For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.Hebrews 3:4(NASB)
Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great. (1 Timothy 3:16 NIV)
Very often it may seem but poor comfort to us in times of suffering, times of trial, times of adversity, times when Satan is pressing hard, to be told that, while we can see nothing of the meaning of all of this, God is instructing angels, and that principalities and powers are deriving the benefit of it all. We do not draw a great deal of comfort from that, but if we understood I think we would realize that, while we may not at such times be fulfilling a very big ministry on the earth, there is a big ministry going on towards principalities and powers through our instrumentality. Do not think that running about taking meetings, and doing work for the Lord, is the only kind of ministry that members of the Church can fulfill. Ministry may be equally being fulfilled when these things have been brought to a standstill, and all earthly activities for the Lord stopped, and we are in one of these painful periods of inaction.
Do not conclude that because of such inaction no ministry is being rendered, or that everything of that kind is cut off at such a time. Here is the word: "...that NOW unto the principalities and the powers in heavenly places might be made known through the Church the manifold wisdom of God" – not in the coming age, but now. They are learning from the Lord, by reason of those very difficult and trying experiences through which the Lord is taking us, what He is doing in the Church.
Truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country … By faith Moses … [chose] rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt. § “The just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. § No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. § Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.
He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
I was a little angry, and they helped—but with evil intent.
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
He who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. § Comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.
Let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. § We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Love … does not rejoice in iniquity. § Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
I have been crucified with Christ, and I myself no longer live" (Gal. 2:20, Wms.).
Upon conversion, the new believer feels that every opposition to a joyous, fruitful Christian life has been overcome once for all. Later, when the world and self begin to insinuate themselves once again, he thinks that determination and self-effort will keep him free. Finally, after a seemingly endless struggle, the defeated believer is brought back to the Cross. Here is the source of liberation from the power of self and the world.
"Sinners are not saved until they trust the Saviour, and saints are not delivered until they trust the Deliverer. God has made both possible through the Cross of His Son." -L.S.C.
"The believer can never overcome the old man' even by the power of the new' apart from the work of the Cross, and therefore the death of Christ is indispensable, and unless the Cross is made the basis upon which he overcomes the old nature,' he only drops into another form of morality; in other words, he is seeking by self-effort to overcome sin and self, and the struggle is a hopeless one." -C.U.
"Just as the Lord Jesus came into this world where this old humanity was and came into it not to ally Himself with it but to take it into death by the Cross, even so He now by the Holy Spirit, in regeneration, comes into us where there is this old fallen life and not to ally Himself with it, but to hold it in the place of death by the same means - His Cross." -N.D.
"But may it never be mine to boast of anything but the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world!" (Gal. 6:14, Wms.).
“For the love of Christ constraineth us.” 2 Corinthians 5:14
Paul says he is overruled, overmastered, held as in a vice, by the love of Christ. Very few of us know what it means to be held in a grip by the love of God; we are held by the constraint of our experience only. The one thing that held Paul, until there was nothing else on his horizon, was the love of God. "The love of Christ constraineth us" - when you hear that note in a man or woman, you can never mistake it. You know that the Spirit of God is getting unhindered way in that life.
When we are born again of the Spirit of God, the note of testimony is on what God has done for us, and rightly so. But the baptism of the Holy Ghost obliterates that for ever, and we begin to realize what Jesus meant when He said - "Ye shall be witnesses unto Me." Not witnesses to what Jesus can do - that is an elementary witness - but "witnesses unto Me." We will take everything that happens as happening to Him, whether it be praise or blame, persecution or commendation. No one can stand like that for The Lord Jesus, who is not constrained by the majesty of His personal power. It is the only thing that matters, and the strange thing is that it is the last thing realized by the Christian worker. Paul says he is gripped by the love of God, and that is why he acts as he does. Men may call him mad or sober, but he does not care; there is only one thing he is living for, and that is to persuade men of the judgment seat of God, and of the love of Christ. This abandon to the love of Christ is the one thing that bears fruit in the life, and it will always leave the impression of the holiness and the power of God, never of our personal holiness.
Throughout his gruelling ordeal and many searching questions, Job kept his faith. Throughout his whole experience, Job maintained a prayer link with heaven. Throughout his long and bitter life-season, Job didn’t sin against God with his lips. Throughout his painful time, God brought a prideful Job to the very end of himself. Then Job repented of his foolish perceptions and his lack of understanding. And then God:- ‘turned the captivity of Job‘.
How? How was Job brought to the point where God “turned the captivity of Job,” Job.42:10. Job knew God was good – but his full understanding of God’s truth was imperfect. God used the smiting accusations of the enemy to teach Job the deeper things of God.
Job sought understanding and asked questions based on his limited knowledge – but he never, ever denied the Lord that bought Him. Job bemoaned his lot and demanded answers, based on his firm-held creed.. but he had to be brought to a deeper understanding that God, not Job, is all in all.. an understanding that he himself, is nothing – an understanding that without Me, ye can do nothing. Then – after an unspecified length of time… then after a great deal of God-searching questions… then after God’s tremendous soliloquy, Job said to the Lord…
I know Thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of Thine can be restrained. Therefore have I uttered that which I understood not… Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent. I abhor myself, and I repent” Why? Why was righteous Job brought to the place of such deep, deep repentance? Why was upright Job brought to repentance before God turned Job’s captivity? Well, it was because Job needed a deeper understanding of God – but his ‘repentance’ was nothing to do with past, present or future sins. Like us, all sins are forgiven, but only because of Another – only because of a sinless One. Just like you and me,myread more
I will visit you and perform ALL My good word towards you.
I will visit you. I know the plans I have for you. I will do you good dear one and not evil. I AM strong and mighty to save – I will deliver you. I AM the Lord Who heals you. I AM the One Who provides all you need, and I will uphold you with My righteous right hand, for I have loved you.
I AM the Lord that loves you with an everlasting love. I SEE you; I LOVE you; I KNOW you; I UNDERSTAND you. I AM the Lord and I have spoken. I AM meek and lowly of heart, long-suffering and of great goodness. I will come to you; I will not fail you; I will not forsake you; I will not leave you comfortless. My yoke is easy and my burden is very light.
I will come to you and sup with you, and you shall find rest for your weary soul. You shall find healing for your damaged emotions. You shall find hope for your hurting heart. You shall find love for your lonely spirit. For I give you my beloved sleep, so rest in My love and be at peace.. for I AM never far from you – for I have loved you. They engrave you on the palms of my hands. My ears are ever open to your cry. My eyes ever watching over you.
You are My joy and you are My delight. I rejoice over you with singing. I endured the cross for you. I endured the pain and the humiliation because I have loved you. Behold Beloved – I stand and I wait for you. I stand at the door and knock – and wait. Just open the door and let me in. I will come to you and make my home with you, and I will heal You – and I will help you so that where I AM you may beread more