Sunday, April 24, 2011

Go and Tell....

After the Sabbath, as the first light of the new week dawned, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to keep vigil at the tomb. Suddenly the earth reeled and rocked under their feet as God's angel came down from heaven, came right up to where they were standing. He rolled back the stone and then sat on it. Shafts of lightning blazed from him. His garments shimmered snow-white. The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn't move.

The angel spoke to the women: "There is nothing to fear here. I know you're looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.

"Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, 'He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.' That's the message."

The women, deep in wonder and full of joy, lost no time in leaving the tomb. They ran to tell the disciples. Then Jesus met them, stopping them in their tracks. "Good morning!" he said. They fell to their knees, embraced his feet, and worshiped him. Jesus said, "You're holding on to me for dear life! Don't be frightened like that. Go tell my brothers that they are to go to Galilee, and that I'll meet them there."

Matthew 28:1-10 (The Message)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Holy Nation...

"Blessed in the Nation whose God is the Lord" (Psalm 33:12).

There is a Nation in the earth whose geographical boundaries are not charted on any map or model globe; whose government is not recognized in any Congress or House of Parliament; whose flag flies not at the United Nations Building in New York; and whose King is not invited to any Summit Meetings with other Heads of State.

The citizens of this Nation are distinguished from the citizens of all other countries in that they are uniquely related to one another as brothers and sisters; it is a Tribal Nation. It has the finest educational system in the earth, affording each of its citizens such opportunities of learning that even the most simple of its students excel in wisdom the chief scholars of others countries. Its military is second to none, by far surpassing all others in superiority of weaponry, of intelligence, of strategy, and in its vision of conquest. For it seeks not its own, but the peace, liberty and welfare of all other nations; and it so fights against their unseen enemies so as to secure it for them without charge! Its soldiers are the finest and most valiant of warriors, each one more than a conqueror; indeed, during battle, one puts a thousand of the enemy to flight.

This Nation has an economic structure unmatched by any. The combined resources total in the hundreds of billions of dollars. There is no need to balance the budget, for there is no National debt. There are no taxes imposed upon the people, for there is no need. Every one gives freely of his substance to help maintain the cost of government. Its political structure is unique in all the history of governed nations. It has a King, who is dearly loved and personally known by every single citizen. He is just in all His rulings, loving in all His ways, and right in all His affairs. There are no votes taken, for there are no disagreements to settle; every man sees eye to eye, all stand firm in one spirit and one mind.

Socially, this Nation enjoys the peace known by no other country, yet coveted by all. It has no prisons, for there are no criminals; the only news is good news. Purity of conduct is a highly cherished virtue; honesty in all things, a top priority; love and compassion, a common concern; kindness and helpfulness, an open and constant exchange participated in by all.

This Nation is the wealthiest, healthiest, happiest, wisest, most peaceful, strongest, and securest Nation in all the history of the world, and it shall abide as such forevermore! It is the Holy Nation; it is the Kingdom of God; it is Society as God planned it to be all along — it is the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. And you are welcomed in its warm embrace.

Culled from Rylisms by James Ryle.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Choice of a Life-Work...

“Now, LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 1Kings 3:7-9 NIV.

WE SHALL never rightly choose our life-course until we are determined to put first things first. Wealth, honour, fame, the surpassing of our rivals, are not the chief things to be considered, or our judgment will be impaired and our vision distorted. It was because Solomon desired and sought the kingdom and glory of God, that He gave him also the things for which he did not ask (1Kings 3:13; Matthew 6:33).

Impressed by the greatness of his responsibilities, the young king had gone to Gibeon to worship God. He wished to fulfil his opportunities to their highest measure, and to serve his fatherland, but he realized his inefficiency. Do you feel like this? You realize the wonderful opportunities and responsibilities of life in this marvellous age, and long to be of service to God and your fellows, but what can you do? You are but as a little child, and "know not how to go out or come in." "Going out" stands for the active life in the world of men; "coming in" for the hours spent in the home, in recreation and society. It is like the systole and diastole of the heart's action, which should be alike consecrated to God and of service to man.

Solomon asked for an understanding heart, that he might discern between good and bad. We all need this faculty, that we may discriminate between things that look very much alike, but are different in nature and direction (Hebrews 5:14; Philippians 1:9-10). It is not an enduement of intellectual power, but of moral taste and discernment. It has been said, that the difficulty in life is not to discriminate between white and black, but to choose between the different shades of grey. In our fellowships, recreations, literature, business--we are in urgent need of the understanding heart, which listens for and heeds the voice of God.

Solomon offered a thousand burnt-offerings upon the altar (1Kings 3:4). We are required to present our bodies as living sacrifices unto God, which is our reasonable service. Our career is often determined by our circumstances, or by our special gifts and talents, and, on the whole, we succeed best in doing what we like best. But if we yield ourselves to do God's will, He will direct our paths.

O God, make us diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. May we prove all things, and hold fast to that which is good. AMEN.

Culled from Rick Meyers Daily Devotional.