Devotional thoughts on the relentless pursuit of God

Monday, April 24, 2017

Be Not Anxious.

In the sermon on the mount we read,
     Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than the food, and the body more than the raiment? Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value than they (Matt 6:25-26).

Jesus goes on to show us that the world is caught up in the struggle for things. These things mentioned here are even necessary things such as food and clothing. Yet He assures us that our heavenly Father will take care of us.

So why is it that we often are consumed with anxiety over things such as these? Do we not believe Jesus when He tells us to focus on the kingdom of heaven, and God will provide these things for us?

We find in Paul's epistle to the Philippians the cure for anxiety.

     In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6-7).

Instead of worry, we are to take all of our cares and burdens to the Lord. The verse says everything. It is an act of faith to cast our needs and cares, with thanksgiving, upon Christ. But if we do so, releasing them to Him, we have the assurance of His peace filling our hearts and minds.

    

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Peace.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in Jehovah forever; for in Jehovah, even Jehovah, is an everlasting rock.
Isaiah 26:3-4

     We have a precious promise from God, that if we set our minds upon Him in faith, we will be kept in perfect peace. His word assures us that God is an everlasting rock, a place of safety for all those who seek shelter in Him from the storms of life. This peace however, will only fill our hearts and minds as we trust Him. 
     We often come to God with our cares and burdens, but like Peter walking on the water, we take our eyes off of Christ, and instead, we focus on our circumstance and begin to sink. This verse makes the point that we must keep our focus on Christ and not our problems if we would have peace. The Apostle Paul writes, 

In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

     As the hymn states, "O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer." 
     This peace is a peace that goes beyond our understanding. How can we be filled with a calm, with peace, when things seem to be falling apart all around us? The answer is found in God our rock, and by putting our confidence in Him.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Expendable.

     Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a grain of wheat fall into the earth and die, it abideth by itself alone; but if it die, it beareth much fruit.
                                            John 12:24

     It may seem shocking to many, but the reality is that we are expendable to God! Yes God loves and cares for us. He who sees the sparrow fall, and knows the very number of the hairs on our heads, is concerned for us through the trials we go through. Yet, we are expendable. 
     God calls us to lose all for His sake, in His service; even our very lives if necessary. When He calls us to lose our lives for His sake, we might very well face persecution and martyrdom. We are in a spiritual battle for the kingdom of God and the souls of men. Just like an army will count men as expendable, sending them out to die for the greater purpose of winning the war, we too are sent out to die for the sake of the gospel, giving our very lives if it so be, so that another can find life in Christ.
     Remember, we are living in these bodies upon this earth for a short time. We are spiritual beings with souls that will live on throughout eternity. To face death for Christ is truly no loss to us, as to be absent from this body, is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor 5:6-8). So even though we are expendable for the cause of Christ, it is no real loss to us, in fact, it is great gain.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Christ In You The Hope Of Glory!

     Even the mystery which hath been hid for ages and generations: but now hath it been manifested to his saints, to whom God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you the hope of glory: whom we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ.
                                      Colossians 1:26-28

     There is a book written by A. W. Tozer that is titled, "Man the Dwelling Place of God." This is something however, that is often overlooked in our Christian walk. We often look at the above verse, at least I know that I have, and think of the "hope of glory" as going to heaven some day. Indeed, for those of us who know and follow Christ in this life, we will someday spend eternity with Him, sharing in all of the glories of His heavenly kingdom. But we often fail to realize the full implication of what it truly means to be indwelt by the living God; to be full of His Spirit, and to be conscious of His glorious presence. This is what David refers to when He declares that the one thing he sought after was to dwell in the house of the Lord all of his days (Psalm 27:4). To dwell in the secret place of the most high (Psalm 91:1) has now been made possible to us through Jesus Christ. We are encouraged to enter in to the most holy place, by the blood of Jesus, and through the veil of His flesh (Hebrews 10:19-20). We are now the living temples of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us (1 Cor 6:19-20). Think about it. Christ in you the hope of glory! We share in intimate fellowship with Him while we sojourn upon this earth, awaiting the final consummation, when we will see Him face to face.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Lights in This World.

     Beloved, imitate not that which is evil, but that which is good...
              3 John 1:11a

     This world lies in darkness. We see evil abounding everywhere. Although this world is darkened by sin, we are called to shine forth as lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation (Phil 2:15). Dare to go against the current of this world! Let your lights shine forth in this dark day! As you joyfully follow Christ, your good behavior will become evident to all, proving that your deeds have been wrought in God. 

    Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
                Matthew 5:16

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Kept From Stumbling.

     Now unto him that is able to guard you from stumbling, and to set you before the presence of his glory without blemish in exceeding joy, to the only God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and power, before all time, and now, and forevermore. Amen.
                                             Jude 1:24-25

     What a wonderful promise to us, that God Himself will bring us safely home, to stand in His glorious presence, complete in Him, beyond reproach. In this life, we travel a dangerous road, with temptations and trials on every side. The world seeks to draw our hearts away from our Lord, with all of its vanity and pride. Yet we see in this and other numerous scriptures, that in Christ we have all we need to remain free from spot or stain. In Christ we have the power to overcome temptations. His grace is more than enough for every need, to those who through faith, are made partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4).
     Able to keep us from stumbling! He will set us before His presence, without blemish. This is the overcoming life. We were once mired in sin, unable to change. But through Christ, we are now free. We can live upright lives, beyond reproach. We can know what it means to have a clean conscience; to be able to lay down in sleep without our hearts condemning us. What a blessed thing, to be so guarded by Jesus Christ.
     He has called us to live holy, upright lives. Faithful is He that has called us, and faithful is to do it (1 Thess 5:23-24)!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Prayer For Understanding.

     Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.
                                    Psalm 119:73

     It is only right that as God's creation, we should be willing to serve Him. It is also right that we go to the God who has created us for understanding, so that we would know His commands, and learn to be pleasing unto Him.