Seated In Heavenly Places

In 2017, may we all learn how to quiet ourselves in God’s presence, and to becoming increasingly aware that we are continually in His presence.

quiet-waters“This is our rightful place, to be ‘seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus,’ and to ‘sit still’ there. But how few there are who make it their actual experience! How few, indeed think even that it is possible for them to ‘sit still’ in these ‘heavenly places’ in the everyday life of a world so full of turmoil as this.

“We may believe perhaps that to pay a little visit to these heavenly places on Sundays, or now and then in times of spiritual exaltation, may be within the range of possibility; but to be actually ‘seated’ there every day and all day long is altogether another matter; and yet it is very plain that it is for Sundays and week-days as well. …

“You may not see or feel the operations of this silent force, but be assured it is always working mightily, and will work for you, if you only get your spirit still enough to be carried along by the currents of its power.” —Hannah Whitall Smith

Poetry Saturday—See God In Everything

lake-michigan“Give me a new idea,” I said,
While musing on a sleepless bed;
“A new idea that’ll bring to earth
A balm for souls of priceless worth;
That’ll give men thoughts of things above,
And teach them how to serve and love,
That’ll banish every selfish thought,
And rid men of the sins they’ve fought.” 

The new thought came, just how, I’ll tell:
‘Twas when on bended knee I fell,
And sought from Him who knows full well
The way our sorrow to expel.
See God in all things, great and small,
And give Him praise whate’er befall,
In life or death, in pain or woe,
See God, and overcome thy foe.
I saw Him in the morning light,
He made the day shine clear and bright;
I saw Him in the noontide hour,
And gained from Him refreshing shower.
At eventide, when worn and sad,
He gave me help, and made me glad.
At midnight, when on tossing bed
My weary soul to sleep He led.

I saw Him when great losses came,
And found He loved me just the same.
When heavy loads I had to bear,
I found He lightened every care.
By sickness, sorrow, sore distress,
He calmed my mind and gave me rest.
He’s filled my heart with gladsome praise
Since I gave Him the upward gaze.
‘Twas new to me, yet old to some,
This thought that to me has become
A revelation of the way
We all should live throughout the day;
For as each day unfolds its light,
We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.
Life will, indeed, a blessing bring,
If we SEE GOD IN EVERYTHING.” —A.E. Finn

12 Quotes From “I Stand At The Door And Knock”

I Stand At The Door And KnockCorrie ten Boom was an amazing woman! To experience the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp, and still retain such a sweet, godly spirit is indeed a miracle of God’s grace. This beautiful spirit of hers come through loud and clear in her book I Stand At The Door And Knock (you may read my book review here). Below are just a few of the many quotes which I highlighted as I read.

“You see, if you and I want to be used, we needn’t rely on ourselves, because it is the Holy Spirit who does it. And that is why we can be at peace in our day-to-day lives. The fact that we wish to be used is a gift from the Holy Spirit in itself.”

“A piece of good advice is to forgive anyone immediately—and I mean immediately— if they say or do something against you. Then the devil won’t have a chance to keep a shadow in your heart.”

“Holiness can bring about a new conflict. We need to take care. The devil wants to lead us into the energy of our inner selves. Preaching yourself, relying on yourself, boasting about your faith, taking pride in your own experiences. And then the devil will say, ‘Revel in your own experiences.’ But that is not right. You should not rely on your past experiences. It may strengthen your faith, but holiness is living out the Jesus Christ living in you.” 

“Imagine, when I had a watchmaker’s shop, you came to me and you bought a gold watch with a gold strap. Imagine that when I wrapped it up for you, I removed the gold strap and hid it. When you came home, you saw that you only had a watch. What would you do? You would say to everybody, ‘Don’t ever buy something from Corrie ten Boom; she doesn’t give you value for money.’ If you and I do not give ourselves entirely to the Lord, we do not give Him the value He has paid for us on the Cross. We were bought at a very high price. That Cross was horrendous. It was an extremely high price to pay for you and me.”

“In my short-sightedness, I thought I had to do everything with my own power, according to my abilities. But everything depends on Hisability, Hispower.”

“The devil may laugh at our plans. He smiles when we are up to our eyes in work. But he quakes when we pray. When we are faithful intercessors he often says to us, ‘Shouldn’t you stop? You have been doing this for such a long time, and can’t you see, the Lord doesn’t listen.’ But he is a liar. Not one of our prayers is lost. … satan laughs when we try hard. He mocks our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.”

“While I was imprisoned during the war, I knew the Morse code, but it didn’t really help me. What actually supported me was every text and every Christian song I knew by heart. Learning Bible texts and Christian songs by heart is a preparation which we can all do today.”

“Lord Jesus, please forgive us that we so often live a life poor in You, while You suffered so heavily on the Cross so that we would become the King’s rich children. Holy Spirit, open our eyes. Give us a vision, an understanding of our wealth.”

“Religion is no security. The Antichrist will be very religious. A world religion will develop, and he himself will become its god.” 

“Jesus said, ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.’ Our citizenship is in heaven. We are heaven dwellers. Our home is there.”

“The Bible says, ‘Be filled with the Spirit’ (Ephesians 5:18), which means not only do I have the Holy Spirit, but also does the Holy Spirit have me?”

“We should not rely on our capacities, but on God’s capacities. We shouldn’t draw from our limited resources, but from His immense power.”

I will also be sharing some of Corrie’s quotes on Twitter and Tumblr, so follow me there for more great content.

Poetry Saturday—Wits’ End Corner

Wits' endAre you standing at “Wits’ End Corner,” 
   Christian, with troubled brow? 
Are you thinking of what is before you, 
   And all you are bearing now?
Does all the world seem against you, 
   And you in the battle alone?
Remember—at “Wits’ End Corner” 
   Is where God’s power is shown.

Are you standing at “Wits’ End Corner” 
   Blinded with wearying pain,
Feeling you cannot endure it, 
   You cannot bear the strain,
Bruised through the constant suffering 
   Dizzy and dazed, and numb?
Remember—at “Wits’ End Corner” 
   Is where Jesus loves to come.

Are you standing at “Wits’ End Corner” 
   Your work before you spread.
Or lying begun, unfinished, 
   And pressing on heart and head,
Longing for strength to do it, 
   Stretching out trembling hands
Remember—at “Wits’ End Corner” 
   The Burden-Bearer stands.

Are you standing at “Wits’ End Corner”? 
   Then you’re just in the very spot
To learn the wondrous resources 
   Of Him who faileth not!
No doubt to a brighter pathway 
   Your footsteps will soon be moved,
But only at “Wits’ End Corner” 
Is the “God who is able” proved. —Antoinette Wilson

God’s Lovingkindness Revealed In The Cosmos

T.M. Moore“God’s lovingkindness extends throughout the vast cosmos, reaching to and sustaining every part of it and all of it together. He never fails in His upholding and sustaining love for His creation, in maintaining all its wondrous diversity, intricate functioning, strange beauty, startling vibrancy and vitality, frightening power, mystifying complexity, and mysterious greatness.

God loves what He has made, and He is faithful in sustaining it in whole and in part. In this He reveals His righteousness, which is high above us, fearsome and foreboding, yet beautiful and beckoning. We are drawn to it in fear, and we seek to surmount it with joy and anticipation.” —T.M. Moore

Pentecost Sunday

For Pentecost Sunday, I think these words from Charles Spurgeon are vital for us to hear again…

“The Holy Spirit’sC.H. Spurgeon power was gloriously manifested in and after Pentecost. He remains at this hour the present Immanuel—God with us, dwelling in and with His people, quickening, guiding, and ruling in their midst. Is His presence recognized as it ought to be? We cannot control His working; He is most sovereign in all His operations, but are we sufficiently anxious to obtain His help, or sufficiently watchful lest we provoke Him to withdraw His aid? Without Him we can do nothing, but by His almighty energy the most extraordinary results can be produced…. The Holy Ghost is no temporary gift, He abides with the saints. We have but to seek Him aright, and He will be found of us.” —Charles Spurgeon

11 Quotes From “The Duty Of Pastors”

The Duty Of PastorsJohn Owen has some fascinating insights on pastors and ministers (hint: they’re not the same thing) in his book The Duty Of Pastors. Here are some of the quotes I liked from this book. Remember this book was written in the 17th-century, so don’t let the Old English keep you from discovering the rich truths in these passages.

“Why should any speak where the Holy Ghost is silent? … Where things are obscured, it is a safer way to prove the practice of men by God’s precept, charitably supposing them to have been obedient, than to wrest the divine rule to their observation, knowing how prone men are to deify themselves by mixing their inventions with the worship of God.”

“The lights which God maketh are sufficient to rule the seasons for which they are ordained. As, in creating of the world, God ‘made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night;’ so, in the erection of the new world of His church, He set up two great lights, the lesser light of the Old Testament to guide the night, the dark space of time under the law, and the greater light of the New Testament to rule the glorious day of the gospel. And these two lights do sufficiently enlighten every man that cometh into this new world. There is no need of the false fire of tradition where God sets up such glorious lights.”

“All faithful ministers of the gospel, inasmuch as they are ingrafted into Christ and are true believers, may, as all other true Christians, be called priests; but this inasmuch as they are members of Christ, not ministers of the gospel. It respecteth their persons, not their function, or not them as such.”

“Thus, this metaphorical appellation of priests is, in the first place an intimation of that transcendent privilege of grace and favour which Jesus Christ hath purchased for everyone that is sanctified with the blood of the covenant.”

“Not to lose myself and reader in this digression, the sum is, the unspeakable blessings which the priesthood of Christ hath obtained for us are a strong obligation for the duty of praise and thanksgiving; of which that in some measure we may discharge ourselves, He hath furnished us with sacrifices of that kind to be offered unto God.” 

“That the name of priests is nowhere in the Scripture attributed peculiarly and distinctively to the ministers of the gospel as such. … And yet, when Christ ascended on high, He gave some to be prophets, for the edification of His body, Eph. iv. 11; none, as we find, to be priests. Priests, then (like prelates), are a sort of church-officers whom Christ never appointed.”

“Never fear the equity of what God sets thee upon. No excuses of disability or any other impediment ought to take place; the Lord can and will supply all such defects.”

“God never sendeth any but whom He doth so extraordinarily and immediately call and ordain for that purpose; and that this may be manifested unto others, He always accompanieth them with His own almighty power, in the working of such miracles as may make them be believed, for the very works’ sake which God by them doth effect.”

“We do not read of any such miracles wrought by the prophet Amos, and yet he stands upon his extraordinary immediate vocation, ‘I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son, but the Lord took me,’ etc. It sufficeth, then, that they be furnished with a supernatural power, either in, 1. Discerning; 2. Speaking; or 3. Working. … The sum is, that seeing such men pretend that their revelations and miracles are from heaven, let us search whether the doctrine they seek to confirm by them be from heaven or no.”

“There is a general obligation on all Christians to promote the conversion and instruction of sinners, and men erring from the right way.”

“For a public, formal, ministerial teaching, two things are required in the teacher: first, Gifts from God; secondly, Authority from the church (I speak now of ordinary cases). He that wants either is no true pastor.”

Be sure to check out my review of The Duty Of Pastors by clicking here.

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