Will You restrain Yourself at these things, O LORD? Will You keep silent and afflict us beyond measure?Isaiah 64:12(NASB)
Don't say that the things which God has made clean are impure. (Acts 10:15 GW)
"Who was I that I could withstand God?" Now what we have here is that, over against the sovereignty of the Spirit, was the fixed tradition of Peter in the one case, and the same in the case of those at Jerusalem who "contended with him" for doing what he did. On a later occasion Peter fell into the same old traditional snare and Paul had to contend with him very strongly about it. The point is that the Lord was making for spiritual increase, but an obstacle encountered was this unpreparedness to leave room for the sovereignty of the Spirit. If a child or servant of God in his or her secret walk and history with God is led to move in a way that is not according to the recognized and established system, but new and different, and seemingly in violation of all the accepted and fixed conventions or associations, there is all too often a repetition of what took place in Jerusalem; a suspicion, a contention, and an opposition.
Now, dear friends, look here: we have got to take ourselves honestly in hand over this or we may be found to be "withstanding God" and "limiting the Holy One." Read the Gospels and the Acts again, and ask the question as you proceed, "How can this, and that, and that be interpreted or construed as doing violence to an accepted and long established Divine order?" You will not get far before you are in the company of those who opposed Christ at every step, and of the Judaizers who pursued Paul across the world with the one object of making his ministry impossible. They were very jealous and zealous for the divinely established order as they believed it to be. Do you not recognize that every movement of God down the ages has been in conflict with something that men believed to be the Divine order, and those concerned have been regarded as doing the Devil's work? It was so with Christ, and it was so with the apostles. It has been so again and again when God has moved to enlarge His people by ignoring their fixed framework of custom. It is so easy to use thoughtless and misapplied slogans, or apply fragments of Scripture wrongly (such as, "By their fruits ye shall know them"). Very often such damaging dagger-thrusts are only because of a failure to give the Lord room and right to take some of His children by a way that is new, unusual, or very strange.... So we see that for all enlargement and increase we must leave room for God to do new things, strange things, things that we cannot understand for the moment. We only put ourselves outside of His intention to enlarge spiritually if we bind Him to our own fixed judgments.
It shall not be poured on man’s flesh; nor shall you make any other like it, according to its composition. It is holy, and it shall be holy to you. § One Spirit. § Diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions. § God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. § God does not give the Spirit by measure.
Of His fullness we have all received. § As the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. § He who … has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
All the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years; and he died.
Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits. § For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. § The world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am. § When they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.
You really need some one to teach you over again the very rudiments of the truths of God. . . Such persons are mere babes" (Heb. 5:12, 13, Wey.).
When it comes to spiritual growth, sooner or later the thought arises, "Surely the work of the Cross produced more than this!" It surely did! Now you are on the march for the Father's very best as it is in Christ Jesus.
"Sonship represents growth into fullness and maturity. It is quite a good thing to be a babe while babyhood lasts, but it is a very bad thing to be a babe when that period is past. This is the condition of many Christians. While sonship is inherent in birth, in the New Testament sense sonship is growth to maturity. With this growth comes the greater fullness of the Lord Jesus and the abundant spiritual wealth unto which we were saved. It is a matter not so much of that from which we were saved, as of that unto which we were saved. The grand climax of the new creation is the revealing of the sons of God (Rom. 8:19)." -T. A-S.
"It is one thing to drop off or renounce certain things, and quite another to be engrossed with the right thing. Monks renounce much, but they are not occupied with the glorified Lord Jesus Christ. It must be not only forgetting those things which are behind,' but also reaching out unto the things that are before. It is that which you give yourself to, not what you have abandoned, that colors you and which imparts character to you." -J.B.S.
"Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Cor 5:17).
“Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings.” 1 Peter 4:13
If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a multitude of experiences that are not meant for you at all, they are meant to make you useful in His hands, and to enable you to understand what transpires in other souls so that you will never be surprised at what you come across. Oh, I can't deal with that person. Why not? God gave you ample opportunity to soak before Him on that line, and you barged off because it seemed stupid to spend some time in that way.
The sufferings of Christ are not those of ordinary men. He suffered "according to the will of God," not from the point of view we suffer from as individuals. It is only when we are related to Jesus Christ that we can understand what God is after in His dealings with us. It is part of Christian culture to know what God's aim is. In the history of the Christian Church the tendency has been to evade being identified with the sufferings of Jesus Christ; men have sought to procure the carrying out of God's order by a short cut of their own. God's way is always the way of suffering, the way of the "long, long trail."
Are we partakers of Christ's sufferings? Are we prepared for God to stamp our personal ambitions right out? Are we prepared for God to destroy by transfiguration of our individual determinations? It will not mean that we know exactly why God is taking us that way, that would make us spiritual prigs. We never realize at the time what God is putting us through; we go through it more or less misunderstandingly; then we come to a luminous place, and say - ' 'Why, God has girded me, though I did not know it!"
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me – and gave Himself up for me.
At rebirth, we come into union with Christ, and I cease to exist as His life begins in me. My old life in Adam is crucified and left nailed to the cross. My new life starts to grow. The new-life in-Christ takes time to grow – much time. The new life in Christ takes a lifetime of growth.
At the same time, the old self endeavours to get down from the cross and resume control – and a battle ensues between the old sin nature and the new life in Christ. Although crucified with Christ, the old life desires to get down from the cross and reign supreme. A constant tussle for supremacy between the old and new rages for the rest of our life. This ongoing battle between the two will never cease – until death, or Christ’s return. It will be a tussle that will last for the rest of our lives – while we inhabit our fallen body.
Sometimes it’s not an easy decision for a believer to submit to the Holy Spirit of Christ, for the old nature lusts against the new life in Christ. The flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit – (that is my human spirit) lusts against my human flesh. Often a tug-of-war ensues between the old sin nature and the new life in Christ, but the old life and the new nature can never live in harmony with each other.
We can prevaricate and postpone the day when we submit unsparingly to the cross, but in the end, we need to make a definite commitment to walk the way of the cross. We finally need a conclusive act of submission to the Spirit of God - a yieldingread more
Do you ever just wish that you could make God love you more…? Do you long that God loves you as much as He loves everyone else..? Have you wondered what you could do to make Him take more notice of you? — more intense prayer? extra bible reading? lots of kind actions to others? Is this what you desire, that God loves you with an even deeper love than He does?
Well, my friend… I have news for you. He won’t and He can’t. In fact, there is nothing you could do to make Him love you more than He does – because He loves you to the depth of His eternal heart from time to eternity. There is nothing that you can do to make God love you more – and there is nothing that you can do to make God love you less.
There is no one in heaven or earth that God loves more than He loves you. God’s love for you is equally passionate as His love for His only begotten Son – for you are one with Christ, and the Father loves you through the Son. God’s love is free and full and forever and it’s securely founded on His grace.
"But," I hear you argue... "He seems to love others so much more than me! I am a measly ‘ole clay pot in his china cabinet – not a piece of fine Dresden." True, but simple clay pot or exquisite Royal Doulton... His Spirit of love indwells you. You are the love of God’s heart. His love for you is unfathomable and eternal.
But if you doubt His love or think His care for others exceeds His love for you.. you are gravely and seriously mistaken. If you imagine His dealings with others demonstrates a preference over you.. you are misguided and misrepresent the heart and nature of God. If you think that God stopped loving you due to some past misdemeanour – then you flatter yourself.. for nothing youread more