from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.Ephesians 4:16(NASB)
I came to send fire on the earth. (Luke 12:49)
Fire always finds things out. As it creeps and encroaches and overtakes, it makes one discrimination between things that it can devour and things over which it has no power. It puts them into those categories; the finding out, the classifying, the deciding. Look at the context of Luke 12:51 – “Think ye that I am come to give peace in the earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division.” He goes on – “There shall be from henceforth five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. They shall be divided, father against son, and son against father; mother against daughter, and daughter against her mother; mother in law against her daughter in law, and daughter in law against her mother in law...” – discriminating, setting things in the category to which they belong.
One category is that which can go on and abide and endure because it is of God. The other will be licked up by the fire, and simply pass out of existence. “The fire shall try every man’s work,” said Paul (1Cor. 3:13). The fire of unavoidable and unerring discrimination. That has ever been the effect of the work of the Holy Spirit; to put us into the place to which we belong. It is a kind of dividing thing all the time. Are you for, or are you against? Are you with, or are you not with the Lord? Are you going on with the Lord, or are you not going on with the Lord? The Holy Spirit is pursuing that course all the time to find us out and to just classify us like this, so that when the Holy Spirit has worked we are in definite categories. Division has come, and it is unavoidable.
Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him. § Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.
If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.
You will have treasure in heaven … come, follow Me. § I am … your exceedingly great reward. Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord. They shall reign forever and ever.
You will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. § The crown of life. § The crown of righteousness. § An imperishable crown.
Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me. § We shall always be with the Lord.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Feed the flock of God which is among you" (1 Pet. 5:2).
It should grieve us to realize how many abandoned babes in Christ there are - spiritual orphans. In these days of spiritual dearth there is an ever-increasing need for the ministry of nurturing new believers, that they may be "rooted and built up in Him, and established" (Col. 2:7). "The greatest proof of your love for Christ is that you care for those who belong to Him; if you love Me, feed My sheep'." -J.B.S.
"Let us not feel that our task is done with the rebirth of a soul. The great burden of the Christian ministry should be that Christ may be formed in men, and that they, in turn, may be living witnesses to others. Notice Peter's words: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.' But for what purpose has all this been accomplished? He goes on to say, . . . that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light' (1 Pet. 2:9). But ye are...that ye should.' We believe in Christ's power and desire to win others, but for what? The whole purpose of salvation is that men and women may grow in the deeper stable characteristics of the Christian life - that they might be conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ." -G.D.
"The Christian life is not merely a converted life nor even a consecrated life, but it is the Christ-life. It is the consuming desire of the Lord Jesus to reincarnate Himself in the believer." -R.P.
"Neither as being Lord over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock" (1 Pet 5:3).
“Feed My sheep.” John 21:17
The love of God is tin-made, it is God's nature. When we receive the Holy Spirit He unites us with God so that His love is manifested in us. When the soul is united to God by the indwelling Holy Spirit, that is not the end; the end is that we may be one with the Father as Jesus was. What kind of oneness had Jesus with the Father? Such a oneness that the Father sent Him down here to be spent for us, and He says - "As the Father hath sent Me, even so send I you."
Peter realizes now with the revelation of the Lord's hurting question that he does love Him; then comes the point - "Spend it out." Don't testify how much you love Me, don't profess about the marvellous revelations you have had, but - "Feed My sheep." And Jesus has some extraordinarily funny sheep, some bedraggled, dirty sheep, some awkward, butting sheep, some sheep that have gone astray! It is impossible to weary God's love, and it is impossible to weary that love in me if it springs from the one centre. The love of God pays no attention to the distinctions made by natural individuality. If I love my Lord I have no business to be guided by natural temperament; I have to feed His sheep. There is no relief and no release from this commission. Beware of counterfeiting the love of God by working along the line of natural human sympathy, because that will end in blaspheming the love of God.
Lead me LORD, lead me in Thy righteousness.. make Thy way straight before my face.
Jesus said I Am the way..”
We are all pilgrims on a journey – a journey across the wilderness of life. If I am to be successful in my pilgrimage, I must be on the right track. If I am to successfully complete my passage through life, I must walk the right way. The way is not smooth – indeed there are many sharp stones that tear at my feet. There are many circumstances that rip me apart and tear and cut and bruise me, but Thy word is a lamp to my feet.. and a light to my pathway.
It is to the Christian and not the unbelieving man that Christ told us that the way is straight and the way is narrow, and few there are that find it – for once born from above, the believer has two choices. They can walk the broad way or they can choose the narrow way. Many Christians choose the wider path through life, where self is the focus, for if you seek to save your life, (and note, that the word life in the Greek is the same word as soul).. you will lose your life (you will lose you soul) Luke.17:33 Should a believer choose the broad way he would be eternally saved, for eternal salvation is the free gift of grace to all who trust in Jesus as Saviour… eternally saved but choosing to live your own self-life and not His Christ-life. You would receive the unconditional gift of eternal life that is given to all believers – and yet like Esau, you would be despising your inheritance.
There are a few who seek to follow Christ in the way of the Cross – where Christ remains their first love and remains as the focus of their heart, for as Jesus said, if you lose your life (read more
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
To he that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
There are times when things look very dark.. when clouds of hopelessness seem to linger in a thundery sky. These are often times when one needs to wait in hope… until the longed-for deferred fulfilment of a precious promise is at last rewarded.
But sometimes waiting in hope, has its own singular pain.. when naught but night’s blackness hangs heavily at the casement window. Where no twinkling light of some distant star shines to encourage the heart. Even though there seemed to be no glimmer of precious hope, Habakkuk summed up deferred hope in his astonishing prayer:
Though the fig tree shall not blossom,
neither shall fruit be on the vines,
the labour of the olive shall fail,
and the fields shall yield no meat..
the flock shall be cut off from the fold,
and there shall be no herd in the stalls…. Hab 3:17
This is the point where hope is deferred. This is the state where hope is put through the testing mangle. This is the place where the greatest patience and trusting hope must be exhibited… where Love and Faith support the weary arms of Hope.. just as Joshua and Hur held up the weary arms of Moses, until the precious desire blossoms forth as a Tree of Life.. for Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh it IS a Tree of Life.
So refuse to despair. Rejoice in the Lord, and joy in the God of your salvation. Deferred hope is not something that only you are facing today… It is Job – in his tempest. It is Abraham, on the long and dusty road toread more