Tag Archives: Heaven

Psalms 96 – King James Version

Psalm 96

 O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.
 Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.
 Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.
 For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.
 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
 Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
 Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.
 O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
 Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.
 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.
 Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice
 Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.

From “Music For The Soul” by Alexander Maclaren

THE PARADOX OF LOVE’S MEASURE

Of His fulness we all received, and grace for grace. – Joh_1:16

It is the immeasurable measure, the boundless bounds and dimensions of the love of Christ, which fires the Apostle’s thoughts when writing to the Ephesian Church (Eph_3:17-19). Of course he had no separate idea in his mind attaching to each of these measures of magnitude, but he gathered them all together simply to express the one thought of the greatness of Christ’s love.

Depth and height are the same dimension measured from opposite ends. The one begins at the top and goes down, the other begins at the bottom and goes up, but the surface is the same in either case. So we have the three dimensions of a solid here – breadth, length, and depth.

And I suppose that I may venture to use these expressions with a somewhat different purpose from that for which the Apostle employs them; and to see in each of them a separate and blessed aspect of the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.

And that love which thus towers above us, and gleams the summit and the apex of the universe, like the shining cross on the top of some lofty cathedral spire, does not gleam there above us inaccessible, nor lie before us like some pathless precipice, up which nothing that has not wings can ever hope to rise; but the height of the love of Christ is a hospitable height, which can be scaled by us. Nay, rather, that heaven of love, which is “higher than our thoughts,” bends down, as by a kind of optical delusion the physical heaven seems to do, towards each of us, only with this blessed difference, that in the natural world the place where heaven touches earth is always the furthest point of distance from us; and in the spiritual world, the place where heaven stoops to me is always right over my head, and the nearest possible point to me. He has come to lift us to Himself. And this is the height of His love, that it bears us up, if we will, up and up to sit upon that throne where He Himself is enthroned.

So round about us all, as some sunny tropical sea may embosom in its violet waves a multitude of luxuriant and happy islets, so all of us, islanded on our little individual lives, lie in that great ocean of love, all the dimensions of which are immeasurable, and which stretches above, beneath, around, shoreless, tideless, bottomless, endless.

But remember! this ocean of love you can shut out of your lives. It is possible to plunge a jar into mid-Atlantic, further than soundings have ever descended, and to bring it up on deck as dry inside as if it had been lying on an oven. It is possible for us to live and move and have our being in that sea of love, and never to have got one drop of its richest gifts into our hearts or our lives. Open your heart for Him to come in by humble faith in His great sacrifice for you. For if Christ dwell in your heart by faith, then, and only then, will experience be your guide; and you will be able to comprehend the boundless greatness, the endless duration, the absolute perfection, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge,

 

From “Morning Thoughts” by Winslow

“That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil; where the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus.” Hebrews 6:17-19

THE hope of heaven fostered by an unrenewed mind is baseless and illusory. There exists not a single element of goodness in its nature. It is the conception of a mind at enmity with God. It is the delusion of a heart in covenant with death, and in agreement with hell. It is the treacherous beacon that decoys the too confiding but deluded voyager to the rock-bound shore. Unscriptural, unreal, and baseless, it must eventually cover its possessor with shame and confusion of face. But not such is the believer’s hope. Begotten with his second nature-the in-breathing of the Spirit of God-an element of renewed mind, and based upon the atonement of the Savior, it must be essentially a good hope. Cleansed from moral impurity, not in the laver of baptism, but with the blood of Christ; justified, not by the ritual of Moses, but by the righteousness of the incarnate God; sanctified, not by sacramental grace, falsely so called, but by the in-being of the Holy Spirit-the believer’s hope of heaven is as well founded as the throne of the Eternal. Moreover it is “a good hope through grace.” The first and the last lesson we learn in our Christian course is, that “by grace we are saved.” Lord! do You require of me one thought of stainless purity, one throb of perfect love, one deed of unsullied holiness, upon which shall hinge my everlasting happiness? Then am I lost forever! But since You have provided a righteousness that justifies me from all things, that frees me from all condemnation-and since this righteousness is Your free, unpurchased gift, the bestowment of sovereign grace-I clasp to my trembling yet believing heart the joyous hope this truth inspires. It is a blessed hope. “Looking for that blessed hope.” Its object is most blessed. The heaven it compasses is that blissful place where the holy ones who have fled from our embrace are reposing in the bosom of the Savior. They are the blessed dead. The day of their death was to them better than the day of their birth. The one was the introduction to all sorrow, the other is a translation to all joy. Blessed hope! the hope of being forever with the Lord. No more to grieve the Spirit that so often and so soothingly comforted our hearts; no more to wound the gentle bosom that so often pillowed our head. No more to journey in darkness, nor bend as a bruised reed before each blast of temptation. To be a pillar in the temple of God, to go no more out forever. And what a sanctifying hope is it! This, to the spiritual mind, is its most acceptable and elevating feature. “Every man that has this hope in him purifies himself even as He is pure.” It detaches from earth, and allures to heaven. Never does it glow more brightly in the soul, nor kindle around the path a luster more heavenly, than when it strengthens in the believer a growing conformity of character to that heaven towards which it soars. It is, in a word, a sure hope. Shall the worm undermine it? shall the tempest shake it? shall the waters extinguish it? Never. It saves us. It keeps, preserves, and sustains us amid the perils and depressions of our earthly pilgrimage. And having borne us through the flood, it will not fail us when the last surge lands us upon the shore of eternity.

 

From “Morning Thoughts” by Winslow

“And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 1 John 5:15

Believing prayer is prevailing, successful prayer. It assails the kingdom of heaven with holy violence, and carries it as by storm. It believes that God has both the heart and the arm; both the love that moves Him, and the power that enables Him; to do all and to grant all that His pleading child requests of Him. We may mention a few of the attributes of believing prayer.

It is real prayer, because it is the expression of need. It springs from a felt necessity of the mercy which it craves. It is sincere prayer, welling up from a soul schooled in the knowledge of its deep poverty and need. Oh, how much passes for real prayer which is not prayer; which is not the breathing of the soul, nor the language of the heart, nor the expression of need. There is in it no true approach to God, no thirsting for Christ, no desire for holiness. Were God to bestow the things which had been so thoughtlessly and heartlessly asked, the individual would be taken by surprise.

The prayer of faith is importunate and persevering. It will not take a refusal. It will not be put off with a denial. Thus Jacob wrestled with the Angel of the covenant until he prevailed; “I will not let you go until you bless me.” Thus the woman of Canaan would not release the Savior from her hold until He had granted her suit; “If I am a dog, satisfy me with the crumbs.” And thus, too, the man who besieged the house of his friend at midnight for bread, and did not go away until he obtained it; and the oppressed widow, who sought justice at the hands of the unrighteous and reluctant judge until he righted her; illustrate the nature of that prayer; even earnest, persevering prayer, which prevails with God, and obtains the blessing.

Believing prayer is humble. How low in the dust the truly importunate suppliant lies before God! There is nothing of bold ruffianism, of unholy freedom, in the cases of earnest prayer which we have cited. There is no irreverence of manner, nor brashness of speech, nor rushing into God’s holy presence as if He were an equal. But rather that awful consciousness of the Divine presence, that profound spirit of self-abasement which seems to say, “How dreadful is this place!” “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer you? I will lay my hand upon my mouth.” Oh, how lowly is the heart from where arises the incense of believing prayer! How utterly unworthy it feels of the least of all the Lord’s mercies; how unfit to be a channel of grace to others; and with what trembling it lies prostrate upon the spot where God, the Triune God, is passing by! “Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter anything before God; for God is in heaven, and you upon earth; therefore let your words be few.”

Submission is another attribute of the prayer of faith. Its utmost range of request is bounded, and its deepest fervor of spirit is chastened, by submission to the Divine will. It presumes neither to dictate to God, nor to counsel Him. It leaves the mode of answering its petitions; the time, the place, the way; with God. Trained, perhaps, in the school of bitter disappointment, it has learned to see as much love in God’s heart in withholding as in granting its requests; as much wisdom in delaying as in promptly bestowing the blessing. And, seeing that delays in prayer are not denials of prayer, he who believes will not make haste to anticipate the Divine mind, or to antedate the Divine blessing. “Your will, not mine, be done,” ever breathes from the praying lip of faith.

Yet another and the crowning attribute of believing prayer is; that it is presented in the name of Jesus. As it is life from God through Christ, so through Christ it is life breathed back again to God. It approaches the Divine Majesty by the “new and living way”; its mighty argument, and its one prevailing plea, is the atoning blood of Jesus. This is the ground of its boldness, this the reason of its nearness, and this the secret of its power and success. “Whatever you shall ask in my name,” observes Christ, “that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

 

 

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian

PRAYER (3)

 

“Pray Continually.” 1 Th 5:17 NIV

The Bible says, “Pray continually.”  If you can worry continually, you can pray continually; you just have to change your focus!  Try to picture this:  an enemy army has arrived intent on wiping out Israel.  So Moses says to Joshua, “Take your best soldiers and go fight them. I’m taking two men, climbing the hill that overlooks the plains, raising my hands toward heaven and praying for victory” (See Ex 17:8-9).  As Moses’ hands stretched heavenward, Joshua’s troops prevailed.  But when Moses’s arms grew weary and he dropped them to his side, the tide of battle shifted.  Joshua’s troops were being struck down.  Again Moses stretched his arms toward heaven, bringing the matter before the Lord.  Immediately the battle’s momentum shifted back to Joshua.  Then it struck Moses-He must keep his arms outstretched toward Heaven if he wants to open the door to God’s supernatural intervention here on earth.  There’s a lesson here: if you are willing to invite God to involve Himself in your daily living you’ll experience His power in your home, your relationships, your career, and wherever else it’s needed.  But the other side of the equation is sobering: It’s hard for God to release His power in your life when you just put your hands in your pockets and say, “I can handle this on my own.”  If you do that, don’t be surprised if you get the nagging feeling that the tide of battle has shifted against you and that you’re powerless to do anything about it.  To experience God’s power in your life you must pray continually, pray scripturally, and pray in faith.

 

My Prayer to the Father, August 13, 2012

Heavenly Father
I come before Your throne, Father,
In worship and praise
Of who You are.
Father, I look forward
To that blessed and beautiful day
When with all my brothers
And sisters
I may bow before You
And give You praise,
And honor and glory.
Oh what a wonderful day
That will be.

Heavenly Father
It doesn’t seem possible that
It could be so
That one day I shall stand
In the presence of angels
And cherubim
And I shall proclaim
And magnify You
Above all;
And oh, to think that
Right there in front of me
I shall see my Lord Jesus’ face.

Heavenly Father
It’s too far beyond my comprehension
To think and scarcely believe
That You have prepared me a place
That I will never know until
I get home, my Eternal home
All that You’ve prepared for me.
Even in my dreams
As I walk and breath the life You give
I can not fathom
The beauty, the perfection
Of all You’ve given me
Title to;
Bought and paid for
By the precious blood
Of my dear Savior.

Heavenly Father
I just want to Thank You;
I want to fall down before You
And give You all I have in
My heart
All I am
All I want to be
All I could be
All, every part of me.
May there be nothing within me
But a heart that glories
And is filled with gladness
In knowing that
My soul, forever and a day,
Belongs solely to You.

Heavenly Father
I’ve only one thing to ask;
Give us, Your children,
A vision of our eternal home,
A taste of what it will be like there,
So that we may be filled
With a great and insatiable desire
To share that
Which we have already within
Our hearts
With all who are so lost
And in danger
Of throwing away
Their immortal souls.
Father, please give us a need
That cannot be quenched
To spread the glorious Gospel
Of Your message
To anyone and everyone
We meet.

In Jesus name, I pray,
Amen.

 

My Prayer to the Father, August 11, 2012

Heavenly Father
I come before You, Father
Knowing and acknowledging
That You are the Supreme God;
The Eternal God.
You, Father are the Creator
And the Sustainer of all Life.
You, Father are the Author of
Every good and pleasing thing
Which we have ever known,
Now know,
And will know in
Your Eternal Kingdom.

Heavenly Father
It is with gladness of heart that
I come before Your throne now.
Glad, Father, not because of
Anything I have done
Or will do,
But because of what
You have done for me.
You, Father have adopted me,
Not because of who I am,
But because of who
Your Son, Jesus, is.

Heavenly Father
It is because I know and feel
This gladness of heart
That I come to You with
My request tonight.
Father I ask You to
Break my heart.
Break my heart, and
Help me to see with Your eyes.
So that I might
Be able to see this world
I live in with all it’s inhabitants
In the way that You do.
Help me to see
As You see, and to feel
The pain You must feel
Seeing Your people
In the midst of their sin.
Break my heart, Father,
So that I might cry tears,
And pray,
And act,
And do all I can to
Show them
What becomes of
Their sinfulness.

Heavenly Father
Do not let me stand idly by
And watch, and
Not say a word, or
Lift a hand
When I see someone
In error.
Let me not be afraid
To raise my voice,
To use my feet and hands,
My heart and mind,
To at all times
And in all places
Proclaim the name of
Jesus Christ,
Lord of lords,
And King of kings
To all who face me,
And stand against me.

Heavenly Father
Let me declare Your love
In the face of anger;
Let me declare
Your mercy and compassion
On those undeserving;
Let me declare
Your strength and courage
In the face of adversity;
Let me declare
In each and every situation
To every single person
I meet
No matter what
They do or say
What You have given to me.

Heavenly Father
Please, don’t just break
My heart.
Break the hearts of
All Your children;
Break the heart of
Every child who calls upon
Your son, Jesus, and
Who places their
Faith and trust in Him.
Father, please make them see
That by offering
excuses for others,
By justifying what is evil,
By not confronting what is false,
By not standing for Your truth
That they are encouraging
And even promoting
The things that
Break Your heart.

Heavenly Father
Let me be broken hearted;
Let me be spurred to action
To involvement
To making a difference
To doing all
You call upon all Your children
To do.
Let me truly take up my cross
And follow after Him
Who took my sins
Upon Himself.
Let me, Father, not do less
Than He.

In Jesus name, I pray.
Amen.

My Prayer to the Father, August 9, 2012

Heavenly Father
I come to You, Father, as
The Father of Light
Piercing the darkness,
As the Truth
That cuts through all
That is false.
You are the Eternal
And Forever God.

I come to You, Father,
In worship and praise,
And with a humble heart
That is filled
With gratitude
And love.
I thank You Heavenly Father
For Your manifold blessings
And for all the ways
In which You
Bestow Your love
Upon us.

Heavenly Father
I come to You with a plea
This night, a simple plea.
Father, please never
Let me forget why I’m here,
And what my purpose is.
Please Heavenly Father
Don’t let me fall into
Vainglory,
Do not for a second
Let me think that anything
I do is important,
Or anything that You can’t
And haven’t done
Through others.
Help me to remember
That it’s not about
My doing it,
But that someone
Does it.

Heavenly Father
help me to grasp the importance
Of looking to Your Word,
To prayer,
And to the wisdom of
Godly counselors,
And the leading of the
Holy Spirit
To guide me
In the living out of my life
In this world
As I walk as a pilgrim
Upon foreign soil.

Heavenly Father
I pray that You give me
A deep and abiding need
To know Your Word of Truth,
And to treasure Wisdom
Above rubies and gold, and
That You will give and
Increase my desire
To live by it And thus
be led by it.

Heavenly Father
Help me to realize
And understand
That living in wisdom
Is to look
At each and every
Situation
From an eternal perspective
And one that honors
All that You are.
Help me to know
That when wisdom
Is in the lead
It doesn’t lead me
Into thorns.

In Jesus name, I pray,
Amen.

 

 

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian – Satan Is Defeated (3)

For many of us, death is our greatest fear.  One comedian quipped, “I don’t mind dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens!”  But we can’t joke away the sobering reality the Bible describes as “the last enemy.”  So what’s the answer?  Jesus!  “Only by dying could He break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.  Only in this way could He set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying” (Heb 2:14-15 NLT).  Until Jesus came, Satan used the threat of death.  Until then we all lived in fear of it.  But because of the resurrection, all Satan has left are the lies he can tell about death.  The word “destroy” implies “to reduce to zero” (See 1 Jn 3:8).  Wow!  By His death and resurrection, Jesus reduced Satan’s power to zero.  And today Jesus says to you, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.  I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.  Amen.  And I have the keys of Hades and of Death” (Rev 1:17-18 NKJV).  After destroying the prison of Death, Jesus came out and said to Satan the jailer, “I’ll take those keys,” then He went back to heaven.

We grieve the loss of a loved one, and that’s a healthy thing to do.  But you can handle the grief when you know you can live through it, and that you’ll be reunited in heaven with your loved ones.  So even in death, we win and Satan loses.