VIDEO Be Still and Know

May 15, 2010

I’m reading this morning from Psalm 46 in the NIV. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Selah There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

As I read through these verses, verse 10 seems to sum up the whole of the Psalm: “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Some translations give the idea of stopping our strife, our fighting. And I suppose this text could be taken that way. I sort of like Be Still. It means to set aside all those things that trouble you.

Be still and know that I am God. How important is this message for us today. Be still and know that I am God.

What a rat race we live these days. So much noise, so much rushing around, so many deadlines to meet, so many demands on our time, so many things we want to do, so many things we just don’t seem to find the time to do. What a busy world we’re living in.

Some months ago, someone gave me these words:

“Slow me down, Lord.

Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind.

Give me amid the confusion of my day the calendar of the everlasting hills.

Break the tension of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music of the streams that live in my memory.

Help me to know the magical restorative powers of sleep.
Give me the art of taking minute vacations, of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to read a few lines of a good book.

Remind me each day of the fable of the hare and the tortoise, that the race is not always to the swift, that there is more to life than increasing its speed.

Let me look upward into the towering oak and know that it grew slowly and well.

Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of life’s eternal value that I may grow toward the stars of my greater destiny.”

Slow me down, Lord.

I think you’ll agree that the theme of the whole Bible, whether it be in the Old or the New Testament, is to know God. Well, here is one aspect the psalmist seeks to underscore, Be still, Be still and know that I am God.

Age Is Not a Factor – Destined To Be Holy

Age Is Not a Factor
sudan south_sudan
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. 1 Corinthians 12:26

After owning and working at his dental lab for 50 years, Dave Bowman planned to retire and take it easy. Diabetes and heart surgery confirmed his decision. But when he heard about a group of young refugees from Sudan who needed help, he made a life-changing decision. He agreed to sponsor five of them.

As Dave learned more about these young Sudanese men, he discovered that they had never been to a doctor or a dentist. Then one day in church someone mentioned the verse, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it” (1 Cor. 12:26). He couldn’t get the verse out of his mind. Sudanese Christians were suffering because they needed medical care, and Dave sensed that God was telling him to do something about it. But what?

Despite his age and bad health, Dave began exploring the possibility of building a medical center in Sudan. Little by little, God brought together the people and the resources, and in 2008 Memorial Christian Hospital opened its doors to patients. Since then, hundreds of sick and injured people have been treated there.

Memorial Christian Hospital stands as a reminder that God cares when people suffer. And often He works through people like us to share His care—even when we think our work is done.

Do you see a need that God may be calling you to meet? Pray and ask Him to help you step out in faith.

God cares when people suffer.

By Julie Ackerman Link

Destined To Be Holy

…it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” —1 Peter 1:16

We must continually remind ourselves of the purpose of life. We are not destined to happiness, nor to health, but to holiness. Today we have far too many desires and interests, and our lives are being consumed and wasted by them. Many of them may be right, noble, and good, and may later be fulfilled, but in the meantime God must cause their importance to us to decrease. The only thing that truly matters is whether a person will accept the God who will make him holy. At all costs, a person must have the right relationship with God.

Do I believe I need to be holy? Do I believe that God can come into me and make me holy? If through your preaching you convince me that I am unholy, I then resent your preaching. The preaching of the gospel awakens an intense resentment because it is designed to reveal my unholiness, but it also awakens an intense yearning and desire within me. God has only one intended destiny for mankind— holiness. His only goal is to produce saints. God is not some eternal blessing-machine for people to use, and He did not come to save us out of pity— He came to save us because He created us to be holy. Atonement through the Cross of Christ means that God can put me back into perfect oneness with Himself through the death of Jesus Christ, without a trace of anything coming between us any longer.

Never tolerate, because of sympathy for yourself or for others, any practice that is not in keeping with a holy God. Holiness means absolute purity of your walk before God, the words coming from your mouth, and every thought in your mind— placing every detail of your life under the scrutiny of God Himself. Holiness is not simply what God gives me, but what God has given me that is being exhibited in my life.

There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus. We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed. Our Brilliant Heritage, 946 R

Oswald Chambers

When Our Faith Wavers

James 1:1-8

Faith is the heart of our Christian life. It is the means by which we are saved, receive forgiveness for our sins, enjoy a personal relationship with the Lord, and have the assurance of our salvation. By faith, we experience the peace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Bible also tells us that praying in confident trust “avails much” (James 5:16 NKJV). Yet our lives and especially our prayers tend to be characterized by doubts and wavering faith.

Our faith wavers when . . .

We apply human thinking to our circumstances. Sometimes God is going to require us to do something with which human reasoning disagrees (Isa. 55:9).

We allow our feelings to overcome our faith. It could be a sense of unworthiness or inadequacy that trips us up. Fear of criticism or failure might cause us to doubt we can do what the Lord asks.

We fail to see God at work in our circumstances. Doubts creep in when we have asked Him to take action but nothing appears to be happening.

We have guilt over sin, past or present. We cannot operate with strong faith when we are under conviction of sin or dwelling on guilt over past wrongdoing. WE

We listen to the enemy’s lies. Satan is the father of lies, and his objective is to have us reject God’s truth and believe his deception instead.

Faith is defined as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). What is the condition of your faith? Do confidence and conviction describe you?

Great and Precious Promises

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:4)

Scripture is full of promises, more than 2,800 in the Old Testament and more than 1,000 in the New. The first of these exceeding great and precious promises was the Protevangel (“first gospel”) of Genesis 3:15. Immediately after the Fall of Adam and Eve through the temptation of Satan, that old serpent, God promised the coming Seed of the woman, the Savior: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; [He] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

The first New Testament promise, significantly, is this same primeval promise, now made far more specific: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

The last promise of the Old Testament speaks of a second coming of “Elijah the prophet,” who will “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:5-6). Then, the final promise of the Bible is the wonderful assurance of Christ concerning His glorious second coming: “Surely I come quickly” (Revelation 22:20).

Sandwiched between these great and precious promises are over 3,800 other promises. Some of these are in the form of promised warnings to the sinner, but promises nonetheless. Most promises, however, are to the obedient follower of God, and we know that “he is faithful that promised” (Hebrews 10:23). “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us” (2 Corinthians 1:20). HMM

Born After Midnight

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. —Luke 11:9-10

Among revival-minded Christians I have heard the saying, “Revivals are born after midnight.”

This is one of those proverbs which, while not quite literally true, yet points to something very true.

If we understand the saying to mean that God does not hear our prayer for revival made in the daytime, it is of course not true. If we take it to mean that prayer offered when we are tired and worn-out has greater power than prayer made when we are rested and fresh, again it is not true….

Yet there is considerable truth in the idea that revivals are born after midnight, for revivals (or any other spiritual gifts and graces) come only to those who want them badly enough….

No, there is no merit in late hour prayers, but it requires a serious mind and a determined heart to pray past the ordinary into the unusual. Most Christians never do. And it is more than possible that the rare soul who presses on into the unusual experience reaches there after midnight.

Lord, give me this kind of longing after revival. Help me to give myself to this serious prayer for revival. Amen.

God Is the Most Winsome of All Beings

… Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 1
John 1:3

Nothing twists and deforms the human soul more than a low or unworthy conception of God and His kindness.

To a Pharisee in the days of Christ, the service of God was a bondage which he did not love but from which he could not escape without a loss too great to bear. The God of the Pharisees was not a God easy to live with, so his religion became grim and hard and loveless.

It had to be so, for our notion of God must always determine the quality of our religion.

Much Christianity since the days of Christ’s flesh has also been grim and severe. And the cause has been the same—an unworthy or an inadequate view of God.

Instinctively we try to be like our God, and if He is conceived to be stern and exacting, so will we ourselves be.

From a failure properly to understand God comes a world of unhappiness among good Christians even today. The Christian life is thought to be a glum, unrelieved cross-carrying under the eye of a stern Father who expects much and excuses nothing—a God austere, peevish, highly temperamental and extremely hard to please!

The kind of life which springs out of such libelous notions must of necessity be but a parody on the true life in Christ.

The truth is that God is the most winsome of all beings and His service one of unspeakable pleasure. Those who trust Him have found His mercy always in triumph over justice, through the blood of the everlasting covenant!

Confidence in God

If our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 1 JOHN 3:21

This is surely one of the great realizations that can come to us in the Christian life—we can put our complete confidence in the God who has revealed Himself to us!

It was a gracious day in my early Christian experience when I realized that it was not in God’s character to pounce upon me in judgment. He knows that we are dust, and as our God He is loving and patient towards us.

If it were true that the Lord would put the Christian on the shelf every time he failed or blundered or did something wrong, I would have been a piece of statuary by this time!

It is surely true that God will bring judgment when judgment is necessary, but the Scriptures say that judgment is God’s strange work. Where there is a lifetime of rebellion, hardened unbelief and love of sin, judgment will come.

But God watches over us for spiritual growth and maturity, trying to teach us the necessity for fully trusting Him and coming to the place of complete distrust of ourselves. We have met God and can now say with Paul, “That the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).

Lord, in this world there are not many “sure” things. But You, O Lord, are 100 percent unchangeable. Your love is unfailing towards us. Your patience is undying. I praise You, Lord.