Sept 30, 2008
Best Loved Hymns – Trust and Obey
Sept 30, 2008
Best Loved Hymns – Trust and Obey
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. —Psalm 32:5 niv
Jen sat on her patio pondering a scary question: Should she write a book? She had enjoyed writing a blog and speaking in public but felt God might want her to do more. “I asked God if He wanted me to do this,” she said. She talked with Him and asked for His leading.
She began to wonder if God wanted her to write about her husband’s pornography addiction and how God was working in his life and their marriage. But then she thought that it might publicly disrespect him. So she prayed, “What if we wrote it together?” and she asked her husband Craig. He agreed.
While he didn’t say what sin he committed, King David engaged in a public conversation about his struggles. He even put them into song. “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away,” he wrote (Ps. 32:3 niv). So he said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord” (v. 5). Not everyone should go public with their private battles. But when David confessed his sin, he found peace and healing that inspired him to worship God.
Craig and Jen say that the process of writing their deeply personal story has brought them closer than ever. How like God, who loves to exchange our guilt, shame, and isolation for His forgiveness, courage, and community!
Do you need to make an exchange with God of guilt for forgiveness? He is listening.
God forgives those who confess their guilt.
By Tim Gustafson
The World Tomorrow
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2:14
When we think about the future of our planet, we worry for our children and grandchildren. What kind of world will they face in coming decades? The Bible warns that perilous times will come; but the Bible is also filled with encouragement about the future and about the coming Golden Age of Jesus Christ—the Millennium. This is when the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as waters cover the sea. This is the period when God’s people will reign with Him a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-6). Satan will be bound, earthly troubles will cease, and every need will be met. There will be no want in the millennial kingdom because we’ll have all our needs fulfilled in a near-perfect world.
We don’t have to wait for the Millennium to live under the rule and reign of Jesus Christ. We can experience that now. Our hearts can be filled now with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. The principles of the kingdom can govern our lives.
Is the King at home in your heart?
There is an age coming when all earthly problems will end. One day Jesus is going to come back and set up His kingdom on this earth. But here and now, we can make Him King of our lives. David Jeremiah
Recommended Reading: Revelation 20:1-6
When you are continually on your face before God, seeking Him in His Word, His presence will saturate your heart, making it sensitive and teachable. Just as a marriage relationship can begin to grow cold unless proactive steps are taken daily to keep it warm, your heart can gradually harden when you aren’t seeking intimacy with God. You must also obediently—and promptly—respond to whatever He tells you to do so that your heart will stay soft and receptive. Then it won’t take much for the Lord to get your attention, and when He convicts you of sin, you will want to deal with the problem right away. This is why we must walk in the Spirit moment by moment.
If you believe that God might be leading you in a certain direction, take the time to earnestly seek His mind on the matter, and open your heart to listen to Him. Be careful about getting busy with a substitute for what He originally called you to do.
It would be tragic to work extra hard doing what you and others consider good, only to discover that your effort was expended in accomplishing something that was not God’s intention. Resisting the Lord often amounts to putting your life on the shelf, which leaves you feeling that something is missing. There is no substitute for God’s will, even when His plan might seem difficult or impossible. But when you trust Him with a cooperative heart, there is no limit to what God can do through your life. Step out in obedience today and say, “Lord, I want Your will—no matter what.”
“In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.” (Colossians 1:22)
The past three days, we have been studying the verses of the hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” We have seen insights into the sufferings of Christ on the cross for our behalf, the love which led Him there, and its bountiful gift to believers. We are now prepared to consider our response.
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
The author, Isaac Watts, begins verse four with a mention of creation. If we were to own it, it would not suffice as a suitable gift, for He is the Creator of all (Colossians 1:16-17), including the vastness of space, the intricacies of life and Earth systems, the mighty spiritual angels, and even the creation of His image in man. “There is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” (1 Corinthians 8:6). He is Lord of all! He knows us better than we know ourselves, and yet He loves us so.
The most amazing line of the hymn is the final couplet. A fitting response to His love would be a complete offering of one’s soul, life, and all. He is our great Creator and the offended Judge. He gave up aspects of His eternal essence in order to take up our likeness and die for us. He is our everlasting King! It all focuses in on the cross—the wondrous cross!
“My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you” (John 14:27). “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever” (1 Timothy 1:17). JDM
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. —Galatians 6:14
The old cross slew men; the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemned; the new cross amuses. The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it. The old cross brought tears and blood; the new cross brings laughter. The flesh, smiling and confident, preaches and sings about the cross; before that cross it bows and toward that cross it points with carefully staged histrionics—but upon that cross it will not die, and the reproach of that cross it stubbornly refuses to bear.
I well know how many smooth arguments can be marshaled in support of the new cross. Does not the new cross win converts and make many followers and so carry the advantage of numerical success? Should we not adjust ourselves to the
changing times? Have we not heard the slogan “New days, new ways”? And who but someone very old and very conservative would insist upon death as the appointed way to life? And who today is interested in a gloomy mysticism that would sentence its flesh to a cross and recommend self-effacing humility as a virtue actually to be practiced by modern Christians? These are the arguments, along with many more flippant still, which are brought forward to give an appearance of wisdom to the hollow and meaningless cross of popular Christianity.
Help me today to deny myself, to take up my cross and to follow You. Amen.
If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God…. John 7:17
How can the sincere Christian fulfill the scriptural command to love God with all his heart and his neighbor as himself?
Of all the emotions of which the soul is capable, love is by far the freest, the most unreasoning, the one least likely to spring up at the call of duty or obligation, and surely the one that will not come at the command of another.
No law has ever been passed that can compel one moral being to love another, for by the very nature of it love must be voluntary. No one can be coerced or frightened into loving anyone. Love just does not come that way!
The love the Bible enjoins is not the love of feeling: it is the love of willing, the “willed tendency” of the heart.
God never intended that such a being as man should be the plaything of his feelings. The emotional life is a proper and noble part of the total personality, but it is, by its very nature, of secondary importance. Religion lies in the will, and so does righteousness. The only good that God recognizes is a willed good; the only valid holiness is a willed holiness.
It should be a cheering thought that before God every man is what he wills to be. The first requirement in conversion is a rectified will. To meet the requirements of love toward God the soul need but will to love and the miracle begins to blossom like the budding of Aaron’s rod!
Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it. MALACHI 3:16
I have met Christians who were so intent upon winning souls to Christ that they would not talk to you about anything but God and His goodness!
Such a man was the Canadian Robert Jaffray, one of our early pioneer missionaries. His family owned the Toronto Globe and Mail and as a young Christian he was disinherited because he chose to follow God’s call to China rather than join the family business.
That good godly man spent his lifetime in China and the South Pacific, searching for the lost—and winning them! He was always reading maps and daring to go to the most difficult places, in spite of physical weaknesses and diabetic handicap. He sought out and lived among the poor and miserable, always praying to God, “Let my people go!”
When on furlough, he could not sit and talk about common things. Always his thoughts went back to God and missions and winning the lost. I am reminded of Malachi who said, “They that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened” (3:16).
Thank You, Father, for caring in a special way for all the overseas Christian workers who are serving You abroad today.