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Posts Tagged ‘trust’

One Day at a Time


Dear Friends,

There is a passage in one of Jesus’ discourses with which most of us are very familiar.  It is found in Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter 6:

“…Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink;  nor yet for your body, what you shall put on…..Which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his stature?  And why are you anxious concerning raiment?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;  they toil not, neither do they spin;  and yet I say to you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

“Therefore be not anxious, saying, What shall we eat?  Or, What shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?..…for your Heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.  But seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.  Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”” 

The reason our Lord gives against anxiety for the future is that we have nothing to do with the future.  God gives us life by days – little single days.  Each day has its own duties, its own needs, its own trials and temptations, its own sorrows.  And its own joys and victories.  God always gives us strength enough for the day as He gives it, with all that He puts into it.

If we insist on dragging back tomorrow’s cares and piling them on top of today’s, our strength will not be enough for the load.  God will not add strength just to humor our whims of anxiety and distrust.

So the lesson is that we should keep each day distinct and attend strictly to what that day brings us.  Charles Kingsley says, “Do today’s duty, fight today’s temptation, and do not weaken and distract yourself by looking forward to things which you cannot see, and could not understand if you saw them.”  We really have nothing at all to do with the future, except to prepare for it by doing with fidelity the duties of today.

No one was ever crushed by the burdens of one day.  We can always get along with our heaviest load till the sun goes down – and that is all we ever have to do.  Tomorrow?  Oh, you really have no guarantee of tomorrow.  If you are here God will be here too, and you will receive new strength sufficient for the new day.    (Adapted from “Come Ye Apart” Daily Readings, 1907)

One day at a time.  A burden too great
To be borne for two can be borne for one;
Who knows what will enter tomorrow’s gate?
While yet we are speaking all may be done.

One day at a time, – but a single day,
Whatever its load, whatever its length;
And there’s a bit of precious Scripture to say
That according to each shall be our strength.

-                  Author unknown

In Agape,

Eulene

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Dear Friends,

Our Lord Jesus identified Himself with the prophecy of Isaiah (61):  “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek;  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;…to provide for them that grieve in Zion, to give unto them beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair, that they might be called trees of righteousness, THE PLANTING OF THE LORD, that He might be glorified.”

The blessed man of Psalm 1 is “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, his leaves do not wither, and whatever he does prospers.”

Another reference from the Psalms (92:12-15):  “The righteous shall flourish like the Palm Tree; they shall grow like a Cedar in Lebanon.  Those that be planted in the House of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.  They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and green;  to show that the Lord is upright…”

One commentator indicates that Palms and Cedars are “trees of the Lord,” and it is by His care that they flourish; they are not trained and pruned by man!  They are evergreen, and are beautiful in every season of the year.  Everywhere these trees are noteworthy; no one can gaze upon a landscape in which there are either Palms or Cedars without his attention being fixed upon these royal growths.  I well remember, on my first trip to Washington, Oregon and California many years ago, how we were transfixed by the lush growth of the Cedars on the West side of the mountains, and then the Palm Trees when our bus entered California.  Having grown up on the bald Saskatchewan Prairie, I have a particular penchant for trees of any kind, but the magnificence of the Cedars and the Palms overwhelmed me.

The renowned Cedar of Lebanon is a true Cedar, unlike those of the Cypress family with which we North Americans are more familiar. The upper slopes of the Lebanon Mountains were once covered with these majestic trees.  In centuries past, the Cedar of Lebanon was sought after for its attractive, fragrant, durable wood.   Unfortunately, there is now but a grove of these ancient and beautiful trees surviving in the northern mountains.  The people of early Middle East civilizations used them for building palaces, ships, temples, and tombs. You may recall that, when Solomon built that first magnificent temple in Jerusalem, he ordered Cedar trees from Lebanon.

The Palm, on the other hand, is found in warmer climates, especially in the tropics. It is important in tropical regions because it provides food, clothing, and building materials for the people.  Most Palms grow straight and tall, with long fan-like leaves clustered near the top.  There are many varieties of Palm trees, bearing different fruits such as dates and coconuts.

It is interesting to note that the Lord refers to these magnificent trees as a type of His people who are to be “called trees of righteousness, THE PLANTING OF THE LORD.”

Those who are His shall grow like the Cedars of Lebanon “that brave all storms, and grow near the eternal snows, the Lord Himself filling them with a sap which keeps their hearts warm and their boughs strong.”  Such is the work of the Holy Spirit dwelling within.  The child of God flourishes like a Palm tree, which pushes all its strength upward in one erect column without a single branch.  It is a pillar with a glorious crown.  It has no growth to the right nor to the left, but sends all its force heavenward, and bears its fruit as near the sky as possible.

It is by His care that they flourish;   they are trained and pruned by His loving hand;   they stand in the beauty of His Righteousness under all kinds of weather.  The storms of life serve only to deepen the roots and strengthen the tree.   Indeed,

The wind that blows can never kill
The tree God plants!
It blows from east, it blows from west,
The tender leaves have little rest,
But any wind that blows is best.

The tree God plants
Strikes deeper root, grows higher still,
Spreads greater boughs, for God’s good will
Meets all its wants.

There is no storm has power to blast
The tree God knows;
No thunderbolt, nor beating rains,
Nor lightning flash, nor hurricanes;
When they are spent, it still remains,
The tree God knows.

Through every tempest it stands fast,
And from its first day to its last
Still fairer grows.

                         (Author unknown)

“Lord, let it be so with me, I pray!

In Agape,

Eulene

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Dear Friends,

There is an interesting reference in Hosea where the Lord says, “I will be as the dew unto Israel.  He shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.”  (Hosea 14:5)

Though said primarily of Israel, these words also describe the beginning of everything in the experience of God’s children.  Dewfall is altogether vital to the life and growth of trees and flowers, and to us the Lord Himself promises to be “as the dew.”  Everything in our life as believers comes to us from Christ as our source.  He is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, holiness;  He has given us all things that have to do with His Life and His Likeness;  He has given to us exceeding great and precious promises, enabling us to partake of His Divine Nature.  Yes, everything!  (1 Cor. 1:30;  2 Peter 1:3)

“I will be as the dew,” He affirms, and in the latter part of the verse Hosea shows how life, with this as its supply, takes on a mysterious dual character.  In it the blossom of the Lily is wonderfully linked with the roots of the Cedar:  frail beauty and massive strength united in a single plant!  Such miracles are wrought by Heaven’s ‘dewfall’ alone.  Here, united in the child of God, are two contrasting characteristics.  Above ground, as it were, is the simple life of trust and faith represented by the Lily. That is what people see.  Yet buried deep down out of sight, giving to this frail plant a wholly unsuspected strength, are the massive roots of the Cedar.  Here surely is the paradox of a life in which the Cross is known.  Outwardly it appears fragile as the Lily blooming on the earth, but secretly there is much more hidden in the soil.  How much of our lives is seen?  When others look on the surface, do they see all there is?  Or is there something more?  Do we have in the unseen a secret history with God?  Others take account only of the Lily blooming in its weakness.  God is concerned with the roots, that they shall be Cedar-like in strength.  (Adapted from Watchman Nee)

Roots are essential to the life of a plant.  Most roots grow underground, anchoring the plant in the soil.  They also absorb water and minerals that the plant needs to grow.  In addition, many roots store food for later use by the plant.

This is another picture the Bible uses to help us understand the workings of God in our lives.  Remember the blessed one whose TRUST and HOPE is in the Lord, described by Jeremiah?    The Prophet goes on to describe him thus:  “…he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, that spreads out her ROOTS by the river.   He shall not fear when heat comes, but her leaf shall be green;  he shall not be anxious in the year of drought, nor cease from yielding fruit.”  A Proverb assures us that “the root of the righteous shall not be moved.”

(Ps. 1:3 & Jer. 17:7, 8;  Prov. 12:3)

The Apostle Paul found this to be a very appropriate analogy when he admonishes us in his letter to the Colossian Church:  “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, ROOTED and built up IN HIM, and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”  And again, to the Ephesian Church, praying “that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that you, being ROOTED and GROUNDED IN LOVE, may be strong to apprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to experience the Love of Christ which passes knowledge…”

(Col. 2:6,7; Eph. 3:17-19)

Isaiah used an interesting prophetic phrase concerning Judah, but nonetheless appropriate to our subject:-  They shall “take root downward, and bear fruit upward.” (Isa. 37:31)

As the believer’s spiritual ‘roots’ grow ever deeper in the Life and Love of God, drawing sustenance from His Word and strength from His Spirit, the life flows upward to produce the beautiful ‘blossoms’ or flavorful ‘fruit.’   Through the Holy Spirit the Lord provides all things necessary for our growth, development, maturity and fruitfulness.

Rooted in the Love of God,
And grounded in His Word,
Drawing Life from richest sod;
Agape from the Lord.

Anchored in Amazing Grace,
And in His Word secure,
Held in His Divine Embrace,
Safe from the world’s allure.

Settled in the Peace of God;
Fixed in His Faith made mine;
Strengthened by His Guiding Rod;

Kept by His Pow’r Divine.

(c) Eulene Hope Moores

As we place our TRUST and our HOPE in the Lord, we shall be like that tree planted by the waters of Life, rooted and grounded by the river of God, and we shall not fear whate’er may come.  (Jer. 17:7)

In Agape, Eulene

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Dear Friends,

Commit your way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.” (Psa. 37:5)

This very meaningful portion of Scripture is very familiar to most of us, probably having been memorized at one time or another.  But a poem in one of our recent devotional readings made a point which spoke to me quite loudly:

“Commit your way unto the Lord – and trust!”
Ah, it is here we fail!  We give the wheel
Of our small bark to Him; but then we trust
Our hand upon His hand,
And dare to stand
Beside our Master, lest He wreck our keel.

“Commit your way unto the Lord – and trust!”
Leave all to Him; believe He knows your course,
Your dangers, and your safety – all – then just
Abandon all to Him:
So shall you skim,
Borne briskly on before the Spirit’s force.

“Commit your way unto the Lord – and trust!”
There is an “also” we too oft forget,
And so are plagued and worried.  Oh, we must
“Trust also,” then our soul
Shall cease to roll
In restlessness and reason and regret!

Commit!  And then, committed, – trust His Word!
Has He not said that He will bring you through?
Trust His strong arm; and when wild storms are heard,
Believe He holds them still
By His strong will.

Trust Him, the Wise, the Faithful, and the True.
Trust Him to manage all that you do now
Commit to Him – the ship – the sails – the sea –
The sailors, your strange crew.  And ask not how He will do all for you,
But trustful be.
Lie down and rest from anxious worry free.

-          Unknown

 

It is generally not so difficult to commit to the Lord our ways, our concerns, our needs, or our burdens.  But then it is a little more difficult to “trust also!”  We too often tend to commit to Him and then continue to doubt and worry.

I am reminded of an old hymn we used to sing:

“Leave your burden at the place of prayer;
Take to Jesus all your want and care;
For He is a Friend indeed, and supplies our ev’ry need;
Leave your burden at the place of prayer.”

Jesus reminded us of the carefree sparrows.  They were actually sold for food in the markets.  Matthew tells us they were so cheap that two of them were sold for the paltry price of a farthing (a half cent!)  Luke tells us that five of them were sold for two farthings; so insignificant the vendor threw in an extra one.  Our modern ads would say, “Buy four, get one free!” Yet, Jesus assured us that not one of them is forgotten before God, or falls on the ground without Father’s notice!  To Him we are of much greater value than many sparrows:  the value of the blood of Jesus paid for our redemption at Calvary!   (Matt. 10:29-31; Luke 12:6,7))

So Jesus tells us very pointedly, “Do not fear!  But trust!” Is not this a wonderful assurance as we enter upon another new year?   May 2011 be a blest year crowned with the Goodness of God.  (Psa. 65:11)

“May God, the giver of HOPE,
fill you with continual JOY and PEACE
because you trust in Him
so that you may have abundant HOPE
through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

(Romans 15:13 Weymouth)

In Agape,

Eulene

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Blessings,

In the 31st Psalm David recounts a lot of his woes and griefs.  Then, in verse 14, he makes the remarkable declaration:  “BUT I trusted in You, O Lord; I said, You are my God.  MY TIMES ARE IN YOUR HAND…”

I understand that, if you quote this verse to the native of Congo, he will be forced to translate it in the wonderful words, “All my life’s Whys, Whens, Wheres and Wherefores are in God’s Hand!”

We talked about the Hand of God in a previous letter (December/08) and were reminded of what a glorious blessing it is to be held in the mighty hand of our Almighty God.  This phrase zeros in on another aspect of being in His hand – our times!  Our Whys, Whens, Wheres, and Wherefores!

God’s viewpoint is so far removed from our own.   He exists outside the entity of Time;  He is eternal – timeless – ageless.  He lives in the “eternal NOW.”  The illustration has often been used of someone watching through a knot-hole in the fence, a parade passing by.  One can see only what is passing in front of the knot-hole at a given moment.  But if the sights can be raised to gaze over the top of the fence, one can see the whole parade from beginning to end.

We tend to see things through the ‘knothole’ of human perspective;  God sees the beginning and the ending – and everything in between.   He declares, “I am God, and there is none else;  I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done…” (Isa. 46:9,10)

“There is a time to every purpose under the heaven” declares the author of the Book of Ecclesiastes.  Our Heavenly Father sees and knows all things, and He is “the same, yesterday, today and forever.” He has set each one of us in our place in the course of time;  He has ordained our time to be born, and our time to die, as well as our ‘times’ spanning the in-between.  Because God is pure Love and Wisdom, we can place our full trust in Him to guide us through life to His ultimate goal for us. (Eccl.3:1;  Heb. 13:8)

May we then sing with quiet confidence this beautiful old hymn.  (If you read it aloud, slowly, you will ‘hear’ each important word.):

My times are in Thy hand;  my God, I wish them there;
My life, my friends, my soul I leave entirely to Thy care.

My times are in Thy hand;  whatever they may be,
Pleasing or painful, dark or bright, as best may seem to Thee.

My times are in Thy hand;  why should I doubt or fear?
My Father’s hand will never cause His child a needless tear.

My times are In Thy hand;  Jesus, the crucified!
Those hands my cruel sins had pierced are now my guard and guide.

My times are in Thy hand;  Christ is my Advocate;
No earthly power from Love Divine my soul can separate.

My times are in Thy hand;  I’ll always trust in Thee;
Till I have left this weary land, and all Thy Glory see.
William F. Lloyd, 1791 – 1853


His tender hands have fashioned tiny things;
The wee blue petals of forget-me-nots;
A drop of mist;  an insect’s tissue wings;
A poppy seed;  a caterpillar’s spots;
The sensitive antennae of a bee;
Each amber globule of the desert sands . . .
Then shall I fear when He has said to me,
“YOUR DAYS, My Precious One, are IN MY HANDS?”

(Vivian Ahrendt)


At the beginning of another new year, keep this truth in remembrance:

Each day is in God’s hands – and there is no better place!

Now may the God of HOPE
make you full of joy and peace through faith,
so that all HOPE may be yours
in the power of the Holy Spirit.

(Romans 15:13 Bible in Basic English)

In Agape, Eulene

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