Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,Luke 2:4(NASB)
Under the custody and charge of the sons of Merari shall be the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars. (Numbers 3:36)
I am glad the bars are mentioned as well as the boards. The bars are the things that unite the whole, and if those things are kept always under your eye you will not move in cliques, and you will not have personal preferences, and ones and twos moving off on their own because they get on together. We have to remember that in the body of Christ there is nothing clannish, nothing that is merely of human preference, but all the members are held together in oneness. That is a responsibility. How much damage has been done by preferences, by human affinities having a place among the Lord’s people! There must be a personal care, there must be a watching over the bars, all maintained together. It is what the apostle means when he says, “Give diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit.” We shall never keep the unity of the Spirit by taking sides with one against another. We may think that is care for the one. Oh, but what about the other? The bars will be a corrective, will keep the balance, and will give due regard to every member. Then there are the pillars. Here we have each one’s responsibility, for something hangs upon them, and we have to help one another in our responsibility before God, for each one is called to carry a responsibility, to carry a weight from God. It is bearing one another’s burdens.... There must be mutuality in this responsibility, each one carrying his own weight before the Lord, and yet all one.
The peril is that we should begin to make our ministry something that is watertight.... Draw in your mind’s eye three squares, separate, standing each alone, and you will have what represents a very great deal of the nature of work for the Lord in our day from time to time. “Oh, this is my work, this is my department, this is my line; I am called to be this, I am called to do that! You have your work, you have your particular line, and I have mine! You go on with yours, and I will get on with mine, and don’t let us get overlapping!” That is where the breakdown comes. “I am an evangelist, not a teacher! You get on with your teaching, and I will get on with my evangelism; don’t let us interfere with one another!” That is putting responsibility into watertight compartments. The result is always loss.... It is a blessed calling, but it is a responsible one, it is a solemn one. Oh, that today you and I might find adjustment to this. The test is as to whether it is the Lord Himself to whom we are devoted, or whether it is to some personal thing.
Understand what the will of the Lord is.
It is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. This is the will of God, your sanctification. § That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. § Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth … Therefore lay aside all filthiness.
Be holy, for I am holy. § [ Jesus] said … , “For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.” § Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. § The world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
Thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” § The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise. § Though the Lord is on high, yet He regards the lowly; but the proud He knows from afar. § Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. § God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God.
You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, for You will answer me.
But though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies" (Lam. 3:32).
We are going to discover that our Father's grace and mercy shine brightest against the darkness of the daily Cross.
"We make a most serious mistake, when, in any time of need or pressure, we turn to the creature for help or sympathy. We are sure to be disappointed. Our Father will allow us to prove the vanity and folly of all creature-confidences, human hopes, and earthly expectations. And on the other hand, He will prove to us, in the most touching and personal manner, the truth and blessedness of His own Word, They shall not be ashamed that wait for Me' (Isa. 49:23). No, never! He, blessed be His name, never fails a trusting heart. He cannot, nor would He, deny Himself. He delights to take occasion from our needs, our woes and weaknesses, to express and illustrate His tender care and loving-kindness, in a thousand ways." -C.H.M.
"Our Father is a very present help in trouble.' We may be sure that He who permits the suffering is with us in it. He was even in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself (2 Cor. 5:19). It may be that we shall see Him only when the trial is past; but we must dare to believe that He never leaves the crucible."
"What a melancholy reflection it is upon our old man that we have to be shut up' to all the mercies of our Father! If we could evade them and cheat ourselves of them, notwithstanding their gracious freedom, we would. The Father is still shutting men up to faith. It should be natural for us to trust Him, but it is not. Our Father must employ severe measures to reduce us to despair and root us out of our self-confidence and self-righteousness. All of heaven's wisdom is brought to bear upon us to confess that our help cometh from the Lord.'" -L.E.M.
"That He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy" (Rom. 9:23).
“Moses went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens.” Exodus 2:11
Moses saw the oppression of his people and felt certain that he was the one to deliver them, and in the righteous indignation of his own spirit he started to right their wrongs. After the first strike for God and for the right, God allowed Moses to be driven into blank discouragement, He sent him into the desert to feed sheep for forty years. At the end of that time, God appeared and told Moses to go and bring forth His people, and Moses said - "Who am I, that I should go?" In the beginning Moses realized that he was the man to deliver the people, but he had to be trained and disciplined by God first. He was right in the individual aspect, but he was not the man for the work until he had learned communion with God.
We may have the vision of God and a very clear understanding of what God wants, and we start to do the thing, then comes something equivalent to the forty years in the wilderness, as if God had ignored the whole thing, and when we are thoroughly discouraged God comes back and revives the call, and we get the quaver in and say - "Oh, who am I?" We have to learn the first great stride of God - "I AM THAT I AM hath sent thee." We have to learn that our individual effort for God is an impertinence; our individuality is to be rendered incandescent by a personal relationship to God (see Matthew 3:17). We fix on the individual aspect of things; we have the vision - "This is what God wants me to do;" but we have not got into God's stride. If you are going through a time of discouragement, there is a big personal enlargement ahead.
See, a virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a Son, and they will name Him Immanuel,” which means, “God with us.”
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son born of woman, to redeem those who were under the law.
What an astonishing sign was given to Isaiah regarding the promised Messiah. His birth had also been foretold in the beginning, for the seed of the woman was to become the Saviour of humanity and crush the head of that old serpent – the devil. The ‘Seed’ gives the clue that He would not be conceived in the ordinary way. This was to be no typical pregnancy, but a mystery configured in the heart of God.
Christ would not have an ordinary birth, but rather would be born supernaturally. His unique birth was prefigured in the Old Testament by Isaac, the son of promise. He was to be formed in a unique, mystical way for He was to be both God and Man.
His conception was to be unlike any in the history of humanity. He was to be fully God yet also perfect Man.. free from the old sin nature passed from father to son. Without the virgin birth there could be no Saviour for a man born from the union of a man with a woman, is imputed with an inherent sin nature – right from conception.
Had Christ been begotten of a human father He could not be the second Person of the Trinity, and the plan of Salvation would have been the biggest farce in history. Had He been begotten of a human father Christ would have been imputed with SIN.
But He was begotten not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, or man – but of God. The Holy Spirit was to come upon her, and the power of the Most High overshadowed her, so that the baby to be born to her was holy, andread more
Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over His household, to give them meat in due season?”
What a lovely picture of the judicious and faithful servant of the Lord. How we all would hope to be like this wise, trustworthy, and dedicated steward. He is to provide spiritual food and nourishment to those entrusted into his care: “Feed my lambs…” John 21:15 He is to feed the little flock, given into His charge with the whole council of God. “Feed my sheep…” John 21:16. He is to give his fellow-servants their portion of food in due season. “Feed my sheep…” John 21:17
How blessed is this faithful, trustworthy, dedicated servant of the Lord. The Lord Himself tells us: “Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord, when he comes shall find so doing” Luke 12:43. How illuminating it is to reflect on the words of the apostle in Luke 12. Peter asks the Master if He is speaking to the disciples, or the unsaved: “Lord, are you speaking in this parable to us, or to everyone?” Luke 12:41
Only a few verses earlier Christ warned them of the consequences of worldliness – chiding them for their worldly outlook and prompting them to, “lay up treasure in heaven….” for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” Luke 21:34
Jesus then gives a clear outline of what wise Christian preparedness is. He is the faithful servant – the trustworthy servant that feeds the household of God. He’s the wise steward –who gently nurtures and tends for the little flock in his care. He is the one that feeds the Lord’s lambs and tends the Lord’s sheep. What an incredible privilege and what an awesome and formidable responsibility.
Taking care of the household of the Lord is vital in these last days. The family or God needs to be fed, cared for, encouraged, uplifted, edified, yet the family of God also needs to be warned.. Whatever the situationread more