VIDEO Then He Arose

And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves…. Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. Matthew 8:24, 26

Missionary Amy Carmichael often sent insights to her workers from her own daily devotions. One day she told them how she had been helped by two phrases in Matthew 8: And suddenly a great tempest arose…. Then He arose. She pointed out that when the storms arise, that’s when Jesus arises to deal with them.

“There are almost always waves,” Amy wrote. “Now and then we have times of quietness—little lulls, I used to call them—but far more often the wind is blowing from one quarter or another, and so there are waves…. But that is not the whole story.”

No, that’s not the whole story! The storms and the waves are a part of life; they arise. But our Lord also arises to deal with them, to help us, to protect and navigate us, to accompany us, to work on our behalf, and to turn the storms into streams of mercy.

When I am toiling in rowing, almost engulfed in the sea, make of the billows a pathway, come thro’ the darkness to me.

Manie P. Ferguson, “Christ in the Storm”


 Read-Thru-the-Bible: Joshua 18 – 20

Matthew 8:23-9:9 – Skip Heitzig

Practice These Things

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. Philippians 4:9

As I helped my son with his math homework, it became apparent he was less than enthusiastic about doing multiple problems related to the same concept. “I’ve got it, Dad!” he insisted, hoping I would let him out of doing all of his assignment. I then gently explained to him that a concept is just a concept until we learn how to work it out in practice.

Paul wrote about practice to his friends in Philippi. “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice” (Philippians 4:9). He mentions five things: reconciliation—as he urged Euodia and Syntyche to do (vv. 2–3); joy—as he reminded his readers to cultivate (v. 4); gentleness—as he urged them to employ in their relation to the world (v. 5); prayer—as he had modeled for them in person and in writing (vv. 6–7); and focus—as he had shown even in prison (v. 8). Reconciliation, joy, gentleness, prayer, and focus—things we’re called to live out as believers in Jesus. Like any habit, these virtues must be practiced in order to be cultivated.

But the good news of the gospel, as Paul had already told the Philippians, is that “it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (2:13). We’re never practicing in our own power. God will provide what we need (4:19).

By:  Glenn Packiam

Reflect & Pray

What things do you need to practice as you seek to imitate Jesus? How can you practice in the power of the Holy Spirit?

Jesus, give me the grace to practice Your ways by the power of the Holy Spirit. Empower me to live my life in a way that bears the fruit of the Spirit.

Read Filled with the Spirit at

Guarding Against Doubt

Hebrews 7:23-28

Do you doubt your salvation? Today’s passage says quite plainly that Jesus is “able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him,” since He’s always interceding for them in heaven (Heb. 7:25). Knowing this, let’s take a moment to understand what leads us to doubt—and then let’s counter each of those falsehoods with truth from God’s Word.

Sin makes us feel estranged from God, but His Word says that if we confess our sins, He will forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

Legalism says salvation is maintained by obedience to manmade rules. Salvation, however, isn’t begun or sustained by works (Gal. 3:1-5).

Feelings can make us question whether we are saved, but they aren’t a reliable gauge of truth. Regardless of any doubts we sense in our heart, Scripture promises that Jesus will complete the good work He began in us (Phil. 1:6).

Satan is an accuser, who constantly reminds us of our sin and shame. But Paul assures us that no one can bring a charge against God’s elect (Rom. 8:33-34).  

Don’t let negative influences undermine your confidence in Christ’s ability to save and keep you forever. When doubts come, cling to these truths and boldly proclaim what the Bible says.

Redeeming Love

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)

Verse four of “There Is a Fountain” fills Christians with thankfulness for the great and lasting work accomplished on the cross. A never-ending stream of redeeming love has gushed forth from Calvary to supply our never-ending need for forgiveness and provision and love. We respond in love to Him for His abundant love framed in undeserved grace. “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). And how can we do so? “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

E’er since, by faith, I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.

Through propitiation, God was satisfied with the full payment for our sin. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), but “Christ died for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3), and God, the holy Judge, is satisfied. “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared…which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4, 6-7). Little wonder we respond as we do.

Not only do we receive forgiveness from the Father, He looks at us as though we had fully obeyed Him as His Son had done. “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past….Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Romans 3:25; 5:9). JDM

Fencing with Masters

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. —2 Timothy 4:3-4

Everyone who has come to the years of responsibility seems to have gone on the defensive. Even some of you who have known me for years are surely on the defensive—you have your guard up all the time!

I know that you are not afraid of me, but you are afraid, nevertheless, of what I am going to say. Probably every faithful preacher today is fencing with masters as he faces his congregation. The guard is always up. The quick parry is always ready.

It is very hard for me to accept the fact that it is now very rare for anyone to come into the house of God with guard completely down, head bowed and with the silent confession: “Dear Lord, I am ready and willing to hear what You will speak to my heart today!”

We have become so learned and so worldly and so sophisticated and so blasé and so bored and so religiously tired that the clouds of glory seem to have gone from us.   CES108-109

Lord, quiet my own heart before You and give me that humble spirit of listening. Whenever I come before You may I be “ready and willing to hear what You will speak to my heart today.” Amen.

The Holy Spirit Is Indispensable

Repent, and be baptized every one…and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost —Acts 2:38

The continued neglect of the Holy Spirit by evangelical Christians is too evident to deny and impossible to justify.

Evangelical Christianity is Trinitarian: “Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost” is sung in almost every church every Sunday of the year; and whether the singer realizes it or not he is acknowledging that the Holy Spirit is God indeed with equal claim to be worshiped along with the Father and the Son. Yet after this claim is sung at or near the beginning of the service little or nothing is heard of the Spirit again until the benediction….

[T]here can be no doubt that there is a huge disparity between the place given to the Spirit in the Holy Scriptures and the place He occupies in popular evangelical Christianity. In the Scriptures the Holy Spirit is necessary. GTM109, 110

David Brainerd once compared a man without the power of the Spirit trying to do spiritual work to a workman without fingers attempting to do manual labor. The figure is striking but it does not overstate the facts. The Holy Spirit is not a luxury….The Spirit is an imperative necessity. Only the Eternal Spirit can do eternal deeds. MDP066

Loving God

Deuteronomy 6:5

I desire to ask you a question that may possibly sound a little strange, but which nevertheless is very important. It is, “Do you love God?” I do not mean do you believe and talk and sing about Him, and admire Him; but do you really love Him, and that with all your heart?

Love to God is an essential part of religion, just as heat is an essential part of fire. You cannot have a living, sanctifying, enjoyable salvation without it. It does not matter what else you do; if you are without love, your religion is vain.

You can very readily tell whether you love God or not.

When any being is truly loved he will be very much in the thoughts. Last thing at night and first thing in the morning the heart will turn to the one it loves. Has God such a place in your mind, my comrade?

When anyone is truly loved, his interests will be cared for. When a father is loved by a son, the reputation and business and property of that father will be anxiously cared for by that son. So it is with your Heavenly Father. If you love Him you will assuredly care for His interests, and seek to promote them with all your heart.

When a being is really loved, the dearest object of life will be to do those things that will yield that being pleasure. What pleases that person and makes him happier will please and gladden you. If you love God you will delight in the doing of His righteous will, if for no other reason than that you will thereby give satisfaction to the heart of your Heavenly Father.

When any being is loved, there will be at least a measure of pleasure experienced in communion with that being. As the flowers turn to the sun, and the rivers run to the sea, so the heart ever turns to that one on whom its affections are chiefly set for comfort, and guidance, and satisfaction. To converse with that being and have his opinions regarding the men and things about us, to speak with him of our successes and failures, our hopes and fears, to hear him tell what his feelings are toward us and to tell him what our feelings are toward him, constitutes one of the chief delights.

Have you any such experience as this with respect to your Heavenly Father? Do you find pleasure in talking to Him, and hearing Him talk to you—on your knees, at your work, in your trials and in your joys?

Is this your experience? Do you feel after this fashion towards God?

William Booth, The Warrior’s Daily Portion, No. 2