Category: Suffering

  Paul considered himself less than the least. “…these have the meanest thoughts of themselves, and the best of others; they rejoice in the grace of God manifested to others; they are willing to receive instruction, nay admonition, from the meanest believer; they have the least opinion of their own works, and are the greatest admirers of the grace of God”  “they have the largest discoveries of the love and grace of God and Christ, which are of a soul humbling nature; they are the most sensible of their own sinfulness, vileness, and unworthiness, which keeps them low in their own sight; they are commonly the most afflicted with Satan’s temptations, which are suffered to attend them, lest they should be exalted above measure;” Gill I spoke to a fisherman and found out he was a believer in Christ. He exhibited confidence, and a positive outlook. I wondered how much…

” For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Our lives are hidden lives, we are with Christ, and we are with Him in the Father. Who is to call into question the Chosen ones of God? God justifies. He declares them legally righteous. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died and rose again, and He is at the right hand of God, making intercession for us. Who can separate you from the love of God? Tribulation or imprisonment or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword? Romans 8:33-34 All is actual in the place of “dead and hidden.” All is legally ours, but what about in our experience? The plan of God goes to work. “According as it is written, For thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we have been reckoned as sheep for…

Job 5:7  …man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward. KJV — (As sure as the wild birds fly, Aramaic; and even so the vulture’s young seek the high places, Septuagint.) As sure as the laws of nature; as birds of prey scavenge from on high or fire flickers upward, so men will see trouble. Psalm 119:67-75 teaches, ” Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” …”It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.”… “I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.” It seems that trouble should not surprise us, but must come. A word from Jeremiah: ” …the Lord will not reject for ever.” ” But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.” “For he doth not…

  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, as it was the substance of things which have come to pass; and it is the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 Lamsa’s translation “The apostles said to our Lord, increase our faith.” The Lord’s reply: “If ye have faith even as a grain of mustard seed, ye could say unto this mulberry tree, be uprooted, and planted in the sea; and it would obey you.” Jesus tells a story then: Now, which of you has a servant who plows or feeds sheep, and if he should come from the field, would say to him, ‘enter in and sit down?’ But he would rather say to him, ‘prepare something that I may have my supper, and gird yourself and serve me until I eat and drink; and then you also can eat and drink. What! Will the servant receive…

  “…we must also accept the reality of our incompleteness.” Gerald G. May M.D.  From his book “Addiction and Grace.” He starts in, “We can and should do our very best to move in that direction, (to achieve the state of perfection.) struggling with every resource we have. but…”we need to recognize that the incompleteness in us, our personal insufficiency, does not make us unacceptable in God’s eyes.” “Far from it, our incompleteness is the empty side of our longing for God and for love. It is what draws us toward love and one another.” “if we do not fill our minds with guilt and self-recriminations, we will recognize our incompleteness as a kind of spaciousness into which we can welcome the flow of grace.” “We can think of our inadequacies as terrible defects, if we want, and hate ourselves. But we can also think of them affirmatively, as doorways…

. ” Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.” Isaiah 43:4 That which enables us to carry weight in this world stems from our being precious in His eyes.  It speaks of extreme love, a favor surpassing that of men. Indeed, it refers to a choosing, as God did with Israel when He brought them forth from Egypt. This “preciousness” gives us weight in our words, in our countenance, in our judgments — It coincides with our being liberated from our personal bondage. Un-redeemed mankind seeks honor among its fellows, a formula which may require denigrating ‘dishonor for acceptance’ In dishonoring it’s bodies.  These surrender to uncleanness, immerse themselves in heart-lust, become passionate for disgraceful dishonoring, and finally relinquish all discriminatory ability — they find their way  back to “shame” as a…

  Like a River dam or lock, We must manage the flow of grace. This includes That flow coming into our house, and then the flow going out. This is our stewardship . This is spoken of in 1 Peter 4:10  “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” I must first learn how to receive grace, but not in vain. Grace “received” is accepting something which I do not deserve. Can you do it? `Pride can inhibit this action. Many, many speakers, leaders, church members, choir singers, administrators or faculty cannot receive grace. Unsaved folks balk at grace often. The reason?  Grace is based never on the receiver, but rests in the open hand of the Giver, God Himself. It all depends on the vicarious atonement of Christ. Precious people look inward and discover…

As we obey the truth, God may allow us to be placed in precarious situations and locales — only to deliver us and reveal His glorious nature. Why does He do this? — so we can see the vast difference between Almighty God and un-mighty man. Here, watch one such occasion: “And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach,…

My childhood highlighted Easter. Not as ecstatic as Christmas, but carrying its own mixture of excitement, Easter differed from Christmas, much like death opposes birth, accentuating two poles of a man’s existence. Indeed, all the candy and gifts were affected by those Bible stories, most importantly, the one of cruel death. Memories include the emotions and guilt which filled my Childhood as I longed for release. Christmas gave a few days of solace, but Easter did not. The pre-Easter season of Lent featured the imposed fast– abstaining from certain pleasures. It was not yet a voluntary give-up for me. It lasted 40 days. Following that came the hideous picture of suffering death — we didn’t know how much blame we were supposed to assume, but we were told our sins were the reason for Jesus’ death. The Resurrection story did little to undo that mental pain — a basket full of…

I sang a song once, ’twas the joy of my heart. It carried a tear-drop to surface, on folk far apart. A plain song it was, without much buzz, but oil was hidden, ’twas oil of love. With one it brought laughter, with another, gave joy, some thought of heaven, I remembered my boy! My Mother, my Dad too, George and Merrilee, Bill Kraskie and Kevin, again I will see. I visited a place called Auschwitz, where they do a security check still. They must have guards, but not to hurt — no, they resist only liars and haters who try to erase this death-camp from historical record. But I was allowed to see the piles; of shoes, cups, prosthetic devises, eye-glasses, and a room of hair, (human). I saw a chamber, I saw an oven, a chimney; I saw names and faces, pictures of herded people. I read poems.…