A Pang!

Friday, August 15, 2008  4:35 a.m.

Dear Diary,

Elisabeth Elliot wrote, “Without darkness and pain, we will not be transformed into the image of Christ. His was the way of pain” (Gateway to Joy Newsletter). None of us want pain. We all want comfort and bliss. But even Christ had to suffer pain. If there was a way to save souls without pain and suffering, don’t you think the Father would have found it for His Son? But no; Christ had to suffer and die. Two disciples on the road to Emmaus were walking and talking together with Jesus, but they did not recognize Him. They told Him of all the pain and suffering Jesus had to endure. Jesus answered, “…fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and enter into his glory.” (Luke 24:25-26). The only path for forgiveness of sin is through the pain of Christ’s shed blood. We are bought with a price, and that price was Christ’s own blood. Amy Carmichael asked the question, “Is there no way of learning how to help another but by the way of suffering? The answer was, No!…Wouldest thou win souls without a pang?” (His Thoughts said…His Father said, p. 25).

Advertisements

How to Please God

Thursday, August 14, 2008   Noon

Dear Diary,

How does one please God? Jeremiah 9:23 says, “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:

  1. Are you wise? If you know not the LORD you are a fool.
  2. Are you strong? It is better to know the Lord and glory in your infirmity than to have strength and not know the LORD.
  3. Are you rich? It is better to have Jesus than all the riches in the world.
  4. Are you famous? It is better to sit in a corner and be unknown, but have Jesus; than to be known by the world, and have not Jesus.

Scripture tells us that we are to glory in this: “…that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercises lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 9:24). So we please God by putting our faith and trust in Him. We please God by seeking Him, and glorying in Him. We please God by believing in Him.

Thought for Today: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6).

A Cold North Wind

Thursday, July 23, 2008   3:10 a.m.

Dear Diary,

I feel pushed down and stomped on. Something I had my heart set upon did not come to pass, though I prayed earnestly for it. Then I remembered that God answers all my prayers, but perhaps not in the way I had wished. Concerning the thing I had my heart set upon, I realized that if it was mine, given by God, nothing could keep it from me; but, if it was not given by God, nothing I do could give it to me. God’s way are not my ways. Amy Carmichael wrote. “If the north wind seems to be blowing on our garden today, let us take heart. Never does He call the north wind, or any other wind, to blow upon His garden without coming Himself. Then there is fair weather whatever wind may blow” (Whispers of His Power, p. 157). A cold north wind has blown upon my garden today; but God, Himself, came with it. And with Him came a warm south wind that grace and forgiveness may flow.

Thought for Today: God, Himself, is our fair weather no matter what winds blow.

Unnoticed

Wednesday, July 23, 2008  430: a.m.

Dear Diary,

We don’t hear much about Nathanael, though he was one of the twelve disciples. Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” (John 1:47). “No guile” means that Nathanael spoke his mind and told the truth. Nathanael asked Jesus, “…Whence knowest thou me?” (John 1:48). Jesus answered, “…when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.” (John 1:48). Because Jesus said that He saw him under the fig tree, Nathanael answered and said, “…Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.” (John 1:49). As a matter of fact, Nathanael was the first to call Jesus the Son of God. Can you imagine how his faith must have leaped once he experienced all the miracles Jesus performed. Yet, we don’t read about Nathanael again, at least not to any great extent. Nathanael was a man of great faith, but he was not one of the great disciples as Peter, James and John. He was unnoticed; yet he remained faithful to the end. Some of us, like Nathanael, have great faith, but we seem forgotten. Yet, though we may be unnoticed, we, like Nathanael, must remain faithful and continue in Christ’s ministry that will change the world.

Thought for Today: Though I may be forgotten, I will sing His praise. Though I may be unnoticed, I will speak His name. In His service I will be faithful, though unnoticed I remain.

For Thee, and Thee Only

Friday, July 18, 2008  5:25 a.m.

Dear Diary,

Amy Carmichael, who was a missionary to India, said that missionaries what it easy. In a meeting with other missionaries she asked the question: “How many of you would be here if you were not getting paid?” There was a deafening silence. She was not there for the money or for the excitement; she was there only for souls to be saved. (A Chance to Die) Henry Martyn, an earlier missionary to India wrote: “I have rightfully no other business each day but to do God’s work as a servant, constantly regarding His pleasure. May I have grace to live above every human motive, simply with God, and to God.” Oh, to be able to live only with God, and to God. Yet, somehow I get sidetracked by the cares of this world. It would be great if my “work” was a pastor or a missionary; but, since it is not, how do I work and serve God? How do I do God’s work and still bring in money and help provide for a family? Most of us have to go out into the world to work where the cares of this world drown out the mind of Christ. Lord, help me shut out the world and seek only to please Thee. Let this be my prayer: For Thee, and Thee only do I live. For Thee, and Thee only do I work. For Thee and Thee only do I die, to brought glory to Thee. For Thee, and Thee only.

Thought for Today: “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.” (Psalm 73:25).

Time & Money

Monday, July 14, 2008  Noon

Dear Diary,

Time is my enemy. There just isn’t enough of it. I thought to myself, “If only I had time alone and time to study and meditate on God’s Word, then I could write down my thoughts uninterrupted.” I said, “If only I had money to where I could stay home, I could write.” But then it hit me. If I had time to kill and money to burn I would most likely be a dry well and have nothing to say. Then the Lord revealed to me that it is out of pressure that peace comes. It is out of poverty that true wealth comes which shall never fade or be stolen. It is out of suffering that healing comes. It is out of struggle that goodness springs forth. It is out of storms that calm comes. So, having time and money is not the answer. I must seek the LORD in the midst of all my busyness and distractions. For out of life’s trials godliness comes.

Thought for Today: “My times are in thy hand:…” (Psalm 31:15).

With Your Whole Heart

Monday, July 14, 2008  5:00 a. m.

Dear Diary,

How many people do you know that seek the Lord with their whole heart? There are very few. Asaph, David’s musician, wrote Psalm 73. It is called “A Psalm of Asaph”. Asaph looked at the wicked and became envious of their prosperity. He was trying to do the right thing, but he was ready to slip, (v. 2) because he saw that the ungodly prospered. He felt that he had cleansed his heart in vain (v.12). But in Psalm 73:17 Asaph said, “Until I went into the sanctuary of God, then understood I their end.” He realized that the wicked will die and be thrown into hell. It became clear to him that in a moment they shall see utter destruction. Then Asaph realized how foolish he was to envy the wicked. He acknowledged how God is continually with him and guides him with His counsel. Never envy the wicked, for their destruction is sure. But “…love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matthew 22:37).

Thought for Today: Asaph said, “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.” (Psalm 73:25).

We All Want Fed

Tuesday, April 15, 2008   6:40 a.m.

Dear Diary,

I just drove to four different gas stations in search of a particular donut. No amount of gas or distance would stop me. I wanted that donut, and I was willing to go to all lengths  to get it. It reminds me of when people followed Jesus around for miles enduring all kinds of hardships; and for what? Jesus could see their heart and said, “…Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” (John 6:26). I can truly relate to this. To what lengths are you willing to go to in order to be fed? Do you go to those same lengths in order to hear the Word of God as you do for food? I sometimes wonder how many people would attend church if there were no church dinners. So often we put food before God. I’m guilty of this myself. But God sees our heart and our motives. Our motives will be judged just as much as our actions. May we not let food take the place of God, nor pride take the place of actions. May we put God before all these.

Thought for Today: “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life…” (John 6:27).

One Man

Friday, March 28, 2008  7:10 a.m.

Dear Diary,

It seems that God chooses one man, or woman, to do His purposes. He puts it in the heart of one man; and that one man, through God’s help, changes the world. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” (II Chronicles 16:9). God is always looking for that “one man.” The majority of us are not that man. We are not single minded toward God. We want our own pleasures, our own way, our own purposes. If God could find that one man in whom the Spirit of God abides, in truth, He could do wonderful and mighty things. My mind is drawn to Gideon, Nehemiah, David, Jeremiah, Daniel and many others. They each were one man who allowed God to show himself strong in them. They had a heart that was perfect toward God. Be that Man!

Thought for Today: “For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.” (Job 34:21).

The Law of Sin and Death

Monday, March 4, 2008   6:45 a.m.

Dear Diary,

In Pastor’s sermon yesterday I learned something new. Well, I guess I knew it all my life, but it just became clearer to me. When Jesus Christ died on the cross He broke the law of sin and death. Certain laws were established in the beginning of time. Just like the law of gravity, there was a law established in the beginning that said: If sin entered man, that man belonged to Satan; and because of that sin man must die. That was The LAW. Satan held the keys to sin and death. But when Jesus died on the cross, who had committed no sin, The LAW was broken and Satan’s keys were taken away. Because of Christ’s sinless death we no longer belong to Satan. “For ye are brought with a price…” (I Corinthians 6:20) and that price was Christ’s own blood. Satan lost his hold on us. Amen! I’ve never seen it as a LAW that had to be broken before. I came home from Church and watched C. S. Lewis’, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It shows this LAW broken by Christ so plainly.

Thought for Today: Jesus says, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for ever more, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelation 1:18).