Taking the day off from blogging, but thought I'd post this great shot. Hope all your Memorial Day's are in a similar attitude.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
For you shall not go in haste, and you shall not go in flight, for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
God is calling Israel to leave Babylon and on into the peace and salvation (vs.7) He has for them. A seemingly terrifying task considering leaving Babylon meant leaving the world's ruling empire at the time, but God's word is truth and transcends any seeming reality of the world. He calls them to be confident and full of faith in a situation where one would naturally terror. We, as Christians, should also walk in this way, confident that the Lord goes before us in everything and protects us from everything as we go. If we flee or act out of fear, we go without our source of protection and risk becoming vulnerable to attack. With prayer, petition and faith we must walk in the divine confidence that God goes before and with us in all we say or do. Lord, help me to do that today and tomorrow forevermore.
"Remember to live and let live."
Thursday, May 27, 2010
So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king's table; and was lame on both his feet.
-2 Samuel ix 13
Mephibosheth was no great ornament to a royal table, yet he had a continual place at David's board, because the king could see in his face the features of the beloved Jonathan. Like Mephibosheth, we may cry unto the King of Glory, "What is Thy servant, that Thou shouldst look upon such a dead dog as I am?" but still the Lord indulges as with most familiar intercourse with Himself, because He sees in our countenances the remembrance of His dearly-beloved Jesus...
Lameness is no bar to sonship; the cripple is as much the heir as if he could run like Asahel. Our right does not limp, though our might may. A king's table is a noble hiding place for lame legs, and at the gospel feast we learn to glory in our infirmities, because the power of Christ resteth upon us...
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
How incomprehensible is the love of God! His ways are indeed past finding out. How many of His providences are like the cloud between the Israelites and the Egyptians - if looked on by unbelievers, or without faith, it is a cloud of darkness; but if viewed according to the privilege of the Lord's people, it is no longer darkness, but light and safety. May this be your experience; may you feel that the Hand which inflicts the wound supplies the balm, and that He who has emptied your heart has filled the void with Himself.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Finally, a paper doll with some character....
"Birch the Bearded Lady ran away from home at the age of 13. Originally named Annabelle, she changed her name to Birch, an ode to her favorite tree. Finding herself at the circus, she embraced its colors and eccentricities whole-heartedly, and made it her prime job to personally take care of the animals. "
Forsake me not, O Lord.
-Psalm xxxviii 21
Frequently we pray that God would not forsake us in the hour of trial and temptation, but we too much forget that we have a need to use this prayer at all times. There is no moment of our life, however holy, in which we can do without His constant upholding... The ship left by the pilot drifts at once from her course.
We cannot do without continued aid from above; let it then be your prayer today, "Forsake me not... Forsake me not in my joys, lest they absorb my heart. Forsake me not in my sorrows, lest I murmur against Thee... Forsake me not, for without Thee I am weak, but with Thee I am strong...."
Monday, May 24, 2010
Blessed be God, who hath not turned away my prayer.
-Psalm lxvi 20
In looking back upon the character of our prayers, if we do it honestly, we shall be filled with wonder that God has ever answered them... Remember, Christian, how cold thy prayers have been... Yet, wonderful to say, God has heard these cold prayers of thine, and not only heard, but answered them.
Reflect also, how unfrequent have been thy prayers, unless thou hast been in trouble, and then thou hast gone often to the mercy seat: but when deliverance has come, where has been thy constant supplication?...
What a God is He thus to hear the prayers of those who come to Him when they have pressing wants, but neglect Him when they have received a mercy... Let his gracious kindness in hearing such prayers touch our hearts, so that we may henceforth be found "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit."
Friday, May 21, 2010
You shall leave your name to my chosen for a curse, and the Lord God will put you to death, but His servants He will call by another name.
What a glorious name is that of our Lord and Saviour's! As children of God our blessings flow solely from the fact that we are identified and branded with the name of God, which is only made possible through Christ who purifies us in order that we may bear such a prestigious name. It is when we are not under His name that death comes. Being named and claimed by Him is everything.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
-Psalm xvii 7
When we give our hearts with our alms, we give well, but we most often plead to a failure in this respect. Not so our Master and our Lord. His favours are always performed with the love of His heart. He does not send us the cold meat and the broken pieces from the table of His luxury, but he dips our morsel in His own dish, and seasons our provisions with the spices of His fragrant affections...
He will come into our houses upon His errands of kindness, and He will not act as some austere visitors do in the poor man's cottage, but He sits by our side, not despising our poverty, nor blaming our weakness.... If He had but given us farthings, the way of His giving would have gilded them; but as it is, the costly alms are set in a golden basket by His pleasant carriage... Not one hint that we are burdensome to Him;... but He rejoices in His mercy... while He is pouring out His love for us...
There is a sweetness in His honey-comb which could not be in it unless the very essence of His soul's affection had been mingled with it... May we continually taste and know the blessedness of it!
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
Our suffering and trials speak volumes to non-believers about the God that gives us the strength to bear them with joy and encourages fellow believers to claim the strength and hope we have seized in more desperate circumstances.
Lord, help me see suffering and trials as an opportunity for you to minister to others and bring glory to yourself. Build me up in times of smaller trials so that when the storm comes I might have experiential knowledge of your faithfulness and be confident that your promises hold true, even in the darkest and bleakest of places.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him.
-Colossians ii 9,10
All the attributes of Christ, as God and man, are at our disposal... He cannot endow us with the attributes of Deity; but... He has made even His divine power subservient to our salvation. His omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, immutability, and infallibility, are all combined for our defence...
The whole of Christ... is by Himself made over to us most richly to enjoy. His wisdom is our direction, His knowledge our instruction, His power our protection, His justice our surety, His love our comfort, His mercy our solace, and His immutability our trust. He makes no reserve, but opens the recesses of the Mount of God and bids us dig in its mines for the hidden treasures...
Oh! how sweet thus to behold Jesus, and to call upon Him with the certain confidence that in seeking the interposition of His love or power, we are but asking for that which He has already faithfully promised.
Monday, May 17, 2010
So to walk even as He walked.
-1 John ii 6
Why should Christians imitate Christ? They should do it for their own sakes. If they desire to be in a healthy state of soul- if they would escape the sickness of sin, and enjoy the vigour of growing grace, let Jesus be their model... It is when, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you are enabled to walk with Jesus in His very footsteps, that you are most happy, and most known to be the sons of God.
Next, for religion's sake, strive to be like Jesus. Ah! poor religion, thou hast been sorely shot at by cruel foes, but thou hast not been wounded one-half so dangerously by thy foes as by thy friends.
But, especially for Christ's own sake, imitate His example. Christian, lovest thou thy Saviour?... Is it thy desire that He should be glorified? Art thou longing that souls should be won to Him? If so, imitate Jesus...
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Hebrew xii 23
Recollect that there are two kinds of perfection which the Christian needs- the perfection of justification in the person of Jesus, and the perfection of sanctification wrought in him by the Holy Spirit. At present, corruption yet remains even in the breasts of the regenerate... but I rejoice to know that the day is coming when God... shall present my soul, not only perfect in Christ, but perfect through the Spirit...
Can it be true that this spirit, which often cries, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this sin and death?" Oh, happy hour! may it hastened!
When I cross the Jordan, the work of sanctification will be finished; but not till that moment,... (then) I shall be able to say, in a double sense, "I am clean," through Jesus' blood, and through the Spirt's work.
Yet let not the hope of perfection hereafter make us content with imperfection now. If it does this, our hope cannot be genuine; for a good hope is a purifying thing, even now... Let us pray to "be filled with the Spirit," that we may bring forth increasingly the fruits of righteousness.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for He has clothed me with garments of salvation; He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
In a wedding ceremony both the bride and the groom are dressed better than they most likely will ever be the rest of their lives. Their garments set them apart from all others that day: friends, family and even the bridal party. Yet they do not dress to boast in themselves, but they dress beautifully for their beloved, as an outward gesture of how special they are to them on the sacred day of their union.
Similarly, as God's people we are dressed in garments more spectacular than anything we ever have worn or will wear, those of salvation and righteousness. These garments set us apart from those who do not know God and cause them to notice their nakedness in comparison, whether they choose to acknowledge it or not. As Christians, we must convey to them that we do not dress ourselves nor do we dress unto ourselves, rather we were dressed by our beloved, Jesus Christ, for His glory, which means we must live as if that were true. A bride would not roll around in the mud in her white dress, nor would a groom soil his tux. So Christians, let us live as if we are waiting for our beloved on our wedding day, meticulously and joyfully caring for the robes we have been graciously given so that those who are naked might desire to know the one whom we shine for in order that they might too be clothed in the same fashion.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Items in this set:
And will manifest to him.
-John xiv 21
The Lord Jesus gives special revelations of Himself to his people... Jesus has been pleased... to speak to their (the saints) souls, and to unfold the wonders of His person; yea, so have their souls been steeped in happiness that they have thought themselves to be in heaven, whereas they were not there, though they were nigh on the threshold of it...
Especial manifestations of Christ exercise a holy influence on the believer's heart. One effect will be humility... for "God hath respect unto the lowly: but the proud He knoweth afar off"... Another effect will be happiness; for in God's presence there are pleasures for evermore. Holiness will be sure to follow. A man who has no holiness has never had this manifestation...
Thus there will be three effects of nearness to Jesus- humility, happiness, and holiness. May God give them to thee, Christian!
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
...I will make your overseers peace and your taskmasters righteousness.
-overseer (n): One who keeps watch over and directs the work of others
-taskmaster (n): One who imposes tasks, especially laborious ones
Peace was to be over God's people and was to direct their lives. Once fear had reigned over Israel, once fear had ruled over us; out of fear we acted, made decisions and even loved. But God replaces that fear with peace, which is now our motivation for all we do. A peace that no matter what happens God is still divine and our salvation is still certain. A peace that allows us to truly live as if God goes before us in everything and behinds us as our rear guard (Isa. 52:12) However, God has also appointed righteousness as our taskmaster, that His people might be directed to labor over righteousness the rest of their days. Righteousness does not come easily as we are naturally inclined to labor over sin and destruction apart from God, we must work hard towards it. However, much like Sisyphus' task is eternally futile, our striving and laboring after righteousness is also forever fruitless without the power of the Holy Spirit and the motivation that comes from abiding in Christ. It is only when both these are present and alive that the laborious task appointed to us also becomes a joy, and the rock we push towards the summit of future glorification no longer rolls backwards and crushes us but instead rests securely on the ground, pleasing to the father, as it rolls closer and closer to Christ.
Monday, May 10, 2010
But now is Christ risen from the dead.
-1 Corinthians xv 20
The whole system of Christianity rests upon the fact that "Christ is risen from the dead;" for, "If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching in vain: ye are yet in your sins." The divinity of Christ finds its surest proof in His resurrection, since He was "Declared to be the Son of God with power...by the resurrection from the dead".... It would be not unreasonable to doubt His deity if he had not risen.
Our justification... is linked with Christ's triumphant victory over death and the grave; for "He was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification".... And most certainly our ultimate resurrection rests here, for, "If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you."
Thus, the silver thread of resurrection runs through all the believers blessings, from his regeneration onward to his eternal glory, and binds them together.