VIDEO Amidst Us Our Beloved Stands

Oct 26, 2011

Words: Charles H. Spurgeon, 1866.
Music: Hamburg, Lowell Mason, 1824; first appeared in The Boston Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music, third edition, 1825

1 Amidst us our Belovèd stands,
And bids us view His piercèd hands;
Points to the wounded feet and side,
Blest emblems of the Crucified.

2 What food luxurious loads the board,
When, at His table, sits the Lord!
The wine how rich, the bread how sweet,
When Jesus deigns the guests to meet!

3 If now, with eyes defiled and dim,
We see the signs, but see not Him;
O, may His love the scales displace,
And bid us see Him face to face!

4 Thou glorious Bridegroom of our hearts,
Thy present smile a heaven imparts!
O, lift the veil, if veil there be,
Let every saint Thy glory see!

The Explanation For Our Difficulties

Isaiah 43 19
…that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us… —John 17:21

If you are going through a time of isolation, seemingly all alone, read John 17 . It will explain exactly why you are where you are— because Jesus has prayed that you “may be one” with the Father as He is. Are you helping God to answer that prayer, or do you have some other goal for your life? Since you became a disciple, you cannot be as independent as you used to be.

God reveals in John 17 that His purpose is not just to answer our prayers, but that through prayer we might come to discern His mind. Yet there is one prayer which God must answer, and that is the prayer of Jesus— “…that they may be one just as We are one…” (John 17:22). Are we as close to Jesus Christ as that?

God is not concerned about our plans; He doesn’t ask, “Do you want to go through this loss of a loved one, this difficulty, or this defeat?” No, He allows these things for His own purpose. The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, and nobler men and women, or they are making us more critical and fault-finding, and more insistent on our own way. The things that happen either make us evil, or they make us more saintly, depending entirely on our relationship with God and its level of intimacy. If we will pray, regarding our own lives, “Your will be done” (Matthew 26:42), then we will be encouraged and comforted by John 17, knowing that our Father is working according to His own wisdom, accomplishing what is best. When we understand God’s purpose, we will not become small-minded and cynical. Jesus prayed nothing less for us than absolute oneness with Himself, just as He was one with the Father. Some of us are far from this oneness; yet God will not leave us alone until we are one with Him— because Jesus prayed, “…that they all may be one….”

By Oswald Chambers

You can pray “Lord what do you want me to learn through this”

Unforgiveness and Hate – Talking Hands

Unforgiveness and Hate

Ephesians 4:31-32

One of the most destructive attitudes—if not the most destructive—for a Christian to display is hate. Think about it. How well can the saving light of Jesus Christ shine in a life that is totally shrouded in loathing, rage, and malice? And what picture of Christ does this type of person show to the unbelieving world?

Hate is a total breakdown in the Christlike attitude we are called to exhibit. Yet even in churches, it’s not hard to find individuals just brimming over with hostility. Where does it come from? One of the key reasons believers are so prone to hatred is an inability to forgive those who caused them hurt—especially when such treatment is undeserved.

Let’s take a “hate test.” Think about someone who hurt you in the past, and consider these “heart checks”:

. Does the scene play out in your mind over and over?

IF YOU HATE SOMEONE, YOU CANNOT WISH HIM OR HER WELL. Do you genuinely wish the best for a person who has hurt you?

IF YOU HATE SOMEONE, YOU WANT THAT PERSON TO HURT JUST AS YOU HURT Do you secretly desire this individual to experience the same pain that was thrust upon you?

If these questions have revealed any hidden animosity in your heart, don’t leave your chair until you prayerfully meditate on Ephesians 4:31-32. First, read the passage aloud. Then, personalize it into a prayer, and let God’s Holy Spirit cleanse your heart of hatred by empowering you to forgive an old hurt.

Talking Hands

You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. Psalm 145:16

Hand gestures can communicate our innermost thoughts and emotions. Clenched fists reveal anger. White knuckles and trembling are usually the result of fear and nervousness. We close our hands around things we want to hold on to and open them to receive and give gifts.

God’s generosity is described in the verse above. He created and sustains life. He opens His hand and satisfies the desires of every living thing. Our very existence is dependent on God. If we overlook God’s generosity or find ourselves in the midst of a painful season, it’s easy for a mindset of scarcity to take over. We become afraid of losing what we have, and our heart’s stance becomes one of grasping as we seek to control our circumstances.

This is an exhausting place to be. Not only do circumstances remain outside of our control, but we miss opportunities to participate in the joy of giving because we are focused on protecting what we have. We also miss God’s gifts to us because we are focused on our lack. The first step to living with open hands is to embrace the truth of God’s generosity. When we believe in God’s goodness and His love for us, we find the freedom to receive and release His gifts.

Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open. Corrie ten Boom

Recommended Reading: Isaiah 40:27-31

The Victor’s Crown

“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” (1 Corinthians 9:25)

Ancient athletes who “strove for the mastery” devoted their whole lives to training and were “temperate in all things,” hoping thereby to receive the victor’s crown someday.

There are 21 references to the victor’s crown in the New Testament, in either the verb or noun form. In most of these, the crown is used as a symbol of the Christian’s “incorruptible” reward at the end of his spiritual race.

In 1 Thessalonians 2:19, it is called a “crown of rejoicing,” speaking of the joy awaiting the faithful witness when he meets again with those he has influenced for Christ in this present life. Paul spoke of our “crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8) when we shall be “like him” (1 John 3:2), with our old sinful weaknesses and desires gone forever. Peter said it would be a “crown of glory that fadeth not away” (1 Peter 5:4). James and John both said it is a wonderful “crown of life” (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10), that is, eternal life, in contrast to this present life of faithful submission to trials and persecution and possible death, for Christ’s sake.

The first four references to this victor’s crown, however, refer to the crown worn by Christ Himself. “Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!” (John 19:5).

Marvelous irony this, that a crown intended as an instrument of ridicule and pain would be transformed into a kingly crown of triumph! “But we see Jesus . . . crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9). In the very suffering of death, He defeated death and sin and Satan himself, and His crown of thorns became a crown of eternal glory and universal honor. HMM

Nibbling at the Truth

Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. —Acts 20:26-27

This is one of the marks of our modern time—that many are guilty of merely “nibbling” at the truth of the Christian gospel.

I wonder if you realize that in many ways the preaching of the Word of God is being pulled down to the level of the ignorant and spiritually obtuse; that we must tell stories and jokes and entertain and amuse in order to have a few people in the
audience? We do these things that we may have some reputation and that there may be money in the treasury to meet the church bills….

In many churches Christianity has been watered down until the solution is so weak that if it were poison it would not hurt anyone, and if it were medicine it would not cure anyone!

Lord, don’t ever let me be guilty of watering down the truth or playing to the crowds, concerned about my “reputation” or “money in the treasury.” Amen.

Hope in Ethics: Utterly Unrealistic and Naive

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Matthew 25:34

The hope being voiced by many that the nations will “accept the ethics of Jesus, disarm and live like brothers,” is utterly unrealistic and naive.

In the first place, the teachings of Jesus were never intended for the nations of the world. Our Lord sent His followers into all the world to make and baptize disciples. These disciples were to be taught to observe the commandments of Christ.

They would thus become a minority group, a peculiar people, in the world but not of it, sometimes tolerated but more often despised and persecuted. And history demonstrates that this is exactly what happened wherever groups of people took the gospel seriously.

To expect of once-born nations conduct possible only to the regenerated, purified, Spirit-led followers of Christ is to confuse the truth of Christianity and hope for the impossible. In the Scriptures, the nations of the earth are symbolized by the lion, the bear and the leopard.

Christians, in sharp contrast, are likened to peaceful sheep in the midst of wolves, who manage to stay alive only by keeping close to the Shepherd. If the sheep will not act like the bear why should we expect the bear to act like the sheep?

It might be well for us Christians to listen less to the news commentators and more to the voice of the Spirit!

God Is Sovereign

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

Oh, how I wish that I could adequately set forth the glory of the One who is worthy to be the object of our worship!

I do believe that if our new converts—the babes in Christ—could be made to see His thousand attributes and even partially comprehend His being, they would become faint with a yearning desire to worship and honor and acknowledge Him, now and forever!

I know that many discouraged Christians do not truly believe in God’s sovereignty. In that case, we are not filling our role as the humble and trusting followers of God and His Christ.

And yet, that is why Christ came into our world. The old theologians called it “theanthropism”—the union of the divine and human natures in Christ. This is a great mystery, and I stand in awe before it!

The theanthropy is the mystery of God and man united in one Person—not two persons but two natures. So, the nature of God and the nature of man are united in this One who is our Lord Jesus Christ!

Lord Jesus, You are the only hope for this world. You provided the perfect plan for our redemption. Though Your supernatural being may be beyond our human comprehension, Your grace and mercy and love are worthy of all our praise.