Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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Missionary Quotations: The Prince of Preachers

“The way of God’s precepts! Does not that mean that we ought to be acquainted with the relative position which the precepts occupy, for it is very easy brethren, unless God gives us understanding, to preach up one precept to the neglect of another.  It is possible for a ministry and a teaching to be lopsided, and those who follow it may become rather the caricatures of Christianity than Christians harmoniously proportioned.

O Lord, what foolish creatures we are! When you do exhort us one way, we run to such an extreme therein that we forget that you have given us any other counsel than that which is just now ringing in our ears….

Is fidelity to the truth your cardinal virtue? Take heed of being unloving.

Is love to God and man your highest aspiration? Beware lest you become the dupe of false apostles and foul hypocrites…

Oh how easy it is to exaggerate a virtue until it becomes a vice.

There is a way about the precepts: there is a chime about them in which every bell gives out its note and makes up a tune.  There is a mixture, so much of this and that and the other; and, if any ingredient were left out, the oil would have lost its perfect aroma.

So is there an anointing of the holy life in which there is precept upon precept skillfully mingled, delicately infused, gratefully blended, and grace given to keep each of these precepts, and so the life becomes sweet like an ointment most precious unto the Lord…” (emphasis mine)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, aka The Prince of Preachers

From “The Student’s Prayer” sermon, delivered 1877 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington

Are you unbalanced?

 


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Missionary Quotations: Oswald Chambers

“It is much easier to do something than to trust in God; we see the activity and mistake panic for inspiration. That is why we see so few fellow workers withGod, yet so many people working for God.”

Oswald Chambers “My Utmost for His Highest”


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Rebuilding the Altar of the Lord

“No man is greater than his prayer life….failing here, we fail everywhere.” Leonard Ravenhill

It is time we rebuild the altar again brothers and sisters.  The Spirit of God is calling us to return to the prayer closet.

Remember the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mt Carmel? Before the fire of God could fall on the offering, Elijah had to rebuild the altar of the Lord “that was broken down“.

Broken down… neglected…disused….Nobody cared enough to do something about it until Elijah came.    It was a time of backsliding in Israel. Evil king Ahab was ruling with his evil wife Jezebel.  Witchcraft and the occult was abounding, people were turning away from the true God and to lesser gods. Sound familiar?

And then Elijah comes to turn the hearts of the people back to the Lord.

Just like John the Baptist would do later, Elijah confronted the people with his holy life, and with his words:

“How long will you falter between two opinions?”

But they answered him not a word. How sad. When God’s people no longer seek Him they lose the conviction within them for the truth, they go silent on good and evil. Things that were once detestable to them slowly start to be tolerated. It’s a recipe for lukewarm-ness.

“Then Elijah said to all the people, ‘Come near to me.’ So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down.” 1 Kings 18:30

Notice Elijah rebuilt the altar in front of the people. His life was an example to others, just as ours should be, particularly in ministry. We can’t call others to pray if we aren’t doing it ourselves.

The altar represents prayer, coming before the Lord and offering up the sacrifice of praise.

Let’s rebuild the altar again Church so that the fire of God can once again fall!

 

God bless!

 


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Roll Upon the Lord Thy Way

“Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass” Psalm 37:5

The word “commit” here literally means to “roll off or away”.

It is applied in this instance to things that are “a) round, globular or rolling, such as a wheel or dung” and “b) heavy – such as would be rolled and not carried ,ie a large stone”. (Strong’s concordance)

It is the same word that is used in Joshua 5:9

“Then the Lord said to Joshua ‘This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.’”

So when Psalm 37:5 says to “Commit your way to the Lord” it is literally saying to “roll upon Jehovah thy way”.

In the Hebrew it is not just to roll off your burdens, but to roll them off onto another, to transfer them.

When we have a burden, a fear or a difficult situation the Word of God tells us to roll it off onto the Lord.

Let us commit all our concerns to God, entrusting them to Him, our loving Heavenly Father, knowing that He is working together all things for the good for us.

Blessings!

Belinda 🙂


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Missionary Quotations: Leonard Ravenhill6

leonardravenhill“Not many Christians today can forget the fact that the devil goeth about as a roaring lion, but we seem to

The Lion of the Tribe of Judah

The Lion of the Tribe of Judah, watercolour/pencil

have lost sight of the fact that the Lion of the tribe of Judah has defeated the roaring lion of hell, and therefore every anointed Samson or Gideon or church can also slay the lion of hell. Though wicked men are doing wickedly, God’s promise to us is that “the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32).”

Today’s Sleeping Giant, Leonard Ravenhill


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Jesus I love You, But Not Your Word

This is what I said to Jesus.life

Many times I said it. Even though I had always read the Bible, even from a young child. I read it a lot. I memorized verses even. I believed it was truth, I believed it was the Word of God. And over and over God used His Word to teach me and to speak to me.

But I didn’t love it.

I certainly didn’t desire to read it or look forward to reading it. I did it because I knew it was the “right” thing to do.

Then one day I watched that old “Jesus” movie…. In it Jesus picks up the scroll of the Old Testament in the Temple preparing to read from it. But before he reads Isaiah 61 he kisses the scroll. That simple act convicted me.

I blurted to the Lord in almost desperation: “Jesus, I love You, but I don’t love Your Word. Not like that.”

I knew I loved Jesus. I loved Him with my whole heart and soul and mind and strength. I could see that “in the volume of the book it is written of Him”, I knew that Jesus is the Word made flesh. And it didn’t make sense to me. If He really is the Word made into human flesh, and if I really loved Him, how could I not love His Word as well?

Well of course there was nothing I could do about it. I couldn’t make myself love it nor desire it.

Actually, there was one thing I could do – and that was to be honest with Him about it.

So I was. I just kept telling the Lord what was in my heart.

“Lord I love You but I don’t love Your Word.”

Then gradually my prayers began to change : “Lord, give me a love for your Word. Make it real to me.”

It took some time, but one day I realized that I could honestly say that I now loved His Word.  And I still do. I LOVE it. I desire to read it. I can’t wait to find more treasures in it. I can’t wait to discover my Jesus concealed in the pages of the Old Testament and find His beauty and grace revealed in the New Testament. I love reading the apostles revelations and teachings in the epistles. I often cry as I read it now, I am so blessed with this wonderful, old Book. There is nothing like it.

So what’s the difference now? The Book certainly hasn’t changed.

No, the difference is that now the Holy Spirit is bringing life where before there was death.

This principle is true not only with reading the Word of God, but with everything in the Christian life – doctrine, preaching, church meetings, worship, fellowship, prayer, giving to the poor… it can all be dry and lifeless. It may all be cold, dead duty, ritual or tradition with no life in it if it’s done in the power of the flesh.

Without the Spirit of life breathing His life into something, anything, there is in fact, a ministration of death. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, so when He is in something – whether it is prayer, reading the Word, preaching- there is reality there. There is Life. It rings true to us, it ministers life to us and we are changed by it.

A long, eloquent prayer may bring death…. If there’s no anointing of the Spirit.

A sermon with all the right doctrine may minister death to the hearers…. If it’s not infused with the life of the Spirit.

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is not an added bonus or extra in the life of a believer – His ministry of Life is essential. As Watchman Nee said “We either minister life or death. There’s nothing in between.”

Let us pray for the reality of the life of the Holy Spirit in every part of our lives, worship and ministries.

God bless you!


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The Power of Praise

thIt was 3am. My three year-old son, Tom, had been coughing without reprieve for 8 solid hours.  The cough was deep and contained a strange rattling sound.  With each cough my heart was torn.  He had double pneumonia, croup, bronchitis and asthma all at once.

I had been praying, weeping, crying out to God for those 8 hours “Have mercy on my son Lord!”  At 3am I left my husband at Tom’s bedside and went to “get serious” with God.  I knelt down and prayed.

Immediately He said to me “No.  Praise Me.”

That was the last thing I felt like doing!  I was exhausted, heart-broken, anxious.  But it was a definite and clear command from the Lord, so I stood up and sang :

“Oh Lamb of God, sweet Lamb of God

I love the Holy Lamb of God

Oh wash me in His precious blood,

My Jesus Christ the Lamb of God!”

As I sang I saw the outline of a Man in front of me in the darkness and Tom’s coughing immediately stopped.  We slept soundly the rest of the night.

One thing I have learnt is that there is power in praise.

“Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens!

Praise Him in the heights!

Praise Him all His angels;

Praise Him all His hosts!” Psalm 148:1, 2

 

Praise brings victoryjoyful4.jpg

Powerful enemies were coming against Israel (2 Chronicles 20).  Jehosophat and the people didn’t know what to do.  He proclaimed a fast and they cried out to God.  God told them not to fear, that they would not have to even fight – the battle was His not theirs.  By faith in God’s Word they sang and praised the Lord and the enemy was defeated:

“Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” 21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his[c] holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:

“Give thanks to the Lord,     for his love endures forever.”

22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.”

This morning I was feeling discouraged and defeated myself in some of the areas my husband and I have been called to minister in.  But we decided to sing.  We sang that old chorus :

“Be strong and of good courage

Be not afraid neither be dismayed…

For the Lord thy God is with thee

Whereever you go…”

This afternoon I got a phone call – there has been victory in the very area I had felt discouraged over this morning!  Praise the Lord!

 

Praise is a powerful weapon in the Christian’s arsenal.

“Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.  Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;….To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;” Psalm 149

The Holy Spirit has given me two dreams lately about the power of praise.  In both dreams I have come face to face with the devil and found that they only way to stand and to defeat him is through worshipping and praising the Lord Jesus Christ. I’ve sung and asked others to sing with me, anointed songs of the blood of the Lamb and the cross – and the enemy has been bound and defeated.

I saw this actually happen a couple of weeks ago in our women’s prayer group.  As we praised the Lord the anointing of the Spirit fell down upon us.  His power came so strongly upon us that we could not do much at all but shake and cry.  From that moment in each of the lives of those whom were present there has been victory in our lives in different areas.

 

Praise magnifies the Lord

“O magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.” Psalm 34:3

When we exalt the Lord in praise He is magnified.  We see Him for who He truly is – He is great, He is mighty, He is powerful.  He is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords.  He is not some dumb idol made with man’s hands! God cannot remain small in our eyes when we praise Him.  Suddenly our faith increases as we see the Lord for who He truly is and we know that NOTHING Is impossible.

 

Praise lifts our eyes from ourselves up to Him

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-3

When we praise the Lord we stop focusing on ourselves and our problems and focus on Him.  We “set our minds on things above, not on things below” and we are lifted in faith.  Truly the atmosphere of heaven is brought down to earth in praise of our Lord, we enter His presence and that is when our prayers are answered and our help comes.

 

Praise is a sacrifice

Praise is something we can offer to the Lord Jesus for all that He has done for us.  We can never praise Him enough for Who He is and for what He has done but we can offer Him the fruit of our lips.  Praise is a sacrifice of our time, of our pride, of even our own feelings and emotions.

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name….for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” Hebrews 13:15, 16

 

Praise breaks bondages

Paul and Silas were in prison, bound and chained for the sake of the gospel.  Sometimes we are too, persecuted, hurt by man’s words, bound by rejection and fear.

“Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.   And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.  And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.” Acts 16:24-26

The thing about praise is that it sets captives free.  When we praise we are set free from bondage.  And the amazing thing is, those who are around us are also set free.

 

“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.” Psalm 34:1-3