Thursdays With Spurgeon—Sweeter And Sweeter

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Charles Spurgeon. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Spurgeon” in the search box to read more entries.

Sweeter And Sweeter

Therefore, to you who believe, [Jesus] is precious. (1 Peter 2:7)

     The preciousness of Christ is connected in the Scriptures with a believing people. The Bible never expects that without faith men will glorify Christ. For, dear brothers and sisters, it is by faith that the value of Christ is perceived. You cannot see Christ by mere reason, for the natural man is blind to the things of the Spirit. You may study the evangelists themselves, but you will never get to see the real Christ who is precious to believers except by a personal act of faith in Him. …  An ounce of faith is better than a ton of learning! … 

     By faith the Lord Jesus is more and more tasted and proved and becomes more and more precious. In proportion as we taste our Lord, He will rise in our esteem. … The more afflictions a believer endures, the more he discovers the sustaining power of Christ, and therefore the more precious Christ becomes to him. … 

     Every time you give way to skepticism and critical questioning, you lose a sip of sweetness.

From Christ Precious To Believers

Oh, how sweet Jesus is! 

Have you tasted and discovered this for yourself?

I just keep falling in love with Him
Over and over and over and over again
I keep falling in love with Him
Over and over and over and over again
He gets sweeter and sweeter as the days go by
Oh what a love between my Lord and I
I keep falling in love with Him

Thursdays With Spurgeon—Unspeakable Gift

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Charles Spurgeon. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Spurgeon” in the search box to read more entries.

Unspeakable Gift

Therefore, to you who believe, [Jesus] is precious. (1 Peter 2:7)

     We can never say enough of God’s unspeakable gift! On any other subject there is a danger of exaggeration, but it is impossible here. If you find honey, it is well to eat cautiously of it, for it may pall upon you. But when you find Christ, take in all you can and pray for an enlarged capacity, for He will never grow too sweet. …  

     Let every one of us do something fresh by which to prove the believer’s love to Christ! Let us not be satisfied with proof already given. Let us invent a new love token! Let us sing to the Lord a new song! Let not this cold world dare to doubt that to believers Christ is precious! Let us force the scoffers to believe that we are in earnest!

From Christ Precious To Believers

When was the last time you were amazed at something new you discovered about Jesus? The apostle Paul prayed that our hearts would continue to expand into the height, depth, breadth, and width of His fullness. 

When was the last time you sang a new love song to Jesus? He is singing over you, and He would love to hear your original love song to Him as well. 

Over the mountains and seas
Your river runs with love for me
And I will open up my heart
And let the Healer set me free

I’m happy to be in the Truth
And I will daily lift my voice
For I will always sing
Of when Your love came down

I could sing of Your love forever! 

Oh, I feel like dancing
It’s foolishness, I know
But when the world has seen the light
They will dance with joy
Like we’re dancing now

I could sing of Your love forever!

Overcoming Anxiety

God's answersI remember visiting Denver, Colorado. The scenery was so breathtaking, so I decided to go for an early morning hike. Quickly I discovered that my hike became breathtaking in more than one way! Even though I was in good shape, I had a hard time getting my breath because of the mile-high atmosphere.

I learned later that this is why many top athletes train in high elevation: it increases their lung capacity and endurance so that they now have an advantage when they compete against others.

God trains us on His mountains, but He made us to live and minister in the valleys. Our ascent into God’s mountaintop presence is so important for godly maturity!

In the first song of ascent, I noticed something unusual in the very first verse. Some Bibles translate the verbs in the present tense (I call on the Lord and He answers me), but some translations use the past tense (I called on the Lord and He answered me). Which is correct? Actually both of them are correct!

The verbs are written in the perfect tense—something done at a specific point in the past, but still relevant and powerful in the present. In other words, we can say it like this, “I called on the Lord in the past and He most definitely answered me. That gives me confidence to call on the Lord today, knowing that He will answer me again.”

Past answers lead to present power and future hope.

But—oh wow!!—check out how God answers us! The word literally means that God answers us in song. God so loves it when you trust Him enough to bring all your cares to Him, that He sings His answer to you. For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs (Zephaniah 3:17).

If we don’t continue to recall how God has answered us in the past, we’re missing out on the blessing of hearing Him sing His answers over us again today. As a result, we begin to live in the world’s valley-level turmoil and anxiety.

Peace is longed for in verses 6 and 7. The Christian wants to live in peace, but the world loves turmoil. Want proof? Just look at what makes the headlines today! The solution is to keep going back to God again and again and again—

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Check out the full message to find the peace you are longing for!

If you don’t have a home church, please join us this Sunday as we continue our look at the songs of ascent, or you can tune in to our live Periscope broadcast from wherever you are.

Thursdays With Oswald—God Is Love

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Oswald Chambers

God Is Love 

     In the future, when trial and difficulties await you, do not be fearful, whatever and whoever you may lose faith in, let not this faith slip from you—God is Love; whisper it not only to your heart in its hour of darkness, but here in your corner of God’s earth and man’s great city, live in the belief of it; preach it by your sweetened, chastened, happy life; sing it in consecrated moments of peaceful joy…. 

     The world does not bid you sing, but God does. Song is the sign of an unburdened heart; then sing your songs of love unbidden, ever rising higher and higher into a fuller conception of the greatest, grandest fact on the stage of Time—God is Love. 

From The Love Of God 

Here’s to a new year filled with a greater revelation in your heart of God’s amazing love! May 2014 be full of your love songs to the Greatest Love Of All!

God’s Love Song

Aaah, amoré… love! Isn’t it wonderful to be in love? When you fell in love with your sweetheart, I’ll bet you had a special “love song” just for the two of you. Betsy and I did, and it’s still our special song today.

There’s something about music and song that seems to fuel the emotions of love. Something about those words and those haunting melodies that speak to our hearts unlike anything else can. A poem set to music.

Yesterday I wrote about God’s strong and loving hands — powerful enough to provide, loving enough to hold just you.

But did you know that God also sings a love song about you? Check it out —

The LORD your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
(Zephaniah 3:17)

Isn’t it amazing to think about God being so delighted with you that He sings you a love song?! I believe it is a song written and sung just for you! And I don’t think God has just one song for you.

Think about how music has impacted you. Maybe you’ve cranked up that special tune when you’re out with friends… or the song you played over and over to help you through a tough time… or the love song that is special just for the two of you… or the ready-for-battle song you used to get pumped up for the big game! Special songs for special moments.

In every season of your life, listen for God’s special song just for you and then join in the song with Him —

But each day the LORD pours His unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing His songs, praying to God Who gives me life. (Psalm 42:8, New Living Translation)

 Sing for joy, O heavens, and be joyful, O earth, and break forth into singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people and will have compassion upon His afflicted. (Isaiah 49:13, Amplified Bible)

But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. (Psalm 59:16, New International Version)

Are you hearing any of God’s love songs today? Are you singing along?

Celebrating A Heart Theft

She still steals my heart away!

She still steals my heart away!

Twenty-four years today, December 2, 1984, my heart was stolen. December 2 marks the anniversary of the first date Betsy and I went on. She is the only girlfriend I have ever had, she is my best friend, she is my favorite playmate, and she has made me into the man I am today. Our first and favorite love song sums up the way we feel about each other: “There could only be you for me… the only one who stole my heart away.”

Betsy, you still steal my heart away every day. I’m looking forward to the next 24 years with my favorite girlfriend!

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