All have turned away, together they have become useless; there is no one who does good, there is not even one.Romans 3:12(HCSB)
For God loved the world so much.... (John 3:16 NLT)
There is a great weight made to rest upon that little word "for" "For God so loved the world." We say that John 3:16 is the heart of the gospel: but it is much more than that, it is the heart of the universe. There is back of all things in this created universe a heart; not just a mind or a will, a design, a reason, a power, a fiat, but a heart. We are familiar with the attempts to prove there is a design in creation, that there is a mind behind the universe, and that a will brought it into being. That is all quite good and right; but we are not so often asked to consider that behind it all there is a heart and more heart than anything else. The reason, the will, the design, come from the heart. Everything takes its rise in the heart of God.
We have said much about the thoughts of God, the counsels of God. The nearer we get to the very center of things, the more we shall become affected by this fact, that right there in the center is a heart. It is a heart that we shall come to eventually; not an explanation to satisfy our reason, not a demonstration of power, but just a heart but a mighty heart: and when we use that word rightly, we simply mean love. We speak of people being heartless. That means that they are without all that love means. Love is not the governing thing in their thoughts, actions, and motives; they are strangers to love. Heart then, for us, means love, and when we say that back of all things and at the center of all things there is a heart, we mean there is love.
We walk by faith, not by sight. § We love Him because He first loved us. § And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. § In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. § To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” § Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.
I will go in the strength of the Lord God; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only. § I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Bring out the best robe and put it on. § Be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord . . . that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.
That I may know Him" (Phil. 3:10).
Immaturity is selfish; maturity is selfless. "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30). "The question for the tried and tempted, the harassed and oppressed, is this: Which would you rather have, the power of Christ's hand in deliverance from trial, or the sympathy of His heart in the midst of trial?' The carnal mind, the unsubdued heart, the restless spirit, will, no doubt, at once exclaim, Oh! let Him only put forth His power and deliver me from this insupportable trial, this intolerable burden, this crushing difficulty. I sigh for deliverance. I only want deliverance.'
"But the spiritual mind, the subdued heart, the lowly spirit, will say, and that without a single particle of reserve, Let me only enjoy the sweet company of the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ in my trial, and I ask no more. I do not want even the power of His hand to deprive me of one drop of consolation supplied by the tender love and profound sympathy of His heart. I know He can deliver me, but if He does not see fit to do so, if it does not fall in with His unsearchable counsels, and harmonize with His wise and faithful purpose concerning me so to do, I know it is only to lead me into a deeper and richer realization of His most precious sympathy.'" -C.H.M.
"The same faith that sees glory for us at the end of the path sees God for us all through the path. This is the secret of real strength. What unbelief does is to compare ourselves and our own strength with circumstances. What faith does is to compare God with circumstances."
"For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ" (2 Cor. 1:5).
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities; in reproaches; in needs; in persecutions; in distresses – for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul had his own 'Job Experience', cataloging innumerable devastating happenings. Circumstances, that like Job’s, were designed to cause Paul to 'curse God and die'. Life situations, like your own, where Satan seeks to shipwreck your trust in God. God permitted His 'messenger', Satan, to buffet both his servants - Job and Paul, and the Lord permits Satan to deliver a thorn in the flesh of all His bond-slaves.. and Paul lists the five things that made up his own 'thorn in the flesh'. – and yours. And they are.. infirmities… reproaches… needs… persecutions… distresses… Five things that Satan utilised to destroy the faith of Job – and Satan failed. Five things that Satan used to shipwreck the faith of Paul – and Satan failed.
And Paul’s cry of joy proclaims, but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ, for Paul knew, just as Job knew that my Redeemer Lives. .es- there are 5 things that Satan is using to demolish and utterly shatter Your own faith, and they are: infirmities.. reproaches.. needs.. persecutions.. distresses.. It looked as if these five things would terminate Paul’s ministering service, just as Satan expected that these same five things to end Job’s intercessions – just as Satan aspires to curtail His work in you and in me.
But Paul and Job both discovered, My grace is sufficient! My grace is sufficient! My grace is sufficient for thee… for my strength is perfected in your weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:10. It looked to Paul that these five things would terminate his apostolic ministry. This was Satan’s intent in the lives of Paul and of Job – just as it is in your life, and mine. But instead, these five conditions were used by God to fulfil His purpose in Job’s life.read more
Henceforth I call you not servants… I have called you friends.
It is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatever I command you. Love as I have loved.
There are many religions – but only one FAITH. There is only ONE God Who is faithful. There is only ONE God in Whom we can put our trust. There is only ONE God Who we can confidently love and be loved by. His ways are superior from the devised plans of man. His ways are unique and are disclosed to those that love Him. The one God Who is faithful can be reverently loved. He longs to draw men to Himself with His long, exquisite chords of love and He desires to woo His own into a privileged intimacy with Himself.
An intimacy like his relationship with Abraham the friend of God. An intimacy with one who trusted in His Word. Paul tells us that: Abraham’s faith was counted to him as righteousness. We are His bond-slaves, and yet He is not only looking for servants… for His dear desire for you, is not just in getting the job done. We are His children, who delight to do His bidding.. yet His yearning towards us is that we obey the Father’s commands. His desire towards you, plunges the depth of human understanding. His yearning toward you, is that you walk with Him in the cool of the day. His longing toward you, is to share the deep mysteries of His love.
He longs to tell you the precious thoughts of His heart… as He did with Abraham - "shall I tell Abraham that thing which I do? But are we too busy to draw near in faith? Are we too fearful to open our ears – to hear His whispers of love? Happy is the one whom God chooses and draws into His counsel. Blessed in theread more