Archive for May, 2009

Put Your Trust in God Entirely

Friday, May 15th, 2009

God speaks in six great ways: in nature and creation; in the moral law; in the Scriptures; in Jesus Christ; in human conscience; and in history. All these things are, of course, forever imperishably true. And all of us know them to be true, and have known it for years; yet many of us believe no more now in the practical Voice of God than when we first heard them.

We cannot carry on a conversation with God through nature, or the moral law. We find God’s general will in the Scriptures. We find God still more directly in Jesus Christ. But human conscience is no perfect reflector of God, and history only points to His existence and His general will. We want something much more direct.

We want to know that God can and does speak directly to the human heart. The reason why some of us believe in guidance, at least in theory, is that the Old and New Testaments are full of instances of it, as specific as you please. Men said clearly that they were guided of God in this and that act and decision. You may try to psychologize all this away if you want; but I prefer to see whether this sort of thing is not now possible to those who put their trust in God entirely.

–Samuel M. Shoemaker, From the book:
The Conversion of the Church: The Genius of Fellowship
Used by Permission from Healing-Habits.com

Our Guiding Light

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Psalm 32:8 King James Version

There is a program on television called “The Guiding Light”. However, it is not a guiding light. It is only the name of the soap opera. We read in the Bible that Jesus is the only guiding light that we should follow. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

There are people who are following the darkness of satan instead of following the light of Jesus. If we spent more time following the light of Jesus instead of following the darkness of satan, we would have less heartaches and problems. If we follow the darkness of satan, it will always lead us down paths of destruction and crises.

If we will keep our eyes on Jesus and follow Him, our lives will be filled with happiness, joy and peace. Are you following the darkness of satan instead of following the light of Jesus? Do you allow Jesus to instruct you, teach you and guide you in all that you do?

There are times in our lives when we make decisions without first asking Jesus if this is what He wants us to do. Unless we consult Jesus before we make any decision, we will hurt Him and break His heart. Jesus is not only our guiding light; He is the guidepost of our hearts. Thank You, precious Saviour, for loving us unconditionally and for being the guidepost of our hearts and lives.

JoanneCopyright 2009 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. www.hesetmefreeforever.blogspot.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

Settling for the Easy Way

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Proverbs 21:5
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
but everyone who is hasty comes only to want.

We live in a fast-food culture. We want what we want when we want it. Waiting for something (or someone) just isn’t tolerated. Think about it. Does your blood pressure rise when you have to wait in traffic . . . or for a doctor’s appointment . . . or for someone to meet you for lunch? We are surrounded by the expectation that things need to happen on our time table and we are rarely willing to wait.

Just look around. Advertisements for college degrees in 15 months; get your car loan today without a wait (just sign here); your lunch is free if you have to wait more than a minute at the window. Have it your way and have it now. That seems to be the mantra.

However, there is wisdom (and reward) in learning to be patient, to work for something that doesn’t immediately gratify. “Diligent” is defined as “characterized by steady, earnest, and energetic effort.” In other words, the person who is diligent is the person who is willing to continue to head toward the goal without faltering and without being distracted.

In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul compared the Christian life with the discipline of a prized athlete:

“Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one. So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air; but I punish my body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others I myself should not be disqualified” (v. 24-27 NRSV).

Paul found out what it would take to be a believer who would win the prize: heaven. And then he modeled his life after that. “Run in such a way that you may win it.” In other words, we are to live our lives in such a way that we will gain heaven. Not because salvation can be earned, but because our salvation—after being received—must be worked out in our lives. We must demonstrate that our words have meanings through our actions.

There is an eternal prize at stake. If we are willing to settle for the prize at hand, then there is a great likelihood that we will lose the prize that means the most: heaven.

Copyright 2009 by Robin L. O’Hare.
All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Permission to reproduce will be given by author by contacting
servinggodalone @ yahoo.com. All copies must be reproduced i
n their entirety and distributed without cost.

How Narrow is the Gate

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

“How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life!” Matthew 7:14

In some sense, the path to heaven is very safe–but in other respects, there is no road so dangerous! It is beset with difficulties. One wrong step–and down we go! And how easy it is to take that treacherous step–if grace is absent!

What a slippery path is that–which some of us have to tread! How many times have we to exclaim with the Psalmist, “But as for me, my feet were slipping–and I was almost gone!”

If we were strong, sure-footed mountaineers, this would not matter so much; but in ourselves, how weak we are!
Even in the best roads–we soon falter!
In the smoothest paths–we quickly stumble!
These feeble knees of ours–can scarcely support our tottering weight!
A straw may trip us up–and a pebble can wound us!
We are mere infants, tremblingly taking our first steps in the walk of faith. Our heavenly Father holds us by the arms–or we would soon tumble down!

Oh, if we are kept from falling, how must we bless the patience, power and wisdom of God–who watches over us moment by moment–and day by day! Think–
how prone we are to sin,
how apt to choose dangerous paths,
how strong our tendency to cast ourselves down
–and these reflections will make us sing more sweetly than we have ever done, “Glory to Him, who is able to keep us from falling, and to present us before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy!” Jude 24

We have many foes–who try to push us down, and destroy us!
The road is rough–and we are weak!
But in addition to this, enemies lurk in ambush, who rush out when we least expect them, and labor to trip us up, or hurl us down the nearest deadly precipice!

Only an Almighty arm can preserve us from these unseen foes, who are seeking to destroy us at every step! Such an arm is engaged for our defense. He is faithful, who has promised, and He is able to keep us from falling, so that with a deep sense of our utter weakness, we may cherish a firm belief in our perfect safety!

~ Charles Spurgeon

Hold Tight to the Anchor

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Hebrews 6:19-20 King James Version

What a comfort this passage of Scripture is to us, to know that our precious Saviour is the anchor of our hearts and our lives! When satan hurls his vicious poisonous darts of criticism, sarcasm, discouragement and judgment at us, we can hold tight to our anchor of protection. Not only should we hold tight to Jesus when it feels like we are going under for the last time, we must hold tight to Him. We are powerless to fight satan in our own strength.

Our families and our friends can encourage us but only Jesus can heal the wounds in our hearts. He not only wipes the tears from our eyes, He also wipes the tears from our hearts with His tender kisses of compassion. Thank You so much, Heavenly Father, for giving Jesus to us to be our anchor of hope and protection. Please help us to hold tight to our anchor in the midst of a world that is filled with violence and ugliness. Amen.

If you feel that you can’t give another smile or take another step, hold tight to Jesus. When you are holding tight to Him, nothing and nobody can hurt you. Not only does He save our souls; He also saves us from the storms of life. What a Saviour! What a friend, this Jesus of Nazareth! Thank You, Jesus, for loving us and for protecting us. Thank You that You willingly walked that long and lonely road to Calvary and there allowed them to crucify You on a cross of horror and shame for us. We love You, Jesus, and we appreciate all that You do for us.

JoanneCopyright 2009 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. www.hesetmefreeforever.blogspot.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

Fulfilling the Great Commission with Our Kids

Friday, May 8th, 2009

I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you,
which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice,
and I am persuaded is in you also (2 Timothy 1:5).

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, I felt it appropriate to share a bit from my just-released book Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today from New Hope Publishers. With several mothers to choose from, I decided to go with Eunice and Lois, who so greatly influenced their son/grandson, Timothy—who, in turn, influenced so many others for Christ.

How many times have we, as mothers or grandmothers, prayed and meditated upon Proverbs 22:6, which says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it,” claiming that great truth and promise for our own children or grandchildren, particularly when they stray from the faith? The key to seeing it lived out in our young ones’ lives, however, is being sure that we have first lived it ourselves—both in word and deed.

How Lois and Eunice must have known and loved the Scriptures to be able to instill that same love in Timothy! And how they must have loved to gather together with other believers to hear those Scriptures preached and taught, to fellowship with others of like faith, and to encourage one another in that faith, particularly as persecution arose and intensified. There was no way these two women could have known what lay ahead for young Timothy, but they were obedient to God’s Word to “train him up” in the love and admonition of the Scriptures, faithfully preparing him for whatever he might face in the days to come.

There is no greater pursuit or purpose to which we, as mothers and grandmothers (or fathers and grandfathers!), can dedicate ourselves than properly training up those little ones who have been entrusted to us, teaching and modeling the only true faith and the way it should be lived on a daily basis. If we have done that, we can be sure that God will honor His Word and faithfully draw our children and grandchildren into service for Him. And regardless of whatever else we may—or may not—accomplish during our earthly sojourn, we can rest assured that when it’s time for us to go home, we will hear our beloved Father say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”

Be blessed this day and always, dear moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, as you fulfill the Great Commission with those little ones God has entrusted to your care!

Macias
Copyright 2009 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored 26 books. Her newest books “Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World” and Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today (New Hope Publishers) The author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com

God’s Healing Ointment

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.1 Peter 5:7-8 King James Version

Yesterday while carrying hot soup, some of the hot soup spilled on my hand. I immediately put my hand under cold running water so it wouldn’t leave a scar and the pain would go away. It worked just as it works every time. The same is true with God’s healing ointment, Jesus. When satan hurls his vicious and poisonous darts of discouragement, criticism, ridicule, sarcasm and judgment at us, Jesus takes the pain from our hearts.

Jesus will heal our hearts with His ointment of compassion and love. However, we must not wait! We must go to Him as soon as satan attacks us. When we allow our hearts to become filled with unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, jealousy, criticism and sarcasm, our hearts stink in the nostrils of Jesus.

Our precious Saviour not only saves us; He also heals our broken hearts and our broken lives. He loves us very much and it hurts Him when we are sad. No matter how many problems you have and no matter what is going on in your life, Jesus can heal your broken heart and your broken life.

Go to our precious Saviour and tell Him you are hurting. He will comfort and encourage you. Our compassionate Saviour will be faithful to pour His healing ointment of love and compassion into your heart. Heavenly Father, we thank You for giving Your beloved Son to us to be the healing ointment of our hearts and our lives. Amen.

JoanneCopyright 2009 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved.
Used by permission. www.hesetmefreeforever.blogspot.com
http://christians-in-recovery.org

What Should We Get Out of Prayer?

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

There came into my experience a deeper conception of God. He was” more ready to hear than we to pray.” “We love him because he first loved us.” God was taking the initiative in communion. He had sent Jesus into the world to make that known to us. What was wanted on our part really was receptivity, rather than effort.

When I surrendered my life to His will, prayer began to be a new thing: not a way to change His will, but a way to find it. It did away with much of the difficulty of the human persuasion of God, and became largely God’s persuasion of us. It was His will which was paramount and mattered, not ours.

This certainly carried with it the implication that listening was more important in prayer than asking. It meant that what we should find in prayer was, not so much the answer to requests (though this is a permanent element in all true prayer), and not only the doctrine that what we find in prayer is God Himself (though to be in living touch with Him is a tremendous experience), but that we should carry away from prayer an intelligible idea of just what God wants us to do.

There seem to me to be few serious intellectual difficulties in this idea of prayer, once you accept in full the doctrine of a personal God, who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and who revealed the light of the knowledge of His glory in Christ’s face. I may say that this was the first place where I ever laid hold of prayer as a daily working force in my own life.

–Samuel M. Shoemaker, From the book:
The Conversion of the Church: The Genius of Fellowship
Used by Permission from Healing-Habits.com

Have you seen Jesus lately?

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

“But they did not know who He was.” Luke 24:16

The disciples ought to have recognized Jesus, they had heard His voice so often, and gazed upon that marred face so frequently, that it is amazing that they did not know Him. Yet is it not so with you also? Have you seen Jesus lately? You have been to His table–and you have not met Him there. You are in a dark trouble, and though He plainly says, “It is I–do not be afraid,” yet you do not recognize Him. Alas! our eyes are blinded! We know His voice; we have looked into His face; we have leaned our head upon His bosom–and yet, though Christ is very near us, we are saying, “O that I knew where I might find Him!”

We should know Jesus, for we have the Scriptures to reflect His image. Yet how frequently we open that precious book–and have no glimpse of our Well-beloved! Dear child of God, are you in that state? Jesus walks through the glades of Scripture, and desires to commune with His people. Yet you are in the garden of Scripture–but cannot see Him, though He is always there!

Make it your prayer, “Lord, open my eyes–that I may see my Savior present with me!” It is a blessed thing to desire to see Him. But oh! it is better far to gaze upon Him! To those who seek Him–He is kind; but to those who find Him–He is precious beyond expression!

(Charles Spurgeon)

Passing from the Shadowlands: Going Home

Monday, May 4th, 2009

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race,
I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:6-7).

I once had a dear friend named Ruth who, in her late 80’s, sat enjoying a grilled steak one day when she heard a radio announcer declare that barbecued meat wasn’t good for you. She stopped her beef-laden fork midway between her plate and her lips, paused for a moment in reflection, then shrugged her shoulders and said, “Oh well, I’ve got to get out of here somehow,” and popped the meat into her mouth and chewed with obvious delight.

Ruth has long-since “gotten out of here” and gone home to the Father she so dearly loved, but today—which just happens to be my 61st birthday—I’m thinking of her as I consider the approach of my own home-going. I’m also thinking of the late, great preacher, Pastor E. V. Hill, who was famous for reminding us, “This ain’t it!” And I wonder, do we really believe that…or are we futilely clinging to a temporal life here in the “shadowlands” as if we could somehow prolong it and enjoy it forever?

I, for one, have no desire to remain here one day longer than God has purposed for me, and I say that with all honesty and conviction. I love what I do. I love my family and my friends. I love so much about this lost-in-sin earth and its tainted and fallible residents. But I love God more, and with each passing year, the yearning and anticipation within me grows. SOON. Soon I will go home. Soon I will be reunited with loved ones who have gone before me. Soon I will live in a perfect place, in a perfect environment, in perfect health. Soon…I will see Jesus and bask in the presence of my heavenly Father.

What do I want for my birthday? To see others experience that same anticipation and yearning to “get out of here” and graduate to heaven. For however many years God grants me to remain in this imperfect life, I pray He will also strengthen my conviction to convey that yearning and anticipation to everyone I meet, whether through writing or speaking…or just living in a way that causes them to want to follow me home.

We all have birthdays. We all get older and “wear out” physically. All the facelifts and exercise programs in the world can’t stop it. But we don’t have to fear death, for it is, after all, a passing from the shadowlands into the joy of living forever in the glorious presence of God. Oh, that we would lay hold of that great truth and live accordingly! Then, as we make that transition into eternity, we will be able to declare with certainty, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Keep the faith, beloved—and pass it on to everyone you meet along the way.

Macias
Copyright 2008 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored 26 books. Her newest book “Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World” (New Hope Publishers) The author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com