Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Friday, August 31, 2012

Heavenly Treasures

This is from Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones' book 'studies in the sermon on the mount', originally posted at CRN by Erin Benziger...

"We must always start with that great principle. If we have a right view of ourselves in this world as pilgrims, as children of God going to our Father, everything falls into its true perspective. We shall immediately take a right view of our gifts and our possessions. We begin to think of ourselves only as stewards who must give an account of them. We are not the permanent holders of these things. It matters not whether it is money, or intellect, or ourselves, or our personalities, or whatever gift we may have. The worldly man thinks he himself owns them all. But the Christian starts by saying, ‘I am not the possessor of these things; I merely have them on lease, and they do not really belong to me. I cannot take my wealth with me, I cannot take my gifts with me. I am but a custodian of these things.’ And, at once, the great question that arises is: ‘How can I use these things to the glory of God? It is God I have to meet, it is God I have to face, it is He who is my eternal judge and my Father. It is to Him that I shall have to render up an account of my stewardship of all the things with which He has blessed me.’ ‘Therefore,’ the Christian says to himself, ‘I must be careful how I use these things, and of my attitude towards them. I must do all the things He tells me to do in order that I may please Him.’
There, then, is the way in which we can lay up treasures in heaven. It all comes back to the question of how I view myself and how I view my life in this world. Do I tell myself every day I live, that this is but another milestone I am passing, never to go back, never to come again? I am pitching my moving tent ‘a day’s march nearer home.’ That is the great principle of which I must constantly remind myself—that I am a child of the Father placed here for His purpose, not for myself."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

“Onesimus--the Slave Set Free”

This is a wonderful poem from my dear sister in Christ, Thelma,  Do read and be blessed by Thelma's God-given gift...

“Onesimus--the Slave Set Free”

(From the Book of Philemon)
The Slave, Onesimus,
was on the lam—
So off to the big
city of Rome he ran—

To hide from Philemon—
or so he thought—
Not knowing God had already
his freedom bought.

For there he would meet
the Apostle Paul,
A prisoner of Rome, who,
was no prisoner at all.

Rather, a bond-slave to his
Master, Christ Jesus, was he,
Since on the Road to Damascus the
“old” Saul was set free—
(forever, from sin’s penalty).

God in His grace,
which doth abound,
Brought the two slaves together
on common ground.

They were not strangers,
indeed, they were not;
Paul had preached in his Master
Philemon’s house church—a lot.

Now the aged Paul,
confined in-house arrest,
gave the Gospel of Christ Jesus
to the slave Onesimus.

Thus Onesimus became
Paul’s child in the faith—
Redeemed, forgiven—no
longer a lost waif.
But “a child begotten in his imprisonment.”

Now comes the quandary—
What should Paul do?
Onesimus was useful not only to Paul,
but useful to Philemon, too!

Paul knew he could not keep him;
he was Philemon’s property.
Even though, through Christ Jesus,
Onesimus had been set free.

So back to Colosse, Paul sent his beloved son,
Along with this message which said in part:
“I have sent him back to you in person,
that is, I am sending you my very heart.”

We can only speculate the end of this story,
Did Onesimus stay in Colosse or return to Rome?
One thing is certain, of that we can be sure,
Where ever he ended up--heaven is now his home.

A dichotomy:
For some there is: Slavery in Freedom, and yet For others there is: Freedom in Slavery.
(Only sin can imprison the soul.)

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” Isaiah 61:1

Thelma I. Peabody
October 8, 2009

“If, therefore, the Son shall make you free, You shall be free indeed.” John 8:36

Saturday, August 25, 2012

There's a good time coming

This life can be such a drain emotionally, mentally and physically. I feel like I am chasing my own tail so often by having to work both inside and outside the home. My work is inundated with overtime- I have to work six days a week on a constant basis, but I am thankful to even have a job.  Working midnights causes me to be in a constant state of tiredness with little to no energy left most of the time.  But I know it will  not last, nothing in this life does.
 Co-workers are another challenge; moodiness, attitude,  hatefulness,  gossip and slander are non-stop.  I am continually reminded by the Holy Spirit these souls are lost and in desperate need of prayer.  At times, I look at them with such pity, they have no hope. They are so wrapped up in their job as well as their own misery and they do not even know it!
 Raising a 13 year old has its own set of challenges!  Having an adult son living at home is a great help to me.   My son is gifted with the ability to work on vehicles, he is currently in the process of rebuilding an engine for his camaro. My daughter is into fashion! She loves it when we go to the mall to buy her some clothes, and to be honest, I enjoy being able to take her. Both of my children are such a blessing to me, I am so thankful to God for them. 
However,there are times when I get really down and can barely cope with life's demands, the constant six day work week as well as frequent 12 hour shifts, the continual feeling of being tired, the endless bill-paying cycle, house work, yard work, etc. I lose my focus way too often, which is why I LOVE this from J. C. Ryle...

Live a joyful life my brethren. Live like men who look for that blessed hope - the second coming of Jesus Christ. This is the prospect to which we should all look forward. It is not so much the thought of going to heaven as of heaven coming to us that should fill our minds. There is a good time coming for all the people of God, a good time for all the church of Christ, a good time for all believers; a bad time for the impenitent and unbelieving, a bad time for them that will serve their own lusts and turn their backs on the Lord, but a good time for true Christians. For that good time, let us wait and watch and pray.
The scaffolding will soon be taken down, the last stone will soon be brought out,  the top stone will be placed on the edifice. Yet a little time, and the full beauty of the building shall be seen. The great Master Builder will soon come Himself; a building shall be shown to assembled worlds in which there shall be no imperfection. The Savior and the saved shall rejoice together! The whole universe shall acknowledge that in the building of Christ's church all was well done.

J. C. Ryle, from 'Warnings to the Churches'

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The garden God planted

I was reading Genesis 2 just now and thought about the garden, the trees in the garden and life in that garden. What it must have been like, a sight to behold beyond our ability to comprehend now because of the curse of sin. I dwelt upon this verse ' The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden'; how does this garden compare with our current dwellings?  I went to commentary from Matthew Henry for insight into this first garden, he doesn't disappoint in his commentary...

1.The place appointed for Adam's residence was a garden; not an ivory house nor a palace overlaid with gold, but a garden, furnished and adorned by nature, not by art. What little reason have men to be proud of stately and magnificent buildings, when it was the happiness of man in innocency that he needed none! As clothes came in with sin, so did houses. The heaven was the roof of Adam's house, and never was any roof so curiously ceiled and painted. The earth was his floor, and never was any floor so richly inlaid. The shadow of the trees was his retirement; under them were his dining-rooms, his lodging-rooms, and never were any rooms so finely hung as these: Solomon's, in all their glory, were not arrayed like them. The better we can accommodate ourselves to plain things, and the less we indulge ourselves with those artificial delights which have been invented to gratify men's pride and luxury, the nearer we approach to a state of innocency. Nature is content with a little and that which is most natural, grace with less, but lust with nothing.
2. The contrivance and furniture of this garden were the immediate work of God's wisdom and power. The Lord God planted this garden, that is, he had planted it - upon the third day, when the fruits of the earth were made. We may well suppose to have been the most accomplished place for pleasure and delight that ever the sun saw, when the all-sufficient God himself designed it to be the present happiness of his beloved creature, man, in innocency, and a type and a figure of the happiness of the chosen remnant in glory. No delights can be agreeable nor satisfying to a soul but those that God himself has provided and appointed for it; no true paradise, but of God's planting. The light of our own fires, and the sparks of our own kindling, will soon leave us in the dark, Isa_50:11. The whole earth was now a paradise compared with what it is since the fall and since the flood; the finest gardens in the world are a wilderness compared with what the whole face of the ground was before it was cursed for man's sake: yet that was not enough; God planted a garden for Adam. God's chosen ones shall have distinguishing favours shown them.
3. The situation of this garden was extremely sweet. It was in Eden, which signifies delight and pleasure. The place is here particularly pointed out by such marks and bounds as were sufficient, I suppose, when Moses wrote, to specify the place to those who knew that country; but now, it seems, the curious cannot satisfy themselves concerning it. Let it be our care to make sure a place in the heavenly paradise, and then we need not perplex ourselves with a search after the place of the earthly paradise. It is certain that, wherever it was, it had all desirable conveniences, and (which never any house nor garden on earth was) without any convenience. Beautiful for situation, the joy and the glory of the whole earth, was this garden: doubtless it was earth in its highest perfection.
4. The trees with which this garden was planted. (1.) It had all the best and choicest trees in common with the rest of the ground. It was beautiful and adorned with every tree that, for its height or breadth, its make or colour, its leaf or flower, was pleasant to the sight and charmed the eye; it was replenished and enriched with every tree that yielded fruit grateful to the taste and useful to the body, and so good for food. God, as a tender Father, consulted not only Adam's profit, but his pleasure; for there is a pleasure consistent with innocency, nay, there is a true and transcendent pleasure in innocency. God delights in the prosperity of his servants, and would have them easy; it is owing to themselves if they be uneasy. When Providence puts us into an Eden of plenty and pleasure, we ought to serve him with joyfulness and gladness of heart, in the abundance of the good things he gives us.  - Matthew Henry

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Another testimony to the power, mercy, and grace of God

Heartcry Magazine highlights the missionaries they support and their work for the Lord; the brother below is a wonderful testimony to our gracious God.  This is why I look forward to the arrival of Heartcry in my mailbox...

 Bakhid K. is a Kazakh pastor in northern
Kazakhstan. He is a graduate of the Samara
Center for Biblical Training and is
a part of their fellowship of pastors. In
addition to his regular preaching activities,
Bakhid is very active in evangelism
among Muslim Kazakhs, who make up
the majority of the population. Due to
new government laws and regulations,
the time is fast approaching when all
Christians in Kazakhstan will have their
religious freedom (the little that currently
remains) taken away, making it
another ‘restricted’ nation of the world.

Here is his testimony...

My conversion to Christ took
place in prison in the year
2000. It happened when I was
serving my third prison sentence. For
all my life until then, I had always
tried to solve my problems by myself.
I grew up in an impoverished family,
and my parents were divorced when I
was fourteen years old. At that point,
I left home in order to go live in a dormitory
and attend school in the city.
After school, and then military service,
I saw that my classmates with
whom I had grown up were living in
much better circumstances than I.
Because of this, I began to try to
change things in my life. This lust for
things eventually led me to live the
life of a criminal and a convict. Even
after two different prison sentences,
I still had confidence in my ability to
solve my own problems.
It was not until my third prison
sentence that I realized that I could
do nothing to change the plight of my
life. For the first time, I realized that
neither my will, nor my strength, nor
my intellect had any real significance.
I understood that I was trapped in
circumstances over which I had no
control and from which I could not
free myself. I did not want to live any
longer, and I began to contemplate
suicide. I began to understand that
my youth had disappeared into emptiness,
my current life was one of despair,
and my future was filled with
Then, suddenly, I heard about
Jesus Christ. One of my fellow prisoners
began to talk about this Christ
who came to save sinners. In my situation,
this news became for me my
last hope. This fellow prisoner began
telling me that Christ died and rose
from the dead, and that He hears
any sinner who will turn to Him in
sincerity. From that moment, I began
to pray – to ask for forgiveness
for my sins, to ask for freedom from
prison, to ask to live the kind of life
He intended for me. He heard me!
And after a period of time, the burden
of the sin that I had committed
began to disappear. My soul became
free and was filled with joy – even in
After my conversion, my twelve
year sentence was reduced to just
three years, and I had already served
all but eleven months of that! I was
overjoyed and began to seek ministry
opportunities even while I was still in
prison. In time, the administration of
the prison trusted me with the keys
 to a tiny place for prayer which was
on prison property. They allowed me
to organize two daily meetings for fellowship
around the reading of God’s
Word. From that moment, the study
of Scripture became important to
me, and I began to study earnestly
in order to be able to communicate
something worthwhile to the others.
While all my efforts were very simplistic,
God gave me wisdom and a
basic understanding of His Word. At
least I had enough knowledge to be
able to recognize and forbid the efforts
of Seventh-Day Adventists to
preach their “gospel” at these meetings.
After I was released, I immediately
found a church where I was
then baptized. I give all the glory for
this to my great Savior, Jesus Christ.