CHARTING OUR COURSE BY HIS WORD

By Adrian Rogers

But whoso keepeth His word, in Him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him.  – 1 John 2:5

The word “keepeth” in 1 John is a derivative of a word that sailors used years ago to refer to their practice of steering their course by “keeping” the stars.

This did not mean, of course, that a sailor would not be blown off course or that he might not over-steer. It didn’t mean that he might not nod at the wheel or somehow be distracted, or fail to keep a perfect chart. But the goal, the aim, the desire, and the controlling principle in his life were those stars. He knew that in them he could find direction to his destination.

In the same way, John says God’s commandments are to be the standard by which you and I chart our courses in life.

Devotional forwarded to you by:

Rev. Emmanuel Bart Michael B. Kimwell

Beulah Land IEMELIF Center
Greenfields 1 Subdivision
Marytown Circle, Novaliches
Quezon City, Philippines

GOD HATES ARROGANCE

By Max Lucado

Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. – Proverbs 16:18

Proverbs 16:18 reminds us as humility goes before honor, “pride goes before a fall.”

Ever wonder why churches are powerful in one generation but empty the next? The Bible says, the Lord will tear down the house of the proud. God hates arrogance. He hates it because we haven’t done anything to be arrogant about. Is there a Pulitzer for ink? Can you imagine a scalpel growing smug after a successful heart transplant?  Of course not. They are only tools. So are we. We may be the canvas, the paper, or the scalpel, but we are not the one who deserve the applause.

David declares who does in Psalm 23, “He makes me, He leads me, He restores my soul… for His name’s sake.” For His name’s sake!No other name. This is all done for God’s glory. He takes the credit, not because He needs it, but because He knows we cannot handle it!

Devotional forwarded to you by:

Rev. Emmanuel Bart Michael B. Kimwell

Beulah Land IEMELIF Center
Greenfields 1 Subdivision
Marytown Circle, Novaliches
Quezon City, Philippines

PERSEVERANCE IN PRAYER

Dr. Charles Stanley,

Not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. – Romans 12:11-13

As a pastor, I speak with many people about their spiritual journey. From these interactions, I know that most individuals are not satisfied with their prayer life. They lack anticipation and faith, and time with God feels empty. Most likely, this is why many Christians pray so little and so passionlessly.

Yesterday, we began looking at obstacles to a healthy prayer life. Let’s explore one more hindrance that blocks vibrant communication between God and us: impatience.

Most of us have at some point brought our supplication to Jesus vigorously but did not see the desired results. Unfortunately, humans are, by nature, fainthearted. We get weary of asking and listening when all we perceive is silence. Remember, though, that God is not some “cosmic bellhop”; He does not act on our cue. In fact, if we could see the big picture as He can, we would gladly wait for His way and time.

Actually, I believe that we benefit by not receiving all that we request. Understanding this concept is a sign of spiritual maturity. When we are thoroughly satisfied with the Lord’s presence, our relationship with Him will flourish, even when we don’t get all we ask. When that is the case, we grasp what prayer is—not a long want list, but a relationship.

Barriers can develop if we persistently cry out to God but nothing changes. Continue to pray. Beyond this “wall,” you’ll sense God’s presence, where you will find peace, joy, and awesome glimpses of His glory. This will be completely satisfying, even if He never gives you exactly what you requested.

Devotional forwarded to you by:

Rev. Emmanuel Bart Michael B. Kimwell

Beulah Land IEMELIF Center
Greenfields 1 Subdivision
Marytown Circle, Novaliches
Quezon City, Philippines

PENCILS IN THE PEW

By Wendy Pope

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” – Colossians 3:17 (NAS)

His name is Mr. P …

Before I introduce him, let me tell you about him.

Every Sunday was the same. My husband and I ushered our children to their respective classes then went to our class. After Sunday School we gathered the children and headed to the main sanctuary for the worship service.

We would take our seats in the same pew in the balcony. And each week they would be there, sharpened, with a perfect point ready to use. The yellow pencils.

I never thought much about the perfectly sharpened yellow pencils until I happened to be at the church office on a Tuesday morning. A dapper older gentleman brushed by with a box of pencils in one hand and a sharpener in the other. My mind flashed back to the pencils in the pews and with a bent brow I asked someone, “Is he the one who sharpens the pew pencils each week?” It was confirmed.

Each week, this man quietly breezed in and out with few taking notice. And the beauty in it all? He didn’t want anyone to notice. He didn’t want recognition, a pat on the back or even a thank-you. Sharpening the pencils each week was his way of serving the Lord.

In doing so, he also served the members of our congregation. Week after week, he faithfully sharpened all the pencils in the name of the Lord, living out today’s key verse:“Whatever you do in word and deed, do for all in the name of the Lord, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17).

The beginning of this verse sounds really good until nobody notices your word and deed. Serving without being recognized isn’t easy. But when we make choices to serve in secret, we find God gives us the greatest fulfillment.

The woman who serves unnoticed and un-thanked is a woman who loves God more than she desires the praise of others. She is confident that all her unnoticed deeds on earth are noticed in Heaven. She is satisfied knowing she has pleased her Lord.

Does anyone see you fold the church bulletins? Does it seem your laundry service goes unnoticed day after day? Is it overlooked each time you replace the flowers in the church sanctuary or take out the trash at work?

Oh dear one, don’t grow weary in doing good! Whether it’s sharpening pencils or taking a recording of Sunday’s sermon to an elderly shut-in, you can be confident that your Heavenly Father notices everything you do for the glory of His name.

Oh, and Mr. P? His name is the Pencil Sharpener.

Dear Lord, I am so grateful for all those who “sharpen pencils.” Lord, bless those who take care of the details I so often take for granted and overlook. Show me ways to serve for the glory of Your name and help me be a woman who loves You more than the desire to hear the praise of others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Devotional forwarded to you by:

Rev. Emmanuel Bart Michael B. Kimwell

Beulah Land IEMELIF Center
Greenfields 1 Subdivision
Marytown Circle, Novaliches
Quezon City, Philippines

THE NEED OF PERFECT SOLITUDE

By L. B. Cowman

He went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when evening was come, he was there alone (Matthew 14:23).

The man Christ Jesus felt the need of perfect solitude–Himself alone, entirely by Himself, alone with Himself. We know how much intercourse with men draws us away from ourselves and exhausts our powers. The man Christ Jesus knew this, too, and felt the need of being by Himself again, of gathering all His powers, of realizing fully His high destiny, His human weakness, His entire dependence on the Father.

How much more does the child of God need this–himself alone with spiritual realities, himself alone with God the Father. If ever there were one who could dispense with special seasons for solitude and fellowship, it was our Lord. But He could not do His work or maintain His fellowship in full power, without His quiet time. Would God that every servant of His understood and practiced this blessed art, and that the Church knew how to train its children into some sense of this high and holy privilege, that every believer may and must have his time when he is indeed himself alone with God.

Oh, the thought to have God all alone to myself, and to know that God has me all alone to Himself! –Andrew Murray

Lamertine speaks in one of his books of a secluded walk in his garden where his mother always spent a certain hour of the day, upon which nobody ever dreamed for a moment of intruding. It was the holy garden of the Lord to her.

Poor souls that have no such Beulah land! Seek thy private chamber, Jesus says. It is in the solitude that we catch the mystic notes that issue from the soul of things.

A MEDITATION

My soul, practice being alone with Christ! It is written that when they were alone He expounded all things to His disciples. Do not wonder at the saying; it is true to thine experience. If thou wouldst understand thyself send the multitude away. Let them go out one by one till thou art left alone with Jesus… Has thou ever pictured thyself the one remaining creature in the earth, the one remaining creature in all the starry worlds?

In such a universe thine every thought would be “God and I! God and I!” And yet He is as near to thee as that – as near as if in the boundless spaces there throbbed no heart but His and thine.

Practice that solitude, O my soul! Practice the expulsion of the crowd! Practice the stillness of thine own heart! Practice the solemn refrain “God and I! God and I!” Let none interpose between thee and thy wrestling angel! Thou shalt be both condemned and pardoned when thou shalt meet Jesus alone! –George Matheson

Devotional forwarded to you by:

Rev. Emmanuel Bart Michael B. Kimwell

Beulah Land IEMELIF Center
Greenfields 1 Subdivision
Marytown Circle, Novaliches
Quezon City, Philippines

GRATITUDE IN AFFLICTION

Dr. Charles Stanley

Do good to your servant according to your word, O LORD. Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I believe in your commands. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees. Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart. Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law. It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. – Psalms 119:65-72

At Thanksgiving, we typically express gratitude for God’s blessings. But did you ever consider thanking Him for something that doesn’t seem like a blessing—such as a trying circumstance you want Him to remove or change? A grateful heart is most precious to God when, humanly speaking, our situations don’t warrant giving thanks. By making four foundational decisions, we can begin to see the value of our adversities and respond with appreciation.

Believe and trust the Lord. Only by viewing life from a scriptural perspective can we understand His purposes in our trials and trust His wisdom in allowing them.

Accept the situation as coming from God—either directly sent or permissively allowed. If we truly believe He’s working for our good (Rom 8:28-29), we can choose to receive each difficulty as coming from His loving hand. Then we can say “Thank You.”

Submit to God in the circumstance. Although we may not like the situation, knowing that God “[is] good and does good” (v. 68) allows us to confidently place our lives under His authority.

Draw from Him the strength to endure. No one has the ability within himself to endure hardships with gratefulness. Only by relying on the Lord can believers go through adversity with an appreciative heart.

Now, think about that circumstance you would like changed, and with a new mindset, offer this prayer to God: “Lord, I accept this situation as coming from You. In faith and trust, I place myself under Your loving authority, and draw from You the strength I need to endure with gratitude.”

Devotional forwarded to you by:

Rev. Emmanuel Bart Michael B. Kimwell

Beulah Land IEMELIF Center
Greenfields 1 Subdivision
Marytown Circle, Novaliches
Quezon City, Philippines

THE MEEK

By Paul Estabrooks

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5  

Meekness is not to be confused with weakness. In Scripture, meekness means “power under control.” In this context, the contrite, praying person is blessed with the indwelling control of the Holy Spirit and the inheritance promised to the believer even in conflict.

History shows that it is the people who have learned this, people with their passions, instincts and impulses under disciplined control, who have been great (see Numbers 12:3 and Proverbs 16:32). Thus:

Blessed are those whose every instinct, every impulse, and every passion is under the control of God’s Spirit! They will be right with God, self and others and enter the life which God alone can give.

Pray for this meekness when entering into dialogue with those of opposing positions. There will be times when patience and self-control will be sorely tested. There may also be times when the Spirit will suggest a change of direction in the dialogue or a strategic retreat that looks suspiciously like defeat. To be meek is to be able to willingly accept temporary defeat in order that there may later be victory in the Spirit.

A co-worker in China was struggling with the attitudes of a house church group who forbade hand-clapping during the singing of hymns. One leader complained bitterly. Every evening in the brothers’ sleeping quarters, he would complain further. The group would then debate endlessly on whether or not clapping hands during singing was permissible. It was like the black smoke pouring out from the weeds.

This continued until the afternoon of the last day, when God used His Word, and the Holy Spirit did an amazing work. This brother stood up and admitted his wrongdoing. He asked God to forgive his ignorance, stubbornness and defensiveness. With his confession, Christ’s love tore down an invisible wall. It was as if the Lord “broke down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.” The response of the workers as they prayed together was, “The glorious King has come.” Thank and praise the Lord. He was completely victorious.

RESPONSE: Today I will quit calling the shots and surrender complete control to God.

PRAYER: Lord, today I completely surrender to the control of Your Spirit in my life. Help me to be meek.

Devotional forwarded to you by:

Rev. Emmanuel Bart Michael B. Kimwell

Beulah Land IEMELIF Center
Greenfields 1 Subdivision
Marytown Circle, Novaliches
Quezon City, Philippines