Archive for October 2015

The Dark Stages of Spiritual Growth

October 29, 2015

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To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the Heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1-3).

There are a number of similar patterns in all forms of life. Early stages often can be characterized by tremendous energy and acceleration of growth. Then there are periodic plateaus that take place along the way. This is the lesson of nature. We see these lulls clearly demonstrated with regularity:

  • There is the lull of the day – The daily recurring cycle of night.
  • There is the lull of the year – The yearly recurring cycle of winter.

Don’t be discouraged at the progress of Father’s work in our spiritual growth, or of the seemingly dark periods of lull. He is the Creator, you are His creature. He is the Potter, we are His clay. He is the Workman, and you are His workmanship.

To everything there is a season …

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

Aware and Unaware

October 24, 2015

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What then, shall we declare to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? (Romans 8:31)

This great truth, that God is for us, is set against a background of our own individual impotence and personal groaning, and at times so surrounded by difficult and trying circumstances that we do not know what we ought to be praying for.

Romans 8:26, clearly states that because of our infirmity “we are not aware” what we should be praying for.

Now, similarly, the spirit also is aiding our infirmity, for what we should be praying for, to accord with what must be, we are not aware, but the spirit itself is pleading for us with inarticulate groanings.

Yet we are told that,

Now He Who is searching the hearts is aware what is the disposition of the spirit, for in accord with God is it pleading for the saints (Romans 8:27).

Notice that our unawareness is contrasted with God’s awareness. We cannot see the end from the beginning except insofar as it is revealed to us by God’s spirit and through His Word. We do not know what is going to happen tomorrow; therefore we cannot always be sure what God’s immediate will for us is. In such circumstances His spirit comes to our aid, and in these or in any circumstances that may arise, we are aware that God is working all together for our good.

Now we are aware that God is working all together for the good of those who are loving God, who are called according to the purpose (Romans 8:28).

John Henry Essex (1907-1991)
Faith Fellowship (Vol. 60, No. 3)

A Loving Smile

October 23, 2015

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A rejoicing heart makes the countenance cheerful (Proverbs 15:13).

The attitude of the heart has an effect on one’s facial expressions. Has the impact of the fullness of God’s good news in our Lord Jesus Christ, of His unfailing love to us, reached our hearts to make them “rejoice”? If so, have they then made their way from our hearts to our faces?

We live in a world that has much pain and sorrow, heaviness and loss, with mounting burdens and cares. Many are discouraged, depressed, aggravated, annoyed, upset, frustrated, defeated, irritated, disheartened, dejected, saddened, disturbed, gloomy, pessimistic, troubled, perturbed, agitated and cynical in their hearts; and it shows all over their faces.

For those of us who know the Father, “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts” (Romans 5:5). We alone can bask in the richness of His love in our hearts, and let it make its way to our countenance!

Could one truly estimate the value of a loving smile? There is a world all around us in need of such a countenance. What an affect such a divine ministry of a loving smile could have on the weary souls that we encounter. What a difference in the lives of our family, friends and acquaintances that God could make even in the simple expression of His love on our faces.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

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