Sept 29, 2011
The Martins – Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow
Sept 29, 2011
The Martins – Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow
A thousand strands of time, events, and people weave into a tapestry we call place. More than just a house, place is where meaning, belonging, and safety come together under the covering of our best efforts at unconditional love. Place beckons us with memories buried deep in our souls. Even when our place isn’t perfect, its hold on us is dramatic, magnetic.
The Bible speaks frequently of place. We see an example in Nehemiah’s longing for a restored Jerusalem (Neh. 1:3-4; 2:2). It’s no surprise, then, that Jesus would speak of place when He wants to comfort us. “Let not your heart be troubled,” He began. Then He added: “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:1-2).
For those who have fond memories of earthly places, this promise links us to something we can easily understand and look forward to. And for those whose places have been anything but comforting and safe, Jesus promises that one day they will hear the sweet song place sings, for they will inhabit it with Him.
Whatever the struggle, whatever the faltering on your faith journey, remember this: There’s a place in heaven already waiting, fitted just for you. Jesus wouldn’t have said so if it weren’t true. By Randy Kilgore
Today’s passage contains a beautiful insight into what makes our future in heaven so wonderful. In verse 9, Nehemiah quotes Moses saying that God will bring His people into the place where His name dwells. It is God’s presence that makes our future worth waiting for.
Jesus, I can’t wait to live in the home You have prepared for me. Thank You that no matter what my earthly place holds, comfort or pain, my home with You will be so much better.
May the memory of our earthly place point us with hope to our heavenly place.
I’ve had people tell me, “I wish I had great faith.” While most of us would like God to just drop that kind of con-fidence into our laps, it’s not the way He operates. Faith increases as a result of our obedience in little things. We all marvel at Abraham’s willingness to offer up Isaac at the Lord’s command. But have you ever stopped to consider all of his smaller steps of submission that prepared the way for this enormous test?
Throughout his lifetime, Abraham obeyed God. At the Lord’s command, he left his country (Gen. 12:1-4), was circumcised (17:10, 26), conceived Isaac when he and his wife were old (21:1-3), and sent his son Ishmael away (vv. 9-14). By the time he was asked to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, he already knew that God would always be faithful to His promises. Abraham’s previous experiences had taught him to trust the Lord.
In the same way, each small step of obedience solidifies our confidence in God. Then, when He challenges us with a more difficult assignment, a firm foundation of assurance enables us to trust and obey. Great acts of faith flow from our past interactions with the Lord. By neglecting His simple commands, we miss priceless opportunities to witness His faithfulness.
Having trouble trusting the Lord for something big? Maybe it’s because you’ve ignored those “small” and “insignificant” promptings of the Holy Spirit. God considers each of His commands important and promises to reward every act of obedience, regardless of size. Great faith begins with little steps.
“To know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Ephesians 3:19)
One of the great doctrines of Christianity is the doctrine of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God, who lives in the heart of each believer who trusts in Christ for salvation. “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
At the same time, God is one God, so all three persons of the Godhead must, through the Spirit, likewise indwell the believer. Note Paul’s prayer for the believers in the Ephesian church (Ephesians 3:14-19).
“That he would grant you . . . to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16). This request acknowledges the indwelling Spirit. Christ also prayed for this: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter . . . the Spirit of truth . . . for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16-17).
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith” (Ephesians 3:17), that we might “know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge” (v. 19). Here is the indwelling Son. This is also revealed in Galatians 2:20 (“Christ liveth in me”) and Colossians 1:27 (“Christ in you, the hope of glory”).
“That ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). This can only refer to the indwelling Father, as well as the entire tri-unity of the Godhead. Can this indwelling be ours? Note also that the entire prayer was addressed in the first place to “the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:14). This, likewise, is a reflection of Christ’s promise: “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23). “Filled with all the fulness of God!” What a wonderful privilege—and responsibility—is ours. HMM
O GOD, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. —Psalm 63:1-2
But it is within our hearts and our beings that God searches and looks. It is our spiritual heart life that is to be simple. It is in our hearts that we are to meditate and be silent. It is deep within our beings that we must be courageous and open to God’s leadings.
If there ever was an hour in which the church needed courageous men of prophetic vision, it is now. Preachers and pastors? They can be turned out in our schools like automobiles off the assembly line.
But prophets? Where are they?
The simple, humble and courageous men who are willing to serve and wait on God in the long silences, who wait to hear what God says before they go to tell the world—these do not come along too often. When they do, they seek only to glorify their God and His Christ!
Oh Lord, I long to be one of those “courageous men of prophetic vision.” I quiet my heart today: I will “wait on God in the long silences;” and then I’ll go with only the word that I receive from You— only for Your glory. Amen.
And when the centurion… saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. Mark 15:39
The current mania of men and women to succeed in the world is a good thing perverted. The desire to fulfill the purpose for which we were created is of course a gift from God, but sin has twisted this impulse about and turned it into a selfish lust for first place and top honors. By this lust the whole world of mankind is driven as by a demon, and there is no escape.
When we come to Christ we enter a different world. The New Testament introduces us to a spiritual philosophy infinitely higher than and altogether contrary to that which motivates the world. According to the teaching of Christ the poor in spirit are blessed; the meek inherit the earth; the first are last and the last first; the greatest man is the one that best serves others and the one who loses everything is the only one that will have everything at last. The successful man of the world will see his hoarded treasures swept away by the tempest of judgment; the righteous beggar goes to Abraham’s bosom and the rich man burns in the fires of hell.
Our Lord died an apparent failure, discredited by the leaders of established religion, rejected by society and forsaken by His friends. The man who ordered Him to the cross was the successful statesman whose hand the ambitious hack politician kissed. It took the resurrection to demonstrate how gloriously Christ had triumphed and how tragically the governor had failed. The resurrection and the judgment will demonstrate before all worlds who won and who lost. We can wait!
The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. PROVERBS 10:22
It is a fact in human history that men and women have never in any great numbers sought after truth.
The young people who stream from our halls of learning each year confess to having no more than a passing and academic interest in truth. The majority admit that they go to college only to improve their social standing and increase their earning power.
So, the average American will confess that he most wants success in his chosen field; and he wants success both for prestige and for financial security.
The ominous thing about all this is that everything men and women want can be bought with money, and it would be difficult to think of an indictment more terrible than that!
Real seekers after truth are almost as rare as albino deer! Why? Because truth is a glorious but hard master. Jesus said, “I am… the Truth” (John 14:6) and followed Truth straight to the cross. The Truth seeker must follow Him there, and that is the reason few men seek the Truth!
Lord, it is so easy to get wrapped up in the things of this world. Help me to find a balance between working to provide for my family and trusting You for all our needs.