Daily Archives: November 28, 2011

From Illustrations & Poems selected by Wayne Augden (Source Unknown)

     Character is developed not by the things that happen to us, but by what we do with the things that happen to us.  It’s what we take from our circumstances, and how we use what we experience to benefit ourselves and others that reveal our character. 

Building a Noble Character

In a great cathedral in Europe, there is a window made by an apprentice out of the bits of stained glass that were thrown away as worthless refuse when the other windows were made; this is the most beautiful window of all. You can build a noble character for yourself, in spite of all the hurts and injuries done consciously or unconsciously by others, with the fragments of the broken hopes, joys and the lost opportunities that lie strewn about your feet. No matter how badly others have hurt and marred you, they cannot prevent you from building a beautiful character for yourself; conversely, others by their best work cannot cause you to build a beautiful character. The fine character of your father or mother is not yours; you’ve got to build your own.

From “Streams in the Desert” by Charles E. Cowman

 

     Faith is moving in darkness toward a light you cannot see.

Open the Trenches

“Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts. And this is but a light thing in the sight of the Lord: he will deliver the Moabites also into your hands” (2 Kings 3:16-18).

To human thinking it was simply impossible, but nothing is hard for God.

Without a sound or sign, from sources invisible and apparently impossible, the floods came stealing in all night long; and when the morning dawned, those ditches were flooded with the crystal waters, and reflecting the rays of the morning sun from the red hills of Edom.

Our unbelief is always wanting some outward sign. The religion of many is largely sensational, and they are not satisfied of its genuineness without manifestations, etc.; but the greatest triumph of faith is to be still and know that He is God.

The great victory of faith is to stand before some impassable Red Sea, and hear the Master say, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord,” and “Go forward!” As we step out without any sign or sound–not a wave-splash–and wetting our very feet as we take the first step into its waters, still marching on we shall see the sea divide and the pathway open through the very midst of the waters.If we have seen the miraculous workings of God in some marvelous case of healing or some extraordinary providential deliverance, I am sure the thing that has impressed us most has been the quietness with which it was all done, the absence of everything spectacular and sensational, and the utter sense of nothingness which came to us as we stood in the presence of this mighty God and felt how easy, it was for Him to do it all without the faintest effort on His part or the slightest help on ours.

It is not the part of faith to question, but to obey. The ditches were made, and the water came pouring in from some supernatural source. What a lesson for our faith!

Are you craving a spiritual blessing? Open the trenches, and God will fill them. And this, too, in the most unexpected places and in the most unexpected ways.

Oh, for that faith that can act by faith and not by sight, and expect God to work although we see no wind or rain. –A. B. Simpson

 

From Samuel Bagster’s “Daily Light on the Daily Path”

     Something to think about as you go through your day.

 

As the body without the spirit is dead,
so faith without works is dead also.
Not every one that saith, Lord, Lord, shall enter into
the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father
which is in heaven. Holiness, without which no man shall see
the Lord. Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to
patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to
brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and
abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor
unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he
that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and
hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore
the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and
election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man
should boast.

Jas_2:26 Mat_7:21 Heb_12:14 2Pe_1:5-10 Eph_2:8-9

 

From “Bits and Pieces”

     Sometimes we lose perspective, but before we deal with people we should try to regain it.  This is a good way to do it.  🙂

Many years ago a senior executive of the then Standard Oil Company made a wrong decision that cost the company more than $2 million. John D. Rockefeller was then running the firm. On the day the news leaked out most of the executives of the company were finding various ingenious ways of avoiding Mr. Rockefeller, lest his wrath descend on their heads.

There was one exception, however; he was Edward T. Bedford, a partner in the company. Bedford was scheduled to see Rockefeller that day and he kept the appointment, even though he was prepared to listen to a long harangue against the man who made the error in judgment.

When he entered the office the powerful head of the gigantic Standard Oil empire was bent over his desk busily writing with a pencil on a pad of paper. Bedford stood silently, not wishing to interrupt. After a few minutes Rockefeller looked up.

“Oh, it’s you, Bedford,” he said calmly. “I suppose you’ve heard about our loss?”

Bedford said that he had.

“I’ve been thinking it over,” Rockefeller said, “and before I ask the man in to discuss the matter, I’ve been making some notes.”

Bedford later told the story this way:

“Across the top of the page was written, ‘Points in favor of Mr. _______.’ There followed a long list of the man’s virtues, including a brief description of how he had helped the company make the right decision on three separate occasions that had earned many times the cost of his recent error.

“I never forgot that lesson. In later years, whenever I was tempted to rip into anyone, I forced myself first to sit down and thoughtfully compile as long a list of good points as I possibly could. Invariably, by the time I finished my inventory, I would see the matter in its true perspective and keep my temper under control. There is no telling how many times this habit has prevented me from committing one of the costliest mistakes any executive can make — losing his temper.

“I commend it to anyone who must deal with people.”

Bits & Pieces

, September 15, 1994, pp. 11-13.

From the Writings of Joseph Philpot

 

     We can learn a lesson from the willow tree.

“They will spring up… as willows by the flowing streams.”

Isa_44:4

The willow, we know, cannot exist without water; it must be near the brook or river, or it withers and dies. Take a young willow and plant it upon a mountain top or in the sandy desert, and it soon droops and perishes. But take the barest twig off the willow, and plant it near a stream, so that the water may reach it, and it will soon shoot downwards and push a vigorous stem upwards.

So it is with the child of grace — he must live by the river side; he must dip his roots into that“river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God,”and by it he must be continually bathed, or he droops and dies. He cannot live in the world, away from Jesus, his word, ordinances, house, people, presence, Spirit, and grace, any more than a willow can live upon the mountain top. He cannot live among carnal men, cut off from union and communion with his great and glorious Head, any more than the willow can thrive and grow in the wilderness. How beautifully is this set forth by the prophet Jeremiah —“Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is — for he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreads out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat comes, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit”(Jer_17:7; Jer_17:8). The saints of God, then, grow like“willows by the flowing streams.”

How enduring, also, is the willow. What life in every branch! and even when cut down low, still reviving“through the scent of water”(Job_14:9), and shooting out its branches afresh. May we not see in this a fitting emblem of the child of God, and admire how, like the willow, he preserves life and vigor when the nobler trees of the forest are blown down by the storm or are cut down for fuel?

 

 

From “Morning and Evening” by C.H. Spurgeon

 

     This is what it feels like to be forgiven, and this is the response we should have. 

“The forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”

Eph_1:7

Could there be a sweeter word in any language than that word “forgiveness,” when it sounds in a guilty sinner’s ear, like the silver notes of jubilee to the captive Israelite? Blessed, for ever blessed be that dear star of pardon which shines into the condemned cell, and gives the perishing a gleam of hope amid the midnight of despair! Can it be possible that sin, such sin as mine, can be forgiven, forgiven altogether, and for ever? Hell is my portion as a sinner-there is no possibility of my escaping from it while sin remains upon me-can the load of guilt be uplifted, the crimson stain removed? Can the adamantine stones of my prison-house ever be loosed from their mortices, or the doors be lifted from their hinges? Jesus tells me that I may yet be clear. For ever blessed be the revelation of atoning love which not only tells me that pardon is possible, but that it is secured to all who rest in Jesus. I have believed in the appointed propitiation, even Jesus crucified, and therefore my sins are at this moment, and for ever, forgiven by virtue of his substitutionary pains and death. What joy is this! What bliss to be a perfectly pardoned soul! My soul dedicates all her powers to him who of his own unpurchased love became my surety, and wrought out for me redemption through his blood. What riches of grace does free forgiveness exhibit! To forgive at all, to forgive fully, to forgive freely, to forgive for ever! Here is a constellation of wonders; and when I think of how great my sins were, how dear were the precious drops which cleansed me from them, and how gracious was the method by which pardon was sealed home to me, I am in a maze of wondering worshipping affection. I bow before the throne which absolves me, I clasp the cross which delivers me, I serve henceforth all my days the Incarnate God, through whom I am this night a pardoned soul.