Saturday, July 7, 2008 10:30 a.m.
We just came from a funeral. When one looks back at a person’s life, what does one see? What stands out? Psalm 103:15 says, “As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flouisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone: and the place thereof shall know it no more.” It’s funny how we all get old and die. There are no exceptions. As the sea goes to the shore, man goes to the grave. For just a moment imagine a field covered with grass, and here and there flowers are growing. Seasons come and seasons go. With each passing season new flowers spring up. The new flowers know nothing of the old flowers that grew in their place just a season ago. All they know is their time now in which they flourish. But in reality that some patch of ground has witnessed flower after flower, season after season, and year after year. The former is forgotten and known no more. So it is with our life. Generation after generation comes, lives, and dies and they are remembered no more. Each life is as a flower growing in the grass. But a thousand years is as a day unto the Lord. One Day! A year is as a minute. How insignificant we are; and yet, God knows and remembers each one of us. It’s amazing grace. Grace flows as the wind blows on a sea of vanishing grass and flowers.
Thought for Today: “What is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14).
Monday, June 4, 2007 5:10 a.m.
God knows our every thought, as well as our every need, and even our secret wants. What shows God’s intimacy with us is not His great big blessings, but His little secret joys He gives us. As I was preparing to sing a solo at Keenagers in church, I saw in the box of donuts, my favorite donut. It looked so good, but I couldn’t take it because I can’t eat before I sing. So, I just secretly longed for it. After I was finished singing, I went over to the box of donuts, which had been ravished by now, excepting to find nothing left. But much to my delight, there was one donut left, and believe it or not, it was that donut I secretly longed for. God saved it just for me. I am convinced of that. God delights to give His children their secret joys. I call it the blessings of the little things. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Even if it’s as small as a donut left in the box.
Thought for Today: “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:11).
Thursday, May 30, 2007 4:30 p.m.
I’ve been listening to I Thessalonians 5:14-23. It gives us instructions of how to live and steps to have peace with God. “Now we exhort you, brethren:
- Warn them that are unruly,
- Comfort the feeble-minded,
- Support the weak,
- Be patient toward all men.
- See that none render evil for evil unto any man.
- Ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
- Rejoice evermore.
- Pray without ceasing.
- In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
- Quench not the Spirit.
- Despise not prophesyings.
- Prove all things;
- Hold fast that which is good.
- Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Thought for Today: “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thessalonians 5:23).
Thursday, May 3, 2007 4:00 a.m.
Christians are sometimes afraid that God is going to take everything away from them and bring them down to the bottom. But He isn’t. Matthew 7:11 says, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” God delights to give good gifts to His children just as we do. We must just trust Him. Trust Him to supply our every need. Scripture reminds us of this in Philippians 4:19, “My God shall supply our every need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” We must trust Him to give us strength to carry on; trust Him to deliver us from all our troubles; trust Him to be our rock, fortress and stronghold. Everyday God loads us with benefits. Psalm 103: 1-5 bares record of this: “BLESS the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:1-5).
Thought for Today: “The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” (Nahum 1:7).
Friday, April 27, 2007 9:00 p.m.
Amy Carmichael wrote, “Let me die of a battle-wound, O My Lord, not of a lingering illness.” (A Chance to Die, p.235). There are warriors who, before they go out to battle, say, “This is a good day to die.” We are to be good soldiers for the cross of Christ, soldiers willing to fight to the death for what we believe. What are you willing to die for? Is the cross of Christ enough for you to lay down your life to defend it? Isaac Watts wrote a hymn called: “Am I a Soldier of the Cross?” At the time Isaac Watts wrote this hymn, in 1727, “…many Nonconformist believers were imprisoned for their views, even as Watts’s own father had been.” (The One Year Book of Hymns, April 21). Yes, we must fight for the cross of Christ. We must carry the banner of the cross high. It is better to die of battle wounds than die of a lingering illness.
Thought for Today: “Am I a soldier of the cross? A foll’wer of the Lamb? And shall I fear to own His cause Or blush to speak His name? Must I be carried to the skies On Flow’ry beds of ease, While others fought to win the prize And sailed through bloody seas?” Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
Monday, March 19, 2007 4:00 a.m.
When one of Amy Carmichael’s beloved workers came down with Bright’s disease, she called it, “another of those grave trials which give us a chance to prove the things we believe” (A Chance to Die, p. 235). Isn’t that powerful? I never really thought of trials quite that way before. I always saw trials as a testing of our faith, a lesson to help us trust the Lord more, or an avenue of providing a platform to proclaim God’s grace; but, never did I see trials as a chance to prove those things we believe. It reminds me of a poem I wrote many years ago when facing a trial.
When what we know in our heart and mind goes deeper than our pain. Tis then we know the love of God transcends through all the same.
Without trials our faith would be shallow and weak. Trials are God’s way to deepen our walk with Him, to associate believers with Christ, to glorify Christ; and yes, to prove what we believe.
Thought for Today: “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 1:7).
Monday, March 5, 2007 4:00 a.m.
Yesterday in choir practice we sang, “By the Gentle Waters.” It touched my heart so. While singing it I repented in my heart for murmuring. I’m no different than the Israelites. God gave them meat and water in the wilderness, and still they murmured. I do the same. God hates murmuring. Because of murmuring and unbelief, God made the children of Israel wander in the wilderness forty years – a year for each day of murmuring. “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years…” (Numbers 14:34). Lord, forgive me for murmuring. Forgive me for my unbelief in your ability to provide. Please keep me from the wilderness.
Thought for Today: Song – “By the gentle waters, You will safely lead me, In green pastures feed me, Knowing What is best.” (Cindy Berry)
Thursday, February 22, 2007 4:00 a.m.
Sometimes God puts us in His “Boot Camp” in order for us to learn of Him and have a hunger for Him. In God’s Boot Camp He teaches us to be dependent entirely on Him, and Him alone. We are to hunger and thirst after God and His righteousness. God’s Boot Camp strips us of all that once sustained us, all that we leaned upon, all that we once looked to for strength and stability. After we are brought to the empty bowl and the dry well, we reach out and hunger and thirst for God. John Piper wrote,”When God is the supreme hunger of your heart, He will be supreme in everything. And when you are most satisfied in Him, He will be most glorified in you,” (A Hunger for God). Right now I feel like I am in God’s Boot Camp, stripped of all security and comfort. I now must learn to rely on God’s security and comfort, and nothing else.
Thought for Today: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6).
Tuesday, February 13, 2007 4:15 a.m.
The rich young ruler was a seeker of eternal life; yet, he missed it. He asked Jesus, “Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 18:18). The Lord said, “…sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.” (Luke 18:22). God knows our heart, and if we love something more than we love Him, “that” is our God. The rich young ruler’s God was his riches. In order for him to sell all and follow Jesus would have meant that he would have to sell his families’ fortune that had been in his family for generations. And if he did that, he would most likely be disowned by his family. He was a seeker, but he went away lost. He was not willing to pay the cost. There is always a cost. One must be willing to give up all, and sometimes that can be a big order; but, we must give up all in order to gain all.
Thought for Today: Jesus said, “For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:25).
Thursday, December 7, 2006 8:45 a.m.
At the age of 19, Amy Carmichael, together with her six brothers and sisters started a family magazine they called Scraps. Each one of the children chose a fictitious name. “Norman became ‘Namron,’ Ernest became ‘Oddfellow,’ Eva became ‘Lulu,’ Ethel became ‘Atom,’ Walter became ‘Blanco,’ Alfred became ‘S.S.I.’ (which stood for Silly, Silly Idiot) and Amy, not surprisingly, became ‘Nobody”’ (A Chance to Die, p. 38). Each one of the children wrote something for the family magazine and occasionally drew drawings and cartons. The family rose every morning at 4:50 a.m. and were very disciplined in their work and studies. The fictitious name of Amy Carmichael really spoke to me. After her brothers and sisters had all chosen a name, when asked who she was, Amy said “Nobody”. We are all “Nobody”. The only “Somebody” is God. Isaiah 40:12 reminds us of this fact. It demonstrates the greatness of God and the weakness of man. “Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, [Nobody, but God] Who hath meted out heaven with a span, [Nobody, but God] Who hath comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, [Nobody, but God] Who hath weighted the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?” [Nobody, but God] (Isaiah 40:12). Only God can do these things. Only God is “Somebody.”
Thought for Today: “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket…” (Isaiah 40:15).