Jan 19, 2007
Jan 19, 2007
I will remember the works of the LORD; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. Psalm 77:11
Although the tools for capturing memories have increased, we are just as forgetful as the Israelites when it comes to God’s goodness. When the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River with Joshua, they were commanded to pick up rocks from the river bed to create a monument of remembrance. The rocks were a symbol and a tangible reminder of God’s deliverance, power, and compassion.
While we may not hear a voice from heaven commanding us to gather rocks, Scripture urges us to remember the work of God in our lives. We have cameras, journals, and computers at our disposal, and yes, even rocks. When we keep tangible reminders of God’s goodness, we are strengthened to trust God with today and the future. Just as crossing the Jordan was not the final challenge the Israelites faced, we will continue to be faced with difficulty throughout our lives. Instead of being surprised by it, we can gaze at our rocks of remembrance and have confidence that the God who helped us then is the same God of today. He never changes and He delights in strengthening and delivering His people.
Faith is a reasoning trust, a trust which reckons thoughtfully and confidently upon the trustworthiness of God. John R. Stott
The question hung in the air like a thick morning fog. Imagine the complete silence and the small crowd around Jesus looking stupefied—too scared or uncertain to speak. They didn’t know what to say in response to the Lord’s question, “Who do you say that I am?” (Matt. 16:15).
Then, as though some invisible hand had flipped a switch, bringing him into perfect awareness, Simon Peter’s head shot up. He looked Jesus in the eye and declared, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16). Peter got it right.
Calling Jesus “Christ” and “God’s Son” was a big deal in biblical times. Such a statement led to the death of many brave believers, as the Jewish and Roman authorities persecuted Christians who were willing to take a stand for their faith. Even those who walked side by side with Jesus and excitedly took part in His ministry would be taking a huge risk to call Him “Christ.” So they sometimes remained silent while continuing to work for the kingdom.
Isn’t it interesting that today’s church often has the opposite problem? Many people are quick to exclaim “Jesus is Lord!” but then fail to go about His work and ministry.
Is there a disparity between what you profess with your mouth and what you’re doing for the kingdom? Jesus calls us to be complete in testimony and in deed. If your confession is “Jesus is Lord,” then your life should reflect your bold stance. What can you do today to reveal your faith to others?
“And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.” (2 Kings 4:9-10)
This sparsely furnished little room, built by a kindly woman and her elderly husband, was the prototype of all the so-called “prophet’s chambers” that have been built for traveling teachers and evangelists ever since.
Little did this simple couple anticipate what fruit their kindness would bear one day. “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers,” the Bible says, “for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2). In the first place, to show his appreciation, Elisha prayed that the Lord would give them a son, and God miraculously answered (2 Kings 4:16-17).
Then, tragically, the boy died quite suddenly several years later while Elisha was at Mount Carmel, some 15 miles away. The Shunammite woman laid her son on Elisha’s bed in the prophet’s chamber, then rode hastily to find Elisha and bring him to the boy. The round trip must have taken her two days or more, and the boy’s dead body lay on the prophet’s bed in the little room all that time.
But then Elisha prayed once again, and the most amazing event took place there (2 Kings 4:33-35). For only the second time in history, a dead person was restored to life.
The Shunammite mother and her son are never heard from again. But for 3,000 years the testimony of a little chamber and the love and faith of the godly woman who prepared it as a simple service for her Lord and His prophet, and the godly mother who sacrificially loved her son, has been an inspiration and example to multitudes. HMM
So men every one of us shall give account of himself to God. —Romans 14:12
What we need very badly these days is a company of Christians who are prepared to trust God as completely now as they know they must do at the last day. For each of us the time is surely coming when we shall have nothing but God. Health and wealth and friends and hiding places will all be swept away and we shall have only God. To the man of pseudo-faith that is a terrifying thought, but to real faith it is one of the most comforting thoughts the heart can entertain.
It would be a tragedy indeed to come to the place where we have no other but God and find that we had not been trusting God at all during the days of our earthly sojourn. It would be better to invite God now to remove every false trust, to disengage our hearts from all secret hiding places and to bring us out into the open where we can discover for ourselves whether or not we really trust Him. That is a harsh cure for our troubles, but it is a sure one. Gentler cures may be too weak to do the work. And time is running out on us.
Lord, may I indeed live this earthly sojourn in such a way that I have no fear or dread of standing before You, giving account of my life and having nothing but You. Amen.
And God created… every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:21)
I am thankful I have found a promise from the God of all grace that deals with the “long term” and the eternal. I belong to a body of plain people who believe the truth revealed in the Bible. These are the people who believe that God in the beginning made the heavens and the earth and all things that are therein.
Yes, these plain believing people will tell you that God created the flowers to be beautiful and the birds to sing, so that men and women could enjoy them. We believe that God made the birds to warble and harmonize as though they were tuned to a harp.
But the scientist disagrees, saying, “It is simply biological. The bird sings only to attract a mate.”
Actually, the God who made the birds is the Chief Musician of the universe. He made the harps in those little throats and said, “Go and sing!” Thankfully, the birds obeyed and they have been singing and praising God ever since they were created!
If his dark nights are as bright as the world’s days, what shall his days be? If even his starlight is more splendid than the sun, what must his sunlight be? If he can praise the Lord in the fires, how will he extol him before the eternal throne! If evil be good to him now, what will the overflowing goodness of God be to him then? Oh, blessed “afterward!” Who would not be a Christian? Who would not bear the present cross for the crown which cometh afterwards? But herein is work for patience, for the rest is not for today, nor the triumph for the present, but “afterward.” Wait, O soul, and let patience have her perfect work.