ENCOURAGEMENT IN CHRIST Tune to FROM EVERY STORMY WIND LM Words by JIM BYRD
1. Ye saints look up with cheerful eye, And see your Lord who reigns on high; Behold the Sovereign on His throne, Who rules the world for all His own.
2. Be never filled with dark despair, But cast on Him your every care; And trust His never failing grace, Whose blood redeemed His chosen race.
3. Since by Godâ€™s grace weâ€™re justified, Our prayers will never be denied; The Lord with sympathizing ear, Attends each groan, He sees each tear.
4. Come then unto the throne of grace, Through Jesus Christ our Hiding-Place; And rest in Him and be at peace, His love for us will never cease.
SCRIPTURE READINGS TODAY: MORNING: PSALM 96 EVENING: JOHN 16:16-33
Daily Readings - April 13-19 Sunday - 2 Samuel 10-12 Monday - 2 Samuel 13-14 Tuesday - 2 Samuel 15-16 Wednesday- 2 Samuel 17-18 Thursday - 2 Samuel 19-20 Friday - 2 Samuel 21-22 Saturday - 2 Samuel 23-24
â€ś I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.â€ť (Isaiah 43:25)
LETTER TO AN AFFLICTED FRIEND John Newton wrote these words to a dear friend who suffered greatly. I hope they will be a blessing to those who are undergoing trials. â€śI pray that you may be enabled more and more to honor the Lord by believing His promise: for He is not a man, that should fail or change, or be prevented by anything unforeseen from doing what He has said. And yet we find it easier to trust to worms (our fellow men) than to trust the God of truth. Is it not so with you? And I can assure you it is often so with me. But here is the mercy, that His ways are above ours as the heavens are higher than the earth. Though we are foolish and unbelieving, He remains faithful: He will not deny Himself. I recommend to you especially that promise of God, which is so comprehensive that it takes in all our concernments â€“ I mean, that â€śall things work together for good to them that love God, who are the called according to His purposeâ€ť (Romans 8:28). How hard it is to believe, that not only those things which are grievous to the flesh, but even those things which draw forth our corruptions, and discover to us what is in our hearts and fill us with guilt and shame, should in the issue work for our good! Yet the Lord has said it. All your pains and trials, all that befalls you in your own person, or that affects you upon the account of others, shall in the end prove to your advantage. And your peace does not depend upon any change of circumstances which may appear desirable, but in having your will bowed to the Lordâ€™s will, and made willing to submit all to His disposal and management. Pray for this, and wait patiently for Him, and He will do it. Be not surprised to find yourself poor, helpless, and vile; all whom He favors and teaches will find themselves so. The more grace increases, the more we shall see to abase us in our own eyes; and this will make the Saviour and His salvation more precious to us. He takes His own wise methods to humble you, and to prove you; and I am sure He will do you good in the end.â€ť
THE CONDUCT OF A CHILD OF GOD Religion usually lays heavy burdens upon men, encumbering them with laws to obey in order to live what they call â€śthe Christian life,â€ť but Paul declared that his rule for proper conduct was not complicated or burdensome. He told the Corinthians that he lived with a clear conscience â€ś...in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation (daily walk, conduct) in the world, and more abundantly to you-wardâ€ť (2 Co 1:12). â€śSimplicityâ€ť means singleness of heart. The apostle endeavored to live each day with a heart-mindfulness only of the person and work of Christ and that kept everything else in its rightful place. His daily life consisted of living upon the Savior which is the correct example of the Christian walk; it is the rule of conduct for a child of God. What is â€śgodly sincerity?â€ť It is to live with an unsullied and pure motive which is the glory of the Lord in all things, and he who has that motivation will, consequently, treat those around him in a proper way. Notice that Paul makes certain it is understood that he could only live this way â€śby the grace of God.â€ť It was not by self-power or â€śfleshly wisdom,â€ť for everything that is of the flesh is opposed to right behavior. â€śThat which is born of the flesh is fleshâ€ť (John 3:6). It is only â€śby the grace of Godâ€ť that we can walk daily with the eyes of the soul focused on the Son of God. Christ is our Life and Salvation; He is â€śTHE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESSâ€ť (Jer 23:6) Whose sacrifice satisfied divine justice and put away our sins. He governs the world to fulfill the eternal purpose of God. Since the sovereign Savior orders all our steps, let us live our lives â€śin simplicity,â€ť following one rule of conduct each day: â€ślooking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of the faithâ€ť (Heb 12:2). --Pastor Jim Byrd