Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.1 Thessalonians 4:1(NASB)
“Without faith it is impossible to please Him.”
Faith in antagonism to common sense is fanaticism, and common sense in antagonism to faith is rationalism. The life of faith brings the two into a right relation. Common sense is not faith, and faith is not common sense; they stand in the relation of the natural and the spiritual; of impulse and inspiration. Nothing Jesus Christ ever said is common sense, it is revelation sense, and it reaches the shores where common sense falls. Faith must be tried before the reality of faith is actual. "We know that all things work together for good," then no matter what happens, the alchemy of God's providence transfigures the ideal faith into actual reality. Faith always works on the personal line, the whole purpose of God being to see that the ideal faith is made real in His children.
For every detail of the common-sense life, there is a revelation fact of God whereby we can prove in practical experience what we believe God to be. Faith is a tremendously active principle which always puts Jesus Christ first - Lord, Thou hast said so and so (e.g., Matthew 6:33), Lord, it looks mad, but I am going to venture on Thy word. To turn head faith into always a personal possession is a fight always, not sometimes. God brings us into circumstances in order to educate our faith, because the nature of faith is to make its object real. Until we know Jesus, God is a mere abstraction, we can not have faith in Him; but immediately we hear Jesus say - "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father," we have something that is real, and faith is boundless. Faith is the whole man rightly related to God by the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God. (1 Corinthians 8:1-3 NIV)
The fact is this, that we may advance a long way in spiritual knowledge (I mean in information, the knowledge of the truth) beyond our own real measure, and then have the shock, under terrible conditions, of discovering that all that we have accumulated through the years does not help us. We are right up against things and have to say, "I have not got the realities I thought I had, they are not helping me; I am being brought right back to foundations in my real, personal, living knowledge of the Lord Himself." The peril then, of course, is to jettison all the teaching we have had and to say that it is a valueless thing. It is not valueless; but we must recognize that there is all the difference between knowing the thoughts of God in our minds, and the Holy Spirit's using that knowledge to accomplish God's ends. Thus we have to come back with every fragment and have very real dealings with the Lord. Our attitude every time must be, "Lord, do save me from ever coming to the time when what I have heard proves only to have been a thing heard; make it a basis of Holy Spirit activity to reach the Divine end."
Now, if you can grasp this, it is going to be a great deliverance. Why are the people of God suffering? That they may be conformed to the image of His Son. Of course, we may not need a world upheaval to do that, but God is going to use all conditions to that end, and, tragically enough, there are multitudes of the Lord's people who do need a world shaking. They are so bound up with the externalities of Christianity, with its whole structure and system, that nothing but that which will overthrow, disintegrate, destroy, and raise tremendous questions about the whole business, will bring them to the place where the Spirit of God can begin really to do the work which He has come to do in them.
Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? § I said in my haste, “I am cut off from before Your eyes”; nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications when I cried out to You.
Shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. § Wait for the Lord, and He will save you. § Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.
Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. § See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.
Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. § [Look] carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled. § You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ … Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ. § The tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell … No man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. § Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt.
For ye were as sheep going astray, but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls" (1 Pet. 2:25).
It is during the time of our being broken that we learn that His promises concerning us cannot be broken.
"It is more than comforting to realise that it is those who have plumbed the depths of failure to whom the Father invariably gives the call to shepherd others. This is not a call to the gifted, the highly trained, or the polished as such. Without a bitter realisation of their own inadequacy and poverty they are quite unfitted to bear the burdens of spiritual ministry.
"It takes a man who has discovered something of the measure of his own weakness to be patient with the foibles of others. Such a man also has a firsthand knowledge of the loving care of the Chief Shepherd, and His ability to heal one who has come humbly to trust Him and Him alone. Therefore he does not easily despair of others, but looks beyond sinfulness, wilfulness, and stupidity, to the might of unchanging love. The Lord Jesus does not give the charge, Be a shepherd to My lambs. . . to My sheep,' on hearing Peter's self-confident affirmation of undying loyalty, but He gives it after he has utterly failed to keep his vows, and has wept bitterly in the streets of Jerusalem." -J.C.M.
"As to Simon Peter, we not only see him restored to the work to which he was called at the first, but to something even higher. Feed My lambs - shepherd My sheep' - is the new commission given to the man who had denied his Lord with an oath. When thou art restored, strengthen thy brethren.' There is nothing in all this world nearer and dearer to the heart of the Lord Jesus than His sheep, His lambs: and hence He could not have given Peter a more affecting proof of His confidence than by committing to his care the dearest objects of His deep and tender love." -C.H.M.
"Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. . . And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men" (Lk. 5:8, 10).
Jesus said: – I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Paul said: – For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
The cross was the one pivotal point and central spot in the history of the universe. The cross was the precise point where planned redemption became fulfilled reality. It is the one unique point in history where redemptions work was finished. The cross was a gateway connecting the old testament with the new testament.
But it was also a bridge separating the the old covenant from the new covenant. It is the midpoint of a transitional bridge of time, that spans past and present. Pre-cross Israel lived their lives – ”under Law” Post-resurrection Church live their lives – “under grace,” and the generation of believers that lived both sides of the cross are unique.
Most of the doctrinal teachings within the four Gospels relates to pre-cross Israel. Paul’s writings and the epistles of others are connected with the church dispensation, but the book of Acts covers a crucial and unique transitional period – linking the two.
The book of Acts was written by Dr Luke and is a sequel to the gospel of Luke. Both books were written to a man called, the most excellent Theophilus. Luke’s gospel informed Theophilus about the life and the work of the Lord Jesus. His gospel ended at the resurrection while Acts continues from that point onwards. Luke is a book about all that Jesus BEGAN to do and to teach. Acts is a book about all that Christ CONTINUED to do and to teach.
The Acts of the Apostles would be better entitled The Continuing Acts Of Jesus. Acts is a book that outlines Christ words and work in the early stages of the church.read more
first the grain… . and then the ear …. and then…
therefore let us run with endurance the race..
to everything there is a time and a season.
God is never, ever in a hurry – and Scripture is replete with examples of waiting. Abraham waited 100 years to have his Isaac – his son of promise from God. Job sat a season in sackcloth and ashes – before God restored the locust’s eaten years. Moses waited 80 years to start his ministry and be brought into the Lord’s presence. Hannah endured ridicule and heartache before she could give her Samuel to God. David experienced rejection and hatred before he received his anointed crown. John waited a lifetime to receive the Revelation of his beloved Master and Friend. Israel waited 2000 years before receiving their long-awaited, promised Messiah.
God is still waiting to fully complete and finally accomplish his initial plan for man. He started by making man in His own image – male and female created He them, proclaiming – let them have dominion… Genesis 1:26. And from the fall God has been working towards His final goal when Christ is all in all. God has never been in a hurry to achieve His plans and purposes in your life or mine, and we’re instructed over again that patient endurance is the way of the believer.
But so often we try to kick against God’s timing in each of our lives, yet God has told us that the appointed time will surely come and will not tarry. No amount of fretting or pouting can speed-up the cogs in God’s eternal wheel. No amount of huffing or puffing can deflect God from His will for our individual lives. God told us what He will do and how He will do it – and He will complete it. God’s plans for his children rarely happen in the way, or the time that we expect them. At a time you think not He will come to you, andread more