Your Balance Sheet

28 Mar

God’s Word:  Matthew 7:7-11  Jesus said “Don’t bargain with God.  Be direct.  Ask for what you need.  This isn’t a car-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in.  If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust?  If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate?  As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing.  You’re at least decent to your own children.  So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?”

Jesus’ Message to Me: (My interpretation of what Jesus is saying to me through these verses)

Some of you treat prayer as lobbying with God.  You get in your mind what you want to take place and then you try to convince God to make it happen.  God is not swayed by your clever words or pleadings.  Prayer is not a way to advance your cause but simply to draw near to God as an act of worship.  As you draw near to Him, He draws near to you, and soothes your troubled soul.

Were your prayers put into a four column ledger what would the report read?  In one column are the times you showered God with adorations.  In another all your confessions.  In another all your thanksgivings.  And in the fourth would be your supplications.  Which column do you think would be the longest?  And were God to print out a balance sheet how would it read?

You are a beloved child of God.  He is not far-away but is always close at hand—just a prayer thought away.  He is blessed as you turn your thoughts to Him often in simple adoration, confession or thanksgiving.  Please don’t wait to pray until you have something you desperately need.  Don’t treat God as your spiritual genie.  He knows that to give you all your requests would produce a spoiled child with a dulled and selfish appetite.  He loves you too much for that.

Jesus’ Question for Me: Which column of your balance sheet would be longest?

Jesus’ Promise to Me: God’s mercy toward you is everlasting.

My Song to Jesus:  Great is Thy Faithfulness   Thomas O. Chisolm  1923

“Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

The story behind this song:

Thomas Obadiah Chisolm (1866-1960) had a difficult early adult life. His health was so fragile that there were periods of time when he was confined to bed, unable to work. Between bouts of illness he would have to push himself to put in extra hours at various jobs in order to make ends meet.

After coming to Christ at age 27, Thomas found great comfort in the Scriptures, and in the fact that God was faithful to be his strength in time of illness and weakness, and to provide his needs. Lamentations 3:22-23 was one of his favorite scriptures: “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.”

While away from home on a missions trip, Thomas often wrote to one of his good friends, William Runyan, a relatively unknown musician. Several poems were exchanged in these letters. Runyan found one of Williams’ poems so moving that he decided to compose a musical score to accompany the lyrics. Great is Thy Faithfulness was published in 1923.

For several years, the hymn got very little recognition, until it was discovered by a Moody Bible Institute professor who loved it so much and requested it sung so often at chapel services, that the song became the unofficial theme song of the college.

It was not until 1945 when George Beverly Shea began to sing Great is Thy Faithfulness at the Billy Graham evangelistic crusades, that the hymn was heard around the world.

Thomas Chisolm died in 1960 at age 94. During his lifetime, he wrote more than 1,200 poems and hymns including O To Be Like Thee and Living for Jesus

 

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