Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord. At an acceptable and opportune time, O God, in the multitude of Your mercy and the abundance of Your loving-kindness, hear me, and in the truth and faithfulness of Your salvation answer me.”
Psalm 69: 13
“God’s time is never wrong,
Never too fast nor too slow;
The planets move to its steady pace
As the centuries come and go.
Stars rise and set by that time,
The punctual comets come back
With never a second’s variance,
From the round of their viewless track.
Men space the years by the sun,
And reckon their months by the moon,
Which never arrive too late
And never depart too soon.
Let us set our clocks by God’s,
And order our lives by His ways,
And nothing can come and nothing can go
Too soon or too late in our day.”
Annie Johnson Flint
“There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth.”
Ecclesiastes 3: 1
The Message Bible
“There’s a simplicity about God in working out His plans, yet a resourcefulness equal to any difficulty, and an unswerving faithfulness to His trusting children, and an unforgetting steadiness in holding to His purpose…It’s safe to trust God’s methods, and to go by His clock.”
S. D. Gordon
Today’s Study Text:
“Jesus said to Martha, ‘Did I not tell you and promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone.”
John 11: 40, 41
“The Fragrance of His Presence” Part 36
“Believe and Live”
“God’s glory is at work in all things. Everything that exists, exists because it is held, sustained, enlivened by God’s wisdom and God’s power.”
Arthur Macdonald Allchin
How would I have felt if Jesus looked at me and in the moment of my greatest trial and deep anguish He said, “Keep watching for you are going to witness God’s glory with your own eyes?”
What does it mean in my life to know with surety that when I ask for God’s presence in my life, He will answer my prayer by surrounding me with His glory?
“As the capstone of God’s creation in this world, mankind exists to glorify God. The fact that sin entered the human race in the Garden of Eden did not change the purpose for our existence. It simply meant God would glorify Himself through (us) in a completely unique manner.”
Lighting The Way To God
“The glory of God is a silver thread which must run through all our actions.”
Standing before the tomb of her dead brother, Martha appeared surprised by the actions of Jesus which exposed the decaying body of her brother to the crowd gathered within the graveyard. Noting Martha’s discomfort, Jesus responded with this reminder, “Did I not tell you?” These words of her Lord asked Martha to recall that Jesus had just a few moments earlier, promised her that not only would her brother live again, but it was also Jesus, her dearest Friend and Companion, who was “the Resurrection and the Life.”
I find Jesus’ tender response to Martha to be the most gracious for when any of us are in the midst of great heartache and pain it becomes difficult to remember the words of our Savior that brought comfort to our hearts in previous hours of despair.
Then Jesus continued with this gentle prompting: “’Martha, did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?’” (John 11: 40, N.I.V.). We find that in the Greek, the word “pistênõ” gives us a much clearer understanding as we uncover what Jesus meant: “to have faith with respect to a person, to give credit or to entrust ones spiritual belief upon Christ, to commit and put your trust in one.” At this critical moment when Martha’s faith was stretched to a breaking point, her dear Friend, the Man she called the Messiah was asking her to, “Trust Him!” In her book, “Why? Trusting God When You Don’t Understand,” Anne Graham Lotz so beautifully shines a spotlight on what we can each do during those times when our comprehension of God’s way is incomplete: “The times when you and I can’t trace His hand of purpose, we must trust His heart of love!” But she doesn’t stop there, Lotz continues with this insightful observation. “The kind of trust God wants us to have cannot be learned in comfort and ease.” As we return to our friend Martha, we find that it is in front of her dead brother’s grave that she comes face-to-face with the reality that hers is the choice. She can trust when she can’t understand. She can believe when she can’t see what’s next. The great prayer warrior E. M. Bounds points out “trust always operates in the present tense.” It was in the here and now of her brother’s death that Jesus looked at Martha and asked, “Can you trust Me at your moment of greatest hurt?” The same question may be asked of you and me. “Can you trust Me when you’re down to your last cent?” “Can you hold on in faith when the pain won’t stop?” “Can you believe when your family is torn apart?”
Author Terry Evans, in practical language helps us better grasp what faith looks like in the middle of the incomprehensible: “Trusting God trumps understanding God. The train will have long left the station and left us on the platform if we determine to ride only with full understanding. Life will have passed us by. I’m choosing to trust the conductor and the track He’s laid down for me.”
So what did Jesus tell Martha would be the result of a belief that weathered the storm of uncertainty? I love Jesus straight-forward promise! Yes! It was a promise from Jesus, Himself. “’Did I not tell you and promise you (Jesus’ words not mine!) that if you would believe and rely on Me, you, Martha, would see the glory of God’” (John 11: 40, Amplified Bible).
In the words of hymn-writer William Cowper:
“Inscribed upon the portal from afar
Conspicuous as the brightness of a star,
Legible only by the light they give
Stand the soul-quickening words –
Believe and Live.”
As Jesus looked at Martha whose heart of grief was ready to burst, He asked her to only believe. To only trust Him. To have faith that He loved her. And in return, she received a promise for that day clear through eternity – “You will see the glory of God!” That promise holds true for you and me today!
Glimpses of Glory
“God of the high and holy places
where I catch a glimpse of Your glory,
above the low levels of life,
above the evil and emptiness
which drags me down,
beyond the limits of my senses and imagination,
You Lift Me Up.
In the splendor of a sunset,
in the silence of the stars,
in the grandeur of the mountains,
in the vastness of the sea,
You Lift Me Up
In the majesty of music,
in the freshness of the morning,
in the fragrance of a single flower,
You Lift Me Up
when I am lost in wonder
and lost for words,
receive the homage of my silent worship
but do not let me be content to bear
Your beauty and be still.
Go with me to the places where
I live and work.
Lift the veil of reticence behind which I hide.
Give me the courage to speak of the
things which move me…
Help me to share my glimpse of glory
until others are drawn to Your light.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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