Tuesday, June 14, 2016

.....The blood of Christ is so precious, that it is fully sufficient to pay the debt you have contracted, and perfectly to vindicate the divine Majesty from all the dishonour cast upon it, by those many great sins of yours that have been mentioned.  It was as great, and indeed a much greater thing, for Christ to die, than it would have been for you and all mankind to have burnt in hell to all eternity.  Of such dignity and excellency is Christ in the eyes of God, that, seeing he has suffered so much for poor sinners, God is willing to be at peace with them, however vile and unworthy they have been, and on how many accounts soever the punishment would be just.  So that you need not be at all discouraged from seeking mercy, for there is enough in Christ.                                     
                                                                                                                            Jonathan Edwards

Monday, June 13, 2016

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.  Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.  Psalms 121:3-4

     A poor woman, as the Eastern story has it, came to the Sultan one day, and asked compensation for the loss of some property.
     “How did you lose it?” said the monarch.
     “I fell asleep,” was the reply, “and a robber entered my dwelling.”
     “Why did you fall asleep?”
     “I fell asleep because I believed that you were awake.”
     The Sultan was so much delighted with the answer of the woman, that he ordered her loss to be made up.  But what is true, only by a legal fiction, of human governments, that they never sleep, is true in the most absolute sense with reference to the divine government.  We can sleep in safety because our God is ever awake.  We are safe because he never slumbers.  Jacob had a beautiful picture of the ceaseless care of Divine Providence on the night when he fled from his father’s house.  The lonely traveller slept on the ground, with the stones for his pillow, and the sky for his canopy.  He had a wondrous vision of a ladder stretching from earth to heaven, and on which angels were seen ascending and descending.  And he heard Jehovah saying to him, “Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest.”
                                                                                                                              N. McMichael

Sunday, June 12, 2016

     An accumulation of seemingly failed prayers and fastings are never things to delightfully look back upon.....
     Neither delightful to the memory are the thoughts of failed hopes and dreams.....
     But manifestations of God's gentleness in the midst of a Christian's crisis, will forever and forever be a theme of rejoicing to the Lord above.
     When I look back upon the dates of September 1 and 2, in which all my hopes, dreams, prayers and fastings seemed to have merged into one gigantic mess of emptiness, I am left with nothing but tears.
     But when I look back upon the date of September 3, I am left with tears of utter amazement at my first-hand experience of God's gentleness.
     So, what brought about such a failure of prayers and fastings?
     What were my failed hopes and dreams?
     And what were the manifestations of God's gentleness in my particular situation?
     First thing, though it was a righteous cause, I should never have given a prayer hearing God a deadline of September 1 to answer my spiritual intercessions.  And I naturally assumed that all my prayers and fastings were my contributions to the spiritual battle at hand.
     Secondly, I should have spiritually yielded up to God all my hopes and dreams of marriage.
     And thirdly, I should have realized that an emotional battle when intertwined with spiritual intercessions generally NEVER, NEVER ends out well!
     No wonder I was headed for both a spiritual and emotional disaster!
     But where was God in all of this?
     Yes, where was God during months of much intercession?
     And yes, why wasn't God granting my natural desire for marriage?
     Thus while I was experiencing much emotional and spiritual pain during the months leading to the first few days in September, it didn't seem as if I was experiencing much comfort from God.
     But despite MY failings and MY feelings, God WAS there.....

     .....when I drew comfort from the words of Christian contemporary music, it was because of His leading.....
     .....and what is more.....
     .....when the words from the Christian band "Harvest" were as morsels of food to my starving soul, it was because God was going to ultimately use their music in my life in a mighty way on September 3.

     Thus it was so quietly, oh so quietly, that the gentleness of God was all along being interwoven in my life during the months leading up to those September dates!
     Yet when September 1 passed me by with no evidence of God's having answered any of my months of intercessions and fastings, it seemed as if God had left me empty handed.
     However, I had the music of the Christian band named "Harvest" to help sustain my soul.
     But then on the evening of September 2, after having a frank conversation which resulted in the total destruction of my hopes and dreams of marriage, I was utterly devastated!
     In fact in just 2 days it seemed as if all my hopes, dreams, prayers and fastings had gone through a tremendous fire and I was left alone to be surrounded by ashes.
     So late at night on September 2, in a distressed frame of mind with both soul and now heart broken, I went to sleep listening to a local Christian radio station.
     But God really hadn't left me empty handed.  What is more, God really did care about my broken soul and heart!
     And so about 4 a.m. on September 3, I began to experience the gentleness of God.....
     And the first manifestation started so.....so.....gently:

     .....there were no visions.....
     .....there were no dreams.....
     .....I simply just woke up.....

     The second manifestation of God's gentleness was equally as gentle as the first, but it revealed the wonderfulness of His timing:

     .....When I awoke, I didn’t just simply awake.  I woke just at the time the radio station was playing a song by "Harvest".....
     .....and as my soul clung to the song's words which I had just heard for the very first time, I got up and recorded the following in my diary:

            "It is 4:00 a.m. and I just woke up hearing
            a beautiful song being sung by the group    
            Harvest.....After work tonight, I'll go out
            and try to see if I can find the words to
            that song."

     The third manifestation of God's gentleness then came to me as I prepared for work in the form of jogging my memory of  three things that had recently happened:

     .....He allowed me to remember a rare work related meeting that had occurred about a week earlier.....
     .....He then allowed me to remember that the meeting had not been held at work but at a distant location and that the meeting had been held on the floor above the city's main library.....

     .....And then, yes, then He allowed me to remember that after the meeting had ended I had briefly looked in the songbook section of the library and had checked out one book which contained a lot of contemporary Christian songs.

     And so it was that:

     .....in the midst of having both a wounded soul and breaking heart.....
     .....in the midst of feeling unloved.....
     .....in the midst of knowing that I wouldn't have anything to do after work on a particularly hard Friday except to go out and look for an unknown song sung by my favorite group......
     .....and knowing in my heart I would NEVER FIND THAT SONG.....

     In the midst of all of this thinking, I had the impression that I should look in the songbook I had checked out from the library to see if the song was there. 

     And so it was that about 6 a.m. on September 3, right before I left home to go to work, that the total manifestation of God's gentleness came into focus as I realized that God had already answered a prayer I hadn't even voiced:

     .....for the song God had arranged to be playing at 4 a.m. on the radio station at the exact time He had me wake up was already in my possession because of earlier work related events which He also had arranged! 

     Praise His Holy name!
                                                                                                                                           M. Robbins

Saturday, June 11, 2016

     In consideration of the great and manifold advantages resulting from an humble and heedful observation of providence, I cannot but judge it the concernment of Christians that have time and ability for such a work to keep written memorials, or journals of providences by them for their own and others use and benefit.  For want of collecting and communicating such observations, not only ourselves, but the church of God is damnified and impoverished.
     .....I am not for posting up all that a Christian knows or meets with in his experience.....but yet there is a prudent, humble and seasonable communication of our experiences and observations of providence, which is exceeding benefical both to ourselves and our brethren.
     If Christians in reading the scriptures would judiciously collect and record the providences they meet with there, and (if destitute of other helps) but add those that have fallen out in their own time and experience; O what a precious treasure would these make!  How would it antidote their souls against the spreading atheism of these days, and satisfy them beyond what many other arguments can do, that The Lord he is God, the Lord he is God.....
     .....Providence carries our lives, liberties, and concernments in its hand every moment.  Your bread is in its cup-board, your money in its purse, your safety in its enfolding arms: and sure it is the least part of what you owe, to record the favours you receive at his hands.  More particularly,

1.  Trust not your slippery memories with such a multitude of remarkable passages of providence as you have met, and shall meet with in your way to heaven.....Written memorials secure us against that hazard; and besides, make them useful to others when we are gone.  So that you carry not away all your treasure to heaven with you, but leave these choice legacies to your surviving friends.  Certainly it were not so great a loss to lose your silver, your goods and chatties, as it is to lose your experiences which God hath, this way, given you in this world.

2.  Take heed of clasping up those rich treasures in a book, and thinking it enough to have noted them there; but have frequent recourse to them, as oft as new wants, fears, or difficulties arise and assault you.  Now, it is seasonable to consider and reflect, Was I never so distressed before?  Is this the first plunge that ever befel me?  "Let me consider the days of old, the years of ancient times," as Asaph did, Psalms 77:5.

3.  Lastly, beware of slighting former straits and dangers in comparison with present ones.  That which is next us, always appears greatest to us: and as time removes us farther and farther from our former mercies or dangers, so they lessen in our eyes, just as the land from which they sail doth to seamen.  Know that your dangers have been as great, and your fears no less formerly than now.  Make it as much your business to preserve the sense and value, as the memory of former providences, and the fruit will be sweet to you.
                                                                                                                                           John Flavel

Friday, June 10, 2016

They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.  Psalms 125:1

They can never be removed from the Lord, though they may be removed from his house and ordinances, as sometimes David was; and from his gracious presence, and sensible communion with him; and out of the world by death: yet never from his heart’s love, nor out of the covenant of his grace, which is sure and everlasting; nor out of his family, into which they are taken; nor from the Lord Jesus Christ, nor out of his hands and arms, nor from off his heart; nor from off him, as the foundation on which they are laid; nor out of a state of grace, either regeneration or justification; but such abide in the love of God, in the covenant of his grace, in the hands of his Son, in the grace wherein they stand, and in the house of God for evermore.
                                                                                                                                                John Gill  

Thursday, June 9, 2016

.....the Lord cherisheth you - He gives you His name to bear as your honour, and His very heart to dwell in as the home of your soul.  He gives you the right of constant access, the right of continual dwelling in His presence.  He makes you partaker of His very nature, joining you unto Himself, not only in a perpetual covenant, but as “one spirit” with Him, and these wants are each and all foreseen and provided for, and supplied with untiring love.  He knows in an instant when you are weary to ailing, whether in body or spirit, and knows how to speak the right word for either, speaking verily to your heart, - knows, too, when to be silent for a little while.  His cherishing goes on night and day, - just as much in the dark as in the light, and will go on, faithfully, ceaselessly, all through your life-long need of it, unto the end; and there is no shadowing whisper to fall upon this life-long manifestation of love, no such word as “till death us do part.”  No absence of your Lord shall deprive you of it; and all that death can do is to take away the last veil, that you may see face to face, and know even as you are known.  His care over you will then be exchanged for perfect joy over you.  “He shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied.”                     
                                                                                                                         Frances Ridley Havergal  

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

     All things!  God the Father is ready to save you (Isa. 38:20).  Jesus Christ is ready to receive you (John 6:37).  The Holy Spirit is ready to dwell in you (Romans 8:9).  Are you ready?

     All things.  The “great salvation” is ready for you (Heb. 2:3).  The full atonement is made for you (Romans 5:11).  The eternal redemption is obtained for you (Heb. 9:12).  Are you ready?

     All things.  The cleansing fountain is opened for you (Zech. 13:1).  The robe of righteousness is wrought for you (Romans 3:2).  The way into the holiest is consecrated for (Romans 3:2).  The way into the holiest is consecrated for you (Heb. 10:19-20).  Are you ready?

     All things.  All things that pertain unto life and godliness are given you by His Divine power (1 Timothy 4:8).  Exceeding great and precious promises are given you (2 Peter 1:3-4).  The supply of all your need is guaranteed to you (Philippians 4:19).  Strength and guidance, teaching and keeping, are provided for you.  Even the good works in which you shall walk are prepared for you (Ephesians 2:10).  A Father's love and care and a Saviour's gift of peace are waiting for you.  The feast is spread for you (Isaiah 25:6).  All these things are ready for you (Matthew 22:4).  Are you ready for them?              
                                                                                                                       Frances Ridley Havergal