So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.Acts 9:31(NASB)
"Do you understand all these things?" "Yes," they said, "we do." Then He added, "Every teacher of religious law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings from his storeroom new gems of truth as well as old." (Matthew 13:51,52 NLT)
Have you got a heart for the Lord? Have you got a heart for the Kingdom of God? Really, is this a heart matter? The Lord says that if you really have a heart, that is going to mean spiritual understanding.... There are people whose good hearts are not rebellious to the Lord. They are not the people who say, "I will not have the Lord's Words." They make a response to the Lord, and it comes from their hearts. But some good people have reservations. Some very good people say, "Now if I go all out for the Lord, you know what my friends will think of me? Do you know what the people in my church would say about me? And you know, perhaps my position in business will be interfered with. I must be very careful. I must not lose my influence with others. I must think about what other people will think and say. Now, my committee expects this of me. If I really go all out for the Lord, my committee will be very angry. Perhaps they will ask me to resign." Do you see what I mean? Very good people, but they are influenced by policy. I was talking to a man once, and as I talked to him, he saw what I was meaning. And when I was finished, this is what he said. "Yes, Mr. Sparks, you are quite right. I quite agree with you. But if I was to go that way that you are going, I should offend all my friends. And in my work for the Lord, people would begin to withdraw their support with money. So I must think about my people and about the Lord's work." Very good people, very devoted to the Lord. There is no doubt about it that they love the Lord, but do you see these reservations? It says about Caleb in the Old Testament, that he had another spirit, and he wholly followed the Lord....
I say to you: have you understood all these things? I have much more to say to you about spiritual understanding. But, oh, how important it is that I should have eyes to see, to see behind the things that are said and done, and see the meaning of the Lord. These people only heard His Words, and saw His works, but they did not understand the meaning. And they lost so much. Ask the Lord to give you spiritual understanding. And if you don't understand, don't say, "I don't understand." Go to the Lord and say, "Lord, make me understand. Open the eyes of my heart." That will show that you mean business with the Lord, and if you mean business with the Lord, the Lord will mean business with you.
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? § Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. § To love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
So you, by the help of your God, return; observe mercy and justice, and wait on your God continually. § Mary … sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word … “One thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. § There is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding. § The first man Adam became a living being. § The spirit of the sons of men … goes upward.
While we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord … We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. § With Christ, which is far better. § I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him" (Ps. 37:7).
Those who rest in Him are often accused of passivity. But the Lord Jesus, who is our life, never was, nor ever is, passive.
"Do you suppose that the Father ever doubts the victory that has been won by His beloved Son? Do you believe that He has a single cloud as to the result? And faith looks at things as the Father looks at them. That is the secret of all strength and courage.
"Why has the Father given us His revealed Word? That we may think the same thoughts, have the same feelings, in our measure, as Himself. There is not a thought or feeling that arises from the old man that is not false. But we have new life capable of receiving and delighting in the very thoughts of our Father." -J.C.B.
"How am I to know what is the Father's mind towards me? Is it by judging of it from what I find in myself? Surely not! Supposing that I even found good in myself, if I expected the Father to look at me on that account, would it be grace? There may be a measure of truth in this kind of reasoning; for, if there be life in my soul, fruit will be apparent; but this is not to give me peace any more than the evil that is in me is to hinder my having peace." -J.N.D.
"The Lord Jesus has passed into the heavens, now to appear in the presence of the Father for us.' It is the Lord Jesus who gives abiding rest to our souls, and not what our thoughts about ourselves may be. Faith never thinks about that which is in ourselves as its ground of rest; it receives, loves, and apprehends what the Father has revealed, and what are His thoughts about the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is His rest." -J.N.D.
"Let us labor, therefore, to enter into that rest" (Heb. 4:11).
“And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:2
The natural life is not sinful; we must be apostatized from sin, have nothing to do with sin in any shape or form. Sin belongs to hell and the devil; I, as a child of God, belong to heaven and God. It is not a question of giving up sin, but of giving up my right to myself, my natural independence and self-assertiveness, and this is where the battle has to be fought. It is the things that are right and noble and good from the natural stand point that keep us back from God's best. To discern that natural virtues antagonize surrender to God, is to bring our soul into the centre of its greatest battle. Very few of us debate with the sordid and evil and wrong, but we do debate with the good. It is the good that hates the best, and the higher up you get in the scale of the natural virtues, the more intense is the opposition to Jesus Christ. "They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh" - it is going to cost the natural in you everything, not something. Jesus said - "If any man will be My disciple, let him deny himself," i.e., his right to himself, and a man has to realize Who Jesus Christ is before he will do it. Beware of refusing to go to the funeral of your own independence.
The natural life is not spiritual, and it can only be made spiritual by sacrifice. If we do not resolutely sacrifice the natural, the supernatural can never become natural in us. There is no royal road there; each of us has it entirely in his own bands. It is not a question of praying, but of performing.
Put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
In Christ we belong to a new order – a new creation, with a new heart and a new life. The old self which used to be the dominating influence in our life has been exchanged. We now have a new life in Christ and we are to dress ourselves in the spiritual man. We are to put away all the influences of the natural man and the carnal Christian: if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. the old has passed away; behold, the new has come 2 Corinthians 5:17
However old or young in the faith we are we all are to put on the new man in Christ, We are to put away all that is old and put on the new – until Christ is formed in us. The new man is to be the manifestation of our Christian life – Christ living in me. Paul talks of the renewing of our mind – our thinking process is to be made new, For it is out of the heart that actions are conceived – out from thoughts of our heart. The old has gone and we are to be new – made new in Christ.
We are not to allow this world to squeeze us into its mould but to be transformed. We are to transformed by the renewing of our mind – by the spirit of our mind, then we will be able to test and approve God’s good, pleasing and perfect will.
God has a will for each of our lives and it is to make us exactly like His Son, and as we submit to the Spirit’s work within us, so we become more like Jesus – but in this flesh we have two minds that are seeking supremacy in our lives. Our old sin nature was dethroned and replaced with our new nature at rebirth.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies … IN CHRIST.
There is no more compelling and meaningful expression for a believer than “in Christ”. This powerful, positional phrase pronounces our great and eternal union with Christ. This summary-statement publishes abroad our present and perpetual position in Him.
When we first believed in Jesus we were placed in a permanent relationship with Him. The old former life in Adam was forever replaced with our new, eternal life in Christ. We who were dead in trespasses and sins were made fully alive and given His life.
We are positioned in Christ the moment we trust Him as Redeemer and Saviour. We are placed in union with Christ the moment our hearts declare “I believe”. God looks on the heart and He knows!! He became our life by means of the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit baptises us into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit baptises us into the Body of Christ – ie He places us IN CHRIST, The moment we believe we are born again.. regenerated – made one with our Lord.
The Holy Spirit also immediately and permanently indwells us – filling us with Himself.. whether we feel something or not, the Spirit immediately takes up residence within – whether or not we have an experience – we become the sanctuary of God. These and many other acts of the Spirit take place to position us IN CHRIST. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. see 2Cor.1:21–22
Forgiveness at the cross is the first of numerous acts of the Spirit in a new believer… but from the beginning we are placed in Christ. From the start we have union With Christ. From our new birth we are One With Him.read more