VIDEO As White as Snow, Crushed By Guilt

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  Psalm 51:7

Most people love a “white Christmas”—a blanket of fresh snow that has gently fallen like a silent white shroud. But why is snow white when it’s actually just made of crystals of ice? The reason is, when light waves of different frequencies (colors) hit the ice crystals, they are reflected off the snow so all the colors blend to create “white”—the color that results when all color frequencies are combined.

While the writers of the Bible may not have understood the science of white snow, they understood this: Snow was the whitest, or purest, thing they knew. Pure white snow doesn’t have any marks or stains or blemishes, and thus they equated the image with sinlessness and holiness. Daniel saw the Ancient of Days wearing a garment “white as snow” (Daniel 7:9). John saw Jesus with hair “as white as snow” (Revelation 1:14). When we see our sin, we know we need to be made as “white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).

The more we see the holiness of God, the more we become aware of our need to be made pure as well (Psalm 51:7).

The purer your habits, the closer to God you will come.  Ravi Zacharias

Psalm 51 – John Piper

Making Peace with Trouble

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33


We were almost home when I noticed it: the needle of our car’s temperature gauge was rocketing up. As we pulled in, I killed the engine and hopped out. Smoke wafted from the hood. The engine sizzled like bacon. I backed the car up a few feet and found a puddle beneath: oil. Instantly, I knew what had happened: The head gasket had blown.

I groaned. We’d just sunk money into other expensive repairs. Why can’t things just work? I grumbled bitterly. Why can’t things just stop breaking?

Can you relate? Sometimes we avert one crisis, solve one problem, pay off one big bill, only to face another. Sometimes those troubles are much bigger than an engine self-destructing: an unexpected diagnosis, an untimely death, a terrible loss.

In those moments, we yearn for a world less broken, less full of trouble. That world, Jesus promised, is coming. But not yet: “In this world you will have trouble,” He reminded His disciples in John 16. “But take heart! I have overcome the world” (v. 33). Jesus spoke in that chapter about grave troubles, such as persecution for your faith. But such trouble, He taught, would never have the last word for those who hope in Him.

Troubles small and large may dog our days. But Jesus’ promise of a better tomorrow with Him encourages us not to let our troubles define our lives today.

By:  Adam R. Holz

Reflect & Pray

What does it look like for you to surrender your troubles to God? What might you use as a prompt to remind yourself to offer up your anxieties to Him throughout the day?

Father, troubles never seem far away. But when they’re close, You’re even closer. Please help me to cling to You in trust today.

The Need for a Sacrifice

Hebrews 10:1-4

Have you ever read about sacrifice in the Old Testament and wondered what it was for? The only payment for sin is death (Rom. 6:23), and the Lord graciously allowed animals to be offered as a substitute for human lives. So people regularly brought sacrifices to God as atonement. However, it was only a temporary solution and had to be repeated often.

In order for mankind to be eternally freed from the guilt of sin, God required that the once-for-all sacrifice had to be completely pure (Lev. 22:20). What’s more, it could not be an animal. After all, the guilt belonged to man; therefore, the world was in need of a perfect and sinless person to be offered.

What an impossible situation: Man was responsible to pay the price, but God alone was capable of sinlessness. The only possible solution was for Jesus Christ—who was wholly God and wholly man—to offer His life on our behalf. Unlike the blood of bulls and lambs, Christ’s blood was a fully sufficient one-time payment for all sin.

This is why we say that we’re saved by the blood of Christ. Jesus did what we could not—He set us free from our sins. Consider the immensity of the sacrifice He made on your behalf. Have you thanked Him lately?

Mercy from His Word

“Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word.” (Psalm 119:41)

The Hebrew word hesed, used here for “mercy,” has a breadth of meaning. Its basic connotation is “kindness” and is most often used in God’s patient dealing with the nation of Israel through their long, and often rebellious, history. The most frequent contextual use focuses on God’s withholding judgment during specific times or events rather than executing the just sentence demanded by disobedience to His laws.

It is in that sense that “salvation” is often connected to mercy. God “rescues” a person or nation from the consequences of foolish or rebellious actions because He is merciful: “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

This section of Psalm 119 clearly states that these mercies are according to the Word of God. No event dilutes the holiness of God. No judgment withheld violates the innate nature of the thrice-holy Creator. Mercy may delay judgment for the sinner, and justification through redemption will eliminate judgment for the sinner, but God’s holiness does not abrogate the law. The sentence is carried out—either on the sinner or on the Lord Jesus Christ in the place of the sinner (Proverbs 11:21).

The psalmist thus praised the basis for God’s mercies, told of his trust and hope in the Scriptures, and then gave a series of promises to the Lord that marked his own commitment for obedience (vv. 44-48). As the stanza closes, the psalmist promised he would lift up his hands in public praise of the Word and meditate in private as well.

Would God that all of God’s children emulate the heart of this dear brother from the past. HMM III

The Oneness of Mind

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

—Psalm 133:1


God always works where His people meet His conditions, but only when and as they do. Any spiritual visitation will be limited or extensive, depending how well and how widely conditions are met.

The first condition is oneness of mind among the persons who are seeking the visitation….

Historically, revivals have been mainly the achieving of a oneness of mind among a number of Christian believers. In the second chapter of Acts it is recorded that they were “all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1) when the Spirit came upon them. He did not come to bring them into oneness of accord; He came because they were already so. The Spirit never comes to give unity (though His presence certainly aids and perfects such unity as may exist). He comes to that company who have, through repentance and faith, brought their hearts into one accord….

Every church should strive for unity among its members, not languidly, but earnestly and optimistically. Every pastor should show his people the possibilities for power that lie in this fusion of many souls into one.   PTP059, 061, 064

Lord, give us that unity in our church today. Give us a oneness of mind that we might experience Your full blessing in our midst. Amen.


Here’s How It Works

Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

—1 Thessalonians 5:17-18


Here’s how the file card works when it gets into the Christian life and begins to create mental habits: It divides the Bible into sections fitted to the days of the year, and compels the Christian to read according to rule. No matter what the Holy Spirit may be trying to say to a man, still he goes on reading where the card tells him, dutifully checking it off each day….

Inevitably the calendar crowds out the Spirit and the face of the clock hides the face of God. Prayer ceases to be the free breath of a ransomed soul and becomes a duty to be fulfilled. And even if under such circumstances he succeeds in making his prayer amount to something, still he is suffering tragic losses and binding upon his soul a yoke from which Christ died to set him free. OGM080-081

It is the privilege of every Christian to live so fully in God that he never gets out of the experienced Presence for one moment….The whole life becomes a prayer…thoughts become mental prayers, deeds become prayers in action and even sleep may be but unconscious prayer. NCA090


Listen, Songs in the Night

Psalm 77:6

Ultimately, a “night season” will come to each life. It is easy to sing in the sunshine when life flows along like a song. But at night the song must emerge from the shadows and come from the melody that the Lord puts within one’s life.

But the night has its songs as well. The song of the nightingale is sweeter because it comes in the stillness of the night. The noises of the day are hushed and her notes float as sweet music through the night air.

God is the great Composer of the night songs. When darkness overtakes us, God gives a song. The Psalmist testified, “At night His song is with me” (42:8), and “I remembered my songs in the night” (77:6). In the midst of a crisis in Israel, God promised His people, “You shall have a song as in the night” (Isaiah 30:29 NKJV). Out of the tragic story of Job’s trials comes the radiant truth that “God… gives songs in the night” (Job 35:10). Sorrow becomes the expositor of the mysteries of God that joy leaves unexplained.

This radiant truth has been confirmed in the experience of innumerable people who, when going through the dark valleys, have been encouraged and sustained by the song God gave to them. Many of our best-loved hymns were forged in the crucible of sorrow and suffering. “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” was written by the young Joseph Scriven when not long before his wedding day his fiancee was drowned. Fanny Crosby was blind and yet wrote over 6,000 hymns, many of them among all-time favorites.

In 1871 the ship Ville du Havre, halfway across the Atlantic, was rammed by a sailing vessel and cut in two. Mrs. Spafford saw her four daughters swept away to their deaths. When she and a few other survivors reached Wales, she cabled two words to her husband: “Saved alone.”

Taking the earliest ship, he hastened to his wife’s side, all the ache of his heart going out to her and to his Father God. When his boat reached the approximate spot where the Ville du Havre had met with disaster, God gave him the inspiration and courage to write the hymn that affirms: When sorrows like sea billows roll,/Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say:/It is well, it is well with my soul.

There is a grace and strength from God that is not given in the everyday routine of life. But when trials come upon us, we may know His added grace, His increased strength, and His multiplied peace.

Henry Gariepy, Songs in the Night