Posts Tagged ‘God’s loving kindness’

Treasures From The Vine—The Branch Just Like The Vine!

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Religion is meant to be in everyday life a thing of unspeakable joy.

And why do so many complain that it is not so?  Because they do not

believe that there is no joy like the joy of abiding in Christ and in His love,

and being branches through whom He can pour out His love on a dying world.

-Andrew Murray, The True Vine

 

Every branch in me that bears not fruit

He takes away. – John 15:2

There is the lesson of perfect conformity The branch is exactly like the vine in every aspect – the same nature, the same life, the same place, the same work.  In all this they are inseparably one.  And so the believer needs to know that he is partaker of the divine nature, that he has the very nature and spirit of Christ in him, and that his one calling is to yield himself to a perfect conformity to Christ.  The branch is a perfect likeness of the vine; the only difference is the one is great and strong, and the source of strength; the other little and feeble, ever needing and receiving strength.  Even so the believer is, and is to be, the perfect likeness of Christ.

There is the lesson of absolute dependence.  The vine has its stores of life and sap and strength not for itself, but for the branches.  The branches are and have nothing but what the vine provides and imparts.  The believer is called to, and it is his highest blessedness to enter upon, a life of entire and unceasing dependence upon Christ.  Day and night, every moment, Christ is to work in him all he needs.

And then there is the lesson of undoubting confidence.  The branch has no care; the vine provides all; it has but to yield itself and receive.  It is the sight of this truth that leads to the blessed rest of faith, the true secret of growth and strength:  “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”  What a life would come to us if we only consented to be branches!  Dear child of God, learn the lesson.  You have but one thing to do:  Only be a branch – nothing more, nothing less!  Just be a branch; Christ will be the Vine that gives all.  And the Husbandman, the mighty God, who made the Vine what it is, will as surely make the branch what it ought to be.

* * *

Lord Jesus, I pray, reveal to me the heavenly mystery of the branch, in its living union with the Vine, in its claim on all its fullness.  And let Your all-sufficiency, holding and filling Your branches, lead me to the rest of faith that knows that You work all.

 

 

The Sabbath Rest

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Jesus said”Come apart and rest awhile” Mark 6:31

Might I add, “Come apart and rest awhile or YOU WILL COME APART”!!

True rest comes only from Jesus!! “Come unto Me and I will give you rest”! Matthew 11:28-29.

God’s Sabbath rest is a symbol of true deliverance from trying to save myself!! “For he who has entered His rest has himself ceased from his works as God did from His” Hebrews 4:1,4,9-10.

May you truly rest  from striving to save yourself!!

Happy Sabbath!!

Please Enjoy This Post By Pastor Dennis Smith!!

Wayne

 

                                                                          Pastor Dennis Smith

The gospel is taught in the Creation story.  In Genesis we read: “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.  And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done” (Gen. 2:1, 2).

Here we discover that God worked, then rested.  The situation for Adam was just the opposite.  First, he entered into God’s rest, since the seventh-day Sabbath was his first full day of life.  After entering God’s rest on the seventh day, he then worked.

The same sequence is true concerning our redemption.  In Christ, God completed the work of redemption through His sinless life, death, and resurrection.  We begin experiencing God’s redemptive work in our lives by resting in what God has already done for us.  We rest in the fact that Jesus died for our sins and has given to us eternal life as a free gift.  We rest in the fact that we have Christ’s righteousness covering us. We also rest in the fact that at the cross the power of our sinful nature was broken, and we are now free to serve God.  Daily, we rest in the fact that Christ lives in us and will live out His life in and through us if we simply choose to let Him.

Once believers rest in these truths, they are able then to “work,” or faithfully serve and obey God in life and ministry. This rest is necessary for them to faithfully serve God.  By rest I mean that they accept by faith what God has done for their redemption, and trust implicitly in Christ.

In Hebrews 4 we find a similar description of the concept of rest in the story of Israel’s failure to enter into God’s rest during their wilderness sojourn:

“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.  For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.  Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience” (Heb. 4:9-11).

God’s Word is very clear about the concept of rest.  When we enter into God’s rest we cease our own efforts.  We are told that it is important for us to seek to enter into this rest.  Otherwise, we will fail in our obedience to God because of unbelief.

The only way to gain victory over temptation and sin is to rest in the fact that Jesus abides in us and to allow Him to live out His life in and through us. We must rest in that truth through belief and not hinder God’s work of redemption in our life by trying to work or exert our own effort to obey.  Our part is to believe and choose to let Christ live out His life in us. We are to rest in His completed work. This resting in Christ is the true meaning of the Sabbath rest God calls us to experience:

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.  In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.  Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Ex. 20: 8-11).

Our part is to choose and to believe.  This requires 100 percent surrender to Christ 100 percent of the time.

 We have the “assurance” of salvation when we “trust” Jesus with our lives, that’s it.  Once we trust Jesus, He, our great Heavenly Physician, will perfectly heal and restore us, thus our assurance is in Jesus, not in ourselves or our future. Salvation is Now!!  1John 5:11-13,   1 John 3:2,   John 17:3

 

Behold, I am Coming Quickly! Revelation 22:12,17,20

Jesus Is About To Come!!

Is He Really Lord?—Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers

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 Sydney Opera House

 

 

 

 

 By Oswald Chambers

Author of:“My Utmost for His Highest”

Devotion For March 5th 

 

 

“… so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus.”

Acts 20:24

Joy means the perfect fulfilment of that for which I was created and regenerated, not the successful doing of a thing. The joy Our Lord had lay in doing what the Father sent Him to do, and He says – “As My Father hath sent Me, even so am I sending you.” Have I received a ministry from the Lord? If so, I have to be loyal to it, to count my life precious only for the fulfilling of that ministry. Think of the satisfaction it will be to hear Jesus say – “Well done, good and faithful servant”; to know that you have done what He sent you to do. We have all to find our niche in life, and spiritually we find it when we receive our ministry from the Lord. In order to do this we must have companied with Jesus; we must know Him as more than a personal Saviour. “I will show him how great things he must suffer for My sake.”

“Lovest thou Me?” Then – “Feed My sheep.” There is no choice of service, only absolute loyalty to Our Lord’s commission; loyalty to what you discern when you are in closest contact with God. If you have received a ministry from the Lord Jesus, you will know that the need is never the call: the need is the opportunity. The call is loyalty to the ministry you received when you were in real touch with Him. This does not imply that there is a campaign of service marked out for you, but it does mean that you will have to ignore the demands for service along other lines.

Have You Felt The Hurt Of The Lord?—Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers

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 By Oswald Chambers

Author of:“My Utmost for His Highest”

Devotion For March 2nd

“Jesus said unto him the third time, Lovest thou Me?”

John 21:17

Have you felt the hurt of the Lord to the uncovered quick, the place where the real sensitiveness of your life is lodged? The devil never hurts there, neither sin nor human affection hurts there, nothing goes through to that place but the word of God. “Peter was grieved because Jesus said unto him the third time. . . .” He was awakening to the fact that in the real true centre of his personal life he was devoted to Jesus, and he began to see what the patient questioning meant. There was not the slightest strand of delusion left in Peter’s mind, he never could be deluded again. There was no room for passionate utterance, no room for exhilaration or sentiment. It was a revelation to him to realize how much he did love the Lord, and with amazement he said – “Lord, Thou knowest all things.” Peter began to see how much he did love Jesus; but he did not say – “Look at this or that to confirm it.” Peter was beginning to discover to himself how much he did love the Lord, that there was no one in heaven above or upon earth beneath beside Jesus Christ; but he did not know it until the probing, hurting questions of the Lord came. The Lord’s questions always reveal me to myself.

The patient directness and skill of Jesus Christ with Peter! Our Lord never asks questions until the right time. Rarely, but probably once, He will get us into a corner where He will hurt us with His undeviating questions, and we will realize that we do love Him far more deeply than any profession can ever show.

The Discipline Of Spiritual Tenacity—Daily Devotion By Oswald Chambers

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 By Oswald Chambers

Author of:“My Utmost for His Highest”

Devotion For February 22nd

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

Psalm 46:10

Tenacity is more than endurance, it is endurance combined with the absolute certainty that what we are looking for is going to transpire. Tenacity is more than hanging on, which may be but the weakness of being too afraid to fall off. Tenacity is the supreme effort of a man refusing to believe that his hero is going to be conquered. The greatest fear a man has is not that he will be damned, but that Jesus Christ will be worsted, that the things He stood for – love and justice and forgiveness and kindness among men – will not win out in the end; the things He stands for look like will-o’-the-wisps. Then comes the call to spiritual tenacity, not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately on the certainty that God is not going to be worsted.

If our hopes are being disappointed just now, it means that they are being purified. There is nothing noble the human mind has ever hoped for or dreamed of that will not be fulfilled. One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God. “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience.”

Remain spiritually tenacious.

The Men in Christ’s Life: Blind Bartimaeus

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 By Kris Swiatocho

Kris Has Another Great Website! Just Click Here And Enjoy!!

My stepfather is only one example of a man who has impacted my life as a result of his relationship with Christ. Throughout this series, I want to share with you about some of the other men who have impacted my life solely because of their relationship with Jesus. I believe as I share that you, too, will connect with them and discover for yourself how God has always had a plan for you, is working it out in your life and will never leave you.

How is your life? Are you fulfilled? Are you getting everything out of it you have wanted to? Is your life turning out the way you thought it would be?

There have been times in my life where I never have seemed to get it. Times I have lived the same way day to day but expected a different result. Times that I spent just enough time with others, gave of myself just enough, spent time with my family just enough and gave to God just enough. But what is enough?

For myself, I am not ready to live a life where I am content that what I am giving God is enough. Am I content as a single adult? Yes, I am really content where God has me … even if I do get lonely, frustrated and confused by his direction. But this isn’t the contentment I am talking about. I am talking about content with my part of this journey God has me on. No, I am not content and I will tell you why.

Bartimaeus was a blind man living in Jericho. He would sit along the road, day after day, doing the same thing and basically getting the same result. Probably enough change to just get by. Now, could Bartimaeus stay there for the rest of his life? Sure, and more than likely he would continue to get just enough based on his efforts. And this enough would feed and clothe him. But Bartimaeus decided he didn’t want to stay where he was. He wasn’t content with where he was. He wanted his life to be different. Bartimaeus not only prayed for his life to be different, but he yelled it from the mountain tops. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

When is the last time you really wanted your life to change? I mean, really change. No, I am not talking about the 911 Christian behavior where you cry out to God only when you are in trouble. Bartimaeus wasn’t in any trouble, no more than normal. But the one thing Bartimaeus was, that most of are not, is we are never quiet enough to hear God when He is near. Near enough to us because we are walking with Him—daily, hour by hour, minute by minute. Close enough to hear his breathing, to know his footsteps, to know his voice. Near enough to know when to ask for real help, because you have made a real decision to change.

Right now, as I am writing this, I am at my own crossroads yet again. As most of my readers may know, I am a diabetic, type 2. I have gone up and down over the years with my sugars. I do well for a while, only to slide back into old patterns. I love to eat. I love the social aspect of eating, not to mention the variety of all the foods God has made. But my diabetes, without continuous management, could literally lead to my own blindness not to mention death.

But now, I am where Bartimaeus is. I am ready to not only listen to God, but also to jump to my feet with a joyful heart because He is going to heal me. Does this mean my diabetes could go away instantly? Sure, if it is Jesus’ will. But for me, I believe the journey of learning to eat right with exercise is the only way that will lead to a lifestyle change. A lifestyle that can guarantees success, so that one day I can say I am not a diabetic. One day I will be cured from my own blindness.

Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

Mark 10:46-52

 

Jacob’s Trouble And Other End Time Issues

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The Coast of Lebanon. Photography  Courtesy Charles H. Mills.

The following is a brief review of our Gospel Fellowship Group discussion on April 9, 2011.

Listen To A Moving Music Video At The End Of This Post!

1. What is The Great Time of Trouble of Daniel 12:1?

The Prophet Daniel foretells a final time of terrible trouble “such as never was since there was a nation”. Daniel 12: 1. What is this time of trouble and why does Michael stand up?

First, God is putting an end to the great anti-God. See Daniel 11:45.

Second, this great time of trouble occurs at the very end of the time of the end. See Daniel 11:40-45.

Third, this end crisis is one of great distress like never before.

Fourth, at this time Michael will stand up to deliver His people from the terrible distress.

Deliverance is the Second Coming of Jesus!

So Michael standing up is all about the final deliverance of God’s Children!! He is coming to take us home!! Sin and Suffering is over!! Praise God!!

Even though we will not know the exact time of this event ( Matthew 24:36) Jesus says when you see things, such as mentioned in Matthew 24 and Luke 21, we are to lift up our heads because redemption draws near. Luke 21:28. In other words the coming of Jesus is about to occur. In Matthew 24:29-31, Jesus describes a cosmic explosion and then immediately He appears. Similar I suppose to a brown out.  One moment everything is fine and the next moment no electricity. I am surprised every time  that occurs. And it will be just like that when Jesus appears second time. SUDDEN TOTAL SURPRISE! Matthew 24:42-44. Everyone will see Him too! Acts 1:9-11, Revelation 1:7

2. What is Jacob’s Trouble in Jeremiah 30:7?

Jeremiah describes this same great time of distress, in Daniel 12:1, as Jacob’s trouble. In Jeremiah 30:7, the phase “that day is great and there is none like it”, is similar language as found in Daniel 12:1. Jesus basically used the same vernacular of Daniel in Matthew 24:21. Again in Revelation 13:15-17  a great time of distress is described for God’s people who are facing death. Genesis 32:22-30 describes the story of Jacob who was confronting death from his brother Esau. The night before the two brothers were to meet, Jacob wrestled all night with a Man who turned out to be Jesus. Jacob now knowing it was Jesus refused to let Him go until He blessed him. Jeremiah borrows Jacob’s experience of facing death to describe the same trouble God’ children will face just before Jesus comes the second time. He labels it, Jacob’s trouble. Jeremiah 30:7. This great distress is without parallel but so is God’s power to deliver. (Compare with Exodus 3:7-10). No matter how awful the distress, Jesus will never leave or forsake us. Deuteronomy 31:6,8,  Hebrews 7:25, Hebrews 13:5,  Romans 8: 26-27,34, 37-39.

3. What does it mean to “overcome” as mentioned in Revelation 2:10-11, 3:21?

Here is what Walter Bauer’s Greek Lexicon says about the  concept of overcoming (νικῶν–nikaô The present participle implies continuous victory, “keeps on overcoming”.Through Jesus even the weakest of the weak can experience the victory of Jesus): “To have victory, to overcome someone, to vanquish them, to win in the face of obstacles, including death, and to never relinquish your firm hold”. Jacob never turned loose of Jesus, period! Even in the very face of death he held on to his Savior.

Jesus is the only one who has overcome the world John 16:33. Jesus is anxious to work out His victory inside us, if we simply refuse to give up our grip, our firm hold on Him. Jesus has overcome everything opposed to God. He is so willing to work out His victory inside of us, if we  allow Him to do so. The truth is that Jesus wants to literally live out His life in us; not simply add His power to our feeble efforts! Romans 8:3-4, 11. His life becomes our life and it’s His life that saves us!! Period!! Romans 5:10.

So to “Overcome” is to simply to hang on to Jesus and never let go even in the face of death!! And that’s it!! Period!! Praise God Jesus Is About to come!!

Never forget that Jesus died just for you and He wants you to be with Him forever!! You are His!! What Amazing Love!!

The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying:

      “ Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
      Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.  Jeremiah 31:3.

 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.  Hebrews 7:25

“Redemption Draweth Nigh” By Ernie Haase


The Pyramids of Egypt. Photography Courtesy Charles H. Mills.

Until next time!!