“Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.”Isaiah 50:10
Darkness comes to everyone, even the strongest believer.To deny this is to betray our humanity for which Christ sacrificed Himself in the cruelest of ways.To acknowledge our own frailty relieves us of guilt and frustration.Beloved, Jesus is never more radiant than when you seek him from the dark places.
Charles Spurgeon had this to say about it:“Darkness…can it fall upon a child of God?He is a child of light; shall he walk in darkness?Not in darkness in the sense of ignorance, and sin, and death, but in the sense of gloom and sorrow.Saints may have much of it.The heir of heaven sometimes knows midnight.But if he be with Jesus, following Him as his leader, then he is in a safe condition.”
Many who have traveled those temporary valleys of despair have done so in shame, thinking they were alone in their travail.No, you are not alone.Others, if they are not in your company now, they will be.Life is like that.We share this hope, however, that Jesus can pierce the silence and loneliness of every human predicament.Never tire of seeking His light, for He is nearby waiting to save you from that pit of emptiness.Hallelujah!Never give up!Never!Never!Never!
GospeLines Prayer:Awesome Creator, who spoke the day and night into existence, walk with your servant when the sun is bright and illumine my path when I am sightless. When my way seems dark, let your presence shine as a beacon of everlasting hope.Amen and amen
Thanks to a dear friend, I attended a performance by the Golden Dragon Acrobats at Miller Outdoor Theater.Along with thousands of others, we gasped and marveled at the sheer magnitude of acrobatic prowess; feats that most of us can’t imagine.The performance was truly poetry in motion and engaged our full attention for the two hour duration.
It’s apparent that the acrobats have raw talent, but we know that they must practice time and time again to hone their skills.It’s particularly important during those segments where individuals mount and support each other at various angles and positions and balance with precision.I thought of the implicit trust and reliance each needed to accomplish their cumulative goals.One misstep could defeat them, but that didn’t happen at this performance.
While we aren’t professional acrobats, we often juggle priorities in order to balance various parts of our lives.We rely on each other and trust is often an important component.Can you trust your co-workers, your spouse, your friends, family or yourself?
When the house of cards begins to fall
And you can’t balance it all
When someone disappoints you and lets you down
and you’re hanging by a thread
There is no reason to dread
When you’re out of steam and feel yourself losing your grip
You don’t need to trip
I am a witness to His power as my job has been extremely stressful lately and my colleague and I are on the edge from the sheer volume of work on our plates.We continue to press on and hope to keep all the balls in the air.I admit being at the end of my rope, so I rely on God!He is the source of my strength and brings the true joy and fulfillment in my life as nothing else can.
Prayer:Father, I was chosen in church this morning to be a witness to your presence in my life.It was most unexpected.Nervous though I was, I related how tough things had been lately, but that You were there with me in the midst.It was as though the weight was lifted just when I mentioned your name.You are the one true source!When I am totally exhausted, my resolve and comfort come from You!
Just as the acrobats demonstrated their trust in each other, my trust is in You!
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, September 22, 2010
“A Touch of Faith”
Why are some blessed financially and others are not?Why are some healed and others suffer their affliction for years?Some of the godliest people I know have been poor and others have been sick for more than twenty years.Yet their witness is remarkable!Does God dislike them?Is he angry with them and thus chooses not to grant them health and wealth?
Every time you suffer physically or financially, ask yourself, “What does God want me to learn from this?”It isn’t necessary to be wealthy to serve the Lord!And good health does not always belong to every Christian. Any time you are in doubt about the desire of the Lord to heal you from sin or disease, remember what the Bible has to say about this.
In the sixth chapter of Mark's gospel, verse 56, are these unforgettable words:"...And as many as touched Him were made well."
First, healing is not discriminatory.Jesus does not sort out the easy diseases or respond to the desirable people.He cannot be criticized for sexual, racial, age, or religious bias.
Second, some show of faith is always required on the part of those who are sick.But even then, not all faithful Christians will be healed. God does not force healing upon us nor does He reward those who play games.We must be determined.
Third, the result of faithful touching is freedom from the disease and/or completeness from the fragmented life we had lived previously.Jesus is more ready to bless our touch than we are willing to reach out by faith and receive His blessing.
If you are one of those suffering saints that cringes every time you hear the “prosperity gospel” preached on television, remember this.Our Heavenly Father knows that poverty or wealth, sickness or health belongs to all of us indiscriminately.He has not selected you to suffer because He dislikes you, but it is because He trusts you with how you will live or die with it.Do you need biblical proof of this teaching?Look at Jesus, the Son of God, who suffered on the cross for our sins.
GospeLines Prayer:"Father, I reach out to you and beseech you to accept my touch of faith.Heal me of everything that hinders my walk with you."Amen and amen.
Moses spent forty years in the desert wilderness of Midian before he was ready to be used by God to lead the Israelites out of bondage (Acts 7:29-30).The thief on the cross spent about six hours in the presence of Christ before he was ready to be with Him in paradise (Mark 15:25-37).
Moses was an “über” personality in Biblical history - the author of the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) and undoubtedly one of the most (if not the most) important prophet in Judaism and Christianity.The thief, on the other hand was… well… a thief.
Famous Prophet - forty years
Unknown Thief - 6 hours
By our methods of thinking and reasoning, that seems unjust and grossly out of balance.But, what about God’s methods of reasoning?What about God’s way of thinking?Can we know His thoughts; or, can we dare to compare our thoughts to His?
God Himself tells us, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways… As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts”(Isaiah 55:8-9).
Not only are God’s ways (His reasoning and His thinking) vastly different than ours, so is His timing.
“For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night”(Psalm 90:3-5).“With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2nd Peter 3:8).
After Jesus’ resurrection (but before His ascension) His apostles asked Him, "Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now?Is this the time?"
Matthew 24:43 describes a “timing” situation facing a homeowner whose home was invaded and robbed by a thief.Jesus said that if the homeowner had known when the thief was going to strike, he would have kept watch.But, he would have only kept watch during that particular time.Since he didn’t’ know the exact time; he had to keep constant watch.Like that homeowner, we do not know God’s timing.We don’t know when He’ll call us home or where He’ll send us next.We don’t know what teaching moments He’s planned for us; or, what moments He’s going to use us to teach someone else.
If you’ve accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior; if you’re living your life to serve and obey Him, not only are you are saved; but, Christ to the Master of your life - He is directing your steps.What happens next in your life (and when it happens) is now in His control.
As Christians, our job is to wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:14); and, while we’re waiting, to do our best to present ourselves to God as one approved, workmen who do not need to be ashamed and who correctly handle the word of truth,(2nd Timothy 2:15)keeping ourselves in God's love as we wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring us to eternal life (Jude 1:20-21).
≈ Devotional for Friday, September 24, 2010
Parable of the Hummingbird
The hummingbird is a virtual storehouse of energy.To maintain its energy level the hummer must feed regularly and abundantly.Normally the hummingbird will eat as often as every 15 minutes.Hummers consume half their weight in sugar nectar daily.
Think about it.An average Christian may go to the Word a couple of times per week for nourishment.It is no wonder that by Thursday we feel drained of spiritual energy and need a boost to get us through until Sunday.The "feeding station" is never closed for repairs, it is open 24 hours per day, and is as refreshing in the early morning as it is when we lay our head on the pillow.
Drink deeply and often of the Holy Word, and you will find yourself more spiritually alert, less sluggish, and better prepared for the battles of daily witness and testimony."If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." (Jn. 7:37)Amen and amen.