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How Great Thou Art 12.9.16

HOW GREAT THOU ART

BREAD

19 God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19 (NIV)

13 Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor? 14 Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding? Isaiah 40:13-14 (NIV)

8 “Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. 9 Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. 10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” Isaiah 46:8-10 (NIV)

33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11:33-36 (NIV)

5 How great are your works, O LORD, how profound your thoughts! Psalms 92:5 (NIV)

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)

1 I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:1-3 (NIV)

1 Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits– 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalms 103:1-5 (NIV)

26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. 27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”? 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 40:26-31 (NIV)

BUTTER

Post From Michael Youssef:

God’s Names:
• Elohim–Majestic Lord
• El Shaddai–All-Powerful, All-Sufficient, Transcendent, Sovereign God
• Yahweh–The Proper Name For God, Which Means “Self-Existing One” (I AM!)
• Yahweh Nissi–Our Banner
• Yahweh Rapha–Our Healer
• Yahweh Rohi–Our Shepherd
• Yahweh Jireh–Our Provider
• Yahweh Shalom–Our Peace
• Adonai–Master, Ruler, Lord
• Abba–Our Father Who Intimately Cares

“God is indeed the Sovereign of all things, the One to whom all creatures are accountable and whom all should glorify. He is under no obligation to repay anyone, for no one has ever given Him anything. Paul concluded, For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. God is the first Cause, the effective Cause, and the final Cause of everything. His deep ways are beyond man’s discovering; beyond man’s knowing, beyond man’s counseling, and beyond man’s giving. “All things” come from Him and by means of Him and are for Him and His glory. Therefore, To Him be the glory forever! Amen. God is the only proper One to magnify. The all-sovereign God deserves the praise of all His creatures.” Bible Knowledge Commentary

“Any discussion of how God is not like us must begin with an acknowledgment that we are measurable and he is not. God is infinite, unbound by limits. He defies measurement of any kind. His limitlessness underlies all of his attributes.” Jen Wilkin

“Only God is:
• Infinite – the God of no limits
• Incomprehensible – the God of infinite mystery
• Self-existent – the God of infinite creativity
• Self-sufficient – the God of infinite provision
• Eternal – the God of infinite days
• Immutable- the God of infinite sameness
• Omnipresent – the God of infinite place
• Omniscient – the God of infinite knowledge
• Omnipotent- the God of infinite power
• Sovereign – the God of infinite rule
A measureless God begins to upend our sense of personal awesomeness.” Jen Wilken

“Isaiah’s words remind me that God is God and I am not. He has no rivals and there is none like Him. He is the One who is utterly holy; the One who reigns and rules; who sees the beginning from the end; who knows me inside and out, yet still chooses to love me unconditionally. As I meditate on God’s immeasurable attributes I am forced to ask, ‘How should the knowledge that God is _________ change the way I live today?’” Donna Evans

“Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your saviour, your guide? If He is, you don’t need to search any further for security.” Elisabeth Elliot

“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:8).’ The opening lines of the book of Revelation declare to us a God unlimited by time, so much so that he determines its beginning and its end. His eternal nature is written large and often across the pages of Scripture. The Bible begins with a time stamp, “in the beginning,” and then spends 66 books describing the God who decrees seasons and times but is not bound by them in the least. Free to act within time as he wills, he exists outside of it. He is simultaneously the God of the past, present and future, ending time to his perfect will, unfettered by its constraints. The past holds for him no missed opportunity. The present holds for him no anxiety. The future holds for him no uncertainty. He was, and is, and is to come.” Jen Wilkin

HEART SAVOR

• God is the ever existing One – the Great I AM.
• He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.
• He stoops down to lift us up. He loves us with an everlasting love. His eye is ever on us for our good and His glory. We were created for Him. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Let us enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise and bless His Holy Name. The Name that is above all names.

Dead End 12.7.16

DEAD END

BREAD

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NIV)

16 The wages of the righteous bring them life, but the income of the wicked brings them punishment. Proverbs 10:16 (NIV)

28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1:28-32 (NIV)

32 “For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” Proverbs 1:32-33 (NIV)

21 For a man’s ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths. 22 The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. 23 He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly. Proverbs 5:21-23 (NIV)

3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. 4 Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. Proverbs 11:3-4 (NIV)

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:13-15 (NIV)

16 This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” Jeremiah 6:16 (NIV)

6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:6-9 (NIV)

BUTTER

“He is truly wise who looks upon all earthly things as folly that he may gain Christ.” Thomas a Kempis

“Where is the folly of true religion? Is it a folly to be providing for the world to come? ‘Oh, no.’ Is it a folly to make the Author of your being its first end? ‘No, no.’ Is it altogether a folly to believe that there is such a thing as justice? I think not. And that, if there be such a thing as justice, it involves punishment? There is no great folly there. Well, then, is it any folly to perceive that there is no way of escaping from the effects of our offences except justice be satisfied? Is that folly? And if it be the fact that Christ has satisfied justice for all who trust in him, is it folly to trust him? If it be a folly to escape from the flames of hell, then let us be fools. If it be folly to lay hold of him who gives us eternal life—oh, blessed folly! Let us be more foolish still. Let us take deep dives into the depths of this foolishness. God forbid that we should do anything else but glory in being such fools as this for Christ’s sake! What, sirs, is your wisdom? Your wisdom dwells in denying what your eyes can see—a God; in denying what your consciences tell you—that you are guilty; in denying what should be your best hope, what your spirit really craves after—redemption in Christ Jesus. Your folly lies in following a perverted nature, instead of obeying the dictates of one who points you to the right path. You are wise and you drink poison; we are fools and we take the antidote. You are wise and you hunt the shadow; we are fools and we grasp the substance. You are wise, and you labour and put your money into a bag which is full of holes, and spend it for that which is not bread, and which never gives you satisfaction; and we are fools enough to be satisfied, to be happy, to be perfectly content with heaven and God.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“We judge things by their present appearance; but the Lord sees them in their consequences. If we could do the same we would be perfectly of His mind; but since we can’t, it is an unspeakable mercy that He will manage for us, whether we are pleased with His management or not; and it is regarded as one of His heaviest judgments when He gives any person up to the way of their own hearts, and to walk according to their own wisdom.” John Newton

“We want to believe that we are autonomous, but the gospel assures us we are under the jurisdiction of God. We want to believe that we are good at heart, but the gospel says we are far worse than we could possibly imagine. We want to believe we are wise, but the gospel says we are foolish. We want to define ourselves by our desires and preferences, but the gospel says that God has already defined us in the act of creating us. We want to believe that we can do whatever we want today without fear of eternal consequences, but the gospel unapologetically declares that there will be the most fearsome and eternal consequences for our sin. That is an offensive message. That is an ultimately offensive message… But the gospel cuts against the grain with a message that counters it all: You are disobedient, you are dead, you are doomed. (And, of course, until Christ found me I, too, was disobedient and dead and doomed.) This bad news of the gospel is so offensive (yet so demonstrably true!) that few people stick around to hear the good news—the good news that there is hope and forgiveness and freedom for those who will put their faith in Jesus Christ and receive his salvation. The bright stars are only visible against the dark sky, and the ultimate joy of the gospel only shines against the ultimate bad.” Tim Challies

“Just as there are always blessings to obedience, conversely there will always be consequences to sin. Every sin carries with it a death sentence – death to trust, death to relationship, death to freedom, etc. etc. We do not sin merely as unto ourselves either, sin’s tentacles are far reaching and devastating – like a ripple in the water when you cast in a stone. We get to choose to sin or not but God chooses the consequence. Just read about what happened to King David after his encounter with Bathsheba and how it affected the rest of his life. God is severe in His judgments because He knows what sin does to a life and the lives of others. This is not a winking, joking matter with Him. It cost Him the life of His Son. He doesn’t want us to go there (to say the least) – He has far greater, pleasing and perfect plans for us than that. Also, it is all too important to note, that while a believer in Jesus is forgiven for sin that does not mean there will not be consequences. Just saying….” BHY

“It is only when our sins have been washed in the blood of Christ that we appear white as snow in the eyes of God. No human “detergent” of good works or clean thoughts can make us that white, that pure. Only Christ’s precious blood can do that and it is only His blood that can continue to cleanse us from sin.” Billy Graham

“While there is life, there is hope. The Spirit of God is knocking faithfully at the door. If we repent, mend our ways, throw off our sins, we can yet be used of God to bring healing and help to a dying civilization.” Billy Graham

HEART SAVOR

• I am a sinner in need of a Savior.
• Sin leads to death, Jesus leads to life both now and eternally.
• Only the blood of Christ can take away my sin.

Unwavering Faith 12.5.16

UNWAVERING FAITH

BREAD

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18 (NIV)

18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead–since he was about a hundred years old–and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. Romans 4:18-21 (NIV)

25 I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes–I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! Job 19:25-27 (NIV)

15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him. Job 13:15 (NIV)

8 “But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. 9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. 10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” Job 23:8-10 (NIV)

17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. 19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NIV)

1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. Hebrews 11:1-2 (NIV)

32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated– 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Hebrews 11:32-40 (NIV)

6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)

BUTTER

“There is more to life than meets the eye. For that’s what faith is. Faith is trusting what the eye can’t see. Eyes see the prowling lion. Faith sees Daniel’s angel. Eyes see storms. Faith sees Noah’s rainbow. Eyes see giants. Faith sees Canaan. Your eyes see your faults. Your faith sees your Savior. Your eyes see your guilt. Your faith sees his blood. Your eyes see your grave. Your faith sees a city whose builder and maker is God. Your eyes look in the mirror and see a sinner, a failure, a promise-breaker. But by faith you look in the mirror and see a robed prodigal bearing the ring of grace on your finger and the kiss of your Father on your face.” Max Lucado

“The true living faith, which the Holy Spirit instils into the heart, simply cannot be idle.” Martin Luther

“Christians, take good care of thy faith; for recollect faith is the only way whereby thou canst obtain blessings. If we want blessings from God, nothing can fetch them down but faith. Prayer cannot draw down answers from God’s throne except it be the earnest prayer of the man who believes. Faith is the angelic messenger between the soul and the Lord Jesus in glory. Let that angel be withdrawn, we can neither send up prayer, nor receive the answers. Faith is the telegraphic wire which links earth and heaven – on which God’s messages of love fly so fast, that before we call He answers, and while we are yet speaking He hears us. O, then, Christian, watch well thy faith; for with it thou canst win all things, however poor thou art, but without it thou canst obtain nothing.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends.” George Mueller

“It is just as important to trust God as it is to obey Him.” Jerry Bridges

“Faith in faith is pointless. Faith in a living, active God moves mountains.” Beth Moore

“Faith and works are bound up in the same bundle. He that obeys God trusts God; and he that trusts God obeys God. He that is without faith is without works; and he that is without works is without faith.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“God tries our faith so that we may try His faithfulness.” Anonymous

“To learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings.” George Mueller

“Faith, as Paul saw it, was a living, flaming thing leading to surrender and obedience to the commandments of Christ.” A.W. Tozer

“Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.” Anonymous

“Faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the reward for this faith is to see what you believe.” Augustine

“Faith is the root of works. A root that produces nothing is dead.” Thomas Wilson

“Seek, O believer, that every good thing you have may be an abiding thing. May your character not be a writing upon the sand, but an inscription upon the rock! May your faith be no ‘baseless fabric of a vision,’ but may it be built of material able to endure that awful fire which shall consume the wood, hay, and stubble of the hypocrite. May you be rooted and grounded in love. May your convictions be deep, your love real, your desire earnest. May your whole life be so firm and strong, that all the blasts of hell and the storms of earth shall never be able to remove you.” Charles Spurgeon

HEART SAVOR

• Without faith it is impossible to please God.
• True faith is demonstrated.
• Unwavering faith will see God’s hand move.

Limitless 12.2.16

LIMITLESS

BREAD

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)

14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? Genesis 18:14 (NIV)

1 Then Job replied to the LORD: 2 “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:1-2 (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. Isaiah 40:28 (NIV)

9 It is the Sovereign LORD who helps me. Who is he that will condemn me? They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up. 10 Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God. Isaiah 50:9-10 (NIV)

17 “Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” Jeremiah 32:17 (NIV)

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

10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. 11 From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do. Isaiah 46:10-11 (NIV)

21 Declare what is to be, present it– let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago, who declared it from the distant past? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me. 22 “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. 23 By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear. 24 They will say of me, ‘In the LORD alone are righteousness and strength.’” All who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame. 25 But in the LORD all the descendants of Israel will be found righteous and will exult. Isaiah 45:21-25 (NIV)

4 One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. 5 They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. 6 They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. Psalms 145:4-6 (NIV)

BUTTER

“When a man has not strength, if he leans on God, he becomes powerful.” D.L. Moody

“When we have exhausted our store of endurance, When our strength has failed ere the day is half done, When we reach the end of our hoarded resources, Our Father’s full giving is only begun. His love has no limit; His grace has no measure. His pow’r has no boundary known unto men; For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!” Annie Johnson

“When we pray for ourselves and others, we should not ask for the release from any task or situation, but strength to complete it and endure it. Prayer should be for power and seldom for release: not release but conquest must be the keynote of the church.” William Barclay

“Life is war. That’s not all it is. But it is always that. Our weakness in prayer is owing largely to our neglect of this truth. Prayer is primarily a wartime walkie-talkie for the mission of the church as it advances against the powers of darkness and unbelief. It is not surprising that prayer malfunctions when we try to make it a domestic intercom to call upstairs for more comforts in the den. God has given prayer as a wartime walkie-talkie so that we can call headquarters for everything we need as the kingdom of Christ advances in the world. Prayer gives us the significance of frontline forces and gives God the glory of a limitless Provider. The one who gives the power gets the glory. Thus, prayer safeguards the supremacy of God in missions while linking us with endless grace for every need.” John Piper

“It is impossible for that man to despair who remembers that his Helper is omnipotent.” Jeremy Taylor

“When we can do nothing Jesus can do all things; let us enlist His powerful aid upon our side, and all will be well.” Charles Spurgeon

“Here lies the tremendous mystery – that God should be all-powerful, yet refuses to coerce. He summons us to cooperation. We are honored in being given the opportunity to participate in His good deeds.” Elisabeth Elliot

“God is so powerful that He can direct any evil to a good end.” Thomas Aquinas

“Take heed that you do not glory in your graces, but let all your glorying and confidence be in Christ and His strength, for this is the only way you can be kept from falling. Pray more often. Spend longer periods of time in holy adoration. Read the Scriptures more earnestly and constantly. Watch your lives more carefully. Live nearer to God. Take the best examples for your pattern. Let your conversation emit the fragrance of heaven. Let your hearts be perfumed with affection for the souls of others. So live that others may recognize that you have been with Jesus, and have learned of Him…On, Christian, with care and caution! On, with holy fear and trembling! On, with faith and confidence in Jesus alone, and let your constant petition be, ‘Sustain me according to your promise.’ He, and He alone, is able ‘to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy.’” Charles H. Spurgeon

“One drop of God’s strength is worth more than all the world.” D. L. Moody

“There is in Him an all-sufficiency of grace and strength; all our springs are in Him, and all our streams are from Him.” Matthew Henry

“God has as a strong reserve with which to discharge this engagement; for He is able to do all things. Believer, until you can drain the ocean dry of omnipotence and break the towering mountains of almighty strength into pieces, you never need to be afraid. Don’t think that the strength of a human being shall ever be able to overcome the power of God. As long as the earth’s huge pillars stand, you have enough reason to remain firm in your faith. The same God who directs the earth in its orbit, feeds the burning furnace of the sun, and trims the lamps of heaven, has promised to supply you with daily strength. While He is able to uphold the universe, don’t even dream that He will prove unable to fulfill His own promises. Remember what He did in ages past, in the former generations. Remember how He spoke, and it was done; how He commanded, and it stood fast. Shall He that created the world grow weary? He hangs the world upon nothing; shall He who does this be unable to support His children? Shall He be unfaithful to His word for want of power? Who is it that restrains the tempest? Doesn’t He ride upon the wings of the wind, and make the clouds His chariots, and hold the ocean in the hollow of His hand? How can He fail you? When He has put such a faithful promise as this on record, will you for a moment indulge the thought that He has out promised Himself, and gone beyond his power to fulfill? Ah, no! You cannot doubt any longer.” Charles H. Spurgeon

HEART SAVOR

• Flesh accomplishes nothing of eternal value. It is only that which is done through the power of the Spirit that will last.
• Nothing is too hard for God – nothing.
• I am to pray for His strength to match my days.

UNSTOPPED EARS TO RIGHTEOUS REBUKES

BREAD

11 My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, 12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. 13 Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, 14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Proverbs 3:11-15 (NIV)

5 Let a righteous man strike me–it is a kindness; let him rebuke me–it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it. Yet my prayer is ever against the deeds of evildoers. Psalms 141:5 (NIV)

8 Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Proverbs 9:8 (NIV)

31 He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. 32 He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding. 33 The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor. Proverbs 15:31-33 (NIV)

10 A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool. Proverbs 17:10 (NIV)

5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love. 6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Proverbs 27:5-6 (NIV)

Rebuke a discerning man, and he will gain knowledge. Proverbs 19:25 (NIV)

12 Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear. Proverbs 25:12 (NIV)

1 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke. Proverbs 13:1 (NIV)

5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:5-11 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Are we really willing to listen? Are we so biased and set in our own opinions and ways that we neglect to discern the fact that we perhaps don’t know it all? Are we intellectually honest with ourselves? Are we willing to change? Where do we go for Truth? Only God’s Word is True Truth – Infallible – It will always stand – Always. Take all advice and criticism with ears to hear – not defensively – and then weigh it all out against God’s Holy Word. If it is True and the shoe fits, by all means change it. If it doesn’t, disregard it. FYI – People seldom listen unless they feel safe and loved and valued as another human being.” BHY
Scripture states: 10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11 (NIV)
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” Matthew 5:17-18 (NIV)

“The voice of God is a friendly voice. No one need fear to listen to it unless he has already made up his mind to resist it.” A.W. Tozer

“God often uses the repetitive events and themes in daily life to get my attention and draw me closer to Himself. Now instead of just listening for God’s whisper, I am trying to recognize the sacred echoes- those moments when God speaks the same message to my heart again and again. I call them sacred echoes because I’ve noticed that throughout my relationships, daily life, and study, the same scripturally sound idea or phrase or word will keep reappearing until I can no longer avoid its presence. Is this mere coincidence or is it something more? When it comes to hearing from God, I firmly believe the Bible is our source and authority. God’s Word is like a megaphone to His people. Throughout Scripture God speaks through kings and queens, princes and prophets, poets and pilgrims. He speaks through weather patterns, barnyard animals and even the stars in the sky. God is not only creative, but He is persistent in getting our attention and communicating with us.” Margaret Feinberg

“We should always keep Christ before our eyes. The devil continually tempts us to abandon Christ and seek the Father, saying to ourselves, ‘This or that will please him’. Meanwhile we ignore Christ—the One the Father sent—so that we might listen to Him alone. We respond as the Pharisees did and reject Christ. We wonder, ‘Where is the Father?’ That is the question that world asks. This is the greatest temptation to your faith. You must devote yourself to the Word of Christ and train yourself to hold on to it so that you never lose sight Jesus.” Martin Luther

“Just so you know, the need for repentance, redemption, and forgiveness is universal. I don’t care if you are a liberal or a conservative, a religious fanatic or a militant atheist, a ‘spiritual’/’religious’ person or someone who runs from all that. It doesn’t matter to me if you listen to Billy Graham or follow Camus—you are in need. No one in the human race is exempt. Its in our DNA…When we finally acknowledge our need for forgiveness and come to God in repentance, we find true power; for we now have nothing to hide or protect, we don’t care what people say or think about us, we are willing to speak truth gently, and we are enabled to speak with tremendous, supernatural power.” Steve Brown

“I am listening, Lord, for Thee; what hast Thou to say to me?” Frances Havergal

HEART SAVOR

• Wounds from a friend can be trusted.
• Take all advice to the Word: 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)
• People are more readily willing to listen if they do not feel threatened rather loved and valued. Is our motivation simply to get them to agree with our opinions or to believe the Truth of God’s Word? Examine Jesus’ life – He did not argue, He reasoned and stated with love and compassion and He often remained silent not throwing His Pearls carelessly.

Patiently Wait 11.28.16

PATIENTLY WAIT

BREAD

5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. 6 My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. 7 O Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. Psalms 130:5-7 (NIV)

7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. 8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret–it leads only to evil….34 Wait for the LORD and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it. 35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a green tree in its native soil, 36 but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found. 37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace. Psalms 37:7-8, 34-37 (NIV)

1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. 4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Psalms 40:1-4 (NIV)

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. Romans 8:22-25 (NIV)

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. 14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 2 Peter 3:8-15 (NIV)

11 A man’s wisdom gives him patience. Proverbs 19:11 (NIV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

13 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalms 27:13-14 (NIV)

BUTTER

“I am waiting on Thee, Lord, to open the way.” J. Hudson Taylor

“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

“The eagle has the unique ability to lock its joints and soar effortlessly on an updraft, instead of flapping its wings. As we wait on God, He helps us use the winds of adversity to soar above our problems. As the Bible says, ‘Those who wait on the Lord…shall mount up with wings like eagles’ (Isaiah 40:31).” Billy Graham

“All of us are waiting for something. It might be a spouse or a baby. It might be healing or a home. Regardless of what we’re waiting for, it’s easy to feel discontent when things aren’t going as planned and our dreams are delayed- especially when questions of ‘Why?’ and ‘How long?’ remain unanswered. God uses seasons of waiting to teach us patience and make us more like himself. But sanctification is not the only purpose God has in mind. When we wait faithfully with unmet longings, we become a powerful picture of the bride of Christ waiting for the day when he returns and God’s kingdom reigns.” Betsy Childs Howard

“I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.” Elisabeth Elliot

“Waiting is just a gift of time in disguise — a time to pray wrapped up in a ribbon of patience — because is the Lord ever late?” Ann Voskamp

“Faith raises the soul above the difficulty, straight to God Himself, and enables one to stand still. We gain nothing by our restless and anxious efforts….It is therefore true wisdom, in all times of difficulty and perplexity, to stand still – to wait only upon God, and He will assuredly open a way for us.” C.H. Mackintosh

“How do we wait for God? We wait with patience. But patience does not mean passivity. Waiting patiently is not like waiting for the bus to come, the rain to stop, or the sun to rise. It is an active waiting in which we live the present moment to the full in order to find there the signs of the One we are waiting for. The word patience comes from the Latin verb ‘patior’ which means ‘to suffer.’ Waiting patiently is suffering through the present moment, tasting it to the full, and letting the seeds that are sown in the ground on which we stand grow into strong plants. Waiting patiently always means paying attention to what is happening right before our eyes and seeing there the first rays of God’s glorious coming.” Henri Nouwen

“We sometimes seem to forget that what God takes He takes in fire; and that the only way to the resurrection life and the ascension mount is the way of the garden, the cross, and the grave. Think not, O soul of man, that Abraham’s was a unique and solitary experience. It is simply a specimen and pattern of God’s dealings with all souls who are prepared to obey Him at whatever cost. After thou hast patiently endured, thou shalt receive the promise. The moment of supreme sacrifice shall be the moment of supreme and rapturous blessing. God’s river, which is full of water, shall burst its banks, and pour upon thee a tide of wealth and grace. There is nothing, indeed, which God will not do for a man who dares to step out upon what seems to be the mist; though as he puts down his foot he finds a rock beneath him.” F. B. Meyer

HEART SAVOR

• My heart is not to be anxious rather peacefully stilled and wait upon the Lord – God’s will done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply. You can take it to the bank.
• Waiting always has purpose and it is not inactive.
• I am to rest upon Jesus in the wait. “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)

Continuous Praise 11.25.16

CONTINUOUS PRAISE

BREAD

1 Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! Psalms 147:1 (NIV)

1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalms 100:1-5 (NIV)

1 My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul. 2 Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. 3 I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. 4 For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. 5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let your glory be over all the earth. 6 Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered. Psalms 108:1-6 (NIV)

15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:15-16 (NIV)

1 It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, 2 to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, 3 to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp. 4 For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD; I sing for joy at the works of your hands. 5 How great are your works, O LORD, how profound your thoughts! Psalms 92:1-5 (NIV)

17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. 18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. 20 The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. 21 My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever. Psalms 145:17-21 (NIV)

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)

5 Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. 6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. 7 How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. 8 They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. 9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. 10 Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart. Psalms 36:5-10 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Be not afraid of saying too much in the praises of God; all the danger is of saying too little.” Matthew Henry

“Immortal, invisible, God only wise, In light inaccessible hid from our eyes, Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days, Almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise. Unresting, unhasting and silent as light, Nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might; Thy justice like mountains high soaring above Thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.” Walter C. Smith

“Men in general praise God in such a manner that He scarcely obtains the tenth part of His due.” John Calvin

“Man’s chief work is the praise of God.” St. Augustine

“Fill Thou my life, O Lord my God, in every part with praise; that my whole being may proclaim Thy being and Thy ways.” Horatius Bonar

“Whenever you react with praise and thanksgiving for an opportunity to grow more like Jesus in your way of reacting to things, instead of grumbling or feeling self-pity, you will find that that whole situation will be changed into a great blessing.” Hannah Hurnard

“Christian thanksgiving is the life of Christ in the heart — transforming the disposition and the whole character. Thanksgiving must be wrought into the life as a habit—before it can become a fixed and permanent quality. An occasional burst of praise, in the midst of years of complaining, is not what is required. Songs on rare, sunshiny days; and no songs when skies are cloudy—will not make a life of gratitude. The heart must learn to sing always. This lesson is learned only when it becomes a habit which nothing can weaken. We must persist in being thankful. When we can see no reason for praise—we must believe in the divine love and goodness, and sing in the darkness. Thanksgiving has attained its rightful place in us, only when it is part of all our days and dominates all our experiences.” J. R. Miller

“Prayer, praise and thanksgiving all go together. A close relationship exists among them. The Scriptures join these three things together. Psalms is filled with many songs of praise and hymns of thanksgiving, all pointing back to the results of prayer. Thanksgiving includes gratitude. In fact, thanksgiving is the expression of an inward, conscious gratitude to God for mercies received. Gratitude is an inward emotion of the soul, involuntarily arising therein, while thanksgiving is the voluntary expression of gratitude.” E.M. Bounds

“If anyone would tell you the shortest, surest way to all happiness – he must tell you to make it a rule to yourself to thank and praise God for everything that happens to you. For it is certain that whatever seeming calamity happens to you, if you thank and praise God for it, you turn it into a blessing. Could you therefore work miracles, you could not do more for yourself than by this thankful spirit, for it heals with a word speaking, and turns all that it touches into happiness. It be the noblest sacrifice that the greatest saint can offer unto God.” William Law

HEART SAVOR

• It is right and fitting to praise the Lord from Whom all blessings flow.
• All God’s works are great and are worthy of praise.
• God delights in the praise of His people.