VIDEO In moments like these, Maranatha Singers

Mar 18, 2012

Beautiful and Reflective. Praise to Our God Most High in song. Nature photography included.

Made for our home group for times when no musician is with us. Now we can all join in singing praise. You can too!

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Twin Problems: Poverty and People – For His Time – Is This True of Me?

done Glory of God RC Sproul
Twin Problems: Poverty and People

Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have…. The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Hebrews 13:5-6 (HCSB)

There’s no lack of things to worry about, and fear is never far from our hearts. Two particular things constantly bother us—money and people. Many of our fears are bound up in those two commodities. Do you ever worry about running out of money? What about running into people?

Notice how Hebrews 13:5-6 covers both those concerns. These verses tell us that because of the Lord’s ever-present care, we shouldn’t waste our time worrying about either one. We shouldn’t covet money, for God will provide. We shouldn’t fear men, for God will protect.

Read it again: Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

The Lord is our helper. Trust Him to provide and to protect.

We can be free from the fear of poverty and the fear of men by remembering that God is with us. Erwin Lutzer

For His Time

My times are in your hands. Psalm 31:15

When South African pastor Andrew Murray was visiting England in 1895, he began to suffer pain from a previous back injury. While he was recuperating, his hostess told him of a woman who was in great trouble and wanted to know if he had any counsel for her. Murray said, “Give her this paper which I have been writing for my own [encouragement]. It may be that she will find it helpful.” This is what Murray wrote:

“In time of trouble say:

God will keep us by His love. By His grace, we can rest in Him.

First—God brought me here. It is by His will I am in this strait place. In that I will rest.

Next—He will keep me in His love and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child.

Then—He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow.

Last—In His good time He can bring me out again—how and when He knows.

I am here—by God’s appointment, in His keeping, under His training, for His time.”

We want the instant solution, the quick fix, but some things cannot be disposed of so readily; they can only be accepted. God will keep us by His love. By His grace, we can rest in Him.

Dear Lord, it’s hard to endure times of illness and suffering. Comfort me and help me to trust You.

When God permits suffering, He also provides comfort.


Is This True of Me?

None of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself… —Acts 20:24

It is easier to serve or work for God without a vision and without a call, because then you are not bothered by what He requires. Common sense, covered with a layer of Christian emotion, becomes your guide. You may be more prosperous and successful from the world’s perspective, and will have more leisure time, if you never acknowledge the call of God. But once you receive a commission from Jesus Christ, the memory of what God asks of you will always be there to prod you on to do His will. You will no longer be able to work for Him on the basis of common sense.

What do I count in my life as “dear to myself”? If I have not been seized by Jesus Christ and have not surrendered myself to Him, I will consider the time I decide to give God and my own ideas of service as dear. I will also consider my own life as “dear to myself.” But Paul said he considered his life dear so that he might fulfill the ministry he had received, and he refused to use his energy on anything else. This verse shows an almost noble annoyance by Paul at being asked to consider himself. He was absolutely indifferent to any consideration other than that of fulfilling the ministry he had received.

Our ordinary and reasonable service to God may actually compete against our total surrender to Him. Our reasonable work is based on the following argument which we say to ourselves, “Remember how useful you are here, and think how much value you would be in that particular type of work.” That attitude chooses our own judgment, instead of Jesus Christ, to be our guide as to where we should go and where we could be used the most. Never consider whether or not you are of use— but always consider that “you are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19). You are His.

Jesus Christ is always unyielding to my claim to my right to myself. The one essential element in all our Lord’s teaching about discipleship is abandon, no calculation, no trace of self-interest. Disciples Indeed, 395 L

OSWALD CHAMBERS

The Danger Of Idle Talk

Proverbs 12:13-22

Ask a group of people to define gossip, and most will mention something about spreading rumors about others. That is correct, but it’s not the whole truth. Gossip includes any idle or malicious talk that harms someone else. In other words, damaging speech is a universal sin—one that we all are guilty of at some point in life.

For example, did you ever comment negatively on how a person was dressed? Or suggest to a friend that someone you both know is in the wrong job or involved in unsuitable hobbies? Or tell an acquaintance about another man or woman’s personal life? Let me ask you a final question: Did you feel a check in your spirit while you were speaking? All of these can be examples of gossip—words that do damage and hurt others despite sounding innocent.

Idle comments are often delivered in a way that makes them seem unlike the traditional definition of gossip. People mask gossip in several ways, such as speaking in jest, offering others’ personal details “as an example,” and disguising the spread of information as a prayer request. Of course, not every tease or illustration is gossip. And the body of Christ is certainly called upon to pray for those facing hard times. Therefore, we must be able to distinguish between worthless chatter and wise speech.

What matters is the heart’s motivation (Ps. 19:14). When the intention is to mar a reputation or create instant camaraderie with another person, lips move loosely—this often happens while discussing someone else’s misfortune. But a desire to please God and reflect His grace prompts us to speak only that which builds others up (Eph. 4:29).

Fellowship the Gospel

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.” (Philippians 1:3-5)

This poignant letter was written to a church that Paul founded early in his ministry to the Gentiles (Acts 16:12-15). He endured challenging opposition there, followed for days by a demon-possessed young girl, tossed into prison by an angry business community, beaten and locked immobile into wooden stocks (Acts 16:16-24).

Yet in that dark midnight, while Paul and Silas sang the hymns of the faith, God struck the jail with an earthquake and opened both the chains and the doors of the prison. The head jailor became converted, and along with the successful businesswoman Lydia, the seed of a flourishing church was planted (Acts 16:25-34).

It is to these “saints” and the “bishops and deacons” of the church at Philippi that Paul writes. The church has matured enough over the years of Paul’s absence to have established leadership and a strong testimony in that pagan city. The “rememberance” of these faithful men and women gives rise to his thanks to God for their “fellowship in the gospel.”

May we never take for granted the sweet friends that we have known in our churches. Their fellowship is far more valuable than business or political contacts. Theirs is the bond of an eternal brother or sister―theirs is the friendship that is “closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).

The apostle John understood this: “Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3). And because we share in a love for the Lord Jesus, and walk together in the “light” of God’s truth, “we have fellowship one with another”(1 John 1:7). HMM III

Lord God, Thou Knowest!

And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. —Ezekiel 37:3

To those who have (unintentionally) degraded their conception of God to the level of their human understanding it may appear frightening to admit that there are many things in the Scriptures and more things about the Godhead that transcend the human intellect. But a few minutes on our knees looking into the face of Christ will teach us humility, a virtue whose healing qualities have been known by God’s elect from time out of mind.

Coleridge gave it as his considered belief that the profoundest sentence ever uttered by human lips was the spontaneous cry of the prophet Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones when asked by the Lord whether those bones could live: “And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.” Had Ezekiel answered yes or no he would have closed off his heart to the mighty mystery which confronted him and would have missed the luxury of wonder in the presence of the Majesty on high. For never forget that it is a privilege to wonder, to stand in delighted silence before the Supreme Mystery and whisper, “O Lord GOD, thou knowest!”

Lord, today I stand in wonder as I contemplate Your person and Your working. I delight in Your mystery and cry with Ezekiel, “O Lord GOD, thou knowest!” Amen.

Preach the Whole Christ

God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:9)

I reject the human insistence among us that Christ may sustain a divided relationship toward us in this life.

I am aware that this is now so commonly preached that to oppose it or object to it means that you are sticking your neck out and you had best be prepared for what comes.

But, I am forced to ask: how can we insist and teach that our Lord Jesus Christ can be our Savior without being our Lord?

How can so many continue to teach that we can be saved without any thought of obedience to our Sovereign Lord?

I am satisfied in my own heart that when a man or a woman believes on the Lord Jesus Christ he or she must believe on the whole Lord Jesus Christ—not making any reservation! How can a teaching be justified when it encourages sinners to use Jesus as a Savior in their time of need, without owing Him obedience and allegiance?

I believe we need to return to preaching a whole Christ to our needy world!

This city of refuge had suburbs

This city of refuge had round it suburbs of a very great extent. Two thousand cubits were allowed for grazing land for the cattle of the priests, and a thousand cubits within these for fields and vineyards. Now, no sooner did the man reach the outside of the city, the suburbs, than he was safe; it was not necessary for him to get within the walls, but the suburbs themselves were sufficient protection. Learn, hence, that if ye do but touch the hem of Christ’s garment, ye shall be made whole; if ye do but lay hold of him with “faith as a grain of mustard seed,” with faith which is scarcely a believing, but is truly a believing, you are safe.