Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying:Ezra 1:1(NASB)
Let the person who has ears listen to what the Spirit says. (Revelation 3:22 GW)
The man or woman who has no inner ear, no inner silence, no inner place for hearing the Lord is never going to be of much use in the service of the Lord, and mark you, it must be the Lord, and we must be very careful that we do not give even good men and good writers the place that the Lord ought to have. There is a time when we must sweep our books aside, when we must shut ourselves up from the voices of men, when we must get quiet with the Lord and listen, and more, we must seek to cultivate, by the grace of God, the ear that is always open to the Lord even when all the other sounds are around us. It is difficult, yet not impossible, that in the raging of the street and the rush of business life the Lord should say something; but He will only speak to those who recognize the value of listening to the Lord and who are giving Him His place of silence to speak when possible. The ear to hear the Lord when all other sounds and voices are around us is prepared and trained in these times of detachment which the Lord demands, and against which the devil is eternally active to capture the ear again.
Now, that is elementary (we are not seeking to be profound), but tremendously important. You and I know, never mind how spiritually mature we are the one object of the devil is to capture our ear from God, to make it impossible for us to have the silent hour and the silent ear for God. The pressing in, and all the things which happen just when you have decided to have a little quiet time; then it is you have to fight for the ear you know it is true. Do you see there is something bound up with that; the undoing of the work of the devil, the registration of God's mind upon this universe, everything which is meant by priestly ministry, which is bringing God in, is bound up with this: God having the ear.
The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it. § When He gives quietness, who then can make trouble? And when He hides His face, who then can see Him?
Salvation belongs to the Lord. Your blessing is upon Your people. § How great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men! § I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. § The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.
The Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
He knelt down and prayed … And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
It was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour … They took Jesus and led Him away … to a place called … Golgotha, where they crucified Him.
Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast.
That ye may be blameless and harmless, children of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world" (Phil. 2:15).
There should be neither undergrowth, nor overgrowth, but balanced growth. Spiritual equilibrium alone will bring forth much fruit both in us and in others.
"A popular notion that the first obligation of the Church is to spread the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth is false. The first obligation is to be spiritually worthy to spread it. . . to spread an effete (worn out) and degenerate brand of Christianity to pagan lands is not to fulfill the Great Commission."
"We were created for more than our own spiritual development; reproduction, not mere development, is the goal to mature being - reproduction in other lives. There is a tendency in some characters, running parallel to the high cultivation that spends its whole energy on the production of bloom at the expense of seed.
"The flowers that are bent on perfecting themselves, by becoming double, end in barrenness, and a like barrenness comes to the soul whose interests are all concentrated upon its own spiritual well-being, heedless of the needs around. The true, ideal flower, is the one that uses its gifts as means to an end; the brightness and sweetness are not for its own glory; they are but to attract the bees and butterflies that will fertilize and make it fruitful." -L.T.
"Holding forth the word of life, that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain" (Phil. 2:16).
“We … beseech you that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” 2 Corinthians 6:1
The grace you had yesterday will not do for to-day. Grace is the overflowing favour of God; you can always reckon it is there to draw upon. "In much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses" - that is where the test for patience comes. Are you failing the grace of God there? Are you saying - Oh, well, I won't count this time? It is not a question of praying and asking God to help you; it is taking the grace of God now. We make prayer the preparation for work, it is never that in the Bible. Prayer is the exercise of drawing on the grace of God. Don't say - I will endure this until I can get away and pray. Pray now; draw on the grace of God in the moment of need. Prayer is the most practical thing, it is not the reflex action of devotion. Prayer is the last thing in which we learn to draw on God.
"In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours" - in all these things manifest a drawing upon the grace of God that will make you a marvel to yourself and to others. Draw now, not presently. The one word in the spiritual vocabulary is Now. Let circumstances bring you where they will, keep drawing on the grace of God in every conceivable condition you may be in. One of the greatest proofs that you are drawing on the grace of God is that you can be humiliated without manifesting the slightest trace of anything but His grace.
"Having nothing . . ." Never reserve anything. Pour out the best you have, and always be poor. Never be diplomatic and careful about the treasure God gives. This is poverty triumphant.
Blessed be the name of the Lord… for wisdom and might are His and He gives wisdom to the wise.. and He gives knowledge to them that know understanding. He reveals the deep and secret things. He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells in Him…
Oh yes, God is the only true and wise God and eternal wisdom is His. But the unbelieving mind will not be persuaded of the truth of God’s wisdom, and the true believer must not be influenced to think of any other alternative.. for the wisdom of God is unique and unlike all its earthly counterparts.
His understanding is infinite, and so there is no earthly comparison. His knowledge is immutable, for He knows all, and is all in all. In the presence of the solitary, unending, limitless, established wisdom of God.. man stands dumb, and utterly humbled before this Al-Mighty-One.
God in His wisdom has bestowed understanding on those that know Him, and God willingly gives wisdom to those that lack it.. who ask and seek for it. The wisdom of Solomon exceeded all the seed of man - those born of woman. The wisdom of angels pales into insignificance against God’s understanding. And though God will give generously to those that ask for wisdom, it is but a paltry, reflection of the likeness of the uncreated wisdom of God, that cascades a never-ending river of understanding through the universe.
Creation was one visible verification of the endless wisdom of God... and God saw everything that He had made and it was very good. Yet the fall of man dictated creation’s descent into an abyss of travail, and the tears of groaning man have fallen ever since within this sin-sick world. But there is an end to man’s tears – a finale to the sufferings of the world. Tears will be wiped away. Joy and gladness will replace the cup of bitterness. But when? When will this amazing thing happen?
Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things – but ONE thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.
I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
The Lord knows the heart. He knows the troubled and anxious breast. The Lord knows that His wonderful peace is freely available to calm the anxious one, and so He reaches out with words that only He can utter: Let not your heart be troubled, beloved child, neither be afraid. Here is my peace for you, My precious children – I give My peace to you. John 14:27
You are more precious to Him than the sparkling universe and the riches of the world. He loves you more dearly than human understanding can fathom, and He is the God of comfort when a human heart is faint from exhaustion. He loves to place little lighted candles in our dark chambers of pain and sorrow. He delights to kiss away the tears of sadness and replace them with joy.
He is able to comfort because He is incarnate Comfort – the great Comforter. He gives His own peace to those He delights in. He offers the same peace that kept Him quiet and calm during His own earthly walk: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
His is the peace that enabled Him to be silent when so grossly misrepresented. His is the peace that spoke calmness and authority to stormy seas and lashing waves. His is the peace thatread more