For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,Hebrews 3:14(NASB)
I can guarantee this truth: No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. (John 3:5 GW)
No one has ever yet been "volitionalized" into the kingdom of God; that is, soappealed to in their wills to make a decision, and todetermine to be in the kingdom of God, as by thestrength of that decision and that determination to havegot through. It cannot be done.A great deal of mistake has been made in thatconnection, and an entirely false position has beenbrought about for multitudes of people because the efforthas been made along those lines, and they have beenappealed to along those lines to exercise their ownreason, and their own feelings, and their own wills, asthough that would regenerate them.
Thus interest and activity in Christianity is one thing,but being in the kingdom is quite another. Multitudes ofgood-meaning people are interested in Christianity, andare active in Christianity. They see the value of theChristian standard of life, and Christian teaching, andhave thought if only it could be applied, how different theworld would be. So they have become busy inChristianity, and have thought they were in the kingdomof God. Not at all!You can have all the interest in Christianity without beingin the kingdom.This is what the Lord Jesus said, in effect, and in otherand more concise words, to Nicodemus. The only way inis by our receiving Divine Life as a gift through faith inJesus Christ, and that becomes the new basis of the newcreation, the basis upon which everything begins and iscarried through, the basis of Divine Life. That Life has in itall the qualities and energies of the new creation. Itconstitutes our being in what is called the Kingdom ofGod.
You do not have because you do not ask.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. § This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. § If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. § Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. § Men always ought to pray and not lose heart.
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry… The Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. § You will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me… Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. § O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand. § It is the Lord. Let Him do what seems good to Him. § Righteous are You, O Lord, when I plead with You; yet let me talk with You about Your judgments.
He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver. § Whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. § It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. § Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
But rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. § These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him" (Col. 2:6).
One day we came to Him in utter need and reliance, and received life. Every day we are to abide in Him in utter need and reliance, that He may live that life in and through us. We are born again by faith, and we are to live anew by faith. "He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).
"There are earnest Christians who are jealous for a free Gospel, with acceptance of Christ, and justification by faith alone. But after this they think everything depends on their diligence and faithfulness. While they firmly grasp the truth, justified by faith,' they have hardly noticed the larger truth, the just shall live by faith.' They have not yet understood what a perfect Saviour the Lord Jesus is, and how He will each day do for the sinner just as much as He did the first day when they came to Him.
"They know not that the life of grace is always and only a life of faith, and that in the relationship to the Lord Jesus the one daily and unceasing duty of the disciple is to believe, because believing is the one channel through which Divine grace and strength can flow into the heart of man. The old nature of the believer remains evil and sinful to the last; it is only as he daily comes, all empty and helpless, to his Saviour to receive of His life and strength, that he can bring forth the fruits of righteousness to the glory of God." -A.M.
"Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving" (Col. 2:7).
“I will very gladly spend and be spent for you;” 2 Corinthians 12:15
When the Spirit of God has shed abroad the love of God in our hearts, we begin deliberately to identify ourselves with Jesus Christ's interests in other people, and Jesus Christ is interested in every kind of man there is. We have no right in Christian work to be guided by our affinities; this is one of the biggest tests of our relationship to Jesus Christ. The delight of sacrifice is that I lay down my life for my Friend, not fling it away, but deliberately lay my life out for the Lord and His interests in other people, not for a cause. Paul spent himself for one purpose only - that he might win men to Jesus Christ. Paul attracted to Jesus all the time, never to himself. "I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." When a man says he must develop a holy life alone with God, he is of no more use to his fellow men: he puts himself on a pedestal, away from the common run of men. Paul became a sacramental personality; wherever Paul went, Jesus Christ helped Himself to Paul's life. Many of us are after our own ends, and Jesus Christ cannot help Himself to our lives. If we are abandoned to Jesus, we have no ends of our own to serve. Paul said he knew how to be a "door-mat" without resenting it, because the mainspring of his life was devotion to Jesus. We are apt to be devoted, not to Jesus Christ, but to the things which emancipate us spiritually. That was not Paul's motive. Paul said, "I could wish my self were accursed from Christ for my brethren" - Is this wild or extravagant ? When a man is in love it is not an exaggeration to talk in that way, and Paul is in love with Jesus Christ.
Now is come salvation and STRENGTH.
Be STRONG and of a good courage…
Have I not commanded thee – Be STRONG.
My STRENGTH is made perfect in weakness.
Have you ever run a marathon – and finished first? Those who do rejoice greatly, like a strong man to run his race, as we read in Psalm 19:5 Oh, there is much joy and satisfaction in moral and physical strength, but the man that is perfect in physical strength depends on many things: nourishing food to replenish and build up the power of sinews and muscles; sufficient sleep and a carefully constructed workout, to maintain peak fitness – and how we love to look fit and sleek and how we love to confidently complete the race, and how we wish we were even fitter, fleeter, and faster!
The Psalms abound with references to strength and do we not rejoice with Joshua who cried, Be strong and of good courage … Be strong and very courageous, have I not commanded you – be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Yet in his wisdom, Paul admonishes us that:- bodily “exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things. 1 Timothy 4:8 And in the leading of the Spirit, he again reminds us – My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in your weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Oh my! What a total paradox – what a contradiction – what an oxymoron. And soon we discover that the references to strength are not quite what they seem. In Revelation, we read: Now is come salvation and strength… the power of His Christ has come Revelation 12:10 while in Joshua we read: Be strong and very courageous, for the LORD your God is with you. Oh yes, we are reminded that – God’s strength isread more
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
God is our great and precious Helper, when all others forsake and betray. He is our never-failing and trusted Friend. He is the lovely Lord Jesus. He is our Advocate with the Father; He is our Great High Priest; He it is, Who intercedes for us; He it is, Who cares for us. He is the One Who Loves us without compromise.
He takes the imperfect petitions and desires of our hearts, and cleanses them, and corrects their defects, and perfects them. He presents them to the Father, as though from His own sweet lips, on account of His all-atoning merits and righteousness.
Are you fainting in prayer? Remember, your blessed Advocate has already answered your prayer. He has claimed your answer as His own. Do the claimed desires of your heart seem far removed and stillborn? Don’t give up the earnest seeking. Ask and keep on asking; seek and keep on seeking; knock and keep on and on and on knocking, and He will give you the desires of your heart.. good measure, pressed down, and shaken together and running over.
Do not grieve Him by giving up on the conflict in the moment of its victory. Do not disappoint Him by stopping when the goal is in sight. Do not pull back when the very victory you have fought for so long is in sight. He has gone into His inner chamber for you. He holds your earnest petition in the palms of His hands. He has dispatched His angelic messenger to bring you blessing.
He is waiting only for you to trust in His love. He waits for the whisper from your heart, to affirm the resounding echo from His throne - It is done. The Spirit delights in acceptable prayer. He enlightens the mind to request HIS will to be done, in and through your life. He quickens the heart to desire His perfect will –inread more