Posted by Jerry White on Feb 28, 2011
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
Psalm 138:8 (ESV)
“I have often found encouragement in the story of the Italian painter who, in old age, had lost something of his former skill. One evening he sat dejectedly before a painting which he had just completed, conscious that he had not been able to impart the touch which used to cause his canvases to glow with life. As he went off to bed he was heard to say sadly, ‘I have failed, I have failed.’ Later his son, who was also an artist, came into the studio to examine his father’s work. He too was aware of deficiency. Then, taking palette and brush, he worked on into the night, until under his younger hand the picture fulfilled the father’s vision. In the morning, not knowing what had been done, the older man went into the studio and stood in delight before the transformed picture: ‘Why,’ he exclaimed, ‘I have wrought better than I knew.’
With reverent caution, may we not regard the story as a parable? When life’s day is done will parents, teachers, and all who have faithfully worked with God discover that they have wrought better than they knew? Did not the Psalmist encourage us to think so when he wrote, ‘Thou wilt perfect that which concerneth me?’
Leave it all quietly to God, my soul. We shall have advanced a long way in the quest for serenity when we can intelligently and strongly speak thus to ourselves.”
G. H. Morling
The Quest For Serenity, 66
“Leave quietly to God also: My mistakes. The sins and shortcomings of others. That which is none of my business. Politics and world affairs. That which I cannot get done. And that which I cannot get undone. The un-understandable. That for which I am not remotely responsible.”
Ruth Bell Graham’s marginal note
Posted by Jerry White on Feb 24, 2011
He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Psalm 91:4 (NLT)
“The Lord’s right arm is uplifted to preserve the saints. His wisdom watches for their good, and His heart of love beats with constant affection. The entire Godhead bows to protect the chosen. We have the promise, ‘He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge’ (Ps. 91:3-4).
Our God is both the sustenance and the preservation of His people. Is there a wind that does not bring us blessings? Is there a wave on any shore that does not bring us good? The huge wheels of providence as they revolve are full of eyes (Ezek. 1:18) that look toward God’s chosen.
‘All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose’ (Rom. 8:28). Do your see it? If your eyes are opened you will. ‘There are horses and chariots of fire all around’ (2 Kin. 6:17). Invisible spirits of superior race are servants to God’s beloved children. Heaven’s hosts are ready for our defense. We need not fear. Our needs are large, but the supplies are greater. Our daily dangers are enough to provoke anxieties, but the Lord’s eternal preservation puts those anxieties to rest.
Blessed Lord, we are poor feeble infants, but when we lie on Your bosom we feel mighty in Your strength. We are penniless beggars, but when we feast at Your table we would not change our position for the banquets of Esther or the feasts of Solomon (1 Kin. 10:5). It is our bliss to be nothing and to find our all in You. Amen.”
C. H. Spurgeon
Beside Still Waters, 44
Roy H. Clarke, Editor
Never forget whose you are and how tenderly and faithfully He loves you every moment.
Posted by Jerry White on Feb 21, 2011
John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”
Luke 9:49-50 (ESV)
“Reading about the powerful but pathetic disciples has given me pause whenever I speak of fellow believers, particularly those who come from other branches of God’s church. Sometimes we’re so eager to differentiate ourselves from certain denominations or spokespeople that we lose all sense of proportion and become outright critics. Let’s honor what God has done, is doing, and will do through his imperfect church, even while trying to reform it. Not one disciple of Jesus lacked some serious faults—and yet Jesus still loved, called, and used each one.
God loves his church, and he loves the individuals who comprise it. If we become critics instead of encouragers, we risk offending God. I know, I know—there are a million things the contemporary church could be doing better, and we could spend our entire lives doing nothing but pointing out each other’s shortcomings, theological prejudices, and stylistic embarrassments. But ask yourself this: If the current church is so bad, so ineffective, and so irrelevant, how did you come to faith while being a part of it?
Our sisters and brothers may have different hairstyles, speaking styles, and worship styles and even different emphases in their preaching, but they are still God’s people. Sometimes our pride makes us ashamed to be a part of others who embarrass us, but from the perspective of spiritual formation, anything that assaults our pride is a good thing—even if it means being categorized with someone with whom we may have legitimate disagreements.”
The Beautiful Fight, 217
Would I grieve the Lord Jesus by criticizing any of His followers for whom He died?
Posted by Jerry White on Feb 17, 2011
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13 (ESV)
“I dare to say that it is possible for those who really are willing to reckon on the power of the Lord, for keeping and victory, to lead a life in which His promises are taken as they stand, and are found to be true. It is possible to cast our care on Him daily, and to enjoy deep peace in doing it. It is possible to have the thoughts and imaginations of our hearts purified in the deepest meaning of the word, through faith. It is possible to see the will of God in everything, and to receive it, not with sighing, but with singing. It is possible, in the inner life of desire and feeling, to lay aside all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and evil speaking, every day and every hour. It is possible, by taking complete refuge in divine power, to become strong through and through; and where previously our greatest weakness lay, to find that the things which formerly upset all our resolves to be patient, or pure, or humble, furnish today an opportunity to make sin powerless—through Him who loved us, and works in us an agreement with His will, and a blessed sense of His presence and His power. These things are divine possibilities, and because they are His work, the true experience of them will always cause us to bow lower at His feet, and to learn to thirst and long for more. We cannot possibly be satisfied with anything less than to walk with God—each day, each hour, each moment, in Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Bishop Handley C. G. Moule (1841-1920)
If this kind of life is possible, then what hinders someone from living in its reality?
Unbelief and doubt! What is required for a believer to experience this? Jesus made it quite simple with His clear instructive commands: “Come to Me,” “Learn from me,” “Follow Me,” “Trust Me,” “Obey Me,” “Abide in Me.” All are present tense for an ongoing one on one relationship with Him that is conscious and loving and enjoyable.
Posted by Jerry White on Feb 14, 2011
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
John 10:14 (ESV)
Of the surroundings…
Sure of the direction…
Aware of the perils…
Setting the right pace…
Keeping the right course.
Would this gentle Shepherd with His nail-scarred hands pierced for you now fail to take care of you?
Posted by Jerry White on Feb 10, 2011
The Lord Jesus invites anyone spiritually thirsty to come to Him and drink (John 7:37). The church is not Him. The Bible is not Him. A home group is not Him. Nothing can be a substitute for Him as a living Person to whom you can come. Nothing else truly satisfies.
We cannot come to His physical presence and kneel at His feet. His physical presence is in heaven where one day His followers will behold His glorified bodily form. His spiritual presence is with us by His Holy Spirit whom He promised to be with us and in us (John 14:17). His spiritual presence now is just as real as His physical presence was when He walked on the earth. When He said on the last day of the feast, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink (John 7:37), He could not have meant a physical coming but rather a spiritual coming. Our inner spiritual being can come to His very real spiritual, invisible presence.
Our eyes do not see the air we breathe, but does that make it less than real? We cannot see the molecules that compose the chair on which we sit but does that make them less than real? So it is with coming to the living resurrected Lord Jesus who is truly present by His Holy Spirit. His invisibility does not make Him less real. His spiritual presence is dynamically real and with your inner being you can behold Him, sense Him, be near Him and commune with Him. This will require a settled and still soul and a heart that believes what the Lord Jesus said. If you open your heart to Him in simple child-like faith, then your awareness of His real nearness becomes your sweetest experience on earth, and this gives a partial foretaste of what you will experience in the glories of heaven.
Dear child of God, He who cannot lie said His presence would be with you. Believe it with all your heart. The world clamors through your five senses to keep you mentally occupied with the physical plane in which you live. Quietness of soul in a place alone, with your heart open to His spiritual presence, allows the Holy Spirit to guide you to the Lord Jesus so that your inner being actually touches His very real spiritual presence. Like the woman with a twelve year discharge of blood who pressed through the crowd to touch Jesus’ garment in faith (Matthew 19:20-21), press through all the distractions until your inner being touches His spiritual presence, and just like that woman of faith, power will flow from the Lord Jesus into you to meet you at your point of need. Come to Him!
Posted by Jerry White on Feb 7, 2011
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 (ESV)
“ ‘Because prayer is revitalized through fellowship with Christ, there is a tendency to look upon prayer as a way to Christ, and to try daily to pray more fervently in order to come closer to Him. The Bible witnesses to Christ, and when Christ is near, the Bible is a new book. Therefore some torment themselves for not reading or studying it more faithfully in order to know Him better. Christ is the Way to the Bible, as He is to prayer. The Spirit of Christ Himself must speak through the pages of the Scriptures before they can become meaningful. The time of daily personal devotions becomes a more blessed experience to those who know Christ intimately. Sometimes this tends to be looked upon as a way to Christ, and the responsibility to keep it only adds to the burden of a troubled conscience. The sheep do not come to the still waters to find the Shepherd. It is the Shepherd Himself who leads them beside the still waters. Christ is immediately available right where we are, as we are. He in turn becomes the way to these various means of worship. He leads us into those forms of personal devotion and worship which are most adapted to each one’s spiritual needs.’ [Quote by Rev. Wesley Nelson, of Oakland, CA]
If, however, we have not a continuing devotional life with the Lord, expressing itself in prayer and feeding on His Word, it is because we have become spiritually cold and have got out of touch with the Lord. This is, perhaps, the surest index of where we are spiritually at any given time. In such a case the remedy is not, as popularly supposed, to make a new attempt to pray and read the Bible more regularly, but to go direct to the Lord Jesus Himself to repent of the coldness and of the things that have caused it, and to receive from Him again His cleansing. Then it is that prayer and the study of His Word are suffused once more with the glory of His Presence and become a delight, and our witness to others becomes fresh and spontaneous. It is as simple as that! In this way we find Jesus to be the Way to our devotions, rather than our devotions the Way to Him.”
Roy and Revel Hession
We Would See Jesus, 67-68
Posted by Jerry White on Feb 3, 2011
Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.”
John 13:10 (ESV)
“It may encourage you to call to mind the people who were praised. They were not cherubim and seraphim, but men, and notably they were men filled with weakness. There was Peter, who a few minutes afterward was brash and presumptuous. But it is not necessary to name them one by one, for they all forsook their Master and fled in His hour of peril. Not one among them was more than a mere child in grace. They had little about them that was apostolic except their commission. They were very evidently men who had the same passions that we do, yet their Lord declared them to be clean, and clean they were.
This is nourishment for those souls who are hungering for righteousness and worrying because they feel so much of the burden of indwelling sin: cleanliness before the Lord is not destroyed by our sins and weaknesses or prevented by our inward temptations. We stand in the righteousness of Another. No amount of personal weakness, spiritual anxiety, soul conflict, or mental agony can mar our acceptance in the Beloved. We may be weak infants or wandering sheep, and for both reasons we may be very far from what we wish to be. But, as God sees us, we are viewed as washed in the blood of Jesus, and we, even we, are ‘clean every whit.’
What a forcible expression, ‘clean every whit’—every inch, from every point of view, in all respects, and to the uttermost degree! Dear friend, if you are a believer, this fact is true even for you. Do not hesitate to drink of it, for it is water out of your own well, given to you in the covenant of grace. Do not think that it is presumptuous to believe this statement, as marvelous as it is. You are dealing with a wonderful Savior, who only does wonderful things. Therefore, do not stand back on account of the greatness of the blessing, but rather believe even more readily because the message is so similar to every thing the Lord says or does.”
Joy In Christ’s Presence, 167-168