A living Christ

This devotional spoke to me this morning, in my sleeplessness:

The women were terribly frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? — Luke 24:5 NET

A DYING Christ alone, will not satisfy your heart. While you praise the love that was crucified for you–you crave love from a Savior who lives. Memories of a friend who has died, may be very sweet. The fragrance of ‘departed love’ stays in a home, like the perfume of sweet flowers, when the flowers have been borne away. But how unsatisfying are the mere memories of your friend–when your heart hungers for love’s real presence, and touch and tenderness! No more will the mere memories of the Love that died on the cross for you–satisfy your cravings for Christ. You must have the living One for your friend!

“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God!” cried the psalmist, and cries every redeemed soul. It is only as we realize the truth of a living Christ–that our hearts are satisfied. We crave love—a bosom to lean upon, a hand to touch ours, a heart whose beatings we can feel, a personal friendship that will come into our life with its sympathy, its inspiration, its companionship, its shelter, its life, its comfort. All this, the living Christ is to us, if we but learn the blessed truth of his resurrection. “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!” Revelation 1:18.

He will be faithful

Not a KJV ancient-language type of person, but this short piece spoke to me powerfully.

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2 Timothy 2:19)

Never fear while trial and hardship assail you, for there is a strength on your side. Neither lose courage nor hope as the curse upon life draws its noose tighter upon you, for there is a river of life that overflows on your account. Fear not. Worry not. Fret not. For the Lord knows all those who are His. He will keep His children from the force of His wrath and ever will He protect them from their enemy, Satan. He will be faithful to tend their needs and salve their wounds. We who believe and have departed the way of iniquity are secured in the mercy, peace, and fatherly love that abounds in His family.

He will quiet us

Part of a devotional thought on Zeph 3.17:

Further, it means that He will quiet us with His love. We are excitable creatures. All the cares and concerns of life can upset us. We are prone to fear and worry. Our faith tends to dissipate under pressure and we may emphatically express our fears and worries frantically. God, however, quiets us. He quiets us with His loving presence. Although our problems may remain for a while, His loving presence comforts us and quiets us down.

Read and keep the words

Charles Box on Rev 1.1-3:

John said, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (Revelation 1:3) He said, “Blessed is he that readeth.” It is a blessing to be permitted to read the Revelation of God. This may be a reference to public reading because the next statement has to do with those “that hear the words of this prophecy.” We learn God”s will by reading, hearing, studying and meditation. Those who have the opportunity to become acquainted with God”s revelation are highly favored. The readers and hearers must also “keep those things which are written therein.” None can be right with God who does not obey those things that are their duty. The psalmist said of God”s commandments, “Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” (Psalms 19:11) Our heavenly hope is in knowing and doing the will of God.

We just don’t realize how blessed we are to have many good versions and tools to understand the Word of God. People don’t take advantage of them. And still it comes down to knowing and doing. Knowledge alone is nothing.

When he’s bad, he’s awful

Like several other writers I can think of, Wm. Barclay is great in so many ways, but when he is bad, he’s awful. His treatment of 1 Jn 4.1ff is murky and much off base. I’m reading him devotionally these days and was in no way edified this morning. Glad to have just the text of heaven by which to be strengthened.

No vague dream of perfection

You say you want to be like Christ. You ask Him to print His own image on your heart. Here, then is the image! It is no vague dream of perfection that we are to think of–when we ask to be made like Christ. The Catholic monks thought that they were becoming like Christ–when they went into the wilderness, away from men, to live in cold cells. But that is not what this picture suggests. “To serve“–that is the Christlike thing! Instead of fleeing away from the world–we are to live among men, to serve them, to seek to bless them, to do them good, to give our life for them! —J.R. Miller

Focus question: Who can I serve today? What can I do to serve someone? Can I ask someone else what I can I do to serve them?

God above who came below, show me a need that cries for fulfillment, a person who is not being served, that I might be that servant.

A white handkerchief

It is told of General Gordon, that each morning, during his journey in the Soudan country, for half an hour there lay outside his tent a white handkerchief. The whole camp knew well what it meant, and looked upon the little signal with the utmost respect; no foot dared cross the threshold of that tent while the little guard lay there. No message, however pressing, was to be delivered. Matters of life and death must wait until the white signal was taken away. Everybody in the camp knew that God and Gordon were communing together.

J.R. Miller

In the sight of God

A devotional using Lk 1.6 as base, says in part:

One of the old artists was chiselling with great pains on the back part of his marble. “Why do you carve so carefully the tresses on the head of your statue?” asked one; “it will stand high in its niche against the wall, and no one will ever see its back.” “The gods will see it,” was the reply.

We should learn a lesson from the old heathen artist. We should do our work just as honestly where it will be covered up and never seen by human eyes, as where it is to be open to the scrutiny of the world. For God will see it. We should live just as purely and beautifully in secret as in the glare of the world’s noon. There really is no such thing as secrecy in this world.

Focus question: Do I live and act for God to see, or for man to approve?