"For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.Matthew 7:14(NASB)
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
When we are really "in Christ," to use Paul's phrase, we are always regarded as being together, though we may be thousands of miles apart. The Lord Jesus does not look upon us as being in this country, in that country and in another country. He Himself is the only Country in this universe, and so we leave our country and our own nationality when we come into Christ. The Jews were exclusive and said: 'We are the only people and our country is the only country.' Jesus went outside those frontiers and touched the world outside....
In the Lord Jesus every earthly division is removed. There are no British, Swiss, German, French or Indian in Christ. He is only one Nationality and that is a heavenly one. He is only one Language and that is a spiritual one. He is the heavenly Country. No matter what we are here, in Him we are all together as one Man in Christ. All the earthly distinctions of place and time disappear in Him. It may take us a long time to travel about this world, though men think it a very great and wonderful thing to travel at so many hundred or thousand miles a minute and get to the moon in no very great time! But, dear friends, in this very moment in Christ we can touch our brethren six or seven thousand miles away. This is a miracle.... This Life is eternal Life; it is timeless; it knows no space; everything is present when Jesus is present.
Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! § The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. § For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.” … By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Abel … brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering. § Christ … has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. § [Have] boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus.
Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” § The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. § Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.
God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. § That He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
For you have not come to a material object all ablaze with fire, and to gloom and darkness and storm and trumpet-blast and the sound of words" (Heb. 12:18, Wey.).
Most of us know that we are not under the Law as summarized in the Ten Commandments, yet we continue to labor under the principle of law. We seek to attain, instead of to obtain. Not until we are driven to the end of Romans Seven will we know the freedom of Romans Eight.
"So long as one thinks that his blessing depends in any way, or in any degree, upon himself, he is under the shadow of Sinai, and naturally we all gravitate in that direction. Many truly converted persons are more occupied with themselves, and in trying to improve their own condition, than in seeking to learn the grace of God. The result is that where there is a shallow work in the soul they get lifted up with pride and conceit, and perhaps deceive themselves so far as to think there is no sin in them.
"On the other hand, if souls are upright and sincere they get into terrible distress, and experience what it is to have to do with Sinai-blackness, darkness, and tempest, so that a holy man like Moses could only exceedingly fear and quake.' Thank God! we are not come to that mountain, but to another - even to Mount Zion." -C.A.C.
"On the contrary you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the ever-living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to countless hosts of angels, to the great festal gathering and Church of the first-born, whose names are recorded in Heaven" (Heb. 12:22, 23, Wey.).
“The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.” Matthew 20:28
Paul's idea of service is the same as Our Lord's: "I am among you as He that serveth;" "ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake." We have the idea that a man called to the ministry is called to be a different kind of being from other men. According to Jesus Christ, he is called to be the "door-mat" of other men; their spiritual leader, but never their superior. "I know how to be abased," says Paul. This is Paul's idea of service - "I will spend myself to the last ebb for you; you may give me praise or give me blame, it will make no difference." So long as there is a human being who does not know Jesus Christ, I am his debtor to serve him until he does. The mainspring of Paul's service is not love for men, but love for Jesus Christ. If we are devoted to the cause of humanity, we shall soon be crushed and broken-hearted, for we shall often meet with more ingratitude from men than we would from a dog; but if our motive is love to God, no ingratitude can hinder us from serving our fellow men.
Paul's realization of how Jesus Christ had dealt with him is the secret of his determination to serve others. "I was before a perjurer, a blasphemer, an injurious person" - no matter how men may treat me, they will never treat me with the spite and hatred with which I treated Jesus Christ. When we realize that Jesus Christ has served us to the end of our meanness, our selfishness, and sin, nothing that we meet with from others can exhaust our determination to serve men for His sake.
I will never leave you nor forsake you.
It has often been said that one of the loneliest places in the world is in huge cities… not the vast expanses of the Sahara Desert, the mists of the mountain-tops nor the sweeping plains of the outback, but the loneliest place is often when we are surrounded by clamouring crowds of lonely people – all looking for someone – all desperate for something to fill their empty void. It has often been said that inside the heart of every man is a God-shaped hole – a void that He in His grace secured within – a vacuum that He alone can fill.. for God made each one of us for Himself and without Him, there remains a cavernous pit.
When a man dwells deeply in Him there can be precious, rich companionship, reaching into the very depths of the heart of man that no-one else can fathom. Jesus understood what loneliness was, as He trod His life-path – towards the cross. He knew the disciples would become bereft when their heavenly Friend ascended. He understood the heartache that would fill their hearts – like a cloud of unknowing, when it was time for Him to go. And so He reassured them as no-one else could do: Let not your heart be troubled – I will never leave you nor forsake you. John 14:27
Dear believer, meditate on these precious truths in the solitude of your situation. He will never leave you alone even in those times when you feel it most acutely. He is always there.. for His promises are ‘Yes’ and ‘Amen’ In Christ. And day by day and moment by moment, as you turn your aching heart toward Him, You will grow more and more into a deeper consciousness of His indwelling. It is not a ‘feeling‘ or an ‘emotion‘, for feelings and emotions often lie. It is not a ‘spiritual experience‘ that depends onread more
Jesus said, the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?
These words of our Lord point to a far greater deed than calming the storm or raising the dead. Prophets and apostles could work wondrous miracles, but they could not always suffer the will of God. To do and to suffer His will is the highest form of faith. To bear a daily burden.. so rarely congenial; so infrequently to behold relief.
To be pinched by poverty; to be maligned by loved ones; to be fettered by some disability. To be stripped bare of loving comfort; to stand alone in the shocks and quakes of life; to be overwhelmed by man's indifference to man and man's hatred of God. To be weighed down by evil in a Christ-rejecting sin-sick world. To be able to stay and to stand in such a school of discipline - to be able with His grace, to say.. The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it - is this not faith at its highest success? Is this not faith at its crowning pinnacle?
Great faith is not so much seen in the ability to do. Great faith is exhibited in the willingness to suffer with patient endurance. To have a God of compassion and empathy we need to have a suffering Saviour, Who in all points was tested like as we are, Yet without sin, for Who but the heart of Him could understand the suffering we choose to bear.
We cannot do good to another, save at a cost to ourselves. The afflictions we bear are the price we pay to bear each other's burdens. He who would be the helper must first be the sufferer. He who would seek to help and save, must first bear the pain and the cross. We must drink of the cup that Jesus drank from.. and be baptised into the baptism that He was baptised in.
David sought comfort in