Have you known joy even in the midst of trouble?

God will live among us with great joy

EPHESIANS 6

EPHESIANS 6

Have you known joy even in the midst of trouble?

We know that the same God who raised our Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself along with you. All of these things are for your benefit. And as God’s grace brings more and more people to Christ, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.… For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.

2 Corinthians 4:14-18 NL 

Too easily pleased

If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is not part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

C. S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory
Quoted in The Quotable Lewis edited by Wayne Martindale and Jerry Root (Tyndale House) p 352

 

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

“Be ye Separate”

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Morning

“Be ye separate.”
2 Corinthians 6:17

The Christian, while in the world, is not to be of the world. He should be distinguished from it in the great object of his life. To him, “to live,” should be “Christ.” Whether he eats, or drinks, or whatever he does, he should do all to God’s glory. You may lay up treasure; but lay it up in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, where thieves break not through nor steal. You may strive to be rich; but be it your ambition to be “rich in faith,” and good works. You may have pleasure; but when you are merry, sing psalms and make melody in your hearts to the Lord. In your spirit, as well as in your aim, you should differ from the world. Waiting humbly before God, always conscious of his presence, delighting in communion with him, and seeking to know his will, you will prove that you are of heavenly race. And you should be separate from the world in your actions. If a thing be right, though you lose by it, it must be done; if it be wrong, though you would gain by it, you must scorn the sin for your Master’s sake. You must have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Walk worthy of your high calling and dignity. Remember, O Christian, that thou art a son of the King of kings. Therefore, keep thyself unspotted from the world. Soil not the fingers which are soon to sweep celestial strings; let not these eyes become the windows of lust which are soon to see the King in his beauty–let not those feet be defiled in miry places, which are soon to walk the golden streets–let not those hearts be filled with pride and bitterness which are ere long to be filled with heaven, and to overflow with ecstatic joy.

Then rise my soul! and soar away,

Above the thoughtless crowd;

Above the pleasures of the gay,

And splendours of the proud;

Up where eternal beauties bloom,

And pleasures all divine;

Where wealth, that never can consume,

And endless glories shine.

Evening

“Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies.”
Psalms 5:8

Very bitter is the enmity of the world against the people of Christ. Men will forgive a thousand faults in others, but they will magnify the most trivial offence in the followers of Jesus. Instead of vainly regretting this, let us turn it to account, and since so many are watching for our halting, let this be a special motive for walking very carefully before God. If we live carelessly, the lynx-eyed world will soon see it, and with its hundred tongues, it will spread the story, exaggerated and emblazoned by the zeal of slander. They will shout triumphantly. “Aha! So would we have it! See how these Christians act! They are hypocrites to a man.” Thus will much damage be done to the cause of Christ, and much insult offered to his name. The cross of Christ is in itself an offence to the world; let us take heed that we add no offence of our own. It is “to the Jews a stumbling block”: let us mind that we put no stumbling blocks where there are enough already. “To the Greeks it is foolishness”: let us not add our folly to give point to the scorn with which the worldly-wise deride the gospel. How jealous should we be of ourselves! How rigid with our consciences! In the presence of adversaries who will misrepresent our best deeds, and impugn our motives where they cannot censure our actions, how circumspect should we be! Pilgrims travel as suspected persons through Vanity Fair. Not only are we under surveillance, but there are more spies than we know of. The espionage is everywhere, at home and abroad. If we fall into the enemies’ hands we may sooner expect generosity from a wolf, or mercy from a fiend, than anything like patience with our infirmities from men who spice their infidelity towards God with scandals against his people. O Lord, lead us ever, lest our enemies trip us up!

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

NOT IN MY FEEBLE STRENGTH, BUT CHRIST JESUS

JESUS IS OUR STRENGTH

2 Chronicles 16:9      http://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/2Chr.16.9

For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”

Dear Lord: Forgive me of my sins.  I repent of being disobedient and allowing myself fall to doubtful mindset I have had.  Thank you for not giving up on me and for your mercy and grace.  I dislike when I am at war within myself; because it puts distance between the Holy Spirit, You and Jesus.  Thank you for your eternal love and discipline.  YOU love as only a True and Holy Father could.  Praise you Father. Please bring Serene home Father. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Psalm 119:105 NIV     http://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/Ps.119.124-Ps.119.126

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. ”

Acts 10:36      http://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/Acts.10.36

You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.

Psalm 119:124-126     http://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/Ps.119.124-Ps.119.126

124 Deal with your servant according to your love
and teach me your decrees.
125 I am your servant; give me discernment
that I may understand your statutes.
126 It is time for you to act, Lord;
your law is being broken.

Prayer:  Thank you Father for your love and mercy.  Hear my prayer oh Lord, that my heart be purified in your eyes.  May you find me righteous because of nothing I have done or said; but because of the Shed Blood of Jesus Christ. I pray Father for your daily guidance by your Holy Spirit and for continued discernment in my daily walk with you.  Again, I ask you Father, please bring Serene home to us Father.  We miss him and love him. Please hear my plea and keep him safe and guarded by your angel.  Thank you for hearing your child Father. In Jesus name. Amen

 

A Burden We Gladly Bare

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April 5th — Morning Reading

“On Him they laid the cross, that He might bear it after Jesus.”— Luke 23:26

We see in Simon’s carrying the cross a picture of the work of the Church throughout all generations; she is the cross-bearer after Jesus. Mark then, Christian, Jesus does not suffer so as to exclude your suffering. He bears a cross, not that you may escape it, but that you may endure it. Christ exempts you from sin, but not from sorrow. Remember that, and expect to suffer.

But let us comfort ourselves with this thought, that in our case, as in Simon’s, it is not our cross, but Christ’s cross which we carry. When you are molested for your piety; when your religion brings the trial of cruel mockings upon you, then remember it is not your cross, it is Christ’s cross; and how delightful is it to carry the cross of our Lord Jesus!

You carry the cross after Him. You have blessed company; your path is marked with the footprints of your Lord. The mark of His blood-red shoulder is upon that heavy burden. ‘TisHis cross, and He goes before you as a shepherd goes before his sheep. Take up your cross daily, and follow Him.

Do not forget, also, that you bear this cross in partnership. It is the opinion of some that Simon only carried one end of the cross, and not the whole of it. That is very possible; Christ may have carried the heavier part, against the transverse beam, and Simon may have borne the lighter end. Certainly it is so with you; you do but carry the light end of the cross, Christ bore the heavier end.

And remember, though Simon had to bear the cross for a very little while, it gave him lasting honour. Even so the cross we carry is only for a little while at most, and then we shall receive the crown, the glory. Surely we should love the cross, and, instead of shrinking from it, count it very dear, when it works out for us “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

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