Are You Obsessed by Something?

Who is the man that fears the Lord? —Psalm 25:12

Are you obsessed by something? You will probably say, “No, by nothing,” but all of us are obsessed by something— usually by ourselves, or, if we are Christians, by our own experience of the Christian life. But the psalmist says that we are to be obsessed by God. The abiding awareness of the Christian life is to be God Himself, not just thoughts about Him. The total being of our life inside and out is to be absolutely obsessed by the presence of God. A child’s awareness is so absorbed in his mother that although he is not consciously thinking of her, when a problem arises, the abiding relationship is that with the mother. In that same way, we are to “live and move and have our being” in God (Acts 17:28), looking at everything in relation to Him, because our abiding awareness of Him continually pushes itself to the forefront of our lives.

If we are obsessed by God, nothing else can get into our lives— not concerns, nor tribulation, nor worries. And now we understand why our Lord so emphasized the sin of worrying. How can we dare to be so absolutely unbelieving when God totally surrounds us? To be obsessed by God is to have an effective barricade against all the assaults of the enemy.

“He himself shall dwell in prosperity . . .” (Psalm 25:13). God will cause us to “dwell in prosperity,” keeping us at ease, even in the midst of tribulation, misunderstanding, and slander, if our “life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). We rob ourselves of the miraculous, revealed truth of this abiding companionship with God. “God is our refuge . . .” (Psalm 46:1). Nothing can break through His shelter of protection.

When We Feel Burned Out

Isaiah 40:27-31

Almost all of us can recall times when our bodies and minds have felt tired from manual labor and mental strain. If these conditions become constant or extreme, it is very easy for us to become burned out.

Fortunately, we have been provided with specific encouragement for such times of exhaustion. Today’s Scripture reading reveals three reassuring truths about God and His faithfulness in our times of weakness.

First, we learn that the Lord “does not become weary or tired” (v. 28). Therefore, we can call upon a God who won’t ever run out of power. His strength has never decreased and will not decrease in the future. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8).

Second, we find that “He gives strength to the weary” and power to those who are not mighty (Isa. 40:29). Our loving heavenly Father does not frown upon us when we are weak. Instead, He embraces us and lifts us up when we are unable to help ourselves.

Finally, we are given an incredible promise. Verse 31 reads, “Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”

The next time you feel too tired or frustrated to go on, remember this: Our God is not exhaustible. Instead, He is faithful to provide a supply of endless divine strength to those who are willing to wait for His perfect timing. In all things, He gives exactly what we need for the moment at hand.

The Cup of Salvation

“What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.” (Psalm 116:12-13)

Here is a remarkable question and answer. To everyone born into the world, God has given multitudes of benefits. “He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25). Some receive more than others, but all receive many, so the question is what we should do for the Lord in return. The answer is simply to receive His great gift of eternal salvation!

On one occasion the people of Capernaum asked Jesus: “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” His answer must be profoundly surprising to anyone who believes that he can please God and earn salvation by doing good works. “This is the work of God,” said Jesus, “that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:28-29).

The truth is we can never pay for our sins by good deeds. If one is ever to be saved from his sins and to obtain salvation, it must be received solely by faith in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. “For the wages of sin is death,” but “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” so that “the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many” and—in the words of our text above—“whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 6:23; 5:8; 5:15; 10:13).

Therefore, when a repentant sinner calls in faith on the wonderful name of our gracious Lord, he drinks of the healing cup of salvation and receives everlasting life. Because Jesus drank the bitter cup of God’s righteous judgment on our sins, we can drink deeply of the “living water. . . . springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:10-14), and we can say with the psalmist: “My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever” (Psalm 23:5-6). HMM

That ye may be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God

That ye may be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God.—2 Thessalonians 1:5.

FEAR not, for He hath sworn,
Faithful and true His name;
The glorious hours are onward borne,
‘T is lit, th’ immortal flame;
It glows around thee; kneel, and strive, and win
Daily one living ray—’twill brighter glow within.
JOHN KEBLE.

COUNT that day lost (though thou mayest have dispatched much business therein) in which thou hast neither gained some victory over thine own evil inclinations and thy self-will, nor returned thanks to thy Lord for His mercies. LORENZO SCUPOLI.

Between dawn and dark there is time enough for the collisions of disinterestedness with selfishness in our dealings with our fellow-creatures, in the life of our own homes; time enough to meet or to evade the demands of homely faithfulness in our several work, time enough to confront the sturdy rebellion of passions and besetting sins against our spiritual nature, time enough to win or to lose heaven in. HENRY WILDER FOOTE

It is no small matter to lose or to gain the Kingdom of God. THOMAS Á KEMPIS.

The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup

The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup. Psalm 16:5

Heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ. — All things are your’s. — My beloved is mine. — The Son of God … loved me, and gave himself for me.

The LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thy inheritance among the children of Israel.

Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. — I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land.

Romans 8:17. 1 Corinthians 3:21. Song of Songs 2:16. Galatians 2:20. Numbers 8:20. Psalm 73:25,26. Psalm 23:4. 2 Timothy 1:12. Psalm 63:1.

Thus shall ye eat it, with your loins girded

Thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s passover. Exodus 12:11

Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest. — Here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. — There remaineth therefore a rest for the people of God.

Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediatety. Blessed are those
servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching. — Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. —This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, … I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded,

Micah 2:10. Hebrews 13:14. Hebrews 4:9. Luke 12:35-37. 1 Peter 1:13. Philippians 3:13-15.