A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends.Proverbs 16:28(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’s 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).
“He went out, not knowing whither he went." ” Hebrews 11:8
In the Old Testament, personal relationship with God showed itself in separation, and this is symbolized in the life of Abraham by his separation from his country and from his kith and kin. To day the separation is more of a mental and moral separation from the way that those who are dearest to us look at things, that is, if they have not a personal relationship with God. Jesus Christ emphasized in (see Luke 14:26).
Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading. It is a life of Faith, not of intellect and reason, but a life of knowing Who makes us "go." The root of faith is the knowledge of a Person, and one of the biggest snares is the idea that God is sure to lead us to success.
The final stage in the life of faith is attainment of character. There are many passing transfigurations of character; when we pray we feel the blessing of God en-wrapping us and for the time being we are changed, then we get back to the ordinary days and ways and the glory vanishes. The life of faith is not a life of mounting up with wings, but a life of walking and not fainting. It is not a question of sanctification; but of something infinitely further on than sanctification, of faith that has been tried and proved and has stood the test. Abraham is not a type of sanctification, but a type of the life of faith, a tried faith built on a real God. "Abraham believed God."
Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus.
There are no shortcuts to sanctification, which is a lifetime growth in trusting God. Seeking a shortcut thru spiritual experience will lead to a spiritual cul-de-sac. Striving to please God in the strength of the old sin nature will meet an impasse. Searching for blessings in the wrong cisterns will lead to spiritual dryness.. There are no shortcuts to maturity, which is a lifetime growth in trusting God.
Jacob was ninety-seven years old when he finally recognised this truth.. but only after the Angel of the Lord had dislocated his hip joint! Only after a lifetime of trying to do it himself did Jacob cease from his struggling. And until Jacob ‘slept with his fathers’, his precious limp was a ever-present reminder in his flesh. Jacob found that there are no shortcuts to maturity.. no shortcuts to sanctification – which is a lifetime process of learning to trust God.
What scripture clearly tell us is that spiritual maturity is not an instant state. What the experience of countless saints indicates, is that they thought it was.. until like Jacob they too were brought to an end of themselves.. until they too reassessed their walk with God, and became as little children. Many saints of the past have found there are no shortcuts to sanctification, which is a lifetime process of learning to trust God.
Sadly some young Christians are pushed into leadership before learning this truth. Others seek growth by a myriad of other routes, all of which anticlimax into nothing. Some think the first flush of Christian joy is the climax rather than a commencement.. for there are no shortcuts to sanctification, as it is a lifetime growth in trusting God. Former mountain-tops or experiences of spiritual blessing may be joyfully recall – and euphoric works of the past may be recognised as performed in the flesh,read more
And 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 afterwords – an admonition to us that we should live godly lives. But there is so much more than that.. A narrative to be studied – an 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? Psa.22:1 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,read more