Come to the Throne of Grace

I recently picked up again  The Power of Prayer in a Beleiver’s Life by Charles Spurgeon, it is a top three read all time for me. This morning I was reminded of the hope we have in prayer, that we  do not approach a Priest that is unable to sympathize with us; He sees us, He hears use and He knows what we are experiencing. On this Spurgeon writes:

And so, all the petitioners miseries shall be compassionated. When I come to the throne of Grace with the burden of my sins, there is One on the throne who felt the burden of sin in ages long gone by and has not forgotten its weight. When I come loaded with sorrow there is One there who knows all the sorrows to which humanity can be subjected. Am I distressed? Do I fear that God has forsaken me? There is One upon the throne who said, “My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). It is a throne from which grace delights to look upon the miseries of mankind with a tender eye – to consider them and to relieve them. Come, then, you who are not only poor but also wretched, whose miseries make you long for death, and yet you dread it. You captive ones, come in your chains; you slaves, come with the irons upon your souls; you who sit in darkness, come forth all blindfolded as you are. The throne of Grace will look on you if you cannot look on it and will give to you, though you have nothing to give in return, and will deliver you, though you cannot raise a finger to deliver yourself.”

To the wanderer, the weary, the heavy-hearted the call this morning from the Throne of Grace is to come; as you are in your mess, in your hurt, in your despair and there you will find grace upon grace.

 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need ~ Hebrews 4:16


Quote taken from  The Power of Prayer in a Beleiver’s Life by Charles Spurgeon, Chapter One, page 24.

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Where is Our Focus?

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This week as I was doing my daily reading I was struck by a verse in Hebrews 11, that I don’t believe I have ever seen before. Although I have read this chapter many times and even taught through it, I have never been gripped by this until now. Asking the following question to myself:

Where is Your Focus?

The passage is this:

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations,whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

Hebrews 11:8-16

Verse 15 is what has stuck with me all week. Why didn’t they return to where they came from? Because they weren’t thinking about it. How could they not think about where they were coming from? They were gripped by what was lying ahead. A Promised Land. A Heavenly One. There was something better out there and they were running towards it.

Where Are We Looking?

Our Past? Our Troubles? The Present? Or The Future?

Not Only Have We Been Called Out of Something We Have Been Called To Something

Because they pressed on towards their place the Lord was calling them to, God was not ashamed to be called their God, for He had prepared for them a city.

How often do we forget that He has prepared for us a city? And it will be perfect. This is not our home. Our past isn’t our home, our troubles won’t last, we can make plans but even if we obtain them they won’t last. There is a city there is a place that will last for all eternity and Christ the Sovereign King of the universe is preparing it for us.

Why would we look anywhere else?

We Will Run Towards What We Are Focusing On

“Heaven is a part of the creation which God has built for this end, to be the place of his glorious presence. And it is his abode forever. Here he will dwell and gloriously manifest himself to eternity. And this renders heaven a world of love; for God is the fountain of love, as the sun is the fountain of light. And therefore the glorious presence of God in heaven fills heaven with love, as the sun placed in the midst of the hemisphere in a clear day fills the world with light. The Apostle tells us that God is love, 1 John 4:8. And therefore seeing he is an infinite Being, it follows that he is an infinite fountain of love. Seeing he is an all-sufficient Being, it follows that he is a full and overflowing and an inexhaustible fountain of love. Seeing he is an unchangeable and eternal Being, He is unchangeable and eternal source of love. There even in heaven dwells that God from whom every stream of holy love, yea, every drop that is or ever was proceeds” 
~ Jonathan Edwards 

Luther on Living Outside our Christian Bubble

Quote I have been chewing on:

The Kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among the roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people. O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing who would ever have been spared?
~ Luther

Prayer of Francis Drake (1500’s)

“Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, 

when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little, 

when we arrive safely because we sailed too close to the shore. 


Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess, 
we have lost our thirst for the waters of life, 
having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity, 
and in our efforts to build a new earth, 

we have allowed our vision of the new heaven to dim. 


Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas, 
where storms will show your mastery, 
where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. 
We ask you to push back the horizon of our hopes, 
and to push us into the future in strength, courage, hope, and love. 
This we ask in the name of our Captain, who is Jesus Christ. ” 

~ Francis Drake

Audacious Truth

 

Had an incredible week last week at Student Life Camp located at University of Texas at Arlington, where we put on a VBS in the projects through Mission Arlington.

God ministered greatly in our group as well as in the lives of many people there, saw God do what only He can do and call people from dark to light! Saw prayers get answered! Peace given! Worlds rocked with the Gospel, and Christ’s love go out to a group of people different from us and, saw students love and love and love on them.

As I’m still trying to process the week; here are a few Gospel Truths (nuggets) given to us last week:

All from Camp Pastor: Afshin Ziafat

  • Some of you will miss God’s will because you are mindful of the things of men and of God (Matthew 16:23)
  • “Follow Me” is the call of Christ on your life
  • We are really good at keeping commands, doing the “good” Christian things, but God says you must give it all up to follow Him
  • God has a plan for your life, and if you’re not careful you can miss it
  • A Christian out of God’s will, is like a fish out of water, he will struggle until he gets back in water.
  • Just because you have something in your life doesn’t mean it’s of God, sometimes God will give you what you desire to show you how much you really don’t want/need it. 
  • God’s will is much deeper than who you will marry; where you will work, live, etc.
  • Sin is anything outside of Gods best for you
  • If your goal is the American Dream then there is no good in suffering, but if your goal is to be more like Christ, then there is hope in suffering. 
  • You will either stand on what you have done or what Christ has done.
  • Integrity: honoring God regardless of the circumstances
  • Epidemic of youth ministry is that Jesus isn’t your Lord but an event is.
  • Don’t be an event-to-event Christian, be a day-in day-out Christian. 
  • Noah’s ark was a visible representation of his faith, whats yours?
  • Every step we take walking with Christ is another nail in our Ark of Faith
  • If you don’t live our your faith, you forfeit your right to witness for Him.
  • The greatest miracle of Jonah, is that God would take a man who was running from Him and have him only walk 1/3 of the way through the city and preach only 5 words (in the original language) and the whole city would repent! That’s the power of God!
  • The Gospel will compel missions.
  • When I understand the Gospel, I forfeit the right to cheer anyones death, who didn’t know Him.
  • We shouldn’t be surprised by lost people acting lost.
  • The weight of the stewardship we have been given compels us to go.
  • The Gospel will compel you to get out of your comfort zone and go to others.  

Just some random thoughts/ quotes from camp last week. Was an incredible week.

The Great Exchange – Luther

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“This is that mystery which is rich in divine grace to sinners: wherein by a wonderful exchange our sins are no longer ours but Christ’s, and the righteousness of Christ not Christ’s but ours. He has emptied himself of his righteousness that he might clothe us with it and fill us with it; and he has taken our evils upon himself that he might deliver us from them.”   

 –Martin Luther