Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls,Habakkuk 3:17(NASB)
Then go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead.
And He said to them, "do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified. He has risen; He is not here. See the place where they laid Him." Mark 16:6
What a glad errand of good tidings of great joy was carried by the angels. What an amazing message they delivered on that glorious morning. What a precious ministry for them to thus roll away the stone away and proclaim, 'Don’t be afraid, Jesus is ALIVE!!' What a thrill to proclaim to Mary, Who Stood Weeping He‘s Alive. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the empty tomb publishes abroad His wonderful name. The empty tomb tells us the Gospel that Christ died and was buried. The empty tomb proclaims that death had no hold over Him for He is alive!
As He shouted 'FINISHED' and gave up the ghost – His spirit and soul departed and his body lay cold in the grave. The empty grave speaks of the power of His resurrection. The empty grave announces the final victory, death defeated! His finished work on the cross procured pardon of sins. The wages of sin and death paid in full. His finished work of resurrection power broke the power of sin and death, for all those that are alive in-Christ. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 1Corinthians 15:26 – for at His resurrection death was indeed defeated. Hallelujah !!
But also – that all who sleep in Jesus shall rise. Praise His wonderful Name. "For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trump of God – and the dead in Christ will rise first'. 1Thessalonians 4:16. "Fear Not", they were told, "go your way and tell His disciples, and Peter". Why? – why was this
Because I live, you also will live. (John 14:19 NIV)
Relationship with God today in so many directions, and over such a widerange, is not a living relationship. There is anacknowledgment of God, there is a form of worship ofGod, there are rites connected with God; yes, there is arecognition in a greater or lesser measure of a kind ofdevotion to God, worship of God, acknowledgment ofGod, perhaps desire for God, but all short of a livingrelationship with God. Yet that He is the living Godmeans that thosewhoare related to Him should live. Hewould say, "Because I live ye shall live also." A livingrelationship with God is possible....
It isnot a relationship with some dead order of things, butwith a living Person. But I must ask, Have you that livingrelationship? Are you following a system, an order, orare you in living fellowship with a living God? The Lorddesires that such a relationship with Him shall be living allthe way along. It is a great thing to know that you haveaccess to the living God. You do not know whethera thing is right or wrong? Well, you have the livingGod, ask Him; He is open, He is accessible, He is alive;you can have dealings with Him. Just to enjoy a living relationship with a living God is how He wills it to be. Thedesire of His heart is that you should treat Him as beinga living God. "He that cometh to God must believe thatHe is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligentlyseek Him." We must believe, when we come, that He is; not feeling out into the universe, the vacant, emptyuniverse. No, we are coming to a living Person; webelieve that He is! There is nothing vague about that.
You are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. § Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than heaven—what can you do? Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?
We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory. § The mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. § The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, wiling to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
Watchman, what of the night?” The watchman said, “The morning comes.”
He who is coming will come and will not tarry. § He shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds.
I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also … Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard Me say to you, “I am going away and coming back to you.”
Let all Your enemies perish, O Lord! But let those who love Him be like the sun when it comes out in full strength. § You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. § There shall be no night there.
Walk in [dependence upon] the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Gal. 5:16).
Those who have thoroughly learned full dependence on Him for justification will come to understand that sanctification is by the same faith principle. We are to rest in His finished work - both for birth and for growth."We are not to overcome the lusts of the flesh in order that we may walk in the Spirit. We are to walk in the Spirit in order that the lusts of the flesh may be overcome. The enemy can hold up young Christians on this point for a long time, so that they do not really get started on the Christian walk. They feel they cannot expect to begin to walk in the Spirit until they have, in some degree at least, dealt with the lusts of the flesh.
"They wait for some vague time when they hope they will have reached a more satisfactory position in regard to the lusts of the flesh, and will feel more confident about attempting a walk in the Spirit. But that is all the wrong way around. If we are to wait until we have, in some degree, mastered the lusts of the flesh before we venture to walk in the Spirit: if we are to wait until we feel that we can give some sort of security to ourselves and to God that we shall do a bit better in the future than we have done in the past, then we never will walk in the Spirit. For until we walk in dependence upon the Spirit we shall not, and cannot, overcome the lusts of the flesh." -D.T.
"Be filled with [controlled by] the indwelling of the Spirit" (Eph 5:18, Cony.).
“When they were alone, He expounded all things to His disciples.” Mark 4:34
Our Solitude with Him. Jesus does not take us alone and expound things to us all the time; He expounds things to us as we can understand them. Other lives are parables. God is making us spell out our own souls. It is slow work, so slow that it takes God all time and eternity to make a man and woman after His own purpose. The only way we can be of use to God is to let Him take us through the crooks and crannies of our own characters. It is astounding how ignorant we are about ourselves! We do not know envy when we see it, or laziness, or pride. Jesus reveals to us all that this body has been harbouring before His grace began to work. How many of us have learned to look in with courage?
We have to get rid of the idea that we understand ourselves, it is the last conceit to go. The only One Who understands us is God. The greatest curse in spiritual life is conceit. If we have ever had a glimpse of what we are like in the sight of God, we shall never say - "Oh, I am so unworthy," because we shall know we are, beyond the possibility of stating it. As long as we are not quite sure that we are unworthy, God will keep narrowing us in until He gets us alone. Wherever there is any element of pride or of conceit, Jesus cannot expound a thing. He will take us through the disappointment of a wounded pride of intellect, through disappointment of heart. He will reveal inordinate affection - things over which we never thought He would have to get us alone. We listen to many things in classes, but they are not an exposition to us yet. They will be when God gets us alone over them.
Why standest thou afar off, O Lord?
God is a very present help in trouble.
In Psalm 46 we are told that God is a very present help in time of trouble, but He permits trouble to pursue us, as though He were indifferent to us.. as though He were disinterested in its overwhelming pressure, that we may be brought to an end of ourselves. That we may be led to discover the treasure of darkness – the unmeasurable gains of tribulation.
We may be sure that He who permits the suffering is suffering with us. It may be that we shall see Him only when the trial has passed, and the pain has gone. But we must dare to believe that He never leaves the crucible. "Our eyes are holden.. and we cannot behold Him whom our soul loveth". It is dark, and the bandages blind us so that we cannot see the form of our High Priest – but He is there and deeply touched.
Let us not rely on feelings, but on faith.. faith in His unswerving fidelity. And though we see Him not – and though His presence is shielded from our eyes, let us talk to Him and open our hearts to Him.
Directly we begin to speak to Jesus, we must know Him to be literally present. Even though it appears that His presence is veiled, there comes an answering voice which shows that He is in the shadow.. keeping watch over His own. Your Father is just as near when you journey through the dark tunnel, just as close as when you are under the open heaven!
What though the path be all unknown?
What though the way be drear?
Its shades I traverse not alone
When steps of Thine are near.”