The “Gimmie” List…

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Psalm 22 :2
O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

Prayer is a tricky thing, It was never meant as a “gimme’ list by which we can get things from God.

It is not a gripe time to vent frustrations and woes. It is not a time to show off our piety.

Rather, it is a time to draw close to God in order to be open to His will and guidance. So often we feel that God is not listening because we don’t get what we ask for. We want results immediately, and we decide beforehand what we will accept as an answer and what we will not. Who says that we get to make the rules?

The Lord hears us, and His is true to answer us, but He always measures His responses according to His divine wisdom.

He knows what is best for us, even when it doesn’t agree with what we want. It is natural and human to doubt the Lord sometimes. He understands that. Just don’t give up. The Lord breaks through our desert spots, to comfort us when we cry.

Today’s Prayer:

Lift me, Lord, into Your loving arms. Grace me with the sweet memory of Your care, that I might never doubt You in times of trial. Amen.

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Easing Difficult Times…

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John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: . . Let not your heart be troubled.”

Whenever something becomes difficult in personal experience, we are in danger of blaming God, but it is we who are in the wrong, not God, there is some perversity somewhere that we will not let go.

Immediately we do, everything becomes as clear as daylight. As long as we try to serve two ends, ourselves and God, there is perplexity.

The attitude must be one of complete reliance on God. When once we get there, there is nothing easier than living the saintly life; difficulty comes in when we want to usurp the authority of the Holy Spirit for our own ends.

Whenever you obey God, His seal is always that of peace, the witness of an unfathomable peace, which is not natural, but the peace of Jesus. Whenever peace does not come, tarry till it does or find out the reason why it does not. If you are acting on an impulse, or from a sense of the heroic, the peace of Jesus will not witness; there is no simplicity or confidence in God, because the spirit of simplicity is born of the Holy Ghost, not of your decisions. Every decision brings a reaction of simplicity.

My questions come whenever I cease to obey.

When I have obeyed God, the problems never come between me and God, they come as probes to keep the mind going on with amazement at the revelation of God. Any problem that comes between God and myself springs out of disobedience; any problem, and there are many, that is alongside me while I obey God, increases my ecstatic delight, because I know that my Father knows, and I am going to watch and see how He unravels this thing.

John 14:28

Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

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Who Is “Really” In Control?

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Romans 8:28

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.”

It is only the loyal soul who believes that God engineers circumstances.

We take such liberty with our circumstances, we do not believe God engineers them, although we say we do; we treat the things that happen as if they were engineered by men.

To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty, and that is to our Lord. Suddenly God breaks up a particular set of circumstances, and the realization comes that we have been disloyal to Him by not recognizing that He had ordered them; we never saw what He was after, and that particular thing will never be repeated all the days of our life.

The test of loyalty always comes just there. If we learn to worship God in the trying circumstances, He will alter them in two seconds when He chooses.

Loyalty to Jesus Christ is the thing that we “poke a stick at” in today’s world.

We will be loyal to work, to service, to anything, but do not ask us to be loyal to Jesus Christ. Many Christians are intensely impatient of talking about loyalty to Jesus. Our Lord is dethroned more emphatically by Christian workers than by the world. God is made a machine for blessing men, and Jesus Christ is made a Worker among workers.

The idea is not that we do work for God, but that we are so loyal to Him that He can do His work through us – “I reckon on you for extreme service, with no complaining on your part and no explanation on Mine.” God wants to use us as He used His own Son.

Romans 8:31

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

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It Is Not Earned, But Accepted…

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Hebrews 10:14

“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

We trample the blood of the Son of God under foot if we think we are forgiven because we are sorry for our sins.

The only explanation of the forgiveness of God and of the unfathomable depth of His forgetting is the Death of Jesus Christ. Our repentance is merely the outcome of our personal realization of the Atonement which He has worked out for us. “Christ Jesus” . . . is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.

” When we realize that Christ is made all this to us, the boundless joy of God begins; wherever the joy of God is not present, the death sentence is at work.

It does not matter who or what we are, there is absolute reinstatement into God by the death of Jesus Christ and by no other way, not because Jesus Christ pleads, but because He died. It is not earned, but accepted. All the pleading which deliberately refuses to recognize the Cross is of no avail; it is battering at another door than the one which Jesus has opened.

I don’t want to come that way, it is too humiliating to be received as a sinner.

“There is none other Name . . .”

The apparent heartlessness of God is the expression of His real heart, there is boundless entrance in His way.

“We have forgiveness through His blood.”

Identification with the death of Jesus Christ means identification with Him to the death of everything that never was in Him.

God is justified in saving bad men only as He makes them good.

Our Lord does not pretend we are all right when we are all wrong. The Atonement is a propitiation whereby God through the death of Jesus makes an unholy man holy.

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Your Rare Moments…

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2 Timothy 4:2

Many of us suffer from the morbid tendency to be instant “out of season.”

The season does not refer to time, but to us–  “Be instant in season out of season”, whether we feel like it or not.

If we do only what we feel inclined to do, some of us would do nothing forever and ever.

There are unemployables in the spiritual domain, spiritually decrepit people, who refuse to do anything unless they are supernaturally inspired.

The proof that we are tightly related to God is that we do our best whether we feel inspired or not.

One of the great snares of the Christian worker is to make a fetish of his(or her) rare moments. When the Spirit of God gives you a time of inspiration and insight, you say– “Now I will always be like this for God”.

No you will not.  God will take care, you will not.

Those times are the gift of God entirely. You cannot give them to yourself when you so choose.

If you say you will only be at your best “if”, you become an intolerable drag on God; you will never do anything unless God keeps you consciously inspired.

If you make a god of your best moments, you will find that God will fade out of your life and never come back until you do the duty that lies nearest, and have learned not to make a fetish of your rare moments.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 (KJV)
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

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The Persistence Of The River…

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John 7:38 (KJV)

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

A river touches places of which its source knows nothing, and Jesus says if we have received of His fullness, however small the visible measure of our lives, out of us will flow the rivers that will bless to the uttermost parts of the earth.

We have nothing to do with the outflow– “This is the work of God that ye believe…”

God rarely allows a soul to see how great a blessing he/she is…

A river is victoriously persistent, it overcomes all barriers.  For a while it goes steadily on its course, then  it comes out to an obstacle and for a while it is baulked, but it soon makes a pathway around the obstacle. Sometimes a river will drop out of sight for miles, and emerge again broader and grander than ever… just when you thought it had disappeared.

You can see God using some lives, but into your life an obstacle has come and you do not seem to be of any use.

Keep paying attention to the Source, and God will either take you around the obstacle or remove it.

The river of the Spirit of God overcomes all obstacles.

Never get your eyes on the obstacle or on the difficulty. This obstacle is a manner of indifference to the river which will flow steadily through you if you remember to keep right at the Source.

Never allow anything to come between you and Jesus Christ, no emotion or experience; nothing must keep you from the one great sovereign Source.

Think of the healing and far-flung rivers nursing themselves in our souls!

God has been opening up marvelous truths to our minds, and every point He has opened up is an indication of the wider power of the river

He will flow through us.

If you believe in Jesus Christ, you will find that God has nourished in you mighty torrents of blessings for others that cross your path.

John 7:37 KJV
“If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.”

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The Foundation of Wisdom

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Proverbs 9:10″The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. Initially, the connection between these two concepts may be difficult to grasp: How can fearing God make us wise?

First, we need to understand what it means to fear the Lord. This term is used to describe an awesome reverence for God that moves us to acknowledge Him as the sovereign ruler of heaven and earth, submit to His will, and walk in obedience. The result of such a response will be the acquisition of wisdom.

Those who commit themselves to living for God’s purposes rather than their own will gain greater understanding of Him. The Holy Spirit will enable them to see circumstances and people from His divine perspective. This kind of wisdom reaches beyond human perception and gives us discernment to make decisions that fit into the Lord’s plans for our lives. Knowing that He always works for our best interests, we are empowered to walk confidently through both good and bad times.

But those who reject God’s instructions dishonor Him with their refusal to acknowledge His right to rule their lives. It’s foolish to rebel against His authority and think you can ever win. Those who won’t fear God will never know real wisdom.

What is your attitude toward the Lord? If you truly reverence Him, you will listen for His directions and heed His warnings. A desire to honor and please Him will motivate you to turn from evil and seek to live in obedience. And the result will be wisdom beyond human understanding.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

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“Be Anxious For Nothing”

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Matthew 6:25

“Take no thought for your life.”

A warning that needs to be reiterated is that the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust of other things entering in, will choke all that God puts in.

We are never free from the recurring tides of this encroachment. If it does not come on the lines of clothes and food, it will come on the on the line of money or the lack of money; of friends or lack of friends; or on the line of difficult circumstances.

It is one steady encroachment all the time, and unless we allow the Spirit of God to raise up the standard against it, these things will come in like a flood.

“Take no thought for your life.”

“Be careful about one thing only”, says our Lord, your relationship to Me.”

Common sense shouts loud and says, “That is absurd, I must consider how I am going to live, I must consider what I’m going to eat and drink.”

Jesus says you must not.

Beware of allowing the thought to slip in that this statement is made by One Who does not understand our particular circumstances…

Jesus Christ knows our circumstances better than we do, and He says we must not think about these things so as to make them the one concern of our life.

Whenever there is competition of thought, be sure that you put your relationship to God first.

“Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

How much evil has begun to threaten you today?

What kind of mean little imps have been looking in and saying — Now what are you going to do next week, next month– this summer?

“Be anxious for nothing.”

Jesus says, Look again and think. Keep your mind on the “much more” of your heavenly father.

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