the Word, the voice

Cedars

"Why is this powerful, majestic, forest-stripping, lightning-bolt voice so hard for us to hear? How does it radically transform the environment, yet fall ever-so-subtly on our ears? Perhaps we’re listening with the wrong ears. God’s voice is an intense and immensely powerful force, rather than a series of sound waves. Perhaps He issues loud commands to nature’s obedient instruments but whispers His love and guidance to those whose spirits can choose and must relate to Him by faith. Perhaps if He dictated everything to us clearly and decisively, it would be the end of a relationship and the beginning of rote servitude  — a condition for which He did not design us. Regardless, we need to understand that the voice we strain to hear isn’t weak. Just one word from God can change any situation at any moment. He may whisper to us, gently guide us, tell us about His plans for us, and counsel us in the midst of our circumstances, but when He issues a command, it’s done. We must never mistake His quietness for reluctance or weakness. We can depend on the power of His voice  — even when we aren’t hearing it clearly."

Tiegreen, Chris (2014-09-01). The One Year Hearing His Voice Devotional: 365 Days of Intimate Communication with God (p. 16). Tyndale Momentum. Kindle Edition.


the high cost of NOT caring

GoodSamWarren Wiersbe commenting on Luke 10: 25-37:

We may read this passage and think only of “the high cost of caring,” but it is far more costly not to care. The priest and the Levite lost far more by their neglect than the Samaritan did by his concern. They lost the opportunity to become better men and good stewards of what God had given them. They could have been a good influence in a bad world, but they chose to be a bad influence. The Samaritan’s one deed of mercy has inspired sacrificial ministry all over the world. Never say that such ministry is wasted! God sees to it that no act of loving service in Christ’s name is ever lost. It all depends on your outlook. To the thieves, this traveling Jew was a victim to exploit, so they attacked him. To the priest and Levite, he was a nuisance to avoid, so they ignored him. But to the Samaritan, he was a neighbor to love and help, so he took care of him. What Jesus said to the lawyer, He says to us: “Go and keep on doing it likewise” (literal translation).

 - Wiersbe, Warren W. (2010-06-01). Be Compassionate (Luke 1-13): Let the World Know That Jesus Cares (The BE Series Commentary) (p. 138). David C Cook. Kindle Edition.

 


clarity

ClarityI listened to part of a powerful sermon the other day. The message seemed to be reflective of scripture although no obvious reference to scripture was given.

This seems to be a trend in preaching today. A preacher becomes enamored with an idea they have picked up from the Word and after reflecting on the meaning of the scripture they have read or studied, a sermon is born.

Nothing wrong with that, right?

Continue reading "clarity" »


hallowedness

Hallow

This earnest longing after Jesus has a blessing attending it: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness" (Matthew 5:6) and therefore, supremely blessed are those who thirst for the Righteous One. Blessed is that hunger, since it comes from God. If I do not experience the blessedness of being filled, I will come again in my emptiness and eagerness until I am filled with Christ. If I do not yet feed on Jesus, I will continue to hunger and thirst after Him. There is hallowedness about that hunger, since it sparkles among the beatitudes of our Lord. But the blessing involves a promise. These hungry ones "shall be satisfied" with what they desire. If in this way Christ causes us to long after Him, He will certainly satisfy those longings; and when He does come to us, as come He will, how sweet it will be!

 - Alaister Begg, Truth for Life


No. 91

It's one of those small paperback books you pick up and think, "I could have done this..."

Only you know it is so clever, you never could have pulled everything together and made it understandable.

The premise is taking ideas of things God can NOT do, and prove them using scripture. It's like trying to see something positive by understanding its negative.  In other words, I read the thought and consider the associated scripture, and smile realizing it's absolutely true.

I like that...

No.91


Anchored

I heard a gospel choir on the radio as I headed to work:

“There’s a storm out over the ocean, And it's headed this-a-way.
If your anchor’s not in Jesus, You just might be swept away.”

And this is written in the inside cover page of my Bible; I'm not sure where I read it or heard it:

Anchored to the Cross
my life is not futile
my failures are not fatal
my death is not final

The anchor - an image of something holding fast when things get a little rough. Why do so many "sail" through life without it? Knowing how true and necessary holding fast to Christ is, why am I constantly reminding myself to hold on? The storm is life, the saving rock is Jesus, and the anchor is my faith.

So many don't know what they believe. Some believe what they believe but have never asked themselves why they believe it. Sometimes I need to remind myself what I believe and remember why I believe it. It's probably best that way. When I remind myself of what I believe, I think it keeps my faith fresh. It also keeps me from assuming I know it all.