Month: January 2018

Give the Lord your best!

George Whittenby George Whitten

Isaiah 29:13-14 Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work among this people, A marvelous work and a wonder; For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.”

An ancient story is told of a King of Spain who was to visit a poor country village. Upon hearing of his plan to visit them, the people seemed excited to offer a great celebration that would show their adoration and love for their king. But the villagers didn’t have much to offer.

In the midst of their quandary someone proposed that, since so many villagers made their own wines, they might each choose his best wine, and combine them in a barrel to present to the king as a gift from the village. So they did, each wine-maker bringing a flagon with which to fill the barrel. Then, they anxiously awaited the arrival of their sovereign.

When the King arrived, he was ceremoniously presented with a silver cup and invited to draw wine from the barrel. As he filled his silver chalice, he was surprised when he tasted only water. Where was the wine? Each villager had reasoned, “I’ll withhold my best wine and give water. There will be so many cups of excellent wine poured into the barrel that mine will never be missed.”

Here was a town full of people whose private greed completely overcame their public enthusiasm. The indictment of Isaiah the prophet suited them perfectly: “these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me..”

Yet our God looks at the heart, and He knows well when we are going through the motions of showing love and admiration for him, without any truth or sincerity.

Hypocrisy is a serious offense to our God. He would rather we honestly withhold then pretend to be generous. How often do we act publicly to be seen by men in a certain light, while in fact, our motive is self-seeking? So God will have to do another marvellous work to expose our hypocrisy, because of His love for us, for He knows when our “wine” is really “water”. But wouldn’t we rather offer our very best wine right from the start?

Your family in the Lord with much agape love

by George Whitten

 

But I kept the Faith!

David Wilkersonby David Wilkerson

Paul kept his faith through good times and bad.

In his final days Paul could boast, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). Think about Paul’s testimony at that point. He could say, “Satan sent messengers to fight me in Jerusalem, Damascus, Asia, Ephesus, Antioch, and Corinth. But I kept the faith.

“He tried to sink me in the storm-tossed Mediterranean. Three times I was shipwrecked, bobbing in the deep, night and day. But I kept the faith.

“Five times the Jews beat me with thirty-nine stripes. I have been cast into prison, three times beaten with rods, stoned and left for dead. But I kept the faith.

“I’ve faced peril in the country and the city, in the wilderness and the sea. I’ve been robbed by my own countrymen. I’ve been placed in peril by false brethren. But I kept the faith.

“I’ve been extremely weary at times, full of bodily pains, enduring sleepless nights. I’ve been hungry and thirsty, cold and naked, heavily laden with cares of all kinds. Yet I kept the faith.

“I’ve been troubled, perplexed on every side, distressed and persecuted, but never cast down. I’ve never been shaken in my faith. Through it all, my trust in the Lord has never been destroyed” (see 2 Corinthians 11:23-28).

Beloved don’t fall for the devil’s lies when you are endure trials, chastening or troubles. Do not allow a root of bitterness to enter your heart and begin nurturing anger toward God: “Why did the Lord allow this? I tried so hard to please him, trusting him so much. Why is he letting me down?” God has warned us about such times: “Don’t let this happen. Instead, be diligent, be careful, holding onto your confidence. It has great recompense of reward.” (Hebrews 10:35-36, my paraphrase)

Rather remember that he says for us to “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me” (Psalms 50:15). May you remain faithful to call on him in your trial. Cast your cares on him always!

by David Wilkerson