Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; Fear before Him, all the earth.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
O worship the King all glorious above. O gratefully sing his pow’r and HIs love; Our shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days, Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.” Robert Grant 1833 ~ Based on Psalm 104
Unbelievers sometimes ask this question contemptuously, while believers may ask it when overwhelmed by tragedy, trial, and sorrow.
WHERE IS GOD?
Let the Bible tell you.
God is above us.
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust.” Psalm 91:1, 4
God is beneath us.
The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27
God is before us.
And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night. Exodus 13:21;
God is behind us.
And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21
God is around us.
Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7
God is with us.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10 (Scripture Tune)
Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Matthew 28:20
God is within us.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16
Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 1 John 4:13
Take time to meditate on these references and be assured that whatever your circumstances, if you are His child by the birth of His Holy Spirit, the Lord your God is above, beneath, before, behind, around, with, and within you.
Gracious Father, we thank you for your promise to never leave us, nor forsake you; that your presence with us will bring us through whatever we must endure in this life. We praise you that in Christ, we are filled with your grace and wrapped in your glory, now and forever. In Jesus’ name, we thank you and praise you. Amen.
(If you have read this somewhere else, please let me know. I found this in one of my older journal/notebooks, so I am not positive if it is mine or a copy: I usually note the source of someone else’s work.)
As I continue to study Andrew Murray’s, Humility ~ the Beauty of Holiness, the end of this year seems a good time to share some treasures from this book. We can take into the new year these special truths that can change our thinking and our lives. Considering if we live in pride or humility is to know if we live by the flesh as in the first Adam, or by the Spirit in the second Adam.
Think of the power of sin that was within us before we were born of the Spirit. Then meditate on the following quotes from Andrew Murray. Let us take these with us into the new year as we continue to study the power of the new life, the life of redemption that is ours in our Lord, Jesus Christ.
“Even as we need to look to the first Adam and his fall to know the power of the sin within us, we need to know well the Second Adam and His power to give within us a life of humility as real and abiding and overmastering as has been that of pride. We have our life from and in Christ, as truly, even more truly, than from and in Adam.”
“The life of God, which in the incarnation entered human nature, is the root in which we are to stand and grow. It is the same almighty power that worked there, and from then on to the resurrection, which works daily in us. Our one need (now) is to study and know and trust the life that has been revealed in Christ as the life that is now ours.”
There is no greater blessing than a life of humility; serving the Lord and others.
Gracious Father, we thank you for the new life that is ours in Christ. We praise you that you showed your power in His incarnation, resurrection, and redemption so that we can experience the power of His humility working in us. In Jesus’ name, we thank you and praise you. Amen.
Fran Have This Mind Among Yourselves
Philippians 2:5-11 Music
Music is designed with a melody that runs throughout the whole piece. Other parts add harmony. The melody is the beginning, and the ending. It is what holds the piece together. Lose the melody or make it a monotone—the same tone over and over— and it ceases to be music. Overpower the melody and the music loses its meaning.
Music is a sound that began in heaven with God, our Father and Creator. It is a major means that He provided to help us worship Him—“Holy, Holy, Holy”—one for the Father, one for the Son, and one for the Holy Ghost, is sung by the angels in heaven. (Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8)
Anthems are compositions for music that include all parts —melody, harmony, and sometimes, a descant. A descant is a part that is sung by a higher range of voices. It is not meant to overpower but provide an extra lift to the other parts.
Together all the parts speak to the senses to lift the spirit and the heart toward God.
In Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs we worship with Biblical texts and heavenly music (Ephesians 5:19).
I picture it according to His Word—the melody was begun in heaven with Jesus, His Son—“Holy, Holy, Holy” from the foundation of the world. He would not only be the beginning of music but the melody throughout the span of time here on earth, onward into eternity.
“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes…”
The melody of heaven was here ~ He was wrapped in our humanity ~
to gather around Him those that would
add the harmony to Himself,
and provide the music for His family,
the music that the Father wanted to hear.
“On the same night, there were shepherds with flocks of sheep in the field. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them”
~ the music and the worship were about to begin.
“And the glory of the Lord shone round about them with good tidings of great joy”
~ the prelude ~ the introduction to the first anthem of true worship.
“To all people—unto you is born a Savior, Christ the Lord”
~ the music begins.
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest”
~ the descant.
“And on earth peace.” Luke 2:7-14
Christ Jesus, our Lord, is the melody of heaven, the melody of life, as God has composed it, and plays it for us by His Spirit and through His Word.
“I will declare thy name (the Father) unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. Behold, I and the children which God hath given me.” (Hebrews 2:12-13)
~ the harmony of His family. Now He has a full choir.
The Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs that we learn throughout our childhood are the anthems that are carried into heaven with us, as we join that celestial choir. Others are added along the way as He gives us a repertoire. The only soloist is the one who carries the melody—Christ, Himself.
As we live by the Spirit and walk by the Spirit, He opens our ears to hear the melody and to follow Him. Our off-keys and monotones are tuned to harmonize with other voices. And walking humbly with Him in the obedience of faith, loving the Lord, our God, and our neighbor, we are surrounded by the heavenly overtones echoing His praise in heaven and earth. In our devotion to Christ, He opens our hearts to hear compositions we have never heard or sung before, especially during the difficult circumstances of life.
I pray that we know the Lord as our strength and song (Exodus 15:2).
I pray that we would experience “the new song” as He fills us with His Spirit (Psalm 149:1).
On the Lord’s Day, we go to His House with a great expectation of hearing the melody—a strong and sure foundation for our worship—hearing the other parts, and the distant sound of the descant of the angels in affirmation that our worship is accepted.
I pray that each day we will practice our singing, individually, and in family worship, so that we are prepared for worship on the Lord’s Day—all in preparation for the great day when we see Him and praise Him in all His glory with the angels.
Our Father has composed the music
and directs the choir.
Let us sing with full hearts
to His glory and our joy.
The LORD of hosts:
The whole earth is full of His glory.”
Fran ~ Lord’s Day 9/23/07 (Article from Waiting Is Not A Game ~ Articles and Stories of Faith. Unpublished)
There are 4664 verses in which the word ALL is found in the Bible. We scrolled through these and prayed the Lord would point out the most important ones. This was not easy, but I felt I needed some insight into this word and how it is used. It is a little word packed with truths of our Lord through whom we live and move and have our being.
If there was one word that summed up the words of life it would be this one.
This is an extensive list and could serve as one Word of Life, so we suggest before you scroll through these references, ask the Holy Spirit to stop you where you need to read whole verses. We will publish a page on this blog for this list of Words of Life, so as to make it easier to reference in the future.
The Old Testament H3606
Strong’s defines ALL kol kōle, the whole, the whole of, any, each, every, anything, totality, everything.
In Noah’s day, we see the Lord’s rule over His creation. “And all flesh died that moved upon the earth” Genesis 7:21 “the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt,” Exodus 12:29
In Sodom and Gomorrah, He destroyed “all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities” Genesis 19:25
Then we see some of those verses which relate to the Lord’s relationship with His people, from the Old Testament beginning with His promise to Abraham “in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 12:3;Genesis 28:14
He promised, if they obeyed and kept His covenant, “then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:” Exodus 19:5
They were to “teach the children of Israel all the statutes” Leviticus 10:11 “All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth” Psalm 25:10
He has “forgiven and covered all the sin of His people Psalm 85:2
“All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.” Psalm 75:10
“The Lord preserveth all them that love Him, but all the wicked will he destroy.” Psalm 145:20
New TestamentG3956 Strong’s defines ALL, pas pä’s individually ~ each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything; and collectively ~ some of all types
All in Man “He knew all men.” John 2:24
“For all have sinned” Romans 3:23 “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man falleth away:” 1 Peter 1:24 “For all that is in the world is of the world.” 1 John 2:16 “All unrighteousness is sin:.” 1 John 5:17 “we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” Romans 14:10 “judgment upon all, to convince all that are ungodly of all their ungodly deeds and of all their hard speeches” Jude 1:15
“all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.” Revelation 1:7
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; andall these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” Romans 11:36
“the Father had given all things into his hands” John 13:3
“All things were accomplished.” John 19:28
“He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.” Acts 17:25
“In all these things we are more than conquerors.” Romans 8:37
“all things work together for His purpose.” Romans 8:28
“He delivered him up for us all… with him also freely give us allthings?” Romans 8:32 “Who shall subdue all things unto himself.” Philippians 3:21
“And he is before all things, and by himall things consist.” Colossians 1:17
“in allthings he might have the preeminence.” Colossians 1:18 “appointed heir of all things.” Hebrews 1:2 “upholding allthings by the word of his power,”Hebrews 1:3
“for whom are all things, and by whom are all things,” Hebrews 2:10 “all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him.” Hebrews 4:13 “above all things have fervent charity among yourselves:” 1 Peter 4:8 “given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness” 2 Peter 1:3 “allthese things shall be dissolved… be in all holy conversation and godliness,” 2 Peter 3:11 “in Christ, all things are new.”2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 1:22;Revelation 21:5 “Prove all things.”1 Thessalonians 5:21 “every man temperate inallthings.” 1 Corinthians 9:25 “Do allthings without murmurings and disputings:” Philippians 2:14 “count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:” Philippians 3:8
All of God Jesus came to “fulfill all righteousness.” Matthew 3:15
“All power” was given unto Him.’ Matthew 28:18
“The Father hath committed all judgment to the Son.”John 5:22
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; ” John 6:37
“above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion.” Ephesians 1:21
“all things under his feet,..head over all things to the church.”Ephesians 1:22
“Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Ephesians 1:23
“He is Lord of all.” Acts 10:36; to all that call upon Him.” Romans 10:12 “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4:6
“Christ is all, and in all.” Colossians 3:11 “God worketh all in all.” 1 Corinthians 12:6 “all the promises of God in him” 2 Corinthians 1:20
“the God of all comfort;” 2 Corinthians 1:3
“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;” Colossians 1:19
“In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3
“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Colossians 2:9
“All scripture by inspiration of God,” 2 Timothy 3:16 Paul declared “all the counsel of God.” Acts 20:27
“high priest in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15“
Holiest ofall;” Hebrews 9:3 “the Judge of all,” Hebrews 12:23 “the God of all grace,” 1 Peter 5:10 “God shall wipe awayall tears from their eyes.” Revelation 7:17;
God Working All in Man “offence of one judgment upon all men to condemnation; righteousness of one the free gift upon allmen unto justification of life.” Romans 5:18 “The gospel preached to all the world.” Matthew 24:14
“redeem us from all iniquity,” Titus 2:14 “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us fromall sin.” 1 John 1:7 “forgiven all trespasses;” Colossians 2:13 “But wisdom is justified of all her children.” Luke 7:35
“All that believe are justified.” Acts 13:39
“The Spirit of truth will guide into all truth.” John 16:13
“blessed withall spiritual blessings:” Ephesians 1:3 “allwisdom and prudence;” Ephesians 1:8 “strengthened with all might, unto allpatience.” Colossians 1:11
“filled with all the fulness of God.” Ephesians 3:19
“able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” Ephesians 3:20 “glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages” Ephesians 3:21
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” Ephesian 6:18
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
“do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Colossians 3:17
“all baptized into one body, all made to drink into one Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:13 “That all may be one.” John 17:21
“all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 “sanctified are all of one:” Hebrews 2:11 “one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” 1 Corinthians 10:17 “all of one mind,” 1 Peter 3:8 “all joy and peace in believing,” Romans 15:13 “count itall joy when ye fall into divers temptations;” James 1:2| “all the law is fulfilled in one word,..love thy neighbour as thyself.” Galatians 5:14
“abound in love one toward another, and toward all men,: 1 Thessalonians 3:12 “Abstain fromallappearance of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:22
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12
(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Ephesians 5:9
“Preach the word; with all long suffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:2 “shewing all meekness untoall men.” Titus 3:2 “Casting all your care upon him.” 1 Peter 5:7 “giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;”2 Peter 1:5 “a crown of righteousness, unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” Revelation 22:21
Dear Father in heaven, how can we begin to understand all things about you and ourselves except you reveal and fulfill the promises you have made in and through Jesus, your dear Son. By your Holy Spirit use this post now and in the future to make your Words of Life known to us, your children. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
Fran Whether Therefore Ye Eat or Drink ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31
(The following was somehow deleted from my last post. So, I add it here as a second part.)
I have been asked during these last traumatic years how I handle the stress. Unless there is time for a broad explanation, I simply say what I continue to say every day ~ “The Lord is good.” But that is an overall statement that only reveals the surface of who He is and does in His goodness. The root of His goodness is hidden in His Word, and through its fruit and seed, planted in the mind and heart of His children.
As a child, Sunday School was not a regular attendance for our family, but Vacation Bible School was a big deal for me. I loved memorization; I still do, along with meditation and prayer. I don’t remember any of the fun we may have had with activities, cookies and Kool-Aid, but I remember the memory cards that were treasures to me. While I can’t recall all the verses I learned, one has stayed in my thoughts, rooted in my heart and borne fruit over the years. I do not remember the lessons connected to the Scriptures, but God’s Word proves true by itself. It is alive and powerful and produces His life in those to whom He gives it. If I had no other of the seed of His Word, it would have been enough. He has planted much more, but this one has borne its fruit many times over.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
I did not understand these words as a child. If I had, life would have been much easier; I would have made different choices and I may not have suffered all the stress and caused the stress that I did. Believing that our heavenly Father is a sovereign God who planned all things for us and brings us by His own power to do His will, I live today as witness of His grace and goodness; His producing the fruit of His own Word from the seed He plants.
As a child, I was open to His Word, desiring to please Him, but the stress-makers of this world had their part in shaping my life to sin and rebellion against Him. Nevertheless, in His sovereignty and providence He has proven the power of His Word over my nature of sin. He has brought me through many trials and temptations, failures and mistakes, losses and traumas by His victorious truths and promises. When I stumble still, He is always there to raise me up and keep me, reminding me of His grace and power to take whatever is laid upon me and to give it to Him. He enables me to cast my burdens upon Him. His grace is sufficient, His strength in my weakness, so that I can be content even in my infirmities (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Dear Father in heaven, continue to draw us to Christ through the power of your Word and Spirit. Write your words on our minds and in our hearts and activate them in those times you have chosen, to prove your love and your great and precious promises. Enable us to abide in you and your Word to abide in us, to know your presence at all times. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives
for the brethren.”
1 John 3:16
If the Lord brings us to the heights of Christianity ~ Beyond a Mere Christianity ~ it will be according to the truth that the apostle writes here. What keeps us from reaching this height? It must be that we fail to perceive the love of God, who, in Christ, laid down his life for us. To perceive is to see with a spiritual reality ~ beyond our physical sight ~ how much He loves us and how He proved His love. We will look in depth in two other chapters at how His great love begins to work in the hearts of His children, but for this one we are led to write of those who, with time and experience of HIs grace, know the presence and power of the Holy Spirit of Christ working His own nature and disposition through them in relationship with others.
Several years ago, with a new birth (John 3:3), there was no real understanding of the difference He would make in my life. Baptism at the age of eleven did not change my heart; self-centeredness was still my nature. Years later, it was God’s Holy Spirit speaking through His Holy Word when He gave me a new heart and spirit (Ezekiel 36:26) that I longed for the life of Christ within me. Repentance and faith was a work of His goodness and mercy in me (Romans 2:4); the effect of His Spirit in the new heart and spirit within me.
Everything changed on that beautiful day in 1992 when He brought me to Himself, so that I never looked back.
He endeared Himself to me, speaking through the written Word and His Spirit so that I could see Him as the loving Creator and Redeemer that He is. Since then, He has been an ever-present guide and protector of my mind, heart and spirit. He has endured with me through all the trials and adversities we have encountered. The more affliction we experience, the more of His love and care are ministered by His Holy Spirit and the more we are able to see and care for others. We continue to grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). We could speak of many trials we have endured, but time and space do not permit here. We have published eight books that witness of His presence and teachings.
Most and best of all is how He endears Himself through us to others. At present we are formatting One Month to Live ~ A Father’s Last Words, the story of God’s abundant grace as we cared for my dad during the last three weeks of his life.
Never would I have known that being a caregiver for my dad, for grandchildren, for my mother with dementia and for Jerry the last twelve years would have prepared me to practice this endearment. We, together, have learned to see the needs of others; to pray for them; to reach out to any that the Lord shows us. We don’t have to look far. Within our own family, and our church family, there are many who need encouragement. Just a word of support and hope is enough for most. These are the closest to us and the ones with which we have developed lasting relationships. In Prayer and In Touch is our email prayer ministry, whereby we stay in touch as we pray for others.
We are enabled to see the needs of others when we go for appointments. We may never see some of these again, but the Lord knows what they need. A smile, a “thank you,” a word of greeting or a short conversation can leave a lasting impression to the glory of our Lord.
It is those who are the closest whose needs we know and with whom we endure through their difficulties, sharing the promises of God’s Word, praying for special needs, taking a meal, etc. Whatever is needful, the Lord provides through us, His people.
We encourage those who are continually experiencing the hardships of this life to see others in need and pray with the desire to know how you can help them. Focus on the Lord and His will in how we can care for others greatly changes how we see our own needs. It is good therapy for the soul to count others in greater need than ourselves.
Is this what John meant in 1 John 3:16? What does it mean to lay down our lives? I believe it means that we first give ourselves to the Lord as the apostle Paul speaks in 2 Corinthians 8:5. I have TWO FULL PLATES, but this does not keep me from seeing others in their needs, praying and reaching out when the Lord leads. He always provides more room on our plates for others, and gives the extra strength that we need and extra servings pf joy.
We are, by His mercy to us, called to offer our bodies as living sacrifices to serve Him and others (Romans 12:1-2).
He endured all the wrath and punishment for our sins, so that we as His people would be united in our love for Him and one another; to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:1-2).
Jesus now and forever endears Himself to us, and endures with us as our Lord and High Priest. It is when we endear ourselves to each other and endure with one another that we are stronger. As we are united in Christ, members of one body, we stand against the enemy with great power. His Spirit is revealed through those who “in lowliness of mind esteem others better than themselves; who look not on his own things, but on the things of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
Father in heaven, open our eyes and hearts. Draw us heavenward to receive your humility, grace and love that extends to others ~ for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen
The following is from Philippians 2:5-11. Have This Mind is the title of an album of Scripture Tunes recorded in the last twenty-five years.
From ABHOR, to ABIDE, we come to another of our list of Words of Life ~ ABLE
In The Old Testament ABLEin the Concordance H320
defines the word (yaòkoòl yaw-kole’) A primitive root; to be able, literally (can, could) or morally (may, might):
Two examples of ABLE in the Old Testament:
The first relates to man’s inability, then compared to God’s ability.
In Numbers 11:14, Moses admitted to God, “I am notable to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.”
In Daniel 3:17, we have the words of the three Hebrews about to be put in the fiery furnace.
“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.”
In Daniel 6:20, the king speaks to Daniel after the Lord delivered him from the lions.
“And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?
In the New Tesament ABLE in the Concordance G1410 “defines the word (dunamai doo’-nam-ahee) Of uncertain affinity; to be able or possible:—be able, can (do, + -not), could,
may, might, be possible, be of power.
The power of God is defined in the following references.
References to men who not able.
“Not able to kill the soul” (Matthew 10:28)
“many shall not be able to enter in at the strait gate (Luke 13:24).
“adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist wisdom ( Luke 21:15).
“no man is able to pluck us out of the Father’s hand (John 10:29).
“nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39).
“no man is able to open the book (Revelation 5:3) “who shall be able to stand? (Revelation 6:17)
References to what God’s Word is able to do.
“the engrafted word is able to save our souls” (James 1:21).
“the holy scriptures able to make wise” (2 Timothy 3:15).
“word of grace, which is ableto build you up and to an inheritance (Acts 20:32).
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” Ephesians 3:20
Gracious Father, able and willing to make yourself known, even if through the stones you created, we praise you for all power that belongs to you. We thank you for enabling us as your children to comprehend with all saints the love of Christ for us, enabling us to stand against the wiles of the devil to witness of your promises, your presence and power of your Holy Spirit among us; to keep us and to present us faultless through Christ before the presence of your glory ~ all for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Scripture Tune Jude 1:24-25
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” v
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
When I began this article, there were seven young boys and their soccer coach still trapped in a cave in Thailand. They knew that they could not save themselves, to get through the water that had blocked their passageway. Four were brought through the waters by an international team of rescuers, but the others waited. (As we publish, all have been rescued.)
Could they have shared their thoughts as they waited, no doubt they would admit their weakness in saving themselves and their total dependence on anyone who could save them.
In our natural state, human pride pretends to be strong, rather than admit its weakness. It is in cases of despair that men will admit their weakness, and in meekness, cry out and accept help from anyone who can save them.
“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
The apostle Paul followed in the footsteps of the Master as he endured the hardships of the Christian life. He admitted his weakness, but rather than let his weakness keep him from his work of the gospel, he endured in meekness as he counted that “the power of Christ rested upon him.”
As a disciple of Christ, he suffered in his “infirmities, reproaches, necessities, persecutions, and distress” (2 Corinthians 12:10) for the sake of Christ. If the only result of his suffering was endurance, we might not be impressed, but he understood the reason for his weakness, so that he would experience the “strength that is made perfect in weakness.” His pleasure was through his suffering as he experienced the strength of Christ in his weakness. When the little “I am” is submitted to Him, the great “I AM” proves His strength.
Beyond a mere Christianity, the sum total seems to be: weakness plus the power of Christ equals pleasure in the presence and power of Christ, no matter the circumstances. No wonder Paul lived a life of meekness, in total dependence on the Lord.
He understood the Master’s words in John 15:4,“without me you can do nothing.”
This “power of Christ” that rested upon Him was the humbling of the Lord in his weakness, enabling him to submit in his weakness to the strength of Christ. Even in prison, he and Silas worshipped; prayed and sang praises unto God.
“I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13
Paul understood the role of the creature in relationship to our Creator. He made us weak, so that we would need Him. When He left our first parents alone to their free will, He proved they were unable to take care of themselves and to fulfill their purpose. It is only when we come in our need to the Savior, in weakness admitting our nothingness and need for Him, that He can save us and be all to us that our Father planned for Him to be. We must in meekness, in true humility, come to Him and experience the difference He makes in our lives. If we mumble through, thinking we can accomplish anything on our own, we miss the true nature of the Christian life. To be humble is the only means of going beyond a mere Christianity to discover the power of Christ and His abundant life within us.
“It is the indwelling Christ who will live His life in us, meek and lowly. We must long for this, above everything, seeking this holy secret of the knowledge of the nature of God as He works all. We must set aside our ordinary religion to secure this, the first and chief of the marks of Christ within us. And begin to praise God that there is opened up to you in Jesus a heavenly humility of which you have hardly known, and through which a heavenly blessedness (which you possibly have never yet tasted) can come into you.” Andrew Murray ~ Humility, the Beauty of Holiness
Dear heavenly Father, how blessed we are that you call us your own, having saved us in Christ, your Son. We praise you that even meekness is the work of your Holy Spirit within us. Enable us to see and admit our weakness and our need for you, so that we can glorify you even when we are afflicted and in distress, taking pleasure in your presence and power with us always. In Jesus’ name we pray and praise you. Amen. And the Lord Said Unto Me ~ Scripture Tunes
(Suggested Reading: A Broad Review of Andrew Murray’s Humility
Years ago, I used this title for another article; it was similar, but different in many ways. It spoke of an overwhelming grace experienced during an earlier time in my life. Jerry and I were still young with both feet on the ground.; we were enjoying what we considered success, our children and small grandchildren; the Lord was doing great things in our lives. We could easily have said, “Then was the best time of our lives.”
We had begun to learn and know God’s covenant of grace. The power of His grace was something fairly new, but it was becoming a great work in my life, a life I had never known. To “grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18) was a beautiful thing. The overwhelming grace that He had bestowed grew stronger and nothing seemed to hinder even during the few difficult times.
I don’t know where my former article is stored, but I know that His grace was stored within my heart and mind, so that in these last days they have not been lost. During these last days, when the adversities have become overwhelming, God’s grace is far more, able to temper with the greatest of difficulties in this life. God is Greater Than is an older article posted here years ago. His grace was working then and now, continuing to grow and bearing fruit for His name and glory.
“These are the worst of times, and the best of times” ~ the worst of this world, but the best of heaven, and that overwhelming grace is that by which He will wing us to heights unknown and to our eternal home with Him.
An older hymn sung at our church this past Lord’s Day attests to this grace in His faithfulness to us through all times and all things.
Dear Father in heaven, as we consider all that you have done in our lives, we can but know how powerful is your grace that fills and thrills, and spills over wherever we are. We praise you for such a work, a supernatural work, that only your grace can accomplish. We pray that you will continue to grow us as your people, as a witness of your presence and power through all of this life, however difficult and tedious it may become for us. Believing that all the darkness of this world is meant to be a backdrop for your light and goodness, keep us faithful, loving, and gracious; enable us to stand in the truth of your grace revealed through the life, death and resurrection of your Son, our Lord and Savior ~ in whose name we pray, thank you and praise you. Amen.
Related Article: Why Me?