Tag Archives: New Life

Drinking bitter cups!

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Drinking bitter cups!

(Octavius Winslow

“We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 

Oh truth most divine! 

Oh words most consolatory! 

All things under the government of an infinitely great, all wise, righteous, and beneficent God, work together for good. 

What that good may be, the shape it may assume, the complexion it may wear, the end to which it may be subservient–we cannot tell. 

To our dim view it may appear an evil, but to God’s far seeing eye it is a positive good. 

His glory secured by it, and His end accomplished–we are sure it must be good. 

How many whose eye traces this page, it may be whose tears bedew it, whose sighs breathe over it, whose prayers hallow it, may be wading in deep waters, may be drinking bitter cups, and are ready to exclaim, “All these things are against me!” 

Oh no, beloved of God, all these things are for you! 

“The Lord sits upon the flood.” 
“The voice of the Lord is upon the waters.” 
“He makes the clouds His chariot.” 

Be not then afraid. 

Calmly stay your faith on this divinely assured truth, that “all things work together for good to those who love God.” 

Will it not be a good, if your present adversity results . . .  
  in the dethronement of some worshiped idol; 
  in the endearing of Christ to your soul; 
  in the closer conformity of your mind to God’s image; 
  in the purification of your heart; 
  in your more thorough fitness for Heaven; 
  in a revival of God’s work within you; 
  in stirring you up to more prayer? 

Oh yes! good, real good, permanent good must result from all the Divine dispensations in your history.

Bitter repentance shall end in the experienced sweetness of Christ’s love. 

The festering wound shall but elicit the healing balm. 

The overpowering burden shall but bring you to the tranquil rest. 

The storm shall but quicken your footsteps to the ‘hiding place’. 

In a little while, oh, how soon! you shall pass away from earth to heaven, and in its clearer, serener light shall read the truth, often read with tears before, “All things work together for good to those who love God.”

Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe?

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“When disaster comes to a city—has not the LORD caused it?” Amos 3:6

It concerns us all to seriously reflect upon our own sins, and the sins of our land—which have brought these calamities upon us.

We and our countrymen are sinners, aggravated sinners! God proclaims that we are such—by His judgments now upon us: by withering fields and scanty harvests, by the sound of the trumpet and the alarm of war!

O my country, is not your wickedness great, and your iniquities infinite? Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe? Pass over the land, take a survey of the inhabitants, inspect into their conduct—and what do you see? What do you hear?

You see the gigantic forms of vice bidding defiance to the God of heaven—while true religion and virtue are forced to retire, to avoid public contempt and insult!

You see herds of drunkards swilling down their cups, and drowning all morality within them!

You hear the swearer venting his fury against God—trifling with that Name which prostrate angels adore, and imprecating that damnation, under which the hardiest devil in hell trembles and groans!

You see avarice hoarding up her useless treasures, dishonest craft planning her schemes of unlawful gain, and oppression unmercifully grinding the face of the poor!

You see prodigality squandering her stores! You see luxury spreading her table!

You see vanity laughing aloud and dissolving in empty, unthinking mirth; regardless of God, of time and eternity!

You see sensuality wallowing in carnal pleasures, and aspiring, with perverted ambition—to sink as low as her four-footed brethren in the stalls!

You see cards more in use than the Bible; the backgammon table more frequented than the table of the Lord; novels and romances more read—than the history of the blessed Jesus!

You see trifling, and even evil diversions and amusements, become a gigantic business! The outcome of a horse-race is more anxiously attended to—than the concerns of eternity!

And where these grosser forms of vice do not shock your senses—you often meet with the appearances of a more refined impiety, which is equally dangerous!

You hear the conversation of reasonable creatures, of candidates for eternity— engrossed by trifles, or vainly wasted on the affairs of time! These are their important subjects of conversation, even at the threshold of the house of God!

You see swarms of prayerless families all over our land! You see ignorant, wicked children, unrestrained and untaught by those to whom God and nature have entrusted their souls!

You see the holy religion of Jesus—abused, neglected, disobeyed, and dishonored by its professors!

You see crowds of professed believers, who are in reality, practical atheists! These nominal Christians are really unholy heathens! They are abandoned slaves of sin—who yet pretend to be the servants of the holy Jesus!

You see multitudes lying in a deep sleep in sin all around us! You see them eager in the pursuits of the vanities of time—but stupidly unconcerned about the important realities of the eternal world just before them! So few are concerned what shall become of them—when all their connections with earth and flesh must be broken, and they must take their flight into strange, unknown regions! So few lamenting their sins! So few crying for mercy and a new heart! So few flying to Jesus!

(Samuel Davies, “The Justice of God—and the Sins of Our Country” 1755)

As we launch out into another year

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As we launch out into another year

(Arthur Pink, “New Year’s Comfort” 1943)

The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you! He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid–do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

As we launch out into another year, there is little visible prospect of a smooth and pleasant voyage. To the natural eye, the clouds are dark and fierce storms seem imminent. The very uncertainty of what the morrow may bring forth, fills many with uneasiness and trepidation.

But how different should be the state of God’s children! An all-sufficient Object is presented to the eyes of their faith, from which unbelief derives no comfort. The poor worldling is concerned with what lies before him–but it is the blessed privilege of the believer to be occupied with Who goes before him–the One who is his Captain, his Guide, his Forerunner. “The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you!” What a difference that makes! O that writer and reader may be enabled to lay hold of this grand Truth as we enter another period of time, and keep it steadily in mind throughout the coming days!   

“Do not be afraid–for I have ransomed you.
 I have called you by name–you are Mine!
 When you go through deep waters–I will be with you.
 When you go through rivers of difficulty–you will not drown.
 When you walk through the fire of oppression–you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior!” Isaiah 43:1-3

A Funeral Playlist

🤔My Thoughts… 

Last Saturday Sarah & i were buying Christmas cards at our local Christian book store when a man asked the worker “Do you have a CD which has funeral songs on? I conduct a lot of funerals and i’ve tried all the other shops in town, then they told me to try the Christian shop:. He said it wouldn’t be for a Christian though….

My mind was racing by this point and i said to Sarah “Now that’s a question you don’t hear very often….if at all”. 

On leaving the shop i said to Sarah “That could be a difficult playlist to make as for us, it’s a Glorious celebration as death has no sting(1 Corinthians 15:55). And to know we will be absent from body and present with the Lord(2 Corinthians 5:8)……Or for those without God and no Hope(Ephesians 2:12)”it will be the most terrible time of their life”,

The shop didn’t have a CD funeral album…

I said to Sarah “I only have 1 Hymn so far that i would like to play at my funeral and that’s ‘When i survey the Wondrous Cross(Isaac Watts version)’, i need to find a couple more…i will have to make a funeral playlist”. 

Can you help me?? I’d love to hear about your fave  Hymn/song suggestions. 😀

✞ Music “Dead Man Walking” by John Tibbs

Heaven knows I’m a broken man
These tired bones they can barely stand
The ways of the world oh I lay in my grave
To the darkest of nights when You call my name

Your love Your love oh it set me free
Oh no guilt no shame got a hold on me
Your love Your love well it opened my eyes
I was a dead man walking till You gave me life

Grace it comes with a price I’m told
Took the light of the world just to save my soul
But in the valley of the shadow of the cross you’ll find
Oh no brokenness when I come alive

Your love broke the chain
And I’m free from the guilt and shame
Love opened my eyes

Oh Your love Your love it set me free
Oh no guilt no shame got a hold on me
Your love Your love well it opened my eyes
I was a dead man walking till Lord
I was a dead man walking till Lord
I was a dead man walking till Lord
You gave me life

A Personal Journey

Child of Light

Hi all!! Sorry if it’s felt like i’ve deserted you. I’ve been on a partial fast (The Daniel Fast) for the whole of October, so i havn’t been on my blog much at all. God has taught me more in this last month than the last 10 years of my new life as a Christian. 

I’ve been studying Ephesians 4 & 5 verse by verse and through many tears the spirit has shown me how i’ve been grieving him, and what i need to correct as i’m a child of light. So walk as a child of light! 🙂

I’m away this weekend for Sarah’s Dad’s 70th birthday, but i’ll be back as usual on Monday!

I’ve really missed you guys! x 🙂

I Don’t Think I’m Good Enough?!

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“To make it quite practical I have a very simple test. After I have explained the way of Christ to somebody I say “Now, are you ready to say that you are a Christian?” And they hesitate. And then I say, “What’s the matter? Why are you hesitating?” And so often people say, “I don’t feel like I’m good enough yet. I don’t think I’m ready to say I’m a Christian now.” And at once I know that I have been wasting my breath. They are still thinking in terms of themselves. They have to do it. It sounds very modest to say, “Well, I don’t think I’ good enough,” but it’s a very denial of the faith. The very essence of the Christian faith is to say that He is good enough and I am in Him. As long as you go on thinking about yourself like that and saying, “I’m not good enough; Oh, I’m not good enough,” you are denying God – you are denying the gospel – you are denying the very essence of the faith and you will never be happy. You think you’re better at times and then again you will find you are not as good at other times than you thought you were. You will be up and down forever. How can I put it plainly? It doesn’t matter if you have almost entered into the depths of hell. It does not matter if you are guilty of murder as well as every other vile sin. It does not matter from the standpoint of being justified before God at all. You are no more hopeless than the most moral and respectable person in the world.”

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure

New Beginnings

 

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“You win over people just like you win over a dog. You see a dog passing down the street with an old bone in his mouth. You don’t grab the bone from him and tell him it’s not good for him. He’ll growl at you. It’s the only thing he has. But you throw a big fat lamb chop in front of him, and he’s going to drop that bone and pick up the lamb chop, his tail wagging to beat the band. And you’ve got a friend. Instead of going around grabbing bones from people… I’m going to throw them some lamb chops. Something with real meat and life in it. I’m going to tell them about New Beginnings.”

David Wilkerson, The Cross and the Switchblade

Members Of God’s Holy Family

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Ephesians 2:17-22 The Voice

17 The Great Preacher of peace and love came for you, and His voice found those of you who were near and those who were far away. 18 By Him both have access to the Father in one Spirit. 19 And so you are no longer called outcasts and wanderers but citizens with God’s people, members of God’s holy family, and residents of His household. 20 You are being built on a solid foundation: the message of the prophets and the voices of God’s chosen emissaries with Jesus, the Anointed Himself, the precious cornerstone. 21 The building is joined together stone by stone—all of us chosen and sealed in Him, rising up to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In Him you are being built together, creating a sacred dwelling place among you where God can live in the Spirit.

The church is not a building constructed by humans but a divine institution, built on the living Stone, Jesus. He’s the strong, foundational building block of the church, and his followers are living stones who are being built into a spiritual house. 

As one of the many little living stones in the church, remember that each diverse stone has great worth to Jesus and to his body. When you’re tempted to ignore your need for others or to discount those who aren’t like you, remember that each stone is balanced by all those around it, and all rest on the living Stone himself. 

Quote from:NIV Devotions

Daily Prompt: Uncanned Laughter

The Daily Prompt

Tell us about a time you (or someone else) said or did something unintentionally funny.

Yesterday at the church morning meeting during Holy Communion, Sarah and i were the last to receive the bread plate (Sarah usually reaches and passes me a piece as i can’t really see the plate etc) It is sometimes cut into nice little squares but this time it was a loaf of bread. Then……to my surprise Sarah dumped a massive chunk of bread into my hand (the biggest communion bread i’ve ever had!) This made me start laughing, and as the chuch was silent and somber i quickly switched my laugh into a smile.

I then started thinking how i was participating in an outward sign of an inward grace freely given from God through Jesus. It is an act celebrating Jesus’ gift of new life through his death and his resurrection. It is a celebration of the coming of the new creation first witnessed in and through Jesus. And if this is also a celebration of the FREE gift of new life, then why is everyone so somber? We seem to be so good at focusing on his death, and not so good at focusing on His amazing act of love that gives new life to anyone who chooses it.

Then my thoughts went to what Jesus Did, and continues to do 24/7 as he loves me (and you) that much! This always completely blows my mind as i really am not that special in my eyes, yet he created us and loves and values us more than we can comprehend!! 🙂

Quote from Rev. Edward F. Markquart

Jesus is the source of life, the source of eternal life, the source of the values of our daily lives, the source of love for our daily lives. The basic food staple of the world is bread and Jesus is the basic spiritual staple of the world.

Jesus is never just bread. Jesus is always the bread OF LIFE. Jesus is always the LIVING bread. As we consume bread, it gives us nourishment and energy for our physical lives. As we consume Jesus into our lives, he is the nourishment and energy for our spiritual, emotional and moral lives.

Is Holy Communion a joyful or somber celebration for you? Can it be both?

See more of my Daily Prompts

A Living Hope

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1 Peter 1:3-5 Amplified Bible

Praised (honored, blessed) be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)! By His boundless mercy we have been born again to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

[Born anew] into an inheritance which is beyond the reach of change and decay [imperishable], unsullied and unfading, reserved in heaven for you,

Who are being guarded (garrisoned) by God’s power through [your] faith [till you fully inherit that [a]final] salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time.

Salt & Light

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We come on our own, we come together. We come with our excitement and with our lack of expectation.
We come with our lamps burning brightly and with our lamps hidden.
We come with our longing and with our pride.
We come with our words and with our silence.
We come with our music and with our resentments.
We come to you, God of truth, with our hands open
and ask that you reach out to us afresh.

Lord forgive our hardness of heart

Forgive us for those times when we think we can do it without you

Forgive us for our coldness towards you and others

Melt the ice of our coldness and breathe your new life into us

Generous God,
we thank you that a small amount of salt
can season a whole meal;
a small candle can light a whole room,
a small act of kindness inspire a whole life,
a small community transform a whole city,
a small prayer bring near a whole kingdom.
We thank you, Lord, we thank you.

Please show me the areas of my life which have become flavourless?!

Show me in what ways can I be salt in my world?

We pray, gracious God, for your Church throughout the world, for your Church in this nation, in this place, that we would be light bearers and truth bearers. May we shed the light of encouragement where there is disappointment; the light of integrity where there is corruption; the light of clarity where there is uncertainty; the light of challenge where there is complacency; the light of acceptance where there is rejection. And may we always walk and pray and serve in the light of humility and in the strength of your name, that others may see you in us and give you the glory.

We pray in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

May you be as salt where there is staleness;
light where there is darkness;
truth where there is unbelief
and love where there is great need.
And may you know the blessing of God the Father,
Son and Holy Spirit,
close to you each moment and each day.


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