“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. Isaiah 43:18-21
We need Your visitation. We need that living water. We need to know who Jesus is. Lord, make your way.
Then Jesus said (Mark 7:20-23) What comes from your heart is what makes you unclean. Out of your heart come evil thoughts, vulgar deeds, stealing, murder, unfaithfulness in marriage, greed, meanness, deceit, indecency, envy, insults, pride, and foolishness. All of these come from your heart, and they are what make you unfit to worship God.
Our human nature never enables us to worship God. His cleansing blood does.
I have known my Father cares for me. He’s been good, He’s been good. Through it all He’s always there for me. God’s been good to me. Through the storm, through the night, come what may, everything will be alright. I have known my Father cares for me. He’s been good to me.
And now, I’m living just above the line. Plenty inevitable expenses incurred this month, trimming down my weekly income immediately. I even owed my saving some good dollars. After paying some bills and having food on the table, few left at the end keeps me from being flat broke. Dining out under $10 during the week is affordable, but more than that I’m out.
No drama, I’m aware that many others go through it further. In fact, even if I cut spending by dining in, I still can afford to cook good food. It’s just that living downhill like this and giving up luxury (i.e. unnecessary spending) is personally rare.
Lesson taken. I was taught to spend a week’s income wisely. Every salary receipt means budgeting the coming weekly spending. Well, we best learn during hard times. Such an unexpected experience, especially if its given as an answer to your prayer. Lol.
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’”
And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
If we have received the grace of God in our hearts, its practical effect has been to make us God’s servants. We may be unfaithful servants (we certainly are unprofitable ones), but yet, blessed be his name, we are his servants, wearing his insignia, feeding at his table, and obeying his commands.
Once Servants of Sin
We were once the servants of sin, but he who made us free has now taken us into his family and taught us obedience to his will. We do not serve our Master perfectly, but we would if we could. As we hear God’s voice saying unto us, “You are my servant,” we can answer with David, “I am your servant … you have loosed my bonds” (Psalm 116:16).
But the Lord calls us not only his servants, but his chosen ones—“I have chosen you.” We have not chosen him first, but he has chosen us. If we be God’s servants, we were not always so—to sovereign grace the change must be ascribed. The eye of sovereignty singled us out, and the voice of unchanging grace declared, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). Long before time began or space was created God had written upon his heart the names of his people, predestining them to be conformed unto the image of his Son, and ordained them heirs of all the fulness of his love, his grace, and his glory (Ephesians 1:3–14).
What Comfort is Here!
Has the Lord loved us so long, and will he yet cast us away? He knew how stiff-necked we should be, he understood that our hearts were evil, and yet he made the choice. Ah! Our Savior is no fickle lover. He does not feel enchanted for awhile with some gleams of beauty from his church’s eye, and then afterwards cast her off because of her unfaithfulness. No, he married her in old eternity, and it is written of God, “He hates putting away.” The eternal choice is a bond upon our gratitude and upon his faithfulness which neither can disown.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”—2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.