Only in Hearing are We Saved

It’s in the Strait and Narrow
that the waters overflow and grace abounds.
Not in lakes and ponds do waters flood.
But in the rivers
are often floods!
So obey the strait and narrow
in order to gush His waters of grace.

In the pressures of life
are we made right.
By turning us into gold
He does come as Light.
We are His jewels made in the quarry where pressure is much
And beauty and crystal-shine is too.
Under the deep dark, layers of mud and yuck,
and we too in this world of dark
Are to come forth in Light as His jewels.

Though it is never by pressure, trials, or tribulation that we are fully made right.
BUT by His Spirit we are saved.
Those who draw nigh unto Him in trial,
He will also draw nigh unto.
Those who deny His help in trials,
He will also deny.

Let us remember that God was not in the wind, or the earthquake, or the fire.
But it was His voice that Elijah heard alone in the cave.
Here is where He drew nigh,
Here is where he received.
Grace from the Father’s lips,
of mercy, faith, comfort, help, and guidance.
Here is where the Father lived.
In drawing nigh,
Elijah found Rest and Hope in his trial.

The Praise of God

When we seek the praise and approval of man the result is:

Frustration
Grief
Disappointment
Anger
Sin
Fear
Unfulfilled plans
Hurt
Despair

When we look for the praise of God the result is:

Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance
More grace
Filled plans
His Approval
His fellowship
Christ-likeness
Surrender
Hope

So all that you do, do heartily as unto the Lord, because all His promises of new life are sure. Jesus had many doubting Him, questioning Him, and trying to get Him to deny the Father, however, He won the battle by doing only the Father’s will and not man’s. There are many man-made works that we can do, but there will be no peace in it. Don’t sacrifice His peace for man’s peace. It’s counterfeit.

For His Glory Alone

If any of you are like me, you have wondered and asked God the reason of things, whether in hope, or faith, or even doubting, you’ve asked.

I have asked why I was born without a believing family and why still no one is saved *yet.*

Why I remain unmarried…Why I live where I live…About my financial bracket…About probably almost everything….Yes discontentment can arise pretty quick in this mindset!

Though I have found there is no logical explanation other than one reason given to us in the New Testament. If we lean on our own understanding of why things happen or don’t happen, it only brings confusion within. Our peace will leave us. He is our peace. So as we abide and live in Him, peace in all areas of life will come. When we hold on to these things above, we are left in sin because of unbelief.

When Lazarus was sick, Jesus said it was for one thing, “the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” (Jn. 11:4) It was not because of sin. It is not mentioned any where that Lazarus was sick because of sin or because of his lack of faith. There was NO other reason, other than for “the glory of God.” So when we ask why the Lord has allowed certain things to happen in our lives, we can lean upon this truth, that it is for the glory of God that the Son of God will be glorified.

Though it’s okay to ask why some times, or if the Lord is allowing it to happen for a reason. But often the thing is used to learn of Him. Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered. This is true for us as well. The circumstances we endure, which are not always ideal or desired, are used by Him to conform us into His image, for His glory! This is why we can say “Hallelujah” in our circumstances. Because there is always joy in our salvation. And it is often by His ordained circumstances that we can learn to walk in His grace in these circumstances.

In another situation, a man was born blind. So the question is asked, “Did his parents sin?” (Jn. 9:3) He was born blind for “the works of God.” We too are born blind but are given purpose to prove the work of God. What a glorious calling in life! Many of us are proud and like to prove ourselves to others. Let us instead “prove the work of God,” that He is able to make us stand in the righteousness of Christ.

So let everything in your life be for His glory alone and not for anything else on this earth.

 

What is your “chief joy”?

Ps. 137:6,7 If I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy……May my right hand forget her skill. May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth. (May their song to the Lord leave them.)

In this Psalm, the Israelites were in captivity. Their captors told them to sing one of their songs, but they almost questioned it. “How can they in this foreign place?” But their joy was not in their circumstances, but in the Holy City, Jerusalem.

Even things in this earth can increase our joy. Why is this? Is Jesus really “all and all”? Is joy in Him so full and overflowing, there is no more room for more joy? “Whom in Heaven do I have but Thee”

Where was Paul’s Joy?

3Jn_1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (In those he ministered to walking in the truth)

Jas_1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; (Not in circumstances.)

Phm_1:7  For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother. (The refreshing and love of the brethren.)

1Th_2:19  For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? (The brethren walking in the Lord’s Presence)

Php_4:1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. (Other brothers and sisters)

Php_2:2  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. (Knowing the Brethren walk in the same love, and mind)

Rom_15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. (the Holy Spirit)

Paul’s joy was in deep communion with the Father, and doing His will. And as Jesus said, “being about His Father’s business.”

A Lesson From Baking

Upon making these Paleo Spice Muffins this morning…..

muffin1

They look good don’t they!

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup”

Oh but the disappointment to follow!

muffin2

There is no filling! No meat! No depth!

Heb_5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

If you are hungry and seek meat that is filling this is what Jesus says, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” Jn. 4:34

This is what set apart the Pharisees from the disciples. His disciples “followed Him” whereever He went and did the things which He taught (Jn. 8:31). The Pharisees stumbled in the darkness at His words of phophecy.

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.

Malachi 4:1-3

“For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the LORD of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.”

“But for you who fear My name the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.

“And you will tread down the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,” says the LORD of hosts.

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

Do the Next Thing

“When I went back to my jungle station after the death of my first husband, Jim Elliot, I was faced with many confusions and uncertainties. I had a good many new roles, besides that of being a single parent and a widow. I was alone on a jungle station that Jim and I had manned together. I had to learn to do all kinds of things, which I was not trained or prepared in any way to do. It was a great help to me simply to do the next thing.

Have you had the experience of feeling as if you’ve got far too many burdens to bear, far too many people to take care of, far too many things on your list to do? You just can’t possibly do it, and you get in a panic and you just want to sit down and collapse in a pile and feel sorry for yourself.

Well, I’ve felt that way a good many times in my life, and I go back over and over again to an old Saxon legend, which I’m told is carved in an old English parson somewhere by the sea. I don’t know where this is. But this is a poem which was written about that legend. The legend is “Do the next thing.” And it’s spelled in what I suppose is Saxon spelling. “D-O-E” for “do,” “the,” and then next, “N-E-X-T.” “Thing”-“T-H-Y-N-G-E.” ”

Elisabeth Elliot

Do The Next Thing
From an old English parsonage,
Down by the sea,
There came in the twilight,
A message to me;
Its quaint Saxon legend,
Deeply engraven,
Hath, as it seems to me,
Teaching from Heaven.
And on through the hours
The quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration-
DO THE NEXT THING
Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment,
Let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity,
Guidance, are given.
Fear not tomorrows,
Child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus,
DO THE NEXT THING
Do it immediately;
Do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence,
Tracing His Hand,
Who placed it before thee with
Earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence,
Safe ‘neath His wing,
Leave all resultings,
DO THE NEXT THING
Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
(Working or suffering)
Be thy demeanor,
In His dear presence,
The rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance
Be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness,
Praise and sing,
Then, as He beckons thee,
DO THE NEXT THING
-Author unknown