March 31 Sailing With The Savior

michaeltheangel.wordpress.com

michaeltheangel.wordpress.com

Devotion taken from Streams In The Desert compiled by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

“The wind was contrary.”  Matthew 14:24

Rude and blustering the winds of March often are.  Do they not typify the tempestuous seasons of my life?  But, indeed, I ought to be glad that I make acquaintance with these seasons.  Better it is that the rains descend and the floods come than that I should stay perpetually in the Lotus Land where it seems always afternoon, or in that deep meadowed Valley of Avilion where never winds blow loudly.  Storms of temptation appear cruel, but do they not give intenser earnestness to prayer?  Do they not compel me to seize the promises with a tighter hand grip?  Do they not leave me with a character refined?

Storms of bereavement are keen;  but, then, they are one of the Father’s ways of driving me to Himself, that in the secret of His presence His voice may speak to my heart, soft and low.  There is a glory of the Master which can be seen only when the wind is contrary and the ship tossed with waves.

“Jesus Christ is no security against storms, but He is perfect security in storms.  He has never promised you an easy passage, only a safe landing.”

Oh, set your sail to the heavenly gale,

And then, no matter what winds prevail,

No reef can wreck you, no calm delay;

No mist shall hinder, no storm shall stay;

Though far you wander and long you roam

Through salt sea sprays and o’er white sea foam,

No wind that can blow but shall speed you Home

~ Annie Johnson Flint

Lord God, may we set our sails in full confidence that you are right beside us in calm and in storm.  Thank you for your promises which anchor us securely in You.  May we move forward this day to serve you and love you with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen.

March 30 God’s Paths

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Devotion taken from Streams In The Desert by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

“Behold, all you that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks:  walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks you have kindled.  This shall you have of mine hand; you shall like down in sorrow.”  Isaiah 50:11

What a solemn warning to those who walk in darkness and yet who try to help themselves out into the light.  They are represented as kindling a fire, and compassing themselves with sparks.  What does this mean?

Why, it means that when we are in darkness the temptation is to find a way without trusting in the Lord and relying upon Him.  Instead of letting Him help us out, we try to help ourselves out.  We seek the light of nature, and get the advice of our friends.  We try the conclusions of our reason, and might almost be tempted to accept a way of deliverance which would not be of God at all.

All these are fires of our own kindling; rushlights that will surely lead us onto the shoals.  And God will let us walk in the light of those sparks, but the end will be sorrow.

Beloved, do not try to get out of a dark place, except in God’s time and in God’s way.  The time of trouble is meant to teach you lessons that you sorely need.

Premature deliverance may frustrate God’s work of grace in your life.  Just commit the whole situation to Him.  Be willing to abide in darkness so long as you have His presence.  Remember that it is better to walk in the dark with God than to walk alone in the light. ~From The Still Small Voice.

* * * * *

Cease meddling with God’s plans and will.  You touch anything of His and you mar the work.  You may move the hands of a clock to suit you, but you do not change the time; so you may hurry the unfolding of God’s will but you harm and do not help the work.  You can open a rosebud but you spoil the flower.  Leave all to Him.  Hands down.  Thy will, not mine. ~ Steven Merritt

* * * * *

His Way

God bade me go when I would stay

(‘Twas cool within the wood);

I did not know the reason why.

I heard a boulder crashing by

Across the path where I stood.

* * *

He bade me stay when I would go;

“thy will be done,” I said.

They found one day at early dawn,

Across the way I would have gone,

A serpent with a mangled head.

* * *

No more I ask the reason why,

Although I may not see

The path ahead, His way I go;

For though I know not, He doth know,

And He will choose safe paths for me.

From The Sunday School Times

Gracious Heavenly Father, help us to trust you for all things–for deliverance from difficult circumstances, for strength to persevere in the midst of trials, for humbleness to submit to your divine leading, for quietness of a heart that believes in You.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

March 28 Careful Hearing

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Deuteronomy 9:1-10:22;  Luke 8:4-21;  Psalm 69:19-36;  Proverbs 12:2-3

“This is the meaning of the parable:  The seed is the word of God.  Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.  Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root.   They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.  The seed that fell among the thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.  But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

* * * * *

“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed.  Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.  For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.  Therefore consider carefully how you listen.  Whoever has will be given more;  whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.”

Luke8:11-18

* * * * *

I am not a very good listener.  When someone gives me directions verbally my mind goes blank and the disconnect continues as I turn down the wrong streets and become even more lost.  I do much better when I can read directions for myself and refer to them as needed.

What is Luke trying to tell us about listening to God’s word?  What kind of Word listener are you?  I need all the help I can get from the Holy Spirit to hear God’s word and put it into action on a daily basis.  I pray that I may have a noble and good heart into which the Word of God grows and bears fruit.

Lord God, bless the hearing of your Word during times of worship this weekend.  May we hear, learn and inwardly digest your Truth as we are fed with the Bread of Life.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

March 27 Opened Eyes

Devotion taken from Streams In The Desert compiled by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

“I do not count the sufferings of our present life worthy of mention when compared with the glory that is to be revealed and bestowed upon us.”  Romans 8:18

* * * *

A remarkable incident occurred recently at a wedding in England.  A young man of large wealth and high social position, who had been blinded by an accident when he was ten years old, and who won university honors in spite of his blindness, had won a beautiful bride, though he had never looked upon her face.  A little while before his marriage he submitted to a course of treatment by experts, and the climax came on the day of his wedding.

The day came, and the presents, and guests.  There were present cabinet ministers and generals and bishops and learned men and women.  The bridegroom, dressed for the wedding, his eyes still shrouded in linen, drove to the church with his father, and the famous oculist met them in the vestry.

The bride entered the church on the arm of her white-haired father.  So moved was she that she could hardly speak.  Was her love at last to see her face that others admired, but which he knew only through his delicate fingertips?

As she neared the altar, while the soft strains of the wedding march floated through the church, her eyes fells on a strange group.

The father stood there with his son.  Before the latter was the great oculist in the act of cutting away the last bandage.  The bridegroom took a step forward, with the spasmodic uncertainty of one who cannot believe that he is awake.  A beam of rose-colored light from a pane in the chancel window fell across his face, but he did not seem to see it.

Did he see anything?  Yes! Rec in in his face, he went forward to meet this bride.  They looked into each other’s eyes, and one would have thought that his eyes would never wander from her face.

“At last!” she said.  “At last,” he echoed solemnly, bowing his head.  That was a scene of great dramatic power, and no doubt of great joy, and is but a mere suggestion of what will actually take place in heaven when the Christian who has been walking through this world of trial and sorrow, shall see HIM face-to-face! ~ Selected.

Just a-wearying for you,

Jesus, Lord, beloved and true;

Wishing for you, wondering when

You’ll be coming back again,

Under all I say and do,

Just a-wearying for you.

* * * * *

Some glad day, all watching past,

You will come for me at last;

Then I’ll see you, hear your voice,

Be with you, with you rejoice;

How the sweet hope thrills me through,

Sets me a-wearying for you.

March 26 Don’t Cry

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Deuteronomy 5:1-6:25;  Luke 7:11-35;  Psalm 68:19-35;  Proverbs 11:29-31

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,

who daily bears our burdens.

Our God is a God who saves;

from the Sovereign Lord

comes escape from death.”

Psalm 68:19-20

* * * * *

“Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him.  As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out–the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.  And a large crowd from the town was with her.  When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”

Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still.   He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!”  The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.”

Luke 7:  11-35

* * * * *

“Don’t cry”

our Lord says

when impossible

troubles

impede our sight

and cloud our hearts

with doubts and fear.

“Don’t cry,

but trust.

I, who can raise the dead-

was raised from the dead-

see the weariness

 feel your pain

your struggle

your grief.

“Don’t cry,

but lean on me.

I live to give you

life.”

Lord God, nothing is impossible for you and because you live we too live with all the possibilities of heaven.  You know our every need, feel our every hurt, hear our every sigh.  You are as close as our heartbeat.  Lord, today we bring to you all our burdens and our cares.  We pray, Lord, that You will come to our aid, to shoulder our burdens, to help us get through this time.  Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness to us and for hearing our prayer this day.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

March 24 Pointed Prayers

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Devotion taken from Streams In The Desert compiled Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

“And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which said to me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:  Deliver me, I pray thee.”  Genesis 32:9, 11

There are many healthy symptoms in that prayer.  In some respects it may serve as a mold into which our own spirits may pour themselves, when melted in the fiery furnace of sorrow.

He began by quoting God’s promise: “Thou saidst.”  He did so twice (9 and 12).  Ah, he has got God in his power then!  God puts Himself within our reach in His promises; and when we can say to Him, “Thou saidst,” He cannot say nay.  He must do as He has said.  If Herod was so particular for his oath’s sake, what will not our God be?  Be sure in prayer, to get you feet well on a promise;  it will give you purchase enough to force open the gates of Heaven, and to take it by force.  ~ Practical Portions for the Prayer-Life.

* * * * *

Jesus desires that we shall be definite in our requests, and that we shall ask for some special thing.  “What shall I do unto you?” is the question that He asks of every one who in affliction and trial comes to Him.  Make your requests with definite earnestness if you would have definite answers.  Be definite in your petition.  Fill out your check for something definite, and it will be cashed at the bank of heaven when presented in Jesus’ name.  Dare to be definite with God. ~ Selected

* * * * *

Miss Havergal has said: “Every year, I might almost say every day, that I live, I seem to see more clearly how all the rest and gladness and power of our Christian life hinges on one thing; and that is, taking God at His Word, believing that He really means exactly what He says, and accepting the very words in which He reveals His goodness and grace, without substituting others or altering the precise modes and tenses which He has seen fit to use.”  Bring Christ’s Word–Christ’s promise, and Christ’s sacrifice–His blood, with you, and not one of Heaven’s blessings can be denied you.  ~ Adam Clarke

And Father, when we can’t find the words to say we know that Jesus our Intercessor is praying for us;  that the Holy Spirit conveys our hearts’ deepest longings in words that escape us.  We entrust all of ourselves to You, dear Lord.  Thank you for your great love and compassion!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

March 23 A Cemetery Or Praise?

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Devotion taken from Streams In The Desert compiled by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

“Out of the spoils won in battles did they dedicate to maintain the house of the Lord.”  1 Chronicles 26:27

Physical force is stored in the bowels of the earth, in the coal mines, which came from the fiery heat that burned up great forests in ancient ages; and so spiritual force is stored in the depths of our being, through the very pain which we cannot understand.

Someday we shall find that the spoils we have won from our trials were just preparing us to become “True Hearts” in the Pilgrim’s Progress, and to lead our fellow pilgrims triumphantly through trial to the city of the King.

But let us never forget that the source of our helping other people must be victorious suffering.  The whining, murmuring pang never does anybody any good.

Paul did not carry a cemetery with him, but a chorus of victorious praise;  and the harder the trial, the more he trusted and rejoiced, shouting from the very altar of sacrifice.  He said, “Yea, and if I be offered upon the service and sacrifice of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all.”  Lord, help me this day to draw strength from all that comes to me!  ~Days of Heaven Upon Earth.

He placed me in a little cage,

Away from gardens fair;

But I must sing the sweetest songs

because He place me there.

Not beat my wings against the cage

If it’s my Maker’s will,

But raise my voice to heaven’s gate

and sing the louder still!

* * * *

Lord God,  we can sing because You freed us from all our sin through Christ’s death on Calvary’s Cross.  Through His life in us we can bear up under the trials and pressures we face this day.  May we do so with thanksgiving on our lips and praise in our hearts for all that You have done for us.  That our songs of praise during the hardest of times bear sweet witness to those around us.  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.