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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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It is Difficult to Believe God is in Control

Trusting GodJerry Bridges:

I readily admit it is difficult to believe God is in control when we are in the midst of anxiety, heartache, or grief. I have struggled with this many times myself. Because of my schedule, most of my writing is done on an intermittent basis, a “few hours here and a few hours there.” Because of that, this particular chapter was written and rewritten over a period of six weeks or more. During that time I had to work through God’s sovereignty on two occasions myself. In each instance I realized I knew the truth regarding God’s sovereignty. What I had to do was to decide if I would trust Him, even when my heart ached.

I realized anew that, just as we must learn to obey God one choice at a time, we must also learn to trust God one circumstance at a time. Trusting God is not a matter of my feelings but of my will. I never feel like trusting God when adversity strikes, but I can choose to do so even when I don’t feel like it. That act of the will, though, must be based on belief, and belief must be based on truth. (Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts)

The Son of God

Martin LutherMartin Luther:

The Son of God did not want to be seen and found in heaven. Therefore, he descended from heaven into this humility and came to us in our flesh, laid himself into the womb of his mother and into the manger and went on to the cross. This was the ladder that he placed on earth so that we might ascend to God on it. This is the way you must take.

Temper and the Fruit of the Spirit

Andrew MurrayThe fruit we receive from the Holy Spirit is brought to us from heaven out of the heart of Christ and it is first and foremost – love. Andrew Murray applies this to the human temper:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love …” (Galatians 5:22 ESV)

How often, when we speak about the consecrated life, we have to speak about temper, and people have sometimes said: “You make too much of temper.”

I do not think we can make too much of it. Think for a moment of a clock and of what its hands mean. The hands tell me what is within the clock, and if I see that the hands stand still, or that the hands point wrong, or that the clock is slow or fast, I say that something inside the clock is not working properly. And temper is just like the revelation that the clock gives of what is within. Temper is a proof whether the love of Christ is filling the heart or not. How many there are who find it easier in church, or in prayer meeting, or in work for the Lord – diligent, earnest work – to be holy and happy than in the daily life with wife and children. How many find it easier to be holy and happy outside the home than in it! Where is the love of God? In Christ. God has prepared for us a wonderful redemption in Christ, and He longs to make something supernatural of us. Have we learned to long for it, ask for it, and expect it in its fullness?

Then there is the tongue! We sometimes speak of the tongue when we talk of the better life, and the restful life, but just think what liberty many Christians give to their tongues. They say:

“I have a right to think what I like.”

When they speak about each other, when they speak about their neighbors, when they speak about other Christians, how often there are sharp remarks! God keep me from saying anything that would be unloving. God shut my mouth if I am not to speak in tender love. But what I am saying is a fact. How often sharp criticism, sharp judgment, hasty opinion, unloving words, secret contempt of each other, secret condemnation of each other are found among Christians who are banded together in work! Oh, just as a mother’s love covers her children and delights in them and has the tenderest compassion with their foibles or failures, so there ought to be in the heart of every believer a motherly love toward every brother and sister in Christ. Have you aimed at that? Have you sought it? Have you ever pleaded for it? Jesus Christ said: “As I have loved you that ye also love one another” (John 13:34). And He did not put that among the other commandments, but He said in effect:

“That is a new commandment, the one commandment: Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34). (“The Fruit of the Spirit is Love”)

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