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Lead me in a Plain Path
Wednesday, 16 February 2005
Trusting despite Circumstances
Now Playing: Are we willing to trust in God in every situation ?
Topic: Devotion
Genesis 22:4-5; Hebrews 11:17-19

Genesis 22:4-5 says, "Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you."

In these verses there are three things in particular that reveal the tremendous faith of Abraham.

First, he told the young men who were with him, "Abide ye here." Once Abraham saw the mountain that God was going to send him to, he wanted to be sure that nothing or no one would hinder what he had undertaken.

Second, Abraham told the young men, "I and the lad will go yonder and worship." Thus Abraham gave up all of his desires and ascribed everything to God. It was a true act of worship when Abraham was willing to give up everything for God.

Third, Abraham told the young men, "I and the lad will. . . come again to you." His faith was in the God of the resurrection. He believed that God would bring his son back to life.

Can we trust God when we are totally unable to see how He is going to work out His will? Abraham demonstrated that he could.

"Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" (Job 13:15).

(from T. Epp)


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Posted by dondegr8 at 9:03 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 11 November 2006 3:43 PM EST
Friday, 7 January 2005
Alone with God
Now Playing: How much time are we truly alone with God ?
Topic: Devotion
Alone With God

"And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a
man with him until the breaking of the day" (Gen.
32:24).

Left alone! What different sensations those words conjure up to each of us. To some they spell loneliness and desolation, to others rest and quiet. To be left alone without God, would be too awful for words, but to be left alone with Him is a foretaste of Heaven! If His followers spent more time alone with Him, we should have spiritual giants again.

The Master set us an example. Note how often He went to be alone with God; and He had a mighty purpose behind the command, "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray."

The greatest miracles of Elijah and Elisha took place when they were alone with God. It was alone with God that Jacob became a prince; and just there that we, too, may become princes--"men (aye, and women too!) wondered at" (Zech. 3:8). Joshua was alone when the Lord came to him. (Josh. 1:1) Gideon and Jephthah were by themselves when commissioned to save Israel. (Judges 6:11 and 11:29)

Moses was by himself at the wilderness bush. (Exodus 3:1-5) Cornelius was praying by himself when the angel came to him. (Acts 10:2) No one was with Peter on the house top, when he was instructed to go to the Gentiles. (Acts 10:9) John the Baptist was alone in the wilderness (Luke 1:90), and John the Beloved alone in Patmos, when nearest God. (Rev. 1:9)

Covet to get alone with God. If we neglect it, we not only rob ourselves, but others too, of blessing, since when we are blessed we are able to pass on blessing to others. It may mean less outside work; it must mean more depth and power, and the consequence, too, will be "they saw no man save Jesus only."

To be alone with God in prayer cannot be over-emphasized.

"If chosen men had never been alone,
In deepest silence open-doored to God,
No greatness ever had been dreamed or done."

(selected from R.K.G.)



Posted by dondegr8 at 8:42 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 27 January 2005 10:18 AM EST
Friday, 12 November 2004
Religious and the Spiritual
Now Playing: What is our true character in the sight of God ?
Topic: Devotion
The religious and the spiritual;

The next section of our Gospel sets forth, first by a parable, then by facts, lastly by the words which passed between the Lord and the twelve, the characteristics which suit the kingdom of God. The connection is with this as we know it now, rather than with its display when the Son of man comes in judgment of the quick as in the preceding parable. Indeed, the exceeding breadth of the lesson about to be taught we learn in the words with which the Evangelist opens:

"And he spoke also to some, who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and made nothing of all the rest [of them], this parable."

It is no dispensational picture of the Divine ways with Jews and Gentiles; it is a moral delineation which tells us how God regards those who plume themselves on their correctness of ways as a ground of confidence with Him, and what His estimate is of those who are broken before Him because of their conscious and now to themselves loathsome sinfulness.
"Two men went up into the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee, and the other a taxgatherer. The Pharisee, standing, prayed thus to himself: God, I thank thee that I am not as the rest of men, rapacious, unjust, adulterers, or even as this taxgatherer. I fast twice in the week, I tithe every thing that I acquire.* And the taxgatherer, standing afar off, would not lift up even his eyes to heaven, but was striking upon his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me the sinner. I say unto you, this [man] went down to his house? justified rather than that [other]; for every one who exalteth himself shall be humbled, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

The Pharisee represents the religious world in its most respectable shape;
The taxgatherer, such as had no character to lose, but whatever he may have been,
now truly penitent and looking to God's compassion in selfjudgment. How different are the thoughts of God from those of men! A delicate difference is implied in the two forms of the word which we translate "standing" in each case. With the Pharisee the form (staqeiv") implies a stand taken, a putting himself in position, such as one might naturally do in addressing a speech to an assembly. With the taxgatherer it is the ordinary _expression for standing in contradistinction to sitting (eJstwv")
Again, the essence of the Pharisee's prayer, if prayer it can be called, is not a confession of sin nor an _expression of need even, but a thanksgiving; and this, not for what God had done and been for him, but for what he himself was.

He was not, like the rest of men, violent and corrupt, nor even as the taxgatherer, of whom he cannot speak without a tinge of contempt "this taxgatherer." He finally displays his own habits of fasting and of religious punctiliousness. Not that he laid false claims; not that he excluded God, but he trusted, as a ground for acceptance, to his righteousness, and he made nothing of others'.

He never saw his own sins in the sight of God.
The taxgatherer, on the contrary, is filled with shame and contrition. He stands afar off with not even his eyes raised to heaven, and beats withal on his breast, saying,

"God be compassionate to me, the sinner if ever there was one."

From the homily on lowliness in view of our sins we are now to receive another, lowliness because of our insignificance.

"And they brought to him also infants that he might touch them; but the disciples when they saw [it rebuked them. But Jesus calling them to [him] said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter into it." (Matt. 18: 3.)

The babes were of great price in the eyes of Jesus, not of the disciples, who, if not rabbis themselves, would have lowered their Master to the level of such an one in contempt of little ones. But this could not be suffered, for it was not the truth. Neither the Son nor the Father so feel toward the weak and evidently dependent. Nor is this. all: "of such is the kingdom of God." Those who enter into His kingdom must by grace receive the Saviour and His word as a child that of its, parents. Selfreliance is excluded and replaced by dependence on God in the sense of our own nothingness. Luke 18: 1830.Matt. 19: 1629; Mark 10: 1730.

Next comes the young and rich ruler, who went away sorrowfully from Christ rather than give up the selfimportance attached to his manifold possessions.
"And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Teacher, having done what shall I inherit life eternal? 457a And Jesus said to him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, God.*458 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honour thy father and thy mother.458a

And he said, All these things have I kept from my? youth. And Jesus on hearing [this]? said to him, One thing is lacking to thee yet: sell all that thou hast and distribute to poor [men], and thou shalt have treasure in the heavens?; and come, follow me. But he on hearing these things became very sorrowful, for he was exceedingly rich. And Jesus having seen him [become very sorrowful]|| said, How difficult shall those who have riches enter? into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to enter through a needle's eye than for a rich [man] to enter into the kingdom of God."

The case is plain. The young ruler had no sense of sin, no faith in Christ as a Saviour, still less did he believe that a Divine person was there, which indeed He must be to save sinners. He appealed to Jesus as the best _expression of goodness in man, the highest in the class in which he counted himself no mean scholar. The Lord answers him on the ground of his question. Did he ask the Lord as the good master or teacher, what thing doing he should inherit eternal life? He took his stand on his own doing; he saw not that he was lost and needed salvation. It had never occurred to him that man as such was out of the way, none good, no, not one. That Jesus was the Son of God and Son of man sent to save was a truth to him unknown.

The Lord brings in the commandments of the second table: but his conscience was untouched: "All these things have I kept from my youth."458b "One thing is lacking to thee yet," said Jesus to the self-satisfied yet dissatisfied ruler, conscious that he had not eternal life and that he had no solid security for the future "Sell all that thou hast, and distribute to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, follow me." The conscience which had resisted the test of law fell at the first touch of Jesus. "And hearing this he became very sorrowful, for he was exceedingly rich."

Yet how infinitely did the demand fall short of what we know and have in the Master, good indeed, God indeed, who never laid on others a burden which He had not borne,"" who bore one immeasurably greater and under circumstances peculiar to Himself, and for ends redounding to the glory of God, and with the result to every sinful creature on earth of a testimony of grace without limit, and of a blessing without stint where He is received! To the ruler it was overwhelming, impossible, the annihilation of all he valued; for indeed now it was evident that he loved his riches, money, mammon, a thing he had never suspected in himself before; but there it had been all along, discovered now in presence of and by Him Who, though He was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. 2 Cor. 8: 9.

The ruler valued his position and his property, and could not bear to have nothing and be nothing. Oh, what a contrast with Him who "counted it not a matter of robbery to be on equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking a bondsman's form, born in likeness of men; and who, when found in fashion as a man, humbled Himself by becoming obedient as far as death, yea death of the cross." Phil. 2: 6ff. W Kelly, Luke 18


Posted by dondegr8 at 12:55 PM EST
Wednesday, 22 September 2004
Alone with God
Now Playing: How often are you alone with God ?
Topic: Devotion
Alone With God

"And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day" (Gen. 32:24).

Left alone! What different sensations those words conjure up to each of us. To some they spell loneliness and desolation, to others rest and quiet. To be left alone without God, would be too awful for words, but to be left alone with Him is a foretaste of Heaven! If His followers spent more time alone with Him, we should have spiritual giants again.

The Master set us an example. Note how often He went to be alone with God; and He had a mighty purpose behind the command, "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray."

The greatest miracles of Elijah and Elisha took place when they were alone with God. It was alone with God that Jacob became a prince; and just there that we, too, may become princes--"men (aye, and women too!) wondered at" (Zech. 3:8).

Joshua was alone when the Lord came to him. (Josh. 1:1) Gideon and Jephthah were by themselves when commissioned to save Israel. (Judges 6:11 and 11:29) Moses was by himself at the wilderness bush. (Exodus 3:1-5) Cornelius was praying by himself when the angel came to him.(Acts 10:2) No one was with Peter on the house top, when he was instructed to go to the Gentiles. (Acts 10:9) John the Baptist was alone in the wilderness (Luke 1:90), and John the Beloved alone in Patmos, when nearest God. (Rev.1:9)

Covet to get alone with God. If we neglect it, we not only rob ourselves, but others too, of blessing, since when we are blessed we are able to pass on blessing to others. It may mean less outside work; it must mean more depth and power, and the consequence, too, will be "they saw no man save Jesus only."

To be alone with God in prayer cannot be over-emphasized.

"If chosen men had never been alone, In deepest silence open-doored to God, No greatness ever had been dreamed or done."

(from Selections by R.K.G.)

Posted by dondegr8 at 11:57 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 23 September 2004 9:42 AM EDT
Saturday, 21 August 2004
Christ in the New Testament
Now Playing: Are we fully, daily occupied with Him ?
Topic: Devotion
CHRIST AS SEEN IN THE BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

Matthew - The King in Christ.

2:2 - Saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.

Mark - The Servant in Christ.

10:45 - For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.

Luke - The Man in Christ.

5:24 - But that ye may know that the Son of Man hath power upon earth to forgive sine, (He said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.

John - God in Christ.

1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Acts - Power in Christ.

3:16 - And His name through faith in His name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by Him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

Romans - Justification in Christ.

4:25 - Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

I Corinthians - Enriched in Christ.

1:5 - That in every thing ye are enriched by Him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge.

II Corinthians - Comforted in Christ.

1:5 - For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

Galatians - Liberty in Christ.

And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage.

Ephesians - Raised and Seated in Christ.

2:6 - And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Philippians - Rejoicing in Christ.

3:3 - For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Colossians - Complete in Christ.

2:10 - And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.

I Thessalonians - Hope in Christ.

1:3 - Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.

II Thessalonians - Glorified in Christ.

2:14 - Whereunto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I Timothy - Faith in Christ.

3:13 - For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

II Timothy - Grace in Christ.

2:1 - Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Titus - Order in Christ.

1:5 - For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee.

Philemon - Refreshing in Christ.

:20 - Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.

Hebrews - Better in Christ.

7:22 - By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.

James - Doing in Christ.

2:16 - And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; not withstanding ye give them not those thing which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

I Peter - Suffering in Christ.

4:13 - But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

II Peter - Knowledge in Christ.

1:8 - For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I John - Love in Christ.

4:17 - Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.

II John - Truth in Christ.

:3 - Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

III John - Walking in Christ.

:3 - For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.

Jude - Preserved in Christ.

:1 - Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.

Revelation - Glorying in Christ.

1:5 - And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the king of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood,

1:6 - And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted by dondegr8 at 6:32 PM EDT

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