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)


Monday, August 6, 2018

Deep Travail

Walking around in the fire. Daniel 3:25

When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown
into the furnace, the fire did not stop them from moving,
for they were seen "walking around." Actually, the fire
was one of the streets they traveled to their destination.
The comfort we have from Christ's revealed truth is not
that it teaches us freedom from sorrow, but that it teaches
us freedom through sorrow.

O dear God, when darkness overshadows me, teach me 
that I am merely traveling through a tunnel. It will then 
be enough for me to know that someday it will be all right.

I have been told that someday I will stand on the top of the 
Mount of Olives and experience the height of resurrection 
glory. But heavenly Father, I want more--I want Calvary to 
lead up to it. I want to know that the shadows of darkness 
are the shade on a road--the road leading to Your heavenly 
house. Teach me that the reason I must climb the hill is be-
cause Your house is there! Knowing this, I will not be hurt 
by sorrows, if I will only walk in the fire. 
George Matheson  1842-1906

George Matheson was a blind Scottish pastor widely be-
loved for his beautiful sermons. He also wrote the hymn
"O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go" during a time he des-
cribed as "the most severe mental suffering." Written in
only five minutes, Matheson claimed the hymn was "dic-
tated to me by some inward voice."

Reader, The dark night of the soul comes to all who fol-
low their Lord. It is the Christian's common bond with
one another, and with the crucified Christ. I pray that this
blog will bring you comfort in knowing that God is in
the mix of everything that befalls you, and, He is coming
soon! In the meantime we walk through the tunnel to-
ward the light that will bring us into freedom and joy--
forever!

A longer biography
https://www.joshweidmann.com/blind-preacher-saw-quite-well-short-bio-george-matheson/

The beautiful hymn written on a terrible night of suffering.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nt69WDtYNLo&list=RDnt69WDtYNLo&index=2



Friday, August 3, 2018

He Shall Be Satisfied

He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be
satisfied...  Isaiah 53:11

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ." We are blessed in God, but do we realize
how blessed God is in us? We scarcely understand
the surface meaning of such words, to say nothing
of their hidden depths. A blessed people with a
blessed God! Not one of us is going to be disap-
pointed. A thousandth part has not been told. We
shall be satisfied; and shall Christ be dissatisfied
concerning us? "He shall see the travail of His
soul, and shall be satisfied."
Henry Groves 1818-1890

The Christian ought to be the most dignified person
in the world. We do not think half enough of our-
selves as we are before God.
Edward Dennett 1831-1914--I had trouble finding
much on him, but he has such wonderful pithy
statements.

Reader, Matthew Henry has written: The saints are
God's jewels, highly esteemed by and dear to Him;
they are a royal diadem in His hand. We tend to
demean ourselves as we look at the flesh, but God
looks through the fluff and is satisfied.

http://gospelhall.org/index.php/bible-teaching/138-history/brethren-biographies/3076-biography-70-edward-dennett

Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Secret of the Lord

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.
Psalm 25:14

There are certain secrets of God's providence He allows
His children to learn. Often, however, at least on the
surface, His dealings with them appear to be harsh and
hidden. Yet faith lilts deeper and says, "This is God's
secret. You are looking on the outside, but I look deeper
and see the hidden meaning."

Remember, diamonds are found in the rough, and their
true value cannot be seen. And when  the tabernacle was
built in the wilderness, there was nothing ornate about
its outward appearance. In fact, the outer covering of 
the thick hides of sea cows gave no hint of the valuable
things inside.

Dear friend, God may send you some valuable gifts
wrapped in unattractive paper. But do not worry about
the wrappings,for you can be sure that inside He has
hidden treasures of love, kindness, and wisdom. If we
simply take what He sends and trust Him for the bles-
sings inside, we will learn the meaning of the secrets
of His providence, even in times of darkness.
A. B. Simpson  1844-1919

Reader, those rough diamonds will be unwrapped at the
coming of our King Jesus. We may not be able to see
anything of value, but our Lord does!

For those who have not read his bio, it is below:
http://www.bu.edu/missiology/missionary-biography/r-s/simpson-albert-benjamin-1843-1919/

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Everyone Means All

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall
be saved. Joel 2:32

So why don't I call on His name? Why do I run to this
person and that person, when God is so near and will
hear my faintest call? Why do I sit down to plot my
own course and make my own plans? Why don't I im-
mediately place myself and my burden on the Lord?

Straight ahead is the best way to run, so why don't I
run directly to the living God? Instead, I look in vain
for deliverance everywhere else, but with God I will
find it. With Him I have His royal promise: "(I) will
be saved." And with Him I never need to ask if I may
call on Him or not, for the word "everyone" is all en-
compassing. It includes me and means anybody and
everybody who calls upon His name. Therefore I will
trust in this verse and will immediately call on the
glorious Lord who has made such a great promise.

My situation is urgent, and I cannot see how I will 
ever be delivered. Yet this is not my concern, for He
who made the promise will find a way to keep it. My
part is simply to obey His commands, not to direct
His ways. I am His servant, not His advisor. I call 
upon Him and He will deliver me.
Charles Spurgeon  1834-1892

Reader, this was a man of God who did not flinch from
controversy when it came to the Word of God and the
atoning death of Jesus Christ.
Not long ago I was calling upon the Lord about a diffi-
cult situation and He said to me,
"I will do it all for you, Jane. And--He has!!!!

https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/pastorsandpreachers/charles-spurgeon.html