Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Kingdom of God is Not a Matter of Eating & Drinking

We were really blessed by this reading in Roger's devotional as we endeavor to seek first the Kingdom of God and wait on Him daily for our needs. We are seeing fruit in our hearts that is only possible by His hand… Trials turned to gold. We would not trade this time of learning to trust our heavenly Father in all things, for all the gold in the world.  He Who calls us to look to Him alone is FAITHFUL to do far more than we are asking in our hearts and in the hearts of those we bring to Him. 
"The Spirit is promised as the gift of the Father and the Son, and he comes into the heart and so loves his people that he abides and dwells with them forever, acting with authority and power, according to his own pleasure, as their various circumstances may require.  He prepares and strengthens them for every event, reveals what they must know, and inclines their hearts in the ways and degrees he pleases. 
The joy of the Spirit is real fruit:  solid, substantial, refreshing, and nourishing.  He comforts, revives, strengthens, and establishes the soul.  Long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, etc., are all the fruits of the Spirit, and they are nowhere to be found but in the believer’s heart.  
Though he takes away all your outward comforts, and makes you as poor and as afflicted as Job, yet being within you, he can bring you effectual peace and comfort.  Let him make the cross ever so heavy, empty you from vessel to vessel, cause you to be destitute, afflicted, and tormented; still the Holy Spirit, being within you, can fill your hearts with joy unspeakable and full of glory.  ‘Peace I leave with you’, said Christ.  The world cannot give peace and joy without removing the cross and the affliction.  Christ gives peace in the midst of trouble.  The Spirit within us causes us to glory in tribulation, to rejoice under the cross, and to triumph even in death.  
This is a blessing, which we are sure, God never did or never will deny to any one that asks it of him.  ‘Ask and you shall receive’ is his gracious declaration.  O seek earnestly, and plead this promise, and you are sure to succeed!  God will amply supply the want of all these things, and your hearts shall rejoice, and your joy no man, no devil, can take from you."
~Thomas Charles

 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  Romans 14:17
from Voices of the Past: Puritan Devotional Readings

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