“Of whom shall I be afraid?”

Morning

KING OF KINGS GLORY

“And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.”
John 10:28

The Christian should never think or speak lightly of unbelief. For a child of God to mistrust his love, his truth, his faithfulness, must be greatly displeasing to him. How can we ever grieve him by doubting his upholding grace? Christian! it is contrary to every promise of God’s precious Word that thou shouldst ever be forgotten or left to perish. If it could be so, how could he be true who has said, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I never forget thee.” What were the value of that promise–“The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” Where were the truth of Christ’s words–“I give unto my sheep eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” Where were the doctrines of grace? They would be all disproved if one child of God should perish. Where were the veracity of God, his honour, his power, his grace, his covenant, his oath, if any of those for whom Christ has died, and who have put their trust in him, should nevertheless be cast away? Banish those unbelieving fears which so dishonour God. Arise, shake thyself from the dust, and put on thy beautiful garments. Remember it is sinful to doubt his Word wherein he has promised thee that thou shalt never perish. Let the eternal life within thee express itself in confident rejoicing.

“The gospel bears my spirit up:

A faithful and unchanging God

Lays the foundation for my hope,

In oaths, and promises, and blood.”

Evening

1 John 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

1 John 1:7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalm 27:1

“The Lord is my light and my salvation.” Here is personal interest, “my light,” “my salvation;” the soul is assured of it, and therefore declares it boldly. Into the soul at the new birth divine light is poured as the precursor of salvation; where there is not enough light to reveal our own darkness and to make us long for the Lord Jesus, there is no evidence of salvation. After conversion our God is our joy, comfort, guide, teacher, and in every sense our light: he is light within, light around, light reflected from us, and light to be revealed to us. Note, it is not said merely that the Lord gives light, but that he is light; nor that he gives salvation, but that he is salvation; he, then, who by faith has laid hold upon God, has all covenant blessings in his possession. This being made sure as a fact, the argument drawn from it is put in the form of a question, “Whom shall I fear?” A question which is its own answer. The powers of darkness are not to be feared, for the Lord, our light, destroys them; and the ****ation of hell is not to be dreaded by us, for the Lord is our salvation. This is a very different challenge from that of boastful Goliath, for it rests, not upon the conceited vigour of an arm of flesh, but upon the real power of the omnipotent I AM. “The Lord is the strength of my life.” Here is a third glowing epithet, to show that the writer’s hope was fastened with a threefold cord which could not be broken. We may well accumulate terms of praise where the Lord lavishes deeds of grace. Our life derives all its strength from God; and if he deigns to make us strong, we cannot be weakened by all the machinations of the adversary. “Of whom shall I be afraid?” The bold question looks into the future as well as the present. “If God be for us,” who can be against us, either now or in time to come?

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

Encouragement Despite Discouragement

Out of Control

Don’t Let Yourself Spin Out of Control

PERSONAL PRAYER: My heart lies open before you.  You see my insecurities, faults, weaknesses, rebellion, offenses, sins, loneliness, and a multitude of others I am not aware of.  Yet, you in you grace and mercy and love, call me unto yourself and blanket me in your arms.  This world I do not want.  Your Kingdom and sitting at the Precious feet of Jesus is what my hearts desire.  I do not profess to understand why my family and I are going through financial woes again.  My heart thinks: family knows our needs, friends know and yet no one steps up for bigger money issues we face.  The lesson I see is God is bigger than all problems of this life and they don’t even  compare to Sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for this world and ALL people in it.  I am believing with all my heart you will provide the rent and all finances for bills on the first of February, 2013.  I can not believe you would allow us to be homeless-we have come to close to this to many times and you have ALWAYS made a way.  Keep my heart from failing Lord I pray: breath your strength into my lungs-Lord you know my take on current job front-I seriously need direction- What do you want me to do?  My tears are dried up like a desert-I feel weak in strength physically and spiritually:  Deliver us Lord in the name of Jesus-I can’t go on like this: I am sorry Father, I just can’t: I’m at the end of my rope and looking for the way out YOU promised to always provide when we can’t bare anymore.  I am at end of myself-I know I can’t proceed without you.  The spinning chair above represents how my life seems.  I cry out Father, HELP, hear my plea!   In Jesus name, Amen.

Today’s promise: Overcoming discouragement brings great blessing

Do you fall into discouragement after spiritual highs?

Elijah was afraid and fled for his life.… Then he went alone into the desert.… He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die.

1 Kings 19:3-4 NLT

About this week’s promise

Elijah experienced the depths of fatigue and discouragement just after his two great spiritual victories: the defeat of the prophets of Baal and the answered prayer for rain. To lead him out of depression, God first let Elijah rest and eat. Then God confronted him with the need to return to his mission in life — to be God’s prophet.

Elijah’s battles were not over; there was still work for him to do. Often discouragement sets in after great spiritual experiences, especially those that produce a high level of emotional excitement or that require a lot from us physically. When you feel let down after a spiritual “high,” do what is necessary to restore your inner resources. And remember that God still has a purpose and plan for you.

Adapted from TouchPoint Bible with devotional commentary by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers, Tyndale House Publishers (1996), p 311.

Digging Deeper

For more on facing discouragement, see The One Year® Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie, Tyndale House Publishers (2005).

Through a year’s worth of thoughtful entries, the reader will learn how much God longs to lift us up, carry us through in times of difficulty and uncertainty, and give us true, lasting joy. Each daily step draws you closer to a God who truly cares and the hopeful life he wants you to enjoy.


If the devil cannot make you puffed up by pride, he will try to dampen your spirit by discouragement. It’s his best tool!
AUTHOR UNKNOWN

The upper part of The Transfiguration (1520) b...

The upper part of The Transfiguration (1520) by Raphael, depicting Christ miraculously discoursing with Moses and Elijah. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

THE FRUIT OF KINDNESS

John 7:37 (KJV) 37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

John 7:37 (KJV)
37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

The fruit of kindness

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:22 

In spite of it all

On that ghastly Friday morning, which ironically has become known as “Good Friday,” Jesus was a swollen, bloody mess. Most of his friends had hightailed it hours before, leaving him alone to face the physical agony of crucifixion, the emotional anguish of a jeering crowd, and the spiritual horror of separation from God the Father.

Yet during this entire nightmare, Christ responded, well, strangely. On the way to his execution, he paused to console a group of grief-stricken women. He used what little breath he was able to catch to pray for those who were so merciless to him. He demonstrated compassion and forgiveness to a criminal dying at his side. And he took pains, literally, to see that his grief-stricken mother below him would be cared for by a friend.

In the ultimate “tough time,” Christ oozed kindness and goodness. And because his Spirit lives in us, we also have the capacity to use personal tragedy as an opportunity to care for others.

Praying God’s Promise:
Cause your kindness and goodness to flow through me, Lord. It is not natural for me to think of others or to think of glorifying you, especially when my own life is filled with pain. Teach me to live supernaturally. I want to be selfless like you, Jesus, always looking for opportunities to bless others.

From Praying God’s Promises in Tough Times by Len Wood (Tyndale) pp 154-55

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

The train of His robe filled the Temple

God will guard you from the evil one

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What hope do I have to face evil?

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord. He was seated on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Hovering around him were mighty seraphim, each with six wings.…In a great chorus they sang, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty! The whole earth is filled with his glory!”

Isaiah 6:1-4
Lead on, O King eternal,
Till sin’s fierce war shall cease,
And holiness shall whisper
The sweet amen of peace.
For not with swords’ loud clashing,
Nor roll of stirring drums,
With deeds of love and mercy
The heavenly kingdom comes.

Ernest Warburton Shurtleff

 

The day of march has come

In 1887, Ernest Shurtleff was about to graduate from Andover Seminary. Ernest wrote a hymn for the entire graduating class to sing. He told his fellow seminarians, “We’ve been spending days of preparation here at seminary. Now the day of march has come, and we must go out to follow the leadership of the King of kings, to conquer the world under His banner.”

Thus, “Lead On, O King Eternal” was written for a seminary graduating class. Our commencements are not always so dramatic, but there is no reason our eternal King cannot open a new door for us today. We can step out and march under His banner, “not with fears, for gladness breaks like morning where’er face appears.”

From The One Year Book of Hymns (Tyndale House) entry for January 15

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

 

GOD IS OUR PROTECTOR

Morning

dinascrowcastle-2

“A spring shut up, a fountain sealed.” Song of Solomon 4:12

In this metaphor, which has reference to the inner life of a believer, we have very plainly the idea of secrecy. It is a spring shut up: just as there were springs in the East, over which an edifice was built, so that none could reach them save those who knew the secret entrance; so is the heart of a believer when it is renewed by grace: there is a mysterious life within which no human skill can touch. It is a secret which no other man knoweth; nay, which the very man who is the possessor of it cannot tell to his neighbour. The text includes not only secrecy, but separation. It is not the common spring, of which every passer-by may drink, it is one kept and preserved from all others; it is a fountain bearing a particular mark–a king’s royal seal, so that all can perceive that it is not a common fountain, but a fountain owned by a proprietor, and placed specially by itself alone. So is it with the spiritual life. The chosen of God were separated in the eternal decree; they were separated by God in the day of redemption; and they are separated by the possession of a life which others have not; and it is impossible for them to feel at home with the world, or to delight in its pleasures. There is also the idea of sacredness. The spring shut up is preserved for the use of some special person: and such is the Christian’s heart. It is a spring kept for Jesus. Every Christian should feel that he has God’s seal upon him–and he should be able to say with Paul, “From henceforth let no man trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Another idea is prominent–it is that of security. Oh! how sure and safe is the inner life of the believer! If all the powers of earth and hell could combine against it, that immortal principle must still exist, for he who gave it pledged his life for its preservation. And who “is he that shall harm you,” when God is your protector?

Evening

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“Thou art from everlasting.” Psalm 93:2

Christ is Everlasting. Of him we may sing with David, “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever.” Rejoice, believer, in Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever. Jesus always was. The Babe born in Bethlehem was united to the Word, which was in the beginning, by whom all things were made. The title by which Christ revealed himself to John in Patmos was, “Him which is, and which was, and which is to come.” If he were not God from everlasting, we could not so devoutly love him; we could not feel that he had any share in the eternal love which is the fountain of all covenant blessings; but since he was from all eternity with the Father, we trace the stream of divine love to himself equally with his Father and the blessed Spirit. As our Lord always was, so also he is for evermore. Jesus is not dead; “He ever liveth to make intercession for us.” Resort to him in all your times of need, for he is waiting to bless you still. Moreover, Jesus our Lord ever shall be. If God should spare your life to fulfil your full day of threescore years and ten, you will find that his cleansing fountain is still opened, and his precious blood has not lost its power; you shall find that the Priest who filled the healing fount with his own blood, lives to purge you from all iniquity. When only your last battle remains to be fought, you shall find that the hand of your conquering Captain has not grown feeble–the living Saviour shall cheer the dying saint. When you enter heaven you shall find him there bearing the dew of his youth; and through eternity the Lord Jesus shall still remain the perennial spring of joy, and life, and glory to his people. Living waters may you draw from this sacred well! Jesus always was, he always is, he always shall be. He is eternal in all his attributes, in all his offices, in all his might, and willingness to bless, comfort, guard, and crown his chosen people.

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

 

GRACE ABOUNDS

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“Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20)

WHAT ARE WE AT?

HEARD A STORY; I think it came from the North Country: A minister called upon a poor woman, intending to give her help; for he knew that she was very poor. With his money in his hand, he knocked at the door; but she did not answer. He concluded she was not at home, and went his way. A little after he met her at the church, and told her that he had remembered her need: “I called at your house, and knocked several times, and I suppose you were not at home, for I had no answer.” “At what hour did you call, sir?” “It was about noon.” “Oh, dear,” she said, “I heard you, sir, and I am so sorry I did not answer; but I thought it was the man calling for the rent.” Many a poor woman knows what this meant. Now, it is my desire to be heard, and therefore I want to say that I am not calling for the rent; indeed, it is not the object of this book to ask anything of you, but to tell you that salvation is all of grace, which means, free, gratis, for nothing.     Oftentimes, when we are anxious to win attention, our hearer thinks, ” Ah! now I am going to be told my duty. It is the man calling for that which is due to God, and I am sure I have nothing wherewith to pay. I will not be at home.” No, this book does not come to make a demand upon you, but to bring you something. We are not going to talk about law, and duty, and punishment, but about love, and goodness, and forgiveness, and mercy, and eternal life. Do not, therefore, act as if you were not at home: do not turn a deaf ear, or a careless heart. I am asking nothing of you in the name of God or man. It is not my intent to make any requirement at your hands; but I come in God’s name, to bring you a free gift, which it shall be to your present and eternal joy to receive. Open the door, and let my pleadings enter. “Come now, and let us reason together.” The Lord himself invites you to a conference concerning your immediate and endless happiness, and He would not have done this if He did not mean well toward you. Do not refuse the Lord Jesus who knocks at your door; for He knocks with a hand which was nailed to the tree for such as you are. Since His only and sole object is your good, incline your ear and come to Him. Hearken diligently, and let the good word sink into your soul. It may be that the hour is come in which you shall enter upon that new life which is the beginning of heaven. Faith cometh by hearing, and reading is a sort of hearing: faith may come to you while you are reading this book. Why not? O blessed Spirit of all grace, make it so!

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