VIDEO The Burning Heart – Children of the Burning Heart

The Burning Heart

Did not our heart burn within us…? —Luke 24:32

We need to learn this secret of the burning heart. Suddenly Jesus appears to us, fires are set ablaze, and we are given wonderful visions; but then we must learn to maintain the secret of the burning heart— a heart that can go through anything. It is the simple, dreary day, with its commonplace duties and people, that smothers the burning heart— unless we have learned the secret of abiding in Jesus.

Much of the distress we experience as Christians comes not as the result of sin, but because we are ignorant of the laws of our own nature. For instance, the only test we should use to determine whether or not to allow a particular emotion to run its course in our lives is to examine what the final outcome of that emotion will be. Think it through to its logical conclusion, and if the outcome is something that God would condemn, put a stop to it immediately. But if it is an emotion that has been kindled by the Spirit of God and you don’t allow it to have its way in your life, it will cause a reaction on a lower level than God intended. That is the way unrealistic and overly emotional people are made. And the higher the emotion, the deeper the level of corruption, if it is not exercised on its intended level. If the Spirit of God has stirred you, make as many of your decisions as possible irrevocable, and let the consequences be what they will. We cannot stay forever on the “mount of transfiguration,” basking in the light of our mountaintop experience (see Mark 9:1-9). But we must obey the light we received there; we must put it into action. When God gives us a vision, we must transact business with Him at that point, no matter what the cost.

We cannot kindle when we will
The fire which in the heart resides,
The spirit bloweth and is still,
In mystery our soul abides;
But tasks in hours of insight willed
Can be through hours of gloom fulfilled.


Steven Curtis Chapman – Children Of The Burning Heart

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Sprinkled and Cleansed

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22

Much of what happened literally in the Old Testament foreshadowed something that would happen figuratively in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, the blood of sacrificial animals was sprinkled on the altar and on the ark of the covenant. That sprinkling of blood was a literal picture of the washing away of sin. In the New Testament, the same image conveys: Our heart is sprinkled figuratively with the blood of Christ’s perfect sacrifice, cleansing us “from an evil conscience” and the stain of sin.

In the Old Testament, such sprinkling was done intimately—literally, the length of an arm was the distance from the blood to the object it covered. Just so, in the New Testament we must “draw near” to God “with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” Drawing near to God in faith avails us of the benefits of Christ’s blood cleansing us from sin.

Draw near to God today with a true heart in full assurance of faith. And be assured of your cleansing.

I hear the words of love, I gaze upon the blood, I see the mighty sacrifice, and I have peace with God.  Horatius Bonar

Left as Witnesses

Acts 1:6-8

One of the biggest problems in the church today is that many Christians do not see themselves as servants of the Lord. However, it isn’t His will that we simply come to church and listen to sermons. He wants us to go out and be witnesses for Christ wherever we are or wherever He sends us.

The roles and methods by which we carry out this task will be different, but each believer has a vital role to play (1 Corinthians 12:4-20). Individually, you may feel as if your efforts have little impact, but the Lord can work wonders through a willing servant. No one is too “messed up” to be used by Him—He specializes in taking broken people and making them whole. Nor does anyone reach an age when he or she is no longer useful. You can be sure that as long as you’re still alive, the heavenly Father isn’t done with you.

The question isn’t whether or not we are adequate to be His witnesses, but whether our hearts are willing. The Lord has promised the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish His purposes through our life, but if we won’t use His divine strength, then we waste opportunities for impact. Earthly responsibilities have a way of stealing our attention and limiting our obedience to the Lord. However, nothing in life is more important than doing the will of the Father.

Have duties and pleasures of this world lured you away from your responsibility to tell others about the Savior? Salvation is not just an experience to be enjoyed; it’s a gift to be shared. You don’t need a theology degree. Just tell what Jesus has done for you, and the Spirit will do the rest.

That I May Know Him

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” (Philippians 3:10)

Paul deeply desired to know Christ in an intimate fashion—to experience an even deeper relationship. In our text, he lists three things that will also be known if we know Christ.

The power of His resurrection: The victory of Christ over sin and death exhibited His great power. Paul not only longed for an ultimate resurrected body, “if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (v. 11), but he longed for the power over sin as well, “to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11).

The fellowship of His sufferings: Paul’s desire to know Christ was so great he was willing, if need be, to suffer as He suffered. And, indeed, Paul did suffer in many ways (as seen in 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 and elsewhere). “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21). “If so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:17).

Being made conformable to His death: Paul was willing to die as Christ died and soon did die a martyr’s death, beheaded in a Roman prison. But that is not in view here. Rather, he wanted to be like Christ in His death, gaining complete victory over all sin. “For he that is dead is freed from sin” (Romans 6:7).

To know Christ in this way, to be conformed to Him as Paul desired, primarily demands developing the servant’s heart and selfless humility that took Christ to the cross (Philippians 2:5-8) to make it possible for us to know Him. JDM

He whom Thou lovest is sick

John 11:1-19

John 11:1-3

Sickness is no stranger in the homes of the saints. However much we may be the Lord’s favourites we can claim no exemption from bodily affliction: but in our case it bears an aspect full of consolation, it is sent not as a punishment, but as a means of blessing.

John 11:4

This sickness is not unto death death will not be the ultimate end of it

John 11:4

Blessed is that illness of which this can be said: such sickness is better than health.

John 11:5, 6

His love made him slow! This seems strange. We should have hastened on to our friends chamber, but Jesus, who loved better than we do, was in no hurry. Omnipotence is the source of divine patience.

John 11:8

Very rightly they wished to keep him from danger, more rightly still he shrank not from exposing himself when duty called.

John 11:9, 10

He was safe till his hour came, and therefore worked on in defiance of Jewish malice. He had his allotted day, and he meant to work to the end of it despite all opposition.

John 11:12-15

Anything which helps our faith is a blessing for which to thank God.

John 11:16

Bravely did he say, “Since our Master will expose himself to such peril, let us go with him, if it be only to share his fate.” Better far to die with Christ than to desert him in the hour of trial.

John 11:19

These were formal visits, customary in those times, but they were of very little use to the two bereaved sisters, who above all things longed to see the Lord. Without Jesus our friends are miserable comforters. A little while ago we read of Jesus at a wedding, and in this passage we find him on the road to a funeral: he shares in all that concerns us, and most of all in our griefs. Have we a family trouble? Let us send for the Master. His presence will make all things work for good.

 

Saviour! I can welcome sickness

If these words be said of me:

Can rejoice midst pain and weakness,

If I am but loved by thee.

 

Love so precious,

Balm for every wound will be.

Though that love sends days of sadness

In a life so brief as this,

 

It prepares me days of gladness

And a life of perfect bliss.

Love so precious

Bids me every fear dismiss.

 

The Astonished Reverence

Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. (Psalm 66:16)

In my own being, I could not exist very long as a Christian without the inner consciousness of the Presence and nearness of God! I can only keep right by keeping the fear of God on my soul and delighting in the fascinating rapture of worship.

I am sorry that the powerful sense of godly fear is a missing quality in churches today.

The fear of God is that “astonished reverence” of which the saintly Faber wrote. I would say that it may grade anywhere from its basic element—the terror of the guilty soul before a holy God—to the fascinated rapture of the worshiping saint.

There are few unqualified things in our lives but I believe that the reverential fear of God, mixed with love and fascination and astonishment and adoration, is the most enjoyable state and the most purifying emotion the human soul can know. A true fear of God is a beautiful thing, for it is worship, it is love, it is veneration. It is a high moral happiness because God is!

 

Holy Foresight

“Nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of Heaven.” Matt. 26:64

Ah, Lord, thou wast in thy lowest state when before thy persecutors thou wast made to stand like a criminal! Yet the eyes of thy faith could see beyond thy present humiliation into thy future glory. What words are these, “Nevertheless — hereafter”! I would imitate thy holy foresight, and in the midst of poverty, or sickness, or slander, I also would say, “Nevertheless — hereafter.” Instead of weakness, thou hast all power; instead of shame, all glory; instead of derision, all worship. Thy cross has not dimmed the splendor of thy crown, neither has the spittle marred the beauty of thy face. Say, rather, thou art the more exalted and honored because of thy sufferings.

So, Lord, I also would take courage from the “hereafter.” I would forget the present tribulation in the future triumph. Help thou me by directing me into thy Father’s love and into thine own patience, so that when I am derided for thy name I may not be staggered, but think more and more of the hereafter, and, therefore, all the less of today. I shall be with thee soon and behold thy glory. Wherefore, I am not ashamed, but say in my inmost soul, “Nevertheless — hereafter.”

 

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