Saturday, January 7, 2012


Don't you find the book of Jude fascinating? Here is my favourite part: (ESV) I would love to put verses 20 - 23  or some of it to the same tune as we know for verses 24-25? Anyone who can help, let me know!

Doxology: Now Unto Him (Jude 24-25, as we sing it to teh well known tune.)

Now unto Him, who is able to keep
Able to keep you from falling
And present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory
With exceeding joy
To the only wise God our Saviour
Be glory and majesty
Dominion and power
Both now and forever
Jude 20-23
20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

Your present affliction (James Smith, "The Believer's Companion in Seasons of Affliction and Trouble" 1842) "God is love!" 1 John 4:8

From Grace Gems again!

Believer, the author of your present affliction, is Jehovah (Amos 3:6); it comes at the command of the Lord Almighty, who is excellent in counsel and wonderful in working. But though He afflicts you, His heart is not, and cannot be turned against you--for He has revealed Himself in His Word, as LOVE. He does not merely tell you that He loves you, but that He is LOVE ITSELF--infinite, eternal, unchangeable love! Fury has no place in Him; His anger is turned away from you, by the sacrifice of Jesus.

Your present affliction flows from His love; though occasioned by your sin--or called for by the circumstances in which you are placed. For He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve His redeemed children without cause. But while He puts you to pain, while He lays His rod upon you--He loves you with an inconceivable love! There is nothing but love in His heart toward you! Every affliction is absolutely necessary, and could not be dispensed with. He will never fail you nor forsake you--and therefore He lays His rod upon you. The discipline may be sharp--but the design is truly gracious. He seeks the good of your immortal soul; and designs only your welfare--even your sanctification. He intends to . . .
  remind you of your follies,
  bring you to reflection, and
  lead you back to Himself from whom you have wandered.
Or else He intends to prevent your falling into some real evils, to which you were fast hastening. He intends, in a word . . .
  to conform you to Jesus;
  to answer your prayers; and
  to show you, your absolute need of His presence, power, and love.

It was Divine love which chose the trial. It was Divine love which sent it. And the God of love is waiting to hear your confessions, your prayers, and your complaints.

Believe that He is love; believe that your sickness flows from love; and entreat Him to sanctify it--and then remove it. But seek its sanctification before its removal.

Sanctified afflictions are among our choicest blessings! They . . .
  wean our hearts from earth,
  direct our affections above, and
  give energy and fervor to our prayers.
Many have had to say, "It is good for me, that I have been afflicted! Before I was afflicted I went astray--but now I keep Your precepts."

The Lord watches over you in love; while you are in this furnace--He is about your bed. Do not forget that the God of love is present with you--present to . . .
  hear your groanings,
  number your pains,
  mark your tears,
  listen to your prayers,
  and bless you indeed.
You may not have the comfort of His presence--but you have the benefit of it. Endeavor to realize that God is with you--with you as a kind and gracious Father, watching over you to do you good.

By this affliction, He calls you . . .
  to self-examination;
  to surrender yourself afresh to Him;
  to seek your happiness alone in Him;
  to cast all your cares upon Him;
  to make known your request to Him!
He says, "I will be very gracious unto you at the voice of your cry. When I hear you--I will answer you." His eye is fixed upon you for good! He is full of compassion, and plenteous in mercy unto all who call upon Him in truth. Call then upon the Lord, in this day of trouble; He will deliver you--and you shall glorify Him.

"The Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes every one He accepts as a son." Hebrews 12:6

   ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Friday, January 6, 2012

How do all things work for the good of those who love Him?

Jeremaih 9:7
Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts:
“Behold, I will refine them and test them,
for what else can I do, because of my people?

Isaiah 1:25
I will turn my hand against you
and will smelt away your dross as with lye
and remove all your alloy.

In hard time we have opportunity to draw closer to the Maker of the Universe! See below

The Believer in affliction and trial:from Grace Gems again:

In that hand which was once nailed to the cross for your redemption!

(James Smith, "The Believer's Companion in Seasons of Affliction and Trouble" 1842)

"The Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes every one He accepts as a son." Hebrews 12:6

Afflicted Christian, you are perhaps tempted to think that God cannot love you--or He would not so deeply try you. But the reverse is the case--if He did not love you, He might perhaps refuse to try you. But because He loves you, and is a Father to you--therefore He corrects you.

All of the Lord's children need correction! Many of them will not grow without very severe discipline--consequently your heavenly Father says, "I will melt them, and try them." "I will turn My hand upon you--and will purge away your dross."

Look to the generations of old, and see if the Lord's people in every age have not been an afflicted people. Look at Job, at the prophets, at Lazarus; God tenderly loved them--and yet how severely He tried them. He has commanded an earthly parent to chasten his son, and not to let his soul spare for his crying--and by this rule He also proceeds. He chastens us--that He may not destroy us. There is infinite mercy in your present trial--as dreadful as it may appear to you. There was an absolute necessity for it--for He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve His redeemed children.

He takes pleasure in the spiritual prosperity of His people--and therefore He uses means to promote it. He has received you as a son, and He is now . . .
  using His paternal authority;
  manifesting His infinite wisdom;
  fulfilling His gracious covenant;
  making good His precious promises;
  and displaying His unutterable love!

Every one who is . . .
  adopted into His family;
  quickened by His grace;
  and united to Jesus--
is made to pass under the rod, and prove the truth of the Scripture which says, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous--but the Lord delivers him out of them all."

He chastens you, not for His own pleasure or gratification, but for your profit--that you might be a partaker of His holiness. What a gracious design is this--every way worthy of God. It affords full proof of His infinite wisdom, care, and love!

Think within yourself:
I could not do without this affliction;
it is sent in love;
it is intended to do me good;
it is a proof that I am a child of God
--and you will then think rightly.

Do not despise the chastening of the Lord, by thinking that you could have done as well without it; or that there was no necessity for it. Depend upon it, you must either be . . .
  pained--or ruined;
  tried--or injured;
  corrected--or lost.

Do not faint when the Lord rebukes you. He has promised you, that as your day is--so shall your strength be. He says to you, "Do not fear--for I am with you; do not be afraid--for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand!" Isaiah 41:10. Precious promise of a faithful God! He made it in love. He has not forgotten it--no, He intends to make it good. Yes, He is now making it good to you--as tried and afflicted as you are.

The rod which afflicts you, is in the hand of Jesus! In that hand which was once nailed to the cross for your redemption! In the hand of that Friend who loves at all times; and who is a Brother born for adversity. Will Jesus who suffered, bled, and died to redeem you--ever hurt you? Surely not! His heart is too tender! His love is too great! "He will not break the bruised reed--and He will not quench the smoking flax!" He will bind up the broken heart, and comfort the sorrowful spirit.

You say, "He is sorely trying me!" True--but He is only making you fit to partake of the inheritance of the saints in light. They are . . .
  loving strokes,
  valuable trials,
  blessed afflictions!
As sharp they may be--short they must be.

Humble yourself then under the mighty hand of God;
mourn before Him;
surrender all to Him;
plead with Him;
justify Him--and . . .
   the rod will soon fall from His hand,
   the scourging will soon be over, and
   peaceable fruits of righteousness will make their appearance.

Look up to your God, and say:
Submissive to Your will, my God,
I all to you resign;
I bow before Your chastening rod,
And mourn, but not repine!

Why should my foolish heart complain,
When wisdom, truth, and love,
Direct the stroke, inflict the pain,
And point to joys above?

How short are all my sufferings here!
How needful every cross!
Away then, my unbelieving fear,
Nor call my gain, my loss.

   ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

One of the best books for free this month, a must get! See

John Newton's Letters: How to walk with God:

John Newton's Letters                            How to walk with God

March, 1773
 Dear sir,
 A simple dependence upon the teaching and influence of the good Spirit of God, so as not to supersede the use of appointed means, would, if it could be uniformly maintained, make every part of duty easy and successful. It would free us from much solicitude, and prevent many mistakes. Methinks I have a subject in view already, a subject of great importance to myself, and which perhaps will not be displeasing to you—How to walk with God in the daily occurrences of life, so as to do everything for his sake and by his strength.
When we are justified by faith, and accepted in the Beloved—we become heirs of everlasting life; but we cannot know the full value of our privileges, until we enter upon the state of eternal glory. For this, most who are converted have to wait some time after they are partakers of grace. Though the Lord loves them, hates sin, and teaches them to hate it—he appoints them to remain a while in a sinful world, and to groan under the burden of a depraved nature. He could put them in immediate possession of the heaven for which he has given them a fitness—but he does not. He has a service for them here; an honour which is worth all they can suffer, and for which eternity will not afford an opportunity, namely—to be instruments of promoting his designs, and manifesting his grace in the world. Strictly speaking, this is the whole of our business here, the only reason why life is prolonged, or for which it is truly desirable, that we may fill up our connections and situations, improve our comforts and our crosses, in such a manner as that God may be glorified in us and by us.
As he is a bountiful Master and a kind Father, he is pleased to afford a variety of temporal blessings, which sweeten our service, and as coming from his hand are very valuable. But they are by no means worth living for, considered in themselves, as they can neither satisfy our desires, preserve us from trouble, or support as under it. That light of God's countenance, which can pervade the walls and dissipate the gloom of a dungeon, is unspeakably preferable to all that can be enjoyed in a palace without it. The true end of life is, to live not to ourselves—but to Him who died for us; and while we devote ourselves to his service upon earth, to rejoice in the prospect of being happy with him forever in heaven.
These things are generally known and acknowledged by professors; but they are a favoured few who act consistently with their avowed principles; who honestly, diligently, and without reserve, endeavour to make the most of their talents and strength in promoting the Lord's service, and allow themselves in no views or designs but what are plainly subordinate and subservient to it. Yes, I believe the best of the Lord's servants see cause enough to confess, that they are not only  unprofitable in comparison of what they wish to be—but in many instances unfaithful likewise. They find so many snares, hindrances, and temptations, arising from without, and so much encumbrance from sin which dwells within—that they have more cause for humiliation than self-complacence, even when they seem most earnest and most useful.
However, we have no Scriptural evidence that we serve the Lord at all, any farther than we find a habitual desire and aim to serve him wholly. He is gracious to our imperfections and weakness; yet he requires all the heart, and will not be served by halves, nor accept what is performed by a divided heart.
Doing all to the glory of God, is the true alchemy which turns everything to gold, and ennobles the common actions of life into acts of piety; 1 Cor. 10:31. Nor is there a grain of real goodness in the most specious actions, which are performed without a reference to God's glory. This the world cannot understand; but it will appear highly reasonable to those who take their ideas of God from the Scripture, and who have felt the necessity and found the benefits of redemption.
We are debtors many ways—the Lord has a right to us by  creation, by redemption, by conquest, when he freed us from Satan's power, and took possession of our hearts by his grace; and, lastly, by our own voluntary surrender, in the day when he enabled us to fix our choice on himself—as our Lord and our portion. Then we felt the force of our obligations. We saw the beauty and honour of his service, and that nothing was worthy to stand in the least degree of competition with it. This is always equally true, though our perceptions of it are not always equally strong. But where it has been once really known, it cannot be wholly forgotten, or cease to be the governing principle of life; and the Lord has promised to revive the impression in those who wait upon him, and thereby to renew their strength; for in proportion as we feel by what ties we are his—we shall embrace his service as perfect freedom.
Again—when the eye is thus single, the whole body will be full of light. The principle of acting simply for God, will in general make the path of duty plain, solve a thousand otherwise dubious questions, lead to the most proper and obvious means, and preclude that painful anxiety about events, which upon no other plan can be avoided. The love of God is the best casuist; especially as it leads us to a careful attendance to his precepts, a reliance on his promises, and a submission to his will.
Most of our perplexities arise from an undue, though perhaps unperceived, attachment to SELF. Either we have some scheme of our own too closely connected with our general view of serving the Lord; or lay some stress upon our own management, which, though we suspect it may possibly fail us, we cannot entirely help trusting to. In these respects the Lord permits his servants occasionally to feel their own weakness; but if they are sincerely devoted to him, he will teach them to profit by it, and bring them by degrees to a simplicity of dependence, as well as of intention. Then all things are easy. Acting from love, and walking by faith, they can neither be disappointed or discouraged. Duty is their part, care is his, and they are enabled to cast it upon him. They know, that, when their expedients seem to fail—that he is still all-sufficient. They know, that, being engaged in his cause, they cannot miscarry; and that, though in some things they may seem to fall short of success, they are sure of meeting acceptance, and that he will estimate their services not by their actual effects—but according to the gracious  principle and desire he has put into their hearts. 2 Chron. 6:7-8.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Praying about trials!

Spurgeon, "Prayer Perfumed with Praise"

 We should have faith enough to believe that the present trouble,
 about which we are praying, is sent to us in love by God.

 We should pray concerning our trials in this way--
 "Lord, I have this thorn in the flesh. I beseech you, deliver me
 from it, but meanwhile I bless you for it; for though I do not
 understand the why or the wherefore of it, I am persuaded there
 is love within it. Therefore, while I ask you to remove it, so far as
 it seems evil to me, yet wherein it may to your better knowledge
 work for my good, I bless you for it, and I am content to endure
 it so long as you see fit."

What is the chief end of Man? What is the purpose of our existence?

In conservative Conservative Christian circles, most of our little kids can answer the question, "What is the chief end of Man?" "To glorify God and enjoy Him forever." But do we put this into practice in our daily living? Or do we have a 'humanistic Christianity', where our chief end is to find satisfaction and happiness and God becomes the means to this?

The following is a series of quotes by preachers who have looked at revival and this issue over the years. As one of them says, "It's not what you are going to get out of the glory of God. It is about what He is going to get out of you. Let us be done once and for all with utilitarian Christianity, which makes God the means instead of the glorious end that He is."

Clips of following speakers included in this message: Ian Paisley, Leonard Ravenhill, Paris Reidhead, Duncan Campbell, A.W. Tozer, T. Austin Sparks. 

May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bible Reading Plans

Take leisurely delight in reading God's word - remember it is just that, 'God's word', God 'talking to us today'! There is much blessing in listening to God talking to us.

Exodus 34:6b and 7a “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.

Here are some Bible reading suggestions:

Too wise to be mistaken, Too good to be unkind.

God shall alone the refuge be
By Samuel Medley

The Wisdom and Goodness of God. Exod. 34. 6
1    God shall alone the refuge be,
And comfort of my mind;
Too wise to be mistaken, He,
Too good to be unkind.

2    In all his holy, sovereign will,
He is, I daily find,
Too wise to be mistaken, still
Too good to be unkind.

3    [When I the tempter’s rage endure,
’Tis God supports my mind;
Too wise to be mistaken, sure,
Too good to be unkind.]

4    [When sore afflictions on me lie,
He is (though I am blind)
Too wise to be mistaken, yea,
Too good to be unkind.]

5    What though I can’t his goings see,
Nor all his footsteps find?
Too wise to be mistaken, He,
Too good to be unkind.

6    Hereafter he will make me know,
And I shall surely find,
He was too wise to err, and O,
Too good to be unkind.

Hymn and Prayer for Times of Trial and Thorns:

 Heavenly father! To Whose eye  By Joshua Condor 

Heavenly father! To Whose eye
Future things unfolded lie;
Through the desert where I stray,
Let Thy counsels guide my way.
Lead me not, for flesh is frail,
Where the fiercest trials assail;
Leave me not, in darkened hour,
To withstand the tempter's power.

Lord, uphold me day by day;
Shed a light upon my way;
Guide me through perplexing snares;
Care for me in all my cares.
Should Thy wisdom, Lord, decree
Trials long and sharp for me,
Pain or sorrow, care or shame,
Father, glorify Thy name.

Let me neither faint nor fear,
Knowing still that Thou art near;
In the course my Saviour trod,
Travelling home to Thee, my God!

How happy I am...

My children bless me everyday; each and every one of them is a delight and a joy. Each and every one of them was an answer to prayer, as I asked the Lord for them...God gave; each and every one is a blessing from God. How I thank my God for them!

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD:
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior;
so are children of one's youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them:
They shall not be ashamed,
but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127:3-5