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Showing posts from March, 2010

Prayer Principles (Not Formulae)

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In an uncommon book on prayer entitled Praying Beyond God's Ability, Dr. Roy Hicks Sr. has made some significant points.

Looking at the model prayer given by Jesus to His disciples he sees that the whole venture toward God is to be enveloped in worship. "Hallowed be Thy Name....For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory..."

Only as we worship and focus on the almightiness of God shall we come into the right atmosphere. The alternative is a focus on "I" and "Me" and a list of pressing personal needs. A small circumference for prayer indeed.

Next "Thy will be done". When we settle in His presence and ascertain His will on a matter we come into real victory ground. Remember how in Psalm 37 David tells us to delight ourselves in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our hearts. Have we seen in this process how our heart has become His heart? Will He not succeed?

"Give us this day our daily bread". Jesus here envisions all sust…

George Muller and God's Will

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George Muller (1805-1898) was a champion of prayer. His indomitable trust in a loving, listening, capable Heavenly Father sponsored numerous orphanages in Britain through seemingly impossible challenges.

He knew that he must be clean before God, and that above all else he must develop an intimacy with the Father, over time and experience, which would show him how to come into agreement with the Father's will.

Consider Muller's six points on discerning the will of God:

1) I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter.

2) Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If I do so, I make myself liable to great delusions.

3) I seek the will of the Spirit, through or in connection with, the Word of God.

4) Next I take into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God's will in connection with His Word and Spirit.

5) I ask God in prayer to reveal His will to me a…

Peculiar Treasure

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(Today's entry in Our Daily Homily by F. B. Meyer)

A peculiar Treasure unto Me - Exodus 19:5


OUR Saviour told of a man who, in ploughing his field, heard his ploughshare chink against buried treasure, and hastened to sell all that he had in order to buy it. In speaking thus, He pictured Himself as well as us. He found us before we found Him. The treasure is His people, to purchase whom He gave up all that He had, even to His throne (Mat 13:44). "Ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light" (1Pe 2:9, R. V.).

Where his treasure is, there is a man's heart. If it is in ships on the treacherous sea, he tosses restlessly on his bed, solicitous for its safety. If it is in fabrics, he guards against moth; if in metal, against rust and thieves. And is Christ less careful for His own? Does He not guard with equal care against …

Believing First

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(Today's entry from Mrs. Charles Cowman in Streams in the Desert)

Belief, Not Understanding

"Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" (John 11:40).

Mary and Martha could not understand what their Lord was doing. Both of them said to Him, "Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." Back of it all, we seem to read their thought: "Lord, we do not understand why you have stayed away so long. We do not understand how you could let death come to the man whom you loved. We do not understand how you could let sorrow and suffering ravage our lives when your presence might have stayed it all. Why did you not come? It is too late now, for already he has been dead four days!"
And to it all Jesus had but one great truth: "You may not understand; but I tell you if you believe, you will see."

Abraham could not understand why God should ask the sacrifice of the boy; but he trusted. And he saw the …

Footnotes Holler Out Loud

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It is seldom these days that I attend to the study notes appended to one of my Bibles. There was a time when I needed the guidance of such resources to tie my reading into the main themes of redemption and the progressive revelation of God alone coming as Saviour.

But this morning I really got one. I was reading Psalm 63 which has David out in the wilderness being hounded by Saul's men, and longing for the glory of God's sanctuary.

He begins:

1O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

2To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.

3Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

4Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.

He continues with thanksgiving for past deliverance:

7Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

As an aside he states with confiden…

Crocus

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(Poem by Keith Wallis of Wordsculptures blogspot)

The silent sound of Spring

The first chorus of Spring:
a rising voice,
a surprise of colour.
A choir of crocus
soprano above the greyness
of tired Winter’s retreat.
Like a nest of newly hatched blackbirds
beaks agape, begging for food
these yellow petals reach out
for the early sun.
Now, green blades rise
from the death of earth -
a promise of Easter’s repair
for a broken world
and the return
of a God
who never went away.


Read more: http://wordsculptures-keith.blogspot.com/

Leanin'

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(Today's entry in Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles Cowman)

Leaning Sides

"Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?" (S. of Sol. 8:5).

Some one gained a good lesson from a Southern prayer meeting. A brother asked the Lord for various blessings--as you and I do, and thanked the Lord for many already received--as you and I do; but he closed with this unusual petition: "And, O Lord, support us! Yes support us Lord on every leanin' side!" Have you any leaning sides? This humble man's prayer pictures them in a new way and shows the Great Supporter in a new light also. He is always walking by the Christian, ready to extend His mighty arm and steady the weak one on "every leanin' side."

"Child of My love, lean hard, And let Me feel the pressure of thy care; I know thy burden, child. I shaped it; Poised it in Mine Own hand; made no proportion In its weight to thine unaided strength, For even as I laid it on, I…

Sighing as He Sighs

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Mark 7:

32There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.
33After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue. 34He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, "Ephphatha!" (which means, "Be opened!" ). 35At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.


Hear what is said by Alexander Maclaren about this beautiful illustration of Christ's compassion, courtesy and power:

The root of all our efficiency in this great task to which we, unworthy, have been called, is in fellowship with Jesus Christ. "The branch cannot bear fruit of itself; without me ye can do nothing." Living near Him, and growing like Him by gazing upon Him, His beauty will pass into our faces, His tender pity into our hearts, His loving identification of Himself with me…

Hard Message to an Old Friend

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(Taken from the Letters of Samuel Rutherford)

XXXVI. To JOHN GORDON OF CARDONESS, the elder

MUCH HONORED AND DEAREST IN MY LORD, Grace, mercy, and peace be to you. My soul longeth exceedingly to hear how matters go betwixt you and Christ; and whether or not there be any work of Christ in that parish, that will bide the trial of fire and water. Let me be weighed of my Lord in a just balance, if your souls lie not weighty upon me. Ye go to bed and ye rise with me: thoughts of your soul, my dearest in our Lord, depart not from me in my sleep. Ye have a great part of my tears, sighs, supplications, and prayers. Oh, if I could buy your soul's salvation with any suffering whatsoever, and that ye and I might meet with joy up in the rainbow, when we shall stand before our Judge! Sir, show the people this; for when I write to you, I think I write to you all, old and young. Fulfill my joy and seek the Lord. Sure I am, that once I discovered my lovely, royal princely Lord Jesus to you all. W…

In But Not Of...

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(Today's entry in Our Daily Homily by F. B. Meyer)

I will put a Division between My People and thy People - Exodus 8:23
THIS division is as old as eternity. - In the council chamber of the Godhead the Father chose Jesus and all who should believe in Him unto eternal life. We cannot understand the reason of that Divine choice; we can only affirm it, that in those ages of the unfathomed past, Christ and His seed stood out from the rest of mankind, the people of God's own possession and inheritance.

It was affected by the Cross of Jesus. - By it we are crucified to the world, and the world to us. The cross, with its outstretched arms, stands sentinel between the Church and the world which cast out her Lord. The grave, like a great gulf, yawns between those who gather round the risen Master on resurrection ground, and all men else. From the moment that Jesus ascended, the rallying centre of the Church was removed from earth to heaven, from the cross to the throne.

It is wrought out by…

Christ Captivated

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Song of Solomon 4:

12A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.


Here is Jehovah looking upon Israel; Christ looking upon His Church, His Bride. There is not a word of censure, even though the Bride has been tardy in response to His approaches,

"A Garden enclosed": A productive place of the Saviour's special tending, feeding, pruning, watering, protecting and study. It is fenced against the trespass and tramplings of an indifferent world. It is sheltered from winds of adversity and fear, capable of scattering precious seed. The time is not yet come for the presentation of ripened produce to a watching world.

"My sister": Made siblings by faith in a common household, accountable to a common Father. Sharing a mutual trust in His sovereignty, equity and power.

"My spouse": Betrothed and entitled to the everlasting benefits and confidence of covenant. Proclaimed and evidenced before the entire world. Witnessed by the Word o…

All Glorious Within?

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I have been thinking about one particular verse in Psalm 45 (the wedding psalm). See what Charles Spurgeon has to say about it in The Treasury of David.

Verse 13. The king's daughter is all glorious within. Within her secret chambers her glory is great. Though unseen of men her Lord sees her, and commends her. "It doth not yet appear what we shall be." Or the passage may be understood as meaning within herself-- her beauty is not outward only or mainly; the choicest of her charms are to be found in her heart, her secret character, her inward desires. Truth and wisdom in the hidden parts are what the Lord regards; mere skin deep beauty is nothing in his eyes. The church is of royal extraction, of imperial dignity, for she is a king's daughter; and she has been purified and renewed in nature; for she is glorious within. Note the word all. The Bridegroom was said to have all his garments perfumed, and now the bride in all glorious within--entireness and completeness are …