The Tortoise

In life, some may walk, others may run, but remember the Lord gave the tortoise and the hare the same day to reach Noah’s ark.

The Bible tells the story of Joseph. Jacob looked at Joseph and saw a good son. The ten brothers looked at Joseph and saw a useless dreamer. The travellers looked at Joseph and saw a slave. Potiphar looked at Joseph and saw a fine servant. Potiphar’s wife looked at Joseph and saw a potential boyfriend. The prison officers saw in Joseph a prisoner. How wrong they all were! God looked at Joseph and saw a Prime Minister of Egypt in waiting. Don’t be discouraged by what people see in you, be encouraged by what God sees in you! His is the only opinion that counts. Remember, one plus God is the majority!

Never underrate the person next to you because you never know what the Lord has deposited in that person. Your maid may be a Chief Executive Officer in waiting for a company which shall employ your child. Your gardener may be a president in waiting. (Remember David got the anointing of becoming a King while he was a simple child herding sheep. Esther was a simple orphaned girl yet she was a Queen in waiting).

IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW PEOPLE SEE YOU, IT MATTERS HOW GOD SEES YOU:

  • He doesn’t care about age, no wonder he blessed Abraham.
  • He doesn’t care about experience, no wonder he chose David.
  • He doesn’t care about gender, no wonder he lifted Esther.
  • He doesn’t care about your past, no wonder he called Paul.
  • He doesn’t care about your physical appearance, no wonder he chose Zacchaeus, the shortest one.
  • He doesn’t care about fluency in speech, no wonder he chose Moses.
  • He doesn’t care about your career, no wonder he choose Mary Magdalene; a prostitute.
  • All I know is that my God never changes
  • He never made a promise he wouldn’t keep
  • He never saw a person he wouldn’t help
  • He never heard a prayer he wouldn’t answer
  • He never found a soul he wouldn’t love
  • He never found a sinner he wouldn’t forgive

This is the kind of God I like to commune with every day the moment I wake up. I strongly recommend Him to you!

Less of Me

Let me be a little kinder

Let me be a little blinder to the faults of those of around me

Let me praise a little more 

Let me be when I am weary, Just a little bit more cheery

think a little more of others, and a little less of me 

Let me be a little braver, when temptations make me waver

Let me strive a little harder, to be all that I could be

 Let me be a little meeker, with a brother who is weaker

Let me think more of my neighbour, and a little less of me 

Let me be a little nearer, let me speak a little clearer

of the One who came to love me, who died to set me free 

Let me be when I am weary, just a little bit more cheery

Let me think more of my neighbour, and a little less of me 

Let me climb a little higher, let me think a little purer

Let me help all those around me, who are so much in need 

Let me be a little closer, to be a brother who’s a loser

Let me climb a little higher, In every word and deed. 

———————————————————-

*Base tune and lyrics by Glen Campbell

The Assurance From our Father in Heaven

 

Please remember this assurance from our Father in Heaven:

 God is still on the throne,

And He will remember His own;

Though trials may press us and burdens distress us,

He never will leave us alone.

God is still on the throne,

He never forsakes His own;

His promise is true; He will not forget you;

God is still on the throne.

Remember the words of our Lord Jesus: “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. The very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” -Matthew 10:29-31

Stay blessed in his ASSURANCE

——————————————————————–

By Filip Tomasz at Pexels

Why This Affliction?

“Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
‭‭John‬ ‭9:3‬ ‭NASB‬‬

This is the reason for everything that is happening in our lives — “so that the works of God might be displayed” in us, too.

When we see the man’s blindness in John 9 as a picture, as a specific instance of affliction or difficulty or infirmity more generally, then we can take heart in the midst of just about anything. This is a part of my life so that the works of God might be displayed in me!

It’s so easy to accuse ourselves, just as the disciples did the blind man — “is this happening because I have sinned?” Certainly, we do suffer consequences for our sin, and so that’s not a bad question to ask. But as we see here, there are some afflictions that are NOT the result of sin. Some, as we read of Paul in 2 Corinthians 12, are even given in order to prevent sin.

But regardless, what shall we say of affliction? “It is so that the works of God might be displayed in me.” That is why we can “exult in tribulation,” as it says in Romans 5:3.

We can apply this single phrase to the various afflictions we all face, and take heart! That unfair boss? That naughty child? That long commute? That difficult coworker? That impossible in-law? That perplexing decision? And on and on… “this affliction has been allowed so that the works of God might be displayed in and through my life!”

God is less interested in changing my boss than He is in changing me! He’s less interested in removing mean people from my life than He is is displaying His kindness in and through me! He’s less interested in giving me an easy commute than He is in perfecting endurance in me! He is less interested in giving me superficial, circumstantial peace at home than He is in giving me an opportunity to partake of the gentleness and humility of Jesus Christ. We need to see our affliction as a calling, as an invitation, and as an opportunity to enter more fully into partaking of the life of Christ as we hold fast to His Word and seek His glory.

How should we respond to our afflictions, in light of Jesus’ teaching in John 9? If it’s not already apparent from the above, then we have Jesus as our Forerunner, so we can look at Him and see how He responded to affliction:

“Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.”
‭‭John‬ ‭12:27-28‬ ‭NASB‬‬

What Jesus was passionate about is that God would accomplish the purpose for which He allowed affliction into His life. Not that His Father would remove the affliction, but that God would glorify His Own name through it. This is the prayer of One who believes affliction is allowed “so that the works of God might be displayed in Me.”

What a word I need for my own afflictions, today! It’s so easy to seek the removal of the circumstance rather than the fulfillment of God’s purpose. This is one area where I desperately need to seek renewal of my mind regularly (Romans 12:2), because the course of this world and my flesh do not share the nature of Jesus in regards to affliction. Everything in me, and everything outside of me, shouts, “Save me from this hour!” I have to seek the Lord to give me a passion for the name and glory of my Father in heaven that far outweighs my desire for affliction to pass. I need a higher love than a love of myself.

He will do it, if we keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking (Luke 11:9).

“And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us, saying, “THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS — the life of Christ Jesus, which is the law of the Spirit — UPON THEIR HEART, AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:15-16‬ ‭‬‬+ Romans 8:2

I take this to mean that I can hold God to His word to give me the same passion for His glory that He gave Jesus.

May it be so, according to the riches of His grace in Christ.

By Jeremy Utley at NCCF Church

God Needs Women

God needs women today, who will faithfully portray through their lives, the glory that He originally intended to manifest through a woman, when He created Eve.

Her Glory As Man’s Helper
When God made Eve, it was in order that she might be a helper suitable for man (Genesis 2:18). The glory of this ministry is seen, when we notice that the title of ‘Helper’ is what Jesus used to refer to the Holy Spirit as well (John 14:16)!

As the Holy Spirit invisibly and silently, yet powerfully helps the believer, even so the woman was created to help the man. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is ‘behind the scenes’. So is the woman’s to be.
The life of Jesus also is an example to woman; for God’s Word states that man is the woman’s head in exactly the same way as God (the Father) is the head of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3). Jesus always acted in submission to His Father. A God-fearing sister will act likewise in relation to her husband. Eve’s mistake in the garden of Eden was that she failed to consult her husband before she took a decision. Thus Satan deceived her (1 Timothy 2:14). Where Eve failed, God calls Christian wives today to manifest the glory of submission to their husbands, exactly as Jesus was to the Father and as the church is to Christ (Ephesians 5:24).

Sin entered the universe through the rebellion of Lucifer. Salvation came through the submission of Christ. The spirit of humble submission to God’s authority is the greatest power that there is in the universe – for it is the Spirit of Christ. That Spirit conquered all the spirits of rebellion on the cross. When a wife submits to her husband, she is actually submitting to the authority of God’s Word, which commands her to do so; and she is then being influenced by the greatest power in the universe. Even unconverted husbands can be won over by that power (1 Peter 3:1,2). If she lives in that submissive spirit during her earthly life, she will be an overcomer, and will qualify to reign with Jesus for eternal ages (Revelation 3:21).

Here is where Satan deceives the woman again. As he led the angels astray, he leads the woman astray – through the spirit of rebellion. A rebellious wife converts her home into a barren wasteland, worse than any desert (that is the implication of Proverbs 21:19). On the other hand, a virtuous, submissive wife, crowns her husband as a king and thus converts her home into a palace (Proverbs 12:4). Your home can either be a palace or a desert, spiritually speaking. It all depends on the type of wife that you are. No wonder that what God values most highly is a meek (gentle) and a quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4).
Proverbs 31:10-31 describes some of the characteristics of this virtuous wife. Her heart, hands and tongue are described as excellent.

Nothing is mentioned about her physical beauty or her feminine charms, for these are declared to be worthless and deceptive (v. 30). It would be an excellent thing if all women and young girls, and especially young men considering marriage, realised this fact.

The virtuous woman described here, has a heart that fears God (v. 30). This is the foundation for her whole life. She works with her hands, stitching clothes, cooking meals, planting trees and helping the poor (v. 13-22). She uses her tongue at all times with kindness and wisdom (v. 26). She is God-fearing, hard-working and kind – even if she is not beautiful. The glory of God is manifested through her pure heart, rough hands and soft tongue. (Worldly women, in contrast, have an impure heart, soft hands and a rough tongue!). It is in these areas that God looks for women today to manifest His glory.

As a wife, this virtuous woman is a true helper to her husband. She does him good consistently till the end of her life – not in fits and starts (v. 12). In other words, she never loses her first love for him. She also adjusts herself to his profession and calling in life, supplementing his income with her own quiet labours at home, being thrifty and careful in expenditure, so that no money is wasted. She relieves her husband of home responsibilities, so that he can have a ministry in the land for the Lord (v. 23-27). No wonder her husband praises her saying that of all the women in the world (including women prime ministers and women preachers), she is the best of the lot (v. 29). Such a woman certainly deserves to be praised publicly too (v. 31), for she has understood the glory of her calling as a woman.

The New Testament places great emphasis on ‘serving the saints’ in our homes. “Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay in the night. … and get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner” (1 Pet. 4:9; Rom. 12:23 – LB). Hospitality is primarily the responsibility of the wife in the home. She can receive a prophet’s reward, without ever being a prophet herself, merely by welcoming a prophet into her home (Matt. 10:41). She will be rewarded for hospitality shown to the least of Jesus’ disciples as well (Matt. 10:41). To receive an apostle into our homes is equivalent to receiving Jesus Himself (Matt. 10:40). Likewise, to receive a child in Jesus’ name is also equivalent to receiving Jesus (Matt. 18:5). What fantastic possibilities are opened up for sisters in the area of hospitality!

The early Christians (to whom Paul and Peter wrote concerning hospitality), were by and large, very poor. Simple food and a place to sleep on the floor however, were all that they were asked to offer the saints. It is when believers seek the honour of men that they feel that they cannot be hospitable, until they are capable of offering rich food and grand accommodation. 1 Tim. 5:10 indicates that even poor widows in the first century, served the saints in their homes! The glory of God is seen in a woman who has seen her calling as a home-maker.

Her Calling As A Mother
Adam called his wife ‘Eve’, because she was a mother. In the pure light of God’s presence, in Eden, he knew clearly what his wife’s ministry was. Eve knew it as well. Sin and human traditions (influenced by Satan) have now, however, clouded women’s understanding, so that she no longer sees her glory as a mother. Children are now called by the Satanic name of ‘accidents’, when God calls them ‘gifts’ (Psa. 127:3). They are also considered to be a ‘nuisance’, when God considers them to be a ‘blessing’ (Psa. 127:5; 128:4). This is but another indication of how far, even so-called Christians have drifted away from God and become Satanic in their thinking!

Timothy’s mother, Eunice, however, was quite different. She had seen her calling clearly. Even though her husband was an unbeliever (Acts 16:1), it did not dampen her faith. She was a woman with a ‘sincere faith’ (2 Tim. 1:5) who knew the word of God. She taught God’s Word to Timothy (2 Tim. 3:14,15); and more than that – she imparted her sincere faith to him as well. Timothy’s home was one where his mother enabled him to breathe the pure air of ‘faith’ in the midst of a world full of the poisonous fumes of unbelief. He probably saw his mother frequently in prayer, frequently praising God, trusting God in difficult situations and never nagging or complaining – for these are but some of the characteristics of a ‘sincere faith’. It is not surprising then that Timothy grew up to be an apostle and a close co-worker of the apostle Paul. His mother’s labours finally bore fruit.

That should be a challenge to all 21st century mothers. Eunice, Timothy’s mother, did more for the Lord and the church, by being a first class mother at home for 16 to 20 years, than she could ever have done if she had travelled the world as a preacher for 100 years! In more recent times, we have heard of Susannah Wesley, who was the mother of 15 children. Poverty stalked her home and some of her children died in childhood. But she brought up the others in the fear of God, personally instructing each one of them. One of her sons, John Wesley, grew up to be a mighty instrument in God’s hands. Millions throughout the world have been blessed during the last two centuries, through his labours and his writings. Susannah Wesley could never have done even a small fraction of what her son did, if she had neglected her home and gone to work to make more money, or even travelled the world as a Bible teacher or evangelist.

In talking about the ministries of men and women, Paul tells Timothy, that although women cannot have either the ministry of teaching or eldership, they can have the ministry of motherhood (1 Tim. 2:12,15). In the context of the letter, it is obvious that Paul considers motherhood to be a ministry in the church. This is the second ministry that God calls women to – to be a God-fearing mother to her children. Timothy had seen the glory of this in his own childhood home. He was now to teach that to others in Ephesus.

Men excel women in all professions in life. In one area alone do women stand out as unique – as ‘mothers’. This, by itself, indicates what God created woman to be. Mothers who have neglected their children either to go to work to earn more money (to live in greater luxury) or even to be preachers, have invariably had the sad experience, later on in life, of seeing their children suffer in one way or another, due to their being neglected in their early years. They can do nothing but regret now. This should be a warning to the younger generation of mothers. If a mother goes to work, for the sake of her family’s financial survival, God will certainly give such a family extra grace. But where the motive is luxury and a higher standard of living, she can only expect to reap corruption, for God cannot be fooled (Gal. 6:7,8). May the eyes of all mothers be opened to see the glory of their calling.

Her Glory As A Witness For Christ
A woman’s primary witness for Christ, as we have seen, is by being a man’s helper and a mother to her children. But God also calls her to be a witness by her mouth. God has never called a woman in the New Testament age, to be an apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd or teacher. There were prophetesses under the old covenant – the last being Anna. But the only prophetess in the New Testament (after the day of Pentecost) is Jezebel, the false prophetess (Revelations 2:20). Every woman who claims to be a prophetess or preacher today, is therefore a follower of Jezebel. Let no one be mistaken about that fact. All ‘Elijahs’ of God must resist and expose such ‘Jezebels’ (1 Kings 21:20-23). In the New Testament, women could prophesy occasionally as Philip’s daughters did. (But it is clear that these sisters were not prophetesses; for when God wanted to give a message to the apostle Paul, while he was in Philip’s house, He did not use any of Philip’s four daughters, but brought a prophet, Agabus, from 50 miles away (Acts 21:8-11). Jesus never called a woman to be one of His apostles, for He never intended a woman to have authority over man (1 Timothy 2:12). But although none of these ministries are open to women, yet they can be witnesses for the Lord in many other ways.

Mary Magdalene was the first witness of the risen Christ. She was not an evangelist, but a faithful witness who testified about what she had seen and experienced. Every woman should be baptised in the Holy Spirit and fire (like Mary and the other women were, on the day of Pentecost) in order to be such a witness for Christ (Acts 1:8,14). The restrictions of Indian culture prevent many of the Indian women from ever hearing the gospel through the mouths of men. Only Spirit filled women can reach them. Every God-fearing sister in Christ, should therefore take this responsibility of giving the gospel to those with whom she is in contact – relatives, friends, neighbours, women-servants, etc.

The New Testament teaches that a woman can pray and prophesy in the church too, provided she has her head covered (1 Corinthians 11:5). Prayer is one of the primary ministries that all sisters can engage in, for the building of the church. God is certainly looking today for women who will engage in secret prayer for the fulfilment of His purposes. Women can prophesy too. Acts 2:17,18 clearly states that when the Spirit is out-poured, both men and women will prophesy. This is part of a woman’s privilege under the new covenant. She can share God’s word in a spirit of submission in the meetings of the church, provided she does not try to teach (1 Timothy 2:12). Older women are however exhorted to teach the younger sisters practical matters related to their conduct at home (Titus 2:4,5). ‘Helps’ is one of the gifts that God has appointed in the church (1 Corinthians 12:28). All sisters – young and old – should seek for this gift so that they can help in the church in various practical ways. There were many such godly sisters in the early church (“Phoebe has been a helper of many” – Romans 16:1,2. See also v. 3,6,12). God desires that there be many in the church today as well.

The covering of a woman’s head (taught in 1 Corinthians 11:1-16) is meant to symbolise:

(a) That the glory of man is to be covered in the church (v. 7).
(b) That the glory of woman should also be covered in the church (v. 15) – for a woman’s long hair is her glory.
(c) That she is submissive to the authority of the man (v. 10) – whether husband, father or elder.

A woman is also to be a faithful witness for Christ through her clothing. The Holy Spirit urges women to dress modestly and discreetly. “Christian women should be noticed for being kind and good, not for the way they fix their hair or because of their jewels or fancy clothes (1 Timothy 2:9,10; 1 Peter.3:3). Clothes are meant to cover a woman’s body, not to expose it. No God-fearing sister will ever permit a tailor to cut and ‘shape’ her clothes according to the fashions of the women of the world. The low-worn sari and the low-cut blouse are marks of worldly women, not of the disciples of Jesus Christ. (Read Isaiah 3:16-24 carefully, to see how God denounces the dress fashions of the worldly daughters of Zion).

Satan is eager to destroy the God-appointed distinction between the sexes. And he has got 21st-century women to act and behave like men in many ways. Domineering wives and women preachers are all part of the drift of Christendom’s women further and further away from God and His Word.

In the midst of all this, God needs women who will stay within the boundaries that He has laid down in His Word, and who will manifest the true glory of womanhood throughout their lives. Determine with all your heart that you will be a woman after God’s own heart, in these last days, in the midst of a sinful and adulterous generation and a compromising Christendom.

God will give you grace for this, if you earnestly desire it yourself.

———————————————————-

Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author: CFCIndia

Picture by Luis Quintero at Pexels

Comparison Is The Thief of Joy

 

One of the fastest ways of discouraging yourself and getting trapped by the sin of envy is when you compare yourself to others. God has a specific plan for you and you won’t accomplish that plan by looking at others. 

Count your blessings and not the blessings of someone else. Let God control your life and give Satan no opportunity to discourage you from the purpose God has for you. Know that all you need is Christ. Set your mind at peace by focusing on the Lord.

This is another way to build unity, by not looking to see if I’m better than the next person, spiritually, intellectually or with anything else the Lord has blessed me with.

“Don’t compare yourself to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.”

“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.”

What does the Bible say? Bible verses to Help in Comparing yourselves to others:

Galatians 6:4-5 Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others.  Assume your own responsibility.

2 Corinthians 10:12 We wouldn’t put ourselves in the same class with or compare ourselves to those who are bold enough to make their own recommendations. Certainly, when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves to themselves, they show how foolish they are.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.  That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

All it does is lead to envy

James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

Proverbs 14:30 A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.

1 Corinthians 3:3 For you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

Set apart from the world

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

“1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

We don’t live for people

Philippians 2:3 Don’t act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves.

Galatians 1:10 Am I saying this now to win the approval of people or God? Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.

Isaiah 2:22 Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?

Give God your all

Mark 12:30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind and with all your strength.’

Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will act.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Be content

1 Timothy 6:6-8 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

Psalm 23:1 A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.

Be grateful in all situations.

1 Thessalonians 5:18  Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this.

Psalm 136:1-2 Give thanks to the Lord because he is good, because his mercy endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods because his mercy endures forever.

Compare yourself to Christ instead so you can be more like Him. 

2 Corinthians 10:17 As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.”

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

That way you can live out God’s will for your life.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Psalm 138:8 The LORD will work out his plans for my life–for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.

Advice

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realise this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Reminder

Psalm 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

 

———————————————–

 

By Fritz Chery at Bible Reasons / Picture Photo by Bich Tran from Pexels

The Secrets of a Mountain-Top Experience

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:17).

 What a precious promise we have in this passage of God’s Word and what a wonderful peak of salvation. How many of us have suffered and are unhappy because of somebody standing against us. Sometimes the weapons are from our own family, our own mother, brother, sister or neighbour. They try to bring many things against us.

Others will speak ill and do damage against those who want to grow spiritually and obey God’s word but we have a promise in Isaiah 54:17. It does not matter what kind of weapon enemy uses, whether letters, false stories, scandals (which are a special ministry with some people, and a pleasure to them), God in His Word says: “No weapon that is formed against you, shall prosper”. Yes, even the tongue weapon—it will be condemned. This is the inheritance of the servants of the Lord, those who have become righteous in the sight of God. Keep on saying, “I believe in Isaiah 54:17.” Say it by faith, for this is God’s treatment for you; He is the living God and whatsoever He says He will do, Numbers. 11:23; 23:19. There is no need for us to defend ourselves, but only to believe in the promise of Isaiah 54:17.

We fully believe the wonderful promise in Isaiah 54:17. As long as we are in Him, He will defend us. God will keep us. He will not allow any weapon of any kind to prosper against us provided we go on praising and trusting Him and claiming His promises.

By Brother Bakht Singh

Spiritual Vows To Make and Keep

Some people object to taking vows, but in the Bible you will find many great men of God directed by covenants, promises, vows, and pledges. The psalmist was not averse to the taking of vows. He said, “Thy vows are upon me, 0 God, I will render my praises unto thee” (Psalm 56:12).

My counsel in this matter is that if you are really concerned about spiritual improvement – the gaining of new power, new life, new joy, and new personal revival within your heart -you will do well to make certain vows and proceed to keep them. if you should fail, go down in humility and repent and start over. But always keep these vows before you. They will help harmonize your heart with the vast powers that flow out and down from the throne where Christ sits at the right hand of God

A carnal man refuses the discipline of such commitments. He says, “I want to be free. I don’t want to lay any vows upon myself; I don’t believe in it; it is legalism.” Well, let me paint a picture of two men.

One of them will not take vows. He will not accept any responsibility. He wants to be free. And he is free – in a measure – just as a tramp is free. The tramp is free to sit on a park bench by day, sleep on a newspaper by night, get chased out of town on Thursday morning, and find his way up a set of creaky stairs in some flophouse on Thursday night. Such a man is free, but he is also useless. He clutters up the world whose air he breathes.

Let’s look at another man – maybe a president or prime minister or any great man who carries upon himself the weight of government. Such men are not free. But in the sacrifice of their freedom they step up their power. if they insist upon being free, they can be free, just like the tramp. But they choose rather to be bound.

There are many religious tramps in the world who will not be bound by anything. They have turned the grace of God into personal license. But the great souls are the ones who have gone reverently to God with the understanding that in their flesh dwells no good thing. And they knew that without God’s enablement any vows taken would be broken before sundown. Nevertheless, believing in God, reverently they took certain sacred vows. This is the way to spiritual power. There are five vows I have in mind which we do well to make and to keep.

1. DEAL THOROUGHLY WITH SIN
Sin has been driven underground these days and has come up with a new name and face. You may be subjected to this phenomenon in the schools. Sin is being called by various fancy names – anything but what it really is. For example, men don’t get under conviction any more; they get a guilt complex.

Instead of confessing their guilt to God and getting rid of it, they sit on a couch and try and tell a man who ought to know better all about themselves. it comes out after a while that they were deeply disappointed when they were two years old or some such thing. That’s supposed to make them better.

The whole thing is ridiculous, because sin is still the ancient enemy of the soul. it has never changed. We’ve got to deal firmly with sin in our lives. Let’s remember that “the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Righteousness lies at the door of the kingdom of God. The soul that sins, it shall die.

This is not to preach sinless perfection. This is to say that every known sin is to be named, identified, and repudiated and that we must trust God for deliverance from it so that there is no conscious, deliberate sin anywhere in our lives. It is absolutely necessary that we deal thus, because God is a holy God and sin is on the throne of the world.

So don’t call your sins by some other name. if you’re jealous, call it jealousy. If you tend to pity yourself and feel that you are not appreciated, call it what it is – self-pity.

And then there is your temper. Don’t call it indignation. Don’t try to christen it by some other name Call it what it is. Because if you have a bad temper you will either get rid of it, or it will get rid of much of your spirituality and most of your joy. So let’s deal with sin thoroughly. Let’s be perfectly candid. God loves candid people.


2. NEVER OWN ANYTHING
I do not mean by this that you cannot have things. I mean that you ought to get delivered from the sense of possessing them. This sense of possessing is what hinders us. All babies are born with their fists clenched, and it seems to me it means, “This is mine!” One of the first things they say when they begin to speak, is “mine” in an angry voice. That sense of “This is mine” ‘is a very injurious thing to the spirit. If you can get rid of it so that you have no feeling of possessing anything, there will come a great sense of freedom and liberty into your life.
Now don’t think that you must sell all that you have and give it to charity. No. God will let you have your car and your business, your practice and your position, whatever it may be – provided you understand that it is not yours at all, but His, and all you are doing is just working for Him. You can be restful about it then, because we never need to worry about losing anything that belongs to someone else. If it is yours, you are always looking in your hand to see if it is still there. If it is God’s, you no longer need to worry about it.
Let me point out some things you’ll have to turn over to God. Property is one thing. Some of the dear Lord’s children are being held back because there is a ball and chain on their legs. if it is a man, it’s his big car and fine home. If it is a woman, it’s her china and her Louis XIV furniture and all the rest. Take that vase for instance. There it stands. And if anybody knocked it off and broke it, the poor owner would probably lose five years from her life! it is always necessary to remember that we are only stewards of that which is usually called a possession.

3. NEVER DEFEND YOURSELF
We are all born with a desire to defend ourselves. And if you insist upon defending yourself, God will let you do it But if on turn the defense of yourself over to God, He will defend you. He told Moses in Exodus 23: “I will be an enemy unto thine enemies and an adversary to thine adversaries.”

What do we defend? Well, we defend our talents; we defend our service; and particularly, we defend our reputation. Your reputation is what people think you are, and if a story gets out about you, the big temptation is to try to run it down.

Henry Suso was a great Christian of other days. Once he was seeking what some Christians have told me they are seeking to know God better. Let’s put it like this: You are seeking to have a religious awakening within your spirit that will thrust you farther out into the deep things of God. Well, as Henry Suso was seeking God, people started telling evil stories about the man, and it grieved him so that he wept bitter tears and had great sorrow of heart.

Then one day he looked out the window and saw a dog playing on the lawn. The dog had a mat, and kept picking the mat up, tossing it over his shoulder, running and getting it, tossing it some more, picking it up and tossing it again. God said to Henry Suso, “That mat is your reputation, and I am letting the dogs of sin tear your reputation to shreds and toss it all over the lawn for your own good, but one of these days things will change.”

And this did change. it was not very long before the people who were tearing his reputation were confounded, and Suso rose into a place that made him a power in his day and a great blessing still to those who sing his hymns and read his works.

4. GUARD YOUR WORDS ABOUT OTHERS
Never pass anything on – about anybody else that will hurt him. “Love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). The talebearer has no place in God’s favor. if you know something that would hinder or hurt the reputation of one of God’s children, bury it forever. Find a little garden out back – a little spot somewhere – and when somebody comes around with an evil story, take it out and bury it and say, “Here lies in peace the story about my brother.” God will take care of it. “With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.”

if you want God to be good to you, you are going to have to be good to His children. You say, “But that’s not grace.” Well, grace gets you into the kingdom of God. That is unmerited favor. But after you are seated at the Father’s table, He expects to teach you table manners. And He won’t let you eat unless you obey the etiquette of the table. And what is that? The etiquette of the table is that you don’t tell stories about the brother who is sitting at the table with you – no matter what his denomination, or nationality, or background.

5. NEVER ACCEPT ANY GLORY
God is jealous of His glory and He will not give His glory to another. He will not even share His glory with another. It is quite natural, I should say, for people to hope that maybe their Christian service will give them a chance to display their talents. True, they want to serve the Lord. But they also want other people to know they are serving the Lord. They want to have a reputation among the saints. That is very dangerous ground – seeking a reputation among the saints. It’s bad enough to seek a reputation in the world, but it’s worse to seek a reputation among the people of God. Our Lord gave up His reputation, and so must we.

Meister Eckhart once preached a sermon on Christ cleansing the Temple. He said, “Now there was nothing wrong with those men selling and buying there. There was nothing wrong with exchanging money there; it had to be. The sin lay in their doing it for profit. They got a percentage on serving the Lord.” And then he made the application: “Anybody that serves for a commission, for what little bit of glory he can get out of it, is a merchant, and he ought to be cast out of the temple.”

I go along with this. If you are serving the Lord, and yet slyly -perhaps scarcely known to you – you are hoping to get just a little five percent commission, then look out! it will chill the power of God in your spirit. You must determine that you will never take any glory, but see that God gets it all.

Now, it is the easiest possible thing to give a message like this. The hard thing is to make it work in one’s own life. Remember that these five vows are not something you write in the back of your Bible and forget. They have got to be written in your own blood. They have to be made final, irrevocable, if it only comes off the surface, it is no good. Much of our consecration is just that way – it comes off the surface. Many of our promises conic off the surface. No, no. Let it come out of the depths of your heart, the deep depths of’ your spirit.

These vows cut against the old human nature. They introduce the cross into your life, and nobody ever walks back from carrying his cross. When you make these vows, remember, they strike at the heart of your self-life and there is never a place to go back to. And I say, “Woe unto the triflers!”

In America – and maybe in other places too – SO many people are saying, “Try Jesus try God!” Triflers, experimenters, tasters they arc. Like a rabbit with a half dozen holes so if one is stopped up lie can flee to another! No! From the cross there is no place to flee You don’t “try” Jesus. He is not there to be experimented with. Christ is not on trial. You are. I am. He is not! God raised Him from the dead and forever confirmed His deity and scaled Him and set Him at His own right hand as Lord and Christ. Turn everything over to Him, and you’ll find your life begin to lift. You’ll blossom in a wonderful way.

Now, if you happen to be one of those on whom God has laid His hand for a deeper life, a more powerful life, a fuller life -then I wonder if you would be willing to pray this kind of prayer: -0 God, glorify Thyself at my expense. Send me the bill – anything, Lord. I set no price. I will not dicker or bargain. Glorify Thyself. I’ll take the consequences.

This kind of praying is simple, but it’s deep and wonderful and powerful. I believe that if you can pray a prayer like that, it will be the ramp from which you can take off into higher heights and bluer skies in the things of the Spirit.

by A. W. Tozer

The Final Message


“And He said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.” “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.” ‭‭

(Revelation‬ ‭22:10-21‬ ‭NASB)

Beware Of Mosquitoes

Do you know what animal kills the most humans every year? It is not the untamed tiger or the mammoth elephant or the venomous snake. It is the tiny mosquitoOne study found that mosquitoes kill 20 times more humans than snakes every year.

And the mosquito doesn’t kill you by its strength. It kills you by a small little prick that infects you with a deadly disease. Then it is off to transmit it to the next human being.

If I found a venomous snake in the house, I would drop whatever I am doing to get rid of that snake. It doesn’t matter if I am talking to the CEO of the company, or even the president of my country. I will drop whatever I am doing to drive the venomous snake out of my house.

But because I live by what my eyes see, I dismiss the harmless-looking mosquito. And I am a fool if I do not recognize the FACT that the infection-carrying mosquito that flies around in my house is 20 times more dangerous than a venomous snake in my house.

This has a simple spiritual application. A lot of us are worried about the huge trials. We marvel at people who are able to stand strong for Jesus when faced with threats of great evil or death. And we absolutely should: To be willing to die for Jesus is a tremendous act of courage, and an evidence of a deep loyalty and the supernatural grace that God makes available at such intense times of trial.

But these kinds of spiritual persecutions are like venomous snakes that enter our house. The vast majority of us do not face these kinds of spiritual threats on a daily baiss. What we do face are spiritual mosquitoes that slip into our house and are ignored.

  • The small mosquito of inconvenience because of changes in the routine, children growing up, etc. The Lord asks us to drive out all the mosquitoes of complaint (in thought and word and feelings). Philippians 2:14
  • The small mosquito of being offended by the actions of someone else. The Lord asks us to violently drive out all self-pity. Matthew 16:23
  • The small mosquito of envy towards the blessing of God on another brother. Jesus tells us to love as Christ loved us (1 Corinthians 13:4; John 13:34)
  • The small mosquito of lust in my interactions with others. The Lord tells us to repent of lust just as we would repent if we had committed physical adultery (Matthew 5:28)
  • The small mosquito of unkind words towards loved ones. Jesus tells us that anger in our heart or words is as serious as murdering our loved ones (Matthew 5:22)

Spiritual mosquitoes cause the most havoc in Christians. The devil and his forces might find that sincere Christians watch for spiritual serpents and tigers and lions and so on. But we can be casual to allow his spiritual mosquitoes to fly in and out of our everyday lives. And the biggest cause for spiritual death among Christians are the tiny mosquitoes that are allowed to remain.

Solomon used a similar analogy of “little foxes” that were ruining the vineyard that was in blossom – Song of Songs 2:15 – Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, while our vineyards are in blossom. These were not the adult scary-looking foxes. These were the foxes while they were still cute and harmless-looking.

So may we always be on guard.


**By Sandeep Poonen © Copyright – Sandeep Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author. https://nccf.com/ 

Photo by icon0.com from Pexels

7 Characteristics of the Bride

 

Seven Characteristics of the Bride of Christ

The Bride (Wisdom), we read builds her house on SEVEN PILLARS. These seven pillars are listed for us in James 3:17, and the true church is built on these pillars. By these characteristics, we can identify the Bride of Christ anywhere:

Purity : The first and most important pillar in the true church is purity. This is not a hollow pillar of a merely external purity. No. It is solid through and through. It is purity of the heart, and it grows from the seed of the fear of God deep within the heart. It is not by clever brains but by pure hearts that the true church of Christ is built. We cannot build the church if we don’t have spiritual revelation on God and His ways – and only the pure in heart will be allowed to see God in their hearts (Matthew 5:8).

Peaceableness : Righteousness and peace always go together. They are twins. The kingdom of God is righteousness and peace (Romans 14:17). True wisdom is never argumentative or quarrelsome. It does not strive. It maintains harmonious relationships with everyone, as far as possible. It is impossible to quarrel with a man who is filled with Divine wisdom, for such a man is a peaceable man. He may be firm and he may be hated by compromisers. But he is always peaceable. Jesus told His disciples that when they travel to preach the gospel, they should stay only in the house of “men of peace” (Luke 10:5-7). We must be men of peace, if we are to build God’s house.

Consideration : The Bride of Christ is always fair to others, gentle, patient, forbearing and courteous. She is never harsh or rough but always considerate of the feelings of others. When the church is supported by this pillar, it becomes easy to bear with one another – even if some are slow of understanding or crude in their manners. The problem, we begin to realise, is not the crudeness of our brother or sister, but the impatience that dwells within us. And so we fight the right enemy – our Self-life – and not our brothers and sisters.

Willingness to Yield : One who cannot receive admonishment and exhortation, or who feels that he has gone beyond that stage, is truly foolish, even if he is an elder or an older man ( Ecclesiastes 4:13). In India especially, many people have the heathen idea that “older people are wiser”. This may be true in earthly matters but certainly not in spiritual matters. Jesus did not choose any of the older people in the synagogues to be his apostles. He chose young men. Older people in the church often find it difficult to receive exhortation from a younger brother who may be the elder in the church and also far more godly. But that is because of their pride. Those who are willing to receive correction become wise (Proverbs 13:10). And so where the brothers and sisters in a church are eager to receive exhortation and correction, a truly glorious church will be built. The wise man loves those who exhort him faithfully and will eagerly seek out their company. ‘Submit to one another’ (Ephesians 5:21) are the words written on this pillar.

Fullness of Mercy and its Good Fruits : The Bride of Christ is full of mercy – not just occasionally merciful. She has no problem forgiving anyone, freely and cheerfully from the heart. She does not judge or condemn others, but rather exercises compassion towards them like her Bridegroom. This mercy is not just a mental attitude but finds expression in good fruits that are brought forth in her actions. She does good in all the ways she can to all the people she can at all the times she can.

Steadfastness : A brother who has Divine wisdom will be free from all crookedness. He will be wholehearted and straightforward, with a single eye, free from doubts and hesitation. He will not be double-minded, but strong in faith in God, and he won’t be looking at his own weaknesses, but at the promises of God. Such a brother knows that victory over all conscious sin is possible here and now. He is a dependable person – who can be trusted at all times to keep his word. He is steadfast and unmovable. You cannot make him bend his convictions or to compromise in any matter. He is straight and upright as a rod.

Freedom from Hypocrisy : The Bride has more spiritual content inwardly than others can see in her externally. Her hidden life is better than the opinion that others have of her external life. This is the exact opposite of the ‘spiritual adulteress’ or the ‘Harlot,’ whose so-called spirituality is only meant for receiving the honour of men. What she has is actually ‘religiosity’ and not true spirituality. The bride watches her inner thoughts, motives and attitudes far more than her external words and actions. She longs for God’s approval over her inner life and cares nothing at all for man’s approval of her external life. By this test, each of us can know whether we are part of the Bride or of the Harlot.

The Bride of Christ has the seed of wisdom implanted in her heart and so she will have these seven characteristics growing in her year by year. Although she is still far from perfect, she is pressing on and growing towards perfection.

————————————————————

**By Zac Poonen © Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author. https://www.cfcindia.com/ 

**Photo by Secret Garden at Pexel

Let Christ Be the Centre of Your Life

The New Testament teaches that in order for a man to be saved, he needs to repent first. Repentance means turning from our old way of life. It means a whole lot more than just giving up some bad habits, like drinking and gambling, etc. Our old way of life is a self-centred life; and repentance means saying, “Lord, I’m tired of being centred in myself and I want to turn to You now and to be centred in You.”

“To delight ourselves in the Lord is to put God at the centre of our lives.”Jesus came to save us from sin. In other words, He came to save us from self-centredness. Put the word “self-centredness” instead of the word `sin’ in the New Testament and you’ll see what meaning comes up in many passages. “Sin shall not be master over you” (Rom. 6:14) becomes “Self-centredness will not be master over you”. That’s God’s desire for His people. And yet if we examine our lives, we’ll find that even in our most sacred desires, there is self-centredness. To ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit can be a self-centred desire, if we want this power in order to be a great preacher, or a great healer etc. That’s as self-centred a desire as wanting to be great in this world. Do you see how sin enters even into the most holy place?

That’s why Jesus taught us to pray, first of all, not even that we might be filled with the Spirit, but that God’s name might be hallowed (Matt. 6:9, Luke 11:2). Only a truly spiritual man can pray this prayer in sincerity. Anyone can repeat this prayer, of course. Even a parrot can do that. But to really mean it, from the depths of our hearts, will require a total devotion to God, where He is first in our lives, where we are centred in Him, and where we are not seeking His blessing as much as Himself. If He gives us His gifts, well and good; and if He does not give us any gifts that’s all right with us too, because we long for God Himself, and not His gifts. Why did God teach the Israelites to love Him with all their hearts and to love their neighbour as themselves? Only to deliver them from their self-centredness.

There is an acrostic on the word joy that says, “Put J – Jesus first, O – others next, and Y – yourself last. Then you can have joy.” God is perpetually full of joy. There is no sorrow or anxiety in heaven, because everything is centred in God. The angels are always rejoicing, because they are centred in God. The reason we lack joy, peace, and so many other spiritual virtues is because we haven’t found our proper centre. We tend to use God for our own ends. And even prayer becomes something like this, “Lord, please let my business prosper……Help me to get a promotion in my job…..Please let me get a better house…..” etc. We want God to become our servant, helping to make our earthly lives more comfortable – like the genie in the story of Aladdin and his lamp.

This is the type of God that so many believers pray to – one who is a means to their own advancement and profit in this world. But the God of the New Testament is not one who helps you to win the 100 metres race in the Olympics or to outwit your competitor in a business deal. Our prayers reveal how self-centred we are.

“Delight yourself in the Lord” the Bible says, “and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4). To delight ourselves in the Lord is to put God at the centre of our lives. And so, it is only a God-centred person who can have all the desires of his heart. “No good thing will God withhold from those who walk uprightly (that is, from those who are walking with their head on top – who have God controlling their lives)” (Psalm 84:11). “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much”(James 5:16) – and the righteous man is the God-centred man. On the contrary, the fervent prayer of the self-centred man, even if he prays all night is going to avail nothing. It is the type of life we live that gives value to the prayer we pray.

That’s why the first three longings of our life should be: “Father, Your Name should be hallowed. Your kingdom should come. Your will should be done.” (Matt. 6:9-10) We may have many other requests such as, “Heal me of my backache, help me to find a better house to live in, help my son to get a job,” etc. These are all good requests. But if you can say, “Father, even if you don’t grant these requests, my primary desire is that Your Name will be glorified” – then you’re a spiritual man.

 


By Zac Poonen © Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author. https://www.cfcindia.com/

Picture by Adam Kontor at Pexels

Child of God Wait Patiently


Child of God Wait Patiently

O child of God, wait patiently when dark thy path may be,

And let thy faith lean trustingly on Him who cares for Thee;

And though the clouds hang drearily upon the brow of night,

Yet in the morning joy will come, and fill thy soul with light.

O child of God, He loveth thee, and thou art all His own;

With gentle hand He leadeth thee, thou dost not walk alone;

And though thou watchest wearily the long and stormy night,

Yet in the morning joy will come, and fill thy soul with light.

O child of God, how peacefully He calms thy fears to rest,

And draws thee upward tenderly, where dwell the pure and blest;

And He who bendeth silently above the gloom of night,

Will take thee home where endless joy shall fill thy soul with light.

By Fanny Crosby

Dying To Self

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

DYING TO SELF

In these last days, the Spirit must bring us to the Cross if we would be saved. And once we die on the Cross, we will not respond to any slights against our human flesh any longer, because dead people don’t move.

The Christian life can be explained only in terms of Jesus Christ, and if your life as a Christian can still be explained in terms of you—your personality, your willpower, your gift, your talent, your money, your courage, your scholarship, your dedication, your sacrifice, [your years of service, your accomplishments, your degrees, your intellect], your anything—then although you may have the Christian life, you are not yet living it [as God intended].

“That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” Phil.3:10

The Crucified Life Challenge:

When you are forgotten, neglected, or purposely ignored and you don’t sting and hurt with the insult of the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ, THAT IS DYING TO SELF.

When your good is spoken of as evil, your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinion ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient, loving silence, THAT IS DYING TO SELF.

When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder and irregularity, or any annoyance; when you stand face to face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility, and endure it as Jesus endured, THAT IS DYING TO SELF.

When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works or itch after praise; when you can truly love to be unknown, THAT IS DYING TO SELF.

When you are content with any food, any offering, any climate, any society, any clothing, and any interruption by the will of God, THAT IS DYING TO SELF.

When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy, nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances. THAT IS DYING TO SELF.

When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart, THAT IS DYING TO SELF.

ARE YOU DEAD YET?


**By Bill Britton, “Dethrone the King: Dying to Self,” The Heartbeat of the Remnant, July/August, 2002, 19

Jesus tempted as we are

Unfolding The Rosebud

It is only a tiny rosebud,
A flower of God’s design;
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.

The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I.
GOD opens this flower so sweetly,
When in my hands they fade and die.

If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
This flower of God’s design,
Then how can I think I have wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?

So I’ll trust in Him for His leading
Each moment of every day.
I will look to Him for His guidance
Each step of the pilgrim way.

The pathway that lies before me,
Only my Heavenly Father knows.
I’ll trust Him to unfold the moments,
Just as He unfolds the rose.

By Helen Steiner Rice

————————

**Photo by Jovana Nesic