Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Way of Rejoicing

Jack Davis

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100:1-5

This Psalm is a precious call to give a thank offering. There are eight acts expressing praise. He says in the fourth verse, “Be thankful unto Him.” We are to be full of thanks, and as we receive of His abundant supply of blessings we are full to overflowing. The keynote to this Psalm is “BE thankful” We cannot do what God requires until we “be thankful.” It is the inner source of all that we are admonished and encouraged to do. An attitude of thankfulness calls into action deeds of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving hymns come out of thankful hearts.

We are admonished to “make a joyful noise.” “Serve the Lord with gladness.” “Come before His Presence with singing.” “Know ye that the Lord He is God” “Enter into His gates.” “Enter … into His courts.” “Bless His Name.” What a privilege we have to bless His Name, which is above every name! This gladness and singing express the thrill of liberated hearts. Praise God, we have been set free. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” – John 8:36. Thanksgiving causes our blessings to increase, and an unthankful attitude makes them diminish. Thank the Lord that we can fall down before Him.

In the center of our doing this, He says, “Know ye that the Lord He is God.” This little verse is freighted with precious truth concerning us. He is God. We know Him as Creator. “It is He that hath made us.” We read in Revelation four of some who fall down before the throne of God and cast their crowns before His feet saying. “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” It is a privilege for us to recognize His creatorship; but, not only that, He has an ownership. “We are His people.” We belong to Him, and how well off we are if we recognize this. The possessive pronoun “His” is used eight times in this short Psalm: “His Presence,” “His people,” “His pasture,” “His gates,” “His courts,” “His Name,” “His mercy,” and “His truth.” Everything and everyone belongs to Him. We can also acknowledge and express appreciation for His caretakership. We are “the sheep of His pasture.”

The foundation of true, solid, spiritual praise is a knowing and understanding heart. This word “know” expresses “to recognize, perceive, understand;” and, if we do, we will gladly acknowledge that “the Lord is good.” When we express that God is good, it seems that this adjective is too mild. But, our God is a good God, and it is good for us to know Him. We wonder how long our God’s goodness to men will last. The Word declares that “His mercy is everlasting.” We realize to some degree how great His mercy is; but we cannot begin to fathom the fullness of God. It must be revealed to our hearts. He is great enough to fulfill all He has promised to all generations. His message is dependable. If God said it, you can count on it coming to pass. I appreciated my heavenly Father more when I realized that His mercy is not upon me because I am good, but because He is good. His mercy is not upon me because I can keep His commandments, but because He can keep His everlasting covenant through the beloved Lamb of God. God can look upon us with favor, because He looks upon His Son. God can see our shortcomings and our needs; yet He can be merciful because He can see the Sacrifice, the Lamb slain.

In Psalm 46:10 we read, “Be still, and know that I am God.” We have just read to “make a joyful noise,” and now we are instructed to “be still.” We are to be still before that God of all the earth. “I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” God is the King of all the earth; sing ye praises with understanding” – Psalm 47:7. How can we learn to do the? The answer – “Be still, and know.” It takes a quietness and listening to Him, and then we will learn how to praise Him with understanding and comprehension. We will know Him who leads His sheep “beside the still waters.”

Sometimes, He allows the waters to be troubled, so that we will really appreciate the waters of quietness. Oh, praise God! We can know when He leads us, and we can know Him who leads us. We will know Him who makes us “to lie down in green pastures.” Sometimes, He must make us lie down, before we really appreciate the green pastures. He may lay us aside for awhile so that we will feed in those green pastures. But, be assured that they are green, they are life-giving. He also makes His sheep to sit down at His banquet table; and as we sit there at His table, He anoints our heads with oil. No wander our little cups run over!

There is a time to rejoice in the Lord with thanksgiving, and there is a time to keep silent and meditate on His Word. We love to listen to the young children singing joyfully of Jesus’ love. We also enjoy singing along with the young people’s enthusiastic hand-clapping singing unto the Lord. But, we also enjoy the deep-settled songs of those who sing from experience and with understanding. A joyful noise is based upon a sound knowledge of Him, a rejoicing no matter what the circumstances. A joyful noise is an acknowledged recognition, and an expression of appreciation of what we know in fact to be true of Him. A jubilant and joyful sound comes from a jubilant and understanding heart. What is your noise?

The Lord had to illustrate this message to me. On a trip to the Ozarks, I left my Bible at home and I began to grumble. The Lord had begun speaking this Psalm to me – “Make a joyful noise.” Many sounds are being made today – grumbling, murmuring, disputing, complaining, criticizing, squawking, squeaking, and even sometimes screaming. What is you noise? We make all kinds of noises when we have been struck, or stuck, or stepped on, or stung. I cannot spell in so many letters the noise I made while driving the bus back from the Ozarks, and a bee came through the window and hit me in the neck. I thought perhaps all I had was a bee sting. Well, it fell down into my jump suit. I do not mind telling you, I jumped. I think everybody else was occupied fellowshipping, so I do not know whether anyone heard me; but I let that bee know that he had a hold of me. The Lord was speaking, “Make a joyful noise.”

Making a joyful noise is not just one sound out of our experience, but the general tone or tenor of our whole lives. When we have been stung, that is the time to make a joyful noise. When the roof caved in, and killed all his children Job said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord” – Job 1:21. We think of Joseph, how his brethren came to him to ask forgiveness, He said, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good” – Genesis 50:20. We are able to make a joyful noise unto the Lord when we are in an uncomfortable position, if we realize that it has come from God’s hand. He sent it for a purpose. Glory to God! The early Christians were found rejoicing after being beaten and threatened. They thanked the Lord “That they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His Name” – Acts 5:41.

The joyful sound comes from an anchored heart, knowing that every good and perfect gift comes from God. He is making all things work together for our good. So He says, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” – I Thess. 5:18. A joyful noise is to accompany our service and approach to God. We are to “come before His Presence with singing,” with gladness, “and into His courts with praise.” Praise God that we have access. Before Jesus came, we had no right to come. We can come through His gates into His courts, right up to His throne singing, singing, singing praises unto Him. When we approach Him to serve Him, it is special priestly service, if it is with and attitude of worship. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.” Praise the Lord!


Anita Clark, Pastor, Carbondale, KS

“The woman saith unto Him, Sir, I perceive that You are a Prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain worship, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth; for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” John 4:19-24.

In verse 22 where Jesus told the woman, “Ye worship you know not what,” it shows her ignorance of who should be worshiped. Jesus said the Jews worshiped God Whom they had knowledge of and understood. Many religious people today are claiming to worship, but have no idea whom they are worshiping or what they are worshiping. Jesus said that there would come a time when the “true worshipers” would worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth (reality). There is much false worship in many religious places today. God is seeking true worshipers.

In Exodus 20:3-5, the Lord declares His desire and commands worship that is acceptable to Him, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.” We are not to worship literal images and false gods, but how about other things we may worship. When we put other things before God in our lives, we are worshiping those things. Think about it.

As John 4:24 says, “God is seeking worshipers who worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” The word “worship” in the Greek means “to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand, to fawn (exhibit attention and affection and attempt to please), crouch to, prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore).” This word “worship” in the English language means “ reverence, to give homage, adoration, honor, celebration, extol, revere, exaltation, glorify, or deify.” In many places the Bible states that no one or nothing else is to receive this reverence except God.

What does it mean to “ worship the Father in Spirit and in truth.” I believe that Jesus was referring to the new life of Christ within us, and the Holy Spirit, not in fleshly, carnal or formal ways. There is much worship (so called) which is false, not Scriptural and so is not true worship, but truly a manifestation of the flesh, the religious carnal nature. This kind brings glory to man and not God. Not all worship is in “Truth.” Some so called worship is only pretense or hypocrisy, pretending to be pius, and spiritual and worship of God. Christ is the “Way the Truth and the Life.” Study of the Word of God brings more enlightenment and Truth.

Psalms 145:1-7 expresses what real worship of God is. “I will extol thee, my God, O King; and I will bless Thy name for ever and ever. Everyday will I bless Thee; and I will praise Thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Thy works to another, and shall declare Thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honor of Thy majesty, and of Thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of Thy terrible acts: and I will declare Thy greatness. They shall abundantly utter the memory of Thy goodness, and shall sing of Thy righteousness.”

Who should praise & worship the Lord? “The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down in silence, But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and for evermore” Ps. 115:17,18. The “we” is referring to those who believe.

Where should we praise and worship? “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and bless the Lord” Ps. 134:2. In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” I Thess. 5:18. Where ever I am - Whatever I’m doing - or not doing - I can worship - In my car - At home - In the Church meeting.

Why should we praise and worship Him? Because of a peaceful worshipful heart, showing that we are grateful for all the marvelous things that He has provided for us, and because of Who He is. I heard one time, that sometimes it almost seems we can’t praise Him while we are in a terrible trial, but we can worship and praise Him for Who He is and what He has done for us.

When should we worship? We should worship Him - “forever and ever” and “everyday” Ps. 145:1, 2. “ the night seasons” Ps. 16:7.

How should we worship? With all our being, heart, and strength. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all they soul, and with all thy might.”

Remember Mary of Bethany in John 11:3. She bought a “pound of spikenard, very costly, and anointed Jesus feet.” The house was filled with the odor of the sweet smell. Her estimation of Jesus’ worth was very high. Her worship of Him was a great sacrifice. Judas, the one who would betray Jesus, thinking that this was a waste to pour out this costly ointment on Jesus’ feet, said, “Why was not this ointment sold and the money given to the poor?” It says this was because he held the money bag for the expenses of the group and he was a thief.

Posture of Worship -”O come let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker” Ps. 95:6. “And so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth” I Cor. 14:25. “I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands...” I Tim. 2:8. “Job arose, and rent his mantle and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped” Job. 1:20. “When I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in night watches” Ps. 63:6. All of these Scripture verses show us that God can be worshiped in many different positions and places. He is worthy of our adoration, and we need to learn to voice our praises to Him. “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name” Heb. 13:15.


The Rolling Stones sang “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction”. This is a true statement; if you are seeking satisfaction in the world.

The meaning of the word “satisfaction” is: “fulfillment of one’s wishes, expectations, or needs, or the pleasure derived from this.” Man continually seeks satisfaction. It is an on-going search that leads to many disappointments.

In Proverbs we read these words “so the eyes of man are never satisfied”. We also find this theme throughout Ecclesiastes. Man is not satisfied because he is seeking satisfaction in the wrong place and the wrong things.

Even God’s people sometimes seek satisfaction in the things of this world, but find it lacking. God is always waiting for us to come to Him. Isa. 55:2 “Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.”

The Psalms on the other hand give us a different picture of satisfaction. Psalm 22:26 says, “The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.” Psalm 36:7-8, “How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.” We are seeing the real solution to satisfaction. Seeking God and putting our trust in Him. Who would know better how to bring satisfaction to our soul than the one that made us?

In Psalm 65:4 we find satisfaction in God’s presence. “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.”

The word used in these verses means to “fill to the fullest”. Just a reminder that God does not do anything half way. Lack of satisfaction is an emptiness seeking to be filled. Only God can fill man’s emptiness. The world and all of its offerings leave emptiness. God’s presence over fills our souls.

While we certainly can and do find satisfaction in our Lord while here on this earth, it is only a small taste of what awaits us. Our seeking for satisfaction truly culminates in being in God’s presence in the fulness of His glory. Psalm 17:15 “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”

God is filling us with His fullness here, so that we might be able to enjoy His fullness for eternity. What a shame to miss out on God’s fullness because we are trying to fill our lives with temporary things of this world. Let the things of this world be emptied from you, and seek full satisfaction in your glorious Lord.
Gordon Crook


Pastor Debra Isenbletter
Christian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri

Ruth 4:14 – “And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.” After Ruth bore a son, we find in the next verses words addressed to Naomi, blessings given to Naomi, words of comfort and assurance for Naomi.

What is it that the women do? They rejoice and they praise the Lord. Notice that it is the women that speak to Naomi – “And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord.” These are those that saw her return and heard her bitter cry of sorrow and grieved with her in her loss. Their hearts were moved by her cry that “the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me;” that she had “went out full” and had come home “empty” (Ruth 1:20-21). Just as they grieved with her in her loss of husband and children, now they rejoice with her in the birth of Ruth’s son. These women say, “Blessed be the Lord,” this is worship, this is praise, this is thanksgiving! They know the One that is responsible and glorify Him. To “bless” means “to praise” and “to give thanks,” it comes from “to kneel (as an act of adoration).” This is praise for the provision and promises and for the fulfillment of fruitfulness. I believe that their words are expressing what is in Naomi’s heart. We can be overwhelmed by the blessings and be left speechless. Naomi was speechless but not thankless. Like the Psalmist they give thanks because He has heard the cry of a heart in grief: “Blessed be the Lord because he hath heard the voice of my supplication” (Psa 28:6) and because He had daily carried the one who was grieving and lifted that burden and provided a blessing: “Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits (bears our burdens)…” (Psa 68:19). The Lord is acknowledged and glorified and their united praise shows that the blessing of Naomi becomes the blessing of all! We see this same attitude of shared joy after shared sorrow. At the birth of Elizabeth’s son, all of her family and neighbors “rejoiced with her” (Luke 1:58). We are to share both one another’s sorrows and joys. We “rejoice with them that do rejoice and weep with them that weep” (Rom 12:15), for if “one member suffer, all members suffer with it, or one member be honored, all members rejoice with it” (1Co 12:26).

What has the Lord done? He has provided a kinsman: “which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman.” Notice the kinsman is just as important to Naomi as he is to Ruth. He is a kinsman to both these women, for his obedience meets the need of both. God has not “left” or “failed” or “forsaken” Naomi. Naomi had said this to Ruth in faith: “Blessed be the Lord who hath not left off his kindness or favor … The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen” (Ruth 2:20). Now these women witness to this. That the Lord had provided a kinsman for her as well as Ruth! Their words show the great provision of God for Naomi’s need – a Kinsman! God did not disappoint her, He provided for her. The provision was always there but she needed to see it and believe it and receive it and once she did, then she was able to instruct Ruth in what to do. In this we see the Faith and Faithfulness of both Naomi and Ruth. God rewarded their faith, their willingness to lay hold of His Word. All of these women saw the fulfillment of the promises in the Word of God. A kinsman had been provided by God, and through that kinsman a son had been provided for Naomi and Ruth. The blessing flowed from God to the Kinsman and then to Naomi and Ruth. God was the Giver, the Kinsman was the Gift and these women were blessed. What a picture of God’s Love and Christ’s Work, of the Great Giver and the Glorious Gift and the Wonderful Blessing that results!

The last part of this verse is a three-fold prophecy concerning this Kinsman. The first part concerns his Name (v14); and the second and third part his Work (v15). We see the words of these women concerning Boaz; “that his name may be famous in Israel.” The name of Boaz was already famous, for he was known as “a mighty man of wealth” but it is through his actions as Kinsman-Redeemer that his name will become even more famous! It is when his “might” and “wealth” is exercised on behalf of Ruth that we see the full potential of what God intended for this man. The word “famous” means “that the name is recognized and remembered! It means “to call (upon), to cry (unto);” it means “to proclaim, publish and preach.” Boaz provides the first fulfillment of this prophecy; for his name is recognized, and his work is remembered, it is the work of a “kinsman-redeemer” for a woman by the name of Ruth. But it is Jesus Who provides the final fulfillment of this prophecy. It is His Name and His Work that is “famous.” It is His Name we “call (upon);” it is His Name we “cry (unto);” it is His Name we “proclaim, publish and preach.” He is the “Kinsman-Redeemer” for all mankind, for the nation of Israel (Jews) and for the nations (Gentiles). All will one day recognize His Name and call upon His Name; for the Apostle Paul tells us that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow … and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!” (Phil 2:10-11).


Verta Giddings

Chapter 13:14-52 – The Work In Antioch

Paul and Barnabas must have felt badly when John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem – Acts 13:13. This did not keep them from continuing the work for which they had been called to do. They still had the burning desire to take the message of the Lord Jesus to places where they had never heard about Him. They went then to the mainland and came to Antioch. This is a different Antioch and is called Antioch in Pisidia. They went right into the Jewish synagogue and sat down. They knew there would be people there to whom they could preach.  They heard the Scriptures read. It was the custom in those days that if strangers came into the synagogue, they were asked if they had anything to say. Paul took the opportunity and stood up and began to preach to them. Don’t you like the way Paul takes every opportunity to tell people about the Lord Jesus? He was speaking to those who knew the Old Testament Scriptures. They also knew about the promise of the Messiah. We will give his sermon in four parts.

Vs. 17-26 – What God had done for Israel. He told how the people of Israel had been in the land of Egypt, and that God had brought them out. Remember God used Moses to lead them. They crossed the Red Sea and came out into the wilderness. They lived in the wilderness for 40 years before getting into the promised land of Canaan. Paul went on to tell them how they came to possess that land God had promised them. God destroyed 7 great nations which already were there so His people could live in their land. He told them how Israel had judges for about 450 years. Then they wanted a king, so God gave them what they wanted. Their first king was Saul and he failed the Lord. Then they were given the wonderful king David. Paul went on to let them know that the Savior, Jesus, was a descendant of David. He even spoke of John the Baptist who announced the Lord Jesus as the “Savior – the Lamb of God. Then Paul said that this word of salvation was unto them.

Vs. 27-29 – Paul told them what Israel did to this Savior Jesus. That the ones who were in Jerusalem and their rulers didn’t know Him. Remember Jn. 1:13 – “He came unto His own and His own received Him not.” They would have known Him if they had believed the scriptures they read every week. That these rulers did not find any cause of death in Him – Jesus. Still they had Pilate condemn Him to be slain – crucified. When all the scripture was fulfilled that was necessary at that time, they took Him down from the cross and buried Him.

Vs. 30-37 – God used all this for the good of all. Verse 30 is a wonderful verse, “But God raised Him from the dead!” The Lord used their meanness, cruelty, and unbelief, and turned these things into blessing. Many people knew He was raised from the dead. They believed on Him. Remember another verse – Rom. 10:9-10. In order to be saved we must confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, and we will  be saved! The enemies of Jesus, including the devil, thought they had gotten rid of Jesus when they crucified Him. Aren’t you glad no one can defeat the Lord? He made even the horrible death of the Lord Jesus to work for good.

Vs. 38-41 – The ones hearing the message had to decide. Paul told them that they could have forgiveness of sins, and be justified from all things. They couldn’t get this by the Law. He gave the warning that they had to make the choice to believe. It is the same today. When we hear the message that Jesus loves us and died for us, and that He wants to come into our hearts, it is up to us to make this great decision to accept Him as our own Savior. Even if others turn away, we must turn to Him. Jesus loves you and wants to come  into your heart and life. Ask him in. Turn your life over to Him.

There were Gentiles there (those who were not Jews). They wanted to hear more the next Sabbath. Some of the Jews also believed (vs. 42-43). The next Sabbath day the whole city turned out to hear the message (vs. 44-45). Wouldn’t we like it if all the city came to hear the word? Some of the Jews became very jealous and spoke against Paul and Barnabas. Vs. 46-49, since their message was not received by the Jews, the missionaries turned to the Gentiles. The Gentiles were glad! Aren’t you happy that you were able to hear about Jesus? There are still those in the world that have never heard. We must pray for them. Vs. 50-52, those jealous Jews stirred up both men and women to get these men out of their city. So they went on to the nest city. Instead of getting angry at the ones mistreating them, they must have turned it all over to the Lord, for it says the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost. They were not defeated. We can learn this, too, and give it all over to the Lord. While others are all upset and angry, we can be filled with joy. They knew they had done what the Lord wanted them to do, so it was all right.

Continued in the December issue

Seven Sayings of Christ
on The Cross

Jesus spoke seven time while He was on the cross suffering. We know the Jews were present to satisfy their craving His death. The Roman soldiers were there performing their duty. But the Spirit notices a small group drawn there by their devotion to Jesus  – John 19:25. A pitiably small company, four women and also John the beloved is mentioned in verse 26. Five is the number of grace. They “stood by the cross.” No doubt in anguish of spirit as they beheld the dying Lamb.

We must compare the four gospel accounts to give us the order of the seven saying. One may wonder why some things are recorded in one gospel and may not be in the others. But the Holy Spirit moved the writers of the four gospels to write as they did. Matthew wrote of Him as King, Mark tells of Him as the perfect servant, Luke of Him as man, and John tells of Him as the heavenly One.

His first saying in found in Luke 23:32-34. Jesus intercedes for mankind’s spiritual ignorance. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” What love! “He was in the world and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” - Jn. 1:10-1.

Luke 23:32,37-43, two thief were crucified at the same time. One railed on Him, but the other confessed his sin and believed on Him, calling Jesus his “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” The outcast is received, Jesus speaks the second saying, “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

John 19:26-27 records His third saying, Jesus care of His mother. “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” There is no hysterical demonstration of sorrow from Mary, in fact, not a word is recorded from her lips by any of the four gospels. She suffered in silence, yet bound by love. She may have remembered the prophetic words spoken by Simeon 30 years before: “Yet, a sword shall pierce through thine own soul also” – Luke 2:35. Mary’s name means bitterness. The world has cast out the child of her womb, she is paralyzed at His sufferings. His disciples all but John had deserted Him. The nation despise Him and the insults of the crowd surround her. All the while the soldiers were callously occupied with His garment and the Savior was bleeding; yet she stood by the cross. At such a time, He showed Himself both the perfect Son of God and perfect Son of man. Leaving this world, He provides a home for His widowed mother. Here is where our Lord lays aside His human affections, for His death ended all natural ties. From then on, the believers would be linked to Christ by a closer bond, by a spiritual relationship.

These first three hours on the cross, Jesus had conscious communion and fellowship with His Father. That changes, Matthew 27:45-46, “Now from the sixth hour (noon) there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour (3:00). And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (the fourth saying). Even nature reacts to such a sight, the creator of all things hanging between heaven and earth, rejected by both. The world cast Him out and God the Father had to turn away from His Son being made sin. Jesus had never experienced broken fellowship with His Father. In John 8:29, He testified of Himself, saying, “He that sent me is with me; the Father hath not left Me alone, for I do always those things that please Him.”

He suffers separation from His Father that all who believe may be joined to God. II Cor. 5:21, “He was made sin, that knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Those who reject God’s love gift of His Son to the world will know outer darkness forever. We know by scripture that our Lord answered His own cry, “Why hath thou forsaken Me?” Psalm 22 tells the thoughts of His heart while on the cross. Verse 3, “But Thou art holy, Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.”

When the darkness disappears He declares, “I thirst,” (the fifth saying, John 19:28), evidence of His humanity. He was the God-man, forever God and now forever man by His own choice. When the eternal Word became flesh and blood, He did not cease to be God. Here in the depths of His humiliation, His body drained of moisture – He said, “I thirst.” He had endured the fierceness of the outpoured wrath of the holy God, His cry, tells of the intensity of what He had suffered and the awful severity of the conflict He had just passed. Lamentations 1:13, “He hath made Me desolate and faint.” He makes known His need, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. Psalm 32:4, “My moisture is turned into the drought of summer.” Psalm 69:21, “In my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” He thirsted on the cross, that we might drink the water of life and thirst no more forever.

All things now accomplished, He had hung on the cross for 6 hours and had passed through unparallel suffering. John 19:30, He said, “It is finished” (the sixth saying). It will take all eternity to manifest all it contains. This is not a despairing cry of helplessness, but an expression of satisfaction. For all which He came from heaven was now done. The glorious character of God had been accomplished and everything necessary for the putting away of the sins of His people, providing a perfect standing before God and securing for them an eternal inheritance.

In Luke 23:46 we read the seventh saying – “when Jesus had cried with a loud voice (no doubt, It is finish), He said, Father into thy hands, I commend My spirit: and having said thus, He dismissed His spirit. His work was done, He had conquered. God salvation has been provided for all by His death. The veil in the temple (into the holy of holies) rent in twain from top to bottom (Mk. 15:38). Heaven now opened to man, that he may approach God as His heavenly Father.
E. J. Davis


“Rejoice Evermore”
“Pray without ceasing”
“In everything give thanks:
in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
“Quench not the Spirit.”
I Thess. 5:16-19.
It is well to realize that these attitudes toward our God are not self genderated, but are enjoyed as we are receptive and responsive to the Holy Spirit.
Thank God for the Holy Spirit, and the way He excites our hearts to continue in glad hearted expressions of joy, with ceaseless prayer, and boundless praise. He inspired the writing of the Scripture and warms our hearts to the will of God our Father. He reminds us and causes us to realize that for which we have to be thankful. He will just thrill our hearts with overwhelming appreciation.
When we come to believe more and more of our Father’s glorious purposes for us, our joy is less and less dampened by difficulty. Conditions can be bad and evermore sad, and seemingly getting worse all the time. When we consider it all from God’s viewpoint, and realize He does make all things work together for our good, we want to praise Him, now and for ever.
Thank God, we can often read in Scripture, and of testimonies today of trying circumstances producing a triumphant attitude. Consider Rom. 5:3-5; Jas. 1:2; II Cor. 8:1-5; I Thess. 5:6-10.

By Jack Davis

Jesus Loves Me

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; – to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Eph. 3:17-19

Anna and Susan Warner lived in a lovely townhouse in New York City where their father, Henry Whiting Warner, was a successful lawyer. But the “Panic of 1837” wrecked the family’s finances, forcing them to move into a ramshackle Revolutionary War-era home on Constitution Island on the Hudson, right across from the Military Academy at West Point.

Needing to contribute to the family income, Anna and Susan began writing poems and stories for publication. Anna wrote “Robinson Crusoe’s Farmyard.” And Susan wrote, “The Wide, Wide World.” The girls thus launched parallel literary careers which resulted in 106 publications, eighteen of them co-authored.

One of their most successful joint projects was a novel titled “Say and Seal” in which a little boy named Johnny Fox is dying. His Sunday School teacher, John Linden, comforts him by taking him in his arms, rocking him, and making up a little song: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so . . .”

The novel became a best-seller, second only to “Uncle Tom’s Cabin;” and when hymn writer William Bradbury read the words of John Linden’s little sing (written by Anna), he composed a childlike musical score to go along with them. “Jesus Loves Me,” soon became the best-known children’s hymn on earth.

Despite their success, the Warner sisters never seemed able to recover from the staggering financial reverses of 1836. Years later a friend wrote, “One day when sitting with Miss Anna in the old living room she took from one of the cases a shell so delicate that it looked like lace work and holding it in her hand, with eyes dimmed with tears, she said, ‘There was a time when I was very perplexed, bills were unpaid, necessities must be had, and someone sent me this exquisite thing. As I beheld it I realized that if God could make this beautiful home for a little creature. He would take care of me.’”

For forty years, Susan and Anna conducted Bible classes for cadets at West Point, and both were buried with full military honors. They are the only civilians buried in the military cemetery at West Point. To this day, their home on constitution Island is maintained by West Point as a museum to their memory.