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God's Greatest Gift

Greetings All,

This week's 'thought' has to do with trusting God in all situations. It is found in James S. Bell Jr. and Tracy Macon Sumner's book, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Christian Prayers and Devotions." The quote itself comes from Thomas A'Kempis classic work, "The Imitation of Christ."

As a little extra I have also included a prayer from Charles de Foucauld, a word of encouragement by D. Nicholas, and an ever timely reminder from A. W. Tozer. Enjoy.

"God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine."
D. Nicholas

"Lord, grant us faith, the faith that removes the mask from the world and manifests God in all things. The faith that shows us Christ where our eyes see only a person. The faith that shows us the Savior where we feel only pain.

Lord, grant us the faith that inspires us to undertake everything that you want -- without hesitation, without shame, without fear and without retreating. Grant us the faith that knows how to go through life with calm, peace and profound joy -- a faith that makes the soul completely indifferent to everything that is not you."
Charles de Foucauld's

"The Lord is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out into songs of thanksgiving."
(Psalm 28:7)

"In what or whom can we place our trust in this life? What or who is the greatest comfort we can find on this earth? Is it not our Lord and God, whose mercies we can't even count? Have we ever fared well without Him? And how could anything go badly when He is there? I would rather be poor with my God than rich without Him. I would rather wander the earth with Him than possess heaven without Him. Where He is, there is heaven; where He is not, there is only death and hell.

I want more of Him. I sigh and pray as I cry out to Him, for there is no one but my God who I can fully trust to help me in all my needs. He is my hope, my confidence, my consoler. He is absolutely faithful to meet my every need. (If God has not supplied it, it is because I did not have need of it.)

People seek after their own interests. My God, however, places my salvation and my care first and makes all things work out for my benefit. Though He exposes me to various testings and hardships, the God who proves His love daily to His loved ones, in one thousand ways, makes those things work for my good.

That is why I place all my hope in Him and make the Lord God my refuge. I cast all my troubles and anguish on Him, knowing that I have found everything but Him to be weak and untrustworthy. If my God does not help me Himself, having many friends or powerful helpers does no good. Neither will wise counselors give useful answers, nor will the books of learned men console me, nor will gold or silver win my freedom, nor will any place shelter me -- secret and beautiful as it may be -- if God Himself doesn't help, comfort, console, instruct and guard me. That is because everything that seems made for my peace and happiness is nothing (and truly offers no happiness) if He isn't in them."
Thomas A'Kempis

Sometimes we forget that the greatest gift God can ever give is the gift of Himself. There is nothing we need more than His Spirit to fill us, His presence to empower and cheer us, His joy to strengthen us, and His acceptance to calm and give needed rest to the anxious soul. That's why A. W. Tozer could rightly say: "When religion has said its last word, there is little we need other than God Himself."

With prayers that faith may enable you to see the invisible presence of Him who never leaves your side,
Pastor Jeff