Be ready in the morning!

“Be ready in the morning, and come up… present thyself there to Me in the top of the mount. And no man shall come up with thee” (Exodus 34:2-3).

The morning watch is essential. You must not face the day until you have faced God, nor look into the face of others until you have looked into His.

You cannot expect to be victorious, if the day begins only in your own strength. Face the work of every day with the influence of a few thoughtful, quiet moments with your heart and God. Do not meet other people, even those of your own home, until you have first met the great Guest and honoured Companion of your life– Jesus Christ.

Meet Him alone. Meet Him regularly. Meet Him with His open Book of counsel before you; and face the regular and the irregular duties of each day with the influence of His personality definitely controlling your every act.

Begin the day with God!
He is thy Sun and Day!
His is the radiance of thy dawn;
To Him address thy lay.

Sing a new song at morn!
Join the glad woods and hills;
Join the fresh winds and seas and plains,
Join the bright flowers and rills.

Sing thy first song to God!
Not to thy fellow men;
Not to the creatures of His hand,
But to the glorious One.

Take thy first walk with God!
Let Him go forth with thee;
By stream, or sea, or mountain path,
Seek still His company.

Thy first transaction be
With God Himself above;
So shall thy business prosper well,
And all the day be love.
— Horatius Bonar

The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early upon their knees.

Matthew Henry used to be in his study at four, and remain there till eight; then, after breakfast and family prayer, he used to be there again till noon; after dinner, he resumed his book or pen till four, and spent the rest of the day in visiting his friends.

Doddridge himself alludes to his “Family Expositor” as an example of the difference of rising between five and seven, which, in forty years, is nearly equivalent to ten years more of life.

Dr. Adam Clark’s “Commentary” was chiefly prepared very early in the morning.

Barnes’ popular and useful “Commentary” has been also the fruit of “early morning hours.”

Simeon’s “Sketches” were chiefly worked out between four and eight.

Exodus 34_2

Take hold of His feet

She took hold of his feet. – 2 Kings 4:27

1. It is well.

2. Don’t slow down.

When the Shunammite woman reached Elisha, the man of God, she just took hold of his feet. That was all she did. She did not cry or weep. She did not lament. She just held on to his feet. Though she did not express her anguish, the LORD revealed the distress of her soul to the prophet and as she had confessed, “It is well”, so it became so in her life.

Dear friend, you may not know how to express your grief in words. You may not have words to explain what is going through your heart. Even if you know the words, your soul is so broken, only tears are flowing from your eyes as you are gasping for a word to get out of your mouth. Don’t despair. Just take hold of Jesus’s feet. There is no other place for us to be. All our sorrows and grief, we don’t have to express. Jesus Christ knows. And with a tender smile, He looks at us, and says in a gentle, but firm voice, “It is well.” So be it. Amen.

At the feet of Jesus

Don’t slow down

Don’t slow down unless I tell you. – 2 Kings 4:24 (God’s Word Translation)

Yesterday, we started this last month, by saying “It is well” with the Shunammite woman. And may the Lord our Father grant our well-being through His Son and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

One of the things the Shunammite woman did as soon tragedy struck her heart was, she decided to see the man of God, Elisha. And she gave a very important instruction to her servant who was riding the donkey. “Don’t slow down unless I tell you.” In other words, she was telling him not worry about her, and just keep on going, for the goal is to reach the man of God as soon as possible.

This command she gives is very instructive to us too. When tragedy strikes close to us, I sincerely hope that we follow this command. Let us leave everything behind and start running towards, not the man of God, for we have One who is greater than all the men of God put together… run to the Son of God, run to Jesus Christ. The compassionate and gracious Lord may look at us and say, “It is well.” Amen.

Keep going

It is well

And she answered, “It is well.” – 2 Kings 4:26

It is well

This Shunammite woman had just lost her only son. Yet when her husband asked why she had to meet the prophet Elisha, her answer was, “It is well.” And when Gehazi, the servant of Elisha asked if everyone was okay at her household, her answer was, again, “It is well.”

She was filled with anguish and her soul was filled with deep distress (2 Kings 4:27). Yet, she believed that the Lord Who gave her this son, would not let her be ashamed and, according to her confession, everything ended well.

Dear friend, I don’t know how your 11 months were. But as you are entering this 12th month, the Lord looks at you, and knowing the deep distress in your soul, He has compassion on you and He declares, “It is well.” Believe His Word and may these three little words be your confession of faith. May the Lord of all comfort, make everything well for you. Whatever failures you have suffered in these 11 months, may the Lord turn them into victories and may everyone who witness your life, say, “It is well.” In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

It-Is-Well

Am I a sheep or a donkey?

The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want. – Psalm 23:1

In a previous blog, I mentioned that to take possession of the promise in Psalm 23:1, that the LORD is my Shepherd and I shall not want, we need to be sheep, for our Lord Jesus Christ is the Shepherd of sheep. And it does not matter, whether the sheep is dumb or intelligent, as long as it knows and follows the voice of the Shepherd. Today, let us look at one another aspect of a sheep.

Donkey

Sheep are not meant to carry loads. We would never see a sheep carrying a burden. But there is another animal meant for carrying burdens. A donkey. That is its job. To carry loads. To carry burdens.

Unfortunately, today, many Christians are donkeys, rather than sheep. We have become a people who are melancholic and gloomy, waiting for a disaster to strike us. Unable to bear the cross of our day-to-day life. But we are not meant to.

We are supposed to carry the yoke that our Lord gives (Matthew 11:29-30). But instead, we carry all our burdens and all our worries in our hearts. Though we come to the presence of the Lord and unload our burdens through prayer, when we go back, we make sure to carry those burdens again. There are some Christians who even warn us, if we are filled with joy and laughter, that the Lord does not like Christians laughing and if He hears us laughing, He will make us weep. Not sure which Bible they are reading.

Listen to the Psalmist. Cast your burdens on the Lord. Everything. All your pains and hurts. All your worries and failures. All your fears and expectations. The LORD is able. Yes, He is Lord Almighty. Creator of the Universe. HE has been sustaining everything that we see and that we cannot see for eternity. HE can sure sustain you. Pour your heart like Hannah did. But leave all your worries at His feet. Let the LORD trample down every burden that makes you weary.

psalm-55-22_desktop_medium

You are called to be a sheep. You are meant to be taken care by the Shepherd. You are not meant to worry about anything. You are called to trust your Shepherd for everything that you need. You shall not want, for your Shepherd is the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to help you (Deut. 33:26).

Mt11.28

Let us come to Him. Let us come to Jesus Christ. Let us accept His invitation. And this is His invitation: “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Yes, He will give you rest. HE will make you lie down in green pastures. HE will lead you beside still waters. Come to Him. Now.

let go things

Intelligent, Stupid – does not matter

The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want. – Psalm 23:1

In the last blog, we saw that if the LORD has to be my Shepherd, I must become a sheep.

One of the characteristic traits of a sheep is how it follows its shepherd wherever he goes. I have heard many preachers preach that the sheep are dumb animals that follow the shepherd, and we have to become as dumb as sheep to follow Jesus Christ. And I have read some Christians taking offense with that kind of argument, because 1. sheep are supposed to be very intelligent and 2. it implies that we follow Jesus only because of sheer stupidity.

This is missing the big picture. The big picture is not whether the sheep is stupid or intelligent; the most important point is that the sheep listen to the Shepherd’s voice and follow Him wherever He goes.

Sheep intelligent stupid

Let us say that the sheep are actually very dumb and stupid animals. So what? Their Shepherd is the Omniscient God, Who has the perfect wisdom. As long as they follow their Shepherd, they will not go astray.

Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray. – Isaiah 35:8

So, even if I am dumb, even if I am the most stupid person to walk on this earth, it does not matter, as long as I listen to the voice of my Shepherd. I shall not go astray. Jesus Christ, my Shepherd will lead me in path of righteousness, for His Name’s sake. Amen.

Okay, what if the sheep are intelligent and have their mind of own? Still it makes no difference. Because as long as the Shepherd is there, the sheep do not worry about anything. They simply follow their Shepherd. In such a case, they follow Him, not because they are stupid, but because they are intelligent and they know their Shepherd.

I know Whom I have believed. – 2 Timothy 1:12

Yes, I know Him; and not because of my intelligence, but because He is gracious enough to reveal Himself to me. I know Him now and have decided to follow Jesus.

Yes, dear friend, it does not matter where we stand in our IQ level. The world may put different labels on us based on our education, our achievements, our failures and other things. But if we are ready to listen to Jesus and follow Him, then we are His sheep and, yes, we shall not want. Trust in Him always and He shall make our paths straight. Amen.

Proverbs-3.5-6-V3b

Am I a sheep???

Often Christians are confused about Psalm 23. Yes, the Lord is my Shepherd. And I firmly believe that I shall not want. But in reality, I often find myself in need of things. There are times when certain things turned out to be utter disaster. Few circumstances were so humiliating, I don’t want to even think about them. Then how come the Psalmist claims that the LORD is his Shepherd and hence, he shall not want.

The problem is not with God. It is with us. We do accept Him as our Shepherd. But the problem is we do not become sheep. We do not listen to His voice and remain as adamant as a buffalo. At times, we refuse to leave our burdens on His feet, but carry them around like donkeys. We can go on like this with all the animals we know of, except we never become sheep. But the LORD shepherds only the sheep.

So the question is: Am I a sheep that the LORD is my Shepherd and I can truly claim that I shall not want?

God willing, we will look into few aspects of sheep in coming days.

Psalm 23_1 Sheep