So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.Acts 9:31(NASB)
I went in response to a revelation and set before them the gospel. (Galatians 2:2 NIV)
How important it is that every fresh undertaking in work for God should come by revelation to those chosen for it. Because God has so spoken and given revelation to some chosen instrument and a truly spiritual work has been done, others have taken it as a model and have sought to imitate it in other places. The result has been, and is, that they are called upon to take responsibility for it—find the resources of workers, funds and general support. This, in turn, issues in many sad and pathetic, if not evil and worldly, methods and means being employed, and those concerned find themselves in a false position. Conception, not imitation, is the Divine law of reproduction. Anointing, not human selection, is the Divine law of succession. The fact is that the work of God has become a sphere for so many natural elements to find expression and gratification. Man must do something, see something, have something. Ambition, acquisition, achievement, etc., have found their way over to Christian enterprise, and so, very often (let us be quite frank) things have become 'ours'—'our work,' 'our mission,' 'our field,' 'our clientele'; and jealousies, rivalries, bitterness and many other things of the flesh abound.
It is a very difficult thing, a crucifixion indeed, for the natural man to do nothing and have nothing, and especially to know nothing. But in the case of His most greatly used instruments, God has made this a very real part of their training and preparation. The utter emptying of all self-resource is the only way to have "all things of (out from) God" (2 Cor. 5:18). On this basis, even Christ elected to live. We need not remind you of Moses' "I am not eloquent" (Exo. 4:10), and Jeremiah's "I am a child" (Jer. 1:6), and Paul's "that we should not trust in ourselves" (2 Cor. 1:9). These were of a school in which the great lesson of the difference between natural and spiritual was taught experimentally.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; the God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior. § The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.
When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. § We may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and forever. § Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
For Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.
Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” § “You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?” And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses. § Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. § You … He has made alive … having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us … He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. § Even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty with which Christ hath made us free" (Gal. 5:1).
First, the believer understands that he has a right to be free in the Lord Jesus because of the finished work of the Cross; then he sees that same work of the Cross as his means to be free.
"When we truly hate ourselves, we are prepared to rejoice in the blessed fact that we have been crucified with the Lord Jesus - that sin in the flesh was condemned (not forgiven) when He died unto sin, that our whole history as in the flesh closed before the Father in His Son's death - and that this is our title to be free. I have now a righteous title to have done with myself because I have died unto sin in the Lord Jesus' death.
"To prepare me for this I learn the necessity for death in my own experience, but the death of the Lord Jesus is my title to be free. It is by the appropriation of His death that I reach liberty and newness of life; that death has severed me from all that I was as in fallen Adam. I have been crucified with Christ.' I am free from myself, and free to have the One who is my Christian life before me." -C.A.C.
"The Lord Jesus will make it His business to keep us alive and fruitful, if we will make it our business to rely upon Him. There must be no carnal straining, no natural effort; we do not have to keep ourselves alive. Every fear to go down into daily death, ever clinging to that which belongs to us, every grasp on our own personal position or ministry, will only hinder the manifestation of His life. It is to be life out of death. Even when our trust in Him brings us into the most helpless and impossible situations, we may rest assured that all will be well, for He is indeed the God of resurrection." -H.F.
"For ye died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3).
“And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2
The key to the missionary message is the propitiation of Christ Jesus. Take any phase of Christ's work - the healing phase, the saving and sanctifying phase; there is nothing limitless about those. "The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world! " - that is limitless. The missionary message is the limitless significance of Jesus Christ as the propitiation for our sins, and a missionary is one who is soaked in that revelation.
The key to the missionary message is the remissionary aspect of Christ's life, not His kindness and His goodness, and His revealing of the Fatherhood of God; the great limitless significance is that He is the propitiation for our sins. The missionary message is not patriotic, it is irrespective of nations and of individuals, it is for the whole world. When the Holy Ghost comes in He does not consider my preferences, He brings me into union with the Lord Jesus.
A missionary is one who is wedded to the charter of his Lord and Master, he has not to proclaim his own point of view, but to proclaim the Lamb of God. It is easier to belong to a clique which tells what Jesus Christ has done for me, easier to become a devotee to Divine healing, or to a special type of sanctification, or to the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Paul did not say - "Woe is unto me, if I do not preach what Christ has done for me," but - "Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel." This is the Gospel - "The Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!"
He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
The unique nature of the Lord Jesus Christ is a topic requiring deep exploration. Without His pre-existence as God He could never have become incarnate Man. He’s singular among the children of men for His birth was not the start of His origin. He’s unique within the Triune Godhead for He was the ONE Person Who became Human. Jesus Christ was the convergence of time with eternity. Jesus Christ was the harmonising of deity with humanity. Jesus Christ was the convergence of heaven with earth.
He laid aside the glory He had with the Father during the time He walked on earth, yet He retained His pre-existent knowledge – while learning obedience as a Son. He remembers the glory that He shared with the Father before the world was created. He recalled How He was the bread of life that came down from heaven for in Him is life, and that life is a light that shines in the heart of everyone coming into the world.
He had neither beginning of days nor end of life, but has become High Priest forever in the order of Melchizedek – He is now the eternal High Priest of the Most High God. He came forth from the Father and He returned back to the Father to resume His eternal Sonship, but He returned in the body of a glorified Man : the Man Christ Jesus.
The ancient script of an old Latin inscription displays this timeless truth…
I am what I was – GOD
I was not what I am – MAN
I am now called both – GOD and MAN
Christ is the centre crux that floods the pages of the inerrant God-breathed Scriptures. Christ is the human heart that beats at the hub of historyread more
Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God, “when I will send a famine on the land – not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD”
The Lord is being systematically removed from school, courtroom, church and home, and God is slowly withdrawing His hand of protection from a Christ-rejecting world. Christ’s return for His bride is fast approaching and we would do well to be ready. The Church would be wise to prepare her heart for Christ’s any day return for His body. How important to be immersed in His will when the Lord returns for His own. How crucial to hear what the Spirit says to the Church and obey His instructions.
We have all read how the faithful servant is charged to feed God’s people. We have all noticed how often we are warned of false doctrines in these last days. We have witnessed God’s prophesized, unstoppable march towards false doctrine, yet in these days of increasing apostasy, few voices are pointing to Jesus.
There are still a few watchmen on the walls crying, prepare ye the way of the Lord, but there is one frequently overlooked warning to which we would be wise to heed:- a warning to apostate Israel, but one that can be applied to Church-age apostasy:- forewarning of a time of peculiar famine – a notice of great thirst in the world – a famine of hearing God’s lovely word – a scarcity of listening to God’s pure voice.We read in Psalms: how sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 119:103 – and yet a time is coming when there will be a severe famine and thirst in the land.
The Word of God is true, vital and more accessible that at any time in history, yet Amos warns of a time when people just don’t want to know and will not listen – and resistance to hear His voice and reluctance to followread more