Truth For Today

ATTACK ON THE CHURCH

In the world you will have tribulation.
JOHN 16 : 33

We shouldn’t be surprised when the church comes under attack because Christ said it would happen. Because the world, the flesh, and the devil are behind such hostility, Christ instructed us to “watch and pray, lest [we] enter into temptation” (Matt. 26:41). Peter warned, “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he May devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).To be prepared, Paul said, “Let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thess. 5:8).

It can be difficult to maintain your Christian testimony when persecution is subtle rather than open. I remember asking a Russian pastor, “Is it difficult to pastor a church in your country?” The pastor responded, “No, it’s easy because I know where everyone stands. But how can someone pastor a church in America, where compromise is so common and subtle?” Many so-called Christians want the world’s acceptance and are therefore unwilling to take a stand for Christ.

~ John MacArthur ~

Evening Prayer

Let the fields and everything in them celebrate! Then let the trees of the forest shout with joy
Ps 96:12 NET

Ere, in the northern gale
The summer tresses of the trees are gone,
The woods of autumn, all around our vale,
Have put their glory on.

The mountains that unfold,
In their wide sweep, the colored landscape round,
Seem groups of giant kings, in purple and gold,
That guard the enchanted ground.

Ah! ’twere a lot too blessed
Forever in thy colored shades to stray;
Amid the kisses of the soft southwest
To rove and dream for aye;

And leave the vain low strife
That makes men mad; the tug for wealth and power,
The passions and the cares that wither life,
And waste its little hour.
– William Cullen Bryant

Prayer

My Father, may I have an appreciation of the wonderful creations of the earth. Give me a discriminating eye, that I may know the precious things that thou art growing; and throughout my life may I love the beautiful, and choose that which will make my life worthy of growth. Amen.

Daily Light

Evening

Do as you promised.
2 Sam 7:25 NET

Confirm to your servant your promise, which you made to the one who honors you…. Then I will have a reply for the one who insults me, for I trust in your word…. Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope…. Your statutes have been my songs in the house where I live…. The law you have revealed is more important to me than thousands of pieces of gold and silver…. O Lord, your instructions endure; they stand secure in heaven. You demonstrate your faithfulness to all generations.

In the same way God wanted to demonstrate more clearly to the heirs of the promise that his purpose was unchangeable, and so he intervened with an oath, so that we who have found refuge in him may find strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us through two unchangeable things, since it is impossible for God to lie. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and steadfast, which reaches inside behind the curtain, where Jesus our forerunner entered on our behalf.

Precious and most magnificent promises.

Ps 119:38, Ps 119:42, Ps 119:49, Ps 119:54, Ps 119:72, Ps 119:89-90, Heb 6:17-20, 2 Pet 1:4

Dear Jesus

Listen to Me even while you are listening to other people. As they open their souls to your scrutiny, you are on holy ground. You need the help of My Spiritto respond appropriately.

Dear Jesus,

This is an area where I really want to grow. When people open up to me, I get so focused on them and what they’re saying that I forget to listen to You. The latent hero in me tries to take charge of the situation and rescue the other person. While I’m listening, my mind is analyzing data: searching for solutions. The main problem with this approach is that I’m relying on myself—trusting in my own abilities, which are totally inadequate.

Beloved, it’s good that you recognize your tendency to play the hero. It’s even better that you want to grow out of this role. When people bare their souls to you, you are indeed on holy ground. Your responsibility is to listen and love. If you jump in with both feet— trying to rescue them—your muddy footprints pollute the holy terrain. Some people will retreat when this happens; others may be too wounded to realize they’ve been violated. Either way, you have missed the mark and spoiled a splendid opportunity.

To function effectively on holy ground, you need the help of the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to think through you, listen through you, love through you. As the Spirit’s Love shines through you, My healing Presence goes to work in the other person. While you continue listening, I will sometimes give you words of wisdom to share. But your main role is to direct the person toward Me and My limitless resources.

If you follow these guidelines, both you and others will be blessed. They will connect with My unfailing Love at soul-level. My Spirit will flow through you delightfully—refreshing your soul. You may not feel heroic, but your soul will feel satisfied.

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
Exodus 3:5

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Psalm 143:8

My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods.…
Psalm 63:5

~ Sarah Young ~

Evening Devotional

“I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.”
Hos 13:5

Yes, Lord, thou didst indeed know me in my fallen state, and thou didst even then choose me for thyself. When I was loathsome and self-abhorred, thou didst receive me as thy child, and thou didst satisfy my craving wants. Blessed for ever be thy name for this free, rich, abounding mercy. Since then, my inward experience has often been a wilderness; but thou hast owned me still as thy beloved, and poured streams of love and grace into me to gladden me, and make me fruitful. Yea, when my outward circumstances have been at the worst, and I have wandered in a land of drought, thy sweet presence has solaced me. Men have not known me when scorn has awaited me, but thou hast known my soul in adversities, for no affliction dims the lustre of thy love. Most gracious Lord, I magnify thee for all thy faithfulness to me in trying circumstances, and I deplore that I should at any time have forgotten thee and been exalted in heart, when I have owed all to thy gentleness and love. Have mercy upon thy servant in this thing!

My soul, if Jesus thus acknowledged thee in thy low estate, be sure that thou own both himself and his cause now that thou art in thy prosperity. Be not lifted up by thy worldly successes so as to be ashamed of the truth or of the poor church with which thou hast been associated. Follow Jesus into the wilderness: bear the cross with him when the heat of persecution grows hot. He owned thee, O my soul, in thy poverty and shame-never be so treacherous as to be ashamed of him. O for more shame at the thought of being ashamed of my best Beloved! Jesus, my soul cleaveth to thee.

“I’ll turn to thee in days of light,
As well as nights of care,
Thou brightest amid all that’s bright!
Thou fairest of the fair!”

~ Charles Spurgeon ~