GOD HAS HIS CHILDREN COVERED-ARE YOU UNDER HIS HOOPA?

Is God concerned with the material well-being of Christians?

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The short answer to that, emphatically and definitely, is yes. Not only is God concerned about the material well-being of Christians, he’s deeply and profoundly concerned for the material well-being of the whole world. God created a material world. He created man as a material creature with profound material needs. All we would have to do is go to the Sermon on the Mount to see Jesus‘ great expression of compassion for those who are in material want. There’s a tremendous emphasis of concern in the New Testament that we as Christians have a profound care for those who are hungry, poor, naked, and homeless. That concern indicates a concern for the material welfare of people. The New Testament has a lot to say about wealth and poverty and the various causes and circumstances involving those conditions. There are frightening warnings to the rich, for example, particularly those who would put their confidence in their wealth rather than in the benevolent concern of God. In this regard Jesus says, “Take no thought for tomorrow, what you should eat, what you should drink, what you should put on; but rather, consider the lilies of the field that they neither toil nor spin. Solomon in all his glory is not arrayed like one of these.” He is saying that we can become so preoccupied with the accumulation of wealth that we miss the kingdom of God; we have a concern for the material things to the neglect of the spiritual things. Because we see the world preoccupied with material things and woefully neglecting the spiritual, we may be inclined to become extremists in the opposite direction and say, “All that God cares about are spiritual things.” Again, a balanced view of Scripture will prevent us from coming to that conclusion, because there is nothing wrong with a concern for material welfare. In another manner of speaking, God cares for people, and people are material creatures who require material things in order to survive. If God cares for people, obviously he cares for their material well-being. Health and healing from sickness are material matters, and so God’s concern for our health is a concern for our material well-being. Tough Questions with RC Sproul is excerpted from Now, That’s a Good Question! Copyright © 1996 by R. C. Sproul. All rights reserved.

THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD IS LIKE A GENTLE WIND

Tender words of terrible apprehension

WHITEHORSE SAND

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.  Psalm 9:17

Suggested Further Reading: Ezekiel 8:5-18

How often do you forget his presence too! In the midst of a crowd, you are conscious every one of you of the presence of man, but perhaps this very moment you are ignoring the fact that God is here. In your shop on the morrow how carefully you will take heed that your conduct is circumspect if the eye of your fellow-man is observing you. But before the presence of God, with the Eternal eye upon you, you can presume to practice the paltry tricks of trade or to do that which you would not have revealed to mortals for all the world; careful to shut the door, and draw the curtain, and hide yourselves in secret from men; strangely forgetting that when the curtain is drawn and the door is shut, God is there still. No walls can shut him out; no darkness can conceal the deed from his eye; he is everywhere and sees us in all things. Why, my hearers, we are all guilty in this respect in a measure; we forget the actual presence and the overlooking eye of God. We talk as we dare not talk if we were thinking that he heard us. We act as we would not act if we were conscious that God was there. We indulge in thoughts which we should cast out if we could but bear in perpetual remembrance the abiding presence of God, the Judge of the whole earth. Forgetting God is so common a sin, that the believer himself needs to repent of it, and ask to have it forgiven, while the unbeliever may solemnly confess this to be his crying sin, a piece of guilt to which he dare not profess innocence.

For meditation: The Christian should make a positive effort to do everything to the satisfaction of his unseen but seeing Lord (Ephesians 6:5-7). This was the principle that Joseph adopted (Genesis 39:9).

Sermon no. 344 4 November (1860)

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

IN MY WEAKNESS IS MY STRENGTH IN GOD

Morning

2 Cor 12 9 10

“For my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

A primary qualification for serving God with any amount of success, and for doing God’s work well and triumphantly, is a sense of our own weakness. When God’s warrior marches forth to battle, strong in his own might, when he boasts, “I know that I shall conquer, my own right arm and my conquering sword shall get unto me the victory,” defeat is not far distant. God will not go forth with that man who marches in his own strength. He who reckoneth on victory thus has reckoned wrongly, for “it is not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” They who go forth to fight, boasting of their prowess, shall return with their gay banners trailed in the dust, and their armour stained with disgrace. Those who serve God must serve him in his own way, and in his strength, or he will never accept their service. That which man doth, unaided by divine strength, God can never own. The mere fruits of the earth he casteth away; he will only reap that corn, the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love. God will empty out all that thou hast before he will put his own into thee; he will first clean out thy granaries before he will fill them with the finest of the wheat. The river of God is full of water; but not one drop of it flows from earthly springs. God will have no strength used in his battles but the strength which he himself imparts. Are you mourning over your own weakness? Take courage, for there must be a consciousness of weakness before the Lord will give thee victory. Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and your casting down is but the making ready for your lifting up.

“When I am weak then am I strong,

Grace is my shield and Christ my song.”

 

Evening

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“In thy light shall we see light.” Psalm 36:9

No lips can tell the love of Christ to the heart till Jesus himself shall speak within. Descriptions all fall flat and tame unless the Holy Ghost fills them with life and power; till our Immanuel reveals himself within, the soul sees him not. If you would see the sun, would you gather together the common means of illumination, and seek in that way to behold the orb of day? No, the wise man knoweth that the sun must reveal itself, and only by its own blaze can that mighty lamp be seen. It is so with Christ. “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona:” said he to Peter, “for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee.” Purify flesh and blood by any educational process you may select, elevate mental faculties to the highest degree of intellectual power, yet none of these can reveal Christ. The Spirit of God must come with power, and overshadow the man with his wings, and then in that mystic holy of holies the Lord Jesus must display himself to the sanctified eye, as he doth not unto the purblind sons of men. Christ must be his own mirror. The great mass of this blear-eyed world can see nothing of the ineffable glories of Immanuel. He stands before them without form or comeliness, a root out of a dry ground, rejected by the vain and despised by the proud. Only where the Spirit has touched the eye with eye-salve, quickened the heart with divine life, and educated the soul to a heavenly taste, only there is he understood. “To you that believe he is precious;” to you he is the chief corner-stone, the Rock of your salvation, your all in all; but to others he is “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence.” Happy are those to whom our Lord manifests himself, for his promise to such is that he will make his abode with them. O Jesus, our Lord, our heart is open, come in, and go out no more forever. Show thyself to us now! Favour us with a glimpse of thine all-conquering charms.

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

 

GOD PROVIDES IN ALL FAMINES (SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL)

GEN 43:1

GEN 43:1

Genesis 43:1-18

After seven years, the famine starts. Jacob‘s sons go down to Egypt and bring back grain to sustain their families.

Surviving the Famine

Read

But the famine continued to ravage the land of Canaan. (Genesis 43:1)

Reflect

Jacob and his sons had no relief from the famine. God’s overall plan included sending them to Egypt, reuniting them with Joseph, and feeding them from Egypt’s storehouses. But this bigger picture wasn’t apparent to them.

Suffering and hardship never end quickly enough. Waiting for God to intervene can test us to the breaking point. But remaining faithful to God is an opportunity to learn greater trust and dependence. In other words, we build a deeper, closer relationship with God. Suffering may cause us to question God’s goodness; faithfulness is the path we must travel to uncover that goodness.

This was what Jacob and his sons discovered. God had been working for good throughout the famine.

Respond

If you are facing suffering or hardship and God is not bringing relief as quickly as you would like, remember that he is working for good in the meantime. Echo the words of Psalm 119:81, and ask God for the strength to remain faithful.