Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Abundant Satisfaction

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips. Psalm 63:5

There is that in a gracious God and in communion with him, which gives abundant satisfaction to a soul . . . And there is that in a gracious soul, which takes abundant satisfaction in God, and in communion with him.

~ Matthew Henry.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Secret Work

My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Psalm 139:15

" 'My substance was not hid from thee.' The substantial part of my being was before thine all-seeing eye; the bones which make my frame were put together by thine hand. The essential materials of my being before they were arranged were all within the range of thine eye. I was hidden from all human knowledge, but not from thee: thou hast ever been intimately acquainted with me. 'When I was made in secret.' Most chastely and beautifully is here described the formation of our being before the time of our birth. A great artist will often labour alone in his studio, and not suffer his work to be seen until it is finished; even so did the Lord fashion us where no eye beheld us, and the veil was not lifted till every member was complete . . . 'And curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.' 'Embroidered with great skill,' is an accurate poetical description of the creation of veins, sinews, muscles, nerves, etc. What tapestry can equal the human fabric? . . ."
~ Charles H. Spurgeon, from The Treasury of David

How dare we dispense with this marvelous work of God as if it were nothing but a "choice" belonging to us, the creatures? How dare we take it upon ourselves to even think we can make a determination whether this secret work of the Creator should or should not live? I wonder what Mr. Spurgeon would have thought if what would be happening in this day had been foretold? If God withholds judgment on our nation, it is purely a display of His long suffering and mercy!

Fellow saints, let's continue to pray that in the face of mercy, the time will soon come that this darkness prevailing over us will begin to be lifted. Let's do all we can to see that it happens, even if what we do seems small compared to the big picture. Who knows how even our littlest efforts can be used by the great Artist, who certainly recoils at seeing His work destroyed.

(Posting on both my personal and devotional blogs to recognize Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, 2011.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Power of Gentleness

Gentleness is love in society. . . It is that cordiality of aspect and that soul of speech, which assure that kind and earnest hearts may still be met with here below. It is that quiet influence, which, like the scented flame of an alabaster lamp, fills many a home with light and warmth and fragrance altogether. It is the carpet, soft and deep, which, whilst it diffuses a look of ample comfort, deadens many a creaking sound. It is the curtain, which from many a beloved form wards off at once the summer's glow and the winter's wind. It is the pillow on which sickness lays its head and forgets half its misery, and to which death comes in a balmier dream. It is considerateness. It is tenderness of feeling. It is warmth of affection. It is promptitude of sympathy. It is love in all its depths and all its delicacy. It is every thing included in that matchless grace, the gentleness of Christ.

~ Dr. J. Hamilton

Oh, this brought tears to my eyes. Dear sweet gentle Jesus, please would you give this grace to me?

(Quote borrowed from 15 Minutes with God for Grandma, by Emilie Barnes.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

He Goes Before

Dark is the sky! and veiled the unknown morrow;
Dark is life's way, for night is not yet o'er;
The longed-for glimpse I may not meanwhile borrow;
But, this I know, HE GOETH ON BEFORE.

Dangers are nigh! and fears my mind are shaking;
Heart seems to dread what life may hold in store;
But I am His--He knows the way I'm taking,
More blessed still--HE GOETH ON BEFORE.

Doubts cast their weird, unwelcome shadows o'er me,
Doubts that life's best--life's choicest things are o'er;
What but His Word can strengthen, can restore me,
And this blest fact; that still HE GOES BEFORE.

HE GOES BEFORE! Be this my consolation!
He goes before! On this my heart would dwell!
He goes before! This guarantees salvation!
HE GOES BEFORE! And therefore all is well.
--J. D. Smith

Sunday, January 9, 2011

His Beauty Upon Us

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us. . .Psalm 90:17

"Ah! dear Lord, when you give us a sight of our own evil heart, we are overwhelmed with horror, and should soon be driven to despair, if you did not at once turn our eyes to that wondrous hill of Calvary, where One 'altogether lovely' made the great atonement which brought us back to you! That precious blood, which cleanses us from all sin, restores to us the beauty which that sin has forfeited; its royal purple not only covers our disfigurement, but removes it, and bestows upon us the beauty which the Lord looks on with pleasure.

"O my soul, do you not desire above all things that this 'beauty of holiness' may be your glorious dress? Then you must keep very close to the Master, shutting the door of your heart to every evil thing, and opening it wide to the incoming of his Holy Spirit, who, in revealing Christ to you, will make you like him. An old fable tells how a piece of common clay became sweetly scented by close contact with a rose; the fable will be a happy fact in your experience if the Rose of Sharon blooms in your heart, and sheds its fragrance around your life. 'Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty,' yes, may God grant it; but the condition is thus expressed--'Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord'."

~ Susannah Spurgeon

Monday, January 3, 2011

There is None Like It

bible Pictures, Images and Photos

And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the Ephod, if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give it me. I Samuel 21:9

Our sermon yesterday was quite interesting. I had never paid enough attention to this particular verse before to get out of it what was brought forth yesterday. David was running from Saul, at a low point in his life, and had come to Ahimelech the priest. He asked the priest if he had either a sword or spear because he (David) had no weapon on him. The above verse was Ahimelech's answer.

We thought about three important lessons from all this: First, we thought about the providence of God in David's life which had brought him to that point in time; then we thought about how the priest had reminded David of what he had already accomplished when he had slain the Philistine, and then we were reminded of what that one sword represented: The sword that almost destroyed Israel was the same sword that freed Israel. No wonder David said there was none like it.

All of these truths were applied to our own lives here and now: Of course concerning God's providence in His dealing with each of us; then how we should remind each other of God's work in our lives, the remembrance of which will give us confidence and strength. And we were finally reminded that the accomplishment of one seemingly insignificant person against a mighty foe can encourage the rest of us to fight the Lord's battles.

Very good lessons indeed.