"So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.Matthew 23:28(NASB)
If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)
The Word teaches us veryclearly that Christ has been taken right out of this old creationand set at God's right hand in the heavenlies. On the other hand,it shows us that His being there, and our being in spiritualunion with Him, means that for all spiritual purposes andresources, we also are in the heavenlies in Christ.... Let us ask the Lord to give us a real, spiritual, quick, living apprehension of this great truth concerning our Lord Jesus, the great realm of the new creation into which we are brought, and let us apply it, practice it, put it into operation from day today.
You may have to go into a placewhere there is not much spiritual wealth on the outside, not muchupon which to feed. Remember you have Christ, the whole Land,lying before you. You may have to go into scenes where there isanything but rest, spiritual rest; where all is fret, care,drive, strain. Remember that you are in the Land; you are inChrist; you have Him as your Rest. You may have to go into theconflict, into the battle, into the tremendous activities of theenemy to overthrow you. Remember you are in Christ, Who isVictory, complete, final victory. That remains true, whatever theenemy may say about it. Christ is all that we need fora life which is glorifying to Him. It is what Christ is, what wehave in the new creation.
Sing aloud to God our strength; make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob. Raise a song and strike the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the lute. § He has put a new song in my mouth—praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.
Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. § The joy of the Lord is your strength. Paul … thanked God and took courage.
Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 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. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
You shall make an altar to burn incense on … And you shall put it before the veil that is before the ark of the Testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the Testimony, where I will meet with you. Aaron shall burn on it sweet incense every morning; when he tends the lamps, he shall burn incense on it. And when Aaron lights the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense on it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations.
Therefore [ Jesus] is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. § The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand.
You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Pray without ceasing.
For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9).
Our Lord the Vine provides all that His branches will ever need for fruit-bearing. All provision is according to our Father's riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).
"Christian growth is the becoming real in ourselves, of what is already true of us in the Lord Jesus. 'I am the vine, ye are the branches, He says. But the vine furnishes the branches, not only with the principle of life, but with the type of life. No pressure or molding from without is needed to shape them to the pattern of the parent stock. Every minutest peculiarity of form, and color, and taste, and fragrance is determined by the root, and developed from it. A true believer, therefore, will ask no better thing of the Lord than that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in his body (2 Cor. 4:11). For such a manifestation will, by a necessary principle, be the unfolding within him of every needed element of joy and sorrow, of suffering and triumph." -A.J.G.
"Straining, driving effort does not accomplish the work God gives a man to do; we must partake of Christ so fully that He more than fills the life. It will then be not overwork but overflow."
"And ye are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power" (Col. 2:10)
To meditate on all that Calvary meant, is likely an eternal cause for wonder. To reflect on what it means to us, is a cause for ongoing awestruck wonderment.. what it means to you and what it means to me. Can we begin to imagine what this pivotal, universal event meant to His disciples? What it signified to Christ Himself, the perfect Man, our eternal substitute? Can we dare to muse – what this astonishing, predestined event meant to the Father? To do so demands we cover our face with a mantle, in fear and trembling. It requires that we reverently remove our shoes from off our feet, for to do so means that we are standing on the holiest of holy ground. To do so causes us to touch the deepest mysteries of the omniscient Godhead.
It is a cause of utter bewilderment.. to truly reflect on what Calvary truly means. Every jot and tittle of the Law was fulfilled to appease the demands of a holy God. He died as the Passover Lamb.. the perfect and only mediator betwixt us and God. He also died as the Sin Offering, taking 6000 years of brutal punishment upon Himself.
He drained the bitter dregs of God’s cup of bitter wrath – for you and for me, so that we could become the righteousness of God in Him. God’s righteousness was reflected in the perfection of His flawless Law, yet God Himself alone was the only One Who was able to fulfil its requirements. In total, pure obedience, Christ completed every last tiny requirement of the Law. God’s righteous demands of the Law were perfectly met and fulfilled in minute detail.
But what just staggers me, is that His offering far surpasses the Law’s just demands. He lived His life as a 'sacrifice of praise' .. a sweet smelling savor. (a burnt offering) The Lord Jesus Christ offered up His life – as a 'sacrifice of praise' to theread more
Be clothed with humility - for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. 1 Peter 5:5
How we tend to shy from humiliation and yet it is often through the very act of being humbled that we develop a gracious and a teachable spirit. But how the Lord Jesus demonstrated this grace of humility through His earthly ministry - Even from His lowly stable birth; His status as a refugee in Egypt; His gracious attitude towards His earthly parents; His long years of hard toil in a common, little carpentry shop.
How the poor, ridiculed, betrayed, and rejected Lord Jesus was meek and lowly. He was anointed of God and He was humble - He, Who had not where to lay His head throughout His earthly life. How the Lord Jesus learned humility through every facet of His wonderful life – a life that demonstrates the glorious truths of humility.
Should not we, who seek to know Him more and more, follow in His path - HIS path of humility; HIS walk of suffering; HIS trail of rejections and pain? Should we not submit to the penetrating eye of the Holy Spirit in our life - asking Him to identify pride and self-interest, that so readily tracks our earthy walk? Should we not seek Him, where He is found – on the lonely Road of Humility? Should not we seek to cover ourselves with humility as Jesus did – covered with the cloak of humility; clothed with the garment of grace.
Andrew Murray observed this:- "What a solemn thought, that our love for God will be measured by our everyday fellowship with men, and the love it displays. How solemn that our love for God will be found to be a delusion, unless its truth is proved in standing the test of daily life with our fellow man. It is even so with our humility. It is easy to think ourselves humble before God… and yet humility towards men, will be insufficient proof that our humility before God isread more