VIDEO I’d Rather Have Jesus Than Silver Or Gold

Aug 30, 2012

Music video by Bill & Gloria Gaither performing I’d Rather Have Jesus featuring Squire Parsons, Mary Tom Speer Reid

Help for a Heavy Load – The Spiritually Lazy Saint

bike load
Help for a Heavy Load

[The men] shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you may not bear it yourself alone. —Numbers 11:17

It’s amazing what you can haul with a bicycle. An average adult with a specialized trailer (and a bit of determination) can use a bicycle to tow up to 300 pounds at 10 mph. There’s just one problem: Hauling a heavier load means moving more slowly. A person hauling 600 pounds of work equipment or personal possessions would only be able to move at a pace of 8 miles in one hour.

Moses carried another kind of weight in the wilderness—an emotional weight that kept him at a standstill. The Israelites’ intense craving for meat instead of manna had reduced them to tears. Hearing their ongoing lament, an exasperated Moses said to God, “I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me” (Num. 11:14).

On his own, Moses lacked the resources necessary to fix the problem. God responded by telling him to select 70 men to stand with him and share his load. God told Moses, “[The men] shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you may not bear it yourself alone” (v. 17).

As followers of Jesus, we don’t have to handle our burdens alone either. We have Jesus Himself, who is always willing and able to help us. And He has given us brothers and sisters in Christ to share the load. When we give Him the things that weigh us down, He gives us wisdom and support in return.

Who has come alongside you? Have you thanked them?

God’s help is only a prayer away.

By Jennifer Benson Schuldt

The Spiritually Lazy Saint

Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together… —Hebrews 10:24-25

We are all capable of being spiritually lazy saints. We want to stay off the rough roads of life, and our primary objective is to secure a peaceful retreat from the world. The ideas put forth in these verses from Hebrews 10 are those of stirring up one another and of keeping ourselves together. Both of these require initiative— our willingness to take the first step toward Christ-realization, not the initiative toward self-realization. To live a distant, withdrawn, and secluded life is diametrically opposed to spirituality as Jesus Christ taught it.

The true test of our spirituality occurs when we come up against injustice, degradation, ingratitude, and turmoil, all of which have the tendency to make us spiritually lazy. While being tested, we want to use prayer and Bible reading for the purpose of finding a quiet retreat. We use God only for the sake of getting peace and joy. We seek only our enjoyment of Jesus Christ, not a true realization of Him. This is the first step in the wrong direction. All these things we are seeking are simply effects, and yet we try to make them causes.

“Yes, I think it is right,” Peter said, “…to stir you up by reminding you…” (2 Peter 1:13). It is a most disturbing thing to be hit squarely in the stomach by someone being used of God to stir us up— someone who is full of spiritual activity. Simple active work and spiritual activity are not the same thing. Active work can actually be the counterfeit of spiritual activity. The real danger in spiritual laziness is that we do not want to be stirred up— all we want to hear about is a spiritual retirement from the world. Yet Jesus Christ never encourages the idea of retirement— He says, “Go and tell My brethren…” (Matthew 28:10).

by Oswald Chambers

Moving Beyond Our Fears

Luke 1:68-75

The Scriptures distinguish between two kinds of fear: healthy and unhealthy. For example, a protective type of anxiety helps prevent avoidable harm by warning us not to touch a hot stove or walk on thin ice. And we are commanded to have a proper fear of God. This includes an overwhelming sense of awe because of who He is—namely, Judge and sovereign King. It also involves a lifestyle of respectful obedience that honors Him.

Unhealthy fear causes us to feel tense, uncomfortable, or threatened. Its source may be a childhood experience or an authority figure’s repeated negative words. The feeling of distress becomes rooted in our thinking and colors our decision-making. Even when there’s no longer any basis for this anxiety, it may continue to inhibit us.

The imagination is also a source of fear. We can get caught up in “what if” thinking, such as, What if something goes wrong? or What if the outcome I want doesn’t come about?

This kind of agitation can block God’s best in our life. His purposes often require that we move beyond where we feel most comfortable. Learning new skills, changing jobs, or trying a different way of ministering to others could be part of what He expects. Such challenges present the opportunity to trust the Lord and obey Him.

Fear doesn’t come from God (2 Timothy 1:7). Let the Holy Spirit guide you from a place of disquiet into the freedom that is ours in Christ. There you will discover the ability to follow His plan without being hindered by overwhelming fear.

Exceeding Greatness

“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.” (Ephesians 1:19)

There are a number of scriptural superlatives that convey something of the tremendous magnitude of our great salvation. These are marked by the adjective “exceeding,” which in the Greek implies essentially boundless, surpassing dimensions of the attributes it describes.

First of all, as our text implies, His power available to us is one of exceeding greatness. Its magnitude is measured by the power required to bring Christ back again from death and Hades.

Consider also the measure of His grace, “that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7). His grace has saved us when we were dead in sins, but this is only a small token. In the ages to come, we will experience His grace as one of exceeding riches.

Then there is the wonderful peace of God. “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). In this verse, the word “passeth” is the same word. Paul is saying that God’s peace is one exceeding understanding.

Finally, consider His glory. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). The future eternal glory is one of exceeding weight, or abundance.

Thus, the infinite blessings and resources of our salvation in Christ are described as providing the power of surpassing greatness, the grace of surpassing richness, the peace which surpasses all understanding, and the eternal glory of surpassing abundance! All of this is freely available “to us-ward who believe.” HMM

What Does God Say?

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine for reproof for correction, for instruction in righteousness. —2 Timothy 3:16

I knew a man from India who got hold of a New Testament, was converted and started to preach, but he had no background at all. That is, he started from scratch. He did not have a Greek Orthodox or Roman Catholic or Protestant background. He just started from the beginning. He didn’t know anything about churches. He testified, “What I did when I had a problem in the church was to go straight to the New Testament and settle it. I let the New Testament tell me what I was to do.” The result was that God greatly blessed him and his work in the land of India.

This is what I would like to see in our church—the New Testament order of letting Scripture decide matters. When it comes to a question—any question— what does the Word of God say? All belief and practices should be tested by the Word; no copying unscriptural church methods. We should let the Word of God decide.

Lord, help us to lead our churches to seek clear direction from Your Word and Your Spirit. Amen.

Humility: A Blessed Thing If You Can Find It

…He that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Luke 14:11

Watch out, Christian brothers and sisters, for the danger of arrogance, in assuming that you are somebody, indeed!

God will never let you high-hat somebody else if you are a Christian. He loves you far too much to let you get away with that.

You may ask: “What will the Lord do, then, if I get arrogant and presumptuous, full of pride over my victories and successes?”

Well, the Lord will remind you of His own example, and will rebuke and chasten you in His own way.

Our Lord Jesus Christ would not allow any success or temporary honor to lead Him astray.

The Lord had no servants. He bossed no one around. He was the Lord, but He never took the tyrannical attitude toward anyone.

I think it is very good spiritual advice that we should never tie ourselves up to public opinion and never consider any honors we may receive as being due us because of our superior gifts.

In that day of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the crowd acclaimed Him and cried, “Hosanna!” but on the very next Friday they joined in the shout, “Crucify him!”

Humility is a blessed thing if you can find it. Early church fathers wrote that if a man feels that he is getting somewhere in the kingdom of God, that’s pride— and until that dies, he is getting nowhere!

The Creator’s Handiwork

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. PSALM 19:1

Reading my Bible, I am greatly impressed by the manner in which godly men of old revealed in their writings an intense love for every natural beauty around them. They saw nature as the handiwork of an all-powerful and all-glorious Creator!

The Old Testament is a marvelous rhapsody on the creation. Start with Moses, and when you get beyond the Levitical order you will find him soaring in his acute consciousness of the presence of God in all creation.

Go to the book of Job. In the closing section you will be amazed at the sublimity of the language describing the world around us. Then go to the Psalms, with David literally dancing with ecstatic delight as he gazes out upon the wonders of God’s world. Go to Isaiah, where imagery is neither fanciful nor flighty but a presentation of the wonders of creation.

In our generation, how rarely we get into a situation where we can feel the impulses of nature communicated to us. We seldom have time to lift our eyes to look at God’s heaven—except when we are wondering if we should wear our boots!

Dear heavenly Father, You have created a beautiful world. Continue to reveal Your power and presence through Your majestic creation to those who doubt Your existence.