For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.James 2:10(NASB)
My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine. (Matthew 26:39 NLT)
We must face the fact and we must seek help from God always to bear in mind that we are going to have a path of suffering if we are in fellowship with the Lord Jesus.... There has to come a point when we sit down and do some calculating and come to a definite conclusion on this matter - that, although very often we may not be able to see that our suffering is because of our relationship to Him (the sufferings are so manifold and diverse, and very often they look as though they have no relationship at all with our Christian life) at the same time, whether we can discern it or not; the fact remains that the pathway of the child of God, of the fellow of Jesus Christ, is the pathway of suffering. I say, postponement or delay in settling that matter keeps us all the time in that state of hoping and waiting for it to be different, and, because the difference does not come, getting downcast and feeling that all is wrong and that the Lord is against us and all that sort of thing, thus giving all the ground that the enemy wants for destroying our testimony. The very first thing to remember when we take this cup is that while we are taking it as the cup of salvation, while we are remembering the atonement which is in the Blood, and all the wonderful redemption which is ours because of that Blood, the cup does also speak to us of fellowship with His suffering....
Yes, there is something which is going up to His praise and glory as Christ is being formed through the fires of adversity and suffering. It is fellowship with Him in His sufferings, after all, if it is bringing about more Christlikeness. So our first thing is to reckon with this and get it settled. What are you expecting, what are you waiting for, what are you concerned about, what are you pleading and praying for? If you are praying for full and final deliverance from adversity and suffering and difficulty and all that sort of thing, let me tell you your prayer will never be answered. Forms of suffering may change, but in some form or another we are going on to the end in a way of adversity. Satan is not going to become our friend while we are friends of Jesus Christ. The kingdom of Satan is not going to rally to our support while we belong to the kingdom which is opposed to his. Let us settle that. It will get us free, perhaps, from this entanglement.
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. § You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. § That in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.
He is not ashamed to call them brethren. § Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother. § Go to My brethren and say to them, “I am ascending to My Father and your Father.”
I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held … Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. § That they should not be made perfect apart from us.
Jesus … lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father.” § My Father and your Father.
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. § 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.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son.
Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. § I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.
I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:12).
To know our position in the Lord Jesus is necessary so that we may understand His ways and rest in His means. Then, by processing through the years He slowly narrows the discrepancy between our heavenly position and our personal condition. Truth is received in the mind, assimilated in the heart, and manifested in the walk.
"First, the believer, like a bird, flies at once to the top and sees everything accomplished on his behalf, and then he, as it were, comes back and creeps up every inch of the way. It is like ascending a ladder of grace.
"The first step is, we believe that the Lord Jesus was sent of the Father; second, that in the fulness of His work we are justified; third, we make His acquaintance, fourth, we come to see Him in heaven - we know our association with Him there, and His rest here, fifth, we learn the mystery, the great things we are entitled to because of being in His Body, His Bride; sixth, that we are seated in heavenly places in Him; seventh, we rejoice in wonder and in praise in the knowledge of Himself." -J.B.S.
"As the result of the work of His Cross and resurrection, eternal life is received complete by those who believe. But while that life is itself victorious, incorruptible, and indestructible, the believer has to come by faith to prove it, to live by it, to learn its principles, to be conformed to it. The life in itself in the believer needs no addition, so far as its quality and quantity are concerned. So far as its power, its glory, its potentialities are concerned nothing can be added to it. But the course of spiritual experience, of spiritual life, is to discover, to appropriate, and to grow in all that the life represents and means." -T. A-S.
"Rooted and built up in Him, and established" (Col. 2:7).
“I thank Thee, O Father … because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” Matthew 11:25
In spiritual relationship we do not grow step by step; we are either there or we are not. God does not cleanse us more and more from sin, but when we are in the light, walking in the light, we are cleansed from all sin. It is a question of obedience, and instantly the relationship is perfected. Turn away for one second out of obedience, and darkness and death are at work at once.
All God's revelations are sealed until they are opened to us by obedience. You will never get them open by philosophy or thinking. Immediately you obey, a flash of light comes. Let God's truth work in you by soaking in it, not by worrying into it. The only way you can get to know is to stop trying to find out and by being born again. Obey God in the thing He shows you, and instantly the next thing is opened up. One reads tomes on the work of the Holy Spirit, when one five minutes of drastic obedience would make things as clear as a sunbeam. "I suppose I shall understand these things some day!" You can understand them now. It is not study that does it, but obedience. The tiniest fragment of obedience, and heaven opens and the profoundest truths of God are yours straight away. God will never reveal more truth about Himself until you have obeyed what you know already. Beware of becoming "wise and prudent."
Is not this the carpenter’s Son?
Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s Son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t His sisters here with us?” And they took offence at Him.
Jesus had to be like His brothers in every way, so that He could become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
There has been much romantic nonsense written about the early life of the Lord Jesus, but Jesus lived a hard life and yet a simple life in the little despised village of Nazareth. There have been many false gospels written about the time that God in His wisdom chose to keep Jesus hidden from our view – with a few, thought-provoking exceptions.
In the main, God chose to veil our view of Jesus, until the time of John the Baptist’s ministry, when Jesus started to walk in and out among the disciples of John. And yet there is much that we know of His character – His spirited zeal for the Lord – His love for the Scriptures of God and His humble dedication to His Father in heaven.
One thing that we do know is that the Lord Jesus spent His teenage and early adult life in submission to His parents and learning the trade of His adoptive Father – Joseph. Is not this the carpenter’s son? was the derogatory cry when He went to His hometown, and so we read that a prophet is not without honour except in his own town. And Jesus did not do many mighty works in His hometown, because of their unbelief.
We also know that He not only had a whole bunch of younger brothers and sisters but that they also ridiculed Him and even accused the Lord of being out of His mind! Yet we also know that after His resurrection those same scoffing siblings worshipped their elder half-brother as their Lord and their God. And James andread more
How important it is that we guard our heart in these increasingly evil days. How important it is that we do not let the cares of this world overtake us. Christians are warned of this attitude in many passages of scripture:- passages connected with the return of the Lord Jesus for the Church; passages connected with the Christian walk and spiritual godly living; passages connected with fruit-bearing and growing into the likeness of Christ.
We are warned not to be entrapped with the excesses of this world. We are warned not to be overcharged with the cares of this life. We are warned that fruitlessness comes from the choking thorns of life’s anxieties.
I recently read a little story from a Jewish survivor of the holocaust, he wrote, When I came out of school one day, aged 13, my mother was standing with a small bag and told me not to ask any questions and not to make any fuss, for we were to go on a long journey. She took me to the railway station in Berlin where we met other family members. We never said anything to each other, but all of us got on the train just carrying our own small hand-baggage and nothing else. We got on the Orient Express and went to Istanbul. From there we went to Palestine and managed to get in under the British Mandate.”
Yes – they escaped because they left everything that belonged to them behind. Every single possession they had was abandoned as they fled the country. They knew the signs of the times and unquestioningly obeyed the urgent call, Not one single thing did they take with them. They left it all to save their lives. Years later his aunt, a British citizen, returned to Berlin to her extensive property. She argued that her citizenship would protect her – her property was hers to reclaim. She was never heard of again. She died in a German concentration camp.
Remember Lot’s wife, we areread more