Drawing on the Grace of God— Now

We . . . plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain —2 Corinthians 6:1

The grace you had yesterday will not be sufficient for today. Grace is the overflowing favor of God, and you can always count on it being available to draw upon as needed. “. . . in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses”— that is where our patience is tested (2 Corinthians 6:4). Are you failing to rely on the grace of God there? Are you saying to yourself, “Oh well, I won’t count this time”? It is not a question of praying and asking God to help you— it is taking the grace of God now. We tend to make prayer the preparation for our service, yet it is never that in the Bible. Prayer is the practice of drawing on the grace of God. Don’t say, “I will endure this until I can get away and pray.” Pray now — draw on the grace of God in your moment of need. Prayer is the most normal and useful thing; it is not simply a reflex action of your devotion to God. We are very slow to learn to draw on God’s grace through prayer.

“. . . in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors . . .” (2 Corinthians 6:5)— in all these things, display in your life a drawing on the grace of God, which will show evidence to yourself and to others that you are a miracle of His. Draw on His grace now, not later. The primary word in the spiritual vocabulary is now. Let circumstances take you where they will, but keep drawing on the grace of God in whatever condition you may find yourself. One of the greatest proofs that you are drawing on the grace of God is that you can be totally humiliated before others without displaying even the slightest trace of anything but His grace.

“. . . having nothing . . . .” Never hold anything in reserve. Pour yourself out, giving the best that you have, and always be poor. Never be diplomatic and careful with the treasure God gives you. “. . . and yet possessing all things”— this is poverty triumphant (2 Corinthians 6:10).

by Oswald Chambers

When Burdens Weigh Us Down

Psalm 37:5-7

When we are overburdened, the world seems a colder place. The sun may be shining, but our heads are bowed low, so we don’t notice. The birds sing, but our ears are filled with the cries of our hearts—exclamations of pain, sorrow and weariness. We put distance between us and others as our problems absorb our time and attention. Perhaps we are weighed down by unmet expectations, sudden trauma or death, or simply too much responsibility. Another possibility is that sin is causing our heaviness of heart. Whatever the cause, however, the result is the same: We are burdened by a crushing weight.

Into our bleakness comes the voice of almighty God inviting us to draw near and find rest in Him. “This is what the LORD says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls . . .”’ (Jer. 6:16 NIV).

Won’t you look up to your heavenly Father right now? Jesus offers living water; take time to drink until your soul is strengthened enough for you to ask the way. With the Spirit’s help, take one step, then another down that ancient path of obedience, and He will give you the promised peace.

Jeremiah 6:16 ends with God pointing out the Israelites’ response: “But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.”’ It is only when we trust in the Father’s plan that we will find relief from our burdens. Let us stand, look, ask, and walk so that we might find the rest which the Lord has promised for our souls.

In the multitude of my thoughts within me Your comforts delight my soul

In the multitude of my thoughts within me, Thy comforts delight my soul.—Psalm 94:19.

OH, listen then, Most Pitiful!
To Thy poor creature’s heart;
It blesses Thee that Thou art God,
That Thou art what Thou art!
FREDERICK W. FABER.

WHAT the particular thoughts or temptations are that disquiet you, I know not; but, whatsoever they are, look above them, and labor to fix your eye on that infinite goodness, which never faileth them that, by faith, do absolutely rely and rest upon it; and-patiently wait upon Him, who hath pronounced them all, without exception, blessed that do so. ROBERT LEIGHTON.

Thoughts that disturb and trouble us seldom come from God. It is generally best to put them away, and throw ourself, with increased trust in Him and mistrust of self, at His feet. And never forget, amid whatever may befall you,— dryness, coldness, desolation, and disappointment, consciousness of many faults, and of great weakness, and want of faith,—that where love is, there God is sure to be. He never yet has suffered any soul to fall wholly from Him which, amid all its frailties and falls, clings to Him in love. H. L. SIDNEY LEAR.

Created by Christ

“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 3:9)

In the context of this verse, Paul is testifying concerning his divine call to preach the gospel, especially proclaiming God’s great plan to the Gentiles as well as the Jews.

In support of this revolutionary concept, Paul refers to the great fact of creation. All men, and indeed “all things,” had been created by one God. Furthermore, it was by the Lord Jesus Christ that God had created all things. Before the revelation of this mystery, the Gentiles had been “without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). The phrase “without God” (Greek atheos, from which we get the word “atheist”) is used only this once in the New Testament, and it indicates plainly the barrenness of all pagan religions. “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13).

Thus, by Jesus Christ all things were created, and by Jesus Christ “all things” will be gathered “together in one” in the “dispensation of the fullness of times” (Ephesians 1:10). This is all part of the same “mystery of his will,” according to the preceding verse, Ephesians 1:9. In the last chapter, Paul again refers to this now-revealed “mystery” when he urges the Ephesians to pray that he might be able to “make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19).

Thus the “gospel of your salvation” (Ephesians 1:13), which we like Paul are commanded to make known, is the glorious news that Jesus Christ is both Creator and Consummator of all things, and that by His work of salvation all who believe, whether Jews or Gentiles, receive eternal salvation. “All things were created by him,” and He has shed His blood “to reconcile all things unto himself” (Colossians 1:16, 20). HMM

It is a night to be much observed unto the Lord for bringing them out from the land of Egypt

It is a night to be much observed unto the Lord for bringing them out from the land of Egypt. Exodus 12:42

The Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

He … kneeled down, and prayed. 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.

It was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: … they took Jesus, and led him away, … into a place called … Golgotha: where they crucified him.

Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast.

1 Corinthians 11:23-25. Luke 22:41,44. John 19:14,16-18. 1 Corinthians 5:7,8.

Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil! And God granted him that which he requested

Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil! And God granted him that which he requested. 1 Chronicles 4:10

The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. — When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him?

Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. — How great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men. — I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. — The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

Proverbs 10:22. Job 34:29. Psalm 3:8. Psalm 31:19. John 17:15. Matthew 7:7,8. Psalm 34:22.