Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fall upon your knees, and grow there

They repay my love with accusations, but I continue to pray. — Psalm 109:4 NET

We are often in a religious hurry in our devotions. How much time do we spend in them daily? Can it not be easily reckoned in minutes? Who ever knew an eminently holy person who did not spend much time in prayer? Did ever a person exhibit much of the spirit of prayer, who did not devote much time in the closet of prayer?

Whitefield says, “Whole days and weeks have I spent prostrate on the ground, in silent or vocal prayer.” “Fall upon your knees and grow there,” is the language of another, who knew whereof he affirmed.

It has been said that no great work in literature or science was ever wrought by a person who did not love solitude. We may lay it down as an elemental principle of religion, that no large growth in holiness was ever gained by one who did not take time to be often, and long, alone with God.

— The Still Hour

Monday, September 21, 2015

God creates priceless things from our tears

Someone recently told me that they avoid coming to church, because invariably the worship service moves them to tears, and they don't want others to see them cry.

There is grief and pain beneath those words, and a world of hurt -- but the sentiment is misguided. Tears are not the enemy, even tears shed in the worst trial, the worst pain and brokenness of heart. God creates beautiful things from our tears. He uses tears to reshape, to remake and heal us. He uses tears to reveal the heights of divine love and holy will. He uses tears to clear our eyes to see Him in the midst of our pain. He uses tears to wash the soul of His loved children. Never yet has a tear fallen from the eyes of God's dear child, but that He did not see, and appoint the tear as a balm of healing: every place the tear dripped on face or skin, there brushed the liquid love of Abba God, and the sacred tears of the Holy Spirit, and eternal, sacrificial tears of Jesus, still poured out upon those He loves.

Flee not your tears, friends. Let them flow in full accord, as your eyes are turned upon the holy God of the universe. Priceless gifts will spring up where the tears fall. And the tears will simply drop from time to eternity, bottled up in love by God himself, stored up as future diamonds in a forever of love.



In a similar line, Venus Bardanouve writes a meditation entitled, "He Gave Us Tears." Listen to her apt thoughts:

Lord, I don't want to cry in front of my children and grandchildren. Help me to be brave and show them how a Christian faces death."

This was my friend's prayer when she lost her husband. And she sat dry-eyed through his funeral.

Weeks went by and she was still tearless, but her weight of sorrow grew heavier every day. Finally she called out in desperation, "Lord, give me back my tears." He did, and as the tears flowed, her pent-up burden lightened and her broken heart began to heal. She realized that tears are one of God's gracious gifts to us. The all-knowing and compassionate God, who fully understands us, knew we needed them for many reasons.

My friend found that she needed her tears to help relieve the burden of loss. Abraham wept when he buried Sarah, Jacob cried when he thought his son Joseph was dead, David poured out his sorrow with tears over his slain son Absalom, and Mary Magdalene wept at Jesus' tomb.

Sometimes it is not loss, but God's blessing that brings tears. When Jesus enters a heart, old walls are often washed away by tears. As tears poured down the cheeks of a big, burly man who had just found God, he said, "Twenty-five years ago when I was twelve years old, my father almost beat me to death. I vowed then that no one would ever make me cry again, and I have never shed a tear since that day. Now I can hardly stop crying."

Four-year-old Kyle had a touch of that same experience. He was having lunch with Grandma. As she held his small hand, she thanked God for the food and for her little grandson. As she finished praying, he wiped his hand across his eyes and said, "Grandma, when you pray it makes my eyes water." The Holy Spirit often brings tears to the eyes of those with tender hearts.

The Bible tells us to "... weep with those who weep" (Romans 12:15). Jesus wept in compassion when He saw Mary and Martha's grief at the loss of their brother, Lazarus. Tears of others may move us to compassion and action as we sense the hurt that caused them.


You can read the rest here: HE GAVE US TEARS.

The money quote, for me: "Grandma, when you pray it makes my eyes water."

Oh the riches of God's appointed tears for His loved children!

Let your love leak out today, friends, and splash redemptively around your world in acts of kindness, servanthood and prayer... and yea, even through your tears!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

We grow under the load into kings and priests of God's design

Then Jesus called the crowd, along with his disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." — Mark 8:34 NET

by Alexander Smellie

The cross which my Lord bids me take up and carry may assume different shapes. I may have to content myself with a lowly and narrow sphere, when I feel that I have capacities for much higher work. I may have to go on cultivating year after year, a field which seems to yield me no harvests whatsoever. I may be bidden to cherish kind and loving thoughts about someone who has wronged me—be bidden speak to him tenderly, and take his part against all who oppose him, and crown him with sympathy and succor. I may have to confess my Master amongst those who do not wish to be reminded of Him and His claims. I may be called to “move among my race, and show a glorious morning face,” when my heart is breaking.

There are many crosses, and every one of them is sore and heavy. None of them is likely to be sought out by me of my own accord. But never is Jesus so near me as when I lift my cross, and lay it submissively on my shoulder, and give it the welcome of a patient and unmurmuring spirit.

He draws close, to ripen my wisdom, to deepen my peace, to increase my courage, to augment my power to be of use to others, through the very experience which is so grievous and distressing. And then — as I read on the seal of one of those Scottish Covenanters whom Claverhouse imprisoned on the lonely Bass, with the sea surging and sobbing round — I grow under the load.


Wisdom: Use your cross as a crutch to help you on, and not as a stumblingblock to cast you down.

The cross creates in us a weight of glory that will far exceed the worst burdens of this earth — so weighty, in fact, that in comparison, the worst frenzies of earth will be but light and momentary things. In faith, we grow under the load — inner light, inner glory that can only match eternal life, and only fully be expressed in glory. Champions of faith, living into forever...

Note: The story behind the intro picture can be found here:

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Blessings coming and going

You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. — Deut. 28:6 NET

by C.H. Spurgeon

The blessings of the law are not canceled. Jesus confirmed the promise when He bore the penalty. If I keep the commands of my Lord, I may appropriate this promise without question.

This day I will come in to my house without fear of evil tidings, and I will come in to my closet expecting to hear good news from my Lord. I will not be afraid to come in unto myself by self-examination, nor to come in to my affairs by a diligent inspection of my business. I have a good deal of work to do indoors, within my own soul; oh, for a blessing upon it all, the blessing of the Lord Jesus, who has promised to abide with me.

I must also go out. Timidity makes me wish that I could stay within doors and never go into the sinful world again. But I must go out in my calling, and I must go out that I may be helpful to my brethren and useful to the ungodly. I must be a defender of the faith and an assailant of evil. Oh, for a blessing upon my going out this day! Lord, let me go where Thou leadest, on Thy errands, under Thy command, and in the power of Thy Spirit.

Lord Jesus, turn in with me and be my guest; and then walk out with me and cause my heart to burn while You speak with me by the way.


Thursday, September 03, 2015

Not overwork, but overflow

He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn He went out to them, walking on the lake. — Mk. 6:48

Straining, driving effort does not accomplish the work God gives man to do. Only God Himself, who always works without strain, and who never overworks, can do the work that He assigns to His children. When they restfully trust Him to do it, it will be well done and completely done. The way to let Him do His work through us is to partake of Christ so fully, by faith, that He more than fills our life.

A man who had learned this secret once said: “I came to Jesus and I drank, and I do not think that I shall ever be thirsty again. I have taken for my motto, 'Not overwork, but overflow’; and already it has made all the difference in my life.”

There is no effort in overflow. It is quietly irresistible. It is the normal life of omnipotent and ceaseless accomplishment into which Christ invites us today and always.

From: Sunday School Times


Thou shalt conquer

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb. — Rev. 12:11

So that we may not be exploited by Satan (for we are not ignorant of his schemes). — 2 Cor 2:11

Fear not Satan’s strong temptations
Though they tease thee day by day,
And thy evil inclinations
Overwhelm thee with dismay!
Thou shalt conquer,
Through the Lamb’s redeeming blood.