The Vision and The Reality

. . . to those who are . . . called to be saints . . . —1 Corinthians 1:2

Thank God for being able to see all that you have not yet been. You have had the vision, but you are not yet to the reality of it by any means. It is when we are in the valley, where we prove whether we will be the choice ones, that most of us turn back. We are not quite prepared for the bumps and bruises that must come if we are going to be turned into the shape of the vision. We have seen what we are not, and what God wants us to be, but are we willing to be battered into the shape of the vision to be used by God? The beatings will always come in the most common, everyday ways and through common, everyday people.

There are times when we do know what God’s purpose is; whether we will let the vision be turned into actual character depends on us, not on God. If we prefer to relax on the mountaintop and live in the memory of the vision, then we will be of no real use in the ordinary things of which human life is made. We have to learn to live in reliance upon what we saw in the vision, not simply live in ecstatic delight and conscious reflection upon God. This means living the realities of our lives in the light of the vision until the truth of the vision is actually realized in us. Every bit of our training is in that direction. Learn to thank God for making His demands known.

Our little “I am” always sulks and pouts when God says do. Let your little “I am” be shriveled up in God’s wrath and indignation–“I AM WHO I AM . . . has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:14). He must dominate. Isn’t it piercing to realize that God not only knows where we live, but also knows the gutters into which we crawl! He will hunt us down as fast as a flash of lightning. No human being knows human beings as God does.

by Oswald Chambers

Guidance Toward a Fruitful Life

Matthew 28:16-20

As believers, we long for a fruitful life that pleases the Lord. To live this way, we need a guide who will help us. Imagine having this conversation with God, and then aim to follow Him closely:

Lord, won’t You be our guide?

Yes, I am willing. As we travel, I want you to remember that I know where I am going. Every stop along the way is designed to make you into the fruitful branch you long to be. Dear one, the way may be through snow-covered mountains, over rock-strewn paths, or down into green valleys that will tempt you to linger. Will you keep your eyes on Me and follow whether it’s easy or hard?

Yes, Lord.

Then let’s begin your first lesson: You need to step where I step.

But, Lord, Your footprints are too far apart for me.

I will adjust them for you.

I know You’ll walk too fast.

I’ll never walk faster than I know you can travel.

I get tired easily.

I’ll lend you My arm when you need help.

What if I stumble?

I’ll pick you up and heal your hurts.

The second lesson is this: You are to follow Me even though you cannot see Me.

Lord, how will I know where to walk?

Use My Word, the Bible. Refer to it often for direction and for reassurance that I am with You and continue to guide you.

Lord, what if I become confused?

Remember My teachings. Remember who I am and trust Me. Call out to Me, and I will answer you.

Blessings We Have in Christ

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2 Corinthians 5:1)

The blessings we have in Christ are far too many to number, but it is a blessing even to note just a few of those indicated by the words we have or ye have. First of all, in Christ “we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7). As a result, “being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

Thus, through such promises, His Word assures us of salvation. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). Further assurance is given by the witness of the Spirit who indwells our bodies when we believe on Christ. “Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15).

There are many other blessings that are ours in Christ. In Him, for example, “we have obtained an inheritance” (Ephesians 1:11), for we are joint-heirs with Him. God has even confirmed His promises, the writer of Hebrews says, by taking an oath in His own name that “we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast” (Hebrews 6:18-19). Indeed, “we have a great high priest” (Hebrews 4:14) ever living to intercede for us at the throne of God.

Finally, in the words of our text, when God calls us home, “we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens,” and then we are “to be present with the Lord” throughout the ages to come (2 Corinthians 5:8). These are a few of the blessings we have in Christ. HMM

Bless the Lord, all His works in all places of His dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul

Bless the Lord, all His works in all places of His dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul.—Psalm 103:22.

O MOST high, almighty, good Lord God, to Thee belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing. Praised be my Lord God with all His creatures, and specially our brother the sun, who brings us the day; fair is he and shines with a very great splendor; O Lord, he signifies to, us Thee. Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon, and for the stars, the which He has set clear and lovely in heaven. Praised be my Lord for our sister water, who is very serviceable unto us, and humble and precious and clean. Praised be Thou, my Lord, for our brother fire; he is bright and pleasant and very mighty and strong. Praised be my Lord for our the earth, who doth sustain us and keep us, and bringeth forth divers fruits and flowers of many colors, and grass. Praised be my Lord for all those who pardon one another for His love’s sake, and who endure weakness and tribulation. Praised be Thou, my Lord, for our sister, the death of the body, from which no man escapeth. Praise ye and bless ye the Lord, and give thanks unto Him and serve Him with great humility. ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI.

There are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all

There are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 1 Corinthians 12:6

There fell some of Manasseh to David. And they helped David against the band of the rovers: for they were all mighty men of valour. — The manifestation of the spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

Of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do. —To one is given by the Spirit … the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit.

Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart. — A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

There should be no schism in the body; but … the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

One Lord, one faith, one baptism.

1 Chronicles 12:19,21. 1 Corinthians 12:7. 1 Chronicles 12:32. 1 Corinthians 12:8. 1 Chronicles 12:33. James 1:8. 1 Corinthians 12:25,26. Ephesians 4:5.

Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him

Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. Exodus 34:29

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory. — Lord, when saw we thee a hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? — In lowliness of mind, let each esteem other better than themselves. — Be clothed with humility.

[Jesus] was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. —All that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on Stephen, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel. — The glory which thou gavest me, I have given them. —We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Psalm 115:1. Matthew 25:37. Philippians 2:3. 1 Peter 5:5. Matthew 17:2. Acts 6:15. John 17:22. 2 Corinthians 3:18. Matthew 5:14,15.