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YOU HAVE NOT CHOSEN ME … John 15:16

John 15:16

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

This verse, especially the first part of it, is often quoted in support of God’s Decree of Election proper, while the context  is of being chosen disciples (v 8), appointed Apostles, preachers of the Gospel (v 27).

This work is God’s free gift to them out of undeserved grace and favour; to live out and preach the Gospel.
The main thrust of the verse and indeed most the chapter, is that they “go and bring forth fruit and that their fruit should remain” this is what they have been chosen to and appointed to bring forth.

They should earnestly engage in the work God has given them, they must labour and toil to make Christ known and bring forth fruit that will remain. What fruit ? Fruit in their own lives as they abide in the vine, then the fruit of the Gospel, lives transformed by the message that is preached. Hearts of stone changed to hearts of flesh having the love of God shed abroad in their hearts.

Another fruit of the Gospel is obedience to the Lord’s commands specifically in this context it is to love one another as He has loved us (v 12 & 17). The quality of that love is to be the same as His love for us. The example is this  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (v 13) and you are my friends if you do what I command you (v 14) Christ’s life, that He laid down, is the supreme example of this love.

Now there are three immediate applications for this love,

firstly love among those who preach the Gospel, sometimes not evident today,

secondly love to those who respond to and believe the Gospel, a love for the brethren.

Lastly love to all whom the Gospel is preached, in reality love for mankind, even those who are naturally hard to love. Are we bringing forth this fruit ?

Now we must remember that although they are appointed to bring forth fruit that remains, it is not in their power to produce fruit in their own lives or to produce fruit for the Gospel or fruit in the lives of men or women.

They must abide in the vine, they must be diligent, faithful labourers, working together with God, waiting and expecting God the Father to give the increase and the Holy Spirit to produce fruit in their lives and in the lives of men and women. This is why the last clause is included  “that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

Producing fruit of the Gospel in themselves and in the lives of men or women is impossible for them or us; But the Lord graciously adds the promise to ask of Him and He will give it them and indeed us.

So they must be diligent in asking God, but be careful why and how they do it,  “you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:2-3)

How many disciples today and preachers of the Gospel  seem to want the fruit of the Spirit in their lives to boost their own standing and egos. ?

How many long for much increase for the Gospel so that they may “Profit” out of  and “Lord” it over what is God’s heritage ?

How many are there who humbly long for fruit in their own lives, fruit from Gospel proclamation, and fruit in the lives of believers ? how many are there who plead with God constantly for this ? and with no other motive than the Glory of God.

© Jeff Maxwell March 16th 2016

Lord continue to work in me and bring forth fruit to thy Glory. Amen.

Making Christ known.

Making Christ known.

Christians are called to be Ambassadors for Christ, to Live, Preach, Share, Make Known the Gospel to all.

More over we are to earnestly contend for the Faith which was once delivered unto the Saints. If you don’t know what the Bible teaches how can you do these things ?

Error abounds today as it has always done,

Have we equipped ourselves ?

Have we a firm grasp upon the doctrines within the Word ?

Have we protected ourselves from being led astray by every peddler of false doctrine ?

Do we know how to answer every man that asks us the reason of the hope that we have ?

We will not have every answer immediately to hand but do we know where to point the serious, the gainsayer, and the heretic ?

We are servants of the Most High GOD who have been given talents and told to occupy until HE comes and who will be called to give account.

How will you or I feel if the verse below is true of us on any day….. but especially on that day when we meet our Saviour face to face ?

“Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king’s household.” 2 Kings 7:9

Rather may this be true of us! ……..

For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.  1 Thess. 1:8

Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

2 Cor. 2:14

Be prepared, be ready, be enthusiastic, go and make Christ Jesus known!

The disciples “turned the world upside down”

 Why do the vast amount of true Christians (not false professors) have so little effect today ?

God does not change.

 

© Jeff Maxwell 2016

LACK OF POWER

Lack of Power

Why have Christians so little of the Power of God in their lives and the world ?

We have left our first love !
We have driven our beloved away from us !
We have embraced the standards of the World !
We have undervalued the Word of God !
We have sinned and hidden the face of God from us !
We have been ashamed of professing Christ boldly !
We have spurned real fellowship with Him !
We have grown cold in prayer, praise, and petition !
We have allowed faith to become little, weak, and misplaced !
We have been inconsistent in love and faithful living !
We have set our affections on the things of earth !
We have turned our eyes away from Jesus !
We have served mammon rather than God !
We have thought so highly of ourselves that we have fallen !
We have hardened our hearts in the deceitfulness of sin !
We have been too proud to be humble and lowly in heart !
We have disobeyed the leading of the Holy Spirit !

ARE SOME OF THE REASONS..

and if you search your own heart, you will, with the Spirits help, understand what you have done, failed to do, and so return, grow, and flourish in the presence and power of the Lord.

But the Lord God is gracious, full of mercy, loving kindness, and tender mercies. He will not break the bruised reed or quench the smoking flax…

Lord forgive us. Lord restore us, Lord move us to seek thy face without delay. Lord restore unto us the years that the locust have eaten. Lord revive thy people again, that they might rejoice in Thee. LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.

Lord make known Your power. Arise Lord go forth with Your people. Quicken Your people to do Your will. Give success unto the Gospel. Pour honour upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Glorify Him in the Salvation of sinners in this our day and generation.

And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.     Jeremiah 24:7

…. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, says the LORD of hosts….  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.       Malachi 3:7-10

© Jeff Maxwell 16/5/2015

A SIGHT OF SIN AND A SIGHT OF JESUS

A Sight of Sin and a Sight of Jesus

“They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn.”—

Zech. 12:10

 We can only properly deal with sin as, at the same moment, we personally and closely deal with Jesus. 

A spiritual sight of one’s SIN, apart from a believing sight of  the Lord Jesus Christ, will plunge the soul into the deepest despair. A sight of atoning blood must accompany the sight of our guilt.

Seen and dealt with alone, dissociated from the Saviour, sin is the darkest and most appalling object that can engage human study. But God has graciously and marvellously met the case. The instrument that exhibits sin in its greatest blackness at the same moment exhibits it in its fullest pardon.

A sight of sin and a sight of Jesus, as presented in the cross, is found in no other spot in the universe. Nowhere, not upon earth, where sin’s ravages are vividly and fearfully traced— not in hell, where sin’s punishment is fully and eternally endured—is sin seen as in the light of Christ’s cross.

God’s hatred of its nature and infliction of its penalty, as exhibited in the soul-sorrow, and bodily suffering of His beloved Son, is a demonstration unsurpassed, yes, unparalleled. Oh, how great the love of God to provide such a mirror in which to see at the same moment both the enormity of sin and the completeness of its forgiveness—the utter blackness of its guilt—and the snow-white purity of its cleansing.

There was but one Being in the universe who concentrated upon Himself so much sin— yet, “He knew no sin”—and in whom met so much punishment of sin, as Jesus, the Sin Bearer of His Church.

What defective views and realizations have we of this truth! How shallow our sounding of its infinite depths, how faint our experience of its preciousness and power ! And yet it is all and everything to us in the momentous matter of our comfort, holiness, and hope. If Jesus did not bear my transgression and curse; He did nothing for me, and I am yet in my sins. If He did, then the load is gone, the burden is annihilated, all transferred to Him, and by Him borne into eternal oblivion.

I am no longer my own sin bearer; my sins were all laid on Jesus, not by my hand, but by the hand of God. Since, then, Jesus has dealt with my sins, my only care should be first to realize their full pardon, and then to live a holy life as not to recommit those sins which Christ bore, and for which He sorrowed in Gethsemane, bled and expired on the tree, and so crucify the Son of God afresh.

Deeply interesting to the believing, spiritual mind is the theme of our present chapter. To have a sight of sin and a sight of Jesus at the same moment constitutes one of the holiest and richest pages in the history of a child of God. There are many of the Lord’s people who see sin, but who do not see Jesus at the same moment—who do not look at their sins through the medium of the cross.

To look at sin through the divine holiness, as reflected in the divine law, is to look and despair, to look and die!

BUT to look at sin through Christ—to see it in the blood that cleanses it, in the righteousness that covers it, in the love that pardons it fully, freely, and forever; oh, this is to look and hope, to look and live!

One eye upon sin, and one eye upon sin’s atonement, will enable the soul to walk humbly and filially with God. One eye looking at self and one eye looking at Christ will so regulate the experience of the soul, so accurately adjust its moral compass, as to keep the balance between presumption and despair; leading to a humble, holy, watchful walk as it regards sin on the one hand, and to an assured, happy, hopeful sense of pardon, acceptance, and glory on the other.

No fact in Christian experience is more certain than this, that sin is never properly seen until Christ is known; and that Christ is never fully known, until sin is seen in its existence, guilt, and power.

It is a sense of our vileness, guiltiness, and condemnation that takes us to Christ; and when we see Christ, and accept Christ, and enter into believing rest in Christ, we then have the deepest conviction of the greatness, the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and at the same moment the most assured conviction of our full and eternal deliverance from its guilt, tyranny, and condemnation. 

This harmony of tint— the blending of light and shade—sin and Christ—forms one of the loveliest and most impressive pictures of the many which illustrate the history of the Christian’s life. 

Originally by Octavius Winslow in “The Foot of The Cross” 1864

© Extracted, edited, updated by Jeff Maxwell

 

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The Cross and Gospel of Christ

The Cross and Gospel of Christ

What is your attachment to the gospel of Christ?

Is it increasingly precious to your soul, sanctifying your heart, and influencing your life?

Would you bid high for the truth of Jesus, at any cost to your personal ease or worldly advantage, and sell not that truth, for earth’s richest gem or greatest rewards?

Do you increasingly love the truth of Jesus, because it searches, rebukes, and humbles you, yet, also strengthens, comforts, and sanctifies you?

Do you feel a growing love for those doctrines that are especially identified with, springing from, and leading the soul to, the Cross of Jesus?

That is how you may test the closeness of your soul to the Crucified Christ.

Christ being precious to you, then oh how precious will be the truth He taught!

Purer than the purest silver, richer than the richest gold, sweeter than the sweetest honey, lovelier than the fairest gem, will be to you those doctrines, precepts, and promises which your Lord and Saviour demonstrated in His life and by His teachings.

They demand your simple faith, your fervent love, your holy walk, your zealous evangelism, and, if need be, your testimony at the martyr’s stake.

The doctrines of the substitutionary offering, the expiatory suffering, the atoning blood, the imputed righteousness of Christ, derive their virtue, their power, and their efficacy from, the divine dignity and spotless holiness of His person, and need to be combined with your increasing love and unswerving faith.

The precepts which encourage your bearing Christ’s cross, your confession of His name, your self-denying service in His cause, your death to the world, and your simple, unreserved obedience to His commands, will be to you His easy yoke and His light burden.

Test, then, your spiritual nearness to the Cross by your ardent attachment to the doctrines of the Cross.

“If any man will do His will, He shall know of the doctrine.”

“O how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.”

“How sweet are your words unto my taste! yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth.”

“Your words were found, and I did eat them; and your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.”

Originally by Octavius Winslow in “The Foot of The Cross” 1864

© Extracted, edited, updated by Jeff Maxwell 7/12/2014

FLEEING TO CHRIST Rev G B Cheever

Let us flee to Christ, and, by His Grace, live the life of righteousness, and so our last end shall be like His !

Of true peace in death there is no possibility but by being in Christ: but even the peace of a true Christian may be greatly obscured and troubled if he has been willing to live at a distance from His Saviour.

But where the soul is in Christ, relying on His precious blood and righteousness, and the affections are habitually fixed upon the things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God, then indeed dying is but going home; and such blessedness is worth all the daily watchfulness in life, that can possible be given for it.

Such blessedness makes the soul live on the borders of Heaven, in the Land Beulah; for to be in the land Beulah is to be spiritually minded, and that is the secret of all the blessed visions to be seen in that land.

“To be spiritually minded is life and peace;”  and they who are eminently so, are eminently happy. Nor is any labour to be accounted painful, in comparison to the sweetness of so resting upon God.

The way of blessedness may be trying, the steps taken may cost much self denial, but the results are unspeakably glorious and delightful.

Nor is there any happiness to be compared with that which is to be enjoyed by a growing Christian, a saint, whose life is truly hid with Christ in God. The happiness of walking with God daily is very great.

It is blessedness to breathe after God, to hunger and thirst after righteousness, and to long for the communication of His Spirit. It is blessed to feel with the Psalmist that the soul thirsts for God, thrice blessed to cry out  “As the hart pants for the water-brook so pants my soul after Thee, O God !”

If the experience of such desires be blessed, much more is the fruition of them, when God reveals himself to the soul that waits on Him. “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

A watchful earnest attention to the increase of one’s personal piety, makes every part of the Christian’s experience animated and delightful . There is a divine relish in all the exercises of the Christian life, a savour of Heaven, a foretaste of the enjoyments of the saints in glory.

The Word of God is precious, the duty of prayer is precious, the vision of faith is clear and strong, and heavenly realities come in with vivid power upon the soul, and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keeps the heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will show them His covenant. He will hold it up to their view, unfold its rich blessings in their sight, and show them that they have a part and a place in it. He will open and expound its glories, its glories of wisdom and knowledge in the revelation of Christ, its glories of spiritual things, into which the angels desire to look, its glories in the purchased possession of the saints and the riches of their heavenly inheritance, amid the wonders of that infinite love, by which such celestial, everlasting treasures were procured.

All this, and infinitely more than can be described, is the heritage of them that fear the Lord, that rest upon the Saviour, and who earnestly endeavour, renouncing every sin, to maintain daily that close walk with him which he requires, and to follow on after that perfection, which he has exhibited as the only right standard of the soul.

Is not this a life to be chosen, to be greatly desired, to be laboured after with exceeding great diligence, perseverance and earnestness ? Is it not worth a great deal of self-denial and fervent energy in prayer, and a great deal of time given to the, Word of God, and to all the secret exercises of the Christian life ?

Is it not worth a great many sacrifices of external ease and comfort, if that were necessary, and of external business, if that presses too urgently ? Is it not worth every thing, and are not all things else laid in the balance with it empty and worthless ?

Is it not the pearl of great price which he that is wise will readily sell all that he hath to be master of; the one thing needful, for the attainment of which all other things may well be given up, and forgotten as of no moment?

Yea, it is the kingdom of God and his righteousness, without which the universe cannot make you happy, but with which all things else shall be added unto you. Give what God will, without that you are poor, but with that rich, take what He will away. For when He gives himself, He gives all blessings.

Who would not rather be the poorest wanderer that walks the earth, the most down trodden and despised outcast of creation, and have his daily meals at God’s spiritual table, his daily walks with his Redeemer, his daily visits of refreshment at the full fountain of his love, than without that refreshment to possess the riches of all kingdoms, or be the worshipped idol of the world .

Yea, who would not rather be perishing for want of daily bread, or begging from door to door, if that were necessary, and yet daily faithful in prayer, growing in grace, and having his life hid with Christ in God, than surrounded with all affluence and at ease amidst all luxuries, and yet living in that worldly frame and at that distance from the Saviour, and in that gloomy coldness of spirit, which worldly prosperity, without great secret diligence in walking with God, so invariably produces !

 

Rev G B Cheever.  

Lectures on the Pilgrim’s Progress (Bunyan)

Extracted and typed by Jeff Maxwell

 

 

 

 

A DEVOTIONAL MEDITATION ON PSALM 130

A devotional meditation on Psalm 130

1 Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.

2 Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.

3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.

7 Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.

8 And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

The Psalmist firstly indicates that he is in the depths. Many believe and accept that the Psalmist here is none other than David; others say we can not be certain. I am content to call him “The Psalmist” in this meditation, without prejudice to either argument.

“out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord” .

He is aware that he is in deep trouble, either by outward circumstances, heart felt emotions, or inward spiritual condition. The text does not confirm which, but the whole context clearly shows that a consciousness of sin is evident. He readily admits his trouble, he does not hide it. This trouble weighs heavily on his mind, takes him to the depths, keeps him awake at night, but does not bring him to despair…   for he

“cried unto the Lord”   

The Psalmist  is earnestly pleading with the Lord to help him, for there is no depths we can sink into, except into hell, from which, we cannot call upon the Lord. He cries from deep within, from the certainty of his need, with a lively expectation, as we shall see further on.

“O Lord” 

Refers the One and Only God, the Creator, Sustainer, and Judge of all. This is the God who is revealed as to His Eternal Power and Godhead  by Creation, so that we are without excuse; but is progressively revealed as to His Nature, Attributes, and His Fullness in the Bible, the Word of God.

“Lord hear my voice”

“Lord”  here and in verse 6 is “Adonai” while in 1, 5, and 7 it is “Jehovah” and in verse 3 it is “Jah” the shortened form of Jehovah.

This plea is not, that the Lord will hear him, for the Lord hears all and misses nothing. The desire here is, that the Lord will hear his voice with grace and favour, in mercy and loving kindness. That the Lord will come to his aid and relieve his troubles, lifting him out of the depths.

“let  thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications”

He wants the Lord’s ears to be attentive, that is alert, attuned, and focussed on his voice. Now here is a wonder; that anyone could expect that Lord God, in all His Omnipotence, would, as it were, bow, stoop down and listen to one in the deepest depths, who had no seeming claim upon his attention. Why does the Psalmist expect this? It is because he has had dealings with God before and believes His Word, which over and over again, promises that God will listen to and answer the lowly and humble of heart.  Just a side note: The Psalmist does not believe the Lord has “ears” this is anthropomorphic, speaking of God in human terms to aid our understanding. God is Spirit and is cognisant of all things.

“the voice of my supplications”

His “supplications”  demonstrates his earnestness. It is stronger  than the “cry” of verse one. He wants the Lord to hear his prayers and pleas concerning himself, and perhaps for others, if his troubles stem from a consideration of others, as might be indicated by the last two verses.

The Psalmist is in trouble and wants help, whether this help concerns his “sins” is not confirmed but clearly the Psalmist is aware that Sin separates from God and that in the matter of prayer, sin is a great hindrance.

“if  thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities,”

“If” – There is no question… God does notice, take account, and call to account, all sins and iniquities. The “if” here really denotes a certainty as shown by many other scripture texts.

“O Lord” – refers the One and Only God, the Creator, Sustainer and Judge of all. See above.

“shouldest mark iniquities” – means to note and take account of them. Many, men and women, boys and girls, think that they can sin and break God’s rules without any redress by God at all. But God, as this Psalmist knows and feels keenly, keeps an accurate account, so that the Psalmist is aware that his personal sin, and from verse 8, Israel, the National sins, are a real problem when approaching the Lord God.

“who shall stand” – is to show that none could be in the presence of Almighty God and have any acceptance with God in their own pretended righteousness. We have all sinned and come short of God’s requirements, so that in our own strength we cannot ever stand in God’s presence and expect to gain any favour.

“but  there is forgiveness with Thee” – God alone can forgive sin, but because of His Holiness and Justice, He can forgive only on the basis of the finished substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ. What does this mean? It means that Jesus Christ, God’s own son, who was sinless and undefiled,  took upon Himself Sin, and suffered and died on the cross at Calvary, for God’s own chosen people, who God gave to His Son. Death was not the end, for on the third day, Jesus arose victorious over sin and death, ascending unto His Father, entering in with His own precious blood to make satisfaction for the sins of His people.

“that he may be feared” – not a servile, quaking, demeaning fear, but to behold God with awesome reverential fear, that causes us to cling to him as a loving, forgiving, merciful Father. Many do not like to think of a God who should be feared, they prefer a God of their own making that is ALL Love, but that is not the God of the Bible, He is to be obeyed, respected, and to held in reverential fear. We should be afraid to sin against Him, afraid to disobey Him, but it is the kind of fear that should be out of love towards Him, for what He is and does. It should grieve us deeply to resist His Will for us and to fall short of His Purposes for us.

“I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait,”

The Psalmist waits patiently. His is a humble, submissive attitude, not a demanding insistent one, expecting God to act immediately. Waiting and hoping are closely linked together, as he waits, he lives in hope, expectant of the Lord’s goodness. His soul waits, there is no turmoil within, no restlessness of mind and heart, the trial of the depths, do not defeat him, it drives him to patience, faith, and hope. The Psalmist’s waiting and hoping is spoken of in a tense that shows that it is his normal habit, he habitually waits and hopes, it is his normal demeanour.

“and in his word do I hope.”

The Psalmist here declares that he hopes in God’s Word. He is confident that God is merciful and forgiving, that he will find grace in God’s eyes. Why ? It is a matter of faith, he trusts God. As “waiting” and “hoping” are inseparably linked so is “faith” and “hope”, we believe God and therefore our hope make us not ashamed, it gives us that inner confidence to wait patiently and trust God to deliver us from the deepest depths. God has spoken that is all I require.

“My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning”.

This verse shows that he waits eagerly and expectantly “More than they that watch for the morning.” The night can be long, and the wait tedious, especially for those in trouble, but the Psalmist is not waiting for the morning, he is waiting for the Lord. He has a real longing for the Lord to be attentive, to answer his distress and supplication. This is no half hearted desire, that is soon diminished or a weak cry, that is soon stifled by his own self pity. The repetition is for emphasis “More than they which watch for the morning” Here is real longing, an earnest desire, a lively expectation, a patient hope, a fervent faith, waking, watching, waiting, for the appearance of his Lord.

“Let Israel hope in the LORD”

Here is a change, the Psalmist previously seems to have been talking personally, perhaps now he has been graciously answered by the Lord and obtained his supplications. He turns to exhortation, he cannot keep his blessing to himself, he would share it with all Israel. The Psalmist’s faith and hope is centred, fixed, and anchored on the Lord, no other is worthy, suitable, or able: so his exhortation is that Israel should hope and trust in the Lord.

” for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.”

The Psalmist gives two reasons why Israel should hope in the Lord. He affirms firstly that “there is mercy with the Lord”,  that is his firm belief and the basis of all his cries and supplications. Secondly  “with Him is plenteous redemption” . The Lord is able to show mercy, loving kindness and to redeem out of all situations, the idea is that the Lord is able to multiply both mercy and redemption. There are no depths that the Lord is not able to lift the believer out of, if we wait, pray, and hope in the Lord. Is there not much encouragement here?

“And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities”

The Psalmist adds an additional encouraging thought “And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities” the phrase, being singular, shows that the Psalmist has the Nation in mind, but the import is that God is able to forgive sins and he is the one that they should look to. What an encouragement to us, that all Spiritual Israel will be redeemed and forgiven, of all that God has given to Christ he shall lose nothing.

Permit me another aside, what if the Psalmist’s trouble stems from his awareness of Israel’s spiritual condition and iniquities? That his view of these brought him to the depths and drove him to both to wait on and make supplications to the Lord. Many Pastors are brought low by the condition of the Church and are driven to earnest prayer. How does your Church’s sins and your nation’s sin move you? Do they move you at all? I could guess  there is a relationship, a correlation, as to how your own sins affect you e.g. to what extent they drive you to wait on the Lord,   …..   and your attitude to the Church’s and National sins !

Hallelujah, for the Lord our God the Omnipotent Reigns and is able to deliver from the deepest, darkest place either in outward circumstances, heart felt emotions, or an inward spiritual condition. Praise His Blessed and Holy Name.

© Jeff Maxwell 03/03/2014

RECENTLY READ AND RIPE FOR CONTEMPLATION

RECENTLY READ AND RIPE FOR CONTEMPLATION

COUNTING THE COST

If any reader of this paper really feels that he has counted the cost, and taken up the cross, I bid him persevere and press on. I dare say you often feel your heart faint, and are sorely tempted to give up in despair. Your enemies seem so many, your besetting sins so strong, your friends so few, the way so steep and narrow, you hardly know what to do. But still I say, persevere and press on.

The time is very short. A few more years of watching and praying, a few more tossing’s on the sea of this world, a few more deaths and changes, a few more winters and summers, and all will be over. We shall have fought our last battle, and shall need to fight no more.

The presence and company of Christ will make amends for all we suffer here below. When we see as we have been seen, and look back on the journey of life, we shall wonder at our own faintness of heart. We shall marvel that we made so much of our cross, and thought so little of our crown. We shall marvel that in “counting the cost” we could ever doubt on which side the balance of profit lay. Let us take courage. 

We are not far from home. It may cost much to be a true Christian and a  consistent believer; but it pays. 

J C RYLE   (Holiness page 81/82 James Clark & Co. Edition 1956)

FOOD OF LOVE

The food of love is a sense of sin,

and a grateful sense of forgiveness.  

If you and I felt more deeply the guilt of our past lives, we should love Jesus Christ better.

If we had but a clearer sense that our sins deserve the deepest hell, that Christ suffered what we ought to have suffered in order to redeem us from our iniquities, we should not be the cold hearted creatures we are.

We are perfectly monstrous in our want of love to Christ, but the true secret of it is a forgetfulness of our ruined and lost estate, and a forgetfulness of the sufferings by which we have been redeemed from that condition.

O that our love might feed itself and find renewal of its strength in remembering what Sovereign Grace has done.

C H Spurgeon

( Flashes of Thought No:508 1880)

DIFFICULT TIMES

Steadiness of mind and heart under trial, is one of the highest attainments of faith. There is little exercise of faith when all things go well. But if God raises a storm, permits the enemy to send wave after wave, and seemingly stands aloof from our prayers, then, still to hang on and trust God, when we cannot trace Him, this is the patience of the saints.

Matthew Henry

When in prosperity, we are ready to think our mountain will never be brought low; so when in adversity, we are ready to think that our valley shall never filled up. But to conclude that tomorrow must be as this day, is absurd as to think that the weather, when fair or foul, will be always so.

Matthew Henry

Oh, He is a sweet Master! One smile from Jesus sustains my soul amid all the storms and frowns of this passing world. Pray to know Jesus better. Have no other righteousness, no other strength, but only Jesus. Soon we shall see Him coming in the clouds of heaven. May you be kept faithful to death. 

Robert Murray M’Cheyne

TEARS FOR SIN

Let your tears fall because of your sins;

but,

at the same time,

let the eye of faith steadily behold the Son of Man lifted up,

as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,

those that are bitten by the old serpent  my look unto Jesus and live.

Our sinnership is that emptiness into which our Lord pours His Mercy.

C H Spurgeon

 From Breaking the Silence   ( A Letter written from Menton  31/12/1891 approx 1 month before his death on 31/1/1892)

Adversity

Adversity is the best University.

Schola crucis est Schola lucis. 

School of the Cross is the School of Light.
Or

The School of Affliction is the School of Instruction.

Afflictions teach us to know God, not only in His power and greatness, in His anger, and His hatred for sin, but also in His Goodness and Mercy: For God so sweetens the bitter cup of affliction that a Child of God will taste more of God’s love in one month’s affliction than in many years of prosperity.

Add to this – afflictions teach us to know God experimentally and affectionately not just cerebrally but cordially (not just with the mind but the heart) so to know Him, as to love and fear  Him, and to fly to Him as our Rock and Hiding place in the day of our distress.

He that seeks after God in the night of adversity does not seek Him to see Him, to know Him formally or superficially, but to embrace Him, lean on Him, and know Him experimentally.

Here is rich comfort for the Children of God, under the greatest afflictions.
For the best of  Saints are subject to the worst afflictions.
This is the lot of all God’s children, Christ Himself was not excepted or exempt.

Let us labour that we may reap good by our afflictions and that “the good” may abide upon us after our recovery from the afflictions.

Let us labour that the good we get by afflictions may not vanish away with our afflictions after we are recovered; so we may be able to say with David ” It was good that I was afflicted” and to say that it was good; not only after the event but to say “it is good that I am afflicted now and it will be good if I am afflicted in the future.”

We need to be good Scholars in the School of Afflictions; for if we are, God will either deliver us out of affliction with much blessing or send us to Heaven by our afflictions to our eternal blessing. Amen

Extracted, edited and compiled by Jeff Maxwell ©

© Jeff Maxwell 2014

A POEM OF ENCOUAGEMENT TO TWEET FOR GOD

LITTLE BIRDIE

There was a little birdie
Sitting in a tree
There was a little birdie
Looking down on me

There was a little birdie
Such a joy to see
There was a little birdie
Singing yet to be

There was a little birdie
Hear my call to thee
There was a little birdie
Do not silent be

There was a little birdie
Bring some glee so free
There was a little birdie
Sing a song my plea

There was a little birdie
As I sat for tea
There was a little birdie
Tweet a tune in key

There was a little birdie
Make a tuneful spree
There was a little birdie
Fit for more than three

There was a little birdie
Rings a melody
There was a little birdie
Such that none should flee

There was a little birdie
Trill without a fee
There was a little birdie
Abba watches thee

There was a little birdie
 List’ning now to me
There was a little birdie
Warbling from the tree

There was a little birdie
Lilting now to me
There was a little birdie
Out across the sea

© Jeff Maxwell 23/8/2013
Dedicated to
 @daughterofFostr

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God,
and the song of the Lamb, saying,
Great and marvellous are thy works,
Lord God Almighty;
just and true are thy ways,
thou King of saints.
Rev 15:3

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PLease Leave a Comment »

QUESTION FOR CONSIDERATION

 

A QUESTION FOR CONSIDERATION

I asked this question.

As a comment on the article  “RUNNING THE RACE-World Athletics Moscow”       

Tell me please.

Why is there not as much rejoicing and giving of praise, when a Christian finishes his earthly course, as when an athlete wins the race ?

Surely we are deficient in this !

I asked it here and on facebook, and not surprisingly, as yet, I have not had any comments or answers !
As I feel concerned about this subject I would like to stimulate debate by making a comment myself and chose to do so here as well.

Here we go then …..

When we come to glory we will realise the extent of rejoicing and praise there is on that side when a saved sinner enters into their rest. That rejoicing and praise will properly reflect the amazing sacrifice that was made with the extent of Grace that was daily in effect to bring that one to glory. The joyful adoration of God will be, because all their eyes are opened and their understanding enlightened fully.

The feeling of loss and sadness when loved one’s / fellow believer’s pass on, is very real, and that temporarily deadens the emotions of rejoicing and praise that we might otherwise feel and express.

 

One of the reasons for our deficiency is that we fail to see and appreciate NOW what God has been doing in their lives. We see good points, faults, failings, natural abilities, but do not fully appreciate what God is doing in the lives of those closest to us. We are not moved to give enough thanks now, much less then, when we feel our sadness and loss.

 

Another reason is that we fail to prepare for this great event. We all live, as if we shall always live! 

We do not converse about death (it’s still taboo), we do not prepare ourselves for the loss of loved ones. I have tried to engage with some who should have been mindful of the approaching end and it is not easy to get a useful conversation. I often fail to see an emotional anticipation of soon, being in His presence. If we talked more about our fears and anticipations, we could encourage and comfort now …. then come with more rejoicing and praise at this momentous event.

 

Why is there not as much rejoicing and giving of praise, when a Christian finishes his earthly course, as when an athlete wins the race ?

“Are we deficient in this?   YES     can we change?  YES  please Lord by your Grace.

© Jeff Maxwell 19/08/2013

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RUNNING THE RACE – World Athletics Moscow

RUNNING THE RACE

I have been watching with interest the World Athletics Championships in Moscow.

I admire the way that all of these athletes are so dedicated to achieve honours in their chosen discipline.

They work hard, they deny themselves, they are disciplined, they put aside everything that would hinder them in their goal.

This is not a momentary effort either, the majority of them have been pursuing their excellence for many a year, in it for the long term.

They achieve a medal and high honours but are not satisfied, they press on to the next event, ever expecting to get better, they put disappointments behind them and press on.

These are the crème del la crème, the high achievers, but we should remember that there are many others with the same dedication who you will never see in the World Athletics Championships or the Olympic Games. They expend themselves equally with the best but will never be high achievers. Then there are others, who try hard at first, make every effort, about whom you have great expectations, but hurdles and difficulties come along, they fall by the wayside, they look back, then turn back, giving up the race.

We will long remember Mo Farah, Usain Bolt, Meseret Defar, Brianna Rollins for their outstanding achievements this year, but who remembers Xue Lei, Jason Smyth, Felpipe Gomes, Cristian Valenzuela, El Amin Chentouff, all gold medal winners from the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, few indeed, if any, I expect.

The Christian is in a race, set before him is the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, around him are many witnesses, he is encouraged not to run in vain, he must not labour in vain, he must lay aside every weight and every sin that so easily besets him, he must run with patience, he must so run that he might obtain, as he strives for the mastery he must be temperate in all things, he must run but not uncertainly, he must fight but not as one that beats the air, he must bring his body into subjection, he must continue to run well and not let any hinder him.

What is this race, above all its the Christian Life, the obeying the truth, its becoming Christ like, communicating the Gospel, holding forth the Word of Life, its running to obtain an incorruptible crown, that the Christian may rejoice in the day of Christ. The Christian does not run for worldly honours, or to be remembered here on earth, as few will be, he might not be amongst the crème del la crème, but he will be regarded from on high, he will not achieve gold medals but he shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare him, as a man spares his own son that serves him.

The Christian has every advantage in this race, he runs with a manual of instructions, of help and encouragement. He has, as Terezinha Guilhermina of Brazil the blind T12 runner, a guide who runs alongside, who will never fall, as Guilherme Soares,  just before the finish line, tripping her up. The Christian is given a comforter within who is always present to be called upon and has Power to share. The Christian does not travel alone, he has many who accompany him along the way. Above all the Christian has a dedicated direct line to one who has successfully run the race before who, can impart wisdom, knowledge, comfort, and encouragement.

But there are many that seem to enter the race, to start on the pathway to life, the Christian pathway, but fall away. Hurdles and difficulties come along, they fall by the wayside, they look back, then turn back, giving up the race. They turn as a dog to its vomit again, return as a sow to wallow in the mire, become as Lot’s wife, who heeds the warning, flees from the city of destruction, but then looks back in disobedience and is turned into a pillar of salt.

Now my questions are. What kind of athlete are you? What kind of race are you running? What is the expected end of your journey? How are you overcoming obstacles? Are you persevering unto the end?

Sally Pearson (100 metre hurdler) said, after coming second in her race,  “every single person out there is a competitor” are you in the Christian Race, is this true of you, are you a competitor ?    Ben Johnson said (of Usain Bolt) that successfully winning the races,  “is such a sweet place to be”

Are you a real competitor who is enjoying the sweetness of the presence of Jesus as you Run Christian’s Race to Glory ?

Are you pressing  toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. ?  Philippians 3:14

The Saviour says at the end of the race “Well done good and faithful servant….. Enter into the joy of your Lord”  Matthew 25:21

CONSIDER

Mark 13:13
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Hebrews 3:14
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.

Hebrews 12:1
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

2 Timothy 4:6-8
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

See also:    1 Corinthians 9:24-27  :   Philippians. 2:16 :  Galatians 2:2  : Galatians. 5:7

© Jeff Maxwell 17/08/2013

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Truth to Tell and Ponder Well

Truth  to  Tell   and   Ponder   Well

How frail mankind

     How great is God

          How soon we die

                Face the Creator

                           Judge of all

 

Need an advocate

       Jesus our surety

            Takes our place

                   Speaks for us

                          Sets us free

 

God is satisfied

       Wrath turned away

                 Peace restored

                    Alive in Christ

                        For evermore

 

Go and tell

       Across the world

              Such great news

                     To one and all

                            Jesus Saves

 

Have you heard

            What to do

                Repent and live

                       Turn from Sin

                              Trust in HIM                         

© Jeff Maxwell 30/09/2012

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger forever.

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

Psalm 103:8-18

 

 

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Encouragement and Challenge

Encouragement and Challenge 

I read this this evening and would like to share it with as many as possible,  please……….

ABIDE IN HIM, little children, who I have always preached unto you, that when He shall appear we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. Let every new sight of your wicked heart, and every new wave of trouble, drive your soul to hide in Him, the Rock of your salvation. There is no true peace but in a present hold of the Lord our Righteousness.

ENJOY THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS — keep yourself in the Love of God. If you abide in Christ, you shall abide in His love — your joy, let no man take from you. “These things write we unto you that your joy may be full.”

BE YE CLEAN  that bear the vessels of the Lord” ” He that says he abides in Him should walk as He walked.” Ah, how many falls will I have to mourn over when I return, if my God send me back to you ! — how many unseemly quarrellings and miscarriages among you that are God’s own ! — how many unlovely tempers among those that follow Him, who is altogether lovely !  Oh take heed ; do not give the enemy cause to blaspheme ;  naming the name of Christ, depart from all iniquity.

CONTINUE IN PRAYER. How many messages have been carried to you publicly and from house to house, and yet how little success !  I bless God for all the tokens He has given that the Spirit of God has not departed. Still the Spirit has not yet been shed on us abundantly. The many absentees on the Sabbaths — the thin meetings on Thursday evenings — the absence of men from all the meetings for the worship of God — the few private prayer meetings — the little love and union among Christians — all show that the plentiful rain has not yet fallen, to refresh our corner of the heritage. Why is this ? This is the day of Christ’s Power ; why are the people not made willing ?  Let James give the answer : “Ye have not, because ye ask not.” ” Hitherto ye have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”

Robert Murray M’Cheyne

(2nd Pastoral letter to the people of God among his flock. Quoted in “Burning and Shining Lights: Rev Robert Steel 1868  page 155.)

Typed and lightly edited by J Maxwell 2013

Consider this question !

When we sin against God and know His forgiveness.. we are so often, and rightly so, taken up with sorrowful thoughts concerning that sin, that we fail to “ENJOY THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS” as R M M’Cheyne encourages us to.

How do we keep these two things in proper balance ? i.e. Enjoy the forgiveness of our sins with a due sense of Godly sorrow for those sins.

Your Comments please !

My Spiders

My Spiders.

My spiders live on my motor bike. My spiders do not know me. Every night they spin webs from the handle bars to the mirrors. On days that I do not move my bike the webs remain to attempt to catch food and the spiders are spared, if they want, of spinning new webs.
However on days that I do ride my bike, the webs are destroyed. The spiders travel many miles with me but probably do not even know they have moved locations and entered entirely different environments, they remain true to their nature and spin new webs at night. If I ride again the next day, and I do, their world is turned upside down, the webs destroyed, again and again, yet they do not give up, they try and try again, to build the means to catch food. They had a load a babies, mini spiders with the same nature, who began to spin webs together.

Now location and circumstances do not change their nature.
They are creatures of habit, they do the same things.
They persevere against odds that are stacked against them.
They are unaware of my existence, they do not recognise or adapt to it.
Their offspring are of the same nature as themselves, they work together, using the same means, seeking the same ends.

Sinners are like these spiders, their nature is not changed by their location or circumstances. In every place and every circumstance they are sinners.
Sinners are creatures of habit, they are habitual sinners, they cannot change themselves, they always sin and will continue to do so.
Sinners persevere in their sins, although the odds are stacked against them achieving their desired aims.
Sinners are unaware of God’s existence, as a controlling power, able to change their location and circumstances. They do not change their actions in the light of this fact.
Sinners produce offspring, who are the same nature as themselves, have the same sinful habits, and work for the same self-centred ends, using the same sinful means.

What the spiders really need now is one who can put them back in their original situation, amongst the trees and bushes of the garden. Their natural habits will become fruitful.

What the sinner needs is to be returned to the same nature as their first parents in the garden before the fall. To be able to recognise and talk to the Highest Power. To live in the light of His Presence and live in accordance to His Laws. Habits need to remain but be transformed and used to the appointed end of the Highest Power. Perseverance needs to be used for the purpose it was intended. They need to recognise their intended end and use every means to move towards it. Their offspring need to go through the same rebirth or they will not have the same new nature as originally intended. Their whole being needs to become fruitful.

My friends consider my spiders and the lessons drawn from my observations of the sinners position and needs.

© Jeff maxwell 2013
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CHRISTIAN CHARACTER AND WITNESS

Christian Character and Witness

If you don’t speak for Christ at all

your life should be lived,

so it speaks so loud,

that all may SEE you are a Christian.

 

  A life of  J  oy

  Even amidst  bad times

  A life of  E  ndurance

  Even amidst   hardships

  A life of   atisfaction

  Even amidst  want.

  A life of   sefulness

  Even amidst  busyness

  A life of   elflessness

  Even amidst  need

 

  A life of   Faithfulness

  Even amidst  apostasy

  A life of  Peace

  Even amidst  strife.

  A life of  Hope

  Even amidst  chaos.

  A life of  Love

  Even amidst  tragedy.

  A life of  Self-control

  Even amidst  provocation

  A life of  Obedience

  Even amidst  trials

  A life of  Patience

  Even amidst  difficulties

  A life of  Kindness

  Even amidst  hatefulness

  A life of  Goodness

  Even amidst  spitefulness

  A life of  Forgiveness

  Even amidst  retribution

  A life of  Gentleness

  Even amidst  conflict

  A life of  Integrity

  Even amidst  corruption

  A life of  Meekness

  Even amidst  egotism

  A life of  Purity

  Even amidst  immodesty

  A life of  Gratitude

  Even amidst  greediness

  A life of  Contentment

  Even amidst  restlessness

  A life of  Perseverance

  Even amidst  fickleness

  A life of  Submission

  Even amidst  unruliness

  A life of  Compassion

  Even amidst  indifference

  A life of  Friendship

  Even amidst  hostility

  A life of  Zeal

  Even amidst  lukewarmness

But you should have

courage enough

to speak for Christ

who saved you.

© Jeff Maxwell 2013

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THE SECRET OF TRUE HAPPINESS

GODLINESS WITH CONTENTMENT IS GREAT GAIN

If you cannot find peace and happiness within your heart you will not find it whatever situation you are in or wherever you live.

To find true peace and happiness you need the Triune God to dwell with you: God as your Father; Christ Jesus as your Saviour, the Holy Spirit as your Guide and Comforter.

If you have this, then Bunyan’s Jail (Gaol), Latimer’s stake, Solomon’s Palace, and Dives’ condition, will not have power to remove that peace and happiness.

Whatever your circumstances, wherever you dwell, you will be content.

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11

© Jeff Maxwell 2013

HEAVEN LONGED FOR …….

Long after heaven ! –  your God is present there, unveiled in Glory – God your Father, God  your Saviour, God  your everlasting Comforter.

Long after heaven ! – it is full of holiness. Sin has never sullied it ! No evil shall pollute it ! All its inhabitants are pure : the Angels and the Redeemed are without fault before the Throne of God

Long after heaven ! – it is the “rest that remains for the people of God” –  it shall remain a their rest for ever ! There  pain, trouble, and weariness are never felt ! There  Satan, sin, and sorrow cannot enter ! There peace and prosperity continually abide. There God is worshiped in perfection forever.

Long after heaven ! – it is the end of groaning for all creation; – it is the paradise of  your perfection in soul and body ! There you shall know even as you are known ! There you shall reach the manhood of  your being, regain once and for ever the lost likeness of your Creator, and hear again the voice of the Lord God walking with you in the tenderness of His amazing love and the plenitude of His everlasting friendship !

Long after heaven ! – it is a glorious home !   It is the house of Lord Jehovah !   The created home of thy Eternal Father !   The purchased home of thy Elder Brother !    The holy home of the Lord  your Saviour !   It is the safe and happy home of Angels !   It is the eternal home of all pure and holy beings !    It is the everlasting home of the whole family of the Redeemed !  It is the inheritance of your brothers and sisters in the Faith !
There are they gathered together in safety;
there they are all joined together in love;
there they all “dwell” together in unity,
there they give full expression of the love, joy, and peace of Salvation,
there they delight to fully worship, honour, and glorify the Triune God;
There they abide forever and go no more out of “the house of the Lord .”

Edited, adapted, and modernised by Jeff Maxwell ©2013
(From:  Anon.   From Christian’s Penny Magazine vol. 2 1847)

MOTTO 2013

 MOTTO 2013

“I am hunting after poor sinners in these ungospelized wilds.”

In the preface to his book on George Whitefield, *1 J P Gledstone quotes Whitefield’s words above concerning his forest preaching. *2

This will make a great motto for us in the light of our Lord’s command *3

Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

We now live a land, where the Gospel is seldom preached to sinners where they are, although it is often preached in Church’s to those who are already claiming to be Christians.

Perhaps 2013 can be an opportunity for all of us to spread the Gospel to sinners with whom we rub shoulders with every day. They are perhaps lost sheep and need to be found, by the Good Shepherd, who gave his life for the sheep.

May I wish you all a very Blessed and Spiritually prosperous New Year.

*
1  George Whitefield M.A., Field Preacher by James Paterson Gledstone (3rd Edition 1902).
2 As a missionary in the American backwoods.
3 Mark 16:15

© Jeff Maxwell 2007 revised 2013
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Prayer for the week 8

Prayer for the week 8

Almighty and Eternal God, we desire to praise Your Holy Name, for graciously raising us up, in soundness of body and mind to see the light of this new week.

We bless You on the behalf of all Your creatures; for the eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in due season. But, above all, we acknowledge the inestimable benefits given to mankind in Christ Jesus. We thank You for His miraculous birth, for His most Holy life, His bitter agony and death, for His glorious resurrection, His ascension into heaven, His triumph over all the powers of darkness, and His sitting at Your right hand for evermore.

O God, how great was Your love to the sinful sons of men!

O the riches of Your Grace in sending the Holy Spirit, to make us abound in hope, that we shall rise one day from the dead, and after our short labours here, rest with You in  eternal glory.

We would begin this week in devout meditation, in joy unspeakable, and in such blessing and praising You, who have given us good hope and everlasting consolation. Lift up our minds above all the little things below, which are apt to distract our thoughts; and keep our thoughts  above those things, till they are fully bent to seek You and the WAY which Jesus has gone before.

We are ashamed, O Lord, to think that we have disobeyed You, who redeemed us by the precious blood of Your own Son. O that we may agree with Your Will in all things! May all the powers of our souls and bodies be wholly dedicated to Your service! We desire unreservedly that all the thoughts and designs of our minds, all the affections and tempers of our hearts, and all the actions of our lives, may be pure, holy, and unreprovable in Your sight.

Search us, O Lord, and prove us. Look well if there be any wicked way in us and lead us in the way everlasting. Let Your favour be better to us than life itself; so that in all things we may approve our hearts before You, and feel the sense of Your acceptance of us, giving us a joy which the world cannot give.

O Lord, hear us, and make Your face to shine upon us, that we may enter into Your gates with thanksgiving and into Your courts with praise; that we may be thankful unto You and bless Your Name, for Jesus Christ’s sake, and so we conclude our imperfect prayer.

John Wesley
From page 50-51 of John Wesley’s Prayers Edited by F C Gill 1959.

Edited, adapted, and modernised by Jeff Maxwell ©2012

Prayer for the Week 7

Prayer for the week 7

 O Lord our God we are grateful and thankful for Your great goodness to us.

For our Salvation in Christ Jesus, for the Forgiveness of our sins, for Your presence at our side, for our Glorious Inheritance laid up in Heaven, for Your Word given to us, for Your Holy Spirit and His guidance, for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, for Your  World in which we live, for our Homes, friends and families. We have O Lord so much to be truly grateful and thankful for.

O Lord God we are conscious that we are not always grateful enough and often forget to be mindful, thankful enough, for what You have done for us and what You give to us. Help us O Lord to seek to put this right in the coming week, to more conscientiously, more fully, give You the adoration of our hearts for Your Grace towards us.

This coming week Lord we would pray for those who are suffering. We are aware Lord that you are in control of all things, but you still allow suffering in this present evil world.  We do not however, as many, lay the blame at Your feet, but use these circumstances to draw near to you, to pray for those in any need, to support those who are in any trouble, to sympathise and encourage, to show our love because Your Son, Christ Jesus has done all theses things for us and He is our example.

Gracious God help us each one to bring by name those, known to us, who are suffering for whatever reason, those who suffer in their bodies, those who suffer in their minds and emotions, those who suffer by their circumstances in life, those who suffer for the Faith, those who suffer because of repressive governments and laws, those who suffer because of the evil  power at loose in this world. Lord teach us and help us to pray.

Our Father, our great and powerful God, we pray especially for your children who are  coming to the end of their earthly pilgrimage, who are going to die and come before Your very presence. We ask Lord that you will turn their minds away from the present weakness of their bodies. Remove from them any fearfulness of mind because of death, their final adversary. Give them patience in their trying circumstances, enable them to rise above them and concentrate their minds on You alone. Lord ease their eventual passing, let them, as they are able, to witness to your faithfulness and goodness to them through their lives whether they be long or short.

Father we are mindful that you can call for OUR presence before You at any time, prepare us for this, let us live in the light of this truth Lord, for so often we live as if we are going to live forever. Lord help us not to be forgetful of You, help us not to live carelessly, forgetting to give thanks, being by our practice ungrateful  of Your grace and Goodness to us.
 
Our gracious Father as we close our prayer, may we continue to pray, give us clean hands and a pure heart, for the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much, not because of our prayer, but because of you willingness to hear and answer. Amen.

 © Jeff Maxwell 2012

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