To Give Everything First

And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth,
have not a cake,
but an handful of meal in a barrel,
and a little oil in a cruse:
and, behold, I am gathering two sticks,
I may go in and dress it for me and my son,
that we may eat it, and die.
And Elijah said unto her, Fear not;
go and do as thou hast said:
but make me thereof a little cake first,
and bring it unto me,
and after make for thee and for thy son.
For thus saith the LORD God of Israel,
The barrel of meal shall not waste,
neither shall the cruse of oil fail,
until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.
And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah:
and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
And the barrel of meal wasted not,
neither did the cruse of oil fail,
according to the word of the LORD,
which he spake by Elijah.
1Kings 17:12-16

 

But what if . . .
what if the widow had not believed the words of the prophet?

What if she had not picked up that curse of oil the next morning
to fix the breakfast cake

What if she had not reached in to the bag

Did she wonder as she picked up the flour scoop
Did her hand tremble?
Did she cry
“LORD! HELP MY UNBELIEF!”

She was just like me
measuring out for days the amount left
in the bag and in the cruse.

Making each cake in the morning and in the evening
just a little smaller
just a little drier
knowing on what day
everything would be gone.

The day came
and as she looked in her little son’s eyes
she said,
Come, let us gather the sticks for today’s breakfast.

As they walk down the same lane
they had walked day after day
they met a man
who asked her to give everything she had to him first.

 

Remembering mine affliction and my misery,
the wormwood and the gall.
My soul hath them still in remembrance,
and is humbled in me.
This I recall to my mind,
therefore have I hope.
It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning:
great is thy faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:19-23

Linking with:

I’m having Coffee For Your Heart with my friend Holley Gerth

To drink a little more Coffee – click here

So Run, That Ye May Obtain

Ever Keep Heavaen in View

For we are made partakers of Christ,
if we hold the beginning of our confidence
stedfast unto the end;
Hebrews 3:14

It is the last step that wins;
and there is no place in the pilgrim’s progress
where so many dangers lurk as the region
that lies hard by the portals of the Celestial City.
It was there that Doubting Castle stood.
It was there that the enchanted ground
lured the tired traveler to fatal slumber.
It is when Heaven’s heights are full in view that
hell’s gate is most persistent and full of deadly peril.
“Let us not be weary in well doing,
for in due season we shall reap,
if we faint not.”
“So run, that ye may obtain.”

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
but this one thing I do,
forgetting those things which are behind,
and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

Published in: on March 6, 2017 at 1:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Another is Hindered

tree

I love the bare branches of trees.

Let us not therefore judge one another any more:
but judge this rather,
that no man put a stumbling-block,
or an occasion to fall,
in his brother’s way.
Romans 14:13.

A vexation arises,
and our expressions of impatience
hinder others from taking it patiently.
Disappointment,
ailment,
or even weather depresses us;
and our look or tone of depression
hinders others from maintaining
a cheerful and thankful spirit.
We say an unkind thing,
and another is hindered in learning
the holy lesson of charity that thinketh no evil.
We say a provoking thing,
and our sister or brother is hindered
in that day’s effort to be meek.
How sadly, too, we may hinder without word or act!
For wrong feeling is more infectious than wrong doing;
especially the various phases of ill temper,
–gloominess,
touchiness,
discontent,
irritability,
–do we not know how catching these are?
F. R. HAVERGAL.

Them that were entering in,
ye hindered.
Luke 11:52.

Published in: on February 25, 2017 at 4:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Whatsoever Thy Hand Findeth To Do . . .

wash

My meat is to do the will of Him
that sent me and to finish His work.
John 4:34.

Don’t object that your duties are so insignificant;
they are to be reckoned of infinite significance,
and alone important to you.
Were it but the more perfect regulation of your apartments,
the sorting-away of your clothes and trinkets,
the arranging of your papers, —
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, _do it_ with all thy might,”
and all thy worth and constancy.
Much more, if your duties are of evidently higher, wider scope;
if you have brothers, sisters, a father, a mother,
weigh earnestly what claim does lie upon you, on behalf of each,
and consider it as the one thing needful,
to pay _them_ more and more honestly and nobly what you owe.
What matter how miserable one is, if one can do that?
That is the sure and steady disconnection and
extinction of whatsoever miseries one has in this world.
T. CARLYLE.

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Colossians 3:17

Published in: on February 23, 2017 at 12:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Seek the Best

head1

The Stone beside me marked the resting place
of somebody’s BELOVED WIFE
who died in 1805 OF A FEVER.
Beneath her name was a line of script,
almost indistinguishable.
I looked close,
wondering which biblical phrase
her grieving children might have chosen.
But it was not a quotaton;
but a statement:
EVER SHE SOUGHT THE BEST, EVER FOUND IT.

Eight words,
I stood there with my fingers on the cool stone,
feeling the present fade
and the past stir behind the illusion we call time.
A century ago
this woman had been living through a hideous war.
Perhaps it took her husband from her,
perhaps her sons.
When it ended
her country was beaten, broken, improverished.
Yet someone who knew her had written
that she always looked for the best,
and always found it.

There was courage in those words,
and dignity, and purpose.
And a kind of triumph, too,
as if they contained a secret of inestimatable value.
What you look for in life,
they seem to be saying,
you will surely find.
But the direction in which you look is up to you.
Arthur Gordon

But seek ye first the kingdom of God,
and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.
Matthew 6:33

Published in: on February 22, 2017 at 4:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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Windows of the Soul

seekth

God stretched out the heavens,
stippling the night with inpressionistic stars.
He set the sun tothe rhythm of the day,
the moon to the rhythm of the month,
the seasons to the rhythm of the year . . .
He formed a likeness of Himself from a lump of clay
and into it breathed life.
He crafted a counterpart to complete the likeness,
joining the two halves and
placing them center stage in His creation
where there was a temption and a fall,
a great loss and a great hiding.
God searched for the hiding couple,
reaching to pick them up,
dust them off,
draw them near . . .

We reach for God in many ways.
Through our sculptures and our scriptures.
Through our pictures and our prayers.
Through our writing and our worship.
And through them He reaches for us . . .

His search begins with something said.
Ours begins with something heard.
His begins with something shown.
Ours, with something seen.
Our search for God and His search for us meet
at windows in our everyday experience.

But we must learn to look
with more than just our eyes
and listen with more than just our ears,
for the sounds are sometimes faint
and the sights sometimes far away.
Ken Gire

Then shall ye call upon me,
and ye shall go and pray unto me,
and I will hearken unto you.
And ye shall seek me, and find me,
when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
And I will be found of you, saith the LORD:
Jeremiah 29:12-14a

Published in: on February 20, 2017 at 11:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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We Have Need of Patience

1

My brethren, count it all joy
when ye fall into divers temptations [or “trials”],
knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.–
James 1:2-3.

We have need of patience
with ourselves and with others;
with those below,
and those above us,
and with our own equals
with those who love us and
those who love us not
for the greatest things
and for the least;
against sudden inroads of trouble,
under our daily burdens;
disappointments as to the weather,
or the breaking of the heart;
in the weariness of the body,
or the wearing of the soul;
in our own failure of duty,
or others’ failure toward us;
every-day wants,
or in the aching of sickness
or the decay of age;
in disappointment,
bereavement,
losses,
injuries,
reproaches;
in heaviness of the heart;
or its sickness amid delayed hopes.
In all these things,
from childhood’s little troubles
to the martyr’s sufferings,
patience is the grace of God,
whereby we endure evil for the love of God.
E. B. Pusey

Published in: on February 19, 2017 at 6:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Casting All

feb24-023

Casting all your care upon him;
for he careth for you.
1 Peter 5:7

Casting all your care
Your anxiety,
your distracting care,
on him,
for he careth for you,
for he meddles or concerns himself,
with the things that interest you.
Whatever things concern a follower of God,
whether they be spiritual or temporal,
or whether in themselves great or small,
God concerns himself with them;
affects them affects him;
in all their afflictions he is afflicted.
He who knows that God cares for him,
need have no anxious cares about himself.

Cast thy burden upon the Lord,
and he will sustain thee.
Psalm 55:22

He will bear both thee and thy burden
Clarke’s Commentary

Casting the whole of your care,
all your anxieties,
all your worries,
all your concerns,
once and for all on Him,
for He cares for you affectionately
and cares about you watchfully.
1 Peter 5:7
Amplified Bible

Published in: on February 11, 2017 at 1:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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As For God

god-is-our-rock

He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.–Psalm 23: 2- 3.

Out of obedience and devotion arises an habitual faith,
which makes Him,
though unseen,
a part of all our life.
He will guide us in a sure path,
though it be a rough one:
though shadows hang upon it,
yet He will be with us.
He will bring us home at last.
Through much trial it may be,
and weariness,
in much fear and fainting of heart,
in much sadness and loneliness,
in griefs that the world never knows,
and under burdens that the nearest never suspect.
Yet He will suffice for all.
By His eye or by His voice He will guide us,
if we be docile and gentle;
by His staff and by His rod,
if we wander or are wilful:
any how,
and by all means,
He will bring us to His rest.
H. E. MANNING.

Psalm 18:30-32
As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. 31 For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God? 32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

Published in: on February 8, 2017 at 11:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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Be Still

be
I do not believe that we have begun to understand
the marvelous power there is in stillness.
We are in such a hurry–we must be doing–
so that we are in danger of not giving God a chance to work.
You may depend upon it,
God never says to us,
“Stand still,” or
“Sit still,” or
“Be still,”
unless He is going to do something.
This is our trouble in regard to our Christian life;
we want to do something to be Christians
when we need to let Him work in us.

Do you know how still you have to be
when your likeness is being taken?
Now God has one eternal purpose concerning us,
and that is that we should be like His Son;
and in order that this may be so, we must be passive.
We hear so much about activity,
may be we need to know what it is to be quiet.
–Crumbs

Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God.
Psalm 46:10 Amplified

Published in: on February 6, 2017 at 4:55 am  Comments (1)  
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The Gospel, The Rod of thy Strength

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The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion:
rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
Psalm 110:2

The rod of thy strength – The Gospel –
the doctrine of Christ crucified;
which is the powerful scepter of the Lord that bought us,
is quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword;
and is the power of God to salvation to all them that believe.
The kingdom of our Lord was to be founded in Zion,
and thence, by gradual conquests,
to be extended over the whole earth.
It was in Zion the preaching of the Gospel first began;
and it is by the Gospel that Christ rules,
even in the midst of his enemies;
for the Gospel extends a moralizing influence over multitudes who do not receive it to their salvation.
Clarke’s Commentary

Christ is the Word, the Gospel,
the same yesterday, today and forever.

The power of the Gospel,
who can describe the power of the Gospel.

The Gospel brings comfort, Psalm 23:4,
. . . thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

The Gospel brings peace, Romams 10:15
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

The Gospel brings help, Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

The Gospel brings salvation, Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

The Gospel brings everlasting life, 2Timothy 1:10
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

These scriptures show the power of the Gospel to those who believe.

I was stirred by Clarke’s statement, ‘for the Gospel extends a moralizing influence over multitudes who do not receive it to their salvation’. We surely have seen the effect of removing the Gospel from our schools and our government.
JUST the reading of the Gospel to children,
JUST being thankful for all things,
JUST knowing the Gospel is sitting on the shelf,
JUST honoring our God has a power we do not comprehend.

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good;
and what doth the LORD require of thee,
but to do justly, and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with thy God?
Micah 6:8

Thoughts from Malachi 3

mal1

Malachi was writing to God’s people, who for the most part were going thier ways, picking and choosing which of the commandments they would follow.

Chapter 3 begins by telling the people, God would send a messenger, John the Baptist, to prepare the way so people could receive the fulfilling of the promise, the arrival of the Messiah.

1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord,

John came preaching strong of repentance and being cleansed. His words showing the need of a refiner’s fire and fuller’s soap for a cleansing deeper than sorrowful words, but real turning from their old ways to obedience to God.

2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:
3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

The God of the fathers, of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob , the God of Moses, Joshua, Samuel and David, the unchanging LORD was saying again to His people, return/

6 For I am the LORD, I change not;
Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts

Give me, bring to me all that I ask, not more of your what you think I want, or less because of your selfishness. Bring and I will pour out a blessing. Bring, and I will protect your future prosperity.

10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

Those people of God who believed his words acted daily in specific ways:

16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

They that feared the Lord

1. They feared the Lord. They had that reverence for Jehovah that caused them to depart from evil, and to keep his ordinances.
2. They spake often one to another. They kept up the communion of saints. By mutual exhortation they strengthened each other’s hands in the Lord.
3. They thought on his name. His name was sacred to them; it was a fruitful source of profound and edifying meditation. The name of God is God himself in the plenitude of his power, omniscience, justice, goodness, mercy, and truth. What a source for thinking and contemplation!
See how God treats such persons: The Lord hearkened to their conversation, heard the meditations of their hearts; and so approved of the whole that a book of remembrance was written before the Lord – all their names were carefully registered in heaven.  Clarke’s Commentary

17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, . . .

Published in: on January 24, 2017 at 4:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Living God

 old-woman-1st  old-man

O Daniel, servant of the living God,
is thy God whom thou servest continually,
able to deliver thee?
Daniel 6:20

How many times we find this expression in the Scriptures,
and yet it is just this very thing
that we are so prone to lose sight of.
We know it is written “the living God“;
but in our daily life there is scarcely anything
we practically so much lose sight of as
the fact that God is the living God;
that He is now whatever
He was three or four thousand years since;
that He has the same sovereign power,
the same saving love towards those who love
and serve Him as ever He had
and that He will do for them now
what He did for others two, three, four thousand years ago,
simply because He is the living God, the unchanging One.
Oh, how therefore we should confide in Him,
and in our darkest moments never lose sight of the fact
that He is still and ever will be the living God!

Be assured,
if you walk with Him and look to Him and expect help from Him,
He will never fail you.
An older brother who has known the Lord for forty-four years,
who writes this, says to you for your encouragement
that He has never failed him.
In the greatest difficulties,
in the heaviest trials,
in the deepest poverty and necessities,
He has never failed me;
but because I was enabled by His grace to trust Him
He has always appeared for my help.
I delight in speaking well of His name.
–George Mueller

For I am the LORD,
I change not;
Malachi 3:6

Published in: on January 21, 2017 at 4:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Rejoice Evermore

cup

Deuteronomy 26:11
And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing
which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee,
and unto thine house, . . .

Gratitude consists in a watchful, minute attention
to the particulars of our state,
and to the multitude of God’s gifts,
taken one by one.
It fills us with a consciousness
that God loves and cares for us,
even to the least event
and smallest need of life.
It is a blessed thought,
that from our childhood
God has been laying His fatherly hands upon us,
and always in benediction;
that even the strokes of His hands are blessings,
and among the chiefest we have ever received.
When this feeling is awakened,
the heart beats with a pulse of thankfulness.
Every gift has its return of praise.
It awakens an unceasing daily converse with our Father,
–He speaking to us by the descent of blessings,
we to Him by the ascent of thanksgiving.

And all our whose life is thereby drawn
under the light of His countenance,
and is filled with a gladness, serenity, and peace
which only thankful hearts can know.
H. E. MANNING.

italics-mine

Published in: on January 19, 2017 at 4:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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Life Has a Way

At times life has a way of pushing us around.
At times the response is to hide and protect.
This piece is about that hiding and protecting;
and about letting go and healing.

 

dark-sn

“Life has battered us down.
Life had heaped refuse upon our heads.;
and we have sealed it in a vault;
where is is safe
where no one will know it is there
a protected place, a dark place, a place alone.
But you know,
you know the hurt and the disappointment,
you know the betrayal and the casual promises,
never fulfilled.
you know the coldness of the fault,
you know the aloneness,
you know the numbing power of grief.

Turn us again, O God,
and cause thy face to shine;
and we shall be saved.
Psalm 80:3

The warmth of God’s eyes
looking on with compassion –

melting the icicles,
melting the snow packs,
melting the protective barrier.

Let that melting water run to sweep away the refuse and lies.
Let that melting water run to cleanse the blueness of the wound.
Let that melting water run free to refresh and make new.

Let the tears flow to soften numbness
Let the tears flow so eyes see clear
Let the tears flow to heal the broken hearted”

Psalm 80:17-19
Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand,
upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.
So will not we go back from thee: quicken us,
and we will call upon thy name.
Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts,
cause thy face to shine;
and we shall be saved.

Published in: on January 18, 2017 at 4:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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