"For the truths sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us forever."
2 John 2
Once let the truth of God obtain an entrance into the human heart and subdue the whole man unto itself, no power human or infernal can dislodge it. We entertain it not as a guest but as the master of the house--this is a Christian necessity, he is no Christian who doth not thus believe. Those who feel the vital power of the gospel, and know the might of the Holy Ghost as he opens, applies, and seals the Lord's Word, would sooner be torn to pieces than be rent away from the gospel of their salvation. What a thousand mercies are wrapped up in the assurance that the truth will be with us forever; will be our living support, our dying comfort, our rising song, our eternal glory; this is Christian privilege, without it our faith were little worth. Some truths we outgrow and leave behind, for they are but rudiments and lessons for beginners, but we cannot thus deal with Divine truth, for though it is sweet food for babes, it is in the highest sense strong meat for men. The truth that we are sinners is painfully with us to humble and make us watchful; the more blessed truth that whosoever believeth on the Lord Jesus shall be saved, abides with us as our hope and joy. Experience, so far from loosening our hold of the doctrines of grace, has knit us to them more and more firmly; our grounds and motives for believing are now more strong, more numerous than ever, and we have reason to expect that it will be so till in death we clasp the Saviour in our arms.
Wherever this abiding love of truth can be discovered, we are bound to exercise our love. No narrow circle can contain our gracious sympathies, wide as the election of grace must be our communion of heart. Much of error may be mingled with truth received, let us war with the error but still love the brother for the measure of truth which we see in him; above all let us love and spread the truth ourselves.
"She gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech."
Her hap was. Yes, it seemed nothing but an accident, but how divinely was it overruled! Ruth had gone forth with her mother's blessing, under the care of her mother's God, to humble but honourable toil, and the providence of God was guiding her every step. Little did she know that amid the sheaves she would find a husband, that he should make her the joint owner of all those broad acres, and that she a poor foreigner should become one of the progenitors of the great Messiah. God is very good to those who trust in him, and often surprises them with unlooked for blessings. Little do we know what may happen to us to-morrow, but this sweet fact may cheer us, that no good thing shall be withheld. Chance is banished from the faith of Christians, for they see the hand of God in everything. The trivial events of today or to-morrow may involve consequences of the highest importance. O Lord, deal as graciously with thy servants as thou didst with Ruth.
How blessed would it be, if, in wandering in the field of meditation tonight, our hap should be to light upon the place where our next Kinsman will reveal himself to us! O Spirit of God, guide us to him. We would sooner glean in his field than bear away the whole harvest from any other. O for the footsteps of his flock, which may conduct us to the green pastures where he dwells! This is a weary world when Jesus is away--we could better do without sun and moon than without him--but how divinely fair all things become in the glory of his presence! Our souls know the virtue which dwells in Jesus, and can never be content without him. We will wait in prayer this night until our hap shall be to light on a part of the field belonging to Jesus wherein he will manifest himself to us.
Today's reading: Jeremiah 6-8, 1 Timothy 5 (NIV)View today's reading on Bible Gateway
Today's Old Testament reading: Jeremiah 6-8
Jerusalem Under Siege
1 “Flee for safety, people of Benjamin!
Flee from Jerusalem!
Sound the trumpet in Tekoa!
Raise the signal over Beth Hakkerem!
For disaster looms out of the north,
even terrible destruction.
2 I will destroy Daughter Zion,
so beautiful and delicate.
3 Shepherds with their flocks will come against her;
they will pitch their tents around her,
each tending his own portion.”
4 “Prepare for battle against her!
Arise, let us attack at noon!
But, alas, the daylight is fading,
and the shadows of evening grow long.
5 So arise, let us attack at night
and destroy her fortresses!”
6 This is what the LORD Almighty says:“Cut down the trees
and build siege ramps against Jerusalem.
This city must be punished;
it is filled with oppression....
Today's New Testament reading: 1 Timothy 5
Widows, Elders and Slaves
1 Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.
3 Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. 5 The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. 6 But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame. 8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds....
[Ămazī'ah] - jehovah has strength.
- Son of Joash or Jehoash, king of Judah. Amaziah came to the throne after the assassination of his father. The writer of 2 Kings gives him unqualified praise for his religious acts (2 Kings 14), but in Chronicles he is accused of gross apostasy (2 Chron. 25:14).
- The priest at Bethel who opposed the prophet Amos in the matter of idol-worship ( Amos 7:10).
- A man of the tribe of Simeon (1 Chron. 4:34).
- A Levite descended from Merari (1 Chron. 6:45).
GOD’S ATTRIBUTES: HE IS INFINITE
Have you found that the longer you live, the more you realize your own finitude? Perhaps you used to think you could accomplish anything, but you've grown to realize you can do what God has enabled you to do and what your own fragile mind and body will allow you to do. You can't be in two places at once. You can't make everybody happy. You can't get treatment for every disease, and you can't be twenty years old again if you've passed that mark. These are not bad things. They are just that quality that we properly and wisely accept: finitude.
We live in bodies that keep us located in one spot at one time. They break; they disintegrate; they fall to pieces. We only know so much, and the more we learn the more we realize how much we do not know. Our knowledge leaks out of these buckets full of holes we call minds. We can build impressive machines, but we are virtually powerless before a tornado or the surges of the ocean.
In every way that we are finite, God is infinite. God is all-knowing (omniscient). He doesn't grow older, doesn't become mentally limited, doesn't show emotional fragility. His power (omnipotence) exceeds that massive energy that holds all matter together. God is present at all times in all places (omnipresence). "'Am I only a God nearby... and not a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him? Do I not fill heaven and earth?' declares the Lord." (Jeremiah 23:23-24 ). When the Hebrews built a spectacular temple in honor of God, wise king Solomon dedicated it by confessing that even that divinely-initiated place would not "locate" God. "The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built" (1 Kings 8:27).
So what does it mean for us that God is present at all times and in all places? It means...
... we don't need to convince God to come and be with us; he is already here;
... we can't hide from God, so we should give up trying;
... even when we are in some dark place, we can call out to God;
... God is at work every place in this troubled world, even though we may not see it;
...in our prayers we don't need to shout, God is not far away;
... being close to God is not limited to Sunday morning;
... our relationship with God is a reality of every moment of our days.
How does that seem to you, today?
Omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence. God is God in ways that only could be true of an absolute God. The implications for prayer and our dependence in faith are enormous. Our prayers do not inform God of facts he is ignorant of. Rather, our prayers are an engaging conversation in which we wait to learn something we didn't know before, or to simply receive the comfort of talking to the God who knows our needs before we even ask him (as Jesus put it in the Sermon on the Mount). Because we pray to an all-powerful God, it is not the prayer itself that has power, but God. So we should be careful in talking about the "power of prayer." It is not our vocalizations that accomplish anything, and certainly we should never see prayer as some kind of incantation. The power comes when we open ourselves to the all-powerful God, when we become more fully aware of how God stands in the midst of our circumstances, a giant who cannot be ignored, who is never afraid, and who elicits proper fear in people. Omnipresence means that prayer is as effective when offered in your car as in your church, in garbled words or moaning or crying. Prayer requires no antenna pointed in just the right direction at the right time.
Because God is great, something powerful is already at work the moment we say, "Dear God..." Even if the only thing we can say is "Dear God."
Excerpt from Putting the Pieces Back Together: How Real Life and Real Faith Connect. Click for more.