Sunday, June 24, 2012

Daily Devotional Sunday 24th June

“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”Isaiah 40:31 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"A certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it."
Luke 11:27-28
It is fondly imagined by some that it must have involved very special privileges to have been the mother of our Lord, because they supposed that she had the benefit of looking into his very heart in a way in which we cannot hope to do. There may be an appearance of plausibility in the supposition, but not much. We do not know that Mary knew more than others; what she did know she did well to lay up in her heart; but she does not appear from anything we read in the Evangelists to have been a better-instructed believer than any other of Christ's disciples. All that she knew we also may discover. Do you wonder that we should say so? Here is a text to prove it: "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will show them his covenant." Remember the Master's words--"Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." So blessedly does this Divine Revealer of secrets tell us his heart, that he keepeth back nothing which is profitable to us; his own assurance is, "If it were not so, I would have told you." Doth he not this day manifest himself unto us as he doth not unto the world? It is even so; and therefore we will not ignorantly cry out, "Blessed is the womb that bare thee," but we will intelligently bless God that, having heard the Word and kept it, we have first of all as true a communion with the Saviour as the Virgin had, and in the second place as true an acquaintance with the secrets of his heart as she can be supposed to have obtained. Happy soul to be thus privileged!

Evening

"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said ... Be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods."
Daniel 3:16-18
The narrative of the manly courage and marvellous deliverance of the three holy children, or rather champions, is well calculated to excite in the minds of believers firmness and steadfastness in upholding the truth in the teeth of tyranny and in the very jaws of death. Let young Christians especially learn from their example, both in matters of faith in religion, and matters of uprightness in business, never to sacrifice their consciences. Lose all rather than lose your integrity, and when all else is gone, still hold fast a clear conscience as the rarest jewel which can adorn the bosom of a mortal. Be not guided by the will-o'-the-wisp of policy, but by the pole-star of divine authority. Follow the right at all hazards. When you see no present advantage, walk by faith and not by sight. Do God the honour to trust him when it comes to matters of loss for the sake of principle. See whether he will be your debtor! See if he doth not even in this life prove his word that "Godliness, with contentment, is great gain," and that they who "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, shall have all these things added unto them." Should it happen that, in the providence of God, you are a loser by conscience, you shall find that if the Lord pays you not back in the silver of earthly prosperity, he will discharge his promise in the gold of spiritual joy. Remember that a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of that which he possesseth. To wear a guileless spirit, to have a heart void of offence, to have the favour and smile of God, is greater riches than the mines of Ophir could yield, or the traffic of Tyre could win. "Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and inward contention therewith." An ounce of heart's-ease is worth a ton of gold.

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Today's reading: Esther 9-10, Acts 7:1-21 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway 
   On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, the edict commanded by the king was to be carried out. On this day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but now the tables were turned and the Jews got the upper hand over those who hated them. 2 The Jews assembled in their cities in all the provinces of King Xerxes to attack those determined to destroy them. No one could stand against them, because the people of all the other nationalities were afraid of them. 3 And all the nobles of the provinces, the satraps, the governors and the king’s administrators helped the Jews, because fear of Mordecai had seized them. 4 Mordecai was prominent in the palace; his reputation spread throughout the provinces, and he became more and more powerful.
   5 The Jews struck down all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them, and they did what they pleased to those who hated them. 6 In the citadel of Susa, the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men. 7 They also killed Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, 8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, 9Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai and Vaizatha, 10 the ten sons of Haman son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews. But they did not lay their hands on the plunder.
   11 The number of those killed in the citadel of Susa was reported to the king that same day. 12 The king said to Queen Esther, “The Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men and the ten sons of Haman in the citadel of Susa. What have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces? Now what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? It will also be granted.”
   13 “If it pleases the king,” Esther answered, “give the Jews in Susa permission to carry out this day’s edict tomorrow also, and let Haman’s ten sons be impaled on poles.”
   14 So the king commanded that this be done. An edict was issued in Susa, and they impaled the ten sons of Haman. 15The Jews in Susa came together on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar, and they put to death in Susa three hundred men, but they did not lay their hands on the plunder.
   16 Meanwhile, the remainder of the Jews who were in the king’s provinces also assembled to protect themselves and get relief from their enemies. They killed seventy-five thousand of them but did not lay their hands on the plunder. 17 This happened on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, and on the fourteenth they rested and made it a day of feasting and joy.
   18 The Jews in Susa, however, had assembled on the thirteenth and fourteenth, and then on the fifteenth they rested and made it a day of feasting and joy.
   19 That is why rural Jews—those living in villages—observe the fourteenth of the month of Adar as a day of joy and feasting, a day for giving presents to each other.
Purim Established
    20 Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, 21 to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar 22 as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.
   23 So the Jews agreed to continue the celebration they had begun, doing what Mordecai had written to them. 24 For Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them and had cast thepur (that is, the lot) for their ruin and destruction. 25 But when the plot came to the king’s attention, he issued written orders that the evil scheme Haman had devised against the Jews should come back onto his own head, and that he and his sons should be impaled on poles. 26 (Therefore these days were called Purim, from the word pur.) Because of everything written in this letter and because of what they had seen and what had happened to them, 27 the Jews took it on themselves to establish the custom that they and their descendants and all who join them should without fail observe these two days every year, in the way prescribed and at the time appointed. 28 These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, and in every province and in every city. And these days of Purim should never fail to be celebrated by the Jews—nor should the memory of these days die out among their descendants.
   29 So Queen Esther, daughter of Abihail, along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter concerning Purim. 30 And Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews in the 127 provinces of Xerxes’ kingdom—words of goodwill and assurance— 31 to establish these days of Purim at their designated times, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had decreed for them, and as they had established for themselves and their descendants in regard to their times of fasting and lamentation. 32 Esther’s decree confirmed these regulations about Purim, and it was written down in the records.

Esther 10

The Greatness of Mordecai
    1 King Xerxes imposed tribute throughout the empire, to its distant shores. 2 And all his acts of power and might, together with a full account of the greatness of Mordecai, whom the king had promoted, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Media and Persia? 3 Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Xerxes, preeminent among the Jews, and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews.

Acts 7

Stephen’s Speech to the Sanhedrin
    1 Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?”
   2 To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. 3 ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’
   4 “So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living. 5 He gave him no inheritance here, not even enough ground to set his foot on. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child. 6 God spoke to him in this way: ‘For four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated. 7 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,’ God said, ‘and afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.’ 8 Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth. Later Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.
   9 “Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him 10 and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.
   11 “Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our ancestors could not find food. 12 When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our forefathers on their first visit. 13 On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family. 14 After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all. 15 Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our ancestors died. 16 Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money.
   17 “As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased. 18 Then ‘a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.’ 19 He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.
   20 “At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for by his family. 21 When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son.

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Let Everything Praise the Lord

The word psalms means "praises," and so it seems fitting that the Psalter culminates with the words "Let everything that has breath praise the LORD" ( Ps 150:6). The call is for comprehensive-even cosmic-worship; everything he has created must be put to the use of God's praise.
The following reflections from pastor C. Neil Strait catch the vision of stewardship as praise to and in celebration of the Giver:
[T]he Creator God has entrusted the care-the stewardship-of His creation to people, people like you and me. God has assigned each of us to be stewards over some part of His creation. What an awesome thought! God has given His best into our care. It is frightening at first, but upon reflection one remembers that God always gives grace, strength, and wisdom to accomplish the tasks He assigns. He does not promiscuously delegate care of His creation.
Stewardship, in its broadest and most biblical perspective, is seeing the issues and potentials of life and its resources as gifts from our Creator God. As such, they are to be used to enrich life and to glorify Him. A good steward sees responsibility and accountability as natural responses where love and obedience are factors of relationship, rather than restraints. Because the steward loves God, treasures that relationship, and values the resources entrusted to him, the result brings honor both to the treasure and to Him.
Proper stewardship begins with a deep sense of the authority of God. He is Creator. He is sovereign. And He is Judge. All of this must be taken into account when we write our agenda concerning our trust. Not only is God the Giver of every gift, but also He maintains sovereign authority over each gift. Joseph F. Jones has said, "The steward does not give back to God a 'portion' of what the steward owns, for God has never relinquished ownership."
Recently, the youth of our church were challenged with these words: "The call to commitment is a call not to add something more to your already busy schedule, but to let go of some things that prevent you from experiencing the joy of the Lord in service."
This is the new agenda for stewardship-to let go of all that keeps one from experiencing the joy of the Lord! It is the celebration and maintenance of relationship-a relationship with the eternal God.
Stewardship, then, is a follow-through of our love for God. It is putting into life our commitment to Christ. It is putting into a life-style what we believe in our hearts and verbalize with our lips. Someone wisely stated: "Stewardship is everything we do after we say, I believe."

Think About It

  • How can everything praise God?
  • In what ways does stewardship relate to praise?
  • What keeps you from experiencing the joy of the Lord? How can you let go of it?

Pray About It

Lord, I want to praise you. Show me what is holding me back from true joy. Then let me burst forth in praise!
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STRENGTH FROM THE BIBLE

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.Psalm 119:105
In Eritrea, the government restricts the freedom of religion of faith groups. The only groupings permitted are the Eritrean Orthodox Church, Roman Catholic Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church and Islam. Everyone who is caught at a meeting of believers outside these four official religious groups, even in a private house, can be arrested, tortured and put under pressure to renounce his faith.
Thousands of Christians are being held at police stations, in containers, at military bases and in prisons. Even though many of them have been held for years, none of them has had a trial. In many cases, Christians are also beaten or abused in some other way.
Isaac is one of these prisoners. He heard about God’s love from soldiers in the military unit in which he was fighting during the war with Ethiopia. On the basis of their testimony, he decided to become a Christian and was secretly slipped a Bible. He buried it in the sand and when he had the opportunity, he read the Word of God somewhere outside the army camp. He tried to do so as inconspicuously as possible, but one day he was discovered.
Almost from his first day as a Christian, he was persecuted. He was tortured and even left out in the burning sun, but he refused to renounce his faith. God’s love and God’s Word had become too important for him. In the end, he was locked up, just like other Christian prisoners in Eritrea. He has become a living legend, because he has held on to his faith.
A number of Christian prisoners, who are being held in containers, have been given Bibles in secret. They have divided them into portions, and in this way, each believer has a small part of the Bible. When the container is closed, it is too dark to read. But as soon as the doors are opened to let in some air or to hand out food, something amazing happens. The prisoners do not immediately run outside for fresh air or to eat. First they inconspicuously hold their portions of the Bible to the light in order quickly to be able to read a few verses and to be strengthened by God’s Word.
RESPONSE: Today I will treasure my freedom to read and meditate on God’s Word.
PRAYER: Lord, I pray Your Spirit of Peace upon my brothers and sisters in prison today in Eritrea. May they be encouraged by Your Word!
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS)
A daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks

© 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission

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Day 23

There is probably no Christian to whom God has not given the uplifting and blissful experience of genuine Christian community at least once in her or his life. But in this world such experiences remain nothing but a gracious extra beyond the daily bread of Christian community life. We have no claim to such experiences, and we do not live with other Christians for the sake of gaining such experiences. It is not the experience of Christian community, but firm and certain faith within Christian community that holds us together. We hold fast in faith to God's greatest gift, that God has acted for us all and wants to act for us all. This makes us joyful and happy, but it also makes us ready to forget all such experiences if at times God does not grant them. We are bound together by faith, not by experience.

Biblical Wisdom

Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called․that you might inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-9

Questions to Ponder

  • Why is "the uplifting and blissful experience of genuine Christian community" somewhat rare?
  • What is the "firm and certain faith" that holds Christians together even when there is conflict and tension between them?
  • What does it mean to say: "We are bound together by faith, not by experience"?

Psalm Fragment

How very good and pleasant it is
   when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
   running down upon the beard,
   on the beard of Aaron,
   running down over the collar of his robes. Psalm 133:1-2

Journal Reflections

  • Write about an "uplifting and blissful" experience of genuine Christian community in your life.
  • Write about a time when faith kept you in community even though the experience of community wasn't so good at the time.

Intercessions

Think about your community of faith. If there is any conflict or tension in the community, pray that faith in the unity given by Christ would sustain the community as it seeks to resolve the conflict. If the members of your community of faith are presently at peace with one another, thank God for theexperience of unity.

Prayer for Today

Lord, I need Christian community. Help me to be there for others in the same way I need others to be there for me.
40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.
Missed the first couple devotionals in this series, or want to re-read an earlier devotional? You can find a complete online archive of Bonhoeffer devotionals at BibleGateway.com. The first devotional can be found here.
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One of the most widely admired theologians of the 20th century, Bonhoeffer was a profound yet clear thinker. Klug selects significant passages from his works, pairs them with appropriate Scripture, sets up a journal-writing exercise, and concludes with prayer.

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Crumbs from the Table

Matthew 15:21-28 "Jesus answered her, 'O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.' And her daughter was healed instantly" ( v. 28).
The distinction between clean and unclean animals may be designed to remind Israel of the fall. Clean animals are visibly separated from the ground by cloven hoofs or scales and fins that enable them to swim away from the ocean floor (Lev. 11:3,9). Unclean animals touch the earth directly. They have paws or crawl upon the sea bottom because they lack fins and scales ( vv. 10-1226-27). Other taboo creatures eat dead flesh (v. 18). Since Adam's sin brought a curse on the ground and death (Gen. 3:14-19 ), not eating animals associated with such things reminded Israel of creation's brokenness, cultivating hope for the curse's removal and the world's return to its original goodness.
On the cross, Jesus took the curse upon Himself (Gal. 3:13), and now all creation waits for its goodness to be made fully manifest (Rom. 8:19-21 ). With the curse broken, what was unclean is now clean, and thus the old Mosaic food laws need not be followed in the new covenant. This is the logical conclusion of Jesus' teaching on this point (Matt. 15:1-20; see especially Mark 7:19).
Removing the curse will also end the division between Jew and Gentile, a truth hinted at in Matthew 15:21-28 . As Christ nears Tyre and Sidon, a Gentile woman approaches Jesus and begs Him to heal her daughter (Matt. 15:21-22). He ignores her at first, but then tells her His mission is to Israel (vv. 23-24 ). He is not denying salvation to the Gentiles; He is reminding her that He comes to Israel before going to the nations. Jesus' later exchange with the woman about giving the children's bread to the dogs is related. God, the good Father, feeds His children - His people Israel - prior to feeding the family dog (vv. 25-26).
The woman, a daughter of Israel's ancient enemies in Canaan, knows this truth well, and her daughter is healed when she asks to mercifully share in the abundance of the Messiah's feast, not to be fed out of order ( vv. 27-28). John Calvin says that the woman does not impiously contradict Christ. "As God preferred the Jews to other nations, she does not dispute with them the honor of adoption, and declares, that she has no objection whatever that Christ should satisfy them according to the order which God had prescribed."

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

John Calvin comments, "At no time, certainly, did God shut up his grace among the Jews in such a manner as not to bestow a small taste of them on the Gentiles." Throughout redemptive history there have been Gentiles who have come to trust the God of Israel. Yet God is the covenant Lord of Israel, and, therefore, the Gospel goes to the Jew first. Take some time to pray for the physical sons of Abraham, that they would come to know Jesus.
For further study:
The Bible in a year:
For the weekend:
INTO the WORD daily Bible studies from TableTalk Magazine, Matthew Studies. Copyright © 2008 by Ligonier Ministries.
Subscribe to Tabletalk magazine and receive daily Bible studies & in depth articles from world class scholars for only $23 per per year! That's only $1.92 per month. And you can try it out for three months absolutely free! Bringing the best in biblical scholarship together with down-to-earth writing, Tabletalk helps you understand the Bible and apply it to daily living. 

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Praying Together

They all joined together constantly in prayer.
Acts 1:14
I don’t remember when Dan and I started praying together, but I do recall that our first attempts felt awkward. For a long time we only prayed the Lord’s Prayer out loud together. This was safe because we both knew the words to it.
Over time, and as each of us felt more comfortable being emotionally and spiritually naked with each other, we began to talk out loud to God as if he was the third person in our relationship. Now we try to pray out loud together daily. It’s no longer awkward, and it has promoted spiritual intimacy. That was an unexpected bonus of being married to each other. No one had ever told us we could experience this kind of intimacy in our relationship.
Sometimes at night before we fall asleep, we pray out loud. In the darkness, I can listen to Dan’s prayers and get a glimpse into the things he’s grateful for as well as the issues that are troubling him. Hearing him pray reminds me that he’s a work in progress, just as I am. It reminds me that my role in his life is to come alongside him, encourage him and support him. When I hear what’s on his heart, I am reminded again and again of the reasons why I married him. Praying together sets us on the same track with each other and with God.
I met a couple once who were remarkably powerful and effective in their prayer life together. Like the disciples and other believers who joined together constantly in prayer, this couple brought all their needs, praises and requests to God, trusting that he would lead and guide them. They then patiently waited for God’s answers.
In time God blessed this couple with a powerful ministry to special-needs orphans in China. The work keeps growing. This couple trusted God for everything, and, in turn, God entrusted them with the important work of caring for the least, which they are doing with all of their hearts.
It’s one thing to say to your spouse, “I’ll pray for your presentation today,” as you grab your coffee and run out the door to work. It’s another thing to grab your husband by the hand and say, “Let me pray with you before you go.” Jesus promises us that whenever two or three come together in his name, he will also be there (see Matthew 18:20). Why not invite him into your marriage today through prayer?
Marian V. Liautaud

Let’s Talk

  • How regularly do we pray together? In what ways does our frequency of praying together affect our marriage?
  • Why is praying together so important? What does it offer that we wouldn’t gain by praying alone? Are there times when praying privately is better than praying together? When and why?
  • What grace must we extend to each other when we pray? How can we encourage and affirm each other in prayer?
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The desire of the soul in spiritual darkness

“With my soul have I desired thee in the night.” Isaiah 26:9
Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 42
There are times when all the saints can do is to desire. We have a vast number of evidences of piety: some are practical, some are experimental, some are doctrinal; and the more evidences a man has of his piety the better, of course. We like a number of signatures, to make a deed more valid, if possible. We like to invest property in a great number of trustees, in order that it may be all the safer; and so we love to have many evidences. Many witnesses will carry our case in the courts better than a few: and so it is well to have many witnesses to testify to our piety. But there are seasons when a Christian cannot get any. He can get scarcely one witness to come and attest his godliness. He asks for good works to come and speak for him. But there will be such a cloud of darkness about him, and his good works will appear so black that he will not dare to think of their evidences. He will say, “True, I hope this is the right fruit; I hope I have served God; but I dare not plead these works as evidences.” He will have lost assurance, and with it his enjoyment of communion with God. “I have had that fellowship with him,” perhaps he will say, and he will summon that communion to come and be in evidence. But he has forgotten it, and it does not come, and Satan whispers it is a fancy, and the poor evidence of communion has its mouth gagged, so that it cannot speak. But there is one witness that very seldom is gagged, and one that I trust the people of God can always apply, even in the night: and that is, “I have desired thee—I have desired thee in the night.”
For meditation: The light shines best in the darkness (John 1:5); the people of God have proved it when all else has failed them (Psalm 73:21-26Jonah 2:1-7).
Sermon no. 31
24 June (1855)

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God’s cure for man’s weakness

‘Out of weakness were made strong.’ Hebrews 11:34
Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 11:1–7
Faith makes the crown of eternal life glitter before the believer’s eye; it waves before him the palm branch. Sense pictures the grave, loss, suffering, defeat, death, forgetfulness: but faith points to the resurrection, the glorious appearance of the Son of Man, the calling of the saints from every corner of the earth, the clothing of them all in their triumphant array, and the entrance of the blood-washed conquerors into the presence of God with eternal joy. Thus faith makes us out of weakness to become strong. Let me remind you that the essential ingredients of faith’s comfort are just these: faith sees the invisible and beholds the substance of that which is afar off: faith believes in God, a present, powerful God, full of love and wisdom, effecting his decree, accomplishing his purpose, fulfilling his promise, glorifying his Son. Faith believes in the blood of Jesus, in the effectual redemption on the cross, it believes in the power of the Holy Spirit, his might to soften the stone and to put life into the very ribs of death. Faith grasps the reality of the Bible; she does not look upon it as a sepulchre with a stone laid thereon, but as a temple in which Christ reigns, as an ivory palace out of which he comes riding in his chariot, conquering and to conquer. Faith does not believe the gospel to be a worn-out scroll, to be rolled up and put away; she believes that the gospel instead of being in its dotage is in its youth; she anticipates for it a manhood of mighty strugglings, and a grand maturity of blessedness and triumph. Faith does not shirk the fight; she longs for it, because she foresees the victory.
For meditation: In the world’s estimation those who trust in the living God are the underdogs (2 Kings 18:22,3519:10 ). It may seem that way to us also, but the reality is that by faith in Christ we become more than conquerors over the world (2 Chronicles 32:7–8Romans 8:371 John 5:4–5). ‘When I am weak, then am I strong’ (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Sermon no. 697 
24 June (1866)


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