Friday, January 13, 2017

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus...

"Behold, Let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord... " 2 Samuel 25:41

Oh, to be a servant! It doesn't come natural to serve.... we can all attest to that.  

While reading last night chapter 25 of 2 Samuel, I found the words of Abigail as a response to David's marriage proposal simply thought provoking! 

 Let thine handmaid be a servant... to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. 

How many times have I struggled to be a servant... and yet Abigail's response made me think how much deeper it entails to be a servant.

What does it mean to display a spirit of servanthood? The character of a servant  in the eyes of Abigail wasn't merely just serving her master (David)... it meant to also serve and wash the feet of the other servants. She didn't take on the entitlement of being David's wife and using it for her own glory. Rather, she sought to give herself sacrificially for the well-being of her family. That was the truest form of humility. 

Before honor is humility...

"Before destruction the heart of man is haughty,
 and 
before honour is humility." 
Proverbs 18:12

How often we desire honor... and yet we are not willing to be humble. We are not willing to serve others. We are not willing to wash each other's feet. 

It defies all human comprehension when we look upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Because the Lord Jesus humbled Himself and took on the form of a servant. 

Not I, But Christ 

Not I, but Christ be honored, loved, exalted,
Not I, but Christ be seen, be known and heard;
Not I, but Christ in every look and action,
Not I, but Christ in every thought and word.
 
Oh, to be saved from myself, dear Lord,
  Oh, to be lost in Thee,
Oh, that it may be no more I,
    But Christ that lives in me.

Not I, but Christ to gently soothe in sorrow,
Not I, but Christ to wipe the falling tear;
Not I, but Christ to lift the weary burden,
Not I, but Christ to hush away all fear.

Christ, only Christ, no idle word e’er falling,
Christ, only Christ, no needless bustling sound;
Christ, only Christ, no self-important bearing,
Christ, only Christ, no trace of I be found.

Not I, but Christ my every need supplying,
Not I, but Christ my strength and health to be;
Christ, only Christ, for spirit, soul, and body,
Christ, only Christ, live then Thy life in me.

Christ, only Christ, ere long will fill my vision,
Glory excelling soon, full soon I’ll see;
Christ, only Christ, my every wish fulfilling,
Christ, only Christ, my all in all to be.
Mrs. Ada A. Whiddington (1891)

Holy Father, Thank you for offering up the Lord Jesus to be the sacrifice for our redemption. We are grateful for the beautiful example the Lord Jesus displayed in taking upon Himself the form of a servant and washing our feet. Help us to walk in His ways and clothe ourselves with humility as we seek to wash each other's feet.

May you be lifted up today to see the need that is around you and be used as a servant for the glory of God.
~Ellie

Thursday, December 29, 2016

HE goeth before them, and the sheep follow HIM; for they know HIS VOICE...

"And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers." John 10:5


Reading through the gospel of John, I was reminded yet again of the the Lord Jesus Christ as the Shepherd. 

A Shepherd who watches over His sheep. 

It is of such comfort to  know that  I have a Shepherd who watches over me.... who goes before me and protects me from what may lie ahead... who always has a watch over my life, and makes sure that I am protected from all alarms. He feeds me, He guides me. He provides for my every need. His presence is with me wherever I go! Oh the  peace in knowing that I am His...

And while I know that I have a Shepherd who watches over me, I realize that as a sheep I am to follow Him and stay clear of all that has the appearance of evil. 

"Abstain from all appearance of evil." 
1 Thessalonians 5:22

The world is full of attractions, temptations, pleasures... all of which can distract and draw us away from following the Shepherd.  We are to abstain from sin... and whatsoever looks like sin.

Lately, I've thought upon the need to "test all things"... because it is quite easy to listen to  "teachings" that may sound good and pleasing... but  is contrary to the  Word of God. 

"Cease, my son, 
to hear the instruction 
that causeth to err 
from the words of knowledge." 
Proverbs 19:27

The Sheep know the voice of the true Shepeherd... and they know not that of a stranger! 

How vital it is that we feed on the WORD OF GOD... to know the voice of truth and discern good from evil. 

" 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."  
Hebrews 5:14

Oh, the importance of following the Shepherd... 

" And turn ye not aside: 
for then should ye go after vain things, 
which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain." 
1 Samuel 12:21

It's good to be occupied with... that which is good, pure, lovely... and do away with evil from our lives. 

 "...yet I would have you wise
 unto that which is good, 
and simple 
concerning evil."
 Romans 16:9

How marvelous and worthy to be praised... is the Lord Almighty...the King... the Shepherd of our souls! 

Heavenly Father, What joy to know that your hand is over us, leading and guiding us unto truth. Thank you for your faithfulness and care of our souls. May we be ever mindful of following your commands and fleeing from all that causeth us to err. 

May you be encouraged to offer sacrifices of praise to our Heavenly Father who watches over His own. " Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things He hath done for you." 1 Samuel 12:24

~Ellie

Saturday, December 17, 2016

But HE held His peace...

"And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said,  Why was this waste of the ointment made? 
For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. 
And they murmured against her." Mark 14:4,5

While reading through the book of Mark, I came across moments in the life of the Lord Jesus where He displays His character in a most meaningful way.... righteously...  looking at the heart and motive of every individual.

Do you ever find yourself  acting just like the Pharisees, or the scribes for that matter...  or even the publicans. 

I think how often I read of the Lord's admonitions to those who thought themselves "righteous" ... and yet, find my life an exact replica. I'm full of indignation, judgement, and often lack compassion. 

Do we hold our peace and not quickly judge someone's actions because, well,  " they shouldn't have done it that way " or " they could have done something better with ___" . 

I thought how often we jump to conclusions and have no idea behind the motive of a person's actions. We too, can be blind... as were the people who were full of indignation towards Mary's "waste" of such precious ointment.

You know,  the Lord always shows us how we ought to live... we need only to learn His ways and follow in His footsteps. 

"He that saith he abideth in Him
 ought himself also so to walk, 
even as He walked." 
1 John 2:6

May the Lord help us to hold our peace.

"For even hereunto were ye called: 
because Christ also suffered for us, 
leaving us an example, 
that ye should follow His steps." 
1 Peter 2:21

Precious Father, how often we fail to walk as Jesus walked. Forgive us our  iniquities that we commit against you and man. Keep us lowly and meek so that we may not be wise in our own eyes. May the working of our Lord Jesus Christ and His presence  in our lives be evident in the way we speak and act today.

May you be filled with compassion and walk in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ.

~Ellie

Monday, November 14, 2016

Blessed be GOD... who comforteth us in all our tribulation.

" I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD..." Psalm 71:16

This morning I was so encouraged and thanked the Lord for His presence in my life. What a wonderful thought and comfort it is to have a Friend in the Lord Jesus... a Friend  like no other.

Do you find yourself bearing the load of your burden alone... and forgetting that Christ is our only comfort?

As we all face the trials and temptations of this world, I thought of the comfort found in the Lord Jesus and the peace He gives.  

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: 
not as the world giveth, give I unto you. 
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 14:27

Sometimes we may find a quick "fix"  and our problems bandaged for the time being through various means... and it can be a simple pouring of our hearts to someone other than the Lord Jesus.  But I find myself  never in complete rest or peace until I bring my burdens and cares to the Lord. He alone gives me the "peace that passeth all understanding" ... and what my heart needs. 

Unlike earthly friends, the Lord Jesus

... never disappoints, 
....never judges,
... never looks down upon me.

He understands, He cares, He comforts and covers me with His protective arms. He helps me up when I fall. He is ever present with me... 

"The LORD upholdeth all that fall, 
and raiseth up all those that be bowed down." 
Psalm 145:14

Indeed, there is no other Friend like the LORD JESUS. 

I heard the following Hymn not too long ago and found it a wonderful reminder and encouragement for the burdened soul. May it uplift you as it did me...

ALL YOUR ANXIETY ALL YOUR CARE
Edward H. Joy, 1920

Is there a heart o’erbound by sorrow?
Is there a life weighed down by care?
Come to the cross, each burden bearing;
All your anxiety leave it there.

Refrain:
All your anxiety, all your care,
Bring to the mercy seat, leave it there,
Never a burden He cannot bear,
Never a friend like Jesus!

No other friend so swift to help you,
No other friend so quick to hear,
No other place to leave your burden,
No other one to hear your prayer.

Come then at once; delay no longer!
Heed His entreaty kind and sweet,
You need not fear a disappointment;
You shall find peace at the mercy seat.

Heavenly Father, Thank you for being the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our tribulation. Thank you for giving us a Friend in the Lord Jesus Christ who understands all our cares and infirmities and is a faithful and merciful High priest. We thank you that we can find complete rest and peace in your presence.

May you find rest and peace in the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Go ye and LEARN what that meaneth, " I will have MERCY and NOT SACRIFICE..."

" For I desired MERCY and NOT sacrifice; and the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD more than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

What is mercy? As I read and meditate on the WORD I marvel at my weakness... and stand in awe at the Lord's goodness!

I marveled this morning while reading through the account of the Lord Jesus sitting down and eating with the publicans and sinners...
Yes, publicans and sinners.

Matthew 9:10-13

"  And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.

And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?

But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.

But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. "

How in need I am of the LORD GOD. 
How easily I find myself just like the Pharisees... judging, finding fault, and lacking compassion. 
Do you ever find yourself "whole"... and not in need of a Physician? 
Do you ever find yourself thinking that you are " sacrificing unto the Lord"... but lack mercy toward another?  

The Lord's admonition to the Pharisees, is also good for me. I  must learn and know what it means to show mercy.

I thought about how quickly I judge another person and find so many faults... because, well, they "aren't as they should be". Sometimes I look too long(way too long) at the speck in the eye of another person.  Do you do the same?  

In the light of God's Word,  I'm ashamed at how shallow my "goodness and faithfulness" to the Lord can be. 
I can be very faithful in my morning devotion, but does it go away throughout the day when I'm faced with showing kindness to a "publican" or "sinner"?

" O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? 
for your goodness is as a morning cloud, 
and as the early dew it goeth away." 
Hosea 6:4

Mercy... showing kindness and compassion... pardoning iniquity. 
Mercy... learned only through the knowledge of God.

" Who is a God like unto Thee, 
that pardoneth iniquity, 
and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? 
He retaineth not His anger for ever, 
because He delighteth in mercy. 
He will turn again, 
He will have compassion upon us; 
He will subdue our iniquities; 
and Thou wilt cast all our sins into the depths of the sea."  
Micah 7:18,19

God's mercy on us(when we didn't deserve it)...ought to be the same mercy we show toward one another.

Faithful and loving Father, we humbly acknowledge our sins before you. How often we too, like the Pharisees, judge and find fault in others. Teach us and guide us to walk in humbleness of mind, laying aside all forms of selfish pride and self-works. Help us to learn what it means to have compassion, mercy and love  through the help of your Holy Spirit. 

May you look unto the Lord Jesus Christ and learn of His ways... His gentleness, compassion and faithfulness that always brought glory to the Father.
~Ellie

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The MEEK will HE guide... the MEEK will He teach His way..

"What man is he that feareth the LORD? Him shall HE teach in the way that HE shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth." Psalm 25: 12,13

This past week I was reading through Matthew 5, the well known chapter where the Lord Jesus teaches of the blessings reserved for those who follow Him. 

And as I read through the various characteristics the Lord Jesus mentions in the Beatitudes, I stopped and reflected on the importance of having a MEEK spirit. 

Meekness isn't the easiest of characteristics... but it describes the Lord Jesus fully. It should also describe us as believers...

MEEKNESS (def.): 1) a calm temper of mind, not easily provoked, 2) submissive, lowly, humble, 3) having or showing a quiet and gentle nature, 4) enduring injury with patience and without resentment

If we look at the various definitions, we find the Lord Jesus was the embodiment of meekness.  

I remember when I first started memorizing verses a few years back... and I remember the excuses that I made... all because I "couldn't memorize". However, my heart yearned to know more of  my Lord and Saviour... and I knew I could only grow in my knowledge of Him though His WORD.  So I started with a familiar verse... 

" 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." 
Matthew 11:29

Little did I realize, but it was the perfect verse that would teach me and grow me in the knowledge of the Lord. The verse has taken me on a most rewarding journey... that I would learn of Him. 

But in order to learn of Him... well, my heart had to be adorned in humility.

" Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, 
and receive with meekness the engrafted word
which is able to save your souls." 
James 1:21

We are in no way teachable if we do not have fear of the Lord and be found meek and lowly in heart. We must lay aside all forms of pride. Truly, He alone must take precedence and have complete control of our whole being.... body, soul and mind.

How I need the Lord's yoke... to guide and direct me...and to teach me. Only then will my soul "find rest" or "dwell at ease".

Heavenly Father, Thank you for the Lord Jesus Christ who is the perfect example of meekness. Help us to receive your word with meekness and humbleness of mind, that you may lead and teach us to walk in integrity and uprightness of heart. 

May you reflect the Lord's glory and honor in your life today by being a testimony of His character. 
~Ellie

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The LORD is God, and HE has given us LIGHT...

" For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:6

This morning I was truly blessed to think upon the marvelous work of God in my life. What mercy that God would look upon me and bring me to light...  

I marvel at the work of the Lord Jesus Christ and think often of my unworthiness. How thankful I am... that I should taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

As I went about my daily work this morning, I happened to hear this song playing... it was indeed a time to stop and thank the Lord for His unbounded love.

I HAVE COME FROM THE DARKNESS
(M.W. Chaplin)

I have come from the darkness to the light of the Lord,
I have come from the night to the day.
He has guided my footsteps in the truth of His word;
By His love He has shown me the way.

Chorus:
I have come from the darkness to the light,
To the light of redemption from sin.
Oh, my soul will rejoice in His might,
For my Savior dwells within.

In the light of His presence all temptations depart,
And the shadows of doubt are cast aside.
With the radiance of sunshine He has entered my heart,
Where His spirit of love abides.

Heavenly Father, thank you for being GOD and commanding light to shine in our hearts. We praise you for the Lord Jesus Christ who has brought us from death to life and has opened the door to your throne of grace. Our hearts are rejoicing that we would be made children of God and marvel at your holiness. Help us today to be a light that shines for you.

" For the LORD will not forsake His people for His great name's sake: 
because it hath pleased the LORD to make you His people." 
1 Samuel 12:22

May you be joyful today... offering praise to the Heavenly Father for the Lord Jesus who has brought light and life to us.

~Ellie