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Daily Devotionals For June 2005

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List of main devotionals written by Jerry for these June 2005 Devotionals (not posted elsewhere on this site):

What Jesus Takes Great Joy In - June 16th


Daily Devotional for Wednesday June 1st/05

Exodus 8:23 And I will put a division between My people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.

This division is as old as eternity. - In the council chamber of the Godhead the Father chose Jesus and all who should believe in Him unto eternal life. We cannot understand the reason of that Divine choice; we can only affirm it, that in those ages of the unfathomed past, Christ and His seed stood out from the rest of mankind, the people of God's own possession and inheritance.

It was affected by the Cross of Jesus. - By it we are crucified to the world, and the world to us. The cross, with its outstretched arms, stands sentinel between the Church and the world which cast out her Lord. The grave, like a great gulf, yawns between those who gather round the risen Master on resurrection ground, and all men else. From the moment that Jesus ascended, the rallying centre of the Church was removed from earth to heaven, from the cross to the throne.

It is wrought out by the daily grace of the Holy Ghost. - It is right, of course, to come out and be separate in our outward walk and behavior. But, deeper than this, if only we will let the Spirit of God work unhindered, He will effect an inward division. Our tastes and desires, our hopes and aims, will become different, and we shall be aware of a growing dissimilarity between ourselves and the world.

Then to the separate soul the Bridegroom comes. He says tender and loving words. In one hour He teaches more than all human teachers could; and sheds forth by the Holy Ghost the torrent of Divine Love. There may be darkness without, but there is light in the dwellings of Goshen: there may be plague and pestilence in the world, but there is peace, joy, and bliss, in the separated soul.

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

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Daily Devotional for Thursday June 2nd/05

Exodus 10:23 They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

Without, darkness that might be felt; within, light. This should be the condition of each believing heart. The sun may have gone down, and the moon withdrawn herself in the firmament of the world; the darkness of perplexity and trouble may envelop Pharaoh and all his chosen counsellors; all things may wear the aspect of approaching dissolution: but with the Lord as our everlasting Light we walk in the light of life.

Light is purity. - The soul which is exposed to the indwelling of God, purifies itself even as He is pure; and walks as Jesus did, with white and stainless robes. He that says he has fellowship with the Holy God, and walks in the darkness of his own lusts, lies. Where God is really hidden in the heart, the beams of His lovely purity must irradiate and beautify the life.

Light is knowledge. - There is a wisdom, an insight, an understanding of the Divine mysteries, which the mere intellect could never give, but are the product of the Divine indwelling in the holy soul. All around men may be groping aimlessly after truth, trying to discover the secret of the Universe, whilst to the loving, childlike soul, in which God has taken up His abode, these things, which are hidden from the wise and prudent, are unveiled.

Light is love. - It steals so gently over the world, blessing flowers and birds, little children and invalids. Everywhere it is the symbol of the beneficent work of its Creator. Thus amid the selfishness of the world, let Jesus dwell deep in thee, that thou mayest be rooted and grounded in the love of God, which shall illumine thy dwelling, and ray out to the world.

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

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Daily Devotional for Friday June 3rd/05

A friend of mine has preached a great message on the following passage (this is the same man who preached the message entitled Have You Knelt At Gethsemane?, and I am eagerly awaiting his typing it up and sending it to me, so I can post it. Meanwhile you can be blessed by meditating on Spurgeon's devotional.

"The king also himself passed over the brook Kidron." --2 Samuel 15:23

David passed that gloomy brook when flying with his mourning company from his traitor son. The man after God's own heart was not exempt from trouble, nay, his life was full of it. He was both the Lord's Anointed, and the Lord's Afflicted. Why then should we expect to escape? At sorrow's gates the noblest of our race have waited with ashes on their heads, wherefore then should we complain as though some strange thing had happened unto us?

The KING of kings himself was not favoured with a more cheerful or royal road. He passed over the filthy ditch of Kidron, through which the filth of Jerusalem flowed. God had one Son without sin, but not a single child without the rod. It is a great joy to believe that Jesus has been tempted in all points like as we are. What is our Kidron this morning? Is it a faithless friend, a sad bereavement, a slanderous reproach, a dark foreboding? The King has passed over all these. Is it bodily pain, poverty, persecution, or contempt? Over each of these Kidrons the King has gone before us. "In all our afflictions He was afflicted." The idea of strangeness in our trials must be banished at once and for ever, for He who is the Head of all saints, knows by experience the grief which we think so peculiar. All the citizens of Zion must be free of the Honourable Company of Mourners, of which the Prince Immanuel is Head and Captain.

Notwithstanding the abasement of David, he yet returned in triumph to his city, and David's Lord arose victorious from the grave; let us then be of good courage, for we also shall win the day. We shall yet with joy draw water out of the wells of salvation, though now for a season we have to pass by the noxious streams of sin and sorrow. Courage, soldiers of the Cross, the King himself triumphed after going over Kidron, and so shall you.

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

What is the Kidron in your life? Take comfort in the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ has experienced it as well, and can comfort and strengthen you in your time of need.

Hebrews 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

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Daily Devotional for Saturday June 4th/05

School Of Sorrow

"And no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth" (Rev. 14:3).

There are songs which can only be learned in the valley. No art can teach them; no rules of voice can make them perfectly sung. Their music is in the heart. They are songs of memory, of personal experience. They bring out their burden from the shadow of the past; they mount on the wings of yesterday.

St. John says that even in Heaven there will be a song that can only be fully sung by the sons of earth--the strain of redemption. Doubtless it is a song of triumph, a hymn of victory to the Christ who made us free. But the sense of triumph must come from the memory of the chain.

No angel, no archangel can sing it so sweetly as I can. To sing it as I sing it, they must pass through my exile, and this they cannot do. None can learn it but the children of the Cross.

And so, my soul, thou art receiving a music lesson from thy Father. Thou art being educated for the choir invisible. There are parts of the symphony that none can take but thee.

There are chords too minor for the angels. There may be heights in the symphony which are beyond the scale--heights which angels alone can reach; but there are depths which belong to thee, and can only be touched by thee.

Thy Father is training thee for the part the angels cannot sing; and the school is sorrow. I have heard many say that He sends sorrow to prove thee; nay, He sends sorrow to educate thee, to train thee for the choir invisible.

In the night He is preparing thy song. In the valley He is tuning thy voice. In the cloud He is deepening thy chords. In the rain He is sweetening thy melody. In the cold He is moulding thy expression. In the transition from hope to fear He is perfecting thy lights.

Despise not thy school of sorrow, O my soul; it will give thee a unique part in the universal song. --George Matheson

"Is the midnight closing round you?
Are the shadows dark and long?
Ask Him to come close beside you,
And He'll give you a new, sweet song.
He'll give it and sing it with you;
And when weakness lets it down,
He'll take up the broken cadence,
And blend it with His own.

"And many a rapturous minstrel
Among those sons of light,
Will say of His sweetest music
'I learned it in the night.'
And many a rolling anthem,
That fills the Father's home,
Sobbed out its first rehearsal,
In the shade of a darkened room."

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Sunday June 5th/05

Praise In Advance

"Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it" (Num. 21:17).

This was a strange song and a strange well. They had been traveling over the desert's barren sands, no water was in sight and they were famishing with thirst. Then God spake to Moses and said:

"Gather the people together, and I will give them water," and this is how it came.

They gathered in circles on the sands. They took their staves and dug deep down into the burning earth and as they dug, they sang,

"Spring up, O well, sing ye unto it," and lo, there came a gurgling sound, a rush of water and a flowing stream which filled the well and ran along the ground.

When they dug this well in the desert, they touched the stream that was running beneath, and reached the flowing tides that had long been out of sight.

How beautiful the picture given, telling us of the river of blessing that flows all through our lives, and we have only to reach by faith and praise to find our wants supplied in the most barren desert.

How did they reach the waters of this well? It was by praise. They sang upon the sand their song of faith, while with their staff of promise they dug the well.

Our praise will still open fountains in the desert, when murmuring will only bring us judgment, and even prayer may fail to reach the fountains of blessing.

There is nothing that pleases the Lord so much as praise. There is no test of faith so true as the grace of thanksgiving. Are you praising God enough? Are you thanking Him for your actual blessings that are more than can be numbered, and are you daring to praise Him even for those trials which are but blessings in disguise? Have you learned to praise Him in advance for the things that have not yet come? --Selected

"Thou waitest for deliverance!
O soul, thou waitest long!
Believe that now deliverance
Doth wait for thee in song!

"Sigh not until deliverance
Thy fettered feet doth free:
With songs of glad deliverance
God now doth compass thee."

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Monday June 6th/05

God Works In The Dark

"The Lord caused the sea to go back... all that night" (Exod. 14:21).

In this verse there is a comforting message showing how God works in the dark. The real work of God for the children of Israel, was not when they awakened and found that they could get over the Red Sea; but it was "all that night."

So there may be a great working in your life when it all seems dark and you cannot see or trace, but yet God is working. Just as truly did He work "all that night," as all the next day. The next day simply manifested what God had done during the night. Is there anyone reading these lines who may have gotten to a place where it seems dark? You believe to see, but you are not seeing. In your life-progress there is not constant victory; the daily, undisturbed communion is not there, and all seems dark.

"The Lord caused the sea to go back…all that night." Do not forget that it was "all that night." God works all the night, until the light comes. You may not see it, but all that "night" in your life, as you believe God, He works. --C. H. P.

"All that night" the Lord was working,
Working in the tempest blast,
Working with the swelling current,
Flooding, flowing, free and fast.

"All that night" God's children waited--
Hearts, perhaps in agony
With the enemy behind them,
And, in front, the cruel sea.

"All that night" seemed blacker darkness
Than they ever saw before,
Though the light of God's own presence
Near them was, and sheltered o'er.

"All that night" that weary vigil
Passed; the day at last did break,
And they saw that God was working
"All that night" a path to make.

"All that night," O child of sorrow,
Canst thou not thy heartbreak stay?
Know thy God in darkest midnight
Works, as well as in the day.

--L. S. P.

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday June 7th/05

"The only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." --John 1:14

Believer, YOU can bear your testimony that Christ is the only begotten of the Father, as well as the first begotten from the dead. You can say, "He is divine to me, if He be human to all the world beside. He has done that for me which none but a God could do. He has subdued my stubborn will, melted a heart of adamant, opened gates of brass, and snapped bars of iron. He hath turned for me my mourning into laughter, and my desolation into joy; He hath led my captivity captive, and made my heart rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Let others think as they will of Him, to me He must be the only begotten of the Father: blessed be His name. And He is full of grace. Ah! had He not been I should never have been saved. He drew me when I struggled to escape from His grace; and when at last I came all trembling like a condemned culprit to His mercy-seat He said, 'Thy sins which are many are all forgiven thee: be of good cheer.' And He is full of truth. True have His promises been, not one has failed. I bear witness that never servant had such a master as I have; never brother such a kinsman as He has been to me; never spouse such a husband as Christ has been to my soul; never sinner a better Saviour; never mourner a better comforter than Christ hath been to my spirit. I want none beside Him. In life He is my life, and in death He shall be the death of death; in poverty Christ is my riches; in sickness He makes my bed; in darkness He is my star, and in brightness He is my sun; He is the manna of the camp in the wilderness, and He shall be the new corn of the host when they come to Canaan. Jesus is to me all grace and no wrath, all truth and no falsehood: and of truth and grace He is full, infinitely full. My soul, this night, bless with all thy might 'the only Begotten.'"

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday June 8th/05

"Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures." --Luke 24:45

He whom we viewed last evening as opening Scripture, we here perceive opening the understanding. In the first work He has many fellow-labourers, but in the second He stands alone; many can bring the Scriptures to the mind, but the Lord alone can prepare the mind to receive the Scriptures. Our Lord Jesus differs from all other teachers; they reach the ear, but He instructs the heart; they deal with the outward letter, but He imparts an inward taste for the truth, by which we perceive its savour and spirit. The most unlearned of men become ripe scholars in the school of grace when the Lord Jesus by His Holy Spirit unfolds the mysteries of the kingdom to them, and grants the divine anointing by which they are enabled to behold the invisible. Happy are we if we have had our understandings cleared and strengthened by the Master! How many men of profound learning are ignorant of eternal things! They know the killing letter of revelation, but its living spirit they cannot discern; they have a veil upon their hearts which the eyes of carnal reason cannot penetrate. Such was our case a little time ago; we who now see were once utterly blind; truth was to us as beauty in the dark, a thing unnoticed and neglected. Had it not been for the love of Jesus we should have remained to this moment in utter ignorance, for without His gracious opening of our understanding, we could no more have attained to spiritual knowledge than an infant can climb the Pyramids, or an ostrich fly up to the stars. Jesus' College is the only one in which God's truth can be really learned; other schools may teach us what is to be believed, but Christ's alone can show us how to believe it. Let us sit at the feet of Jesus, and by earnest prayer call in His blessed aid that our dull wits may grow brighter, and our feeble understandings may receive heavenly things.

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Thursday June 9th/05

Three illustrations on Communion With God:

Consider Him
Hebrews 12:3

When the storm is raging high,
When the tempest rends the sky,
When my eyes with tears are dim,
Then, my soul, "consider Him."

When my plans are in the dust,
When my dearest hopes are crushed,
When is passed each foolish whim,
Then, my soul, "consider Him."

When with dearest friends I part,
When deep sorrow fills my heart,
When pain racks each weary limb,
Then, my soul, "consider Him."

When I track my weary way,
When fresh trials come each day,
When my faith and hope are dim,
Then, my soul, "consider Him."

Clouds or sunshine, dark or bright,
Evening shades, or morning light,
When my cup flows o'er the brim,
Then, my soul, "consider Him."

- Selected

Religion on the Run

In the middle of the track or a transcontinental railroad at a certain point in Ohio, there is a metal trough. It runs along for a quarter of a mile or more. It is kept filled with water. Through trains as they rush along do not stop at water tanks to take on water. When they reach the place where the water trough is, the fireman presses a lever which drops a scoop from the bottom of the tank and takes up the water as the train keeps going. No stop, no pause, they just keep going on the dead run and scoop up the water. Isn't that pretty much like a lot of folks try to do with their religion, scoop it up on the run? They haven't time for their soul's needs. They are too busy. "Take time to be holy," bids the hymn. Time must be given to receive, to hold, and to increase the content and possession of true, genuine, living religion in our hearts and lives. You cannot get religion on the run.

- Lutheran

Listening to the Voice from Above

At the corner of two busy thoroughfares where the traffic was noisiest, the writer watched a man who was working quietly at the foot of a telephone pole. He seemed to know by instinct what was wanted by his mate, who was at work away up at the top of the pole; first one tool, then another, or a bit of wire would be sent up, and the two were working together in such harmony that I looked more carefully, and saw that the man on the sidewalk had clamped on his head what looked like a small telephone apparatus; one ear could hear the sounds around him, but the other was deaf to them, and was listening all the time to the voice from above. Being in constant communication they could work together in wonderful unity; and then I realized anew the need for us as Christians to be ever listening for the voice from above.

- Homera Hodgson

(Taken from Knight's Master Book of New Illustrations)

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Daily Devotional for Friday June 10th/05

I thought this was a neat subject (Hebrews 12:24), and one I might possibly tackle preaching tomorrow at the Gospel Mission (right now I am in the process of choosing between two different messages, both of which I want to preach - and I know the Lord will guide me in my choice, sometimes not finalized until Friday morning though).

"Abel was a keeper of sheep." --Genesis 4:2

As a shepherd Abel sanctified his work to the glory of God, and offered a sacrifice of blood upon his altar, and the Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering. This early type of our Lord is exceedingly clear and distinct. Like the first streak of light which tinges the east at sunrise, it does not reveal everything, but it clearly manifests the great fact that the sun is coming. As we see Abel, a shepherd and yet a priest, offering a sacrifice of sweet smell unto God, we discern our Lord, who brings before His Father a sacrifice to which Jehovah ever hath respect. Abel was hated by his brother--hated without a cause; and even so was the Saviour: the natural and carnal man hated the accepted man in whom the Spirit of grace was found, and rested not until his blood had been shed. Abel fell, and sprinkled his altar and sacrifice with his own blood, and therein sets forth the Lord Jesus slain by the enmity of man while serving as a priest before the Lord. "The good Shepherd layeth down His life for the sheep." Let us weep over Him as we view Him slain by the hatred of mankind, staining the horns of His altar with His own blood. Abel's blood speaketh. "The Lord said unto Cain, 'The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto Me from the ground.'" The blood of Jesus hath a mighty tongue, and the import of its prevailing cry is not vengeance but mercy. It is precious beyond all preciousness to stand at the altar of our good Shepherd! to see Him bleeding there as the slaughtered priest, and then to hear His blood speaking peace to all His flock, peace in our conscience, peace between Jew and Gentile, peace between man and his offended Maker, peace all down the ages of eternity for blood-washed men. Abel is the first shepherd in order of time, but our hearts shall ever place Jesus first in order of excellence. Thou great Keeper of the sheep, we the people of Thy pasture bless Thee with our whole hearts when we see Thee slain for us.

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Saturday June 11th/05

Foolish Talking

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Daily Devotional for Sunday June 12th/05

On Friday, I had an opportunity to preach on the Valley of Elah, which means Strength. This is the valley where the battle took place between David and Goliath. Lord willing, I will type up that study soon and post it as part of my series on Lessons In The Valleys. For now, I would like to share this devotional with you on that chapter of God's Word:

1 Samuel 17:26, 36 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.

This made all the difference between David and the rest of the camp. To Saul and his soldiers God was an absentee - a name, but little else. They believed that He had done great things for His people in the past, and that at some future time, in the days of the Messiah, He might be expected to do great things again; but no one thought of Him as present. Keenly sensitive to the defiance of the Philistine, and grieved by the apathy of his people, David, on the other hand, felt that God was alive. He had lived alone with Him in the solitude of the hills, till God had become one of the greatest and most real facts of his young existence; and as the lad went to and fro among the armed warriors, he was sublimely conscious of the presence of the living God amid the clang of the camp.

This is what we need. To live so much with God, that when we come amongst men, whether in the bazaars of India or the market-place of an English town, we may be more aware of His over-shadowing presence than of the presence or absence of any one. Lo, God is here! This place is hallowed ground! But none can realize this by the act of the will. We can only find God everywhere when we carry Him everywhere. The miner sees by the candle he carries on his forehead.

Each of us is opposed by difficulties, privations, and trials of different sorts. But the one answer to them all is faith's vision of the Living God. We can face the mightiest foe in His name. If our faith can but make Him a passage, along which He shall come, there is no Goliath He will not quell; no question He will not answer; no need He will not meet.

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

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Daily Devotional for Monday June 13/05

Sufferings

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday June 14th/05

Cling To God In Faith

"I will not let thee go, except thou bless me ... and he blessed him there." (Gen. 32:26, 29.)

Jacob got the victory and the blessing not by wrestling, but by clinging. His limb was out of joint and he could struggle no longer, but he would not let go. Unable to wrestle, he wound his arms around the neck of his mysterious antagonist and hung all his helpless weight upon him, until at last he conquered.

We will not get victory in prayer until we too cease our struggling, giving up our own will and throw our arms about our Father's neck in clinging faith.

What can puny human strength take by force out of the hand of Omnipotence? Can we wrest blessing by force from God? It is never the violence of wilfulness that prevails with God. It is the might of clinging faith, that gets the blessing and the victories. It is not when we press and urge our own will, but when humility and trust unite in saying, "Not my will, but Thine." We are strong with God only in the degree that self is conquered and is dead. Not by wrestling, but by clinging can we get the blessing. --J. R. Miller

An incident from the prayer life of Charles H. Usher (illustrating "soul-cling" as a hindrance to prevailing prayer): "My little boy was very ill. The doctors held out little hope of his recovery. I had used all the knowledge of prayer which I possessed on his behalf, but he got worse and worse. This went on for several weeks.

"One day I stood watching him as he lay in his cot, and I saw that he could not live long unless he had a turn for the better. I said to God, 'O God, I have given much time in prayer for my boy and he gets no better; I must now leave him to Thee, and I will give myself to prayer for others. If it is Thy will to take him, I choose Thy will--I surrender him entirely to Thee.'

"I called in my dear wife, and told her what I had done. She shed some tears, but handed him over to God. Two days afterwards a man of God came to see us. He had been very interested in our boy Frank, and had been much in prayer for him.

"He said, 'God has given me faith to believe that he will recover--have you faith?'

"I said, 'I have surrendered him to God, but I will go again to God regarding him.' I did; and in prayer I discovered that I had faith for his recovery. From that time he began to get better. It was the 'soul-cling' in my prayers which had hindered God answering; and if I had continued to cling and had been unwilling to surrender him, I doubt if my boy would be with me today.

"Child of God! If you want God to answer your prayers, you must be prepared to follow the footsteps of 'our father Abraham,' even to the Mount of Sacrifice." (See Rom. 4:12.)

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday June 15th/05

Exodus 13:14 And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:

Four times over in this chapter Moses lays stress on the strong hand with which God redeemed His people from the bondage of Egypt; and we are reminded of "the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe" (Ephesians 1:12-20).

God's strong hand reaches down to where we are. - It would have been useless if Israel had been bidden to help itself up to a certain point, whilst God would do the rest. The people were so broken that they could only lie at the bottom of the pit, and moan. God's hand reached down to touch and grasp them at their lowest. So God's help is not conditional on our doing something, whilst He will do the rest. When we are without strength, when we have expended our all in vain, when heart and flesh fail - then God comes where we are, and becomes the strength of our heart and our portion forever.

God's strong hand is mightier than our mightiest adversaries. - Pharaoh was strong, and held the people as a child may hold a moth in its clenched fist. But a man's hand is stronger than a child's, and God's than Pharaoh's. So Satan may have held you in bondage; but do not fear him any more, look away to the strength of God's hand. What can it not do for you?

We must appropriate and reckon on God's strong hand. - It is there toward them who believe, as a locomotive may be next a line of carriages; yet there must be a coupling-iron connecting them. So you must trust God's strength, and avail yourself of it, and yield to it. Remember that His arm is not shortened, nor His hand paralyzed, except our unbelief and sin intercept and hinder the mighty working of His Power.

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

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Daily Devotional for Thursday June 16th/05

Lord willing, this subject is what I will preach on Friday.

I really love these verses that show

What Jesus Takes Great Joy In

Christ (represented by Wisdom) rejoices in the creation of mankind, and before the Father:
Proverbs 8:30-31 Then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and My delights were with the sons of men.

Rejoices in Jerusalem:
Jeremiah 49:25 How is the city of praise not left, the city of My joy!

Rejoicing in His people:
Isaiah 65:17-19 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.

Rejoicing in the good that He is doing for His people (Israel):
Jeremiah 32:41 Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with My whole heart and with My whole soul.
Deuteronomy 30:9 And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as He rejoiced over thy fathers:

Rejoicing over His just dealings with the rebellious in Israel:
Deuteronomy 28:63 And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.

The Saviour taking joy in the the treasure of Israel (or the church) that He gave all to redeem:
Matthew 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a Man hath found, He hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that He hath, and buyeth that field.

Joy in the presence of the Father, and His own resurrection:
Acts 2:25-28 For David speaketh concerning Him, I foresaw the Lord always before My face, for He is on My right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did My heart rejoice, and My tongue was glad; moreover also My flesh shall rest in hope: Because Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to Me the ways of life; Thou shalt make Me full of joy with Thy countenance.
The Apostle Peter was quoting from a Messianic Psalm: Psalm 16:8-11 I have set the LORD always before Me: because He is at My right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore My heart is glad, and My glory rejoiceth: My flesh also shall rest in hope. For Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew Me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Joy in providing our salvation.
Hebrews 12:2 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.

Rejoicing in finding His lost sheep:
Matthew 18:13 And if so be that He find it, verily I say unto you, He rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

Joy in the truth of salvation being revealed to the lost:
Luke 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight.

Joy in the sinners who turn to the Saviour for salvation:
Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

Joy over believers:
Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing.

June 16th/05
Jerry Bouey

For a sermon by Charles Spurgeon on Zephaniah 3:17:
A Sermon For The Time Present

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Daily Devotional for Friday June 17th/05

"I will rejoice over them to do them good." --Jeremiah 32:41

How heart-cheering to the believer is the delight which God has in His saints! We cannot see any reason in ourselves why the Lord should take pleasure in us; we cannot take delight in ourselves, for we often have to groan, being burdened; conscious of our sinfulness, and deploring our unfaithfulness; and we fear that God's people cannot take much delight in us, for they must perceive so much of our imperfections and our follies, that they may rather lament our infirmities than admire our graces. But we love to dwell upon this transcendent truth, this glorious mystery: that as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so does the Lord rejoice over us. We do not read anywhere that God delighteth in the cloud-capped mountains, or the sparkling stars, but we do read that He delighteth in the habitable parts of the earth, and that His delights are with the sons of men. We do not find it written that even angels give His soul delight; nor doth He say, concerning cherubim and seraphim, "Thou shalt be called Hephzibah, for the Lord delighteth in thee"; but He does say all that to poor fallen creatures like ourselves, debased and depraved by sin, but saved, exalted, and glorified by His grace. In what strong language He expresses His delight in His people! Who could have conceived of the eternal One as bursting forth into a song? Yet it is written, "He will rejoice over thee with joy, He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing." As He looked upon the world He had made, He said, "It is very good"; but when He beheld those who are the purchase of Jesus' blood, His own chosen ones, it seemed as if the great heart of the Infinite could restrain itself no longer, but overflowed in divine exclamations of joy. Should not we utter our grateful response to such a marvellous declaration of His love, and sing, "I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation?"

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Saturday June 18th/05

This past week, I have read an address Charles Spurgeon gave entitled The Greatest Fight In The World. To me, it was well worth reading, and I wanted to share selected portions of it with you. To read the whole address (it is long, but divided into four parts), follow the link above.

Happily the themes are such that I can exemplify them even in this address. As a smith can teach his apprentice while making a horseshoe; yes, and by making a horseshoe; so can we make our own sermons examples of the doctrine they contain. In this case we can practise what we preach, if the Lord be with us. A lecturer in cookery instructs his pupils by following his own recipes. He prepares a dish before his audience, and while he describes the viands and their preparation, he tastes the food himself, and his friends are refreshed also. He will succeed by his dainty dishes, even if he is not a man of eloquent speech. The man who feeds is surer of success than he who only plays well upon an instrument, and leaves with his audience no memory but that of pleasant sound. If the subjects which we bring before our people are in themselves good, they will make up for our want of skill in setting them forth. So long as the guests get the spiritual meat, the servitor at the table may be happy to be forgotten.

My topics have to do with our life-work, with the crusade against error and sin in which we are engaged. I hope that every man here wears the red cross on his heart, and is pledged to do and dare for Christ and for his cross, and never to be satisfied till Christ's foes are routed and Christ himself is satisfied. Our fathers used to speak of "The Cause of God and Truth"; and it is for this that we bear arms, the few against the many, the feeble against the mighty. Oh, to be found good soldiers of Jesus Christ!

Three things are of the utmost importance just now, and, indeed, they always have stood, and always will stand in the front rank for practical purposes. The first is our armoury, which is the inspired Word; the second is our army, the church of the living God, called out by himself, which we must lead under our Lord's command; and the third is our strength, by which we wear the armour and wield the sword. The Holy Spirit is our power to be and to do; to suffer and to serve; to grow and to fight; to wrestle and to overcome. Our third theme is of main importance, and though we place it last, we rank it first.

WE WILL begin with OUR ARMOURY. That armoury is to me, at any rate — and I hope it is to each one of you — THE BIBLE. To us Holy Scripture is as "the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men." If we want weapons we must come here for them, and here only. Whether we seek the sword of offence or the shield of defence, we must find it within the volume of inspiration. If others have any other storehouse, I confess at once I have none. I have nothing else to preach when I have got through with this book. Indeed, I can have no wish to preach at all if I may not continue to expound the subjects which I find in these pages. What else is worth preaching? Brethren, the truth of God is the only treasure for which we seek, and the Scripture is the only field in which we dig for it.

We need nothing more than God has seen fit to reveal. Certain errant spirits are never at home till they are abroad: they crave for a something which I think they will never find, either in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth, so long as they are in their present mind. They never rest, for they will have nothing to do with an infallible revelation; and hence they are doomed to wander throughout time and eternity, and find no abiding city. For the moment they glory as if they were satisfied with their last new toy; but in a few months it is sport to them to break in pieces all the notions which they formerly prepared with care, and paraded with delight. They go up a hill only to come down again. Indeed, they say that the pursuit of truth is better than truth itself. They like fishing better than the fish; which may very well be true, since their fish are very small, and very full of bones. These men are as great at destroying their own theories as certain paupers are at tearing up their clothes. They begin again de novo, times without number: their house is always having its foundation digged out. They should be good at beginnings; for they have always been beginning since we have known them. They are as the rolling thing before the whirlwind, or "like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt." Although their cloud is not that cloud which betokened the divine presence, yet it is always moving before them, and their tents are scarcely pitched before it is time for the stakes to be pulled up again. These men are not even seeking certainty; their heaven lies in shunning all fixed truth, and following every will-o'-the-wisp of speculation: they are ever learning, but they never come to the knowledge of the truth.

As for us, we cast anchor in the haven of the Word of God. Here is our peace, our strength, our life, our motive, our hope, our happiness. God's Word is our ultimatum. Here we have it. Our understanding cries, "I have found it"; our conscience asserts that here is the truth; and our heart finds here a support to which all her affections can cling; and hence we rest content.

To liken our thoughts to the great thoughts of God, would be a gross absurdity. Would you bring your candle to show the sun? Your nothingness to replenish the eternal all? It is better to be silent before the Lord, than to dream of supplementing what he has spoken. The Word of the Lord is to the conceptions of men as a garden to a wilderness. Keep within the covers of the sacred book, and you are in the land which floweth with milk and honey; why seek to add to it the desert sands?

In a word, in our warfare we shall keep to the old weapon of the sword of the Spirit, until we can find a better. "There is none like that; give it me", is at present our verdict.

How many times since conversion has Holy Scripture been everything to you! You have your fainting fits, I suppose: have you not been restored by the precious cordial of the promise of the Faithful One? A passage of Scripture laid home to the heart speedily quickens the feeble heart into mighty action. Men speak of waters that revive the spirits, and tonics that brace the constitution; but the Word of God has been more than this to us, times beyond count. Amidst temptations sharp and strong, and trials fierce and bitter, the Word of the Lord has preserved us. Amidst discouragements which damped our hopes, and disappointments which wounded our hearts, we have felt ourselves strong to do and bear, because the assurances of help which we find in our Bibles have brought us a secret, unconquerable energy.

We must depend upon the Spirit in our preparations. Is this the fact with us all? Are you in the habit of working your way into the meaning of texts by the guidance of the Holy Spirit? Every man that goes to the land of heavenly knowledge must work his passage thither; but he must work out his passage in the strength of the Holy Spirit, or he will arrive at some island in the sea of fancy, and never set his foot upon the sacred shores of the truth. You do not know the truth, my brother, because you have read "Hodge's Outlines", or "Fuller's Gospel worthy of all Acceptation"; or "Owen on the Spirit", or any other classic of our faith. You do not know the truth, my brother, merely because you accept the Westminster Assembly's Confession, and have studied it perfectly. No, we know nothing till we are taught of the Holy Ghost, who speaks to the heart rather than to the ear. It is a wonderful fact that we do not even hear the voice of Jesus till the Spirit rests upon us. John says, "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard a voice behind me." He heard not that voice till he was in the Spirit. How many heavenly words we miss because we abide not in the Spirit!

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Daily Devotional for Sunday June 19th/05

The book of Psalms is divided into five books, with the following divisions:

Book 1 - Psalms 1-41
Book 2 - Psalms 42-72
Book 3 - Psalms 73-89
Book 4 - Psalms 90-106
Book 5 - Psalms 107-150

With these divisions in mind, I share the following study with you. This is taken from The Bible Student's Compendium And Dictionary - part of the cover is ripped off so I am unable to tell the name of the author or publisher as that is not on the copyright page. This is not an endorsement of the whole book, but I thought it worthwhile to share this interesting portion (definitely some interesting parallels brought forth!):

Note the concluding words of each of these books. (There are altogether in the Psalms, seven Amens and twenty-four Hallelujahs**.) The Rabbis used to say that these five books correspond to the five books of the Pentateuch. And this makes a most interesting study:-

THUS BOOK 1 IS THE GENESIS BOOK. It shows us God's plan for MAN. God is Jehovah (the Lord) in this book. He has covenant-plans toward mankind. True, sin has broken things up and man is in rebellion against God. But the plans were made in CHRIST, and God still has His one Man in mind: Ps. 2; THE LAST ADAM: Ps. 8 (cf. Gen. 1). The middle Psalm of the book (21) describes Him as crowned for rule and set to be a blessing for ever (v. 6; cf. Gen. 12 and 22:18); though, indeed, He shall only reach His Crown through a Cross (22-24). Yet the MAN Christ Jesus is set before us, waiting in faith for the glory the Lord will give Him (16, 17, 18); "bowed down heavily" in the days of His flesh (35:14), yet "the Lord hath pleasure in the propsperity of His Servant" (v. 27), and when He has "waited patiently" as "a poor and needy" Man, cast upon the Lord, He receives the promised reward (40, 41). It is a "blessed" thing to consider this poor MAN (41).

BOOK 2 IS THE EXODUS BOOK. It begins with the true Israel in tears and suffering (42) yet appealing to God against "an ungodly nation" (43) and though "counted as sheep for the slaughter" (44), calling upon God to redeem them (44:26). Then comes THE DIVINE REDEEMER. Finally a redeemed Israel sings sings praises for deliverance (61-68). And the book that began with suffering conducts us, Psalm by Psalm, through a varied experience on pilgrimage towards God, towards the glorious kingdom of Christ, which will leave nothing for the loyal soul to desire (72: see esp. v. 19 and 20).

THEN BOOK 3 IS THE LEVITICUS BOOK. This is the book of the Sanctuary. Search and see how that in nearly every Psalm some reference is made to the sanctuary. Israel's house is indeed now left unto her "desolate" and given over to her enemies. But HE WHO DWELLS BETWEEN THE CHERUBIM (80:1) will yet "shine forth" again and the deserted altars shall again be laden with worship (84). For Jehovah is faithful and has sworn (89).

BOOK 4 IS THE NUMBERS BOOK: the book of the wilderness. Angels watch over God's true Israel there (91), and when Israel has profited by the past wilderness lesson (95), the wilderness shall blossom as the rose (96, etc. cf. Is. 35). For Christ will return as LORD OF THE WHOLE EARTH (98:5-7; cf. Heb. 1:6) and the earth will no longer be a wilderness but will enjoy the promised blessings (101-106). This is a very striking book indeed and may well end, as it does, with "Hallelujah."

BOOK 5 IS, LIKE DEUTERONOMY, THE BOOK OF THE COVENANT WORD. Its chief Psalm is 119, which is all in praise of that Word. (Remember Deuteronomy begins "These be the words" and tells, as we saw, how God bare witness of a New Covenant through Moses). This Word tells of "good things to come." Christ is the High Priest of these good things (Ps. 110; cf. Heb.). It will be a wonderful day when "the greater Hallel"(Pss.117-118) is sung in Mount Zion - "the day which the Lord hath made," when the Rejected Stone is made "THE HEADSTONE OF THE CORNER." No wonder the words are treasured by believing hearts (119) and their eyes "lifted up" (121) for their redemption which draws nigh. From distress (120) they will ascend - as the songs of "degrees", songs of "the steps" (the steps of ascent to the Divine Temple) describe - to the sanctuary of blessing, where the Lord of heaven and earth will bless men out of Zion (135).

The Book closes with a grand universal anthem in five "Hallelujah" Psalms.

**Hallelujah is translated into English as "Praise the Lord."

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Daily Devotional for Monday June 20th/05

THE DEITY OF CHRIST: HIS TITLES

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).

The Messiah

This is the Hebrew word for the "anointed one." The Greek word "CHRIST" is its New Testament equivalent. The CHRIST is the fulfiller of the Messianic hopes of Israel. It is often used with the New Testament name "JESUS" which in the Hebrew means "JEHOVAH is salvation." Thus this title signifies that the Son of GOD is the anticipated anointed One of the Old Testament prophecies who would come to bless and to save His people.

The Only Begotten

Here is one of the highest names given to JESUS CHRIST. It is used in John 1:14 and "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." (v. 18) and John 3:16. By it we understand that CHRIST from eternity bore a special relationship to the FATHER shared with no other. It is a term of intimacy and endearment. None is closer to the heart of GOD than the LORD JESUS CHRIST. It is He in whom the FATHER delights and upon whom He has poured special favor and through whom He speaks and by whom He blesses those who come to Him. As the "only begotten," CHRIST is the revealer, the declarer of GOD to man (1:18).

The Firstborn

This name is used twice in the New Testament without referring to CHRIST: "Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. . . . To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect." (Heb. 11:28; 12:23) and seven times as one of His names. A threefold usage with regard to CHRIST is evident. First, He is the FIRSTBORN "of every creature" (Col. 1:15), or probably "with regard to the creation." Not a part of creation, CHRIST is regarded by Paul as the Sovereign of creation. He enjoys a special privilege in relationship to it which no other bears. Second, He is the FIRSTBORN of Mary: "And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS." (Matt. 1:25) which here seems simply to mean the first Son of the virgin. And third, He is the FIRSTBORN by resurrection: "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." (Col. 1:18) and "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood" (Rev. 1:5). He is thus presented as the first to be raised from the grave to life. This title then is another evidence that CHRIST is an eternal, uncreated being equal with GOD the FATHER.

What an encouragement to know that He who existed from eternity will live forever and one day we shall see Him face to face.

(Taken from The Man Christ Jesus by Arthur Mercer Jr.)

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday June 21st/05

THE DEITY OF CHRIST: HIS TRAITS

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6).

OMNIPOTENCE

That there are no limitations on CHRIST's power is demonstrated by what He has already done. He created the universe: "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:3). He sustains and preserves it: "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist" (Col. 1:16-17). While He was on earth He revealed His power, but never for self interests, never for personal gain or fame. His continual desire was to do the will of the Heavenly FATHER at all costs: "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do" (John 17:4). But when it was necessary, He proved beyond any question that He was indeed all powerful. Nearly all the Gospel of John is designed to demonstrate CHRIST's deity through His miracles. Miracles can be performed only by the release of unlimited power -- power which wanes before no force greater than nor equal to itself. He transformed water into wine, proving His power in the physical and chemical realm: "When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him" (John 2:9-11). He healed a nobleman's son, showing His power over disease: "So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee" (John 4:46-54). One of His greatest miracles was the feeding of the five thousand (chap. 6), revealing His creative power. He raised a man to life to demonstrate His ability to conquer death, one of man's greatest foes (chap. 11) , and finally triumphed over death Himself in glorious bodily resurrection (chap. 20). The apostle John admonishes his readers: "But these (miracles) are written that ye might believe that JESUS is the CHRIST, the Son of GOD; and that believing ye might have life through his name" (20:31).

What will likely be the greatest revelation of the omnipotence of JESUS CHRIST awaits the future. One day our LORD will return to earth in a mighty demonstration of His limitless power. Into His hands is committed man's judgment. His wrathful coming will destroy all the forces which will be arrayed against GOD: "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." (John 5:22) and "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." (Dan. 2:44) and "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming." (II Thess. 2:8) and "And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS" (Rev. 19:15-16).

CHRIST's limitless power is available now to every believer for daily living and service. He Himself charged us to make disciples of all nations through the working of His mighty power in us: "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen" (Matt. 18:19-20).

(Taken from The Man Christ Jesus by Arthur Mercer Jr.)

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday June 22nd/05

THE DEITY OF CHRIST: HIS TRAITS

"And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven" (John 3:13).

OMNIPRESENCE

That the Son of GOD was everywhere present is a proof of His deity, for only GOD is everywhere: "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee" (Ps. 139:7-12). The Bible contemplates the truth that GOD is both everywhere and anywhere simultaneously without contradiction. His presence is not limited by the universe itself (vv 7-8), nor is there any place where GOD is not totally present - "in heaven,": "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name" (Matt. 6:9); in "eternity,": "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones" (Isa. 57:15); in the believer: "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power" (Col. 2:9-10). If CHRIST be fully GOD He must manifest complete omnipresence.

It is quite simple to see the Son as omnipresent before the incarnation. His very works and attributes show this. But what of His time on earth? Could He have possessed omnipresence while GOD incarnate? Indeed! For the Scriptures declare that the Son of man was in heaven and on earth simultaneously: "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven" (John 3:13). He must never cease to be in heaven at any time, for He is GOD, an essential member of the Trinity. And GOD, even CHRIST, is immutable, never changing. Shedd speaks of a "double life" for CHRIST. Being GOD and man at the same time, He was both in heaven and on earth at once. None of us are asked to understand this. This is divine truth to be believed and trusted, not necessarily comprehended. Because the eternal Word voluntarily confined Himself to human flesh, it does not follow that He ceased to operate in His relationship with the FATHER. Because the sun is shining its rays through your window and into your room, does not mean that it cannot shine somewhere else at the same time. In fact, it must be shining elsewhere, even beyond the clouds to other realms. This is the miracle of it all. JESUS CHRIST is not confined to our time-space relationships. He may dwell anywhere and everywhere at once in His divine nature without division of His personality. But His body can be in only one place at one time. This is true although beyond our comprehension. Yet, if JESUS CHRIST be not omnipresent, He is not GOD.

The LORD JESUS CHRIST is everywhere present to behold us at all times: "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do" (Heb. 4:13). May we never forget that our ways are known altogether to Him and that one day we shall appear before Him to account for the worthless things done in the flesh: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (II Cor. 5:10).

(Taken from The Man Christ Jesus by Arthur Mercer Jr.)

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Daily Devotional for Thursday June 23rd/05

I was reading Reese's Chronological Bible (which is great for reading Bible passages and events in the order that they happened - according to his reckoning), and came across the following headings for the Song Of Solomon (the headings are Reese's, but added comments are mine). I present these for your consideration:

Chapters 1:1-2:7 - Love's Beginning (Creation)

I am not sure how this first part represents Creation, but I can see the fall (ie. the influence of sin) pictured in this chapter:

Song of Solomon 1:5-6 I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon. Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.

Perhaps the Creation referred to by Reese is the new creation, when believers are born again and quickened together with Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

For a study on this section of the Song Of Solomon, see:

2:1-2 The Lily Of The Valleys

The Valleys Of Life (Poem)

Chapters 2:8-3:5 - Love's Absence (Law)

I am not sure if he is referring to the Law itself here, or to the period of the Law. I can definitely see some parallels to the period of the Law:

Song 2:9 My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, He standeth behind our wall, He looketh forth at the windows, shewing Himself through the lattice.

In the OT dispensation, Christ shewed Himself to His people in pictures and prophecies - but it wasn't until the NT that His people got to see Him face to face. Now all the OT types are opened up to our eyes, and we can see Him with the vail removed.

2 Corinthians 3:13-14, 18 And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

For a study on this section of the Song Of Solomon, see:

2:13-17 Arise And Come Away

The Shadows Flee Away (Poem)

Chapters 3:6-5:1 - Love's Restoration (Calvary)

Chapter 3 tells of Solomon's espousal to the Shulamite (this is the feminine form of "Solomon" - as the Shulamite is identified with Solomon, so is the Christian identified with Christ).

It is after their espousal that his bride to be is stated to be "all fair... there is no spot in thee." Likewise, those who receive Jesus Christ as their Saviour (the church, the bride of Christ) are credited with His righteousness and are all fair and without spot in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. (See Ephesians 5:27)

Chapter 5:2-6:3 - Love Delayed (Grace)

For a study on this section of the Song Of Solomon, see Is Your Armour On?

Chapters 6:4-8:5 - Love's Fulfillment (Second Advent)

I find it interesting that this section begins with the Lord gathering His believers and taking them to Heaven, which pictures the rapture (as well as pictures Him taking believers home at death).

Song Of Solomon 6:2-3 My beloved is gone down into His garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies. I am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine: He feedeth among the lilies.

He Gathers His Lilies (Poem)

Then the chapter ends with the Shulamite returning, dressed in royal clothes:

6:13 Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.

7:1 How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter!

7:5 Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the King is held in the galleries.

Chapter 8:6-14 - Love's Triumph (Eternity)

There is so much more that can be brought out of this book - but I will leave that with you, as you read and study it out in the days ahead. I find it interesting that in this last chapter we see the Shulamite return from the wilderness:

8:5 Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her Beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee.

This beautifully pictures the remnant of Israel that returns to the Lord during the wilderness wanderings of the Tribulation period.

This is one of my all-time favourite books of the Bible - the more I come to understand it, the more I love it. It is great to read if you are desiring to rekindle the flame of your love to Christ, your First Love.

"The best key to this book is the 45th Psalm, which we find applied to Christ in the New Testament, and therefore this ought to be so too. It requires some pains to find out what may, probably, be the meaning of the Holy Spirit in the several parts of this book; as David’s songs are many of them level to the capacity of the meanest, and there are shallows in them learned, and there are depths in it in which an elephant may swim. But, when the meaning is found out, it will be of admirable use to excite pious and devout affections in us; and the same truths which are plainly laid down in other scriptures when they are extracted out of this come to the soul with a more pleasing power. When we apply ourselves to the study of this book we must not only, with Moses and Joshua, put off our shoe from off our foot, and even forget that we have bodies, because the place where we stand is holy ground, but we must, with John, come up hither, must spread our wings, take a noble flight, and soar upwards, till by faith and holy love we enter into the holiest, for this is no other than the house of God and this is the gate of heaven." - Matthew Henry.

One of my favourite commentators is Matthew Henry, and he given us a great blessing in opening up this book to us (through the gift of teaching which the Holy Spirit has obviously given him). He digs into the meaning of the symbolism by comparing Scripture with Scripture - as such we can know that (generally-speaking) he is giving us God's interpretation of this book, what the Lord intended to picture to His children. You can read his commentary on this book here: Matthew Henry's Commentary on Song Of Solomon (the rest of his commentaries are also available for online reading at BlueLetterBible - this is not an endorsement of all the other commentaries that this website makes available - though I do highly recommend Matthew Henry).

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Daily Devotional for Friday June 24th/05

The following account was written by Rosalind Goforth, from her book Climbing: Memories Of A Missionary Wife. I highly recommend reading it, even if you are unfamiliar with the Goforths. Years after she had written their biography of their work as missionaries to China, she wrote this book as a supplement (in some ways), describing some of the lessons she learned while on the Mission's field. I have enjoyed reading the chapters that have been posted so far, and look forward to the rest.

We are told in the life of Frances Ridley Havergal by her sister that for many years, even after she had become known world-wide as a hymn writer, she was burdened with a sense of sin. I, too, for years, even after going to China, was often oppressed by the same burden of sin. One evening when all was quiet, I settled at my desk with Bible and concordance, determined to find out GOD's attitude toward the failures, the faults, the sins of His children.

The result of that study has been a blessing to myself and others:

What GOD Does with Our Sins

1. He lays them on His Son - JESUS CHRIST. Isaiah 53:6
2. CHRIST takes them away. John 1:29
3. They are removed an immeasurable distance as far as East is from West. Psalm 103:12
4. When sought for are not found. Jeremiah 50:20
5. The LORD forgives them. I John 1:9; Ephesians 1:7; Psalm 103:3
6. He cleanses them all away by the blood of His Son. I John 1:7; Revelation 1:5
7. He cleanses them as white as snow or wool. Isaiah 1:18; Psalm 51:7
8. He abundantly pardons them. Isaiah 55:7
9. He tramples them under foot. Micah 7:10.
10. He remembers them no more. Hebrews 10:17; Ezekiel 33:16
11. He casts them behind His back. Isaiah 38:17
12. He casts them into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:19
13. He will not impute us with sins; Romans 4:8
14. He covers them. Romans 4:7
15. He blots them out. Isaiah 43:25
16. He blots them out as a thick cloud. Isaiah 44:22
17. He blots out even the proof against us, NAILING IT TO HIS SON'S CROSS. Colossians 2:14


On one occasion, when giving this Bible study to a group of Christian Chinese women, when we came to "He remembers them no more," one woman rose and with a look of surprise and wonder, said, "Mrs. Goforth, do you really mean to say GOD forgets our sins when repented of?"

I replied, "The Bible says so, for 'He remembers them no more' means just that."

She remained standing silently for a moment, then exclaimed, "Then why should I torment myself about them? Oh, I'm so glad!"

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Daily Devotional for Saturday June 25th/05

Christian Metaphors

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Daily Devotional for Sunday June 26th/05

This is the basic message (devotional) I preached on Friday.

All Our Tomorrows

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Daily Devotional for Monday June 27th/05

This was what I preached on Saturday, as a follow up to Friday's message. As a side note: Praise the Lord! He has given me an opportunity to preach twice a week for the last three weeks - and Lord willing, I hope to continue to do so.

The Lord Thinketh Upon Me

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday June 28th/05

The following is taken from Chapter 9 of Climbing: Memories Of A Missionary Wife, where Rosalind Goforth is describing some of the difficulties her family had gone through - and how the Lord was there for them.

After about two months touring the hilly region to the west, we returned to Changte for presbytery in December, again starting off in January, this time to reach the main centers of the eastern section of the field.

While at Takwanchwang, the first place of our "tour," I caught a severe cold on my chest. The question was, Should I give up the trip and return to Changte? To do so would largely break up the women's part of the campaign. So I decided just to go on and pray for strength at least to play the organ and conduct the singing in the tent. Later it almost seemed I should have gone back, for, as we traveled southward a day's journey, I became worse with what seemed pleurisy. Our home at this second place was a damp, mud hut.

To go from place to place on that journey, where every moment was a prayer for help, would weary the reader. Sometimes, though very seldom, we found ourselves in a comparatively comfortable, heated room. Sometimes I was able to take part in the preaching to crowds of women, who literally clamored for the foreign women to address them.

At last we started for the farthest, most northern point of the field. The day was stormy, cold and raining. How I prayed we might get to a warm place, but alas, we were shown into a large, barnlike room! The paper windows had many holes, through which the wind and rain swept. Later these windows were papered over, but many holes in the roof remained.

As I recall the days spent in that room, it all seems one of the darkest, hardest physical experiences of my life. I had again caught a severe chill and was feverish and in pain. I forced myself to attend the first few meetings but finally had to give in. I tried to get warm with a hot water bottle and everything my husband could pile on me on the brick bed. But it was no use. I simply got colder and colder.

As my husband left for the meeting, I rose and I began to pace the rough earthen floor, crying aloud in agony, "O LORD, have You no pity? Oh, help me! Why should I suffer so?"

Just then the two-leaf door was flung open and a coolie entered. On his shoulder was balanced a bamboo pole with a fully laden basket on each end. He handed me a letter. It was from some American missionaries living quite a distance from where we were. These missionaries had spent a few hours with us the day before to see something of my husband's methods of work. They had stayed for dinner and had left us with practically an empty larder. They must have sensed this, as the two laden baskets indicated. These contained all sorts of good things, as jam, pickles, bread, cake, butter, and other things.

But the most timely and precious evidence of GOD's love and care came, when tearing paper off a bottle of grape juice, I noticed a portion of the torn paper lying on the floor on which, in large print, were the words, "IS THIS THE RIGHT ROAD HOME?"

Picking up the bit of paper, I read the following lines:

Is THIS the right road home, O LORD?
The clouds are dark and still,
The stony path is sharp and hard,
Each step brings some fresh hill!
I thought the way would brighter grow
And that the sun with warmth would glow
And joyous songs from free hearts flow.
Is THIS the right road home?
Yes, child! this very path I trod,
The clouds were dark for Me,
The stony path was hard to tread,
Not sight but faith can see
That at the end the sun shines bright,
Forever where there is no night,
And glad hearts rest from earth's fierce fight,
It IS the Right Road Home!

On carefully examining the scrap of paper, I found it to be a portion of an English paper, "The Life of Faith," printed four years before in 1914 at the time of the Great War. How strange! How wonderful! GOD surely, in this case, moved in a mysterious way. An English newspaper four years old, coming through American missionaries and reaching me, as it did, just when I needed the message desperately!

Again and again, I read those lines, which seemed to speak to me a message from the LORD direct to my soul. At last I cried out, "O LORD, if THIS I am now going through is the RIGHT ROAD HOME, then I will not murmur!"

Two days later, our way took us near the railway. Leaving the others to continue the remaining ten days of the tour, I returned to Changte. Miss McI - opened the door of the single women's home in response to my knock. As she looked at me, she fairly gasped, "It surely is not Mrs. Goforth!" Later she told me I looked simply a ghost of myself.

Oh, the blessedness of the week that followed.

All three women - Miss McI-, Dr. D-, and Miss P- vied with each other in caring for me as I lay at last in a warm, clean, lovely bedroom.

The effects of what I had gone through those months remained with me for years. BUT He brought me through! And so will He you, dear fellow-climber.

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday June 29th/05

Christ In The Vessel

"Let us pass over unto the other side" (Mark 4:35).

Even when we go forth at Christ's command, we need not expect to escape storms; for these disciples were going forth at Christ's command, yet they encountered the fiercest storm and were in great danger of being overwhelmed, so that they cried out in their distress for Christ's assistance.

Though Christ may delay His coming in our time of distress, it is only that our faith may be tried and strengthened, and that our prayers may be more intense, and that our desires for deliverance may be increased, so that when the deliverance does come we will appreciate it more fully.

Christ gave them a gentle rebuke, saying, "Where is your faith?" Why did you not shout victory in the very face of the storm, and say to the raging winds and rolling waves, "You can do no harm, for Christ, the mighty Savior is on board"?

It is much easier to trust when the sun is shining than when the storm is raging.

We never know how much real faith we have until it is put to the test in some fierce storm; and that is the reason why the Savior is on board.

If you are ever to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might, your strength will be born in some storm. -Selected.

"With Christ in the vessel,
I smile at the storm."

Christ said, "Let us go to the other side" -- not to the middle of the lake to be drowned. -Dan Crawford.

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Thursday June 30th/05

Exodus 12:8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

The Paschal feast is the emblem of the Christian life. The Blood is ever speaking to God for us; though we see it not, God sees it, and hears its prevalent plea. We in the meanwhile are called upon to feed in faith daily, hourly, on the flesh of the Son of Man, according to His own command. In all Christian life, even in its hours of greatest rapture, there must be a touch of the bitter herb.

We can never forget the cost of our redemption. - Even in heaven, in the full realization of its bliss, whenever we catch sight of the print of the nails in His hand, we shall remember the agony and bloody sweat, the cross and passion, and eat the feast with the flavor of the bitter herb. How much more on earth, where we are so constantly requiring the efficacy of His precious death!

There will always be the memory of our sinnership. - We cannot forget our unworthiness and sin. He has forgiven; but we cannot forget. Ah, those years of rebellion and perverseness before we yielded to Him; and those years of self-will and pride since we knew His love. They will sometimes come back to us, and give us to eat of the bitter herb.

Moreover, there must be the constant crucifixion of the self-life. - We can only properly feed on Jesus, the Lamb of God, when we are animated by the spirit of self-surrender and humiliation, of death to the world and to the will of the flesh, which were the characteristics of His cross. Deep down in our hearts, the drinking of His cup and being baptized with His baptism, will be the touch of the bitter herbs in the feast. But "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18)

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

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