Jun 25, 2011
by Dan Schutte
River of glory, springs of our birth,
flood of God’s riches poured on the earth.
We are born from the darkness
and clothed in the light!
We are bathed in the glory of God!
1. Fountain of mercy,
grace flowing free,
streams of salvation,
spilling with love from a tree!
2. Here there is haven,
healing and health,
joy for the asking,
love in abundance of wealth!
3. Bread for our journey
God will provide.
Hope for all ages,
Jesus, companion and guide!
4. Darkness is banished,
night turned away.
Christ is our sunlight,
lifting and leading our way!
[Jesus] answered him and said, “. . . Bring him to Me.” —Mark 9:19
“I don’t believe in God and I won’t go,” Mark said.
Amy struggled to swallow the lump in her throat. Her son had changed from a happy boy to a surly and uncooperative young man. Life was a battleground, and Sunday had become a day to dread, as Mark refused to go to church with the family. Finally his despairing parents consulted a counselor, who said: “Mark must make his own faith journey. You can’t force him into the kingdom. Give God space to work. Keep praying, and wait.”
Amy waited—and prayed. One morning the words of Jesus that she had read echoed through her mind. Jesus’ disciples had failed to help a demon-possessed boy, but Jesus had the answer: “Bring him to Me” (Mark 9:19). The sun shone through the window at Amy’s side, making a pool of light on the floor. If Jesus could heal in such an extreme situation, then surely He could also help her son. She pictured herself and Mark standing in that light with Jesus. Then she mentally stepped back, leaving her son alone with the One who loved him even more than she did.
Every day Amy silently handed Mark to God, clinging to the assurance that He knew Mark’s needs, and would in His time and in His way, work in his life. By Marion Stroud
Father, I lift my beloved to You, knowing that
You love him even more than I do and
You understand just what to do to meet
his need. I commit him to Your care.
Prayer is the voice of faith trusting that God knows and cares.
Billy and Ruth Graham at their home in 1990
It happens all the time: well-known couples terminate marriages. The reason?
Incompatibility. It’s an all too familiar legal umbrella under which an assortment of excuses finds shelter.
I looked up the definition of incompatibility: “incapable of coexisting harmoniously…”
Incapable of coexisting harmoniously? “With God, all things are possible,” I remembered.
The definition continued: disagreeing in nature. Great! One can disagree without being disagreeable.
Before we married, someone gave me a gem of wisdom: “Where two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary.”
Irreconcilable. I doubt it! When two draw near to God, they find themselves closer to one another.
Conflicting. Terrific! When someone gets into a position of political or social power or one of fame or fortune and no one dares to disagree with him or her, look out! This person is in danger. At times, we all need to be disagreed with.
Our daughter’s Swiss in-laws once gave my husband a Swiss watch. Eventually, it stopped working, but no local watchmaker could fix it.
The next time we were in Switzerland, we sent it directly to the company that made it. They had no problem; the ones who made it knew how to make it work again.
Who invented marriage? He is the One to whom we must go. His Book of Instructions has the answers.
By Ruth Bell Graham
Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.” (Genesis 6:14)
Details surrounding the story of Noah and the Flood have long caused laymen and theologians alike to stumble and compromise.
None could argue that the wording was not clear. God had commanded Noah to build a wooden boat of huge dimensions and to take on board representatives of land-dwelling, air-breathing animals. The Flood, Scripture reveals, devastated the entire world. But nineteenth-century theologians, pressed on by Hutton, Lyell, and others proposing the new uniformitarian interpretation of Earth history, became convinced that the scriptural account must be understood in a figurative sense. Their twentieth-century counterparts repeat this error, promulgating the non-biblical idea that the Flood was only local.
Some have wondered how Noah could gather all the animals, but the Bible simply says they “went in two and two unto Noah into the ark” (7:9), evidently migrating to the location on God’s command.
Their care while on the Ark has also been raised as a problem. But, in all likelihood, the animals entered a state of semi-dormancy, as nearly all of their descendants do today when faced with danger over which they have no control and from which they cannot flee.
Scripture supports this idea in our text: The word “rooms,” which is more properly translated “nests” everywhere else in Scripture, implies a small place to sleep or nestle rather than a large cage. The job of caring for the animals may have been difficult, but our gracious God would have seen to it that it was possible. Questions like these are no cause for compromise. JDM
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and me love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. —2 Corinthians 13:14
Our blunder (or shall we frankly say our sin?) has been to neglect the doctrine of the Spirit to a point where we virtually deny Him His place in the Godhead. This denial has not been by open doctrinal statement, for we have clung closely enough to the biblical position wherever our creedal pronouncements are concerned. Our formal creed is sound; the breakdown is in our working creed.
This is not a trifling distinction. A doctrine has practical value only as far as it is prominent in our thoughts and makes a difference in our lives. By this test the doctrine of the Holy Spirit as held by evangelical Christians today has almost no practical value at all. In most Christian churches the Spirit is quite entirely overlooked. Whether He is present or absent makes no real difference to anyone. Brief reference is made to Him in the Doxology and the benediction. Further than that He might as well not exist. So completely do we ignore Him that it is only by courtesy that we can be called Trinitarian. The Christian doctrine of the Trinity boldly declares the equality of the Three Persons and the right of the Holy Spirit to be worshiped and glorified. Anything less than this is something less than Trinitarianism.
Make me so aware of the power of the Holy Spirit in my life that I might give Him the recognition and worship that He so rightly deserves. Amen.
And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not. Genesis 28:16
The patriarch Jacob saw a vision of God and cried out in wonder, “Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.”
Jacob had never been for one small division of a moment outside the circle of that all-pervading Presence. But he knew it not. That was his trouble, and it is ours.
Men do not know that God is here. What a difference it would make if they knew!
The Presence and the manifestation of the Presence are not the same. There can be the one without the other. God is here when we are wholly unaware of it. He is manifest only when and as we are aware of His Presence. On our part there must be surrender to the Spirit of God, for His work is to show us the Father and the Son.
If we cooperate with Him in loving obedience God will manifest Himself to us, and that manifestation will be the difference between a nominal Christian life and a life radiant with the light of His face.
It has been asked, “Why does God manifest His Presence to some and let multitudes of others struggle along in the half-light of imperfect Christian experience?” We can only reply that the will of God is the same for all—He has no favorites within His household. All he has ever done for any of His children He will do for all of His children. The difference lies not with God but with us!
Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world. 1 JOHN 5:4
When our faith becomes obedience to our Savior, then it is true faith, indeed! The difficulty we modern Christians face is not misunderstanding the Bible, but persuading our untamed hearts to accept its plain instruction. Our problem is to get the consent of our world-loving minds to make Jesus Lord in fact, as well as in word. For it is one thing to say, “Lord, Lord,” and quite another thing to obey the Lord’s commandments.
We may sing “Crown Him Lord of all,” and rejoice in the tones of the loud organ and the deep melody in harmonious voices, but still we have done nothing until we have left the world and set our faces toward the City of God in hard practical reality.
The world’s spirit is strong, and it can play at religion with every appearance of sincerity. It can have fits of conscience (particularly during Lent)! It will contribute to charitable causes and campaigns on behalf of the poor, but all with its own condition: “Let Christ keep His distance and never assert His lordship.” This it positively will not endure!
Dear Lord, I want to be an authentic follower of Jesus Christ. I don’t want to play “religious games” with my faith.