VIDEO The Labyrinth of Life

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. Psalm 139:8, NIV

The Krubera Cave in the Arabika Massif is one of the world’s largest caves. It’s so deep, so beautiful, and so complex that only skilled cavers can descend to its subterranean depths. It contains rivers, lakes, springs, and pits descending deep into the earth—a labyrinth of wonder, filled with deadly charms.

The same God who created the intricate interiors of earth also designed the mysterious blueprint of our life. Sometimes the mysteries appear deep and dark. But when we give our life to Christ, it’s as though a switch is flipped on, flooding the way with light. The Lord knows every twist and turn, every rock and river. When we don’t know the way, we needn’t worry. He does, and He will lead us. Even the darkness will become light around us.

This is the theme of Psalm 139—the Lord knows the way through the labyrinth of life. Our finite minds will never fully grasp God’s complex blueprints, but as we seek His will, He will lead us.

How precious also are thy thoughts, O gracious God, to me! And in their sum how passing great and numberless they be!
The Scottish Metrical Psalter (Psalm 139:17)


Psalm 139 – Jon Courson

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Don’t Feed the Trolls

Make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace.  Colossians 4:5–6

 

Ever heard the expression, “Don’t feed the trolls”? “Trolls” refers to a new problem in today’s digital world—online users who repeatedly post intentionally inflammatory and hurtful comments on news or social media discussion boards. But ignoring such comments—not “feeding” the trolls—makes it harder for them to derail a conversation.

Of course, it’s nothing new to encounter people who aren’t genuinely interested in productive conversation. “Don’t feed the trolls” could almost be a modern equivalent of Proverbs 26:4, which warns that arguing with an arrogant, unreceptive person risks stooping to their level.

And yet . . . even the most seemingly stubborn person is also a priceless image-bearer of God. If we’re quick to dismiss others, we may be the ones in danger of being arrogant and becoming unreceptive to God’s grace (see Matthew 5:22).

That might, in part, explain why Proverbs 26:5 offers the exact opposite guideline. Because it takes humble, prayerful dependence on God to discern how best to show others love in each situation (see Colossians 4:5–6). Sometimes we speak up; other times, it’s best to be silent.

May we find peace in knowing that the same God who drew us near while we were still in hardened opposition to Him (Romans 5:6) is powerfully at work in each person’s heart.

By:  Monica Brands

Reflect & Pray

How have you witnessed very different approaches being used by God to touch others? How can you better speak the truth in love?

Loving God, help me share Your love with others around me.

Comprehending God’s Truth

2 Corinthians 2:10-14

The Lord speaks to us in such a way that we may fully grasp His truth. He doesn’t speak in riddles but instead communicates so that we can comprehend.

Now, we may not always understand everything He says to us. All of us struggle to interpret His message at times. However, we must realize that this difficulty is not because the message is foggy. Rather, it is because something in our own life is getting in the way of His truth.

Unforgiveness may prevent us from hearing the Lord correctly. Fear, anxiety, doubt, and prayerlessness can also create spiritual “static” that clogs our ears. At times, though, the biggest distraction is our own minds—that is, our human tendency to figure things out for ourselves. That attitude can create a wall between our ears and the Father’s voice, and it is a wall we must tear down.

Remember, the reason we can hear the Lord is because He put His own Holy Spirit in the heart of every person who trusts in Christ. You see, nonbelievers aren’t able to understand the things of God because they have only their human mind to use when interpreting. As Christians, however, we have the Spirit of God, who works to make the Lord’s communication clear to us.

Do you struggle to comprehend God’s message? If you approach every challenge with determination to understand and master all aspects of the situation, the answer may be yes. Slow down. Surrender your anxious thoughts to Him, letting His wisdom fill your spirit—and your mind.

The Name That Charms Us

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (John 5:13)

The second verse of the sweet hymn “Praise the Savior, Ye Who Know Him” continues with reasons to praise Him.

Jesus is the Name that charms us,
He for conflicts fits and arms us;
Nothing moves and nothing harms us
When we trust in Him.

We are informed in Scripture that He assigns great value and power to His Name. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9-10).

He protects and empowers us to do great things in service to Him. “But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head” (Psalm 3:3). “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler” (Psalm 91:4).

In His service and following His lead, we are victorious. “O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvelous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory” (Psalm 98:1). “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

He is not only the conquering general, He is the Creator as well. We put our trust in Him, for where could our trust be better placed? “Thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all” (1 Chronicles 29:11). JDM

You Need To Meet God Alone First

… immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

—Galatians 1:16-17

Nothing can prevent the spiritual rejuvenation of the soul that insists upon having it. Though that solitary man must live and walk among persons religiously dead, he may experience the great transformation as certainly and as quickly as if he were in the most spiritual church in the world.

The man that will have God’s best becomes at once the object of the personal attention of the Holy Spirit. Such a man will not be required to wait for the rest of the church to come alive. He will not be penalized for the failures of his fellow Christians, nor be asked to forego the blessing till his sleepy brethren catch up. God deals with the individual heart as exclusively as if only one existed….

Every prophet, every reformer, every revivalist had to meet God alone before he could help the multitudes. The great leaders who went on to turn thousands to Christ had to begin with God and their own soul. The plain Christian of today must experience personal revival before he can hope to bring renewed spiritual life to his church.   SIZ015-016

Lord, send revival to Your church today; begin the work in me and then let it spread one person at a time. Amen.

 

I will mention the loving kindnesses of the Lord

I will mention the loving kindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us.—Isaiah 63:7 Be content with such things as ye have.—Hebrews 13:5.

My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.—Philippians 4:19.

 

Begin with thanking Him for some little thing, and then go on, day by day, adding to your subjects of praise; thus you will find their numbers grow wonderfully; and, in the same proportion, will your subjects of murmuring and complaining diminish, until you see in everything some cause for thanksgiving. If you cannot begin with anything positive, begin with something negative. If your whole lot seems only filled with causes for discontent, at any rate there is some trial that has not been appointed you; and you may thank God for its being withheld from you. It is certain that the more you try to praise, the more you will see how your path and your lying down are beset with mercies, and that the God of love is ever watching to do you good.

Priscilla Maurice.

 

A Reward Is Certain

“And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” Matt. 10:42

Well, I can do as much as that. I can do a kind act toward the Lord’s servant. The Lord knows I love them all, and would count it an honor to wash their feet. For the sake of their Master I love the disciples.

How gracious of the Lord to mention so insignificant an action — “to give to drink a Cup of cold water only”! This I can do, however poor: this I may do, however lowly: this I will do right cheerfully. This, which seems so little, the Lord notices — notices when done to the least of His followers. Evidently it is not the cost, nor the skill, nor the quantity, that He looks at, but the motive: that which we do to a disciple, because he is a disciple, his Lord observes, and recompenses. He does not reward us for the merit of what we do, but according to the riches of His grace.

I give a cup of cold water, and He makes me to drink of living water. I give to one of His little ones, and He treats me as one of them. Jesus finds an apology for His liberality in that which His grace has led me to do, and He says, “He shall in no wise lose his reward.”