When God Acts

Posted by Jerry White on Dec 20, 2015

Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
Psalm 115:3 (ESV)
~~~
“We are moved by the act of God. Omniscience holds no conference. Infinite authority leaves no room for compromise. Eternal love offers no explanations. The Lord expects to be trusted. He disturbs us at will. Human arrangements are disregarded, family ties ignored, business claims put aside. We are never asked if it is convenient.” (Samuel Chadwick, quoted by J. Oswald Sanders, Enjoying Intimacy With God, 97)
She was a teenage girl. He was the town carpenter. Mary was legally pledged to be married to Joseph, but she was still a single virgin when God miraculously impregnated her by His Spirit. What would this do to her reputation among the townsfolk, even family? What about the whispers and the smirky glances cast her way? Would Joseph even believe her, and what would her betrothed do? “The Lord expects to be trusted.”
Joseph was a righteous and just man (Matthew 1:19). He considered what he should do. Divorce her quietly? But an angel of the Lord spoke to him through a dream. “Take Mary as your wife.” This is “the act of God.” She bears God’s Son by God’s Spirit. “The Lord expects to be trusted.”
Because of a decree from Caesar Augustus that everyone should be registered, Joseph must leave his work, take Mary in her last week of pregnancy, and travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, a journey of seventy plus miles through dangerous mountainous terrain. God Himself arranged these difficult circumstances. He would fulfill His promise that the Messiah, His only Son, would be born in Bethlehem. “He disturbs us at will.” “Human arrangements are disregarded.”
After a long three day journey there was no place for these peasants to stay in the inn. Surely sovereign God could have reserved a place for His Son to be born indoors. Instead, these chosen earthly parents for the Savior were directed to an animal shelter with all its unsanitary conditions.
These poor parents endured very difficult circumstances for God’s only Son to enter our world without any recorded complaint. “Eternal love offers no explanations.” “We are never asked if it is convenient.” “He does all He pleases.” “He expects to be trusted.”

JRW




Posted in Faith, Sovereign God Comments Off on When God Acts

Place of Peace

Posted by Jerry White on Sep 13, 2015

I awake before dawn from the nether world of sleep aware of unknown threats for this new day obscured by darkness covering my future. Immediately I whisper, “my Father.” With this simple call my soul recognizes whose I am and that He is my safe dwelling place. My Shepherd watched over me while I slept under the cover of darkness, and this awakening moment in His presence is my safe haven regardless of how the lion roars or the wolves circle snarling and howling. The whispered call, “my Father,” or “Lord Jesus”—so simple and spontaneous—expresses my trust in Him who abounds in steadfast love and faithfulness to me. His peace then rules because I have acknowledged I am at the feet of Him who is my everlasting, all powerful, all-knowing Father, and I trust Him. Praise and thankfulness rises in my soul, and gladness overrules the howling wolves, the threatening whispers, and my soul’s insecurities. My day can begin with deep assurance that turns on those simple two word heart confessions.
His Word declares:
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow [pursue, run after, chase] me all the days of my life.”
(Psalm 23:1,6)

JRW
~~~
When doubt and fear assail me
And bend my spirit low,
I know there is a Saviour,
To whom I e’re can go;
He’s promised to be with me,
No matter what betide;
Till some day when he’ll call me
To sit down at his side.
A. A. Payn




Posted in Faith Comments Off on Place of Peace

Fearful or Trusting

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 22, 2015

He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”
Mark 4:40
~~~

“When preparing for a series of messages, I began to read book after book in search of a definition of faith. I didn’t find one. Each author talked about faith, but didn’t define it. Handley Moule, after studying in Sanskrit, Latin, Hebrew, Greek, German, and English, finally prepared a simple and complete definition: ‘Faith is personal trust in a Person.’ Biblical faith is personal trust in Jesus Christ.

Faith is never faith in your faith. You do not summon up enough faith so that God will act. That’s misplaced faith. The object of faith must be God Himself. This means to have faith in God’s faithfulness. When you express faith, you are trusting God’s faithfulness.

When Wesley was crossing the Atlantic on his way to the United States, his vessel encountered a terrible storm. Many feared the ship would sink. People were screaming and Wesley was terrified. There was a small group of Moravian missionaries aboard who were perfectly calm. Even the children were quiet. The difference between his reaction to possible death and the reaction of the Moravians spoke to Wesley.

Faith anchors you in life’s storms; it enables you to stand, to remain immovable.”

Joseph S. Carroll
Reflections on Faith & Prayer, 60
~~~

God says of Himself that He abounds in steadfast love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:6, ESV). Believing this is the key to trusting God. When you decide to believe in His steadfast love and faithfulness for you, then you will trust Him in the midst of the storm. He alone is our rock, fortress, and refuge (Psalm 31:3-4). He is our safe place—-so safe, and worthy to be trusted.




Posted in Faith Comments Off on Fearful or Trusting

All I Need

Posted by Jerry White on May 11, 2015

Everything I need to live a triumphant life in this sinful, polluted world is in Jesus Christ, and He is in me. His Spirit and my spirit are one so that He can be the source of my thoughts, words and decisions. I need look no where else but My indwelling Savior for every situation, circumstance and relationship. I can rest in His sovereign tender care and know that He is in absolute control of all that comes to me. Worry, fretfulness and anxiety should have no place in me. Fear, doubt and unbelief are my bitter enemies and if found in me are an affront to my Lord who has given His all for me and His all to me.
Faith pleases my Lord, and so I can please Him today by trusting Him to be my all in every relationship and circumstance.
For me to live is Christ—Christ for me, Christ with me, Christ in me, and Christ through me.
The Lord Jesus is my abundant Life.

JRW
~~~

Christ is all I need,
Christ is all I need,
All, all I need.
Christ is all I need,
Christ is all I need,
All, all I need.

He was crucified,
For me He died,
On Calvary
That He loved me so,
This is why I know
Christ is all I need.

Author unknown




Posted in Christ Indwelling, Faith Comments Off on All I Need

Believe and Trust

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 9, 2015

Faith pleases God and doubt displeases Him. Faith honors God and doubt dishonors Him.
For in it [the Gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17)
And without faith it is impossible to please him…. (Hebrews 11:6).
Faith believes what God says and trusts Him to do exactly what He says.
In hope he [Abraham] believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” (Romans 4:17)

Faith is not only for justification (initial salvation) but for all things in daily living. We either live by self’-effort throughout our days or by the Spirit’s enabling through faith. We either trust ourselves or we trust our indwelling Savior. The former is a clanging cymbal; the latter is His life flowing through us.

Faith depends on God specifically. It takes hold of His promises with trust like a soldier grasps his weapon or a carpenter his hammer. With simple prayer we declare to our faithful Lord that we are trusting Him for His promise to be kept. “This You promised and this I receive.”

God commands that we keep being filled with His Spirit. Be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18) He declares in Colossians 2:9-10, For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. This is an astonishing statement of fact. Either it is true, or it is false and merely make believe. I can either trust Him to make it a wonderful reality in my life today, or I can depend on my self-life to get me through. The difference is that people around me will see me only or they will catch a glimpse of my Savior through me. Oh, they may not know what to call it, but they will sense there is something different. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)

Taking God’s Word seriously reveals that it is His will for each believer to be filled with His Spirit, and He has fully provided His fullness so we live out of His life in us and not our self-life. Therefore, you can begin your day by trusting for God’s fullness in Christ to be your overflowing fullness as you walk through your day in each relationship and circumstance.
JRW




Posted in Faith Comments Off on Believe and Trust

Only Trust

Posted by Jerry White on Nov 10, 2014

“ ‘Only trust,’ is Jesus’ word. ‘This is all I ask of thee, the utmost thing I require at thy hand. I demand no costly sacrifice, no wearisome pilgrimage, no personal worthiness, no strength, wisdom, or endeavors of your own. Only trust me. Only believe that I wait to answer prayer, that I am gracious, that I have all power at my command, that I have your interest at heart, there is no good thing I am willing to withhold, that I, and I alone, can guide your present steps, can unravel the web of your difficulties, guide your perplexities, extricate you form the snares that have woven their net-work around your feet, and bring you through fire and through water into a wealthy place. Only trust me!’ ”
Octavius Winslow
Morning Thoughts, 539
~~~

Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Matthew 14:31 (ESV)

And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to bear with you?”
Matthew 17:17 (ESV)

But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”
Mark 5:36 (ESV)
~~~
Faith is a conscious, deliberate act of mind and heart to trust the Lord Jesus. It comes from an inward attitude of helpless dependence, coupled with full confidence in His steadfast love and faithfulness towards you.




Posted in Faith, Rerun Comments Off on Only Trust

Faith Alone

Posted by Jerry White on Sep 15, 2014

“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Matthew 14:31
~~~

The Lord Jesus was always surprised at doubt or unbelief in people. He held people responsible for not believing and trusting Him, like He did with Simon Peter in the Scripture above.This means that He saw people as having control over whether they will trust God or not. “Why did you doubt?”

Joseph S. Carroll spoke about the necessity of faith, as recorded in a little book of excerpts from his messages, Reflections on Faith & Prayer (49-50).

“It is faith alone that enables you to enter into all that the Lord has prepared for you.
Many years ago, I was ministering in Asheville, North Carolina. One cold evening, I returned to my friend’s home after a meeting. When those who had driven me wanted to make certain I could enter the house, I assured them it wasn’t necessary.

There was no response when I pressed and kept pressing the doorbell. I decided to go to a nearby shopping center after first looking through all the windows. As I walked against the traffic, a car rounded a curve, blinded me, and I slipped into a culvert filled with icy water. Very uncomfortable! I finally reached a motel and called the number where I thought I might find my hostess. In a rather grieved voice, I asked, ‘Why didn’t you tell me you wouldn’t be home?’ I’ve never forgotten her answer, ‘Well, Mr. Carroll, I did give you a key.’ I put my hand in my pocket. Sure enough, there was the house key.

God has given us a key that we seldom use. While we are busy knocking at doors, ringing bells, and seeking help from other sources, we have the key that allows us to enter into all that we need. That key is faith. Multitudes of Christians are double-minded and fearful because they have forgotten this key.

God has no substitute for faith.”




Posted in Faith Comments Off on Faith Alone

Authority

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 15, 2014

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)
~~~

“During our second term in Japan, rents were very, very high. We waited upon the Lord and believed we should build. We found an acceptable spot 70 miles north of Tokyo where I could be satisfied that my wife and children were safe while I traveled. We needed 3,200 dollars.

We put the government upon the Lord’s shoulder. How would He provide? We had very little support, so we were shut up to the Lord’s provision.

For many years, I traveled to a very small church in Louisville, Kentucky. People in this church prayed. There was a widowed woman who cleaned offices. When she died, she left a will that included the location of a chest where she had saved bills and spare change to be given to a missionary. How much do you think was in that chest? 3,200 dollars! He only does wondrous things!

Do you expect Him to do wonderful things? He will when you determine that the events and circumstances of life are going to be ordered by Him. Pray, ‘Lord, I am going to put the government upon Your shoulders. The authority for my life is in Your hands. The responsibility is Yours.’ Then begin each morning with ‘I am Yours today. I am trusting You to lead me step by step.’

I had previously lived by faith, but this concept of authority crystallized my experience. You simply put the government upon the Lord’s shoulder. The authority is His; the responsibility is His; the ordering of every detail is His.”

Joseph S. Carroll
Reflections on Faith & Prayer, 41-42




Posted in Faith Comments Off on Authority

Confidence

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 31, 2014

A sense of unworthiness rests upon diligent believers as long as they live on earth. Additionally, sinful failures bring shame, disappointment, and disgust. The enemy uses this sense of unworthiness and awareness of sinful failures as a club to beat down God’s sincere children. How can one approach God with any confidence whenever they have these strong negative feelings about themselves?

God’s Word says, Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19, ESV). We do not enter the holy places of His presence by confidence in ourselves. Never! We must always come before our pure, holy Father because of the blood of Jesus. It is His work on the cross and His righteous worthiness given to us that make it possible for us to come before Him with utmost confidence. We should never come before the Lord based on how we feel about ourselves. We may approach Him confidently by faith in Christ and His finished work, never by faith in self and one’s behavior. On your worst day of falling short, or on what you may consider your best day of measuring up, the necessity of approaching God by the blood and name of Jesus is the same. You can come boldly through Jesus Christ.

Our great high priest, the Lord Jesus, triumphantly entered heaven in our behalf. His shed blood fully paid our sins’ debt and silences the Law’s accusations against us. His perfectly righteous life provided the gift of righteousness Holy God requires of us. He lived a completely human life like us, and was agonizingly tempted throughout His life, but He never sinned. Therefore He sympathizes (shares our feeling) with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:14-15). Because of this, we can therefore with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16, ESV).

Child of God, you will never be worthy in yourself. You still fall short of His glory (Romans 3:23). You continue to stumble in many ways (James 3:2), whether it be in attitude, word, deed, or neglect. Repentance will be an ongoing necessity in your spiritual walk. Do not let this hinder your approach to your loving Father. He sees you in Christ, His beloved Son (Colossians 3:3). He looks at you with incomprehensible tenderness (John 15:9; 16:26-27). Never does He condemn you (Romans 8:1). Rejoice! You can have confidence before your Father because of who Christ is, what He accomplished for you, and the fact that you are clothed with Him.
JRW




Posted in Faith Comments Off on Confidence

Even Winds And Water Obey Him

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 7, 2013

They marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”

Luke 8:25 (ESV)

~~~

Even.

Is there something you are facing—whether in your outer circumstances or in your inner character—that seems impossible to command? Something that has baffled you and outwitted you a thousand times, and appears that it will win over you in the end? Something as deaf to your command as the wind, or wild waters?

Don’t despair. Don’t shrug and give up.

Our Lord—your Lord and mine—can command even the most difficult, unruly thing that seems as if it will never be commanded.

Let His word ‘even’ be a comfort to you. He who commands even the winds and water (and they must obey Him)—He can say to that ‘even’ of yours, ‘Peace, be still….’

And there will come for you ‘a great calm’ (Mark 4:39).

…Remember that there is nothing you are asked to do in your own strength. Not the least thing, nor the greatest:

God, who is all the while supplying the impulse [to obey and to overcome], giving you the power of inner resolve [to see it through to victory], is also giving you the strength to perform [under pressure] and to carry out His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13, Way’s translation)

All the tremendous forces of nature—weather and politics and human nature too—are at the beck and call of God. Each has only a faint shadow of the spiritual power that is His, and that He is ready to send forth for us.

Isn’t that amazing?”

Amy Carmichael

You Are My Hiding Place, 69-70 (from Thou Givest—They Gather, 19-20)

Devotional Readings Arranged by David Hazard