Forum Posts

Feb 24, 2022
In General Discussion
The Deeper Christian Life HOW DOES GOD BRING US IN? By leading us in a very definite act, viz., that of committing ourselves wholly to Him; entrusting ourselves to Him, that He may bring us into the land of rest, and keep us in. You remember that the Jordan at the time of harvest overflowed its banks. The hundreds of thousands of Israel were on the side of the river from Canaan. They were told that tomorrow, God would do wonderful things for them. The trumpet would sound, and the priests would take up the ark, the symbol of God’s presence, and pass over before the people. But there lay the swollen river still. If there still unbelieving children among the the people, they would say, “What fools, to attempt to cross now! This is not the time to attempt fording the river, for it is now twenty feet deep.” But the believing people gathered together behind the priests with the ark. They obeyed the command of Joshua to advance; but they knew not what God was going to do? The priests walked right into the water, and the hearts of some began to tremble. They would perhaps ask, “Where is the rod of Moses?” But, as the priests walked straight on and stepped into the water, the waters rose up on the upper side in to a high wall, and flowed away on the other side, and a clear passage was made for the whole camp. Now, it was God that did this for the people; and it was because Joshua and the people believed and obeyed God. The same God will do it to-day, if we believe and trust Him. Am I addressing a soul who is saying: I remember how God first brought me out of the land of bondage. I was in complete darkness of soul and was deeply troubled. I did not at first believe that God could take me out, and that I could become a child of God. But, at last, God took me and brought me to trust in Jesus, and He led me out safely.” Friend, you have the same God now who brought you out of bondage with a high hand; and can lead you into the place of rest. Look to Him and say, “O God, make an end of my wilderness life, my sinful and unbelieving life, a life of grieving Thee. Oh, bring me to-day into the land of victory and rest and blessing!” Is this the prayer of your hearts, dear friends? Are you going to give up yourselves to Him to do this for you? Can you trust Him that He is able and willing to do it for you. He can take you through the swollen river this very moment; yes, this very moment. And He can do more: After Israel had crossed the river, the Captain of the Lord’s host had to come and encourage Joshua, promising to take charge of the army and remain with them. You need the power of God’s Spirit to enable you to overcome sin and temptation. You need to live in His fellowship, in His unbroken fellowship, without which you cannot stand or conquer. If you are to venture to-day, say by faith “My God, I know that Jesus Christ is willing to be the Captain of my salvation, and to conquer every enemy for me, He will keep me by faith and by His Holy Spirit; and though it be dark to me, and as if the waters would pass over my soul, and though my condition seem hopeless, I will walk forward, for God is going to bring me in to-day, and I am going to follow Him. My God, I follow Thee now into the promised land.” Perhaps some have already entered in, and the angels have seen them, while they have been reading these solemn words. Is there anyone still hesitating because the waters of Jordan look threatening and impassable? Many blessings over your day today ~Alicia
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Feb 23, 2022
In General Discussion
The Deeper Christian Life ARE YOU READY TO LEAVE THE WILDERNESS? You know the mark of Israel’s life in the wilderness, the cause of all their troubles there, was unbelief. They did not believe that God could take them into the promised land. And then followed many sins and failures, lusting, idolatry, murmuring, etc. That has, perhaps, been your life, beloved; you do not believe that God will fulfill His word. You do not believe in the possibility of unbroken fellowship with Him, and unlimited partnership. On account of that, you become disobedient, and did not live like a child doing God’s will, because you did not believe that God could give you the victory over sin. Are you willing now to leave that wilderness life? Sometimes you are, perhaps, enjoying fellowship with God, and sometimes you are separated from Him; sometimes you have nearness to Him, and at other times great distance from Him; sometimes you have a willingness to walk closely with Him, but sometimes there is even unwillingness. Are you now going to give up your whole life to Him? Are you going to approach Him and say, “My God, I do not want to do anything that will be displeasing to Thee; I want Thee to keep me from all worldliness, from all self-pleasure; I want Thee, O God, to help me to live like Peter after Pentecost, filled with the Holy Ghost, and not like carnal Peter.” Beloved, are you willing to say this? Are you willing to give up your sins, to walk with God continually, to submit yourself wholly to the will of God, and have no will of your own apart from His will? Are you going to live a perfect life? I hop you are, for I believe in such a life; not perhaps in the sense in which you understand “perfection” entire freedom from wrong-doing and all inclination to it, for while we live in the flesh the flesh will lust against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; but the perfection spoken of in the Old Testament as practiced by some of God’s saints, who are said to have “served the Lord with a perfect heart.” What is this perfection? A state in which your hearts will be set on perfect integrity without any reserve, and your will wholly subservient to God’s will. Are you willing for such a perfection, with your whole heart turned away from the world and given to God alone? Are you going to say, “No, I do not expect that I will ever give up my self-will.”? It is the devil tempting you to think it will be too hard for you. Oh! I would plead with God’s children just to look at the will of God, so full of blessing, of holiness, of love; will you not give up your guilty will for that blessed will of God? A man can do it in one moment when he comes to see that God can change his will for him. Then he may say farewell to his old will, as Peter did when he went out and wept bitterly, and when the Holy Spirit filled his soul on the day of Pentecost. Joshua “wholly followed the Lord his God.” He failed, indeed, before the enemy at Ai, because he trusted too much to human agency, and not sufficiently to God; and he failed in the same manner when he made a covenant with the Gibeonites; but still, his spirit and power differed very widely from that of the people whose unbelief drove them before their enemies and kept them in the wilderness. Let us be willing wholly to serve the Lord our God, and “make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Let us believe in the love and power of God to keep us day by day, and put “no confidence in the flesh.” Many blessings over your day ~Alicia
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Feb 22, 2022
In General Discussion
Streams in the Desert, Mrs. Charles E Cowman 2022 "Nothing shall be impossible unto you" (Mat 17:20). It is possible, for those who really are willing to reckon on the power of the Lord for keeping and victory, to lead a life in which His promises are taken as they stand and are found to be true. It is possible to cast all our care upon Him daily and to enjoy deep peace in doing it. It is possible to have the thoughts and imaginations of our hearts purified, in the deepest meaning of the word. It is possible to see the will of God in everything, and to receive it, not with sighing, but with singing. It is possible by taking complete refuge in Divine power to become strong through and through; and, where previously our greatest weakness lay, to find that things which formerly upset all our resolves to be patient, or pure, or humble, furnish today an opportunity-- through Him who loved us, and works in us an agreement with His will and a blessed sense of His presence and His power-- to make sin powerless over us. These things are DIVINE POSSIBILITIES, and because they are His work, the true experience of them will always cause us to bow lower at His feet and to learn to thirst and long for more. We cannot possibly be satisfied with anything less-- each day, each hour, each moment, in Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit-- than to WALK WITH GOD. -- H. C. G. Moule We may have as much of God as we will. Christ puts the key of the treasure-chamber into our hand, and bids us take all that we want. If a man is admitted into the bullion vault of a bank, and told to help himself, and comes out with one cent, whose fault is it that he is poor? Whose fault is it that Christian people generally have such scanty portions of the free riches of God? -- McLaren. Many blessings over you today ~Alicia
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Feb 17, 2022
In General Discussion
Streams in Desert, Mrs. Charles E. Cowman "The land which I do give them, even the children of Israel" (Jos 1:2). God here speaks in the immediate present. It is not something He is going to do, but something He does do, this moment. So faith ever speaks. So God ever gives. So He is meeting you today, in the present moment. This is the test of faith. So long as you are waiting for a thing, hoping for it, looking for it, you are not believing. It may be hope, it may be earnest desire, but it is not faith; for "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." The command in regard to believing prayer is the present tense. "When ye pray, believe that ye receive the things that ye desire, and ye shall have them." Have we come to that moment? Have we met God in His everlasting NOW? -- Joshua, by Simpson True faith counts on God, and believes before it sees. Naturally, we want some evidence that our petition is granted before we believe; but when we walk by faith we need no other evidence than God’s Word. He has spoken, and according to our faith it shall be done unto us. We shall see because we have believed, and this faith sustains us in the most trying places, when everything around us seems to contradict God’s Word. The Psalmist says, "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of living" (Psa 27:13). He did not see as yet the Lord’s answer to his prayers, but he believed to see; and this kept him from fainting. If we have the faith that believes to see, it will keep us from growing discouraged. We shall "laugh at impossibilities," we shall watch with delight to see how God is going to open up a path through the Red Sea when there is no human way out of our difficulty. It is just in such places of severe testing that our faith grows and strengthens. Have you been waiting upon God, dear troubled one, during long nights and weary days, and have feared that you were forgotten? Nay, lift up your head, and begin to praise Him even now for the deliverance which is on its way to you. -- Life of Praise Stay in faith today ~Alicia
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Feb 16, 2022
In General Discussion
Streams in the Desert, Mrs. Charles E. Cowman “Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more" (Nah 1:12). There is a limit to affliction. God sends it, and removes it. Do you sigh and say, "When will the end be?" Let us quietly wait and patiently endure the will of the Lord till He cometh. Our Father takes away the rod when His design in using it is fully served. If the affliction is sent for testing us, that our graces may glorify God, it will end when the Lord has made us bear witness to His praise. We would not wish the affliction to depart until God has gotten out of us all the honor which we can possibly yield Him. There may be today "a great calm." Who knows how soon those raging billows will give place to a sea of glass, and the sea birds sit on the gentle waves? After long tribulation, the flail is hung up, and the wheat rests in the garner. We may, before many hours are past, be just as happy as now we are sorrowful. It is not hard for the Lord to turn night into day. He that sends the clouds can as easily clear the skies. Let us be of good cheer. It is better farther on. Let us sing Hallelujah by anticipation. -- C. H. Spurgeon. The great Husbandman is not always threshing. Trial is only for a season. The showers soon pass. Weeping may tarry only for the few hours of the short summer night; it must be gone at daybreak. Our light affliction is but for a moment. Trial is for a purpose, "If needs be." The very fact of trial proves that there is something in us very precious to our Lord; else He would not spend so much pains and time on us. Christ would not test us if He did not see the precious ore of faith mingled in the rocky matrix of our nature; and it is to bring this out into purity and beauty that He forces us through the fiery ordeal. Be patient, O sufferer! The result will more than compensate for all our trials, when we see how they wrought out the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. To have one word of God’s commendation; to be honored before the holy angels; to be glorified in Christ, so as to be better able to flash His glory on Himself-- ah! that will more than repay for all. -- Tried by Fire As the weights of the clock, or the ballast in the vessel, are necessary for their right ordering, so is trouble in the soul-life. The sweetest scents are only obtained by tremendous pressure; the fairest flowers grow amid Alpine snow-solitudes; the fairest gems have suffered longest from the lapidary’s wheel; the noblest statues have borne most blows of the chisel. All, however, are under law. Nothing happens that has not been appointed with consummate care and foresight. -- Daily Devotional Commentary Many blessings over your day ~Alicia
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Feb 15, 2022
In General Discussion
Our Daily Walk, F. B. Meyer TRANSFIGURED LIVES "Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." — Rom 12:2. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image." — 2Co 3:18. IN OUR texts the word rendered transformed, or changed, is the same as is used in Mat 17:2; and this must have been in the mind of the Apostle when he said, "Be ye transfigured," and "we are transfigured into the same image." How can this transformation be effected? First, from within, by the renewing of the mind; and second, by beholding the glory of the Lord. The renewing of the mind. This is no matter for emotion or ecstasy, but of bringing our minds into close and constant contact with the truth as contained in the Holy Scripture. You have not to study yourself in the mirror, to see whether you are becoming transfigured; but as day by day you steep your mind in God's Word, without your realising it, you will become transfigured. Moses wist not that his face shone. It was for the crowd that waited for him at the mountain-foot to see it, not for him. Our Lord said: "Abide in Me and I in you." This is somewhat mystical and profound; but He said again: "If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you"—that is surely within our reach. "It is not too high, not too deep, not too inward, not too mystical," said Dr. Whyte on one occasion; "and when the Master asks that His words shall abide in me, He can mean nothing else than that I shall often recall and recollect His words, and shall repeat them to myself at all times." As a man thinketh in his heart so is he; and if we think those thoughts of self-giving, which characterised our Lord's forecast and determination on the Mount of Transfiguration—if we are animated by the resolve to present ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God; as we steep our minds in His mind—the transfiguring glory of that high resolve will insensibly pass into our faces, thus irradiating our meanest actions, our simplest speech. Beholding and reflecting the Glory of the Lord. The mirror again is Holy Scripture. We find there the reflection of our Lord's highest glory, which is patent, not in His Creative but in His Redemptive work. As we gaze on Him who, for our salvation hid not His Face from shame and spitting, but became a willing Sacrifice on our behalf, we shall be changed. PRAYER O Lord Jesus Christ, grant me such communion with Thyself that my soul may continually be athirst for that time when I shall behold Thee in Thy glory. In the meanwhile, may I behold Thy glory in the mirror of Thy Word, and be changed into the same image. AMEN. Many blessings over your day ~Alicia
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Feb 14, 2022
In General Discussion
Our Daily Walk, F.B. Meyer GOD'S PARTNERSHIP IN OUR AFFLICTION "In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them: and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old." — Isa 43:9. MANY ARE the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. There is the affliction of ill-health, which compels us to stand aside and leave our tasks to others. The languor of sleepless nights, the inactivity and loneliness of the long days, the fear of being burdensome to others. The anxiety as to how this or that interest may fare in inexperienced hands. The sense of helplessness and weakness. These are the ingredients of that cup which many have to drink! There is the affliction of poverty, when every door seems closed against our appeal; when hundreds of applicants are answering the same advertisement; when the cruse of oil has been drained of its last drop, and the barrel scraped bare; when the rent is overdue, the boots are wearing out in vain journeys, and the faces and clothes of the children begin to tell the tale of privation—then the iron seems to enter our soul! There is the affliction of uncongenial companionship. "Woe to them that sojourn in Mesech, and dwell in the tents of Kedar!" To how many the Psalmist's words would express their precise position: "My soul hath long dwelt with him who hateth peace; I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war." There is even profounder suffering, when man or woman is mated for life with one who is out of Christ, or is the one Christian disciple in an irreligious family. It was with a deep knowledge of human nature that the Apostle urged his converts not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. There is also the affliction of temptation. Jealousy, pride, discontent, self-will—these assail us from without, and too often they find a response from within, as though there were an accomplice in hiding. Such are some of the problems and afflictions which darken our experience. The mistake is that we face our troubles without God's fellowship, consciously realised. We carry our burdens, without casting them upon the Lord, and claiming the grace which waits to help us in our hour of need. We do not realise that He has come down to deliver us, because He knows our sorrows. In all our afflictions He is afflicted. PRAYER O God, we have no help but Thine, nor do we need another arm save Thine to lean upon. Teach us how to gain strength from Thee hour by hour, in the glance of an eye, the breathing of a sigh, the brief ejaculation, may we take into ourselves that strength which Thou hast stored for us in Christ Jesus our Lord. AMEN. Many blessings over your day ~Alicia
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Feb 10, 2022
In General Discussion
Streams in the Desert, Mrs. Charles E. Cowman "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves" (Rom 12:19). There are seasons when to be still demands immeasurably higher strength than to act. Composure is often the highest result of power. To the vilest and most deadly charges Jesus responded with deep, unbroken silence, such as excited the wonder of the judge and the spectators. To the grossest insults, the most violent ill-treatment and mockery that might well bring indignation into the feeblest heart, He responded with voiceless complacent calmness. Those who are unjustly accused, and causelessly ill-treated know what tremendous strength is necessary to keep silence to God. "Men may misjudge thy aim, Think they have cause to blame, Say, thou art wrong; Keep on thy quiet way, Christ is the Judge, not they, Fear not, be strong." St. Paul said, "None of these things move me." He did not say, none of these things hurt me. It is one thing to be hurt, and quite another to be moved. St. Paul had a very tender heart. We do not read of any apostle who cried as St. Paul did. It takes a strong man to cry. Jesus wept, and He was the manliest Man that ever lived. So it does not say, none of these things hurt me. But the apostle had determined not to move from what he believed was right. He did not count as we are apt to count; he did not care for ease; he did not care for this mortal life. He cared for only one thing, and that was to be loyal to Christ, to have His smile. To St. Paul, more than to any other man, His work was wages, His smile was Heaven. -- Margaret Bottome Many blessings over everyone’s day ~Alicia
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Feb 09, 2022
In General Discussion
The Deeper Christian Life - Privilege and Experience “And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.” — Luk 15:31 1. THE HIGH PRIVILEGE OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD. We have here two things describing the privilege: First, “Son, thou art ever with me” unbroken fellowship with thy Father is thy portion; Second, “All that I have is thine” all that God can bestow upon His children is theirs. “Thou are ever with me;” I am always near thee; thou canst dwell every hour of thy life in My presence, and all I have is for thee. I am a father, with a loving father’s heart. I will withhold no good thing from thee. In these promises, we have the rich privilege of God’s heritage. We have, in the first place, unbroken fellowship with Him. A father never sends his child away with the thought that he does not care about his child knowing that he loves him. The father longs to have his child believe that he has the light of his father’s countenance upon him all the day that, if he sends the child away to school, or anywhere that necessity compels, it is with a sense of sacrifice of parental feelings. If it be so with an earthly father, what think you of God? Does He not want every child of His to know that he is constantly living in the light of His countenance? This is the meaning of that word, “Son, thou art ever with me.” That was the privilege of God’s people in Old Testament times. We are told that “Enoch walked with God.” God’s promise to Jacob was: “Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.” And God’s promise to Israel through Moses, was: “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” And in Moses’ response to the promise, he says, “For wherein shall it be known that I and Thy people have found grace in Thy sight? Is it not that Thou goest with us; so shall we be separated, I and Thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.” The presence of God with Israel was the mark of their separation from other people. This is the truth taught in all the Old Testament; and if so, how much more may we look for it in the New Testament? Thus we find our Saviour promising to those who love Him and who keep His word, that the Father also will love them, and Father and Son will come and make Their abode with them. Let that thought into your hearts, that the child of God is called to this blessed privilege, to live every moment of his life in fellowship with God. He is called to enjoy the full light of His countenance. There are many Christians, I suppose the majority of Christians, who seem to regard the whole of the Spirit’s work as confined to conviction and conversion: not so much that He came to dwell in our hearts, and there reveal God to us. He came not to dwell near us, but in us, that we might be filled with His indwelling. We are commanded to be “filled with the Spirit;” then the Holy Spirit would make God’s presence manifest to us. That is the whole teaching of the epistle to the Hebrews: the veil is rent in twain; we have access into the holiest of all by the blood of Jesus; we come into the very presence of God, so that we can live all the day with that presence resting upon us. That presence is with us wheresoever we go; and in all kinds of trouble, we have undisturbed repose and peace. “Son, thou art ever with me.” There are some people who seem to think that God, by some unintelligible sovereignty, withdraws His face. But I know that God loves His people too much to withhold His fellowship from them for any such reason. The true reason of the absence of God from us is rather to be found in our sin and unbelief, than in any supposed sovereignty of His. If the child of God is walking in faith and obedience, the Divine presence will be enjoyed in unbroken continuity. Then there is the next blessed privilege: “All that I have is thine.” Thank God, He has given us His own Son; and in giving Him, He has given us all things that are in Him, He has given us Christ’s life, His love, His Spirit, His glory. “All things are yours; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” All the riches of His Son, the everlasting King, God bestows upon every one of His children. “Son, thou art ever with me; and all that I have is thine.” Is not that the meaning of all those wonderful promises given in connection with prayer: “Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, ye shall receive.”? Yes, there it is. That is the life of the children of God, as He Himself has pictured it to us. Privilege (Lat. privilegium, from privata lex, a private law), in general, is a special ordinance or regulation in virtue of which an individual or a class enjoys certain immunities or rights from or beyond the common provisions of the general law of the community. 1. A particular and peculiar benefit or advantage enjoyed by a person, company or society, beyond the common advantages of other citizens. 2. Any peculiar benefit or advantage, right or immunity, not common to others of the human race. 3. Advantage; favor; benefit. Many blessings over everyone’s day ~Alicia
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Feb 07, 2022
In General Discussion
Our Daily Walk, F.B. Meyer GOD'S GUIDING HAND IN OUR LIVES "The Lord is my Shepherd: I shall not want." — Psa 23:1. "When He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice." — Joh 10:4. DO YOU need guidance as to your path? Look unto Jesus; it is always possible to discern His form, though partially veiled in mist; and when it is lost, be sure to stand still until He comes back to find and re-establish the blessed connection. Do not look to impressions which often contradict one another, which rise and fall with variable fickleness, and are like eddies upon a flowing current; do not seek for guidance from friends who will differ from each other, and no two of which will give the same advice on the same grounds, but look away to Christ; throw on Him the responsibility of making you know the way you are to take; leave it to Him to make it so abundantly clear that you cannot do other than follow; even tell Him that you will stand still until He puts His arms under you, and carries you where He would have you be. Do not get anxious or flurried. Put the government of your life upon His shoulder, and leave Him to execute His plan. Sometimes He guides us to the rest of the green pastures, and the quiet of the still waters. In other words, we are left through happy months and years to fulfil the ordinary commonplaces of life, content to fill a little space, and receiving great increments of spiritual force for future service. At other times, we are guided from the lowland pastures up into the hills. The way is sunny, above us the precipitous cliffs, beneath the dark turbid stream; but this is well; we would not always be lying in the pastures or walking softly by the waters. It is good to climb the heights with their far view and bracing air. In the late afternoon the Shepherd may lead his flock back into the valleys, through the dark woods, where the branches meet overhead and the wild beast lurks in ambush, but we know that in one hand He has the rod or club, with which to belabour anything that may attack; and in the other the crook to drag us out of the hole. He would not lead us into the dark valley which He had not explored, and whose perils He was not prepared to overcome. Darkness, sorrow, or death do not prove that we have missed His guidance, or have taken the wrong path, but rather that He accounts us able to bear the trial by faith in Himself. PRAYER Tell us, O Lord, where Thou art leading Thy flock to-day, that we may follow upon Thy track. We do not ask Thee to come our way, but to teach us Thine. AMEN. Many blessings over everyone today ~ Alicia
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Feb 03, 2022
In General Discussion
Spiritual Gifts: Unwrapping Your God-Given Treasure, Eric Rees - Faithgateway.com Blessings BTV Family, As I was laying flat out in my bed yesterday from having side effects from the booster shot, God put on my spirit that we need to begin ”serving“ our spiritual gifts, not for ourselves, but for the Kingdom. God then lead me to read a really good article by Eric Rees, Faithgateway.com and I wanted to share excerpts from the article: Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. — 1 Corinthians 12:1 NIV Your spiritual gifts were not given for your own benefit but for the benefit of others. ~ Rick Warren I used to think that God’s gifts were on shelves — one above another — and the taller we grow, the easier we can reach them. Now I find that God’s gifts are on shelves — and the lower we stoop, the more we get. ~ F. B. Meyer - You have been gifted for greatness. - When God planned the masterpiece He would make of your life, He decided to give you certain gifts that would enable you to effectively share His love and make your own unique contribution to His Kingdom. He placed these spiritual abilities within you and waits eagerly for you to discover them. I’m certain it fills His heart with joy as He watches us discover and start using the spiritual gifts He has given us. We should be as excited as children on Christmas Day about unwrapping these treasures. - Too often, I see people carrying heavy loads of frustration because they are trying to serve in areas for which they have little or no ability. On the other hand, the most fulfilled and effective people I see are functioning in areas that precisely match the gifts God has given them. What Are Spiritual Gifts? Let’s start by clarifying what they are not. First, your spiritual gifts are not the same as your personality traits. A personality test is not an adequate indicator of what spiritual gifts you possess. Your personality traits, however, do provide natural vehicles for expressing your gifts. For example, if God wired you to be outgoing, then your gifts will work best as you actively engage other people. If you are more reserved by nature, your personality will complement your giftedness. Second, spiritual gifts are not the same as natural talents. You can be a very talented architect, salesperson, or manager, but those are not spiritual gifts. Leslie B. Flynn explains, “Talents have to do with techniques and methods; gifts have to do with spiritual abilities. Talents depend on natural power, gifts on spiritual endowment.” Third, spiritual gifts are not the same as the fruit of the Spirit described in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The fruit of the Spirit reveal Christ’s contribution to our character, while our spiritual gifts reveal the contribution we make to God’s kingdom. So what are spiritual gifts? For this study, let’s define a spiritual gift as a God-given special ability, given to every believer at conversion by the Holy Spirit, to share His love and strengthen the body of Christ. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 4:10 that God is the gift giver: God has given each of you a spiritual gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. — NLT I love how Os Guinness, in his book The Call, talks about the role of giftedness. Os says, “The purpose of giftedness is stewardship and service, not selfishness.” God gives us these special abilities for specific reasons. Spiritual gifts only work in spiritual ways. Designed to bring great color and clarity to your life, they can only be used to their full potential when empowered by the Holy Spirit, who dwells in the life of every believer. Only those who have entered into a personal relationship with Christ have these gifts. Why Does God Give Spiritual Gifts? In 1 Corinthians 12:7, Paul says, A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church. — NLT The spiritual gifts God gives you are neither for you nor about you. They weren’t given to boost your self-image or to serve as some kind of special reward from God. They were not given to raise you up to some level of worldly greatness or success. They are yours for the express purpose of blessing the body of Christ — the Church. That is why you need to be part of a church family. Discovering your spiritual gifts is not the ultimate goal — using them to bless others is. Full article: https://www.faithgateway.com/spiritual-gifts-unwrapping-your-god-given-treasures/#.Yfru-YGIb4A Many blessings over everyone today ~Alicia
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Jan 31, 2022
In General Discussion
Rylisms, James Ryle When I First Saw the Light “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” (Joh 9:25) “Excuse me,” an older gentleman said, “but would you mind telling us how it was that you first began to see this truth?” Ah, that’s easy. It happened right here in The Library. I was a young man having just begun my journey with Jesus when I was drawn to this place. Once here, I found I never wanted to leave. But the Lord of the Library taught me that I am to live by these words, not in them; they are to live in me, changing me from the inside out. But that was not what you asked me. You want to know how it was I first began to see the light of this great truth about God’s grace. Come with me over here and I will show you the Book I was reading when the first ray of this truth shone in my unguarded heart. Let me read to you from The First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians; there is a passage I have cherished for many years now: “I can never stop thanking God for all the wonderful gifts He has given you, now that you belong to Christ. He has enriched your whole life. He has helped you speak out for Him and has given you a full understanding of the truth. What I told you Christ could do for you has happened! Now you have every grace and blessing; every spiritual gift and power for doing God’s will are yours during this time of waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Co 1:4-7 Living Bible) Something about this verse stopped me in my tracks. What struck me profoundly was the phrase “every spiritual gift and power for doing God’s will are yours during this time of waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I had heard it said rather cleverly by an older preacher that “G.R.A.C.E. was God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.” That always stayed with me. And now, I understood more fully that Grace was the blessing of God enriching my life with “every spiritual gift, and power to do God’s will.” And what’s more, it is NOW. The expression, “during this time of waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ” leaves no doubt that this promise is for us today – for Jesus has not yet returned. My mind raced with the endless possibilities and implications of this. It was then that I undertook a personal challenge to study every reference to the subject of grace in all the books of the Library. And my studies were met with one amazing discovery after the other. “This changes everything!” I mused aloud to myself. And straightway I began telling everybody I met along the Road. Some saw it for themselves; others did not – or would not. Some had their minds already made up, and were quite determined to dispute the matter. But their arguments were futile; my heart had been awakened by revelation. I felt like the man who said, “I once was blind, but now I see!”
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Jan 30, 2022
In General Discussion
Heavenly Father, This weekend we celebrate our Sister Kamilah's birth, I pray for blessings and joy over Sister Kamilah. You knew everything about Sister Kamilah before her birth and You have a plan of prosperity and hope for their life! Let her feel confident and ready for the year ahead knowing that You have an order to her steps and a purpose for her life. Help her to find joy in every circumstance in life, knowing that You work all things out for good. Father God, we thank You for Sister Kamilah, for loving her with unconditional love, and for the promises You have spoken over her life. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Birthday Blessings Prayer for Sister Kamilah 🌸 content media
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Jan 30, 2022
In General Discussion
Streams in the Desert, Mrs. Charles E. Cowman "I will be as the dew unto Israel" (Hos 14:5). The dew is a source of freshness. It is nature’s provision for renewing the face of the earth. It falls at night, and without it the vegetation would die. It is this great value of the dew which is so often recognized in the Scriptures. It is used as the symbol of spiritual refreshing. Just as nature is bathed in dew, so the Lord renews His people. In Tit 3:5 the same thought of spiritual refreshing is connected with the ministry of the Holy Ghost-- "renewing of the Holy Ghost." Many Christian workers do not recognize the importance of the heavenly dew in their lives, and as a result they lack freshness and vigor. Their spirits are drooping for lack of dew. Beloved fellow-worker, you recognize the folly of a laboring man attempting to do his day’s work without eating. Do you recognize the folly of a servant of God attempting to minister without eating of the heavenly manna? Nor will it suffice to have spiritual nourishment occasionally. Every day you must receive the renewing of the Holy Ghost. You know when your whole being is pulsating with the vigor and freshness of Divine life and when you feel jaded and worn. Quietness and absorption bring the dew. At night when the leaf and blade are still, the vegetable pores are open to receive the refreshing and invigorating bath; so spiritual dew comes from quiet lingering in the Master’s presence. Get still before Him. Haste will prevent your receiving the dew. Wait before God until you feel saturated with His presence; then go forth to your next duty with the conscious freshness and vigor of Christ. -- Dr. Pardington Dew will never gather while there is either heat or wind. The temperature must fall, and the wind cease, and the air come to a point of coolness and rest-- absolute rest, so to speak-- before it can yield up its invisible particles of moisture to bedew either herb or flower. So the grace of God does not come forth to rest the soul of man until the still point is fairly and fully reached. "Drop Thy still dews of quietness, Till all our strivings cease: Take from our souls the strain and stress; And let our ordered lives confess The beauty of Thy peace. "Breathe through the pulses of desire Thy coolness and Thy balm; Let sense be dumb, its beats expire: Speak through the earthquake, wind and fire, O still small voice of calm!"
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Jan 28, 2022
In General Discussion
Our Daily Walk (F.B. Meyer) DISLOCATED LIMBS "Now the God of Peace, make you perfect in every good thing to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ." — Heb 13:20-21. THE GREEK word here rendered perfect really means "to put in joint, to complete." In his original creation man's will was intended to register the Will of God, to say Yes to it, and to pass the divine impulses and commandments to the rest of our being. Sometimes on board ship, before the phone made it possible for the captain to speak to every part of the ocean-liner, I have heard Him quietly utter his orders to a subordinate officer beside him, who in turn repeated them in a loud voice through a speaking-trumpet or tube. That intermediary may represent the will which was intended to receive its directions from the Will of God, and pass them throughout the economy of our being. Such was our Lord's attitude throughout His earthly life. He said: "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me"; "I seek not My own will, but the will of Him that sent Me"; "Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt." But in the Fall, the dominance of God's will and the loyal response of man's will became disorganised; and the human will instead of functioning in harmony with the Will of God, began to obey the will of the flesh in its grosser or more refined forms. Not what God wills, but what "I" will, has become the working principle of the great majority. Thus it has come about that the will, by constant misuse, has become dislocated, warped, "out of joint." Tennyson says: "Our wills are ours to make them Thine!" Just so, but they are too stubborn for some of us to manage. Hence the suggestion that we should pass the matter over to the "God of Peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus." Sometimes at football, or on the ice, a player may lose his balance, or be tripped up, and in the fall his shoulder may become dislocated. His arm is still in the body, but out of joint, so that it hangs useless by his side, until the surgeon by one strong wrench forces the bone back into its proper place. Is not that true of us? We are in the Body of Christ by redeeming grace, but we need to be set, i.e., to be brought into articulated union with the Will of God in Christ Jesus. Let us humbly ask the great Surgeon of souls, by the pressure of His strong and gentle hands, here and now, to joint our wayward wills with the Will of God, and then to work in us and through us that which is well-pleasing in His sight! PRAYER Gracious Father! I yield to Thee my will and desires, my members and faculties, the life of my body, the thoughts of my heart, and the aspirations of my spirit—perfect, I pray Thee, that which concerneth me. AMEN.
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Jan 27, 2022
In General Discussion
Streams in the Desert January 27, 2022 "Stablish, strengthen, settle you" (1Pe 5:10). 1 Peter 5:10 (GNB) 10 But after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who calls you to share his eternal glory in union with Christ, will himself perfect you and give you firmness, strength, and a sure foundation. In taking Christ in any new relationship, we must first have sufficient intellectual light to satisfy our mind that we are entitled to stand in this relationship. The shadow of a question here will wreck our confidence. Then, having seen this, we must make the venture, the committal, the choice, and take the place just as definitely as the tree is planted in the soil, or the bride gives herself away at the marriage altar. It must be once for all, without reserve, without recall. Then there is a season of establishing, settling and testing, during which we must "stay put" until the new relationship gets so fixed as to become a permanent habit. It is just the same as when the surgeon sets the broken arm. He puts it in splints to keep it from vibration. So God has His spiritual splints that He wants to put upon His children and keep them quiet and unmoved until they pass the first stage of faith. It is not always easy work for us, "but the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after that ye have suffered awhile, stablish, strengthen, settle you." -- A. B. Simpson There is a natural law in sin and sickness; and if we just let ourselves go and sink into the trend of circumstances, we shall go down and sink under the power of the tempter. But there is another law of spiritual life and of physical life in Christ Jesus to which we can rise, and through which we can counterpoise and overcome the other law that bears us down. But to do this requires real spiritual energy and fixed purpose and a settled posture and habit of faith. It is just the same as when we use the power in our factory. We must turn on the belt and keep it on. The power is there, but we must keep the connection; and while we do so, the higher power will work and all the machinery will be in operation. There is a spiritual law of choosing, believing, abiding, and holding steady in our walk with God, which is essential to the working of the Holy Ghost either in our sanctification or healing. -- Days of Heaven upon Earth
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Jan 26, 2022
In General Discussion
“Seeking God Through Fasting”, crosswalk.com Matthew 6:16-18 says, “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Fasting is a secret declaration to yourself and your heavenly Father that you want more of what he has to give you. It’s a private plea for the abundant life that can only be found in more of God and less of the world. And God responds to our pleas with his glory and grace causing the cares of this world to pale in comparison to the abundance of God’s love. There’s something powerful that takes place when we willingly surrender satisfaction in the world to make space for more of God. God loves to respond to our hunger. In his patience he waits for us to cry out to him to bring us into the fullness of what he has for us. But in his pursuit of us he constantly whispers from his Spirit to ours, beckoning us to give up the rags of this world for the riches that come through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Whether you’re fasting food, entertainment, relationships, or anything else to make space for more of God, the intention of God for fasting is to fill you up to overflow. It’s his intention to realign your life to position you to consistently receive all he has for you. It's his intention to transform the pangs of separation from whatever you're fasting into deep prayers for more of his goodness. May you be honest with yourself and be filled with the desire to fast from that which stands in the way of you fully living the abundant life. “So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.” Ezra 8:23 Nineteenth-century author Andrew Murray once said, "Prayer is reaching out after the unseen; fasting is letting go of all that is seen and temporal. Fasting helps express, deepen, confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God." May you discover the wealth of goodness that accompanies letting go of the weight of this world through fasting. And may your resolve to experience all that God has for you increase, as the cares of the world slip away.
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Jan 25, 2022
In General Discussion
January 25, 2022 New Covenant Provided by the Blood of Christ This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you . . . knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold . . . but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (Luk 22:20 and 1Pe 1:18-19) The well-known Lord's Supper words from Luk 22:20 remind us that the glorious riches of grace found in the new covenant are all purchased by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, as He died on the cross for us. "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you." Customarily, believers in Christ think of forgiveness of sins when they hear these words. Forgiveness is certainly included in the blessings secured by the death of our Lord. Notice, however, that Jesus did not say "this cup is forgiveness in My blood." He said, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood." The new covenant is far more than forgiveness of sins. As previously indicated, the scriptures reveal that the new covenant has three basic areas of blessings. First is the forgiveness of sins. "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more" (Heb 8:12). Second is an intimate relationship with the Lord. "All shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them" (Heb 8:11). Third is an internal work of God producing an increasingly godly life in and through us. "I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts" (Heb 8:10). The word of God further confirms that all of these grand blessings depend upon God's provision, not our performance. "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God" (2Co 3:5). How can it be that such measureless spiritual abundance becomes ours through the new covenant of grace? Well, consider the amazing and effective redemption price paid to establish this new covenant. "Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold . . . but with the precious blood of Christ." This new covenant was not purchased with limited earthly wealth, like silver and gold. Rather, it was paid for by infinite heavenly treasure, the blood of Christ. No wonder the new covenant provides such amazing and effective resources for all who depend upon the One who died for them. One final reflection—realizing all that the cup of the new covenant represents can turn the Lord's Supper from a "religious snack" into a "spiritual feast"! Dear Heavenly Father, You have surely provided for me grace upon grace - - complete forgiveness, intimate relationship, divine enablement! Yet, how could any less be supplied by such a rich price! Lord Jesus, thank You for pouring out Your life's blood to make such irreplaceable necessities available to me. Father, please bring to my remembrance day by day the wondrous riches of the new covenant that You want me to draw upon by faith, through Christ, my Lord, Amen
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