VIDEO Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look upon His wonderful face

Jan 29, 2011

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
look full in His wonderful face
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim
in the light of His glory and grace

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
look full in His wonderful face
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim
in the light of His glory and grace

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In the Garden – Missionary Weapons

In the Garden
garden

My Father, . . . may your will be done. Matthew 26:42

My forefathers were pioneers in Michigan. They cleared the land, planted crops, and cultivated gardens to raise food for their families. This agrarian bent has been passed down through the generations. My dad grew up on a Michigan farm and loved gardening, which may explain why I love gardening and the smell of fertile soil. Cultivating plants that bear beautiful flowers and tending roses that fragrantly grace our yard with beauty are enjoyable pastimes for me. If it weren’t for the weeds it would be wonderful!

When I have to wrestle with the weeds, I am reminded of the garden of Eden; it was a perfect garden until Adam and Eve disobeyed God and thorns and thistles became a reality for them and every gardener since then (Gen. 3:17-18).

The Bible also mentions another garden—the garden of Gethsemane where Christ, in deep distress, pleaded with His Father to find another way to reverse sin’s consequences that were born in Eden. In Gethsemane, Jesus surrendered to His Father by uttering words of full obedience in the face of great pain: “Your will be done” (Matt. 26:42).

Because Jesus surrendered in that garden, we now harvest the benefits of His amazing grace. May this lead us to surrender to His weeding of sin from our lives.

Lord, thank You for the amazing price You paid to free me from sin. May the reality of the victory You won encourage me to reject the sin that entangles my ability to be fruitful for You.

Spiritual growth occurs when faith is cultivated.

By Joe Stowell

Missionary Weapons (2)
Jesus washing disciples feet

If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. —John 13:14

Ministering in Everyday Opportunities. Ministering in everyday opportunities that surround us does not mean that we select our own surroundings— it means being God’s very special choice to be available for use in any of the seemingly random surroundings which He has engineered for us. The very character we exhibit in our present surroundings is an indication of what we will be like in other surroundings.

The things Jesus did were the most menial of everyday tasks, and this is an indication that it takes all of God’s power in me to accomplish even the most common tasks in His way. Can I use a towel as He did? Towels, dishes, sandals, and all the other ordinary things in our lives reveal what we are made of more quickly than anything else. It takes God Almighty Incarnate in us to do the most menial duty as it ought to be done.

Jesus said, “I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). Notice the kind of people that God brings around you, and you will be humiliated once you realize that this is actually His way of revealing to you the kind of person you have been to Him. Now He says we should exhibit to those around us exactly what He has exhibited to us.

Do you find yourself responding by saying, “Oh, I will do all that once I’m out on the mission field”? Talking in this way is like trying to produce the weapons of war while in the trenches of the battlefield— you will be killed while trying to do it.

We have to go the “second mile” with God (see Matthew 5:41). Yet some of us become worn out in the first ten steps. Then we say, “Well, I’ll just wait until I get closer to the next big crisis in my life.” But if we do not steadily minister in everyday opportunities, we will do nothing when the crisis comes.

Am I becoming more and more in love with God as a holy God, or with the conception of an amiable Being who says, “Oh well, sin doesn’t matter much”? Disciples Indeed, 389 L

Oswald Chambers

Our Source of Comfort

2 Corinthians 1:3-7

The world’s definition of comfort is ”the alleviation of suffering or despair.” However, the Lord has a different view. The hardship He allows to enter a believer’s life is a teaching tool. Because we mature spiritually when we exercise faith, our Father doesn’t remove the cause of our troubles but instead gives us the encouragement and strength to work through them.

Whether we are in immediate pain or not, the Holy Spirit is available to us. God sent His Spirit to dwell within everyone who believes—in that way, our source of help is as close as our own beating heart. Nobody else understands our need the way He does. When we feel unable to bear one more second of affliction, He whispers into our soul, “Yes, you can, because I am here.” There is no healing balm like the voice of God’s Spirit.

In some circumstances, the Spirit directs our minds to Scripture. Reading a passage is a way to hear directly from the Lord. This is one of the reasons I encourage turning to the Bible during times of trial. A scripture’s personal meaning and application may not be apparent immediately, but God will bring the verse to mind when it’s most needed.

The day that someone receives Christ, he or she is sealed as God’s child. The Lord can’t break His promises, and He has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). He will not allow us to be hurt any more than He knows we can stand—and since He is omnipresent, He’s always available to help us. His comfort is available and adequate to meet the need, whatever our level of affliction.

Understanding the Times

“And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.” (1 Chronicles 12:32)

This chapter lists the numbers of men from each of the tribes of Israel who cast their lot with David in his conflict with King Saul. All these numbers are given except those of Issachar, but of these it was said that all their brethren followed their 200 leaders in turning to David. The reason for their unanimity in this decision was that these leaders “had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.” It was time to “turn the kingdom” to David, “according to the word of the LORD” (1 Chronicles 12:23). God had given them a Benjamite, Saul, as king for a time, but now David had been anointed, and it was the time to give “the sceptre” to Judah, according to the prophecy of their father, Jacob, given over 600 years before (Genesis 49:10).

How desperately we need leaders today who are spiritual “sons of Issachar,” understanding these times! Christ told the apostles: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons” (Acts 1:7); it was more urgent that they proceed to witness for Him “unto the uttermost part of the earth” (v. 8).

Nevertheless, He would return to the earth in some generation, and that generation should be expected (when they would see all these things) to “know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33). They could understand the signs, and even though they should never attempt to guess the date, they could “look up, . . . for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28), when they would see “these things begin to come to pass.”

The signs are everywhere, yet few of our leaders—even many Christian politicians—seem to understand the real meaning of these times. Christ is “even at the doors!” HMM

How Much Does Revival Cost?

And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. —Leviticus 26:11-12

So we sit down to have a board meeting. What are we going to do to stir ourselves up? Who can we get? Where will we look? We forget that all the time Jehovah is present. “I am Jehovah-shammah; I am in the midst of you. Why don’t you talk to me?” No, we don’t ask Him.

“I am your banner of victory.” But we say, “I just wonder how much it will cost?” How much does a revival cost? Absolutely nothing and absolutely everything—that is how much it will cost. It will cost not one dime, and it will cost everything we have. You cannot import it by flying someone in from New Zealand. How many of these blessed preachers have come in from Ireland and England? They did some big things over there, we heard, so we flew them in and they never got anywhere. I never saw anything result from trying to import God. He does not fly over in a jet. He says, “I am Jehovah; I am with you. I am where you are; I am here now. Call on Me.”

I call upon You, Jehovah, to work a mighty work in and through me. Amen.

Bible History: Be Careful Whose Advice You Follow

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes; but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. Proverbs 12:15

No man has any right to offer advice who has not first heard God speak. No man has any right to counsel others who is not ready to hear and follow the counsel of the Lord!

This rule of listening only to those who have first listened to God will save us from many a snare, for in any group of ten persons at least nine are sure to believe that they are qualified to offer advice to others.

It seems that in no other field of human interest are people as ready to offer advice as in the field of religion and morals. Yet it is precisely in this field that the average person is least qualified to speak wisely and is capable of the most harm when he does speak.

For this reason, we should select our counselors carefully, and selection inevitably carries with it the idea of rejection.

David warns against the counsel of the ungodly and Bible history gives examples of men who made a failure of their lives because they took wrong advice.

It is especially important that young people learn whose counsel to trust. Having been in the world for such a short time they have not had much experience and must look to others for advice. Those who boast the loudest of their independence, for example, have picked up from someone the idea that independence is a virtue, and their very eagerness to be individualistic is the result of the influence of others. They are what they are because of the counsel they have followed.

God’s Validation

Our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance. 1 THESSALONIANS 1:5

One marked characteristic of modern evangelicalism is its lack of assurance, resulting in a pathetic search for external evidence to corroborate its faith. It sets out bravely to declare its trust in Christ but is shortly overawed by the counter declarations of science and philosophy and before long it is looking about for some collateral evidence to restore its confidence.

The faith of the Christian must rest upon Christ Himself. He is the mystery of godliness, a miracle, and emergence of the Deity into time and space for a reason and a purpose. He is complete in Himself and gains nothing from any human philosophy.

The New Testament points to Christ and says God now commands all men everywhere to repent: because He has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man He has ordained! Our assurance is the fact that He raised Him from the dead. In that, God validated forever the claims of Christ. He is who He said He was and what He said He was. So, Christ is enough! To have Him and nothing else is to be rich beyond all conceiving.

Lord, it seems that mankind always wants to make something more complex than it really is. Help us to be satisfied with simple faith in Jesus only!