Lem Cheong, a Cambodian youth, questioned his family’s beliefs. He was taught that a person seeking guidance should go to a temple and shake a container of numbered bamboo slivers until one fell out. The priest then interpreted the meaning. But this practice didn’t satisfy his longing for clear answers, or fill the void in his heart that only God could fill.
Cheong asked his uncle, a priest, if he had ever had a prayer answered. Shocked by the brashness of his nephew he admitted that he couldn’t remember a single time one of his prayers had been answered.
Later Cheong asked a Christian if God had ever answered his prayers. The man recounted several instances. Cheong was so impressed that he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour that day. Since then, prayer has become a vital part of his life. The Lord Jesus said, “Ask, and it shall be given you” (Matthew 7:7). Christian prayer is effective because God is the living and true God who hears and answers according to His will…and His will is always good. How wonderful to know the prayer-answering God! “I will call upon Thee: for Thou wilt answer me” (Psalm 86:7).
“Let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God” (1 Timothy 5:4).
If you have never read Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan, it is well worth taking the time to do so.
In Pilgrim’s Progress we are introduced to a character named “Talkative.” He is referred to as a “saint abroad and a devil at home.” Young people, and sometimes those who are not so young, are sometimes like that in their speech. They are courteous and kind with neighbors, friends, fellow-students, and coworkers, or even when meeting strangers. Yet they snap at, and fume impatiently with members of their own family and household.
This does not please the Lord Jesus! We should speak kindly and lovingly to those at home as well as those abroad.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).
How much do you think about heaven? Sometimes in the middle of a busy travel schedule I like to stop and think about how wonderful it will be to be home in the Father’s house. When we arrive there, we will be in happy, uninterrupted fellowship with the Lord Jesus. As a result of that we will be in happy, uninterrupted fellowship with one another. We can hardly imagine what it will be like….around the Lamb…singing His praise…seeing His glory…being with Him forever!
In the meantime we have the grace of God to keep us and teach us to live for Christ now, in view of His soon return.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11-13).
Praise is not only pleasing to God our Father, but also brings glory to Him. Why? Because we are thanking the Lord for what He has done. And anything that exalts Jesus Christ glorifies God. Perhaps we don’t praise Him enough. (In fact, I know I don’t.) We become so occupied with ourselves, and our own troubles and cares that we stop thinking about the Lord and all that He has done for us.
Let’s start the week with praise—genuine praise from our hearts and on our lips. As we remember that He gave His life for our eternal blessing let’s praise Him—genuinely. It really does give glory to God.
Our verse today does not say “whoso offerethsilence…”
No, He wants to hear our voices. “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name” (Hebrews 13:15). Open your mouth today, and let God hear “the fruit of your lips.”
“And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?” (Luke 12:25).
Man achieves great feats with the intelligence that God has given him. He prides himself in his astonishing achievements in science, technology, and culture.
However, as the above verse indicates there are some things that man cannot and will never be able to do, and they are matters of great significance. He cannot relive one of his past days; nor can he prevent wrinkles from appearing on his face. And when death approaches, he cannot keep it at bay indefinitely.
Yet there is an issue of greater importance, man cannot undo a single one of his sins. However good and upright he may be in the eyes of his fellow-man, there is no undoing of the past.
What can be done with such a burden? How can we meet God in holiness? One way—the cross! The death and blood of Christ is the only answer to the question, “How should man be just with God?” (Job 9:2).
Q. Is “going out” with people for a short time, and then “breaking up” with them the right thing to do?
A. We are never at liberty to play with another person’s emotions, and never do we have a precept in the Bible that would encourage us to fall into the habit of “short term” dating. This has often led to much sorrow, as the heart becomes involved even before we realize it.
The world takes these things so lightly, and marriage and “long term” relationships are not even considered. But the Christian is not to follow the trends and course of the world. “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). Dating is a serious thing, and marriage is for life. It is not something to be played at and entered into lightly. The Lord wants to show us the path of His choice, and He wants us to have a happy, fruitful life in every aspect of every relationship, including marriage.
“Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:10).
“Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” (James 4:13-15).
There are many things we do that we have to say, “We hope we have the Lord’s mind.” Often we look back and it is confirmed, and maybe sometimes we look back and realize that perhaps we missed His mind. Then we need grace to correct it. How good it is, in every activity of life, to seek the will of the Lord, and then to act in faith and obedience when He shows us. Sometimes the next step may not seem all that clear, but He is with us every mile of the journey of life, and even when we get ahead of the Lord, “thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21).
27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
31 And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
“Simon answering said unto Him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at Thy word I will let down the net” (Luke 5:5).
I have been thinking a lot about this verse lately. To have labored all night without a single fish must have been very discouraging to say the least. Cold and weary they had toiled all night for fish to feed their hunger, to no avail. Trusting in their own efforts and expertise as fisherman they came up with nothing. What they needed, the Lord provided in the way He alone could. The Creator of the universe had the fish ready on the fire. He is still the same today and able to provide in unique ways to those who trust Him alone for their needs.
As you launch out on another week of activity, remember, nothing will be accomplished without Him. Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ” (Philippians 4:14).