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Daily Devotionals For February 2005

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday February 1st/05

Unshaken In Christ

"God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early." (Ps. 46:2, 3, 5)

"Shall not be moved"--what an inspiring declaration! Can it be possible that we, who are so easily moved by the things of earth, can arrive at a place where nothing can upset us or disturb our calm? Yes, it is possible; and the Apostle Paul knew it. When he was on his way to Jerusalem where he foresaw that "bonds and afflictions" awaited him, he could say triumphantly, "But none of these things move me." Everything in Paul's life and experience that could be shaken had been shaken, and he no longer counted his life, or any of life's possessions, dear to him. And we, if we will but let God have His way with us, may come to the same place, so that neither the fret and tear of little things of life, nor the great and heavy trials, can have power to move us from the peace that passeth understanding, which is declared to be the portion of those who have learned to rest only on God.

"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God; and he shall go no more out." To be as immovable as a pillar in the house of our God, is an end for which one would gladly endure all the shakings that may be necessary to bring us there! --Hannah Whitall Smith

When God is in the midst of a kingdom or city He makes it as firm as Mount Zion, that cannot be removed. When He is in the midst of a soul, though calamities throng about it on all hands, and roar like the billows of the sea, yet there is a constant calm within, such a peace as the world can neither give nor take away. What is it but want of lodging God in the soul, and that in His stead the world is in men's hearts, that makes them shake like leaves at every blast of danger? --Archbishop Leighton

"They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever." There is a quaint old Scottish version that puts iron into our blood:

"Who sticketh to God in stable trust
As Zion's mount he stands full just,
Which moveth no whit, nor yet doth reel,
But standeth forever as stiff as steel!"


(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday February 2nd/05

Thought this was worth passing on:

Knowledge Too Wonderful

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Daily Devotional for Thursday February 3rd/05

"The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." --1 John 1:7

"Cleanseth," says the text--not "shall cleanse." There are multitudes who think that as a dying hope they may look forward to pardon. Oh! how infinitely better to have cleansing now than to depend on the bare possibility of forgiveness when I come to die. Some imagine that a sense of pardon is an attainment only obtainable after many years of Christian experience. But forgiveness of sin is a present thing--a privilege for this day, a joy for this very hour. The moment a sinner trusts Jesus he is fully forgiven. The text, being written in the present tense, also indicates continuance; it was "cleanseth" yesterday, it is "cleanseth" to-day, it will be "cleanseth" tomorrow: it will be always so with you, Christian, until you cross the river; every hour you may come to this fountain, for it cleanseth still. Notice, likewise, the completeness of the cleansing, "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin"--not only from sin, but "from all sin." Reader, I cannot tell you the exceeding sweetness of this word, but I pray God the Holy Ghost to give you a taste of it. Manifold are our sins against God. Whether the bill be little or great, the same receipt can discharge one as the other. The blood of Jesus Christ is as blessed and divine a payment for the transgressions of blaspheming Peter as for the shortcomings of loving John; our iniquity is gone, all gone at once, and all gone for ever. Blessed completeness! What a sweet theme to dwell upon as one gives himself to sleep.

"Sins against a holy God;
Sins against His righteous laws;
Sins against His love, His blood;
Sins against His name and cause;
Sins immense as is the sea-
From them all He cleanseth me."

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Friday February 4th/05

Drawing Near to God

"Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you" (James 4:8).

The nearer we come to God, the more graciously will He reveal Himself to us. When the prodigal comes to his father, his father runs to meet him. When the wandering dove returns to the ark, Noah puts out his hand to pull her in unto him. When the tender wife seeks her husband's society, he comes to her on wings of love. Come then, dear friend, let us draw nigh to God who so graciously awaits us, yea, comes to meet us.

Did you ever notice that passage in Isaiah 58:9? There the LORD seems to put Himself at the disposal of His people, saying to them, "Here I am." As much as to say -- "What have you to say to me? What can I do for you? I am waiting to bless you." How can we hesitate to draw near? God is nigh to forgive, to bless, to comfort, to help, to quicken, to deliver. Let it be the main point with us to get near to God. This done, all is done. If we draw near to others, they may before long grow weary of us and leave us; but if we seek the LORD alone, no change will come over His mind, but He will continue to come nearer and yet nearer to us by fuller and more joyful fellowship.

(Taken from Faith's Checkbook by Spurgeon)

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Daily Devotional for Saturday February 5th/05

This is the message I preached at the Gospel Mission yesterday.

Not Ashamed

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Daily Devotional for Sunday February 6th/05

"There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness." --2 Timothy 4:8

Doubting one! thou hast often said, "I fear I shall never enter heaven." Fear not! all the people of God shall enter there. I love the quaint saying of a dying man, who exclaimed, "I have no fear of going home; I have sent all before me; God's finger is on the latch of my door, and I am ready for Him to enter." "But," said one, "are you not afraid lest you should miss your inheritance?" "Nay," said he, "nay; there is one crown in heaven which the angel Gabriel could not wear, it will fit no head but mine. There is one throne in heaven which Paul the apostle could not fill; it was made for me, and I shall have it." O Christian, what a joyous thought! thy portion is secure; "there remaineth a rest." "But cannot I forfeit it?" No, it is entailed. If I be a child of God I shall not lose it. It is mine as securely as if I were there. Come with me, believer, and let us sit upon the top of Nebo, and view the goodly land, even Canaan. Seest thou that little river of death glistening in the sunlight, and across it dost thou see the pinnacles of the eternal city? Dost thou mark the pleasant country, and all its joyous inhabitants? Know, then, that if thou couldst fly across thou wouldst see written upon one of its many mansions, "This remaineth for such a one; preserved for him only. He shall be caught up to dwell for ever with God." Poor doubting one, see the fair inheritance; it is thine. If thou believest in the Lord Jesus, if thou hast repented of sin, if thou hast been renewed in heart, thou art one of the Lord's people, and there is a place reserved for thee, a crown laid up for thee, a harp specially provided for thee. No one else shall have thy portion, it is reserved in heaven for thee, and thou shalt have it ere long, for there shall be no vacant thrones in glory when all the chosen are gathered in.

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Monday February 7th/05

A Fiery Sermon

A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him.

It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for the pastor's visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a big chair near the fireplace and waited. The pastor made himself comfortable but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the play of the flames around the burning logs.

After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked a burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth alone.

Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet fascination. As the one lone ember's flame diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and "dead as a doornail." Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.

Just before the pastor was ready to leave, he picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said, "Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon, I shall be back in church next Sunday." - Selected.

(Taken from a church bulletin)

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday February 8th/05

"But Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods." --Exodus 7:12

This incident is an instructive emblem of the sure victory of the divine handiwork over all opposition. Whenever a divine principle is cast into the heart, though the devil may fashion a counterfeit, and produce swarms of opponents, as sure as ever God is in the work, it will swallow up all its foes. If God's grace takes possession of a man, the world's magicians may throw down all their rods; and every rod may be as cunning and poisonous as a serpent, but Aaron's rod will swallow up their rods. The sweet attractions of the cross will woo and win the man's heart, and he who lived only for this deceitful earth will now have an eye for the upper spheres, and a wing to mount into celestial heights. When grace has won the day the worldling seeks the world to come. The same fact is to be observed in the life of the believer. What multitudes of foes has our faith had to meet! Our old sins--the devil threw them down before us, and they turned to serpents. What hosts of them! Ah, but the cross of Jesus destroys them all. Faith in Christ makes short work of all our sins. Then the devil has launched forth another host of serpents in the form of worldly trials, temptations, unbelief; but faith in Jesus is more than a match for them, and overcomes them all. The same absorbing principle shines in the faithful service of God! With an enthusiastic love for Jesus difficulties are surmounted, sacrifices become pleasures, sufferings are honours. But if religion is thus a consuming passion in the heart, then it follows that there are many persons who profess religion but have it not; for what they have will not bear this test. Examine yourself, my reader, on this point. Aaron's rod proved its heaven-given power. Is your religion doing so? If Christ be anything He must be everything. O rest not till love and faith in Jesus be the master passions of your soul!

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday February 9th/05

I thought this testimony was a blessing:

The Conversion Of Charles Weigle

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Daily Devotional for Thursday February 10th/05

Rejoice In The Flood

"He turned the sea into dry land; they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him" (Ps. 66:6).

It is a striking assertion, "through the floods" (the place where we might have expected nothing but trembling and terror, anguish and dismay) "there," says the Psalmist, "did we rejoice in him!"

How many there are who can endorse this as their experience: that "there," in their very seasons of distress and sadness, they have been enabled, as they never did before, to triumph and rejoice.

How near their God in covenant is brought! How brightly shine His promises! In the day of our prosperity we cannot see the brilliancy of these. Like the sun at noon, hiding out the stars from sight, they are indiscernible; but when night overtakes, the deep, dark night of sorrow, out come these clustering stars --blessed constellations of Bible hope and promise of consolation.

Like Jacob at Jabbok, it is when our earthly sun goes down that the Divine Angel comes forth, and we wrestle with Him and prevail.

It was at night, "in the evening," Aaron lit the sanctuary lamps. It is in the night of trouble the brightest lamps of the believer are often kindled.

It was in his loneliness and exile John had the glorious vision of his Redeemer. There is many a Patmos still in the world, whose brightest remembrances are those of God's presence and upholding grace and love in solitude and sadness.

How many pilgrims, still passing through these Red Seas and Jordans of earthly affliction, will be enabled in the retrospect of eternity to say--full of the memories of God's great goodness--"We went through the flood on foot, there --there, in these dark experiences, with the surging waves on every side, deep calling to deep, Jordan, as when Israel crossed it, in 'the time of the overflowing' (flood), yet, 'there did we rejoice in Him!'" --Dr. Macduff

"And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the door of trouble for a door of hope: and she shall sing THERE" (Hosea 2:15).

(Taken from Streams In The Desert Devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Friday February 11th/05

"For my strength is made perfect in weakness." --2 Corinthians 12:9

A primary qualification for serving God with any amount of success, and for doing God's work well and triumphantly, is a sense of our own weakness. When God's warrior marches forth to battle, strong in his own might, when he boasts, "I know that I shall conquer, my own right arm and my conquering sword shall get unto me the victory," defeat is not far distant. God will not go forth with that man who marches in his own strength. He who reckoneth on victory thus has reckoned wrongly, for "it is not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." They who go forth to fight, boasting of their prowess, shall return with their gay banners trailed in the dust, and their armour stained with disgrace. Those who serve God must serve Him in His own way, and in His strength, or He will never accept their service. That which man doth, unaided by divine strength, God can never own. The mere fruits of the earth He casteth away; He will only reap that corn, the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love. God will empty out all that thou hast before He will put His own into thee; He will first clean out thy granaries before He will fill them with the finest of the wheat. The river of God is full of water; but not one drop of it flows from earthly springs. God will have no strength used in His battles but the strength which He Himself imparts. Are you mourning over your own weakness? Take courage, for there must be a consciousness of weakness before the Lord will give thee victory. Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and your casting down is but the making ready for your lifting up.

"When I am weak then am I strong,
Grace is my shield and Christ my song."

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Saturday February 12th/05

What To Do In Trying Times

(Notes from a sermon preached by my pastor, Claude Madle, in January 2005)

Psalms 37:1-7 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Fret not, be not envious of evildoers.
Psalms 73:3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Cease from anger.
Psalms 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

1) Trust in the Lord. Means to flee for refuge.
Psalms 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Psalms 48:14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
If we trust in the Lord:
- We will do good.
- We will dwell in the land.
- We will be fed.
- We will be helped by the Lord.
Psalms 37:40 And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

2) Keep delighting in the Lord.
Psalms 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Psalms 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
- If we are new creatures in Christ (through faith in Christ alone for salvation), as we delight in the Lord, He will give us a new heart with new desires.

3) Commit your way unto the Lord. Means roll it onto.
Psalms 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
If you commit your way unto the Lord:
- God will order your life. Psalms 37:23-25 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
- God will guard you. Psalms 37:6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
Psalms 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
- God will establish your thinking. Proverbs 16:3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
- God will provide the necessities of life. Matthew 6:25-34 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
- God will take care of you. 1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

4) Rest in the Lord.
Psalms 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
Psalms 4:4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
Exodus 14:13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.

5) Wait patiently on the Lord.
Psalms 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
He shall give… Psalms 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
He shall supply… Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
If we wait upon the Lord:
- He will hear your prayers. Psalms 40:1-4 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
- He will not disappoint you. Psalms 62:1-2, 5 Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
- He will strengthen you. Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Psalms 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psalms 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
- He will deliver you. Proverbs 20:22 Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.
Isaiah 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

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Daily Devotional for Sunday February 13th/05

THINGS TO BE LEFT BEHIND

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." --Hebrews 12:1-2.

Leave behind your past sins. They have been many and great, more than you can count. But if you have confessed and forsaken them, they have been put away, "as far as the east is from the west.'" Nothing could be more explicit than 1 John 1:9. It is useless to brood over the past. God has buried it in the grave of Christ. Go and sin no more!

Leave behind your bad habits that encumber you. You know what they are, and how they cling --ill-temper, jealousy, pride, evil-speaking, and many another! You have fallen again and again, overtaken by them, tripped up, your robes stained and torn. There should be some finality in your life, a mark on the grass from which you start to run the race. The command to put off the old man is in the definite tense (Colossians 3:8-9). It be-speaks one sudden strong act of the will, God-nerved and God-empowered. This, then, is the hour when you must strike for liberty "Ye have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God."

Leave behind your accomplished ideals. They were once far in front and above you. As you climbed they seemed almost inaccessible, and mocking voices rang out their defiance of your attempt. But by the grace of God things that once you dreamt of are now realised, and you are sitting on the peak that once seemed to laugh you to scorn. But you must leave it behind! Look up! look forward! Are there not fresh ideals calling to you? Leave behind your attainments and strike your tents. One battle is fought, but a yet stronger foe bars the way immediately in front. It is suicidal to rest on your oars; to do so will expose you to the inevitable backward drift.

The best way to leave behind is to press forward. The Spirit of God bids us "run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus." He is our Forerunner, always before us, always leading us on. His crest, like the plume of Henry of Navarre, is always in the very thick of the fight. Let the soul follow hard after Him, and it will become almost oblivious to what it leaves behind. The boy who is running for the goal, in his eagerness to win the prize, strips himself of one and another article of clothing. He will not count their worth, so long as he may win the prize. So run that ye may attain! Apprehend that for which you were apprehended! Lay hold on the outstretched crown of life!

PRAYER

Most gracious God, quicken me by Thy Holy Spirit, that I may run in the way Thou hast marked out for me. May I ever be kept looking off unto Jesus. AMEN.

(From Our Daily Walk by F.B. Meyer)

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Daily Devotional for Monday February 14th/05

"If thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it." --Exodus 20:25

God's altar was to be built of unhewn stones, that no trace of human skill or labour might be seen upon it. Human wisdom delights to trim and arrange the doctrines of the cross into a system more artificial and more congenial with the depraved tastes of fallen nature; instead, however, of improving the gospel carnal wisdom pollutes it, until it becomes another gospel, and not the truth of God at all. All alterations and amendments of the Lord's own Word are defilements and pollutions. The proud heart of man is very anxious to have a hand in the justification of the soul before God; preparations for Christ are dreamed of, humblings and repentings are trusted in, good works are cried up, natural ability is much vaunted, and by all means the attempt is made to lift up human tools upon the divine altar. It were well if sinners would remember that so far from perfecting the Saviour's work, their carnal confidences only pollute and dishonour it. The Lord alone must be exalted in the work of atonement, and not a single mark of man's chisel or hammer will be endured. There is an inherent blasphemy in seeking to add to what Christ Jesus in His dying moments declared to be finished, or to improve that in which the Lord Jehovah finds perfect satisfaction. Trembling sinner, away with thy tools, and fall upon thy knees in humble supplication; and accept the Lord Jesus to be the altar of thine atonement, and rest in Him alone.

Many professors may take warning from this morning's text as to the doctrines which they believe. There is among Christians far too much inclination to square and reconcile the truths of revelation; this is a form of irreverence and unbelief, let us strive against it, and receive truth as we find it; rejoicing that the doctrines of the Word are unhewn stones, and so are all the more fit to build an altar for the Lord.

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

This link was passed on to me, regarding the Old Testament Tabernacle and its furnishings. This website contains short video clips of the construction of the Tabernacle that I thought was a good way to understand the passages - the passages are read from the King James Bible as the clips portray what is being described by Moses.

This is in no way an endorsement of the website, the materials being sold, or this ministry - as I have not had an opportunity to check it out further. I have viewed all the clips and compared the passages with my Bible, and feel they would be edifying to pass on.

Old Testament Tabernacle

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday February 15th/05

(Taken from The Father's Family - Studies in 1 John, by J. Arthur Springer)

GOD IS LOVE

"Every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." (1 John 4:7-8)

John is not passing on to another subject here, but to another phase of the same subject. He has been talking about knowing GOD and thus discerning and differentiating truth from error. Now he begins to talk about knowing God, and thus imitating Him in loving others. Since love is of God, and since every one who loves has been born again, born of God, and thus knows God, we ought to love one another (v. 7). God is the originator of love. His very nature is love, which is an unselfish desire to be of help to others, regardless of who those others are, or what their attitude is toward the one who loves them, or how great the cost to the one who does the loving. If we know God, then we have experienced such love from God, and ought to show such love to others.

Consequently, the man who does not love -- whose heart does not go out to someone else -- that man does not know God, for God is the very essence of love (v. 8). It is not that God is love and nothing else. Rather, it is that everything God does He does in love. God is more than mere love. He is righteous, as we saw in 2:29. He is light, as we were told in 1:5. He is omnipotence, He is omniscience, He is omnipresence. But He is nothing and does nothing apart from love.

The classic manifestation of the love of God is to be seen at the cross (v. 9). Notice how similar this verse is to John 3:16. The love of God is displayed pre-eminently in the price He was willing to pay for our redemption -- "that we might live." That price was "his only begotten Son." One person's love for another may be measured by the length to which he is willing to go in sacrificing, or denying himself, for the sake of the other. God's love for us -- rebels against Him and besmirched by sin -- was so great that He gave His unique and most priceless possession, His only Son, to provide eternal life for us, What a price God paid -- for us!

It seems as though John is afraid he hasn't quite made his point, at least clearly enough so no one could possibly fail to see it. Therefore he continues in the same strain in verse 10. The love he is talking about is not our love for God, but God's love for us. We may love God, and we should, and John makes that point elsewhere. But just now he wants to be sure we understand clearly the love of God for us, and what that love cost Him.

First, He sent His Son. He did not just permit Him to come when the Son had, as it were, already made up His mind to come. Nor did He order His Son to come to earth, regardless of His Son's desire in the matter. There was perfect agreement between Father and Son. The Father desired because He loved us that the Son should come; and the Son was willing to come. This was, as we have seen, because both Father and Son loved us.

Second, He sent Him to become the propitiation for our sins, that is, to become the sacrifice which would put away our sins from before God, so that He would never remember them again forever! During Old Testament times, animal sacrifices had repeatedly been offered. But these, as we learn in Hebrews 10:4, could never put sins away. They were intended to point to the one sacrifice that could take our sins away -- the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary. This is the fruit of divine love. Loving, gracious God, how we ought to love Thee for this!

Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure, unbounded love Thou art.

Charles Wesley

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday February 16th/05

(Taken from The Father's Family - Studies in 1 John, by J. Arthur Springer)

GOD'S LOVE IN US

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another... God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." (1 John 4:11, 16b)

The previous section closed on the thought that God loves us and showed it by sending His Son to die for our sins. Now John draws a conclusion from this, which is not a new thought at all but one which bears constant repetition: "We ought also to love one another" (v. 11). Since God has loved us so, we ought to love each other. After all, we have all been alike the objects and the beneficiaries of God's love.

Verse 12 reminds us that not one of us has ever seen God. However, we have seen each other, and we know that all of us, including ourselves, have been loved by God. If we love each other, we prove thereby that God dwells within us; and thus His love comes to perfection, we might say, in producing within us this love one for another.

This is the way we know that we are abiding in Him, and that He is abiding in us (v. 13). He has given His Holy Spirit to each of us who believes, that He may remain within us. When we love our fellow Christians, this is a proof to us that God's Spirit is within us. If it were not for Him, we probably would not love others. Our hearts would not go out to them. We might even despise or hate them.

All this reminds us of Paul's statement in 2 Corinthians 5:14: "The love of Christ constraineth us." And just as Paul seemed to be thinking of a love that impels believers to give the Gospel to the lost, so is John apparently (1 John 4:14). This is what makes us "testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world." If we love the souls of men, we will tell them about Christ.

In verse 15, John returns to a note struck earlier in this epistle. The man who confesses that Jesus, the man of Galilee, is the Son of God from heaven, that man has God the Holy Spirit abiding in him, and that man abides in God. We might paraphrase this: the man who testifies that Jesus is the Son of God dwells in him; and that man is walking with God, or he wouldn't be witnessing.

We come now to verse 16, "And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us." In other words, each individual Christian believer knows God's love for him personally, and knows it because he has believed. He knows that God is love, because God has loved him. I know that God is love, because God has loved me. But to know God's love academically -- even to know His love for me thus, is not enough. We must abide in love. If we do this, we abide in God, for, as we have seen and as John here repeats, "God is love." Furthermore, if we abide in love, God abides in us. That is, it would seem, our abiding in love is the proof that God abides in us. As we love others, and continue to do so, proof is given by that very fact that we have personally experienced God's love, and have been born again, and have God's Spirit dwelling within us. What a beautiful way to prove it!

In heavenly love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid,
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed?

Anna L. Waring

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Daily Devotional for Thursday February 17th/05

What Is Your Response To The Word Of God?

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Daily Devotional for Friday February 18th/05

STANDING WHERE THE FIRE HAS BEEN


"Who loved me and gave himself for me." (Gal. 2:20)

One of the first Gospel illustrations that every made a real impression upon my young heart was a simple story which I heard a preacher tell when I was less than nine years old.

It was of pioneers who were making their way across one of the central states to a distant place that had been opened up for homesteading. They traveled in covered wagons drawn by oxen, and progress was necessarily slow. One day they were horrified to note a long line of smoke in the west, stretching for miles across the prairie, and soon it was evident that the dried grass was burning fiercely and coming toward them rapidly. They had crossed a river the day before but it would be impossible to go back to that before the flames would be upon them. One man only seemed to have understanding as to what should be done. He gave the command to set fire to the grass behind them. Then when a space was burned over, the whole company moved back upon it.

As the flames roared on toward them from the west, a little girl cried out in terror, "Are you sure we shall not all be burned up?" The leader replied, "My child, the flames cannot reach us here, for we are standing where the fire has been!"

What a picture of the believer, who is safe in Christ!

"On Him Almighty vengeance fell,
Which would have sunk a world to hell.
He bore it for a chosen race,
And thus becomes our Hiding Place."

The fires of God's judgment burned themselves out on Him, and all who are in Christ are safe forever, for they are now standing where the fire has been.

(Taken from Illustrations Of Bible Truths by Harry Ironside)

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Daily Devotional for Saturday February 19th/05

THE EFFECT OF EARNEST MISSION WORK

The effect of the preaching of Paul and Barnabas was, in part, to divide the hearers. "But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles" (14:4). Men who have no vital message; men who speak in vague, pointless phrases do not cause division. They do not antagonize men, nor do they win them. Paul was not there merely to discuss some abstract subject of philosophy, he was there to preach Christ. He preached the love of God, but he also preached the eternal verities of life and death. As a result the city was divided.

The earnest, faithful preaching of the Gospel always causes division. It wins some men to the way of life; it antagonizes those who are set in the way of wickedness. Jesus said, upon one occasion, I came not to send peace but a sword. The sword of the Spirit pierces to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, but it also divides asunder man from man. It sets the righteous in one camp and the wicked in another. When Paul and Barnabas fled from Iconium the mob had already gathered to stone them. It is not necessarily a condemnation of the minister or or the missionary because many enemies are aroused. It is a sad fact that many Christians have not yet learned that the Gospel must bring division, and so they, like the enemies of Christ, often blame the minister of God when division arises. But they should remember that it is inevitable that division shall arise. "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law" (Luke 12:51-53).

"He hath no enemies you say,
My friend your boast is poor.
He who hath mingled in the fray
Of duty, that the brave endure,
Must have made foes. If he has none
Small is the work that he has done.
He has hit no traitor on the hip;
He has cast no cup from perjured lip;
He has never turned the wrong to right;
He has been a coward in the fight"

(Taken from THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES by Frank E. Allen)

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Daily Devotional for Sunday February 20th/05

PRECAUTIONS IN CARING FOR ONE'S LIFE

There is need of care for life on the part of the missionary: "And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them, They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about" (14:5-6). The missionary is likely to receive criticism whether he remains and is injured or dies, or whether he flees to protect his life. In the former instance some will say he risked to much, in the latter, he should not have been so cowardly.

The missionary, however, should take reasonable precautions to protect his life. Paul was not a coward, and yet he fled; John Knox was not a coward, and yet he fled; Patrick Hamilton was not a coward, and yet he fled from his persecutors upon one occasion. Later Hamilton was seized and put to death. Paul's life ended, at last, by violence; he was beheaded. Paul, however, did not teach us to take undue risks of life. He saved his life again and again because he fled. Sometimes he escaped under the cover of darkness. Sometimes he appealed for protection to the Roman government because he was a Roman citizen. The soldier of the Cross is to be a true soldier but there are times when the Captain of his salvation orders a temporary retreat.

(Taken from THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES by Frank E. Allen)

From another chapter of the same book:

"What are our light afflictions here,
But blessings in disguise?
They only make for us a home
Of rest beyond the skies.

What if we oft are weary now,
With burdens hard to bear?
They only make the crown more bright
When we that crown shall wear.

O, cast thy every care on Him,
Thou weary burdened one,
And raise to heaven the trusting prayer,
Thy will, not mine, be done.

So, when the toil and care shall cease,
With Jesus thou'lt be blest:
When, folded in His loving arms,
The weary are at rest."

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Daily Devotional for Monday February 21st/05

For the last two weeks, I have been preaching on the plagues of Egypt - and what they pictured (the wrath of God poured out on the unbelieving world), The first message, I borrowed some of the ideas from Hugh Pyle's (from Sword Of The Lord) great sermon entitled One More Night With The Frogs (from Exodus 8:8-10) - which used Pharaoh's refusal and stubbornness to deal with his pride and rebellion as a springboard to preach salvation - and the danger of choosing one more night with our sin.

The second message I preached was on the difference that the Lord made between His chosen people (the Israelites) and the Egyptians - and how that pictures the separation and difference between the saved and the lost, including when God pours out His judgements. (See Romans 8:1; John 3:18, 36; 5:24; 1 John 5:12; Colossian 1:13) Also related it to God's dealing with the world during the Tribulation period - same judgements, now worldwide - and the same distinction made between those who had the seal of God and those who had the mark of the beast (saved and lost).

Lord willing, this Friday I will be preaching on the Passover and how it pictured the death of Christ and the importance of His blood being shed for our salvation.

The following was a blessing to read today - both this definition of the Passover, from David Cloud's Way Of Life Encyclopedia, and the sermon entitled Christ Our Passover by Charles Spurgeon.

PASSOVER

The occasion of the Israelites' deliverance from Egypt. The Passover lamb was killed; its blood was applied to the homes; and it was eaten by each family in obedience to God's instructions. God passed over Israel because of the blood when He went out and destroyed the firstborn of each Egyptian family (Ex 11:1-10). The Passover was one of the set feasts of Israel (Le 23:5-8), and it depicted redemption from God's wrath through faith in Christ's blood. Egypt symbolizes the world under God's judgment for rebellion. Israel symbolizes those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. The lamb symbolizes Jesus Christ and His death on the cross (Joh 1:29; 1Co 5:7).

EGYPT. (1) They were under God's wrath for rebellion, for following false gods, and for refusing the sacrifice of God. (2) Every family was judged (Ex 12:12,29-30). Compare (Ro 3:9-18; 5:12; Eph 2:1-3). (3) Even the animals were judged. Compare Ge 3:17-18; Ro 8:19-22. (4) They were warned of judgment and given opportunity to repent (Ex 4:22-23), but were unbelieving and careless.

THE LAMB (Joh 1:29; 1Co 5:7). (1) It was without blemish (Ex 12:5), symbolizing Christ's perfection (2Co 5:21; 1Pe 2:22; Heb 7:26; 1Jo 3:5). (2) It was a male of the first year (Ex 12:5), symbolizing Christ's youthfulness and strength and zeal toward God. (3) It could be selected of the sheep (Ex 12:5), symbolizing Christ's willingness to suffer and die (Isa 53:7; Ac 8:32-35). (4) It could also be selected of the goats (Ex 12:5), symbolizing Christ taking our sin upon Himself (the goat represents sinners-Mt 25:33) (Lu 23:33; 2Co 5:21; Ga 3:13; 1Pe 2:24). (5) It was killed and the blood was shed (Ex 12:6-7), symbolizing the price that was paid for redemption (Ro 5:9-10). (6) No bone was broken (Ex 12:46; Joh 19:36). (7) It was observed from the 10th to the 14th day (Ex 12:6), symbolizing Christ's earthly life and ministry during which the Jews carefully observed Him. (8) It was sufficient; nothing else was needed for protection (Ex 12:23). The Passover lamb is never used in the plural; it is always "the lamb," because the one Lamb of God is absolutely sufficient (Joh 19:30; Heb 9:12; 10:12-14). (9) There was one lamb for all people (Ex 12:48-49), symbolizing the efficacy of the gospel for the whole world (Joh 3:16).

THE EATING OF THE LAMB. The eating symbolizes fellowship after salvation. (1) The time of the eating: It was eaten after the sacrifice was made, symbolizing the fact that the new birth must precede works (Eph 2:8-10). (2) The place of the eating: It was eaten inside the house, symbolizing the church, the house of God (1Ti 3:15). (3) The purpose of the eating: It was eaten to provide strength (Php 4:13), enjoyment (Ps 34:8), satisfaction (Joh 6:35), and beauty (2Co 3:18). (4) The method of the eating: It was eaten in that night (Ex 12:8), signifying the fact that fellowship and service are always connected directly with salvation. It was eaten without any leaven, symbolizing God's desire that His people separate from all evil (Eph 5:1-3,11). It was eaten with bitter herbs, signifying the trials of the Christian life. It was eaten in haste, with the loins girded, shoes on the feet, and staff in hand (Ex 12:11), symbolizing the duties of the Gospel and the fact that the Christian is a pilgrim in this world (1Th 1:8-10).

Sermon by Charles Spurgeon:
Christ Our Passover

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday February 22nd/05

The Pillar And Ground Of The Truth

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday February 23rd/05

"She bound the scarlet line in the window." --Joshua 2:21

Rahab depended for her preservation upon the promise of the spies, whom she looked upon as the representatives of the God of Israel. Her faith was simple and firm, but it was very obedient. To tie the scarlet line in the window was a very trivial act in itself, but she dared not run the risk of omitting it. Come, my soul, is there not here a lesson for thee? Hast thou been attentive to all thy Lord's will, even though some of His commands should seem non-essential? Hast thou observed in his own way the two ordinances of believers' baptism and the Lord's Supper? These neglected, argue much unloving disobedience in thy heart. Be henceforth in all things blameless, even to the tying of a thread, if that be matter of command.

This act of Rahab sets forth a yet more solemn lesson. Have I implicitly trusted in the precious blood of Jesus? Have I tied the scarlet cord, as with a Gordian knot in my window, so that my trust can never be removed? Or can I look out towards the Dead Sea of my sins, or the Jerusalem of my hopes, without seeing the blood, and seeing all things in connection with its blessed power? The passer-by can see a cord of so conspicuous a colour, if it hangs from the window: it will be well for me if my life makes the efficacy of the atonement conspicuous to all onlookers. What is there to be ashamed of? Let men or devils gaze if they will, the blood is my boast and my song. My soul, there is One who will see that scarlet line, even when from weakness of faith thou canst not see it thyself; Jehovah, the Avenger, will see it and pass over thee. Jericho's walls fell flat: Rahab's house was on the wall, and yet it stood unmoved; my nature is built into the wall of humanity, and yet when destruction smites the race, I shall be secure. My soul, tie the scarlet thread in the window afresh, and rest in peace.

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Thursday February 24th/05

1 Samuel 14:27 But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in an honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened.

The Philistines were in full flight. The Israelites followed hard at their heels through the wood. It was there that the honey dropped in rich abundance on the ground, and there Jonathan tasted a little, dipping the end of his rod into it. It made all the difference to him, warding off the excessive exhaustion which paralysed the rest of the army.

The Word of God is sweeter than the honeycomb. - Luscious to the sanctified taste; enlightening to the dimming eyes; strength-giving to the weary. It drops in abundance to the ground, as though inviting the hand of the Christian warrior or wayfarer to take it freely. If there is no taste for the written Word, it may be assumed that the living Word has not been enthroned in the heart; for where He reigns supreme, there is a longing for the food which alone can fit us for the Christian life.

Where we cannot take much, let us take some. - There was not time for Jonathan to sit down and take his fill. He could only catch up some as he hastily passed through the forest glade; but that little made all the difference to him. So, in the early morning, or at mid day, if we cannot fill our hearts with Scripture, we may catch up a morsel, which will minister untold refreshment, and clear our spiritual vision.

We specially need to do this when flushed with success. - Too often, when we have had success in the battles of the Lord - a good time in preaching or teaching - we are apt to congratulate ourselves, and suppose that we can live on the emotions excited. But, probably, there is no time when we need more absolutely to turn to the Word of God. In victory, as in defeat, we must be fed and nourished.

(Taken from Our Daily Homily by F.B. Meyer)

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Daily Devotional for Friday February 25th/05

2 Samuel 7:25 And now, O LORD God, the word that Thou hast spoken concerning Thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as Thou hast said.

This is the voice of a childlike faith.

Note what led to these words. - Nathan had just unfolded to the king all the purposes of God's heart towards him. That He would establish his throne, deliver him from his enemies, and set up his dynasty to succeed him - this and much else. David's heart was full of joy and gladness - he knew that God would not run back from His word; but he felt none the less the duty of claiming the fulfilments of these guarantees. So it is with all the promises of God; though they are Yea and Amen in Christ, it is requisite for us to put our hand on them; plead them before God; and claim their fulfilment with appropriating faith.

Notice the attitude in which David uttered these words. - He "sat before the Lord." (Verse 18) Was not this the position of rest and trust? On another occasion, he lay all night upon the earth (12:16), in an agony of prayer, because not sure of God's purpose, and hoping to turn God by the extremity of his anguish. But there is a marvellous alteration in the tone of our prayer, so soon as we can base it on the declared purposes of God. We enter into His rest; we put ourselves in the current of His purposes; we sit before the Lord.

Mark the blessedness of communion with God. - It is as a man talks with his friend. We are not retired always to kneel when we pray, or to con over a certain form of words; we can sit and talk with God, catching up His words as they fall on our hearts, and reflecting them back on Him in praise, and prayer, and happy converse. All true prayer originates in the declarations of God's love, to each of which we answer, Do as Thou hast said.

(Taken from Our Daily Homily by F.B. Meyer)

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Daily Devotional for Saturday February 26th/05

Taken from Psalms 1-50, in Our Daily Homily by F.B. Meyer.

Psalms 16:10 For Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.

This hymn is for ever sacred because of its application by the Holy Ghost to our Saviour's resurrection (Acts 2). It was as though our Lord had stayed His soul upon these words as He left this world and entered the unseen. The last words He uttered were of committal to His Father, and then He commenced to traverse the land of shadow, "Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?" (Ephesians 4:9) The Apostle Peter says that He went to visit the spirits in prison. Whither He went is not material - it is enough for our purpose that He sang, as He went, this hymn of immortal hope. Sure that He was the Father's Beloved, He knew that He would not be left in Hell, nor suffered to see corruption. He knew that there was a path of life somewhere, which God would show.

Whenever you are stepping down into the dark, unable to see a hand's breadth before you, and just letting the foot fall from step to step - it may be because of some act of obedience to conscience, or because you are called to enter the unknown and untried, or even death itself - cheer your heart with this holy Psalm. God will never desert the soul that absolutely honours and obeys Him. His way leads to the light through the dark, to the deathless through death, to the abounding fruit-bearing through desertion and loneliness. How lonely the vine-stock is through the winter! Follow Him, He will show.

"She is sinking very fast," whispered an attendant in the dying chamber of a godly woman. "No, no," was the quick response of the departing saint, who had overheard the words; "no; I am not sinking; I am in the arms of my Saviour."


Yesterday, I had a conversation with my Mom about her rapidly failing health. She had cancer last year (which is now healed), and during that time several of her major organs (kidney, liver) had completely failed. She realizes that without a kidney transplant very soon, she doesn't have much longer to live. She said there was fear when she contemplated her own mortality.

Then she said she gave it all to the Lord in prayer - and He gave her a peace like she has never known before in her whole life. And when I read that quote by Meyer above, these words starting to flow forth. This poem was, in part, directly based on the conversation we had. I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ would use them to comfort and strengthen others who may be facing something similar, or have loved ones who are. It is the same Lord, and He offers the same grace and loving compassion to all who will receive His gift of salvation and will trust in Him during the trials they face. May He richly bless you.

Written today:

Rising In The Arms Of Love
(Dedicated to my Mother)

Oh, my friend, she is sinking so very fast!
No, she is only rising in the arms of Love!
But I thought that she would remain at last...
No, she is destined for greater things above!

But why would God completely take away her peace?
No, her Saviour has given her a more lasting kind!
Real joy isn't when all toil and troubles cease -
For when Jesus draws close, peace fills this heart of mine!

The fear, the unknown, it must be dreadful...
No, His blessed presence is so very near!
But, why did this tragedy have to happen at all?
Because He knew what I needed, and He is always here!

Why would He cause this affliction, why this trial?
He has a purpose, His ways are so much greater than mine!
I know these troubles are only for a little while,
And then I will dwell forever with Him in mansions sublime!

No, I am not sinking - I am rising -
Held gently by His arms of Love,
Sheltered safely under His wings,
Till I reach my Heavenly home above!

Rising, rising, in those arms of Love!

February 26th, 2005
Jerry Bouey

I love you, Mom!

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Daily Devotional for Sunday February 27th/05

More Than Sufficient


"My grace is sufficient for thee" (2 Cor. 12:9).

The other evening I was riding home after a heavy day's work. I felt very wearied, and sore depressed, when swiftly, and suddenly as a lightning flash, that text came to me, "My grace is sufficient for thee." I reached home and looked it up in the original, and at last it came to me in this way, "MY grace is sufficient for thee"; and I said, "I should think it is, Lord," and burst out laughing. I never fully understood what the holy laughter of Abraham was until then. It seemed to make unbelief so absurd. It was as though some little fish, being very thirsty, was troubled about drinking the river dry, and Father Thames said, "Drink away, little fish, my stream is sufficient for thee." Or, it seemed after the seven years of plenty, a mouse feared it might die of famine; and Joseph might say, "Cheer up, little mouse, my granaries are sufficient for thee." Again, I imagined a man away up yonder, in a lofty mountain, saying to himself, "I breathe so many cubic feet of air every year, I fear I shall exhaust the oxygen in the atmosphere," but the earth might say, "Breathe away, O man, and fill the lungs ever, my atmosphere is sufficient for thee." Oh, brethren, be great believers! Little faith will bring your souls to Heaven, but great faith will bring Heaven to your souls. --C. H. Spurgeon

His grace is great enough to meet the great things
The crashing waves that overwhelm the soul,
The roaring winds that leave us stunned and breathless,
The sudden storm beyond our life's control.

His grace is great enough to meet the small things
The little pin-prick troubles that annoy,
The insect worries, buzzing and persistent,
The squeaking wheels that grate upon our joy.
--Annie Johnson Flint

There is always a large balance to our credit in the bank of Heaven waiting for our exercise of faith in drawing it. Draw heavily upon His resources.

(Taken from Streams In The Desert Devotional)

FEAR

My friend went on ahead
And left me here
To walk my last, long mile
Alone; and Fear

Stepped to his vacant place
And said that he
Would walk with me, and my
Companion be.

And so he dogged my steps
In this dark vale
Where death's wings shadow me.
My face grew pale,

My spirit quailed. I called
One precious Name
In my distress, and lo,
That loved One came!

He closely holds my hand,
This tender Friend,
Nor will He let me go
Until the end.

And as He walks with me,
Daily more dear,
I find that trust and love
Have cast out Fear.

Martha Snell Nicholson
(From A Daily Visit To Ivory Palaces)

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Daily Devotional for Monday February 28th/05

Praise In The Midst Of Trouble


"Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually" (Heb. 13:15).

A city missionary, stumbling through the dirt of a dark entry, heard a voice say, "Who's there, Honey?" Striking a match, he caught a vision of earthly want and suffering, of saintly trust and peace, "cut in ebony" - calm, appealing eyes set amid the wrinkles of a pinched, black face that lay on a tattered bed. It was a bitter night in February, and she had no fire, no fuel, no light. She had had no supper, no dinner, no breakfast. She seemed to have nothing at all but rheumatism and faith in God. One could not well be more completely exiled from all pleasantness of circumstances, yet the favorite song of this old creature ran:

"Nobody knows de trouble I see,
Nobody knows but Jesus;
Nobody knows de trouble I see--
Sing Glory Hallelu!

"Sometimes I'm up, sometimes I'm down,
Sometimes I'm level on the groun',
Sometimes the glory shines aroun'
Sing Glory Hallelu!"

And so it went on: "Nobody knows de work I does, Nobody knows de griefs I has," the constant refrain being the "Glory Hallelu!" until the last verse rose:

"Nobody knows de joys I has,

Nobody knows but Jesus!"

"Troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed." It takes great Bible words to tell the cheer of that old negro auntie.

Remember Luther on his sick-bed. Between his groans he managed to preach on this wise: "These pains and trouble here are like the type which the printers set; as they look now, we have to read them backwards, and they seem to have no sense or meaning in them; but up yonder, when the Lord God prints us off in the life to come, we shall find they make brave reading." Only we do not need to wait till then. Remember Paul walking the hurricane deck amid a boiling sea, bidding the frightened crew "Be of good cheer," Luther, the old negro auntie - all of them human sun-flowers. --Wm. G. Garnett

(Taken from Streams In The Desert Devotional)

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