Sep 27, 2012
We Shall Behold Him by Sandi Patty
Music video by Bill & Gloria Gaither
Sep 27, 2012
We Shall Behold Him by Sandi Patty
Music video by Bill & Gloria Gaither
Once upon a time, two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side-by-side, sharing machinery and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch.
Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference and finally, it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.
One morning there was a knock on John’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox. “I ‘m looking for a few days’ work,” he said. “Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you?”
“Yes,” said the older brother. “I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbor. In fact, it’s my younger brother! Last week there was a meadow between us. He recently took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll do him one better. See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence an 8-foot fence — so I won’t need to see his place or his face anymore.”
The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.”
The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day — measuring, sawing and nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.
The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all.
It was a bridge .. A bridge that stretched from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, handrails and all! And the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming toward them, his hand outstretched..
“You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done.”
The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in middle, taking each other’s hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox onto his shoulder.
“No, wait! Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother.
“I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “but I have many more bridges to build.”
God won’t ask what kind of car you drove, but He’ll ask how many people you helped get where they needed to go.
God won’t ask the square footage of your house, but He’ll ask how many people you welcomed into your home.
God won’t ask about the clothes you had in your closet, but He’ll ask how many you helped to clothe.
God won’t ask how many friends you had, but He’ll ask how many people to whom you were a friend.
God won’t ask in what neighborhood you lived, but He’ll ask how you treated your neighbors.
God won’t ask about the color of your skin, but He’ll ask about the content of your character.
God won’t ask why it took you so long to seek Salvation, but He’ll lovingly take you to your mansion in Heaven, and not to the gates of hell.
God won’t ask how many people you forwarded this to, but He’ll ask why you were ashamed to pass it on to your friends…
Strength in Waiting
God has a purpose and plan for your life, and His timing is perfect. Sometimes He answers our prayers with “yes” or “no.” But at other times, He says, “Not now.” When this is the case, we can avail ourselves of the rich rewards that come while we wait.
One very practical blessing is that God strengthens us as we lean on Him during delays. Isaiah 40:31 describes an eagle soaring—an apt metaphor for how the believer who abides in the Lord will be lifted and sustained by His Spirit. (In fact, it’s interesting to note that the Hebrew for “wind” and “spirit” come from the same word: ruach.)
When we are facing a difficult decision, the real key is learning to wait. There is no verse of Scripture that tells us to take control and fight our own battles. God is the one who fights them on our behalf (2 Chronicles 20:15). We are to be patient and trust in Him.
When David faced his greatest battles, he waited upon the Lord. God delivered him from destruction and set his feet on solid ground (Psalms 40:1-3). He will do the same for you. When you abide in Him, He gives supernatural energy to accomplish the things He requires of you—His Spirit does for you what you cannot do for yourself.
In reading through the Scriptures, we see that every time one of God’s saints gains a victory, he or she is waiting and trusting in the Lord. You can likewise experience triumph in your life. When you have the omnipotent Creator of the universe acting on your behalf, you can’t lose.
The Secret of the Lord
The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him… —Psalm 25:14
What is the sign of a friend? Is it that he tells you his secret sorrows? No, it is that he tells you his secret joys. Many people will confide their secret sorrows to you, but the final mark of intimacy is when they share their secret joys with you. Have we ever let God tell us any of His joys? Or are we continually telling God our secrets, leaving Him no time to talk to us? At the beginning of our Christian life we are full of requests to God. But then we find that God wants to get us into an intimate relationship with Himself— to get us in touch with His purposes. Are we so intimately united to Jesus Christ’s idea of prayer— “Your will be done” (Matthew 6:10)— that we catch the secrets of God? What makes God so dear to us is not so much His big blessings to us, but the tiny things, because they show His amazing intimacy with us— He knows every detail of each of our individual lives.
“Him shall He teach in the way He chooses” (Psalm 25:12). At first, we want the awareness of being guided by God. But then as we grow spiritually, we live so fully aware of God that we do not even need to ask what His will is, because the thought of choosing another way will never occur to us. If we are saved and sanctified, God guides us by our everyday choices. And if we are about to choose what He does not want, He will give us a sense of doubt or restraint, which we must heed. Whenever there is doubt, stop at once. Never try to reason it out, saying, “I wonder why I shouldn’t do this?” God instructs us in what we choose; that is, He actually guides our common sense. And when we yield to His teachings and guidance, we no longer hinder His Spirit by continually asking, “Now, Lord, what is Your will?”
by Oswald Chambers
“It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” (Psalm 119:71)
This seems like a strange testimony. Affliction is often accompanied by complaining or discouragement, but seldom by a statement of satisfaction and thankfulness, such as in our text for today.
Nevertheless, in terms of the long-range goal of character development, afflictions are often good for us, helping to make us more Christ-like, and preparing us for our ministry of service to Him in the age to come (Revelation 22:3), if only we profit from them and submit to them as we should.
“Before I was afflicted I went astray,” testifies the psalmist, “but now have I kept thy word. . . . This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me” (Psalm 119:67, 50). Such testimonies have been echoed innumerable times throughout the centuries, as godly men and women have drawn closer to the Lord through His comforting Word during times of affliction than they ever were during times of ease.
In fact, afflictions often draw even the unsaved to the Lord. They would never come when things are going well, but many do come when, in times of sorrow or rejection, they are forced to the end of their resources. It is then that “godly sorrow [literally, ‘sorrow from God’] worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of” (2 Corinthians 7:10).
As for those instances when God’s people suffered in ancient times, it was said: “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them” (Isaiah 63:9). Although no such affliction “for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” (Hebrews 12:11). HMM
O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. —Psalm 95:1-2
What are we going to do about this awesome, beautiful worship that God calls for? I would rather worship God than do any other thing I know of in all this wide world.
I would not even attempt to tell you how many hymnbooks are piled up in my study. I cannot sing a lick, but that is nobody’s business. God thinks I am an opera star!
God listens while I sing to Him the old French hymns in translation, the old Latin hymns in translation. God listens while I sing the old Greek hymns from the Eastern church as well as the beautiful psalms done in meter and some of the simpler songs of Watts and Wesley and the rest.
I mean it when I say that I would rather worship God than to do anything else.
Lord, may that be my testimony as well—”I would rather worship God than do any other thing I know of in all this wide world.” Amen.
… Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:…Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land…. Deuteronomy 1:6, 8
Large numbers of supposedly sound Christian believers know nothing at all about personal communion with God; and there lies one of the greatest weaknesses of present-day Christianity!
The experiential knowledge of God is eternal life (John 17:3), and increased knowledge results in a correspondingly larger and fuller life. So rich a treasure is this inward knowledge of God that every other treasure is as nothing compared with it!
We may count all things of no value and sacrifice them freely if we may thereby gain a more perfect knowledge of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. This was Paul’s testimony (Phil. 3:7-14) and it has been the testimony of all great Christian souls who have followed Christ from Paul’s day to ours.
To know God it is necessary that we be like God to some degree, for things wholly dissimilar cannot agree and beings wholly unlike can never have communion with each other. It is necessary therefore that we use every means of grace to bring our souls into harmony with the character of God.
As we move farther up into the knowledge of Christ we open new areas of our beings to attack, but what of it? Remember that spiritual complacency is more deadly than anything the devil can bring against us in our upward struggle. If we sit still to escape temptation, then we are being tempted worse than before and gaining nothing by it.
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body… and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 1 CORINTHIANS 12:13
It is really a blessed thing in our Christian fellowship and in our congregations that God never asks whether it is a big church or a little church!
A young pastor, when introduced to a well-known church leader, said, “You do not know me. I am the pastor of a little rural church.”
I think it was a wise reply that came from the churchman: “Young man, there are no little churches; all churches are the same size in God’s sight!”
But whether large or small, it must be an assembly of believers brought together through the name of Jesus to worship in God’s Presencs—and with the right to receive all that God bestows.
With these roots we should ask ourselves if we are truly interested in spiritual attainment as were the New Testament believers. We must confess that the spiritual temperature among us may often be lower than in the early church. But we hold to the message that those who truly honor the Presence of the Savior are included in this relationship that goes back to the New Testament and to the apostles!
Lord, even small churches can be a large beacon in their communities through prayer and service. Glorify Yourself today through the good works of Your universal Church.