Let me share with you a spiritual thought this morning for A. B. Simpson:
(Are you above self and self-pleasing in every way? Have you risen above circumstances so that you are not influenced by them? Are you above sickness and the evil forces around that would drag down your physical life into the quicksands? These forces are all around and if yielded to would quickly swamp us. God does not destroy sickness or its power to hurt, but He lifts us above it.
Are you above your feelings, moods, emotions and states? Can you sail immovable as the stars through all sorts of weather?
A harp will give out sweet music or discordant sounds as different fingers touch the strings. If the devil's hand is on your harp strings what hideous sounds they will produce. But let the fingers of the Lord sweep over them, and they will breathe out celestial music.
Are you lifted above people, so that you are not bound by or to anyone except in the Lord? Are you standing free in His glorious life?)
"The glorious, liberty of the children of God—Romans 8:21
I hope the Lord blesses you and those around you today as you allow Him to produce the music in your life. Never forget that you are loved!!!
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galatians 6:7-9
Two words that will get a person to wake up early on a Saturday morning are "garage sales." Two other words are "farmers' market." Both have their own appeal. Our "farmers' market", on the square at Orleans, is a great place to socialize, catch up on local news, and a real bonus is the live acoustic band that gathers every Saturday morning. But the main attraction is, that there is just something extra special about fresh fruits and vegetables, picked just a few hours before, trucked in from the country in the back of a pickup. These are not the processed, hauled long-distance, waxed, sprayed, treated versions, but the real deal. Sorry to see the "farmers' market" coming to an end for the season.
We enjoy wandering through the stalls, picking and choosing, feasting on the fruit of someone else's labor. But ours is a different view of those items from the person selling them. The fruit of the harvest is the fruit of their labor. They may remember tilling, planting, cultivating, fertilizing, pruning, staking, watering--then finally came harvesting. Giving up is not in the process, unless the person wanted a bed of weeds.
Life is like that. Paul uses farming as an illustration to teach us both the importance of sowing and of not giving up. We will reap a harvest if we do not lose heart (6:9), and what we reap will depend on what we sow (vv. 7-8).
At the farmers' market, we reap the benefit of what others have sown, of their hard work. That is the way it can be with fruits and vegetables but not with the blessing of God in our life. We cannot buy His blessings from a vendor. We must sow and reap, not giving up. The blessings do come! "...but he that soweth to the Spirit shall reap of the Spirit life everlasting...."
Early in the history of our country a traveler came to the Mississippi River at midwinter. Not finding a bridge and the night falling fast, he had no choice but to make his way across the ice. He was afraid though, because he had no idea if the ice was thick enough to support his weight. He decided to crawl, so he could distribute his weight as much as possible.
Slowly, tearfully, on his hands and knees, he was about half way over when he heard singing behind him. He carefully turned around and saw a man driving a horse-drawn load of coal over the ice, singing merrily as he went. The heavy wagon and horses soon whisked by where the man crawled.
Sorry to say, this could describe my walk with the Lord. For I have been less than confident the Lord had me on solid footing. How about you; have you been there, or are you there now, not sure of your next step. We could stand on the solid rock of God’s promises. Unfortunately we too often fearfully creep along, fearful to trust Jesus with the weight of our entire lives. He is a God that you can stand on!
"The foundation of God standeth sure;..." 2 Timothy 2:19
On our journey through life with the Lord Jesus, let's you and I determine to not be tentatively crawling along, but with confidence sing merrily as He leads.
May the Lord bless you and yours real good today, and remember God loves you and I love you.
With all the uncertainty in the world around us today, there is a constant in our Lord. He never changes! Many times we end our thoughts with the words: "always remember that you are loved". The following is something I read recently. Hope you enjoy it, and it brings you confidence in your walk with the Savior.
(Your spiritual memory is vital to your spiritual health. Do you remember what God wants you to remember? Are you grateful for what He remembers? "Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth.... He has remembered His covenant forever, the word which He commanded, for a thousand generations". We should remember God's words, His wonders and His works, but we often forget. How easy it was for the Israelites to forget what God had done for them. Each year they celebrated the Passover, and one reason for that celebration was to remind them that God had delivered them out of slavery in Egypt. Some things we ought to forget, such as "those things which are behind". But the psalmist tells us to "remember His marvelous works". Are you remembering God's blessings? The next time you are tempted to criticize or get angry with God, just remember His marvelous works.
God also remembers: "He has remembered His covenant forever" He deals with us on the basis of His covenant promises, not on the basis of the Law, and He has sealed that covenant with the blood of His Son.
Finally, don't forget that His promises never fail. Not one word of all of God's promises has failed. Even when we forget, He remembers. Even when we neglect God's Word, He remembers it. God keeps His promises. He is faithful and will never lie.)
God bless, and remember that you are loved!!!
The tongue is given to us that we may praise God. Possibly this is the highest use for it. Further, the tongue can utter words of love, sympathy, kindness, and encouragement. Sometimes a word, carefully chosen and lovingly spoken, is all that can be done, and all that need be done.
The Lord Jesus said, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh"
Near the end of the book of Psalms we have this: "Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips" (Psa. 141:3). This is a prayer we cannot repeat too frequently. After praying such a prayer before a meeting last evening, I was guilty of letting words slip and letting them slip in the wrong tone. Just saying the right words in a prayer is not enough; we must genuinely, constantly submit ourselves, including our tongue, to the Holy Spirit for His help.
The Psalmist also prayed, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my Strength, and my Redeemer" (Psa. 19:14). It is only by the power of our Redeemer, through the Holy Spirit; that we can make the best use of the blessings which God has given to us, and that we can have victory over our tongues. Let's measure our words very carefully, and lace them with love, sympathy, kindness, and encouragement.
May our Lord bless and keep you today, and never forget that you are loved!!!
Fishing in the Mountains of Western North Carolina recently, I caught a very small Brown Trout. Holding that little fellow in my hand, I was amazed at his beauty; for he was perfect. His colors and his form were flawless. We have caught more mature Brown Trout, from eight inches, to twelve inches, or eighteen inches, but they are no more perfect than this very small one. He does not need to grow to become more of a Brown Trout.
When a Christian's heart is cleansed from his old nature, his self-centered nature; the heart is made pure, and his heart is made perfect in it's motives and intentions. This is the result of the Holy Spirit's work on that totally surrendered heart; with the work being completed in a moment, for it is not due to the Christian's growth over any period of time. All the growing in a Christian's life, will not make the heart, his motives nor his intentions, any more pure or clean.
Maturing as a Christian is a different matter. It will certainly improve the outward life, our life of duty to the Lord and others; in other words the executing of our responsibilities in the Kingdom of God. As the little Brown Trout matures, he will grow in knowledge and wisdom, and next year I may not be able to catch him.
Notice the order of things, as Paul explains to Titus Christ's work in this. "Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Titus 2:14 He redeems us, purifies us, and good works follow.
We pray that the Lord bless you today, and we hope you always know you are loved!!!
We have a dear friend that is a professional photography. He is an expert in photographing wildlife, outdoor scenes, equipment, and clothing for the hunting sports. The time element in vision is essential. Our hearts are like a sensitive photographers lens; and in order to have God revealed there, we must sit at His feet a long time. The troubled surface of a lake will not reflect an object, just as we know that waiting upon the Lord is necessary in order to see Him, to have a vision of Him.
"Where there is no vision,the people perish." PROVERBS 20:18
You may be saying: "But it's Monday morning, and I'm in too big of a hurry." Rather may you and I think today, as did many saints from the past: "I have too much to do today; so I must take time to pray and wait upon the Lord."
"Speak, Lord, in the stillness,
While I wait on Thee;
Hushed my heart to listen
"Speak, O blessed Master,
In this quiet hour;
Let me see Thy face, Lord
Feel Thy touch of power.
"For the words Thou speakest,
"They are life, indeed;
Living bread from Heaven,
Now my spirit feed!"
May the Lord bless you today as you take time to listen, and never forget that you are loved!!!
During a sidewalk Youth Testament distribution at an elementary school in Tennessee, the principal came outside and marched back and forth in front of the Gideons while telling students to refuse the Testaments, taking them away from the children. She called the police, and when the officers arrived they asked the Gideons to leave. Although it is within the constitutional rights of the Gideons to distribute Scriptures from public sidewalks, they obeyed the police request.
Fortunately, many of the students had already received Testaments before the police arrived. One of those students was Russell.
The next fall, Russell was arriving to school late and dashed in front of an oncoming school bus. He was struck and killed only a few feet from where he'd received his Gideon Testament months earlier.
At Russell's funeral, the minister showed the Gideon Testament, and shared how Russell loved and read it. He then showed the inside back cover, where Russell had written, "I love God," and signed his name on the decision page.
Praise God that this copy of God's Word got into the hands of a young boy. While his life was short, his testimony lives on.
2 Timothy 3:16 "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God."
I never want to underestimate the power of Jesus, the power of the God's word, and the power of the Holy Spirit who is working through the Word, to save the souls of men, and women, and boys, and girls.
God bless you today as you share the Word of God with others; Jesus saves. Never forget that you are loved!!!
Where are you living today? In America, the biggest bite out of our income usually goes to our dwelling, whether we own or rent. The comfort or discomfort of our physical lives depends more largely upon the dwelling place of our bodies than anything else. It's not a place where we merely visit, but it is our home, and we do all we can to make it comfortable and attractive. But our souls need a comfortable place even more than our bodies. Inward comfort, as we all know, is of far greater importance than outward; for when the soul is full of peace and joy, outward surroundings are of comparatively little account.
It's vitally important to find out where our soul is living. The Lord declares He has been our dwelling place in all generations, but are we living like the Israelites? "they wandered in the wilderness, in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them,"
This should not describe the Christian today, for Jesus calls us to "abide in Me," The truth is that our souls are made for God; He is our natural home, and we can never be a rest anywhere else, "My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God." Why wander in the wilderness, thirsty and hungry, while Jesus has the invitation wide open?
His dwelling place for you is not a stony, cold, uncomfortable fort. He describes it as: "Under his wings shalt thou trust", "He shall carry them in His bosom" "underneath are the everlasting arms." Wings, bosom, arms! What a comfortable fortress this describes; it brings rest, peace and joy. It's offered in love, what more could we ask from our Savior?
May the Lord bless you today, as you make your soul's home with Him, not just a place you visit, but a place where you abide.
The word joy is found 164 times in a concordance of the Bible, and the word rejoice is repeated 191 times. It's obvious that the Bible is a book of joy. To know my sins are forgiven and I'm in fellowship with Christ and others, is enough to rejoice in, always.
"Happy day, happy day, When Jesus washed my sins away!
He taught me how to watch and pray
And live rejoicing every day.
Happy day; happy day, When Jesus washed my sins away!"
The following is from Tozer:
(I do know something of the emotional life that goes along with conversion to Jesus Christ. I came into the kingdom of God with joy, knowing that I had been forgiven. I have had people tell me very dogmatically that they will never allow "feeling" to have any part in their spiritual life and experience. "Too bad for you!" is my reply. I say that because I have voiced a very real definition of what I believe true worship to be: "Worship is to feel in the heart!" In the Christian faith, we should be able to use the word "feel" boldly and without apology. What worse thing could be said of us as the Christian church if it can be said of us that we are a feelingless people? I think we must agree that those of us who have been blest within our own beings would not join in any crusade to "follow your feelings." But if there is no feeling at all in our hearts, then we are dead!)
"This is the Lord; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation." Isaiah 25:9
God bless you today as you rejoice in Him, and always remembering you are loved!!!
Henry D. is from Southern Indiana and writes these wonderful daily devotionals to encourage those at the Dogwood Community Church located in Paoli, Indiana. Henry has graciously agreed to share these wonderful devotionals here at Without Excuse Ministries to encourage you our valued guest!