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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Re-Post from today's "Daily Bread".... Chew your cud and bear good fruit!

Bearing Good Fruit

March 28, 2017
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season.—Psalm 1:3
The view from my airplane window was striking: a narrow ribbon of ripening wheat fields and orchards wending between two barren mountains. Running through the valley was a river—life-giving water, without which there would be no fruit.
Just as a bountiful harvest depends on a source of clean water, the quality of the “fruit” in my life—my words, actions, and attitude—depends on my spiritual nourishment. The psalmist describes this in Psalm 1: The person “whose delight is in the law of the Lord . . . is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season” (vv. 1-3). And Paul writes in Galatians 5 that those who walk in step with the Spirit are marked by “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (vv. 22-23).
Sometimes my perspective on my circumstances turns sour, or my actions and words become persistently unkind. There is no good fruit, and I realize I haven’t spent time being quiet before the words of my God. But when the rhythm of my days is rooted in reliance on Him, I bear good fruit. Patience and gentleness characterize my interactions with others; it’s easier to choose gratitude over complaint.
The God who has revealed Himself to us is our source of strength, wisdom, joy, understanding, and peace (Ps. 119:28, 98, 111, 144, 165). As we steep our souls in the words that point us to Him, the work of God’s Spirit will be evident in our lives. —Peter Chin
God’s Spirit lives in His people, in order to work through them.
INSIGHT: This pictorial psalm with its word imagery is a suitable introduction for the entire library of prayer, praise, and reflection we know as the book of Psalms. In contrast to “the world” is the believer’s joy and pursuit of gleaning gems of spiritual truth in the Word of God. The law of the Lord is his object of meditation. The Hebrew word for meditatemeans to “digest over and over again like a cow who chews its cud.” This is a spiritual preoccupation that draws the believer to the Word both day and night (v. 2). The analogy of a “tree planted by streams of water” (v. 3) pictures for us the life-giving water and nutrients of the soil that cause plant life to flourish. The result of a life so rooted in the Word is the overflow of fruitfulness. Dennis Fisher

Friday, March 17, 2017

From the Pastor...

"Prayer of the serious, evangelical, unceasing sort is to faith what original research is to science: it is the grand means of contact with reality....We need the humiliation in which we forget about religion, the faith in which we forget about either faith or works, the sanctity that has no knowledge of its own holiness. We need an experience of Christ in which we think everything about the Christ and nothing about the experience. We need not keep demanding either a faith or a love that we cannot rise to, but Christ, who produces and compels both." 

 - P. T. Forsyth

Saturday, March 4, 2017

From the Pastor...


God has more. He longs for you to grant Him access to your life through the attainable posture of unceasing prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
And He has some things to say to you to help you see the inestimable value of such a life—to forever change the way you view the privilege of prayer.
#1: I want you, My people, to know that I am waiting for you.
I am more interested in prayer because I am more complete in my love; and if you loved like I love, you would want to talk with Me without ceasing. Know that unceasing prayer is not a command but an invitation!
#2: I want you to know that prayer is not complicated.
It is the heart of humble helplessness that looks to Me—not to yourselves—which is faith. Your greatest requirement to pray without ceasing is helplessness. The more helpless you are, the more qualified you are to pray. I am knocking at the door, desiring entrance. I am longing for you to open the door and grant Me access to your greatest areas of helplessness, all day long.
#3: I want you to learn the art of retiring into Me.
Learn how to stop and listen and be silent throughout the day. It is silence that makes My voice clear and distinct. I want you to know how to quiet your soul in the midst of anything … to abide in Me. Some of this is external—resisting the noise of the world. Some is internal—practicing the presence of God. Retreating. Consciously listening … for I am there, and I am not silent.
#4: I want you, My children, to ask more of Me in prayer, so your joy will be full.
Ask, and you will receive, so your joy may be full. And the world will see Me. I want to use you to show the world—and I want to use My church to show the world—that I answer the prayers of My people … that I am there constantly, waiting for you to pray.
#5: I want you to know that I love you.
I am more interested in 24/7 communion than you are, because I have the benefit of loving perfectly. Therefore, I long for you perfectly. And I long for you to long for Me. I do not want to be shut out, to be ignored, to not be consulted, for I know that there is so much more, if you will pray without ceasing.