but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.1 Peter 4:13(NASB)
We know that for those who love God, that is, for those who are called according to His purpose, all things are working together for good. (Romans 8:28 ISV)
Go back to the place where, for the time being, the Lord has put you, where He has called you to live your life and do your work in all the trial and difficulty and suffering of it, and do not strain to get out of it. Do not lose the present value of it by always living mentally or hopefully in a time when you will be out of it, but go back there and recognize that if you are the Lord's, if you love God and are called according to purpose (as you are if you are in Christ), God is seeking to do something with you and in you by means of the conditions of your present situation. You will only defeat God's end if you try to get out, and will fail to recognize and accept what He is seeking to do. I can think of few things more regrettable and grievous than that we should look back upon any part of our life and have to say, "I might have realized some great purpose of God in that period of my life if only I had taken another attitude towards it than the one I did take; I was chafing, impatient, all the time looking for a way of escape; I was rebellious, living in another mental world of my own creating, in which I would do and be this and that; and I missed all that God intended at that time." I say, there can be few things more grievous than that.
So we must go back to the sphere and conditions in which the Lord has placed us, with this attitude — God has a thought which relates to me as one of His Own; and that thought is, that through the conditions and sufferings of my life He should develop in me the features of His Son. On the one hand, the features of the old creation may be seen to be more and more terrible and horrible, as I recognize them in myself; but over against that God is doing something which is other than myself, not me at all. He is bringing into being Another, altogether other, and that is His Son. Slowly, all too slowly; nevertheless something is happening. That sonship is not very much manifested yet, but it is going to be manifested. What God has been doing will come out into the light eventually — conformity to the image of His Son; "that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." So we look out upon the people of God on the earth amongst whom we are included, and we have to adjust our ideas as to why we are here. There may be things to do, but God is far more concerned with the being than with the doing, and we have to learn all over again what service is.
We … do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. § That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! § “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” § Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
Those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same. § They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind. § He who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption.
He who sows righteousness will have a sure reward. § He who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself. § He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it" (Matt. 26:26).
The Lord Jesus is not going to break' anything in our lives that does not require breaking. But that of the old which remains unbroken, which we seek to hold back from the processing of His nail-pierced hands, will continually leaven and spoil our attempts to feed others.
"How often we have murmured under trial only to see later the preparation of the Lord Jesus of our hearts that we might be His ministers of comfort in an hour of need in the life of another (2 Cor. 1:4). Afflictions, therefore, many times are the advance token of the Father that we are being prepared for a special ministry of comfort to others. This is a principle seen throughout the Word. All that would be used of the Father in the hands of the Lord Jesus to meet the needs of the hungry-hearted must first be made a blessing by Him. This involves being broken in His hands. This process is necessary because of our tendency to think more of working for the Lord Jesus than becoming a channel for the outflowing of heavenly bread to broken hearts on every side." -H.R.
"Others come to us in their deep need, and, with our hearts breaking, we are called upon to give out of our emptiness and loss what we seem to need ourselves. We are asked to claim victory' for others in distress, when it seems that we are in greater distress than they. Thus it was at Calvary! He who had loosed others from bondage was given up, as it appeared, to the full rage of the murderous enemy. He who had done the mighty works of God for others, lay in impotence and weakness in the hands of men. Yes, this is the Cross. Life, power, blessing, deliverance for others - and nothing for thyself, but to lie in the will of the Father, and accept from His hand all that He pleases to permit to come upon thee."
"Come and let us return unto the Lord; for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up" (Hosea 6:1).
“By Myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing … that in blessing I will bless thee… .” Genesis 22:15-19
Abraham has reached the place where he is in touch with the very nature of God, he understands now the Reality of God.
"My goal is God Himself . . . At any cost, dear Lord, by any road."
"At any cost, by any road" means nothing self-chosen in the way God brings us to the goal.
There is no possibility of questioning when God speaks if He speaks to His own nature in me; prompt obedience is the only result. When Jesus says - "Come," I simply come; when He says - "Let go," I let go; when He says - "Trust in God in this matter," I do trust. The whole working out is the evidence that the nature of God is in me.
God's revelation of Himself to me is determined by my character, not by God's character.
"'Tis because I am mean, Thy ways so oft look mean to me."
By the discipline of obedience I get to the place where Abraham was and I see Who God is. I never have a real God until I have come face to face with Him in Jesus Christ, then I know that "in all the world, my God, there is none but Thee, there is none but Thee." The promises of God are of no value to us until by obedience we understand the nature of God. We read some things in the Bible three hundred and sixty-five times and they mean nothing to us, then all of a sudden we see what God means, because in some particular we have obeyed God, and instantly His nature is opened up. "All the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen." The "yea" must be born of obedience; when by the obedience of our lives we say "Amen" to a promise, then that promise is ours.
According as His divine power He hath given us all that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue.
2 Peter 1:3
A tiny cornflower seed embodies the life of a cornflower within its fragile self. The little seed contains in full reproduction of the life from which it came. We too are complete in Him – and our life is hid with Christ in God, and like the cornflower seed, all of Christ is embodied within our “new man,” And we will be fully like Him when we see Him as He is.
It is not to be me that lives – but Christ Who lives in me. It is not to be the good works I do – but Christ Who works through me. Day by day we are being conformed into the glorious likeness of the Lord Jesus. Does not your heart glow within you as you assimilate these gracious truths?
The divine Life in the believer’s new nature – is to grow and develop throughout life. The believer’s new life within – is to be conformed into the likeness of Christ’ life. God is the great Husbandman – He will plant you in the place best for you, and we do not need to do things to ensure that conditions are good for growing.
God will put you where He wants you to be – so you can grow in grace as He wills. God will provide you with all the favourable conditions you need for growth – even though God’s favourable conditions may conflict with what you would prefer!!
The little cornflower seed quietly rests and grows where the gardener plants it, however too often we object to the place where our divine Gardener places us! – and sometimes we try to assist the heavenly Husbandman – to our own detriment. But those that seek to develop by self-effort are the ones that will inevitably fail. We are simply to submit to God’s correctionread more
We have the mind of Christ..
1 Corinthians 2:16
We are told in the last days there will be incredible deception and evil will multiply. People will run to and fro around the earth seeking knowledge and understanding. Doctrines of demons will proliferate … false teachers will abound… but the word of God is unchangeable and the character of God stands fast forever.
The Lord Jesus is our ‘standard.’ He is the One true and only ‘benchmark’ for life. He is the criterion for our pattern of behaviour.. our actions, speech, attitude, and motives. He alone is the bedrock on which to build and He alone should underpin our being. He alone is our source and supply and all thought should be filtered through His mind.
He not only shows us the way and points out the way – but He is the Way. He not only tells us the truth and reveals the truth – but He is the Truth.. and the truth sets us free John 8:32 – He not only gives us life and breathes new life into us – but He is Life. He is life and health and wholeness and peace and freedom.
But He is not the life and peace that the world craves but life on a different dimension. He not only guides us in our thinking but we have the mind of Christ. We have the mind of Christ and we are exhorted to let this mind be in you – we are to guard our hearts and our minds through the filtered truth of the Word of God.
This is fundamental and this is foundational – Check out the scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Scrutinise the teachings of Paul. Plough your way through the Psalms of David. Plunge into Soloman’s Proverbs and time and again and over and increasingly it comes back to man’s thinking… to our thoughts.. the way that we think and that which we focus our minds upon.
The life we liveread more