"For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.Matthew 7:14(NASB)
The disciples came to Him and asked, “Do You realize You offended the Pharisees by what You just said?” Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by My heavenly Father will be uprooted.” (Matthew 15:12,13 NLT)
Organized Christianity as it is today cannot understand anything that is not organized, that is not advertised, that is not run. It must have names that carry weight, that mean influence. If you can get people with some title, you are going to have the guarantee of success for your Christian enterprise. And so the letters and the titles strung on are a necessary requisite for the success of the Lord’s work. You must write it up in the press, you must give a report of it, you must be able to make some kind of return that people can read, and say, "This is a successful thing." If you cannot do that, the whole thing is doomed to failure. They say, "You must advertise, you must have publicity, you must organize, you must bring in all these things to support it, to carry it on." If you did none of those; if you were never heard of in the press; if you never had a report; if you never had any names; if there was nothing at all that came out in a public way for people to take account of, what is the verdict of organized Christianity? "Nothing is being done. You are doing nothing. It is a-hole-in-a-corner sort of thing." Is that true? What must we say about that? There was a striking absence of all that in the beginning, and a marvelous manifestation of power, of progress, of effectiveness, so that nothing could stand in the way. We must only conclude, we are driven to this extremity, that the Lord can do His own work. Evidently the risen Lord is able to carry on His own work; the Holy Ghost knows how to manage things. What a surprising discovery! Forgive my irony. This is that upon which Hebrews 12:26-28 is fixed. “I will shake the earth and the heavens”; that which can be shaken will be shaken; that which cannot be shaken will remain; and what is that? It is what God has done. “Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever.” What God does is done in a spiritual way; it is spiritual, it is heavenly, it is eternal.
That may leave you perhaps in a vague, perplexed position, not knowing where you are, but I have no doubt about the truth of the message. If you do not feel you can accept it; if you disagree; if you revolt; if you feel it cuts clean across all your training, all your acceptance; if you feel that it runs counter to all that you know, all I ask of you is honesty with God. I ask you to come and ask Him to open to you the meaning of the letter to the Hebrews, why it was written, what its significance is, why God has preserved it, what its application is now. Have honest dealings with the Lord. Please do not go away hot in spirit, antagonistic; do not lay this at the door of any man. At least give God a chance.... May the Lord give us His own interpretation, give us honesty of heart, and show us His meaning in having brought us to this consideration.
Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.”
I have forgotten prosperity. And I said, “My strength and my hope have perished from the Lord.” § Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord? Arise! Do not cast us off forever. § Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God?” § “With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer.
Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance. § We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.
There are many who say, “Who will show us any good?” § What has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun? For all his days are sorrowful, and his work burdensome; even in the night his heart takes no rest … All is vanity and grasping for the wind. § They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.
The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. § I will pour water on him who is thirsty. § Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.
I proclaim not myself, but Christ Jesus as Lord and Master, and myself your bondsman for the sake of Jesus " (2 Cor. 4:5, Cony.).
All Christians are fit for heaven, but all too few are fit for earth. One of the true tests of one's spiritual growth is in one's influence: affecting others that they not only begin the Christian life but "grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18).
"We may be separated and yet not Christ-like; we may be orthodox and yet not spiritual; we may be dead unto sin' and yet not alive unto God.' We may have cut ourselves loose from every form of worldliness but in so doing we have become critical and self-righteous. We may be loyal defenders of the faith, yea, ready even to lay down our lives for it and in so doing become bitter and unloving."
"We may often have a measure of the power of the Spirit, but if there is not a large measure of the Spirit as the Spirit of grace and love, the defect will be manifest in our work. We may be made the means of conversion, but we will never help people on to a higher standard of spiritual life, and when we pass away a great deal of our work will pass away too." -A.M.
"One may have a great zeal in God's service, and may be used to influence many for good, and yet, when weighed in the balance of love, be found sadly wanting. In the heat of controversy or under unjust criticism, haste of temper, slowness to forgive and forget, quick words and sharp judgments, often reveal an easily wounded sensitiveness, which proves how little the Spirit of the Lord Jesus has full possession or real mastery of the life." -A.M.
"We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" (2 Cor. 4:7).
“Now thanks be to God, who always causeth us to triumph in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:14
The viewpoint of a worker for God must not be as near the highest as he can get, it must be the highest. Be careful to maintain strenuously God's point of view, it has to be done every day, bit by bit; don't think on the finite. No outside power can touch the viewpoint.
The viewpoint to maintain is that we are here for one purpose only, viz., to be captives in the train of Christ's triumphs. We are not in God's showroom, we are here to exhibit one thing - the absolute captivity of our lives to Jesus Christ. How small the other points of view are - I am standing alone battling for Jesus; I have to maintain the cause of Christ and hold this fort for Him. Paul says - I am in the train of a conqueror, and it does not matter what the difficulties are, I am always led in triumph. Is this idea being worked out practically in us? Paul's secret joy was that God took him, a red-handed rebel against Jesus Christ, and made him a captive, and now that is all he is here for. Paul's joy was to be a captive of the Lord, he had no other interest in heaven or in earth. It is a shameful thing for a Christian to talk about getting the victory. The Victor ought to have got us so completely that it is His victory all the time, and we are more than conquerors through Him.
"For we are unto God a sweet saviour of Christ." We are enwheeled with the odour of Jesus, and wherever we go we are a wonderful refreshment to God.
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.
Jesus had been with the disciples for three wonderful years, but He was leaving. He was to return to heaven after He had paid the full price for the sin of the world. The disciples knew He was their Messiah. They knew of His coming kingdom, but they were anxious and worried.. for something was afoot and they didn’t understand. Imagine being told that one of their little company of 12 would betray their Lord. Imagine hearing as Peter did, that in a few short hours he would deny God’s Son.
Their expectation was that He would shortly set up the kingdom, which had been promised of old. They had witnessed many signs, wonders and miracles that had authenticated His Messianic credentials and they even saw their friend Lazarus raised from the dead. Without a doubt this was the Messiah, promised of God, to save His people – Israel.
But now they discovered that Jesus is about to leave them and had talked of His death. He had told them He would be betrayed and crucified and that He would rise again, This was not the expectation that this little band of followers had of their Master.
They had left all to follow Him and were expecting to receive their promised reward immediately. Jesus said that they would sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.. they rather liked this idea, and the few years of discomfort more than compensated! But how could their Messiah leave them when He should be setting up the kingdom?
For three years the coming kingdom had been the wonderful gospel Jesus had taught. John the Baptist had a witness to the truth that He was the Messiah – the Son of God, They had heard God’s audible voice three times saying: This is My beloved Son. The gospel of the kingdom was here – how could Jesus say He was going away? –read more
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, Jesus explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.
I wonder – what takes priority in your life today? What is your prime concern? Is it your family; your job; your home or garden – your relationships – your reputation? Is it your bank balance – your good name – your power – your health – how you look? Is it that you like to be in charge of the situation.. ..or perhaps responsible for others? Is it retaining your independence, or perhaps having others dependent upon you? Is it helping others – living a good life – reading 10 chapters of the bible each day? I wonder what is the primary concern and principal interest in your life today.
Whatever prime issues we have in life, the Lord Jesus should be our top priority, For when He is our primary consideration, other issues inevitably fall into place. When Christ is given first place – all other issues become beautifully balanced. When Christ is central and supreme in a life – that life is well-pleasing to God – for He is the pivot of knowledge and the key to all understanding.
We find the Lord Jesus to be the focal point of the prophets and psalms. We locate the Lord Jesus as the centre of all prophecies.. and every promise. We discover Him to be the wisdom threading throughout the scriptures.. for He is the pivot of knowledge and the key to all understanding. He is central and supreme in the universe, the heavens the earth, the sea, and the sky. He is the centre and circumference of all that is and that was and that is to come. He is the ultimate governor behind all principalities and power – dictating all limits. He holds all things together by the power of His mighty arm and the strength of His hand – for without His empowerment we could not draw one single breath.
Christ is theread more