But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.2 Corinthians 2:14(NASB)
The heavens do rule. (Daniel 4:26)
There is a great need today that there should be the rule of the Heavens. But the Holy Spirit has got to do it, and we have got to come to recognize the fact that what we see in organized Christianity is not it. The spiritual people of God are more and more feeling separated from the old system of Christianity and churches and ecclesiastical systems. People are recognizing a deep dissatisfaction with what has held the ground so long, and there is a cry for spiritual reality. Many sermons are clever and full of mental ability, but they are starvation to the spirit. There is all the activity, but it is not spiritual Life, and I believe the Lord is going to show us the nature of the thing that is in the heavens. The thing that man has brought down on to the earth and taken up and perpetuated is only at best a poor imitation of things in the heavens, but in a very large realm it is a caricature of heavenly things.
Man has taken hold of heavenly things and brought them down to earth and made them earthly things. That is where things all went wrong at the beginning. At the first, things were of the Spirit. The people gathered in their homes or anywhere. It was not the place. It was not the ministry. It was the Lord, and they were circled around Him. But then the day came when they said, "We must have public buildings," and then the architecture became a factor, and so things developed, and they became something on the earth for men to take note of. They wanted man to be attracted, and that was the first step in one of the greatest perils that has overtaken the church. For prestige, recognition, the world to be attracted, there is the result that you get the mixed multitudes in the church. If you can attach some big names to it, you can attract the people, and one of the devil's greatest measures has been popularizing the church. The preeminent thing is lost, that the church and Christ is a mystery to the natural man and that it is no use to expect the natural man to appreciate it. The church is essentially a spiritual thing according to the mind of God. What really governs everything is God's conception of things, not ours, and if we are going on with the Lord there is going to be a whole system of change and we are going more and more to view things from the heavenly stand_point. You have got to get into the heavenly system to get heavenly results.
Abstain from every form of evil. § [Provide] honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. § For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. § Beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. § Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. § Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.
It is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. § Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.
Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. § Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you your- selves be like men who wait for their master.
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith" (Heb. 10:22).
The darkness of this place will in time turn us to the light of His face - "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6).
"When the believer has a real understanding that he belongs to that new place in glory, the Holy Spirit delights his heart with the things of that place. Set your affection on things above.' I used to pity those who are alone in the world. I pity no one now who has a room where he can find himself isolated from everyone, to be with the Lord Jesus where He is; where he can have his feathers oiled, to come out and face all the roughness here." -J.B.S.
"May the Lord lead us into the shelter of His holy presence, that we may daily grow in the elevation to which He has raised us, and consequently into moral distance from the old man which is so entirely estranged from the light and perfection of the Father's presence."
"If I am risen with the Lord Jesus, I must occupy myself with Him where He is, or I shall fall back to the things out of which He has risen; and the very fact that I am in the scene where He is not makes it the more necessary that I should be fellowshipping with Him where He is."
"We are conversant with man in death and sin and distance from the Father, for that is our state by nature; but to know the Man in glory, One in acceptance with the Father according to all His moral greatness, is new to us and magnificent. And according as we know Him there we become not only superior to, but distanced from, our own state with which we are associated." -J.B.S.
"For. . . your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3).
“If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself.” Matthew 16:24
Individuality is the husk of the personal life. Individuality is all elbows, it separates and isolates. It is the characteristic of the child and rightly so; but if we mistake individuality for the personal life, we will remain isolated. The shell of individuality is God's created natural covering for the protection of the personal life; but individuality must go in order that the personal life may come out and be brought into fellowship with God. Individuality counterfeits personality as lust counterfeits love. God designed human nature for Himself; individuality debases human nature for itself.
The characteristics of individuality are independence and self-assertiveness. It is the continual assertion of individuality that hinders our spiritual life more than anything else. If you say - "I cannot believe," it is because individuality is in the road; individuality never can believe. Personality cannot help believing. Watch yourself when the Spirit of God is at work. He pushes you to the margins of your individuality, and you have either to say - "I shan't," or to surrender, to break the husk of individuality and let the personal life emerge. The Holy Spirit narrows it down every time to one thing (cf. Matthew 5:23-24). The thing in you that will not be reconciled to your brother is your individuality. God wants to bring you into union with Himself, but unless you are willing to give up your right to yourself He cannot. "Let him deny himself" - deny his independent right to himself, then the real life has a chance to grow.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him Who is the head, that is, Christ
We read of the Lord Jesus that His speech and language was so very gracious. His words were filled with truth but they were also caring, kind and full of grace. No surprise that it was reported that no man ever spoke like this man spoke, 'for the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times', Psalm 12:6. What a testimony to the wonderful words that fell from the lips of our Lord.
They brought comfort to the hurting; forgiveness to the sinner; direction to the lost. They gave freedom to the captive; wisdom to the simple; correction for the proud. The Lord Jesus spoke the truth in love when He challenged the woman at the well. He spoke the truth in love to the man born blind – to Nicodemus – to Simon Peter.
The words of Christ ministered to an exact point of need – speaking the truth in love. His speech was seasoned with salt – cleaning and impacting hurting, damaged lives – addressing the need, while touching the truth, with gracious words of love and hope.
Paul also spoke the truth in love to the foolish Galatians and to his disciple Timothy. He spoke the truth in love to the carnal Corinthians and in His audience with Festus. Paul knew the gospel must never be compromised and truth must not be abrogated.
But Paul also knows the truth can be corrosive – scattering unfounded pain in its wake. Our words should build up and not tear down. They should edify and encourage. 'Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.' Colossians 4:6
We are members of one body; united by one Spirit – one Lord, one faith, one baptism. We areread more
God Himself has told us in His word that we are accepted by Him - in Christ.
It is to the praise of the glory of His GRACE, in which HE has made us accepted in the Beloved.
God has made all believers accepted in the Beloved. Whether we believe this to be true or not it is a fact of trusting Jesus as Saviour. God expects believers to respond to His word and His promises with faith. God expects us to believe what He says and seek Him with our hearts – for without faith it is impossible to please Him.
Biblical faith is a confident trust in God’s character, ability, promises, and word. Faith in His person, pledges, and revelation is the only response that God expects. Faith is the only way we can appropriate all that God has given to us – His children.. "and it is to the praise of the glory of His grace, in which He has made us accepted in the Beloved". Ephesians 1:6
Perhaps there is no greater yearning in the heart of everyman than to love and to be loved.. to be accepted, truly accepted – to be really and truly and honestly accepted. It brings with it connotations of being accepted in spite of everything and anything. It has an underlying principle that nothing can change or remove our acceptance. It is underpinned by a hope that no matter what we say or do.. we are accepted. How we all long to be truly accepted.
But we know the condition of our own heart and the fickleness of every man. We sometimes do things to be accepted and sometimes say things to become accepted.. but in our heart, we know our acceptance by others teeters on very insecure ground. And one day we find we are removed from their acceptance list, that meant so much – for when we base our being accepted on human terms, we will be disappointed.
But acceptance by God is very different fromread more