I love how God has given us weather reports throughout the Bible. He tells us of the actual rains and winds on this physical earth. He also uses weather-related metaphors giving us wonderfully clear word pictures.
The one we are probably most familiar with is Noah and the ark ~
And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. Genesis 7:12
And Jonah ~
But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. Jonah 1:4
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. Nahum 1:3
Then Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth. And the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. Exodus 9:23
Wild and gentle are the ways of the weather. Wild and gentle are the ways of God.
“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb. For I will proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God! Deuteronomy 32:1-3
And He was also saying to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it turns out. Luke 12:54
From the breath of God ice is made, And the expanse of the waters is frozen. Job 37:10
For to the snow He says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ likewise to the downpour, His mighty downpour. Job 37:6
Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling His word! Psalm 148:7-8
You will be visited by the Lord of hosts with thunder and with earthquake and great noise, with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire. Isaiah 29:6
Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant was seen within His temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. Revelations 11:19
Then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Leviticus 26:4
Sometimes, I think that God must have storehouses filled with rainwater, snow, hail for the deluges are so enormous that the areas upon which the storm dumps floods, or avalanches, or all that is in the path of the wind is totally destroyed. But, oh, that is my human imagination. I do not know now. One day!
The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder; Your arrows flashed on every side. The crash of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; Your lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook. Psalm 77:17-18
And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. 1 Kings 19:11-12
It is He who made the earth by His power, who established the world by His wisdom, and by His understanding stretched out the heavens. When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and He makes the mist rise from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain, and He brings forth the wind from His storehouses. Jeremiah 10:12-13
Yet, in the darkness, the light will come. God is so much more than the very circumstances.
I praise You, my Father.
I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the LORD, who does all these things.
“Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit; let the earth cause them both to sprout; I the LORD have created it.” Isaiah 45:7-8
Father, God of Heaven and Earth, You have created all. You have placed us in the midst that we would care for Your earth. You provide in ways to water the plants and give humans water to drink. Yet, many of Your ways I cannot understand for so many live without sources of water and many places on this planet are shriveling up for lack of water. And other places (and its people) are flooded beyond recognition. My ways are not Yours, but one day, Lord, will I understand? This earth is such a beautiful place but it was far more so when You first created the Garden of Eden. We have caused must decay and dismay by not being the caretakers You desired from us. I am sorry that we continue to fail You and Your creation. Lord, as I think about the majesty and harshness of weather upon this world, I think of the Ukrainian people for they are never far from my mind and heart these days. They are trying to hunker down or flee their country in the midst of freezing cold with some snow while the country is in the midst of a horrible war. Please hold them closely while some seek safe shelter where they are while others run to other countries. Please keep Mr. Putin and his forces from bombing hospitals and places that should be a safe haven. Please, Lord, stop this awful war. I am usually a peacemaker, but this is so beyond any ability of my own. I cannot even make peace among my friends these days. Only You can do that, Father God…any and all of it. My Prince of Peace, please rain Your peace upon us all, especially this time in Ukraine. The beautiful, although at times, threatening, but also awe-inspiring weather is so filled with You and the amazing God You are. May I look in awe at it and know that You are the God of all this earth…the God of me. Guide my steps to keep me on the path of righteousness. I love You, Lord. In the Powerful Name of Christ Jesus, I pray. Amen.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of Life.” John 8:12
Oswald Chambers (24 July 1874 – 15 November 1917) was an early-twentieth-century Scottish Baptist evangelist and teacher who was aligned with the Holiness Movement. He is best known for the daily devotional My Utmost for His Highest.
“Holiness, not happiness, is the chief end of man.”
Born to devout parents in Aberdeen, Scotland, Chambers moved with his family in 1876 to Stoke-on-Trent when his father, Clarence Chambers, became Home Missions evangelist for the North Staffordshire Baptist Association, then to Perth, Scotland when his father returned to the pastorate, and finally to London in 1889, when Clarence was appointed Traveling Secretary of the Baptist Total Abstinence Association. At 16, Oswald Chambers was baptized and became a member of Rye Lane Baptist Chapel. Even as a teenager, Chambers was noted for his deep spirituality, and he participated in the evangelization of poor occupants of local lodging houses. Chambers also demonstrated gifts in both music and art.
“The whole point of getting things done is knowing what to leave undone”
From 1893 to 1895, Chambers studied at the National Art Training School, now the Royal College of Art and was offered a scholarship for further study, which he declined. For the next two years he continued his study of art at the University of Edinburgh while being greatly influenced by the preaching of Alexander Whyte, pastor of Free St. George’s Church. While at Edinburgh, he felt called to ministry, and he left for Dunoon College, a small theological training school near Glasgow, founded by the Rev. Duncan MacGregor. Chambers was soon teaching classes at the school and took over much of the administration when MacGregor was injured in 1898.
While teaching at Dunoon, Chambers was influenced by Richard Reader Harris, a prominent barrister(attorney) and founder of the Pentecostal League of Prayer. In 1905, Harris introduced Chambers as “a new speaker of exceptional power.” Through the League, Chambers also met Juju Nakada, a Holiness evangelist from Japan, who stimulated Chambers’ growing interest in world evangelism. In 1906, Nakada and Chambers sailed for Japan via the United States. In 1907, Chambers spent a semester teaching at God’s Bible School, a Holiness institution in Cincinnati, then spent a few months in Japan working with Charles Cowman, a co-founder of the Oriental Missionary Society.
Arriving back in Britain by the end of the year, Chambers found the Holiness movement divided by the advocates and opponents of founding a new denomination and by supporters and detractors of the tongues movement. Chambers did not oppose glossolalia but criticized those who made it a test of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Sailing back to the United States in 1908, Chambers became better acquainted with Gertrude Hobbs, the daughter of friends. They married in May 1910; and on 24 May 1913, Gertrude (whom Chambers affectionately called “Biddy”) gave birth to their only child, Kathleen. Even before they married, Chambers considered a partnership in ministry in which Biddy—who could take shorthand at 250 words per minute—would transcribe and type his sermons and lessons into written form.
In 1911 Chambers founded and was principal of the Bible Training College in London, in an “embarrassingly elegant” property that had been purchased by the Pentecostal League of Prayer. Chambers accommodated not only students of every age, education, and class but also anyone in need, believing he ought to “give to everyone who asks.” “No one was ever turned away from the door and whatever the person asked for, whether money, a winter overcoat, or a meal, was given.” Between 1911 and 1915, 106 resident students attended the Bible Training College. By July 1915, forty were serving as missionaries.
“Seeing is never believing: we interpret what we see in the light of what we believe. Faith is confidence in God before you see God emerging; therefore the nature of faith is that it must be tried.“
In 1915, a year after the outbreak of World War I, Chambers suspended the operation of the school and was accepted as a YMCA chaplain. He was assigned to Egypt, where he ministered to Australian and New Zealand troops. Chambers raised the spiritual tone of a center intended by both the military and the YMCA to be simply an institution of social service providing wholesome alternatives to the brothels of Cairo. When he told a group of fellow YMCA workers that he had decided to abandon concerts and movies for Bible classes, they predicted the exodus of soldiers from his facilities. “What the skeptics had not considered was Chamber’s unusual personal appeal, his gift in speaking, and his genuine concern for the men.” Soon his wooden-framed “hut” was packed with hundreds of soldiers listening attentively to messages such as “What Is the Good of Prayer?” Confronted by a soldier who said, “I can’t stand religious people,” Chambers replied, “Neither can I.” Chambers irritated his YMCA superiors by giving away refreshments that the organization believed should be sold so as not to raise expectations elsewhere. Chambers installed a contribution box but refused to ask soldiers to pay for tea and cakes.
Chambers was stricken with appendicitis on October 17, 1917, but resisted going to a hospital on the grounds that the beds would be needed by men wounded in the long-expected Third Battle of Gaza. On October 29, a surgeon performed an emergency appendectomy; however, Chambers died November 15, 1917 from a pulmonary hemorrhage. He was buried in Cairo with full military honors.
For the remainder of Mrs. Chambers, she transcribed and published books and articles edited from the notes she had taken in shorthand during the Bible College years and later. Most successful of the thirty books was My Utmost for His Highest(1924), a daily devotional composed of 365 selections of Chamber’s talks, each of about 500 words. The work has never been out of print and has been translated into 39 languages.
“We pray when there’s nothing else we can do; Jesus wants us to pray before we do anything at all.”
Father, men and women such as the Chambers were so filled with love for You and for reaching others. We are still able to read his works due to the diligence of many others after them. Mr. Chamber’s widow took the reins to edit and type so much of her husband’s writings. Thank You for each one who steps forward to Your call to guide and reach future generations, then and now. During the narrow span between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Oswald Chambers came to be used by You in order to reach many in his lifetime and then to continue to reach us all the way into the twenty-first century (and possibly beyond). As one of my favorite devotionals, “My Utmost for His Highest” is filled with daily readings that tend to dive to new depths in me. Thank You for this gift even still today. I praise You, Lord, for blessing me with the words of a man who so loved You and so loved those who came to listen to him. Ever so grateful, I pray in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Andrew Murray was the second child of Andrew Murray Sr. (1794–1866), a Dutch Reformed Church missionary sent from Scotland to South Africa. He was born in Graaff Reinet, South Africa. His mother, Maria Susanna Stegmann, was of French Huguenot and German Lutheran descent.
Murray was sent with his elder brother, John, to the University of Aberdeen in Scotland for their college education. Both remained there until they obtained their master’s degrees in 1845. During this time they were influenced by Scottish revival meetings and the ministry of Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Horatius Bonar, and William Burns. From there, they both went to the University of Utrecht, in The Netherlands, where they studied theology. Both brothers were ordained by The Hague Committee of the Dutch Reformed Church on 9 May 1848 and returned to the Cape.
Murray married Emma Rutherford in Cape Town, South Africa, on 2 July 1856. They had eight children together (four boys and four girls).
Murray pastored churches in South Africa. He was a champion of the South African Revival of 1860.
Through his writings, Murray was also a key “Inner Life” or “Higher Life” or Keswick movement leader, and his theology of faith healing and belief in the continuation of the apostolic gifts made him a significant forerunner of the Pentecostal movement.
Murray died on 18 January 1917.
There are many, many books authored by Mr. Murray. They continue to be read to this day. Here are just a few:
Abide in Christ – 1882
With Christ in the School of Prayer – 1885
Holy in Christ – 1887
The Power of the Blood of Christ – 1894
Absolute Surrender – 1895
Humility – 1895
“Each time, before you intercede, be quiet first, and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, and how He delights to hear the prayers of His redeemed people. Think of your place and privilege in Christ, and expect great things!” ― Andrew Murray
Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble.
“A dead Christ I must do everything for, a living Christ does everything for me.”
“Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.”
“Humility is simply the disposition which prepares the soul for living on trust.”
“Humility is the displacement of self by the enthronement of God.”
“Humility is nothing but the disappearance of self in the vision that God is all.”
“I need to spend time with God even when I do not know what to pray.”
Father God, thank you for men such as Mr. Murray who has left us with a library of profound and deeply-rooted-in-You books. I am overwhelmed at times when I read his works, many needing to be reread in order to gain the depth of the meaning. Yet, I am so grateful to have them to read. Guide and guard me as I read others’ works for I want You to teach me as I grow in You. May I walk rightly in You, my Lord. In the beautiful Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
“The Cape Disappointment headland was first charted in August 1775 as “San Roque” (or “Cabo de San Rougue”) by Spanish explorer Bruno Heceta, as he explored the Northwest Coast. Heceta recognized this location was probably the mouth of a large river but he was unable to explore since his crewmembers were weak and suffering scurvy.”
“In July 1788, Lieutenant John Meares of the British Royal Navy used Heceta’s navigational charts to explore the West Coast of North America while looking for the “River of the West” and located “San Roque.” Meares decided that no river entrance or channel existed among the shoals at the base of “San Roque.” He changed the name of “San Roque” to “Cape Disappointment”.
As a side note: Other explorers came this way and found the river but only as far as they could determine it from the west. We do know that in 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition found their way to what they thought was the mouth of the Columbia River, after an arduous 2,000-plus mile journey west from Missouri. Clark exulted in his journal, “Great joy in camp we are in View of the Ocian, this great Pacific Octean which we been So long anxious to See. And the roreing or noise made by the waves brakeing on the rockey Shores (as I suppose) may be heard distinctly.”Unfortunately, it wasn’t really the ocean. Clark had been fooled by the breadth of the lower Columbia’s estuary. The expedition still had eight days of paddling ahead before they finally landed on the north shore and climbed Cape Disappointment to see the ocean itself. Carrying out President Jefferson’s orders to establish the USA’s claim to the Oregon Country, Lewis planted the expedition’s largest American flag on the spot.President Thomas Jefferson had commissioned the expedition shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 to explore, to map this newly acquired territory, to find “the most direct and practicable water communication across this continent, for the purposes of commerce.” [*History*]
There were expectations and hopes as well as disappointments and discouragements. The icing on the cake were those wonderful victories.
When you’re living in a broken world, sometimes believing and wanting the right things means you’ll be disappointed. Jeremy Pierre *
“I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Disappointment takes so many forms and, with our world in such a state as it is today, disappointments seem abundant…maybe no more than in the past, but it sure seems that way! They show up as a circumstance that did not turn out the way we had hoped, or we did not get a certain job, or a health treatment did not work as we had thought it would. Disappointment can come when people do not follow through on a promise or they do not meet the expectations that we place on them. It can come via an action or some other mode. Failing to achieve, failing to be, just a failure can lead to disappointment. Disappointment can bring pain and sorrow to us as we accept the fact that we are disappointed by something or that we disappointed someone.
To live is to be disappointed. Jeremy Pierre *
For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Romans 8:7
I think expectations are the cause for most disappointments; certainly not all. I am disappointed in myself often for things I think or things I do or say. I have allowed disappointment to dwell in me as I watch people decide not to wear a mask so as to prevent the spread of COVID-19 or choosing not to get vaccinated or boosted because of their beliefs. Beliefs I do not understand. I have asked the reason of some and they try to explain, but the answers usually make no sense to me. Some people would rather fight everything: the federal and local governments, health districts and the CDC, politicians, laws, even rulings of the courts, etc. And all seems to raise the bar for disheveled discourse.
I look at the Christian church as a whole to see animosity within its ranks, creating a fervor that further creates division within, which then spreads to with out or maybe the outside is showing up in the church. ??? Maybe some of both! ?? I have actually had two people in my life, who are dear to me, say that they do not desire to be a part of anything so divisively pointed (the church). These ways negatively impact the teachings of Jesus, especially regarding ‘loving one another.’ They see ‘the evangelical church’ (as we hear all Christian churches described more often than not these days) as a group of people who will not use masks or take the vaccines, plus they vote for certain people who stand as angry, willing to be divisive, and seemingly determined to undermine this country’s democracy. “The evangelical church” is seen less and less as perveyor of God’s Truth, or even acting very Christlike. Not all in the church are those people, but for many looking in from the outside, that is what it now may look like. Being a part of the body of Christ makes me realize why there are so many leaving the church today. And what do they see when they look at me? I hope a different picture than this widespread current view.
I am rather naive, I will admit. I began to see a bit of these behaviors back in 2016 in a few people, but I just wrote it off to a fleeting moment. Yet, during these last two years with COVID-19 and the three years prior, I see, more and more now, behaviors amongst many I call sisters and brothers in Christ, people whom I love, have loved, yet am not liking real well right now, are giving me reason to shy away. They look and act so much like the world; not that I do not act in those manners. They have given me reason to PAUSE! Pause life to check my pulse and my heart for breathing in the life-giving air of Jesus. I cannot help but look over my shoulder and question my faith, what I believe or no longer believe, if these same people are who they seem to be, who they claim to be these days. Are they walking with Jesus? I have asked myself if He would walk down these same roads and I keep getting ‘No” for the answer. Lord Jesus, are You walking with me today? I pray so as I draw near to You. Thank You, thank You for drawing near to me.
In a previous post, I have written about being disappointed in another person in my life. He has been one who should have known better yet did not do right by some members of his family. He was given the opportunity to assist and guide a small group of family members as per their inheritance. Instead, he took the reins and ran in his own direction. After years of struggle, releasing what felt like a burden to the Lord, plus plenty of stress, two of us chose to take at least one rein into our own hands for a little while to try to make things far less filled with stress, as we aged. Yet we both would rather have not felt we needed to act on this matter ourselves, for ourselves. We would have like to have stayed in the family trust as it was originally meant for those of us in a certain generation. After we took care of the matter for ourselves, we gave that one rein back.
I pray for the whole family, especially for him, as all would desire, I am sure, that things go smoothly from here on out. Lord, please guide the hands and minds of the one leading. In Your Holy Name, I pray. Amen.
I look around my world, and must ask why so many people act so mean, or so obstinate, or are so angry with so much, or tout with pride before others as if all the world is only watching them. I am sad…disgusted. I just expect better, expect more. And that is the problem: my EXPECTATIONS!
When I expect something, it is my opinion, my mindset of how something should be or will be done. It is based on my perception, but, in most cases, involves others to bring it to pass. Thus, when that someone does not do what I expect, I am disappointed. I have judged and that is not His way either.
Forgive me, Lord.
Disappointment often calls me to grieve the circumstance, grieve the situation, grieve the person. Lamenting, an expression of sorrow or grief, allows me to release the heartache or stress or turbulence I feel. It allows me to call out to God in my sadness, my sorrow. It is letting go.
I ask You, Lord, for Your forgiveness for my ways, for my stubbornness, for my need to be in control. I am sorry, Father. I desire peace in my relationships and calm in the ways of business and respect between each other as well as between all. Yet, these things cannot and do not always happen, at least in my timeline. Lift me to You, Lord, that I may be more peaceable, more patient and calm, plus filled with respect for others and even with myself. In Your Precious Son’s Name. Amen.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13
These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace; do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the LORD.” Zechariah 8:16-17
Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3
So…rather than be disappointed, I will lift my face, my mind, my heart to the One Who is in control. He never changes but desires that I do.
Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah Psalm 62:8
God tells me again and again:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality. Colossians 3:23-25
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4-5
AMEN. Jesus, You have overcome this world. Trusting in You is the answer to all my concerns.
Expressing our disappointments to God is the opposite of harboring them in our souls. Jeremy Pierre *
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. Psalm 62:5
What would You have me to do or to be, LORD? I ask because I want to know. I want to be in Your will, to walk quietly, and to be surrounded by Your peace, Abba Father.
For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory. 2 Corinthians 1:20
Father God, thank You for hearing my cry. I thank You for going before me as I release my friends, this man, the many others in the church…to You, to Your unselfish ways, to Your righteousness, into Your grace I lay all at Your feet. Teach me to pray rightly, whether I pray for people or circumstances or both. Open my eyes and my heart that I will accept Your outcome…Thy will be done. Father God, You are worthy and mighty. May I be reminded of those ways each and every day, especially in those moments where I begin to place expectations. It is not about me nor about a person nor a circumstance. Show me the path which leads to hope. It is all about You! My Hope and My Redeemer. I praise Your Name and lift this prayer to You in the Power of Your Son’s Holy Name. Amen.
Photo of Cape Disappointment: by weathercrazy82 @ Weather Underground (link no longer active); “disappointment” added via Canva by me
*”” from TableTalk article – The Reality of Disappointment by Jeremy Pierre, May, 2018
Map #2 – 1849 USGS -Geological Survey: 1849 Map (section of original), Alexander Ross’s Columbia River. (Click to enlarge). Original Map: Map of the Columbia to illustrate Ross’s adventures. Author: Alexander Ross; Publication Date: 1849; Publisher: London, Smith, Elder and Co., 1849. Washington State University Archives #WSU478. — Washington State University Early Washington Maps Digital Collection Website, 2004
I love those who love Me, and those who seek Me diligently find Me. Proverbs 8:17
to seek, seek early or earnestly, look early or diligently for
This verse in several other versions:
CSB – “I love those who love me, and those who search for me find me.”
NLT – “I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me.
KJV – I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
God is so wonderful and amazing…wonderfully amazing!! During this past month, since I last wrote on “diligence,” I began the Community Bible Study (similar to Bible Study Fellowship, I believe) via Zoom with a group of women…local to my new place of residence. I contacted them just to find out about them and the study for next year, 2022-23. I did not want to join the current study midstream. But God had another plan: the current study is on and around ‘suffering’ using five different Books of the Bible. They had just begun 1 and 2 Peter with Colossians yet to go, having missed James and Job already. I would be more than welcome to start midstream, I was told. I could join the whole group plus any small group, and that they have one online. So I did…joined three weeks ago.
Last month on OneWord2022 I shared the Scriptures (from 2 Peter) that I am using for the base of this 2022’s study and direction for ‘diligence.’ AND…we have just begun 2 Peter in Community Bible Study. I love this dovetailing Craftsman that is our God. In His wisdom He knows just where I must go in order to be on the path He has set for me.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:8-11
Walking in diligence is to follow all that God has for me. It is so desirable by me because I do not want to fall or become ineffective or unfruitful. I do not want to stumble. I do not want to be turned to the right or to the left. I want only that which my God desires of me. But I must seek His face and not be blinded by that which is of the world. Satan is so ready to pounce:
Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Those qualities that I am to pursue are:
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 1 Peter 1: 5-7
Diligence is a rhythm that I am learning more this year than in many, maybe any. I am being diligent about posting twice a week onBeing Woven, and reading the Bible each and every day. I am following Patsy Burnette’s “Sweeter Than Honey, A 365-Day Devotional Journey.” I find that the routine is giving me such strength in this desire of diligence. I press on toward the goal:
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14
God knows I may fall but that is not my wish. I also know He will pull me up and set me back on the path should I fall, should I lose my way and become unfruitful and ineffective. I will seek Him and not run away which is a reaction I am very capable of doing…maybe not running physically these days, but my heart and mind still can for they have, and taken me with!! I truly do NOT want that.
Lord, please protect me from the temptation of the evil one.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Father God, thank You for loving me and providing this Scripture from Jeremiah just now for You show me that You have the reins. I trust you with all of my being. Continue to guide me and guard me on the path of diligence. Please show me how to seek Your face in all I am and all I do. I pray for Your protection of all that satan would rather I be doing or being. Hold me near as I draw near to You, my Lord. I love You and pray all of this in the Name of Jesus, Your Son. Amen.
After it His voice roars; He thunders with His majestic voice, and He does not restrain the lightnings when His voice is heard. Job 37:4
And the LORD will cause His majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of His arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and storm and hailstones. Isaiah 30:39
C. H. Spurgeon in “The Treasury of David:”
“The thunder is not only poetically but instructively called “the voice of God,” since it peals from on high; it surpasses all other sounds, it inspires awe, it is entirely independent of man, and has been used on some occasions as the grand accompaniment of God’s speech to Adam’s sons. There is a peculiar terror in a tempest at sea, when deep calleth unto deep, and the raging sea echoes to the angry sky. No sight more alarming than the flash of lightning around the mast of the ship; and no sound more calculated to inspire reverent awe than the roar of the storm.”
For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 2 Peter 1:17
I am overwhelmed by the majesty that is God. His majesty is truly something that drops me to my knees, humbled by the awesomeness of Who God is. I do not physically hear God’s voice yet the ears of my heart do. It is through these ears that I am awed. I am filled with reverence and humility. I am not afraid. When I hear His voice, I am at peace while at the same time filled with a thrill that I cannot explain.
A Psalm of David. Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over many waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth and strips the forests bare, and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.
May the LORD give strength to His people! May the LORD bless His people with peace! [Psalm 29:1-11]
Again, Mr. Spurgeon says: “‘The voice of the Lord is powerful.’ An irresistible power attends the lightning of which the thunder is the report. In an instant, when the Lord wills it, the force of electricity produces amazing results. … God is everywhere conspicuous, and all the earth is hushed by the majesty of his presence.”
O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God; sing praises to the Lord, Selah,to Him Who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; behold, He sends out His voice, His mighty voice. Psalm 68:32-33
Charles H. Spurgeon wrote of verse 33 as:
“‘To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old.‘ Before, he was described in his earthly manifestations, as marching through the desert; now, in his celestial glory, as riding in the heavens of the primeval ages. Long ere this heaven and earth were made, the loftier abodes of the Deity stood fast; before men or angels were created, the splendours of the Great King were as great as now, and his triumphs as glorious. Our knowledge reaches but to a small fragment of the life of God, whose ‘goings forth were of old, even from everlasting.’ … ‘Lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice.’ Was there a thunderclap just then heard in heaven? Or, did the poet’s mind flash backward to the time when from the heaven of heavens the voice of Jehovah broke the long silence and said, ‘Light be,’ and light was. To this hour, the voice of God is power. This gospel, which utters and reveals his word, is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. Our voices are fitly called to praise him whose voice spoke us into being, and gives us the effectual grace which secures our well being.”
Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel, and whose power is in the skies.
Awesome is God from His sanctuary; the God of Israel—He is the one who gives power and strength to His people. Blessed be God! Psalm 68:34-35
The God of all creation, the God of the Majestic Voice heard on high, may I know Your voice in Your guidance for my life. I pray the magnificence of it so moves me to know Your voice, to heed Your voice, to bow in adoration and praise the One Who created me in my mother’s womb. You mean so much to me, Father. Please take my hand and lead me to the place to which you would have me to go. I find that I can seek You and praise You while at the same time, I am not comprehending the ways in which You work here in this world. Some of Your children seem to have strayed, yet is it I? Have I lost my way? Take me and hold me near, Father. May Your voice be of comfort as well as mighty. Thank You, my Father. In Your Son’s Holy Name I pray. Amen.
Richard Sibbes was born in 1577 at Tostock, Suffolk, England. As a child, Richard loved books. His father, Paul Sibbes, a wheelwright, was “a good, sound-hearted Christian,” but became irritated with his son’s interest in books. He tried to cure his son of book-buying by offering him wheelwright tools, but the boy was not dissuaded. With the support of others, Sibbes was admitted to St. John’s College in Cambridge at the age of eighteen. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1599, a fellowship in 1601, and a Master of Arts degree in 1602. In 1603, he was converted under the preaching of Paul Baynes, whom Sibbes called his “father in the gospel.”
Sibbes was ordained to the ministry in the Church of England in Norwich in 1608. He was chosen as one of the college preachers in 1609 and earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1610. From 1611 to 1616, he served as lecturer at Holy Trinity Church, Cambridge. His preaching made a difference in many lives. A gallery had to be built to accommodate visitors in the church. John Cotton was converted under Sibbes’s preaching. (John Cotton would travel to America to pastor in the new Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1632.)
Richard Sibbes (1577-1635), one of the most influential figures in the Puritan movement during the earlier years of the seventeenth century, was renowned for the rich quality of his ministry.
From “A Bruised Reed:”
“HOW CHRIST PURSUES HIS CALLING
“This is here said to be done modestly, without making a noise, or raising dust by any pompous coming, as princes are accustomed to do. `His voice shall not be heard.’ His voice indeed was heard, but what voice? `Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden’ (Matt. 11:28). He cried, but how? `Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters’ (Isa. 55:1). And as his coming was modest, so it was mild, which is set down in these words: `A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench.’
“We see, therefore, that the condition of those with whom he was to deal was that they were bruised reeds and smoking flax; not trees, but reeds; and not whole, but bruised reeds. The church is compared to weak things: to a dove amongst the fowls; to a vine amongst the plants; to sheep amongst the beasts; to a woman, which is the weaker vessel.
“God’s children are bruised reeds before their conversion and oftentimes after. Before conversion all (except such as, being brought up in the church, God has delighted to show himself gracious to from their childhood) are bruised reeds, yet in different degrees, as God sees fit. And as there are differences with regard to temperament, gifts and manner of life, so there are in God’s intention to use men in the time to come; for usually he empties such of themselves, and makes them nothing, before he will use them in any great services.“
“Those that look to be happy must first look to be holy.” RICHARD SIBBES
“Self-emptiness prepares us for spiritual fullness.” RICHARD SIBBES
This man has written much but the most recommended book is “The Bruised Reed.” It is online in pdf format at no cost and is sold in many bookstores.
LORD, I pray that we are able to look upon these men who preached Your Truth many years ago with open eyes to see the ways that You used them and still do in this day, centuries later. May Your Truth be firmly planted, no matter how long ago it was taught. And may we absorb and learn from these truths today. In Your Son’s Holy and beautiful Name, I pray. Amen.
It shall be on Aaron’s forehead, and Aaron shall bear any guilt from the holy things that the people of Israel consecrate as their holy gifts. It shall regularly be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD. Exodus 28:38
From Morning By Morning (and Morning and Evening) by Charles H. Spurgeon:
What a veil is lifted up by these words, and what a disclosure is made! It will be humbling and profitable for us to pause awhile and see this sad sight. The iniquities of our public worship, its hypocrisy, formality, lukewarmness, irreverence, wandering of heart and forgetfulness of God, what a full measure have we there! Our work for the Lord, its emulation, selfishness, carelessness, slackness, unbelief, what a mass of defilement is there! Our private devotions, their laxity, coldness, neglect, sleepiness, and vanity, what a mountain of dead earth is there! If we looked more carefully we should find this iniquity to be far greater than appears at first sight. Dr. Payson, writing to his brother, says, “My parish, as well as my heart, very much resembles the garden of the sluggard; and what is worse, I find that very many of my desires for the melioration of both, proceed either from pride or vanity or indolence. I look at the weeds which overspread my garden, and breathe out an earnest wish that they were eradicated. But why? What prompts the wish? It may be that I may walk out and say to myself, ‘In what fine order is my garden kept!’ This is pride. Or, it may be that my neighbours may look over the wall and say, ‘How finely your garden flourishes!’ This is vanity. Or I may wish for the destruction of the weeds, because I am weary of pulling them up. This is indolence.” So that even our desires after holiness may be polluted by ill motives. Under the greenest sods worms hide themselves; we need not look long to discover them. How cheering is the thought, that when the High Priest bore the iniquity of the holy things he wore upon his brow the words, “HOLINESS TO THE LORD:” and even so while Jesus bears our sin, he presents before his Father’s face not our unholiness, but his own holiness. O for grace to view our great High Priest by the eye of faith!
“And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:34
“Charles Spurgeon, a 19th century English Baptist minister, was one of the most influential and extraordinary preachers of his era. Spurgeon’s theology could best be summarized as evangelical Calvinism. Today he is remembered as the “Prince of Preachers.”
“Spurgeon was only 16 when he preached his first sermon as pastor of Waterbeach Baptist Chapel near Cambridge. Within two years, the little congregation grew from 40 to 400. He spoke in chapels, cottages, and open-air meetings in the countryside surrounding Cambridge. Spurgeon’s energy, enthusiasm, and preaching skill earned him so much attention that he was eventually invited to speak in London. On December 18, 1853, the 19-year-old Spurgeon delivered his first sermon at the famous New Park Street Chapel in London. Soon he was called to be the pastor. From then on, Spurgeon stayed in London.
“Spurgeon married Susanna Thompson in 1856 and within a year had twin sons, Charles and Thomas. Both became Baptist ministers.
“Practically overnight Spurgeon became a preaching sensation, drawing multitudes in the tens of thousands. By age 22, he was quite possibly the most famous orator in the world. His youthful appearance contrasted startlingly with his mature sermons, which were published regularly in the London Times and newspapers around the world. In 1861, at the famous Crystal Palace, Spurgeon preached to the largest enclosed gathering ever recorded. The event was the national day of fasting and prayer, and the crowd numbered nearly 24,000. In March of that same year, the Metropolitan Tabernacle in Newington opened. The new building, with its seating capacity of 6,000, would be home to Spurgeon’s flock and the hub of his preaching ministry until his death in 1892.”
But when they measured it with an omer*, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat. Exodus 16:18
Ever so peacefully, this verse tells me that God gives me just what I need…no more…no less.
My dependence should be upon the God of the Universe for He is my provider. For all my needs, I need only to look to the Resource of all and He is God. I need not try in any strength of myself except that which is necessary. I need to turn to God.
…had nothing left over…had no lack! Just enough!
And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns.And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The LORD will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.” Genesis 22:13-14
So Abraham called the name of that place, “Jehovah-Jirah;” as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”Jehovah-Jirah, The LORD will provide, God my Provider, Jireh, to see, foresee the needs, to provide for those needs.
Jehovah = “the existing One”
to look upon, cause to see, to provide, to furnish
…had nothing left over…had no lack! Just enough!
The LORD makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and He exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; He lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and on them He has set the world. 1 Samuel 2:7-8
Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all. In Your hand are power and might, and in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. 1 Chronicles 29:12
For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.” 2 Corinthians 8:13-15
And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
…had nothing left over…had no lack! Just enough!
NO! HE IS …
Oh, God, may I be utterly dependent upon You for all my all, that I have no lack nor no need! All my physical needs, my steps and turns that I take in my walk with You will be in You. You are the Jehovah-Jireh, the LORD the Provider….my Provider. May I bow before you as one who needs You in all ways, for all things including my peace. May the abundance of You, LORD, be displayed in my life because I count on Your provision, Your love, Your guidance. May those doubts and fears that creep over me in these days be nothing that You cannot carry. May my burdens be light because You do not grow weary. And may I allow You to hold me when I so need to be close to You for You are MORE THAN ENOUGH! May this be so in the Name of Christ, my Lord. Amen.
*an omer: a dry measure of 1/10 ephah (about 2 litres). an ancient Hebrew dry measure, the tenth part of an ephah. *The ephah equaled three-fifths of a bushel or in metric measure, twenty-two liters. The omer was two quarts or about two liters.
Octavius Winslow (1808-78) was born in Pentonville, England, a village near London. He was the eighth of thirteen children. Though he grew up in New York, he spent most of his life in England. Winslow was one of the best-known Nonconformist ministers of the 19th century in England, and held pastorates at Leamington Spa, Bath and Brighton. He was one of the preachers at the opening of Spurgeon’s Metropolitan Tabernacle in London.
by Mr. Winslow: “Dear reader, let your first thought be of God, and your first incense be to Jesus, and your first prayer be to the Holy Spirit, and thus anointed with fresh oil, you will glide serenely and safely through the day, beginning, continuing, and ending it with God.
“Direct, control, suggest, this day, All I design, or do, or say, That all my powers, with all their might, In Your sole glory may unite.”
from “Morning Thoughts, or Daily Walking with God” — by Octavius Winslow
“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell.” Colossians 1:19
All wisdom to guide, all power to uphold, all love to soothe, all grace to support, all tenderness to sympathize, dwells in Christ. Let us, then, gird ourselves to a fresh taking hold of Christ. We must walk through this year not by sight, but by faith- and that faith must deal simply and directly, with Jesus. “Without me you can do nothing.” But with His strength made perfect in our weakness, we can do all things. Oh, be this our course and our posture- “coming up from the wilderness leaning on her Beloved.” Living in a world of imperfection and change, we must expect nothing perfect, nothing stable, in what we are, in what we do, or in what we enjoy. But amid the dissolving views of the world that “passes away,” let us take firm hold of the unchangeableness of God. The wheels may revolve, but the axle on which they turn is immoveable. Such is our covenant God. Events may vary- providences may change- friends may die- feelings may fluctuate- but God in Christ will know “no variableness, neither the shadow of a turning.” “Having loved His own that were in the world, He loved them unto the end.”
May we seek the One Who is steadfast and consistent. May we spend time with Him in prayer and in His Word. To the glory of God, I lift my hands in praise. In the Name of His Son, I pray. Amen