VIDEO Faithful – Available – Teachable

F.A.T. People

Who is mighty like You, O Lord? Your faithfulness also surrounds You. Psalm 89:8

God is surrounded on all sides by His quality of faithfulness, so His people should be faithful, trustworthy, and true. At Billy Graham’s funeral, his son, Ned, put it like this, “My father was F.A.T. He was Faithful. Available. Teachable. May we all be that way.”

Faithfulness isn’t quaint morality or old-fashioned virtue. It is the core of integrity, sincerity, and dependability. It’s the glue that holds our culture together. Without it, relationships cannot survive, and society cannot function.

Without the faithfulness of God, the universe would be erratic and unpredictable. The planets would wobble in their orbits, the laws of nature would be unreliable, and the sun would shine or not as it wished. Without the steadiness of God, there would be chaos in the universe. The Bible says, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17, NIV).

Because of the faithfulness of God, we have confidence when we pray. We can trust His promises, depend on His consistency, rest in His unchanging love, and search His Word of truth. In the process, we will increasingly become F.A.T. people—Faithful, Available, and Teachable.

Be firm and be faithful; desert not the right; / The brave become bolder the darker the night. From an anonymous hymn


Faithful – Available – Teachable

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The Gift of Time

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25

I headed into the post office in a big hurry. I had a number of things on my to-do list, but as I entered I was frustrated to find a long line backing up all the way to the door. “Hurry up and wait,” I muttered, glancing at my watch.

My hand was still on the door when an elderly stranger approached me. “I can’t get this copier to work,” he said, pointing to the machine behind us. “It took my money and I don’t know what to do.” Immediately I knew what God wanted me to do. I stepped out of line and was able to fix the problem in ten minutes.

The man thanked me and then left. As I turned to get back in line, it was gone. I walked straight to the service counter.

My experience that day reminds me of Jesus’s words: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38).

My wait seemed shorter because God interrupted my hurry. By turning my eyes to others’ needs and helping me give of my time, He gave me a gift. It’s a lesson I hope to remember, next time I look at my watch.

Heavenly Father, all of the time I have is in Your hands, a gift from You. Please show me how to use it to bring glory and honor to You.

Sometimes our to-do list needs to wait.

By James Banks 

INSIGHT

Time is a precious commodity that we can waste, spend, or invest. Moses prayed, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). In a sense, nothing more clearly requires—or displays—a heart of wisdom than the way we use our time. This may be why Jesus—pressed by the crowds, confronted by the needs around Him, and threatened by the religious establishment—is never described in the Gospels as being in a hurry. Instead, He saw time as having a part in the Father’s purposes. At the wedding feast in Galilee, He said to His mother, “My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4). As He drew ever closer to the cross, however, He saw that time coming to culmination. In John 12:27 He affirmed, “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.” Living wisely is rooted in understanding that our loving Father has a purpose behind our seconds, minutes, hours, and days.

Bill Crowder

At The Throne of His Grace

Romans 10:4-13

On a popular television show, the final contestant has an opportunity to win the grand prize, which is hidden behind one of three doors. The contestant, pulled from the audience, calls out the door number and discovers whether he or she has won the prize. Many leave disappointed.

Our God doesn’t work that way. He doesn’t hide the gift of salvation behind one of many doors and make us guess where to find it. He clearly tells us which door to open and gives us the faith to open it, promising that all who believe in Christ will not be disappointed (Rom. 10:11).

What a wonderful God we have! Our past sins don’t keep us from receiving His grace, because all that matters is believing in Jesus Christ to save us. Then the door of grace opens, bringing the free gift of forgiveness, salvation, and new life. Hymn writer Charitie Bancroft described grace this way:

      Because the sinless Savior died, 
      My sinful soul is counted free. 
      For God the just is satisfied,
      To look on Him and pardon me.

Confidently we may now approach God, knowing that we are accepted. When we draw near to Him, we come to a throne of grace where “we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). Forgiveness will be granted, and our prayers will be heard. And most wonderful of all, our relationship with God will deepen. Why would we ever neglect such a gracious opportunity?

Yes, To Die Is to Live

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” (Mark 8:35)

The principle expressed in this verse must be of paramount importance, for it is found repeated in one way or another probably more often than any other single principle in the New Testament. Note the following examples representing at least four separate messages from the Lord Jesus.

Matthew 10:39: “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

Matthew 16:25: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”

Luke 9:24: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”

Luke 17:33: “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.”

John 12:25: “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”

This remarkable divine paradox—that to die means to live—is also found expressed in many other ways in the epistles. Paul says, for example: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live” (Galatians 2:20). Note also such Scriptures as Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 6:9-10; Philippians 1:21-24; 2 Timothy 2:11-12.

There are many pietistic Christians who interpret such passages as implying a so-called “deeper life” that is attained by certain Christians and not by others through some mystical experience. However, Jesus did not say to lose one’s life for a deeper life, but for “my sake and the gospel’s”! Christ wants us to live in simple obedience to His will as recorded in His Word, proclaiming in all we say and do that He is Creator, Savior, and coming King. HMM

My soul thirsteth for God

Psalm 42

This is a very favourite psalm, and has many thousands of times cheered the hearts of the people of God.

Psalm 42:1

As the hunted hart instinctively seeks after the river to lave its smoking flanks and to escape the dogs, even so my weary, persecuted soul pants after the Lord my God.

Psalm 42:2

How he repeats and reiterates his desire! After his God, he pined even as the drooping flowers for the dew, or the moaning turtle for her mate. It were well if all our resortings to public worship were viewed as appearances before God; delight in them would then be a sure mark of grace.

Psalm 42:3

His appetite was gone; his tears not only seasoned his meat, but became his only food. It was well for him that the heart could open the safety-valves; there is a dry grief far more terrible than showery sorrows. His tears, since they were shed because God was blasphemed were “honourable dew,” drops of holy water, such as Jehovah putteth into his bottle.

 

“I sigh to think of happier days

When thou, O God, wast nigh

When every heart was tuned to praise

And none more blest than I.”

 

Psalm 42:5

As though he were two men, the psalmist talks to himself. His faith reasons with his fears, his hope argues with his sorrows. These present troubles, are they to last for ever? My absence from the solemn feasts, is that a perpetual exile? Why this deep depression, this faithless fainting? As Trapp says, “David chideth David out of the dumps;” and herein he is an example for all desponding ones. To search out the cause of our sorrow is often the best surgery for grief. Self-ignorance is not bliss; in this case it is misery.

Psalm 42:6

He recalls his seasons of choice communion by the river and among the hills, and especially that dearest hour upon the little hill, where love spake her sweetest language and revealed her nearest fellowship. It is great wisdom to store up in memory our choice occasions of converse with heaven; we may want them another day, when the Lord is slow in bringing back his banished ones.

Psalm 42:7

As in a waterspout the deeps above and below clasp hands, so it seemed to David that heaven and earth united to create a tempest around him. His woes were incessant and overwhelming.

Psalm 42:8, 9

To know the reason for sorrow is in part to know how to escape it, or, at least, how to endure it.

Psalm 42:10, 11

This sentence is peculiarly sweet. The enemies had said “Where is thy God,” and the persecuted one replies, “He is here, as my joy and my all.” Faith is not ashamed to own that God is her God even when he is greatly testing her. If we can keep our hold upon the Lord when in the midst of trial we shall come out of it safely.

 

For yet I know I shall him praise,

Who graciously to me

The health is of my countenance,

Yea, mine own God is he.

 

How Do We Each Know Him?

I know whom I have believed. (2 Timothy 1:12)

I must ask this question in the context of today’s modern Christianity: “Is it not true that for most of us who call ourselves Christians there is no real experience?”

We have substituted theological ideas for an arresting encounter; we are full of religious notions, but our great weakness is that for our hearts there is no one there!

Whatever else it embraces, true Christian experience must always include a genuine encounter with God. Without this, religion is but a shadow, a reflection of reality, a cheap copy of an original once enjoyed by someone else of whom we have heard.

It cannot but be a major tragedy in the life of any man or woman to live in a church from childhood to old age and know nothing more real than some synthetic god compounded of theology and logic, but having no eyes to see, no ears to hear—and no heart to love!

 

Before And During the Call

“It shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” Isa. 65:24

Quick work this! The Lord hears us before we call; and often answers us in the same speedy manner. Foreseeing our needs, and our prayers, He so arranges providence that before the need actually arises He has supplied it, before the trial assails us He has armed us against it. This is the promptitude of omniscience, and we have often seen it exercised. Before we dreamed of the affliction which was coming, the strong consolation which was to sustain us under it had arrived. What a prayer-answering God we have!

The second clause suggests the telephone. Though God be in Heaven and we upon earth, yet He makes our word, like His own word, to travel very swiftly. When we pray aright we speak into the ear of God. Our gracious Mediator presents our petitions at once, and the great Father hears them and smiles upon them. Grand praying this! Who would not be much in prayer when he knows that he has the ear of the King of kings? This day I will pray in faith, not only believing that I shall be heard, but that I am heard; not only that I shall be answered, but that I have the answer already. Holy Spirit, help me in this!

 

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