The Grace & Peace of God

Prayers

Adapted From Charles How (1661-1745)

Most great and glorious God, who has appointed the rivers to hasten with a rapid motion to the sea, be graciously pleased, I most humbly implore You, to make the stream of my will perpetually to flow a cheerful and impetuous course, bearing down pleasure, interest, afflictions, death, and all other obstacles and impediments whatsoever before it, till it plunge itself joyfully into the unfathomable ocean of Your divine will, for the sake of Your beloved Son, mySavior, Jesus Christ – Amen.

Devotional Readings

Charles Spurgeon Devotionals from “Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith”
James 4:6

‘He giveth grace unto the humble’James 4:6. Humble hearts seek grace, and therefore they get it. Humble hearts yield to the sweet influences of grace, and so it is bestowed on them more and more largely. Humble hearts lie in the valleys where streams of grace are flowing, and hence they drink of them. Humble hearts are grateful for grace and give the Lord the glory of it, and hence it is consistent with his honour to give it to them. Come, dear reader, take a lowly place. Be little in thine own esteem, that the Lord may make much of thee. Perhaps the sigh breaks out, ‘I fear I am not humble.’ It may be that this is the language of true humility. Some are proud of being humble, and this is one of the very worst sorts of pride. We are needy, helpless, undeserving, hell-deserving creatures, and if we are not humble we ought to be. Let us humble ourselves because of our sins against humility, and then the Lord will give us to taste of his favour. It is grace which makes us humble, and grace which finds in this humility an opportunity for pouring in more grace. Let us go down that we may rise. Let us be poor in spirit that God may make us rich. Let us be humble that we may not need to be humbled, but may be exalted by the grace of God.

Elisabeth Elliot’s writings from Keep a Quiet Heart
Adapted from Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot (p. 69-71)

The Incarnation Is A Thing Too Wonderful Some things are simply too wonderful for explanation–the navigational system of the Arctic tern, for example. How does it find its way over twelve thousand miles of ocean from its nesting grounds in the Arctic to its wintering grounds in the Antarctic! Ornithologists have conducted all sorts of tests without finding the answer. Instinct is the best they can offer–no explanation at all, merely a way of saying that they really have no idea. A Laysan albatross was once released 3,200 miles from its nest in the Midway Islands. It was back home in ten days. The migration of birds is a thing too wonderful. When the angel Gabriel told Mary, “You will be with child and give birth to a son,” she had a simple question about the natural: How can this be, since I am a virgin?! The answer had to do not with the natural but with something far more mysterious than the tern’s navigation–-something, in fact, entirely supernatural: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35, NIV). That was too wonderful, and Mary was silent. She had no question about the supernatural. She was satisfied with God’s answer. The truth about the Incarnation is a thing too wonderful for us. Who can fathom what really took place first in a virgin’s womb in Nazareth and then in a stable in Bethlehem! At the end of the book of Job, instead of answering his questions, God revealed to Job the mystery of Who He was. Then Job despised himself. “I have uttered what I did not understand,/things too wonderful for me, which I did not know” (Job 42:3, RSV). In one of David’s “songs of ascents” he wrote, “My heart is not proud, O Lord,/ my eyes are not haughty;/ I do not concern myself with great matters/ or things too wonderful for me./ But I have stilled and quieted my soul; / like a weaned child with its mother,/ like a weaned child is my soul within me’ (Psalm 131:1,2, NIV). A close and fretful inquiry into how spiritual things “work” is an exercise in futility. Even wondering how “natural” things are going to work if you bring God into them—how God will answer a prayer for money, for example, or how your son-in-law is going to find a house for eight in southern California (on a pastor’s salary)—is sometimes an awful waste of energy. God knows how. Why should I bother my head about it if I’ve turned it over to Him? If the Word of the Lord to us is that we are “predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with his purpose” (Ephesians 1:11, NIV), we may apprehend this fact by faith alone. By believing that God means just what He says, and by acting upon the word (faith always requires action), we apprehend it—we take hold of it, we make it our own. We cannot make it our own by mere reason—”I don’t see how such-and-such an incident can possibly have anything to do with any divine ‘plan.’” Why should we see how! Is it not sufficient that we are told that it is so? We need not see. We need only believe and proceed on the basis of that assured fact. Mary’s acceptance of the angel’s answer to her innocent question was immediate, though she could not imagine the intricacies and mysteries of its working in her young virgin body. She surrendered herself utterly to God in trust and obedience. Do you understand what is going on in the invisible realm of your life with God? Do you see how the visible things relate to the hidden Plan and Purpose? Probably not. As my second husband Addison Leitch used to say, “You can’t unscrew the Inscrutable.” But you do see at least one thing, maybe a very little thing, that He wants you to do. “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult [other translations say too hard, too wonderful] for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven…. nor is it beyond the sea…. no, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it” (Deuteronomy 30:11-14, NIV). Let it suffice you, as it sufficed Mary, to know that God knows. If it’s time to work, get on with your job. If it’s time to go to bed, go to sleep in peace. Let the Lord of the Universe do the worrying.

Playlist

When your heart needs strengthening and rest