Monday, May 28, 2012

Morning Prayer


Help me be Your hands today,
To work for souls in Heaven's way
Help me walk as You have trod,
In pointing others up to God
Help my words to come from You,
Although they may be very few
Help me work with zeal and skill,
Your highest purpose to fulfill
Mold me, make me, fashion me,
To be like Jesus is my plea


Friday, May 11, 2012

A Sabbath's Blessing

A Sabbath's blessing will descend, 
On those who heed its call
If we our weekly work will end,
Its joys on us will fall 

See six days are for work and sweat,
But one is laid aside
The seventh we must not forget,
For thus God is denied 

So as the precious time is near,
Let earth and heaven meet
With songs of praise and words of cheer, 
Let this week be complete!

The Keynote

      The phrase seemed to burn into my mental processes. The keynote of the Savior’s life… He is our example in all things. Therefore, whatever was His keynote, should be my keynote as well. This simple question asked at such a young age, outlined the course of Christ’s life. “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” Luke 2:49. If our Heavenly Father’s business was Christ’s keynote, and is to be our life keynote, then it is necessary to understand our Father’s business. 

      Christ’s life gives us the clearest portrait of that business. “During His ministry on earth, Jesus devoted more time to healing the sick than to preaching… His life was one of constant self-sacrifice… He came to live in our behalf the life of the poorest and to walk and work among the needy and suffering.” CSA 59 

      Healing, preaching, self-sacrifice, walking and working among the needy and suffering. This is our Father’s business. As the hands and feet of Christ, we must be about it. “... as He (Christ) walked among men, He was guided step by step, by the Father’s will. He did not hesitate to act at the appointed time. With the same submission He waited until the time had come.” DA 147.2. There is a time to act. There is also a time to wait on the Lord. The same Hand that led Christ step by step on this earth, is willing to lead us also. Our Father, whose business we are to be about, is quite capable of showing us how to go about His business. Step by step, no faster than we can go, He is willing to lead us in plain paths. 

      All we must see is the work directly in front of us, that which lies nearest. For this day, we must know only the humble step we are to make, but it is enough. Lowly and small though it may be, it is verily as much our Father’s business as something we might consider to be a “great work.” Whether it be a smile, a word of encouragement to a family member or friend, a faithful performance of home duties. Or, if it be a Bible study, sermon, or ministry to the sick to which we are call in this day, let us be about our Father’s business. Friends, may the keynote of Christ's life resound in our own today!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

When Guided by a Skillful Hand...

      In my journeys of life recently, I have been impressed with the skillful care of our Heavenly Father. Over and over again, He has lead my feet in plain paths, provided a way of escape, given help in time of need, and challenged me to greater trust and dependence upon Him. It has become clearer to me that I am totally helpless without my Savior’s skillful hand. The simplest things, that could cause us worry or anxious thought, do not pass unnoticed by the watchful eye of heaven. The Savior’s inquiry echoes down the annals of time, “Why are you troubled?” 

      “Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God. You cannot burden Him; you cannot weary Him. He who numbers the hairs of your head is not indifferent to the wants of His children.” – {Pr 285.4}. Praise God! We can enter into the experience of Israel, and say, “God fed me according to the integrity of His heart; and guided me by the skillfulness of His hands.” Psalm 78:27.

When guided by a skillful hand,
No place need we to fear
Though heading to an unknown land,
God's presence still is near

When guided by a skillful hand,
Yes, problems may arise
We may not see and understand,
But God's the One who's wise

When guided by a skillful hand,
Another takes watch-care
Another will take full command,
To guard our very hair

When guided by a skillful hand,
We dare not trust our own
On Heaven's promise we can stand,
When trusting it alone. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Praise the Lord for Breath

      My lungs fill with air. Crisp, cool, fresh oxygen. Unconsciously, I exhale. The cycle continues while life lasts. I do not think about breathing. Yet, when I concentrate on it, my breathing deepens. It’s something that is more inward, than outward. My breathing has more of an impact upon me, than upon anyone else in the whole world. Its results can be seen outwardly of course. Should you decide to cease breathing, your body would show signs of such a decision. Should you determine to breathe, though it not come easily, it would show outwardly that you began to breathe. It is positively necessary to breathe if you intend to live. Breath means life.

      Friends, prayer is life to the soul. No prayer, no life. “Prayer is the breath of the soul. It is the secret of spiritual power.” – {GW 254.4} Do you have more power after you hold your breath, or when you breathe deeply? It is simple. Recently, I observed a person endeavoring to exercise with a breathing pathology. Exercise is difficult, when breath is in short supply. We will be sure to find it hard to “run the race” as Paul enjoins us, if we do not breathe as we should.

      There is something interesting about breathing. It will not work one way. The human body cannot function on expiration. It is truly impossible. As in the natural, so in the spiritual. Just as proper breathing is an exchange of air through expiration and inhalation, so prayer is not just the laying of our burdens and sins upon Christ, the elimination of carbon dioxide, if you will. Prayer is also receiving from Christ fresh, life-giving oxygen. Both are important. It is not enough to breath in only. That will not work. There is a wonderful, and wondrous exchange that takes place in prayer. Christ gives us good things, we give Him the carbon dioxide, and yet He delights in this exchange. 

      Oh yes, expired air contains oxygen. We have the privilege of returning to God praises from what He has given to us. The Psalmist said in Psalm 103:2, “Bless the Lord, O my soul…”, but where did the blessing come from in the first place? God. “Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” – Ps 150:1-6. Shall we praise the Lord for breath?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

One Who Gives Good

      4:30 am. My alarm awakens me from a sound sleep. My thoughts turn to my morning worship… “Father in Heaven, please give me what I need for this day. Give me the food... the bread that will strengthen me for what is to come. You know what will happen today, I don’t…” Matthew 7:11 springs to mind as a promise in answer to my prayer. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” 

      A few minutes later...“Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good…” Psalm 85:9-12. 

      The Lord shall give that which is good. It seems like an understatement. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father…” James 1:17. “This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die.” John 6:50. “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” Isaiah 1:19.
     There is none good, but One, that is God. If the Father knows how to give that which is good to His children, that means He knows how to give Himself for How good is God, that He should give Himself to wayward humanity? “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?” Luke 11:11. my friends, God, our Father will not give a stone, nor a serpent. He gave Himself in the fullness of Christ. He gives still in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Yes, God gives that which is good...very, very good.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Recognizing Christ

      Have you ever been in the very embarrassing situation of meeting someone you know, but do not recognize? People change, grow up, grow old, make different choices that affect their personal appearance, etc. Of course, in such a situation, the person is still the same person. The fact that visual recognition did not take place, does not mean that Jane Smith is no longer Jane Smith. 
      Have you noticed that if you know someone very well, you can tell who they are by the way that they walk? Even if I don’t see them at all, I can usually tell which one of my family members is walking down the hallway by the way in which they walk.

      This morning in my worship I was struck by this quote: “There were in the throng some who at Christ’s baptism had beheld the divine glory, and had heard the voice of God. But since that time the Saviour’s appearance had greatly changed. At His baptism they had seen His countenance transfigured in the light of heaven; now, pale, worn, and emaciated, He had been recognized only by the prophet John.” – {DA 137.3} 

      Christ, Someone who should have been noticed by the entire throng as the sent of God, was not recognized. Only John saw the Savior as who He was. The question that came to me was this: Do I recognize Christ in the person of every human that He died to save? Do I see the Savior in every child of Adam? Beyond that, do I treat each with the same care and solicitude that I would wish to show to the God of Heaven?
      In order to recognize Christ in each human brother and sister, we need to see clearer the features of Christ. We need to know Him. This was the call of the Lord to me this morning. May we be able to discern His footstep. May be hear it, and know of a surety that this is our God