The Mercy of God

good-news-of-great-joy

Morning

“The mercy of God.”   Psalm 52:8

Meditate a little on this mercy of the Lord. It is tender mercy. With gentle, loving touch, he healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. He is as gracious in the manner of his mercy as in the matter of it. It is great mercy. There is nothing little in God; his mercy is like himself–it is infinite. You cannot measure it. His mercy is so great that it forgives great sins to great sinners, after great lengths of time, and then gives great favours and great privileges, and raises us up to great enjoyments in the great heaven of the great God. It is undeserved mercy, as indeed all true mercy must be, for deserved mercy is only a misnomer for justice. There was no right on the sinner’s part to the kind consideration of the Most High; had the rebel been doomed at once to eternal fire he would have richly merited the doom, and if delivered from wrath, sovereign love alone has found a cause, for there was none in the sinner himself. It is rich mercy. Some things are great, but have little efficacy in them, but this mercy is a cordial to your drooping spirits; a golden ointment to your bleeding wounds; a heavenly bandage to your broken bones; a royal chariot for your weary feet; a bosom of love for your trembling heart. It is manifold mercy. As Bunyan says, “All the flowers in God’s garden are double.” There is no single mercy. You may think you have but one mercy, but you shall find it to be a whole cluster of mercies. It is abounding mercy. Millions have received it, yet far from its being exhausted; it is as fresh, as full, and as free as ever. It is unfailing mercy. It will never leave thee. If mercy be thy friend, mercy will be with thee in temptation to keep thee from yielding; with thee in trouble to prevent thee from sinking; with thee living to be the light and life of thy countenance; and with thee dying to be the joy of thy soul when earthly comfort is ebbing fast.

Evening

THE DEW OF HEAVEN

THE DEW OF HEAVEN

“This sickness is not unto death.”   John 11:4

From our Lord’s words we learn that there is a limit to sickness. Here is an “unto” within which its ultimate end is restrained, and beyond which it cannot go. Lazarus might pass through death, but death was not to be the ultimatum of his sickness. In all sickness, the Lord saith to the waves of pain, “Hitherto shall ye go, but no further.” His fixed purpose is not the destruction, but the instruction of his people. Wisdom hangs up the thermometer at the furnace mouth, and regulates the heat.

1. The limit is encouragingly comprehensive. The God of providence has limited the time, manner, intensity, repetition, and effects of all our sicknesses; each throb is decreed, each sleepless hour predestinated, each relapse ordained, each depression of spirit foreknown, and each sanctifying result eternally purposed. Nothing great or small escapes the ordaining hand of him who numbers the hairs of our head.

2. This limit is wisely adjusted to our strength, to the end designed, and to the grace apportioned. Affliction comes not at haphazard–the weight of every stroke of the rod is accurately measured. He who made no mistakes in balancing the clouds and meting out the heavens, commits no errors in measuring out the ingredients which compose the medicine of souls. We cannot suffer too much nor be relieved too late.

3. The limit is tenderly appointed. The knife of the heavenly Surgeon never cuts deeper than is absolutely necessary. “He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” A mother’s heart cries, “Spare my child;” but no mother is more compassionate than our gracious God. When we consider how hard-mouthed we are, it is a wonder that we are not driven with a sharper bit. The thought is full of consolation, that he who has fixed the bounds of our habitation, has also fixed the bounds of our tribulation.

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)

 

Do You Know Jesus?

Morning

“I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.”
Philippians 3:8

Spiritual knowledge of Christ will be a personal knowledge. I cannot know Jesus through another person’s acquaintance with him. No, I must know him myself; I must know him on my own account. It will be an intelligent knowledge–I must know him, not as the visionary dreams of him, but as the Word reveals him. I must know his natures, divine and human. I must know his offices–his attributes–his works–his shame–his glory. I must meditate upon him until I “comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” It will be an affectionate knowledge of him; indeed, if I know him at all, I must love him. An ounce of heart knowledge is worth a ton of head learning. Our knowledge of him will be a satisfying knowledge. When I know my Saviour, my mind will be full to the brim–I shall feel that I have that which my spirit panted after. “This is that bread whereof if a man eat he shall never hunger.” At the same time it will be an exciting knowledge; the more I know of my Beloved, the more I shall want to know. The higher I climb the loftier will be the summits which invite my eager footsteps. I shall want the more as I get the more. Like the miser’s treasure, my gold will make me covet more. To conclude; this knowledge of Christ Jesus will be a most happy one; in fact, so elevating, that sometimes it will completely bear me up above all trials, and doubts, and sorrows; and it will, while I enjoy it, make me something more than “Man that is born of woman, who is of few days, and full of trouble”; for it will fling about me the immortality of the ever living Saviour, and gird me with the golden girdle of his eternal joy. Come, my soul, sit at Jesus’s feet and learn of him all this day.

Evening

PS. 24:1-2
1 The earth is the LORD’s,1 and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;2
2 for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.

“And be not conformed to this world.”
Romans 12:2

If a Christian can by possibility be saved while he conforms to this world, at any rate it must be so as by fire. Such a bare salvation is almost as much to be dreaded as desired. Reader, would you wish to leave this world in the darkness of a desponding death bed, and enter heaven as a shipwrecked mariner climbs the rocks of his native country? then be worldly; be mixed up with Mammonites, and refuse to go without the camp bearing Christ’s reproach. But would you have a heaven below as well as a heaven above? Would you comprehend with all saints what are the heights and depths, and know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge? Would you receive an abundant entrance into the joy of your Lord? Then come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing. Would you attain the full assurance of faith? you cannot gain it while you commune with sinners. Would you flame with vehement love? Your love will be damped by the drenchings of godless society. You cannot become a great Christian–you may be a babe in grace, but you never can be a perfect man in Christ Jesus while you yield yourself to the worldly maxims and modes of business of men of the world. It is ill for an heir of heaven to be a great friend with the heirs of hell. It has a bad look when a courtier is too intimate with his king’s enemies. Even small inconsistencies are dangerous. Little thorns make great blisters, little moths destroy fine garments, and little frivolities and little rogueries will rob religion of a thousand joys. O professor, too little separated from sinners, you know not what you lose by your conformity to the world. It cuts the tendons of your strength, and makes you creep where you ought to run. Then, for your own comfort’s sake, and for the sake of your growth in grace, if you be a Christian, be a Christian, and be a marked and distinct one.

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)

Who’s Your Safety Net?

God will catch you

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” Ephesians 2:1

There is no one like the God of Israel. He rides across the heavens to help you, across the skies in majestic splendor. The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you.

Deuteronomy 33:26-27 NLT

When you are at the end of your rope, God is there to catch you — but not before.

Erwin W. Lutzer

God’s everlasting arms

Our world seemed to be falling apart. My husband was severely depressed, and his business was crumbling. As I tried to support and nurture our children, help my husband, and take up the slack financially, I became drained physically, spiritually, and mentally. I cried out to God in exhaustion, and I felt his everlasting arms underneath me. Quieting my racing heart, the Lord reminded me that although my own resources might be exhausted, his resources were limitless.

During that difficult season I experienced God as my refuge when there was nowhere else to turn, and I felt his security in the middle of a very uncertain, insecure time.

In today’s passage Moses praises the Lord and assures the Israelites that God will be with them no matter what adversity or trial they encounter — that he is their refuge and underneath them are his everlasting arms. Do you need to feel God’s everlasting arms carrying you today because your strength is exhausted? Do you know someone who is in desperate straits and needs God’s help? Pray these verses for yourself or for someone else, and proclaim God’s faithfulness.

LORD, there is no one like you! You ride across the heavens in majestic splendor to help us when we cry out to you. May we experience you today as our refuge and sense your everlasting arms of protection and love holding us. I praise you for your faithfulness and unparalleled power!

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Praying through the Bible by Cheri Fuller, Tyndale House Publishers (2003), entry for April 9.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Do We Please the Lord?

How can I please the Lord?

But Samuel replied [to Saul], “What is more pleasing to the Lord, your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams. Rebelling is as bad as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as bad as worshiping idols.

1 Samuel 15:22-23 NLT

If you love me, obey my commandments.… You are my friends if you obey me.

John 14:15; 15:14 NLT

True Friends of Jesus Obey Him

How do we demonstrate our friendship with Jesus? Quite simply, we do what he says. If we refuse, we have no right to call ourselves his friends.

In 1 Samuel 15 the Bible tells how King Saul disobeyed the Lord’s command to completely destroy the enemies and their livestock. When Samuel asked the king why he heard the bleating of sheep and the lowing of cattle, Saul basically replied, “Oh, right, thanks for reminding me. We’re saving those to offer to the Lord later!”

Samuel recognized a lie when he heard one and replied, “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22 NIV). God wants the same from us, not some great annual recommitment that we soon break. He wants consistency. Regularity. Faithfulness. He wants our obedience.

Adapted from Breakfast with Jesus by Greg Laurie,
(Tyndale House) p 162

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Do We Hurry God?

How often do you ask God to hurry?

The strength of a horse does not impress him; how puny in his sight is the strength of man. Rather, the Lord’s delight is in those who honor him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Psalm 147:10-11

“O Lord, I am calling to you. Please hurry! Listen when I cry to you for help! Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering.”

Psalm 141:1-2 NLT

The Second Thanksgiving

The year was 1623. The Pilgrims had been in the New World for two and half years. The first Thanksgiving of 1621 was only a memory by this time because this summer’s drought was jeopardizing everything. Not even the Indians could remember anything like it. The settlers had planted more corn than before, but without any rainfall, there would be no harvest. Daily they had prayed that God would send rain, but he hadn’t answered. As the psalmist did in Psalm 141:1, they were begging God to hurry.

Finally, the settlers set aside an entire day for prayer and worship. As they went for worship, the “heavens were as clear and the drought as like to continue as it ever was,” yet when they left the meeting, “the weather was overcast, the clouds gathered on all sides.” For the next 14 days there were “moderate showers of rain,” according to Edward Winslow, one of the Pilgrims.

The Indians watched and were amazed at how the God of the new settlers had answered their prayers, and that year, after the harvest, a second Thanksgiving was celebrated with the Indians joining in as well.

“Hurry up, Lord,” we often prod, wondering why the Almighty doesn’t seem to be in as much of a rush as we are. Sometimes we need to set our watches to his clock.

From The One Year® Book of Psalms with devotionals by William J. Petersen and Randy Petersen (Tyndale) entry for November 22

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Rewards on Earth or Eternal?

Are you looking for rewards on earth?

“…we who are still alive and remain on earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever.”

1 Thessalonians 4:17 NLT

Awaiting our day

The story is told of an old missionary couple returning to the States after many years of thankless service in Africa. They happened to be on the same ship to New York as President Theodore Roosevelt, who was returning from a big game hunt in Africa. As the ship pulled past the Statue of Liberty and into the dock, huge crowds were gathered to welcome him home. The press was out in full force, and thousands of people had come to get a glimpse of the president.

In the middle of the chaos, the aged missionary couple fought their way through the crowds with their large suitcases in tow. Silently they hailed a cab and made their way to a cheap hotel. The missionary sat on the bed and said to his wife, “It just doesn’t seem right. We gave our lives to Christ to win souls for the Kingdom in Africa, and when we arrive home there is no one here to meet us. The president shoots a few animals and receives a royal welcome.”

His wife sat beside him on the bed and said softly, “That’s because we’re not home yet, dear.”

It may seem at times as if our work for Christ is going unnoticed. Faith doesn’t bring a lot of praise on this earth. But that’s only because our trip is not yet over.

Our day will come, you can be sure. And when it does, the ceremony will last for an eternity.

From Embracing Eternity by Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins and Frank M. Martin (Tyndale) p 346

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House