• 3/10. On This Day —- Devotional We were sent to speak for Christ, and God is begging you to listen to our message. We speak for Christ and sincerely ask you to make peace with God. 2 Corinthians 5:20 Amazing Grace March 10 It took John Newton to write the hymn Amazing Grace. “Let me not fail to praise that grace that could pardon,” he said, “such sins as mine.” Newton had gone to sea at age 11, apprenticed on his father’s ship. He spent his teen years learning to be profane, irreligious, and indulgent. Female slaves being transported from Africa were at Newton’s disposal, and even seasoned sailors were alarmed at his corruption. Newton’s life angered his father and disgusted his friends, and he was finally pressed into service for the British Navy. He deserted, but was arrested, stripped, and flogged. He became the property of a slave trader in Sierra Leone, who gave him to his sadistic mistress. John became a loathsome toy she tormented for over a year. He finally boarded ship for Britain. On March 9, as he carelessly read a Christian book to pass the time, the thought came to him, “What if these things are true?” He snapped the book closed and shook off the question. I went to bed in my usual indifference, but was awakened by a violent sea which broke on us. Much of it came down below and filled the cabin where I lay. This alarm was followed by a cry that the ship was going down. We had immediate recourse to the pumps, but the water increased against all our efforts. Almost every passing wave broke over my head. I expected that every time the vessel descended into the sea, she would rise no more. I dreaded death now, and my heart foreboded the worst, if the Scriptures, which I had long since opposed, were true. The vessel survived the March 10, 1748 storm, and Newton began earnestly studying the Bible. He embraced Christ and eventually entered the ministry, becoming one of England’s best-loved preachers and a leader in the fight against slavery. He once recalled, That tenth of March is a day much remembered by me; and I have never suffered it to pass unnoticed since the year 1748—the Lord came from on high and delivered me out of deep waters. From a sea of troubles I call to you, Lord. Won’t you please listen as I beg for mercy? But you forgive us, and so we will worship you. Psalm 130:1,2,4
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      1. Here is a little devotion from Streams in the Desert Wait in and on God “I have begun to give; … begin to possess.” (Deut. 2:31.) A GREAT deal is said in the Bible about waiting for God. The lesson cannot be too strongly enforced. We easily grow impatient of God’s delays. Much of our trouble in life comes out of our restless, sometimes reckless, haste. We cannot wait for the fruit to ripen, but insist on plucking it while it is green. We cannot wait for the answers to our prayers, although the things we ask for may require long years in their preparation for us. We are exhorted to walk with God; but ofttimes God walks very slowly. But there is another phase of the lesson. God often waits for us. We fail many times to receive the blessing He has ready for us, because we do not go forward with Him. While we miss much good through not waiting for God, we also miss much through over-waiting. There are times when our strength is to sit still, but there are also times when we are to go forward with a firm step. There are many Divine promises which are conditioned upon the beginning of some action on our part. When we begin to obey, God will begin to bless us. Great things were promised to Abraham, but not one of them could have been obtained by waiting in Chaldea. He must leave home, friends, and country, and go out into unknown paths and press on in unfaltering obedience in order to receive the promises. The ten lepers were told to show themselves to the priest, and “as they went they were cleansed.” If they had waited to see the cleansing come in their flesh before they would start, they would never have seen it. God was waiting to cleanse them; and the moment their faith began to work, the blessing came. When the Israelites were shut in by a pursuing army at the Red Sea, they were commanded to “Go forward.” Their duty was no longer one of waiting, but of rising up from bended knees and going forward in the way of heroic faith. They were commanded to show their faith at another time by beginning their march over the Jordan while the river ran to its widest banks. The key to unlock the gate into the Land of Promise they held in their own hands, and the gate would not turn on its hinges until they had approached it and unlocked it. That key was faith. We are set to fight certain battles. We say we can never be victorious; that we never can conquer these enemies; but, as we enter the conflict, One comes and fights by our side, and through Him we are more than conquerors. If we had waited, trembling and fearing, for our Helper to come before we would join the battle, we should have waited in vain. This would have been the over-waiting of unbelief. God is waiting to pour richest blessings upon you. Press forward with bold confidence and take what is yours. “I have begun to give, begin to possess.”—J. R. Miller.
        1. In Matthew 5, Jesus begins His longest teaching with the same words, “Blessed are …” eight different times. What does it mean to be blessed? It is a religious sounding word in many ways. It is pregnant with virtue—a stained glass sort of a word. The truth is, the Greek word simply means happy. Take a moment today and read the Beatitudes and find your true happiness. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:3-11
          1. This is a thought to ponder today. May you prepare your heart for to worship Him.
            1. Treasure received in 2018
          2. Here is a quote from “Men of the Bible.” by Ann Spangler. The first study is on Adam. “Our longing for more when we have enough. Our sin of discontent in the midst of plenty.” Enough is a good word! The Greek word is “arketos” and it is close to “sufficient.” ”Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” John 14:8 I think one lesson from this week’s reading is to know, that you know, that you know —- God is enough. One of my favorite verses are 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 —- “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” God is enough! Jesus is enough! The Holy Spirit is enough! His GRACE is enough! Blessimgs dave
            1. A devotional thought from AW Tozer. Praying for all those that are struggling through the night. The Ministry of the Night For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. —Psalm 30:5 But there is a limit to man’s ability to live without joy. Even Christ could endure the cross only because of the joy set before Him. The strongest steel breaks if kept too long under unrelieved tension. God knows exactly how much pressure each one of us can take. He knows how long we can endure the night, so He gives the soul relief, first by welcome glimpses of the morning star and then by the fuller light that harbingers the morning. Slowly you will discover God’s love in your suffering. Your heart will begin to approve the whole thing. You will learn from yourself what all the schools in the world could not teach you—the healing action of faith without supporting pleasure. You will feel and understand the ministry of the night; its power to purify, to detach, to humble, to destroy the fear of death and, what is more important to you at the moment, the fear of life. And you will learn that sometimes pain can do what even joy cannot, such as exposing the vanity of earth’s trifles and filling your heart with longing for the peace of heaven. Thank You, Father, for the ministry of the night, for the lessons of pain. But thank You, too, that we’re not alone in the night. Thank You for the morning star and the glimpse of the light of morning. Amen.
              1. Here is a little devotional taken from “Amazing Grace - 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories.” May you have the JOY of the Lord today and everyday. Don’t for get to sing today! https://youtu.be/-Xo64Q2ucQ8 JOY TO THE WORLD! Isaac Watts, 1674–1748 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10) As one of the most joyous of all Christmas hymns, this carol omits references to shepherds, angelic choruses, and wise men. It emphasizes instead the reverent but ecstatic joy that Christ’s birth brought to mankind. For centuries hearts had yearned for God to reveal Himself personally. At last it happened as “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” The entire Advent season should be filled with solemn rejoicing as we contemplate anew God’s great gift, providing the means whereby sinful man might live eternally. “Joy to the World” is a paraphrase of the last part of Psalm 98: Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth; make a loud noise and rejoice and sing praise. Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills be joyful together before the Lord; for He cometh to judge the earth; with righteousness shall He judge the world, and the people with equity. Although it was originally a song of rejoicing for Jehovah’s protection of His chosen people and the anticipation of the time when He would be the God of the whole earth, this psalm was intended by Watts to be a New Testament expression of praise. It exalts the salvation that began when God became incarnate as the Babe of Bethlehem who was destined to remove the curse of Adam’s fall. The text was originally titled “The Messiah’s Coming and Kingdom” when it first appeared in Watts’ hymnal of 1719. The music for this popular carol is thought to have been adapted by Lowell Mason, an American church musician, from some of the phrases used in parts of George Frederick Handel’s beloved oratorio, The Messiah, first performed in 1742. Through the combined talents of an English literary genius of the 18th century, a German-born musical giant from the same period, and a 19th century American choir director and educator, another great hymn was born. Joy to the world! the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; let ev’ry heart prepare Him room, and heav’n and nature sing. Joy to the earth the Savior reigns. Let men their songs employ, while fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains repeat the sounding joy. No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found. He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love. For Today: Genesis 3:17, 18; Psalm 98; Romans 5:20, 21 Express gratitude for our Savior’s birth with these words—
                1. Joyful indeed. Let every heart prepare him room. Thank you for sharing this golden nugget of truth.
              2. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are" 1 Corinthians 1:28 You are God's masterpiece and you are a part of God's masterpiece! May you know how much your heavenly Father loves you and wants to shine His light through you! Here is a little devotional I read today: In some of the great halls of Europe may be seen pictures not painted with the brush, but mosaics, which are made up of small pieces of stone, glass, or other material. The artist takes these little pieces, and, polishing and arranging them, he forms them into the grand and beautiful picture. Each individual part of the picture may be a little worthless piece of glass or marble or shell; but, with each in its place, the whole constitutes the masterpiece of art. So I think it will be with humanity in the hands of the great Artist. God is picking up the little worthless pieces of stone and brass that might be trodden under foot unnoticed, and is making of them His great masterpiece. Bishop Simpson