The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.Genesis 2:8(NASB)
I counsel you to buy from Me... salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. (Revelation 3:18 ESV)
We have to test everything we think we see and know by its effect in our lives. You and I may have an enormous amount of what we think to be spiritual knowledge; we have all the doctrines, all the truths. We can box the compass of evangelical doctrine; and what is the effect? It is not seeing, beloved, in a true spiritual sense, if we are not changed. Yes, seeing is to be changed, and it is not seeing if it does not bring that about. It would be far better for us to be stripped of all that and to be brought right down to the point where we really do see just a little that makes a difference. We must be very honest with God about this. Oh, would we not sooner have just a very little indeed that was a hundred percent effective, than a whole mountain of knowledge, ninety percent of which counted for nothing? We must ask the Lord to save us from advancing beyond spiritual Life, advancing, I mean, with knowledge, a kind of knowledge, presuming to know. You know what I mean. Real seeing, Paul says, is being changed, and being changed is a matter of seeing as by the Lord the Spirit. So we will pray to see....
It is never too late to get spiritual sight, however blind we may have been, and for however long, if we really mean business with the Lord. But do not forget that this is a matter of being honest with God. The Lord Jesus said a wonderful thing to Nathanael. Nathanael was perilously near that double blindness. At the moment when he allowed himself to give expression to a popular prejudice, he was very near the danger zone. He said, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" That is a popular prejudice. A popular prejudice has robbed many a man and woman of knowing God fuller thoughts. Prejudices may take many forms. Let us be careful.... If you are in danger through your prejudice, beware; forsake your prejudice, be open-hearted. Be an Israelite in whom there is no Jacob, no guile, open-hearted to the Lord, and you will see.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. § Saved by His life.
Our … Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. § As He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ … has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. § In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him. § Of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Remember the word to Your servant, upon which You have caused me to hope. § O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me!
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. § You know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.
“Fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!” So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.” § “Be strong . . . and work; for I am with you,” says the Lord of hosts. § “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord of hosts.
Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
God . . . called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me" (Gal. 1:15, 16).
Just think! Our Father has placed us in eternal and living union with His Son, that He, not we, may "be." Moreover, He has placed His Holy Spirit eternally within us that He, not we, may “do.” Further, He has given us the necessary faith and Scripture that we may rest in this wonderful reality, trusting Him “to will and to do of His good pleasure.” This is a far cry from futile struggle and frustrating self-effort!
“Christians in the main groan and strive and struggle largely on the basis of human effort where the grace of God, though acknowledged, is scarcely operative-only to come to grief. Even at their best, they find the purpose of the Lord Jesus remains an ideal infinitely beyond their reach. The trouble lies in the fact that they are proceeding on the wrong basis.
“God does not expect them, as a result of their own endeavors, to be like the Lord Jesus. He expects them to realize the utter impossibility of such a thing (as in Romans Seven, where Paul comes to the end of himself). He expects them to know the Lord Jesus as their very life, disowning any other. He expects them to realize their position of absolute oneness with Christ, for He ‘has blessed them with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ’ (Eph. 1:3).” -F.J.H.
"Be strengthened in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 2:7, ASV).
But grow in the grace and gain knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
God can act in a split second.. in a moment.. in the twinkling of an eye. But in relation to our spiritual maturity – God takes His time. God can miraculously fling stars into space, divide the seas – turn water to wine. But often in a believer’s life, He uses the natural to accomplish the supernatural. In the life of a believer God uses a life-span of time to prepare him for eternity, and... like the chronology of the world, God uses a lot of time to fulfil His works. A tiny seedling can be placed in a hot-house to force an unnatural spurt of growth, but such artificial progress, early in the life of a believer has disastrous results.
The majestic oak takes centuries to be transformed.. from a tiny acorn to mighty tree– and such growth results in strength and stability.. and many, many acorns. But it grows slowly and it looks very insignificant for many decades.. as silently within, the sap nourishes the leaves, the twigs, the boughs and trunk.. while without the raging storms and buffeting winds secure the rooting system. Oh yes God takes time to bring a tiny acorn to maturation as a mighty oak. And God takes time in the life of a believer to bring him to maturity in the faith.
But he grows slowly and looks very insignificant for many decades, as silently within the Word of God nourishes the spirit, soul and body – while without the raging storms and buffeting winds of life, develop a trusting faith. It’s interesting to note that mighty oaks have a very brief period of growth. For the majority of time, growth is simply solidification, which is establishing maturity. How much more is this the case for we who are God’s sons, where our life in time is preparing us for eternity.
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He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
We are not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
What beautiful word pictures we are given in the Old Testament – written illustrations that give greater understanding of the New Testament. A pattern of obedience; an example of disobedience; a warning to those who follow afterwards – an admonition to us that we should live godly lives. But there is so much more than that. A narrative to be studied – a historical record, which combines to open your eyes and warm your heart. What beautiful word pictures we are given in the Old Testament. Each a beautiful representation of Him. Each a precious portrait of the Lord – an old testament type or character, of the Lord Jesus.
Scripture reveals a painted representation of Him, from the genesis of His-Story. You search the Scriptures, and yet these are they which testify of Me, He told us in John.5:39. We see Adam and his bride, taken from his side, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. Abel.. and his sacrifice; Enoch, who faithfully walked with God; Jacob, who left his home to go into a far country to find a bride; Isaac, the beloved son of the father – Isaac, the bridegroom of his own gentile bride.
Joseph.. betrayed by brothers, yet Joseph the Saviour of his family. Moses.. the man of faith, who reminded the Jews that… the LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me. Acts 3:22. Boaz, the gracious kinsman-redeemer, and David, a man after God’s own heart. David, the sweet psalmist of Israel who penned Christ’s words from the cross:- my God, my God, why have You forsaken Me? Psalm22:1 Daniel, beloved of God, “This is my beloved Son. And Jeremiah, the prophet who wept over Jerusalem. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often I wanted to gather your children together, as aread more