VIDEO I Come To The Garden Alone

[Verse 1:]
I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.

[Chorus:]
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

[Verse 2:]
He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me,
Within my heart is ringing.

[Chorus:]
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

[Verse 3:]
I’d stay in the garden with Him,
Tho’ the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go, thro’ the voice of woe,
His voice to me is calling.

[Chorus:]
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

https://emotionalpeace.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/i-come-to-the-garden-alone-acapella/

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Remember!

And Moses said to the people: “Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out of this place.” Exodus 13:3a

One of the advantages of keeping a diary is that it helps us remember significant events in the past. And keeping a spiritual journal does the same; it reminds us of crossroads, provisions, and answered prayers—demonstrations of God’s faithfulness in the past. It is not just moderns who struggle with memory. The challenge to remember was a central theme in Israel’s life as a nation.

Then, and now, the most important thing that Jews remember is the Exodus from Egypt. It was then that God rescued and redeemed His people from a life of bondage to a pagan nation. As the Israelites prepared to leave Egypt, Moses told them to remember “this day.” What were they to remember? The “strength of [the Lord’s] hand” that delivered them from slavery to safety. God is strong; God is mighty to save; God is a promise keeper—and more. It is the attributes of God, displayed in the past, that give us cause to trust Him and live for Him in the present.

Remembering and considering God’s attributes and faithfulness is a step toward personal revival today.

How worthy it is to remember former benefits when we come to beg for new.  Stephen Charnock

Greatness of God

Psalm 139:1-18

God is infinite. It’s difficult for us, with our limited human minds, to imagine exactly what that means, but it’s important to think about His greatness. His love is immeasurable. And He is boundless in righteousness, mercy, and justice. Time and space cannot contain Him.

Can we go anywhere that our God is not? There may be times when we feel as if we want to hide from Him, but thankfully, there’s nowhere we can go that is out of His reach. The last thing we should want is to be separated from Him. As believers, we are forever connected to the Father because He is eternal. He calls Himself the Alpha and Omega, which means the beginning and the end. That is not to say the Lord started at some point in eternity past and ends somewhere in the future. Instead, it means that when time and space began, He is the one who created it. When it ends, He will still be there—He is the one “who is and who was and who is to come” (Revelation 1:8). This was a revolutionary concept for the crowd of Jews to whom Christ announced, “Before Abraham was born, I am” (John 8:58). They understood that Jesus, in saying He was one with Yahweh (the name of God, which means “I am”), claimed to be eternal—and they attempted to kill Him for what they considered blasphemy (John 8:59).

Not only is God infinite and eternal; He is also unchanging (James 1:17). So much of what we believe is based upon this characteristic of God. We can trust in His promises because they never change, and we can trust in His love because it never ends.

God’s Leviathan

“Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? . . . None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me?” (Job 41:1, 10)

After telling Job about the behemoth, indicating it was such a great land animal that God considered it the “chief” of His ways, God turned to the other creature He drew special attention to—the leviathan. Whatever this animal was, it is no longer with us, but Job was familiar with it.

Apparently, it was a semi-aquatic animal with a fierce character and strong body with “comely proportion” and precision scales that could withstand spears, darts, or javelins (Job 41:9-17, 26). ICR scientists have suggested fossil evidence might identify this animal as a Spinosaurus, with a bony sail on its back up to seven feet high. Dr. Tim Clarey verifies it had long, narrow jaws with round, reptile-like teeth in the lower jaw and larger, more dinosaur-like teeth in the upper jaw.

But when God speaks of “neesings” (sneezes) that cause “sparks of fire [to] leap out,” with smoke coming out of its nose like “a seething pot or caldron,” we get the impression that this creature was something very unusual! “Out of his mouth go burning lamps . . . . His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth” (Job 41:18-21). Some suggest this animal was a crocodile, but that hardly seems sufficient considering the language that God Himself used.

ICR scientist Brian Thomas notes that while crocodiles match some of leviathan’s attributes, they fall short of disrupting shipping lanes, breathing fire, generating luminescent wakes, being utterly unapproachable, and having impenetrable hides. Either God is an awful exaggerator, or man is trying his best to ignore the message of Scripture. HMM III

Adapted from The Book of Beginnings  by Dr. Henry M. Morris III.

“Keep yourselves from all idols.”

Exodus 32:1-14

Exodus 32:1

They were so fickle that they could not be trusted alone; and worse than this, they were basely ungrateful to forget their God, and ascribe their deliverance to Moses; and even to hint they were foully thankless, for they called him “this Moses,” as if in contempt, and that to the face of his own brother. They must have been in a state of wild rebellion, thus to insult both their great leader and his brother. The fact was, that they were so utterly unspiritual that without something to see they could not abide in peace: the faith which seeth him who is invisible they had not learned.

Exodus 32:2-4

Shame upon Aaron to pander to them! What idolatry to think that the infinite Jehovah can be likened unto a bullock which hath horns and hoofs. They went back to old Egyptian idolatry, and set up an ox as the symbol of the God of power.

Exodus 32:5

Or to Jehovah; so that they did not leave off worshipping Jehovah, but transgressed the second commandment by likening him to an ox.

Exodus 32:7, 8

Who wonders that the Lord resented the insult offered to him by the people who owed him so much?

Exodus 32:9, 10

Here was a great opportunity for Moses if he had been an ambitious or selfish man; but he loved the people better than himself.

Exodus 32:11

See the point of his plea: God had called them Moses people, but he will not have it so, he calls them, “thy people” and beseeches the Lord not to be angry with them.

Exodus 32:12

Here he urges the name and honour of God. Forcible pleading this!

Exodus 32:13, 14

His third master plea is “the covenant” confirmed by oath: he who can plead this cannot but succeed.

If Moses succeeded as Mediator, how much more shall the Lord Jesus, who makes intercession for the transgressors.

 

From Sinai we have heard thee speak

And from Mount Calv’ry too;

And yet to idols oft we seek

While thou art in our view.

 

Lord, save us from our golden calves;

Our sin with grief we own;

We would no more be thine by halves,

But live to thee alone.

 

Have Disagreements Revealed Your Level of Submission to Authority?

Mark 14:44, 45

When I was a young man and just getting started in the ministry, God positioned me under a great man of God who could read Greek and exegete New Testament verses, yet was also strongly anointed by the Spirit of God. To me, this minister had the best combination possible—brains and anointing all mixed together in one package! The first time I heard him preach, my jaw dropped open! His preaching reminded me of the way Jesus baffled the scribes when they heard Him teach with such great authority. I immediately knew that I needed to be under this man’s anointing and to receive from his life.

God opened the door for me to be trained by this great man of God, and for two years I worked side by side with him every day—carrying his books and traveling to his meetings with him. I literally met with him seven days a week so he could teach and train me. It was amazing that a man of this caliber would put so much of himself into someone as young as I was, but he did it because he believed in the call of God on my life. This man imparted the tools, the skills, and the understanding I needed to become a man of God who could both grow in the things of the Spirit and establish a ministry that was balanced between the Word and the Spirit.

Everything was great between this minister and me—until one day when I got offended. The reason for the offense is not important, but the situation revealed that I had a flaw in my understanding of authority and submission.

This was an expensive lesson that God has used throughout the years of my ministry as I have worked with others who are themselves learning the hard lessons of submission and authority. Because of what I experienced, I understand the temptation people occasionally feel to think too highly of themselves and to run off and leave their spiritual mentors.

That is exactly what I did to this man who had been so gracious to me. After he had poured his life into me, teaching and training me, I left him when we had our first major disagreement. Although I called him my pastor, the conflict between us revealed that I had never really given him a place of authority in my life. He had been a great example to me, and I respected him as the best teacher I had ever heard. Yet I had obviously never received him as God’s authority in my life; if I had, I never would have done what I did to him.

Unfortunately, the true level of one’s commitment isn’t tested by good times, but by times of conflict and disagreement. It’s easy to walk together when you agree with the one you call your spiritual authority and you’re having a good time together. But what happens when you disagree or experience a conflict in your relationship? This is the critical moment when the truth about your level of submission will become observable.

When Judas Iscariot came to the Garden of Gethsemane the night he betrayed Jesus, he said something that revealed he had never been truly submitted to Him. The truth about Judas’ recognition of and submission to Jesus’ authority was exposed that night, just as my submission to that minister was also proven to be defective. Mark 14:45 says, “And as soon as he [Judas] was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him.”

Notice that Judas called Jesus, “Master, master.” These words reveal the type of relationship that really existed in Judas’ heart toward Jesus. These words also reveal the reason the devil was able to use Judas, and not one of the other disciples, to betray Jesus.

The word “master” comes from the Greek word didaskalos, which means teacher. When it is translated “master,” as in this verse, it is intended to give the idea of one who is a fabulous, masterful teacher. This is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word rabbi. Of course, a rabbi is a teacher who is honored and respected because of his understanding of and ability to explain the Scriptures. When Judas approached Jesus in the Garden that night, this is exactly the title he used when he referred to Jesus. He called Him, “Master, master.” It literally meant, “Teacher, teacher.”

Titles are very important, because they define relationships. For instance, the words Daddy and Mother define the unique relationship between a child and a parent. The word Boss defines the relationship between an employee and his employer—a relationship much different than the one that exists between the employee and his fellow employees. The words Mr. President define the relationship between the nation and its leader. The word Pastor defines the relationship between a church and its pastor.

A world without titles would be a world with confusion, for titles give rank, order, and definition to relationships. Jesus Himself told the disciples, “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am” (John 13:13).

Even Jesus acknowledged it was correct for His disciples to call Him “Lord” and “Master.” In fact, there isn’t a single occurrence in the Gospels where they called Him “Jesus.” They were always respectful, honoring, and deferential when they spoke of Him or to Him.

But I want you to notice what title Judas didn’t use that night—he didn’t call Jesus “Lord.” The word for “Lord” expresses the idea of One who has ultimate and supreme authority in your life. If you called someone “Lord,” it meant you were submitted to that person’s authority and yielded every realm of your life to his management, direction, and control.

Had Judas called Jesus “Lord” that night, it would have meant that Judas had surrendered his life to Jesus’ control and was submitted to His authority. But Judas didn’t use the word “Lord”; he used the word for “Teacher,” which revealed that Jesus had never really become God’s authority in Judas’ life. The truth is, Judas had only received Jesus as a teacher, a rabbi, and a gifted communicator, but never as “Lord.”

As happens in all relationships where submission to authority is required, the moment finally came that proved the true level of Judas’ submission to Jesus. When the test came, Judas failed it. There was a fatal flaw in his relationship with Jesus. In the end, it became apparent to everyone that even though he honored and followed Jesus as a Master Teacher, Jesus had never been his Lord. Thus, Judas’ side of his relationship with Jesus had been artificial from the very beginning.

Jesus knew what was in the heart of Judas, yet continued to work closely with him, extending mind-blowing mercy, amazing grace, and astounding patience toward him! Jesus graciously extended His time and attention to Judas to correct the fatal flaws in the disciple’s character and to get things right. But even with all of Jesus’ love and patience, the ball was in Judas’ court. He was the one who ultimately determined the level of relationship that would exist between him and Jesus. Jesus was willing to be his “Lord”—but Judas was never truly willing to be in submission to Jesus’ authority. Instead, Judas only authorized Jesus to be a gifted Teacher in his life.

I have learned over the years that it takes time to really get to know who people are. The apostle Paul urged us not to lay hands on people suddenly for this very reason (1 Timothy 5:22).

So don’t be too shocked if you discover someone whom you thought was with you all the way isn’t really with you at all. If this ever happens to you, remember that it happened to Jesus too. Just as God used Jesus to extend mercy, grace, and patience to Judas Iscariot, God may be using you now to give an unfaithful person a chance to have a change of heart so he can become a faithful person.

Can God count on you to be His extension of kindness to that person? Are you to be His mercy outstretched to give that person a magnificent opportunity to make a true turnaround in his heart, mind, and character?

When I wronged my pastor so many years ago, my actions uncovered a flaw inside me that needed correction. It revealed that I didn’t understand what submission to authority really meant. In retrospect, I’m so thankful that this happened, for God used it to expose a defect in my character that needed to be eradicated. To change me, He tapped a great man of God on the shoulder and instructed him to love me, forgive me, and teach me. Because he was willing to be God’s outstretched hand of mercy in my life, I was corrected, delivered, and changed. I can never thank God enough for placing me under a person who cared enough for me that he stuck with me and brought correction into my life.

Are you supposed to be that kind of person to someone close to you right now? It’s so easy to fixate on the kiss of betrayal, but just think about how much God loves that “problem person” in your life! He is trying to help him by giving him a friend like you!

If that person chooses not to respond to the mercy, grace, and patience that is being poured out to him through you, he will have to live with the results of his decisions. Just make sure that you fulfill what God is requiring of you in this relationship. It may seem difficult to do, but you need to be thankful that God has kindly entrusted you with the responsibility of giving that person one last chance!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, thank You for the spiritual authorities You have placed in my life. Help me learn how to honor them, respect them, and truly submit to their spiritual authority. If there is any defect in my character that would cause me to rebel or to act in an ungodly fashion, please expose it in me now so I can deal with it and change! I want to make sure that my commitments are real and not artificially contrived, so please work in me and bring to light every area that needs work and attention!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that God uses me to extend mercy, grace, and patience to unfaithful people, giving them a chance to have a change of heart, to truly turn around, and to become faithful in their relationships with others. I am God’s mercy outstretched. He has tapped me on the shoulder and instructed me to love, to forgive, and to help those who need it. I refuse to fixate on the kiss of betrayal; rather, I choose to be thankful that God has entrusted me with the responsibility to give those individuals one last chancel

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Can you think of a time when God used a spiritual authority to bring correction into your life or to reveal your lack of submission?
  2. Was this a difficult experience in your life, or did you find it easy to receive correction? What did you learn from that experience?
  3. Has God put a person in your life who has the right to speak to you about areas of adjustments you may need to make? If so, who is that person?

 

Successful Or Significant?

That is the question we must ask of ourselves.

 

Is it possible we could be leading highly successful lives that are relatively insignificant?

 

Why is it that so many of us wake up in mid-life with a pit in our stomach, feeling we lack meaning, value or purpose?

 

Perhaps it is because in our drive for “success” we have highlighted the temporal at the expense of that which is truly significant: The eternal.

 

“Success” in life, as we are inclined to define it, usually relates to secular achievement in a manner that garners the approval or admiration of our fellowmen.

 

Jesus cautioned us however:

 

What is highly valued among men is detestable in Gods sightWhat good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Luke 16:15b; Matthew 16:26)

 

“Significance” in life as God views it, is related to focusing primarily on the eternal: The glory of God and the Kingdom of God.

 

The night before the cross, Jesus prayed to the Father: “I have glorified Thee on earth, I have finished the work You gave me to do.” (John 17:4)

 

That is, He had succeeded in building Kingdom values into the lives of the 11 Disciples. From God’s perspective, our lives are lived in a significant manner when we emulate Jesus’ example:

 

He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christs ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us… ” (2 Corinthians 5:19b, 20a)

 

IS MY LIFE SUCCESSFUL OR SIGNIFICANT?

 

The answer lies in whether I place my primary focus on the temporal or the eternal… On whether I view my work fundamentally as an opportunity to enhance the Kingdom of God, or principally as an opportunity to further my personal goals?

 

The choice, of course, is ours.