VIDEO Awesome Is The Lord Most High, Chris Tomlin

Sep 21, 2011

Chris Tomlin’s “Awesome Is The Lord Most High.” This song is a wonderful song about how awesome God really is.

Spiritual Checkup – God’s Silence, Then What?

Spiritual Checkup
md stethoscope

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30

To detect health problems before they become serious, doctors recommend a routine physical exam. We can do the same for our spiritual health by asking a few questions rooted in the great commandment (Mark 12:30) Jesus referred to.

Do I love God with all my heart because He first loved me? Which is stronger, my desire for earthly gain or the treasures that are mine in Christ? (Col. 3:1). He desires that His peace rule our hearts.

I choose today to exchange my #strength for Yours, God.

Do I love God with all my soul? Do I listen to God telling me who I am? Am I moving away from self-centered desires? (v. 5). Am I becoming more compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and patient? (v. 12).

Do I love God with all my mind? Do I focus on my relationship with His Son or do I let my mind wander wherever it wants to go? (v. 2). Do my thoughts lead to problems or solutions? To unity or division? Forgiveness or revenge? (v. 13).

Do I love God with all my strength? Am I willing to be seen as weak so that God can show His strength on my behalf? (v. 17). Am I relying on His grace to be strong in His Spirit?

As we let “the message of Christ dwell among [us] richly . . . with all wisdom” (v. 16), He will equip us to build each other up as we become spiritually fit and useful to Him.

Heavenly Father, when I rely on anything other than love in my efforts to initiate change in people, I am neglecting to love You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I choose today to exchange my strength for Yours.

To be spiritually fit, feed on God’s Word and exercise your faith.

By Julie Ackerman Link

God’s Silence,Then What?

Jesus figure walking on a hill

Jesus figure walking on a hill

When He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. —John 11:6

Has God trusted you with His silence— a silence that has great meaning? God’s silences are actually His answers. Just think of those days of absolute silence in the home at Bethany! Is there anything comparable to those days in your life? Can God trust you like that, or are you still asking Him for a visible answer? God will give you the very blessings you ask if you refuse to go any further without them, but His silence is the sign that He is bringing you into an even more wonderful understanding of Himself. Are you mourning before God because you have not had an audible response?

When you cannot hear God, you will find that He has trusted you in the most intimate way possible— with absolute silence, not a silence of despair, but one of pleasure, because He saw that you could withstand an even bigger revelation. If God has given you a silence, then praise Him— He is bringing you into the mainstream of His purposes. The actual evidence of the answer in time is simply a matter of God’s sovereignty. Time is nothing to God. For a while you may have said, “I asked God to give me bread, but He gave me a stone instead” (see Matthew 7:9). He did not give you a stone, and today you find that He gave you the “bread of life” (John 6:35).

A wonderful thing about God’s silence is that His stillness is contagious— it gets into you, causing you to become perfectly confident so that you can honestly say, “I know that God has heard me.” His silence is the very proof that He has. As long as you have the idea that God will always bless you in answer to prayer, He will do it, but He will never give you the grace of His silence. If Jesus Christ is bringing you into the understanding that prayer is for the glorifying of His Father, then He will give you the first sign of His intimacy— silence.

To those who have had no agony Jesus says, “I have nothing for you; stand on your own feet, square your own shoulders. I have come for the man who knows he has a bigger handful than he can cope with, who knows there are forces he cannot touch; I will do everything for him if he will let Me. Only let a man grant he needs it, and I will do it for him.” The Shadow of an Agony

OSWALD CHAMBERS

Listening Through Restlessness

Esther 6:1-11

When we’re too preoccupied to hear God’s voice, He will often get our attention by giving us a restless spirit. The book of Esther gives us a wonderful example of this.

In the sixth chapter, we see that King Ahasuerus “could not sleep so he gave an order to bring the book of records, the chronicles, and they were read before the king” (Esther 6:1). As a result, the king became aware of an assassination plot against him that had been foiled by a man named Mordecai. Filled with gratitude for this act of service and loyalty, the ruler made plans to honor him.

What the king could not have known, though, is that Haman, one of his royal advisors, had targeted the hero Ahasuerus wanted to celebrate. Not only had Haman plotted to hang Mordecai the Jew (Esther 5:14); he was also planning to exterminate the entire Jewish population. As a result of Esther’s request, the king intervened, and Mordecai and all the other Jews were saved.

Now, what started this process? It was a restless night. The king did not know why he couldn’t sleep, but we know—he had insomnia because God was trying to get his attention. The Lord had something important to say to Ahasuerus, and His way of getting through to him was an unpleasant night of sleeplessness.

How often has this happened to you? You go about your career and activities, but restlessness seems to hang over you, often causing sleepless nights. In such moments, dare to bow and pray, “Lord, what is it that You want to tell me?” You’ll discover that God can and will speak in your unrest.

Line upon Line

“The word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” (Isaiah 28:13)

This familiar passage (repeated mostly from Isaiah 28:10 just before it) is often cited in support of a detailed, verse-by-verse method of Bible study and exposition. However, the context is one of rebuke to the people of Ephraim (that is, the Northern Kingdom of Israel) in the days of the divided kingdom. Isaiah especially castigates the priests and prophets who should have been teaching God’s Word to the people, but who had instead become proud and then drunkards, leaving the people in great ignorance and spiritual confusion.

Therefore, cried Isaiah: “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts” (v. 9). Before they can really grow in the knowledge of God, they must be built up carefully, line upon line, for they are yet carnal babes in spiritual matters.

A very similar rebuke was administered to the early Christians and would be even more appropriate today: “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age” (Hebrews 5:12-14).

Such an admonition is greatly needed today, when Christian believers subsist almost entirely on spiritual milk—or even worse, on the froth that passes for evangelical literature in most Sunday schools and Christian bookstores today. We need to get back to the strong meat of the Word, lest we “fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” HMM

The Small and the Great

Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. —1 Peter 5:5

Some time ago we heard a short address by a young preacher during which he quoted the following, “If you are too big for a little place, you are too little for a big place.”

It is an odd rule of the kingdom of God that when we try to get big, we always get smaller by the moment. God is jealous of His glory and will not allow anyone to share it with Him. The effort to appear great will bring the displeasure of God upon us and effectively prevent us from achieving the greatness after which we pant.

Humility pleases God wherever it is found, and the humble person will have God for his or her friend and helper always. Only the humble are completely sane, for they are the only ones who see clearly their own size and limitations. Egotists see things out of focus. To themselves they are large and God is correspondingly small, and that is a kind of moral insanity.

Lord, help me never to be too big for a little place. In humility let me serve and revel in You as my “friend and helper always.” Amen.

Choosing God’s Will Does Not Deny Man’s Free Will

…Paul answered,…I am ready… to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done. Acts 21:13, 14

Someone has asked a thoughtful question: “When we pray ‘Not my will, but Thine be done,’ are we not voiding our will and refusing to exercise the very power of choice which is part of the image of God in us?”

The answer to that question is a flat No, but the whole thing deserves further explanation.

No act that is done voluntarily is an abrogation of the freedom of the will. If a man chooses the will of God he is not denying but exercising his right of choice. What he is doing is admitting that he is not good enough to desire the highest choice nor is he wise enough to make it, and he is for that reason asking Another who is both wise and good to make his choice for him. And for fallen man, this is the ultimate use he should make of his freedom of will!

Tennyson saw this and wrote of Christ,
Thou seemest human and divine,
The highest, holiest manhood, Thou;
Our wills are ours, we know not how;
Our wills are ours, to make them Thine.

There is a lot of sound doctrine in these words—”Our wills are ours, to make them Thine.” The true saint acknowledges that he possesses from God the gift of freedom. He knows that he will never be cudgeled into obedience nor wheedled like a petulant child into doing the will of God; he knows that these methods are unworthy both of God and of his own soul!

Game of Pious Words

If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. JAMES 3:2

Do you realize that most men play at religion as they play at games? Religion itself being of all games the one most universally played.

The Church has its “fields” and its “rules” and its equipment for playing the game of pious words. It has its devotees, both laymen and professionals, who support the game with their money and encourage it with their presence, but who are no different in life or character from many who take no interest in religion at all.

As an athlete uses a ball, so do many of us use words—words spoken and words sung, words written and words uttered in prayer. We throw them swiftly across the field; we learn to handle them with dexterity and grace—and gain as our reward the applause of those who have enjoyed the game. In the games men play there are no moral roots. It is a pleasant activity which changes nothing and settles nothing, at last.

Sadly, in the religious game of pious words, after the pleasant meeting no one is basically any different from what he had been before!

Lord, I pray that the words I speak and the songs I sing will be acceptable to You. My faith is too important to me to play religious games.