Daily Archives: February 4, 2020

February—4 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age.—Luke 3:23.

How marvellous in all things are the ways of God to us! Was Jesus indeed in the world, and the world made by him, and the world knew him not? And did he remain hid away, and unknown, for the first thirty years of his life? Did the Son of God come on earth to do away sin by the sacrifice of himself, and yet enter not upon the full purpose of his mission until so large a portion of his life upon earth had passed away? O wonder-working God! how true is it, that thy ways are not our ways, nor thy thoughts our thoughts! Yet, my soul, though thy Jesus did not engage in his public ministry in the more open display of it by his miracles and preaching, yet surely those thirty years were of vast importance on the score of redemption. No doubt Jesus spent them in obedience to his Father’s law, manifesting a life of holiness and purity, suited and corresponding to the immaculate perfection of his nature, who did no sin, neither was “guile found in his mouth.” Convinced as I am, my honoured Lord, that the body thy Father gave thee, and thy human nature which thou didst assume for the purpose of salvation, was not produced in the ordinary method of generation, but by the miraculous influence of the Holy Ghost; so am I equally convinced that during the whole of thy life, from the manger to the cross, every act, and word, and thought of thine, manifested that thou wast holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens. And shall I not then believe, that these thirty years were of some sweet, though to us secret importance, in thy covenant engagements as our surety? Can I suppose that the thirty years of my Redeemer’s life, before his being publicly made manifest to Israel, were spent in nothing in relation to the great work which he came purposely to do? Did not those seasons minister also to the cancelling the sin of his people, taking away the curse by bearing it, and by dying for it: and may we not suppose that God the Father had an eye to every minute act in the life of his dear Son, whom he had called to the work of salvation, and given as a covenant to his people, to be their head and mediator, their law-fulfiller and sin-offering? Precious Lord! silent as the Scriptures are on this great portion of thy life, yet is not their silence a call upon thy people to meditate on the subject? Give me grace, then, my honoured Lord, to be often contemplating the infinite condescension of Jesus in this part, as well as in others, in which thou must have “endured such a contradiction of sinners against thyself.” And let not this be the smallest improvement of this sweet and interesting view of my Lord, that when I call to mind how thy holy soul must have felt, during the thirty years, from the open displays of sin, in the blasphemies and daring defiances of God, the reproaches of the ungodly, and the torrent of evil all around, yet nothing stopped the gracious purposes of thine heart, in executing the errand on which thy whole mind was bent: “in dying, the just for the unjust, to bring sinners unto God.”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 40–41). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

February 4 Streams in the Desert

I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth.” (Isa. 58:14.)

THOSE who fly through the air in airships tell us that one of the first rules they learn is to turn their ship toward the wind, and fly against it. The wind lifts the ship up to higher heights. Where did they learn that? They learned it from the birds. If a bird is flying for pleasure, it goes with the wind. But if the bird meets danger, it turns right around and faces the wind, in order that it may rise higher; and It flies away towards the very sun.

Sufferings are God’s winds, His contrary winds, sometimes His strong winds. They are God’s hurricanes, but, they take human life and lift it to higher levels and toward God’s heavens.

You have seen in the summer time a day when the atmosphere was so oppressive that you could hardly breathe? But a cloud appeared on the western horizon and that cloud grew larger and threw out rich blessing for the world. The storm rose, lightning flashed and thunder pealed. The storm covered the world, and the atmosphere was cleansed; new life was in the air, and the world was changed.

Human life is worked out according to exactly the same principle. When the storm breaks the atmosphere is changed, clarified, filled with new life; and a part of heaven is brought down to earth.—Selected.

Obstacles ought to set us singing. The wind finds voice, not when rushing across the open sea, but when hindered by the outstretched arms of the pine trees, or broken by the fine strings of an Aeolian harp. Then it has songs of power and beauty. Set your freed soul sweeping across the obstacles of life, through grim forests of pain, against even the tiny hindrances and frets that love uses, and it, too, will find its singing voice.—Selected.

“Be like a bird that, halting in its flight,

Rests on a bough too slight.

And feeling it give way beneath him sings,

Knowing he hath wings.”[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 39–40). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

How Do I Know God Loves Me? — The Blazing Center

How do we know if God loves us? Do we know he loves us when we have a nice house or a new car?

Do we know he loves us when we get a good job or good grades? Do we know he loves us because he gives us children or grandchildren? Or sunny days?

What if we don’t have these things? What if things aren’t going well for us? Are we sure that God loves us? If we lose our job does that mean God doesn’t love us? If we get sick or If things don’t go well with our children does that mean God doesn’t love us?

None of these things are proof that God loves us or doesn’t love us. There is only one unshakable unchanging way of knowing that God loves us. And that is that he gave his only Son to die for us while were sinners. While we were spiritually dead and blind, with no interest in or love for God at all.

Obviously John 3:16 is a good starting place:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Obviously a fantastic verse. But maybe God gave his Son for us because we were so lovable. Nope. The Bible says God gave his son for us while we were sinners, living in rebellion against him, completely uninterested in him, with no desire to know or love him or to be saved.

It says in Ephesians 2:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— Ephesians 2:4-5

Our God was RICH in mercy to give his Son for us. And he gave Jesus for us because of his GREAT LOVE for us. His love was so great he made us alive together with Christ “even when we were DEAD in our trespasses.” Dead – we had no spiritual life at all. No interest in God. No love for God. No desire for him. All we loved was our trespasses. All we desired was our sin and our selfishness. There was no reason at all for God to love us, but he had such great love and mercy that he saved us by his grace and made us alive in Christ.

Now that is great love.

But not only did the Father love us so much that he gave his Son, but Jesus himself loved us.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Jesus couldn’t love us any more. His love for us is infinite. There could be no greater love than the love Jesus has for us. He himself said:

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

And walk in love, as CHRIST LOVED US and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2

Not only did the Father love us, but Jesus loved us when we were lost, dead, and wrapped in the filth of our sin.

AND the Father and Jesus loved us LONG before we were even born.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ…Ephesians 1:3-5

God chose us in Christ before he created the world and “in LOVE he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ.”

Not only have the Father and Jesus loved us from all eternity, but nothing will ever be able to separate us from their love:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;

we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39

NOTHING will ever be able to separate us from God’s love in Christ. EVER.

Notice this passage says that we may go through tribulation and distress. We may go through persecution. We might experience famine or nakedness. Christians of all ages have experienced these things. But if we suffer, or are distressed, that will not mean that God has stopped loving us. If we lose our job or get sick that won’t mean God has ceased to love us.

We won’t always FEEL God’s love. If you don’t feel like God loves you, that doesn’t mean it’s true. Feelings are real, but they aren’t always the truth.

We have rock solid proof that God loves us because Jesus came to earth, demonstrated that he is God over and over again, died on the cross to pay for our sins because he loves us, then rose from the dead and was seen by all kinds of people over and over after he rose (1 Corinthians 15:3-11).

We have God’s word. God tells us again and again that he loves us in his Word, and God does not lie.

God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Numbers 23.19

God loves you and me. He tells us he loves us. He has demonstrated his love for us. And nothing will ever separate us from his love – whether we feel it or not. Believe God’s word. Thank him and praise him for his love. Rejoice in his love. And regularly call to mind his love:

But THIS I CALL TO MIND, and therefore I have hope: THE STEADFAST LOVE OF THE LORD NEVER CEASES;his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23

If you have believed in Jesus, and called upon him to be your Lord, God’s steadfast love for you will never cease!

via How Do I Know God Loves Me? — The Blazing Center

February 4th The D. L. Moody Year Book

From within, out the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.—Mark 7:21, 22.

IF a man should advertise that he could take a correct photograph of people’s hearts, do you believe he would find any customers? There is not a man among us whom you could hire to have his photograph taken, if you could photograph the real man. We go to have our faces taken, and carefully arrange our toilet, and if the artist flatters us, we say, “Oh, yes, that’s a first-rate likeness,” and we pass it around among our friends. But let the real man be brought out, the photograph of the heart, and see if we will pass that around among our neighbors! Why, we would not want our own wives to see it! We would be frightened even to look at it ourselves.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (pp. 28–29). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Donald Trump Snubs CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper from State of the Union Preview Lunch

Traditionally, the president invites top journalists to an off-the-record lunch to talk about his goals for the State of the Union address.

Source: Donald Trump Snubs CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper from State of the Union Preview Lunch