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This is another questionable on-topic, but due to the recent Terry interview I thought it might be a good place to put it. We can always go argue in the "dump" later if necessary! Smile

Too often, the message to the lost is: just come to Christ and all your problems will be gone and you'll have a great life - it's a free gift. Well, that's really more of a half-truth than anything. It will cost you - your life, and you will pay - through the fellowship of Christ's sufferings.


This is also sorta on-topic because of my wonderings if free concerts draw more or less people than when you sell tickets reasonable, say $5 to $10. You know, some people might think something like "if it's free, they must not be that good", or "if it's free, they must be planning to hit me up for a donation, or feed me a line at some point".


=============================


Harvest Daily Devotional

July 29
God's Free Gift

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in
Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 10:9)

Many years ago, I was given some free tickets to Disneyland. I was
walking around the park having a good time, but I started to feel guilty
because I had two extra tickets. I thought maybe there was someone
outside who wanted to come in, but perhaps couldn't afford it. So, I
decided to go outside and find someone to give the tickets to. I
noticed some kids hanging out in front of the park. I walked up and
said, "Hi. I have two free tickets to Disneyland. Would you like
them?"

"What are you doing, man?"

"Just two free tickets," I said.

"How much is it going to cost us?"

"It won't cost you anything. I have some extra. I would just like you
to have them."

"No."

I went to someone else. "Hi. I have these two free tickets to
Disneyland. I would like to give them to you." Again and again, I
received the same response. It took 40 minutes to give away those
tickets.

People are suspicious, and the same goes when it comes to spiritual
things. We say, "The way to be forgiven of your sin and to have eternal
life is to turn from your sin, receive Jesus Christ into your heart as
your Lord and Savior, and begin to follow Him." People respond, "That's
too easy. What's the catch? What else do I have to do?" In our pride,
we want to think we have something to do with our salvation. But if we
will come to God on His terms and do what He says, then we will be
forgiven of our sins and have the assurance of eternal life.

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Spurgeon's Morning & Evening Devotions
Morning, July 29

"We know that all things work together for good to them that love
God."
- Romans 8:28


Upon some points a believer is absolutely sure. He knows, for
instance, that God sits in the stern-sheets of the vessel when it
rocks most. He believes that an invisible hand is always on the
world's tiller, and that wherever providence may drift, Jehovah
steers it.

That re-assuring knowledge prepares him for everything. He looks
over the raging waters and sees the spirit of Jesus treading the
billows, and he hears a voice saying, "It is I, be not afraid."
He knows too that God is always wise, and, knowing this, he is
confident that there can be no accidents, no mistakes; that
nothing can occur which ought not to arise.

He can say, "If I should lose all I have, it is better that I
should lose than have, if God so wills: the worst calamity is the
wisest and the kindest thing that could befall to me if God
ordains it." "We know that all things work together for good to
them that love God." The Christian does not merely hold this as a
theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact.

Everything has worked for good as yet; the poisonous drugs mixed
in fit proportions have worked the cure; the sharp cuts of the
lancet have cleansed out the proud flesh and facilitated the
healing. Every event as yet has worked out the most divinely
blessed results; and so, believing that God rules all, that he
governs wisely, that he brings good out of evil, the believer's
heart is assured, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as
it comes. The believer can in the spirit of true resignation
pray, "Send me what thou wilt, my God, so long as it comes from
thee; never came there an ill portion from thy table to any of
thy children. "

"Say not my soul, 'From whence can God relieve my care?'
Remember that Omnipotence has servants everywhere.
His method is sublime, his heart profoundly kind,
God never is before his time, and never is behind."


Evening, July 29


"Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?"
- Numbers 32:6


Kindred has its obligations. The Reubenites and Gadites would
have been unbrotherly if they had claimed the land which had been
conquered, and had left the rest of the people to fight for their
portions alone. We have received much by means of the efforts and
sufferings of the saints in years gone by, and if we do not make
some return to the church of Christ by giving her our best
energies, we are unworthy to be enrolled in her ranks.

Others are combating the errors of the age manfully, or
excavating perishing ones from amid the ruins of the fall, and if
we fold our hands in idleness we had need be warned, lest the
curse of Meroz fall upon us. The Master of the vineyard saith,
"Why stand ye here all the day idle?" What is the idler's excuse?
Personal service of Jesus becomes all the more the duty of all
because it is cheerfully and abundantly rendered by some. The
toils of devoted missionaries and fervent ministers shame us if
we sit still in indolence.

Shrinking from trial is the temptation of those who are at ease
in Zion: they would fain escape the cross and yet wear the crown;
to them the question for this evening's meditation is very
applicable. If the most precious are tried in the fire, are we to
escape the crucible? If the diamond must be vexed upon the wheel,
are we to be made perfect without suffering? Who hath commanded
the wind to cease from blowing because our bark is on the deep?
Why and wherefore should we be treated better than our Lord? The
firstborn felt the rod, and why not the younger brethren? It is a
cowardly pride which would choose a downy pillow and a silken
couch for a soldier of the cross. Wiser far is he who, being
first resigned to the divine will, groweth by the energy of grace
to be pleased with it, and so learns to gather lilies at the
cross foot, and, like Samson, to find honey in the lion.

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Yeah, it's by grace we are saved. So that is a gift we don't
earn. But that doesn not mean our life will be easy from that
point on or that we will have a great life. It also says that
he will work out all things for the good of those that love him,
that implies the things are not 'good' but he will make the
outcome good.

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"A strange fanaticism fills our time: the fanatical hatred of morality, especially of Christian morality." - GK Chesterton
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We gotta look for Blessings In Disguise, even as we see a torpedo headed towards our ship!

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Thankfully that's what we hear from the pulpit at church. The first church I attended regularly was during the Charismatic outpouring of the 70's-80's and there was alot of the "prosperity" message being preached. It never seemed to stand up to a comparison to scripture so I would do as someone suggested - "it's like eating fish - spit out the bones". On the plus side there was always a balance with some of the guys preaching a more realistic view of life.

Christ promised that we would see our share of tribulation. What I believe sets us apart is the Hope of our calling and the Promise He's given. As y'all stated, "all things work together for the good....".

JB
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Never look a Gift Horse in the mouth, even if you think its breath does smell like a Honeysuckle Breeze! Big Grin

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E V E R Y D A Y L I G H T
Daily readings to help you see Jesus' light in your life
by Selwyn Hughes

God Tests before He Entrusts

"... those who suffer according to God's will should commit
themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do
good." (v. 19)

-- For reading & meditation: 1 Peter 4:12-19

God seldom uses anyone unless He puts that person through the test of
suffering and adversity. Jesus, you remember, began His ministry in the
wilderness of temptation, but it culminated in a garden in Jerusalem on
Easter morning. Our lesser ministries, too, need the test of suffering.
An ancient proverb says: "He who is born in the fire will not fade in
the sun."

If God lets us suffer in the fire of adversity, depend on it - He is
only making sure that we will not fade in the sun of smaller
difficulties. Has life broken you by suffering and affliction? Are you
feeling weakened and drained by the
things that have happened to you?

Take hold of the principles we have been examining this week, and I
promise you that never again will life break you at the point of
suffering. This does not mean that you will never again experience
suffering, but it does mean that you will respond to the suffering with
a new and positive faith. Let me draw your attention once more to the
text we looked at the other day:

"Although they may in the usual way slander you as evildoers, yet
when disasters come they may glorify God when they see how well you
conduct yourselves" (1 Pet. 2:12, Phillips).

Make no mistake about it - the world is watching how we Christians react
to suffering. What do they see? People who struggle on in continual
weakness, or people who have been made "strong at the broken places"?

PRAYER:
O Father, I am one of Your followers, but so often I am afraid to
follow You all the way. Yet I see that Your way is right - nothing else
is right. I know You will stand by me; help me to stand by You.
For Jesus' sake. Amen.

FURTHER STUDY:
Rom. 5:1-11; 2 Thess. 1; Matt. 5:10-12

1. What are some of the results of suffering and affliction?

2. Are these being evidenced in your life?

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Thanks again MF! Yer a true blessing to me in times of suffering! Wink

Actually, suffering seems to be getting better (maybe it's just my response! It took me long enough Tongue )

We truly do share in the fellowship of Christ's sufferings. We're so....


























human. Roll Eyes

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Holy God break me, Holy Lord take me
Lay your crushing hand, Your mighty hand, On me gently
Your crushing hand, Your mighty hand, On me gently

Smile
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Our "treasure" is being stored up in heaven - Not necessarily in our checking accounts as so many pastors preach!

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Harvest Daily Devotional

August 16
Through the Storm

On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross
over to the other side.” (Mark 4:35)

In the Gospel of Mark, we find an interesting story in which Jesus
invited the disciples, some of whom were seasoned fishermen, to join Him
on a little boat trip across the Sea of Galilee. But on the way over,
they encountered a radical storm.

Now the question would arise, “Did Jesus know that a storm was coming?”
The answer is yes. In fact, you might even say that it was a part of
His curriculum that day. It was all part of teaching the disciples to
believe what they claimed to believe.

We don’t want to make light of what these disciples were experiencing,
because I’m sure this was a very harsh storm. Several on board had seen
many storms on the Sea of Galilee. So it had to be a very difficult
storm for the disciples to be so gripped by fear. According to Mark’s
Gospel, the waves were breaking over the boat and filling it with water.
The disciples were very afraid, but they didn’t have to be. Jesus had
made a significant statement they apparently had forgotten about : “Let
us go to the other side.” And when God says, “Let us go to the other
side,” it means you will get to the other side. He didn’t say it would
be smooth sailing. He didn’t say it would be an easy trip. But He did
say, “Let us go to the other side.”

Often we are gripped by fear and cease to think logically when we forget
God’s Word to us. That is exactly what happened to the disciples. But
Jesus was on board with them, and He was there to see them through.

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Spurgeon's Morning & Evening Devotions
Morning, August 16

"On mine arm shall they trust."
- Isaiah 51:5


In seasons of severe trial, the Christian has nothing on earth
that he can trust to, and is therefore compelled to cast himself
on his God alone. When his vessel is on its beam-ends, and no
human deliverance can avail, he must simply and entirely trust
himself to the providence and care of God. Happy storm that
wrecks a man on such a rock as this! O blessed hurricane that
drives the soul to God and God alone! There is no getting at our
God sometimes because of the multitude of our friends; but when a
man is so poor, so friendless, so helpless that he has nowhere
else to turn, he flies into his Father's arms, and is blessedly
clasped therein! When he is burdened with troubles so pressing
and so peculiar, that he cannot tell them to any but his God, he
may be thankful for them; for he will learn more of his Lord then
than at any other time.

Oh, tempest-tossed believer, it is a happy trouble that drives
thee to thy Father! Now that thou hast only thy God to trust to,
see that thou puttest thy full confidence in him. Dishonour not
thy Lord and Master by unworthy doubts and fears; but be strong
in faith, giving glory to God. Show the world that thy God is
worth ten thousand worlds to thee.

Show rich men how rich thou art in thy poverty when the Lord God
is thy helper. Show the strong man how strong thou art in thy
weakness when underneath thee are the everlasting arms. Now is
the time for feats of faith and valiant exploits.

Be strong and very courageous, and the Lord thy God shall
certainly, as surely as he built the heavens and the earth,
glorify himself in thy weakness, and magnify his might in the
midst of thy distress. The grandeur of the arch of heaven would
be spoiled if the sky were supported by a single visible column,
and your faith would lose its glory if it rested on anything
discernible by the carnal eye. May the Holy Spirit give you to
rest in Jesus this closing day of the month.

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2 CENTS-
I grit my teeth at Romans 2:28 when the verse is misused (not that you have here, but so many have)
all things ARENT good- thats the problem some christians have..
and there are too many heartaches and pitfalls to overcome if that be the case,

the scripture says all things WORK TOGETHER for those who are called..
the good, the bad and the very very ugly..
FOR good
not that they are good in themselves, but the Lord has a way of providing the sanity to make them work together..

oops sorry - dont have a third penny.

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Harvest Daily Devotional

August 18
Time will Tell

The Lord told Gideon, “With these three hundred men I will rescue you
and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home.”
(Judges 7:7)

Remember the story of Gideon in the Old Testament Book of Judges?
Gideon had a fairly large army of 32,000 men. But he had a much larger
adversary in the Midianites, who numbered in the thousands and
thousands. God came to Gideon one day and told him that his army was
too big. He told Gideon to call the men together and say, “Whoever is
timid or afraid may leave and go home.” Gideon obeyed the Lord, and
22,000 men said, “We’re out of here.” God thinned the ranks once more,
and Gideon was left with 300 men. Why did God do that? He was looking
for those who would stand up for Him, for those who would make a
sacrifice.

In the same way, time will tell whether you are a true follower of Jesus
Christ. It will be determined on the battlefield, not in a church
service where everyone is praising the Lord together. Time will tell
whether have truly gone forward spiritually. It will be determined by
how you hold up when the first difficulties come, when the first
temptations come, and when the first persecution comes.

I remember how things changed when I became a follower of Jesus Christ.
I was harassed and mocked by friends whom I had known for many years. I
recognized immediately that if I followed Christ, I would lose some
so-called friends, and it would not always be easy.

If you are willing to endure, then you will have the greatest adventure
imaginable in serving the Lord. God is looking for men and women to
enlist in His army for His divine Delta Force.

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Spurgeon's Morning & Evening Devotions
Evening, August 19


"The Lord trieth the righteous."
- Psalm 11:5


All events are under the control of Providence; consequently all
the trials of our outward life are traceable at once to the great
First Cause. Out of the golden gate of God's ordinance the armies
of trial march forth in array, clad in their iron armour, and
armed with weapons of war. All providences are doors to trial.

Even our mercies, like roses, have their thorns. Men may be
drowned in seas of prosperity as well as in rivers of affliction.
Our mountains are not too high, and our valleys are not too low
for temptations: trials lurk on all roads.

Everywhere, above and beneath, we are beset and surrounded with
dangers. Yet no shower falls unpermitted from the threatening
cloud; every drop has its order ere it hastens to the earth. The
trials which come from God are sent to prove and strengthen our
graces, and so at once to illustrate the power of divine grace,
to test the genuineness of our virtues, and to add to their
energy.

Our Lord in his infinite wisdom and superabundant love, sets so
high a value upon his people's faith that he will not screen them
from those trials by which faith is strengthened. You would never
have possessed the precious faith which now supports you if the
trial of your faith had not been like unto fire. You are a tree
that never would have rooted so well if the wind had not rocked
you to and fro, and made you take firm hold upon the precious
truths of the covenant grace.

Worldly ease is a great foe to faith; it loosens the joints of
holy valour, and snaps the sinews of sacred courage. The balloon
never rises until the cords are cut; affliction doth this sharp
service for believing souls. While the wheat sleeps comfortably
in the husk it is useless to man, it must be threshed out of its
resting place before its value can be known. Thus it is well that
Jehovah trieth the righteous, for it causeth them to grow rich
towards God.

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Harvest Daily Devotional

November 4
Carve Your Name upon the Rock

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will
liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain
descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house;
and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
—Matthew 7:24–25

Psalm 1 provides a nice outline that illustrates the blessedness of a
person who meditates on God’s Word day and night. Here in these verses
we find a person of God’s permanence, position, productivity, and
prosperity.

First we find this particular man’s permanence: “He shall be like a tree
planted by the rivers of water” (verse 3). This man is not some wild
tree that is growing off on its own. He has been planted. And who
planted him there? God planted him; and the man who meditates on God’s
Word sinks his roots deep in God.

Second, there is the man’s productivity. Psalm 1:3 tells us that this
man “brings forth [his] fruit in [his] season.” If you are a believer
who is meditating on God’s Word day and night, your life will bear
spiritual fruit. Galatians 5:22–23 tells us that this fruit is “love,
joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,
self-control.” When we are fruitful, our lives bring forth Christ-like
results.

Then we find this man’s propriety. Psalm 1:3 tells us that the person
who mediates on God’s Word is like a tree that “brings forth its fruit
in its season.” This is not an overnight process. It takes time to
grow. But in time that growth comes.

Finally there is the man’s prosperity: “whatever he does shall prosper”
(verse 3). A person who meditates on God’s Word possesses an entire
life that has found its balance, because she or he is properly aligned
with God.

The great British preacher C. H. Spurgeon once said, “The righteous
carves his name upon the rock, while the wicked writes his remembrance
in the sand.” Meditate on God’s Word day and night so that you can
carve your name upon the rock.

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Spurgeon's Evening Devotion November 4


"O that I knew where I might find him!"
- Job 23:3


In Job's uttermost extremity he cried after the Lord. The longing
desire of an afflicted child of God is once more to see his
Father's face. His first prayer is not "O that I might be healed
of the disease which now festers in every part of my body!" nor
even "O that I might see my children restored from the jaws of
the grave, and my property once more brought from the hand of the
spoiler!" but the first and uppermost cry is, "O that I knew
where I might find HIM, who is my God! that I might come even to
his seat!" God's children run home when the storm comes on.

It is the heaven-born instinct of a gracious soul to seek shelter
from all ills beneath the wings of Jehovah. "He that hath made
his refuge God," might serve as the title of a true believer. A
hypocrite, when afflicted by God, resents the infliction, and,
like a slave, would run from the Master who has scourged him; but
not so the true heir of heaven, he kisses the hand which smote
him, and seeks shelter from the rod in the bosom of the God who
frowned upon him.

Job's desire to commune with God was intensified by the failure
of all other sources of consolation. The patriarch turned away
from his sorry friends, and looked up to the celestial throne,
just as a traveller turns from his empty skin bottle, and betakes
himself with all speed to the well. He bids farewell to
earth-born hopes, and cries, "O that I knew where I might find my
God!" Nothing teaches us so much the preciousness of the Creator,
as when we learn the emptiness of all besides.

Turning away with bitter scorn from earth's hives, where we find
no honey, but many sharp stings, we rejoice in him whose faithful
word is sweeter than honey or the honeycomb. In every trouble we
should first seek to realize God's presence with us. Only let us
enjoy his smile, and we can bear our daily cross with a willing
heart for his dear sake.

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Spurgeon's Morning & Evening Devotions

Morning, February 3

"Shew me wherefore thou contendest with me."
- Job 10:2


Perhaps, O tried soul, the Lord is doing this to develop thy
graces. There are some of thy graces which would never be
discovered if it were not for thy trials. Dost thou not know that
thy faith never looks so grand in summer weather as it does in
winter? Love is too often like a glow-worm, showing but little
light except it be in the midst of surrounding darkness.

Hope itself is like a star-not to be seen in the sunshine of
prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity.
Afflictions are often the black foils in which God doth set the
jewels of his children's graces, to make them shine the better.
It was but a little while ago that on thy knees thou wast saying,
"Lord, I fear I have no faith: let me know that I have faith."

Was not this really, though perhaps unconsciously, praying for
trials?-for how canst thou know that thou hast faith until thy
faith is exercised? Depend upon it, God often sends us trials
that our graces may be discovered, and that we may be certified
of their existence. Besides, it is not merely discovery, real
growth in grace is the result of sanctified trials. God often
takes away our comforts and our privileges in order to make us
better Christians.

He trains his soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury, but by
turning them out and using them to forced marches and hard
service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through
rivers, and climb mountains, and walk many a long mile with heavy
knapsacks of sorrow on their backs. Well, Christian, may not this
account for the troubles through which thou art passing? Is not
the Lord bringing out your graces, and making them grow? Is not
this the reason why he is contending with you?

"Trials make the promise sweet;
Trials give new life to prayer;
Trials bring me to his feet,
Lay me low, and keep me there."

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I was listening to a song yesterday...and this thought popped in my mind

I give you these pieces
pieces of wood
and I'd make it for you
if only I could

Just follow my pattern
and you'll come to see
Your cross will feel much
like the one made for me.


I dunno - something like that...........

not to ever elevate our suffering to His, but to know that He relates to ours.

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Pleased

It's good to know that He has already experienced our suffering. I need to keep that in mind more often!

__________________


Holy God break me, Holy Lord take me
Lay your crushing hand, Your mighty hand, On me gently
Your crushing hand, Your mighty hand, On me gently

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Thread Starter Thread Started by Mountain Fan
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Spurgeon's Morning & Evening Devotions
Evening, February 8


"Take up the cross, and follow me."
- Mark 10:21


You have not the making of your own cross, although unbelief is a
master carpenter at cross-making; neither are you permitted to
choose your own cross, although self-will would fain be lord and
master; but your cross is prepared and appointed for you by
divine love, and you are cheerfully to accept it; you are to take
up the cross as your chosen badge and burden, and not to stand
cavilling at it. This night Jesus bids you submit your shoulder
to his easy yoke. Do not kick at it in petulance, or trample on
it in vain-glory, or fall under it in despair, or run away from
it in fear, but take it up like a true follower of Jesus.

Jesus was a cross-bearer; he leads the way in the path of sorrow.
Surely you could not desire a better guide! And if he carried a
cross, what nobler burden would you desire? The Via Crucis is the
way of safety; fear not to tread its thorny paths.

Beloved, the cross is not made of feathers, or lined with velvet,
it is heavy and galling to disobedient shoulders; but it is not
an iron cross, though your fears have painted it with iron
colours, it is a wooden cross, and a man can carry it, for the
Man of sorrows tried the load. Take up your cross, and by the
power of the Spirit of God you will soon be so in love with it,
that like Moses, you would not exchange the reproach of Christ
for all the treasures of Egypt. Remember that Jesus carried it,
and it will smell sweetly; remember that it will soon be followed
by the crown, and the thought of the coming weight of glory will
greatly lighten the present heaviness of trouble. The Lord help
you to bow your spirit in submission to the divine will ere you
fall asleep this night, that waking with to-morrow's sun, you may
go forth to the day's cross with the holy and submissive spirit
which becomes a follower of the Crucified.

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