Savor the Presence of God

When eating something I really like, I like to devour it really quickly. My wife Kathy, however, likes to take her time savoring what she likes, especially dark chocolate. Today, I took her advice and savored one of my favorites, a Ghirardelli’s dark chocolate with raspberry filling. Instead of chomping it down in two bites, I ate it one small bite at a time. Oh, was that heavenly! And heaven lasted so much longer! I think I will eat like that from now on.

I sometimes tend to do my devotion and meditation times like I eat—it is really good and so I do it quickly. I am learning to take more time savoring the Word of God and His Presence. When you savor it, it is so much richer, so much sweeter, and the heavenly flavor of God lingers so much longer.

I think “savor” is a good expressive word for biblical meditation. Consider how many Scriptures portray the image of enjoying the Word of God like feasting on delicious food:

  • Taste and see that the Lord is good”—Psalm 34:8
  • How sweet are Your words to my taste!
    Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!—Psalm 119:103
  • The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
    The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
    The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
    The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
    The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
    The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
    They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
    Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.—Psalm 19:7-10
  • “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.—Matthew 6:4
  • Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and He fed me this scroll. He said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your body with this scroll which I am giving you.” Then I ate it, and it was sweet as honey in my mouth.—Ezekiel 3:1-3

Charles Spurgeon wrote of Scripture bringing joy to his life in his times of depression as he let the Word of God melt in his mouth as he confessed and mulled over it repeatedly: “I find that if I can lay a promise under my tongue, like a sweet lozenge, and keep it in my mouth or mind all day long, I am happy enough.”

What is your favorite food? I encourage you to hunger for God and His Word like you do for your favorite food. Repeat these Scriptures above. Let them linger in your mouth just a little longer. Savor the Presence of God and enjoy a little bit of heaven on earth.

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You Can Be a Visitation from God to Others

In my last blog, I shared about gratitude for the occasional little unexpected visitations from God—someone unknown and unexpected who shows up and gives us encouragement, either by something they do, or just by their presence.

Today, I want to focus on you being that someone—yes, YOU! You can be a visitation from God to someone else—a ray of hope, a little slice of heaven, the hand of Jesus touching someone. Consider this Scripture: 

“Pure & undefiled religion in the sight of our God & Father is this: to visit orphans & widows in their distress, keeping oneself unstained by the world.”—James 1:27

One of my former doctoral students, Dr. Deena Van’t Hull, and her husband operate an orphanage in China. She wrote her dissertation on how children’s lives are changed through such ministry as James writes about. God showed her the deeper meaning of this verse: “As Christ the Hope of Glory resides in the believer, this action [visiting] becomes not only a representation, but a release, as Jesus in the believer meets the orphan [or widow or sick or other person in need] face-to-face. This becomes a power-packed visitation releasing supernatural effects.”

She went on to explain and to demonstrate from her ministry to orphans that “visit” does not mean just to care for. God does not merely care for us when He visits us—He does something remarkable, out of the ordinary, supernatural, a movement of the Holy Spirit.

When we visit someone—whether an orphan, a widow, an elderly person, a mentally or physically-handicapped person—we are doing something very special.

I have experienced that many times in my life. I will share just one. My Aunt Ruby Wind, my Dad’s sister, was a widow and had no children, living in a nursing home. I lived hundreds of miles away, but every time I went to visit my father, I also tried to visit Aunt Ruby. Her she was almost blind and deaf, and her mind was not clear, so she did not always remember me at first. But as we talked, she remembered, “Oh, yes, you are John’s boy, the preacher.” She would smile and say, “What happened to your red hair?” She had a dry humor about her. She would ask me to read a poem or a Scripture, and then ask me to sing. We would sing an old hymn together. The nurse told me she would always light up when I would come to visit. 

I would light up too, because it gave me joy to bring just a little joy into her life. The 17th century monk Nicholas Herman, known as Brother Lawrence, who wrote the little book Practicing the Presence of God, said this, “We ought not to be weary of doing the little things for the love of God, who doesn’t really think about the greatness of what we do, but the love with which it is performed.”

God’s presence is there In a special way in the little things. You can be a special visitation from God to someone else. Ask God whose life you can light up with your presence—Jesus in you—God’s presence. 

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Grateful for God’s Occasional Little Unexpected Visitations

In the Bible, a visitation from God is some special occasion in which God acts or His presence is manifest. He demonstrates His love or power or His working in our lives. Sometimes God visits us in unusual ways.

  • Sometimes through a miraculous sign.
  • Sometimes through a sovereign move of God.
  • Sometimes a slice or ray of heaven.
  • Sometimes through His miraculous protection in a close call.
  • Sometimes a visitation through an angel—perhaps unawares.
  • Or sometimes through an unexpected person whom God brings through the door unawares to show us in a little way He is at work or to give us hope and encouragement.

Twice in the past, an unexpected person showed up at our church, and just their very presence became a blessing to myself and our congregation. I have to admit I am so out of touch with today’s culture that I have had two famous musicians visit the little church I pastored and I had no idea who they were.

One night at our small temporary church building that would hold only 30 people, we were holding a special worship and prayer service. I had invited a musician couple to lead this special service. We were packed in with 40+ people and standing room only. 

A man with dreadlocks flowing down his shoulders and his arms blackened, full of tattoos, walked in our service. Someone apparently had saved him a seat and so he sat down. I thought, who is that and what brought him in here? I began praying for the Holy Spirit to work on his heart to save him. 

Then one of the college guys from our church came over and whispered to me excitedly, “Do you know who that is?” “No,” I replied.  “Brian Welch of Korn,” he said. 

I am have to admit that I am so out of it that had no idea who Brian Welch was or what Korn was. He proceeded to tell me about the famous secular rock group “Korn” and that he had heard about this guitarist who turned from drug addiction to Christ—Brian Welch. 

How in the world did Brian Welch show up at our church? It turns out that the couple leading worship for us worked with his daughter, so he came to hear them lead worship, and to have prayer for a family need. So we prayed for him and his family. After the service, I had a good conversation with Brian as he shared a little about his faith, and how he came to receive Christ. And it turned out he knew some other minister friends of mine as well.

Imagine that, Brian Welch showed up at our tiny church. It was only one occasion, but he lit up our lives for one night. It was a God-thing. A visitation from God to encourage our little fledging congregation.

Our daughter-in-law was so shocked when my wife Kathy told her, that she posted on Facebook, “I had the strangest conversation with my mother-in-law. She asked if she knew of the musician Brian Welch. I never expected her, of all people, to know who that was. I asked how she knew that name and she said, “Oh I met him. He came to our church.” She was amazed!

On another occasion, someone had heard me speak at a conference on “Hearing the Voice of God.” At that conference, I mentioned that that our church held healing services. He contacted me and asked when we would have a healing service again. I gave him a date of a Sunday service in a couple weeks when we would devote time to healing prayer. He told me his name, but the name did not register with me. 

He drove two hours that Sunday morning to attend this special service. When he and his family walked in the door, our worship leader exclaimed, “Hey, that looks like Josh Garrells.” Again, I was so out of it, his name did not mean anything to me. I found out he was a famous Christian worship singer. 

Josh was having trouble with his voice and he drove 2 hours to our church with his family to receive healing prayer. During our healing prayer time, we spent 10-15 minutes praying for him in soaking prayer. Whether he received a complete healing or not, I don’t know. But he said when we prayed for him, he had a definite physical touch from the Lord. We blessed him with our prayers and he blessed us with his presence.

Just out of the blue, sometimes God brings someone special into our lives, even for a brief moment, just to show us that He has not forgotten about us, just to show us that He cares enough, just to show us that He is at work in the small things—to despise not the day of small things.

Think about God’s occasional visitations in your life—some small but uplifting way in which God has shown up—or some special person He brought into your life for a brief moment. Give thanks and show Him your gratitude.

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Our Only Hope–The One Who Overcomes Our Human Condition

This morning I watched geese fighting like I had never seen them fight before. Eight geese—four on our back terrace next to our pond, four in the neighbor’s backyard, divided by a chain link fence. Two geese especially were fighting by putting their heads through the chain link fence. The one on my side of the fence was especially aggressive, biting the neck and head of the other goose. The other would bite back and other geese would join in.

They started flapping their wings, honking furiously and making a racket. Finally, the aggressive goose backed off and went away from the fence. The honking continued for a while, but the physical fighting was over.

Even geese fight, just like humans. All of creation, like all of humanity, is infected with the disease of sin (Romans 8:19-22). It is a pandemic that is contagious. I am reminded of the words of the old 18th century hymn “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”:

Oh, to grace how great a debtor
daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee:
prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart, O take and seal it;
seal it for thy courts above.

“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love”—that is the human condition. Those who believe the world is evolving to be better have no idea of, or have rejected the idea of, the human condition. They have denied Scripture: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

Until this world and each heart is redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and surrenders to Jesus Christ as Lord, the magnetic pull of the desperately wicked human condition will continue. Our hope is in no man or woman, no political party or ideology, but only in Jesus Christ and His transforming power.

“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love”—that is my condition. That is our nature—our old nature, for those who have made Jesus Christ our Savior. The Good News is that through the power of Jesus Christ we no longer have to succumb to that downward pull. We can overcome the power of gravity through the Higher Life in Jesus Christ. The pull may sometimes be there, but it no longer rules us. That is the redeemed heavenly human condition.

We overcome sin and Satan our accuser by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ), the word of our testimony, and we love not our souls (self-life) unto death (we die to ourselves) (Revelation 11:12).

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Lord, Lead Me on to Higher Ground!

I’m pressing on the upward way,

Still praying as I’m onward bound,

New heights I’m gaining every day;

“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

Refrain: Lord, lift me up and let me stand,

By faith, on Heaven’s tableland,

A higher plane than I have found;

Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

My heart has no desire to stay

Where doubts arise and fears dismay;

Though some may dwell where those abound,

My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.

I want to live above the world,

Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled;

For faith has caught the joyful sound,

The song of saints on higher ground.

I want to scale the utmost height

And catch a gleam of glory bright;

But still I’ll pray till heav’n I’ve found,

“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

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Join the Fellowship of the Burning Heart

 At the end of September last year, as I was moving from Lafayette, Indiana to our retirement home in Owasso, Oklahoma, not wanting to be retired, I was driving and praying, “Lord, what do You want for me now?” During those hours, over and over again came to my mind and heart two themes, “Rekindle” and A.W. Tozer’s words “Fellowship of the Burning Heart.” 

Yes, that was and is my desire, to be rekindled, to be an instrument of the Spirit to rekindle others, and to rekindle a fellowship of the burning heart.

What is the fellowship of the burning heart? Tozer explained. “I am looking for the fellowship of the burning heart. Men and women of all generations and everywhere that love the savior until ‘adoration’ has become the new word and they do not have to be entertained or amused. This Christ was everything. He was their all in all…. I am looking for men and women who are lost in worship, those who love God until He is the sweetheart of the soul.”

Tozer was recalling Resurrection Day, when two disciples were walking on the road to Emmaus. Jesus, newly resurrected from the dead, joined them, engaging in lengthy conversation about Himself—yet they did not recognize Him. They invited Him into their home to eat with them, and as He broke the bread their eyes were opened, they recognized Him, and He disappeared. In awe they responded, “Were our hearts not burning within us when He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32).

How often is Jesus walking with us and talking with us? Our hearts are burning within us, but we do not recognize Him. This is what John Wesley was talking about when he spoke of his transforming encounter with Jesus, saying, “My heart was strangely warmed and I knew that I did trust Christ.”

Tozer again writes, “In this hour of all-but-universal darkness one cheering gleam appears: within the fold of conservative Christianity there are to be found increasing numbers of persons whose religious lives are marked by a growing hunger after God Himself. They are eager for spiritual realities and will not be put off with words, nor will they be content with correct ‘interpretations’ of truth. They are athirst for God, and they will not be satisfied till they have drunk deep at the Fountain of Living Water.”

I am praying for the Holy Spirit to rekindle afresh in me that burning heart of deep intimate communion with Jesus. Is that your prayer as well? I have sensed the Lord stirring in my heart to begin a fellowship of the burning heart—perhaps a Zoom fellowship group for deep Bible teaching, kinship together in the Spirit, ministering to one another, praying for that burning heart to be rekindled in each of us.

If you would like to be part of such a Zoom “Fellowship of the Burning Heart,” let me know, and what times might be good for you. If there is interest and we can find a good time for several people, I will set up a Zoom meeting in the near future. You can reply on this blog, or on Facebook Messenger, or my email address: paulkingministries@gmail.com.

Make this prayer of Tozer your own:

O God, I have tasted Your goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want You; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Your glory, I pray, that so I may know You indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, ‘Rise up, My love, My fair one, and come away.’ Then give me grace to rise and follow You up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Seeing When You Are Blind

Every time I sing the old hymn “Blessed Assurance,” I feel as though Fanny Crosby is right there singing it along with me from the heavenly choir, mentoring me in the Spirit through her words, inspired by her love for Jesus. For those of you who might not know, Frances (Fanny) Crosby was a 19th century blind poet, hymnwriter, and mission worker who wrote thousands of hymns, and even penned poems for several presidents.

Although Fanny certainly had her faults, a difficult marriage, and the tragic loss of an infant daughter, she was a woman who enjoyed intimate fellowship with Jesus as God, Savior and Friend. This song and others she wrote, such as “Draw Me Nearer” and “To God Be the Glory” are filled with the depths and heights of worship. She spent time in the throne room, even while here on earth, basking in the Presence of Jesus, the King of Kings.

Fanny was friends with famous 19th century Methodist evangelists Dr. Walter and Phoebe Palmer, and their daughter Phoebe Palmer Knapp, who was a composer. She had written a tune in 1873 that she played for Fanny. Fanny had already composed these words of “Blessed Assurance” and they fit perfectly together. I invite you to sing and meditate on these words:

“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine;

Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!”

Fanny not only had received Jesus Christ as her Savior, but she had received the blessed assurance of her salvation that the old time Methodists (and Puritans) talked about—the witness of the Spirit—like John Wesley experienced when his “heart was strangely warmed,” and he knew in his heart of hearts that he trusted Christ. Later Methodists like John Fletcher and Phoebe Palmer called it the baptism in the Spirit.

As Fanny meditated on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, she was inspired to write of that assurance which was revealed to her as a “foretaste of glory divine”:

“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14).

Fanny then put to poetry the rich theology of Paul’s letter, summing up the great truths of being born again by the Holy Spirit, redeemed and cleansed by blood of Jesus, and now heirs of a royal inheritance through Christ:

Heir of salvation, purchase of God,

Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.”

But no, there’s more:  “Perfect submission, perfect delight,. . .”

Fanny had experienced the wonderful truth of perfect submission to God bursting forth into perfect delight. Her next words is utterly amazing when you realize that Fanny is blind:

Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

As Fanny’s biographer, Edith Blumhoffer, put it, “She sees with her heart.” Jesus, when He healed the blind man, spoke of the Pharisees, who though they could see were really blind. Here is a woman who is blind, but who really sees. Fanny may have missed out on physical joys of sight, but how many of us have had visions of rapture burst on our sight? How many of us have seen angels descending?

Even though blind, Fanny had dreams and visions, mystical experiences from God. I wondered how a blind person could experience dreams and visions until I pastored Arise Christian Fellowship, where one of our members was blind. She told me about dreams and visions in her mind. I dedicate this blog to her—Debbie Morgan.

“Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.”

These old saints of the faith like Fanny talked about “the rest of faith,” not struggling to believe, but having such trust in God and submission to His care, that they could rest without fear or anxiety. Charles Spurgeon explains, “Faith is the giving up of self-reliance and independence and the resting of the soul upon Him. . . . He that believes shall be quiet, calm, collected, assured, confident.” 

Fanny writes, “I IN my Savior am happy and blest.” This is also one of the repeated themes in Ephesians, being “IN Christ.” As long as we are abiding in Christ, we are at rest and are happy and blest. But Fanny also knew from experience that when we step out of our position in Christ, or forget our position in Christ, fear and anxiety and turmoil overwhelm us.

But as long as we keep watching, fixing our eyes on Jesus and are patiently waiting on Him, we are filled with His goodness and are lost in His love. What rich, deep, yet practical, theology set to poetic verse, coming from Fanny’s heart out of her intimate fellowship with Jesus, even through the tough times of life.

I pray that you may experience that assurance, that rest, that peace and love and joy in Jesus.

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In Times Like These

In 1943, Ruth Jones, a pastor’s wife, was reading the newspaper filled with reports of World War 2 and the casualty lists, rationing, fear, and discouragement. She picked up her Bible and read 2 Timothy 3:1, “In the last days perilous times shall come.” A self-taught musician without formal music training, she began to pen some words and sat down at her organ, putting together a tune that would become a worldwide classic.

She and her husband Bert Jones started a radio program in Erie, Pennsylvania, called “A Visit with the Jones,” then began to do traveling evangelistic ministry. I remember them coming to the church in which I grew up, and they sang this song. It was even published in our teen songbook Youth Favorites. 

In 1968, I was privileged to sing in the Billy Graham Crusade Choir when George Beverly Shea sang this song. This song is timeless for all time, and timely, especially today:

In times like these, you need a Savior, 

in times like these, you need an anchor;

be very sure, be very sure, your anchor holds 

and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He’s the One.

This Rock is Jesus, the only One.

Be very sure, be very sure,

your anchor holds, and grips the Solid Rock.

In times like these, you need the Bible, 

in times like these, O be not idle!

Be very sure, be very sure, your anchor holds 

and grips the Solid Rock.

In times like these, I have a Savior, 

in times like these, I have an anchor;

I’m very sure, I’m very sure, my anchor holds 

and grips the Solid Rock. 

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George Mueller—My Mentor in Faith

George Mueller is known worldwide as “The Apostle of Faith” of the 1800s. His life has impacted thousands and perhaps millions. Charles Spurgeon and J. Hudson Taylor were personally mentored by Mueller and patterned their lives and ministries after Mueller’s principles. Others who followed his faith principles included diverse spiritual leaders from all backgrounds: Oswald Chambers, author of My Utmost for His Highest; Amy Carmichael, missionary to India; Bill Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles; Kenneth Hagin from the Word of Faith movement, just to name a few. 

Mueller visited A.B. Simpson, founder of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, and told him that his Fourfold Gospel of Jesus Christ as Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming, “was definitely from God and he should never change its mold.”

Mueller moved from Germany to London to do Jewish evangelism and ended up living a life of total faith trusting God for everything. He pastored, evangelized, and started orphanages, and trusted God to provide. Hundreds of times, he explained, he would sit down at the dinner table thanking God for the food, when there was no food in the house. But then then there would be a knock on the door—and the food was there. He said that only once in 50 years did he have to wait half an hour for the food to arrive.

When I first read The Autobiography of George Mueller, I thought to myself, “I can’t live that kind of a life of faith.” But George Mueller said that he lived his life of faith to show that it can be done by any believer. I was challenged to begin to take steps of faith as Mueller suggested. When I read it again 20 years later, I thought to myself again, “I can’t live that kind of a life of faith.” 

But then I realized, maybe I have not lived the life of faith to the extent Mueller lived, but I have lived a much greater life of faith because of Mueller’s challenge. I certainly do not do it perfectly, and I have fallen and failed many times, but I have gotten back up again.

He was so immersed in the Word of God that sometimes he would read through the Bible four times in one year. When he was doing Jewish evangelism, he memorized large portions of the Old Testament in Hebrew (something I have never been able to do even after 3 years of Hebrew study). He was saturated in Scripture, bathed in prayer. His example challenged me to read through the Bible every year. Although I have missed a few, or it has taken me more than a year, I have been able to do so more than 40 times (I have lost count). My life has been enriched by receiving the Word implanted (James 1:21).

Some of Mueller’s principles that impacted my life include:

  1. Believe that Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8)
  2. Don’t start big; start small with “faith-sized” prayers—what you can believe for, then increase that—exercise the muscles of your faith—believe for more. Pray for $50, then when God answers that prayer, believe for $100, etc.
  3. Give abundantly—he said that we shouldn’t look at tithing as a legalistic debt we owe, but rather the beginning point of generosity.
  4. Stay out of debt, “Owe no man anything” (Romans 13:8).
  5. Faith is increased by saturation in the Word of God (James 1:21).

He also taught me a lot about guidance and hearing from the Lord about decision-making. He would always prayerfully list and weigh the pros and cons of a decision, sometimes spending a day or week in prayer. 

  1. Is it God’s work? Is it something God wants done? Is it a good thing or a God thing?
  2. Is it my work? Is it something God wants me to do? Has He called me to it, or someone else. God told David that his son would build the temple, not him.
  3. Is it God’s timing? Does God want it done now? Or later? What stage or priority is it in God’s “to do” list.
  4. Is it God’s way? God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Where we often miss it is in God’s timing or God’s way. We have heard from God that He wants it done and wants us to do it. But we get ahead of God, or we plunge forward with what we think is God’s way, not what we have heard from God that it is His way. George Mueller continues to mentor me through his example and his words.

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The Journey of the Incredible Christian

A.W. Tozer describes the paradoxes of the Higher Life of The Incredible Christian:

That Incredible Christian believes that in Christ he has died, yet he is more alive than before and he fully expects to live forever. He walks on earth while seated in heaven and though born on earth He finds that after his conversion he is not at home here. 

Like the nighthawk, which in the air is the essence of grace and beauty but on the ground is awkward and ugly, so the Christian appears at his best in the heavenly places but does not fit well into the ways of the very society into which he was born.

The Christian soon learns that if he would be victorious as a son of heaven among men on earth he must not follow the common pattern of mankind, but rather the contrary. 

That he may be safe he puts himself in jeopardy; he loses his life to save it and is in danger of losing it if he attempts to preserve it. He goes down to get up. If he refuses to go down he is already down, but when he starts down he is on his way up. He is strongest when he is weakest and weakest when he is strong. 

Though poor he has the power to make others rich, but when he becomes rich his ability to enrich others vanishes. He has most after he has given most away and has least when he possesses most. 

He may be and often is highest when he feels lowest and most sinless when he is most conscious of sin. He is wisest when he knows that he knows not and knows least when he has acquired the greatest amount of knowledge. 

He sometimes does most by doing nothing and goes furthest when standing still. In heaviness he manages to rejoice and keeps his heart glad even in sorrow. He believes that he is saved now; nevertheless he expects to be saved later and looks forward joyfully to future salvation. 

He fears God but is not afraid of Him. In God’s Presence he feels overwhelmed and undone, yet there is nowhere he would rather be than in that Presence.

He knows that he has been cleansed from his sin, yet he is painfully conscious that in his flesh dwells no good thing. He loves supremely One whom he has never seen, and though himself poor and lowly he talks familiarly with One who is King of all kings & Lord of all lords. 

He feels that he is in his own right altogether less than nothing, yet he believes without question that he is the apple of God’s eye and that for him the Eternal Son became flesh and died on the cross of shame.

The cross-carrying Christian is both a confirmed pessimist and an optimist like found nowhere else on earth. When he looks at the cross he is a pessimist, for he rejects every human hope outside of Christ because he knows that man’s noblest effort is only dust building on dust. Yet he is calmly, restfully optimistic, for the resurrection of Christ guarantees the ultimate triumph of good throughout the universe. 

Through Christ all will be well at last and the Christian waits the consummation.

Incredible Christian!

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