May 21, 2011
Come Holy Spirit I Need You
May 21, 2011
Come Holy Spirit I Need You
Examine and see how good the LORD is. Happy is the person who trusts him. PSALM 34:8
“Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us,” Paul penned. “The Scriptures give us patience and encouragement so that we can have hope” (Romans 15:4).
These are not just Sunday school stories. Not romantic fables … They are historical moments in which a real God met real pain so we could answer the question, “Where is God when I hurt?”
How does God react to dashed hopes? Read the story of Jairus. How does the Father feel about those who are ill? Stand with him at the pool of Bethesda. Do you long for God to speak to your lonely heart? Then listen as he speaks to the Emmaus-bound disciples …
He’s not doing it just for them. He’s doing it for me. He’s doing it for you …
The God who spoke still speaks … The God who came still comes. He comes into our world. He comes into your world. He comes to do what you can’t.
from HE STILL MOVES STONES
The Lord’s character is often distorted by the world. To unbelieving eyes, God can seem like a harsh ruler who is quick to condemn any disobedience. Somehow that false view has infected our churches as well. There are believers who approach the Lord as if He were a stingy old man doling out shreds of love, grace, and forgiveness. But spiritual poverty is not the Father’s plan for His children.
At salvation, we received every good gift that God intends to give us: forgiveness, redemption, righteousness, a place in His family, and much more. There is a misguided notion among some believers that the Lord’s grace to us increases as our faith matures. If that were accurate, we would be earning His blessing though works. The truth is that spiritual growth broadens our capacity to recognize and enjoy His grace in our lives.
It is sad that so many people feel unworthy to enjoy the Lord’s blessings. Thankfully, we do not have to merit His goodness, because none of us would be able to measure up. In fact, Scripture underscores the fact that God operates on the basis of His grace rather than our works (Eph. 2:8-9). Think of how big, wide, and deep His love is—He cares for us and showers us with grace because He wants to and not because we earn it.
Our heavenly Father is not stingy—He lavishly pours out grace upon us. Instead of sampling meager bites of His Word and His presence on Sunday, we ought to devour whole “meals” every day. Follow the advice from the Psalms: “Open wide” so you can “taste and see that the LORD is good” (81:10; 34:8).
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
Psalm 136 gives three key examples of God’s sovereign provision. He protects and shelters during our times in the “wilderness.” He makes possible victories over great “enemies.” And he gives “food to all flesh.” God’s detailed provision and the many examples thereof in the Scriptures are inexhaustible. Yet, in these three areas, we may find hope for any situation “in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
Our “wanderings” are compared to hard-hearted Israel (1 Corinthians 10) and the many physical and spiritual sins of a people in rebellion to God’s control in their lives. Jesus warned that the “cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things” would “choke the word” and make us unfruitful (Mark 4:19). Yet, even though we may be like the younger son in the story of the prodigal (Luke 15:11-32) and would waste our “substance in riotous living,” God was still the Provider of the inheritance that was wasted. God was still waiting for the son to “come to himself” and return home. God still has compassion, and He forgives and restores to fellowship all who come home.
And were it not for the promises of deliverance from our enemies that are so replete throughout the Scriptures, were it not for the hope that we would see deliverance “in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13), and were it not for the confident knowledge that “evildoers shall be cut off” (Psalm 37:9), we would be in constant fear and torment. God promises to bring us victory! We are told that He will fight for us, and that we are not left to our own devices! Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. . . . and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20). HMM III
Let all that ye do be done in love.—1 Corinthians 16:14 (R.V.)
IF thou art blessed,
Then let the sunshine of thy gladness rest
On the dark edges of each cloud that lies
Black in thy brother’s skies.
If thou art sad,
Still be thou in thy brother’s gladness glad.
ANNA E. HAMILTON.
WHAT can be more unkind than to communicate our low spirits to others, to go about the world like demons, poisoning the fountains of joy? Have I more light because I have managed to involve those I love in the same gloom as myself? Is it not pleasant to see the sun shining on the mountains, even though we have none of it down in our valley? Oh, the littleness and the meanness of that sickly appetite for sympathy, which will not let us keep our sorrows to ourselves! Let us hide our pains and sorrows. But, while we hide them, let them also be spurs within us to urge us on to all manner of overflowing kindness and sunny humor to those around us. When the very darkness within us creates a sunshine around us, then has the spirit of Jesus taken possession of our souls. FREDERICK WM. FABER.
She now rarely lost the sacred opportunity of giving pleasure. SARAH W. STEPHEN.
The Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is. Exodus 20:11
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. — By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. — Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Psalm 19:1. Psalm 33:6,9. Isaiah 40:15. Hebrews 11:3. Psalm 8:3,4.
Perfect through sufferings. Hebrews 2:10
My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. — And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. — Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. — I looked on my right hand, and behold, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and a acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Matthew 26:38,39. Luke 22:44. Psalm 116:3. Psalm 69:20. Psalm 142:4. Isaiah 53:3.