Writings worthy of sharing
God please help me accept the things I cannot change,
change the things I can, and the ability to know the difference.
We hope you will find these writings a blessing as we have.
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C.H. Spurgeon's Devotional
C.H. Spurgeon's Morning Devotional Wednesday June 28, 2006 "Looking unto Jesus."-Hebrews 12:2
It is ever the Holy Spirit's work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan's work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. He insinuates, "Your sins are too great for pardon; you have no faith; you do not repent enough; you will never be able to continue to the end; you have not the joy of His children; you have such a wavering hold of Jesus." All these are thoughts about self, and we shall never find comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self: He tells us that we are nothing, but that "Christ is all in all." Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee-it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee-it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument-it is Christ's blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith. We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by "looking unto Jesus." Keep thine eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to Him; when thou liest down at night look to Him. Oh! let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail thee.
"My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus' blood and righteousness: I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus' name."
Your life is...
YOUR LIFE IS JESUS TO SOMEONE ...
If you proclaim yourself to be a Christian, then others will look at everything you do and say... look?... yes... they are looking for a difference in YOU!
YOUR LIFE IS JESUS TO SOMEONE
YOUR LIFE is Jesus to someone, though tattered and torn it may be. Though often times weak and unstable, you're all of God someone will see.
YOUR TONGUE is Jesus to someone. That idle, insensitive word reflects to at least one searching heart an idle, insensitive Lord.
YOUR GOALS are Jesus to someone. What you put first, they believe, are the goals of God for the Christian. Your life is all they receive.
YOUR FAITHFULNESS that's Jesus to someone. Their judgment of how God is true, rests unquestionably in the faithfulness they see day by day in you.
YOUR LOVE is Jesus to someone-- that someone who is seeking to know that Jesus will follow and guide and befriend wherever in life they might go.
SO BEWARE lest others blaspheme God by what you say or do, for the only Jesus that someone knows is the Jesus they see in you.
Some things to think about... :-) ... How are you being 'sidetracked'?
EXACTLY who or what are you fighting against?
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. ~~~ Ephesians 6:12
A young lady named Sally, relates an experience she had in a seminary class, given by her teacher, who we'll call Brother Smith. She says Brother Smith was known for his elaborate object lessons.
One particular day, Sally walked into seminary and knew they were in for another fun day. On the wall was a big target and on a nearby table were many darts. Brother Smith told the students to draw a picture of someone that they disliked or someone who had made them angry . . . and he would allow them to throw darts at the person's picture.
Sally's girlfriend (on her right), drew a picture of a girl who had stolen her boyfriend. Another friend (on her left), drew a picture of his little brother. Sally drew a picture of Brother Smith, putting a great deal of detail into her drawing, even drawing pimples on his face. Sally was pleased at the overall effect she had achieved.
The class lined up and began throwing darts, with much laughter and hilarity. Some of the students threw their darts with such force that their targets were ripping apart. Sally looked forward to her turn, and was filled with disappointment when Brother Smith, because of time limits, asked the students to return to their seats.
As Sally sat thinking about how angry she was because she didn't have a chance to throw any darts at her target, Brother Smith began removing the target from the wall.
Underneath the target was a picture of Jesus . . . A complete hush fell over the room as each student viewed the mangled picture of Jesus; holes and jagged marks covered His face and His eyes were pierced out.
Brother Smith said only these words, "In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me."
No other words were necessary; the tear-filled eyes of each student focused only on the picture of Christ. The students remained in their seats . . . even after the bell rang . . . then slowly left the classroom, tears streaming down their faces.
"And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' Matthew 25:40
Is your load heavy?
'Is Your Bag Heavy Enough?'
One day, a teacher had each one of his students bring a clear plastic Bag and a sack of potatoes. For every person they refused to forgive in their life experience, they were told to choose a potato, write on it the names and date, and put it in the plastic bag. Some of the students' bags, as you can imagine, were quite heavy.
They were then told to carry these bags with them everywhere for one week, putting it beside their beds at night, on the car seat when driving, next to their desk at school. The hassle of lugging this around with them made it clear what a weight they were carrying spiritually, and how they had to pay attention to it all the time to not forget, and keep leaving it in embarrassing places.
Naturally, the condition of the potatoes deteriorated to a nasty slime. This was a great metaphor for the price we pay for keeping our pain and heavy negativity!
Too often we think of forgiveness as a gift to the other person and it clearly is for us!
So the next time you decide you can't forgive someone, ask yourself ... "Isn't my bag heavy enough?"
"Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothed yourselves with tender hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love.
The man whispered, "God, speak to me" and a meadowlark sang. But,the man did not hear.
So the man yelled "God, speak to me!" And, the thunder rolled across the sky. But, the man did not listen. The man looked around and said, "God let me see you." And a star shined brightly. But the man did not notice.
And, the man shouted, "God show me a miracle!" And, a life was born. But, the man did not know.
So, the man cried out in despair, "Touch me God, and let me know you are here!" Whereupon, God reached down and touched the man. But,the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.
Don't miss out on a blessing because it isn't packaged the way that you expect. HE hears us... but do we hear HIM?
Are you waiting to be called?
ARE YOU WAITING TO BE CALLED?
Back when the telegraph was the fastest method of long-distance communication, a young man applied for a job as a Morse Code operator. Answering an ad in the newspaper, he went to the office address that was listed.
When he arrived, he entered a large, busy office filled with noise and clatter, including the sound of the telegraph in the background.
A sign on the receptionist's counter instructed job applicants to fill out a form and wait until they were summoned to enter the inner office.
The young man filled out his form and sat down with the seven other applicants in the waiting area. After a few minutes, the young man stood up, crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and walked right in.
Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering what was going on.
They muttered among themselves that they hadn't heard any summons yet. They assumed that the young man who went into the office made a mistake and would be disqualified.
Within a few minutes, however, the employer escorted the young man out of the office and said to the other applicants, "Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming, but the job has just been filled."
The other applicants began grumbling to each other, and one spoke up saying, "Wait a minute, I don't understand. He was the last to come in, and we never even got a chance to be interviewed. Yet he got the job. That's not fair!"
The employer said, "I'm sorry, but the last several minutes while you've been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message in Morse Code: 'If you understand this message, then come right in. The job is yours.' None of you heard it or understood it. This young man did. The job is his."
We are so busy living in a world that is full of noise and clatter, like that office. People are distracted and unable to hear the still, small voice of God as He speaks in creation, in the Scriptures, and in the life and work of Jesus Christ.
So I ask you, as I ask myself, "Are you listening, or are you waiting to be called?
Do you hear the Lord when he speaks to you?
Have you made the choice? Have you examined your walk? Did you count the cost? Is it, as you imagined it would be...
The Cost of Following Jesus
(Luke 9:57-62; 14:25-33)
What is a disciple?
A DISCIPLE IS ONE WHO LOVES THE MASTER. Love moves the disciple. While he is conscious of duty, responsibility and requirement, these do not drive him. Because love does. This love far exceeds his love for others, even those otherwise dearest and most precious to him. This love even goes way beyond his love for himself and all that he would naturally value in himself and in his life. This love isn't some mere human emotion or sentiment. This love is a commitment to obedience to and self-sacrifice for the Master.
So . . .
A DISCIPLE IS ONE WHO LIVES FOR THE MASTER. The disciple's love compels him to serve his Master. Cost is no longer an issue because he has already surrendered his all to the Master. You see, the disciple has chosen to be a servant. A disciple is not to be confused with modern-day servants whom we commonly know as employees. A disciple could more accurately be compared to the slaves of years gone by. The focus of his life is the Master. The purpose of his life is the Master. His delight and desire is the will of the Master.
Therefore . . .
A DISCIPLE IS ONE WHO LIVES LIKE THE MASTER. Compelled by love and addicted to service, the disciple naturally lives like his Master. His values, his motives, his thoughts, his speech, his actions -- these all not only glow in the reflection of the Master, they spring forth directly from Him. Staying in touch with his Master through prayer and meditation on His Word, the disciple daily grows in his likeness to the Master.
No wonder . . .
A DISCIPLE IS ONE WHO LOVES OTHER DISCIPLES. The Master Himself made sure we would get this point straight and unambiguously: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35). The Master left no room in His kingdom for disconnected, independent discipleship. In fact, He prayed to His Father thus: "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me" (John 17:21).
How anxious are you to follow Jesus? I was anxious to get married. Anxious enough to give up the security and familiarity of my parental home. Anxious enough to make some deep, far-reaching promises. Anxious enough to give up certain social liberties and take on some formidable financial obligations. And I didn't consider any of it a burden. I didn't *have* to do any of this, I *wanted* to.
Just how anxious am I to follow Jesus?
Would to God that I be anxious enough to follow Jesus that I want to be a disciple as described in the preceding section.
How about you? Doing business at the SoulXchange. Jesus once asked a short but probing question, "What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:37). I doubt any of us would say, "Sure, I'll spend eternity in hell just so I can do what I like in this life." But so many people willingly indulge in those things that not only jeopardize their souls for eternity but also warp and shrivel their souls in this life. Think of every aspect of your life as doing business for your soul. Make sure you get the best deal! What are giving in exchange for *your* soul?
You can't save yourself and you can't bargin with God for your salvation. Salvation is by God's grace through faith in Christ alone.
MAKE YOUR CHOICE NOW, JESUS DIED FOR YOUR SINS AND ROSE AGAIN THAT YOU MIGHT LIVE WITH HIM FOREVER. Turn your eyes on JESUS and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the LIGHT of HIS GLORY AND GRACE.
C.H. Spurgeon's Devotional - Ephesians 1:11
C.H. Spurgeon's Devotional "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance."-Ephesians 1:11 When Jesus gave Himself for us, He gave us all the rights and privileges which went with Himself; so that now, although as eternal God, He has essential rights to which no creature may venture to pretend, yet as Jesus, the Mediator, the federal Head of the covenant of grace, He has no heritage apart from us. All the glorious consequences of His obedience unto death are the joint riches of all who are in Him, and on whose behalf He accomplished the divine will. See, He enters into glory, but not for Himself alone, for it is written, "Whither the Forerunner is for us entered." Heb. 6:20. Does He stand in the presence of God?-"He appears in the presence of God for us." Heb. 9:24. Consider this, believer. You have no right to heaven in yourself: your right lies in Christ. If you are pardoned, it is through His blood; if you are justified, it is through His righteousness; if you are sanctified, it is because He is made of God unto you sanctification; if you shall be kept from falling, it will be because you are preserved in Christ Jesus; and if you are perfected at the last, it will be because you are complete in Him. Thus Jesus is magnified-for all is in Him and by Him; thus the inheritance is made certain to us-for it is obtained in Him; thus each blessing is the sweeter, and even heaven itself the brighter, because it is Jesus our Beloved "in whom" we have obtained all. Where is the man who shall estimate our divine portion? Weigh the riches of Christ in scales, and His treasure in balances, and then think to count the treasures which belong to the saints. Reach the bottom of Christ's sea of joy, and then hope to understand the bliss which God hath prepared for them that love Him. Overleap the boundaries of Christ's possessions, and then dream of a limit to the fair inheritance of the elect. "All things are yours, for ye are Christ's and Christ is God's."
C.H. Spurgeon's Devotional - Abide in Me - John 15:4
C.H. Spurgeon's Evening Devotional Friday March 9, 2007 "Abide in Me."-John 15:4 Communion with Christ is a certain cure for every ill. Whether it be the wormwood of woe, or the cloying surfeit of earthly delight, close fellowship with the Lord Jesus will take bitterness from the one, and satiety from the other. Live near to Jesus, Christian, and it is matter of secondary importance whether thou livest on the mountain of honour or in the valley of humiliation. Living near to Jesus, thou art covered with the wings of God, and underneath thee are the everlasting arms. Let nothing keep thee from that hallowed intercourse, which is the choice privilege of a soul wedded to THE WELL-BELOVED. Be not content with an interview now and then, but seek always to retain His company, for only in His presence hast thou either comfort or safety. Jesus should not be unto us a friend who calls upon us now and then, but one with whom we walk evermore. Thou hast a difficult road before thee: see, O traveller to heaven, that thou go not without thy guide. Thou hast to pass through the fiery furnace; enter it not unless, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, thou hast the Son of God to be thy companion. Thou hast to storm the Jericho of thine own corruptions: attempt not the warfare until, like Joshua, thou hast seen the Captain of the Lord's host, with His sword drawn in His hand. Thou art to meet the Esau of thy many temptations: meet him not until at Jabbok's brook thou hast laid hold upon the angel, and prevailed. In every case, in every condition, thou wilt need Jesus; but most of all, when the iron gates of death shall open to thee. Keep thou close to thy soul's Husband, lean thy head upon His bosom, ask to be refreshed with the spiced wine of His pomegranate, and thou shalt be found of Him at the last, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. Seeing thou hast lived with Him, and lived in Him here, thou shalt abide with Him for ever.
Should Chrisitans participate in Halloween? The HOLY SCRIPTURE says flee from evil.
Should Christians participate in Halloween?
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One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two 'wolves' inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
Choose you this day...
"...I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live. That thou mayest love the LORD thy GOD, and that thou mayest obey HIS voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto HIM; for HE is thy life, and the length of thy days..."
The Duck & the Devil
There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm.
He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods.
He practiced in the woods; but he could never hit the target.
Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner.
As he was walking back he saw Grandma's pet duck.
Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it. He was shocked and grieved!
In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile; only to see his
sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.
After lunch the next day Grandma said, 'Sally, let's wash the dishes'
But Sally said, 'Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen.'
Then she whispered to him, 'Remember the duck?'
So Johnny did the dishes.
Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said, 'I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper.'
Sally just smiled and said, 'Well that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help'
She whispered again, 'Remember the duck?' So Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed to help.
After several day of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's; he
finally couldn't stand it any longer.
He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck.
Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug and said, 'Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you.'
Thought for the day and every day thereafter?
Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done... And the devil keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.) ..whatever it is...You need to know that God was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing.
He has seen your whole life. He wants you to know that He loves you and that you are forgiven. He's just wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave of you.
The great thing about God is that when you ask for forgiveness;
He not only forgives you, but He forgets.
It is by God's grace and mercy that we are saved.
Go ahead and make the difference in someone's life today.
God is at the window!
When Jesus died on the cross; he was thinking of you!
The following weekly article is not written by us. See credits below.
Thoughts for the Week
May 19-25, 2008
I wonder how they listened
Can you imagine such an event as this passage describes? All the people in a certain locality agree to meet in a certain place because they want to know God's ways. Having thus agreed, they send word to one of their leaders that he should bring God's Book with him so he can read it and explain it to them. Imagine that!
I wonder why and how they listened to God's law. Well, actually, I don't wonder. The passage is quite clear in making me understand that these people wanted to hear God's law because each individual wanted to know it. I also get the distinct impression that they listened with attentive ears and open hearts, ready to get on with the obedience part.
How do you listen to the reading and exposition of God's Word? I must admit that sometimes I don't listen at all -- my mind is too distracted and preoccupied with other thoughts. Sometimes I listen for any entertainment value I might derive -- good oratory, humor, illustrations, new information. At times I listen for the message I hope someone else will get -- their values and attitudes need such amending, you know. Other times I listen for flaws -- the speaker previously displeased me so I hope to detect more kindling for my own flaming attitudes and feelings. Before you think I'm too far gone, I assure you that there are times when I listen because I want to know God's ways and do them -- my mind is focused and receptive, not needing entertainment, not looking for fault, not mining applications for others.
May the Lord work in our hearts an awareness of our own need. And then may He teach us to listen, learn, and live as we ought.
"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God" (Psalm 42:1).
"O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is" (Psalm 63:1).
Make them to understand!
Someday you will likely be assigned a devotional or a topic for some sort of public gathering. Part of your presentation surely will require you to "read in the book of the law of God." Not only is that reading good, it is essential and foundational. But don't settle for reading only!
Before your presentation, get well acquainted with the passage(s) you aim to read from God's Word. Know how you are going to read aloud so that people are sure to understand both the words and their message. Part of that includes knowing where to pause, what words to emphasize, and how to change your voice tone, inflection, and volume in the course of your reading. Your public reading of this precious Word must be distinct.
Before your presentation, also learn at least some of the sense of what you will be reading. You see, your assignment isn't just to be a public reader. (It is not enough to say that God's Word speaks for itself.) You have a God-given responsibility to give the sense and cause the listener "to understand the reading"! So go to God and plead with Him for His message, asking Him to apply it to your heart first. Then get up there and read . . . and give the message from your heart!
by Mark Roth and Anabaptists