Posts Tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’


When any great blessing is awaiting us, the devil is sure to try and make it so disagreeable to us that we shall miss it.

It is a good thing to know him as a liar, and remember, when he is trying to prejudice us strongly against any cause, that very likely the greatest blessing of our life lies there.

Spurgeon once said that the best evidence that God was on our side is the devil’s growl, and we are generally pretty safe in following a thing according to Satan’s dislike for it. Beloved, take care, lest in the very line where your prejudices are setting you off from God’s people and God’s truth, you are missing the treasures of your life.

Take the treasures of heaven no matter how they come to you, even if it be as earthly treasures generally are, like the kernel inside the rough shell, or the gem in the bosom of the hard rock.

I have seen Jesus and my heart is dead to all beside,

I have seen Jesus, and my wants are all, in Him, supplied.

I have seen Jesus, and my heart, at last, is satisfied,

Since I’ve seen Jesus.

http://devotionals.ochristian.com/a-b-simpson-devotional.shtml

 


Our days are few, and are far better spent in doing good, than in disputing over matters which are, at best, of minor importance. The old schoolmen did a world of mischief by their incessant discussion of subjects of no practical importance; and our Churches suffer much from petty wars over abstruse points and unimportant questions. After everything has been said that can be said, neither party is any the wiser, and therefore the discussion no more promotes knowledge than love, and it is foolish to sow in so barren a field. Questions upon points wherein Scripture is silent; upon mysteries which belong to God alone; upon prophecies of doubtful interpretation; and upon mere modes of observing human ceremonials, are all foolish, and wise men avoid them. Our business is neither to ask nor answer foolish questions, but to avoid them altogether; and if we observe the apostle’s precept (Titus 3:8) to be careful to maintain good works, we shall find ourselves far too much occupied with profitable business to take muc h interest in unworthy, contentious, and needless strivings. There are, however, some questions which are the reverse of foolish, which we must not avoid, but fairly and honestly meet, such as these: Do I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? Am I renewed in the spirit of my mind? Am I walking not after the flesh, but after the Spirit? Am I growing in grace? Does my conversation adorn the doctrine of God my Saviour? Am I looking for the coming of the Lord, and watching as a servant should do who expects his master? What more can I do for Jesus? Such enquiries as these urgently demand our attention; and if we have been at all given to cavilling, let us now turn our critical abilities to a service so much more profitable. Let us be peace-makers, and endeavour to lead others both by our precept and example, to “avoid foolish questions.”

http://www.crosswalkmail.com/ShareArticle.do?perform=view&articleID=ortwlmmqr&siteID=ivgnhzydngnycdfbkqtptyzcvkkcgmythhf&recipID=526889780


“He led them forth.” Forth out of the world–forth out of sin–forth out of a profession–forth out of a name to live–forth out of everything hateful to his holy and pure eyes. “To go to a city of habitation.” They had no city to dwell in here below; but they were journeying to a city of habitation above, whose walls and bulwarks are salvation, and whose gates are praise; where there are eternal realities to be enjoyed by the soul; where there is something stable and eternal; something to satisfy all the wants of a capacious and immortal spirit, and give it that rest which it never could find while wandering here below. If we have a city here, we want no city above; and if we have a city above, we want no city here.

This then must be our state and case; either to be pilgrims, journeying onwards, through troubles, to things above, or taking up our abode below; seeking heaven here, or heaven hereafter; resting upon the world, or resting upon the Lord; panting after the things of time, or panting after the things of eternity; satisfied in self, or satisfied only in Christ. One of the two must be our state and case. The Lord decide it clearly in the hearts of his people that they are on his side; and give us to know and feel that our very restlessness and inability to find food and shelter in the things of time and sense, are leading us more earnestly and believingly to seek after the things that have reality in them; that finding no city to dwell in here below, we may press forward to be manifestly enjoying testimonies of being citizens of that city which is above, “which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God!”

http://devotionals.ochristian.com/j-c-philpot-daily-portions.shtml


Warning labels are everywhere today—from new appliances to toys. Even medications include pages of small print about all that could possibly go wrong.

God’s Word is filled with warning labels, alerting us to things that are harmful to our spiritual health. When we read, “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him” (Prov. 6:16), it grabs our attention like a flashing warning signal. The list that follows (vv.17-19) warns against destructive tendencies like pride and dishonesty—sins that damage earthly relationships and grieve our heavenly Father. The text further states that “reproofs of instruction are the way of life” (v.23). In other words, God’s warnings aren’t meant to take the fun out of life, but rather to protect and preserve life.

I’ll always remember as a child standing with my friend Bobby outside after church and watching him suddenly run toward the busy street. I heard his mother yell, “Stop!” It was a warning to protect him, not to hinder his freedom.

Too often we’ve ignored God’s warnings to stop running in the wrong direction and suffered the consequences. Let’s remember that there’s freedom in heeding His warnings. They’re for our good.

Lord, thank You for the warnings in Your Word that are intended to protect and preserve my life. Help me to heed Your reproofs and instruction that I may live a life that is pleasing to You.
God’s Word is full of loving warnings to protect and preserve us.

In this metaphor, which has reference to the inner life of a believer, we have very plainly the idea of secrecy. It is a spring shut up: just as there were springs in the East, over which an edifice was built, so that none could reach them save those who knew the secret entrance; so is the heart of a believer when it is renewed by grace: there is a mysterious life within which no human skill can touch. It is a secret which no other man knoweth; nay, which the very man who is the possessor of it cannot tell to his neighbour. The text includes not only secrecy, but separation. It is not the common spring, of which every passer-by may drink, it is one kept and preserved from all others; it is a fountain bearing a particular mark-a king’s royal seal, so that all can perceive that it is not a common fountain, but a fountain owned by a proprietor, and placed specially by itself alone. So is it with the spiritual life. The chosen of God were separated in the eternal decree; they were separated by God in the day of r edemption; and they are separated by the possession of a life which others have not; and it is impossible for them to feel at home with the world, or to delight in its pleasures. There is also the idea of sacredness. The spring shut up is preserved for the use of some special person: and such is the Christian‘s heart. It is a spring kept for Jesus. Every Christian should feel that he has God’s seal upon him-and he should be able to say with Paul, “From henceforth let no man trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Another idea is prominent-it is that of security. Oh! how sure and safe is the inner life of the believer! If all the powers of earth and hell could combine against it, that immortal principle must still exist, for He who gave it pledged His life for its preservation. And who “is He that shall harm you,” when God is your protector?

http://www.crosswalkmail.com/ShareArticle.do?perform=view&articleID=edhbhzyzd&siteID=qsnpwhmfpnpmdfbvqrjyjmhdsqqdngmjwwb&recipID=526889780


“I just let Christ take over!”                                                   2Co 12:10 TM

Speaking of his “thorn,” Paul writes: “I was given the gift of a handicap…At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it…he told me, ‘My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.’ Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift…Now I take my limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become” (vv.7-10 TM). Paul learned how to turn his weakness into a weapon by allowing it to drive him closer to God. And that’s a lesson you must learn too. Eugene Peterson paraphrases Christ’s first beatitude: “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule” (Mt 5:3 TM). Now, you can’t just accept your character flaws and areas of defeat and say, “Well, I guess that’s just the way I am.” No, you must confront each area of weakness, confess it, and “let Christ take over.” You will always struggle with one thing or another. Paul recognized this: “We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us” (2Co 4:7 TM). Like common pottery, fragile, flawed and easily broken, God will use you as you surrender and allow Him to work through you.

http://theencouragingword.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/turn-your-weakness-into-a-weapon/


“In the selfsame day, as God had said unto him” (Gen. 17:23).

Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is; delayed obedience is disobedience. Every time God calls us to any duty, He is offering to make a covenant with us; doing the duty is our part, and He will do His part in special blessing.

The only way we can obey is to obey “in the selfsame day,” as Abraham did. To be sure, we often postpone a duty and then later on do it as fully as we can. It is better to do this than not to do it at all. But it is then, at the best, only a crippled, disfigured, half-way sort of duty-doing; and a postponed duty never can bring the full blessing that God intended, and that it would have brought if done at the earliest possible moment.

It is a pity to rob ourselves, along with robbing God and others, by procrastination. “In the selfsame day” is the Genesis way of saying, “Do it now.” –Messages for the Morning Watch

Luther says that “a true believer will crucify the question, ‘Why?‘ He will obey without questioning.” I will not be one of those who, except they see signs and wonders, will in no wise believe. I will obey without questioning.

“Ours not to make reply,
Ours not to reason why,
Ours but to do and die.”

Obedience is the fruit of faith; patience, the bloom on the fruit. —Christina Rossetti

http://devotionals.ochristian.com/mrs-charles-cowman-streams-in-the-desert-devotional.shtml