Saturday, October 29, 2011

May the God of endurance and encouragement ....

Romans 15 1We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spurgeon’s Evening, October 22 "He shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you." John 16:15

   There are times when all the promises and doctrines of the Bible are of
   no avail, unless a gracious hand shall apply them to us. We are
   thirsty, but too faint to crawl to the water-brook. When a soldier is
   wounded in battle it is of little use for him to know that there are
   those at the hospital who can bind up his wounds, and medicines there
   to ease all the pains which he now suffers: what he needs is to be
   carried thither, and to have the remedies applied. It is thus with our
   souls, and to meet this need there is one, even the Spirit of truth,
   who takes of the things of Jesus, and applies them to us. Think not
   that Christ hath placed his joys on heavenly shelves that we may climb
   up to them for ourselves, but he draws near, and sheds his peace abroad
   in our hearts. O Christian, if thou art tonight labouring under deep
   distresses, thy Father does not give thee promises and then leave thee
   to draw them up from the Word like buckets from a well, but the
   promises he has written in the Word he will write anew on your heart.
   He will manifest his love to you, and by his blessed Spirit, dispel
   your cares and troubles. Be it known unto thee, O mourner, that it is
   God's prerogative to wipe every tear from the eye of his people. The
   good Samaritan did not say, "Here is the wine, and here is the oil for
   you;" he actually poured in the oil and the wine. So Jesus not only
   gives you the sweet wine of the promise, but holds the golden chalice
   to your lips, and pours the life-blood into your mouth. The poor, sick,
   way-worn pilgrim is not merely strengthened to walk, but he is borne on
   eagles' wings. Glorious gospel! which provides everything for the
   helpless, which draws nigh to us when we cannot reach after it--brings
   us grace before we seek for grace! Here is as much glory in the giving
   as in the gift. Happy people who have the Holy Ghost to bring Jesus to


John 16: 
The Work of the Holy Spirit
5 “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.[c]
Sorrow Will Turn to Joy
16 “A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.”
17 Then some of His disciples said among themselves, “What is this that He says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’; and, ‘because I go to the Father’?” 18 They said therefore, “What is this that He says, ‘A little while’? We do not know what He is saying.”
19 Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, “Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’? 20 Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. 21 A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.
23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Trusting God even when life hurts:

 has for about 10 years been one of my most favourite of books.... it is one of those essential must reads for every Christian! One of the books I always try to give or at teh very least lend to my best friends.

Today we listened to Pastor Troy Cane's 2nd sermon in an excellent series on 'Becoming more Like Jesus',(click in Becoming like Jesus and scroll down to find the series)

Here is the actual sermon link
2 The Purpose of God (Romans 8) ~ 47min ~ 5.6Mb 09-Jan-2011 

If you want to understand mankind's purpose to existing here on earth then this is a must 'listen to sermon' of a 'must listen to' series!

Pastor Cane quotes from Jerry Bridges , near the end of his sermon, when talking about going through trials:

 Growing through Adversity, the Cecropia Moth
(By Berksquat at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons)
One of the many fascinating events in nature is the emergence of the Cecropia moth from its cocoon -- an event that occurs only with much struggle on the part of the moth to free itself. The story is frequently told of someone who watched a moth go through this struggle. In an effort to help -- and not realizing the necessity of the struggle -- the viewer snipped the shell of the cocoon.
(By Megan McCarty (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

Soon the moth came out with its wings all crimped and shriveled. But as the person watched, the wings remained weak. The moth, which in a few moments would have stretched those wings to fly, was now doomed to crawling out its brief life in frustration of ever being the beautiful creature God created it to be.

What the person in the story did not realize was that the struggle to emerge from the cocoon was an essential part of developing the muscle system of the moth's body and pushing the body fluids out into the wings to expand them. By unwisely seeking to cut short the moth's struggle, the watcher had actually crippled the moth and doomed its existence.

The adversities of life are much like the cocoon of the Cecropia moth. God uses them to develop the spiritual "muscle system" of our lives (see James 1:2-4).
(By Marvin Smith [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

Psalm 63: (ESV)

1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
But those who seek to destroy my life
shall go down into the depths of the earth;
10 they shall be given over to the power of the sword;
they shall be a portion for jackals.
11 But the king shall rejoice in God;
all who swear by him shall exult,
for the mouths of liars will be stopped.