Tomorrow

time“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” (James 4:13-15)

The truth is…you aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. Time is either a merciful friend or a deadly enemy. As Christians, we are really good at making “plans”. I’ll do this or that tomorrow. Procrastination can sometimes just be another fancy word for disobedience. We have such “good intentions” sometimes…but sadly, they never get much farther than that…an intention…and not an active reality in our lives. We say….’I’ll give of myself tomorrow. I’ll serve the Lord tomorrow. I’ll read my Bible tomorrow morning. I’ll love my neighbor tomorrow. I’ll give food to the homeless or give him a place to stay next time it’s convenient. I’ll visit the nursing home next week. I’ll help the preborn scheduled for abortion later. I’ll give a tract to that familiar grocer next time I see him. “I’m sure they’ll be another time when someone isn’t in line behind me.” Or maybe that man sitting beside me on the bus. “I’ll catch him later.” “I’m in too much of a hurry today to stop and talk to that lonely man sitting on that park bench.” I’ll stop and make time for others tomorrow. I’ll rid my heart of secret sin next altar call at church. I’ll let go of bitterness in my life later. I’ll forgive that person before he dies. I’ll spend time with my family tomorrow night. Or that friend that needs encouragement. I’ll open my home to hospitality next meal. Tomorrow…tomorrow…tomorrow. I’ll do it all tomorrow.’

I’m only 22 years old…and I’ve already realized how short my life actually is. Days…months… even years seem to pass by so quickly. It’s sobering. I honestly think it is a subtle tool of satan to keep Christians distracted with the things of this world…and to forget the real value of time. To forget that it is precious…as it is short. To forget that tomorrow doesn’t belong to us yet. To forget who it really does belongs to. Christ! And that we are His servants…here to do His will. Not our own.

I’ve decided to start making time for what is most important in my life. I’ve realized that unless you purposefully choose to take the time…it won’t just fall into your lap. Life is short. Tomorrow is unknown. Hell is real. People are dying. Babies are being murdered. People are starving for truth. For love. And there’s a heaven with eternal consequences and value.

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” (Romans 13:11-12)

Let’s wake up! Let’s honestly evaluate our lives! Let’s seek the Lord while He may be found! Let’s be about our Father’s business! Let’s understand His will and do it! Whose with me?

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The Sword of His Will

Sword

“Yet more and more this truth doth shine

From failure and from loss,

The will that runs transverse to Thine

Doth thereby make its cross:

Thine upright will

Cuts straight and still

Through pride and dream and dross.”

W.M.L. Jay

This is something I’d like to call “The Sword of His Will”. Which is, to present yourself before the Lord in full surrender and allow Him to tear away from your heart whatever you hold within you that crosses with Himself. It is a painful undertaking, but a worth while one! It bleeds and stings like nothing else, but the result is a sweet savor. It is to be committed all the way. To put place yourself completely in His care. To trust Him with everything. And nothing is more sweet, more precious, or dear to Him. Nothing can compare to the bonding it forms between me and my Saviour. And nothing is worth holding onto that separates that closeness. I hope this is a blessing, dear reader, and that you wouldn’t hesitate to open your heart completely to the one who first opened His heart to you. 

I lay myself down on the cold stone

I asked Him to place me here.

But as a once silent prayer becomes my reality,

All I can sense is my own gripping fear.

My heart within me pounding

Like a heavy drum, it beats;

With every part of me shaking in terror,

My Great Physician meets.

“My child, it is time to cut through this dross

So to replace it with the best;

Someday you will yet come to understand the reason,

But for now, be still and rest.”

He knows just where to place the knife,

Cutting deep, the right incision He makes.

Clear through my dearest desires and dreams,

My heart, He deliberately breaks.

The pain within me, overwhelming

How it aches and stings and bleeds!

But still one thought returning,

“Lovest Thou me, more than these?”

How the sorrows of loss compassed me!

My eyes, heavy laden with tears;

Weary and wounded, I cry out to Him-

Only silence; Yet, I could sense His presence near.

Still He continued to tear me

All earthly pleasures severed and crushed;

The hopes once hidden away in my heart,

Like blood from my veins, now rushed.

Such silence disquieted my soul

But His touch was still gentle and sweet.

For no one else knows me like He does,

All my deepest needs, He alone can entreat.

His smile towards me was reassuring

Though His face with anguish seemed worn.

I felt secure in His strong grasp; But still wondered,

Why, with such heaviness of tears, He did mourn?

For behold, He too was standing there bleeding!

All my pain and grief to bear;

And it was then, I knew that He loved me

What great compassion! My death to share!

Lord Jesus, You gave all Your life blood,

“The Man of Sorrows”, became for me;

And so through Your grace and by Thy power,

I’ll lie here and bleed for Thee.

Still, He won’t leave His helpless victim,

Lying shattered and lifeless and wasted to be;

But He comes in quite different apparel

Jehovah-Rapha- “I am the LORD that healeth thee.”

Such peace floods my soul!

He’s a healing balm to my open wounds;

What joy overflows me; He mends the broken heart again!

Whatever the losses I feared, my thanksgiving now consumes.

It is good that He did afflict me

For He only is able to fully use;

Those things which are willing to be sacrificed,

And a heart that is broken and bruised.

     -Lynea Bickish   January 2014-

A Quote for Today

“God only is holy; He alone knows how to lead His children in the paths of holiness. He knows every aspect of your soul, every thought of your heart, every secret of your character, its difficulties and hindrances; He knows how to mould you to His will, and lead you onwards to perfect sanctification; He knows exactly how each event, each trial, each temptation, will tell upon you, and He disposes all things accordingly. The consequences of this belief, if fully grasped, will influence your whole life. You will seek to give yourself up to God more and more unreservedly, asking nothing, refusing nothing, wishing nothing, but what He wills; not seeking to bring things about for yourself, taking all He sends joyfully, and believing the ‘one step’ set before you to be enough for you. You will be satisfied that even though there are clouds around, and your way seems dark, He is directing all, and that what seems a hindrance will prove a blessing, since He wills it.”  Jean Nicolas Grou

Daily Strength for Daily Needs, p. 232

Surrendered Stones upon the Wall of His Purpose

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2: 19-22)

“Slowly, through all the universe, that temple of God is being built. Whenever, in any world, a soul, by free-willed obedience, catches the fire of God’s likeness, it is set into the growing walls, a living stone. When, in your hand fight, in your tiresome drudgery, or in your terrible temptation, you catch the purpose of your being, and give yourself to God, and so give Him the chance to give Himself to you, your life, a living stone, is taken up and set into that growing wall. Wherever souls are being tried and ripened, in whatever commonplace and homely ways; – there God is hewing out the pillars for His temple. Oh, if the stone can only have some vision of the temple of which it is to be a part forever, what patience must fill it as it feels the blows of the hammer, and knows that success for it is simply to let itself be wrought into what shape the Master wills.”

(Phillip Brooks, Daily Strength for Daily Needs p. 158)

I loved the imagery of this particular quote. Stone after stone, being placed upon the wall of His divine purpose. Our lives make up the stones. Each part, each detail, small and great, is a stone. Our dreams. Our hopes. Our Goals. The desires He’s placed in our hearts. The ministries He’s given us to do. Our daily chores. Our work place. Relationships. Authorities. Talents and abilities. Our home life. Even our very hindrances, are all “stones”. Things that make up our life as we know it, and the people that shape who we are and what we do.

Each stone must be surrendered to His purpose. For we are His temple. We are the workmanship of His hands. He is the builder.

1Corinthians 3:16 says, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

And Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

He is hewing out pillars for His temple. Building up walls for His glory. He has a finishing plan and purpose.

Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

He is the author and the finisher. Sometimes, the process looks odd. Sometimes it looks ugly. It feels humbling. We compare our temple project to those around us. We question why He might place a stone here, or remove another one there. Sometimes the stones He chooses, aren’t the ones we would choose for ourselves. It feels rough on the outside. But He sees the finished product. Take heart, dear soul, and trust the Master at His work. He knows what He is doing.

When our plans are foiled, when disappointments arise- He is building His temple.

When heartaches encamp us and sorrows descend- He is building His temple.

When hindrances hold us captive, when our prayers seem unanswered- He is still building His temple.

And when doors are opened, when opportunities arise- He is building His temple.

When blessings surround us, and sweet joys flood within- He is yet building His temple.

When prayers are answered, when our desires and hopes He chooses to fulfill- He is building His temple.

He is the Corner Stone. And He knows just how to build our lives exactly fit for His glory and His Divine Purpose. We can trust Jesus, with what we do not understand. He sees the finished project. We don’t. But to get a glimpse of what He is doing! To trust that it is good! That is sweetest rest. That is glory.