Friday, January 27, 2012

God at work! And if God had not helped us! by James Smith

God at work!

 "There is nothing too hard for You!" Jeremiah 32:17
 There is nothing too hard for God to EFFECT:
"Is anything too hard for Me, says the Lord?"
 "I know that You can do everything."
 "He does according to His will among the armies of Heaven, and the inhabitants of the earth."
 "He works all things after the counsel of His own will."
 Nothing is too hard for God — no change in providence — however it may appear improbable, or impossible to us. He could bring water out of the flinty rock. He could supply quail to satisfy the needs, and gratify the lusts of His people in the desert. He could feed Elijah for twelve months by ravens, and for two years and a half more, by a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in the widow's cruse. He could inundate Samaria with plenty — in the midst of famine and fearful desolation. If He wills it . . .
   the fire shall not burn the three Hebrew youths,
   nor the lions injure Daniel,
   nor death hold Lazarus in the tomb.
 What He has done — He can do; for He is the same. And if necessary for the glory of His name — He will do it, for He will not allow His name to be polluted.
 "Providence" is simply God at work — at work for . . .
   the accomplishment of His decrees,
   the fulfillment of His promises,
   the manifestation of His character, and
   the present and eternal welfare of His people.
 He can . . .
    give whatever we need,
    do whatever we need, and
    glorify Himself in giving to us, and working for us!

If God had not helped us!

"I was pushed back and about to fall — but the Lord helped me!" Psalm 118:13

The psalmist had been reviewing his toils, his trials, and his dangers; he commemorates his deliverances, his conquests, and his triumphs; and he ascribes the whole, to the help of God! If God had not helped him — his faith would have failed, his expectations would have been disappointed, and his foes would have prevailed. Through the Lord, he did valiantly; and now, with joyful heart, he records the loving-kindness of the Lord.
How sweet to look back upon the rough road, the bloody battle-field, the scenes of peculiar trial. Then, if ever, gratitude will work within us, and praises will flow from our tongues and hearts. Delivered from the mouth of the lion, and the paw of the bear — we thankfully acknowledge, "The Lord helped me!"
In looking back we see that we have needed help — and more help than any mere creature could afford us!

The daily cross,
 the inward conflict,
 the domestic troubles,
 the perplexities of business,
 the state of the church,
 the affairs of the world —
 have all combined to teach us that Divine help was necessary!

If God had not helped us . . .
    we would have fallen into sin,
    we would have disgraced our profession,
    we would have been crushed by our foes,
    we would have fainted under our trials,
    we would have apostatized from the faith!
God alone knows what would have been the result — if we had been left to our own resources. We needed help in infancy, in youth, in manhood. We needed help in prosperity — and in adversity! We needed help in temporals — and spirituals. We found our own  strength — to be weakness, and our own wisdom — to be folly.
The feeblest of our foes —  would have been more than a match for us!
The least corruption in our hearts — would have overcome us!
And we need help now — as much as we ever did; for, unless the Lord helps us . . .
    our foes will yet triumph over us,
    our crosses will yet prove to be too much for us,
    and we shall yet faint in the day of adversity!
The Lord has promised help. He has said, "Fear not — for I am with you; be not dismayed — for I am your God! I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness!" And because His people feel themselves to be vile, weak, and incompetent; He stoops to speak to them according to their own views of themselves and says, "Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel — for I Myself will help you! declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel!"
Oh, precious promise, of a good and gracious God!
 It extends to all times,
 it embraces all circumstances,
 it belongs to all believers, and
 it ensures us triumph over all our foes!

Yes, the strength of Jesus has been perfected in our weakness! We have found His grace to be sufficient for us; and to the praise of His glorious grace, in reference to all our trials, troubles, and conflicts — we can truly say, "The Lord helped me!"

Oh, beloved, it is an unspeakable mercy to have God for our helper!

The Believer's Daily Remembrancer by James Smith In every thing give thanks. - 1 Thessalonians 5:18

 Every thing we enjoy should be viewed as coming from the liberal hand of God : all was forfeited by sin; what we receive is of grace.

The providence that supplies us, is the wisdom, benevolence, and power of God in operation for us, as expressive of His infinite love and unmerited grace. Talents to provide supplies, opportunities to obtain, and ability to enjoy, are alike from the Lord. Every mercy increases our obligation and deepens our debt.

Thanksgiving is the ordinance that God hath appointed, that we may express our gratitude, and acknowledge our obligation; and our thanksgivings are acceptable and well-pleasing in His sight.
Thanksgiving is never out of season, for we have always much to be thankful for.

In everything we should give thanks, to that end view all things as arranged by His wisdom, pendant on His will, sanctified by His blessing, according with His promises, and flowing from His love.
All our blessings come through Jesus, and all our praises must ascend through Him; for our Father only accepts what is presented in the name of His beloved Son.

Praise Him who by His word
Supplies our every need,
And gives us Christ the Lord,
Our hungry souls to feed :
Thanks be to God for every good,
Eternal thanks for Jesus' blood.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

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

There is no point in living without a purpose like this Psalm 67 1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selahthat your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.

And a hope like this and a God to praise like this...

Psalm 71 In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
incline your ear to me, and save me!
Be to me a rock of refuge,
to which I may continually come;
you have given the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
For you, O Lord, are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
and with your glory all the day.
9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
forsake me not when my strength is spent.
18 So even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to another generation,
your power to all those to come.
19 Your righteousness, O God,
reaches the high heavens.
You who have done great things,
O God, who is like you?
20 You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
you will bring me up again.
21 ....comfort me again.
22 I will also praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praises to you with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy,
when I sing praises to you;
my soul also, which you have redeemed.
24 And my tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long, ....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Troubles, By James Smith, from Grace Gems

Troubles, Troubles, Troubles!
James Smith, 1842
"Call upon Me in the day of trouble! I will deliver you — and you shall glorify Me!" Psalm 50:15
Believer, in this portion of the divine word, you will discover:
   1. your present portion — trouble,
   2. your constant privilege — prayer,
   3. your future prospect — deliverance.
1. Your present portion is TROUBLE. You must expect trouble, and will certainly be deceived if you expect to escape it. Sin is the parent of trouble — and our sin-cursed earth its fruitful soil. Trouble springs up all around us, and appears in an almost infinite variety of forms.
Every connection we form,
every character we bear,
every office we fill, and
every relation we sustain —
is a fruitful source of trouble!
We shall have . . .
   trouble in mind,
   trouble in circumstances,
   trouble in body;
   trouble from almost every quarter!
This poor world is not our rest — for it is polluted!
This poor world is not our home — for we are poor pilgrims!
This poor world is not our country — for we are strangers and aliens!
Every day has its peculiar troubles. Often when we look for a certain comfort — we only find peculiar distress and vexation! Everything declares, "Happiness is not in me!" You may look on the right hand — but you will find no permanent peace; on the left — and disappointment awaits you. Only in Jesus is . . .
   solid peace,
   holy satisfaction, and
   permanent comfort to be found.
If we could rightly interpret the various voices around us, we would find them all saying, "Go to Jesus! Abide in Jesus! Derive all from Jesus — or be wretched, miserable, and disappointed!"
In youth, manhood, and old age — trouble and tribulation is the Christian's lot. Our God feeds us with the heritage of Jacob our father; but if we carefully read his history, we shall find some very bitter herbs grew on it:
   Joseph is lost,
   Rachel dies,
   Simeon is imprisoned,
   Benjamin must go,
   Simeon and Levi slay the Shechemites — 
   and all these things appear against him!
Just so with us, troubles and trials follow each other, at times, almost like Job's messengers, treading on each other's heels, and we are almost overwhelmed! But,
2. Your constant privilege is PRAYER — to visit the throne of grace, and wait upon our God. He says, "Call upon Me in the day of trouble!" Troubles . . .
   furnish us with messages to our Father's throne,
   quicken us in our supplications, and
   oblige us to entreat His favor!
His throne of grace is always accessible, and His ear is always open; but in times of trouble, He especially invites us to draw near. He says:
Call upon Me in trouble, call for whatever you need!
Are you perplexed — then call for wisdom;
are you weak — then call for strength;
are you guilty — then call for pardon;
are you miserable — then call for comfort;
are you in darkness — then call for light;
are you in bondage — then call for freedom and relief.
Call upon Me, for I am always on the throne of grace!
Call upon Me, for I am glad to see you!
Call upon Me, for I am ready to help you!
Call upon Me, for I wait to be gracious unto you!
Call upon Me — upon Me first, before you run to others!
Call upon Me — and you will have no occasion to go anywhere else, for I have all that you possibly can need.
Call upon Me freely — without reserve.
Call upon Me boldly — without fear.
Call upon Me importunately — without doubt!
The promise encourages us,
the invitation allures us — but
trouble impels us to call upon our God!
Our troubles are frequently the instruments the Holy Spirit employs to carry on His sacred work in our hearts. By troubles, He . . .
   empties us of self,
   weans us from the world, and
   endears Jesus and His salvation to us!
Oh, believer, make use of your privilege in every time of trouble — and fully expect what Your God has promised!
3. Your future prospect is DELIVERANCE. The prospect is opened up, "I will deliver you — and you shall glorify Me!" Here God comes under engagement to deliver His calling child. Can we, then, be too confident, or expect deliverance with too much assurance? Surely not! Only let us beware lest we dictate to God as to time, means, or manner of deliverance — and then we cannot be too certain. He will deliver, and in such a way as to . . .
   put honor on your faith,
   pour confusion on your unbelief, and
   secure the glory to His blessed self!
God's delivering mercies are all brought forth on jubilee days — for the deliverances which He affords, proclaim a jubilee in the soul.
"I WILL!" — this promise is . . .
   more durable than earth,
   more stable as the pillars of Heaven,
   and as changeless as the nature of Jehovah.
"I will DELIVER!" — this is at once . . .
   the food, warrant, and plea of faith;
   the lattice through which hope directs the eye, and
   the prime argument which the soul uses before God.
"I will deliver YOU!" This is the laying of God's hand on His needy child.
My poor brother — are you in trouble? Are you calling upon God? The Lord says, "I will deliver YOU!" You are the person God had in His eye and in His heart — when he caused this precious portion to be penned. Take up the language, and say, "He will deliver ME!" And you, being delivered, proving God to be faithful, realizing the power of prayer, and enjoying delivering mercy — shall, though Satan will try to hinder, and unbelief would gladly shut your mouth — you shall glorify Me!
How truly blessed, how pleasant, how satisfactory is this! Every believer must say: "It is just as I would have it! I get all the mercy — and God gets all the glory!"
Brethren in Jesus . . .
   expect your portion — troubles,
   prize your privilege — prayer, and
   look forward to your prospect — deliverance!