The One Who Changes Not

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As my blog reader are aware, there have been several changes in my life recently – finishing school, leaving home and starting university, going to a new church… the list could probably go on, and in more detail too! In the midst of any change, it is always so good to be reminded of the One Who changes not – God.

I am the Lord, I change not.  (Malachi 3:6)

It is well for us that, amidst all the alterations and vicissitudes of life—that there is One whom change cannot affect; One whose heart can never alter—and on whose brow mutability can make no furrows. All other things have changed—all other things are changing. The sun itself grows dim with age. The world is waxing old—the heavens and earth must soon pass away and perish!

There is One alone, who has immortality—of whose years there is no end, and in whose person there is no change. The delight which the mariner feels, when, after having been tossed about for many a day, he steps again upon the solid shore—is the satisfaction of a Christian when, amidst all the changes of this troublous life, he rests the foot of his faith upon this truth, “I am the Lord—and I do not change!” The stability which the anchor gives the ship when it has at last obtained a hold-fast, is like that which the Christian’s hope affords him when it fixes itself upon this glorious truth.

“With Him there is no variation!” Whatever His attributes were of old—they are now! His power, His wisdom, His justice, His truth, are alike unchanged.

He has ever been the refuge of His people, their stronghold in the day of trouble—and He is their sure Helper still.

He is unchanged in His love. He has loved His people with “an everlasting love!” He loves them now as much as ever He did—and when all earthly things shall have melted in the last conflagration, His love will still wear the dew of its youth. Precious is the assurance that our God never changes! The wheel of providence revolves—but its axle is eternal love!

– Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

Accepting God’s Will

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“To accept the will of God never leads to the miserable feeling that it is useless to strive any more. God does not ask for the dull, weak, sleepy acquiescence of indolence. He asks for something vivid and strong. He asks for us to co-operate with Him, actively will what he wills, our only aim his glory. To accept in this sense is to come with all the desire of the mind unto the place which the Lord shall choose, and to minister to the Lord there – not otherwhere. Where the things of God are concerned, acceptance always means the happy choice of mind and heart of that which He appoints, because (for the present) it is His good and acceptable and perfect will.”

Amy Carmichael, Gold by Moonlight

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. (Ps. 40:8)

Faith

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He went out, not knowing whither he went. (Hebrews 11:8)

Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading. It is a life of Faith, not of intellect and reason, but a life of knowing Who makes us “go.” The root of faith is the knowledge of a Person, and one of the biggest snares is the idea that God is sure to lead us to success.

The final stage in the life of faith is attainment of character. There are many passing transfigurations of character; when we pray we feel the blessing of God enwrapping us and for the time being we are changed, then we get back to the ordinary days and ways and the glory vanishes. The life of faith is not a life of mounting up with wings, but a life of walking and not fainting. It is not a question of sanctification; but of something infinitely further on than sanctification, of faith that has been tried and proved and has stood the test. Abraham is not a type of sanctification, but a type of the life of faith, a tried faith built on a real God. “Abraham believed God.”

 – Oswald Chambers

These words by Oswald Chambers spoke to me yesterday morning.  It had not been the easiest week in many ways, and I have felt very much left ‘hanging’ over certain issues, so I found the reminder of the need for faith in God very apt. The Lord never fails those who trust Him! Have a blessed Lord’s Day!

Something to Muse On

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Give me thine heart. (Proverbs 23:26)

God in this exhortation, speaks to us as unto children:

“Son, Daughter, Give me thy heart.”

The heart is that which the great God requires and calls for from every one of us; whatever we give, if we do not give him our hearts, it will not be accepted. We must set our love upon him.  Our thoughts must converse much with him, and on him, as our highest end. The intents of our hearts must be fastened. We must make it our own act and deed to devote ourselves to the Lord, and we must be free and cheerful in it. We must not think to divide the heart between God and the world; he will have all or none. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart. To this call we must readily answer,

“My father, take my heart, such as it is, and make it such as it should be; take possession of it, and set up thy throne in it.”

-Matthew Henry

J. C. Ryle on Mark 1:31

The blessed Saviour not only gives mercy and forgiveness, he gives renewing grace as well.  To all who receive him as their physician, he gives power to become the children of God.  He cleanses them by his Spirit when he washes them in his precious blood.  Those he justifies he also sanctifies.  When he gives an absolution, he also gives a new heart.  When he grants free forgiveness for the past, he also grants strength to “wait on” him for the future.  The sin-sick soul is not merely cured and then left to itself.  It is also supplied with a new heart and a right spirit, and enabled to live as to please God.

There is comfort in this thought for all who feel a desire to serve Christ but at present are afraid to begin.  There are many in this state of mind.  They fear that if they come forward boldly and take up the cross they will shortly fall away.  They fear that they will not be able to persevere, and will bring discredit on their statement of belief.  Let them fear no longer.  Let them know that Jesus is an Almighty Saviour who never deserts those who once commit themselves to him.  Once rescued by his powerful hand from the death of sin, and washed in his precious blood, they will go on “waiting on him” to their life’s end.  They will have power to overcome the world, and crucify the body, and resist the devil.  Just let them begin, and they will go on.  Jesus knows nothing of half-cured cases and half-finished work.  Let them trust in Jesus and go forward.  The pardoned soul will always be enabled to serve Christ.

There is comfort here for all who are really serving Christ, and are still cast down by a sense of their own weakness.  There are many in such a state.  They are oppressed by doubts and anxieties.  They sometimes think that they will never reach heaven at all, but will be cast away in the wilderness.  Let them fear no longer.  Their strength will be sufficient for each day.  The difficulties they now fear will vanish out of their path.  The lion in the way which they now dread will prove to be chained.  The same gracious had which first touched and healed will uphold, strengthen and lead them to the end.  The Lord Jesus will never lose one of his sheep.  Those whom he loves and pardons he loves to the end.  Though sometimes cast down, they will never be cast away.  The healed soul will always go on waiting on the Lord.  Grace will always lead to glory.

– J. C. Ryle, Mark

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The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever.  (Psalm 138:8)

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.  (Philippians 1:6)

Satisfied with Christ Alone

Here is the last of the quotes from France Ridley Havergal’s devotional My King: Daily Thoughts for the King’s Children which I typed up to share on my blog (thus, it is not necessarily the last quote I will ever share!).  It speaks of being satisfied with Christ alone – something which ought to be the glorious reality of every believer, for in Christ we have all we need, for He is sufficient.  But it is so easy to write that, so much harder to actually live it out, so that it shows throughout our life.

“It is when the King has really come in peace to His own home in the ‘contrite and humble spirit’ (not before),—when He has entered in to make His abode there (not before),—that the soul is satisfied with Him alone, . . . all else seems nothein at all in comparison to the conscious possession of the Treasure of treasures.

Sometimes this is reached at once. . . . Sometimes very gradually,—as year after year we realize His indwelling more and more, and find again and again that He is quite enough to satisfy us in all circumstances; that the empty corners of the ‘house’ are filled one after another; that the old longings have somehow gone away and the old ambitions vanished; that and ‘all the old tastes and interests in the things of the world are superseded by stronger tastes and interests in the things of Christ; that He is day by day more really filling our lives,—we count (because we really find) one thing after another ‘but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord,’ till He leads us on to the rapturous joy of the ‘Yea, doubtless,’ and ‘all things!’”

– Frances Ridley Havergal
My King: Daily Thoughts for the King’s Children

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“How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.”   (Psalm 36:7-8)

A Reason for Dryness

This quote is one that has challenged me recently.  How often it is tempting to think that it doesn’t matter if we forget our time with the Lord, yet it does matter so much.  We must not let it slip into the realm of the ‘not-too-important’, for if we do, it shall affect the whole of our life – we shall be unable to serve God and others as we desire.

“If we we are to be and to do for others what God means us to be and to do, we must not let adoration and worship slip into the second place:  “For it is the central service asked by God of human souls; and its neglect is responsible for much lack of spiritual depth and power.”  Perhaps we may find here the reason why we so often run dry. We do not give time enough to what makes for depth, and so we are shallow; a wind, quite a little wind, can ruffle our surface; a little hot sun, and all the moisture in us evaporates.  It should not be so.

. . . Is it not worthwhile earnestly to set ourselves towards this? Today, if we will hear His voice, today, this morning, if we will draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.  In the hush of that nearness we shall not seek anything for ourselves, not even help, or light, or comfort; we shall forget ourselves, “lost in wonder, love and praise.”

“Let us draw near hither unto God.”  “Let us follow on to know the Lord: we shall find Him ready as the morning.”  The morning never disappoints us by not coming; neither does our loving God.”

– Amy Carmichael
Edges of His Ways