and, "A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.1 Peter 2:8(NASB)
God sent out the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, "Abba, Father!" (Galatians 4:6 YLT)
"I am the Alpha." The very first syllable of the knowledge of God is the knowledge of Jesus Christ. It begins with "A"; it is the first lisp of a babe. "God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father" (Gal. 4:6). The first syllable of the Christian life begins with "A" – "Father." We do not know the Father until we know Jesus Christ: He it is Who has revealed the Father. The beginning of all knowledge of God as Father comes to us through Jesus Christ. What He said in His prayer was indeed true: "I have manifested unto them Thy name" (John 17:6) – and that name was "Father."
Do you want to know God? Do you want to know Him as Father? Do you want to know what He has to say to you, to make known to you? Do you want to know all or any of the vast wealth God would reveal to you? You can only know it in Jesus Christ; you can only know it in Him Who is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega. There is no knowledge without words made up of letters (except perhaps for our Chinese friends!), and all the letters are between these two. There is no knowledge that is knowledge indeed, knowledge that is Life eternal, except in Jesus Christ. "This is life eternal, that they should know Thee the only true God, and Him Whom Thou has sent... Jesus Christ" (John 17:3). There is no knowledge outside of Jesus Christ. And there is no communication from God outside of Jesus Christ. Set Jesus Christ aside, and God is silent – He has nothing to say to you. If you fail to give His Son His place, God is just mute; He will communicate nothing. The more you honor the Son, the more the Father will come out to you and communicate with you.
Your sun shall no longer go down, nor shall your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended.
He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth.
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. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. They may rest from their labors, and their works follow them. § There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest. § Now Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going. § The dead do not praise the Lord, nor any who go down into silence.
I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day.
There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.
And they who know Thy Name will put their trust in Thee" (Ps. 9:10).
Our experiences must be judged by God's Word, never the Word judged by our experiences. Normally, the Spirit of Truth will reveal a truth to us from the Scriptures and, as we exercise faith in what we have been shown, will begin to take us into the experience of it. Abnormally, a Christian will yearn for an experience,' and then attempt to find corroboration for it in the Word.
"Knowledge must carry the torch before faith." Always give God's Word first place, "for the Word of God liveth and worketh, and is sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, yea, to the inmost parts thereof, and judging the thoughts and imaginations of the heart" (Heb. 4:12, Cony.).
"A person may easily know his sins forgiven, but it is a further truth to know that he himself has died to sin.' He finds this conflicts with his experience. Suppose I tell you a debt of a thousand pounds which you owed was paid by someone, it would not be a question of experience, but of simply believing my statement. Just so with God. He tells us our sins are forgiven, and it is a question whether we believe Him. But when He tells us we have died to sin, we look inside and say, Ah, sin is still at work; how is that?' A person must be taught of God to know really the truth that he has died to sin." -J.N.D.
"It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God" (Luke 4:4).
“The everlasting God … fainteth not, neither is weary.” Isaiah 40:28
Exhaustion means that the vital forces are worn right out. Spiritual exhaustion never comes through sin but only through service, and whether or not you are exhausted will depend upon where you get your supplies. Jesus said to Peter - "Feed My sheep," but He gave him nothing to feed them with. The process of being made broken bread and poured out wine means that you have to be the nourishment for other souls until they learn to feed on God. They must drain you to the dregs. Be careful that you get your supply, or before long you will be utterly exhausted. Before other souls learn to draw on the life of the Lord Jesus direct, they have to draw on it through you; you have to be literally "sucked," until they learn to take their nourishment from God. We owe it to God to be our best for His lambs and His sheep as well as for Himself.
Has the way in which you have been serving God betrayed you into exhaustion? If so, then rally your affections. Where did you start the service from? From your own sympathy or from the basis of the Redemption of Jesus Christ? Continually go back to the foundation of your affections and recollect where the source of power is. You have no right to say - "O Lord, I am so exhausted." He saved and sanctified you in order to exhaust you. Be exhausted for God, but remember that your supply comes from Him. "All my fresh springs shall be in Thee."
God allowed Satan’s attacks on His servant to bring Job a greater reality of Christ. God used these life-shattering experiences to mature his spiritual understanding. God brought him to the end of himself so Job could become God’s chosen vessel.. a vessel of intercession – a vessel of praise, but especially a vessel of deep comfort. A vessel of God’s comfort to others in need of that comfort.
God wants to use His called and chosen vessels to comfort others in their need. That we may be able to comfort them, which are in any trouble.” 1 Cor.1:4. And when we go through our own fiery crucible, like Job.. we too need comfort. But not the kind offered by Job’s three friends, which comes from Adamic religiosity. The ‘religiosity‘ in Job’s friend’s Adamic nature laid hold of an incorrect view of God. Their comfort was a potpourri of good and evil – a mixture made up of truth and lies.
Their hearts were divided hearts – a strategy of Satan.. perfected over centuries! Divided, between the old sinful nature in Adam and the new godly nature in Christ. Divided, between man-made religiosity and God-given spirituality. Divided, between Self-righteousness and Christ’s-righteousness. They became wise in their own eyes, with a self-righteous attitude towards others. Job surely felt condemned not comforted – criticised rather than consoled.
The ‘spiritual‘ witness of these three, was no more than religious, self-righteousness.. a cancerous and infectious poison that spread its disease to God’s servant, Job. Oh how he needed their loving comfort, but how their attitude infected Job’s retort. And Job, discouraged by their counsel. tried to justify himself, rather than God.. allowing his old, prideful Adamic nature, to flare into his defence. Though Job wore his stupid pride like a necklace during his questioning of God, Job did not accuse God of ill, as did his religious-minded friends. But how we start to see the scheming game-plan of the crooked serpent at work here. Understand the enemy then youread more
It is God Who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
We are daily surrounded by the drama of difficult circumstances.. the trauma of hurting people; the crisis of life’s myriads of problems; of the intense pain of a precious loved one; of the deep darkness of depression’s icy grip – the disappointed heart.. a soul wounded by this sin-sick world. Oh God, we cry out, how long. Oh Lord, why do You cast off my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me? Do not hide Your face from Your servant, I am in trouble; Hear me speedily. The need and pain around and within are intense and we plead, ‘open Your eyes and help us, Lord. Stretch out Your arm and work FOR us!”
But the greater need is His work IN us. Be holy, for I am holy. Be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted.. forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Remember.. it was God alone Who started a good work within you. It was He, not the preacher that convicted the soul of sin. He began to work, or you would never have taken that first faltering step. He gave you the witness of His Spirit.
Remember – it was the purifying gaze of the Spirit that pointed you to Christ.. imparting to you, faith and hope and trust and love for Him. And it will be Him Who completes it. We must yield to His working. We must yield to His penetrating gaze and His purifying fire. Search me O God… intimately know me.
Root out all areas that shadow Your holy Presence from me. Discover in me any areas of hidden pride; festering unforgiveness; ungodly anger. Lay bare any suppressed wounds of the heart or bitterness of the soul. Remove every issue that blocks precious union with You, and empty me of self, that I may be filled with your love.read more