Be it unto thee even as thou wilt.
– Matt 15:28
Oh, the victories of prayer! They are the mountain tops of the Bible. They take us back to the plains of Mamre, to the fords of Peniel, to the prison of Joseph, to the triumphs of Moses, to the transcendent victories of Joshua, to the deliverances of David, to the miracles of Elijah and Elisha, to the whole story of the Master’s life, to the secret of Pentecost, to the key note of Paul’s unparalleled ministry, to the lives of saints and the deaths of martyrs, to all that is most sacred and sweet in the history of the Church and the experience of the children of God. And when, for us, the last conflict shall have passed, and the footstool of prayer shall have given place to the harp of praise, the spots of time that shall be gilded with the most celestial and eternal radiance, shall be those, often linked with deepest sorrow and darkest night, over which we have the inscription, “Jehovah–Shammah: The Lord was there!”
~ A. B. Simpson.
Eminent Holiness the Desire of the Believer
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Jesus Christ.
~ Phil 3:12
Oh for a closer walk with God,
A calm and heavenly frame,
A light to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb!
Galatians 3: 22, 26, 27, 29
In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You
Remember that you have been made a child of God through your faith in Jesus Christ. May you have faith to believe that when you came to know Christ as your personal savior, you also have been adopted into God’s loving family. I pray that you will have the faith to know that you are an heir to all of God’s promises. May you praise God for calling you into His family, as you inherit the blessings of a loving relationship with Him.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Fresh Touch with God
And the ill favored and lean-fleshed kine did eat up the seven well favored and fat kine…and the thin, ears swallowed up the seven rank and full ears
~ Gen 41:4,7
There is a warning for us in that dream, just as it stands: It is possible for the best years of our life, the best experiences, the best victories won, the best service rendered, to be swallowed up by times of failure, defeat, dishonor, uselessness in the kingdom. Some men’s lives of rare promise and rare achievement have ended so. It is awful to think of, but it is true. Yet it is never necessary.
S. D. Gordon has said that the only assurance of safety against this tragedy is “fresh touch with God,” daily, hourly. The blessed, fruitful, victorious experiences of yesterday are not only of no value to me today, but they will actually be eaten up or reversed by today’s failures, unless they serve as incentives to still better, richer experiences today.
“Fresh touch with God,” by abiding in Christ, alone will keep the lean kine and the ill favored grain out of my life.
~ Messages for the Morning Watch
Their insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. If only one person would show some pity; if only one would turn and comfort me.
~ Psalm 69:20 [NLT]
Our God is filled with compassion and as His followers we too should be filled with compassion. One of the ways we can follow closer behind God is by showing mercy to those who need it most. What does can this look like? Befriend someone who is bullied and lonely. Generously babysit for single mothers struggling to make ends meet. Teach your business knowledge to a fledgeling young graduate. You have a lot to offer, if only you would turn and comfort them.
If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
~ Matt 5:23-24
There is something to do before we kneel down to pray in our closet, or begin our worship in the sanctuary, or come to the Lord’s table. There ought to be a look inward at our own hearts before the look upward at the face of God. Are we ready to pray? Are the obstructions out of the way? Is our heart ready for worship? The worship that pleases God the best is love in the heart. He has no pleasure in sacrifices and ceremonies and ordinances while the heart is full of bitterness. He cares nothing for our professions of love to Him so long as we hate our brother. “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”
If therefore, we want our worship to be acceptable to God, we must be sure to come into His presence with hearts cleansed of all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and all malice. Thus every approach to God in prayer requires self-examination; and if we can remember that we have wronged any one, or that there is any estrangement or strife, we should seek reconciliation before we pray. At least we must see that our own spirits are thoroughly cleansed of all bitterness before we come to God’s altar. This rule is fitted to keep our hearts always free from anger. Saint Paul counsels that we should not let the sun go down upon our wrath. No day should be allowed to close over us with anger in our breasts. We may never see another day, and we should not lie down to sleep cherishing bitterness against any other. The evening prayer should cleanse our spirits of all feelings of anger, as we pray, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
SORROW OVER SIN
2 Corinthians 7:8-11
In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You
I pray that the Holy Spirit will expose any sin in your life and fill you with godly sorrow regarding that sin. May your sorrow lead you to repentance that leads to salvation, a repentance that leaves no regret. May this godly sorrow produce in you an eagerness to purify yourself and live a clean life. May it bring indignation against sin, and a longing to see righteousness and justice fulfilled. I pray that godly sorrow will change you more and more into the likeness of Christ.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Diligence in Worldly Calling
Study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.
~ 1 Thess 4:11
Midst hourly cares, may love present
Its incense to thy throne;
And while the world our hands employs,
Our hearts be thine alone.
Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
~ 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 [NLT]
Consider your behavior. What controls you? Are you compelled by anxiety, addiction, anger, or self-reliance? When we become followers of Jesus it is God’s love that should be the guiding force in our lives. Allow him to take control over the areas of your life you find you are struggling.