"And I said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.Acts 26:15(NASB)
The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7).
If a Christian does not realize his identification with Christ in His death, he does not know true consecration. Crucifixion is the path to, and foundation of, consecration. The deeper truths are not entered into through consecration - they are its basis. "The price of consecration is crucifixion."
"Present yourself unto God as alive from the dead' (Rom. 6:13). This is the true ground of consecration. For believers to consecrate themselves to God' ere they have learnt their union with Christ in death and resurrection is only to present to God the members of the natural man, which He cannot use. Only those alive from the dead' - that is, having appropriated their likeness with Him in death - are bidden to present their members as instruments unto God."
"The modern teaching of consecration, which is tantamount to the consecration of the old man,' seeks to bypass the death sentence and therefore only leads to frustration and failure. When, however, you and I are prepared, in simple humility, to make the fact of our death with Christ our daily basis of life and service, there is nothing that can prevent the uprising and outflow of new life, and meet the need of thirsty souls around us." -J.C.M.
"Therefore, brethren, we are debtors bound not to the Flesh, that we should live after the Flesh [but to the Spirit]" (Rom. 8:12, Cony.).
There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5)
God's answer to everything, God's explanation of everything, and God's means of realizing everything is a Man, "the man Christ Jesus." When this world has run its evil course, this inhabited earth will be judged in a Man. Men will be judged by what their inward relationship is to that Man. The question at the judgment will never be of how much good or bad, right or wrong, more or less, is in a man; it will turn upon this one point, "Are you in Christ?" If not, more or less makes no difference. God's intention, God's proclamation is that all things are in His Son. Are you in Him? Why not? The basis of judgment is very simple. It is all gathered up in a Man, and what is in that Man of God for us. That is the basis of judgment. It all comes back to the very simple, and yet comprehensive and blessed truth, that it is what Christ is that satisfies God, reaches God's end, and meets all our need. It is all summed up in a Man, "the man Christ Jesus."
The Lord continue to open our eyes to His glorious and Heavenly Man, Who is also the Divine Servant.
Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart. § Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. § I thought about my ways, and turned my feet to Your testimonies. I made haste, and did not delay to keep Your commandments. § Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. § We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins. § Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, 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.
This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud… And I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth. § [It is] ordered in all things and secure. § That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have some strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
We declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
“Sir, Thou hast nothing to draw with.” John 4:11
"I am impressed with the wonder of what God says, but He cannot expect me really to live it out in the details of my life!" When it comes to facing Jesus Christ on His own merits, our attitude is one of pious superiority - Your ideals are high and they impress us, but in touch with actual things, it cannot be done. Each of us thinks about Jesus in this way in some particular. These misgivings about Jesus start from the amused questions put to us when we talk of our transactions with God - Where are you going to get your money from? How are you going to be looked after? Or they start from ourselves when we tell Jesus that our case is a bit too hard for Him. It is all very well to say "Trust in the Lord," but a man must live, and Jesus has nothing to draw with - nothing whereby to give us these things. Beware of the pious fraud in you which says - I have no misgivings about Jesus, only about myself. None of us ever had misgivings about ourselves; we know exactly what we cannot do, but we do have misgivings about Jesus. We are rather hurt at the idea that He can do what we cannot.
My misgivings arise from the fact that I ransack my own person to find out how He will he able to do it. My questions spring from the depths of my own inferiority. If I detect these misgivings in myself, let me bring them to the light and confess them - "Lord, I have had misgivings about Thee, I have not believed in Thy wits apart from my own; I have not believed in Thine almighty power apart from my finite understanding of it."
Faith is a multifaceted grace – and each are given a measure of faith. God is both the Founder of my faith and the Finisher of my faith. But God is also the Object of my faith – the One in Whom I place my trust. It was the Lord Who gave me my faith, when He stooped low to love me. It was He Who intended me to keep on seeking Him, by means of His gift of faith. But faith must grow.. and faith must develop… and developing faith must grow. And developing, growing faith, does not come by sight or signs or miracles. And faith must not falter when difficulties and problems arise in my life.
Faith is simply trusting in God, by means of the faith that He has bestowed on me. But faith grows by means of my submitting to Him. Faith matures by Him living in and through me, and working His work through me – until it is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Gal.2:20
There is something sublimely virtuous and beautiful, in seeking God by faith. I have not seen Him face to face and yet I love Him. I have not felt His loving arms around me, and yet I love Him. I have no physical evidences of His being, and yet I love Him. Jesus said,”Blessed are those that have not seen Me, and yet have believed.” John 20:29
In this world, physical senses hold so much sway – yet we must live by faith, not by sight. Emotions can drastically influence our being – yet we must live by faith, not sight. All the norms of human trust are diametrically opposite to this life of faith. Sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, signs – all contribute to the way we believeread more
As thy days, so shall thy strength be.
And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
As the great hymn-writer carols in his wonderful words:- Strong in the strength which God supplies, thro’ His eternal Son, we are reminded that God Himself is the source of all supplied strength. His strength is always matched to our weakness. For He Himself is the powerhouse behind that special need.. however keen the sorrow; however heavy the trial; however deep the wound; however complex the circumstances. And another hymn-writer pens in his famous stanza, that God provides:- Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow…
Like each and every gift of grace, His strength is ministered to each of us according to our need. We have no need of a bank deposit of $upply, No spiritual battery from which to draw our spiritual £trength. His supply is a continuous flow, received by faith as need requires. Life is divided into days – and day after day after day, He provides and supplies the strength. Down through the weeks which flow into months and years, He continues to provide ‘Strength for the day and bright hope for the morrow!’
You can face the future. You can face your woes; your work; your weakness; your wounds; your world. You can face your foes and friends; your finances, frets and frustrations. You can face the future, in a spirit of confidence. The cross He gives in not greater than the strength you receive to lift it. The burden you carry is not heavier than the strength that He provides.
Indeed, His grace multiplies when the burdens grow greater: for My grace is sufficient for thee. My strength is made perfect in your weakness. But so often we forget the final part of Paul’s wonderful message of God's sufficiency, forread more