If We All Understood

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7

COULD we draw aside the curtainsImage result for helping others
That surround each other’s lives,
See the naked heart and spirit,
Know what spur the action gives—
Often we would find it better,
Purer than we judge we would;
We would love each other better
If we only understood.

Could we judge all deeds by motives,
See the good and bad within,
Often we would love the sinner
All the while we loathe the sin.
Could we know the powers working
To o’erthrow integrity,
We would judge each other’s errors
With more patient charity.

If we knew the cares and trials,
Knew the efforts all in vain,
And the bitter disappointments—
Understood the loss and gain— ​
Would the grim external roughness
Seem, I wonder, just the same?
Would we help where now we hinder?
Would we pity where we blame?

Ah, we judge each other harshly,
Knowing not life’s hidden force;
Knowing not the fount of action
Is less turbid at its source.
Seeing not amid the evil
All the golden grains of good,
Oh, we’d love each other better
If we only understood.

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Enjoy Life

Life’s too short to be wasted.
It passes just once, so make the most out of it.
Live life the way you want it to be.
Live it to the fullest, feel free!

Live as the sun shines in the sky.
Live as high as the birds can fly.
Live as the colors of a rainbow.imagesZHGH5XS4Live as far as the clouds can go.

Never waste it with worthless doubts and fears,
With insecurities and useless tears.
Remember that what couldn’t tear you makes you strong.
Put away frustrations, sing your own song!

Believe in what you can do.
The world is round; it’s all up to you.
Think fast, act now!
Time is gold; it couldn’t be renewed.

Value experiences, learn from mistakes.
Improve for the better, live for others.
Do what is right and what is best.
Always be yourself, unique from the rest.

Laugh as if there’s no tomorrow.
Dance as though you’ll never get through.
Love with all your heart and soul.
Sing like you’re on the top of the world.

Forget the money, the root of all evil.
Treasure your loved ones; you’re blessed they’re still here.
Strengthen your faith, live with God.
The best things in life are for free, so why not?!

~Mae

 

 

We Need you, Lord

We need you, Lord.
Like lost wanderers in a burning, empty desert
thirst for cool, clean water,
we long for you to quench us.

Christian message be my guide

In a world gone progressively mad,
with chaos all around us,
we seek refuge in the order and purpose of your law.
With evil sneaking, leaking everywhere,
spreading heavy darkness,
creating feelings of emptiness,
we hunger for your goodness and light.
Turn us around, Lord, we pray;
retrieve your sheep who have gone astray.
Draw us to the satisfaction
of your purity and righteousness.
Cleanse us, and make us more like you,
role models, examples, beacons,
for others who are searching for meaning for their lives.
Come, Lord Jesus.
We need you, Lord.

Matthew 5:16
Proverbs 4:18

By Joanna Fuchs

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

When Angry, Sin not

desiringgod

“When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him].”
– Ephesians 4: 26-27 (AMP)

 

Anger is a natural emotion we all have from time to time. Even the most placid among us feel anger at times. It’s not exactly wrong to feel anger, after all Jesus displayed anger when he drove out the moneychangers. I believe it’s all in how we handle our anger.

If we respond to people and situations in an explosion of angry words and gestures, ranting and raving, then that expression is obviously the wrong way – it’s merely ‘venting’ the anger. When we do this, it’s the people around us that get hurt the most.

How, then, do we deal with anger?

I’m still on the journey of discovering how to not react out of anger. One way I believe God has spoken to me concerning this, is in this scripture: Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.” It dawned on me one day, that if I respond in a ‘gentle tone using gentle words’, it will squash the anger inside. You see, when we ‘vent’ our anger it’s never ‘gentle’, it’s often loud, blunt, and hurtful with words that we wouldn’t normally use. Responding in this way set’s a pattern for how we respond, when angry, in the future – and on it goes! This is why I believe we are not to let the sun go down while we’re still angry.

 

Lord, please help me not respond
In a hurtful, angry way
But to respond with gentle words
In what I have to say.

 

Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind). – Ephesians 4: 31 (AMP)

 

photo: Desiring God/ Google

Meditation and Separation

Whatsoever parteth the hoof and cheweth the cud.  Leviticus 11:3 (R. V.)

The animals, in which these two characteristics met, were reckoned clean, and therefore fit for food. It is certain that the minute particularity of these words has some further reference than to the diet of Israel, important though that was, or to accentuate with every meal the necessity of their being a separate people. We, at least, may gather this lesson, that in our daily experience we must combine meditation and separation.

Meditation. – The cattle do not simply browse on the pastures, but they lie down to chew the cud. It is not enough to peruse our allotted Scripture portion; we must ruminate upon it, comparing spiritual things with spiritual, and scripture with scripture. The Holy Ghost will take of the things of Christ and show them unto us, and He will bring all things to our remembrance.

Separation. – “Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God.” “The Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” We have not meditated to good purpose unless we have felt its keen edge. Detachment from the world must follow on true attachment to Christ. Love to Naomi will draw Ruth from Moab across the Jordan.

The two must be combined. – The swine divideth the hoof, but cheweth not the cud, and was therefore unclean. A man may profess to love his Bible, but the supreme test is his daily separation from evil. On the other hand, our daily life ought to emanate, not from without, which is Pharisaism, but from within, where we chew the cud of holy meditation.

F.B. Meyer

We Need Minor Keys Too

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“Giving thanks always for all things unto God.”  Ephesians 5:20

No matter what the source of the evil, if you are in God and surrounded by Him as by an atmosphere, all evil has to pass through Him before it comes to you. Therefore you can thank God for everything that comes, not for the sin of it, but for what God will bring out of it and through it. May God make our lives thanksgiving and perpetual praise, then He will make everything a blessing.

We once saw a man draw some black dots. We looked and could make nothing of them but an irregular assemblage of black dots. Then he drew a few lines, put in a few rests, then a clef at the beginning, and we saw these black dots were musical notes. On sounding them we were singing, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below.”

There are many black dots and black spots in our lives, and we cannot understand why they are there or why God permitted them to come. But if we let God come into our lives, and adjust the dots in the proper way, and draw the lines He wants, and separate this from that, and put in the rests at the proper places; out of the black dots and spots in our lives He will make a glorious harmony. Let us not hinder Him in this glorious work! –C. H. P.

“Would we know that the major chords were sweet, If there were no minor key? Would the painter’s work be fair to our eyes, Without shade on land or sea?

“Would we know the meaning of happiness, Would we feel that the day was bright, If we’d never known what it was to grieve, Nor gazed on the dark of night?”

 Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties. –C. H. Spurgeon

When the musician presses the black keys on the great organ, the music is as sweet as when he touches the white ones, but to get the capacity of the instrument he must touch them all. –Selected

Mrs. Charles Cowman

 

Photo Courtesy of: Clipartpanda

 

Harmless As A Dove

“Be like the dove” (Jer. xlviii. 28).

Harmless as a dove, is Christ’s interpretation of the beautiful emblem. And so the Spirit of God is purity itself. He cannot dwell in an unclean heart. He cannot abide in the natural mind. It was said of the anointing of old, “On man’s flesh it shall not be poured.”

The purity which the Holy Spirit brings is like the white and spotless little plant which grows up out of the heap of manure, or the black soil, without one grain of impurity adhering to its crystalline surface, spotless as an angel’s wing.

So the Holy Spirit gives a purity of heart which gives its own protection, for it is essentially unlike the evil things which grow around it. It may be surrounded on every side with evil, but it is uncontaminated and pure because its very nature is essentially holy and divine. Like the plumage of the dove, it cannot be soiled, but comes forth from the miry pool unstained and unsullied by the dark waters, because it is protected by the oily covering which sheds off every defilement and makes it proof against the touch of every stain.

A.B. Simpson

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Encourage One Another

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There is a reason why many people, including believers in Jesus, have the opinion that many Christians are aloof, unapproachable, and have unchristian behavior patterns. The things that many of them say, as well as the things that they never say, are a reflection of attitudes that are not in line with the heart of Christ. Sadly, this is harming the people of God, especially new believers in Jesus who do not know the Bible well. Because of their lack of Bible knowledge, they might not know when someone is misrepresenting the heart of Christ. There are many who undoubtedly would like to ask some Christians, “Why is it so easy for you to preach the truth to me, citing scripture after scripture, but it is so difficult for you to say something encouraging to me?

Discouraging Words

If we want to be Christians who do the will of the heart of Christ, we will edify the church; we will not discourage her. Every person who has received Jesus as Lord is part of the church.

Let’s focus on the need to learn what it means to love our brethren who are going through difficult times, tribulation, and the fiery trial of their faith. Following are some examples of the insensitive comments and statements that many Christians make in response to the suffering and the problems of their brethren in the faith. Take note of the words that are said, as well as those that are NOT said. And, compare the insensitive “Christian” responses with biblical responses that indeed do reflect the heart of Christ.

1. Should Christians who live in countries where they don’t suffer persecution for their faith in Jesus say to the martyrs: “Stand strong. You shouldn’t be sad because the Lord is our joy. You have to dress in the armor of God. That’s how we stand.” Although these words are true, they do not reflect the heart of Christ that is revealed when we read, “…Weep with them that weep” (Romans 12:15). “Bear ye one another’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2).

2. Is it okay for those who have parents that love them to say to the orphan who wants a father and mother: “Orphan, you shouldn’t be sad. Having parents is not what makes you happy in life. The Lord will be your Father and will take better care of you than a mother. The heart of Christ says, “I understand that you want a stable home and parents that love you. I join your prayers for God to grant your desire as there’s nothing wrong or abnormal in your desire. We read, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction…” (James 1:27).

3. Is it okay for those who can walk to say to the person in a wheel chair: “Being able to walk will not make you happy. The only thing we need is a relationship with the Lord to be happy. But, the apostles Peter and John, who had the heart of Christ, did not give such an insensitive response to the man who was born lame. We read, “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer…. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate…. Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold I have none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up. And, immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking and leaping, and praising God” (Acts 3:1-9). Finally, that man could enjoy what so many people take for granted.

4. Should women who are mothers say to women who are barren: “You shouldn’t be sad. Having children will not make you happy in life. You can have many spiritual children through your service to the Lord.” Does the heart of Christ give such a callous response to the desires of others? No, it does not. We read, “And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb. And she (Hannah) was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore. …And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her. Wherefore it came to pass when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel…. For this child I prayed (said Hannah). And the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him” (1 Samuel 1:6,10,19,20,27).

5. Is it right for married Christians to say to their single brothers and sisters: “You shouldn’t be sad. Having a husband or wife is not what makes you happy. The Lord is your joy. Do we forget how the heart of Christ responded to the desire of Hannah to have a child? The Lord did not make light of her desire. Why should Christians make light of the desires as well as the tribulations of their brethren in the Lord? If the only joy we need is the joy of the Lord, why did the Lord himself tell us to ask our petitions in his name that our joy may be FULL (St. John 16:24)?

6. Is is right for young Christians to tell the elderly believers who languish away in nursing homes: “You need not be sad, because you have the Lord. He is your friend and faithful companion.” What an insensitive and ugly response that does not reflect the caring heart of Christ. The Lord is the one who put the desire for friendship, as well as other desires, in man. He wants those desires satisfied, which is why he does not make light of them.

7. Is it right for those who have their freedom to tell our brethren imprisoned for their faith, as well as the innocent in prison: “Don’t be sad. If you are truly saved, Jesus is right there in prison with you. If these insensitive words truly reflected the heart of Christ, why then did Jesus say that when we visit our brethren in prisons it is the same as visiting him in prison (Matthew 25:31-46)?

8. Should gentile Christians, not having been subjected to the partial spiritual blindness that has happened to Israel, say things like: “The evidence that Christ is your Messiah and Savior of the world is as clear as can be, but you don’t see it. What’s wrong with you? The heart of Christ tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. True peace is Jesus. Do we love Christ, but not the people from which he came according to the flesh?

This list could go on and on. The idea is to keep in mind that when our brethren in the Lord are going through hardships, some of them are fighting the good fight of faith. The heart of Christ tells us to encourage, edify, and pray for them instead of making light of their troubles and their desires.

We are not told to send them negative messages that say that because they are depressed for a while that they are weak, abnormal, or don’t really know the Lord.

The Saints Experienced Great Depression

“For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8).

And, we read, “…Though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1: 6-7).

Let Us Not Be Like Job’s “Friends”

The insensitive words that come out of our mouth as well as the encouraging words that we do NOT speak send messages, sometimes very negative ones. Saying things like, “You don’t need this or that to be happy. Let the Lord be your joy,” amounts to taking a “holier than thou” attitude. It can be perceived as saying, “Were I in your shoes, I’d be strong in the Lord. I’d know how to “hide” myself in Jesus.”

Let’s not forget that the so-called friends of Job got into much trouble because of the words they spoke to a suffering servant of the Lord. They spoke words that did not come from the comforting heart of Christ. They provoked the anger of God (Job 42:7).

The apostle Paul defines true Christian love. We read, “Though I speak with tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (love), I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned (sacrificed), and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind. Charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth…” (1 Corinthians 13:1-6). Love is the heart of Christ.

Heavenly Manna