Blog Archive

Friday, January 31, 2014

Bark and Leaves is Art

I love the various patterns and shapes and colours of Australian Eucalypts.
The Bark and the Leaves.
A few samples.










Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Soldiers and Boiled Eggs

A sure fire hit with our grandchildren is always soldiers dipped in the runny yoke of a hard boiled egg.
For those unfamiliar with this standard Australian(it may be done in other countries too) meal for kids here's how.
Make some toast and butter the toast.
Cut it into halves and cut strips in the halves to create a piece of toast of a size that can be dipped in the egg yolk.
These are the "soldiers".
Boil an egg for about 3 minutes.
Place the egg in an eggcup and with a sharp knife cut the top off.
Leave the top of the egg on the plate to be scooped out after.
Let the child dip the "soldiers" in the runny egg yolk and slurp up into their mouths.
For younger kids you may have to help.
After the runny yellow bit is all soaked up the child can then scoop out the rest of the egg white from the egg shell including the top bit with a tea spoon..
A little bit of butter placed on the spoonful can make it more nourishing.
If they are still hungry you can repeat with another egg.
The highlight at the end is turning the eggshell upside down in the eggcup and smashing it with a spoon.
A messy but interactive meal for the kids who never say no to it.
Suitable from about 2 to any adult age.








Getting real messy just using a finger instead of a soldier

A New Benchmark in Child Photography

Came across this set of images on fickr through DP review website.
Simply stunning work by Elena Shumilova .
Very inspiring.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/75571860@N06/with/11874722676

How smart were our ancestors?

As a convinced Christian and Creationist I have long held the view that so called ancient man was just as capable and intelligent as modern humans.
I mean going back to original humans.
Those who have been labelled with a homo prefix.
Not accepting evolution I am not considering what are considered to be our development? from so called ape like creatures.
In recent history the Statues of Easter Island, The Pyramids of Egypt and the huge Cathederals of Europe and The Temples of Angkor Wat surely hint at this.
And  what about the huge body of work of Leonardo Da Vinci?
This video broadcast below helps to support what I believe.
http://creation.com/creation-tv?fileID=uKSobV1UA1A
I saw a documentary some time back on ancient tribes in the Amazon Jungle, that had had no real contact with modern man, and it showed one "savage?" actually using a modern video camera and asking questions about it's operation.
Follow the link to stimulate your thinking.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Good Books- Timeless Classics-R M Ballantyne

There was a time before blogs and facebook and ebooks and kindles and the like that people read good books.
And people wrote good books that had wholesome messages and were written especially for Children.
I was an avid reader of such titles when I was a young and not so young schoolboy.
Some of my favourite authors in later years I discovered, had written lots of titles.
Today I would like to highlight the work of R M Ballantyne.
Below is a wikipedia link about him.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._M._Ballantyne

He was apparently influenced by Sir Walter Scott and he in turn influenced Robert Louis Stevenson.

Here are some of his titles I own and am putting up for sale on gumtree soon.
Some are well known.
Some not so well known.
The Coral Island was my favourite.














Friday, January 24, 2014

The Red Necked Wallaby

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve near Canberra , Australia is a favourite place.
I spent a magical moment for about 10 minutes observing and photographing some red necked wallabies there a few years ago.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-necked_wallaby



Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Wonderful song by one of God's Chosen

As a young Christian in the 1970's I was greatly influenced by Joni Eareckson's book Joni about her tragic accident as a teenager that left her a quadriplegic.
It so impressed me that I gave copies to other people including a young girl I did not know who was in a hospital bed having just suffered a similar accident.
The book wonderfully tells the story of her battle to come to terms with her injury and her Christian Faith.
She later married Ken Tada and became Joni Eareckson Tada.
They have continued all these long years since in Ministry and Joni has also recorded as a singer.
I read today that her song from the  film called "Alone but not alone", it is the title song by the same name, has been nominated for an Academy Award.
Read how Christianity Today has reported on this and watch the beautiful film clip of Joni singing the song.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2014/january/oscar-best-song-alone-yet-not-alone-joni-eareckson-tada.html

Below is a link to her ministry web site.
She writes about the monination on her ministry blog.
The clip is also available there.

http://www.joniandfriends.org/

NB. As at 2/2/14 the song has now been disqualified from nomination.

See further on Christianity today.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/channel/comments/allreviews.html?id=115504&type=article


From the Wayside Chapel by Graham Long

 Graham Long is a Family Friend and brother of one of our in law relatives.

Dear Inner Circle,

Here’s a first! A note came to my desk yesterday with $30 in it. The note said, “I stole a bag from the front of your building yesterday and I didn’t realise that there would be money in it. Could you please find whoever lost their bag yesterday and give them back this $30. I’m keeping the bag because I need it.” How quaint is that? We have a thief with a conscience. I’m not sure if the thief reads this note but if so, I’d like to express my thanks for being able to recognise how important $30 is to someone who has “fallen by the wayside”.

A man recently asked me to take photos of all his jewellery and to make notes about who will inherit it after his death. I took photos of each piece even though it looked like there was nothing of any real worth among it and I made notes about where it should go after the man’s death. Eventually I asked the obvious question, “Are you expecting to die soon?”. “Tonight,” he said. This was not my most comfortable moment of the week. As he told me of a life of physical and emotional pain, I felt something of a longing for death that actually made sense. It was sad to think a journey could be so unrelentingly bleak that there seemed to be no beauty and nothing funny left. I’m not sure what he expected of me but I reminded him that I have no magic powers. As much as I’d love to wave a wand and help the man fall in love with life, my only gift really was to be a tower of weakness by his side. I told him that I’d be off to Canberra and then South Australia for a couple of weeks and joked that if he wanted a truly classy funeral, he might like to hang on for two more weeks. As I said this, the man smiled and I saw enough of a glimmer of hope to make me think he’ll still be here when I get back.

Robyn and I are off to Canberra this weekend because I am nominated by New South Wales as a Local Hero finalist in the Australian of the Year Awards. Because I know well that there is no such thing as a single human person, I also know that there is no such thing as a singular hero. Every achievement is shared as is every failure. Provided everyone understands that this Wayside achievement is shared by my family, our board, our staff members, our volunteers, the many officials of the church who could have tried to turn us into a sausage machine but instead have encouraged us and celebrated our victories and the many people who I’ve met from the street who taught me about life and love, then, I’ll accept any award and I'll readily admit we are part of something heroic and that there is nothing more we’d love than for this to be seen as a gift to Sydney, NSW and the whole of the country. There are other worthy contenders for the same award so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. The ceremony will be televised from the lawns of Parliament House Canberra on ABC TV at 6pm on Saturday. It’s an honour to be nominated and it will be no disgrace to miss out.

Given Australia Day is this weekend, it seems like a good time to tell you about an initiative of a truly great Australian. Dick Smith has supported The Wayside Chapel since the 1970s and continues to provide significant donations on a regular basis. We love Dick Smith and we love what he stands for. This year, Dick Smith Foods will give away $1 million to charities. Where this money goes will be decided by people who submit a photo of themselves with Dick Smith Foods products that they have purchased. If you want to help Wayside receive a donation, send or text* a photo of yourself with a Dick Smith Foods product to charity@dicksmithfoods.com.au, making sure you nominate The Wayside Chapel with your submission. Click here for more information. If enough votes come in, we could receive up to $50,000.

On Tuesday Robyn and I are off to Adelaide to catch up with my lovely old Mum for a few days and then we’ll fly to Port Lincoln and  drive for quite a way to a place called Coffin Bay. I’m not sure that even God knows where this place is but it’s a special place to a young couple whose wedding I will perform there. The groom is the son of my little sister. I'll be back the week after next.

With love from all here by the Wayside to you, our amazing inner circle,
Graham

*If you put our email address in the phone number field for texting, your message and photo will be received.

Rev Graham Long
Pastor and CEO
The Wayside Chapel
Kings Cross
http://www.thewaysidechapel.com/

 Protecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal information is important to us, as it is fundamental to the way we operate. All information is kept in the strictest confidence and is stored in a password secure database. Levels of access to information are determined by an authorised employee's specific need to do their job. Personal information collected by The Wayside Chapel is never sold or passed on in any way, shape or form to any other organisation or non-authorised person for any purpose. If you would like to seek access to, or revise your personal information or feel that the information we currently have on record is incorrect or incomplete, or you believe that the privacy of your personal information has been interfered with, please contact us. Our appointed Privacy Officer is Laura Watts laura.watts@thewaysidechapel.com

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Severe Bushfires in South East Australia

Much of South Eastern Australia is threatened by bush fires today,Friday 17/1/14.
Our relatives in Renmark in South Australia have had to evacuate their homes.
This follows on from a week of severe temperatures.
In Adelaide we have had about 5 days in a row with the temperature over 42c.
Even hotter in regional country centres.
There are towns under threat as I type.
There is an all night watch on the local ABC radio keeping listeners and residents up to date.
In Adelaide itself a cool change has come in with very spectacular thunderstorms and some rain.
If you are a prayer please pray that there will be minimum serious outcomes from these fires.
There have been 3 properties destroyed in SA so far and 1 death in Victoria.
Many houses across the state are without power.
We have power to our house but the street lights are out after a very close lightning strike.
Here is a link to the ABC.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-17/victoris-sa-nsw-bushfires-continue-to-rage/5206194

Update on Saturday morning.
Thankfully our relatives are safely back in their homes this saturday morning.
There are still many fires burning out of control in our state.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Baptism of Jesus and Ours. by Geoff Thompson


 Below is the message I was going to share with the Renmark West and Renmark Town Uniting Church on 12/1/14.
I cancelled due to a health scare on Saturday morning.
I have posted for those who may be interested. 
Many thanks to Cyril Gulliksen who presented this in both services on the day and thanks to those who sent me a get well  card of thanks and prayers from Renmark.


Pastor Harold Long being baptised as a young man.
 


SERMON- THE BAPTISM OF JESUS and OURS
There are several Baptisms and types of Baptisms  mentioned in the Bible.
I want to touch on three of them today.
I want to look first at
John’s Baptism.
By that I mean the baptising that John the Baptist was doing.
We need to distinguish between the Baptism of John the Baptist

(the forerunner sent by God to prepare the people of Israel for the coming ministry of Jesus)

 and Christian Baptism.

Christian Baptism was the Baptism practised by the Apostles of Jesus and the early Christian Church.
This was after the Christian Church had been established as in Acts 2.
Just before Jesus began His ministry here on earth John the Baptist began to preach along the banks of the Jordan River.
His fiery preaching began to stir the people and ended with multitudes of people from all walks of life going out to where he was to hear him.
His preaching caused a national stir up.
He was so outspoken and fiery it was to later cost him his life.
Multitudes went to hear him and great numbers did repent and as a seal of their repentance they were baptised in the Jordan.
His baptism was a baptism of repentance calling on God’s people to change their lives in order to prepare for the coming ministry of Jesus.

The Baptism of Jesus
John was preaching a message of repentance , a repentance from sin that included Baptism as a demonstration that the people were serious about their intentions.
Jesus appeared and John was incredulous that He was asking John to Baptise Him.
He suggested that Jesus should baptise him not the other way around.
This Baptism was signifying repentance from Sin and John knew that Jesus was without sin.
None the less Jesus said he needed to be baptised to full fill all righteousness.
Jesus was not in any way expressing repentance as were all others being baptised by John.
Jesus came to John to fullfill  something his Father,God, required of him.
He couldn’t repent as he had not committed sin but he could indentify with those who are sinners by being baptised as they were..
In this way he was indentifying with our great tragedy, sin,and in doing so he was fulfilling all righteousnous.
Jesus’ baptism was an act in which he identified himself fully with the fallen Human race.
Jesus was Human, as human as any other human except for one thing—he had no sin!
Jesus’ sinlessness put a great gulf between himself and us.
In being baptised by John, sharing in a baptism that signified repentance of sin, Jesus came as near as it was possible for Him to identify with our fallen human condition.
Without sinning Himself He took our sins and sorrows upon himself in His baptism.
This was also foreshadowing His real Baptism which was His crucifixion.
If Jesus is in any way setting an example for us by being Baptised by John it lies in His inflexible determination to do His Father’s will.
We do well to do likewise.
I would like to now touch on our own Baptism.
Christian Baptism
This was the Baptism that was instituted as an instruction to the Jewish people listening to Peter’s very spirit filled sermon in Acts Chapter 2.
Peter was speaking after the amazing events of the  day of Pentecost when the apostles were engulfed by a mighty rushing wind and tongues of fire and began speaking in the tongues of those present.

Acts 2
 "36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day."

This then was the institution of Christian Baptism as we know it today.
This was the call that we are all given, since the day of Pentecost, concerning becoming a Christian, and receiving the Holy Spirit and Forgiveness for our sins.
Our Baptism, as instituted by Peter,
the Baptism for the church age,
results in forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Note our Baptism is insignificant without real,
genuine repentance,
and belief.
In Romans 6  it tells us in our Baptism we are crucified with Christ, we are baptised into His death and as a result, into the power and wonder of His resurrection.

Romans 6

New International Version (NIV)

"Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin."

Friends  when we read the words of the new Testament about the subject of Baptism, we must come to a conclusion that there is something profoundly spirtitually significant in our own Baptism .
It is more than, as some people say, just an outward sign of something that God has already done inwardly.
Jesus gave us, in the great commission, the expectation that Baptism was something essential for the Christian.

Matthew 28:

"19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Is Jesus leading you today, 

through His example and obedience to His heavenly Father, 

 to find out more about what your Baptism really means to you?

We have only  scratched the surface a bit today.

What will open up to you as you discover what being crucified with Christ really means?
(In our Baptism we are sharing in Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.)

 and how your experience of Christian living can be so much more that what it is?

Perhaps you have already discovered that!

If you have never been Baptised you might like to study the subject more with a view to stepping out in Faith.

Shall we join together now in singing our closing Hymn.

Ps. as at 13/1/14. There was also a 4th Baptism that had taken place on the day of Pentecost
That was the once only not to be repeated Baptism of the Holy Spirit that ushered in the Church age.
This was the experience of the Apostles who full of the Holy Spirit were able to instruct new converts in Christian Baptism and how to become Christians and live the Christian life. 
They were using the keys of the Kingdom given to them.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not some secondary blessing to be experienced by Christians.
It was the making available of The Holy Spirit, The Comforter, to all who would seek to follow Jesus.
The beginning of the Church as we know it.
The transition from the Law to Grace.




READINGS

Mt 3:3-17
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
3 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.’”[
a]
John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 “I baptize you with[b] water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with[c] the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
The Baptism of Jesus
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Acts 2
 36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Romans 6:
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.














Thursday, January 9, 2014

From the Wayside Chapel by Graham Long

Graham Long is a family friend and slightly distant  relative via family marriage.
He is the Pastor of the Wayside Chapel in Kings Cross,Sydney.
His newsletter is sent out weekly to his "Inner Circle".
There are many supporters  of the Wayside Chapel and it's work in the "Inner Circle"



Dear Inner Circle,

Surprises happen here on a daily basis. I remember walking into our Chapel once to conduct a wedding only to find the bride and the groom using the most foul language on each other at volumes that could be heard all through Kings Cross. I’m not a detective but judged this as being a difficult time to be pledging undying love. I’m not a counsellor either because my best efforts to calm this situation led to them physically throwing things at each other. I walked away but in a bizarre Wayside moment the couple came back a few hours later and I conducted their wedding. I’ve long since stopped making guesses about people’s suitability for marriage for the years have taught me that no one is in a position to know such things and that my judgements were usually wrong anyway. I saw the same couple today. They are together and drug free and each in awe of the other’s success with sobriety. They told me about their difficult road to recovery and how they had each helped the other. They didn’t really need to tell me anything because one glance at them said it all.

A woman who has spent many years living on the street said to me today, “I saw you this morning walking down the street, holding Robyn’s hand.” “We like each other,” I said. “How long have you been married?” she asked. “42 years,” I said. She looked at me like I’d not long landed from Mars but in a lovely way said, “Well that’s amazing.”

In another surprise on Sunday a woman came to church who I’d not seen in many years. I was delighted to see her and introduced her to a few of the locals. Lots of people use language that is a tad too dramatic for the circumstances but I was never-the-less blown away to hear her talk about how Wayside had changed her life and how she’d reached a point where she needed another dose of love. As she shared the tip of the iceberg of her journey with some, I remembered how dramatic it was at the time. Although still a young woman, she’d spent nearly all of her working life selling what can never be sold but only given. It’s a truth mostly lost in our day but you cannot take what can only be given and you cannot buy or sell what can only be given. I remember well her slow discovery that she had a soul; a personhood; a right to be and to live rather than to use and be used. As I’m writing this I’ve just recalled an amazing event when this lady landed quite a good job and held the only “I’ve-just-paid-tax party” that has probably ever been held anywhere in the world. What an honour it was to see her celebrate her achievement of pulling her weight in our community and what an honour it was to meet her again just now and see that her life has gone from strength to strength.

I’m inviting you to a party and I’d love you to save the date of Sunday, 13 April 2014. The Wayside Chapel will be 50 years old on that day. We’ll start the day with a mighty celebration at 10am in our Chapel followed by a huge street carnival. We’re shutting the street for the day and there will be stalls and jumping castles and all manner of fun things on the street. It won’t cost anything but a decision to stop and celebrate the presence of a good thing in our city and in our history.

Our Christmas Day was a success in every way. Although it was raining, street people and neighbours danced in the street together. It was a marvellous moment of mission. We really were a community of no 'them and us’. You can see photos from the day here. The new year has started with a bang. It looks to me to be far and away the busiest and biggest that I’ve ever known at Wayside. Hang on to your hats, fasten your seat belts, it could be quite a ride.

Thanks for being part of our inner circle,
Graham

Rev Graham Long
Pastor and CEO
The Wayside Chapel
Kings Cross
http://www.thewaysidechapel.com/


 Protecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal information is important to us, as it is fundamental to the way we operate. All information is kept in the strictest confidence and is stored in a password secure database. Levels of access to information are determined by an authorised employee's specific need to do their job. Personal information collected by The Wayside Chapel is never sold or passed on in any way, shape or form to any other organisation or non-authorised person for any purpose. If you would like to seek access to, or revise your personal information or feel that the information we currently have on record is incorrect or incomplete, or you believe that the privacy of your personal information has been interfered with, please contact us. Our appointed Privacy Officer is Laura Watts laura.watts@thewaysidechapel.com

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Holy Remembrancer.

"The Holy Remembrancer."

This is a term Andrew Murray uses in his Christian Classic "Abide in Christ"

The book is written in language a bit quainter than today but the message is strong.

This extract of chapter 12 shows us how God is really establishing ourselves in our Faith by His work, the work of the Holy Spirit and how much our own efforts get in the way of our peace in and with God.
I particularly like his term "The Holy Remebrancer" "for the sanctifying of our memory, in the service of our spiritual life."

Many of us have memories that haunt us and bite us but God through the Holy Spirit, "The Holy Remembrancer" is dealing with that and can deal with that if we let Him by Abiding in Christ.

 
GOD HIMSELF WILL ESTABLISH YOU
"He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, is God."-2 COR.1:21
THESE words of Paul teach us a much needed and most blessed truth-that just as our first being united with Christ was the work of divine omnipotence, so we may look to the Father, too, for being kept and being fixed more firmly in Him. "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me"-this expression of confidence should ever accompany the prayer, "Forsake not the work of Thine own hands." In all his longings and prayers to attain to a deeper and more perfect abiding in Christ, the believer must hold fast his confidence: "He which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." There is nothing that will so help to root and ground him in Christ as this faith: "He which stablisheth us in Christ is God."
How many there are who can witness that this faith is just what they need! They continually mourn over the variableness of their spiritual life. Sometimes there are hours and days of deep earnestness, and even of blessed experience of the grace of God. But how little is needed to mar their peace, to bring a cloud over the soul! And then, how their faith is shaken! All efforts to regain their standing appear utterly fruitless; and neither solemn vows, nor watching and prayer, avail to restore to them the peace they for a while had tasted. Could they but understand how just their ownefforts are the cause of their failure, because it is God alone who can establish us in Christ Jesus. They would see that just as in justification they had to cease from their own working, and to accept in faith the promise that God would give them life in Christ, so now, in the matter of their sanctification, their first need is to cease, from striving themselves to establish the connection with Christ more firmly, and to allow God to do it. "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ." What they need is the simple faith that the stablishing in Christ, day by day, is God's work-a work that He delights to do, in spite of all our weakness and unfaithfulness, if we will but trust Him for it.
To the blessedness of such a faith, and the experience it brings, many can testify. What peace and rest, to know that there is a Husbandman who cares for the branch, to see that it grows stronger, and that its union with the Vine becomes more perfect, who watches over every hindrance and danger, who supplies every needed aid! What peace and rest, fully and finally to give up our abiding into the care of God, and never have a wish or thought, never to offer a prayer or engage in an exercise connected with it, without first having the glad remembrance that what we do is only the manifestation of what God is doing in us! The establishing in Christ is His work: He accomplishes it by stirring us to watch, and wait, and work. But this He can do with power only as we cease interrupting Him by our self-working-as we accept in faith the dependent posture which honours Him and opens the heart to let Him work. How such a faith frees the soul from care and responsibility! In the midst of the rush and bustle of the world's stirring life, amid the subtle and ceaseless temptations of sin, amid all the daily cares and trials that so easily distract and lead to failure, how blessed it would be to be an established Christianalways abiding in Christ! How blessed even to have the faith that one can surely become it-that the attainment is within our reach!
Abide in Christ - Chapter 12
file:///G|/Andrew%20Murray/Old%20Books/abide/Abide_12.htm (2 of 3)6/2/2007 7:30:40 PM
Dear believer, the blessing is indeed within your reach. He that stablisheth you with us in Christ is God. What I want you to take in is this-that believing this promise will not only give you comfort, but will be the means of your obtaining your desire. You know how Scripture teaches us that in all God's leadings of His people faith has everywhere been the one condition of the manifestation of His power. Faith is the ceasing from all nature's efforts, and all other dependence; faith is confessed helplessness casting itself upon God's promise, and claiming its fulfilment; faith is the putting ourselves quietly into God's hands for Him to do His work. What you and I need now is to take time, until this truth stands out before us in all its spiritual brightness: It is God Almighty, God the Faithful and Gracious One, who has undertaken to stablish me in Christ Jesus.
Listen to what the Word teaches you:-"The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto Himself"; "O Lord God, stablish their heart unto Thee"; "Thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever"; "Thou wilt establish the heart of the humble"; "Now to Him that is of power to establish you, be glory for ever"; "To the end He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness" ; "THE LORD IS FAITHFUL, who shall stablish you and keep you from all evil"; "The God of all grace, who hath called us in Christ Jesus, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." Can you take these words to mean anything less than that you too-however fitful your spiritual life has hitherto been, however unfavourable your natural character or your circumstances may appear-can be established in Christ Jesuscan become an established Christian? Let us but take time to listen, in simple childlike teachableness, to these words as the truth of God, and the confidence will come: As surelyas I am in Christ, I shall also, day by day, be established in Him.
The lesson appears so simple; and yet the most of us take so long to learn it. The chief reason is, that the grace the promise offers is so large, so God-like, so beyond all our thoughts, that we do not take it really to mean what it says. The believer who has once come to see and accept what it brings, can bear witness to the wonderful change there comes over the spiritual life. Hitherto he had taken charge of his own welfare; now he has a God to take charge of it. He now knows himself to be in the school of God, a Teacher who plans the whole course of study for each of His pupils with infinite wisdom, and delights to have them come daily for the lessons He has to give. All he asks is to feel himself constantly in God's hands, and to follow His guidance, neither lagging behind nor going before. Remembering that it is God who worketh both to will and to do, he sees his only safety to be in yielding himself to God's working. He lays aside all anxiety about his inner life and its growth, because the Father is the Husbandman under whose wise and watchful care each plant is well secured. He knows that there is the prospect of a most blessed life of strength and fruitfulness to every one who will take God alone and wholly as his hope.
Believer, you cannot but admit that such a life of trust must be a most blessed one. You say, perhaps, that there are times when you do, with your whole heart, consent to this way of living, and do wholly abandon the care of your inner life to your Father. But somehow it does not last. You forget again; and instead of beginning each morning with the joyous transference of all the needs and cares of your spiritual life to the Father's charge, you again feel anxious, and burdened, and helpless. Is it not, perhaps, my brother, because you have not committed to the Father's care this matter , daily remembering to renew your entire surrender? Memory is one of the highest powers in our nature. By it day is linked to day, the unity of life through all our years is kept up, and we know that we are still ourselves. In the spiritual life, recollection is of infinite value. For the sanctifying of our memory, in the service of our spiritual life, God has provided most beautifully. The Holy Spirit is the remembrancer, the Spirit of recollection. Jesus said, "He shall bring all things to your remembrance." "He which stablisheth us with you in Christ is God, who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." It is just for the stablishing that the Holy Remembrancer has been given. God's blessed promises, and your unceasing acts of faith and surrender accepting of them-He will enable you to remember these each day. The Holy Spirit isblessed be God-the memory of the new man.
Abide in Christ - Chapter 12
file:///G|/Andrew%20Murray/Old%20Books/abide/Abide_12.htm (3 of 3)6/2/2007 7:30:40 PM
Apply this to the promise of the text: "He that stablisheth us in Christ is God." As you now, at this moment, abandon all anxiety about your growth and progress to the God who has undertaken to stablish you in the Vine, and feel what a joy it is to know that God alone has charge, ask and trust Him by the Holy Spirit ever to remind you of this your blessed relation to Him. He will do it; and with each new morning your faith may grow stronger and brighter: I have a God to see that each day I become more firmly united to Christ.
And now, beloved fellow-believer, "the God of all grace, who hath called us in Christ Jesus, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." What more can you desire? Expect it confidently, ask it fervently. Count on God to do His work. And learn in faith to sing the song, the notes of which each new experience will make deeper and sweeter: "Now to Him, that is of power to establish you, be glory for ever. Amen." Yes, glory to God, who has undertaken to establish us in Christ!