VIDEO It Is Well

Psalm 46:1-3,10-11

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 fill into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

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.

Lyrics:
Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see
And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea
So let go my soul and trust in Him

The waves and wind still know His name

It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

Credits: Jesus-Freak-Hideout for lyrics

https://mary4christ.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/it-is-well-weekly-psalm/

The Sounds of Silence – The Distraction of Contempt

The Sounds of Silence
calm water
The lips of the righteous nourish many. Proverbs 10:21

A fishing buddy of mine observed, “Shallow streams make the most noise,” a delightful turn on the old adage, “Still waters run deep.” He meant, of course, that people who make the most noise tend to have little of substance to say.

The flip side of that problem is that we don’t listen well either. I’m reminded of the line in the old Simon and Garfunkel song “Sounds of Silence” about folks hearing without listening. Oh, they hear the words, but they fail to silence their own thoughts and truly listen. It would be good if we all learned to be silent and still.

There is “a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Eccl. 3:7). Good silence is a listening silence, a humble silence. It leads to right hearing, right understanding, and right speaking. “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,” the proverb says, “but one who has insight draws them out” (Prov. 20:5). It takes a lot of hard listening to get all the way to the bottom.

And while we listen to others, we should also be listening to God and hearing what He has to say. I think of Jesus, scribbling with His finger in the dust while the Pharisees railed on the woman caught in adultery (see John 8:1-11). What was He doing? May I suggest that He could have been simply listening for His Father’s voice and asking, “What shall we say to this crowd and this dear woman?” His response is still being heard around the world.

Father, today may Your Spirit remind us to seek the quiet so that we may listen first to Your voice and then understand the hearts of others. Teach us when to speak and when to be quiet.

Well-timed silence can be more eloquent than words.

By David Roper
—-
The Distraction of Contempt
study Bible

Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us! For we are exceedingly filled with contempt. —Psalm 123:3

What we must beware of is not damage to our belief in God but damage to our Christian disposition or state of mind. “Take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously” (Malachi 2:16). Our state of mind is powerful in its effects. It can be the enemy that penetrates right into our soul and distracts our mind from God. There are certain attitudes we should never dare to indulge. If we do, we will find they have distracted us from faith in God. Until we get back into a quiet mood before Him, our faith is of no value, and our confidence in the flesh and in human ingenuity is what rules our lives.

Beware of “the cares of this world…” (Mark 4:19). They are the very things that produce the wrong attitudes in our soul. It is incredible what enormous power there is in simple things to distract our attention away from God. Refuse to be swamped by “the cares of this world.”

Another thing that distracts us is our passion for vindication. St. Augustine prayed, “O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself.” Such a need for constant vindication destroys our soul’s faith in God. Don’t say, “I must explain myself,” or, “I must get people to understand.” Our Lord never explained anything— He left the misunderstandings or misconceptions of others to correct themselves.

When we discern that other people are not growing spiritually and allow that discernment to turn to criticism, we block our fellowship with God. God never gives us discernment so that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.

We are not fundamentally free; external circumstances are not in our hands, they are in God’s hands, the one thing in which we are free is in our personal relationship to God. We are not responsible for the circumstances we are in, but we are responsible for the way we allow those circumstances to affect us; we can either allow them to get on top of us, or we can allow them to transform us into what God wants us to be. Conformed to His Image, 354 L

Oswald Chambers

Understanding Guilt

John 8:1-11

Guilt over doing something that violates the conscience is a normal emotion. However, living under a cloud of remorse for no discernible reason is not. The Lord designed feelings of culpability and regret to serve as a reminder that a person has done wrong and needs to repent. But Satan twists those emotions to imprison men and women: Those living in shame often lack self-confidence and feel uncertain of God’s love.

Good guilt—the Lord’s effective tool for prompting repentance—is a gift that helps us find the right path. However, the devil encourages false guilt, which involves taking responsibility for things outside our control and then suffering self-condemnation for not changing the outcome. This unhealthy type of guilt is also a widespread problem for those in legalistic churches or lifestyles.

Self-condemnation stunts a relationship with Jesus by keeping us from authentic, satisfying interactions with Him. Instead of enjoying the peace of God, people who are trapped by shame often fear His rejection and feel driven to prove their worth. Their guilt even colors how they see themselves: Rather than saying, “My action is wrong,” they say, “I am bad.”

Jesus did not come to accuse or condemn us. Christ restored our souls and made us righteous before God. If our Savior forgave the woman caught in an adulterous relationship (John 8:11), just imagine how ready He is to take your shame away, too. If you still carry any guilt, surrender it to Jesus today, and He will give you freedom.

Enough for Me

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past.” (Romans 3:24-25)

Jesus has done all that is necessary to bring us into right standing with a holy God, if we but believe and accept His free gift of salvation. Jesus saves! It is enough! “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7). The second verse of the hymn “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place” further explains this.

Enough for me that Jesus saves, This ends my fear and doubt;
A sinful soul I come to Him, He’ll never cast me out.
I need no other argument, I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died, And that He died for me.

Jesus, who loved us, said, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). There is no fear here, for “there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18). Nor should there be any doubt in Him or His intentions, “in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him” (Ephesians 3:12). Furthermore, “being confident . . . that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

The chorus of the hymn likewise presents a thrilling truth. It paints a picture of a courtroom and the interrogation of a defendant. When asked why one should be forgiven, granted eternal life and entrance into heaven, the argument or legal defense can be given that Jesus has died, and that is enough. No other legal defense or answer need be given. The plea has already been entered, and the court’s findings are guaranteed, “justified freely by his grace.” JDM

Have Mediocre Christianity?

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. —Romans 6:12-13

It is disheartening to those who care, and surely a great grief to the Spirit, to see how many Christians are content to settle for less than the best. Personally I have for years carried a burden of sorrow as I have moved among evangelical Christians who somewhere in their past have managed to strike a base compromise with their heart’s holier longings and have settled down to a lukewarm, mediocre kind of Christianity utterly unworthy of themselves and of the Lord they claim to serve. And such are found everywhere….

Every man is as close to God as he wants to be; he is as holy and as full of the Spirit as he wills to be….

Yet we must distinguish wanting from wishing. By “want” I mean wholehearted desire. Certainly there are many who wish they were holy or victorious or joyful but are not willing to meet God’s conditions to obtain.

Oh Lord, give me that “wholehearted desire” that keeps me from being satisfied with mediocre Christianity. Amen.

A Thankful Heart Cannot Also Be Cynical

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20

Let me recommend the cultivation of the habit of thankfulness as an effective cure for the cynical, sour habits of faultfinding among Christian believers.

Thanksgiving has great curative power. The heart that is constantly overflowing with gratitude will be safe from those attacks of resentfulness and gloom that bother so many religious persons. A thankful heart cannot be cynical!

Please be aware that I am not recommending any of the “applied psychology” nostrums so popular in liberal circles. We who have been introduced to God through the miracle of the new birth realize that there is good scriptural authority for the cultivation of gratitude as a cure for spiritual sourness. Further, experience teaches us that it works!

We should never take any blessing for granted, but accept everything as a gift from the Father of Lights. We should write on a tablet, one by one, the things for which we are grateful to God and to our fellow men.

Personally, I have gotten great help from the practice of talking over with God the many kindnesses I have received. I like to begin with thanking Him for His thoughts of me back to creation; for giving His Son to die for me when I was still a sinner; for giving the Bible and His blessed Spirit who inwardly gives us understanding of it. I thank Him for my parents, teachers, statesmen, patriots.

I am grateful to God for all of these and more—and I shall not let God forget that I am!

“A Cheerful Heart”

Singing and making melody… giving thanks always for all things. EPHESIANS 5:19-20

The thankful Christian will turn with true delight to the expression of Joseph Addison in his Thanksgiving hymn, “When All Thy Mercies, O My God,” found in many of the better hymnals. Addison gives a mental image that requires music for its expression:

Ten thousand thousand precious gifts
My daily thanks employ;
Nor is the least a cheerful heart
That tastes these gifts with joy!

Here is the spirit of thanksgiving. Here is the understanding of what pleases God in our acceptance and use of His gifts. “A cheerful heart that tastes these gifts with joy” is the only kind of heart that can taste them safely.

While Addison had in mind chiefly the gifts God showers upon us here below, he was too much of a Christian to think that God’s gifts would cease at death. So he sang:

Through every period of my life
Thy goodness I’ll pursue;
And after death in distant worlds,
The glorious theme renew!

Dear Lord, I pray that my life will be characterized by a spirit of thankfulness for You and the gifts You have freely given.