Taken from the daily devotional, "Days of Praise." This meditational though is written byHenry Morris of the Institute for Creation Research. Learn more at www.icr.org
“And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.” (2 Samuel 15:30)
The Mount of Olives overlooks Jerusalem from the east. This first reference to it notes the sad occasion when King David had to flee Jerusalem for his life, escaping the conspiracy of his estranged son Absalom.
Just as David wept over Jerusalem as he left it, so would his greater son, Jesus, a thousand years later, weep over the city as He entered it from Mount Olivet (Luke 19:37, 41). It was there that He gave the great prophecy of His second coming (Matthew 24:3). It was also there He went with His disciples after the last supper, and there He agonized in prayer, alone, in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:26, 32). Finally, after His death and resurrection, it was from the Mount of Olives that He ascended back into heaven (Acts 1:10-12).
This is far from the end of the story, however. The Mount of Olives has an amazing role yet to play in the world’s future, according to a prophecy given long ago. “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, . . . And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south” (Zechariah 14:1, 4). Instead of a mountain there will be a valley, and “living waters shall go out from Jerusalem” (v. 8). Instead of a mountain for weeping there will be a stream of rejoicing, and “the LORD shall be king over all the earth” (v. 9).
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say his flesh; and having a high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:19-22
In Hebrews 4, we also have God tell us this, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." How can we have such boldness before an all holy and truly great God? There is only one way: through the blood of Christ. Without this we could have no boldness at all. We could only come before Him with horror at what might befall us. In the times of the Tabernacle and Temple of God in Jerusalem. The high priest would enter into the holiest once a year. This room separated by a thick veil was where the Ark of the Covenant was located. Seated upon this Ark was God himself. At one point during King David's reign the Ark was being brought back upon a cart. The cart was shaken by the oxen and David's friend, Uzzah, took hold of it and he died. This is what the high priest would face in this once a year entering in. It is said that they would tie a rope and to the priest that if he were to die as Uzzah did, others could pull him out without entering in! It is hard for us to
How different it is for us now that Jesus has shed His blood for us! We can enter boldly, and not once a year but all the time! Why do we hesitate to enter into this holy place with God? It is not horror as the high priest of old. It is sadly our own lack of interest in our great God and creator. May this year be a year not of occasional time with God but oftentimes with Him! The veil is torn in two and there is no longer a barrier to keep us from Him for those who have trusted Him, the Saviour, Jesus Christ. Humble yourselves in the sight of God and come! You are accepted not because of what you have done, but because of what He has done for you! When you enter in you can ask for mercy because of sins and He will give it! You can ask for grace to help, He will give it! There is no fear of God killing you off because you enter into His presence for His glory and your help.
Question: What keeps you from coming boldly to the throne of Christ?
"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;" ~ Ephesians 2:1
You - Paul is the scribe of this letter and he is writing it to the church in Ephesus. This by extension would mean that God is speaking to all who are saved today as well.
he hath - this wonderful word! This speaks of God's great ability. It means the past work, in this case of God. There is nothing that God is incapable of doing and in this case it is a miracle what he has done!
quickened - in this instance this means that God gave us our being, "we are, when we weren't." God is able to take something that isn't and make it something that is. Quickening is always a miracle because nothing and no one but God can take nothing and make something. Here God makes us alive from the dead. He by saving us makes us alive!
who were - there is a proper description of who we were before God did this quickening work...
dead - we were dead. We were without God or apart from Him. We were not joined with God, we were without. We were dead.
in trespasses - the reason for our being without is trespasses. I have committed trespasses. I have deviated from God. I have decided to leave Him and His way. I was dead because of me.
and sins - again it is my sins that have separated me from God. I have missed the mark.
Praise the Lord for His wonderful work. I was dead and now I am alive by His work. I trespassed against Him and yet he loved me (vs. 4) and made me alive! Today, if you have come to Jesus Christ, would you remember this great work he has done. It is a true miracle! Also remember that all that we are is because of Him. We have nothing to boast in except Him. We have free entrance into His presence because of what He did for us. If he did not we would be forever and perilously barred from Him. In thinking about these verses, Oswald Chambers wrote,
"We must never allow the idea that because we have been obedient, because our need is great, because we long for it, therefore God will hear us. There is only one way into the holiest, and that is by the blood of Jesus."
He has made us a being, not dead but alive, and therefore we can enter boldly before Him. Enter boldly today brethren!
Only ye shall not go very far away."—Exodus 8:28.
THIS is a crafty word from the lip of the arch-tyrant Pharaoh. If the poor bondaged Israelites must needs go out of Egypt, then he bargains with them that it shall not be very far away; not too far for them to escape the terror of his arms, and the observation of his spies. After the same fashion, the world loves not the non-conformity of nonconformity, or the dissidence of dissent, it would have us be more charitable and not carry matters with too severe a hand. Death to the world, and burial with Christ, are experiences which carnal minds treat with ridicule, and hence the ordinance which sets them forth is almost universally neglected, and even contemned. Worldly wisdom recommends the path of compromise, and talks of "moderation." According to this carnal policy, purity is admitted to be very desirable, but we are warned against being too precise; truth is of course to be followed, but error is not to be severely denounced. "Yes," says the world, "be spiritually minded by all means, but do not deny yourself a little gay society, an occasional ball, and a Christmas visit to a theatre. What's the good of crying down a thing when it is so fashionable, and everybody does it?" Multitudes of professors yield to this cunning advice, to their own eternal ruin. If we would follow the Lord wholly, we must go right away into the wilderness of separation, and leave the Egypt of the carnal world behind us. We must leave its maxims, its pleasures, and its religion too, and go far away to the place where the Lord calls His sanctified ones. When the town is on fire, our house cannot be too far from the flames. When the plague is abroad, a man cannot be too far from its haunts. The further from a viper the better, and the further from worldly conformity the better. To all true believers let the trumpet-call be sounded, "Come ye out from among them, be ye separate."
Behold! May God bless us by letting us see intently His great love. His love calls us sons and daughters of His. We! We who were at enmity with Him. We whose sin reveals not love but disdain. We had no good affection for Him as our creator but worshipped the creature instead. What amazing love! Lord, help us to behold your love for us. Lord, how we have failed to be pure and holy. Help us today to purify ourselves that we may be prepared for that day when we see you!
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord , the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
The Lord tells us in Galatians 6:9 to "be not weary." Yet the Lord also knows that our flesh grows weary and we are apt to quit doing His will. How can God command something that our flesh is incapable of? Does He want to drive us into the ground like a prisoner at a Siberian labor camp. Of course we know this is not within God's character. He does not grow weary like we do. He is the "Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, that fainteth not, neither is weary!" Oh how we must be reminded of this each day! Without this reminder we will either live at ease, never laboring in prayer, never seeking and doing God's will, never doing good to all men especially to those who are of the household of faith; or we will labor until we are ragged and quit with bitter and untrue thoughts about God.
No person is limitless in strength and power. Young people at their peak will faint and get frustrated and utterly fall. This fall is brought on by pride, thinking that there is a capability of doing the work of God because of youth, strength, intelligence, or training. God's work cannot be done without God.
Wonderfully He giveth more strength! I think all of God's children have come to the end of our rope trying to please our Father in doing His will. I am glad He does not leave us to pick ourselves up and continue wearily lest we be whipped. Rather He says come to Me who never loses His power. He says, "wait upon me and I will renew your strength." This time though it will not be the limited strength of our flesh but the limitless strength of God.
It is important to remember that our waiting is not once for a lifetime of strength. We wait everyday for strength for today. This morning, wait on the Lord to give you His strength. You will be able to do all He would have you to do today. Wait I say on the Lord!
But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.
Job, in responding to his friend, declares that the creation of the Lord speaks to us of His work in our lives. Of course the lower creatures do not speak with language but they most certainly declare the glory of the Lord. Job was experiencing more loss and heartache than any person ever has. I believe he looked to the creation of God and found some encouragement. His creation proves He cares because of its beauty, order, and vastness. His creation can speak to you too. Look, smell, touch, and even taste it and then think about how it all works. You will be praising God for His work very soon.
I do not believe you need a doctorate in order to scientifically observe God's amazing creation. Last night at church we worked through these statements of Job and we were encouraged in the Lord.
1) Ask now the beasts and it shall teach thee. We thought on the ants amazing ability to pick up and move objects many times their bodyweight. Also spiders which use several types of thread to design their web. And the giraffe that could not drink water without an ability to unconsciously have its huge heart stop as it bends its neck down. If it didn't the blood vessels in its brain would rupture due to incredible pressure. Of course I've never observed this but it is true! What observations have you made of God's amazing creatures.
2) And the fowls of the air , and they shall tell thee. Have you considered the ingenuity of Canadian geese that fly in a V formation. This allows them to fly incredible distances by sharing the drag of the air as they alternate the front position. The woodpecker which can use great force to pick into trees and yet doesn't suffer concussions. It also has a very long tongue that wraps around its skull. It uses this tongue to reach into trees to capture bugs. The hummingbird is remarkable, several folks have these birds come back every year to great delight. Have you ever been taught by birds?
3) Talk to the earth, and shall teach thee. In everything except God's creation if their is symmetry, design is assumed. Have you considered the symmetry of leaves, flowers, and so many other things. The symmetry of these things help define their beauty. The process of photosynthesis is amazing and all of the parts of the process have to work or there would be no plants. The very dirt we walk on is designed just right for life to exist. What things on the earth lead you to remember the greatness of God.
4) The fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. The nautilus is an amazing creation. It moves through the ocean by filling and emptying chambers in its shell. Jules Verne's, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, has a submarine called, The Nautilus, and submarines today work using this design. Breathing with gills is another life system that would not work without many parts working together perfectly. It is far from simple and no inventor has recreated it. What part of God's wonderful watery creation has spoken to you?
The Lord's creation is truly remarkable! If you have had trials and difficulties in your life and have struggled to praise and worship the Lord Jesus Christ. Look and let His creation speak to you. It will change your life!
The nautilus move by filling and emptying chambers in its shell. Modern submarines use this same design.
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. Ephesians 5:1, 2
The Lord has made it possible for all who have received Him to follow in HIs footsteps. This shows God's truly remarkable grace. As some are overwhelmed at the prospect of following in the footsteps of a father who has accomplished much we should be overwhelmed by the prospect of following in the footsteps of our Heavenly Father who created all things and is holy beyond compare. Yet He has made it possible and wants us to do so!
Notice the word followers in Ephesians 5:1 and the word walk in Ephesians 5:2. When we follow we go forward step by step with another person. In order to walk we must take steps. The Lord is telling us to follow in His footsteps.
We know that this figure of speech is speaking of living our lives as one who has gone before has. How do we live our lives as God does? Notice: One, we are his children. Truly the relationship that is most appropriate for following in another's footsteps is Father and Child. The Bible tells us in John 1:12 that, "But as many received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." If you have received Jesus Christ as your Saviour, you are His child. Two, we are His dear children. In other places this word is translated, wellbeloved. We are not despised children, illegitimate children, abandoned children, or beaten children. We are God's children, wellbeloved! God's love for us is more than we can comprehend. We often say to our children, "I love you more than you know." This may be true but this is most certainly true of God's love for us. Notice in Ephesians 5:2, Christ loved us an offered himself for us that we may be a sweetsmelling savour to Him.
With this as our foundation God says, "Walk in love." In order to follow in His footsteps, we must love others as He loves us. When we are mean-spirited or self-serving with our wives we are not following in our God's footsteps. When we treat our children as servants rather than raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, we are not following in our God's footsteps. When we look down upon and are unfriendly to a fellow church member because they have been caught in sin we are not following in our God's footsteps. The list of our steps and missteps as God's children in this world are infinite. The truth that God would have us follow in His steps is overwhelming. Certainly God will have to be merciful to us. He has given numerous promises that He is merciful! (I John 1:9, Lamentations 3:22, 23, Luke 7:39-50, etc.) By God's grace we can walk with Him today!
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Saturday, March 05, 2016
This Morning's Meditation
C. H. Spurgeon
"Let us not sleep, as do others."—1 Thessalonians 5:6.
THERE are many ways of promoting Christian wakefulness. Among the rest, let me strongly advise Christians to converse together concerning the ways of the Lord. Christian and Hopeful, as they journeyed towards the Celestial City, said to themselves, "To prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse." Christian enquired, "Brother, where shall we begin?" And Hopeful answered, "Where God began with us." Then Christian sang this song—
"When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,
And hear how these two pilgrims talk together;
Yea, let them learn of them, in any wise,
Thus to keep open their drowsy slumb'ring eyes.
Saints' fellowship, if it be managed well,
Keeps them awake, and that in spite of hell."
Christians who isolate themselves and walk alone, are very liable to grow drowsy. Hold Christian company, and you will be kept wakeful by it, and refreshed and encouraged to make quicker progress in the road to heaven. But as you thus take "sweet counsel" with others in the ways of God, take care that the theme of your converse is the Lord Jesus. Let the eye of faith be constantly looking unto Him; let your heart be full of Him; let your lips speak of His worth. Friend, live near to the cross, and thou wilt not sleep. Labour to impress thyself with a deep sense of the value of the place to which thou art going. If thou rememberest that thou art going to heaven, thou wilt not sleep on the road. If thou thinkest that hell is behind thee, and the devil pursuing thee, thou wilt not loiter. Would the manslayer sleep with the avenger of blood behind him, and the city of refuge before him? Christian, wilt thou sleep whilst the pearly gates are open—the songs of angels waiting for thee to join them—a crown of gold ready for thy brow? Ah! no; in holy fellowship continue to watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation.
This devotional is by the late Adrian Rogers' "Love Worth Finding." Find this daily devotional and many more tools for worship on our website. www.woodriverbc.org
“And when evening was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and He alone on the land. And He saw them toiling in rowing … and … He cometh unto them, walking upon the sea …” - Mark 6:47
Jesus’ disciples were way out in the sea, and Jesus was on the shore. But He saw them toiling and rowing. He never took His eyes off them.
Are you in the midst of a storm? Did you know He sees you right now? You say, “He doesn’t know where I am. He doesn’t know this difficulty. Why is He so far away? Why am I in the storm and He is on the shore?” Friend, He is there, and He’s praying for you. He’s up there on the mountain looking down. He sees right through the dark. You can’t see Him, but He sees you. You can say, “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”
My advice for you in the midst of your storm is to see Jesus, the great I AM, and see Him walking on the water. And that thing that looks like it’s going to be over your head is already under His feet. You’re seated in the heavenlies with Him. And you can’t drown with your head above water. He is the great I AM. You can put it down: you are guarded by His power.
From Charles Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening" devotional. You can find this and many other tools to meet with the Lord each day on our website.
Charles H. Spurgeon
"For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ."—2 Corinthians 1:5.
HERE is a blessed proportion. The Ruler of Providence bears a pair of scales—in this side He puts His people's trials, and in that He puts their consolations. When the scale of trial is nearly empty, you will always find the scale of consolation in nearly the same condition; and when the scale of trials is full, you will find the scale of consolation just as heavy. When the black clouds gather most, the light is the more brightly revealed to us. When the night lowers and the tempest is coming on, the Heavenly Captain is always closest to His crew. It is a blessed thing, that when we are most cast down, then it is that we are most lifted up by the consolations of the Spirit. One reason is, becausetrials make more room for consolation. Great hearts can only be made by great troubles. The spade of trouble digs the reservoir of comfort deeper, and makes more room for consolation. God comes into our heart—He finds it full—He begins to break our comforts and to make it empty; then there is more room for grace. The humbler a man lies, the more comfort he will always have, because he will be more fitted to receive it. Another reason why we are often most happy in our troubles, is this—then we have the closest dealings with God. When the barn is full, man can live without God: when the purse is bursting with gold, we try to do without so much prayer. But once take our gourds away, and we want our God; once cleanse the idols out of the house, then we are compelled to honour Jehovah. "Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord." There is no cry so good as that which comes from the bottom of the mountains; no prayer half so hearty as that which comes up from the depths of the soul, through deep trials and afflictions. Hence they bring us to God, and we are happier; for nearness to God is happiness. Come, troubled believer, fret not over your heavy troubles, for they are the heralds of weighty mercies.
Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah. Psalms 61:1-4
As we continue on the path that God leads his children we at times find ourselves overwhelmed by the difficulty and peril before us. We, like Pilgrim in Pilgrim's Progress, are tempted to turn back. This beautiful and needed Psalm is a reminder, not to turn back, but to go up to the "Rock that is higher than I." This Rock is the Lord Jesus Christ. No peril for us is perilous for our Lord. No difficulty is difficult for Him. No responsibility is impossible to accomplish for Him. Go to Him this day. Go quickly and He will show you that He is not overwhelmed and what comfort and peace we will have. We will be able to say with the hymnist, "whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul!"
1. I Must Be Saved vs. 15
2. I Must Be Counted Faithful vs. 12
To God’s Word
To Humility Before God
To The Body of Christ
3. I Must Be Enabled vs. 12
4. I Will Show The Glory of God In My Life vs. 16