My Own Fault By Elisabeth Elliot

Someone who is suffering as a result of his own foolishness or failure may read these words. These griefs are hard indeed to bear, for we feel we might easily have avoided them. We have no one to blame but ourselves, and there isn’t much consolation there. Sometimes we imagine that we must bear this kind of trouble alone, but that is a mistake. The Lamb of God, slain for us, has borne all of our griefs and carried all of our sorrows, no matter what their origin. All grief and sorrow is the result of sin somewhere along the line, but Christ received them willingly. It is nothing but pride that keeps me from asking Him to help me to bear the troubles which are my own fault.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, take away mine.

I take Him at His word indeed,
Christ died for sinners–this I read–
And in my heart I find a need
Of Him to be my Savior.
– (Dora Greenwell)

HIM!

(By Frank Hall)

“Oh that I knew where I might find HIM!” Job 23:3

Job’s cattle were taken from him.
His children were all killed.
His flesh was covered with terrible boils.
His wife treated him as a stranger.
Even young children despised him.

But Job did not exclaim, “Oh that I knew where I might find my donkeys, oxen, and sheep! Oh that my wife would have compassion on me! Oh that my children were restored to my care!” Though every earthly support had been stripped from him, Job did not groan after the earthly things that he had lost. Job longed after one thing only, the one thing needful–HIM!

“I miss my children and love my wife, but I can live without either. These boils are tormenting my flesh, but I’ll manage. I will survive without my servants, my cattle, and the respect of my companions–but I can’t survive without Him! Take what you will O Lord, but don’t take Him! Oh that I knew where I might find Him!”

The Universal Answer
The answer to every trouble, every question, and every difficulty in life is exactly the same–HIM! He is . . .
the Solution to every problem,
the Key that unlocks every door,
the Sun that illuminates our path,
the Light that dispels the darkness within,
the Physician that heals our sin-sick, broken hearts,
the Nurse that dresses the soldier’s wounds in bandages of grace,
the Bed of Rest for the heavy laden sinner,
the Way of Escape for those who are tempted and tried.

We bring upon ourselves needless misery and pain, when we lean on the arm of the flesh for support. We subject ourselves to unnecessary disappointment when we run to and fro seeking assistance from the helpless helpers of this world.

Free salvation and almighty strength are in Him!
Undying support and eternal satisfaction are in Him!
Heavenly comfort and divine consolation, along with legions of other nameless blessings are all in Him!

The answer to all of your problems, my troubled friend, is not within, but without! Do not run to family or friends for help–they are . . .
wells without water,
leaky cisterns,
helpless helpers,
and broken crutches.
They may help you with financial trouble, but not with soul trouble.

The solution to every problem is always the same–Him! Oh that you knew your need of Him!

Hope in His Promises

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. Ps. 118:8 NIV

Do it! Choose Jesus Christ! Deny yourself, take up the Cross, and follow Him–for the world must be shown. The world must see, in us, a discernible, visible, startling difference.

Put your trust in Him. Not in people or circumstances or dreams or programs or plans, not in any human notion of what will or won’t happen, but in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, of Daniel and all the others–the God whose Son went through the darkest valleys so that you and I might be saved.
If somebody was willing to give his life for you, would you trust Him? Of course you would. Jesus loved you then. He loves you now. He’ll be loving you every minute of every hour of every day of the rest of your life, and no matter what happens, nothing can separate you from that love. I know it’s true. I have found that sure and steadfast Refuge in my Lord and Savior–the only real safety–the Everlasting Arms! I’ve walked with God a long time. I know He keeps His promises.

Elisabeth Elliot

Secure in the Everlasting Arms

A Prayer for the Church

Written by Charles Spurgeon

“Once more we pray that You will bless Your church. Lord, quicken the spiritual lives of Your believers. You have given to Your church great activity, for which we thank You. May that activity be supported by a corresponding inner life. Do not let us get busy here and there with Martha, and forget to sit at Your feet with Mary (Luke 10:39-42). Lord, restore to Your church the love of strong doctrine. May Your truth yet prevail. Purge out from among Your church those who would lead others away from the truth as it is in Jesus, and give back the old power and something more. Give us Pentecost–yes, many Pentecosts in one–and may we live to see Your church shine forth as clear as the sun, as fair as the moon, and as ‘terrible as an army with banners’ (Song 6:4).”

Quotes by Thomas Watson

God’s people have no charter of exemption from trouble in this life.
While the wicked are kept in sugar–the godly are often kept in brine.
  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
sick bed often teaches more than a sermon.
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We can best see the ugly visage of sin, in the looking-glass of affliction.
  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
What if we have more of the rough file–if we have less rust!
Afflictions carry away nothing but the dross of sin.
  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Time is short (1 Corinthians 7:29). If our lives are short–then our trials cannot be long.
  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Afflictions quicken our pace in the way to Heaven.
Though the cross is heavy–we have but a little way to carry it.
  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Affliction is the touch-stone of sincerity. “You, O God, have proved us; You have tried us as silver is tried . . . You laid afflictionupon us” (Psalm 66:10, 11). Hypocrites may embrace religion in prosperity–but he is a true Christian who will keep close to God in a time of suffering. “All this is come upon us–yet have we not forgotten You!” (Psalm 44:17).
  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
The stones which are cut out for a building are first hewn and squared. The godly are called “living stones” (1 Peter 2:5). God first hews and polishes them by affliction–that they may be fit for the heavenly building. The house of bondage prepares for the house not made with hands.
  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Afflictions on the godly make them better–but afflictions on the wicked make them worse. The godly pray more (Psalm 130:1). The wicked blaspheme more, “Men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God” (Rev. 16:9).
  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Affliction of the godly is like bruising spices, which are most sweet and fragrant.
Affliction of the wicked is like pounding weeds, which makes them more unsavory.
  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
When affliction or death comes to a wicked man, it takes away his soul.
When it comes to a godly man, it only takes away his sin, “We are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world” (1 Corinthians 11:32).
Affliction works out sin–and works in grace.
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It is one heart-quieting consideration, in all the afflictions that befall us, that God has a special hand in them: “The Almighty has afflicted me!” (Ruth 1:21).
Instruments can no more stir until God gives them a commission–than the axe can cut of itself without a hand.
Job eyed God in his affliction–he does not say, “The Lord gave–and the devil took away;” but “The Lord gave–and the Lord has taken away.” Whoever brings an affliction to us, it is God who sends it.
~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Afflictions work for good. “It is good for me that I have been afflicted” (Psalm 119:71). Joseph’s brethren throw him into a pit; afterwards they sell him; then he is cast into prison–yet all this worked for his good. “You thought evil against me–but God meant it unto good!”
  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
King Manasseh was bound in chains; this was sad to see–a crown of gold, exchanged for fetters. But it wrought for his good, for, “So the LORD sent the commanders of the Assyrian armies, and they took Manasseh prisoner. They put a ring through his nose, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon. But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the LORD his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed, the LORD listened to him and was moved by his request. So the LORD brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the LORD alone is God!” (2 Chr. 33:11-13)
Manasseh was more indebted to his iron chain, than to his golden crown!
The one made him proud–the other made him humble.
~  ~  ~  ~  ~
God sweetens outward pain, with inward peace.
“Your sorrow shall be turned into joy” (John 16:20).
God’s afflicting rod has honey at the end of it.
  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
David says, “My times are in Your hand” (Psalm 31:15).
If our times were in our own hand–we would have deliverance too soon.
If they were in our enemy’s hand–we would have deliverance too late.
But my times are in God’s hand–and God’s time is ever best.
Deliverance may tarry beyond our time; but it will not tarry beyond God’s time.
  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Afflictions work for good, as they conform us to Christ. His life was a series of sufferings, “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). He wept, and bled.
Was His head crowned with thorns–and do we think to be crowned with roses? 
It is good to be like Christ–though it be by sufferings.
  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
God loves a thankful Christian. Job thanked God when He took all away: “The Lord has taken away–blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). Many will thank God when He gives, Job thanks Him when He takes away, because he knew God would work good out of it.
~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Every bird can sing in spring–but some birds will sing in the dead of winter.
A Christian will bless God, not only in the spring–but in the winter of affliction.
  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
“His mercies are new every morning” (Lam. 3:23). Mercy comes in as constantly as the tide; nay, how many tides of mercy do we see in one day!
We never eat–but mercy carves every bit to us;
we never drink–but in the golden cup of mercy;
we never go abroad–but mercy guards our steps;
we never lie down in bed–but mercy draws the curtains of protection close around us.
Shall we receive so many good things at the hand of God–and shall we not receive evil? (Job 2:10)
  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Our mercies far outweigh our afflictions.
For one affliction–we have a thousand mercies!
The sea of God’s mercy swallows up a few drops of affliction!
  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Affliction quickens the spirit of prayer. Jonah was asleep in the ship–but at prayer in the whale’s belly! Perhaps in a time of health and prosperity we pray in a cold and formal manner, we put no coals to the incense; we scarcely minded our own prayers, and how should God mind them?
Then God sends some cross or other affliction to make us take hold of Him. “They poured out a prayer, when Your chastening hand was upon them!” (Isaiah 26:15); now their prayer pierced the heavens! In times of trouble, we pray earnestly and fervently.
~  ~  ~  ~  ~
When God puts His children to the school of the cross, He deals with them tenderly.
He will not lay a giant’s burden upon a child’s back.
Nor will He stretch the strings of the instrument too much, lest they should break.
If God sees it good to strike with one hand–He will support with the other.
Either He will make our faith stronger–or render the yoke lighter.
  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
God loves His people, when He is giving the bitter drink of affliction.
God’s rod and God’s love–they both stand together.
Let us feel God’s hand–so that we may have His heart.
  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Afflictions add to the saints’ glory.
The more the diamond is cut–the more it sparkles.
The heavier the saints’ cross is–the heavier shall be their crown!

Stick to Your Particular Ministry by Zac Poonen

In Chapter 2 of Ezekiel, we see a man who is totally under God’s authority. The Lord said to him, “Stand up. I want to speak to you.” The Spirit came into Ezekiel as God spoke and set him on his feet. The Lord said, “Listen carefully. I am sending you to the nation of Israel.”

As we wait upon God, though we may not hear an audible voice like Ezekiel did, it is possible to have just as real and as certain a sense of calling and a sense of God sending us as Ezekiel had. It may take time.

When I started my ministry, I did not know immediately what my ministry was going to be. But as the years went by, I began to discover what it was. Now as I look back, I find fulfilment. But I know so many people who have tried to drag me away from the ministry God had called me to.

The Lord says, “I am sending you with a particular ministry.” It is very important that you learn to wait upon God and hear what God is speaking to you and what He has called you for. Sometimes you might choose God’s second best.

I remember, about 30 years ago, when I was in a lot of financial difficulty – I didn’t have much at that time – a Christian organisation invited me to be its director and offered me a good salary, a free car, free telephone, free house, etc., etc., if I accepted their offer. It was a Western organisation working in India. I said, “No. I can’t do that because even though I am in need, God has not called me to sit behind a desk and be an administrator. God has called me to go around preaching the Word.” I am so thankful that I did not accept their offer. It was a temptation – not a temptation to sin, but to choose something God had not called me to. When I look back now, I can see that if I had accepted their offer, I would not have sinned. I would still have been serving the Lord, but not in the ministry that God had planned for me.

I want you to realize that God has a specific task for you. It is wonderful to realize that truth when you are young. Wait on the Lord and say, “Lord, show me Your perfect plan for me.” It won’t become clear in one day. But over a period of years, it will become clearer and clearer. And as it becomes clear to you, stick to it at any cost – and you won’t have any regret when you stand before the Lord one day.

Like Seed Corn by Amy Carmichael

Luk 13:18,19 Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.

Joh_12:24,25  Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

As the seed corn sheddeth on the threshingfloor
That which once was precious–needed now no more–
So the nearest, dearest that would hold in thrall
Let Thy winnowing fingers loosen:
     Love by Lord of all.

As the seed corn falleth in the quiet ground;
As it lieth hidden, with no stir nor sound–
So would I, Thy seed corn, deep in stillness fall,
That of me there may be nothing:
     Thou be All in all.

As the seed corn springeth lowly at Thy feet–
Spear of green uplifteth, yieldeth ear of wheat–
So in tender mercy, though the seed by small,
Let it bring forth Thy glory
Who are Lord of all.

What Grace Does

… Then a new set of eyes (so to speak) will develop within us, enabling us to be looking at Jesus while our outward eyes are seeing the scenes of this passing world . . . 

–A.W. Tozer

Therefore…..

“Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died.
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.”
– Fanny Crosby
Rom 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Fruit only comes by Marriage

I often hear so much about good works… Good works, good works, good works. We must have good works! And yes of course we do! But even the prophets are judged by their FRUIT! Not by good works.

So it seems to me, to truly know a follower of Jesus, it is by their fruit that we shall judge. Perhaps it is only by true marriage to the Lamb that true, genuine fruits are possible. When someone is truly walking in that deep intimacy with the Lord, they are unmoved by situation and circumstance which can make our boats move to knock out bad fruit!

If we are not wholly rooted in the ground with Christ, our roots are not deep. Good fruit does not usually grow with shallow roots! And they are more overcome by the weather and wind.

So let us seek FRUIT, not good works alone, and judge our spiritual walk by fruit, not good works. Our good works should come out of a life ridden with much fruit.

“Have you ever noticed the difference in the Christian life between work and fruit? A machine can do work: only life can bear fruit. A law can compel work: only love can spontaneously bring forth fruit. Work implies effort and labor: the essential idea of fruit is that it is the silent natural restful produce of our inner life. The gardener may labor to give his apple tree the digging and manuring, the watering and the pruning it needs; he can do nothing to produce the apple: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, peace, joy.” The healthy life bears much fruit. The connection between work and fruit is perhaps best seen in the expression, “fruitful in every good work.” (Col. 1.10). It is only when good works come as the fruit of the indwelling Spirit that they are acceptable to God. Under the compulsion of law and conscience, or the influence of inclination and zeal, men may be most diligent in good works, and yet find that they have but little spiritual result. There can be no reason but this—their works are man’s effort, instead of being the fruit of the Spirit, the restful, natural outcome of the Spirit’s operation within us.” – Andrew Murray

“I Will”

A friend recently reminded me of a poem by Amy Carmichael, that spoke to my heart. “In Acceptance Lieth Peace.” It is not by what we do, by striving, by working things up…It is by Him, believing in His path to glory that we find peace and rest. Our life is not our own. The Lord has many promises which will lead us there by faith as the Israelites to Canaan. Below is also a promise.

“I will!” is what he says so MANY times in the Scriptures, let us believe and “fully rest upon Jehovah.”

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November 6 – I will pour water on the thirsty land. – Isaiah 44:3

From the pen of Charles Spurgeon:

When believers fall into a sad, depressed state, they often try to lift themselves from it by bombarding themselves with even more dark and depressing fears. Yet doing so is not the way to rise from the dust but is only a way to continue in it. Instead they should chain their depression and doubt to “wings like eagles” (Isa. 40:31) and thereby increase their sense of God’s grace. It is not the law but the gospel that initially saves a seeking soul, and it is not legal bondage but gospel liberty that can restore a believer’s fainting heart after salvation. Submission to legalistic fear will not restore a backslider to God, but the wooing of God’s love to return to Jesus’ sweet embrace will.

Believer, are you thirsty this morning for the living God and unhappy because He is no longer the delight of your heart? Have you lost the joy of your faith and has your prayer become: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation” (Ps. 51:12)? Are you also aware that you are as barren and dry as “the thirsty land,” that you are not bearing as much fruit for God that He has a right to expect from you, and that you are not as useful in the church or in the world as your heart desires to be?

If so, then here is the exact promise you need: “I will pour water on the thirsty land.” You will receive enough grace for each of your needs, enough to fully satisfy each and every one. Just as water refreshes the thirsty, you will be spiritually refreshed and your desires will be fulfilled. Just as water brings drooping plants back to life, your life will be enlivened by fresh grace. Water causes the buds of plants to swell and causes their fruit to ripen. And God’s fruit-bearing grace will make you fruitful in His ways so you will enjoy every good quality of divine grace to the full once again. You will receive all the riches of God’s grace in abundance as though you were drenched in it. You will be like meadows flooded by overflowing rivers and fields that are turned into pools. Your “thirsty land” will become “flowing streams” (Isa. 44:4).