devotions


 James Smith, “Nothing Impossible” 1861

“For with God, nothing shall be impossible!”
Luke 1:37

Difficulties often crowd the believer’s path, and trials line his way. Obstacles and opposition meet him at almost every turn. What to do at times–he scarcely knows, for he has been disappointed so often, and is now so completely baffled–that his way is hedged up with thorns! Look whichever way he will, or to whatever quarter he may–there is something to discourage him, and cast him down!

It is of no use looking any way, or to any one–but to the Lord; and while looking to Him, it will be well to remember what the angel said to the blessed virgin, to excite and strengthen her faith, “For with God, nothing shall be impossible.”

Full Aticle at Today’s Grace Gems!

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 Being – Doing, J. R. Miller

There is a silent personal influence, like a shadow, that goes out from everyone, and this influence is always leaving results and impressions wherever it touches. You cannot live a day and not touch some other life. Wherever you go your shadow falls on others, and they are either better or worse for your presence. Our influence depends upon what we are more than upon what we do. It is by living a beautiful life that we bless the world. I do not under-estimate holy activities. Good deeds must characterize every true life. Our hands must do mighty works. But if the life itself is noble, beautiful, holy, Christ-like, one that is itself a benediction, an inspiration, the worth of the influence is many times multiplied.

In Green Pastures

My prayer for today:  Heavenly Father, Please let the shadow that I cast upon my husband and children be one of thankfulness, joy, contentment —  and a reflection of You.  Amen.

Happy New Year! A lovely discovery for 2010:  J.R. Miller Archive . Bookmark and enjoy!

In Green Pastures by J. R. Miller
Daily Readings

Write deep in your heart this New-Year’s day this word of sublime confidence, JEHOVAH-JIREH. It tells you that you can trust God always; that no promise of his ever fails; that he doeth all things well; that out of all seeming loss and destruction of human hopes he brings blessing. You have not passed this way heretofore. There will be sorrows and joys, failures and successes, this year, just as there were last year. You cannot forecast individual experiences. You cannot see a step before your feet. Yet Jehovah-Jireh calls you to enter the new year with calm trust. It bids you put away all anxieties and forebodings — “The Lord will provide.”

 

HT: Saved by Grace

prayer-2

The whole idea of government sponsored interfaith prayer begs the question:

Does God answer the prayers of unbelievers?  John MacArthur answers this question with 15 reasons for unanswered prayer.

God is sovereign and can choose to answer any prayer He sees fit. But Scripture clearly indicates that God does not listen to or answer every prayer. In fact, Scripture gives at least fifteen reasons for unanswered prayer. God does not answer the prayer of those:
You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures (James 4:3). 

#2. Who regard iniquity in their hearts.

If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear (Psalm 66:18).

#3. Who remain in sin.

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear (Isaiah 59:2).

Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him (John 9:31).

#4. Who offer unworthy service to God.

“You offer defiled food on My altar. But say, ‘In what way have we defiled You?’ By saying, ‘The table of the Lord is contemptible.’ And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?” Says the Lord of hosts. “But now entreat God’s favor, That He may be gracious to us. While this is being done by your hands, Will He accept you favorably?” Says the Lord of hosts (Malachi 1:7-9).

#5. Who forsake God.

Thus says the Lord to this people: “Thus they have loved to wander; They have not restrained their feet. Therefore the Lord does not accept them; He will remember their iniquity now, And punish their sins.” Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for this people, for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence (Jeremiah 14:10-12). #6. Who reject God’s call.

Because I [Wisdom] have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke…. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me (Proverbs 1:24-25, 28).

#7. Who will not heed God’s law.

One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination (Proverbs 28:9).

“But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen,” says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 7:11-13).

#8. Who turn a deaf ear to the cry of the poor.

Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, Will also cry himself and not be heard. (Proverbs 21:13).

#9. Who are violent.

When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood (Isaiah 1:15; see also 59:2-3).

#10. Who worship idols.

Therefore thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will surely bring calamity on them which they will not be able to escape; and though they cry out to Me, I will not listen to them. Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they offer incense, but they will not save them at all in the time of their trouble. For according to the number of your cities were your gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem you have set up altars to that shameful thing, altars to burn incense to Baal. So do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them; for I will not hear them in the time that they cry out to Me because of their trouble.” (Jeremiah 11:11-14; see also Ezekiel 8:15-18).

#11. Who have no faith.

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord (James 1:6-7).

#12. Who are living in hypocrisy.

Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy (Luke 12:1).

#13. Who are proud of heart.

God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).

#14. Who are self-righteous.

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, “God, I thank You that I am not like other men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.” And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted (Luke 18:11-14).

#15. Who mistreat God’s people.

You have also given me the necks of my enemies, So that I destroyed those who hated me. They cried out, but there was none to save; Even to the Lord, but He did not answer them (Psalm 18:40-41).

You who hate good and love evil; Who strip the skin from My people, And the flesh from their bones; Who also eat the flesh of My people, Flay their skin from them, Break their bones, And chop them in pieces, Like meat for the pot, Like flesh in the caldron. Then they will cry to the Lord, But He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, Because they have been evil in their deeds (Micah 3:2-4).

So, does God answer the prayers of unbelievers? A strict yes or no answer is difficult without qualifying the answer in various ways. However, it is noteworthy that the above mentioned principles represent some of the key characteristics of an unbeliever. Thus we can safely say that, in general, God does not answer the prayers of an unbeliever.

 

 

#1. Who have personal and selfish motives.

Opened wooden gate decorated with green climbing plant..

(Charles Spurgeon)

“How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life!” Matthew 7:14

In some sense, the path to heaven is very safe–but in other respects, there is no road so dangerous! It is beset with difficulties. One wrong step–and down we go! And how easy it is to take that treacherous step–if grace is absent!

What a slippery path is that–which some of us have to tread! How many times have we to exclaim with the Psalmist, “But as for me, my feet were slipping–and I was almost gone!”

If we were strong, sure-footed mountaineers, this would not matter so much; but in ourselves, how weak we are!

Even in the best roads–we soon falter!

In the smoothest paths–we quickly stumble!

These feeble knees of ours–can scarcely support our tottering weight!

A straw may trip us up–and a pebble can wound us!

We are mere infants, tremblingly taking our first steps in the walk of faith. Our heavenly Father holds us by the arms–or we would soon tumble down!

Oh, if we are kept from falling, how must we bless the patience, power and wisdom of God–who watches over us moment by moment–and day by day! Think–
  how prone we are to sin,
  how apt to choose dangerous paths,
  how strong our tendency to cast ourselves down
–and these reflections will make us sing more sweetly than we have ever done, “Glory to Him, who is able to keep us from falling, and to present us before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy!” Jude 24

We have many foes–who try to push us down, and destroy us!

The road is rough–and we are weak!

But in addition to this, enemies lurk in ambush, who rush out when we least expect them, and labor to trip us up, or hurl us down the nearest deadly precipice!

 

Only an Almighty arm can preserve us from these unseen foes, who are seeking to destroy us at every step! Such an arm is engaged for our defense. He is faithful, who has promised, and He is able to keep us from falling, so that with a deep sense of our utter weakness, we may cherish a firm belief in our perfect safety!

  

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crown2

I Think My Wife is an Emergent . . . or Emerging . . . or Whatever.

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