There are times when all the promises and doctrines of the Bible are of no avail, unless a gracious hand shall apply them to us. We are thirsty, but too faint to crawl to the water-brook. When a soldier is wounded in battle it is of little use for him to know that there are those at the hospital who can bind up his wounds, and medicines there to ease all the pains which he now suffers: what he needs is to be carried thither, and to have the remedies applied.
It is thus with our souls, and to meet this need there is One, even the Spirit of truth, who takes the things of Jesus, and applies them to us.
Think not that Christ hath placed his joys on heavenly shelves that we may climb up to them for ourselves, but He draws near, and sheds His peace abroad in our hearts.
O Christian, if thou are tonight laboring under deep distresses, thy Father does not give thee promises and then leave thee to draw them up from the Word like buckets from a well, but the promises He has written in the Word He will write anew on your heart. He will manifest His love to you, and by His blessed Spirit, dispel your cares and troubles.
Be it known to every mourner, that it is God's prerogative to wipe every tear from the eye of His people.
The good Samaritan did not say, "Here is the wine, and here is the oil for you"; he actually poured in the oil and the wine. So Jesus not only gives you the sweet wine of the promise, but holds the golden chalice to your lips, and pours the life-blood into your mouth. The poor, sick, way-worn pilgrim is not merely strengthened to walk, but he is borne on eagles' wings
Glorious gospel! which provides everything for the helpless, which draws night to us when we cannot reach after it - brings us grace before we seek for grace! Here is as much glory in the giving as in the gift. Happy people who have the Holy Spirit to bring Jesus to them.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem…
and Joshua said to all the people:
Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth;
and put away the false gods…
and serve the Lord…
Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…
but as for me and my house,
we will serve the Lord…
So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.
And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God; and he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord.
Here, in my own "Shechem", this place where I've been this past month...
There have been many days when I've had to choose love.
Days when I've had to choose joy.
Days when I've had to choose gratitude.
Days when it's hard to forgive, but I've had to choose grace.
Days when it's just been plain hard, and on each of the days, every day, I have to choose.
I have to choose Who I am going to listen to.
I have to choose Who I am going to serve.
Is it going to be the false god of perfectionism or the One Who goes ahead of me?
The false god of control or the One Who promises to always be with me?
The false god of pride or the One Who will not fail me?
The false god of fear or the One Who will never, not for one second, forsake me?
And, each day, as I deliberately and purposefully echo these words of Joshua, as I choose Him, He reminds me of something that never ceases to bring me to my knees.
That in this place of me choosing Him, He keeps reminding me of this one amazing thing:
That He's already chosen me.
He's already chosen to forgive me, to help me, and to pull me through.
He's already chosen to carry my weakness, my sickness, and my brokenness.
He's already chosen to carry it all, all on His shoulders.
He is carrying it all on His shoulders.
He is carrying me on His shoulders. Already.
Glorious Gospel, indeed!
The things that you carry are burdensome,
A load for the weary beast.
They stooped over, they have bowed down together;
They could not rescue the burden…
But you who have been borne by Me from birth,
And have been carried from the womb;
Even to your old age, I shall be the same,
And even to your graying years I shall bear you!
I have done it, and I shall carry you;
And I shall bear you, and I shall deliver you.
Like a shepherd He will tend His flock,
In His arm He will gather the lambs,
And carry them in His bosom;
He will gently lead the nursing ewes.
In all their affliction He was afflicted…
In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them;
And He lifted them and carried them…
The Lord your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked, until you came to this place.
P.S. Shechem was a fortified city on the edge of a fertile plain in central Palestine. Aside from being the site where Joshua and the Israelites made a covenant with the Lord, it's also the place where God first appeared to Abraham and promised to give the land of Canaan to his descendants. It's the place where Jacob built an alter to worship God and the place where Joseph was buried. Additionally, it was one of the designated cities of refuge in Old Testament times.
And one more thing…
Take a guess what the word Shechem means?
It means shoulder.
Now, that makes me smile!
When confusion's my companion
And despair holds me for ransom
I will feel no fear
I know that You are near
When I'm caught deep in the valley
With chaos for my company
I'll find my comfort here
‘Cause I know that You are near
My help comes from You
You're right here, pulling me through
You carry my weakness, my sickness, my brokenness all on Your shoulders
My help comes from You
You are my rest, my rescue
I don't have to see to believe that You're lifting me up on Your shoulders
You mend what once was shattered
And You turn my tears to laughter
Your forgiveness is my fortress
Oh Your mercy is relentless
My help is from You
Don't have to see it to believe it
My help is from you
Don't have to see it, ‘cause I know, ‘cause I know it's true
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