So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them with his skillful hands.Psalm 78:72(NASB)
I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked... But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don want to go. (John 21:18 NLT)
There is no safe place, apart from the constant application of the principle of the Cross. Safety absolutely demands it. Nothing is safe in our hands. The more the Lord blesses, the more peril there is. The greatest peril comes when the Lord begins to use us.... It is a most perilous thing to be entrusted with Divine riches, so far as our flesh is concerned. The only safe place is where the Cross is still at work, touching all that is ourselves, touching all our independence of action.
Take all these Apostles take Peter, a man who would act so independently, who liked to do things on his own and do what he wanted to do. We find it cropping up constantly. He is the man who acts without stopping to ask anybody. We have no hint that he ever got into fellowship with his brother disciples and said, "I am thinking of doing so and so; I would very much like you to pray with me about it, and to tell me what you think; I have no intention of going on unless there is one mind among us." Peter never did that sort of thing. He got an idea, and off he went. The Lord summed him up very well when He said: "When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not" (John 21:18). That was Peter before the Cross was in-wrought in him. But see him afterwards... "Peter and John," "Peter and John," "Peter and John." Well, they are moving together now, there is relatedness. Is it an acknowledgment that Peter felt his need of cooperation and fellowship, that he had seen the perils and disasters into which independent action led him, even when his intentions and motives were of the best? These are just glimpses of how the Cross touches us in our impulsive, independent nature, our self-will, our self-strength. The Cross has to deal with all that to make things safe for God, and to keep us moving in the way of increasing knowledge of the Lord, which, as we have said, lies behind all our value to the Lord, all our usefulness, all our service.
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 and my God. § Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear. § For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
Jacob said to his household … “Let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me in the way which I have gone.” § Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.
I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live. The pains of death surrounded me, and the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the Lord.
Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
Beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. § You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, long- suffering and abundant in mercy and truth. § Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! … For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, who acts for the one who waits for Him.
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty" (Gal. 5:13).
Our "No" to the old will be absolutely ineffective unless we are standing upon the facts of the new.
"At the Cross the old man was crucified and buried. When I plant my feet on that fact and say, No, as for me, I stand in the Lord Jesus as my life,' its governing power is broken. It is not annihilated or eradicated, but it has lost its throne. It is a greater testimony to the power of the Father to let that thing be in us and give us dominion over it, than to eradicate it to begin with. We want to get clear in our minds that the Father does not mean to improve the old man on the one hand, nor to remove it on the other. The fact that it does not go away or get better does not mean that we are not growing." -N.D.
"Our having been crucified with the Lord Jesus was to make the body of sin of none effect while we live by faith, but the old man can become active and dominant in the walk of the believer when faith becomes dormant and inactive. It is not the Father's will that sin should have dominion over any child of His; all died with the Lord Jesus, all were united with Him in crucifixion, but few enter into the joy of the freedom of the sons of God, because they do not believe His Word.
"Will you not now bow before your Father and thank Him regardless of feeling? It may take a day or a month, I do not know how long, but I do know that when any child of God will believe and begin to express that faith in thanksgiving, day by day thanking Him for the fact which one may not yet have experienced, the Holy Spirit will lead that one into a glorious personal realization of his identification with the Lord Jesus in His death, burial, resurrection and ascension." -L.L.L.
"They who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ" (Rom. 5:17).
“Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Romans 5:12
The Bible does not say that God punished the human race for one man's sin; but that the disposition of sin, i.e., my claim to my right to myself, entered into the human race by one man, and that another Man took on Him the sin of the human race and put it away (Heb. 9:26) - an infinitely profounder revelation. The disposition of sin is not immorality and wrong-doing, but the disposition of self-realization - I am my own god. This disposition may work out in decorous morality or in indecorous immorality, but it has the one basis, my claim to my right to myself. When Our Lord faced men with all the forces of evil in them, and men who were clean living and moral and up right, He did not pay any attention to the moral degradation of the one or to the moral attainment of the other; He looked at something we do not see, - that is the disposition.
Sin is a thing I am born with and I cannot touch it; God touches sin in Redemption. In the Cross of Jesus Christ God redeemed the whole human race from the possibility of damnation through the heredity of sin. God nowhere holds a man responsible for having the heredity of sin. The condemnation is not that I am born with a heredity of sin, but if when I realize Jesus Christ came to deliver me from it, I refuse to let Him do so, from that moment I begin to get the seal of damnation. "And this is the judgment" (the critical moment), "that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light."
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.
Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe on Him is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.
There are many people who would argue that they should certainly get into heaven. Many think they qualify to enter into paradise because of their many good deeds. Many consider that their applaudable attempts to keep the ten commandments are sufficient for God to joyfully fling wide the gates to happiness and bid them enter in. Many think that regular attendance at church more than meets God’s requirements, but this reasoning places the burden of responsibility of access to heaven – on ME. This thinking bases qualification to enter into heaven on Self.. on Me, Myself and I.
They place eligibility to enter heaven on the many good things that I have achieved. They point to MY credentials – MY great works – MY religiosity – MY spirituality. But the criteria for entrance into the gates of glory will never rest on my own merit. There is one reason and one alone that God flings wide the gates to His kingdom.. and that is trusting in the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. This is eternal life – that they know God and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent. Heaven’s admissions policy is to know God and His only begotten Son – our Saviour.
It all centres around believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the cross, for apart from Calvary there is no forgiveness of sin – no salvation – no heaven. Man’s assumption is inevitably that I must win my way to heaven by my good deeds. God’s criteria is believe on the finished work of Christ crucified – and nothing else. The one point men seem to forget is that we are all sinners and estranged from God. Sin is the one thingread more
Moment by moment I’m kept in His love
Moment by moment I’ve life from above
Looking to Jesus, ’til glory doth shine
Moment by moment O Lord I am Thine
Oh how we just love those dear, old-favourite hymns and sweet cherished choruses. How often we bemoan their passing in preference to today’s repetitive religious score. But are our hearts really enwrapped with the deeper meaning of their words? Are we truly looking to Jesus moment by moment and kept in His love? Do we earnestly long for the One that is couched within these treasured words? Or is it just a darling memory of bygone classics for which we yearn so deeply? Are we simply seeking the ‘letter’ of the hymn or yearning for the ‘spirit’ of the music?
The Lord warned of the dangers of substituting the letter of the Law for its spirit.. Is this not the case, as we exchange true worship of Him for emotional fervor? Are we truly and honestly kept in His love – moment by precious moment, day by day? Can we honestly examine our lives today and confess this to be our deepest desire?
Let us reflect on yesterday’s busyness. Let us consider this mornings activities. Let us examine the desires of our own heart. Let us investigate the truth of our own little lives. Where is Jesus in all our engagements – and in the midst our mundane activities? Where is He in the trivial toil of today – and the daily routines of life? Where is He in all our intercourse with family, friends and colleagues alike? How long have we trusted the Lord – 1 year – 5? 10? 20? 30 ? 50 years or more? His desire is that moment by moment we are kept in His love – alone.
Mary sat at His feet while His disciples squabbled about their petty position, Mary worshiped while the rest evaluated the price of her anointing ointment. Is it the Word made flesh for Whom we yearn or are weread more