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My Daily Devotions

Discussion in 'Daily Devotionals' started by Erwin, Nov 24, 2001.

  1. Erwin

    Erwin Well-Known Member

    +1,725
    December 30

    Trials and Pain: Moses' Prayer

    So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. --Psalm 90:12

    A few days after these words appear in print the old year of our Lord will have gone to join the long procession of years and centuries that move on into the shadows of a past that can come no more.

    In the year just gone the world has been writing history, not with ink only but with blood and tears; not in the quiet of the study but in violence, terror and death in city streets and along the borders of nations; and other and milder but more significant history has been written by incredible feats of power in sending man-made objects out to circle the moon and the sun....

    To each one fortunate enough to live out [this year], God will have given 365 days broken into 8,760 hours. Of these hours, 2,920 will have been spent in sleep, and about the same number at work. An equal number has been given us to spend in reverent preparation for the moment when days and years shall cease and time shall be no more. What prayer could be more spiritually appropriate than that of Moses, the man of God: "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (Psalm 90:12). The Warfare of the Spirit, 145-147.

    "So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Amen"

     
  2. Erwin

    Erwin Well-Known Member

    +1,725
    HARD SAYING OF THE DAY

    Monday, December 31, 2001

    from Hard Sayings of the Bible by Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Peter H. Davids, F. F. Bruce and Manfred T. Brauch

    Mark 14:61-62: You Will See the Son of Man?
    After his arrest in Gethsemane, Jesus was brought before a court of inquiry, presided over by the high priest. At first, according to Mark's narrative, an attempt was made to convict him of having spoken against the Jerusalem temple. Not only was violation of the sanctity of the temple, whether in deed or in word, a capital offense; it was the one type of offense for which the Roman government allowed the supreme Jewish court to pass and execute sentence at its own discretion. Two or three years later, when Stephen was successfully prosecuted before the supreme court on a similar charge, there was no need to refer the case to Pilate before execution could be carried out. On the present occasion, however, Jesus could not be convicted on this charge because the two witnesses for the prosecution gave conflicting evidence.

    Then the high priest, apparently on his own initiative, asked Jesus to tell the court if he was the Messiah, the Son of God (using "the Blessed" as a substitute for the divine name). The Messiah was entitled to be described as the Son of God, if he was the person addressed by God in Psalm 2:7 with the words "You are my son," or the person who in Psalm 89:26 cries to God, "Thou art my Father" (RSV). Jesus was not in the way of spontaneously referring to himself as the Messiah. But to the high priest's question he answered, "I am." How Matthew and Luke understood this reply may be seen from their renderings of it: "You have said so" (Mt 26:64 RSV) or "You say that I am" (Lk 22:70 RSV). That is to say, if Jesus must give an answer to the high priest's question, the answer cannot be other than yes, but the choice of words is the high priest's, not his own. The words that followed, however, were his own choice. It is as though he said, "If `Christ' (that is, `Messiah' or `Anointed One') is the term you insist on using, then I have no option but to say yes, but if I were to choose my own terms, I should say that you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Almighty and coming with the clouds of heaven." (Here "power" on Jesus' lips, meaning much the same as we mean when we say "the Almighty" is, like "the Blessed" on the high priest's lips, a substitute for the divine name.)

    What, then, does this saying mean, and why was it declared blasphemous by the high priest? It means, in brief, that while the Son of Man, Jesus himself, stood now before his judges friendless and humiliated, they would one day see him vindicated by God. He says this in symbolic language, but the source of this symbolic language is biblical. Mention has been made already of the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven (see comment on Mk 13:30); this language is drawn from Daniel 7:13-14, where "one like a son of man" is seen in a vision coming "with the clouds of heaven" to be presented before God ("the Ancient of Days") and to receive eternal world dominion from him. The "one like a son of man" is a human figure, displacing the succession of beastlike figures who had been exercising world dominion previously. The one whose claims received such scant courtesy from his judges would yet be acknowledged as sovereign Lord in the hearts of men and women throughout the world. His claims would, moreover, be acknowledged by God: the Son of Man would be seen seated "at the right hand of the Almighty." This wording is taken from Psalm 110:1, which records a divine oracle addressed certainly to the ruler of David's line: "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." The present prisoner at the bar would be seen to be, by divine appointment, Lord of the universe--and that not in the distant future, but forthwith. "From now on," in Luke's version, "the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God" (Lk 22:69). (Luke omits the language about the clouds of heaven.) "In the future," in Matthew's version, "you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven" (Mt 26:64). The right hand of God was the place of supreme exaltation; the clouds were the vehicle of the divine glory.

    The Servant of the Lord in the Old Testament, once despised and rejected by men, was hailed by God as "raised and lifted up and highly exalted" (Is 52:13); this role is filled in the New Testament by Jesus, obedient to the point of death, even death by crucifixion, being "highly exalted" by God and endowed with "the name which is above every name," in order to be confessed by every tongue as Lord (Phil 2:6-11 RSV). It is the same reversal of roles that is announced in Jesus' reply to the high priest.

    Why was his reply judged to be blasphemous? Not because he agreed that he was the Messiah; that might be politically dangerous and could be interpreted as seditious by the Roman administration (as indeed it was), but it did not encroach on the prerogatives of God; neither did the claim to be Son of God in that sense. But the language which he went on to use by his own choice did appear to be an invasion of the glory that belongs to God alone. It was there that blasphemy was believed to lie. The historical sequel may be allowed to rule on the question whether it was blasphemy or an expression of faith in God which was justified in the event.

     
  3. Erwin

    Erwin Well-Known Member

    +1,725
    January 1

    Personal Life: Thus Saith the Lord

    Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. --Psalm 119:105

    Every new year is an uncharted and unknown sea. No ship has ever sailed this way before. The wisest of earth's sons and daughters cannot tell us what we may encounter on this journey. Familiarity with the past may afford us a general idea of what we may expect, but just where the rocks lie hidden beneath the surface or when that "tempestuous wind called Euroclydon" may sweep down upon us suddenly, no one can say with certainty....

    Now more than at any other time in generations, the believer is in a position to go on the offensive. The world is lost on a wide sea, and Christians alone know the way to the desired haven. While things were going well, the world scorned them with their Bible and hymns, but now the world needs them desperately, and it needs that despised Bible, too. For in the Bible, and there only, is found the chart to tell us where we are going on this rough and unknown ocean. The day when Christians should meekly apologize is over--they can get the world's attention not by trying to please, but by boldly declaring the truth of divine revelation. They can make themselves heard not by compromise, but by taking the affirmative and sturdily declaring, "Thus saith the Lord." This World: Playground or Battleground?, 9-10.

    "Lord, guide me carefully on this uncharted sea of a new year as I daily seek You in Your word. Then use me mightily as Your servant this year as I boldly proclaim Your word in leading others. Amen."
     
  4. Erwin

    Erwin Well-Known Member

    +1,725
    January 2

    Personal Life: The Set of Our Sails

    But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank.... --Daniel 1:8

    Though we do not hear much of it in this age of spineless religion, there is nevertheless much in the Bible about the place of moral determination in the service of the Lord. "Jacob vowed a vow," and it was the beginning of a very wonderful life with God....

    Daniel "purposed in his heart," and God honored his purpose. Jesus set his face like a flint and walked straight toward the cross. Paul "determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified,"...

    These are only a few of the many men and women of the Bible who have left us a record of spiritual greatness born out of a will firmly set to do the will of God....

    Let us, then, set our sails in the will of God. If we do this we will certainly find ourselves moving in the right direction, no matter which way the wind blows. The Set of the Sail, 11-13.

    "Lord, today I renew the vow I made many years ago to serve You unreservedly. I'm often pulled in other directions, but keep me focused and faithful, undeterred and undefiled. In Jesus' name, Amen."

     
  5. Erwin

    Erwin Well-Known Member

    +1,725
    January 3

    Personal Life: Face Down, Listening

    Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: "As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations." --Genesis 17:3-4

    The Scriptures declare, "Abram fell on his face" as the Lord talked with him (Genesis 17:3). Abraham was reverent and submissive. Probably there is no better picture anywhere in the Bible of the right place for mankind and the right place for God. God was on His throne speaking, and Abraham was on his face listening!

    Where God and man are in relationship, this must be the ideal. God must be the communicator, and man must be in the listening, obeying attitude. If men and women are not willing to assume this listening attitude, there will be no meeting with God in living, personal experience....

    Yes, Abraham was lying face down in humility and reverence, overcome with awe in this encounter with God. He knew that he was surrounded by the world's greatest mystery. The presence of this One who fills all things was pressing in upon him, rising above him, defeating him, taking away his natural self-confidence. God was overwhelming him and yet inviting and calling him, pleading with him and promising him a great future as a friend of God! Men Who Met God, 21-22.

    "In this fast-paced, busy life, Lord, we don't spend nearly enough time face down before You. Tozer talks of lying flat on his face in his study in prayer; draw me to this position of humility and reverence more often this year, I pray. Amen."
     
  6. Erwin

    Erwin Well-Known Member

    +1,725
    January 4

    Personal Life: A Friend of God

    And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God. --James 2:23

    After all, what higher privilege and experience is granted to mankind on earth than to be admitted into the circle of the friends of God?...

    It is well for us to remember that Divine-human friendship originated with God. Had God not first said "You are My friends," it would be inexcusably brash for any man to say, "I am a friend of God." But since God claims us for His friends, it is an act of unbelief to deny the offer of such a relationship....

    The spiritual giants of old were those who at some time became acutely conscious of the presence of God. They maintained that consciousness for the rest of their lives....

    The essential point is this: These were men who met and experienced God! How otherwise can the saints and prophets be explained? How otherwise can we account for the amazing power for good they have exercised over countless generations?

    Is it not that indeed they had become friends of God? Is it not that they walked in conscious communion with the real Presence and addressed their prayers to God with the artless conviction that they were truly addressing Someone actually there? Men Who Met God, 13-14.

    "Compared with those saints of old, Father, I seem to know so little of that conscious communion with Your real Presence! I pray that throughout this year I might catch a glimpse of what that means, and might increasingly move into the intimate joy of experiencing You as a personal Friend. Amen."

     
  7. Erwin

    Erwin Well-Known Member

    +1,725
    January 6

    Personal Life: The Compelling Call

    For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! --1 Corinthians 9:16

    The true minister is one not by his own choice but by the sovereign commission of God. From a study of the Scriptures one might conclude that the man God calls seldom or never surrenders to the call without considerable reluctance. The young man who rushes too eagerly into the pulpit at first glance seems to be unusually spiritual, but he may in fact only be revealing his lack of understanding of the sacred nature of the ministry.

    The old rule, "Don't preach if you can get out of it," if correctly understood, is still a good one. The call of God comes with an insistence that will not be denied and can scarcely by resisted. Moses fought his call strenuously and lost to the compulsion of the Spirit within him; and the same may be said of many others in the Bible and since Bible times. Christian biography shows that many who later became great Christian leaders at first tried earnestly to avoid the burden of the ministry; but I cannot offhand recall one single instance of a prophet's having applied for the job. The true minister simply surrenders to the inward pressure and cries, "Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!" God Tells the Man Who Cares, 87-88.

    "Lord, I'm here in this ministry not because I chose to be, but because I've sensed your call on my life. Help me always to be faithful to that call, in the power of Your Holy Spirit. Amen."
     
  8. Erwin

    Erwin Well-Known Member

    +1,725
    January 7

    Personal Life: The Call of God

    Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. --Hebrews 12:11

    "Your calling," said Meister Eckhart to the clergy of his day, "cannot make you holy; but you can make it holy. No matter how humble that calling may be, a holy man can make it a holy calling. A call to the ministry is not a call to be holy, as if the fact of his being a minister would sanctify a man; rather, the ministry is a calling for a holy man who has been made holy some other way than by the work he does. The true order is: God makes a man holy by blood and fire and sharp discipline. Then he calls the man to some special work, and the man being holy makes that work holy in turn....

    Every person should see to it that he is fully cleansed from all sin, entirely surrendered to the whole will of God and filled with the Holy Spirit. Then he will not be known as what he does, but as what he is. He will be a man of God first and anything else second. We Travel an Appointed Way, 59-60.

    "You've called me to be holy, Lord, not famous; to be holy, not successful. Keep me focused today on being the person You want me to be, no matter how significant or insignificant the work You ask me to do. Amen."
     
  9. Erwin

    Erwin Well-Known Member

    +1,725
    January 8

    Personal Life: People Follow Leaders

    Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. --1 Corinthians 11:1

    The history of Israel and Judah points up a truth taught clearly enough by all history, viz., that the masses are or soon will be what their leaders are. The kings set the moral pace for the people....

    Whatever sort of man the king turned out to be the people were soon following his leadership. They followed David in the worship of Jehovah, Solomon in the building of the Temple, Jeroboam in the making of a calf and Hezekiah in the restoration of the temple worship.

    It is not complimentary to the masses that they are so easily led, but we are not interested in praising or blaming; we are concerned for truth, and the truth is that for better or for worse religious people follow leaders. A good man may change the moral complexion of a whole nation; or a corrupt and worldly clergy may lead a nation into bondage....

    Today Christianity in the Western world is what its leaders were in the recent past and is becoming what its present leaders are. The local church soon becomes like its pastor. God Tells the Man Who Cares, 59-60.

    "That's a heavy responsibility for any leader to bear, Lord, but it's one I realize we have to carry. That makes moral failure or even carelessness and lax discipline so tragic. Strengthen me in the power of Your Holy Spirit today, that I might be a leader worth following. Amen."
     
  10. Erwin

    Erwin Well-Known Member

    +1,725
    NOTE: I am doing my daily devotionals from Tozer's Insight for Leaders.

    January 9

    Personal Life: Meditate Long and Often

    I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands, I spread out my hands to You; my soul longs for You like a thirsty land. --Psalm 143:5-6

    Among Christians of all ages and of varying shades of doctrinal emphasis there has been fairly full agreement on one thing: They all believed that it was important that the Christian with serious spiritual aspirations should learn to meditate long and often on God.

    Let a Christian insist upon rising above the poor average of current religious experience and he will soon come up against the need to know God Himself as the ultimate goal of all Christian doctrine. Let him seek to explore the sacred wonders of the Triune Godhead and he will discover that sustained and intelligently directed meditation on the Person of God is imperative. To know God well he must think on Him unceasingly. Nothing that man has discovered about himself or God has revealed any short cut to pure spirituality. It is still free, but tremendously costly. That Incredible Christian, 135.

    "Slow me down, Lord, and quiet my heart this morning. Favor me with an acute awareness of Your presence as I meditate quietly for the next several minutes. I want to know You, God, so I can indeed move well beyond that 'poor average of current religious experience.' Amen."
     
  11. Erwin

    Erwin Well-Known Member

    +1,725
    January 11

    Paul and Physical Hardship
    By the grace of God I am what I am. 1 Corinthians 15:10


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    According to an ancient tradition, the Apostle Paul was `an ugly little man'. Ancient traditions vary in their authenticity, but nothing in Paul's own letters or in the record of his travelling companion Luke contradicts this tradition. Much fits in with it.

    Paul (2 Cor 10:10-11 NIV) quotes his critics in Corinth as saying, `His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing'. He firmly refutes any idea that his letters are just words, but neither here nor elsewhere does he make any attempt to contradict what is said about his personal appearance and speaking.

    On the nature of Paul's `thorn in the flesh' (2 Cor 12:7), about which he is not specific (one has to try to read between the lines), one of the most widely held theories is that it was an eye affliction, which may well have marred his facial appearance. He acknowledges (Gal 4:13-15) that a bodily ailment made him a trial to the Galatians, and he is grateful for the way in which they received him: ` you did not scorn or despise me,... if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me'.

    When Paul and Barnabas came to Lystra (Acts 14:8-18), and set the cripple walking, the people said they were gods. Because Paul was the chief speaker, they called him Hermes, the messenger of the gods. But it is not difficult to infer which of the two was the taller and more impressive in appearance, for it was Barnabas whom they called Zeus, the chief of the gods.

    When Paul came to Athens, at first he failed to make an impression on at least some of the philosophers, who saw him only as `this babbler' (Acts 17:18). Some later changed their minds.

    There can be little doubt that Paul was small and outwardly unimpressive. Yet, by the grace of God, he was foremost among that little band of people who turned the world upside down. He had intellect, learning, courage, endurance, humility without weakness and loyalty to those to whom he ministered. Above all he had a deep unswerving devotion to Christ, on whose indwelling presence he depended. If the ancient tradition is accurate, may God give us more such ugly little men!


    Ay, for this Paul, a scorn and a reviling,
    Weak as you know him and the wretch you see -
    Even in these eyes shall ye behold His smiling,
    Strength in infirmities and Christ in me.
    FWH Meyer, St Paul.
     
  12. Erwin

    Erwin Well-Known Member

    +1,725
    January 12

    God's Limits (1) -- The Limits of Provision
    Man shall not live by bread alone. Matthew 4:4


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The first thing that Jesus did when he felt his hour had come to begin his ministry was to submit himself in humility to the baptism of repentance at the hands of his cousin, John the Baptist. It was then that he received his first commendation from his Father: `Thou art my beloved son; with thee I am well pleased' (Lk 3:22). After that he was led out into the wilderness to consider the methods his Father wanted him to adopt. The Tempter was at hand.

    After forty days of fasting, Jesus is hungry. He needs food, and the first temptation is to turn stones into bread. Nothing wrong about that, is there? `God is your provider, you need never be hungry, only believe that he can provide for you; where God guides, he provides.'

    Jesus rejects the suggestion. He quotes the Scripture: `Man shall not live by bread alone'. He declines to cast his father in the role of Material Provider. Could it be that it was that same spirit of renunciation which had led him to seek baptism, renouncing his divine exemption which he could have claimed, and was it that same spirit which had earned him his Father's audible approval?

    How do we, in the light of this first temptation of Jesus, interpret the Father's love and care? Do we present him as one whose duty it is to provide, forgetting that Jesus himself, in his human form, had to go without an answer to the problem of hunger and bodily discomfort? `Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests,' he said, `but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head' (Mt 8:20). It is true that he pointed to the father's provision for the birds and the lilies of the field. But in the wisdom of God there are limits. Perhaps we must learn the affirmation of the prophet: `Though the fig tree does not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food...yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation' (Hab 3:17-18).


    Lord, help me to know and to accept what it means to say:
    `Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that
    proceeds from the mouth of God'.
     
  13. Erwin

    Erwin Well-Known Member

    +1,725
    January 12

    Personal Life: To Think God's Thoughts

    But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. --Psalm 1:2

    To think God's thoughts requires much prayer. If you do not pray much, you are not thinking God's thoughts. If you do not read your Bible much and often and reverently, you are not thinking God's thoughts....

    There also has to be a lot of meditation. We ought to learn to live in our Bibles. Get one with print big enough to read so it does not punish your eyes. Look around until you find a good one, and then learn to love it. Begin with the Gospel of John, then read the Psalms. Isaiah is another great book to help you and lift you. When you feel you want to do it, go on to Romans and Hebrews and some of the deeper theological books. But get into the Bible. Do not just read the little passages you like, but in the course of a year or two see that you read it through. Your thoughts will one day come up before God's judgment. We are responsible for our premeditative thoughts. They make our mind a temple where God can dwell with pleasure, or they make our mind a stable where Christ is angry, ties a rope and drives out the cattle. It is all up to us. Rut, Rot or Revival: The Condition of the Church, 42.

    "My thoughts aren't adequate, Lord, to enable me to lead Your people through the quagmire of today's society. Nor are the thoughts of the writers, the teachers, the preachers, and the psychologists that bombard me from the pages and the airways. I'm only going to be effective as a spiritual leader as I learn to 'think God's thoughts.' Amen."
     
  14. Erwin

    Erwin Well-Known Member

    +1,725
    January 14

    God's Limits (3) -- The Limits of Promotion
    You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve. Matthew 4:10


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The third temptation offered to Jesus is the boldest. Satan comes right into the open with a naked and direct bid for power. He brings to Jesus' mind's eye all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them: `All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me' (Mt 4:9).

    Jesus does not need the devil's patronage to exercise his rightful authority. `Begone, Satan,' he says, `for it is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve".' It is not the devil or anybody else, but God alone, who is to be worshipped. In the loneliest depths of his sufferings (Jn 12:27-28) Jesus is to be constrained to say to his Father: `Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say, "Father, save me from this hour"? No, for this purpose I have some to this hour. Father, glorify they name.' And the third commendation comes from the Father: `I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again'.

    For the third time, how do we interpret the Father's love and care? Do we present him as one whose duty it is to promote our interests, forgetting that Jesus himself, in his human form, had to go without an answer to the problem of rejection, so that he was to come to say: `My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' (Mt 27:46).

    And what of God's glory? And of ours? Perhaps we have risen high in our profession, we have made lots of money and are distinguished academically. We go to all the important congresses and professional conferences. We have walked in company with the devil up to our own high mountain. We have listened to his proposals without even recognising who our companion is. Have we been given the grace, have we sought the grace to say `Father, glorify thy name', even when we know that such glorification may be costly to ourselves?


    Lord Jesus, help us always to hear your voice saying, as you
    said to your first disciples, and as you say to us in the
    closed security of the upper rooms of our lives, `As the
    Father has sent me, even so I send you'.
     
  15. Erwin

    Erwin Well-Known Member

    +1,725
    January 15

    Personal Life: Hearing From God

    Now John himself was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. --Matthew 3:4-5

    Let me give you some reasons why I believe God could honor John the Baptist in that day in which he lived.

    First, John had the ability to live and meditate in solitude. He knew the meaning of quietness. He was in the desert until the time of his showing forth unto Israel as a prophet. He came out of his lonely solitude to break the silence like a drumbeat or as the trumpet sounds. The crowds came--all gathered to hear this man who had been with God and who had come from God.

    In our day we just cannot get quiet enough and serene enough to wait on God. Somebody has to be talking. Somebody has to be making a noise. But John had gone into the silence and had matured in a kind of special school with God and the stars and the wind and the sand....

    I do not believe it is stretching a point at all to say that we will most often hear from God in those times when we are silent. Christ the Eternal Son, 130.

    "Oh, Lord, help me to carve out of my busy schedule some time with 'God and the stars and the wind and the sand.' Amen."
     
  16. Erwin

    Erwin Well-Known Member

    +1,725
    Personal Life: Alone With God

    And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. --John 6:3

    Just prior to this miraculous multiplying of the bread and fish, Jesus "went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples"(6:3). That fact is noteworthy. It seems plain that Jesus withdrew purposely from the great press of people who had been pursuing Him.

    There are some things that you and I will never learn when others are present. I believe in church and I love the fellowship of the assembly. There is much we can learn when we come together on Sundays and sit among the saints. But there are certain things that you and I will never learn in the presence of other people.

    Unquestionably, part of our failure today is religious activity that is not preceded by aloneness, by inactivity. I mean getting alone with God and waiting in silence and quietness until we are charged with God's Spirit. Then, when we act, our activity really amounts to something because we have been prepared by God for it....

    Now, in the case of our Lord, the people came to Him, John reports, and He was ready for them. He had been quiet and silent. He had sat alone with His disciples and meditated. Looking upward, He waited until the whole hiatus of divine life moved down from the throne of God into His own soul. He was a violin tuned. He was a battery recharged. He was poised and prepared for the people when they came. Faith Beyond Reason, 130,133. "Lord, I'll spend a lot of time in the company of people today, but just now I come in quietness and silence to wait for You to fill me. Amen."

    [From Tozer's Insight For Leaders]
     
  17. Jeffer

    Jeffer New Member

    40
    +0
    These are great devotionals!
     
  18. Jeffer

    Jeffer New Member

    40
    +0
    I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring. (Isaiah 44:3)

    Our dear children have not the Spirit of God by nature, as we plainly see. We see much in them which makes us fear as to their future, and this drives us to agonizing prayer. When a son becomes specially perverse, we cry with Abraham, "Oh, that Ishmael might live before thee!" We would sooner see our daughters Hannahs than empresses. This verse should greatly encourage us. It follows upon the words, "Fear not, O Jacob, my servant," and it may well banish our fears.

    The Lord will give His Spirit; will give it plentifully, pouring it out; will give it effectually, so that it shall be a real and eternal blessing. Under this divine outpouring our children shall come forward, and "one shall say, I am the Lord's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob."

    This is one of those promises concerning which the Lord will be inquired of. Should we not, at set times, in a distinct manner, pray for our offspring? We cannot give them new hearts, but the Holy Spirit can; and He is easily to be entreated of. The great Father takes pleasure in the prayers of fathers and mothers. Have we any dear ones outside of the ark? Let us not rest till they are shut in with us by the Lord's own hand.


    Faith's Checkbook by C.H. Spurgeon
     
  19. Jeffer

    Jeffer New Member

    40
    +0
    "I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content."-Philippians 4:11

    These words show us that contentment is not a natural propensity of

    man. "Ill weeds grow apace." Covetousness, discontent, and

    murmuring are as natural to man as thorns are to the soil. We need

    not sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough,

    because they are indigenous to earth: and so, we need not teach

    men to complain; they complain fast enough without any education.

    But the precious things of the earth must be cultivated. If we would

    have wheat, we must plough and sow; if we want flowers, there must

    be the garden, and all the gardener's care. Now, contentment is one

    of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be

    cultivated; it will not grow in us by nature; it is the new nature alone

    that can produce it, and even then we must be specially careful and

    watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown

     in us. Paul says, "I have learned . . . to be content;" as much as to

    say, he did not know how at one time. It cost him some pains to attain

    to the mystery of that great truth. No doubt he sometimes thought he

    had learned, and then broke down. And when at last he had attained

    unto it, and could say, "I have learned in whatsoever state I am,

    therewith to be content," he was an old, grey-headed man, upon the

    borders of the grave-a poor prisoner shut up in Nero's dungeon at

    Rome. We might well be willing to endure Paul's infirmities, and share

    the cold dungeon with him, if we too might by any means attain unto

    his good degree. Do not indulge the notion that you can be contented

    with learning, or learn without discipline. It is not a power that may be

    exercised naturally, but a science to be acquired gradually. We know

    this from experience. Brother, hush that murmur, natural though it be,

    and continue a diligent pupil in the College of Content.

    C.H. Spurgeon's Morning Devotional
     
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