Dec 5, 2013
A Celtic worship hymn
Dec 5, 2013
A Celtic worship hymn
A servant of God must stand so very much alone that he never realizes he is alone. In the early stages of the Christian life, disappointments will come— people who used to be lights will flicker out, and those who used to stand with us will turn away. We have to get so used to it that we will not even realize we are standing alone. Paul said, “…no one stood with me, but all forsook me….But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me…” (2 Timothy 4:16-17). We must build our faith not on fading lights but on the Light that never fails. When “important” individuals go away we are sad, until we see that they are meant to go, so that only one thing is left for us to do— to look into the face of God for ourselves.
Allow nothing to keep you from looking with strong determination into the face of God regarding yourself and your doctrine. And every time you preach make sure you look God in the face about the message first, then the glory will remain through all of it. A Christian servant is one who perpetually looks into the face of God and then goes forth to talk to others. The ministry of Christ is characterized by an abiding glory of which the servant is totally unaware— “…Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him” (Exodus 34:29).
We are never called on to display our doubts openly or to express the hidden joys and delights of our life with God. The secret of the servant’s life is that he stays in tune with God all the time.
by Oswald Chambers
What does it mean when we say that Jesus is Lord? We hear the word used so frequently that we are in danger of losing the significance of its sheer power and magnitude.
Lord is far more than a mere title that Scripture bestows on Jesus. The second chapter of Philippians emphasizes this fact by repeatedly mentioning the word name. We see that God gave Jesus the “name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus,” all of heaven and earth will bow down and “confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (vv. 9-11).
In that passage, the name given to Jesus is none other than “Lord.” You see, that word is not used to describe what Jesus does; it’s simply who Jesus is. He is, and will always be, the sovereign ruler of everything in heaven and on the earth.
Therefore, if we echo the confession, “Jesus is Lord,” then our lives must reflect that confidence. Is there anything in your life that you attempt to hide from Christ? Have you refused to do something that He has called you to do? These are acts of rebellion, and they simply demonstrate our lack of faith in Jesus as Lord of our lives.
One day everyone will recognize that Christ is Lord of lords (1 Timothy 6:15). We who are His children should show our faith by inviting Him into any dark areas of our life and allowing Him to conform us to His image. We can begin with the simple yet profound confession: “Jesus is Lord.” And when we confess those words, we should be mindful of their meaning.
“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10)
When Moses wrote these words near the end of his life, he was 120 years old (Deuteronomy 34:7), but all the rest of the people of Israel (except Caleb and Joshua) who had been over 20 at the beginning of the 40-year wilderness wanderings, had died there (Numbers 14:28-34), and so there were no others over 60 years old.
In former days men had lived much longer. Adam died at 930 and Noah at 950, but then Shem only lived to 600, and Abraham died at 175 years of age. Thus, the normal lifespan by Moses’ time was down to 70 or 80 years, and he prophesied that this would continue.
It is remarkable that, with all the increase in medical knowledge, this figure has stayed about the same, and there seems to be little the gerontologists can do to increase it.
Furthermore, the latter years are largely “labor and sorrow,” just as God told Adam when his sin brought God’s curse on the earth (Genesis 3:17-20). No matter how much we try to prolong our lives, we are “soon cut off.”
But then, we “fly away”! The soul/spirit complex of the Christian believer, released from its weary body, flies away to be with the Lord. Those left behind may sorrow, but “to depart, and to be with Christ . . . is far better.” The Christian may confidently say with Paul: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:23, 21). In the meantime, as our time grows shorter, it is more important than ever that we “walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time” (Colossians 4:5). “So teach us to number our days,” prayed Moses (and so should we), “that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). HMM
When we go to God with a request that He modify the existing situation for us, that is, that He answer prayer, there are two conditions that we must meet:
(1) We must pray in the will of God and
(2) we must be on what old-fashioned Christians often call “praying ground”; that is, we must be living lives pleasing to God.
It is futile to beg God to act contrary to His revealed purposes. To pray with confidence the petitioner must be certain that his request falls within the broad will of God for His people.
The second condition is also vitally important. God has not placed Himself under obligation to honor the requests of worldly, carnal or disobedient Christians. He hears and answers the prayers only of those who walk in His way.
The truth is that God always answers the prayer that accords with His will as revealed in the Scriptures, provided the one who prays is obedient and trustful. Further than this we dare not go.
Lord, in the power of Your Holy Spirit, help me to be obedient.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Hebrews 13:8
It is a gracious thing in our relationship with the heavenly Father to find that He loves us for ourselves and values our love more than galaxies of new created worlds.
The added blessing is to discover His faithfulness—for what He is today we shall find Him tomorrow, the next day and the next year!
Actually, the fellowship of God with His redeemed family is beyond all telling. He communes with His redeemed ones in an easy, uninhibited fellowship that is restful and healing to the soul.
He is not sensitive nor selfish nor temperamental. He is not hard to please, though He may be hard to satisfy. He expects of us only what He has Himself first supplied.
He is quick to mark every simple effort to please Him, and just as quick to overlook imperfections when He knows we meant to do His will. Surely He loves us for ourselves!
Unfortunately, many Christians cannot get free from their perverted notions of God, and these notions poison their hearts and destroy their inward freedom. These friends serve God grimly, as the elder brother did, doing what is right without enthusiasm and without joy, and seem altogether unable to understand the buoyant, spirited celebration when the prodigal comes home. Their idea of God rules out the possibility of His being happy in His people!
How good it would be if we could learn that God is easy to live with, the sum of all patience, the essence of kindly good will!
The life which I now live in the flesh live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me. GALATIANS 2:20
God has revealed so many glorious contradictions in the lives and conduct of genuine Christian believers that it is small wonder that we are such an amazement to this world.
The Christian is dead and yet he lives forever. He died to himself and yet he lives in Christ.
The Christian saves his own life by losing it, and he is in danger of losing it by trying to save it.
It is strange but true that the Christian is strongest when he is weakest and weakest when he is strongest. When he gets down on his knees thinking he is weak, he is always strong.
The Christian is in least danger when he is fearful and trusting God and in the most danger when he feels the most self-confident.
He is most sinless when he feels the most sinful, and he is the most sinful when he feels the most sinless.
The Christian actually has the most when he is giving away the most; and in all of these ways, the Christian is simply putting into daily practice the teachings and example of Jesus Christ, his Savior and Lord!
Heavenly Father, the biggest contradiction is that I am a sinner and You are sinless. Yet You have redeemed me by Your death and resurrection. I praise You, Lord.