Monday, May 26, 2008

For My Pastor

"Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment," (James 3:1).

Thank You, Father, for calling up from years gone by needed memories of the incessant press that is the pastorate, used now by Your blessed Spirit to deepen my pleading for the one who stands to declare Your truth weekly.

With all the voices that vie for his attention, strengthen his resolve to hear and heed Yours first, always. Cause him to ever obey Your command of Isaiah 55:3, "Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live;" May his strong, bold voice declare in public what Your still, small voice has whispered in private. Even as was the habit of his Master (Mk. 1:35) may You have his ear each day before anyone else does.

With days so brief and eternity in the balance, be pleased to grant him wisdom and great discernment, Father. Our enemy is so subtle as he skillfully substitutes the urgent for the truly important, deceiving us into acting as if the seen is eternal. Guard him from such pitfalls, I plea. May he redeem his time, numbering his days so that he may present to You a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12).

Teach him to rest, both physically, and in You, Father. May he continue to be usable spiritually, as well as physically. I still vividly recall reading of young Robert Murray M'Cheyne, the 29-yr.-old Scottish minister, who, as he lay dying, said, "God gave me a horse and a message; I have killed the horse, I can no longer deliver the message."

And I would plea Your Holy Spirit's filling and anointing work upon him, Father. May the Lord Jesus be his all-in-all, his great Love, his choicest Friend about whom he cannot help but speak. Too, be his winsomeness in presenting the Savior. May there be a Spirit-produced magnetism about his life and countenance that draws folk to You.

Remind him of Your provided armor, Father, that he may stand firm.
Speak to his heart about hiding Your Word in his heart, that he may wield the sword of Your Word with great effect. Cause his life to count for Your kingdom, according to Your perfect will. May the words of his mouth and the meditations of his heart be pleasing and acceptable in Your sight.
In the Name of Your sovereign Son, I pray,

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's true!

"...If it were not so, I would have told you..." (John 14:2b)

With the cross only hours away, the Lord Jesus focused more and more quality time on His men, rather than the multitudes. Having told them of His leaving (13:33), He speaks peace to their troubled hearts (14:1), and reveals His plans to prepare a place for them to be with Him.
And in the process of promising heavenly dwellings, He adds a wonderful assurance: "if it were not so, I would have told you."
There must have been something in the disciples' expressions that prompted the Master to include this emphatic word of encouragement. And He knew what it was: fear of the unknown.
Why this lack of trust, especially in the light of the Lord's past faithfulness?
Primarily because we think God is like us. Although He has told us it is not so (Isaiah 55:8, 9), we still insist upon picturing Him in our image. People have lied to us, people have made promises they couldn't keep, as well as made fantastic claims concerning the future that did not come to pass.
How subtlely our enemy takes such disappointments and transfers them onto our perspective of the Lord. How much, then, like those disciples in the upper room, do we need to hear again our Master's assurance---- "if it were not so, I would have told you."