding where to spend our time, money, and energy.

One critically important decision for us involves obeying God’s call to evangelize. Every believer has a personal responsibility to share the gospel with people in his or her sphere of influence (Matt. 28:19). The goal of the church, as well as individual believers, must be to take along as many as possible into eternity. But for that to happen, believers need to get busy sharing the good news before Jesus returns. People won’t come to Christ unless they’ve heard the story of His grace, mercy, and redemption.

The Word of God emphasizes Jesus’return so that believers will live with an eternal mindset. Christ can come back at any time, and when He does, those who have trusted Him as Savior will experience uninterrupted, never-ending life in His presence. In preparation for that day, we must live now with our feet on the ground, our hands busy for God, and our spiritual eyes watching for the Savior’s arrival.

Lift Up Your Eyes

“Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.” (Isaiah 40:26)

Our text makes three majestic statements about the cosmos, each reflecting true scientific insight as well as the work of each person of the divine Trinity. The omnipresent Father has “brought out” an infinite “host” of organized systems in the cosmos—galaxies, stars, planets, animals, and people. All are capable of description mathematically, “by number,” and thus all bear witness to their great Designer. Chance processes never generate organization or complexity, so that special creation by God is the only legitimate explanation for the “numbered” host of heaven.

The Son is the omniscient Word of information, description, and meaning. Every system in the cosmos is not only numbered, but named! That is, in the mind of its Creator, it has a function and has been coded to fulfill its purpose. The Second Law states that systems never code themselves, but rather always tend to distort the information originally programmed into them. Only an omniscient Creator could thus implement the divine purpose for every created entity.

Finally, the Holy Spirit is the omnipotent Energizer who activates and empowers every system. The Second Law says that energy becomes less available as time goes on, so that only the Creator could provide the energy to activate the designed, programmed cosmos in the beginning.

When we finally look up and really “behold who hath created these things,” we must see God the Creator—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. HMM

His soul entered into iron

“His soul entered into iron.” (Psalm 105:18.)

TURN, that about and render it in our language, and it reads thus, “Iron entered his soul.” Is there not a truth in this? That sorrow and privation, the yoke borne in the youth, the soul’s enforced restraint, are all conducive to an iron tenacity and strength of purpose, and endurance or fortitude, which are the indispensable foundation and framework of a noble character.

Do not flinch from suffering; bear it silently, patiently, resignedly; and be sure that it is God’s way of infusing iron into your spiritual life. The world wants iron dukes, iron battalions, iron sinews, and thews of steel. God wants iron saints; and since there is no way of imparting iron to the moral nature but by letting people suffer, He lets them suffer.

Are the best years of your life slipping away in enforced monotony? Are you beset by opposition, misunderstanding, and scorn, as the thick undergrowth besets the passage of the woodsman pioneer? Then take heart; the time is not wasted; God is only putting you through the iron regimen. The iron crown of suffering precedes the golden crown of glory. And iron is entering into your soul to make it strong and brave. —F. B. Meyer.

“But you will not mind the roughness nor the steepness of the way,
Nor the chill, unrested morning, nor the searness of the day;
And you will not take a turning to the left or the right,
But go straight ahead, nor tremble at the coming of the night,
For the road leads home.”

And the LORD shall guide thee continually

“And the LORD shall guide thee continually.” Isaiah 58:11

“The Lord shall guide thee.” Not an angel, but JEHOVAH shall guide thee. He said He would not go through the wilderness before His people, an angel should go before them to lead them in the way; but Moses said, “If Thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” Christian, God has not left you in your earthly pilgrimage to an angel’s guidance: He Himself leads the van. You may not see the cloudy, fiery pillar, but Jehovah will never forsake you. Notice the word shall— “The Lord shall guide thee.” How certain this makes it! How sure it is that God will not forsake us! His precious “shalls” and “wills” are better than men’s oaths. “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

Then observe the adverb continually. We are not merely to be guided sometimes, but we are to have a perpetual monitor; not occasionally to be left to our own understanding, and so to wander, but we are continually to hear the guiding voice of the Great Shepherd; and if we follow close at His heels, we shall not err, but be led by a right way to a city to dwell in. If you have to change your position in life; if you have to emigrate to distant shores; if it should happen that you are cast into poverty, or uplifted suddenly into a more responsible position than the one you now occupy; if you are thrown among strangers, or cast among foes, yet tremble not, for “the Lord shall guide thee continually.”

There are no dilemmas out of which you shall not be delivered if you live near to God, and your heart be kept warm with holy love. He goes not amiss who goes in the company of God. Like Enoch, walk with God, and you cannot mistake your road. You have infallible wisdom to direct you, immutable love to comfort you, and eternal power to defend you. “Jehovah”—mark the word—”Jehovah shall guide thee continually.”

Can the rush grow up without mire?

“Can the rush grow up without mire?” Job 8:11

The rush is spongy and hollow, and even so is a hypocrite; there is no substance or stability in him. It is shaken to and fro in every wind just as formalists yield to every influence; for this reason the rush is not broken by the tempest, neither are hypocrites troubled with persecution. I would not willingly be a deceiver or be deceived; perhaps the text for this day may help me to try myself whether I be a hypocrite or no. The rush by nature lives in water, and owes its very existence to the mire and moisture wherein it has taken root; let the mire become dry, and the rush withers very quickly.

Its greenness is absolutely dependent upon circumstances, a present abundance of water makes it flourish, and a drought destroys it at once. Is this my case? Do I only serve God when I am in good company, or when religion is profitable and respectable? Do I love the Lord only when temporal comforts are received from His hands? If so I am a base hypocrite, and like the withering rush, I shall perish when death deprives me of outward joys. But can I honestly assert that when bodily comforts have been few, and my surroundings have been rather adverse to grace than at all helpful to it, I have still held fast my integrity? then have I hope that there is genuine vital godliness in me.

The rush cannot grow without mire, but plants of the Lord’s right hand planting can and do flourish even in the year of drought. A godly man often grows best when his worldly circumstances decay. He who follows Christ for his bag is a Judas; they who follow for loaves and fishes are children of the devil; but they who attend Him out of love to Himself are His own beloved ones. Lord, let me find my life in Thee, and not in the mire of this world’s favour or gain.