..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Devotions From the Heart: A Bruised Reed

by Derek Gitsham

"A bruised reed shall He not break, and
smoking flax shall He not quench, till
he send forth judgment unto victory."
Matthew 12:20

Matthew uses this Scripture from the
Old Testament in Isaiah 42:3. This
chapter opens up with a servant song, as
they are known, songs that are prophetically
referring to Jesus. There are many of them
revealing the wonderful return of Jesus.

They make a wonderful study of the Lord for
the hungry heart. Matthew omits a verse here
that Isaiah 42 includes. It is verse four.
“He shall not fail or be discouraged, till
He has set judgment in the earth: and the
isles shall wait for His law.”

One of the most marvelous things about the
Lord with His people is that He never forces
us into doing anything. He is a perfect
gentleman. He is not a manipulator or controller.
The Holy Ghost, who is resident within the saint,
never forces us to do anything. He quietly
whispers within the heart, gently, seemingly
in the background, making us feel that maybe
something is not right, or not as right as we
thought it was.

As verse 19 of Matthew 12 records, ‘He shall
not strive, nor cry, neither shall any man
hear His voice in the streets.’ No pressure
tactics are applied to the heart, just gentle
whisperings that can almost be missed unless
the saint is intent on hearing what God is
saying, and separates himself from the world
to get quiet before the Lord. There, in that
quiet, we find out His purpose for our life.

So gentle is the Lord that a bruised reed in
His hand will not be broken. Even a smoking
flax, almost out, shall not be quenched.
Almighty and all powerful as He is, He deals
with such gentleness with men. Phariseeism and
legalism are hard. They would have stoned the
adulteress in John. Jesus forgave her and loved her.
Peter’s broken heart after betraying Jesus,
He sweetly mended. He is a God of rescue and

David cries out in Psalms 18:35, ‘Thy gentleness
made me great.’ Paul to the Romans 2:40 says,
‘The goodness of God leads men to repentance.’
Oh, how gentle is our God, how sensitive to our
needs, how unobtrusive, that in His hands we will
survive. We will not be broken here or our flames
quenched. Keep believing saints. He will keep you
alive and bring you back from the dead.

Most surely the Comforter has come. He will comfort

Friday, January 30, 2009

I implore you in God's name, not to think
of Him as hard to please, but rather as
generous beyond all that you can ask
or think. ---Abbe de Tourville (1842-1903),
Letters of Direction

photo taken in Porthcawl, Wales

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How long the road is. But for all the time
the journey has taken, how you have needed
every second of it in order to learn what
the road passes by.

--Dag Hammarskjold, "Markings"

photo taken in Calhan, Colorado

Spurgeon on Psalm 3:2

"Many there be which say of my soul,
There is no help for him in God. Selah."
Psalm 3:2

David complains before his loving God of
the worst weapon of his enemies' attacks,
and the bitterest drop of his distresses.
"Oh!" saith David, "many there be that say
of my soul, There is no help for him in God."

Some of his distrustful friends said this
sorrowfully, but his enemies exultingly
boasted of it, and longed to see their words
proved by his total destruction. This was
the unkindest cut of all, when they declared
that his God had forsaken him. Yet David knew
in his own conscience that he had given them
some ground for this exclamation, for he had
committed sin against God in the very light of

Then they flung his crime with Bathsheba into
his face, and they said, "Go up, thou bloody man;
God hath forsaken thee and left thee." Shimei
cursed him, and swore at him to his very face,
for he was bold because of his backers, since
multitudes of the men of Belial thought of David
in like fashion. Doubtless, David felt this
infernal suggestion to be staggering to his faith.

If all the trials which come from heaven, all the
temptations which ascend from hell, and all the
crosses which arise from earth, could be mixed
and pressed together, they would not make a trial
so terrible as that which is contained in this
verse. It is the most bitter of all afflictions
to be led to fear that there is no help for us in

And yet remember our most blessed Saviour had to
endure this in the deepest degree when he cried,
"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" He
knew full well what is was to walk in darkness and
to see no light. This was the curse of the curse.
This was the wormwood mingled with the gall. To be
deserted of his Father was worse than to be the
despised of men. Surely we should love him who
suffered this bitterest of temptations and trials
for our sake. It will be a delightful and instructive
exercise for the loving heart to mark the Lord in
his agonies as here portrayed, for there is here, and
in very many other Psalms, far more of David's Lord
than of David himself.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Let thy desire be the vision of God, thy
fear the loss of Him, thy sorrow His absence,
and thy joy in that which may take thee to Him;
and thy life shall be in great peace.
- Teresa of Avila

photo: a gathering storm, Garden of the Gods,
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Devotions From the Heart: Do You Know the Holy?

by Derek Gitsham

"I neither learned wisdom, nor have
the knowledge of the holy." Proverbs 30:3

The tabernacle that God instituted in Israel
for His dwelling place among them was a
wonderful picture of the heavenly. Referring
to the blood of Christ in Hebrews 9:23 the
apostle says, “it was therefore necessary
that the patterns of things in the heavens
should be purified with these, (the blood of
bulls and goats) but the heavenly things
themselves with better sacrifices then these
(the blood of Christ).”

The tabernacle was called a worldly sanctuary.
“For there was the first tabernacle made; the
first wherein was the candlestick, and the
table and the showbread, which is called the
sanctuary. And after the second veil, the
tabernacle which is called the Holiest of
all.” (Hebrews 9:1-3). It was the “Holiest of all”
because God came down and sat upon the mercy
seat, which was upon the ark of the covenant.
It could not be entered into by any other
than the High Priest once a year, not without
blood (Hebrews 9:7).

While that covenant remained and the
tabernacle, the Holy Ghost was saying that
the way into the Holiest of all was not yet
made manifest, because the first tabernacle
was still standing. After the death of Jesus,
the price and penalty for sin having been paid,
and Jesus having ascended up to heaven with
His blood, cleansing (purging) the things in
heaven, sat down on the right hand of God,
sent the Holy Ghost down from heaven on the
Day of Pentecost. He is the knowledge of the Holy.

It was the Holy Ghost that was going to confirm
now that the way into the Holiest was now open,
as the Hebrew writer says (Hebrews 10:19):
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness (liberty)
to enter into the holiest by (in) the blood of
Jesus.” The new covenant has opened the way into
the Holiest. Now God’s people may have the
knowledge of the Holy. Now we have no excuses,
the knowledge of the Holy has been made manifest.
What a wonder for the saint to enter the Holiest
of all! We are made holy by His sacrifice, we
are not going to be saints, we are saints. We
are sanctified, made holy, by His power.

Paul describes the Corinthians, in the first
epistle, as being many things before they met
the Lord. But then he says, “Such were some of
you, but ye are washed (regenerated), sanctified,
but ye are justified, in the name of Lord Jesus
and by the Spirit of God. This is the knowledge
of the Holy, being made holy! How are we made
holy and sanctified? By faith in Him (Acts 26:18b).
Oh, that God may give us more of the knowledge
of the Holy. The way is open.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sometimes I go about in pity for myself
when all the while a great wind is
blowing me across the sky.

--Ojibawa saying

photo taken at the Paint Mines, Calhan, Colorado

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Be still and know that I AM God. --Ps. 46:10

We must be still and still moving
into another intensity.

--T.S. Eliot, East Coker

photo taken on the road to Abervergenny, Wales

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

You ask then how I knew He was present,
when His ways can in no way be traced?
He is life and power, and as soon as He
enters in, He awakens my slumbering soul;
He stirs and soothes and pierces my
heart, for before it was hard as stone,
and diseased.
- Bernard of Clairvaux

photo taken on Gold Camp Road, Colorado Springs

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

O Holy Spirit, Who breathes where you will,
come into me and snatch me up to Yourself.
Fortify the nature you have created, with
gifts so flowing with honey that, from intense
joy in your sweetness, it may despise and
reject all which is in this world, that it
may accept spiritual gifts, and through
melodious jubilation, it may entirely melt
in holy love, reaching out for uncircumscribed

--Richard Rolle (1290?-1349),
Concerning the Love of God

photo taken near Cripple Creek, Colorado

Monday, January 19, 2009

Spurgeon on the Psalms: Psalm 2

Why do the heathen rage, and the people
imagine a vain thing? The kings of the
earth set themselves, and the rulers
take counsel together, against the LORD,
and against his anointed, saying,

Let us break their bands asunder, and
cast away their cords from us. He that
sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the
LORD shall have them in derision. Then
shall he speak unto them in his wrath,
and vex them in his sore displeasure.
Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
(Psalm 2: 1-6)

The glorious reign of Jesus in the
latter day will not be consummated,
until a terrible struggle has convulsed
the nations. His coming will be as a
refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap,
and the day thereof shall burn as an oven.

Earth loves not her rightful monarch, but
clings to the usurper's sway: the terrible
conflicts of the last days will illustrate
both the world's love of sin and Jehovah's
power to give the kingdom to his only Begotten.

To a graceless neck the yoke of Christ is
intolerable, but to the saved sinner it is
easy and light. We may judge ourselves by
this, do we love that yoke, or do we wish
to cast it from us?

Charles Spurgeon, A Treasury of David,
Psalm 2
entire commentary here

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Holy Spark

Run away, far away, from people
who will not let your light burn brightly.
Better yet, turn and burn wildly in their

God has put a bold and unique Holy Spark
of Himself in your spirit. He blows
upon your inward hearth, urging that Spark to
ignite into a brightly burning Flame,
Christ, the Fire, within.

Beware of those who would try and
extinguish that flame, whether it
be a roaring inferno, or a smoldering
wick. Your Lord promises not to,
so do not let others try to.

Run away, but not before you allow
that Fire to rise up and burn quickly
out of control so that these
illicit fire quenchers are also
set ablaze and turned back from
their dastardly mission.

Their hearth is stone cold and
their home shows no sign of life.
If they were alive they would not
seek to extinguish that which burns
within you!

Maybe resurrection will arise from
the ashes.

Our God is a Consuming Fire!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It is not necessary to maintain a conversation
when we are in the presence of God. We can come
into His presence and rest our weary souls in
quiet contemplation of Him. Our groanings, which
cannot be uttered, rise to Him and tell Him better
than words how dependent we are upon Him.
... O. Hallesby, "Prayer"

photo taken at Stumpy Lake, Virginia Beach, Virginia
35mm film

Monday, January 12, 2009

Spurgeon on Psalm 12: The Sighing of the Needy

“For the oppression of the poor, for the
sighing of the needy, now will I arise,
says the LORD; I will set him in safety
from him that puffs at him.”
Psalm 12:5.

...“For the sighing of the needy, now will
I arise, says the Lord.” And the dear child
of God to whom I refer wrote a letter to say
how remarkably God had blessed this text to
her comfort. She was in sorrow and trouble
and somewhat given to sighing—and she thought that,
perhaps, God was grieved with her for sighing—
but this text greatly cheered her. She gives
a little picture of what she thinks the texts
means. I will tell you what she writes, for it
will be the best part of my sermon by a long way.

She says, “When I am in bed and my little child
wants its mother, if it utters a petulant cry,
I do not take any notice of it. I know that it
ought not to wake mother up and disturb her with
its selfish cry. But if, instead of crying, it
seems very weak, and very sad, and it gives a
sigh, I cannot stand that, but go to it at once!

When it does not cry to me, or cry for me, but
I only hear it sigh, then I get out of bed at
once and go over to the little cot to see what
is the matter.” “Now will I arise, says the Lord.”
See, it is the sigh that fetches the mother out
of bed! There is great power about a sigh in the
ears of a loving mother! If the child could speak
and say, “Mother, come to me,” mother might answer,
“Not so, my Dear, lie still.” Or if the child only
cried out in hastiness, “Oh, come to me!” mother
might reply, “Be still, child, be still. You are not
suffering as much as you fancy you are.”

But when the child involuntarily, in its weakness
and sorrow, utters a little sigh, mother has
heard it, and she is at once out of bed and by
the side of her little sighing child! Is not that
a capital explanation of the text, “For the sighing
of the needy, now will I arise, says the Lord”?

See, then, the power that there is in the sorrows
of God’s children to touch the heart of their great
Father when He hears their sighs! When those sorrows
come to be so bitter that the sufferers can scarcely
pray. When they cannot find any language in which to
express their grief. When even their desires seem to
fail and they are so broken down and made so
weak by the various troubles that have crushed them
that it comes to just this sighing and nothing more,
then God cannot be still, He must get up! He has gone
away and hidden His face before, but now He sees that
the time has come to manifest His unchanging love and Grace!

“Now will I arise, says the Lord; I will set him in
safety from him that puffs at him.” Yes, Brothers and
Sisters, God hears our sighs even if we cannot hear
them ourselves! When we think we have not
prayed at all, we have often prayed the best! When we
imagine that our groans have been empty, they have
often been the fullest! When we sigh because we think
we do not sigh, God hears that sort of sighing which
is only a longing to sigh! He hears the grief when the
grief has no voice. He hears the sorrow when the
sorrow cannot find a tongue. Then note that as the
Lord hears our sighs, those sighs touch His heart.

The wicked have been puffing at the godly. They said,
“Our tongues are our own, who is the ruler over us?”
The Lord took no notice of them but let them blaspheme
if they would. But there arose the sad sigh of His
children and that touched Him! He could not bear that.
It seems to me a very wonderful thing that the
Almighty, the Infinite, to whom the Heaven of heavens
is nothing, who takes up the isles as a very little
thing, to whom all this system of worlds is but as
the smallest grain of dust that does not turn the
scale, yet is,as we say, “all there,” when His
children sigh—and His heart is touched, His heart
is moved—His whole being is full of an infinite
compassion! He cannot bear that sighing. “Now will
I arise, says the Lord. I will get up from My
Throne of Glory that I may deliver My people.
I have heard their sighs and I cannot stay away
from them!

Love masters My Omnipotence! I feel but one
force—the force of my overwhelming love! It sways
Me and impels Me to speed to their relief. I will
get out of My hiding places, I will end my
withdrawals from them, I will rend the veil and
come out from between the cherubim. Now will
I arise, says the Lord.” What has caused all this
mighty movement? Nothing but the sighs of His needy

the complete sermon by Charles Spurgeon
is here

Charles Spurgeon

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Devotions from the Heart: The Healing of Betrayal

by Derek Gitsham

"For I have received of the Lord,
that which I also delivered unto you,
that the Lord Jesus the same night in
which He was betrayed took bread. And
when He had given thanks, He brake it
and said, ‘Take eat: this is My Body
which is broken for you: This do in
remembrance of Me." 1 Corinthians 11:23-24

The Communion service is one of the ordinances
instituted by the Apostles for the Church.
It was to be in remembrance of Him, and to
“show forth His death till He come” (verse 26).

Betrayal was at the heart of the Lord’s death.
Betrayal and sin began in heaven with one of
God’s creations, Lucifer, rebelling against
God and being cast out. What had initially
taken place in heaven, for sin began in heaven
not on earth, again took place on earth in the
life of Jesus. Behind all that was going to
take place in the life of Jesus, leading Him
to Calvary was going to be prompted by an act
of betrayal. When Judas came to bring the
accusers of Jesus, to signal Jesus out to them,
he kissed Him. Judas betrayed Him with a kiss.

It is interesting to note that betrayal and
intimacy go together. David, in the Psalms,
and also quoted in John’s Gospel, says that
they hated Him without a cause (Ps. 18:7;
John 15:25). Hate needs no cause, hate is
the cause. Jesus knew He was being hated by
men. He informed His disciples He was being
hated, therefore, they would be hated.

The Apostle Paul in our text uses the word
"betrayal." The Lord is forcing us to face
the fact that unless we have been purged by
the Blood of Christ deeply; the possibility
of betrayal lies in us all. Betrayal is a
dark thing. ‘Judas then left them and went
into the night.’ The end of Judas is relevant.
He hung himself. Dare we suggest that betrayal
lies far more deeply in the heart of man than
Judas’ betrayal of Jesus? Was Judas living a
life of betrayal, so in the finality of things,
found it easy to betray Jesus?

Do we betray the One we love by the way we live?
To have communion with the Son of God, and one
another, we must be clear of the possibility of
betraying one another. Jesus said, ‘He that
lifts up his heel against Me is the one who
will betray Me.’ This is an elusion to a restive,
ill-natured house, which sometimes kicks even
that person that feeds and takes care of him.
Jesus said of Judas, ‘he that eats bread with me’
meaning that Judas was intimate with Jesus.

Jesus is our deliverance. He will keep us
from betrayal and rebellion, only as we seek
to be all His and His alone, having no other
agenda, but to be His Life in a godless world
where betrayal is the norm.

Communion with Jesus will free us from betrayal.
Being betrayed, He communed. It is the antidote
to betrayal. God keep our hearts locked unto Him
and Him alone.

Devotions From the Heart: Knowing What We Worship

by Derek Gitsham

"You worship you know not what: we know
what we worship: for salvation is of
the Jews." John 4:22

How true are these words spoken by
Jesus to the woman of Samaria at the
well. Idolatry, idol worship is dead.
False religions know not what they
worship, but the worship of the Jews
is a knowledge—we know what we worship.
The words “what we worship” would be
better translated “who we worship,”
for salvation is of the Jews.

Interestingly here, Jesus likens worship
with salvation. A man has to know the
salvation of God to be a worshipper. That
means he has got to be changed from what
he was to what the Lord now will make him
by regeneration.

If a man is going to have the right knowledge
of God to make him a worshipper, it will be
because God has done a work in him. He
experiences justification, regeneration, and
sanctification/holiness and this in turn will
enable him to worship God. No experience of

God makes a man devoid of the ability to worship.
A man must testify to a complete work of salvation
having been wrought in his life if he is to
worship God. Sin cannot worship Him, dead self
cannot; the old man of sin will not. Sin has to
be slain in the man, the life of corruption put
to death, crucified with Christ, then raised
from the dead to die no more. He then qualifies
to be a worshipper. No death to the old,
no worship. The nature of salvation has got to be right.

So many are lead into the things of God by
spurious means. They have not undergone a death,
not experienced a resurrection or a receiving of
the Spirit. Warm, fuzzy phrases, totally unbiblical,
have wrecked havoc in the Church and lives are
barely changed that claim they are now Christian.

The only way a man can know what he worships is by
knowing what God has done in Him. Salvation is what
God does to you, not what you do for God. This and
only this will cause us to know whom we worship.
We know Him when He sets us free from sin.

Friday, January 09, 2009

A Complete Conversion?

Therefore I tell you that no one who is
speaking by the Spirit of God says,
"Jesus be cursed," and no one can say,
"Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
-- 1 Corinthians 12:3 (NIV)

A conversion is incomplete if it does not
leave Jesus Christ in the central place in
one's life. The shortest possible description
of a Christian--a description with which the
New Testament would fully agree--is that a
Christian is a person who can say: "For me
Jesus Christ is Lord."

Herbert Butterfield's words about facing the
future are good: "Hold to Christ, and for
the rest be totally uncommitted." Any alleged
conversion which does not leave one totally
committed solely to Jesus Christ is incomplete
and imperfect. -- William Barclay ,
In the Hands of God

photo taken near the Spanish Peaks, Colorado

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Psalm 46

There is a stream, whose gentle flow
Supplies the city of our God;
Life, love, and joy still gliding through,
And watering our divine abode:

That sacred stream, thine holy word,
That all our raging fear controls;
Sweet peace thy promises afford,
And give new strength to fainting souls.
... Isaac Watts (1674-1748),
Psalms of David Imitated
[1719], from Psalm 46
Psalm 46 (New King James Version)

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons
of Korah. A Song for Alamoth.

1 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried
into the midst of the sea;

3 Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its
swelling. Selah

4 There is a river whose streams shall
make glad the city of God,The holy place
of the tabernacle of the Most High.

5 God is in the midst of her, she shall
not be moved; God shall help her, just
at the break of dawn.

6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

7 The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

8 Come, behold the works of the LORD,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.

10 Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

11 The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

photo taken in Pecos, New Mexico,
of the Pecos River