VIDEO When Peace Like A River

Dec 29, 2008

Scenery from the Rocky Mountains accompanied with the music of When Peace Like A River

Prayerful Inner-Searching

To Pray To Let Go And Let God
May your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless… —1 Thessalonians 5:23

“Your whole spirit….” The great, mysterious work of the Holy Spirit is in the deep recesses of our being which we cannot reach. Read Psalm 139. The psalmist implies— “O Lord, You are the God of the early mornings, the God of the late nights, the God of the mountain peaks, and the God of the sea. But, my God, my soul has horizons further away than those of early mornings, deeper darkness than the nights of earth, higher peaks than any mountain peaks, greater depths than any sea in nature. You who are the God of all these, be my God. I cannot reach to the heights or to the depths; there are motives I cannot discover, dreams I cannot realize. My God, search me.”

Do we believe that God can fortify and protect our thought processes far beyond where we can go? “…the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). If this verse means cleansing only on our conscious level, may God have mercy on us. The man who has been dulled by sin will say that he is not even conscious of it. But the cleansing from sin we experience will reach to the heights and depths of our spirit if we will “walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7). The same Spirit that fed the life of Jesus Christ will feed the life of our spirit. It is only when we are protected by God with the miraculous sacredness of the Holy Spirit that our spirit, soul, and body can be preserved in pure uprightness until the coming of Jesus-no longer condemned in God’s sight.

We should more frequently allow our minds to meditate on these great, massive truths of God.

by Oswald Chambers

The Priority of Prayer

Luke 5:15-16

Have you ever forgone your daily prayer time, thinking, I am just too busy to pray today? Whenever we surrender quiet time for something else, we are making a statement about our priorities. It is a not-so-subtle way of saying, “Jesus, my calendar is more important to me than You are today. I’ll have to catch up with You later.”

We all do this on occasion, don’t we? Skipping prayer now and then is all too easy because, since we know the Lord is always there, we figure we can make up the time later. It’s as though we have taken God’s eternal, indwelling presence for granted with the thought, The Lord will still be here tomorrow, but I’ve got to get this done today!

What we fail to realize is that our quiet time with God is what empowers us to face the challenges of the day. Therefore, the busier our day, the more time we should spend in prayer preparing for it!

The Bible clearly shows that Jesus Himself protected His private time with the Father. I cannot imagine any person having more on his mind, having more things to do, or being in greater demand than Jesus. And yet the times when He was busiest are the times we see Him pulling away from the crowds in order to pray.

Is prayer the first thing you cut from your daily agenda when the schedule fills up? Protect that time every day at all costs. Remember, Jesus is God; if He considered prayer necessary to prepare for His busiest days, then it is an absolute essential for the rest of us!

The Good Fight

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:12)

Scripture frequently refers to the Christian life and work in athletic or combative terms. When all things are considered, reason compels the Christian to enter into the race and fight.

First, our Commander is worth following. He leads us into battle and stands with us on the front lines receiving the fiercest fire: “Let us run with patience the race. . . . Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Second, we are well-armed and protected. The “whole armour of God” includes the girdle of “truth,” the “breastplate of righteousness,” shoes of “the preparation of the gospel of peace,” “the shield of faith,” “the helmet of salvation,” and “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:13-17). The warrior’s mouth is filled with prayers and bold speech (vv.18-20); his sword has no scabbard, and his back has no armor, for retreat is unthinkable.

The goal of our fight urges us on. We strive to undermine the kingdom of darkness and to fill it with light. Each must battle on to exalt our Leader and to champion His Word. “Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds” (Hebrews 12:3).

To the victor belongs the spoils. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne” (Revelation 3:21). We no longer will be soldiers, but kings; we will trade our battle armor for robes, washed and made “white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). Our helmet will be replaced by an “incorruptible” crown (1 Corinthians 9:25)—“a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give [us] at that day” (2 Timothy 4:8). JDM

Meditate Long and Often

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. —Psalm 143:5-6

Among Christians of all ages and of varying shades of doctrinal emphasis there has been fairly full agreement on one thing: They all believed that it was important that the Christian with serious spiritual aspirations should learn to meditate long and often on God.

Let a Christian insist upon rising above the poor average of current religious experience and he will soon come up against the need to know God Himself as the ultimate goal of all Christian doctrine. Let him seek to explore the sacred wonders of the Triune Godhead and he will discover that sustained and intelligently directed meditation on the Person of God is imperative. To know God well he must think on Him unceasingly. Nothing that man has discovered about himself or God has revealed any shortcut to pure spirituality. It is still free, but tremendously costly.

Slow me down, Lord, and quiet my heart. Favor me with an acute awareness of Your presence as I meditate quietly. I want to know You, God, so I can indeed move well beyond that “poor average of current religious experience.” Amen.

Believe the Right Thing About the Right Person

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13

There is a nebulous idea accepted by many in our day that faith is an almighty power flowing through the universe which anyone may plug into at will! It is conceived vaguely as a subrational creative pulsation streaming down from somewhere Up There, ready at any time to enter our hearts and change our whole mental and moral constitution as well as our total outlook on man, God and the cosmos.

When it comes in, supposedly out go pessimism, fear, defeat and failure; in come optimism, confidence, personal mastery and unfailing success in war, love, sports, business and politics.

All of this is, of course, a gossamer of self-deception woven of the unsubstantial threads of fancy spun out of minds of tenderhearted persons who want to believe it! What is overlooked in all this is that faith is good only when it engages truth; when it is made to rest upon falsehood it can and often does lead to eternal tragedy.

For it is not enough that we believe; we must believe in the right thing about the right One!

To believe in God is more than to believe that He exists. To a right faith knowledge is necessary. We must know at least something of what God is like and what His will is for His human creatures. To know less than this is to be thrown back upon the necessity of accepting the affirmations of the soul and substituting “Thus saith my soul” for the biblical “Thus saith the Lord,” and no man has any right to pick and choose among revealed truths.

God’s Gracious Act

The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. JOHN 1:14

We do well to remember that mankind is only one order of God’s beings or creatures. So we wonder: How could the Infinite ever become finite? And: How could the Limitless One deliberately impose limitations upon Himself? In the book of Hebrews, we learn to our amazement that God took not upon Him the nature of angels, but He took upon Him the seed of Abraham.

We would suppose that God in stepping down would step down just as little as possible. But instead He came down to the lowest order and took upon Himself the nature of Abraham—the seed of Abraham.

I like what John Wesley said concerning this mysterious act of God in stooping down to tabernacle with us: We should be sure to distinguish the act from the method by which the act is performed. Do not reject a fact because we do not know how it was done, Wesley advised.

With the saints of all ages, we do well just to throw up our hands and confess: “Oh Lord, Thou knowest!”

Heavenly Father, thank You so much for leaving the heights of heaven and stooping down to our lowly level. We didn’t deserve this amazing visitation from above, but we are so grateful.