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The Carpenter's Chapel (6)

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Jim1999, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. Jim1999

    Jim1999 <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

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    Tuesday, February 15, 2005

    This morning, I was wrestling with the age-old question of why do calamities happen to good people? Where is this good God, and if He is there, why does He let these things happen?

    Early in my ministry, I encouraged new converts to read the Gospel by John and Paul's letter to the Romans. Get a foundation in theology; the basics of the gospel. I had small copies of the gospel in my coat pocket to had out.

    As my ministry progressed, I switched to the book of Job. A must read for every new convert. They already know about salvation, and theology will not come that quickly. The basics of daily living and spiritual warfare will be faced every single day of one's life. This is what we find in Job.

    It is commonly held that Job was probably the first book of the Bible, as we know it. The author is unknown. We have the witness of the word that Job was a real man. "There was a man in the land of Uz..." (Job 1:1) It is not a mythical story to relate a spiritual truth. We also learn straight off that Job "was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and shunned evil." (1:1)

    What we also learn is that Satan, a very real angel, is busy doing his thing, "going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down it." (1:7)

    We also learn that there is a spiritual battle going on between God and Satan, and God will prove that His way is the only way and He will be vindicated in every way.

    So a good man becomes the instrument in the hands of God through no fault of his own. In verse 9 Satan offers the key to the fore question: "Doth Job fear God for nought?" So, the expectation of prosperity because we believe in God is established in the evil minds of men.

    There was never such a promise made. Once this key is embedded in our minds and hearts, never again will we challenge God on the why's and wherefore's of the Christian life. We often make our own sorrow, but there are times when these things are totally out of our control. If we have established who God is, then we have no problem with what God does.

    As Jesus prayed, "Not my will, but thine be done." This is the lesson to be learned and we will then move on in our lives. "So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning." (42:12).

    Lord, help us to understand more and more about You, so we may learn more and more about us, and we too may hear the words,,,,"my servant Job"....

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  2. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K) Well-Known Member

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    Wednesday, 16th February, 2005

    I was recently watching a special on Irish television. The programme was called “Is Anyone Out There?” A reporter went to the streets of Limerick and asked people what they thought about God. The comments were varied. Some said they had nothing to do with God. Some said that they no longer needed God. The general feeling was that God is no longer important.

    The wonderful thing is that no matter what man says God is still vitally involved today. He is still there and He is still in control.

    Even sadder than the thoughts of these people is the thoughts of some Christians. When things get tough we are tempted to doubt God and His way. If prayers aren’t answered our way we tend to wonder why things happen the way they do. At other times we question God by our own behaviour, acting like we know better than God about how we should live.

    A Puritan writer had a proper view about the true contrast between God and man. Listen to his words:

    How dare we ever question the eternal, heavenly, almighty, all knowing, holy God while we are nothing, flesh bound, powerless, foolish, and vile.

    May we never forget Who He is and who we are.
     
  3. Jim1999

    Jim1999 <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

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    Thursday, February 17, 2005

    In the coal mines of England, there was a stone known as the "Sunday Stone". During the work week, the coal dust settled on this stone and mixed with the flow of fresh water it became coated and looked like coal.

    On Sunday, when the mine was closed, the fresh water washed the stone clean. It was a reminder of what Sunday, a day of worship, meant. We took time to cleanse oursleves from the dirt and grime of the world. It is good to set aside a time just for this.

    Lord, help us to take time to be holy.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  4. following-Him

    following-Him Active Member

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    Thank you Jim,

    God Bless

    Sheila
     
  5. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K) Well-Known Member

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    Friday, 18th February, 2005

    "Duties Left Undone"

    Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. Ecclesiastes 9v10

    As I read Christian biographies and as I talk to folks I find that one of the greatest challanges and most convicting aspects of our service is that of leaving tasks undone. Solomon reminds us in the passage above of the importandce of doing whatever we do "with all our might." Colossians 3v23 adds - "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;"

    As servants of the Most High God we are called to service. Yet how often, because we have our priorities confused do we lay our heads on the pillow realising that we have left the most vital tasks undone?

    One of the Puritan writers knew the feeling well as he wrote;

    May today be a day of full service for each of us, may we lay our heads on our pillows tonight without regret for "duties undone."
     
  6. Watchman

    Watchman New Member

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    Thanks Roger and Jim for the uplifting words.
     
  7. Watchman

    Watchman New Member

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    Saturday February 19, 2005

    Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me. And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself? Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
    (John 8:48-59)
    Jesus is greater than Abraham
    The Pharisees respond by name calling. They have no justification to say that Jesus was a Samaritan; they knew His earthly parents of Mary and Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth. Neither did they have any grounds to say that Jesus "hast a devil." The Master denies the charges, but He also goes one step further. He declares: "If a man keep My saying, he shall never see death." (8:51) This statement gets the Pharisees attention as they try to comprehend all that it suggests. They realize that Jesus is claiming to be greater than Abraham or the prophets. Some of the prophets had raised the dead, yet those same prophets all died. They ask "whom makest thou thyself?"
    Jesus is careful to answer this question. He is careful to note that what He is about to say will be to God's glory, not His own honor. Secondly, He can not deny His knowledge of the Father. Such a denial would make Him a liar like them. He declares: "But I know Him, and keep His saying." (8:35) Now Jesus drops a bombshell! "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad." (8:56) This really messed them up! How could Jesus, who was less than 50 years old, know what Abraham was thinking hundreds of years ago? He responds clearly and boldly: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am" (8:58) They understood clearly when Jesus used the phrase "I am", that He was comparing Himself to the great "I AM", namely the LORD, Jehovah. Exodus 3:13: "And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; they shall say to me, What s His name? What shall I say unto them? 14 And God said to Moses,
    I AM THAT I AM:
    and He said, thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
    (See 10:30; 14:9,1; 17:21-23; Phil 2:6) Note that though they wanted to stone Him, He passed through the midst of them.
    This again shows Who is in control. No one could do anything to Him until it was the time appointed by God.
     
  8. Watchman

    Watchman New Member

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    Sunday February 20, 2005

    Chapter 9

    The Man Born Blind

    And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
    (John 9:1-3)

    Mankind has always found it easy to fall into the trap of thinking that suffering of any sort is due to sin. The classic example is found in the replies of Job's three friends: Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar in the Book of Job.
    To be sure, much suffering is due to sin, and even after repentance and forgiveness, scars may remain. Furthermore, evil and its attendant grief surround us. Our civilization is plagued by sin and its evil fruits-some of which reach even the most godly Christian. Indeed, "...the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now." (Romans 8:22) This is a result of the curse brought about by sin. If there had been no sin, there would have been no suffering.
    But this does not imply that all personal suffering stems from personal sin. The blind man was the way he was to bring glory to God, as we are told. Although many at the time failed to recognize "the works of God" when this man was healed, countless millions have glorified God throughout the centuries for this act of creation.
    Now it could be asked, how could God have been glorified in this grown man's life of blindness up until his healing? Actually, all life is a miracle, even the single-celled amoebae. Nothing living could possibly have arisen by accident, and, as such, does testify to the marvelous "works of God." In this case, the item of interest was a human being, being complete with fully functioning organs and systems. Even though he could not see, he could smell, taste, hear, speak, touch, move, walk, think, etc. This could not be the result of time and chance acting on "primeval slime," as the evolutionist would claim. Any living system points to a loving Designer. Those who "willingly are ignorant" (2Peter 3:5) of such facts are more blind than the Pharisees.
    The chapter opens with a continuation from the last scene, as we have Jesus departing from the temple, "going through the midst of them, and so passed by." Again the key is that Jesus was not ready to die and this crowd desired to stone Him. So Jesus, in full control of the situation, departs through the midst of them. Dr. Oliver B. Greene declares: "He came to be lifted up on a cross, not to be stoned to death. So He withdrew-apparently a miraculous withdrawal, for He passed 'through the midst of them' without being seen. Because of His omnipotence and His Omniscience, He could walk through a crowd without being detected. The two disciples who walked with Him on the road to Emmaus saw Him-and yet they did not see Him. Luke 24:16 tells us that 'their eyes were holden that they should not know Him.' (see also Luke 4:30)." (p.62-63)
    The ninth chapter will deal with one topic: the healing of a blind man. Its purpose is to again show the Deity of Christ and that He is the Messiah, Who would come with signs proving His position as equal with God. Isiah 29:18: "And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. 19 The meek shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel."
    The chapter begins "And Jesus passed by." He was not hiding in the woods for fear, but is busy about His Father's work. Notice also as the blind man is introduced we are told that he was "blind from his birth." This is important as the later miracle cannot be excused as a cataract or some other coincidental happening. This man had never seen before he met Jesus! In addition, realize that Jesus went to the blind man, not as Bartimaeus, who cried out for Jesus. We clearly see the plan of God, a divine appointment, as in the case in chapter four.
    This blind man didn't realize it yet, but he had been born blind, so that on this day he would meet Jesus and become part of history!
    But realize that some afflictions are the result of our sins:
    Gal 6:7: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." The drunkard will reap as the poison eats away at his body.
     
  9. Jim1999

    Jim1999 <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

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    Monday, February 21, 2005

    A traveller in China asked a native is he had ever read the gospel. "No," he replied, "but I have seen it. I have seen a man who was the terror of his neighbourhood, with his curses and terrible temper. He was an opium smoker, a criminal and as dangerous as a wild beast. The Lord Jesus made him gentle and good, and he has left off opium. No, I have not read the gospel, but I have seen it, and it is good!"

    There is an old saying, "Your life speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you are saying." We can boast of reading the greatest tomes about the gospel, but if we do not live them, what is their worth?

    Lord help us to make our "book" open to all and let it be clear in content and expression.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  10. following-Him

    following-Him Active Member

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    A very necessary lesson for all of us.
    Thank you Jim,

    God Bless

    Sheila
     
  11. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K) Well-Known Member

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    Tuesday, 22nd February, 2005

    Like many of us I have been following the prayer request thread concerning Matthew Prince for the last two and a half weeks. (PRAYER THREAD)

    I listened to Pastor Prince's message to his church from last Sunday morning ( BEREA CHURCH) in which Pastor Prince mentioned that before he left the hospital Saturday Matthew had squeezed his hand and that he was asking the Lord for another hand squeeze when he got back to the hospital on Sunday. The Lord answered that prayer and Matthew's surgery Monday morning at this stage appears to have gone well.

    This got me to thinking about the importance of a simple hand squeeze. How often have we squeezed the hand of a spouse or child just as assurance of our presence and an private acknowledgment that everything is going to be okay?

    The wonderful thing is that when we go through trials, even as severe as the one Matthew and his family are facing, God is there to give us a hand squeeze. God gave me this passage during a trial in our lives, when things seemed dark for us. "Fear not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed for I am the God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee the right hand of my righteousness." (Isaiah 40v10) In the next chapter God makes the ilustration even clearer - "I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand and will keep thee..." (Isaiah 41v6).

    Oh what comfort in trials. Not all of us will be called upon to endure the kind of trial the Prince family is going through at the moment. We can know, however, that no matter what the trial is the Lord is there to give us His Divine, loving hand squeeze.

    Our gracious Father, please be with this family, and all those who are hurting at the moment. May they be aware of Your hand squeeze of comfort in their lives.
     
  12. Jim1999

    Jim1999 <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

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    Wednesday, February 23, 2005

    An artist was engaged to paint a picture of a dead church. To the surprise of most, he did not paint an old, tottering ruin of a church ediface.
    He painted a most modern of buildings with all the fancies that we consider cute and attractive in a modern church building. Just inside the handsome entrance, he painted the collection boxes. Over the box marked for missions, he painted the usual slot for donations, but then painted a cob web completely covering that slot. A sure sign of a dead church. Where there is no vision, the people perish.

    The great commission is not new. It is part and parcel of the gospel. We must never lose sight of what we are to do. If we cannot physically "go" then we can surely "give" so that the able bodies can go.

    Lord, let us never lose the significance of the cross and that its very structure points in all directions; the very thing we must do in life.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  13. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K) Well-Known Member

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    Thursday, 24th February, 2005

    Pray ye the Lord of the Harvest that he would send forth labourers into the harvest."

    A dear Irish Christian friend sent us a reminder of these words this week. Her thoughts were spurred by Oswald Chambers who wrote about the mundane work of the labourer.

    Our friend wrote this, "My dad is a builder so I saw plenty of labourers at work - none of them wore fancy clothes or had well manicured hands. No, they got right down in the dirt and got it on their clothes. They got covered in sweat and developed muscles and when the job was finished nobody noticed them - but without them the house would never have been built.

    Be encouraged, the end is not yet."

    May the words of this precious saint remind us of the reality of our labours. It is the labourers who get the work done, not many noble, not many wise, not many mighty - but the foolish, the weak, and the base are whom God most often uses.

    Father, may we be "common" labourers for You today.
     
  14. Jim1999

    Jim1999 <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

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    Friday, February 25, 2005

    A blind beggar was busy playing his violin in the street whilst hoping to receive some money. He played rather poorly and couldn't attract any attention. A young lady was passing by. She went over and asked if she could play his violin. She was an accomplished musician and soon had a rather large crowd and the beggar's cup was filling with coins. Her face began to radiate with joy in her labours.

    There is great joy in the service of the King, and doing for others what they cannot do for themselves. Is this not how it ought to be in the Lord's army? Sometimes when I look over the congregation I wonder if I missed the church auditorium.

    Let us always show a smile. The smile is contagious and we ought not fear to pass it on.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  15. Watchman

    Watchman New Member

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    Saturday February 26, 2005

    I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
    When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.
    Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not. They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. (John 9:4-21)

    Many of our diseases are self-inflicted by the way we treat our bodies, yet some afflictions are from the hand of God. God allowed Satan to attach Job's body and the Apostle Paul was given a "thorn in the flesh." Each instance, God used it to His glory. Ex. 4:11: "And the Lord said unto him, (Moses) Who hath made man's mouth? Or Who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the Lord?" Going a step further, realize that all disease is the result of sin When God created everything, He said it was "very good." But when sin entered the garden, the curse brought disease, sorrow and death. James 1:15: "...and sin, when it s finished, bringeth forth death."
    Now let's look at this blind man. Jesus makes mud and anoints the eyes of the blind man and commands him to wash in the pool of Siloam. Jesus exits as the scene turns to the pool as the blind man receives his sight. The excitement gathers a crowd, who then, in turn, wonder how this miracle occurred. This is one of three instances where Jesus used spittle in healing. (See also Mk. 7:32-35; 8: 22-25). Did Jesus have to use the spittle and the clay? No. He could have spoke the word, but many times God uses things as instruments of service. God used a smooth stone to kill Goliath, He used Aaron's rod, Elijah's mantle, the widows oil. We too can be used for God's work.
    Soon he is taken to the Pharisees and another detail is revealed, the miracle occurred on the Sabbath day. Because Jesus is involved, the man is interrogated as a criminal, yet he clearly explains that Jesus was the source of his healing and that "He is a prophet." For the first time division is shown among the ranks of the Pharisees. Some judge that Jesus can't be from God as He doesn't keep the Sabbath as they interpret it, while others recognize the power of these miracles could only come through God's blessings. Now some began to question whether he was really born blind or if it was somehow the result of other circumstances that could be excused. Some people have ailments due to shock or other maladies. But the parents confirm that he was born with this affliction. There was no doubt, this was from the hand of God!
     
  16. Watchman

    Watchman New Member

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    Sunday February 27, 2004

    These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples? Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
    (John 9:22-34)

    Notice the apprehension of the parents during this inquisition. They were very careful to not say too much and become excommunicated from the synagogue. But the healed man isn't worried about the opinions of the Pharisees. Whenever he gets a chance, he preaches the truth of the matter. Notice their conversation: 9:24: "Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner." These Pharisees have already judged the Saviour as a "sinner", yet in their last face to face encounter with Jesus, they were silent when He challenged them, "Which of you convinceth me of sin?" (8:46). The healed man here replies, "Whether He be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see." (9:25). After the Pharisees ask the healed man what happened for the "nth" time, he questions their sincerity: "I have told you already, and you did not hear: wherefore will you hear it again? Will you also be His disciples?" (9:27) The flustered Pharisees revile him claiming to be Moses' disciples, but again he avoids a religious argument and reminds them of the facts: "Why herein is a marvelous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth His will, him He heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, He could do nothing." (John 9:30-33).
    Realize that these Pharisees believed that God performed miracles through men. The Apostle Paul used this fact to his advantage when he pleaded his case: Acts 23:6 "But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee, of the hope of the resurrection of the dead am I called in question. 7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and Sadducees: and the multitude was divided. 8 For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both. The religious leaders cast him out by their anger, yet he had won the argument!
     
  17. following-Him

    following-Him Active Member

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    Amen! Thank you Charles.

    Blessings

    Sheila
     
  18. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K) Well-Known Member

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    Monday, 28th February, 2005

    "For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice, but what I hate, that I do" (Romans 7v15, NKJV)

    We all find ourselves in this cycle at times. Why do I do the things I do? What don't I do the things that I know I should do?

    One of the great enemies of living for the Lord is self-will. Self will often takes over despite our best efforts. A puritan writer had this mind as he penned these words:

    Not only did he recognise his weakness, but he also saw the solution as we called out to God:

    Father, help us to spend time daily at the foot of the cross with just a glimpse of all that you have done for us. Help us to see the crucified Christ and remind us that the old man is crucified with Him.
     
  19. Jim1999

    Jim1999 <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

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    Tuesday, March 1, 2005

    Happy St. David's Day to all our Welsh friends.

    To-day, I was busy blowing snow from our laneway and forgot that it was my turn to write a devotional. Ths reminded me, how easy it is to forget the things of God as we go about our daily chores in life. We become busy doing the physical and mental things of life, and put off the spiritual things. Is it a question of priorities? Or is a question of doing those things which come first in importance to life? I submit that it is neither at given times. We have obligations in life, and one does not supercede the other. But it is a reminder that we ought never to forget the order of importance in one's life.

    May we never forget to put the Lord first in all things.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  20. Watchman

    Watchman New Member

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    Priorities, how important it is to have them in order. Thanks Jim.
     
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