Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Increase our FAITH...

" So then FAITH cometh by HEARING, and HEARING by the WORD OF GOD." Romans 10:17

Lately, I've been thinking  about how faith plays a major role in our christian walk... and in our spiritual growth.  You know, we often say we want to live to honor our Lord. But I thought how little my faith is when it comes to the testings in my life...

My thoughts went to the disciples in Luke 17. It was a moment where the disciples saw their weakness and their inability to withstand offences on their own. The Lord warns them that offences will come...

" Then said HE unto the disciples, 
It is impossible but that offences will come..." 
Luke 17:1

The Lord's instruction and warning were clear, they were to take heed to themselves... to forgive those who trespass against them... over and over again.

" Take heed to yourselves: 
If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; 
And if he repent, forgive him.
And if he trespass against thee 7 times in a day, 
And 7 times in a day turn again to thee, 
Saying, I repent; 
Thou shalt forgive him." 
Luke 17:3,4

Hearing the Lord's instruction, the disciples find themselves weak and unable to do so on their own.
And thus, they ask the Lord that He would increase their faith.

I thought about what it means to have the Lord increase my faith.... because my desire is that I would indeed  be strengthened by His power to do that which brings honor and glory to Him. 

If the disciples needed their faith to be increased, I need  my faith increased that much more! 

I couldn't but think that Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of my faith (Hebrews 12:2). 
He starts. He finishes. 
What a marvelous act of His faithfulness and love towards us!

And yet, I know that in order for my faith to increase, He has to bring me to His Holy Word.... because faith comes by hearing. 

And through His WORD, the Lord Jesus makes known to us,
... our need for complete humbleness before a Holy God
... our complete dependence on His work, 
... our complete acknowledgement that we are in need of Him, because we can do nothing apart from Him. 

I was so encouraged to be reminded yet again... that in order for my faith to increase, I must be in the WORD!  

It is the WORD, revealed through the Holy Spirit, that enables us to have our faith increased. Only then can we...

and live a life worthy of His name. 

"If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, 
ye shall ask what ye will, 
and it shall be done unto you." 
John 15:7

Yes, we too can have our faith increased... when we abide in His WORD. 

Oh Father, how thankful we are for the Lord Jesus Christ. the author and finisher of our faith. Thank you that through Him we have faith to believe and to know you. How precious is your word to us. Help us to abide in your presence, to delight in your word, and to obey it. 

May you be strengthened in faith today, delighting in His WORD... giving glory to GOD.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

He that is FAITHFUL in that which is LEAST is FAITHFUL also in MUCH...

" And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galatians 6:9

I recently heard a song on the radio playing, and what a wonderful reminder it was to me. The Lord is so good to bring to remembrance the need to be faithful to Him. Yes... even in the smallest of things.  

Sometimes we are so caught up in wanting to see change, wanting to do "big things"... that we forget to be faithful in the smallest of things.

I am sure we all have our moments of discouragements, where we focus on our lack of  "making a difference". We find ourselves going about our daily work, and for some it may mean the "insignificant" daily "chores" of raising a family, or taking care of the home, or taking care of a loved one. We don't often equate this type of work as much... we may deem it a thing necessary, and required of us. And partly it is true. 

But to each one of us, God has given a work to be done " unto the Lord". 

However little or insignificant it may at times seem... Christ calls us to be faithful stewards of what He has given us. 

So, it may mean, that we... 

keep praying, 
keep loving, 
keep forgiving, 
keep serving, 
keep being faithful,

...even when it seems "too little". 

You know, some of us are here to plant the seed, some to water... but in all things, it is God who ultimately causes things to grow,... not us. 

God is the one who should be glorified and magnified forever in our lives. We are to be faithful.

" So neither the one who plants
 nor the one who waters is anything, 
but only God, 
who makes things grow." 
1 Corinthians 3:7

Nothing is too insignificant, when God is the Master... and we are His servants.

 " For we are labourers together with God..
1 Corinthians 3:9

" I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." 
Philippians 3:14

Oh, the privilege to be workers together with God... and manifest God's love in our lives to all. 
By this shall all men know that we are His disciples. 

Little Is Much When God Is In It

In the harvest field now ripened
There’s a work for all to do;
Hark! the voice of God is calling,
To the harvest calling you.

Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame;
There’s a crown, and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ name.

In the mad rush of the broad way,
In the hurry and the strife,
Tell of Jesus’ love and mercy,
Give to them the Word of Life.

Does the place you’re called to labor
Seem so small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He’ll not forget His own.

Are you laid aside from service,
Body worn from toil and care?
You can still be in the battle,
In the sacred place of prayer.

When the conflict here is ended
And our race on earth is run,
He will say, if we are faithful,
“Welcome home, My child—well done!”

Kittie L. Suffield 1924

Father, How thankful we are that you have called us to be co-workers in your kingdom, that we might magnify the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives. Help us to be faithful to you even in the smallest of things. Strengthen our faith when we falter. Keep us willing to serve you in humbleness and meekness of mind.  

May you be encouraged to show grace, love, kindness and humility in all that the Lord has placed before you today.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

"... that we should not trust in ourselves, but in GOD..."

" Who DELIVERED us from so great a death, and DOTH DELIVER: in whom we trust that HE WILL YET DELIVER us." 2 Corinthians 1:10

Do you ever find yourself trusting in yourself? Trusting in your own wisdom or abilities? How often we tend to rely on our own wisdom...

I was so blessed this morning, to read the first chapter of 2 Corinthians, and find strength for the day. How wonderful to be reminded that we ought NOT to trust in ourselves... but  rather in our GOD, who raiseth the dead!

Who can bring life? Who can make the dead to rise? Who can make the blind to see, the deaf to hear? Who can comfort the downcast? Who calms the storm and makes the waves to be still?

Yes, the LORD... HE alone makes all these things to be accomplished.  

He delivered us...
He does deliver us...
He will yet  deliver us...

" Blessed be GOD, 
even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
 2 Corinthians 1:3

How good to be reminded of God's power in our own lives...  for with the comfort that we are comforted, we can comfort those around us. 

Oh, the privilege to pray for the afflictions of those around us, that they too would be strengthened and comforted... that in the end, our/their thanksgiving would bring glory to GOD. 

" Ye also helping together 
by prayer for us, 
that for the gift bestowed (given) upon us
 by means of many persons 
thanks may be given 
by many on our behalf."   
2 Corinthians 1:11

Indeed, God is true... and His promises are yea... and in Him Amen! (verses 18,20)

Our gracious Father, thank you for being merciful and true. Our hearts are full of thanksgiving for the comfort with which you comfort us with. Help us to comfort those around us, that glory would be given thee. Soften our hearts, control our tongues, and place your Word in us, that Christ may be Lord of our lives.

May you be comforted today to know that God is ever merciful.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

HE will keep the feet of His saints...

" He RAISETH the poor out of the dust, and LIFTETH up the beggar from the dunghill to set them among princes and to make them inherit the THRONE OF GLORY..." 1 Samuel 2:8

Today I woke up with a verse on my mind. After struggling to sleep through the night, I managed to finally fall asleep during the early morning hours. Sometimes, I think I can get through trials and afflictions victoriously... and yes, sometimes I do with the Lord's help.

But there are times, when I struggle to keep my focus and look beyond the trial of the day. Even when I constantly remind myself to lift up my eyes and head upwards, I find myself weak, and fearful, and anxious...

You know, the only peace that I get, comes not from distracting my thoughts with empty earthly "joys"... but rather, repeating and going through memory verses in my mind. The sleepless nights are made better only when the word of God dwells in me... giving me peace as only the Lord can.

So this morning, I abruptly woke up... with a verse on my mind.  And even though I didn't get all the necessary physical rest, I woke up refreshed spiritually. 

... and my heart was at peace! 

How the Lord works... even when I sleep He refreshes my mind and heart. 

" But his delight is in the law of the Lord; 
and in his law does He meditate day and night." 
Psalm 1:2

It was as if the Lord had instantly placed me on a solid ROCK... and reminded me... that I ought to continue to place my hope in Him alone....even when overwhelmed. What a gracious Lord to remind me that in His WORD alone I should delight!

How precious these moments are... when He alone works,  when He directs our eyes heavenward and comforts us through His Holy Word.

I found myself reading through Psalm 119 later on during the day... and 2 verses stood out with so much truth. 

Yes, His WORD does strengthen and comfort...

 " My soul melteth for heaviness; 
strengthen thou me according to THY WORD." 
Psalm 119:28

" This is my comfort in my affliction: 
for THY WORD hath quickened me." 
Psalm 119:50

Oh precious Father, thank you for keeping us in your protection and love. Thank you for redirecting our eyes towards the One who alone is able to place us on a solid foundation. Thank you for the peace given when in your presence. Help us to thank you even for the trials and afflictions that come our away, for thou art good and doest good.

May you be encouraged to bring your burdens before the Lord and find rest in His presence... trusting that He can do everything, and that no purpose of His can be withheld. (Job 42:2)