YOU MAKE KNOWN TO ME THE PATH OF LIFE

A radical break

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. 

Psalm 16:11 NLT

It takes a radical break to turn a man from earth’s trash to heaven’s treasure. 

Vance Havner

 

 

Slave to freedom

 

At age 16, I craved freedom. I dropped out of high school, got kicked out of my house, and began living for myself. Six weeks later, I began to realize how unsatisfied I was. My so-called freedom had made me a slave to desires that were quickly destroying me. The world had lied to me. Power, pleasure, and popularity had not satisfied me. I was empty and alone.

So I turned to God. I desperately needed fixing; who better to turn to than my own personal Creator and Designer? Alone in my Florida apartment, I go on my knees and asked God’s forgiveness. I begged him to change me.

Life is quite different now. Things I used to live for don’t matter anymore, and I hunger for things I used to run away from. God has not taken away my excitement; he has changed what I get excited about. For the first time in my life, I’m content. God has taught me that only he can satisfy my eternal longing for pleasure and peace.

Tullian Tchividhian in Prodigals and Those Who Love Them

It’s much better to entrust our lives to God. When we let him call the shots as we take the role of willing and faithful servants, life begins running more smoothly. As David wrote, “Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine” (Psalm 16:5). May your prayer be like David’s: “Show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever” (Psalm 16:11).

Adapted from Men of Integrity Devotional Bible with devotions from the editors of Men of Integrity, a publication of Christianity Today International (Tyndale, 2002), entry for May 4.

 

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

 

 

JESUS HOLD THE VICTORY BOTH IN DEATH AND OUR BATTLES

Morning

Credit: access-jesus.com

“That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death.”
Hebrews 2:14

O child of God, death hath lost its sting, because the devil’s power over it is destroyed. Then cease to fear dying. Ask grace from God the Holy Ghost, that by an intimate knowledge and a firm belief of thy Redeemer’s death, thou mayst be strengthened for that dread hour. Living near the cross of Calvary thou mayst think of death with pleasure, and welcome it when it comes with intense delight. It is sweet to die in the Lord: it is a covenant-blessing to sleep in Jesus. Death is no longer banishment, it is a return from exile, a going home to the many mansions where the loved ones already dwell. The distance between glorified spirits in heaven and militant saints on earth seems great; but it is not so. We are not far from home–a moment will bring us there. The sail is spread; the soul is launched upon the deep. How long will be its voyage? How many wearying winds must beat upon the sail ere it shall be reefed in the port of peace? How long shall that soul be tossed upon the waves before it comes to that sea which knows no storm? Listen to the answer, “Absent from the body, present with the Lord.” Yon ship has just departed, but it is already at its haven. It did but spread its sail and it was there. Like that ship of old, upon the Lake of Galilee, a storm had tossed it, but Jesus said, “Peace, be still,” and immediately it came to land. Think not that a long period intervenes between the instant of death and the eternity of glory. When the eyes close on earth they open in heaven. The horses of fire are not an instant on the road. Then, O child of God, what is there for thee to fear in death, seeing that through the death of thy Lord its curse and sting are destroyed? and now it is but a Jacob’s ladder whose foot is in the dark grave, but its top reaches to glory everlasting.

Evening

Credit:  www.tektonics.org

“Fight the Lord’s battles.”
1 Samuel 18:17

The sacramental host of God’s elect is warring still on earth, Jesus Christ being the Captain of their salvation. He has said, “Lo! I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Hark to the shouts of war! Now let the people of God stand fast in their ranks, and let no man’s heart fail him. It is true that just now in England the battle is turned against us, and unless the Lord Jesus shall lift his sword, we know not what may become of the church of God in this land; but let us be of good courage, and play the man. There never was a day when Protestantism seemed to tremble more in the scales than now that a fierce effort is making to restore the Romish antichrist to his ancient seat. We greatly want a bold voice and a strong hand to preach and publish the old gospel for which martyrs bled and confessors died. The Saviour is, by his Spirit, still on earth; let this cheer us. He is ever in the midst of the fight, and therefore the battle is not doubtful. And as the conflict rages, what a sweet satisfaction it is to know that the Lord Jesus, in his office as our great Intercessor, is prevalently pleading for his people! O anxious gazer, look not so much at the battle below, for there thou shalt be enshrouded in smoke, and amazed with garments rolled in blood; but lift thine eyes yonder where the Saviour lives and pleads, for while he intercedes, the cause of God is safe. Let us fight as if it all depended upon us, but let us look up and know that all depends upon him.

Now, by the lilies of Christian purity, and by the roses of the Saviour’s atonement, by the roes and by the hinds of the field, we charge you who are lovers of Jesus, to do valiantly in the Holy War, for truth and righteousness, for the kingdom and crown jewels of your Master. Onward! “for the battle is not yours but God’s.”

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

 

 

Wise Stewards

The Making of Wise Stewards

Proverbs 4:5-9

Wise people devote themselves heart and soul to seeking more and more wisdom. Wisdom helps us know the truth and love the lovely. In New Testament terminology, we come to recognize Christ as the wisdom of God (see 1Co 1:24,30Col 2:2-3), a treasure of supreme worth we are to seek (with mind, heart and soul) at the cost of all else (see Lk 14:33).

Best-selling author Philip Yancey reflects on the position of the believer in relation to Jesu supreme sacrifice:

The author and preacher Tony Campolo delivers a stirring sermon adapted from an elderly black pastor at his church in Philadelphia.  It’s Friday, but Sunday Comin is the title of the sermon, and once you know the title you know the whole sermon. In a cadence that increases in tempo and in volume, Campolo contrasts how the world looked on Friday when the forces of evil won over the forces of good, when every friend and disciple fled in fear, when the Son of God died on a cross with how it looked on Easter Sunday. The disciples who lived through both days, Friday and Sunday, never doubted God again. They had learned that when God seems most absent he may be closest of all, when God looks most powerless he may be most powerful, when God looks most dead he may be coming back to life. They had learned not to count God out.

Campolo skipped one day in his sermon, though. The other two days have earned names on the church calendar: Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Yet in a real sense we live on Saturday, the day with no name. What the disciples experienced in small scale three days, in grief over one man who had died on a cross we now live through on cosmic scale. Human history grinds on, between the time of promise and fulfillment. Can we trust that God can make something holy and beautiful and good out of a world that includes Bosnia and Rwanda, and inner-city ghettoes and jammed prisons in the richest nation on earth? It’s Saturday on planet earth; will Sunday ever come?

That dark, Golgothan Friday can only be called Good because of what happened on Easter Sunday, a day which gives a tantalizing clue to the riddle of the universe. Easter opened up a crack in a universe winding down toward entropy and decay, sealing the promise that someday God will enlarge the miracle of Easter to cosmic scale.

Proverbs 23:23 calls us to “Buy the truth and do not sell it.   We have been handpicked by God as trustees of the wisdom of the cross. Whatever else we do, we owe it to our Creator, Savior and Lord not to sell out.

 

Think About It

  • What can you do to get wisdom?
  • In what way is Jesus the wisdom of God?
  • In what ways do you feel we live on Saturday, the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday?

 

Pray About It

Lord, sometimes it’s so hard to live here on earth. I long for your redemption. In the meantime, I will wait and seek to live wisely.

 

Reverence and Awe Of God

REVELATION OF THE LOVE OF CHRIST!

YOU CAN SEE THE LOVE!

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PRAYER FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW CHRIST AND FIGHT FOR DAILY SURVIVAL!

God’s Love Shown Through Jesus Christ

John 3:16  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God. who loved me and gave himself for me.

Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—

1 John 4:9-11 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

God Loves and Cares For Us

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

1 John 4:7-8  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 Peter 5:6-7  Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Job 34:19 who shows no partiality to princes, nor regards the rich more than the poor,  for they are all the work of his hands?

Psalm 86:15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

What God Says About Love

Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,

Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

John 13:34-35  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Respond To God’s Love Through Thankfulness

Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Colossians 2:6-7  Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

Hebrews 12:28-29 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.

 

 

THE VEIL IS RENT BECAUSE OF HIGH PRIEST OF JESUS CHRIST-AMEN

Morning

“Behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.”
Matthew 27:51

No mean miracle was wrought in the rending of so strong and thick a veil; but it was not intended merely as a display of power–many lessons were herein taught us. The old law of ordinances was put away, and like a worn-out vesture, rent and laid aside. When Jesus died, the sacrifices were all finished, because all fulfilled in him, and therefore the place of their presentation was marked with an evident token of decay. That rent also revealed all the hidden things of the old dispensation: the mercy-seat could now be seen, and the glory of God gleamed forth above it. By the death of our Lord Jesus we have a clear revelation of God, for he was “not as Moses, who put a veil over his face.” Life and immortality are now brought to light, and things which have been hidden since the foundation of the world are manifest in him. The annual ceremony of atonement was thus abolished. The atoning blood which was once every year sprinkled within the veil, was now offered once for all by the great High Priest, and therefore the place of the symbolical rite was broken up. No blood of bullocks or of lambs is needed now, for Jesus has entered within the veil with his own blood. Hence access to God is now permitted, and is the privilege of every believer in Christ Jesus. There is no small space laid open through which we may peer at the mercy-seat, but the rent reaches from the top to the bottom. We may come with boldness to the throne of the heavenly grace. Shall we err if we say that the opening of the Holy of Holies in this marvellous manner by our Lord’s expiring cry was the type of the opening of the gates of paradise to all the saints by virtue of the Passion? Our bleeding Lord hath the key of heaven; he openeth and no man shutteth; let us enter in with him into the heavenly places, and sit with him there till our common enemies shall be made his footstool.

Evening

“The Amen.”
Revelation 3:14

The word Amen solemnly confirms that which went before; and Jesus is the great Confirmer; immutable, forever is “the Amen” in all his promises. Sinner, I would comfort thee with this reflection. Jesus Christ said, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” If you come to him, he will say “Amen” in your soul; his promise shall be true to you. He said in the days of his flesh, “The bruised reed I will not break.” O thou poor, broken, bruised heart, if thou comest to him, he will say “Amen” to thee, and that shall be true in thy soul as in hundreds of cases in bygone years. Christian, is not this very comforting to thee also, that there is not a word which has gone out of the Saviour’s lips which he has ever retracted? The words of Jesus shall stand when heaven and earth shall pass away. If thou gettest a hold of but half a promise, thou shalt find it true. Beware of him who is called “Clip-promise,” who will destroy much of the comfort of God’s word.

Jesus is Yea and Amen in all his offices. He was a Priest to pardon and cleanse once, he is Amen as Priest still. He was a King to rule and reign for his people, and to defend them with his mighty arm, he is an Amen King, the same still. He was a Prophet of old, to foretell good things to come, his lips are most sweet, and drop with honey still–he is an Amen Prophet. He is Amen as to the merit of his blood; he is Amen as to his righteousness. That sacred robe shall remain most fair and glorious when nature shall decay. He is Amen in every single title which he bears; your Husband, never seeking a divorce; your Friend, sticking closer than a brother; your Shepherd, with you in death’s dark vale; your Help and your Deliverer; your Castle and your High Tower; the Horn of your strength, your confidence, your joy, your all in all, and your Yea and Amen in all.

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

SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH

None Can Boast

God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT

 

The Holy Club

 

Charles Wesley and two friends began a small Christian group at Oxford University in 1728. John Wesley, who had already graduated from Oxford, returned the following year as a tutor and assumed its leadership. Oxford students made fun of the group, referring to it as the “Holy Club” or “Methodists.”

The focus of the Holy Club was on religious self-discipline. Exhorting each other to live piously and do good works, they were motivated by the belief that they were working for the salvation of their souls.

George Whitefield was the first Holy Club member to question their practices. His solution, however, was to try to become a new creation through further extremes of self-denial. During Lent in 1735 he only ate a little coarse bread with tea. By Holy Week he was so weak that he could not study or even walk up a flight of stairs. After hitting bottom, he later wrote, “God was pleased to remove the heavy load, to enable me to lay hold of his dear Son by a living faith…”

On May 5, 1735, Whitefield wrote a letter to John Wesley, attempting to share what had happened to him. It would be three more years before the Wesleys found His gracious arms.

Reflection

Have you ever found yourself trying to earn your salvation? Salvation is a gift to be received from God, and there is nothing we can do to earn it. Good works do not lead us to Christ—it is out of our relationship with Christ that good works flow.

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Christian History by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten (Tyndale, 2003), entry for May 5.

 

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