VIDEO Just a closer walk with thee – Patsy Cline And Willie Nelson

Feb 7, 2013

Just a closer walk with thee – Patsy Cline And Willie Nelson

Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea.
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

I am weak, but Thou art strong
Jesus, keep me from all wrong.
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk let me walk close to Thee

In this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who but Thee my burden shares?
None but Thee, oh Lord, none but Thee.

What My Obedience to God Costs Other People

snow filled tree
As they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon…, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus. —Luke 23:26

If we obey God, it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the pain begins. If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not cost us anything— it is a delight. But to those who do not love Him, our obedience does cost a great deal. If we obey God, it will mean that other people’s plans are upset. They will ridicule us as if to say, “You call this Christianity?” We could prevent the suffering, but not if we are obedient to God. We must let the cost be paid.

When our obedience begins to cost others, our human pride entrenches itself and we say, “I will never accept anything from anyone.” But we must, or disobey God. We have no right to think that the type of relationships we have with others should be any different from those the Lord Himself had (see Luke 8:1-3).

A lack of progress in our spiritual life results when we try to bear all the costs ourselves. And actually, we cannot. Because we are so involved in the universal purposes of God, others are immediately affected by our obedience to Him. Will we remain faithful in our obedience to God and be willing to suffer the humiliation of refusing to be independent? Or will we do just the opposite and say, “I will not cause other people to suffer”? We can disobey God if we choose, and it will bring immediate relief to the situation, but it will grieve our Lord. If, however, we obey God, He will care for those who have suffered the consequences of our obedience. We must simply obey and leave all the consequences with Him.

Beware of the inclination to dictate to God what consequences you would allow as a condition of your obedience to Him.

by Oswald Chambers

5 Ways to Empower Homeless People

homeless

Homelessness is one of the most widely recognized faces of poverty. Wherever you live and whatever your socioeconomic status, chances are you’ve encountered homeless people. Maybe you avoid them out of fear that someone desperate enough to ask a stranger for help might also be desperate enough to take advantage of you. But if you want to do more than say “God bless” or “good luck” (James 2:14–17), here are some practical ways you can make an impact on the life of a homeless person:

1. Feed them

Matthew 25:35, Isaiah 58:10
Buying food for someone who needs it is great, it’s easy, and it’s not as risky as giving someone a handful of cash—you know your money is putting food in someone’s stomach. When you’re busy, it’s easy to feel like you don’t have time to help someone. But setting aside as little as 15 minutes to eat with someone does so much more than handing out a sandwich. If you’re spending all day holding a sign to ask complete strangers for help while most of them try not to make eye contact, you aren’t just missing the things on the sign: you’re equally depraved of human contact. (Click to share) When you’re lonely, a meal with a stranger is still better than yet another meal alone. Kind words mean more with a meal, and a meal means more with kind words.

2. Clothe them

Luke 3:11, Matthew 25:36
Imagine how hard it would be to apply for a job or housing when you’ve been living on the streets with a single set of clothes. You’re so filthy that no one wants to shake your hand, let alone live or work alongside you. And even if they’re willing, it takes a very strong person to overcome the social shame that our materialistic, appearance-oriented culture makes these people experience. In a small way, taking someone to pick clothes that not only fit them, but that they can comfortably present themselves in, humanizes them. You could also treat them to a haircut, or something else that reminds them how good it feels to be able to take care of your body. By helping someone look their best, you give them a fighting chance to present themselves in a professional setting.

3. Find work

1 Thessalonians 4:11–12, Proverbs 14:23
There are a lot of resources available to the homeless through public goods, charities, and ministries. But without access to information—who, what, where, when, how—many homeless people remain detached from the opportunities available to them. You could point them to some of these services. Or, you could play a more personal role in helping someone get back on their feet. Set aside some time to help them find nearby places that are hiring. Again, this is more helpful if you are willing to spend time with the person. You could come up with a generic list of positions and places close by using a service like Craigslist, but if you dedicate some time to getting to know the person and talking to them about their skills and experience, you can help them find the jobs they have the best chance at landing. By teaching someone how they could be valuable to a potential employer, you help them feel valued as a person. And God values them, so we should too (John 13:35, 1 John 4:8, John 3:16).

4. Speak up for them

Proverbs 31:8
There are lots of ways that we can speak up for the impoverished. On a purely practical level, writing is a powerful way that we can help empower the homeless. One of the greatest deterrents from employment is poor résumés and cover letters. Even among those who aren’t homeless, sloppy résumés and cover letters, or canned applications that aren’t relevant are some of the biggest problems people have when they apply for work. Even if you aren’t the best writer or you haven’t perfected your own résumé, chances are you can still help someone who needs it. And the more time you spend getting to know them, the better you’ll be at helping them present themselves and eventually provide for themselves.

5. Help them stay busy

Proverbs 19:15, 1 Thessalonians 5:14, Ephesians 5:15–16
Imagine that you are completely dependent on others, and that you have an infinite supply of time to stand by yourself, waiting for help. A homeless man named Tucker once told me, “The worst part is being alone with your thoughts. You fight with yourself and your head tells you that you suck. You’re nothing. Worthless.” As a stream of happy, busy people drive by without so much as a second glance, that internal battle is constantly fueled by external circumstances. How do you pass the time when you have to much of it? What are some healthy ways to kill time that you could share with someone? For me, it’s books. And I’m a firm believer that people who “don’t like books” just haven’t found the right one yet. But there are so many blessings we take for granted every day that we can share with our homeless neighbors: music, conversations, Scripture, board games, and more.

Rules of engagement:

Before you mentally commit to helping someone, there are a few things you should keep in mind. However you plan to help someone, be flexible. Remember that the people you are talking to have lives. They have things they care about and priorities. You don’t know how you can help someone the most until you know what they need the most help with. Have a plan, but be prepared to improvise and adapt.

By Ryan Nelson

Going and Returning

“I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.” (Genesis 46:4)

Imagine the turmoil that Jacob must have felt when he heard the news that Joseph was alive and wanted him to move to Egypt. His son, whom he had thought dead for many years, was not only alive but governor of Egypt! As difficult as this was for him to believe, Jacob no doubt had myriad other emotions crowding in on him. God had directed him to Canaan, as with his fathers, Abraham and Isaac. This was the land of promise, and yet circumstances seemed to indicate that God was leading him away. In the past, God had always spoken to him directly before each important move, and Jacob must have had that in mind as they traveled.

The company stopped at Beersheba, the southern boundary of the promised land. Here Jacob had lived with his parents (Genesis 28:10). Here God had repeated His covenant to Isaac (Genesis 26:24), and here Jacob decided to build an altar to ask God for clear leading before leaving the land (Genesis 46:1), and God graciously answered: “I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation” (Genesis 46:3). Furthermore, God assured Jacob, in our text, that when His purposes in Egypt were accomplished, He would “bring thee up again” into the land of promise. Many details were as yet unknown to Jacob, but he gladly obeyed.

This pattern is applicable to us. As we endeavor to follow God’s leading, we should proceed as best we can discern the situation (assuming there is no scriptural teaching to the contrary), all the while praying for wisdom and clarification. He may shut the door and redirect, or He may confirm our decision. We can proceed in the confidence that He will go with us, and when the time is right, He will lead us on. JDM

Longing for God

As me hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? —Psalm 42:1-2

God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love
within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

“I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still.” Amen.

A Calamity: Accepting This World As Our Home

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15

Of all the calamities that have been visited upon the world, the surrender of the human spirit to this present world and its ways is the worst—without doubt!

No oriental monarch ever ruled his cowering subjects with any more cruel tyranny than things—visible things, audible things, tangible things—rule mankind.

That we who were made to communicate with angels and archangels and seraphim and with the God who made them all—that we should settle down here as a wild eagle of the air come down to scratch in the barnyard with the common hens—this I say is the worst of anything that has ever come to the world!

It seems incredible that we who were made for many worlds should accept this one world as our ultimate home.

Man was made in the image of God and is now a fallen being that has left its place in the celestial world and has plummeted down like a falling star. Now, in this world, he has all but forgotten the place from which he came.

That is why the devil sees to it that we seldom get alone with time to think and meditate on the reality of the other world. For when a man really gets alone, he senses often that this life in this world is not the answer—it is not the end.

Actually and simply, a Christian is one who dedicates himself to God to inhabit another and better world!

United with Christ

We are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. 1 JOHN 5:20

The Spirit of God has impelled me to preach and write much about the believer’s conscious union with Christ—a union that must be felt and experienced. I will never be through talking about the union of the soul with the Savior, the conscious union of the believer’s heart with Jesus.

Remember, I am not talking about a “theological union” only. I am speaking also of a conscious union, a union that is felt and experienced.

I have never been ashamed to tell my congregations that I believe in feelings. I surely believe in what Jonathan Edwards termed “religious affections.” That is man’s perspective.

I am aware also that from God’s perspective there are qualities in the Divine Being that can only be known by the heart; never by the intellect!

Long ago John wrote: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). So it is best for us to confess that as humans we have difficulty in understanding what God has said when He says that He
loves us!

Heavenly Father, help me to be conscious of Your presence in my life today. And I pray that others will see You through me.