Abounding Grace

Jul 28, 2011 at 04:32 o\clock

Trust and rest

Dear Ones, 

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee…” Isaiah 26:3

“One great evidence of my abiding in Christ is quietness.  I have my portion elsewhere, and I go on… No matter what it may be, we bring quietness of spirit into all circumstances while dwelling in God.  The soul is not only happy in God for itself, but it will bring the tone of that place out with it.  Does all trouble find your heart so resting on God as your Father, that when it is multiplied, it leaves your spirit at rest, your sleep sweet, lying down sleeping, and rising as if all was peace around you, because you know God is, and disposes of all things?   Is He thus between you and your troubles and troublers?  And if He is, what can reach you?  The soul in communion with God will live in the spirit of peace.  There is nothing more important, to meet the turmoil of the world, than getting into this spirit of peace.  Nothing keeps the soul in such peace as a settled confidence in God.  Without this a person will be continually excited, in haste, and full of anxiety.    If the peace of God keep your hearts, you will have the triumph of it; nothing can be heard that is distinctive from it and that does not perfectly harmonize with it.” -John Nelson Darby

Whatever your and my circumstances, if we can see them ordered for us by the One in whom infinite wisdom, power, and goodness dwells, and who has proven His love toward us, we will be at rest. 

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

Someone may say, “But, but you don’t understand, you don’t know how hard it is, its only human to be upset.”  Yes, that’s true, it is only human and I may not understand. However it is called the peace which passes all understanding because it’s source is more than human, this kind of peace comes from God and He does understand.

While in weakness we may at first be anxious and filled with worry when trials come, but we need not stay in that state. It only requires trust. Is He not trustworthy? He deserves our trust! Trust honors Him. Let us then trust and rest in Him!

 

S.L. 

Jul 27, 2011 at 13:49 o\clock

Kindness

Dear Ones,

 

An act of kindness is brotherly love in action.

 

“Kindness is a sincere desire for the happiness of others; goodness is the activity calculated to advance that happiness.  Kindness is the inner disposition, created by the Holy Spirit, that causes us to be sensitive to the needs of others, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual.” – J. Bridges

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;” Colossians 3:12

 

S.L. 

Jul 24, 2011 at 20:56 o\clock

The fear of God

Dear Ones,

 

Question: What is the fear of God for a believer?

 

“Fearing God has two aspects. The first is reverence. It is a sacred awe of God’s utter holiness. It involves the kind of respect and veneration that results in fear in the presence of such absolute majesty. The second aspect is fear of God’s displeasure. Genuine faith acknowledges God’s right to chasten, His right to punish, and His right to judge.” – J. MacArthur

 

“To fear the Lord is to tremble at the thought of offending him by unbelief and disobedience. It is the feeling that God is not to be trifled with…Anything that dishonors God is anathema to those who fear God.” - John Piper

 

“I have never once feared the devil, but I tremble every time I enter the pulpit.” - John Knox

 

Consider the temporal and eternal benefits the Bible says the fear of God brings:

 

1.    “The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant. Psalm 25:14

2.    “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” Psalm34:7

3.    “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.” Psalm 103:13

4.    “The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.” Psalm 147:11

5.    “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10

6.    “The fear of the LORD prolongeth days…” Proverbs 10:27

7.    “The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied…” Proverbs 19:23

8.    “By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.” Proverbs 22:4

9.     Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!” Psalm 31:19

 

“The fear of the Lord tends to take away all other fears… This is the secret of Christian courage and boldness.” - Sinclair B. Ferguson

 

“The fear of man is cast out by a greater fear, the fear of God. Nothing but the 
fear of God can cast out the fear of man.” W.T.P. Wolston

 

“For the child of God, the primary meaning of the fear of God is veneration and honor, reverence and awe. It is the attitude that elicits from our hearts adoration and love, reverence and honor. It focuses not upon the wrath of God but upon the majesty, holiness, and transcendent glory of God.” - John Murray

 

To walk in the fear of God means that He has become the single most important reference point for all that I desire, think, do, and say.

 

S.L. 

Jul 21, 2011 at 03:44 o\clock

Soar with the eagles

Dear Ones,

 

Question: How do you personally cope when sadness or depression comes into your life?

 

When sadness or melancholy come into my life I do as I have advised others. First I challenge it. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” Psalm. 42:11 and then I quote other positive scripture to myself. I remind myself that, God is God and I am not! Then I gaze upon His face.“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.” - Helen H. Lemmel  I spend time alone with my precious Saviour. “I come to the garden alone While the dew is still on the roses And the voice I hear, falling on my ear The Son of God discloses And He walks with me And He talks with me And He tells me I am His own And the joy we share as we tarry there None other has ever known.” You will find as I do that you will receive more back then you give.

 

I find the Lord absolutely sufficient in all things at all times.  My Lord gives a song in the night and in the day He lifts my heart up above the clouds. He gives me that sweet joy that only comes from spending time with Him as well as the joy He gives when we serve others.

 

My friend Keith Gorgas put it well when he wrote, “When the world speaks of depression, the thought is an irrational chemically induced mood, having little to do with circumstances.  There is a great difference between saddness and depression.  Some have portrayed the Psalms as the ravings of a "bi-polar lunatic", but they are really the groans of a child of God experiencing the pain and wrestling that is common to all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus.  It is only natural to be occupied at first with our circumstances when a trial begins.  But the great lesson and triumph is in finding deliverance in rising above the circumstance in association with the risen Savior.  One of the things too wonderful for a man under the old covenant was  "the way of the eagle in the air".   To rise above circumstances requires faith and communion.”

 

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

 

When you soar with the eagles there are no longer clouds between you and the bright shinning Son! I have proven out this verse in my life over and over again.

S.L. 

Jul 19, 2011 at 02:40 o\clock

My Bible and I

Dear Ones,

“I have a companion, a wonderful guide, A solace and comfort whatever betide; A friend never-failing when others pass by, Oh, blessed communion, my Bible and I.” – M.H. Knobloch

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.” Psalm 119:140

“I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.” Psalm 119:162

“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16

S.L. 

Jul 17, 2011 at 20:01 o\clock

Abiding in the heavenlies

Dear Ones,

 

Abiding in heaven.

 

“To abide in heaven in the Lord Jesus is my place. My faith is exercised here, and the suffering here may be prolonged and continued; but I abide there, and while abiding I engage myself with everything connected with my Father, and with reference to the place He has set me in.  In that blessed region where He has placed me, and where He alone can keep me, and where I am simply dependent upon Him, it is His interests alone which engage me, and thus it is that I minister to the saints.”—J.N.D

 

"When I have rest in the Lord Jesus, then I begin to find all my joy and strength in Him, and I occupy myself with Him. This is the foundation of true devotedness. I do not become devoted in the true sense until I have found my rest in Him. I am, up to this, rather looking to receive from Him. I am more an object to myself; but when I find how fully I am an object to Him, then my heart is at liberty to make Him its object, He having made me His." -J.B.S.

 

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

S.L. 

Jul 17, 2011 at 02:02 o\clock

God's love

Dear Ones,

 

None of us deserve Gods love, yet each Christ one can say, “He loves even me.”

 

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

“…the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

“We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Sonto be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”  1 John 4:10,11

 

“It is easy to love those that love us, but what if someone doesn't love us?  Do we still love them?  It was this very type of love that Christ walked in.  He loved us unto death before we ever loved Him. His was a love that comes only from above.  Is there someone today that you are finding it very hard to love?  Ask the Lord to give you this love, this selfless love that He manifested toward us on the cross.”  -Jason Betchel

 

We too, can by the Spirit, love the unlovable.

 

“…the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:5

 

Jesus loves me, and I know I love Him;

 

Love brought Him down my poor soul to redeem; 

Yes, it was love made Him die on the tree;
Oh, I am certain that Jesus loves me!

I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me.
I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves even me.

S.L. 

 

Jul 15, 2011 at 03:43 o\clock

You are your thoughts

Dear Ones,

 

 

The thoughts you choose to occupy yourself with are of the utmost importance, because what you choose to think about is what you become! 

 

 

Every outward action you take, every deed you do, has a thought as its ancestor.

 

 

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” Proverbs 23:7

"We all need a daily check up from the neck up to avoid stinkin 'thinkin' which ultimately leads to hardening of the attitudes." - Zig Ziglar

“…be renewed in the spirit of your mind” Ephesians 4:23   “…cleanse it with the washing of water by the word” Ephesians 5:26

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Sir Winston Churchill

I might add that a Christian should be the greatest optimist of all because He can by faith see God in every difficulty! If you’re a Christian and you’re a pessimist, you have a faith problem! “…without faith it is impossible to please him…” Hebrews 11:6

 

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8

S.L. 

Jul 13, 2011 at 05:09 o\clock

Having a right spirit

Dear Ones,

 

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.” - C. Swindoll

 

“Blessed is the man…in whose spirit there is no guile.” Psalm 32:2

 

“…a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Psalm 51:17

 

“…be of an humble spirit with the lowly…” Proverbs 16:19

“Thus saith the LORD… to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” Isaiah 66:1-2

“…thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Isaiah 57:15

 

“…O God…renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

“…the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.’ Galatians 2:20

S.L 

Jul 1, 2011 at 04:05 o\clock

Joy

Dear Ones,

 

The harder we try to be joyful through our own efforts, the more miserable we can become.

 

“True joy comes only from God and He shares this joy with those who walk in fellowship with Him.” – J. Bridges

 

“God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”  1 Corinthians 1:9 “…our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:3  “…in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalm 16:11

 

“He who lays up treasures on earth spends his life backing away from his treasures. To him, death is loss.  He who lays up treasures in heaven looks forward to eternity; he's moving daily toward his treasures. To him, death is gain. He who spends his life moving toward his treasures has reason to rejoice. Are you despairing or rejoicing?” – R. Alcorn

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:34

“…God my exceeding joy…” Psalm 43:4

“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” 1 Peter 1:8

S.L.

 

 

Jun 30, 2011 at 12:38 o\clock

You are of great value

Dear Ones,

 

There are times in life when we may feel like a little insignificant sparrow all alone on a rooftop.

 

“I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.” Psalm 102:7

 

“If God sees the sparrow fall,

paints the lily short and tall,

gives the sky its azure hue,

you can be sure He watches over you.”

(Author Unknown)

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31

You can tell how valuable something is by how much someone is willing to pay for it. Dear fellow believer, God redeemed you, bought you, paid for you with the precious blood of His only begotten Son.

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 Run to Him, he awaits with open arms.  “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10

“Thou art the Potter, we the clay,
Thy will be ours, Thy truth our light,
Thy love the fountain of our joy,
Thine arm a safeguard day and night,
Till Thou shalt wipe all tears away,
And bring fo
rth everlasting day.”

(R. Chapman)

Jun 28, 2011 at 04:49 o\clock

Right Judgment

Question: A Christian friend of mine was trying to justify a sin he was doing, when I told him no amount of justification can make a sin ok, he accused me of judging him and said I was sinning by judging him.  Am I in the wrong? No, not unless you are being a hypocrite or not speaking the truth in love.

 

“But speaking the truth in love…” Ephesians 4:15 “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” James 5:20 

 

The bible forbids hypocritical judgment of another. There is such a thing as right or “righteous judgment!”

 

Whenever I begin to pass judgment on another the Lord reminds me of this verse

 

“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matthew 7:2

We expect false accusations from the world, but sometimes even fellow believers can speak foolishly and may falsely accuse us of having wrong motives about what we are doing for the Lord.  This is exactly the kind of judgment the scriptures condemn. We are not to judge a persons motive by our own subjective opinions. We cannot see into another person’s heart. We are to make right judgments and the only way we can do that is to apply the scriptures to the actions or deeds of another person. “… judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24 When it comes to judging, we are to be fruit inspectors not heart surgeons.

The scriptures also tell us to disqualify ourselves from making a judgment about someone if we have a beam in our own eye.

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.” Matthew 7:1-5

Once we have the beam out of our own eye we can lovingly go and be a help to our fellow believers who are caught in some kind of sin.

“...then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.” Matthew 7:5

Here is how we ought to go.

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;” 2 Timothy 2:24-25

If you see your brother failing in some way, pray about it first, then go, come alongside your brother, put your arm around his shoulder and say “I love you brother, is there anything I can do to be a help to you?”

What if you or I are the target of false accusations, false judgment? Years ago, one dear old brother told me to use the occasion of a false accusation as an opportunity to examine and make sure of my own motives before the Lord and thank Him that but for the grace of God it could be true. The Lord knows our heart and it is to Him we must answer concerning our motives, He is the one we serve.

 

I pity the poor soul who feels a need to project upon another his or her own insecurity and his or her own sin of pride. It is not only wrong, it is dishonoring to the Lord.

 

A believer needs to tread carefully in seeking to be a help to others.  Those who decide to become accusers of their brethren need to be reminded who they are aiding.

 

“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” Revelation 12:20

 

We all need to be more like Barnabas. In this day and age we all need encouragement. We are all fellow travelers on this sometimes-lonely path through this world’s wilderness scene.

 

With the Lords help and by His grace we can all be a bit more like Barnabas and always seek to be an encourager and consoler to the Lords people wherever we may find them. To be ready to give a helping hand and an arm around the shoulder to one who has stumbled. “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” James 5:20 

 

And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,” Acts 4:36

 

“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him…but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6

 

Pray on it, examine your own motives and go in love and seek to help your brother keeping these words in mind. “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;” 2 Timothy 2:24-25

S.L.

Jun 27, 2011 at 00:15 o\clock

Authority given by the Son

Dear Ones,

 Napoleon was once reviewing his troops near Paris.  The horse on which he sat was restless, and the Emperor having thoughtlessly dropped the reins from his hand  in the eagerness of giving a command, the spirited animal bounded away. The rider was in danger of being hurled to the ground.  A young private standing in the lines leaped forward and, seizing the bridle, saved his beloved Commander from a fall.  The Emperor glancing at him said in his quick abrupt way, "Thank you, Captain."  The private looked up with a smile and asked, "Of which regiment, Sir?"  "Of my guards," answered Napoleon, and instantly galloped to another part of the field.   

 The young soldier laid down his musket with the remark, "Whoever will may carry that gun; I am done with it,"  and proceeded at once to join a group of officers who stood conversing at a little distance.  One of them, a General, observing his self-possessed approach, angrily said, "What is this insolent fellow doing here?"

 "This insolent fellow," answered the young soldier looking the other steadily in the eye, "is a Captain of the Guards."  "Why, man" responded this officer, "you are insane; why do you speak thus?"  "HE SAID IT," replied the soldier, pointing to the Emperor, who was far down the lines. "I beg your pardon Captain," politely returned the General, "I was not aware of your promotion."         

 To those looking on he was still a private, dressed in the coarse rough garb of a common soldier; but in the bold assertion of his dignity, he could meet all the jeers of his comrades and all the scoffs of his superiors with the ready reply, "HE SAID IT."  (Springs in the Valley) (Sent to me by Norm Hiebert)

 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” John 1:12

 “For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.” Mark 13:34

We sometimes forget we have been promoted and given authority. If HE said it, we ought to act like it!

S.L.

Jun 26, 2011 at 12:43 o\clock

Amazing love, how can it be!

Dear Ones, 

“Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?” (Charles Wesley)

And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD.” Genesis 24:26

“Abba, Father!" we adore Thee,
While the hosts in heaven above
E'en in us now learn the wonders
Of Thy wisdom, grace and love.
Soon before Thy throne assembled,
All Thy children shall proclaim
Abba's love as shown in Jesus,
And how full is Abba's name!”

S.L.

Jun 26, 2011 at 03:32 o\clock

What God can do with a nobody

Dear Ones,

 When you read the story of Moses there are three distinct phases to his life. The Bible records that Moses spent the first 40 years of his life thinking he was somebody. 

 “…Who made thee a prince and a judge over us?…” Exodus 2:14 “…thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing…" Revelation 3:17  “…With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own…” Psalm 12:4

 Next he spent the middle 40 years of his life on the backside of a desert learning he was nobody. 

By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.” Hebrews 11:24-26

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Romans 7:24

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5

Last of all he spent the last 40 years of his life discovering what God can do with a nobody.

By faith…he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” Hebrews 11:27

“…I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

S.L.