“More Blessed to Give”

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19.

Read the story of the widow of Sarepta. To this woman in a heathen land God sent His servant in time of famine to ask for food…. Wonderful was the hospitality shown to God’s prophet by this Phoenician woman, and wonderfully were her faith and generosity rewarded….

God has not changed. His power is no less now than in the days of Elijah…. To His faithful servants today as well as to His first disciples Christ’s words apply: “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me” (Matthew 10:40). No act of kindness shown in His name will fail to be recognized and rewarded. And in the same tender recognition Christ includes even the feeblest and lowliest of the family of God. “Whosoever shall give to drink,” He says, “unto one of these little ones”—those who are as children in their faith and their knowledge of Christ—“a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward” (Matthew 10:42).

Poverty need not shut us out from showing hospitality. We are to impart what we have. There are those who struggle for a livelihood and who have great difficulty in making their income meet their necessities; but they love Jesus in the person of His saints and are ready to show hospitality to believers and unbelievers, trying to make their visits profitable. At the family board and the family altar the guests are made welcome. The season of prayer makes its impression on those who receive entertainment, and even one visit may mean the saving of a soul from death. For this work the Lord makes a reckoning, saying: “I will repay.” …

“Man doth not live by bread only,” and as we impart to others our temporal food, so we are to impart hope and courage and Christlike love…. And the assurance is ours: “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
Conflict and Courage p. 207
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Prayer Requests
—–update—John is still in ICU after his surgery on Friday. Please pray for a swift recovery. Ron
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Dear Friends,

One evening, my grandfather thought of a new game to entertain me. It was actually a game that he had played when he was a boy, but it was new to me. Giving me a sheet of paper and taking one himself, he explained that we would each draw the head of something and then fold the paper just so a little of the neck was showing. It was important that the other person not see what we drew until the game was over. Then we traded papers and drew the body and arms. Again we traded papers and drew the legs. Only then could we unfold the papers and see the entire picture. One time my grandfather drew the head of a chicken while I drew a girl. When we finished our drawings, we had a chicken with a girl’s body and chicken legs and a girl with a chicken’s body and girl’s legs. Another time my grandfather drew a lamp and another time a fish. Most of the time they were very funny like that. I never knew what he was going to draw.

Just as I couldn’t see the drawing that my grandfather was doing on that sheet of paper until all was finished, so we are not always able to understand what our Great Re-creator is doing in our life—we cannot see His completed “drawing” until He is finished. Through the circumstances of life, He molds our character. Through disappointments, heartaches, and trials, we learn to rely upon His leading, His strength. Through the changes we experience, we learn to appreciate His unchangeableness.

Yet, how often we fight against this process and make it difficult for Him to work, even so, He patiently picks up the pieces and begins again. Jeremiah was given a vision of this molding process. “The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, . . cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand.” Jer 18:1-6 Isaiah adds, “O LORD, thou art our father, we are the clay, and thou our potter, and we all are the work of thy hand.” Isa 64:8

Oftentimes, our Heavenly Father chastens us in order to bring about the needful results. Solomon admonishes, “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD, neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth, even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” Prov 3:11,12 Paul explains this more fully, “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons, for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure, but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” Heb 12:5-15

Let us allow the Holy Spirit to work in our life cooperating fully with Him, waiting patiently for the “drawing” to be complete. Let us pray “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” that by “beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, [we] are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Ps 119:18, 2 Cor 3:18 Let us submit ourselves to God’s shaping of our life, that we may resist the devil more fully, for we have the promise that if we do, he will flee from us.

Rose

Sharing Her Morsel

And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth. 1 Kings 17:13, 14.

This woman was not an Israelite. She had never had the privileges and blessings that the chosen people of God had enjoyed; but she was a believer in the true God and had walked in all the light that was shining on her pathway. And now, when there was no safety for Elijah in the land of Israel, God sent him to this woman to find an asylum in her home….

In this poverty-stricken home the famine pressed sore, and the pitifully meager fare seemed about to fail. The coming of Elijah on the very day when the widow feared that she must give up the struggle to sustain life tested to the utmost her faith in the power of the living God to provide for her necessities. But even in her dire extremity she bore witness to her faith by a compliance with the request of the stranger who was asking her to share her last morsel with him….

No greater test of faith than this could have been required. The widow had hitherto treated all strangers with kindness and liberality. Now, regardless of the suffering that might result to herself and child, and trusting in the God of Israel to supply her every need, she met this supreme test of hospitality….

The widow of Zarephath shared her morsel with Elijah, and in return her life and that of her son were preserved. And to all who, in time of trial and want, give sympathy and assistance to others more needy, God has promised great blessing.

That God who cared for Elijah in the time of famine, will not pass by one of His self-sacrificing children. He who has numbered the hairs of their head, will care for them, and in the days of famine they will be satisfied. While the wicked are perishing all around them for want of bread, their bread and water will be sure.
Conflict and Courage p. 206
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Prayer Requests
—–Please pray for John as he is having surgery today. Ron
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Dear Friends,

As I was going to my car after work one evening some years ago, I noticed a workman across the street. There was nothing special about the man, but his ladder was rather unusual. At the top, he had put two brightly colored rubber gloves so the ladder’s rails would not scratch the face of the building. It looked so funny!

As I kept walking, I began thinking about the extra effort to which the workman had gone to keep from marring the building’s surface. Oh, that we would take precautions in our dealing with others! Sadly, how seldom we choose our words or actions in such a way that we will not “scratch” the tender heart within them. Instead, we often do that which the Apostle Paul warns against. “Ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” “If ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” 1 Cor 3:3, Gal 5:15

James speaks of our “scratching and marring” of one another and it’s inevitable results. “If ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” James 3:14-4:3
Think of it! Before we speak, it would be well for us to remember the words of Jesus, “By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matt 12:37 Before we judge, may we remember that “with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matt 7:2 Before we try to change what someone else that we think is wrong, we must make sure we are not doing the same things. “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye, and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother?s eye.” Matt 7:3-5

May we fulfill the desire of our Dear Saviour, Who bids us, “Love one another, as I have loved you” is my prayer. John 15:12

Rose

A Voice in the Wilderness

And Elijah the Tishbite, … said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. 1 Kings 17:1.

Among the mountains of Gilead, east of the Jordan, there dwelt in the days of Ahab a man of faith and prayer whose fearless ministry was destined to check the rapid spread of apostasy in Israel. Far removed from any city of renown, and occupying no high station in life, Elijah the Tishbite nevertheless entered upon his mission confident in God’s purpose to prepare the way before him and to give him abundant success. The word of faith and power was upon his lips, and his whole life was devoted to the work of reform. His was the voice of one crying in the wilderness to rebuke sin and press back the tide of evil. And while he came to the people as a reprover of sin, his message offered the balm of Gilead to the sin-sick souls of all who desired to be healed….

To Elijah was entrusted the mission of delivering to Ahab Heaven’s message of judgment. He did not seek to be the Lord’s messenger; the word of the Lord came to him. And jealous for the honor of God’s cause, he did not hesitate to obey the divine summons, though to obey seemed to invite swift destruction at the hand of the wicked king….

It was only by the exercise of strong faith in the unfailing power of God’s word that Elijah delivered his message. Had he not possessed implicit confidence in the One whom he served, he would never have appeared before Ahab. On his way to Samaria, Elijah had passed by ever-flowing streams, hills covered with verdure, and stately forests that seemed beyond the reach of drought. Everything on which the eye rested was clothed with beauty. The prophet might have wondered how the streams that had never ceased their flow could become dry, or how those hills and valleys could be burned with drought. But he gave no place to unbelief. He fully believed that God would humble apostate Israel, and that through judgments they would be brought to repentance. The fiat of Heaven had gone forth; God’s word could not fail; and at the peril of his life Elijah fearlessly fulfilled his commission.
Conflict and Courage p. 205
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Prayer Requests
—–update—After the heart cath, the doctor scheduled John for a triple by-pass to be done tomorrow. Please pray that God will guide the doctor’s hands and that I will be able to get him to come to our CHEC Wellness meetings. Ron
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Dear Friends,

What a treasure God’s Word is! The sixty-six books that made up the Bible were written by “holy men of God [who] spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2Peter 1:21 It is the one solid, unchanging, reliable source that we can hold onto in this ever-changing world. It tells us who we are and why we are here, and, more importantly, it’s pages are full of our dear Saviour. The Holy Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Paul tells us, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2Tim 3:15-17

“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Ps 12:6,7 Our Great Creator watches over His word and preserves it, so that we may know that it has not been changed. God oversaw the copying of His Word by men who counted every letter, every word. If the count did not come out right, they started over again. What dedication and patience they had! “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Ps 19:7-11

There is life-changing power in God’s Word. As we read it, the Holy Spirit moves upon our heart and by beholding we are changed into the very person the Great Author so greatly desires us to be. <2 Cor 3:18> The psalmist declares, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Ps 119:9-11

Let us determine to spend time each day studying God’s Holy Word. Let us hide it’s words in our heart, that we will not stray into sin. Let us find our dear Saviour through this great Message Book given to us by the All-Knowing, All-Seeing King of the Universe.

Rose

Jezebel’s Blighting Influence

But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. 1 Kings 21:25.

Ahab was weak in moral power. His union by marriage with an idolatrous woman of decided character and positive temperament resulted disastrously both to himself and to the nation. Unprincipled, and with no high standard of rightdoing, his character was easily molded by the determined spirit of Jezebel….

Under the blighting influence of Ahab’s rule, Israel wandered far from the living God and corrupted their ways before Him…. The dark shadow of apostasy covered the whole land. Images of Baalim and Ashtoreth were everywhere to be seen. Idolatrous temples and consecrated groves, wherein were worshiped the works of men’s hands, were multiplied. The air was polluted with the smoke of the sacrifices offered to false gods. Hill and vale resounded with the drunken cries of a heathen priesthood who sacrificed to the sun, moon, and stars.

Through the influence of Jezebel and her impious priests, the people were taught that the idol gods that had been set up were deities, ruling by their mystic power the elements of earth, fire, and water. All the bounties of heaven—the running brooks, the streams of living water, the gentle dew, the showers of rain which refreshed the earth and caused the fields to bring forth abundantly—were ascribed to the favor of Baal and Ashtoreth, instead of to the Giver of every good and perfect gift. The people forgot that the hills and valleys, the streams and fountains, were in the hand of the living God, that He controlled the sun, the clouds of heaven, and all the powers of nature….

In their blind folly they chose to reject God and His worship.

How few realize the power of an unconsecrated woman…. God would have been with Ahab if he had walked in the counsel of heaven. But Ahab did not do this. He married a woman given to idolatry. Jezebel had more power over the king than God had. She led him into idolatry, and with him the people.
Conflict and Courage p. 204
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Prayer Requests
—–Please pray for John who is having a heart cath today. Ron
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Dear Friends,

In 1890, when my grandfather was six, he and his brother, Harold, got their picture taken. It was the only photograph of him until he was about 20 and in the national guard. My grandmother kept it in a special place because it was the only one of him when he was little. Occasionally she would allow me to look at it. I used to look at his face, childish yet a little sad and with big frightened eyes, and try to imagine what he was like in those far off days. I knew that in just four short years from when that photo was taken, he left home to wander up and down the eastern seaboard. I thought about the unhappiness that was in that home. His father would not allow his boys to laugh or to sing. They dreaded to see him come home because every night he would beat them because he was sure that they must have done something to deserve a whipping.
Paul says, “we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure, but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.” Heb 12:9-10 Parents often correct their children in anger or because of mistaken concepts of discipline, but our Heavenly Father has a far different motive when He must correct us. He allows trials and troubles to come into our life that we may draw closer to Him. He allows it for our benefit. When our life is turned upside down, the dross is consumed away and the pure gold can shine through. Paul continues, “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” “We are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” 11-14, 1 Cor 11:32

David prayed, “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.” “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps 79:9,139:23,24 Solomon adds, “Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.” Prov 25:4

Let us allow ourselves to become finer vessels because of the trials that must come upon us. Let us cling to our Dear Saviour’s nail scarred hand that is extended to us to comfort us when we must endure troubles. Let us be filled with love and gratitude for our Heavenly Father’s working in our life.

Rose

Asa Trusted God

And Asa cried unto the Lord his God, and said, Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O Lord our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O Lord, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee. 2 Chronicles 14:11.

The faith of Asa was put to a severe test when “Zerah the Ethiopian with an host of a thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots,” invaded his kingdom. In this crisis Asa did not put his trust in the “fenced cities in Judah” that he had built, with “walls, and towers, gates, and bars,” nor in the “mighty men of valor” in his carefully trained army. The king’s trust was in Jehovah of hosts…. Setting his forces in battle array, he sought the help of God.

The opposing armies now stood face to face. It was a time of test and trial to those who served the Lord. Had every sin been confessed? Had the men of Judah full confidence in God’s power to deliver? Such thoughts as these were in the minds of the leaders. From every human viewpoint the vast host from Egypt would sweep everything before it. But in time of peace Asa had not been giving himself to amusement and pleasure; he had been preparing for any emergency. He had an army trained for conflict; he had endeavored to lead his people to make their peace with God. And now, although his forces were fewer in number than the enemy, his faith in the One whom he had made his trust did not weaken.

Having sought the Lord in the days of prosperity, the king could now rely upon Him in the day of adversity. His petitions showed that he was not a stranger to God’s wonderful power….

The prayer of Asa is one that every Christian believer may fittingly offer…. In life’s conflict we must meet evil agencies that have arrayed themselves against the right. Our hope is not in man, but in the living God. With full assurance of faith we may expect that He will unite His omnipotence with the efforts of human instrumentalities, for the glory of His name. Clad with the armor of His righteousness, we may gain the victory over every foe.
Conflict and Courage p. 203
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Prayer Requests
—–Our pastor had his laptop stolen this last Sabbath. Please pray that God will give the thief no rest until he returns it. Rose
—–I’m in need of wisdom and guidance only God can give. LB
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Dear Friends,

More often than we’d care to, we hear of crimes that are too horrendous to think about. Murders, torture, rape and child abuse are frequent on this sinful, old planet. Man’s inhumanity to man is almost the norm. How cruel is the heart of mankind without the Spirit of God dwelling there.

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, how little did they realize the results of that one act of disobedience. Their Loving Creator had given them such a little test, yet they failed. It seemed such a small act of disobedience, that they thought surely it would not matter, but it was a pivotal point in their experience. Indeed, the pivotal point for the whole world and everything in it.

From that small act of disobedience, came great change. Before the fall, Adam and Eve enjoyed open communion with the angels. Moreover, they had face to face fellowship with their Creator. Each evening, He came to this small planet and conversed with them. How they loved to walk and talk with the One Who gave them life. After their disobedience, however, hearing Him walking in the garden brought a new feeling to their heart—a feeling of fear and dread. “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” Gen 3:8-11

The All-knowing One knew what had happened, but He wanted them to acknowledge their transgression. Instead, Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent, and in so doing they were really blaming God. “And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field, upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” vs 12-14

How good and kind our Loving Father is! Before He told His erring children of the consequences of their sin, He gave them the promise of a Saviour! “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed, it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” vs 3:15 Then “unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception, in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life, Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field, In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground, for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. vs 16-19

From that point, everything changed. Death and sorrow, sickness and perplexity entered our world. From that one little sin, the close communion they had had with God became a more distant one. Never again could they openly walk and talk with their Maker. From that moment the world began to deteriorate and mankind became “worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” 2 Tim 3:13 “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever” Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man, and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” 21-24

Praise God! He did not leave us in such a pitiful state. He has provided “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” whereby all who will enjoy that close fellowship with our Great Creator He so longs for us to have. John 14:6 May we daily thank Him for sacrificing His very own life, so that we may live eternally with Him in a place where all is safety, happiness, and peace. May we continually serve Him from a heart full of gratitude and love is my prayer.

Rose

Daily Devotionals & Prayer Requests