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Jul 5, 2013

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Hillsong Live Album Glorious Ruins, 2013

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In The Storm

Stormy weather
[Jesus] said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” —Mark 4:39

A storm was brewing—not just on the horizon but also in a friend’s home. “When I was in Hong Kong,” she shared, “the local meteorological service announced that there was a superstorm approaching. But more than the storm that was looming outside my window, there was a storm brewing at home. While my dad was in the hospital, family members were trying to balance their home and work responsibilities while also traveling to and from the hospital. They were so tired that patience was wearing thin, and the situation at home was tense.”

Life can feel like a storm—tossing us around with winds of misfortune, grief, or stress. Where can we turn? When Jesus’ disciples were caught in a great windstorm and wondered if He cared, they still knew where to turn. He demonstrated His power by calming the howling storm (Mark 4:38-39).

But often He does not calm the storm immediately. And, like the disciples, we may feel that He doesn’t care. To calm our fears, we can cling to faith in who God is and what He can do. We can take shelter in Him (Ps. 91:1). We can find His help to relate to others with grace. We can rest in an all-powerful, all-wise, and all-loving God. He is with us in the storm and cradles us through the storm. By Poh Fang Chia

Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea,
Or demons or men, or whatever it be
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of the ocean, and earth, and skies. —Baker

One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think. —Brother Lawrence

The Joy of Obedience

Proverbs 3:5-6

People often associate the word obey with raising children—particularly when they see ill-behaved youngsters. Submission to God’s will, however, is important at every stage of a believer’s maturity. As our faith grows, obedience becomes a cornerstone of fellowship with our Father—He teaches us more about His love and precepts while drawing us ever closer to Himself.

Oddly, as Christians get older and more mature, their obedience can diminish. A believer may tell himself that he has learned to live righteously and therefore no longer needs to make a concentrated effort. In a short time, he will find himself far off the path God intended, wandering around with a pile of rags he thinks are righteous acts (Isa. 64:6). Disobedience says to the Lord, “I know better than You how to govern my life.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Scripture and church members are full of stories to prove that obedient submission is the only way to joy.

Nothing good can come from rebelling against the Lord, and nothing bad can come from obeying Him. Obedience is the pathway to wisdom and blessing. When we conform our will to God’s, we place our hope and trust in the One who created us and loves us without condition. A life well lived is one in which our eyes are focused on the Lord, our ears are open to the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit, and our hearts feast on Scripture. When we choose this existence, we guarantee ourselves the finest that God has to offer. There is no second best for the obedient child of the Father.

The Sign of Science and Travel

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Daniel 12:4)

The book of Daniel contains the most detailed description of the end times of any book in the Bible except the book of Revelation. In Daniel’s last chapter, after all the prophecies had been recorded, the condition in our text was given as a sign of their imminent fulfillment, at “the time of the end.”

A more striking summary of our own times could hardly be imagined. The Hebrew word for “run to and fro” is used first in 2 Chronicles 16:9. “The eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth,” and its sense is “race back and forth.” What a description of our present society, with speeding automobiles all over the land and airplanes filling our skies! In little more than one lifetime, the world “progressed” from horse and buggy to spacecraft, and almost everyone is racing to and fro.

Furthermore, “knowledge” has been “increased” far beyond the wildest imaginations of people in the days of our founding fathers. The Hebrew word could well be understood as what we mean today by “science.”

It is significant that the foundations of our modern scientific age were laid mostly by great scientists who were creationists (Newton, Boyle, Pascal, Pasteur, Faraday, Maxwell, etc.). In our present generation, however, science has been largely taken over by non-Christian evolutionists, and science has also generated deadly instruments of destruction and pollution which are threatening life’s existence. This rise in “science falsely so called” is also given as a sign of the last days (1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Peter 3:3-4; etc.).

In any case, the explosive increase in science (both true and false) and rapid travel in our day is one of the many God-given signs that the return of Christ is near! HMM

And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God…he did it with all his heart, and prospered

And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.—2 Chronicles 31:21.

HELP me in Christ to learn to do Thy will,
That I may have from Him eternal life;
And here on earth Thy perfect love fulfill,
Then home return victorious from the strife.
JONES VERY.

THERE is no other way in which one’s life will be so surely, so quickly transfigured, as in the faithful, happy, cheerful doing of every-day tasks. We need to remember that this world is not so much a place for doing things as for making character. Right in the midst of what some people call drudgery is the very best place to get the transformed transfigured life. The doing of common tasks patiently, promptly, faithfully, cheerfully, makes the character beautiful and bright. But we must take heed always that we do our tasks, whatever they are, with love in our heart. Doing any kind of work unwillingly, with complaint and murmuring, hurts the life. J. R. MILLER

God weigheth more with how much love a man worketh, than how much he doeth. He doeth much that loveth much. He doeth much that doeth a thing well. THOMAS Á KEMPIS.

Who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive?

Who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? 1 Corinthians 4:7

By the grace of God I am what I am. — Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth. — It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. — Where is boasting then? It is excluded. — Christ Jesus, … is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: … He that glorieth let him glory in the Lord.

You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom
also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. —Ye are washed, … ye are sanctified, … ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Corinthians 15:10. James 1:18. Romans 9:16. Romans 3:27. 1 Corinthians 1:30,31. Ephesians 2:13. 1 Corinthians 6:11.

The goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness

The goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. Leviticus 16:22

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. — In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found:
for I will pardon them whom I reserve. — Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. — Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity?

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. — He shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. — The Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Psalm 103:12. Jeremiah 50:20. Micah 7:19. Micah 7:18. Isaiah 53:6. Isaiah 53:11,12. John 1:29.