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THE WAGING WAR WITHIN

BREAD

6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” Genesis 4:6-7 (NIV)

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey–whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. 19 I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:15-23 (NIV)

21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:21-25 (NIV)

5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Colossians 3:5-10 (NIV)

1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NIV)

13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

BUTTER

“The heart is constituted such that the only way to dispossess it of an old affection is by the expulsive power of a new one…and when God stands revealed as an object of confidence to sinners—and where our desire after Him is not chilled into apathy by that barrier of human guilt which intercepts every approach that is not made to Him through the appointed Mediator…it is when released from the spirit of bondage…and admitted into the number of God’s children, through the faith that is in Christ Jesus, the Spirit of adoption is poured upon us—it is then that the heart, brought under the mastery of one great and predominant affection, is delivered from the tyranny of its former desires and the only way in which deliverance is possible”. Scottish Pastor, Thomas Chalmers, 1780-1847

“If we suffer the good to grow weaker, the evil will surely gather strength and struggle desperately for the mastery over us; and so, mayhap, a painful desolation, and a lamentable disgrace may follow.” Charles Spurgeon

“We must be aware of the various ways sin pulls us to wrong thoughts about God, righteousness, grace, ourselves and sin itself. Only the truth of God’s word and meditation in prayer can reveal the deceitfulness of sin.110 Sin works against God. Sin will either deceive us into thinking God is a cruel taskmaster, or, if that will not work, will deceive us into thinking He is like a doting grandfather who really does not care what we do. Sin affects every Christian’s view of God and leads us to worship idols, figments of our own imaginations, and not the true God. Sin will deceive us concerning grace. We will either be deceived into thinking it is too good to be true, or we will buy into cheap grace and think that ethics are unimportant.” Dr. Bob Flayhart

“What are believers saved from? From their former position under the wrath of God, the dominion of sin, and the power of death; from their natural condition of being mastered by the world, the flesh and the devil; from the fears that a sinful life engenders, and from the many vicious habits that were part of it. How are believers saved from these things? Through Christ, and in Christ. Our salvation involves first, Christ dying for us and second, Christ living in us and we living in Christ, united with Him in His death and risen life. This vital union, which is sustained by the Spirit from the divine side and by faith from our side, and which is formed in and through our new birth, presupposes covenantal union in the sense of our eternal election in Christ.” J I Packer

“Contrary to the world’s beliefs, the spiritual fruit of self-control does not come about through the discipline of self-mastery, but rather through surrendering ourselves to God’s control. None of us fully have the power, capability, or wisdom to master our own lives. You cannot resist all the temptations that are hurled at you, control the behavior of those closest to you, or limit the ideas that pop into your mind. What you can do is surrender your life to the Holy Spirit. You can control how you respond, yield, and submit to Him.” Michael Youssef

“Oh! That I had a trumpet voice to warn you. Oh! While you are dying, while you are sinking into perdition, may I not cry to you; may not these eyes weep for you! Take to heart, I beseech you, the realities of eternity. Oh, turn, turn! Why will you die? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and ye shall be saved.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“By continually abiding in Christ, the one who has been pruned to bring forth much fruit will bring forth much fruit.” Elmer Towns

“I have continually to mourn that I follow at such a distance and learn so slowly to imitate my precious Master.” Hudson Taylor

“It is a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and good people who have learned the great secret of life. They have found a joy and a wisdom which is a thousand times better than any of the pleasures of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are Christians…and I am one of them.” St. Cyprian, 200-258

HEART SAVOR

• I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength. It is not me – I cannot muster up the ability within myself to walk as Jesus walked. In my flesh, I do not possess the power and I will fail dismally. I must willingly allow His control over my own weaknesses. This is a moment by moment prayer which, btw, He delights to answer. It is the Holy Spirit within me who accomplishes this task as I release my grip on the right to my life. I am not my own – He has bought me with an enormously high price. I honor Him with my body as I relinquish control to the Holy Spirit. True freedom is only found there.
• The most amazing miracle the world will ever see is a transformed life through the power of Christ.
• I am not to be mastered by sin which leads to death, rather Jesus which leads to life and life to the full.

BEWARE OF BEING LED ASTRAY

BREAD

1 I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will sing praise. 2 I will be careful to lead a blameless life– Psalms 101:1-2 (NIV)

5 Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.” Haggai 1:5 (NIV)

16 Those who guide this people mislead them, and those who are guided are led astray. Isaiah 9:16 (NIV)

15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)

15 Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV)

8 “So now I charge you in the sight of all Israel and of the assembly of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God: Be careful to follow all the commands of the LORD your God, that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendants forever. 9 And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. 10 Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.” 1 Chronicles 28:8-10 (NIV)

10 For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel. Ezra 7:10 (NIV)

23 Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; 24 for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations. Proverbs 27:23-24 (NIV)

19 “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 20 Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their own heads what they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD.” Ezekiel 11:19-21 (NIV)

34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Oh that I may be roused out of my slumber, and be watchful and ready against the coming of my Bridegroom…Even the wise virgins fell asleep. Let this be a warning to me, O Lord. Set thou a guard before my eyes, ears, and other faculties, lest the world again should enter through these avenues of the heart; if the spark be not speedily extinguished, it will soon break out into a flame: thus sin is of a progressive nature, and its venom spreads very quickly and very wide, unless it be stopped and opposed in time. Watch, therefore, over this unsteady heart of mine, O Thou Keeper of Israel; that as soon as it begins to wander from Thee, I may be alarmed to flee from sin as from a serpent. Give me grace to look upon every hour as my last; so that being ever wisely upon my guard I may meet Thee with joy when my time is run out, whenever it shall please Thee to call me hence.” K. H. Von Bogatzky

“The prayers we weave into the matching of the socks, the working of our hands, the toiling of the hours, they survive fire. It’s the things unseen that survive fire. Love. Relationship. Worship. Prayer. Communion. All Things Unseen — and centered in Christ. It doesn’t matter so much what we leave unaccomplished — but that our priority was things unseen. Again, today, that’s always the call: Slay the idol of the seen. Slay the idol of focusing on only what can be seen, lauded, noticed. Today, a thousand times again today, I will preach His truth to this soul prone to wander, that wants nothing more than the gracious smile of our Father: ‘Unseen. Things Unseen. Invest in Things Unseen. The Unexpected Priority is always Things Unseen.’” Ann Voskamp

“Because I love you, I’m asking you to guard your heart from anyone or anything that can steal you away from Me. Remember, My love, this world offers a counterfeit Life that will never fulfill you. What I create for you will satisfy your soul; what the enemy offers will satisfy your flesh for a while. However, in the end the world’s way leads to destruction. If your heart wanders and you are not equipped with My Word, you will be unable to discern the difference between real faith and counterfeit religion.” Sheri Rose Shepherd

“You are incomparably made, uniquely loved, and powerfully purposed. God’s promises for you are without rival, and His plans for you are beyond compare. Perhaps you’ve felt like you’ve veered off course, but God’s pursuit of us is greater than our ability to wander. If you think you’ve blown God’s plan for your life, rest in this: You, my beautiful friend, are not that powerful. He is a God of restoration and redemption, and He makes all things new.” Lisa Bevere

“God loves you, and because He loves you, He cares what happens to you. He loves you too much to let you wander aimlessly through life, without meaning or purpose. The Bible says, ‘You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy’ (Psalms 16:11). Covet God’s will for your life more than anything else. To know God’s will – and to do it – is life’s greatest joy.” Billy Graham

“They who are Christ’s are kings. Take care that you wear your crown, by reigning over your lusts. Be a king in the midst of all that would lead you astray. Christ Jesus has broken the neck of your sin; put your foot upon it; keep it under; subdue it. In the world at large act a king’s part. If any would tempt you to betray Christ for gain, say, ‘How can I? I am a king. How shall I betray Christ?’ Let the nobility of your nature come out in your actings. Forgive in a royal manner, as a king can forgive. Be ready to give to others as God has helped you, as a king gives. Let your liberality of spirit be right royal. Let your actions never be mean, sneaking, cowardly, dastardly. Do the right thing, and defy the worst. Dare all your foes in the pursuit of that which is right, and let men see while they look upon you that there is a something under your homely appearance which they cannot understand. Men make a deal of fuss about the blood of the aristocracy; I dare say it is not very different from the blood of crossing-sweepers. But there is a great deal of difference between the lifeblood of the saints and the lifeblood of the proudest prince; for they who love Christ have fed upon his flesh, and have drunk of his blood, and have been made partakers of the divine nature. These are the royal ones; these are the aristocrats; these are the nobility, and all are mean beside. Christians, perhaps some of you have not reigned as kings during the last week. You have been either murmuring, like poor whining beggars, or you have been scraping, like dunghill rakers, with your covetousness, or you have been sinning, like idle boys in the street, who roll in the mire. You have not lived up to your kingship.” Charles H. Spurgeon

HEART SAVOR

• It matters how I live my life. I am to be equipped to avoid being foolishly led astray. It is super easy to go down the wrong path – we fall into sin but holiness is a pursuit. There are countless examples of a wasted life both in Scripture and modern day and it is not a pretty sight.
• 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
• I am to give careful thought to my ways. An undisciplined, unchecked, unexamined life leads quickly to ruin. I am to stop indulging my weaknesses – it’s like pouring gasoline on a blazing fire. I will soon be consumed. I am not to let a deluded heart mislead me.

BE INCARNATIONS OF HIS TRUTH

BREAD

5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-7 (NIV)

3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4 The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. 1 John 2:3-6 (NIV)

4 It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. 5 And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. 6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 2 John 1:4-6 (NIV)

1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3 (NIV)

27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved–and that by God. Philippians 1:27-28 (NIV)

9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:9-14 (NIV)

15 Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV)

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalms 139:23-24 (NIV)

BUTTER

“There must be a practical outworking of our faith here in this present world, or it will never endure in the world to come. We need fewer words and more charitable works; less palaver and more pity; less repetition of creed and more compassion.” Billy Graham

“Our task as laymen is to live our personal communion with Christ with such intensity as to make it contagious.” Paul Tournier

“The Holy Spirit cannot be located as a guest in a house. He invades everything.” Oswald Chambers

“I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day; I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way. The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear, Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear; And the best of all preachers are the men who live their creeds, For to see good put in action is what everybody needs. I soon can learn to do it if you’ll let me see it done; I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run. And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true, But I’d rather get my lessons by observing what you do; For I might misunderstand you and the high advice you give, But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.” Edgar A. Guest

“The majority of children acquire the characteristics and habits of their parents. What are they learning from us?” Billy Graham

“You have a message, and you are constantly delivering it. You may not even know what it is. It may be a message of redemption or of guilt, of confidence or of insecurity, of faith or of doubt. But one way or another, your life is an embodied message of whatever you believe to be true. That’s frightening, isn’t it? We can handle the thought of delivering a message when God tells us to, the thought that we are always implicitly living a message means we may have preached against the gospel many, many times. Every time we sowed seeds of discord, every time we got comfortable with sin, every time we said something that minimized God’s goodness or exaggerated our own, we gave a false message. We might think we’ve never presumed to speak for God, but as creatures made in His image, we have. We may have spoken truth, or we may have spoken lies, but we have spoken. Wearing the name of ‘Christian,’ we have made some kind of impression – either positive or negative, or a combination of both – on this world.” Chris Tiegreen

“Man’s sensitivity to trivia and his insensitivity to matters of major importance, reveal he has a strange disorder.” Blaise Pascal

“We are the Bibles the world is reading.” Billy Graham

“Duplicity is abominable with God, and hypocrisy His soul hateth….To hold with the hare and run with the hounds, is a dastard’s policy. In the common matters of daily life, a double-minded man is despised, but in religion he is loathsome to the last degree….How should divine justice spare the sinner, who knows the right, approves it, and professes to follow it, and all the while lives the evil, and gives it dominion in his heart?” Charles H. Spurgeon

“The true secret to all ministry is spiritual power. It is not man’s genius, or man’s intellect, or man’s energy; but simply the power of the Spirit of the God of the Gospel. ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts (Zech.iv.6) It is well for all ministers (and believers) to bear this ever in mind. It will sustain the heart and give constant freshness to their ministry (and lives). A ministry which flows from abiding dependence upon the Holy Spirit can never become barren. If a man is drawing on his own resources, he will soon run dry. It matters not what his powers may be, or how extensive his reading, or how vast his stores of information; if the Holy Spirit be not the spring and power of his ministry, it must, sooner or later, lose its freshness and its effectiveness. How important then, that all who minister (and live) in the gospel…should lean continually and exclusively on the power of the Holy Spirit. He knows what souls need, and He can supply it. But he must be trusted and used. It will not do to lean partly on self and partly on the Spirit.” C H Macintosh

HEART SAVOR

• As a Christian, my life is to reflect Christ.
• It matters how I live. My life is an embodied message of what I believe to be true.
• My actions speak louder than my words.

Be Still My Soul 2.13.17

BE STILL MY SOUL

BREAD

7 Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. Psalms 116:7 (NIV)

11 You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalms 16:11 (NIV)

4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. 7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him. Psalms 37:4-7 (NIV)

10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalms 46:10-11 (NIV)

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. Psalms 23:1-3 (NIV)

11 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalms 42:11 (NIV)

5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. Psalms 62:5-6 (NIV)

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

14 For he himself is our peace. Ephesians 2:14 (NIV)

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inward peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset. Commend all to God, and then lie still and be at rest in His bosom. Whatever happens, abide steadfast in a determination to cling simply to God……Maintain a holy simplicity of mind, and do not smother yourself with a host of cares, wishes, or longings, under any pretext.” St. Francis de Sales

“Hudson Taylor was an object lesson in quietness. He drew from the bank of heaven every farthing of his daily income – ‘My peace I give unto you.’ Whatever did not agitate the Saviour or ruffle His spirit, was not to agitate him. The serenity of the Lord Jesus concerning any matter, and at its most critical moment, was his ideal and practical possession. He knew nothing of rush or hurry, or quivering nerves or vexation of spirit. He knew that there is a peace passing all understanding and that he could not do without it…Christ his reason for peace, his power for calm. Dwelling in Christ, he drew upon His very being and resources, in the midst of and concerning the matters in question. And this he did by an attitude of faith as simple as it was continuous.” Dr. & Mrs. Howard Taylor

“Upon some points a believer is absolutely sure. He knows, for instance, that God sits in the stern-sheets of the vessel when it rocks most. He believes that an invisible hand is always on the world’s tiller, and that wherever providence may drift, Jehovah steers it. That re-assuring knowledge prepares him for everything. He looks over the raging waters and sees the spirit of Jesus treading the billows, and he hears a voice saying, “It is I, be not afraid.” He knows too that God is always wise, and, knowing this, he is confident that there can be no accidents, no mistakes; that nothing can occur which ought not to arise. He can say, “If I should lose all I have, it is better that I should lose than have, if God so wills: the worst calamity is the wisest and the kindest thing that could befall to me if God ordains it.” “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” The Christian does not merely hold this as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact. Everything has worked for good as yet; the poisonous drugs mixed in fit proportions have worked the cure; the sharp cuts of the lancet have cleansed out the proud flesh and facilitated the healing. Every event as yet has worked out the most divinely blessed results; and so, believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil, the believer’s heart is assured, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes. The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, “Send me what thou wilt, my God, so long as it comes from Thee; never came there an ill portion from Thy table to any of Thy children.” C. H. Spurgeon

“See God in everything, and God will calm and color all that thou doest see! It may be that the circumstances of our sorrows will not be removed, their condition will remain unchanged; but if Christ, as Lord and Master of our life, is brought into our grief and gloom, ‘He will compass us about with songs of deliverance.’ To see HIM, and to be sure that His wisdom cannot err, His power cannot fail, His love can never change; to know that even His direst dealings with us are for our deepest spiritual gain, is to be able to say, in the midst of bereavement, sorrow, pain, and loss, ‘The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.’ Nothing else but seeing God in everything will make us loving and patient with those who annoy and trouble us. They will be to us then only instruments for accomplishing His tender and wise purposes toward us, and we shall even find ourselves at last inwardly thanking them for the blessing they bring us. Nothing else will completely put an end to all murmuring or rebelling thoughts.” Hannah W. Smith

“Strong faith enables the servants of God to look with calm contempt upon their most haughty foes. We know that our enemies are attempting impossibilities…When the Lord arises, they shall fly as chaff before the wind, and be consumed as crackling thorns. Their utter powerlessness to do damage to the cause of God and His truth may make the weakest soldiers in Zion’s ranks laugh them to scorn. Above all, we know that the Most High is with us, and when He dresses Himself in arms, where are His enemies? The kingdom is safe in the King’s hands.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“All disquiet of mind ariseth from our own lusts and unmortified tempers, which make the bosom like a troubled sea. And no settled calm shall we find till we have a single eye to God’s glory, and can count ourselves worthy of no good. Then we may draw comfort out of trouble, and learn to praise the Lord, both for what he giveth, and for what he taketh away; being sure that all things are working for our good, and tending to God’s glory, which he knows best how to promote; and that nothing but sin can make us unhappy and miserable.” K. H. Von Bogatzky

“At times you will feel as the Israelites did before I worked through Moses to part the Red Sea. They gazed with fear into a sea of hopelessness as their Egyptian enemies headed toward them. However, as My people discovered, hopelessness is just an illusion created by the enemy. The truth is, there is no such thing as a futile situation. I am the God of hope, even when everything you love and live for appears to be drowning. When you can’t swim any longer, I am your lifesaver. I am the author of your life who can rewrite and transform any tragedy to triumph. I am the one who will work all things together for your good even when it appears all has gone bad. When you don’t know what to do, be still long enough to allow Me to calm the storm in your heart and part the sea that seems to lie in the way of My promises for you. If you will wait on Me, you will witness My wonders!” Sheri Rose Shepherd

HEART SAVOR

• My soul finds rest in God alone.
• The peace that Jesus brings is far superior to the peace this world offers. It’s like a beautiful diamond compared to a paste gem. The peace the worlds holds out to us will always be found wanting when we find ourselves in circumstances that are “far beyond our ability to endure”: 8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us. 2 Corinthians 1:8-10 (NIV)
• An anxious and troubled heart weighs one down and is a heavy burden to bear. That is not the way Jesus desires for me to live. He came to free me from that. Scripture states: 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

HEAVY LADEN AND OVERBURDENED

BREAD

1 My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. 2 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalms 62:1-2 (NIV)

1 I love you, O LORD, my strength. 2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. Psalms 18:1-3 (NIV)

“Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.” Deuteronomy 33:12 (NIV)

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

5 The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. 6 The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. 7 Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. 8 For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, 9 that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living. Psalms 116:5-9 (NIV)

39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. 40 The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him. Psalms 37:39-40 (NIV)

28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV)

2 “When I came, why was there no one? When I called, why was there no one to answer? Was my arm too short to ransom you? Do I lack the strength to rescue you? By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea, I turn rivers into a desert; their fish rot for lack of water and die of thirst. 3 I clothe the sky with darkness and make sackcloth its covering.” Isaiah 50:2-3 (NIV)

26 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 27 “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:26-27 (NIV)

BUTTER

“‘Dost thou want nothing, O poor soul? Hast thou nothing to ask? Oh yes! You say, a great deal. Well then, draw near to thy gracious King and Bridegroom without fear. Lo! He holds out His golden scepter to thee, saying, ‘Only ask: not the half, but the whole of My kingdom shall be granted; nay, I will give myself unto thee!’ O dear soul, pray, and tell Him everything that is wanting, be it ever so great or ever so small. His loving-kindness will hear even the least petition; nay, He will seem to be ignorant of what thou dost not tell Him. But whatever is poured out before Him is actually addressed and lodged in its proper place, and does not lie upon thy heart any longer, but upon His heart, which cannot rest till you are relieved. And if you have experienced His help aforetime in great or small things, you may depend on His readiness to help you out of troubles hereafter; only be earnest in prayer for His help. We often imagine we were willing and drawing near to Him, but He was unwilling, and refused our request; but it is not so: He rather draws us, and desires our relief more than we do; for it is He that works even this willing mind.” K.H. Von Bogatzky

“There is hardship in everything except eating pancakes.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“God has a multitude of reasons for allowing our troubling situations. Perhaps He is working on some of the people in our lives. Maybe He is working out His timing to reap the maximum harvest when His solution comes in the end. Or He could be proving a point to His enemy about His glory, as He did with Job – and your reaction is the key. Maybe He is even working on us – our character flaws, personality issues, or spiritual growth. Unpruned trees bear less fruit, so He must shapes us differently. But we’re surprised – and angry – when His pruning hand is not as gentle as we’d like. The question we need to settle in our hearts is whether we believe God is good. It isn’t hard to hold such a belief when His blessings seem bountiful. But the blessing of hardship? We wonder where His favor has gone. We grow distant, resentful, and bitter over the harshness of His loving hand. Like a child who has just been spanked – or simply told ‘no’ – we pout. God just doesn’t seem fair.” Chris Tiegreen

“God promises us redemption, but His sacred path leads us away from safety, predictability, and comfort. Any attempt to fly over the dangerous terrain or make a detour to safer ground is doomed because it will not take us to God. Instead, it leads to a host of other idols that can’t provide us with the confidence of faith, the dynamic of hope or the passion of love we so deeply crave. Each day we either live for God or for other gods. In each moment of hardship we fear either God or man. When we choose to worship gods and fear men our lives will suffer an emptiness and turmoil that is not much different than trying to fill our bellies with dirt. At first we may feel full, but in short order our violation of God’s plan will lead to torment.” Dan Allender

“A fixed, constant attention to the promises, and a firm belief in them, would prevent solicitude and anxiety about the concerns of this life. It would keep the mind quiet and composed in every change, and support and keep up our sinking spirits under the several troubles of life….Christians deprive themselves of their most solid comforts by their unbelief and forgetfulness of God’s promises. For there is no extremity so great but there are promises suitable to it, and abundantly sufficient for our relief in it.” Samuel Clarke

“God will never permit any troubles to come upon us unless He has a specific plan by which great blessing can come out of the difficulty.” Peter Marshall

“Discouragement wars against the very trait that faith and hope in God brings: courage. In order to stand up to the trials and tribulations of a fallen world, we must turn to God for courage and make a commitment to stand strong in our faith through Jesus Christ. God’s best for your life does not include remaining in a place devoid of hope, faith, and courage. Therefore, when facing discouragement, turn to God. He will bring the hope and courage you need to live victoriously over life’s hardships.” Michael Youssef

“Reflect on your present blessings of which every man has many, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” Charles Dickens

“When the child of the King finds themselves discouraged, burdened and heavy-laden, their first objective is to lean into the Lord and through the mighty power of the Holy Spirit – Whom indwells every believer in Jesus – commit to not complaining, to making their home bright and cheerful, to counting their blessings and to seek to turn the circumstance into gain. When the believer goes about such things as these – not through their own strength but through the strength of the One Who owns them – they will discover a peace that can withstand any trial this fallen world presents. Jesus tells us: 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:26-27 NIV). We need only trust Him.” BHY

HEART SAVOR

• To all toiling, tired, depleted comrades of the Savior He beckons “Come”.
• His promise is “Peace” for the troubled souls of His children.
• I have a part – through His power – to not complain, to being a light for my home, to counting my blessings and to seek to turn the circumstance into gain.

A LOVE THAT WILL NOT LET ME GO

BREAD

3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)

4 I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them. Hosea 11:4 (NIV)

15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! 16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” Isaiah 49:15-16 (NIV)

17 “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19 (NIV)

16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17 (NIV)

8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NIV)

4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:4-9 (NIV)

10 “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10 (NIV)

27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:27-28 (NIV)

BUTTER

“In the gospel we discover that we are far more wicked than we ever dared believe, yet more loved than we ever dared hope.” Tim Keller

“My Love will never let you go! It has an eternal grip on you. You live in a world that is unpredictable and unsafe in many ways. As you look around, you see landscape littered with broken promises. However, my Love is a promise that will never be broken. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing Love for you will not be shaken. The prophet Isaiah is painting a picture of dire circumstances: quaking mountains and disappearing hills. No matter what is happening, My Love is unshakable. You can build your life on it!” Sarah Young

“Doubt not His grace because of thy tribulation, but believe that He loveth thee as much in seasons of trouble as in times of happiness.” Charles Spurgeon

“No sea is deeper than the ocean of His love. There is no army stronger than His hosts, no force greater than His throne of grace, no enemy who can overcome His direct and indirect work in our lives.” Robert J. Morgan

“The supreme happiness of life,” Victor Hugo said, “is the conviction that we are loved”….Unfortunately, many people go through life feeling unloved – and unlovable…No matter the reason, your feelings aren’t telling you the truth! God loves you, and if you begin to see yourself the way God sees you, your attitudes will begin to change. If He didn’t love you, would Christ have been willing to die for you? But He did! The Bible says, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us” (1 John 3:16). God loves you. Hammer that truth into your head and mind every day. It will make all the difference.” Billy Graham

“God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.’ (Zephaniah 3:17). The covenant is the heart of God written out in the blood of Jesus.” Charles Spurgeon

“O love that wilt not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee. I give Thee back the life I owe, that in Thine ocean depths its flow, may richer fuller be. O light that followest all my way, I yield my flickering torch to Thee. My heart restores its borrowed ray, that in thy sunshine’s blaze its day, may brighter fairer be. O joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to Thee. I trace the rainbow through the rain, and feel the promise is not vain, that morn shall tearless be. O cross that liftest up my head, I dare not ask to fly from Thee. I lay in dust life’s glory dead, and from the ground there blossoms red, life that shall endless be.” George Matheson

“The believer is in spiritual danger if he allows himself to go for any length of time without tasting the love of Christ and savoring the felt comforts of a Savior’s presence. When Christ ceases to fill the heart with satisfaction, our souls will go in silent search of other lovers….By the enjoyment of the love of Christ in the heart of a believer, we mean an experience of the “love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us”(Rom 5:5)….because the Lord has made himself accessible to us in the means of grace; it is our duty and privilege to seek this experience from Him in these means till we are made the joyful partakers of it.” John Flavel

“Jesus, Thou art all compassion, pure, unbounded love Thou art.” Charles Wesley

“Love Him totally who gave Himself totally for your love.” Claire of Assisi

“Amazing love! How can it be, that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?” Charles Wesley

“For the love of God is broader than the measures of man’s mind; and the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.” Frederick William Faber

“God loves you as though you are the only person in the world, and He loves everyone the way He loves you.” Augustine

HEART SAVOR

• Jesus loves me this I know. He has loved me with an everlasting love and drawn me with cords of kindness.
• He has engraved me on the palms of His hands, my walls are ever before Him.
• He rejoices over me with singing.

THE TRUTH REGARDING BELIEVER’S TROUBLES

BREAD

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 (NIV)

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 1 Peter 4:12-16 (NIV)

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.” John 15:18-21 (NIV)

8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 (NIV)

25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:25-27 (NIV)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:28-39 (NIV)

BUTTER

“In believing prayer, we learn to connect our present troubles to the good and perfect will of God. We refuse to believe that chance rules our lives. We withstand the temptation to imagine that God is capricious or malicious. We know he has a higher purpose and that he is not dealing with us as our sins deserve. As we bring our troubles to Jesus in prayer—asking his will to be done—we approve the will of our Father in heaven. We see our sufferings in the greater reality of his good, acceptable, and perfect will. In prayer we “turn crisis to Christ.” Our heart becomes tuned to his heart and we sing the song of grace.” Ancient Prayer, John F. Smed

“A fixed, constant attention to the promises, and a firm belief in them, would prevent solicitude and anxiety about the concerns of this life. It would keep the mind quiet and composed in every change, and support and keep up our sinking spirits under the several troubles of life….Christians deprive themselves of their most solid comforts by their unbelief and forgetfulness of God’s promises. For there is no extremity so great but there are promises suitable to it, and abundantly sufficient for our relief in it.” Samuel Clarke

“Sometimes the enemy seems to get an advantage over us; but the battle is not over yet. At last thou shalt have the victory, and carry the day for all that. In hard struggles remember the power of Christ, who, in his resurrection, broke through everything. With him thou canst also break through, and be more than conqueror. Yea, in every conflict, if thy faith be firm, thou canst be sure of victory beforehand; for faith engages Christ’s power, and his power ensureth victory; it is as impossible for thine enemies to keep thee always in bonds, as it was impossible that Christ could be kept in the grave by the stone, seal, and keepers. Nay, the greater their force is, the more glorious will be the victory of Christ over them.” K. H. Von Bogatzky

“You see, we all have what Paul Tripp calls ‘Gospel amnesia.’ We (probably) know the truth; we just don’t allow the truth to set us free, to quote Jesus. We have to remember that every hardship in life and ministry—marriage conflicts, parenting questions, financial struggles, fear of the future, loss of vision or focus, divisiveness in leadership, etc.—is an opportunity to apply the gospel. Even saying it like that is wrong. We don’t “apply the gospel” to the issues of life, as if it was a mathematical formula. The gospel is not a principle to master or a procedure to follow. The gospel is life. It is how we live life as a believer. It is how we relate to ourselves, to God, and to each other. The Scriptures put it like this: “The just shall live by faith” (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38). The just, the righteous, the people of God, live only by faith. We don’t live by effort or insight or emotion; we live by faith in the work of Another, and his name is Jesus.” Dr. Tom Wood

“Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to thy Cross I cling.” Augustus Toplady

“We are never beyond the Shepherd’s eye. In our sorrows He observes us incessantly, and not a pang escapes Him; in our toils He sees all our weariness, and writes in His book all the struggles of His faithful ones. These thoughts of the Lord encompass us in all our paths and penetrate the innermost regions of our being. Not a nerve or tissue, valve or vessel of our bodily organization is uncared for: all the littles of your little world are thought of by our great God.” Charles Spurgeon

“A noted scientist observing that ‘early voyagers fancied that the coral-building animals instinctively built up the great circles of the Atoll Islands to afford themselves protection in the inner parts,’ has disproved this fancy by showing that the insect builders can only live and thrive fronting the open ocean, and in a highly aerated foam of its resistless billows. So it has been commonly thought that protected ease is the most favorable condition of life, whereas all the noblest and strongest lives prove on the contrary that the endurance of hardship is the making of the men, and the factor that distinguishes between existence and vigorous vitality. Hardship makes character.” Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

HEART SAVOR

• There is purpose in our pain for the child of the King. We are not to waste our tribulations. God is always about making beauty out of our ashes.
• God gives the grace sufficient to meet each need the believer has – when the need arises. If he doesn’t have the need, he doesn’t need the grace. He is no grace waster.
• Part of building a mighty army for the Lord Jesus is strengthening the saints through the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s choice instrument in accomplishing this is trials.