Showing posts from May, 2010

The Look Cast at Peter

(Taken from the Exposition of the Gospel of Luke by Alexander MacLaren - Luke 22:61)

Again, it spoke of Christ’s pain. Peter had not thought that he was hurting his Master by his denials; he only thought of saving himself. And, perhaps, if it had come into his loving and impulsive nature, which yielded to the temptation the more readily because of the same impulsiveness which also led it to yield swiftly to good influences, if he had thought that he was adding another pang to the pains of his Lord whom he had loved through all his denial, even his cowardice would have plucked up courage to ‘confess, and deny not but confess,’ that he belonged to the Christ. But he did not remember all that. And now there came into his mind—from that look, the bitter thought, ‘I have wrung His heart with yet another pang, and at this supreme moment, when there is so much to rack and pain; I have joined the tormentors.’

And so, do we not pain Jesus Christ? Mysterious as it is, yet it seems as if, since it…


It seemed only natural to visit the little sea-side graveyard after having toured the Fishermen's Chapel. From the small hillock, neatly mown and dotted with stones, one could see to the left the quaint village of frame structures and ship-masts and housings at the docks. Straight ahead and to the right spread out the Atlantic like a large blue table-cloth not yet straightened and flattened for guests.

The smell of brine was only moderated by the blossoming trees lining the one side of the yard and occasional fresh bunches of flowers placed lovingly beside marker stones.

The inscriptions were full of the stories of life and families by the sea:

"Martha, loving mother of Nine. Wife to Caleb."

"Samuel, lost in the storm of 1922."

"Brian, swept overboard on his second outing."

"Pastor Richard, a good shepherd."

"Sally, Isaac and Karen, tender plants harvested by cholera."

But one marker to the sea-ward side of the plot was particularly arrest…

Take Me to the Sinners

A remarkable story is told of evangelist-church planter Aimee Semple McPherson (born at Salford, Ontario in 1890 and died at Oakland, California in 1944)

It was during her itinerant ministry days and before the establishment of Angelus Temple and an enormous radio and publishing enterprise. She was in Winnipeg at the invitation of several churches. She arrived much earlier than the appointed meeting times, and asked where she might find the sinners in that city.

The pastors, cleared their throats and suggested that perhaps it would be inappropriate to take a woman to such a place.

"Well, what's it all about, men? Where is this place?"

"Oh, Sister Aimee, it is a dark district filled with prostitutes and the men who feed the wicked industry."

"That's just where I want to go, sirs!"

The scene shifts to a street corner in late afternoon with Aimee on the sidewalk and a place cleared for her to speak. Women with over-much make-up and garish clothes observe f…

Lightnings of God

(Taken from a sermon by John G. Lake - Born in St. Mary's, Ontario, 1870 and died in Spokane, Washington, 1935.)

While yet a justified man, even without an experience of sanctification, the Lord committed to me in a measure the ministry of healing in as much that many were healed and, in some instances, real miracles of healing took place. Yet I did not know God as my sanctifier. Ten years later, after sanctification had become a fact in my life, a great and wonderful yearning to be baptized in the Holy Ghost and fire came into my heart.

After seeking God persistently, almost night and day for two months, the Lord baptized me in the Holy Ghost causing me to speak in tongues and magnify God. I had looked for and prayed and coveted the real power of God for the ministry of healing and believed God that when I was baptized in the Holy Ghost that His presence in me through the Spirit would do for the sick the things my heart desired, and which they needed. Instantly upon being baptized …

Men's Ministry

Get men around a table. Bibles in hand. Questions, discoveries of interest prepared in advance by many. Open and transparent about who they are and about what their struggles are. Given to good humour and encouragement. Bound by a code of confidentiality and trust. Prepared to launch out in just about any direction. Sex. Finance. Health. Family and relational challenges. Faith. Temptations. Addictions. Church hopes or gripes. Current events. Non-judgmental. Ever teachable. Given spontaneously to prayer and under-girding. Unashamed by tears. Committed to regular gathering. Looking for Jesus to arrive and quietly guide their time together.

This is men's ministry. It focuses on a common desire for friendship, growth and help in Christ. Study and discussion are large issues. Each man will be respected as he "takes the floor".

Occasionally, but only occasionally, bowling, billiards, baseball and breakfasts may help.

Our Yardstick

3Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

In this passage Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, is suggesting that there is a core of Gospel truth which is to be considered as permanent, inviolate and worth our efforts to defend in the face of New Thought.

In a group discussion with several men the other night, certain were heard to be saying that just as soon as they thought they had firmly understood some concept of scripture, the Holy Spirit would bring along new light and a new application. Others warned that this might lead to a defeatist attitude wherein we might lament, "Who can ever really understand the Word of God?"

But we have been told elsewhere that we will be rewarded with revelation if we seek Him diligently with our entire heart. I must believe that a certain core of doctrine remains…

Reform School Reformed

I read a moving article on the power of love in a delightful devotional of classic Christian writings entitled “Show Me Your Love” (Barbour Publications, 2004).

A friend of American evangelist Charles Finney (1850’s) ran a reform school in his town. He was called away and struggled with how to leave his charges for a short while.

Approaching the town fathers, he pledged that if any of his boys ran away or caused trouble he would forfeit his town lot and property. A meeting was called at the school and the boys were told the extent of his trust, and the cause of his family which was now left to the boys and their honour. He departed.

The appointment in the other community ended earlier than expected. The principal arrived at the school late Saturday evening. One of the boys shouted “It is Father”, and the entire school gathered, clean, orderly, smiling and overwhelmed with the transformation of trust.

This is the kind of response which love and trust will elicit. We see it in the Gospel. G…

Bravo, You're Weak!

(A third go at Spurgeon's book. I have made it a Helpful Link from this Blog.)

There is no better plea with Divine love than weakness and pain; nothing can so prevail with the great heart of God as for your heart to faint and swoon. The man who rises in prayer to tears and agony, and feels all the while as if he could not pray, and yet must pray,—he is the man who will see the desire of his soul. Do not mothers always care most for the tiniest child, or for that one which is most sick? Do we not spend the greatest care upon that one of our children which has the least use of its limbs; and is it not true that our weakness holds God's strength, and leads Him to bow His omnipotence to our rescue?
There is another strength in weakness which it is well for us to have. I believe that, when we preach in conscious weakness, it adds a wonderful force to the words we utter. When Mr. Knill went out to distribute tracts among the soldiers, he tells us that there was one wicked man who sai…

Take the "I" Out

(Continuing from the last post with Charles Spurgeon)

We now purpose to consider the way in which we are to obtain the power we so much desire. WE NEED TO FEEL IT WITHIN OURSELVES WHEN WE ARE RECEIVING OUR MESSAGES. In order to have power in public, we must receive power in private. I trust that no brother here would venture to address his people without getting a message fresh from his Lord. If you deliver a stale story of your own concocting, or if you speak without a fresh anointing from the Holy One, your ministry will come to nothing. Words spoken on your own account, without reference to your Lord, will fall to the ground. When the footman goes to the door to answer a caller, he asks his master what he has to say, and he repeats what his master tells him. You and I are waiting-servants in the house of God, and we are to report what our God would have us speak. The Lord gives the soul-saving message, and clothes it with power; He gives it to a certain order of people, and under ce…

Ministers All In Over Their Heads

(Taken from An All Round Ministry by Charles Spurgeon)

"Who is sufficient for these things?" We are weak, exceedingly weak, every one of us. If there is any brother here who is weaker than the rest, and knows that he is so, let him not be at all cast down about that, for you see, brethren, the best man here, if he knows what he is, knows that he is out of his depth in his sacred calling. Well, if you are out of your depth, it does not matter whether the sea is forty feet or a full mile deep. If the sea is only a fathom deep, you will drown if you be not upborne; and if it be altogether unfathomable, you cannot be more than drowned. The weakest man here is not, in this business, really any weaker than the strongest man, since the whole affair is quite beyond us, and we must work miracles by Divine power, or else be total failures. We have all set up in the Divine profession of working by omnipotence; or, rather, of yielding ourselves up to omnipotence that it may work by us. I…

Wrecked Cradle-Faiths

(Today's entry from J. R. Miller in Come Ye Apart)

In Sheep’s Clothing

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves”

Matthew 7:15

There is something fearful in the eagerness of the devil to destroy souls. He sends his agents and messengers in forms and garbs to deceive the simple-minded and unwary. He even steals the dress of God’s own servants and children, hoping thus to gain the confidence of believers and then destroy their faith and lead them away to death. The world is full now of just such agents of Satan. They profess to be Christians, but in their hearts they are disloyal to Christ and to His cause and kingdom. They win the confidence of the sheep by passing off for sheep themselves; but the sheep’s covering is only worn outside, while underneath is the heart of a hungry, bloodthirsty wolf.

We need to be on our guard perpetually against the wiles of the devil. Eternal vigilance is the price of spiritual safety and of C…

Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood...

Generations have known of the positive impact of the television personality Fred Rogers upon pre-school children.

A mixture of "You are important...Let's go and visit our good (puppet) friend King Friday...We have a special visitor today, boys and girls, with something exciting to show us."

Mr. Rogers was a firm believer that children needed comforting and familiar routines, Particularly before they were going to encounter something new. Consequently his show in ways looked very much the same from day to day. The open front door. Changing the shoes. Putting on the sweater. Singing "Won't You Be My Neighbour".

Comedians have had a field day at this man's expense, but he was never bothered. He understood little children.

Now take this concept to an adult gathering, perhaps at a church. The routines can be there. The sense of little that is new. The comfort of knowing that 'yes I have a handle on all of this'. Perhaps the same songs. The same forma…

Third and Fourth Generation, Bah

Deuteronomy 5:

9Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, (graven images) nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting theiniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,

10And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

One could also look at Exodus 20:5,6 and Exodus 34:6,7 and Numbers 14:18.

Now let us visit the ladies' fellowship luncheon at Glory Charismatic Tabernacle and tune in on a conversation:

"I tell you Gladys, we've just got to pray for Marj. Her emotional state of late has been really sad. Morose. Prone to unexpected bouts of crying. Critical. Down on her kids for their lack of church enthusiasm. I think she needs deliverance. She told me once that her grandparents were big on the know, horoscopes, tea leaves, Ouija Boards. Might she have a generational curse? You remember that teaching on the "the iniquity of the fathers"..."


Perhaps It's Waiting Time

May 21
How To Wait

(Taken from Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles Cowman)

"Blessed is he that waiteth" (Dan. 12:12).
It may seem an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures which a Christian soldier learns not without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier to God's warriors than standing still.

There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desirous to serve the Lord, knows not what part to take. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Fly back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption?
No, but simply wait. Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God and spread the case before Him; tell Him your difficulty, and plead His promise of aid.

Wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in Him. Believe that if He keep you tarrying even till midnight, yet He will come at the right time; the vision shall come, and shall not tarry.
Wait in quiet patience. Never murmur against the second …

Prayer Provisos

(Today's entry in Come Ye Apart by J. R. Miller)

The Prayer Promise

“Every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened..”

Matthew 7:8

These are very positive promises, and yet they must be read intelligently, in the light of other scriptures which explain and qualify the words. It is not all asking that receives; for there is asking that is not true prayer. Some ask merely in word, with no real desire in their hearts. Some ask selfishly, that they may consume the divine gift on their lusts. Some ask rebelliously, without submission to the will of God. Some ask without faith, not expecting any answer. Some ask indolently, not ready to do their own part. Some ask ignorantly for things which would not be blessings if they were granted. It is very clear that in these cases those who ask will not receive.

So not literally all who seek find. The seeking must be earnest. There is a remarkable word in one of the old prophets: “Ye shall se…

Wonderful Pep Talk

(Thanks for this, G. Campbell Morgan - Luke 10: 18-21)

"I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven.”

That is the whole story of Satan, from His view-point. "I beheld Satan fallen;" that is the origin of him, that is how he came to be what he is. "I beheld Satan fallen;" that is the history of him. "I beheld Satan fallen;" that is the destiny of him. They came back, and were a little astonished that the demons had been subject unto them. In effect He said that they need not be. He knew the truth about Satan; the initial truth, the abiding truth, the universal truth; truth from the standpoint of the government and authority of God; "I beheld Satan fallen." "Behold, I have given you authority!'" I beheld Satan fallen, "I send you," "I have given you authority.” That accounted for the victories they had gained.

Therefore He said more;-

"Nevertheless in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you.&qu…

I Saw Satan Fall

(Taken from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary)

The blessedness of Christ's disciples.

All our victories over Satan, are obtained by power derived from Jesus Christ, and he must have all the praise. But let us beware of spiritual pride, which has been the destruction of many. Our Lord rejoiced at the prospect of the salvation of many souls. It was fit that particular notice should be taken of that hour of joy; there were few such, for He was a man of sorrows: in that hour in which he saw Satan fall, and heard of the good success of his ministers, in that hour he rejoiced. He has ever resisted the proud, and given grace to the humble. The more simply dependent we are on the teaching, help, and blessing of the Son of God, the more we shall know both of the Father and of the Son; the more blessed we shall be in seeing the glory, and hearing the words of the Divine Saviour; and the more useful we shall be made in promoting his cause. (Lu 10:25-37)

17The seventy-two returned with joy …

Not Negotiable

An interesting situation was developing before me in the bank line-up. The customer was becoming more upset by the second. The teller more flustered.

"Miss, I don't understand it. I want the money. The cheque is made out to me. It is drawn on this bank. The money is in his account. He has signed the cheque. My friend is away for a couple of weeks. He has asked me to do certain things on his behalf. I have shown you my I.D. I also have an account with this institution. What gives?"

"Sir I am awfully sorry. We have a strict protocol on this. I cannot help you. Somehow the account number has been obscured on this cheque. I cannot read it. My supervisor cannot read it. It cannot be negotiated at this time. I must deal with the other people in line now."

That got me thinking. How many times recently in church have I seen a failure to name the powerful name of Jesus:

In praise songs we fail to name Jesus.
In sermons we fail to name Jesus.
In prayer requests we fail to name…

Beware Ambition!

Taken from Oswald Chambers in Workmen of God - The Cure of Souls)

It is probable that indirectly Barnabus was responsible for Ananias (Acts 5). Barnabus had done a wonderful thing and doubtless he was praised for it, and Ananias wanted to equal it. We need to live stedfastly in the presence of God so that when we are praised we don't arouse the spirit of envy, the spirit that makes a man want to do something not because he loves God, but because he wants to emulate us. Let me ask you who are workers, and let me ask myself, 'Why do you work for the salvation of souls? Why do you want to spend and be spent for others?' 'Mrs. So-and-so does it and she is my ideal.' Beware! 'I watched Mr. So-and-so and I want to be like him.' Beware! God grant we may see that the great need of every worker is a first-hand acquaintance with Jesus Christ which puts to death the spirit of ambition. Ambition has murder at its heart; our Lord showed His disciples that ambition is imp…

Solid Food, Really?

The old evangelist had decided to come into town a week before the services to get a feel for the climate at the host church. He entered the sanctuary ten minutes before the official start and took an obscure seat. He saw some limited amount of real engagement between parishioners, and then the praise team wound up.

Music was professional. Seasoned hymn book Gospel choruses were noticeably absent. A corporate effort at song was strained.

Announcements followed as the clock raced on. "Oh the blessing of last week's get -together. Oh the promise of next week's seminar. Check your schedules. Don't miss it. And there will be food."

Next came the offering. A reverent moment. Junior Pastor Terry Bullpen gave a prayer which was largely about blessing that offering. Some names of sick and shut-in were also raised. Jesus was thanked for His marvelous love.

Senior Pastor Ernest Pitcher took the pulpit and checked for his wireless mike and remote prompter. What followed as a se…

Jairus, Running, Hoping

Our little girl was almost gone.
The fever gripped her like a vise.
The eyes attending elsewhere, wan,
The fragile hands as cold as ice.

And I as useless as a child.
Her mother stroking soft the brow.
And something hidden, wanton, wild
Was pressing, choking sweetness now.

I fled the room, a flick'ring thought
Arrested mind and sinking heart.
The Nazarene whom many sought
Could he be called, and life impart?

The doors rushed by as I made haste.
This rabbi now a racing steed.
A father with no time to waste.
Would Jesus rally to our need?

He hears my plea, yet looks so calm,
And joins me in the homeward trek.
Has he the skill? Has he the balm?
To save our lives from total wreck?

But friends advise with words I dread,
To trouble not the Master more.
My little flower, already dead.
My wife distraught upon the floor.

Yet still he comes, quite undeterred,
And takes her hand, and softly sighs
Her little spirit hears the word.
The call of life, "Sweet maid arise."

Word of Wisdom

1 Corinthians 12:

8. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9. To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10. To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11. But all these worketh that one and selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

In the teaching which we have received on these gifts, the one which seems least clear to me is the word of wisdom. An old handbook prepared by Kenneth Hagin Sr. suggested that it was having supernatural knowledge of conditions, but on into the future in somewhat the same fashion as foretelling prophecy.

In a gathering once I heard an acquaintance say, "Ah yes, that is Kenneth Hagin but it is not scripture." That troubled me and started an on and off search for more.

We are told certain things in t…

Time Off for Pilgrim?

I see signs of the churches starting to gear down for the so-called summer break. Sunday morning services are condensed into one. Bible studies and prayer groups are suspended. Children's school is held together in a sort of haphazard way with regular teachers elsewhere.

In a very provocative article, A. W. Tozer of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches bemoaned this seasonal abandonment of diligence. I remember the piece well, "Midsummer Madness". It was read over the radio and it provoked me to get the entire book of messages entitled "God Tells the Man Who Cares".

Some say that this is just a grim acceptance of the way things are for our Christian communities in Canada. Pity.

Examine a portion:
"Even though the vacation habit is a craze and a curse, even though millions each season take long and expensive vacations from nothing more strenuous than loafing, we are still willing to concede that there might be some therapeutic value in a vacation trip…

Be Like Bereans

A favourable comment the other day from a frequent reader came to me as both flattering and bracing. I was reminded of the very real responsibility in expressing the Good News.

The Apostle Paul traveled through the community of Berea. These were believers who checked out every word of the messenger against the scriptures. For this they were to be commended (Acts 17:11).

This writer has goofed up in the past. Some of the struggles along the way have been chronicled in this blog. My heart is still to encourage; to press others on in the faith; to examine together wonderful facets of this priceless gem of Christian hope. I must remain teachable; I must pause to wonder; I must respect the brother or sister with a somewhat different point of view.

Some of the goof-ups have included:
The confidence that the Rapture of the Church was just around the corner. ( That was 24 years ago.)
The expectation of healings and prosperity for the mere asking in faith.
The precarious confidence of the doctrine o…

For the Women

I appreciate the tender and respectful treatment which Luke's Gospel gives to the women of Jesus' time. We must remember that women were effectively chattels with no independent commercial or judicial standing. They were married off by parental arrangement. It was shameful for them to consider training in a trade. They were physically separated from the men in the places of worship. They were subject to the whims of the husband in the eventuality of divorce.

But then Luke speaks of Elizabeth the priest's wife; young obedient Mary of Nazareth; the widow of Nain; the sinful woman at the feet of Jesus in the pharisee's house; the infirm twelve year old daughter of Jairus; the faithful woman with the issue of blood; Mary Magdalene and others who ministered unto Jesus of their substance; the attentive sisters Mary and Martha; the importunate widow of the parable who persevered before the judge; the mothers who brought their little children for Jesus' blessing; the poor w…

Let the King of Glory Enter

(Taken from Explanatory Notes in Charles Spurgeon's commentary on Psalm 24:7)

Be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Some interpret this of the doors of our heart, according to that Revelation 3:20 , "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him," etc. In the gospel history, we find that Christ had a fourfold entertainment among men. Some received him into house, not into heart, as Simon the Pharisee Luke 7:44 , who gave him no kiss nor water to his feet; some into heart, but not into house, as the faithful centurion Mt 8:8, esteeming himself unworthy that Christ should come under his roof; some neither into house nor heart, as the graceless Gergesites Matthew 8:34 ; some both into house and heart, as Lazarus, Mary, Martha. John 3:15 Luke 10:38 . Now that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith, and that our bodies may be temples of his Holy Spirit, we must as our prophet exho…

Place of Intercession - Part Two

(Again we turn to the commentary of F. B. Meyer on the aforementioned passage from Daniel 9)

"Intercession for a beloved people. What a prayer is this! In many respects it is a model for us all. It was based on the Divine Word. The fact that God had promised to restore the desolations of Jerusalem after seventy years did not restrain, but prompted and inspired Daniel's prayers. God' promises are not independent of our faith, but await our appropriation. The blank checks are drawn and signed in our favour, but they must be presented at the bank for payment. It was very humble. Fasting, sackcloth and ashes were the outward works but notice the tone. "We have sinned...and have rebelled...unto us belongeth confusion of faces." He confessed his sin and the sin of his people. There is such a thing as vicarious confession, in which some holy soul takes to himself the task of bearing the sins of his people and pouring out the story before God as though the sins were his …

Place of Intercession

Daniel the diplomat, the man of unstoppable prayer, the visionary, the lover of God's Holy City, the expatriate demonstrated a most remarkable principle for revival. He saw himself in the place of the sinful, backsliding Hebrew race. He pleaded with God for mercy as one of them. He listed the shortcomings. He did not hold himself out as exempt. He allowed himself to become steeped in God's disappointment with the sin. He identified with the position of each of the sinner and the One who could restore. He became desperate for change of heart.

We see this as unusual in light of our knowledge of Daniel's record of extraordinary upright living. Certainly we cannot measure up to his record in coming before the Lord for merciful reprieve, but try we must, and in the same spirit. The cry is for the community at large and for the particular assembly of faith.

Hear his words from the 9th chapter:

12 You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing upon…

Evangelist Gets Good Press - 1927

Sunderland Daily Echo

Monday 5th September 1927


The reopening of the "Sunshine" Service in the Victoria Hall last night was marked by a demonstration on the part of the thousands that gathered for the meeting which was unprecedented for an opening night of this popular service. Notwithstanding the attractions that the fine evening afforded a long queue gathered some time before the doors were opened at 6 o'clock, and sang hymns and sacred choruses with much fervour to wile away the waiting period. Hundreds were unable to gain admittance to the Hall. Charabanc parties from Bishop Auckland (where the speaker, Pastor Stephen Jeffreys, the Welsh Revivalist, had conducted a successful mission, and who is conducting a month's evangelistic and divine healing campaign in the Hall), and Horden, and visitors from outlying districts attended.

In the course of his address Pastor Jeffre…

Woodah Toldja

John 14:

1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

I chuckle to myself whenever I read this passage. I can almost hear a good-natured Jewish man from Manhattan saying, "If it woint so, I woodah toldja!"

Jesus is in the Upper Room giving his final address to disciples and promising a Second Coming to gather the faithful unto a fully satisfying existence. He earnestly wants them to trust in this prophecy. We must also hear it and believe. We must remind ourselves of the absolute fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies on His first visit. This gives confidence for the future.

Look at the Psalms alone as they spoke of the mission of Messiah: that he would be both God and man; that he would be in the lineage o…

Psalm 24

(Taken from J. R. Miller in Come Ye Apart - May 4th)

Heaven Brought to Us

“The kingdom come.”

Matthew 6:10

This is a very comprehensive prayer. It pleads for the extension of God‘s spiritual realm in this world — His power over men’s hearts and lives, the subjugation of earth’s kingdoms to His sway. It is a prayer that men may be better — that they may put away their sins and amend their lives; that they may take Christ as their king, and yield every thought and desire to Him. It is not a longing to be lifted away to heaven, but a craving that heaven may be brought to us, into our hearts and lives.

We are in danger of thinking too much of other people and the coming of God‘s kingdom into other hearts and lives as we offer his prayer. The little piece of world for which we are first responsible is that which lies within our own hearts and lives. While then we pray “Thy kingdom come,” we should look within ourselves to see if we have submitted to the reign of Christ.

Thy kingdom here?

The God Who Cares

Rough night, last night.
Brooding over several issues:

Hard to sleep.
Mind, disobedient.
Issues remain.
At last, respite,

Early morning
Bedside books in view.
One title, gilded,
Catching the eye.

"The God Who Cares."

Note: The many excerpts from G. Campbell Morgan recently posted came from his book on Luke's Gospel in the Gospel series "Masters of the Word" (Fleming H. Revell Company). For that series it bore the title, "The God Who Cares". Four words received in most timely fashion having, perhaps, more personal impact than the many pages of commentary. One of those "word in season" experiences ministered by the Holy Spirit to bring comfort and hope.

Not to Imitate

One dictionary defines the verb "imitate" as follows:

–verb (used with object), -tat·ed, -tat·ing.
to follow or endeavor to follow as a model or example: to imitate an author's style; to imitate an older brother.
to mimic; impersonate: The students imitated the teacher behind her back.
to make a copy of; reproduce closely.
to have or assume the appearance of; simulate; resemble.

My review of Strong's concordance of words in the King James version of the Bible confirms that the words imitate, imitator and imitation are nowhere to be found.

And yet we note the Christian classic "The Imitation of Christ" by Thomas a Kempis. Similarly, Andrew Murray's work "Like Christ".

Those who resolve to imitate Jesus in Christian service and graces will find that resolutions lead to disappointments. Indeed the requirements of the Sermon on the Mount will prove entirely unattainable but for the gift of the Holy Spirit and the impartation of the attributes of C…

What is a Missionary?

(Taken from So Send I You by Oswald Chambers)

As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you.

A missionary is one sent by Jesus Christ as He was sent by God. The great dominant note is not the needs of men, but the command of Jesus. The source of our inspiration in work for God is behind, not before. The tendency to-day is to put the inspiration ahead, to sweep everything in front of us and bring it all out to our conception of success. In the New Testament the inspiration is put behind us, the Lord Jesus. The ideal is to be true to Him, to carry out His enterprises.

Personal attachment to the Lord Jesus and His point of view is the one thing that must not be overlooked. In missionary enterprise the great danger is that God's call is effaced by the needs of the people until human sympathy absolutely overwhelms the meaning of being sent by Jesus. The needs are so enormous, the conditions so perplexing, that every power of mind falters and fails. We forget that the one great reason unde…

What Manner of Body?

(Near the end of G. Campbell Morgan's helpful exposition of Luke)

(Paul wrote) that there are celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial. Moreover, there are other bodies. Sun, moon, and stars are neither celestial, nor terrestrial. One is solar, another lunar, others stellar. The word celestial, Epouraneos, above the sky, is purely relative, and in that sense may be applied to sun, moon, and stars. Here, however, Paul was using it to differentiate between bodies fitted for the terrestrial, or earthly sphere, and bodies fitted for a life that is super-terrestrial. But in either case there is corporeal reality. There is a body that belongs to the heavenly, and there is a body that is fitted for the earthly.

This, he then applies to the resurrection:

"So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body; (Soma gsucldkm;)…

Third Man on the Road

(G. Campbell Morgan reflects on that wonderful story on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24)

Are You the only man in Jerusalem ignorant of what has been going on?

"He said unto them, What things?"

Just imagine Him asking than, "What things?" He was drawing them out. He wanted them to talk, and they did;

"And they said unto Him, The things concerning Jesus the Nazarene Who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people.”

They still believed in Him. They still loved Him. That was the language of perfect faith. They had seen Him die. In certain ways they knew He was defeated. Even though He were defeated, they were still saying that He was mighty in deed and word before God. But they had not done; there Was more to say;

"And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him up to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we hoped that it was He Who should redeem Israel.”

Thus we see their attitude, and in it a wonderful revelation of what the Cr…