I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the king's words which he had spoken to me. Then they said, "Let us arise and build." So they put their hands to the good work.Nehemiah 2:18(NASB)
We have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
Our natural mind is a great obstacle in the race which we are running, cropping up all the time with its complexes, its arguments, its interests and its methods. When the Corinthians were brought into the Church they left behind their obvious sins, but they carried over into their new realm the old, natural ways of thinking and reasoning which belonged to the world and not to the Spirit of God. But the apostle remonstrated with them: "But we have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16), so urging them to allow the Cross to be planted between the natural mind and the spiritual. We shall only come to the fullness of Christ as we leave behind the mind of the natural man and move on more and more in the progress of the mind of Christ. On everything; every judgment, every conclusion, every analysis, every appraisal; we must ask the Lord: "Is this Your mind, Lord, or is it mine?" We may sometimes feel that we have the strongest ground for taking up a certain attitude or coming to a certain conclusion; we may feel that we have all the evidence and so are convinced; and yet we may be wrong.
The man who wrote the letter to the Corinthians knew from deep and bitter experience that this was the case. "I verily thought... that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth," he said (Acts 26:9). There was no man who had stronger convictions as to the rightness of his course than Saul of Tarsus. The great revolution which took place in him when he came to Christ was that he had to say: "I have been all wrong in my fundamental way of thinking." After that confession he made good headway in the race because he was always ready to subject his thinking to the jurisdiction of his crucified Lord. This is the way of spiritual progress. We shall not get very far while we hold on to our own opinions and our own conclusions, even though we may have the support of others; we have to learn to conquer our natural mind by submission to the mind of Christ. This is most important if we are concerned about spiritual progress. And spiritual progress is the increase of Christ – there is no other.
Your beauty . . . was perfect through My splendor which I had bestowed on you,” says the Lord God. § We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. § The Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. § Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. § Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.
There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. § The Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. § You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, “We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.”
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. § The prayer of the upright is His delight.
Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" (Isa. 2:22).
As Christians we are going to be controlled by one of two powers: the self-life, or the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. The former will make life hell, the latter, heaven.
"He who knows that awful power of the self-life within; its enmity with God; its carnality; its grieving and quenching of the Spirit; its deadly blighting of all the blessed fruits of the Spirit; its fierce and desperate resistings of his hunger to enter into the full life of the Spirit, needs no other explanation of the lack of the fulness of the Spirit than the fulness of self." -J.H. McC.
"Do not seek to shatter the mirror which reflects your soul's lack of beauty; rather welcome the truth, and believe that next to knowledge of the Lord Jesus nothing is so important as the knowledge of self." -N.G.
"There is nothing in self worth holding on to; it ought to be handed to the Cross; we have submitted ourselves to such a life as that, and our Father is going to give us every opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to hold the old nature in the place of death, with the glorious end in view that our Lord Jesus will have the preeminence." -F.M.
"I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:5, 6).
“And he pitched his tent having Bethel on the west and Ai on the east: and there he builded an altar.” Genesis 12:8
Worship is giving God the best that He has given you. Be careful what you do with the best you have. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift. Take time to meditate before God and offer the blessing back to Him in a deliberate act of worship. If you hoard a thing for yourself, it will turn into spiritual dry rot, as the manna did when it was hoarded. God will never let you hold a spiritual thing for your self, it has to be given back to Him that He may make it a blessing to others.
Bethel is the symbol of communion with God; Ai is the symbol of the world. Abraham pitched his tent between the two. The measure of the worth of our public activity for God is the private profound communion we have with Him. Rush is wrong every time, there is always plenty of time to worship God. Quiet days with God may be a snare. We have to pitch our tents where we shall always have quiet times with God, however noisy our times with the world may be. There are not three stages in spiritual life - worship, waiting and work. Some of us go in jumps like spiritual frogs, we jump from worship to waiting, and from waiting to work. God's idea is that the three should go together. They were always together in the life of Our Lord. He was unhasting and unresting. It is a discipline, which we cannot get into it all at once.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying:- Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani – that is to say, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?
And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
What a mysterious and supernatural three-hour darkness must have shrouded the whole earth, that day. This most painful intimate time was not to be witnessed by the inquisitive eye of man..nor the angelic host – as Father and Son in unison suffered excruciating pain, through this momentous, agonising separation.. as a fathomless darkness, never witnessed within eternity before hung heavily over the Son of His love.
Jesus’ sinless body was wrapped in a gloom of death, so that WE might be eternally clothed in garments of life. He willingly experienced death, that we may walk through its shadow.. into the splendours of heavenly light. He endured agony’s timeless darkness, that we may have joy and life, and have it more abundantly. John 10:10. And thus He cried with a piercing voice:- My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
This was the fourth word uttered by our Lord, from the cross. It was not the barbaric, brutal beating, the razor-sharp nails or the piercing sword.. that caused this outcry. It was not the malicious mocking, the ignominious insults or the cruel thorny crown that occasioned this cry. The loss of the Father’s presence, for the first moment, since time and eternity kissed each other, was for our Lord Jesus, a loss so overwhelming, that human and angelic minds can only wonder.
Why does He call out, “My God,” in this hour of distress? Why does He not cry out to the Father? His Father’s business in the Father’s House, was His first important service.. at the tender age of twelve. His Father's approval in Jordan’s’ waters, were displayed to His Beloved Son – in Whomread more
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trials which are to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you…… Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good.” as to a faithful Creator.
1 Peter 4:12,19
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution…..
2 Timothy 3:12
The pain and heartache and bitterness of suffering has spanned the millennia. Pain, heartache and bitterness stretch from the anguished cries of questioning Job.. to the wickedness of these clamorous end times, where the accumulated filth of man’s sin, which bears down so heavily of all who live godly has all but reached its fullness.
Those who seek to explain suffering give the clearest clue that they have never suffered, but those who bear shattering blows often cry out in grief – “Why?” and “Wherefore Oh God?” And they join the anguished cries of the suffering saints under the altar crying:- “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
But the mystery of the fiery trial that distresses the godly can leave him wild with distress. The unexplained sufferings and persecutions of those, beloved of the Lord, can render the saint dazed with sorrow. At times the God who commands us to accept such pain seems distant and detached. Oft-times the God Who loves us with an everlasting and incomprehensible love seems careless and aloof… causing the voice of the Spirit, not only to whisper in our ear: Hast thou considered my servant Job” but Hast thou considered my servant Jesus?
Who endured the cross, despising the shame.
Who was required to learn obedience by the things which He suffered.
Who endured such great hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. Hebrews 12:3