Friday, August 17, 2018

The Sweetest Rose

We must go through hardships to enter the kingdom
of God. Acts 14:22

The best things in life are the result of being wounded.
Wheat must be crushed before becoming bread, and
the incense must be burned by fire before its fragrance
is set free. The earth must be broken with a sharp plow
before being ready to receive the see. And it is a bro-
ken heart that pleases God.

Yes, the sweetest joys of life are the fruits of sorrow.
Human nature seems to need suffering to make it fit
to be a blessing to the world.

"Beside my cottage door it grows,
The loveliest, daintiest flower that blows,
A sweetbrier rose.

At dewy morn or twilight's close,
The rarest perfume from it flows,
This strange wild rose.

But when the raindrops on it beat,
Ah, then, its odors grow more sweet,
About my feet.

Often with loving tenderness,
Its soft green leaves I gently press,
In sweet caress.

A still more wondrous fragrance flows
The more my fingers close
And crush the rose.

Dear Lord, Oh, lit my life be so
Its perfume when strong winds blow,
The sweeter flow.

And should it be Your blessed will,
With crushing grief my soul to fill,
Press harder still.

And while its dying fragrance flows
I'll whisper low, "He loves and knows
His crushed brier rose."

If you aspire to be a person of consolation, if you want
to share the priestly gift of sympathy, if you desire to
go beyond giving commonplace comfort to a heart that
is tempted, and if you long to go through the daily ex-
changes of life with the kind of tact that never inflicts
pain, then you must be prepared to pay the price for a
costly education--for like Christ, you must suffer.
Frederick William Robertson.

Reader, it is not what I want to hear. I don't like the
negatives dropping into my life, but it is comforting
to know that God is in the midst of it all for my good
and His glory. I find that in these times everyday be-
comes a challenge in some way or another.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness...

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Walk It Out

They that wait upon the Lord...shall walk and not 
faint.  Isaiah 40:31

There is no thrill in walking; it is the test of the stable 
qualities. To "walk and not faint" is the highest reach 
possible for strength. The word "walk" is used in the 
Bible to express character--John looking on Jesus as 
He walked, said, "Behold the Lamb of God." There is 
never anything abstract in the Bible, it is always vivid 
and real. God does not say--Be spiritual, but--"Walk 
before Me."

When we are in an unhealthy state physically or emo-
tionally, we always want thrills. In the physical do-
main this will lead to counterfeiting the Holy Ghost; 
in the emotional life it leads to inordinate affection 
and the destruction of morality; and in the spiritual 
domain if we insist on getting thrills, on mounting up 
with wings, it will end in the destruction of spirituality.

The reality of God's presence is not dependent on any 
place, but only dependent upon the determination to 
set the Lord always before us. Our problems come 
when we refuse to bank on the reality of His presence. 
The experience the Psalmist speaks of--"Therefore we 
will not fear, though..." will be ours when once we are 
based on Reality, not the consciousness of God's pre-
sence but the reality of it--Why, He has been there all 
the time!

At critical moments it is necessary to ask guidance, 
but it ought to be unnecessary to be saying always--
"O Lord, direct me here and there." Of course He 
will if our common-sense decisions are not His order, 
He will press through them and check; then we must 
be quiet and wait for the direction of His presence.

Reader--"must be quiet" is quite a fete these days! The
word "wait" might has almost been removed from our
vocabulary. It is difficult to get quiet in a culture that
worships sound, but it is very worthwhile...

Monday, August 13, 2018

A Story

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory 
through our Lord Jesus Christ. 
1 Corinthians 15:57

A pickpocket once strolled into a rescue mission and
was converted. He saw in Christ pardon for sins and
power against them. Rejoicing in a new life he went
on his way planning for the future. "In my unregener-
ate days," said he to himself, "I used to pick twenty
pockets a day. But now I am a Christian man, and I
know that to pick pockets is a sin. So I must give it
up--gradually, of course. Tomorrow I'll make a start
and for the rest of this month I shall pick only ten
pockets a day: next month by striving and struggling
against this sin, I'll cut down to five a day--for I am
a Christian man now. By the end of the year by con-
stant endeavor (and the help of God) I hope to give
up picking pockets altogether."

Do you believe that story? The writer does not. But
have we not been guilty of this very thing in our deal-
ing with bad temper, pride, irritability, jealousy, un-
loved? We expect a pickpocket, or a drunkard, or a 
gambler to give up his sin once and for all--the very
moment of his conversion. We tell him--and tell him
truly--that Christ is able to give him complete and
instant victory. Is God unable to give us a similar vic-
tory over what we deem to be lesser sins? He is able
to make us "more than conquerors."

Victory is a gift of God and not a growth. Paul recog-
sized this. He did not say, "Thanks be to God who 
gives us a gradual victory," but "gives us the victory
through Jesus Christ our Lord."

There is no such thing as a gradual victory over sin--
although we may think there is. God's gifs are perfect.
the fact is, He gives us Jesus Christ Himself to dwell
in our hearts by faith. And Jesus Christ keeps us.
Can we trust Christ to do it?   
An unknown Christian

Reader, I came across this story some time ago and
it caught my attention--after I thought about it for
awhile. May you find him adequate to deliver you
out of every dominating sin. He really is our victory!

Friday, August 10, 2018

An Old Hymn

Lord Jesus Christ I seek Thy face,
Within the veil I bow the knee;
O, let Thy glory fill the place,
And bless me while I wait on Thee.

I thank Thee for the precious blood
That purged my sins and brought me nigh,
All cleansed and sanctified to God,
Thy Holy Name to magnify.

Shut in with Thee, far, far above
The restless world that wars below,
I seek to learn and prove Thy love,
They wisdom and Thy grace to know.

The brow that once with Thorns was bound
Thy hands, Thy side I fain would see;
Draw near, Lord Jesus, glory crowned,
And bless me while I wait on Thee.
Alexander Stewart 1843-1923

Reader, I had penned this poem back in 1996
and found it as I was going through my diary.
There is something to say for the old hymns
that open up our hearts to God.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Do Not Despair

I would have despaired unless I had believed that 
would see the goodness of the Lord...Wait for the
Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage.
Psalm 27:13-14

DO NOT DESPAIR

Oh, how great the temptation is to despair at times!
Our soul becomes depressed and disheartened, and
our faith staggers under the severe trials and testing
that comes into our lives, especially during times 
of bereavement and suffering. We may come to the
place where we say, "I cannot bear this any longer.
I am close to despair under these circumstances God
has allowed. He tells me not to despair, but what am
I supposed to do at this point?"

It is the same when you are tempted to despair under
Spiritual afflictions. Once you have come close to the 
point of despair, God's message is not, "Be strong 
and courageous", for He knows that your strength 
and courage have run away. Instead, He says sweetly, 
"BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD."

Hudson Taylor was so weak and feeble in the last few
months of his life that he told a friend "I am so weak
I cannot write. I cannot read my Bible. I cannot even
pray. All I can do is lie still in the arms of God as a 
little child, trusting Him. " This wonderful man of God, 
who had great spiritual power, came to the point of 
physical suffering and weakness where all he could do 
was lie still and trust.

That is all God asks of you as His dear child. When
you become weak through the fierce fires of affliction,
do not try to "be strong." Just "be still, and know that
He is God." And know that He will sustain you and 
bring you through the fire. (He is satisfied with you.)
LB Cowman

Reader, my heart goes out to those of you who are
going through deep waters with no shore in sight. It
becomes unbearable if we think that we are letting
God down in unbelief. No, dear one, you just need
to learn how to lean...

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Chosen

Reader, I remember as a little girl that it was so impor-
tant to be chosen to be on a team. I didn't care which
team it was, just getting chosen was enough.

You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you...
John 15:16

Let no one be troubled by this matter of election. It 
is a family secret. I would not preach election to the 
world. Election goes before all. I come to the door 
of a certain place, where peace and plenty reigns, and
joy and happiness fill the hearts of the dwellers therein. 
On the door I find written, "Whosoever will may enter 
in." That is the Gospel: I enter, and on the other side 
of the door I find written, "Whosoever gets in here will 
never get out!" That is my security, the fruit of election.

There is nothing to trouble a soul in election, but con-
trariwise much to comfort. God has chosen you, if a 
believer in Christ, before the foundation of the world.
The things which are in heaven God is going to keep
for you, and He is going to keep you for them.
WTP Wolston

I believe the doctrine of election because I am quite
sure that if God had not chosen me, I would never
have chosen Him; and I am sure He chose me before
I was born, or else he never would have chosen me
afterwards. Charles Spurgeon.

...He has chosen us in Him before the foundation 
of the world, that we should be holy and without
blame before Him...  Ephesians 1:4

Reader, it is not our making ourselves holy, but the
promise is that we are made holy through the power
of His blood. Not only does God choose us--oh,
glory--but He makes us perfect in His Son. Now,
that is incredible! I am chosen by GOD!!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Our Salvation is of God

He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob; neither hath 
he seen perverseness in Israel...Numbers 23:21

Our salvation is of God, of the Father, who chose us
before the beginning of time; and of the eternal Son,
who, in the deep counsel of the ever-blessed Trinity,
undertook to redeem us and to bring us unto glory;
and of the Spirit, who in the same eternal love was
appointed to enlighten, quicken, and renew the elect
unto the blessedness of the everlasting inheritance.

This eternal, absolute, free, and unchanging love is re-
vealed and given to us in the Lord Jesus Christ, who
by one offering has perfected for ever all who believe
in His name. By His death He has separated us from
our guilt and death, and brought us unto God.

He has sanctified Himself for us, and us to Him. Be-
lievers have been sanctified and presented unblamable
before the Father in the person of the Lord Jesus. The
Father's good pleasure or delight rests now on the
people for whom Christ died.

Thus God is always beholding us in Christ, and with
eternal love. He beholds neither iniquity in Jacob, nor
doth He see perverseness in Israel; although we stand
before Him in the brightness of the all-revealing light,
He sees us clothed with white garments, and cleansed
in the blood of Jesus Christ His Son.

And although we are constantly failing and falling, 
yet does He behold our faith as never failing, and 
ourselves as firm as Mount Zion, which cannot be 
moved, but stands fast for ever. With never-changing 
fervency and tenderness of love God beholds us cho-
sen, redeemed, sanctified in Christ Jesus.

Perfection is now given to all who believe. God Himself
is our salvation, Jehovah Himself is our righteousness.
Christ's inheritance is our inheritance. The source of
eternal love, self-moved, infinite, ocean without shore;
the channel is free abounding grace, the gift is eternal
life, even life by the Holy Spirit in oneness with Jesus;
the foundation is the obedience of Christ, eternal in its
origin, infinite in its value, and unspeakably God-
pleasing in its character.

How willing are we to forsake our own thoughts, to 
give up our own righteousness, to forget works and 
feelings, and to stand still, in awe and joyous adoration 
beholding Jehovah bringing near  His salvation and 
His righteousness! 
"Of God are we in Christ Jesus, whom God has made 
for us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, 
and redemption: that, according as it is written,  He 
that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
SAPHIR, ADOLPH (1831–1891)

Reader, the man who wrote this grew up in a Jewish house-
hold in Hungary. His family was converted in Scotland and
he went on to receive many degrees and ended up pastoring
in the Presbyterian Church. He helped others see the close
connection between the Old and New Testaments. He knew
what it was to live under law--and fail. His bio is below. He has 
made some outrageous statements above. However, I have 
found them true in my later life and it is these which have set 
me free to live life out of His abundance, and not my puny 
strivings. 

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Saphir,_Adolph_(DNB00)