Devoted to sharing the Word of God - in uplifting, informative and encouraging posts.
" It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." John 6:63

Thursday 28 May 2020

In Whom We Live, Move and Have Our Being

The wisdom of God is gentle, winsome, winning in its ways.
Elisha found God was 
not in the whirlwind, 
nor the storm 
but in still, small voice.
The apostle Paul in his Mars Hill speech used familiar words of a Greek poet to arrest the attention of his audience. 
One verse from the famous opening invocation to Zeus was quoted in Acts 17:28: 
“For 'in Him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we too are His offspring. '”
Aratus a Greek poet used by Paul.
Paul's motto was:
"That I may be all things to all men, that I may win some."
Rigidity, laws and rules were not Paul's life or preaching outreach.
"ALL THINGS to ALL men!"
Saying really "I will pay with my very being what it costs to reach these ones for Christ".
Paul's controlling motivation was bound up in awakening souls of lost ones..
... not in earthly desires, plans, requirements. 
All things to all men HOWEVER means being in tune to God's prompting.. a believer unexpectedly walked up to a bikie at his bike in a carpark and offered a tract sharing a summary. It was accepted graciously, and eternity will reveal the results.
Why? Its was God's time. For God's Spirit had prompted .. that still, small voice spoke.
Being in tune with God's voice is very hard. 
Oftimes we silence it by our busyness, our lack of communion, our attitudes - but all this can be restored by a moment of prayer.
Susannah Wesley had 17 children.. when her children saw her with her apron over her head they knew not to interrupt her in her tabernacle.. her needed moment of prayer,  communion with her Father.
Oswald Chambers was visiting a dear old Highlander saint, who said,"if ye've permission, please speak to my ploughman about his soul." 
As he was faithful at this Oswald commented in surprise that the Scotsman had not done it and said so. 
The reply was "if ye think that laddie, ye know nought of the permission of the Spirit". (Paraphrased from memory.)
"Soulwinning is God's work.. it is not a matter of trial and error but of being led by the  Spirit".
Paul was "all things to all people", but he also knew there was a time to speak and a time to refrain from speaking. Ecc. 3
For years towards the end of my dad's life it seemed I had little direct witness to him. I was restrained. That was a struggle  to refrain from speaking, but God had the door shut for the moment.
As we carry this burden for a dear one, we often forget the great comfort that we ARE living epistles, seen and known of all men.
2 Cor 3:2-5
"Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men

 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;"
God's sufficiency, not us.
God, not us. 
God's Spirit not me.
"In whom we live, move and have our being"!
This is such a privilege!
How much louder is what we do, heard - than what we say?
Link also here to hymn.
Maker, in whom we live, in whom we are and move, 
the glory, power, and praise receive for thy creating love. 
Let all the angel throng give thanks to God on high, 
while earth repeats the joyful song and echoes to the sky.
Incarnate Deity, let all the ransomed race 
render in thanks their lives to thee for thy redeeming grace. 
The grace to sinners showed ye heavenly choirs proclaim, 
and cry, "Salvation to our God, salvation to the Lamb!" 

So God worked silently, quietly in small ways, with that still, small voice on my dad's heart in those last few years.
Two decades earlier he said he believed in God as a creative power, but as a force, not a Person or God with whom you could have a relationship. 
I called his god an almighty watchmaker who set the watch in motion but was detached from it.
If you want to read how dad came to the Lord in his last days, read it HERE, and verses I prayed for him - Here
The key in it was the waiting IN FAITH upon the Lord for that saving grace. 
Faith is critical. 
The delay in our prayer being answered is God is waiting. 
Often He's waiting for us to be ready for His answer.
Isaiah 30:18
"And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him."

His way, not my way.
Our very existence is Christ, in God.
Acts 17:28: 
“For in Him we live 
and move 
and have our being
as even some of your own poets
 have said, 
For we too are His offspring."

Or as Colossians 3:3b puts it:
 "... your life is hid in Christ, in God." 
What a statement that is!
Hope to share on that when time permits. 
This study has been ongoing, scripture is so richly interwoven, so had to cull. 
I pray it blesses you as it did me.
If things are difficult, I pray earnestly for you for God's comfort. 
"Our  Heavenly Father knoweth. "
"He careth for you." 
And thank you so much to all who encourage me with this blog. 
You bless me so!
Prayer hugs, 🙏🤗
Shaz in Oz.x
PS . If you haven’t I'd love it you to join as a wonderful encourager of this blog ...  link HERE.  Thank YOU to those who have done so already. It really encourages me to keep on. 😊
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Saturday 9 May 2020

The Purpose of Aloneness

In Bible study, the law of first mention of a subject in the Bible is a guide for future reference on the same subject. 
The first mention of aloneness is very early in Genesis 2:18 - it was not good that Adam was alone.
Up till then everything was good.. but not Adam's aloneness.
This is interesting, because although Adam had continuous, unbroken  fellowship with God, yet he lacked any human company.
Genesis 2:18 
"And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him."
So God formed Eve, out of Adam's rib.
 A "help meet" or "help suitable" for him..
We know that in Genesis 3 there was so sadly the cessation of constant fellowship with God. 
Sin entered the world.
Aloneness has many aspects.
It can be one person alone. One, as with Elijah at brook Cherith, fed by the ravens in the midst of drought, 
Jonah in the belly of the big fish  .. both of these were a consequence of disobedience. 
Elijah, although obedient himself, suffered because of the dearth as punishment of Israel and Ahab's sin (see 1 Kings 17:1 -6)
Jonah was alone 3 days swallowed up by a God-prepared fish, because of his direct disobedience to God's command to go warn the people of Nineveh (see Jonah 1:17 - 2:8)
You can be alone as a group.
As were the eight members of Noah and family on the ark, many days nights on a boat full of animals (Gen. 7)
Or as the faithful threesome - Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego in the firey furnace in Babylon (see Dan. 3: 10 - 23).
Both these were in the predicament of aloneness due to obedience to the Lord's commandment.
Times of aloneness often preceded a great spiritual victory.
For us today this is an important fact to which we must cling!
God is at work here, now.
Any time we are in a time of aloneness, whether due to COVID-19 or for other reasons, God has a greater, higher, eternal purpose for you and me! 
And for far beyond us, most of all if we cannot see it yet!
There are many examples too in the New Testament..
Paul suffered much alone, the lowest point (or perhaps highest) is 2 Tim. 4 where he was left alone at the end of his life:
2 Timothy 4:16-17
"At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.
Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion."
 Another example is John on the isle of Patmos.. in exile,  he wrote the only book of prophecy in the NT, the book of Revelation.
The example which touched and challenged me the most, was that the Lord Jesus chose aloneness so many times.
Alone answering questions in the temple at 12 years, alone for 40 days in wilderness at the time of temptation.
So often He quietly selected to come apart, mostly to pray to His Father.
One of the saddest prayer times, when technically He was not alone, but in reality He was - with the sleeping disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane (see Luke 22: 39-46), tended by angel.
However Jesus was most alone as He hung on the cross, separated from His Father, bearing the ugliness of our sins, crying:
 "My God, My God Why hast Thou forsaken Me?"
Alone in death..
Till the glorious resurrection morn.

Tracing through these examples and so many, many more unmentioned, there is a bright scarlet thread.. like the one Rahab let down for the spies to escape (see Joshua 2:18).
That scarlet thread throughout revealing the purpose of Aloneness - that souls might be saved from sin.
This is traced all the way back to Adam and Eve, coats made to cover their sin of disobedience, eight souls saved in Noah's ark, Elijah's bold stand for God, before 450 prophets of Baal on the top of Mt Carmel, after the quiet by the brook.
The three became four in the fiery furnace, for "the fourth like unto the Son of God" (see Daniel 3:25)
 Jonah preached to the Ninevites, who repented, Paul was witnessing till the end despite opposition, as was John, faithful in lonely exile, writing upon parchment.

 It was the Lord Jesus, in the utter depths of Aloneness Who cried:
 "It is finished!"
And so finished the lonely work of the salvation of all mankind.
Whosoever will may come.

Souls saved,
Souls purified.
God is glorified. 

This is God's purpose in Aloneness.

He is purifying us, drawing us closer to His ways and His Word.
May we use this time of aloneness, isolation, wisely and well, praying, interceding for the lost, wayward and needy souls everywhere, that there maybe a life changing revival in hearts in 2020, as in days of yore.
This hymn and chorus (link here) really comes to mind. I love it, often sing it when in deep sadness, it lifts me up!
"No, never alone!"

I want to close with part of Mehrll's comment (her blog is here) on my last post. 
It's beautiful, and good to remember:
"..God is always right there to meet the need when I turn to Him. 
He knows everything that happens to each of His children and nothing can touch us without His approval. 
I am so glad that we can trust Him through every problem in our life"

Thanks so much for popping over here, especially if you have time to chat. 😊
Prayer hugs, 🙏🤗
Shaz in Oz.x

{Background to this post - firstly, I've barely scatched the surface on this subject, eg the book of the suffering saint, Job, was not mentioned, he who was so very alone!
This topic was suggested to me by Robyn Manning. It sat waiting for inspiration, with a scribbled skeleton, till I mentioned it to Donna Howey-Schubeck, and asked her to pray. I'd said I couldn't write it yet.. 
We are the servants of the Living God. As Zechariah (4:6) said "Not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit saith the Lord." 
Thank you, dear sisters, for your uplifting comments, prayers and inspiration. This verse below comes to mind in respect to the way God enables us bless, encourage, uplift one another.}

PS . If you haven’t I'd love it you to join as a wonderful encourager of this blog ...  link HERE.  Thank YOU to those who have done so already. It really encourages me to keep on. 😊
If you'd like these posts in your inbox, you can add your email to email link option on side bar. If you're on a mobile device on which there is no sidebar, then scroll down and select "View Web Version" at very bottom of post. This will bring up sidebar and "follow by email" link. Thank YOU