Sunday, 18 May 2014

Could A Garden Come Up From This Ground?

My vision and my strength is taken away, and I could cry like Samson, "Let me die with the Philistines!" But Jesus is here, whom Samson never knew, and he is the Redeemer of all lost and broken things. He grows beauty and life out of death and dust. He the One Who Never Fails.

When my heart races and my blood creeps, I will fold myself into him. I will trust only him.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

And Will Look Up

Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God:  for unto thee will I pray.My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. Psalm 5:1-3
My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.  He only is my rock and my salvation: He is my defense; I shall not be moved.  In God is my salvation and my glory:  the rock of my strength,  and my refuge, is in God.  Trust in Him at all times:  ye people, pour out your heart before Him:  God is a refuge for us.Psalm 62:5-8

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

One Thing

One thing God has spoken,
two things I have heard:
Power belongs to you, God,
and with you, Lord, is unfailing love
and, “You reward everyone
according to what they have done.” (Psalm 62:11-12)

Monday, 5 May 2014


The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.
The Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever. (Psalm 28:7-9)
Father, You put thanks in my heart, and I offer it back to You. You have ordered all of my disappointment. Change my desires. Let me long for Your glory. Let me value things the way You value them. Let me trust You when I cannot see. Be my shepherd: I cast myself on You. I give You my thanks.

You are Good, and You give Good. Let my life and my lips praise You.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

God is the Strength of My Heart

At some thoughts one stands perplexed, especially at the sight of men's sin, and wonders whether one should use force or humble love. Always decide to use humble love. If you resolve on that once for all, you may subdue the whole world. Loving humility is marvellously strong, the strongest of all things, and there is nothing else like it. (from The Brothers Karamazov)
Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise. (Psalm 51:15-17)
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:25-26)
The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness... (Exodus 34:6)

Friday, 2 May 2014

No Promise But Jesus

The Bible is full of promises. Promises we think we can cut out and use like coupons, handing them up to God like we can just exchange them for all that will fill our deep, longing hearts. And oh, our confusion when we find it doesn't work that way! 

God keeps his promises. Without doubt, he is faithful. But he will not be conjured. He doesn't come when we ring the right bell. His time and his ways are inscrutable; past finding out. We cannot know how or when he will work, and in a world of time, that fact in essence renders a whole Bible full of promises useless as coupons. 

Martha of Bethany learned this. She had sent Jesus word: "Lord, the one you love is sick." When Jesus came to her, too late to save her brother from death, she reminded him of what he could have done.  She knew - not just believed - that he had the power to save Lazarus from dying. 
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
 There was no confession like this one in all Jesus' days on earth. Martha, the one Jesus rebuked - not sweet, worshipping Mary - knew Jesus as the Son of God and said it plainly. She believed that He was able to not only cure Lazarus' sickness, but even to raise him from the dead. Her faith was straightforward and practical. She was sure of what Jesus could do, yet she had learned not to presume, not to try to guess what he would do.

There is only one promise for us, just as there was for Martha, and that is who God is: “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."

Let us hold fast to him, the resurrection and the life. Let us fling ourselves wholesale on him, and risk all that we are and hope for on who he is, that One Who Cannot Lie. What he has for us must be better than we would choose for ourselves. It must.
If the only home I hope for is the grave,
if I spread out my bed in the realm of darkness,
if I say to corruption, ‘You are my father,’
and to the worm, ‘My mother’ or ‘My sister,’
where then is my hope—
who can see any hope for me?
Will it go down to the gates of death?
Will we descend together into the dust?” (Job 17:13-16)
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. (Psalm 143:8)
"No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame..." (Psalm 25:3)
I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. (Psalm 130:5)


You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit--fruit that will last--and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. (John 15:16)
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:3)
He fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." (Matthew 26:39)
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. (Hebrews 5:7)
So why don't we receive everything we ask for? Even Jesus' cup was not taken from him. But his prayer was answered, after all. He prayed that his father's will would be done, and it was. On an earth that had been sold into the hand of Satan - God's will was done, and the enemy defeated on his own territory.

Jesus, praying, bowed his will to God, and God's will was done through him, on earth just as it is in heaven.

This is our great privilege - not to beg God, nor to conjure his power on our own behalf, but to bend ourselves to him, and allow his will to be done for us, and through us, for our own broken world. This is the way that God's will and his love make their way into a world like ours. This is the way that the Master we have chosen regains the right to work for us and in us and through us. He longs to give good, and our bent will is the means through which he may reach us, and through us, the world we belong to.