Harvest Times

Grace for humble

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It is significant, too, that the Scripture assures us that the same God who must resist the proud always stands ready to give grace to the humble, The Bible advises men and women to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God. It is my opinion that if our humility had to show itself only under the hand of God, it would be a relatively easy gesture.

If the Lord should say to me,”lam coming and will stand at the front of the church and I will expect you to come and kneel before me and humble yourself,” it would be an easy thing for me to do because I know that no one will ever lose face in kneeling humbly before God Himself.

Any man would feel just as proud as ever even though kneeling before the eternal Majesty on high. But God knows our hearts and He doesn’t allow us to fulfill His demands for humility with a mere gesture.

God may use people whom you think are not worthy to shine your shoes and in a given situation He will expect you to humble yourself meekly and take from them whatever it is they are pouring on you. In that spirit of meekness you would be humbling yourself under the mighty hand of God!

Think of the example of our Savior, cruelly beaten and cut with the lash. That whip was not wielded by an archangel but by the hands of a pagan Roman soldier. The abuse that was heaped on Jesus did not come from any multitude of the heavenly host-but from wicked, blasphemous and dirty-tongued men who were not worthy to clean the dust from the soles of His sandals.

Jesus willingly humbled Himself under the hand of men and so He humbled himself under the hand of God.

Taken from the book “I call it Heresy” by A W Tozer

Published by Gospel Literature Service

 

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Good Habits for Happy Marriage

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American Calvinist Baptist Minister and Author John Piper’s wife Noel Piper writes about their successful marriage. An article ‘Will you cleave and leave your man? – letter to a would-be adulteress’ in desiringgod.org, talks about her convictions and habits for keeping her marriage from turmoil and sensual  encounters.

She writes, “I understood — as well as a person can at the beginning of the rest of her life — the happy, solemn weight of promising to be faithful to him until death parted us, no matter what challenges God might bring into our lives. It didn’t seem possible I would ever want anything else.”

And she willfully and wholeheartedly took the oath, “Noël, do you take John to be your wedded husband to live together in holy matrimony? Do you promise to love him . . . and forsaking all others, be faithful only to him so long as you both shall live?” There was not a doubt in my mind or heart when I declared, “I do!”

Like many others she also experienced the tempting storms in which their marriage could have been ship-wrecked. But God held them together.

“How could I have known that the worse of “better or worse” would lead to a season of sleepless nights when I wondered how I could keep on? I felt desperate for something different. That’s the time in our marriage when I would have been most likely to turn to someone else. But thank God, it didn’t happen. He held us together. There were a few habits that helped.”

She formed some practical and tough habits which is the embodiment of love and dedication to her husband John Piper.  These habits are still relevant in these post-modern times where people tend to be unfaithful at least in social media.  Try these habits to keep the marriage safe and pure.

  • “Not flirting with other men.
  • Avoiding men who seemed too interested.
  • Not meeting alone with any other man.
  • Having regular devotions together with Johnny.

Faithfulness required more than four habits, but these four have been central and essential.”

Men can also follow the habits. For her the hardest habit was the last one; to having devotions together with her husband. What she learnt from her parents – togetherness in prayer inspired her to keep the promise.

“The last is the hardest, but most important. My appreciation for it began, as with many things, with my parents. It is amazing my parents stayed together. About twenty years into their marriage, their rampaging differences seemed about to rip them apart.

Through even the most difficult months — years, really — Daddy and Mother took us all to church every Sunday. And every evening of the week, one of us kids was sent to the front porch to holler down toward the pasture and out toward the woods, “Sto-o-ory and pra-a-yers ti-i-ime!”

After all nine of us kids (later we were ten) had tumbled into the living room from the barn and creek and kitchen, Daddy read the next passage in our years-long path through the whole Bible. Then we kneeled at our chairs and took turns praying”

And she had questions and doubts of wandering away from the sanctity of their marriage. But she chose the path of faithfulness and it yielded great results in their personal lives. And for the millions of people who read and watch John Piper and his family, their life is a perfect example to follow.

She asks herself some important questions, and she picked up the right answer.

“What did it boil down to during my darkest nights? I was saved from wandering by some form of this question: What kind of a cleaver am I? Am I the deadly implement who will split my family — with a husband and five children — into shreds? Because, with or without divorce, that is what unfaithfulness will do to us.

Or will I cleave to the husband God has given me? Will I cling to my marriage and pray desperately for something different? I chose to cling, and God is still proving his faithfulness. He will do the same for you.”

Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept undefiled .. Hebrews 13:4

By Prakash P Koshy

 

 

 

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Stones of Remembrance

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Psalm 105:5  Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles…

It is so easy to forget what God has done; even those pivotal moments that change us forever. They begin to fade as other things crowd out their importance. This is why God instructed the children of Israel to build a memorial of remembrance after the crossing of Jordan in Joshua 3 & 4. Twelve stones were laid, one by each tribe, as a permanent legacy to what God had done for them.

I too have stones of remembrance. Yes, I write on stones. These stones are my visual reminder of God’s promises to me. They represent ages, stages and life events where the word of God has been an anchor holding me fast during storms. On these stones are scriptures that represent a fresh work in my life; a new turning point. They are tangible reminders that I can touch and hold. Their words bring comfort, strength and hope. I read these stones and I remember all what God has done. They remind me of all that He will do and all that He has promised.

How do you remember what God has done for you?

Meditation by by Maria Egilsson

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Precious One

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“There is joy in the presence of angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:10).

An American F-16 war plane piloted by Scott O’Grady, when flying over Serbia, was shot down by the Serbian army. There was neither any trace of the pilot nor news from him for five days as to whether he was dead or alive. On the sixth day, a faint message from O’Grady’s radio was received by another pilot. He was alive, hiding himself from the enemy. US rescue teams headed towards him with all precaution and in a daring attempt had him hauled up safely by a helicopter. The whole country rejoiced. It was reported that the weapons and machinery used in the rescue operation of this one person was six billion dollars equivalent to rupees 600 crore.

Yes, that is the worth of a human soul. How precious is the deliverance of a soul that is lead to salvation, delivered from eternal death in hell? It is for this purpose that the Lord Jesus Christ gave His life for my redemption and yours.

“Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold… but with the precious blood of Christ” (1Pet. 1:18-19).

Rom. 3:24; Col 11:14; Titus 2:14; Heb. 9:12; Rev. 5 9-10.

Taken from the book “Light for the soul” by Dr. Daniel Sundararaj

Published by GLS Publishing

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Lessons on Money

 

When it feels overwhelming to look at your budget, your wallet, your bank account, or your bills in general, keep the following things in mind:

  1. God is in control. It bears repeating that no matter what kind of a mess you have made out of your money, God sees it and knows what you have done. He knows what it will take to bring you back to a place of financial stability and freedom, and what must be done in order to achieve your long-term financial goals. Stressing over it and giving yourself an ulcer will not bring you one cent closer to financial peace, but trusting that God will help you through it as long as you obey His commandments will let you sleep at night.“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7
  2. You cannot fix it overnight. It took longer than a day to make the financial debt, and it will take longer than a day to fix it…unless you are one of those insanely lucky people who inherit millions and get out of debt instantly.
    “Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.” ~ Thomas Carlyle
  3. God’s promises are never lies. If you find a promise in the Word of God, you can rest assured that it will not return void. There is absolutely no chance of God reneging on something that He says that He will or will not do, so trust Him implicitly. Even when what He has commanded seems outrageous or downright foolish, do it; you will never be let down by the results. However, I cannot stress enough that you must seek God and be sure that you are hearing His voice…if there is doubt, seek counsel from a Godly person that you trust, and if it goes against His Word in any way, it is NOT God.“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? “Behold, I have received a command to bless; When He has blessed, then I cannot revoke it.” ~Proverbs 23:19-20
  4. You might mess up sometimes. In fact, I can almost guarantee that there will be a setback or two (or ten) in your journey to financial freedom. We are human, things break or need replacing, and sometimes things just change. Most of these situations we cannot control, but that is what your emergency fund, savings account, etc… covers. If you do not have one yet, do not panic. Just do your best to get back on track, keep focused, and dedicate every expenditure to prayer until you are once again meeting your goals.“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ~Maya Angelou
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Learn to Know His Voice

“…and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name … and his sheep follow him because they know his voice”. John 10:3-4 NIV

How do we learn to “know his voice”?

First we expect God has something to say to us. As parents we always have something to say to our children and the same is true of God. Often it may simply be the assurance of his love and care.

Not only is expectation necessary, but also a desire to hear from God. Jesus often said, “whoever has ears, let them hear”. This phrase speaks of deliberately tuning in to what God is saying.

Sometimes I find myself reading the Bible, yet my mind is elsewhere. Even in church I can be singing and yet my mind is far away. Lately I have been challenged to pay attention and focus on God. It’s not always easy. I may not want to listen to God for fear of what he might say. Yet I know, and remind myself, there is no need to fear him who loves me perfectly.

God speaks in many ways. Through reading the Bible, praying and other spiritual disciplines we prepare ourselves to listen. Sometimes words will grab our attention in a way they haven’t done before, or an impression or a desire comes to us after prayer, or maybe an idea drops into our mind that we know is not our own, but is it from God?

It takes preparation and practice to “know his voice” but it will happen as we make the effort to listen.

Meditation by  Susan Barnes

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HE is FAITHFUL

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised us is faithful. ” (Hebrews 10 : 23)
Jesus was faithful to his Father. He was faithful to his disciples. He faithfully completed His mission at great cost to Himself. He is faithful to His followers in the present age.
How reassuring to know that He is faithful to us. “He will remain faithful ” (2 Timothy 2 :13). “But the Lord is faithful and He will strengthen and protect you. ” (2 Thessalonians 3 : 3).
Jesus commended faithfulness. On more than one occasion He told parables in which a master commended his servant with the words ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’.
We, His followers, are exhorted to be faithful to our Lord. It is a great encouragement to know that He is faithful to us. Jesus said of His followers. “I know them and they follow Me… no-one can snatch them out of My hand. ” (John 10 : 27-28).
Faithfulness brings its own rewards. “A faithful man will be richly blessed. ” (Proverbs 28 : 20). And we are helped in the knowledge that Jesus was and is faithful. “God who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. ” (1 Corinthians 1 :9).

Lord when we try your patience sore.
As we’ve so often done before.
Do silly things You can’t ignore,
You’re still our Faithful Lord.
We are but sheep, Great Shepherd King,
And prone to go a-wandering.
Your voice is heard gently calling
Good Shepherd, Faithful Lord.
We would be faithful Lord to You.
There’s so much work for us to do.
You help us to be faithful too.
You’re still our Faithful Lord.

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The High Priest

“When Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak unto Him (God), then he heard the Voice of one speaking unto him from off the Mercy seat” (Num. 7.89).

Do we believe with all our hearts that by learning that secret of hearing and discerning the Voice of God, we can have all our questions answered and all our problems solved?

We read in Num. 7:89 that the Voice of God came only when the work of the tabernacle was finished by Moses and had been carried out according to the pattern shown to Moses by the Lord on the mount. In Exodus 40:34 we read that God’s glory filled the tabernacle, and His voice began to be heard from between the cherubim in the most Holy Place. When any man wanted to find the will of God, he had to come to the High priest, and the high Priest had to hear the Voice of God speaking from the most Holy Place. Now the Lord Jesus Christ is our everlasting heavenly High Priest, and those who accept Him as their personal Saviour are indwelt by Him. Their bodies become the temple of the Holy Spirit.

There is no need now for anyone to go to an earthly High Priest. Man can speak to God Himself through the Lord Jesus Christ, the High Priest, and get an answer and hear the Voice of God daily. But one thing is necessary. All those among us who desire to hear the Voice of God, must be sure that they are indwelt by the Spirit of God. God is Holy and before He can come into us, He has first of all to cleanse us by the precious Blood of Christ. It is only sin that will prevent us from feeling His presence, but sin can be forgiven again and again, and cleansed by His precious blood.

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