As in water face reflects face, So the heart of man reflects man.Proverbs 27:19(NASB)
Not I, but Christ" (Gal. 2:20).
Any abiding spiritual progress must be based upon our taking sides with God against the old life. Why? "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7). "Enmity" knows no reconciliation; crucifixion is the only alternative! "The life of Christ is the holiness of Christ. The reason we so often fail in the pursuit of holiness is that the old life, the flesh, in its own strength seeks for holiness as a beautiful garment to wear and enter heaven with. It is the daily death to self out of which the life of Christ rises up." -A.W.T.
"In receiving Christ we receive the divine-human life, a life that is death to the life of fallen nature, which finds its fruit in sin and self. The tragic mistake of thousands of believers is in trying to live in two worlds at the same time - in nature and in God, in self and in Christ, in the flesh and in the Spirit, by faith and in independence, by abiding and by effort. To have life is not enough: the life of the Lord Jesus demands the death of the flesh, if that life is to be fully developed and become fruitful in us. Here is the crux of the whole matter."
"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering, being made conformable unto His death" (Phil. 3:10).
Looking to Jesus.... (Hebrews 12:2 ESV)
There is a real touch of Paul in this Letter to the Hebrews – "Looking off unto Jesus." Whoever actually wrote this Letter, the shadow of Paul is over it. His influence is everywhere. And certainly he was called upon to look off unto Jesus. Now that is a very vital lesson for us to learn. We have to do that again and again in our Christian life. If we get our eyes upon anything but the Lord Jesus we just go to pieces. Have all respect for God's saints. I am not saying that you have to eye every servant of God with suspicion and be saying all the time: "Well, of course, he is not perfect, you know." Give honor to whom honor is due, but never build your faith upon any man, however good he may be.
And as for ourselves – well, I think perhaps we are more tempted to look at ourselves than anything else! This is one of our real Christian exercises. We have continually to remove our eyes from ourselves and everything to do with ourselves. There is nothing more discouraging than this self of ours, and nothing more misleading. Our own judgments are all wrong, and so are our thoughts and ideas. They are not God's thoughts. We must take our eyes off ourselves, but not look out into space and be vacant. "Look off unto Jesus," and you know how that sentence is finished – "Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." Did you start this thing? Are you a Christian because you decided to be a Christian? Well, the Lord help you if that is so! No, He started this thing. Are you not glad that you can say: "It was the Lord who found me. It was the Lord who put His hand on me." What He said is very true: "You did not choose Me, but I chose you" (John 15:16). Jesus was the author of our faith, and it says that He is the finisher – Jesus will finish it.
If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. § Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. § Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness.
Everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. § Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. § Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
We have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word … It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. § Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.
“And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.” 1 Samuel 3:15
God never speaks to us in startling ways, but in ways that are easy to misunderstand, and we say, "I wonder if that is God's voice?" Isaiah said that the Lord spake to him "with a strong hand," that is, by the pressure of circumstances. Nothing touches our lives but it is God Himself speaking. Do we discern His hand or only mere occurrence?
Get into the habit of saying, "Speak, Lord," and life will become a romance. Every time circumstances press, say, "Speak, Lord"; make time to listen. Chastening is more than a means of discipline, it is meant to get me to the place of saying, "Speak, Lord." Recall the time when God did speak to you. Have you forgotten what He said? Was it Luke 11:13, or was it 1 Thess. 5:23? As we listen, our ear gets acute, and, like Jesus, we shall hear God all the time.
Shall I tell my "Eli" what God has shown me? That is where the dilemma of obedience comes in. We disobey God by becoming amateur providences - I must shield "Eli," the best people we know. God did not tell Samuel to tell Eli; he had to decide that for himself. God's call to you may hurt your "Eli;" but if you try to prevent the suffering in another life, it will prove an obstruction between your soul and God. It is at your own peril that you prevent the cutting off of the right hand or the plucking out of the eye.
Never ask the advice of another about anything God makes you decide before Him. If you ask advice, you will nearly always side with Satan. "Immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood."
From our introduction to Job we see him as a man of faith – a man of prayer. From the beginning, Job is identified as a bond-servant of the Lord. We read that: Job was one who feared God and turned away from evil. Job 1:1. From the start we see that Job likened to Noah, found grace in the eyes of the Lord. From the beginning we see him likened to Daniel – Job was beloved of the Lord.
From our introduction to this man of faith, he is saved – one whose sin is covered, and his triumphant call is … “For I know that my Redeemer liveth…” Job.19:25. Like Noah and Daniel, Job was trusted in a spiritual battle, betwixt God and satan.. but unlike his three saved, carnal-minded comforters – “Job spoke what was right” And unlike his three religious friends, Job found his comfort in the only Comforter. This same Spirit of Comfort – warns and beseeches us today to take notice of Job. This same Holy Spirit – warns and beseeches us, through the pen of the apostle Paul. Do not receive the grace of God to no purpose…… 2Corinthians 6:1
The Spirit of God warns that it is possible to receive God’s saving grace, and eternal life.. and yet, like Job’s friends, still not fulfil His plans and His purpose in our lives. The Spirit of Comfort admonishes us and He beseeches us…to be like Job. The Spirit of God urges us and warns us… not to be like Job’s ‘comforters’.. to be like Job – and to “give no cause no offence in anything…” 2Corinthians6:3
He exhorts us to put no obstruction – no occasion for stumbling, in anyone’s way.. to eschew the actions of Job’s friends, who all were a grave cause for stumbling. Why? Why does the Spirit of Comfort admonish us and warn us to be like Job..? Why does He counsel us to put no spiritual stumbling block in ourread 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
Be kind one to another, tenderhearted ... forgiving one another. Ephesians 4:32 Confess your faults one to another, pray one for another ... that ye may be healed. James 5:16
Take Courage. Do not fear. Start afresh today. Put away the old mistakes. Start today anew. He gives us a fresh start. They are new every day. They are fresh every morning.
Don't be burdened by the mistakes of yesterday. Confess your sins one to another.. and to Him. If remission of sins were only for those who had not sinned or if His forgiveness were only for the righteous, where would be the need of a Saviour? Remember the words He spoke about Mary? To whom much is forgiven, the same loves much. So do not fret or worry...
For you tarnish your life with much fretting. You spoil your walk with much worry. Fretting and worry crush the treasures that the Lord has to offer, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving.. confess your faults and your needs, and His peace that surpasses understanding will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.
New every morning is the love
Our wakening and uprising prove;
Through sleep and darkness safely brought,
Restored to life and power and thought.
New mercies, each returning day,
Hover around us while we pray;
New perils past, new sins forgiven,
New thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven.