Harvest Times

path

The Unseen Path

When the Red Sea saw You, O God, its waters looked and trembled! The sea quaked to its very depths…Your road led through the sea, Your pathway through the mighty waters–a pathway no one knew was there! Psalms 77:16.19 NLT

What is standing in your way? The children of Israel believed that the Red Sea was the obstacle keeping them from the promise of God. What do you believe is standing in your way?

God describes the Red Sea in a different way than the children of Israel may have. He said it was the pathway to the promise. The very thing that seemed overwhelming and impossible to deal with, God describes as a pathway. Are we seeing things the way God does? Are we looking at what is standing before us as a problem or a pathway?

What is your Red Sea? As we look at these verses in Psalms we find that what made them fearful was actually no problem at all for God. We must understand that our problems and obstacles are no match for our amazing God, either. The Red Sea saw God and trembled! Your obstacle has to do the same!

No one knew there was a pathway in the middle of a raging sea, but there was. It couldn’t be seen at first, but that is why we must see with eyes of faith. There is a pathway that you cannot see right now, but don’t let that stop you. Move forward! Boldly proclaim God’s promises for you even when things look impossible. What is impossible for man is possible with God – we can know that our God is greater than anything that tries to stand in our way.

Meditation by Stephanie White

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HE was PERFECT

He committed no sin and no deceit was found in His mouth” (I Peter 2 : 22)

As the hymn writer wrote ‘There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin.’ Jesus was perfect and had to perform the role He undertook.

“God made Him who had no sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5 : 21). “ We have One who has been tempted in ’ every way, just as we are yet was without sin. ” (Hebrews 4 : 15). Peter, writing of our redemption, “…but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (I Peter l : 19).

The Lord is perfect. “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him. ” (Psalm 18 : 30). “His works are perfect and all His ways are just. A faithful God, who does no wrong, upright and just is He. ” (Deuteronomy 32 : 4).

Of necessity, human perfection can only be relative to Divine perfection, rather than a `carbon copy. We are doubtless amused at the story of the man who said, ‘I used to be conceited but now I’m perfect’.

On the human level, James writes in his epistle, “We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep the whole body in check. ” (James 3 : 2).

Jesus set the target when He said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect. ” (Matthew 5 : 48).

Paul spoke for us all when he said “Aim for perfection. ” (2 Corinthians l3 : 11).

Jesus Christ our Lord was perfect

The only one without defect.

Lamb of God without a blemish,

He His Father’s work did finish.

 We with all our faults and failings,

Want to see the good prevailing.

We seek His help in Jesus’ name.

That better things shall be our aim.

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biscuits

The Recipe for Joy

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakuk 3: 18

When I was a young girl my grandmother lived just a few miles away from me. I spent as much time at her house as I did at mine. I cannot count the times I watched her bake a cake or cook a meal. I have still use many of her recipes. But the most important recipe she gave me was how to live a life full of joy.

The following was her recipe: J stands for Jesus He deserves and must always be put first in your life. My grandmother always started her day by reading her bible and praying. When she had a decision to make, she prayed seeking His will first. Jesus always came first with her.

When you have to make a decision pray asking what He would have you do or say. If you are still undecided, for example, if your friends want you to go with them somewhere, ask yourself if Jesus would go there, if not you should not go either. Remember Jesus lives in your heart so everywhere you go He goes also.

O stands for others. Place the needs of others before your own wishes. If you have to make a choice between visiting a sick friend and going to the movies with another friend, you should make time for the sick friend first. My grandmother was not one to sit around doing nothing. She was always sending someone a card, calling to check on a friend, or busy in the kitchen cooking something for someone in need. She cared about other people and the love of Jesus shown through her and drew others to Christ.
Y stands for you, notice that it is the last letter in the word, “joy”. We need to take care of ourselves by eating healthy, exercising, and getting plenty of rest. However, our wants and needs should not be the number one priority in our life.

As Christians, we have not been promised a life of permanent happiness but we can be joyful all the time knowing that Christ has saved us from our sins, He is in control of our lives, and nothing can separate us from Him. Do you want a life of joy? Give my grandmother’s “joy” recipe a try it tastes heavenly!

Dear Lord, thank You for my grandmother who taught me about You and how to live a joyful life. I pray that her “recipe” may be used to give others a joyful life, as well. In Jesus’s name, amen.

 

Meditation by Karen B. White

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Jesus Honoured

 

“Jesus said…. If a man love me, he mill keep my words” (John 14.23).

Many people take pride similarly in the work of God. They are ignorant of God’s Word, and think it is old fashioned. Instead they take pride in their degrees and their philosophy, and to impress the crowds they use worldly means. They do not use God’s Word as they should. In preaching they use references to break up what they say, but men can never go against God’s Word. God uses different methods to break our pride in culture, in nationality and education. It is only through humility and full obedience that we can build the house of God: only through acknowledging the headship and kingship of God. To show this, the Lord Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem on the colt of an ass, as a humble person and not in all His glory. We find this colt of an ass walking on garments and honour given to it.

How that colt was honoured! We have the same honour when we uphold the Lord Jesus in the right way. We in ourselves have no honour as God’s servants, but when we obey the Lord fully, wherever we go we are, showered with love and kindness in so many ways. If, however, we start kicking like an ordinary colt we also will be beaten.

Meditation by Bakht Singh

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Catch That Thought

. . . and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor 10: 5b NIV
Our thought life makes up a vast portion of who we are. It’s where we choose to love, or hate, or build up, or destroy. It’s where we ponder on lessons learned, choose areas of study, decide major issues. But it’s also where tiny thoughts can build into mountains and where mountains can fall on us and destroy us.
It’s not an easy thing to do. Today a thought may be captured and be under control. We feel good about it and think that we’ve won that battle. But just when all is going well, the rogue thought pops up again and the chase is on to capture it.
Why does this happen? I believe it’s the war between our old nature and our new. When we put our faith in Jesus and become a Christ-follower, our sins are forgiven; but we still battle the old nature. Believing in Jesus is the beginning of our walk with Him. He wants us to grow and develop. So often we see sincere people who have made a decision for Christ, but stop there.
How can we succeed with this process? I believe we must ask God to search our hearts, and we need to do this on a regular basis. When an unacceptable thought enters our minds, instead of entertaining it, we need to release it; release it before it grows into something bigger than we can handle.
God wants us to be holy as He is holy. He wants us to walk in His ways. So start the chase; capture those unwanted thoughts and turn them over to God.

Meditation by Sharon Dow

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HE was the LEADER

Come follow Me “Jesus said “and I will make you fishers of men. At once they left their nets and followed Him ” (Matthew 4: 19-20)

Jesus was the leader of leaders.

The leadership qualities of Jesus were numerous. There was the strategy and tactics of a military commander, with flexible planning for every eventuality of battle. There was in depth planning and organising ability of the director of an organisation, providing for all market sensitivities and responses. There was the caring leadership of the shepherd in dealing with creatures of lesser ability than Himself and the need to be almost a nursemaid. There was the manly leadership of a man among men, leading by example and precept. There was the leadership of a teacher who first spells out the alphabet. then teaches simpler lessons before progressing to more difficult ones. There was the leadership of a master who instructs his servant which duties to do next. There was the leadership of the explorer, the success of whose mission depends upon his own greater skill and ability over that of his team.

The amazing thing about Christ’s leadership is that after assuming all the aforementioned roles, He then says “You are My friends if you do what I command… ” (John 15 : 14). We then enjoy an affinity of relationship which shares in all the high privileges of being a friend of Jesus our leader.

The following scriptures illustrate the roles portrayed above in their respective order.

Commander :  “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…….. and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. ” (Matthew 28: 19-20).

“Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. ” (John 14 :21)

Director : “These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions as you go, preach this message ‘The kingdom of heaven is near… ”’ (Matthew l0: 5 & 7).

Shepherd : “He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out ” (John 10 : 3).

Leader : “The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them.” (Matthew 21 2 6).

Teacher: “After Jesus had finished instructing His twelve disciples, He went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee ” (Matthew 11 : 1).

Master: Jesus said, “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say “we are unworthy servants, we have only done our duty. ” (Luke 17 : l0).

Pioneer : “I am the Way no-one comes to the Father except through Me ” (John 14 : 6).

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abrahamlot

Right Selection

 “Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not” (Jer. 45.5).

We can see clearly what was in the heart of Lot. He desired popularity and when he became more wealthy, he also became more ambitious for name and fame. Many believers in the same way become ambitious for name, power and authority. They are also anxious to become leading men in the assembly, not because they have spiritual concern but because they want a name. Please take warning, and do not let worldly prosperity deceive you. What God gives in His own time is far better than earthly riches.

We see in Gen. 12.1 that even though Abraham had to make a very big sacrifice in leaving Ur of the Chaldeans, yet God had some other way to compensate him. He did not have to go to Sodom and Gomorrah to get more cattle and money. God in His own way began to supply his need. So we believers should not adopt worldly ways or methods to get more money or income, for God has His own way to give us what we need.

We are told in verse 14 that after Lot was separated from him, God appeared to Abraham. After he had obeyed God and separated from Lot, the Lord gave Abraham further instructions. He said to him, “Lift up now thine eyes and look from the place where thou art, northward and southward, and eastward; for all the land that thou seest, to thee will I give it and to thy seed” (v. 14-15). God was showing to Abraham more and more what kind of an inheritance He had for him and for his seed.

Meditation by Bakht Singh

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How to be Spiritually Smart

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”Proverbs 1:7 NKJV

The word “fear” in this scripture does not mean you are afraid of God. Instead, it means reverence or respect, so the respect of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. When I think of someone having a lot of knowledge, I think of someone who is very intelligent, who has lots of common sense as well as book knowledge. However, this verse found in the Proverbs of Solomon, refers to a different type of knowledge.
Solomon was the son of David and Bathsheba, who became king of God’s people at a young age. When Solomon asked God for knowledge, he was not asking to be smarter and know more than anyone else. He was asking for wisdom in being able to tell his people what they should and shouldn’t do. In other words, he wanted to know what is right and wrong.

It is hard sometimes to know what we should and shouldn’t do. Sometimes the television tells us one thing is right, our friends may say something different and our parents something else. It can be very confusing. But the Bible says if we are smart, we will respect and trust the Lord to show us right from wrong.

The Lord has given us certain principles to live by as Christians; the Bible tells us about them, and they teach them in church. The good news is that as our love and reverence for Him grows so does our ability to interpret the way in which He would have us live our lives.

The Bible tells us that Solomon was a wise king. That reputation began by his going to the Lord in prayer and asking for wisdom and understanding. Maybe we should take notes from Solomon and ask the Lord to grant us understanding so that we can tell the difference between right and wrong.

Dear Lord, it is often hard to distinguish right from wrong in today’s world. I ask you to give me the understanding, and wisdom to know what you would have me do each day. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Meditation by Karen B. White

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HE is the REDEEMER

“…but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.” (Hebrews 9: l2)

 To redeem means to ransom, release from captivity, pay the penalty, atone for, or buy back.

What were the circumstances in which Christ’s redemption was necessary? Apart from God, the perfection of human nature is a fanciful dream. Science has given Civilization many laudable achievements for which we are profoundly grateful. However science cannot deliver us all from all our cares and all our needs. Man cannot by culture self improvement, education and social reform lift himself to the high place he was intended for. The world needs saving, it needs saving from sin. The cross of Christ declares that sin is the root of all human troubles –  man’s alienation from God. God doesn’t treat sin as if it were something about which we need not upset ourselves. God deals with sin in a serious way. He puts it away by bearing it. He removes it by beating it Upon Himself. Redemption in Christ both exposes the world’s malady and reveals the divine remedy.

To redeem means to buy back, as when some valuable is taken to the pawn broker or moneylender who gives a sum of cash for it. The article is retained for a specified period of time. At any time during that specified period the owner may redeem the article by paying the pawnbroker or moneylender some money. Inevitably, the owner will pay back considerably more than the advance he received. Should he not redeem the article it will no longer be his.

Christ bought back the human race. Man was “sold as a slave to sin ” (Romans 7 : 14). By his disobedience to God he pawned himself to the Devil. But Christ came to earth to redeem man and with His own life paid the price of redemption. The Church of Jesus Christ is a redeemed society. “For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. ” (Colossians l : 13-14). “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins in accordance with the riches of God is grace. (Ephesians l : 7).

Despite that he by God was warned,

Mankind his soul to Satan pawned,

By disobedience he lost

The Eden scene of highest cost.

Could that which he had thrown away

Be purchased back, with man to stay?

Almighty God did find a way

For man to see eternal day.

For Christ came down man to redeem.

The race He held in high esteem.

In love He paid in full the price

The one eternal sacrifice.

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