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Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (Psa. 107:8) O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. (Psa. 34:8) How great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee! (Psa. 31:19) This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. (Isa. 43:21) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (Eph. 1:5, 6, 12) How great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! (Zech. 9:17) The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; to make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. (Psa. 145:9-12)
Behold, we count them happy which endure. (Jas. 5:11) We glory in tribulations: … knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Rom. 5:3-5) No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (Heb. 12:11) My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. (Jas. 1:2-4, 12) Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Cor. 12:9, 10)
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Col. 3:4) I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. (John 11:25) God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (1 John 5:11, 12) The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thes. 4:16-18) When he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2) It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. (1 Cor. 15:43) If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:3)
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me (Psa. 25:5) When … the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth. (John 16:13) Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. (1 John 2:20) To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isa. 8:20) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Tim. 3:16, 17) The holy Scriptures … are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (2 Tim. 3:15) I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. (Psa. 32:8) The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. (Matt. 6:22) If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God. (John 7:17) The wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. (Isa. 35:8)
FAITH VERSUS FEAR.
THE believer when he is brought into peace with God does not tremble at the thought of God’s power. He does not ask, “Wilt He plead against me with His great power?” But he says, “No, that very power, once my terror, and fear, is now my refuge and my hope, for He shall put that very power in me. I rejoice that God is Almighty, for He will lend me His omnipotence— ‘He will put strength into me.’” The very power which would have damned my soul, saves my soul. The very power that would have crushed me, God puts into me, that the work of salvation may be accomplished. No, He will not use it to crush me, but He will put that very strength into me. Dost see there the Mighty One upon His throne? Dread Sovereign, I see Thine awful arm. What, wilt Thou crush the sinner? Wilt Thou utterly destroy him with Thy strength? “No,” saith He, “come hither, child.” And if you go to His almighty throne, “There,” saith He, “that self-same arm which made thee quake, see there, I give it to thee. Go out and live. I have made thee mighty as I am, to do My works; I will put strength into thee. The same strength which would have broken thee to pieces on the wheel shall now be put into thee, that thou mayest do mighty works.” Now, this great strength sometimes goes out in prayer. Did you ever hear a man pray in whom God had put strength? You have heard some of us poor puny souls pray, I dare say; but have you ever heard a man pray that God had made into a giant? Oh, if you have, you will say it is a mighty thing to hear such a man in supplication. I have seen him as if he had seized the angel, and would pull him down. I have seen him now and then slip in his wrestling; but, like a giant, he has recovered his footing, and seemed, like Jacob, to hurl the angel to the ground. I have marked the man lay hold upon the throne of mercy, and declare, “Lord, I will never let go, except thou bless me.” I have seen him, when heaven’s gates have been apparently barred, go up to them, and say, “Ye gates, open wide in Jesus’ name;” and I have seen the gates fly open before him, as if the man were God himself; for he is armed with God Almighty’s strength. I have seen that man, in prayer, discover some great mountain in his way; and he prayed it down, until it became a very molehill. He has beaten the hills and made them like chaff by the immensity of his might. Some of you think: I am talking enthusiasm; but such cases have been, and are now. Oh, to have heard Luther pray! Luther, you know, when Melancthon was dying, went to his death-bed, and said, “Melancthon, you shall not die!” “Oh;” said Melancthon, “I must die! It is a world of toil and trouble.” “Melancthon,” said he, “I have need of thee, and God’s cause has need of thee, and as my name is Luther, thou shalt not die!” The physician said he would. Well, down went Luther on his knees, and began to tug at death. Old Death struggled mightily for Melancthon, and he had got him well-nigh on his shoulders. “Drop him,” said Luther, “drop him, I want him.” “No,” said Death, “he is my prey, I will take him!” “Down with him,” said Luther, “down with him, Death, or I will wrestle with thee!” And he seemed to take hold of the grim monster, and hurl him to the ground; and he came off victorious, like an Orpheus, with his wife, up from the very shades of death; he had delivered Melancthon from death by prayer! “Oh,” say you, “that is an extraordinary case.” No, not one-half so extraordinary as you dream. Men and women have done the same in other cases; have asked a thing of God, and have had it; that have been to the throne, and showed a promise, and said they would not come away without its fulfillment, and have come back from God’s throne conquerors of the Almighty; for prayer moves the arm that moves the world. “Prayer is the sinew of God,” said one, “it moves His arm;” and so it is. Verily, in prayer, with the strength of the faithful heart, there is a beautiful fulfillment of the text, “He will put strength in me.” Not only in prayer, but in duty, the man who has great faith in God, and whom God has girded with strength, how gigantic does he become! Have you never read of those great heroes who put to flight whole armies, and scattered kings like the snow on Salmon? Have you never read of those men that were fearless of foes, and stalked onward before all their opposers, as if they would as soon die as live? I read of a case in the old kirk of Scotland, before that King James who wished to force “the black prelacy” upon them. Andrew Melville and some of his associates were deputed to wait upon the king, and as they were going with a scroll ready written, they were warned to take care and return, for their lives were at stake. They paused a moment, and Andrew said, “I am not afraid, thank God, nor feeble-spirited in the cause and message of Christ; come what pleases God to send, our commission shall be executed.” At these words the deputation took courage, and went forward. On reaching the palace, and having obtained an audience, they found his majesty attended by Lennox and Arran, and several other lords, all of whom were English. They presented their remonstrance. Arran lifted it from the table, and glancing over it, he then turned to the ministers, and furiously demanded, “Who dares sign these treasonable articles?” “WE dare,” said Andrew Melville, “and will render our lives in the cause.” Having thus spoken, he came forward to the table, took the pen, subscribed his name, and was followed by his brethren. Arran and Lennox were confounded; the king looked on in silence, and the nobles in surprise. Thus did our good forefathers appear before kings, and yet we are not ashamed. “The proud had them greatly in derision, yet they declined not from the law of God.” Having thus discharged their duty, after a brief conference, the minister’s were permitted to depart in peace. The king trembled more at them than if a whole army had been at his gates; and why was this? It was because God had put His own strength into them to make them masters of their duty. And you have some such in your midst now. Despised they may be; but God has made them like the lion-like men of David, who would go down into the pit in the depth of winter, and take the lion by the throat and slay him. We have some in our churches — but a remnant, I admit — who are not afraid to serve their God, like Abdiel, “faithful amongst the faithless found.” We have some who are superior to the customs of the age, and scorn to bow at mammon’s knee, who will not use the trimming language of too many modern ministers, but stand out for God’s gospel, and the pure white banner of Christ, unstained and unsullied by the doctrines of men. Then are they mighty! Why they are mighty is because God has put strength in them. “And shall I hold on to the end?” says the believer. Yes, thou wilt, for God’s strength is in thee. “Shall I be able to bear such-and-such a trial?” Yes, thou wilt. Cannot Omnipotence stem the torrent? And Omnipotence is in thee; for, like Ignatius of old, thou art a God-bearer; thou bearest God about with thee. Thy heart is a temple of the Holy Ghost, and thou shalt yet overcome. “But can I ever stand firm in such-and-such an evil day?” Oh, yes you will, for He will put His strength in you! I was in company, some time ago, with some ministers; one of them observed, “Brother, if there were to be stakes in Smithfield again, I am afraid they would find very few to burn among us.” “Well,” I said, “I do not know anything about how you would burn; but this I know right well, that there never will be any lack of men who are ready to die for Christ.” “Oh!” said he, “but they are not the right sort of men.” “Well,” said I, “but do you think they are the Lord’s children?” “Yes, I believe they are, but they are not the right sort.” “Ah!” said I, “but you would find them the right sort, if they came to the test, every one of them; they have not got burning grace yet. What would be the use of it.” We do not want the grace till the stakes come; but we should have burning grace in burning moments. If now a hundred of us were called to die for Christ, I believe there would not only be found a hundred, but five hundred, that would march to death, and sing all the way. Whenever I find faith, I believe that God will put strength into the man; and I never think anything to be impossible to a man with faith in God, while it is written, “He will put strength in me.” Caesar could not swim the Tiber, accoutered as he was; and dost thou hope to swim the Jordan with thy flesh about thee? No, thou wilt sink then, unless Jesus, as AEneas did Anchises, from the flames of Rome, upon his shoulders, lift thee from Jordan, and carry thee across the stream, thou wilt never be able to walk across the river; thou wilt ne’er be able to face that tyrant and smile in his face, unless thou hast something more than mortal. Thou wilt need then to be belted about with the girdle of divinity, or else thy loins will be loosed, and thy strength will fail thee, when thou needest it most. Many a man has ventured to the Jordan in his own strength; but oh! how he has shrieked and howled, when the first wave has touched his feet! But never weakling went to death with God within him, but he found himself mightier than the grave. Go on, Christian, for this is thy promise, “He will put strength in me.” “Weak, though I am, yet through His might, I all things can perform.’” Go on; dread not God’s power, but rejoice at this, He will put His strength in you; He will not use His power to crush you.
WHAT DO YOU SAY?
The psalmists frequently spoke about the goodness and character of God. In Psalm 91:2, one of them says God is his Refuge, his Fortress- a God he can really trust. It is interesting to note that the psalmist also wrote this verse, "I will say of the Lord...." Perhaps we should also regularly ask ourselves, "What am I saying of the Lord?"
We need to say right things, not just think them. We may think, I believe all those good things about the Lord, but are we also saying anything that is helping us? Often we claim to believe something, yet the opposite comes out of our mouths.
We need to speak aloud the goodness of God. We need to do it at proper times and in proper places, but we need to be sure to do it. I cannot encourage you strongly enough to make verbal confessions part of your fellowship time with God.
I often take walks in the morning. While I walk, I pray, I sing, and I confess the Word out loud. I say something like, "God is on my side. I can do whatever He assigns me to do." Or "God is good, and He has a good plan for my life. Blessings are chasing me and overflowing in my life." When I speak words like these, I am nullifying the evil plan satan has for me.
Verbalize your thanksgiving, your praise, and your worship. Say aloud the things that are in your heart about God; sing songs that are filled with praise and worship. Take agressive action against the enemy by speaking about the goodness of God and all that He has done in your life! Give your voice power today and declare what God has done and proclaim what HE is going to do! It will make your day better than you can imagine! Beautiful and bright!
"Happy are those who are strong in the Lord, who set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs, where pools of blessing collect after the rains! They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem."
The pilgrimage to the Temple passed through the barren Valley of Weeping. No specific valley has been identified. The "weeping" may have been a symbolic reference to the times of struggles and tears through which people must pass on their way to meet God.
Growing strong in God's Presence is often preceded by a journey through barren places in our lives. The person who loves to spend time with God will see his or her adversity as an opportunity to re-experience God's faithfulness.
If you are walking through your own Valley of Weeping today, be sure your pilgrimage leads toward God, not away from Him.
Trust in the Lord today, no matter what you may be facing, no matter where your journey leads you, know that He loves you with an everlasting Love and His Love will never fail you. There are no disappointments in following God! Not today, not ever!
Heavenly Father, I thank You for even the barren wastelands, because it is in those dry desolate places that we allow You to speak to us. It is when we are alone, with the world shut out, that we can truly hear when You speak to our hearts. It is when there is nothing, that we can see the beauty of what You have given to us. It is when we are completely bare before You, that You so tenderly and lovingly place Your Robe of Righteousness upon us. I thank You Father, for the journey I have with You today, wherever it may lead me. I know that You are holding onto my hand and You will not let me go, neither will You let me fall or fail. Thank You for this wonderful journey with You! Today and always, I am grateful to be called Your child.
In Jesus Name I pray and give You thanks. Amen.
Isaiah 58:11 Amplified
"And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and dry places and make strong your bones, And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not."
SEEK THE "ONE THING"
Psalm 27:4 (Amplified Bible)
4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.
If you could ask for one thing, what would it be? In Psalm 27:4, David said there was only one thing that he sought after- to dwell in God's Presence. More than anything else, David wanted to know god, to see God as HE really is and to be with Him. Truly, to know God is the highest calling we have.
Unfortunately, we can get so distracted with the busy details of our lives that we neglect the most important thing- spending time with God. We let jobs, family, tv, games, and all sorts of other things take first place. Luke 10:38-42 illustrates this well as it relates to the story of busy Martha. When Jesus visited her home, she became preoccupied with serving, but her sister Mary stopped all work and sat at His feet. Jesus told Martha that only one thing was really important and Mary had chosen it. Mary had decided she was not going to missthe opportunity to visit with the Master. I suppose Martha intended to spend time with Jesus at some point, but Mary was willing to stop what she was doing and work her schedule around Him.
How foolish we are to spend our lives seeking those things that cannot satisfy while we ignore God, the "One Thing" Who can give us great joy, peace, satisfaction, and contentment. The world is filled with empty people who are trying to satisfy the void in their lives with the latest model car, a promotion at work, a relationship, vacation, or acquiring more stuff. It is sad that so many people waste their entire lives and never realize it. They never know the joy of seeking the "One Thing" they really need. Each one of us has a God-shaped hole inside, and nothing can fill it except God Himself. No matter what else we try to fill it with, we will remain empty and frustrated.
If God is on your list of things to seek, but not at the top, I encourage you to move everything around and put it all after Him. If you will put Him first in everything you do, you will be so blessed. Investing your life in God is the very best thing you can do!
“And they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” - Acts 4:13 A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ. You have read lives of Christ, beautifully and eloquently written, but the best life of Christ is his living biography, written out in the words and actions of his people. If we were what we profess to be, and what we should be, we should be pictures of Christ; yea, such striking likenesses of him, that the world would not have to hold us up by the hour together, and say, “Well, it seems somewhat of a likeness;” but they would, when they once beheld us, exclaim, “He has been with Jesus; he has been taught of him; he is like him; he has caught the very idea of the holy Man of Nazareth, and he works it out in his life and every-day actions.” A Christian should be like Christ in his boldness. Never blush to own your religion; your profession will never disgrace you: take care you never disgrace that. Be like Jesus, very valiant for your God. Imitate him in your loving spirit; think kindly, speak kindly, and do kindly, that men may say of you, “He has been with Jesus.” Imitate Jesus in his holiness. Was he zealous for his Master? So be you; ever go about doing good. Let not time be wasted: it is too precious. Was he self-denying, never looking to his own interest? Be the same. Was he devout? Be you fervent in your prayers. Had he deference to his Father’s will? So submit yourselves to him. Was he patient? So learn to endure. And best of all, as the highest portraiture of Jesus, try to forgive your enemies, as he did; and let those sublime words of your Master, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” always ring in your ears. Forgive, as you hope to be forgiven. Heap coals of fire on the head of your foe by your kindness to him. Good for evil, recollect, is godlike. Be godlike, then; and in all ways and by all means, so live that all may say of you, “He has been with Jesus.”
The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single thy whole body also is full of light. (Luke 11:34) The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spint of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor. 2:14) Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. (Psa. 119:18) I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12) We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image … even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Cor. 3:18) God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor. 4:6) The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: … that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. (Eph. 1:17, 18)
“I know how to abound.”
- Philippians 4:12 There are many who know “how to be abased” who have
not learned “how to abound.” When they are set upon the top of a pinnacle their heads grow dizzy, and they are ready to fall. The Christian far oftener disgraces his profession in prosperity than in adversity. It is a dangerous thing to be prosperous. The crucible of adversity is a less severe trial to the Christian than the refining pot of prosperity. Oh, what leanness of soul and neglect of spiritual things have been brought on through the very mercies and bounties of God! Yet this is not a matter of necessity, for the apostle tells us that he knew how to abound. When he had much he knew how to use it. Abundant grace enabled him to bear abundant prosperity. When he had a full sail he was loaded with much ballast, and so floated safely. It needs more than human skill to carry the brimming cup of mortal joy with a steady hand, yet Paul had learned that skill, for he declares, “In all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry.” It is a divine lesson to know how to be full, for the Israelites were full once, but while the flesh was yet in their mouth, the wrath of God came upon them. Many have asked for mercies that they might satisfy their own hearts’ lust. Fulness of bread has often made fulness of blood, and that has brought on wantonness of spirit. When we have much of God’s providential mercies, it often happens that we have but little of God’s grace, and little gratitude for the bounties we have received. We are full and we forget God: satisfied with earth, we are content to do without heaven. Rest assured it is harder to know how to be full than it is to know how to be hungry-so desperate is the tendency of human nature to pride and forgetfulness of God. Take care that you ask in your prayers that God would teach you “how to be full.” “Let not the gifts thy love bestows Estrange our hearts from thee.”
God Helps The Helpless
7 Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
I have had people tell me, “Pastor Prince, please pray for me. I can’t see a way out of the mess I am in. I know that this whole thing is my fault. Right now, I don’t even know whether God will hear my prayers.”
If you think about it, a whole lot of our troubles are of our own making. But it is when we deserve the punishment and not the blessing that we can receive grace — the undeserved favor and unmerited help of God!
When we stop trying to be deserving of God’s help, we find God more than willing to be our Savior. But when we continue to try to work things out, we are trying to be our own saviors. God will say, “Save yourself because I can’t help you when you don’t need My help.”
You might be thinking, “But Pastor Prince, don’t you know, God helps those who help themselves?”
Contrary to popular belief, this saying that “God helps those who help themselves” is not in the Bible! God does not help those who help themselves. He helps those who are helpless and dependent on Him. He helps those who look to Him as their only source of help for their problem.
If you say, “My problem is that I am weak.” God says, “That is not a problem. I am your strength.” If you say, “Lord, my face is the problem. I am ugly.” God says, “My face will shine on yours. I am your glory.” If you say, “Lord, I am the problem. I am a nobody.” God says, “I will make you a somebody.”
Unfortunately, many of us are still trying to help ourselves, thinking that for certain matters, we don’t really need God. But God says, “Without Me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) Do we really believe that? Or do we believe that without Him, we can still do some things to help ourselves?
Only when we realize that we can do nothing, and are nothing in and of ourselves, can we do all things through Christ who strengthens us! (Philippians 4:13) Then, we will see the undeserved, unmerited help and favor of God deliver us from every evil!
Thought Of The Day
God helps those who are helpless and completely dependent on Him.
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