Samuel said, "Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.1 Samuel 15:22(NASB)
Three things will last forever faith, hope, and love and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT)
You can have all the gifts and be very immature. Spiritual increase is not by knowing all these things, the way of growth is not by faith's power externally manifested, but more by inward endurance. Do you want to know the way of the increase of God? It is by love. What the Lord needs is an open, pure spirit towards Himself, and love toward all saints; the Lord will bring into His greater fullness where there is a genuine love one to the other - in Him.... The Ephesian letter in which there is the fullest unveiling of heavenly truth in the deepest teaching concerning the Church, the Body of Christ, there is from start to finish the golden thread of love running all through; this is significant when you consider what the letter contains. 1 Corinthians 13 is the great chapter on love, and is put over beside all the "gifts". Love is the real spiritualitythat is spirituality. Love is the most difficult and the greatest of all gifts. "Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own affections" (2 Cor. 6:12 ASV). You are so narrow, so limited, like a closed hedge, pent up, cramped! "Our heart is enlarged, ye are not straitened in us."
The measure of our spiritual life is no greater than our heart; the knowledge that is in the head is not the measure of spirituality, the way for your release, emancipation, increase, abundance is the way of the heart. Spirituality is not mental agreement on things stated in the Word, it is the melting of one heart to another to all saints. The devil has locked up a number of the Lord's children as in a padded room of their own limitations; frozen their love by something between them and other children of God. The way out is by increase of love; and we shall remain locked up until we are there.... True spirituality is the measure of love of God shed abroad in the heart, all the spirituals rest upon and have their rise out of love. Not power, or knowledge, or different gifts, these are not the first things, the first thing is love. That leads to the increase of God.
God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. § O Lord my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me. O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. § When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord; and my prayer went up to You, into Your holy temple. § I waited patiently for the Lord… He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.
For now we see in a mirror, dimly. § Now we do not yet see all things put under him.
We have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. § Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. § The Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.
Little children, it is the last hour. § The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength" (Isa. 30:15).
There is a great difference between sloth, and rest; between deadness, and quietness. There is also a vast difference between constant nervous busyness, and Spirit-controlled activity; between working for God, and having Him do His work through us. It is the infinite difference between self, and Christ.
"In God and man working together, there is nothing of the idea of a partnership between two partners who each contribute their share to a work. Rather, the true plan is that of co-operation founded on subordination. As the Lord Jesus was entirely dependent on the Father for all His words and all His works, so the believer can do nothing of himself. What he can do of himself is altogether sinful. He must therefore cease entirely from his own doing, and wait for the working of God in him. As he ceases from self-effort, faith assures him that God does what He has undertaken, and works in him.
"And what God does is to renew, to sanctify, and waken all his energies to their most useful power. So that just in proportion as he yields himself a truly passive instrument in the hand of the Father, will he be wielded of Him as the active instrument of His will and power. The soul in which the wondrous combination of quiet passivity with the highest activity is most completely realized, has the deepest experience of what the Christian life is." -A.M.
"So He fed them according to the integrity of His heart; and guided them by the skillfulness of His hands" (Ps. 78:72).
And Jesus must needs go through Samaria. Jesus therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well. And there cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, 'Give me to drink'.
How close are you to Jesus? How close is He to you? This woman was carrying out her common task.. filling a bucket with water. And Jesus was close to her. Jesus was just there, waiting for her – just as He is close to you, in all the chores and duties that fill each of our lives... He is waiting for you, as you set about the menial tasks of each daily round.
This woman went on a little local errand to draw water from a public place, but before she returned, she had met Jesus and had been refreshed. Before she went home, Jesus met her at the very point of her deepest soul need. She wasn’t openly seeking Him – except as in the unsatisfied yearning of every human heart, and yet He waits for her to come to Him. He waits to meet her deepest need. And He waits in all circumstances of life to meet the deepest longings of your heart, too.
As we flap and worry and fret and concern ourselves with accumulating difficulties, Jesus sits and waits. He waits for us to come to Him. As we plan strategies to meet all the heavy burdens that cause so many heartaches... Jesus sits and waits. He waits for us to turn to Him. As we desperately try to determine how to cope with life’s mounting troubles; as we look for any form or escape from the downward spiral of the world’s affairs, Jesus waits and He waits. He waits for us to come to Him; to turn to Him. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock, if any man hears my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he withread more
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness.
He is the Lord of all. He knows you and He loves you. He knows the desires of your hearts, and He knows the little doubts that accompany them. He knows our limitations and our weaknesses - our sadnesses and our hopes. He knows the pain of loved ones unsaved – of betrayal; of rejection. He knows the strain living in this world – of homelessness; of financial hardship. He knows the weaknesses of our bodies – of illnesses and physical pain. He knows the drain when carrying the burdens of another. He knows the oppression of the righteous in this sin-sick world.
He knows, and He understands.. and He loves you with an everlasting love. And underneath are the everlasting arms. And He is gracious and kind to all, and of immense goodness. And He Who is compassionate is faithful to do as he has promised…
He is faithful.. and these are the things He promised Psalm 103. ..
1. He forgives all your sins.
2. He heals all your diseases.
3. He redeems your life from the pit.
4. He crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.
5. He satisfies you with good.
6. He renews your youth like the eagles.
7. He works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.
8. He made known His ways to Moses, and His acts to the people of Israel.
9. He is merciful and gracious.
10. He is slow to anger.
11. He is abounding in steadfast love.
12. He will not always chide.
13. He won’t keep His anger forever.
14. He does not deal with us according to our sins.
15. He doesn’t repay us according to our iniquities.
16. His steadfast love toward those who fear Him is as high as the heavens are above the earth,
17. He removes our transgressions as far from us as the east is from the