My Utmost for His Highest

April 24th

The warning against wantoning

Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you. Luke 10:20.

As Christian workers, worldliness is not our snare, sin is not our snare, but spiritual wantoning is, viz.: taking the pattern and print of the religious age we live in, making eyes at spiritual success. Never court anything other than the approval of God, go “without the camp, bearing His reproach.” Jesus told the disciples not to rejoice in successful service, and yet this seems to be the one thing in which most of us do rejoice. We have the commercial view—so many souls saved and sanctified, thank God, now it is all right. Our work begins where God’s grace has laid the foundation; we are not to save souls, but to disciple them. Salvation and sanctification are the work of God’s sovereign grace; our work as His disciples is to disciple lives until they are wholly yielded to God. One life wholly devoted to God is of more value to God than one hundred lives simply awakened by His Spirit. As workers for God we must reproduce our own kind spiritually, and that will be God’s witness to us as workers. God brings us to a standard of life by His grace, and we are responsible for reproducing that standard in others.
Unless the worker lives a life hidden with Christ in God, he is apt to become an irritating dictator instead of an indwelling disciple. Many of us are dictators, we dictate to people and to meetings. Jesus never dictates to us in that way. Whenever Our Lord talked about discipleship, He always prefaced it with an ‘IF,’ never with an emphatic assertion—‘You must.’ Discipleship carries an option with it.

Streams in the Desert

April 24

“Faith is … the evidence of things not seen”
(Heb. 11:1.)

TRUE faith drops its letter in the post office box, and lets it go Distrust holds on to a corner of it, and wonders that the answer never comes. I have some letters in my desk that have been written for weeks, but there was some slight uncertainty about the address or the contents, so they are yet unmailed. They have not done either me or anybody else any good yet. They will never accomplish anything until I let them go out of my hands and trust them tothe postman and the mail.

This the way with true faith. It hands its case over to God, and then He works. That is a fine verse in the Thirty-seventh Psalm: “Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, and He worketh.” But He never worketh till we commit. Faith is a receiving or still better, a taking of God’s proffered gifts. We may believe, and come, and commit, and rest; but we will not fully realize all our blessing until we begin to receive and come into the attitude of abiding and taking.
—Days of Heaven upon Earth.

Dr. Payson, when a young man, wrote as follows, to an aged mother, burdened with intense anxiety on account of the condition of her son: “You give yourself too much trouble about him. After you have prayed for him, as you have done, and committed him to God, should you not cease to feel anxious respecting him? The command, ‘Be careful for nothing,’ is unlimited; and so is the expression, ‘Casting all your care on him.’ If we cast our burdens upon another, can they continue to press upon us? If we bring them away with us from the Throne of Grace, it is evident we do not leave them there. With respect to myself, I have made this one test of my prayers: if after committing anything to God, I can, like Hannah, come away and have my mind no more sad, my heart no more pained or anxious, I look upon it as one proof that I have prayed in faith; but, if I bring away my burden, I conclude that faith was not in exercise.”

365 days with Newton

24 APRIL (PREACHED 23 APRIL 1775)

Spiritual concern for our family

‘Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.’ 2 Samuel 23:5
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: 1 John 3:1–14

My house. David was prosperous in many respects, but afflicted in his family. One son slain by another, and he that murdered his brother proved a rebel and traitor to his father. He had many children, but few that he could hope were the Lord’s children. His sorrow on this account found a place even in his last words. Observe hence: a good man longs for the spiritual welfare of his children and family. Indeed those who have tasted that the Lord is gracious, wish that all around them were partakers of the same mercy, but charity will, in this sense at least, begin at home. I think those of you who have dear relatives may try yourselves by this test. Do you travail, as it were, in birth for those who are dear to you? It is a good sign, and if your desires prompt you to the use of every probable and appointed means, and if a failing of success with them gives you a deep, perceptive concern, and excites your prayers to God for them yet more earnestly, be not discouraged, you may yet have the desire of your hearts. But remember, grace does not run in the blood. David had Amnon and Absalom. Manasseh, who was brought up under good Hezekiah, was wicked beyond all that were before him. Nothing but the power of God can change the heart. Therefore:
(i) Beware of trusting to outward privileges (Matthew 3:9).
(ii) Be not discouraged if you have not had them in early life. They could not have saved you of themselves, and if you seek the Lord Jesus he can save you without them.

FOR MEDITATION: A letter from Brother Harry yesterday.… May it be given me to pray earnestly for him. If his disappointments are sanctified to lead him to the one thing needful, they will be blessings, and the greatest success upon other terms would be a curse.
Diary, 9 September 1773

SERMON SERIES: 2 SAMUEL 23:5, NO. 1 [2/4]

My Utmost for His Highest

April 23rd

The worship of the work

Labourers together with God. 1 Cor. 3:9.

Beware of any work for God which enables you to evade concentration on Him. A great many Christian workers worship their work. The one concern of a worker should be concentration on God, and this will mean that all the other margins of life, mental, moral and spiritual, are free with the freedom of a child—a worshipping child, not a wayward child. A worker without this solemn, dominant note of concentration on God is apt to get his work on his neck; there is no margin of body, mind or spirit free, consequently he becomes spent out and crushed. There is no freedom, no delight in life; nerves, mind and heart are so crushingly burdened that God’s blessing cannot rest. But the other side is just as true—when once the concentration is on God, all the margins of life are free and under the dominance of God alone. There is no responsibility on you for the work; the only responsibility you have is to keep in living, constant touch with God, and to see that you allow nothing to hinder your co-operation with Him. The freedom after sanctification is the freedom of a child, the things that used to keep the life pinned down are gone. But be careful to remember that you are freed for one thing only—to be absolutely devoted to your co-Worker.
We have no right to judge where we should be put, or to have preconceived notions as to what God is fitting us for. God engineers everything; wherever He puts us our one great aim is to pour out a whole-hearted devotion to Him in that particular work. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”

Streams in the Desert

April 23

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me.” (Psalm 138:7)

THE Hebrew rendering of the above is “go on in the center of trouble.” What descriptive words! We have called on God in the day of trouble; we have pleaded His promise of deliverance but no deliverance has been given; the enemy has continued oppressing until we were in the very thick of the fight, in the center of trouble. Why then trouble the Master any further?

When Martha said, “Lord, if thou hadst been here my brother had not died,” our Lord met her lack of hope with His further promise, “Thy brother shall rise again.” And when we walk “in the center of trouble” and are tempted to think like Martha that the time of deliverance is past, He meets us too with a promise from His Word. “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me.”

Though His answer has so long delayed, though we may still continue to “go on” in the midst of trouble, “the center of trouble” is the place where He revives, not the place where He fails us.

When in the hopeless place, the continued hopeless place, is the very time when He will stretch forth His hand against the wrath of our enemies and perfect that which concerneth us, the very time when He will make the attack to cease and fail and come to an end. What occasion is there then for fainting?
—Aphra White.

THE EYE OF THE STROM

“Fear not that the whirlwind shall carry thee hence,
Nor wait for its onslaught in breathless suspense,
Nor shrink from the whips of the terrible hail,
But pass through the edge to the heart of the gale,
For there is a shelter, sunlighted and warm,
And Faith sees her God through the eye of the storm.

“The passionate tempest with rush and wild roar
And threatenings of evil may beat on the shore,
The waves may be mountains, the fields battle plains,
And the earth be immersed in a deluge of rains,
Yet, the soul, stayed on God, may sing bravely its psalm,
For the heart of the storm is the center of calm.

“Let hope be not quenched in the blackness of night,
Though the cyclone awhile may have blotted the light,
For behind the great darkness the stars ever shine,
And the light of God’s heavens, His love shall make thine,
Let no gloom dim thine eyes, but uplift them on high
To the face of thy God and the blue of His sky.

“The storm is thy shelter from danger and sin,
And God Himself takes thee for safety within;
The tempest with Him passeth into deep calm,
And the roar of the winds is the sound of a psalm.
Be glad and serene when the tempest clouds form;
God smiles on His child in the eye of the storm.”

Author Scott Austin Tirrell

Maker of fine handcrafted novels!

Heartshare

Sharing words of Support, Motivation and Compassion

In Pursuit of My First Love

Returning to the First Love

Becoming HIS Tapestry

Christian Lifestyle Blogger

Talmidimblogging

Biblical postings, Talmidim- meaning students

Unshakable Hope

"All of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain." (Hebrews 12:27)

Live Your True North

Be true. Be you.

Life Hub

Short articles to bring inspiration to people.

Fountains of hope poetry

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

incomprehensibus

Home of Micropoetry, Literature, art and philosophy.

Bible Daily

Hannah's daily devotional

Learning From God's Word

Prayers, Bible Readings Notes, Sermons And Theological Articles

The Eyes of My Heart

Stay true to His calling

Ritika Rasal

Never Wanted Perfect Just Real

Faces of Auschwitz

Photos and stories from victims and survivors of the Holocaust

TheGodminute

A daily dose of God’s touch in a minute...

TheWeeFlea.com

The Blog of David Robertson

Elisha Vision - Commentary

Les Lawrence - Voice of Christian Zionists