For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.James 2:26(NASB)
God... Who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of His own purpose and grace. (2 Timothy 1:9 ESV)
The Lord Jesus did not come in just as a rescuer of man and of man’s lot. We should almost be led to believe by certain emphases that redemption is the greatest thing in the universe, and that all God’s interest is in redemption, and that we should be occupied solely with redemption. Redemption is a great thing. We can never, never exaggerate, and I doubt whether we shall ever know what a great thing redemption is; and yet, great as redemption is in its scope, in its depth, in its cost, redemption is only incidental to the eternal purpose.
Christ came into time to rescue His own inheritance. In that, of course, man is rescued, but it is something very much bigger than that. It relates to the Son primarily, and until the Lord’s people get the right attitude, the right point of view, that is, that all things in God’s full and final concern are centered in God’s Son, they have not come into line with all God’s resource. While the direction is toward ourselves – redemption, sanctification, glorification, and so on – or towards anything less than the Son Himself, we have not got God’s dynamic for accomplishing His work, and therefore it becomes necessary, as the sufficient, the adequate basis of the Holy Spirit’s operation, that there should be a revelation of Jesus Christ in the heart, for it is in relation to Him and what God has purposed concerning Him that all the energies of God are released and made active.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.
Now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. § The Lord stood with me and strengthened me.
Let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
There the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest. There the prisoners rest together; they do not hear the voice of the oppressor.Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on … That they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.
“Our friend Lazarus sleeps.” … Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.
We who are in this tent groan, being burdened. § We also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope. But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God" (Phil. 4:6, ASV).
Faith does not create or produce, but rests and rejoices in what God has already done. His finished work at Calvary was the basis for our birth, and His completed work in our risen Lord Jesus is the source of our growth. "For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved [daily delivered from sin's dominion] through His [resurrection] life" (Rom. 5:10, Amp.).
"A great many people have the faith that seeks, but they have not a faith that rests. The Lord Jesus is here, rest in Him, let the burden go. Lord, I trust Thee now; I abide in Thee now. Lord, as I think about my home problems, my business pressures, my personal difficulties in every sphere of life, I bring them all, and give them all to Thee.' And believe that He keeps you. I am sure this rest of faith is the center of all activity.
"You cannot work without friction until you have this rest of faith - complete dependence not only on what the Lord has done, but on what He is to you this very moment. Rest in Him. God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye always [not sometimes] having all sufficiency in all things, may abound unto every good work' (2 Cor. 9:8)." -E.H.
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:7, ASV).
“Jesus said unto him the third time, Lovest thou Me?” John 21:17
Have you felt the hurt of the Lord to the uncovered quick, the place where the real sensitiveness of your life is lodged? The devil never hurts there, neither sin nor human affection hurts there, nothing goes through to that place but the word of God. "Peter was grieved because Jesus said unto him the third time. . . ." He was awakened to the fact that in the real true centre of his personal life he was devoted to Jesus, and he began to see what the patient questioning meant. There was not the slightest strand of delusion left in Peter's mind, he never could be deluded again. There was no room for passionate utterances, no room for exhilaration or sentiment. It was a revelation to him to realize how much he did love the Lord, and with amazement he said - "Lord, Thou knowest all things." Peter began to see how much he did love Jesus; but he did not say - "Look at this or that to confirm it." Peter was beginning to discover to himself how much he did love the Lord, that there was no one in heaven above or upon earth beneath beside Jesus Christ; but he did not know it until the probing, hurting questions of the Lord came. The Lord's questions always reveal me to myself.
The patient directness and skill of Jesus Christ with Peter! Our Lord never asks questions until the right time. Rarely, but probably once, He will get us into a corner where He will hurt us with His undeviating questions, and we will realize that we do love Him far more deeply than any profession can ever show.
Rest in the Lord and wait PATIENTLY for Him.
What is the greatest challenge in life – to run a marathon.. to fly to the moon.. maybe to sail single-handedly around the world, in a yacht… or pilot a balloon! Perchance become the Prime Minister of Great Britain or even the President of the United States! Perhaps the most challenging of all lessons to learn is patience – it is for me. Probably the greatest of achievements in life is to be clothed with patience. The youngest Prime Minister of Great Britain retired at the age of 34 – but patience, is a grace that only develops through the gruelling school of life – and it’s only perfected as I become increasingly transformed into HIS likeness.
Abraham the father of faith, at 75 waited 15 more long years to receive his promised son. Hannah endured ridicule and deep anguish, until broken, on her face before her God. And what patience Paul had to develop, as he waited years to be called into service. So how do you develop this rare and precious fruit, bestowed by the Spirit of God? How can you develop this priceless, inner, gentle, calm serenity in all things? “Oh Lord,” we cry – “develop in me that blessed fruit of patience…” “Oh Father, that in all things I may be clothed with this rare robe of righteousness.”
Be careful Beloved…. For God will answer such pleadings. He will answer such pleas from all who desire to perfect this grace in themselves – and He knows just what to do. Time and faith are the main contributors to the development of patient endurance. Trusting God in every, and all life’s circumstances.. regardless of conflicting logic. For the trying of you faith works to develop patience… James.1:3. “Ahh what a secret to learn” you say “now I know the answer – now I can achieve my objective!!” Ahh,read more
What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
Him that overcometh, will I make a pillar in the temple of my God
You only have a partial view of God's dealings with you today. You see through a darkened glass.. only perceiving a dim shadowy silhouette. You stand in the centre of His incomplete - partially developed plan for your life. You sometimes kick against the pricks of correction, which are sent in love, to you. You ofttimes resist the chosen tool He appointed, to refine and perfect you.
You are to be fashioned into a fair and sturdy pillar, in the temple of eternity, but first, you are selected, felled, hewn, shaped, fashioned and whittled.. Sculpted from a mighty, gnarled cedar. A tall cedar tree, grown in the windswept plains of Lebanon. A noble cedar - the pride of the timberland. A regal cedar, that wrestled with the north wind blasts.. resplendent to the eye in its summer foliage - magnificent to behold in its flush of grandeur. Birds nestled in its branches. Weary pilgrims sheltered beneath its spreading boughs. Wandering creatures discovered safety under the shadow if its branches.
You are that majestic cedar. You are that tree of mighty proportions. You are the one that stands so tall and proud against life's horizon.. doomed to succumb to the cutting flint of the great Woodman's sharp axe. Gashed and gnarled and stripped of branch and limb and bark. An impassioned cry rises against the felling of this mighty tree. A cry that joins the prophets great lament: "Howl fir tree - for the mighty cedar has fallen. Howl, ye oaks of Bashan - for the forest of the vintage is come down". Zech 11:2
But wait and watch and follow the ensuing journey of this humiliated tree.. dragged down the mountains over rough ground.. covered in reluctant pain and shame and confusion. Strapped to Hiram's little launch.. manhandled to the gate of God's own temple. The humbled tree.. aread more