Bread upon the waters

Well, there are people who think they’re not receiving
anything from God at all… (Luke 15:29)
Oh, they are shaken from their believing;
when they don’t see results, they quickly fall… (Luke 8:131 Corinthians 10:12)

But, don’t you waver – keep on living (Hebrews 10:23)
in the way God wants you to: (1 Corinthians 7:17)
Don’t get discouraged – keep on giving – (2 Corinthians 9:7)
Soon it will come back to you! (2 Corinthians 9:6)

So keep on casting your bread upon the water: (Ecclesiastes 11:1)
Soon it’s gonna come back home on every wave! (Isaiah 55:10-11)
Keep on casting your bread upon the water: 
Soon it’s gonna come back home on every wave!
Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over! (Luke 6:38Psalm 23:1&5)
Soon it’s gonna come back home on every wave!

Just keep on working, seeking the Kingdom (Matthew 6:331 Corinthians 15:58Ephesians 4:28)
instead of working for your needs. (Philippians 4:19)
Just keep on sharing the love of Jesus – (Matthew 5:16Hebrews 6:10)
you know, growing comes from planting seeds! (John 12:24John 15:5)

~ Written by:  Bill & Janny Grein
Performed by:  Gaither Vocal Band ~

The Author & Finisher of our Faith

We, as humans, think that we should balance out our bad deeds with good deeds.  Mentally, we keep “record” of the bad things we have done, and then we try to balance it out by doing some good deeds in an effort to justify ourselves.

The Bible does say that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20) and that “by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (James 2:24).  Further reading of this passage reveals the example of Abraham, who believed, and the works that he did followed his faith in God’s instructions and provision (Genesis 22:1-14, Hebrews 11:19).  The “works” mentioned in the Book of James are NOT trying to justify ourselves in God’s eyes through “good deeds”.  The Bible is clear that “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6), and that we are only “justified by His blood” (Romans 5:9), the Blood that Jesus Christ shed for us on the cross at Calvary.  (See also Hebrews 9:22, 1 Peter 1:18-19.)  God wants our works to be done out of our love for Him, doing good deeds to other people because we want to please our LORD (not justify ourselves), and reading the Bible and praying to God because we desire fellowship with our Creator.

As we sincerely desire a love relationship with Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for us (Ephesians 5:25), He will work the good works in our hearts (Philippians 1:6 & 2:13).  We, as humans, like to try to be “in control”, DOING things to buy His favour.  This is not at all what He requires.  He wants us to LOVE Him, above all else.  (Luke 10:27)

This relationship between me and God was NOT initiated by me, or “earned” by any good thing I may have done.  His love for us, His mercy and grace, His kindness, is so great that the God of all the universe, the Creator of all things, desires a relationship with us – broken, frail, sinful human beings.

Our relationship with God (through Jesus Christ, our mediator) is from Him.  He is the One Who does the good works in our hearts and through us.  It was never about us – but it always has been and always will be about Jesus Christ, our God.  All the glory and honour is due to Him!  (Revelation 4:11)

1 John 4:19
We love Him, because He first loved us.

John 15:16
“Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it you.” ~ Jesus Christ

Philippians 2:13
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.

Philippians 1:6
Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 12:1-3
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 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.  For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Ephesians 2:8-10
For 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.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Revelation 5:12
Saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.”

BUSY

Satan called a worldwide convention of demons.  In his opening address he said, “We can’t keep Christians from going to church.  We can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth.  We can’t even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with their Saviour.  Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken.  So let them go to their churches;  let them have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time, so they don’t have time to develop a real relationship with Jesus Christ.  This is what I want you to do,” said the devil. “Distract them from gaining hold of their Saviour and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!”
“How shall we do this?” his demons shouted.

“Keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered.  “Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow.  Persuade the husbands and wives to go to work for long hours, 12-14 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their families fragment, soon, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work!

Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that “still, small Voice“. Entice them to play the radio or MP3’s whenever they drive… to keep the TV, DVD’s, CD’s and their PC’s going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world play degrading and hateful music constantly.  This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.  Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers.  Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day.  Invade their driving moments with billboards.  Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes.

“Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines and TV so their husbands will believe that outward beauty is what’s important, and they’ll become dissatisfied with their wives.  Women will forget how beautiful they really are and start to hurt themselves to fit someone else’s idea of how they should look.  Keep the husbands and wives too tired to love each other at night.  Give them headaches too!  If they don’t get the love they need, they will grow lonely and will begin to look elsewhere.  That will fragment their families quickly!

“Give them Santa Claus to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Christmas. Give them an Easter bunny so they won’t talk about His resurrection.

“Even in their recreation, let them be excessive… have them return from their recreation exhausted.  Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on God’s creation.  Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, plays, concerts, and movies instead.  Keep them busy, busy, busy!  And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, they will leave with troubled consciences.

“For those who resist all the temptations of television and worldly pursuits, crowd their lives with so many good causes that they have no time for inner search.  Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause.”

“It will work! It will work!!”

Did you know, the only place in the Bible (KJV) where the word “busy” is written, is in a negative context?

1 Kings 20
39  And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king: and he said, “Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, “Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver.”  40  And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone.”  And the king of Israel said unto him, “So shall thy judgment be;  thyself hast decided it.”

Could B-U-S-Y possibly stand for
B – bending
U – under
S – satan’s
Y – yoke ?

Jesus said:  “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me;  for I am meek and lowly in heart:  and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30)

What a contrast between the rest that Jesus gives, and the stress and tiredness of being BUSY!

Beulah Land

Excerpt from Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

“Now I saw in my dream, that by this time the pilgrims were got over the Enchanted Ground, and entering into the country of Beulah, whose air was very sweet and pleasant, Isaiah 62:4-12; Song 2:10-12; the way lying directly through it, they solaced themselves there for a season. Yea, here they heard continually the singing of birds, and saw every day the flowers appear in the earth, and heard the voice of the turtle in the land. In this country the sun shineth night and day: wherefore this was beyond the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and also out of the reach of Giant Despair; neither could they from this place so much as see Doubting Castle. Here they were within sight of the city they were going to; also here met them some of the inhabitants thereof; for in this land the shining ones commonly walked, because it was upon the borders of heaven. In this land also the contract between the Bride and the Bridegroom was renewed; yea, here, “as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so doth God rejoice over them.” Here they had no want of corn and wine; for in this place they met with abundance of what they had sought for in all their pilgrimage. Here they heard voices from out of the city, loud voices, saying, “Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh! Behold, his reward is with him!” Here all the inhabitants of the country called them “the holy People, the redeemed of the Lord, sought out,” etc.

Now, as they walked in this land, they had more rejoicing than in parts more remote from the kingdom to which they were bound; and drawing near to the city, they had yet a more perfect view thereof: It was builded of pearls and precious stones, also the streets thereof were paved with gold; so that, by reason of the natural glory of the city, and the reflection of the sunbeams upon it, Christian with desire fell sick; Hopeful also had a fit or two of the same disease: wherefore here they lay by it a while, crying out because of their pangs, “If you see my Beloved, tell him that I am sick of love.”

But, being a little strengthened, and better able to bear their sickness, they walked on their way, and came yet nearer and nearer, where were orchards, vineyards, and gardens, and their gates opened into the highway. Now, as they came up to these places, behold the gardener stood in the way; to whom the pilgrims said, “Whose goodly vineyards and gardens are these?”  He answered, “They are the King’s, and are planted here for His own delight, and also for the solace of pilgrims.”  So the gardener had them into the vineyards, and bid them refresh themselves with the dainties, Deut. 23:24, Song 5:1; he also showed them there the King’s walks and arbors where He delighted to be: And here they tarried and slept.

Now I beheld in my dream, that they talked more in their sleep at this time than ever they did in all their journey; and, being in a muse thereabout, the gardener said even to me, Wherefore musest thou at the matter? It is the nature of the fruit of the grapes of these vineyards, “to go down so sweetly as to cause the lips of them that are asleep to speak.” Song 7:9.”

Sweet Beulah Land

I’m kind of homesick for a country
to which I’ve never been before.
No sad goodbyes will there be spoken,
And time won’t matter anymore –

Beulah Land, I’m longing for you,
and someday on thee I’ll stand.
There my home shall be eternal.
Beulah Land… sweet Beulah Land!

I’m looking now across that river
to where my faith is gonna end in sight.
Theres just a few more days to labor,
Then I’ll take, my heavenly flight (to) –

~ Squire Parsons, 1973 ~

Pray & work

Prayer & work:

Never work harder than you pray

Never work harder than you pray.

“… continuing instant in prayer.”
~ Romans 12:12

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
~ Philippians 4:6-7

“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.”
~ Colossians 4:2

“Pray without ceasing.  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

“… The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
James 5:16

 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
~ Philippians 4:13 ~

Hebrews: Our humble, loving High Priest

Hebrews 2

9  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour;  that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
10  For it became Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

16  For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels;  but He took on Him the seed of Abraham.
17  Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
18  For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Hebrews 3

1  Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
2  Who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

6  But Christ as a son over his own house;  whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

12  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
13  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  (Psalm 95:8)
14  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

17  But with whom was He grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
18  And to whom sware He that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
19  So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Hebrews 4

1  Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
2  For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them:  but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
3  For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, “As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest”:  (Psalm 95:11) although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
4  For He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, “And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.”  (Genesis 2:2)
5  And in this place again, “If they shall enter into my rest.”
6  Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
7  Again, He limiteth a certain day, saying in David, “To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Psalm 95:8)
8  For if Jesus had given them rest, then would He not afterward have spoken of another day.
9  There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His.
11  Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight:  but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.
14  Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16  Let us therefore come boldly (with open hands) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Heb 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  Heb 4:16  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Picture obtained from:  https://gracestories.wordpress.com/tag/did-jesus-choose-to-die/

Little is much when God is in it

In the harvest field now ripened
There’s a work for all to do;
Hark! the voice of God is calling
To the harvest calling you.

Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame.
There’s a crown and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ Name.

In the mad rush of the broad way,
In the hurry and the strife,
Tell of Jesus’ love and mercy,
Give to them the Word of Life.

Does the place you’re called to labor
Seem too small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He’ll not forget His own.

Are you laid aside from service,
Body worn from toil and care?
You can still be in the battle,
In the sacred place of prayer.

When the conflict here is ended
And our race on earth is run,
He will say, if we are faithful,
“Welcome home, My child, well done!”

~ Music & Lyrics by:  Kittie Louise Suffield, 1924