Saturday, 26 January 2013

Broken Cisterns

It can be somewhat frustrating when we cannot discern what it is that God is doing in our lives.  We feel that we are being held in suspense by our Father.  The Psalmist David found that, you know, and so have his countless servants throughout the running centuries. God is mysterious, and His doings are equally mysterious. 

In such times, what are we to do?  We are to do the only thing it is proper for us to do in these circumstances, and that it to repose our lives confidently in His Word.  What else have we?  He is faithful Who promised.  We cast ourselves and our burdens unreservedly upon His grace and mercy.

Now, the last thing we ought to do, and the first thing we are often tempted to do, is to look for the consolations of the world.  How foolish that would be!  It is vanity to look to the empty and perverse world to help and succour us when in difficulties.  The world has absolutely nothing to offer.  Indeed, this is exactly what worldlings do - they look around them everywhere to find something from the world that will mitigate their miseries.  But there's nothing there.  At times of difficulty, they may drown their sorrows with alcohol, but they still have them when they sober up.  They may use some kind of escapism, yet that is OK only for the short time they have 'escaped.'  But they still have to return to the real world.

No, the world and its ways have nothing to offer the child of God.  They mock us, deride us, and make fun of us.

I tried the broken cisterns, Lord,
 But, ah, the waters failed!
E’en as I stooped to drink they fled,
 And mocked me as I wailed.

The world’s broken cisterns have nothing to offer the child of God when he or she is going through life-threatening difficulties.  We have all tried them, and some of us have seen through them.  Even the positive thinking attitude, while good so far as it goes, is inadequate, and I've seen people being devastated by this outlook.

However, we have found something that does work in all circumstances – having a positive faith in Christ the sovereign Lord and Comforter of the weak.  It’s not just about being positive; it’s about being positive in Christ; it’s about being positive in Him because of Who He is – the One Who suffered and bled and died for us, and Who rose again on the third day to demonstrate that the Father had accepted all He had done on the Cross for us men and for our salvation, and therefore accepts all who trust in Him.

Abide With Me.

In times like these, the tempter is not far away.  We have had a few brushes with him over recent days, but thankfully we were able to identify his activity and command him in the strong Name of Jesus Christ to leave us.  He has triggered old hurtful emotions and has injected deep disappointment into our lives.  Thankfully, we were able to ‘look out’ for each other in such times.  And what did we find?  That when we drove the devil away, the awareness of Christ’s presence became so real again.

That’s why our prayer always is, “Abide with me.”

You may have noticed that I used the term, ‘sweetness,’ in recent updates.  That term comes from both Jonathan Edwards and from Samuel Rutherford. They wrote about the sweetness of Christ to the believer’s soul and that God sometimes sweetens trials and tribulations. I found this a useful term so I used it in these updates.  

Friday, 25 January 2013

Want To Know Satan?

If you really want to know Satan, then there's one thing I would suggest you do - become a true Christian.  I'm saying, "Make a profession of faith," but, become a true Christian.

Unbelievers do not worry too much about the devil, and some, perhaps most, deny that he exists.  They belong to him in any case; he trains them, manipulates them, promises them a good time, tells them to do whatever they want, and deceives them into thinking that it is not he who is suggesting these things.

But once you become a Christian, you will get to know far more about the devil than you ever thought possible.  You'll be able to identify his activities, while non-Christians cannot.  You'll trace his workings, hear him suggesting things for you to do, see his craftiness and subtlety, and feel his oppressiveness.

If you decide not to become a Christian, then you will know none of this.  He does not bother those who are in his care and under his control.  But once you are delivered from his kingdom of darkness, he'll be on your case more often than you'd care to think.

How do you become a Christian?  First, you need to admit that you're not a Christian and that you want to become one.  Second, you need to confess your sins and your sin.  Third, you must beg for mercy from the Lord.  Fourth, you must ask for God's forgiveness and pardon.  Fifth, you receive Christ as your Saviour and Lord.  Sixth, you confess Christ before others.  And seventh, you find our a biblical church and become involved in its work and witness.

Do you want to know Satan?  Then become a true Christian - NOW!

People Need The Word.

World Population: More than 6,000,000,000 (6 billion). 

Number of people who speak a language but do not have Scripture: at least 380 million; 
250 million don’t have the Scriptures or a translation programme, 
130 million don’t have the Scriptures but do have a programme in progress. 
Population of individual language groups needing translation: varies greatly, from less than 100 to more than 10 million.

These figures, taken from Wycliffe Bible Translators, are staggering.  There is still much work yet to be undertaken by God's people.

Are you one of them?

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Same-Sex Marriage (?)

The UK government is forging ahead with attempts to wreck marriage as between one man and one woman for life.  This is how marriage has been traditionally understood in every country that enjoys a form of Christianity; indeed, other religions also hold to this exalted position.

Please watch the video to learn more about what is happening within our nation.

May God have mercy on us all.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Prayer of Christ for Peter

Christ said to Peter that He had prayed for him that his faith would not fail.  We know that Peter failed when he denied knowing the Saviour, resorting to cursing and swearing in a vain attempt to distance himself for the accusations being made against him.
This word from Christ is very encouraging and Christians can take great comfort from the fact that even though we fail the Lord in numerous ways and on many occasions, our faith will not fail. This is because the prayers of Christ undergird and uphold our faith.  How do we know it won’t and doesn’t fail?  Well, we find ourselves coming back to the Lord even after failure.  And Christ welcomes His children back when they come. He delights to see them returning ‘home.’  And when we return ‘home,’ we find ourselves in His presence again because that is what we so urgently need.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Urgent Prayer Answered

Margaret asked me to thank you for your prayers this evening.  At about 8:30 pm, the darkness lifted and the light began to shine again.  Our diagnosis was correct - it was a Satanic attack, and God, in answer to your prayers, drove the evil one away.  Praise His great Name.

I shared with Margaret my experience of late morning/early afternoon, and viewed it as devilish.  But with me too the darkness has lifted and the light is shining again.  Rather, it was shining all the time but I did not see it.  Thank God for His goodness.

Does God really answer prayer?  You tell me!

Satan Attacks God's Children

Today, I had to send out an urgent prayer to some Christian friends requesting prayer for Margaret that she might experience the reality of the devil's defeat at Calvary and on resurrection morning in her life.  She has been coming under quite severe attack today, as I have, and the evil one is paying great attention to both of us.  Please plead with the Lord for us that we might soon see Satan trampled under our feet (Rom.16:20).  She does not have any physical manifestations to be concerned about but she feels hot and then cold for no good reason.  With the physical aspects ruled out, we believe that the only alternative is spiritual attack.  So a very urgent request was sent out.
This morning I was giving my son a hand with his work.  I was on my own at the warehouse, and it was as if anything that could go wrong did go wrong.  If it wasn’t losing a necessary tool, it was not finding a needed product.  I was becoming impatient with myself and annoyed at what was taking place.  Then I realised that this was the devil – what a nasty piece of work he is.  He has been defeated by Christ both at Calvary and at the tomb, but he hasn't got the message yet.  He was unable to destroy the mighty Son of God, yet he tries to destroy those who are His.  But he is a roundly defeated enemy of Christ and of Christ’s people.  Wouldn't you think someone would tell him so?  We’ve told him umpteen times and I suggest you have too.  But he still does not get the message.  I suppose God is teaching us to cling to Christ always, and especially when the devil dogs our every step, and to trust in Him alone for protection and salvation.  If God demonstrated to us every time we needed it that Satan was conquered, we might become lax and undisciplined; we might even think that it was our godliness that did it, rather than Christ’s power and grace.  
Our foe is relentless is his opposition to God’s redeemed people.  His persistence is admirable, but I don’t want to give him any credit whatever. He’s a lousy loser, and because of this we feel his wrath against us.  Thankfully God has said to Satan, “Thus far, and no further.”  And we are safe in the hands of the Almighty.