Sunday, February 22, 2015

ARE WE TOO POOR

 Our closing hymn is posted below, with wonderful lyrics, that not only blessed me, but also convicted me.

Join all the glorious names
Of wisdom, love, and power,
That ever mortals knew,
That angels ever bore:
All are too poor to speak His worth,
Too poor to set my Savior forth.

The website gives all the original verses which are 12 in total, our hymnal only had 5 or 6.  And as I love all the verses, I was especially blessed by this first verse, but oddly despite misreading them.  Here is what I sang....

"are you too poor to speak His Worth, too poor to set my Savior forth"

And this convicted me greatly.  Now yes, we are too poor to declare God's worth to the fullest; but the meaning I was using was, "Has God not blessed you and strengthened you enough that you will not speak His worth?"  In Acts 3, the lame man had his legs restored, the strength restored, and he was leaping!   If Peter had given him an apple, he might have been sincerely thankful, but still not strong enough to leap;  If Peter had given him 3000 talents of silver then the man would have at least tried to leap, and yet not been strong enough to do so.  In salvation Jesus has bore the justice and wrath of God on our behalf, Jesus has redeemed us and cleansed us; we have been adopted, loved, set free, and been made clean, partakers in heavenly places.  In light of all that Christ has done for us and granted to us and secured for us, how would we respond to the hymn I misread..."are you too poor to speak His worth, too poor to set my Savior forth."  The Queen of Sheba could not keep her amazement to her self, but behold, One greater than Solomon is here.

In a very weak illustration, what if a billionaire gave you a billion dollars and then afterwards said, "Meet me in the parking lot by your local gas station (mine is one-third of a mile away)" and I reply, "I can't get there it is too far, too hard, and I do not have the resources to get there." ???    God has given us His Word, His Son, His Spirit, His grace, and we beheld His glory;  why aren't we serving Him and proclaiming Him and praising Him? Are you too poor?  Has He not equipped you to do so?  Is His equipping insufficient?   Oh, how joyfully we should be leaping as well, we had lame legs that could not leap, and if you have been saved by the grace of God, dare not remained seated like a poor beggar;  Leap, Serve, Obey, Praise God, Proclaim His Excellencies;  Is your tongue lame still, that it cannot extol Him?  Is your heart lame still, that it cannot love Him?  Is your mind lame still, that it cannot declare Him.

Monday, February 16, 2015

DYLAN SONG - SAVED

I was blinded by the devil
Born already ruined
Stone-cold dead
As I stepped out of the womb
By His grace I have been touched
By His word I have been healed
By His hand I have been delivered
By His spirit I Have been sealed.

I've been saved
By the blood of the lamb
Saved
By the blood of the lamb
Saved
Saved
And I'm so glad
Yes, I'm so glad
I'm so glad
So glad
I want to thank you, Lord
I just want to thank You Lord
Thank You Lord.

WHEN HE RETURNS

"When He Returns"

The iron hand it ain't no match for the iron rod
The strongest wall will crumble and fall to a mighty God
For all those who have eyes and all those who have ears
It is only He who can reduce me to tears
Don't you cry and don't you die and don't you burn
Like a thief in the night, he'll replace wrong with right
When he returns.

Truth is an arrow and the gate is narrow that is passes through
He unreleased His power at an unknown hour that no one knew
How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice ?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness ?
Can I cast it aside, all this loyalty and this pride ?
Will I ever learn that there'll be no peace, that the war won't cease
Until He returns ?

Surrender your crown on this blood-stained ground, take off your mask
He sees your deeds, He knows your needs even before you ask
How long can you falsily and deny what is real ?
How long can you hate yourself for the weakness you conceal ?
Of every earthly plan that be known to man, He is unconcerned
He's got plans of his own to set up His throne
When He return.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

THEY SHALL HAVE IT

(Richard Sibbes, 1577-1635)

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose!" Romans 8:28

Whatever is truly good for God's children--they shall have it, for all is theirs to further them to Heaven. Therefore . . .
  if poverty is good for them--they shall have it; 
  if disgrace is good for them--they shall have it;
  if crosses are good for them--they shall have them;
  if misery is good for them--they shall have it;
for God makes all things work together for the good of His redeemed people.

God takes a safe course with His children
--that they may not be condemned with the world. 
He permits the world to condemn them--that they may not love the world.
The world hates them--that they may not love the world.
That they may be crucified to it--the world is to be crucified to them.
Because He will not allow them to perish with the world--He sends them afflictions in and by the world. Therefore they meet with suchcrosses and abuses and wrongs in the world.

God afflicts us outwardly--that we may be more humble inwardly. 
He humbles us and makes us poor--that we may be more poor in spirit. 
When God designs to humble us--we should labor through grace to abase ourselves and mortify pride.

God's providence is often mysterious--yet He is just and righteous in all that He does. Therefore when any difficult thing befalls us for which we can see no reason, yet we must reverence the Lord and adore His counsels and submit to Him who is infinitely more good and wise than we.

Glory follows afflictions--as the spring follows the winter. For the winter prepares the earth for the spring--so do sanctified afflictions prepare the soul for glory.

LOVE IS

LOVE IS... being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of others without impatience or anger.

LOVE IS... actively fighting the temptation to be critical and judgmental toward another while looking for ways to encourage and praise.

LOVE IS... making a daily commitment to resist the needless moments of conflict that come from pointing out and responding to minor offenses.

LOVE IS... being lovingly honest and humbly approachable in times of misunderstanding.

LOVE IS... being more committed to unity and understanding than you are to winning, accusing, or being right.

LOVE IS... a making a daily commitment to admit your sin, weakness, and failure and to resist the temptation to offer an excuse or shift the blame.

LOVE IS... being willing, when confronted by another, to examine your heart rather than rising to your defense or shifting the focus.

LOVE IS... making a daily commitment to grow in love so that the love you offer to another is increasingly selfless, mature, and patient.

LOVE IS... being unwilling to do what is wrong when you have been wronged, but looking for concrete and specific ways to overcome evil with good.

LOVE IS... being a good student of another, looking for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs so that in some way you can remove the burden, support them as they carry it, or encourage them along the way.

LOVE IS... being willing to invest the time necessary to discuss, examine, and understand the relational problems you face, staying on task until the problem is removed or you have agreed upon a strategy of response.

LOVE IS... being willing to always ask for forgiveness and always being committed to grant forgiveness when it is requested.

LOVE IS... recognizing the high value of trust in a relationship and being faithful to your promises and true to your word.

LOVE IS... speaking kindly and gently, even in moments of disagreement, refusing to attack the other person's character or assault their intelligence.

LOVE IS... being unwilling to flatter, lie, manipulate, or deceive in any way in order to coerce the other person into giving you what you want or doing something your way.

LOVE IS... the willingness to have less free time, less sleep, and a busier schedule in order to be faithful to what God has called you to be and to do as a spouse, parent, neighbor, etc.

LOVE IS... a commitment to say no to selfish instincts and to do everything that is within your ability to promote real unity, functional understanding, and active love in your relationships.

LOVE IS... staying faithful to your commitment to treat another with appreciation, respect, and grace, even in moments when the other person doesn't seem deserving or is unwilling to reciprocate.

LOVE IS... the willingness to make regular and costly sacrifices for the sake of a relationship without asking for anything in return or using your sacrifices to place the other person in your debt.

LOVE IS... being unwilling to make any personal decision or choice that would harm a relationship, hurt the other person, or weaken the bond of trust between you.

LOVE IS... refusing to be self-focused or demanding, but instead looking for specific ways to serve, support, and encourage, even when you are busy or tired.

LOVE IS... daily admitting to yourself, the other person, and God that you are unable to be driven by a cruciform love without God's protecting, providing, forgiving, rescuing, and delivering grace.  [By Paul Tripp. The above resource is from Paul Tripp Ministries. For additional resources, visit www.paultripp.com. Used with permission.]

Thursday, February 12, 2015

DANGERS OF ENTERTAINMENT

This is a painful note, and requires proper discernment, even so, may it bring us to seek God in Scripture and prayer./// It is difficult to distinguish him from the unconverted man! (A.W. Tozer) "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind!" Romans 12:2 For centuries the Church has stood solidly against worldly entertainment, recognizing it for what it was: a device for wasting time, a refuge from the disturbing voice of conscience, a scheme to divert attention from moral accountability. For this she got herself abused roundly by the ungodly. But of late she has become tired of the abuse, and has given up the struggle. She appears to have decided that if she cannot conquer the great god 'Entertainment' she may as well join forces with him and make what use she can of his powers. The average church member lives a life so worldly and careless, that it is difficult to distinguish him from the unconverted man! "The world had absorbed the Church, and the church is content that it should be so!" Horatius Bonar

THY WAY NOT MINE

"There is much that passes for real faith, which is no faith." ~ Octavius Winslow (1808-1878) "Thy way, not mine, O Lord, however dark it be, lead me by thine own hand, choose out the path for me." ~ Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)