Archive for October, 2012

While the nation holds its breath for the outcome of November 6, a mother in a run-down trailer park breathes out a bedtime prayer with her child, who will one day plant churches in China.

While the nation is frozen, paralyzed in its preoccupation over who will occupy the White House, a family spends a Saturday serving warm soup to the homeless.

While America spars dividedly over which party’s brand of change is better, a boy pours out his piggy bank to count the coins he’s collected for his favorite charity.

While bitter political arguments pervade the social networks, a sweet 77-year-old sings hymns to her dying husband in the night.

While political prophecies of hope or despair dominate the headlines, a pastor stands up on a Wednesday night—telling five faithful families one more time about a carpenter who came to earth as Prophet, Priest and King.

If you want a front row seat to witness what God is doing in the world, put down the newspaper. Close the lid on your laptop. The most remarkable things are happening in the private moments in your community, in the most unremarkable places.

Look where the surroundings are modest, the people are unattractive, and the finances stretched. Look for hope where life would seem to be most hopeless to the naked eye. Look where the road is hard, with no prospects for better days—regardless of who’s in the Oval Office.

How can I say this?

Well, there was another time when a nation groaned under corrupt judges, longing for a better leader.

It was the story everyone was following. But it wasn’t the Story they should have been following.

While that entire nation was coming unraveled and crying out to God, God was knitting together a kingly line in the most unlikely place.

A bereaved widow named Ruth, gleaning the crumbs from a barley field in Bethlehem—whose faithful life had taken so many bitter turns—would meet a faithful man who would become her kinsman redeemer. Together, they would beget Obed, the grandfather of David, bridging the unbroken bloodline to Christ Himself.

It was unremarkable, and marked by tragedy. It was dusty and gritty. It didn’t make the headlines. But it changed the course of history. The message of the story of Ruth whispers to me, You’re following the wrong story. Look down at the sheaves, the things right under your nose. Your wife. Your kids. Your small group. Your church. Your community. There are more remarkable things unfolding there than you think. Be faithful in your field, and don’t be distracted. God is working in you there, more than you know. November 6 will do nothing to change that.

Source: Scott Bennett



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O God, may Thy Spirit speak in me that I may speak to thee. I have no merit, let the merit of Jesus stand for me. I am undeserving, but I look to Thy tender mercy. I am full of infirmities, wants, sin; Thou art full of grace.

I confess my sin, my frequent sin, my wilful sin; all my powers of body and soul are defiled: a fountain of pollution is deep within my nature. There are chambers of foul images within my being; I have gone from one odious room to another, walked in a no-man’s-land of dangerous imaginations, pried into the secrets of my fallen nature.

I am utterly ashamed that I am what I am in myself; I have no green shoot in me nor fruit, but thorns and thistles; I am a fading leaf that the wind drives away; I live bare and barren as a winter tree, unprofitable, fit to be hewn down and burnt. Lord, dost Thou have mercy on me?

Thou hast struck a heavy blow at my pride, at the false god of self, and I lie in pieces before Thee. But Thou hast given me another master and lord, Thy Son, Jesus, and now my heart is turned towards holiness, my life speeds as an arrow from a bow towards complete obedience to Thee. Help me in all my doings to put down sin and to humble pride. Save me from the love of the world and the pride of life, from everything that is natural to fallen man, and let Christ’s nature be seen in me day by day. Grant me grace to bear Thy will without repining, and delight to be not only chiselled, squared, or fashioned, but separated from the old rock where I have been embedded so long, and lifted from the quarry to the upper air, where I may be built in Christ for ever.

Source: Puritan Prayers (www.spurgeongems.org)

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I Counted…

I counted dollars, while God counted crosses;

I counted gains, while God counted losses.

I counted my worth, my things gained in store;

And He sized me up by the scars that I bore.

I counted honors and sought degrees,

He counted the hours I spent on my knees.

I never knew until one day by the grave

How vain are the things that we spend life to save.

Author Unknown

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Both anxiety and worry spring from natural and legitimate concerns that are part of life in this world. But legitimate concerns are handled wrongly when they do one or more of the following:

  1. Become dominating concerns in our life and lead to fear.
  2. Destroy our perspective on life and cause us to forget that God exists and cares.
  3. Move us to drift into an attitude of constant worry and concern over a future we cannot control.


Source: Lawrence O. Richards

Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, Zondervan, www.zondervan.com, 1985, p. 58.

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Only One Life

Two little lines I heard one day,Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart, And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet, And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life,’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice, Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave, And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years, Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill, living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore, When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way, Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep, In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife, Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn, And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone, Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, “twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Now let me say,”Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call, I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last. ”

Written by C.T Studd

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In his commentary on II Corinthians, John Calvin reflects on Paul’s statement that a messenger of Satan (his “thorn in the flesh”) served as God’s means of keeping him from deadly pride.

Paul writes: So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. (2 Corinthians 12:7 ESV)

Calvin comments: But what does this mean — that Satan, who was a man-slayer from the beginning (John 8:44), was a physician to Paul, and that too, not merely in the cure of the body, but — what is of greater importance — in the cure of the soul? I answer, that Satan, in accordance with his disposition and custom, had nothing else in view than to kill and to destroy (John 10:10),and that the goad, that Paul makes mention of, was dipt in deadly poison; but that it was a special kindness from the Lord, to render medicinal what was in its own nature deadly.

Praise the God who is able to turn Satan’s poison into medicine for his people!

Source: Michael McKinley (www.9marks.org)

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