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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #53. God's Kind of Christian by Charles Price.

How does the finished work of Christ redound to God's glory? It does so because it reveals God's great attributes clearly. We must remember from our earlier study of the word "glory" that to glorify God means to "acknowledge His attributes" or "make them known." It means proclaming His sovereignty, justice, righteousness, wisdom, love, and everything else that may rightly be said about Him.

But where are these attributes best known? The answer is: at the cross, for only here is the perfection of God's sovereignty, justice, righteousness, wisdom, and love abundantly and unmistakably displayed. We see God's sovereignty in the way in which the death of Christ was planned, promised, and then executed, without the slightest deviation from the prophecies of the Old Testament.

We see God's justice in sin actually being punished. Without the cross God, could have forgiven our sin gratuitously (to speak from a human perspective), but it would not have been just. Only in Christ is that justice satisfied. We see God's righteousness in recognition of the fact that only Jesus, the righteous One, could pay sin's penalty.


We see God's wisdom in the planning and ordering of such a great salvation. We see His love, for it is only at the cross that we know beyond doubt that God loves us even as He loves Jesus. Jesus revealed these attributes of the Father fully by His death. Hence, His obedience to the Father's will in dying, fully glorified Him.

No wonder we sing:

To God be the glory--great things He has done!
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin
And opened the Life-gate that all may go in.

That is God's glory . . . and Christ's glory . . . and our glory too, for we glory in Christ's death, rather than in any works or plans of our devising. . . . .

"It is finished." The work is done.

Loving Father, I thank you for Christ in my life. Help me by the power of your Holy Spirit, to glean the principles contained in this essay, that I may be a better disciple for you, and for the extension of your kingdom. In the wonderful name of Jesus I pray, amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSIC TESTIMONIES…. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. – Revelation 12:11.

Cardiff is a seaport and the capital of Wales--a city graced with many historic buildings and overlooked by a castle on a hill. A town of fewer than 2,000 people in 1801, its population multiplied into the hundreds of thousands in the 19th century. Martyn Lloyd-Jones contributed to that population boom when he was born in Cardiff on, December 20, 1899.

Martyn's childhood had at least one highlight: In January, 1910, his home caught on fire while he and his brothers were sleeping. All of them could easily have lost their lives. The family did lose almost everything they owned and their shaky finances never recovered. As a result, Martyn set out with real determination to succeed.

He entered a London medical school, completing all his exams at such a young age that he had to wait for his degree until his age caught up with his education. He became the chief clinical assistant of a leading physician, Sir Thomas Horder. Horder described Martyn as "the most acute thinker that I ever knew." Martyn faced the prospect of a brilliant and financially rewarding career. But something happened to change that.

Martyn had joined a Calvinist Methodist church when he was fifteen-years-old. Around 1924, he began to seriously consider his spiritual condition. "For many years I thought I was a Christian when in fact I was not. It was only later that I came to see that I had never been a Christian and became one." Reading the Bible for himself and pondering its meaning, he eventually realized that "What I needed was preaching that would convict me of sin and ... bring me to repentance and tell me something about regeneration. But I never heard that. The preaching we had was always based on the assumption that we were all Christians..."

Martyn asked Christ to become master of his life. As soon as he had made that decision, he was overwhelmed with a longing to return to Wales to share his new-found faith with the folks back home.

He took a small church in Aberavon, Wales. Local doctors snubbed him, thinking he was going to poach on their patients. But Martyn wanted instead to win souls. He preached clear, analytical messages. Working men and women came to know Christ. Notorious alcoholics converted to Christ. Other churches invited him to speak.

A few years after Martyn came to Aberavon, a local doctor asked for help with a difficult medical case. Martyn diagnosed the problem at once and proved completely right. After that, demands for his medical assistance increased to the point that they almost threatened his pastoral work.

His name became increasingly well-known. G. Campbell Morgan, another pastor with a powerful ministry, invited him to come to Westminster Chapel. Martyn accepted the Westminster invitation in 1938. Publication of his powerful sermons made him internationally famous. He died in 1981.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes, and give all you have, to win the lost to Christ? Then like, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water, and dare to follow Jesus wherever He leads you?

Loving Father, I thank you for the life of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and I pray that anyone reading this may be inspired by his testimony to give their life to you, and that you would use them in the same way, as you used Martyn. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to be a person of like faith, that I may bring glory to your name. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Monday, April 28, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #71.

Well folks, the weekends over, and it’s back to work for those who live in the Southern Hemisphere, for those who don’t, please continue to enjoy your weekend, but remember, Mondays coming! And as we know by experience, Mondays can be very sluggish, especially after a lovely weekend, where we managed to spend some quality time with our families and friends, and suddenly it’s back to the grind.

I thought by way of encouragement, that we could have a ‘Heart Starter’ from the word of God, rather than the six cups of coffee, or whatever it takes, to get started for the rest of the week!

Our ‘Heart Starter’ today is, Fellowship with God by G. Campbell Morgan

Fellowship with God, then, as to privilege, is communion with Him; the actuality of friendship and fellowship with God, as to responsibility, is partnership with Him. . . Fellowship with God means we have gone into business with God, that His enterprises are to be our enterprises. How many people are there in company with whom you can pour out everything in your heart, say everything, say anything? Very, very few. But there is a perfect description of friendship. With your friend you think aloud, there is no restraint; there is no need to keep up an appearance--the blunter thing would be to say, there is no need to play the hypocrite.

With God it is my privilege
to pour out everything that is in my heart, chaff and grain together, saying anything, saying everything I am thinking. But have we learned that lesson? Do not we think altogether too often our conversation with God must be that of carefully prepared and often stilting phrasing? I think we never so grieve His heart as when we attempt to speak thus with Him. Conversing with God reaches its highest level when, alone with Him, I pour in His listening ear everything in my heart; and the manner in which I have learned that secret, and live in the power of it, is the measure of the joy and strength of my friendship with God.

I can say, and I do say, when alone with God things I dare not say in the hearing of other men. I tell Him all my grief’s, and doubts, and fears; and if we have not learned to do so, we have never entered into the meaning of this great truth concerning fellowship. He will take out the grain, and with the breath of friendship blow the chaff away, only we must be honest when we are dealing with Him. Then He will be patient, and loving, and gentle; and out of the infinite love and gentleness of His heart He will speak some quiet word of comfort.

How much do we know of this fellowship? How much have we practiced talking to God of everything in our souls?

Wow! Now that our hearts are beating regularly, let’s consider what we have just read over a cup of Java, and ask the Lord to help us by the power of the Holy Spirit, to have Fellowship with God every day.

Loving Father, I thank you for the beautiful weekend that I have just had. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to start off this week, by taking on board, some of the advice and inspirations that I have just read. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #51. Jehovah Jireh by Alexander MacLaren. Part 2.

When the Provision Comes, further, note when the provision is realized.

When the man is standing with the knife in his hand and the next minute it will be red with the son's blood then the call comes: "Abraham!" and then he sees the ram caught in the thicket. There had been a long weary journey from their home away down in the dry, sunny south, a long tramp over the rough hills, a toilsome climb with a breaking heart in the father's bosom, and a dim foreboding gradually stealing on the child's spirit. But there was no sign of respite or of deliverance. Slowly he piles together the wood, and yet no sign. Slowly he binds his boy and lays him on it, and still no sign. Slowly, reluctantly, and yet resolvedly, he unsheathes the knife, and yet no sign. He lifts his hand, and then it comes.

That is God's way always. Up to the very edge we are driven before His hand is put out to help us. Such is the law, not only because the next moment is always necessarily dark nor because God will deal with us in any arbitrary fashion and play with our fears, but because it is best for us that we should be forced to desperation and out of desperation should "pluck the flower, safety." It is best for us that we should be brought to say, "My foot slippeth!" and then, just as our toes are sliding upon the glacier, the help comes and "Thy mercy held me up." "The Lord is our helper, and that right early." When He delays, it is not to trifle with us but to do us good by the sense of need as well as by the experience of deliverance. At the last moment, never before it, never until we have found out how much we need it, and never too late, comes the Helper.

So "it is provided" for the people that quietly and persistently tread the path of duty and go wherever His hand leads them without asking anything about where it does lead. The condition of the provision is our obedience of heart and will. To Abraham doing what he was commanded, though his heart was breaking as he did it, the help was granted-as it always will be.

What to Do with the Provision, and so, lastly, note what we are to do with the provision when we get it.Abraham christened the anonymous mountaintop, not by a name that reminded him or others of his trial, but by a name that proclaimed God's deliverance. He did not say anything about his agony or about his obedience. God spoke about that, not Abraham. He did not want these to be remembered, but what he desired to hand on to later generations was what God had done for him.

Oh! dear friends, is that the way in which we look back upon life? Many a bare, bald mountaintop in your career and mine we have names for.

Are they names that commemorate our sufferings or God's blessings? When we look back on the past, what do we see? Times of trial or times of deliverance? Which side of the wave do we choose to look at, the one that is smitten by the sunshine or the one that is all black and purple in the shadow? The sea looked at from the one side will be all a sunny path, and from the other, dark as chaos. Let us name the heights that he behind us, visible to memory, by names that commemorate, not the troubles that we had on them, but the deliverances that on them we received from God.This name enshrines the duty of commemoration-yes! And the duty of expectation. "The Lord will provide."

How do you know that, Abraham? And his answer is, "Because the Lord did provide." That is a shaky kind of argument if we use it about one another. Our resources may give out, our patience may weary. If it is a storehouse that we have to go to, all the corn that is treasured in it will be eaten up some day; but if it is to some boundless plain that grows it that we go, then we can be sure that there will be a harvest next year as there has been a harvest last.

And so we have to think of God not as a storehouse but as the soil from which there comes forth, year by year and generation after generation, the same crop of rich blessings for the needs and the hungers of every soul. If we have to draw from reservoirs we cannot say, "I have gone with my pitcher to the well six times, and I shall get it filled at the seventh." It is more probable that we shall have to say, "I have gone so often that I durst not go any more"; but if we have to go not to a well but to a fountain, then the oftener we go, the surer we become that its crystal cool waters will always be ready for us. "Thou. hast been with me in six troubles; and in seven thou wilt not forsake me," is a bad conclusion to draw about one another; but it is the right conclusion to draw about God.

And so, as we look back upon our past lives and see many a peak gleaming in the magic light of memory, let us name them all by names that will throw a radiance of hope on the unknown and unclimbed difficulties before us and say, as the patriarch did when he went down from the mount of his trial and deliverance, "The Lord will provide."

Loving Father, I thank you for Christ in my life. Help me by the power of your Holy Spirit, to glean the principles contained in this essay, that I may be a better disciple for you, and for the extension of your kingdom. In the wonderful name of Jesus I pray, amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSIC TESTIMONIES… Catherine McAuley.

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. – Revelation 12:11.

Even before the famine which began in 1845, Ireland had its share of poverty. Orphans and waifs did not find the kind of governmental support which is now common everywhere in the western world. Although antipathy between Protestants and Catholics existed then as now, it did not prevent one Catholic orphan girl of Dublin from finding Protestant foster parents.

Catherine McAuley was taken into the home of Surgeon Conway. Although he was a rigid Protestant, Catherine refused to attend his Protestant church. When Catherine was 18, another couple, the Callahan’s, adopted her. She converted both of them to Roman Catholicism. When Mr. Callahan died in 1822, he left her a great fortune. She was then about 35.

Perhaps because she had lost her own parents, Catherine wanted to do work among the poor. She had already engaged in relief efforts for the needy and by 1824 contemplated plans for a centre for the charitable works she planned.

On September 24, 1827 she opened her House of Mercy. It consisted of a school and a home for working mothers. Because the need for jobs was great, she soon tacked on an employment agency and before long an orphanage.

Catherine had no interest in becoming a nun. Many of her helpers were inclined to religious vocations, but, except for a daily routine which included spiritual exercises and a uniform adopted for convenience sake, her House of Mercy made no effort to become a religious order. All the same, her inclusion of religious elements led to carping by jealous Roman Catholic orders. Her work was heretical, they griped. Catherine was trying to compete with the Sisters of Charity. An ugly prejudice developed against her.

The archbishop of Dublin, under whose care Catherine had placed her funds, spoke with her. Either she must drop the religious elements from her work or else bring it officially into the Catholic Church.

Rather than give up the work which had come to mean a good deal to her, Catherine agreed to receive religious instruction and develop her work into a charitable order. She adopted the Augustinian rule commonly used by the Sisters of Presentation, adding chapters on the care of distressed women and visitation of the sick. On December 12, 1831, she took her own vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Thus came into being the Sisters of Mercy.

Even in her lifetime the order grew and spread. She established a second house in London "to educate poor little girls, to lodge and maintain poor young ladies who are in danger and to visit the sick poor." After she died in November 1841, the Sisters of Mercy grew to be the largest order ever founded in an English speaking country.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes, and give all you have, to win the lost to Christ? Then like, Catherine McAuley, put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water, and dare to follow Jesus wherever He leads you?

Loving Father, I thank you for the life of Catherine McAuley, and I pray that anyone reading this may be inspired by her testimony to give their life to you, and that you would use them in the same way, as you used Catherine. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to be a person of like faith, that I may bring glory to your name. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Monday, April 21, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #70.

Well folks, the weekends over, and it’s back to work for those who live in the Southern Hemisphere, for those who don’t, please continue to enjoy your weekend, but remember, Mondays coming! And as we know by experience, Mondays can be very sluggish, especially after a lovely weekend, where we managed to spend some quality time with our families and friends, and suddenly it’s back to the grind.

I thought by way of encouragement, that we could have a ‘Heart Starter’ from the word of God, rather than the six cups of coffee, or whatever it takes, to get started for the rest of the week!

Our ‘Heart Starter’ today is, The Call of Christ Part 2, by A.W. Tozer…

The activities in which men engage may be divided into two categories: the morally bad and the morally neutral. The activities of the burglar, the gambler, the dictator, the procurer, the dope addict, the gangster and all who prey upon society are bad; nothing can make them better. The call of Christ is away from all such. This is not to be questioned or debated, but accepted without delay and acted upon at once.


But the majority of our human activities are not evil in themselves; they are neutral. The laborer, the statesman, the housewife, the doctor, the teacher, the engineer-such as these engage in activities that are neither good nor bad. Their moral qualities are imparted by the one who engages in them. So the call of Christ is not away from such things, for they may be sanctified by the prayer and faith of the individual, and thus turned into a positive good.

One thing is certain: the call of Christ is always a promotion. Were Christ to call a king from his throne to preach the gospel to some tribe of aborigines, that king would be elevated above anything he had known before. Any movement toward Christ is ascent, and any direction away from Him is down.

Yet though we recognize the honor bestowed upon us, there is no place for pride, for the follower of Christ must shoulder his cross and a cross is an object of shame and a symbol of rejection.

Before God and the angels it is a great honor to follow Christ, but before men it is not so. The Christ the world pretends now to honor was once rejected and crucified by that same world. The great saint is honored only after he is dead. Rarely is he known as a saint while he lives. The plaudits of the world come too late, when he can no longer hear them; and perhaps it is better that way. Not many are selfless enough to endure honor without injury to their souls.In those early Galilean days Christ's followers heard His call, forsook the old life, attached themselves to Him, began to obey His teachings and joined themselves to His band of disciples. This total commitment was their confirmation of faith. Nothing less would do.
And it is not different today. He calls us to leave the old life and to begin the new. There must never be any vacuum, never any place of neutrality where the world cannot identify us. Peter warming himself at the world's fire and trying to seem unconcerned is an example of the kind of halfway discipleship too many are satisfied with. The martyr leaping up in the arena, demanding to be thrown to the lions along with his suffering brethren, is an example of the only kind of dedication that God approves.

Wow! Now that our hearts are beating regularly, let’s consider what we have just read over a cup of Java, and ask the Lord to help us by the power of the Holy Spirit, to realise the call of Christ in our lives.

Loving Father, I thank you for the beautiful weekend that I have just had. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to start off this week, by taking on board, some of the advice and inspirations that I have just read. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Friday, April 11, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT FRIDAY – A CHEERFUL HEART #86.


A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. - Pro 17:22.

Friday has come and brings to an end another working week. What better way to get into a good frame of mind than to end it with a good laugh…

EXECUTIONS…
In some foreign country a priest, a lawyer and an engineer are about to be guillotined.

The priest puts his head on the block, they pull the rope and nothing happens -- he declares that he's been saved by divine intervention-- so he's let go .

The lawyer is put on the block, and again the rope doesn't release the blade, he claims he can't be executed twice for the same crime and he is set free too.

They grab the engineer and shove his head into the guillotine, he looks up at the release mechanism and says, "Wait a minute, I see your problem...."
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Cooking bachelors…
Two bachelors sat talking, their conversation drifted from politics to cooking."I got a cookbook once," said one, "but I could never do anything with it."

"Too much fancy work in it, eh?" asked the other.

"You said it. Every one of the recipes began the same way -- 'Take a clean dish...'
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Lord’ Prayer…
The pope was weighting in line at Mc Donald’s for Lunch. When the manager came out to have a word. The manager told the Pope that McDonald’s would give 5 Million dollars to the church if he some how changed the Lord's prayer to give us today our daily hamburger instead of give us today our daily bread.

The Pope thought for a moment then said sorry I really can't.

The manager then said ok how about 40 million the Pope said ok well I’ll talk to my top Cardinal about it. So the pope goes and sees the Cardinal and says. "I've got some good news and some bad news".

The Cardinal says well lets hear the good news first.

The Pope then says "I can get the us 40 million dollars to put a church were ever they want". "The Bad news is we going to have to break the deal with Brumbies"
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Healthy Insanity…
Ways to Maintain A Healthy Level of Insanity.

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and point a Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.
2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise Your Voice.
3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask If They Want Fries with that.
4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It "In."
5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks Once Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.
6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write " For Smuggling Diamonds"
7. Finish All Your sentences with "In Accordance With The Prophecy."
8 . Don't use any punctuation
9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.
10. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.
11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is "To Go."
12. Sing Along At The Opera.
13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems Don't Rhyme?
14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And Play tropical Sounds All Day.
15. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can't Attend Their Party Because You're Not In The Mood.
16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your Wrestling Name, Rock Bottom.
17. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream "I Won!, I Won!"
18. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The Parking lot, Yelling "Run For Your Lives, They're Loose!!"
19. Tell Your Children Over Dinner. "Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go."
20. And The Final Way To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity.......Send This E-mail To Someone To Make Them Smile.
Its Called ....... therapy.
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much!
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Faith Spot…
A man lives by believing something, not by debating and arguing about many things. - Thomas Carlyle.
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Most Famous Man…
The teacher said, "I'll give $20 to the child who can tell me who was the most famous man who ever lived."

An Irish boy put his hand up and said, "It was St. Patrick."

The teacher said, "Sorry Sean, that's not correct."

Then a French boy put his hand up and said, "It was Napoleon."

The teacher replied, "I'm sorry, Pierre, that's not right either."

Finally, a Jewish boy raised his hand and said, "It was Jesus Christ."

The teacher said, "That's absolutely right, Daniel, come up here and I'll give you the $20."As the teacher was giving Daniel his money, she said, "You know Daniel, you being Jewish, I was very surprised you said Jesus Christ."

Daniel replied, "Yeah. In my heart I knew it was Moses, but business is business."
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Mirror Blondes…
One day 2 blondes were walking down the street. One found a compact mirror lying on the side walk. She opened it and said,"I've seen this person before."

The blonde walking next to her grabbed it, looked into it, and said,"Duh...it's me!"
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WE ARE REMINDED THAT BEING CHEERFUL KEEPS US HEALTHY… IT IS SLOW DEATH TO BE GLOOMY ALL THE TIME!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to remind myself that Jesus died to set me free, help me Lord to live that life, and be determined in Him to have a cheerful heart, in Jesus wonderful Name I pray, amen!

HAVE A GREAT AND GODLY WEEKEND!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – THURSDAY THOUGHTS #50… GOD’S GUIDANCE.

If we want God to guide us, our attitude needs to be right. Here are some guidelines as to how we can play our part in arriving at right decisions.

First, we must be willing to think. It is false piety, super-supernaturalism of an unhealthy pernicious sort that demands inward impressions with no rational base, and declines to heed the constant biblical summons to consider. God made us thinking beings, and he guides our minds as we think things out in his presence.

Second, we must be willing to think ahead and weigh the long-term consequences of alternative courses of action. Often we can only see what is wise and right, and what is foolish and wrong, as we dwell on the long-term issues.

Third, we must be willing to take advice. It is a sign of conceit and immaturity to dispense with taking advice in major decisions. There are always people who know the Bible, human nature, and our own gifts and limitations better than we do, and even if we cannot finally accept their advice, nothing but good will come to us from carefully weighing what they say.

Fourth, we must be willing to be ruthlessly honest with ourselves. We must suspect ourselves: ask ourselves why we feel a particular course of action will be right and make ourselves give reasons.

Fifth, we must be willing to wait. "Wait on the Lord" is a constant refrain in the Psalms and it is a necessary word, for the Lord often keeps us waiting. When in doubt, do nothing, but continue to wait on God. - James Packer.

Loving Heavenly Father, I thank you for my beautiful life in Jesus Christ; Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to trust in my Lord and Saviour, Jesus, for my guidance.. For your glory Lord, and for the extension of your Kingdom, in Jesus wonderful and mighty name I pray, amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – WEDNESDAY WARRIOR! #50. Jehovah Jireh by Alexander MacLaren. Part 1.

AS THESE Two, Abraham and Isaac, were traveling up the hill, the son bearing the wood and the father with the sad burden of the fire and the knife, the boy said: "Where is the lamb?" and Abraham, thrusting down his emotion and steadying his voice, said: 'My son, God will provide Himself a lamb." When the wonderful issue of the trial was plain before him and he looked back upon it, the one thought that rose to his mind was of how, beyond his meaning, his words had been true. So he named that place by a name that spoke nothing of his trial but everything of God's provision… "The Lord will see," or "The Lord will provide."

What the Words Mean

The words have become proverbial and threadbare as a commonplace of Christian feeling. But it may be worth our while to ask for a moment what it was exactly that Abraham expected the Lord to provide. We generally use the expression in reference to outward things and see in it the assurance that we shall not be left without the supply of the necessities for which, because God has made us to feel them, He has bound Himself to make provision. And most blessedly true is that application of them, and many a Christian heart in days of famine has been satisfied with the promise when the bread that was given has been scant.But there is a meaning deeper than that in the words. It is true, thank God! that we may cast all our anxiety about all outward things upon Him in the assurance that He who feeds the ravens will feed us, and that if lilies can blossom into beauty without care, we shall be held by our Father of more value than these.

But there is a deeper meaning in the provision spoken of here. What was it that God provided for Abraham? What is it that God provides for us? A way to discharge the arduous duties which, when they are commanded, seem all but impossible for us and which, the nearer we come to them, look the more dreadful and seem the more impossible.

And yet, when the heart has yielded itself in obedience and we are ready to do the thing that is enjoined, there opens up before us a possibility provided by God, and strength comes to us equal to our day, and some unexpected gift is put into our hand which enables us to do the thing of which Nature said: 'My heart will break before I can do it"; and in regard to which even Grace doubted whether it was possible for us to carry it through. If our hearts are set in obedience to the command, the farther we go on the path of obedience, the easier the command win appear, and to try to do it is to ensure that God will help us to do it.

This is the main provision that God makes, and it is the highest provision that He can make for there is nothing in this life that we need so much as to do the will of our Father in heaven. All outward wants are poor compared with that. The one thing worth living for, the one thing which in being secured we are blessed and being missed we are miserable, is compliance in heart with the commandment of our Father, and the compliance wrought out in life. So, of all gifts that He bestows upon us and of all the abundant provision out of His rich storehouses is not this the best, that we are made ready for any required service? When we get to the place we shall find some lamb "caught in the thicket by its horns"; and heaven itself will supply what is needful for our burnt offering.

And then there is another thought here which, though we cannot certainly say it was in the speaker's mind, is distinctly in the historian's intention, "The Lord will provide." Provide what? The lamb for the burnt offering which He has commanded. It seems probable that that bare mountaintop which Abraham saw from afar and named Jehovah Jireh, was the mountain-top on which afterward the Temple was built. And perhaps the wood was piled for the altar on that very piece of primitive rock which still stands visible, though Temple and altar have long since gone, and which for many a day was the place of the altar on which the sacrifices of Israel were offered.

It is no mere forcing of Christian meanings on to old stories but the discerning of that prophetic and spiritual element which God has impressed upon these histories of the past, especially in all their climaxes and crises, when we see in the fact that God provided the ram which became the appointed sacrifice, through which Isaac's life was preserved, a dim adumbration of the great truth that the only Sacrifice which God accepts for the world's sin is the Sacrifice which He Himself has provided.

This is the deepest meaning of all the sacrificial worship, as of Israel so of heathen nations, God Himself will provide a Lamb. The world had built altars, and Israel, by divine appointment, had its altar too. All these express the want which none of them can satisfy. They show that man needed a Sacrifice and that Sacrifice God has provided. He asked from Abraham less than He gives to us. Abraham's devotion was sealed and certified because he did not withhold his son, his only son, from God. And God's love is sealed because He has not withheld His only-begotten Son from us.

So this name that came from Abraham's grateful and wondering lips contains a truth which holds true in all regions of our wants. On the lowest level, the outward supply of outward needs; on a higher, the means of discharging hard duties and a path through sharp trials; and, on the highest of all, the spotless sacrifice which alone avails for the world's sins-these are the things which God provides.

The Conditions in the Case

So, note again on what conditions He provides them. The incident and the name became the occasion of a proverb, as the historian tells us, which survived down to the period of his writing, and probably long after, when men were accustomed to say, "In the mount of the Lord it shall be provided."

The provision of all sorts that we need has certain conditions as to the when and the where of the persons to whom it shall be granted. "In the mount of the Lord it shall be provided." If we wish to have our outward needs supplied, our outward weaknesses strengthened, power and energy sufficient for duty, wisdom for perplexity, a share in the Sacrifice which takes away the sins of the world, we receive them all on the condition that we are found in the place where all God's provision is treasured.

If a man chooses to sit outside the baker's shop, he may starve on its threshold. If a man will not go into the bank, his pockets will be empty though there may be bursting coffers there to which he has a right. And if we will not ascend to the hill of the Lord, and stand in His holy place by simple faith, and by true communion of heart and life, God's amplest provision is nought to us; and we are empty in the midst of affluence.

Get near to God if you would partake of what He has prepared. Live in fellowship with Him by simple love and often meditate on Him if you would drink in of His fullness. And be sure of this, that howsoever within His house the stores are heaped and the treasury full, you will have neither part nor lot in the matter unless you are children of the house. "In the mount of the Lord it shall be provided." And round it there is a waste wilderness of famine and of death.


Loving Father, I thank you for Christ in my life. Help me by the power of your Holy Spirit, to glean the principles contained in this essay, that I may be a better disciple for you, and for the extension of your kingdom. In the wonderful name of Jesus I pray, amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSIC TESTIMONIES…. George Washington Bethune.

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. – Revelation 12:11.

When France suppressed its Protestant Huguenots, they scattered around the world. Many wound up in the young United States. Several presidents, the first chief justice of the United States (John Jay) and many other famous men boasted Huguenot blood. George Washington Bethune, born on March 18, 1805 in New York City, was also of Huguenot descent. He became a notable Dutch Reformed pastor.

Apart from a brief stint in South Carolina as a missionary to seamen while he was still associated with the Presbyterian church, George spent all of his pastoral life in Dutch Reform churches in New York and Pennsylvania until illness forced his retirement in 1859. He authored several books, including a study of British female writers, a collection of his own poems, and five editions of Izaac Walton's Complete Angler.

Because of his extraordinary literary background, he was offered high leadership positions at New York University and the University of Pennsylvania. However, he declined both because he preferred to be a preacher of the Gospel. In fact, he once urged his sons and sons-in-law: "My sons, preach the Gospel. Tell dying sinners of a Savior. All the rest is folly."

It was as a preacher and orator that he shone. In one of his sermons, he gave this advice:
"While, therefore, we grow in the Christian life by divine grace, it is our duty to grow in grace. Besides, the quality of grace is such that, though it is strength from God, we must use it. Grace gives no new faculty, but strengthens the faculties which we have . . .”

Bethune penned the words to the hymn, "There Is No Name So Sweet on Earth."


There is no name so sweet on earth,

No name so sweet in Heaven,
The Name, before His wondrous birth
To Christ the Savior given.

And when He hung upon the tree,
They wrote this Name above Him;
That all might see the reason we
Forevermore must love Him.

He died suddenly of a stroke in April 1862. The morning of his death, he preached in the Scottish church in Florence. He had gone to sunny Italy that year for his health and his wife's. George Bethune was just 56. At his funeral, the congregation sang one of his hymns:

It is not death to die,
To leave this weary road,
And, midst the brotherhood on high,
To be at home with God.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes, and give all you have, to win the lost to Christ? Then like, George Washington Bethune, put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water, and dare to follow Jesus wherever He leads you?

Loving Father, I thank you for the life of George Washington Bethune, and I pray that anyone reading this may be inspired by his testimony to give their life to you, and that you would use them in the same way, as you used George. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to be a person of like faith, that I may bring glory to your name. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged.
GBYAY

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Monday, April 07, 2008

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT MONDAY – A HEART STARTER #69.

Well folks, the weekends over, and it’s back to work for those who live in the Southern Hemisphere, for those who don’t, please continue to enjoy your weekend, but remember, Mondays coming! And as we know by experience, Mondays can be very sluggish, especially after a lovely weekend, where we managed to spend some quality time with our families and friends, and suddenly it’s back to the grind.

I thought by way of encouragement, that we could have a ‘Heart Starter’ from the word of God, rather than the six cups of coffee, or whatever it takes, to get started for the rest of the week!

Our ‘Heart Starter’ today is, The Call of Christ Part 1 by A.W. Tozer…

TO BE CALLED TO FOLLOW CHRIST is a high honor; higher indeed than any honor men can bestow upon each other.


Were all the nations of the earth to unite in one great federation and call a man to head that federation, that man would be honored above any other man that ever lived. Yet the humblest man who heeds the call to follow Christ has an honor far above such a man; for the nations of the earth can bestow only such honor as they possess, while the honor of Christ is supreme over all. God has given Him a name that is above every name.

This being true and being known to the heavenly intelligences, the methods we use to persuade men to follow Christ must seem to them extremely illogical if not downright wrong.

Evangelical Christians commonly offer Christ to mankind as a nostrum to cure their ills, a way out of their troubles, a quick and easy means to the achievement of personal ends. They use the right words, but their emphasis is awry. The message is so presented as to leave the hearer with the impression that he is being asked to give up much to gain more. And that is not good, however well intentioned it may be.

What we do is precisely what a good salesman does when he presents the excellence of his product as compared with that of his closest competitor. The customer chooses the better of the two, as who would not? But the weakness of the whole salesmanship technique is apparent: the idea of selfish gain is present in the whole transaction.

Jesus Christ is a Man come to save men. In Him the divine nature is married to our human nature, and wherever human nature exists there is the raw material out of which He makes followers and saints. Our Lord recognizes no classes, high or low, rich or poor, old or young, man or woman: all are human and all are alike to Him. His invitation is to all mankind.

In New Testament times persons from many and varied social levels heard His call and responded: Peter the fisherman; Levi the publican; Luke the physician; Paul the scholar; Mary the demon possessed; Lydia the businesswoman; Paulus the statesman. A few great and many common persons came. They all came and our Lord received them all in the same way and on the same terms.

From any and every profession or occupation men and women may come if they will. The simple rule is that if the occupation is good, continue in it if you so desire; if it is bad, abandon it at once and seek another. If the call includes detachment from all common pursuits to give full time to the work of the gospel, then no profession or occupation, no matter how good or how noble, must keep us from obeying the call.

Wow! Now that our hearts are beating regularly, let’s consider what we have just read over a cup of Java, and ask the Lord to help us by the power of the Holy Spirit, to realise the call of Christ in our lives.

Loving Father, I thank you for the beautiful weekend that I have just had. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to start off this week, by taking on board, some of the advice and inspirations that I have just read. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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