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Daily Devotionals For June 2006

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Daily Devotional for Thursday June 1st/06

We are pleased to be able to offer another excellent commentary by Oliver B. Greene:

The Epistle Of Paul The Apostle To The Ephesians

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Daily Devotional for Friday June 2nd/06

Spiritual Force

"All these things are against me" (Gen. 42:36).

"All things work together for good to them that love God" (Rom. 8:28).

Many people are wanting power. Now how is power produced? The other day we passed the great works where the trolley engines are supplied with electricity. We heard the hum and roar of the countless wheels, and we asked our friend,

"How do they make the power?"

"Why," he said, "just by the revolution of those wheels and the friction they produce. The rubbing creates the electric current."

And so, when God wants to bring more power into your life, He brings more pressure. He is generating spiritual force by hard rubbing. Some do not like it and try to run away from the pressure, instead of getting the power and using it to rise above the painful causes.

Opposition is essential to a true equilibrium of forces. The centripetal and centrifugal forces acting in opposition to each other keep our planet in her orbit. The one propelling, and the other repelling, so act and re-act, that instead of sweeping off into space in a pathway of desolation, she pursues her even orbit around her solar centre.

So God guides our lives. It is not enough to have an impelling force - we need just as much a repelling force, and so He holds us back by the testing ordeals of life, by the pressure of temptation and trial, by the things that seem against us, but really are furthering our way and establishing our goings.

Let us thank Him for both, let us take the weights as well as the wings, and thus divinely impelled, let us press on with faith and patience in our high and heavenly calling. --A. B. Simpson

In a factory building there are wheels and gearings,
There are cranks and pulleys, beltings tight or slack--
Some are whirling swiftly, some are turning slowly,
Some are thrusting forward, some are pulling back;
Some are smooth and silent, some are rough and noisy,
Pounding, rattling, clanking, moving with a jerk;

In a wild confusion in a seeming chaos,
Lifting, pushing, driving -- but they do their work.
From the mightiest lever to the tiniest pinion,
All things move together for the purpose planned;
And behind the working is a mind controlling,
And a force directing, and a guiding hand.

So all things are working for the Lord's beloved;
Some things might be hurtful if alone they stood;
Some might seem to hinder; some might draw us backward;
But they work together, and they work for good,
All the thwarted longings, all the stern denials,
All the contradictions, hard to understand.
And the force that holds them, speeds them and retards them,
Stops and starts and guides them -- is our Father's hand.

--Annie Johnson Flint

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Saturday June 3rd/06

"For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments." (Ezra 7:10)

Living among the Chaldeans, who were famous for the study of literature and astronomy, perhaps made it difficult for Ezra to prefer to study the law of the Lord. But he sought the law of the Lord; he made it his business to search the Scriptures and to inquire into the knowledge of GOD.

He knew that he could find the knowledge and the will of GOD in the Scriptures, but he also knew that he would not find it without seeking for it. So he prepared his heart to do it; he took pains in his studies; and he became a ready scribe.

Being well acquainted with the Scriptures and the meaning of them, Ezra made them the rule and guide of his daily life.

After being instrumental in reviving the knowledge of GOD among the captive Jews in Babylon, Ezra went to Jerusalem to teach Israel. He offered "to teach in Israel statutes and judgments" of GOD's law, for he was willing to share what he had learned for the good of others.

You will observe, however, that he first learned and then taught; he first practiced the commandments himself and the directed others in the practice of them. His example confirmed his doctrine.

Think what a blessing Ezra was to Israel! What a challenge he gives to us today to prepare our hearts to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and then to teach it to others!

(Taken from Moments Of Meditation by Matthew Henry)

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Daily Devotional for Sunday June 4th/06

Here is a short, but comforting sermon for repentant backsliders, taken from the book of Hosea. First the preacher describes the condition of the backslider in his sin, then he describes God's tender treatment and love shown toward him when he repents and returns to the Lord.

HOPE FOR BACKSLIDERS - by A.C. Dixon

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Daily Devotional for Monday June 5th/06

Earthen Vessels (Based on John 9)

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday June 6th/06

"The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad." --Psalm 126:3

Some Christians are sadly prone to look on the dark side of everything, and to dwell more upon what they have gone through than upon what God has done for them. Ask for their impression of the Christian life, and they will describe their continual conflicts, their deep afflictions, their sad adversities, and the sinfulness of their hearts, yet with scarcely any allusion to the mercy and help which God has vouchsafed them. But a Christian whose soul is in a healthy state, will come forward joyously, and say, "I will speak, not about myself, but to the honour of my God. He hath brought me up out of an horrible pit, and 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. The Lord hath done great things for me, whereof I am glad." Such an abstract of experience as this is the very best that any child of God can present. It is true that we endure trials, but it is just as true that we are delivered out of them. It is true that we have our corruptions, and mournfully do we know this, but it is quite as true that we have an all-sufficient Saviour, who overcomes these corruptions, and delivers us from their dominion. In looking back, it would be wrong to deny that we have been in the Slough of Despond, and have crept along the Valley of Humiliation, but it would be equally wicked to forget that we have been through them safely and profitably; we have not remained in them, thanks to our Almighty Helper and Leader, who has brought us "out into a wealthy place." The deeper our troubles, the louder our thanks to God, who has led us through all, and preserved us until now. Our griefs cannot mar the melody of our praise, we reckon them to be the bass part of our life's song, "He hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad."

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday June 7th/06

It has been a couple of months since I added a new chapter to Giants Of The Missionary Trail, so I wanted to send out the link again. Here is a chapter that I am sure you will be blessed by if you love missionary biographies:

5. Adoniram Judson - Apostle of the Love of Christ in Burma

Enjoy!

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Daily Devotional for Thursday June 8th/06

Leviticus 11:3 Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.

The animals, in which these two characteristics met, were reckoned clean, and therefore fit for food. It is certain that the minute particularity of these words has some further reference than to the diet of Israel, important though that was, or to accentuate with every meal the necessity of their being a separate people. We, at least, may gather this lesson, that in our daily experience we must combine meditation and separation.

Meditation. - The cattle do not simply browse on the pastures, but they lie down to chew the cud. It is not enough to peruse our allotted Scripture portion; we must ruminate upon it, comparing spiritual things with spiritual, and scripture with scripture. The Holy Ghost will take of the things of Christ and show them unto us, and He will bring all things to our remembrance.

Separation. - "Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God" (1 John 3:10). "The Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). We have not meditated to good purpose unless we have felt its keen edge. Detachment from the world must follow on true attachment to Christ. Love to Naomi will draw Ruth from Moab across the Jordan.

The two must be combined. - The swine divideth the hoof, but cheweth not the cud, and was therefore unclean. A man may profess to love his Bible, but the supreme test is his daily separation from evil. On the other hand, our daily life ought to emanate, not from without, which is Pharisaism, but from within, where we chew the cud of holy meditation.

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

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Daily Devotional for Friday June 9th/06

On Friday I had an opportunity to preach my study Earthen Vessels from John 9. God sure does have a sense of humour!! The power went out just before I got up to preach. A darkened room where no one could see, except for the light behind me, really got the message of the healing of the blind man across!


Leviticus 12:8 And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.

These were the offerings of the poor, of those whose means did not suffice to buy a lamb. All these offerings pointed to the one great Sacrifice which was to be offered on Calvary.

The blood of Christ is within the reach of the poorest and feeblest. - None can say that it is beyond them, that they cannot afford to procure it, that they are too poor. To the poor the Gospel is preached. The Divine call is to those who have no money. Salvation is to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly. "The word is nigh thee" (Romans 10:8).

The faith that apprehends but a part of the Saviour's work saves. - The pigeon may stand for the meagre apprehension of Christ that is the portion of the faltering and timid; but it saves equally with that fuller conception of His saving work, which might be compared to the bullock of the priest. The question is not as to the quantity but the object of faith. Is it fixed on Jesus? All faith directed to Him cannot but be genuine. It may but touch His garment's hem, yet it saves.

The beneficence of God's law. - What tender touches there are through this strong ancient code! There is such a one here, framed partly in anticipation of the mother of our Lord, who gladly availed herself of its provision. What a glimpse into our Master's humiliation! He owned the cattle on a thousand hills, yet He so emptied Himself that His parents were compelled to bring the poorest offering the law allowed. He stooped that we might rise; emptied Himself that we might be full; became poor that we might be made rich; was made human that we might be made Divine.

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

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Daily Devotional for Saturday June 10th/06

Leviticus 14:7 And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field.

That is thou, O trembling soul. Thine iniquities have come between thee and freedom, like the bars of a cage to a bird caught from its native woods and imprisoned. See the quickly-palpitating breast, beaten against the bars, pining for the open field - is not that an apt symbol of thy deep yearning for deliverance from the tyranny and thrall of besetting sin?

We are made free from the penalty of sin through the blood of Him who died. - One of the birds was killed in an earthen vessel over running water - here is symbolized the precious death of thy Saviour, in the earthen vessel of His human nature, and in connection with the living power of the Holy Spirit, which bore forth the tidings into all the world. We have been dipped into the crimson tide and are freed - as the leper was - from the taint of our disease. He might go freely among men, and join the congregation of worshippers: and we may mingle with the saints, and enter the very presence-chamber of God.

We are made free from the power of sin through the grace of Him who rose. - He has passed into the resurrection life, and we in Him. When He rose through all the heavens to His native home, we ascended too. We are made free from the thralldom of evil by identification with the risen Lord; and the Holy Spirit, entering our hearts from our exalted Head, makes us possessors of all the privileges which are ours in the Divine purpose (Romans 8:3-4). - Fly away, happy soul, to thy nest in the heart of God! Seek those things which are above! It is your privilege to live in the heavenlies with Christ. Sursum Carda!*

*Means "lift up your hearts."

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

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Daily Devotional for Sunday June 11th/06

Leviticus 16:22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.

This chapter is full of Christ in His most precious death for men. Its various aspects are set forth under these diverse sacrifices, as light reflected from the many facets of a diamond. We think now only of the live goat which was led away into the wilderness. We see in it: -

Christ made sin. - With both hands Aaron, in symbol, transferred all the iniquities, sins, and transgressions of the people to the head of the goat, which became so identified with them that it was accounted an unclean thing; and even he who led it away must needs wash his clothes and bathe. This is what the apostle means when he says that Jesus was made sin for us. Our sins met in Him; were assumed by Him; He stood before God as though, in some mysterious sense, they were His own.

Christ bearing sin away. - As the goat went away, the eyes of the people followed it, and they were taught to believe that sin was no longer reckoned to them. Aaron put off his linen garments and arrayed himself in festal robes, and came forth to bless the congregation. What rejoicing must have broken from the crowds! So Jesus, in His matchless grace, has borne away the sin of the world into a land of forgetfulness. "Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more" (Hebrews 10:17).

Christ's loneliness. - He was alone in His mediatorial work. None could bear Him company. Loved ones might stand beside His cross, or in after ages suffer, as He did, deaths of martyrdom; but none could do what He did as the sacrifice for sin. Ah, how lonely He was! Even the Father seemed to have forsaken Him! Before the universe, in that dread hour, the Saviour stood in awful, unapproachable solitude!

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

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Daily Devotional for Monday June 12th/06

Here is a book that we have had on the study site for awhile, but I had not yet sent the link out for. It looks at various aspects of our worship as believers and how important this is in our Christian walk. Various Bible stories illustrate how and why the Lord wants our worship. Truly, "the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him."

WORSHIP: The Christian's Highest Occupation - Alfred P. GIBBS

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday June 13th/06

"Thy Redeemer." --Isaiah 54:5

Jesus, the Redeemer, is altogether ours and ours for ever. All the offices of Christ are held on our behalf. He is king for us, priest for us, and prophet for us. Whenever we read a new title of the Redeemer, let us appropriate Him as ours under that name as much as under any other. The shepherd's staff, the father's rod, the captain's sword, the priest's mitre, the prince's sceptre, the prophet's mantle, all are ours. Jesus hath no dignity which He will not employ for our exaltation, and no prerogative which He will not exercise for our defence. His fulness of Godhead is our unfailing, inexhaustible treasure-house.

His manhood also, which he took upon him for us, is ours in all its perfection. To us our gracious Lord communicates the spotless virtue of a stainless character; to us he gives the meritorious efficacy of a devoted life; on us he bestows the reward procured by obedient submission and incessant service. He makes the unsullied garment of his life our covering beauty; the glittering virtues of his character our ornaments and jewels; and the superhuman meekness of his death our boast and glory. He bequeaths us his manger, from which to learn how God came down to man; and his Cross to teach us how man may go up to God. All his thoughts, emotions, actions, utterances, miracles, and intercessions, were for us. He trod the road of sorrow on our behalf, and hath made over to us as his heavenly legacy the full results of all the labours of his life. He is now as much ours as heretofore; and he blushes not to acknowledge himself "our Lord Jesus Christ," though he is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Christ everywhere and every way is our Christ, for ever and ever most richly to enjoy. O my soul, by the power of the Holy Spirit! call him this morning, "thy Redeemer."

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday June 14th/06

If you like reading missionary and preacher biographies or memoirs of their lives, you will certainly be blessed by this book about Charles and Lettie Cowman (author of Streams In The Desert devotional):

The Vision Lives by Benjamin H. Pearson

In the past we have sent out the link to Charles Cowman's biography, which was definitely worth reading. While we may not agree with him on everything doctrinally, he was someone that the Lord used tremendously, and we can still benefit from his devotion and service to the Lord:

Charles E. Cowman: Missionary Warrior - by Mrs. Cowman

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Daily Devotional for Thursday June 15th/06

The following excerpt on discerning God's leading is taken from chapter 13 (Following The Pillar Of Cloud And Fire) of George Mueller Of Bristol.

In this careful weighing of matters many sincere disciples fail, prone to be impatient of delay in making decisions. Impulse too often sways, and self-willed plans betray into false and even disastrous mistakes. Life is too precious to risk one such failure. There is given us a promise of deep meaning:

"The meek will He guide in judgment; and the meek will He teach His way." (Psalm 25:9.)

Here is a double emphasis upon meekness as a condition of such guidance and teaching. Meekness is a real preference for God's will. Where this holy habit of mind exists, the whole being becomes so open to impression that, without any outward sign or token, there is an inward recognition and choice of the will of God. God guides, not by a visible sign, but by swaying the judgment. To wait before Him, weighing candidly in the scales every consideration for or against a proposed course, and in readiness to see which way the preponderance lies, is a frame of mind and heart in which one is fitted to be guided; and God touches the scales and makes the balance to sway as He will. But our hands must be off the scales, otherwise we need expect no interposition of His in our favour. To return to the figure with which this chapter starts, the meek soul simply and humbly waits, and watches the moving of the Pillar.

One sure sign of this spirit of meekness is the entire restfulness with which apparent obstacles to any proposed plan or course are regarded. Then waiting and wishing only to know and do God's will, hindrances will give no anxiety, but a sort of pleasure, as affording a new opportunity for divine interposition. If it is the Pillar of God we are following, the Red Sea will not dismay us, for it will furnish but another scene for the display of the power of Him who can make the waters to stand up as an heap, and to become a wall about us as we go through the sea on dry ground.

Mr. Müller had learned this rare lesson, and in this case he says:

"I had a secret satisfaction in the greatness of the difficulties which were in the way. So far from being cast down on account of them, they delighted my soul; for I only desired to do the will of the Lord in this matter."

Here is revealed another secret of holy serving. To him who sets the Lord always before him, and to whom the will of God is his delight, there pertains a habit of soul which, in advance settles a thousand difficult and perplexing questions.

The case in hand is an illustration of the blessing found in such meek preference for God's pleasure. If it were the will of the Lord that this Continental tour should be undertaken at that time, difficulties need not cast him down; for the difficulties could not be of God; and, if not of God, they should give him no unrest, for, in answer to prayer, they would all be removed. If, on the other hand, this proposed visit to the Continent were not God's plan at all, but only the fruit of self-will; if some secret, selfish, and perhaps subtle motive were controlling, then indeed hindrances might well be interferences of God, designed to stay his steps. In the latter case, Mr. Müller rightly judged that difficulties in the way would naturally vex and annoy him; that he would not like to look at them, and would seek to remove them by his own efforts. Instead of giving him an inward satisfaction as affording God an opportunity to intervene in his behalf, they would arouse impatience and vexation, preventing self-will from carrying out its own purposes.

Such discriminations have only to be stated to any spiritual mind, to have their wisdom at once apparent. Any believing child of God may safely gauge the measure of his surrender to the will of God, in any matter, by the measure of impatience he feels at the obstacles in the way; for, in proportion as self-will sways him, whatever seems to oppose or hinder his plans will disturb or annoy; and, instead of quietly leaving all such hindrances and obstacles to the Lord, to deal with them as He pleases, in His own way and time, the wilful disciple will, impatiently and in the energy of the flesh, set himself to remove them by his own scheming and struggling, and he will brook no delay.

Whenever Satan acts as a hinderer (1 Thess. 2:18) the obstacles which he puts in our way need not dismay us; God permits them to delay or deter us for the time, only as a test of patience and faith, and the satanic hinderer will be met by a divine Helper who will sweep away all his obstacles, as with the breath of His mouth.

Mr. Müller felt this, and he waited on God for light and help. But, after forty days' writing, the hindrances, instead of decreasing, seemed rather to increase... Yet his rest and peace of mind were unbroken. Being persuaded that he was yielded up to the will of God, faith not only held him to his purpose, but saw the obstacles already surmounted, so that he gave thanks in advance. Because Caleb "wholly followed the Lord," even the giant sons of Anak with their walled cities and chariots of iron had for him no terrors. Their defence was departed from them, but the Lord was with His believing follower, and made him strong to drive them out and take possession of their very stronghold as his own inheritance.

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Daily Devotional for Friday June 16th/06

This will be another one of those rare times when I decide to send out some poems that I hope will be a blessing to you. The first one is a Father's Day poem, with a link to it on my poetry website, Home of The Real McCoy, and the second one is a song I wrote on Wednesday.

I just put up a page on my poetry site for this poem. I cheated and used one background I had used for another poem, but hopefully you won't mind. Please pass on this poem and page if you believe it would be an encouragement to others this Father's Day:

Slow Down, Daddy!

Slow Down, Daddy!

"Slow down, Daddy, I just can't run that fast!"
The little voice calls out to you, as you walk on past.
"Wait for me, Daddy, I'm trying hard to follow you..."
Walking closely in your footsteps - where are you leading to?

"Hey Daddy, hey Daddy, come take a look at me!"
The call goes on unheeded; too caught up in your thoughts to see.
"Come over here, Daddy, can you stop a minute and play?"
The little voice laughs aloud, but you are distracted by your day.

"Oh Daddy, guess what we learned in class today.
Jesus loves me, this I know. And then we knelt to pray...
Tell me Bible stories about Jesus - I really love those parts...
I got saved today, Daddy, Jesus now lives in my heart!"

"I love you, Daddy, I thought of you all day long...
We had so much fun - but I miss you when you're gone.
Good night, Daddy, it's been a long, long, day.
I'm so sleepy, Daddy, but I love it when you pray."

"Come play with me, Daddy," the words echo in your ear,
As you gaze upon your sleeping child, the one you love so dear.
"It's been so long, Daddy, I was waiting for you to come home to me."
And you vow to be there tomorrow, to be the Daddy you need to be.

For Father's Day
May 30th/06
Jerry Bouey

A Song In The Night

Though darkness hides the sunlight,
A song is in my soul;
In the night of my affliction,
The Lord is in control.

I cannot see His footsteps –
The path He leads me down;
All the way, there’s a promise:
His path leads to a crown.

Within the stormy blackness,
Jesus has His eye on me;
Though the darkness hide Him,
By faith I still can see.

Though nighttime falls around me,
The cross leads to the tomb,
My footsteps will not falter,
His Word lights up the gloom.

Though I know not the journey,
The Lord will take me through;
I will trust in my Saviour –
He has my best in view.

Even though my steps be darkened,
My Father knows the way;
And He will safely guide me –
From the shadows into day.

June 14th/06
Jerry Bouey

But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night.
Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, yet judgment is before him;
therefore trust thou in him.

Job 35:10, 14

Lord willing, I will make up a page for this song, when I can find an appropriate background.

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Daily Devotional for Saturday June 17th/06

God Meant It Unto Good

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God" (Rom. 8:28).

How wide is this assertion of the Apostle Paul! He does not say, "We know that some things," or "most things," or "joyous things," but "ALL things." From the minutest to the most momentous; from the humblest event in daily providence to the great crisis hours in grace.

And all things "work" -- they are working; not all things have worked, or shall work; but it is a present operation.

At this very moment, when some voice may be saying, "Thy judgments are a great deep," the angels above, who are watching the development of the great plan, are with folded wings exclaiming, "The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works." (Ps. 145:17)

And then all things "work together." It is a beautiful blending. Many different colors, in themselves raw and unsightly, are required in order to weave the harmonious pattern.

Many separate tones and notes of music, even discords and dissonances, are required to make up the harmonious anthem.

Many separate wheels and joints are required to make the piece of machinery. Take a thread separately, or a note separately, or a wheel or a tooth of a wheel separately, and there may be neither use nor beauty discernible.

But complete the web, combine the notes, put together the separate parts of steel and iron, and you see how perfect and symmetrical is the result. Here is the lesson for faith: "What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter." --Macduff

In one thousand trials it is not five hundred of them that work for the believer's good, but nine hundred and ninety-nine of them, and one beside. --George Mueller

"GOD MEANT IT UNTO GOOD" (Gen. 50:20).

"God meant it unto good" -- O blest assurance,
Falling like sunshine all across life's way,
Touching with Heaven's gold earth's darkest storm clouds,
Bringing fresh peace and comfort day by day.

'Twas not by chance the hands of faithless brethren
Sold Joseph captive to a foreign land;
Nor was it chance which, after years of suffering,
Brought him before the monarch's throne to stand.

One Eye all-seeing saw the need of thousands,
And planned to meet it through that one lone soul;
And through the weary days of prison bondage
Was working towards the great and glorious goal.

As yet the end was hidden from the captive,
The iron entered even to his soul;
His eye could scan the present path of sorrow,
Not yet his gaze might rest upon the whole.

Faith failed not through those long, dark days of waiting,
His trust in God was recompensed at last,
The moment came when God led forth his servant
To succour many, all his sufferings past.

"It was not you but God, that sent me hither,"
Witnessed triumphant faith in after days;
"God meant it unto good," no "second causes"
Mingled their discord with his song of praise.

"God means it unto good" for thee, beloved,
The God of Joseph is the same today;
His love permits afflictions strange and bitter,
His hand is guiding through the unknown way.

Thy Lord, who sees the end from the beginning,
Hath purposes for thee of love untold.
Then place thy hand in His and follow fearless,
Till thou the riches of His grace behold.

There, when thou standest in the Home of Glory,
And all life's path ties open to thy gaze,
Thine eyes shall see the hand which now thou trustest,
And magnify His love through endless days.

--Freda Hanbury Allen

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Sunday June 18th/06

This was passed on to me by email, and is in the public domain:

Exposing Error: Is It Worthwhile?
by Harry A. Ironside

OBJECTION IS OFTEN raised even by some sound in the faith - regarding the exposure of error as being entirely negative and of no real edification. Of late, the hue and cry has been against any and all negative teaching. But the brethren who assume this attitude forget that a large part of the New Testament, both of the teaching of our blessed Lord Himself and the writings of the apostles, is made up of this very character of ministry - namely, showing the Satanic origin and, therefore, the unsettling results of the propagation of erroneous systems which Peter, in his second epistle, so definitely refers to as "damnable heresies."

Our Lord prophesied, "Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many." Within our own day, how many false prophets have risen; and oh, how many are the deceived! Paul predicted, "I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch." My own observation is that these "grievous wolves," alone and in packs, are not sparing even the most favoured flocks. Undershepherds in these "perilous times" will do well to note the apostle's warning: "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers." It is as important in these days as in Paul's - in fact, it is increasingly important - to expose the many types of false teaching that, on every hand, abound more and more.

We are called upon to "contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints," while we hold the truth in love. The faith means the whole body of revealed truth, and to contend for all of God's truth necessitates some negative teaching. The choice is not left with us. Jude said he preferred a different, a pleasanter theme - "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ" (Jude 3, 4). Paul likewise admonishes us to "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" (Eph. 5:11).

This does not imply harsh treatment of those entrapped by error — quite the opposite. If it be objected that exposure to error necessitates unkind reflection upon others who do not see as we do, our answer is: it has always been the duty of every loyal servant of Christ to warn against any teaching that would make Him less precious or cast reflection upon His finished redemptive work and the all-sufficiency of His present service as our great High Priest and Advocate.

Every system of teaching can be judged by what it sets forth as to these fundamental truths of the faith. "What think ye of Christ?" is still the true test of every creed. The Christ of the Bible is certainly not the Christ of any false "-ism." Each of the cults has its hideous caricature of our lovely Lord.

Let us who have been redeemed at the cost of His precious blood be "good soldiers of Jesus Christ." As the battle against the forces of evil waxes ever more hot, we have need for God-given valour.

There is constant temptation to compromise. "Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach." It is always right to stand firmly for what God has revealed concerning His blessed Son's person and work. The "father of lies" deals in half-truths and specializes in most subtle fallacies concerning the Lord Jesus, our sole and sufficient Savior.

Error is like leaven of which we read, "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." Truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous. God hates such a mixture! Any error, or any truth-and-error mixture, calls for definite exposure and repudiation. To condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word and treacherous to imperiled souls for whom Christ died.

Exposing error is most unpopular work. But from every true standpoint it is worthwhile work. To our Savior, it means that He receives from us, His blood-bought ones, the loyalty that is His due. To ourselves, if we consider "the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt," it ensures future reward, a thousand-fold. And to souls "caught in the snare of the fowler" — how many of them God only knows - it may mean light and life, abundant and everlasting.

[Dr. Harry Ironside (1876-1951), a godly Fundamentalist author and teacher for many years, served as pastor of Chicago's Moody Memorial Church from 1930-1948]

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Daily Devotional for Monday June 19th/06

This is a great salvation message based on Job 23:10 - where are you going in this life? It also offers comfort and assurance to the believer going through trials. I was tremendously blessed by reading it.

Whither Goest Thou? - A Sermon by Spurgeon

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday June 20th/06

Prayer Will Be Answered

"My expectation is from him" (Ps. 62:5).

Our too general neglect of looking for answers to what we ask, shows how little we are in earnest in our petitions. A husbandman is not content without the harvest; a marksman will observe whether the ball hits the target; a physician watches the effect of the medicine which he gives; and shall the Christian be careless about the effect of his labor?

Every prayer of the Christian, made in faith, according to the will of God, for which God has promised, offered up in the name of Jesus Christ, and under the influence of the Spirit, whether for temporal or for spiritual blessings, is, or will be, fully answered.

God always answers the general design and intention of His people's prayers, in doing that which, all things considered, is most for His own glory and their spiritual and eternal welfare. As we never find that Jesus Christ rejected a single supplicant who came to Him for mercy, so we believe that no prayer made in His name will be in vain.

The answer to prayer may be approaching, though we discern not its coming. The seed that lies under ground in winter is taking root in order to a spring and harvest, though it appears not above ground, but seems dead and lost. --Bickersteth

Delayed answers to prayer are not only trials of faith, but they give us opportunities of honoring God by our steadfast confidence in Him under apparent repulses. --C. H. Spurgeon

(Taken from Streams In The Desert devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday June 21st/06

The following exposition on Psalm 63:1-8 is from Charles Spurgeon, taken from volume 57 of The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit:

Psalm 63

A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah,- Exiled, ill at ease, hunted, exposed to danger. Yet he could sing. And some of the sweetest Psalms came out of the bitterest afflictions. God’s songsters are like nightingales that reserve their sweetest music for the night. Whenever you and I come to be in the wilderness may we refresh ourselves with such a Psalm as this.

Verse 1. O God, thou art my God;

Everything else has gone, but thou art my God. There are gods of the heathen, but thou, the true and real Jehovah, art my God. Oh, what a blessed thing it is to take a firm grip of God after this fashion, “O God, thou art my God.”

1. Early will I seek thee:

“Oh,” says one, “why did he seek God if God was his?” Would you have him seek another man’s God, then? No; it is because he is ours that we seek him and desire his company. If thou knowest God to be thy God thou will not be satisfied unless thou art living near him. “Early will I seek thee.” I will not wait. I cannot wait. I cannot tarry. I must not tarry. Early will I seek thee.

1. My soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

Thirst is one of the strongest longings of our nature. Hunger you can appease for a while, but thirst is awful. There is no staying that. When it is once upon a man he must have water or die. “My soul thirsteth for thee. My flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land where no water is.” No means of grace; nothing to help me; no believers round about me; left alone thirsting for my God. And yet it is so precious a thing, so sure a mark of grace to thirst for God anywhere that one may be thankful even to be in a dry and thirsty land if one possesses a true thirst after God.

2. To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.

He had seen God in his holy place, and he longs to see him again. They that never knew God do not want to know him. But they that have known him desire to know him more and more. If thou dost not long for the bread of heaven it is because thou didst never taste it. He that has once tasted it will sigh and hunger till he is satisfied with it.

3. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

“Better than life”; and surely life is better than anything else. “Skin for skin; yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.” Life is better than meat. Life is better than riches; and if the lovingkindness of God is better than life then we have a very high price set upon it, but none too high a price. Oh, that you and I may know how sweet, how precious, is the lovingkindness of God; and then we shall say that it is better than life. And because it is so my lips shall praise thee. Not only my heart, but I will do it openly. I used to speak vanity when I served vanity. Shall I not now speak out for God when I have come to serve him? My lips shall praise thee.

4. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.

I will confess thee. I will rejoice in thee. I will work for thee. I will encourage myself in thee. I will lift up my hands in thy name. Are any of you cast down? Do your hands hang down? Then lift them up in God’s name. Nothing else can make you strong. The name of the Lord shall be your strength.

5, 6. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: when I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.

God’s people know what perfect satisfaction means. When God reveals his love to them and Christ draws near in the fullness of his grace, then they would not change value with the kings of the earth. Not all the richest dainties that were ever served up at royal banquets are equal to the love of God. My soul, not my body but my inmost self, my very life, shall be satisfied even as with marrow and with fatness. The oriental’s idea of luxury is to eat fat. How they will eat what we could not endure, but we, dear friends, understand the metaphor and appreciate what is meant by David. God will satisfy us with the best of the best, with marrow and fatness. He will make that satisfaction double as with marrow and fatness; and we shall be so satisfied that we shall have nothing left to do but to praise. “My mouth shall praise.” Says our poet,

“All that remains for me,
Is but to love and sing,
And wait until the angels come
To bear me to their King.”

He that wrote that verse knew what was meant by this, “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips.”

7. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

That is God’s logic. One likes to see “therefores” in scripture. They are inferences drawn with great accuracy. Thou hast been my helper. Well, then, thou wilt be my helper; and if I cannot see thy face I will rejoice in the shadow of thy wings. I know that thou art there, if I cannot see thee; and if I only know that thou art there by the shade that thou dost cast over me - that calming cooling shade which damps the ardor of my worldly spirit - if this be all that I get from thee, yet in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

8. My soul followeth hard after thee:

I am after thee, my God, hard after thee, following hard after thee, longing for thee, like a dog at the heels of his master’s horse, going with all his might, following hard after thee. Oh, this is a healthy condition to be in. If thou canst not yet reach thy God, yet if thou followest hard after him it is well with thee, for notice the next sentence:

8. Thy right hand upholdeth me.

No man follows after God unless God helps him so to do. It comes of the grace of God. When thou art seeking God it is because God is seeking thee, and though thou knowest it not there is a vast amount of grace couched in this desire.

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Daily Devotional for Thursday June 22nd/06

The following questions were emailed to me, and I thought they were worth passing on. I am not sure of the original source.

1. Do we ask the Lord to lead and bless our lives yet continue to live our lives according to how we choose is best?

Isaiah 55: 8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

2. Do we ask the Lord to show us how we can serve yet when asked to help in any area in the church do we find ourselves too busy or feel as if it will be too much effort?

Matthew 9:37 When saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;

3. Do we ask the Lord to bless us with children then do we choose when we think it is most convenient for us or when we can afford them the best?

Psalm 127:3 & 5 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward... Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

4. Do we ask the Lord to give us friends, then go about hurting others by what we do and say?

Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

5. Do we ask the Lord to bless us financially, but then not tithe or give an offering as we should?

II Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

6. Do we ask for health then eat like we want to?

I Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

7. Do we ask the Lord for a new job yet are not thankful for the one he has blessed us with?

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

8. Or for a bigger house but not take care of the one he has given us?

Proverbs 31:27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

9. Do we pray for obedient children but not take the time to teach them?

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

10. Do we pray that our family be saved yet are too afraid to share the gospel with them?

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

11. Do we pray that our family get right with God yet live a life in front of them that is contrary to the Bible?

Romans 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.

Food for thought!

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Daily Devotional for Friday June 23rd/06

In my blog, I have been writing a series of devotional studies on the book of Genesis - basically just passages or phrases that have leaped out at me, and that I was able to dig deeper in and put together. I hope they are a blessing to you.

Genesis: God's Sovereignty

Genesis: God Remembered

Genesis: Claiming The Promises

Lord willing, there are a few more things I would like to bring out of the book of Genesis (and related passages).

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Daily Devotional for Saturday June 24th/06

Here is a study based on some really encouraging passages in God's Word - ones that I have always been blessed by reading.

Shadows And Wings

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Daily Devotional for Sunday June 25th/06

Living By The Word Of God

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Daily Devotional for Monday June 26th/06

"The place which is called Calvary." --Luke 23:33

The hill of comfort is the hill of Calvary; the house of consolation is built with the wood of the cross; the temple of heavenly blessing is founded upon the riven rock -- riven by the spear which pierced His side. No scene in sacred history ever gladdens the soul like Calvary's tragedy.

"Is it not strange, the darkest hour
That ever dawned on sinful earth,
Should touch the heart with softer power,
For comfort, than an angel's mirth?
That to the Cross the mourner's eye should turn,
Sooner than where the stars of Bethlehem burn?"

Light springs from the midday-midnight of Golgotha, and every herb of the field blooms sweetly beneath the shadow of the once accursed tree. In that place of thirst, grace hath dug a fountain which ever gusheth with waters pure as crystal, each drop capable of alleviating the woes of mankind. You who have had your seasons of conflict, will confess that it was not at Olivet that you ever found comfort, not on the hill of Sinai, nor on Tabor; but Gethsemane, Gabbatha, and Golgotha have been a means of comfort to you. The bitter herbs of Gethsemane have often taken away the bitters of your life; the scourge of Gabbatha has often scourged away your cares, and the groans of Calvary yields us comfort rare and rich. We never should have known Christ's love in all its heights and depths if He had not died; nor could we guess the Father's deep affection if He had not given His Son to die. The common mercies we enjoy all sing of love, just as the sea-shell, when we put it to our ears, whispers of the deep sea whence it came; but if we desire to hear the ocean itself, we must not look at every-day blessings, but at the transactions of the crucifixion. He who would know love, let him retire to Calvary and see the Man of sorrows die.

(Taken from Spurgeon's Morning And Evening devotional)

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Daily Devotional for Tuesday June 27th/06

I am not sure of the original source of this article, but I found it online and thought it was worth passing on.

Beware Of Altering God’s Word By C. H. Spurgeon

Every motive that could move men to alter the Word of God has been fully stated in various portions of the Bible. It shows that God was aware from the first of the reception that would be given to His truth; and it is as instructive to the humble believer as it is humiliating to the modern man who critically cuts away portions of God’s Word.

The desire to alter the Word of God is dangerous. In the wilderness God Himself pointed this out: "Ye shall not add unto the Word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it" (Deut. 4:2). The nations they were advancing to conquer had long cast aside their allegiance to their Maker, and the least tendency to question or alter God’s Word might result in the same downfall for Israel. Deuteronomy 12:32 distinctly refers to this danger, and reasserts the warning: "What thing soever I command you… thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it."

The act of altering the Word of God is sinful. "Every word of God is pure… Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar" (Prov. 30:5-6). He who essays to improve upon it imputes error to the all-wise One. Only unholy minds could attempt it.

The desire to alter the Word of God is weakness. Jeremiah’s was a terrible message, and he might yield to feelings of pity for his race. God saw this, and in words that could not be misunderstood, He said to the prophet: "Diminish not a word" (Jer. 26:2). If God’s message is diminished, its power is lessened, and its results are consequently less certain. The authority, the power, the meaning, the terror of God’s truth must be preserved in all their fullness if God’s purposes are to be carried out.

The ambition to alter the Word of God is Pharisaic. To break the perfection of the law and teach our own alterations or additions as if they were of God is vile indeed. "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:19-20).

Our Lord reproved this spirit in scathing and unmistakable language. Why is it His Words are forgotten? "Ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition... teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matt. 15:6-9). The Pharisaic spirit thus renders impossible obedience to God as the supreme teacher.

The craving to alter the Word of God is accursed. Revelation 22:18-19 should be read with fear and trembling: "I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

Thus all down the ages God has warned men against this crime. He is a jealous God, and has determined to visit with the direct punishment all who dare to alter His complete and full revelation. This is a crime of the present day: the Lord preserve us from it!

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Daily Devotional for Wednesday June 28th/06

"Above All Thy Name"

Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

When we look at the Word of God:

1. We see its Perfection –

Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

2. We see its Position –

1 Peter 1:23-25 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

3. We see its Proclamation -

A. The Bible proclaims…

1. A reasonable solution for sin –

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

2. A reliable source for salvation –

Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

3. A redeeming Saviour for sinners –

Revelation 1:5 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,

4. We see its Production -

A. The Bible produces…

1. Salvation from sin

A. Free – John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

B. Finished – Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

C. Forever – Romans 8:38, 39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

D. For All – 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

5. We see its Promises -

A. The Bible promises…

1. Resurrection from sleep

2. Reunion with the saints

3. Reign with our Saviour

1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

6. We see its Provision -

Psalm 119:162 I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.

Psalm 119:107 I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word.

7. We see its Power –

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword,

8. We see its Profit –

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

9. We see its Possibility –

Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

That's the Bible.

And that's my surveillance.

Over And Out.

By Stephen Harkins
(Used With Permission)

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