The Spiritual Journey

LOVE is what we are born with.
Fear is what we learn.
The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear
and prejudices and Image result for spiritual journey
the acceptance of love back in our hearts.
Love is the essential reality
and our purpose on earth.
To be consciously aware of it,
to experience love in ourselves and others,
is the meaning of life.
Meaning does not lie in things.
Meaning lies in us.


~ Marianne Williamson

Of Milk and Meat

I’ve been deep in thought over the last while. The Word of God continues to challenge me and I hope it does the same for you. My thoughts have been around a number of tough issues and I’m really taking strain as I try to digest it all. For starters, the writer of of-milk-and-meat.jpgHebrews has challenged me in the area of my spiritual maturity. In Chapter 5, the question is whether or not we are still stuck suckling on the milk of the truth about Jesus. Verse 13 says: “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil”. Where am I in all of this? Do I keep going around and around with my baby bottle in my mouth, or is my chin carrying traces of the pepper sauce that smothered my medium-rare filet mignon? Does my behaviour suggest I know what obedience to God is all about and am therefore living it daily? If I were just starting on my road with Christ, this would be a proper place to start, but I’m more than a decade down the narrow path, and I’m expecting a lot of myself. I think God expects a lot from all of us. His expectations will always seem high, because God is all about us reaching to beyond the boundaries we set up for ourselves. Moses was just tending sheep when he spotted the burning bush. He was in the desert, totally out of the action, and the next thing he was standing before one of the greatest rulers of his time, telling him to let go of the slaves that were building monuments to satisfy his very vanity. God was expecting a lot, putting him before Pharaoh. We know the history: The seemingly impossible not only became possible, it was actually achieved. Heaven came to earth and history was forever changed.

I need a reminder every now and again, particularly when times are tough. Those are the moments I get a bit spiritually childish. When the tyre really hits the tarmac, I’ve found myself low on faith and high on suspicion of God’s true motives. That’s milky madness right there. How can I teach if I’m not going to believe what I’m saying? How embarrassing. I could just as well be sucking on a pacifier in broad daylight. No Brad, c’mon!

A teach affects eternity, he can never tell where his influences stops.

The Moses example seems a big one to use in this context. The Exodus story is hardly a fair comparison to what you and I might be challenged to do, but in principle, it’s really the same: Take God on His word, trust that He’ll keep His promises, suck it up and do what seems impossible and then see God move. That seems to me what true obedience to God is all about. I can forever just live in the safe zone and go through the motions, but where’s the testimony of true faith in that? That’s the right place to start, but it’s not where we need to end. Moses might have been content to herd sheep, but God had other plans. If God calls you, you need to answer, or face the chance of missing out. Let’s avail ourselves to the opportunity to show our Father our true obedience, to move forward in our relationship with Him and sink our teeth into something spiritually meaty. Based on verse 12 then, we need to be showing the kind of faith that brings the most amazing testimonies, because they become the springboard that others could use to be shot to even greater spiritual heights. Isn’t that what true teaching is all about? I immediately think of Moses and Joshua. Henry Brooks Adams said: ‘A teacher affects eternity, he can never tell where his influence stops.’ Let us be liberated by true obedience to a God who has never dreamed small. If we are to face something seemingly impossible, who better to have by our side than God Almighty, right? So, are you ready? Hang on!

 

 

Providences of God


Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD–Psa. 27: 14.

Time is an important element in all God’s plans: we are not, therefore, to be imagesTYZ6D74Odisappointed when the test of endurance is applied while the blessings we crave tarry long. God took time to frame the world and to fit it for human habitation; time to give the world its necessary experience with evil; time to prepare for the advent of Christ as the world’s Redeemer; time for the preparation of the Church and the rest of His Gospel-Age people to share in His glorious reign; and time must be allowed for the shaping and adjusting of the individual affairs of His people. God has not forgotten when the answers to our prayers seem to tarry long. He who heeds the sparrow’s fall and numbers the very hairs of our heads is not indifferent to the faintest call or the smallest necessity of His humblest child—
The providences of God on behalf of His people involve many delays to test their patience. Those who endure these tests with courageous hearts will thereby become strong in the Lord. Therefore they wait on the Lord amid all the varying circumstances of life, assured that He who is for them will manifest this in every time of need that comes into their lives.

Daily Heavenly Manna

The Year Before Us

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STANDING at the portal of the opening year,
Words of comfort meet us, hushing every fear;
Spoken through the silence by our Father’s voice,
Tender, strong and faithful, making us rejoice.
Onward, then, and fear not, children of the day;
For His Word shall never, never pass away.

“I, the Lord, am with thee, be thou not afraid;
I will help and strengthen, be thou not dismayed.
Yea, I will uphold thee with Mine own right hand;
Thou art called and chosen in My sight to stand.”
Onward, then, and fear not, children of the day;
For His Word shall never, never pass away.

For the years before us, oh, what rich supplies!
For the poor and needy, living streams shall rise;
For the sad and mournful, shall His grace abound;
For the faint and feeble, perfect strength be found.
Onward, then, and fear not, children of the day;
For His Word shall never, never pass away.

He will never fail us, He will not forsake;
His eternal covenant He will never break;
Resting on His promise, what have we to fear?
God is all-sufficient for the coming year.
Onward, then, and fear not, children of the day;
For His Word shall never, never pass away.

Daily Heavenly Manna

Great Truths

GREAT truths are dearly bought. The common truth,
Such as men give and take from day to day,
Comes in the common walk of easy life,
Blown by the careless wind across our way.

Great truths are dearly won; not found by chance,
Nor wafted on the breath of summer dream;
But grasped in the great struggle of the soul,
Hard buffeting with adverse wind and stream.

Sometimes, ‘mid conflict, turmoil, fear and grief,
When the strong hand of God, put forth in might,
Ploughs up the subsoil of the stagnant heart,
It brings some buried truth-seeds to the light.

Not in the general mart, ‘mid corn and wine;
Not in the merchandise of gold and gems;
Not in the world’s gay hall of midnight mirth,
Nor ‘mid the blaze of regal diadems;

Not in the general clash of human creeds,
Nor in the merchandise ‘twixt church and world,
Is truth’s fair treasure found, ‘mongst tares and weeds;
Nor her fair banner in their midst unfurled.

Truth springs like harvest from the well-ploughed
fields,
Rewarding patient toil, and faith, and zeal.
To those thus seeking her, she ever yields
Her richest treasures for their lasting weal.

Daily Heavenly Manna

A Treasure Chest

I rejoice at Your word, As one who finds great spoil.  Psalm 119:162

Image result for Psalm 119:162

Those whose hearts stand in awe of God’s word, will rather endure the wrath of man, than break the law of God. By the word of God we are unspeakable gainers.

We are to praise God even for afflictions; through grace we get good from them. Those that love the world have great vexation, for it does not answer what they expect; those that love God’s word have great peace, for it outdoes what they expect. Those in whom this holy love reigns, will not perplex themselves with needless scruples, or take offence at their brethren.

A good hope of salvation will engage the heart in doing the commandments. And our love to the word of God must subdue our lusts, and root out carnal affections: we must make heart work of it, or we make nothing of it. We must keep the commandments of God by obedience to them, and his promises by reliance on them.

God’s eye is on us at all times; this should make us very careful to keep his commandments.

Matthew Henry

The life that counts must toil and fight;

Must hate the wrong and love the right;
Must stand for truth, by day by night—
This is the life that counts.
 
The life that counts must hopeful be;
In darkest night make melody;
Must wait the dawn on bended knee—
This is the life that counts.
 
The life that counts must aim to rise
Above the earth to sunlit skies;
Must fix its gaze in Paradise —
This is the life that counts.
 
The life that counts must helpful be;
The cares and needs of others see;
Must seek the slaves of sin to free —
This is the life that counts.
 
The life that counts is linked with God;
And turns not from the cross — the rod;
But walks with joy where Jesus trod —
This is the life that counts.
 
Anonymous

 

 

Hour of Temptation

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth–Rev. 3: 10.
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This is the special reward of those who are running the race with patient endurance in the present time, in the Laodicean period. While it was not our privilege to escape the hour of temptation, it is our privilege to have a counter-balancing special blessing as a result of living in the time of our Lord’s parousia (presence). We may have His fellowship, His instruction, His dispensing of spiritual food which is now “meat in due season,” in a manner and to a degree in which none of the faithful of past periods enjoyed these. But as we might expect, this greatest favor is correspondingly offset by the subtlety and severity of the trials of this hour of temptation coming upon the whole world. If ever patient endurance was necessary it is necessary now.

Daily Heavenly Manna

My Prayer

Please be there to help me,
For I cannot stand alone.
Please be there to guide me,
I can’t make it on my own.
Please be there to lift me,images0PYL9VFN
If I should fall by the way.
Please be there to give me
The right words to speak today.

Let me care for my brothers,
The ones who are down and out,
Putting love into action
Daring to be talked about.
Lifting someone’s burden,
Telling them ‘Jesus cares’
Give me strength and help me
To dry somebody’s tears.

Someone was there for me,
When my life was in a mess,
Someone said, Jesus loved me,
And wanted me to find rest.
Now may I pass the message
To someone else in need,
Obeying His commandment,
By my words and my deeds.

 

Gertrude Jefferies

 

 

“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” Proverbs 17:17 NLT

Brownies with a Difference

Many parents are hard pressed to explain to their youth why some music, movies, books, and magazines are not acceptable material for them to bring into the home or to listen to or see. One parent came up with an original idea that is hard to refute.

The father listened to all the reasons his children gave for wanting to see a particular PG-13 movie. It had their favorite actors. Everyone else was seeing it. Even church members said it was great. It was only rated PG-13 because of the suggestion of sex–they never really showed it. The language was pretty good–the Lord’s name was only used in vain three times in the whole movie. The teens did admit there was a scene where a building and a bunch of people were blown up, but the violence was just the normal stuff. It wasn’t too bad. And, even if there were a few minor things, the special effects were fabulous and the plot was action packed. However, even with all the justifications the teens made for the 13′ rating, the father still wouldn’t give in. He didn’t even give his children a satisfactory explanation for saying, “No.” He just said, “No!”reeses-brownie-2.jpg

A little later on that evening the father asked his teens if they would like some brownies he had baked. He explained that he’d taken the family’s favorite recipe and added a little something new. The children asked what it was. The father calmly replied that he had added dog poop. However, he quickly assured them, it was only a little bit. All other ingredients were gourmet quality and he had taken great care to bake the brownies at the precise temperature for the exact time. He was sure the brownies would be superb. Even with their father’s promise that the brownies were of almost perfect quality, the teens would not take any. The father acted surprised. After all, it was only one small part that was causing them to be so stubborn. He was certain they would hardly notice it. Still the teens held firm and would not try the brownies. The father then told his children how the movie they wanted to see was just like the brownies.

Our minds trick us into believing that just a little bit of evil won’t matter. But, the truth is even a little bit of poop makes the difference between a great treat and something disgusting and totally unacceptable. The father went on to explain that even though the movie industry would have us believe that most of today’s movies are acceptable fare for adults and youth, they are not. Now, when this father’s children want to see something that is of questionable material, the father merely asks them if they would like some of his special dog poop brownies. That closes the subject.

Tracy Finn