The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.1 Peter 4:7(NASB)
God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him. (Colossians 1:19 NIV)
The next thing I am going to say may be difficult to accept, just as it is difficult to say, and yet faithfulness demands that things like this should be said. There is going to be a tremendous surprise one day over this matter. There is a tremendous amount of energy, and activity, and machinery, and zeal and devotion in the work of the Lord, in the service of the Lord, which seems to be producing something quite big, and carrying on something quite extensive. It is not for us to judge, but it is for us to lay down laws and recognize those laws, or, rather, recognize laws that are laid down by God. When eventually all work, all service, all activity, is weighed in the balances, which will determine what abides forever or passes away forever, all that which was merely human energy for God will go; all that which was merely man's enterprise for the Lord will go; all that which was in any way out from man himself, even though in devotion to God, will go. Only that which was the energy of Christ, the wisdom of Christ, the power of Christ, will remain. God is not using your energies and my energies. He is calling upon us to use the energies of Christ. God cannot set His seal upon anything that is of man.
God's seal only rests upon that which is of His Son, and we must not say that because a thing is big, extensive, and seems to be a great work for God, that it necessarily is such. What we have got to be quite sure about is that that thing is not being carried on by the momentum of man, or the momentum of organization, the momentum of machinery, the momentum of human zeal and energy for God, nor by the momentum of a program, but that it is being energized by the Holy Spirit, that it is Christ Himself who is the Life and the power of that thing. In so far as human personalities, energies and all that kind of thing are the mainspring, we may be sure that in the end there is going to be a good deal that goes. That can be seen as you look back over history of things which claimed to represent God. The object of saying this is not for one moment to cast a cloud of suspicion or doubt over anything, but it is to emphasize this truth, this basic truth. It is along the line of jealousy for Christ. Nothing will remain in this universe eventually but what is Christ, and we must recognize that everything for God's ultimate purpose is bound up with and in Christ, and it IS Christ.
My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with me.” He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” § And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
The pains of death surrounded me, and the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow. § Reproach has broken my heart, and I am full of heaviness; I looked for someone to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. § Look on my right hand and see, for there is no one who acknowledges me; refuge has failed me; no one cares for my soul.
He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. § By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. . . . For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. § Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust on the scales; look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing.
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 1:3).
The New Testament believer's spiritual growth is not based upon Old Testament doctrine. We are not to neglect the Old, but its introduction of the law was designed to lead to the grace of the New. For a believer who is not yet established in the risen Lord Jesus, it is a temptation to go to the promises of the Old Testament for comfort. This may result in some help at times, but also may bring frustration. It is simply not our ground. "So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but under [obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life]" (Rom. 7:6, Amp.).
"The Law made nothing perfect' (Heb. 7:19). It was given to discover sin and imperfection, not to impart holiness or perfection. The Lord Jesus has poured out His blessed Spirit that we believers, while on earth, might walk in that spirit of life and liberty that prevails in heaven where Christ is. God has given unto us His human-divine nature, and put within us His Holy Spirit. Shall we not therefore walk in that liberty in which Christ liveth? For He lives the same life of blessed freedom from bondage, and of joyful service to God, within us by His Spirit, as He does seated in a body, in heaven before God His Father." -W.R.N.
"If I would bring forth fruit and live to God, I must see myself as having died to law. Law is a principle on which we cannot live to God any more than we can be justified."
"For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God" (Gal. 2:19).
“And as they followed, they were afraid.” Mark 10:32
At the beginning we were sure we knew all about Jesus Christ, it was a delight to sell all and to fling ourselves out in a hardihood of love; but now we are not quite so sure. Jesus is on in front and He looks strange: We read, "Jesus went before them and they were amazed."
There is an aspect of Jesus that chills the heart of a disciple to the core and makes the whole spiritual life gasp for breath. This strange Being with His face "set like a flint" and His striding determination, strikes terror into me. He is no longer Counsellor and Comrade, He is taken up with a point of view I know nothing about, and I am amazed at Him. At first I was confident that I understood Him, but now I am not so sure. I begin to realize there is a distance between Jesus Christ and me; I can no longer be familiar with Him. He is ahead of me and He never turns round; I have no idea where He is going, and the goal has become strangely far off.
Jesus Christ had to fathom every sin and every sorrow man could experience, and this is what makes Him seem strange. When we see Him in this aspect we do not know Him, we do not recognize one feature of His life, and we do not know how to begin to follow Him. He is on in front, a Leader Who is very strange, and we have no comradeship with Him.
The discipline of dismay is essential in the life of discipleship. The danger is to get back to a little fire of our own and kindle enthusiasm at it (cf. Isaiah 1:10-11). When the darkness of dismay comes, endure until it is over, because out of it will come that following of Jesus which is unspeakable joy.
Faith, hope and love are the epitome of what the spiritual life embodies. But the enemy of faith, hope and love is encapsulated in the word FEAR. Lacking one of these three graces or insufficiency of all is nut-shelled in the emotion fear. Fear is the enemy’s tool to scupper the faith of all believers, who would live godly, and three hundred and sixty six times, the Word of God commands us to “fear not.”
Fear can be displayed in many emotions; actions; attitudes and perspectives. It can be exhibited in terror; disinterest; anger; pride; witticism; cruelty – sarcasm. But however fear is displayed, it is designed to play havoc with our trust in God. Fear is a root cause of all that contributes to failure in our Christian walk.
Extensive studies on the brain identify fear as the main enemy of faith, but fear is displayed in a believers life in a myriad of disassociated ways. We need to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith or if fear is contributing to the way that we live our lives. Faith starts with a single thought. Fear similarly is spawned with just one thought.
Research also shows that just any fear – unless consciously removed can feed fear.. And over a lifetime, just one childhood event can influence all adult development. No wonder the Word of God commands us to “take every thought captive….” No wonder we are told to meditate on the Word of God day and night..
No wonder we are encouraged to meditate on…. whatever things are true; whatever things are noble; whatever things are just; whatever things are pure; whatever things are lovely; whatever things are of good report.. if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things – think on these things. But Praise God that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Studies also show that all areas associated with fear can be reversed inread more
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you.
God’s perfect peace is a wonderful peace, an unshakable peace, a glorious peace.. a peace coveted by the world but a peace bestowed upon His own.. A deep peace, an inner peace, a prefect peace that surpasses all human knowledge and understanding. The God of Peace not only calls His followers to be recipients of peace but blesses those that are bestowers of peace: blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. Matt.5:9. This little blessing comes well down the list of Christ’s beatitude. It fell from His lips as He sat on the mount and opened His heart to His own.
This beautiful promise is much overlooked amidst it more enviable cousins, and yet Paul exhorts us : keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Eph.4:3. So many believers today are strife-makers rather than peace-makers. Many become legalists that condemn Christian brothers, who are at variance with their own pet biblical interpretations. Yet Paul exhorts us: let the peace of God rule in your hearts Col.3:15
Jonathan Swift made us laugh as children when two nations fought bitterly over which end of a boiled egg was to opened and which was to sit in the egg-cup! “Take off the pointed end – no remove the blunt end” they would scream!!! Yet similarly foolish disagreements can result in the split of a congregation, or can even result in the beginning of a new denomination. Correspondence may be terminated through one foolish action. Fellowship may be in interrupted because of a chance remark, yet Paul exhorts us : be at peace among yourselves 1Thess.5:13
Estrangement between two parties needs to be healed not hindered. Quarrels and contentions should be prevented not permitted. Relationships that drift apart into a hurt disinterest need to be ignited not ignored. Yet Paul prays: may the Lord ofread more