Daily Devotions with Spurgeon: 7th December

December 9, 2010

Gift of Strength; Peace to Bless

The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)

David had just heard the voice of the Lord in a thunderstorm and had seen His power in the hurricane; and now, in the cool calm after the storm, that overwhelming power by which heaven and earth are shaken is promised to be the strength of the chosen. Why are we weak when we have divine strength to flee to? Why are we troubled when the Lord’s own peace is ours? Jesus, the mighty God, is our strength; let us put Him on and go forth to our service. Jesus, our blessed Lord, is also our peace; let us repose in Him this day and end our fears. What a blessing to have Him for our strength and peace both now and forever!

That same God who rides upon the storm in days of tempest will also rule the hurricane of our tribulation and send us, before long, days of peace. We shall have strength for storms and songs for fair weather. Let us begin to sing at once unto God, our strength and our peace. Away, dark thoughts! Up, faith and hope!

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Daily Devotions with Spurgeon: 6th December

December 9, 2010

Through, Not Engulfed

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shalt not be burned; nor shall the flame scorch you. (Isaiah 43:2)

Bridge there is none: we must go through the waters and feel the rush of the rivers. Tried we must be, but triumphant we shall be; for the LORD Himself, who is mightier than many waters, shall be with us. The Lord will surely be with us in difficulties and dangers. The sorrows of life may rise to an extraordinary height, but the Lord is equal to every occasion.

The enemies of God can put in our way dangers, but we shall walk through the fires. God being with us, we shall not be burned; nay, not even the smell of smoke shall remain upon us.

Oh, the wonderful security of the heaven-born and heaven-bound pilgrim! Floods cannot drown him, nor fires burn him. Your presence, O Lord, is the protection of your saints from the varied perils of the road. In faith I commit myself unto you, and my spirit enters into rest.

Zolita’s Photography

December 5, 2010

Zolita Mykytyn, a good friend of mind who is a gifted photographer, has started her own website to begin sharing some of her work. If you’ve an eye for the aesthetically pleasing, you’ll want to add her blog to your google reader. (Click to enlarge)

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? (Isaiah 40:12)

Daily Devotions with Spurgeon: 5th December

December 5, 2010

High Places of Defence

He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the fortress of rocks: bread shall be given him; his water shall be sure. (Isaiah 33:16)

The man to whom God has given grace to be of blameless life dwells in perfect security.

He dwells on high, above the world, out of range of the enemy, and near to heaven.

He is defended by munitions of stupendous rock. The firmest things in the universe are the promises and purposes of the unchanging God, and these are the safeguard of the obedient believer.

He is provided for by this great promise: “Bread shall be given him.” The Lord, who rained manna in the wilderness, will keep His people in good store even when they are surrounded by those who would starve them.

But what if water should fail? That cannot be. “His waters shall be sure.” The Lord sees that nothing is wanting. None can touch the citizen of the true Zion. However fierce the enemy, the Lord will preserve His chosen.

Welcoming the Stranger – Again.

December 4, 2010

Will Willimon (Bishop in the United Methodist Church) has posted on how some churches have been focusing on increasing their attendence ratio (i.e., actual attendence figures by comparison with membership numbers). He includes something which I’ve been banging on about both privately and publically – the need to be welcoming. At least some church leaders are getting it. Specifically, he speaks of:

• Mike Skelton (InnerChange) and Mike Edmondson (Helena) who both stress the need for a culture of hospitality.
• Mary Bendall (Tuscaloosa First) who has initiated a fine program that trains greeters and hosts to begin the welcoming of guests right from the church car park.

Well done! Keep up the good work!

Daily Devotions with Spurgeon: 4th December

December 4, 2010

Covered and Protected

He shall cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you shall take refuge: his truth shall be your shield and buckler. (Psalm 91:4)

Just as a hen protects her brood and allows them to nestle under her wings, so will the Lord defend His people and permit them to hide away in Him. Have we not seen the little chicks peeping out from under the mother’s feathers? Have we not heard their little cry of contented joy? In this way let us shelter ourselves in our God and feel overflowing peace in knowing that He is guarding us. While the Lord covers us, we trust.

When we go out to war in His name and enjoy the same guardian care. When we implicitly trust God, even as the chick trusts the hen, we find His truth arming us from head to foot. The Lord cannot lie; He must be faithful to His people; His promise must stand. This sure truth is all the shield we need.

Come, my soul, hide under those great wings, lose thyself among those soft feathers!

Hanukkah Revamped

December 3, 2010

I’ll never be able to think of the Maccabees in the same way again! (H/T Robin Parry)

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob

December 3, 2010

This has been doing the rounds on Facebook, but was well worth posting again.

Daily Devotions with Spurgeon: 3rd December

December 3, 2010

Peace Whatever Exposure

I will make them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. (Ezekiel 34:25)

It is the height of grace that the LORD should be in covenant with man, a feeble, sinful creature. Yet the Lord has solemnly entered into a faithful compact with us, and from that covenant He will never turn aside. In virtue of this covenant we are safe. As lions and wolves are driven off by shepherds, so shall all noxious influences be chased away. The Lord will give us rest from disturbers and destroyers.

The Lord’s people are to enjoy security in places of the greatest exposure: wilderness and woods are to be as pastures and folds to the flock of Christ. If the Lord does not change the place for the better, He will make us the better in the place. Nothing without or within should cause any fear to the child of God. By faith the wilderness can become the suburbs of heaven and the woods the vestibule of glory.

Daily Devotions with Spurgeon: 2nd December

December 3, 2010

Our Holiest Example

I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. (Psalm 16:8)

This is the way to live. With God always before us, we shall have the noblest companionship, the holiest example, the sweetest consolation, and the mightiest influence.

Always to have an eye to the Lord’s eye and an ear for the Lord’s voice—this is the right state for the godly person. His God is near him, filling the horizon of his vision, leading the way of his life, and furnishing the theme of his meditation. What vanities we should avoid, what sins we should overcome, what virtues we should exhibit, what joys we should experience if we did indeed set the Lord always before us!

The Lord being ever in our minds, guides and aid us; and hence we are not moved by fear, nor force, nor fraud, nor fickleness. When God stands at a man’s right hand, that man is himself sure to stand.

Daily Devotions with Spurgeon: 1st December

December 3, 2010

True Walking Posture

He who walks with integrity walks securely. (Proverbs 10:9)

His walk may be slow, but it is sure. He that hastens to be rich shall not be innocent nor sure; but steady perseverance in integrity, if it does not bring riches, will certainly bring peace. In doing that which is just and right, we are like one walking upon a rock, for we have confidence that every step we take is upon solid and safe ground. The one who has gained success through questionable means must always be afraid that a day of reckoning will come.

Let us stick to truth and righteousness. Never, on any account whatsoever, let us do that which our conscience cannot justify. If we keep in the Lord’s own way and never sin against our conscience, our way is sure against all. We may be thought fools for being firm in our integrity; but in the place where judgment is infallible we shall be approved.

Daily Devotions with Spurgeon: 30th November

December 3, 2010

God Is in the Front Line

The LORD is the one that goes before you. He will be with you, he will not fail you, neither forsake you: fear not, neither be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

Here is a text which should help us to buckle on our harness. If the LORD Himself goes before us, it must be safe to follow. Come, let us make a prompt advance! Why do we hesitate to pass on to victory?

Nor is the Lord before us only; He is with us – above, beneath, around, within.

Being before us and with us, He will never withdraw His help. He cannot fail in Himself, and He will not fail toward us. He will continue to help us according to our need, even to the end. As He cannot fail us, so He will not forsake us. He will always be both able and willing to grant us strength.

Let us not fear nor be dismayed; for the Lord of hosts will go down to the battle with us, will bear the brunt of the fight, and give us the victory.