Count

This came to me as anonymous, which is most probably is not, the author’s name having dropped out somewhere along the way. If you know you wrote it, please let me know and provide a link. I almost never repost things without an author’s name. This is one of those rare moments.

Count your gains instead of your losses,
Count your joys instead of your woes,
Count your friends instead of your foes,
Count your courage instead of your fears,
Count your health instead of your wealth,
Count on God instead of yourself.

Promises free and sure

The promises made to faith are so free and sure; the invitations and encouragements so strong; the mighty power of God on which it may count is so near and free,—that it can only be something that hinders faith that hinders the blessing being ours.

Andrew Murray

Doubt dooms the doubter

Isaiah 7.9 is the main text for today’s devotional.

The way of doubt. King Ahaz hesitated. He was overwhelmed by his predicament. When Isaiah prompted him “to ask the Lord…for a sign,” Ahaz refused, Isaiah 7:11,12. Doubt dooms the doubter. It kept the people of God out of the Promised Land, Hebrews 3:16-19. It is the cleverest ploy of the devil, Genesis 3:1. A lack of faith is like a fox in a chicken coop worrying about having enough to eat. The Lord expects more from us than that, Isaiah 7:9b; James 1:5-8.

Focus question: What situations cause us to feel overwhelmed and begin doubting?

Powerful phrases

These phrases come from today’s Plow New Ground devotional by Ed. M., about Abraham offering his son Isaac in Gen. 22.

  • [God] wanted an understanding of who He is more than He wanted burnt offerings, Hosea 6:6.
  • Faith is trusting God to provide what He promised.
  • We admire [Abraham’s] faith without trying to copy his obedience!
  • He sacrificed himself before he put Isaac on the altar, Romans 12:1.

Focus question: How do you show obedience to God above your own desires and emotions?

Limits of life and of the Spirit

Respect the limits of life and of the Spirit, O Soul. Some things you can do for other people, but some things they must do for themselves. Each one must carry his own burden. You must carry your own burden as well. No one owes anyone a free lunch. You must develop your own faith. God will use many people in your life in a powerful way. But in the end, each one must assume responsibility for his faith and his direction in life. Be glad in this truth. It means that your peace and joy do not depend upon others, but solely on the Lord Jesus Christ. And do not let others make you the source of their faith, but only in God.

Waiting for God implies a need

Ed Mathews’s devotional for today, July 27, is a must-read. It challenged and admonished me. It’s one I must come back to often. To quote but a part of it is wrong, but I will include this small paragraph. Please go read all of it.

Waiting for God implies a need, Psalms 123:1,2. It suggests He is sufficient to satisfy our need, Psalms 62:5.

Focus question: What, or who, do you seek? (Heb 11.6). How does the object of your seeking show your willingness to wait?

Who among us is not impatient to receive what we think we need, what we feel we must have? Perhaps because we seek, not God, but something material, some relationship, some accomplishment, upon which we hang our well-being.