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Reading - Exhortation - Doctrine
Monday, 11 April 2005
God Knows our Heartaches
Now Playing: Is there a sense in our soul of God's care for us ?
Topic: Christian walk
Genesis 40:9-15

Having assured the chief butler that he would be restored to his former responsibility, Joseph urged him, "But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: for indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon" (Gen. 40:14,15).

These verses reveal the heart and thoughts of Joseph. They show how human he really was. But his trials were inhuman; they were extremely hard to bear.

There was nothing wrong with Joseph's seeking release, but he found that waiting for God's time is often one of the hardest things to do. Joseph was not rebuked by God for seeking his release because God knew the heartache Joseph had.

Regardless of what you are going through, God understands your deepest emotions; He knows how you feel.

Hebrews 4:14-16 tells us, "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

"Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust"
(Ps. 103:13,14).

(from T. Epp)

Posted by dondegr0 at 12:23 PM EDT
Wednesday, 9 February 2005
Narrow Path; Wide Heart
Now Playing: How consistent is our Christian walk with scripture ?
Topic: Christian walk
To combine a narrow path with a wide heart;

It is one of our great difficulties at the present moment - indeed it has ever been a difficulty - to combine a narrow path with a wide heart. There is very much on all sides tending to produce isolation. We cannot deny it. Links of human friendship seem so fragile; so many things crop up to shake confidence; so many things which one cannot possibly sanction, that the path becomes more and more isolated. All this is unquestionably true.

But we must be very careful as to how we meet this condition of things. We have little idea how much depends on the spirit in which we carry ourselves in the midst of scenes and circumstances which, all must admit, are uniquely trying. For example, I may retreat in upon myself and become bitter, gloomy, severe, repulsive, withered up, having no heart for the Lord's people, for His service, for the holy and happy exercises of the assembly. I may become barren of good works, having no sympathy with the poor, the sick, the sorrowful. I may live in the narrow circle in which I have withdrawn, thinking only of myself and my personal and family interests.

What can be more miserable than this? It is the most deplorable selfishness, but we do not see it because we are blinded by our inordinate occupation with other people's failures. Now it is a very easy matter to find flaws and faults in our brethren and friends. But the question is, How are we to meet these things? Is it by retreating in upon ourselves? Never!

To do this is to render ourselves as miserable in ourselves as we are worthless, and worse than worthless, to others. There are few things more pitiable than what we call "a disappointed man." He is always finding fault with others. He has never discovered the real root of the matter or the true secret of dealing with it. He has retired, but within himself He is isolated, but his isolation is utterly false. He is miserable; and he will make all who come under his influence - all who are weak and foolish enough to listen to him - as miserable as himself. He has completely broken down in his practical career; he has succumbed to the difficulties of his time and proved himself wholly unequal to meet the stem realities of actual life. Then, instead of seeing and confessing this, he retires into his own narrow circle and finds fault with everyone except himself.

How truly delightful and refreshing to turn from this dismal picture to the only perfect Man who ever trod this earth! His path was indeed an isolated one - none more so. He had no sympathy from the scene around Him. "The world knew Him not." "He came unto His own (Israel), and His own received Him not." "He looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but He found none."

Even His own beloved disciples failed to sympathize with, or understand Him. They slept on the mount of transfiguration in the presence of His glory and they slept in the garden of Gethsemane in the presence of His agony. They roused Him out of His sleep with their unbelieving fears and were continually intruding upon Him with their ignorant questions and foolish notions.

How did He meet all this? In perfect grace, patience and tenderness. He answered their questions; He corrected their notions; He hushed their fears; He solved their difficulties; He met their need; He made allowance for their infirmities; He gave them credit for devotedness in the moment of desertion; He looked at them through His own loving eyes and loved them, notwithstanding all. "Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end."

Christian reader,

Let us seek to drink into our blessed Master's spirit and walk in His footsteps. Then our isolation will be of the right kind, and though our path may be narrow, the heart will be large.

Posted by dondegr0 at 2:47 PM EST
Monday, 24 January 2005
Now Playing: Has God used even our stumbles for good and blessing ?
Topic: Christian walk
The defection of John [Mark] here is remarked by the Holy Spirit. It was not a trifle in God's mind, and the difference it occasioned afterwards, when Barnabas would have joined him again with Paul, proved serious for servants so ardently and justly attached. John had not faith and courage for the work opening before them and returned to Jerusalem where were his mother and the associations so dear to the natural heart.

But on the other hand we must not exaggerate with those who affirm that a stumble is fatal. It may be so in a horse; but one might suppose that Christian men better knew both their own probable experience and the teaching of scripture expressly in this very case. Grace turned past failure to future profit, and at a later day the great apostle was as earnest to commend his ministry as he could not but blame the failure when in progress.

(Now the only priests Christianity recognises are the confessors of Christ. They are a holy and a royal priesthood. The Epistle to the Hebrews exhorts them in the use of more than Aaronic privilege, as do the apostles John and Peter. It is the unbelieving pride of theology to apply priesthood to the gifts of Christ or to local charges as elders. Not once do we find this in the N. T. which in spirit and letter so designates every Christian.

There is no such application to ministers in the word. Their function from God is to preach to the world, or to teach the saints. Priests have the wholly distinct place of drawing near to God in prayer and praise, offering up "spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."

They are therefore bound to keep clear of spiritual death, and leave the dead to bury their dead. They are to reckon themselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus, their consciences purified from dead works for religious service of a living God. Christ is now their life who by His death and resurrection gives them the victory.

By one offering Christ has perfected continuously the sanctified. There is no defective or blemished person in the Christian priesthood. He was ever perfect morally; we are perfected by His one offering. It is not a question of flaws in walk.)


Posted by dondegr0 at 12:53 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 1 March 2005 9:49 AM EST
Tuesday, 18 January 2005
Now Playing: Are we careful to please God in everything we say and do ?
Topic: Christian walk

Webster's Dictionary defines the word "circumspect" in the following way: "Careful to consider all circumstances and consequences". I was struck by this definition in regard to the word as it appears twice in Scripture---once in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament. In connection with the Mosaic law and the instruction given by God to His redeemed people, Israel, they were exhorted thus: "In all things that I have said unto you be circumspect" (Ex.23:13).

There were penalties and consequences if they disobeyed God's commandment---if they sinned. Their history, as it is given in Scripture, testifies to this fact over and over again.In the New Testament we read, "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Eph. 5:15-16). Yes, everything we do has a consequence! Every choice we make has an impact on our life. It will be either for good or for bad---for blessing or for evil---for bringing joy or for bringing sorrow.

Many an elderly saint of God weeps as he reaps the results of not walking carefully and weighing the import and effect of his actions when he was younger. How often as children we disobeyed or deceived our parents without considering the end result. Let us be careful as the children of God that we do not fall into the same pattern. Let us walk as wise believers, not as fools. Time is short!

We only have a few brief moments left to live for Christ and glorify Him here in this world. The days are evil indeed, but He is able to keep us through every circumstance and every decision of the pathway of faith. Let us learn to live in the "fear of the Lord" (Prov.1:7)

(selected from J. HYLAND)

Posted by dondegr0 at 9:04 AM EST

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