for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.Matthew 12:40(NASB)
His eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. (Mark 8:25)
You and I, dear friends, individually, and if we belong to a company of the Lord's people, that company, will only make progress towards that full, ultimate end of God in Christ if we have a spiritual vision of Jesus Christ. Vision is essential to progress. Is it necessary for me to stay with the word "vision"? I am not thinking about something objective that you see with your eyes of flesh. It is something that has happened inside of you, and your inner spiritual eyes have been opened. You can say, "I have SEEN, and that has revolutionized my life. That has put me on my feet. That has set me on a course. That has become a dynamic in my life which, in spite of myself, keeps me going." Yes, thank God, it works like that.
I know the aspect, the factor, of our responsibility, but God help you and me if it is all going to be left to our responsibility and what we do! I tell you – and this may have been your experience, or it may interpret your personal experience – many, many times I would have given up the race. That is an awful confession! Indeed many times I have given it up in my heart. It became so difficult that I could go no further, so I gave up. It was not, therefore, my persistence that enabled me to go on, but what the Apostle calls "the power that worketh in us." What is that? The Holy Spirit has put a dynamic in us and we have seen. We cannot un-see! We cannot go back. The seeing may fade, and it may even be eclipsed by days of darkness and trouble. We may know what Paul meant when he said: "We were pressed out of measure, beyond our strength, inasmuch that we despaired even of life" (2 Corinthians 1:8). That was a terrible thing for the greatest of all apostles to say! What happened? Did Paul give up and say: "Well, I cannot go on!"? No, not at all! "The power that worketh in us" got him on his feet again and again. Let Elijah seek out his juniper tree and say: "Take away my life!", but the Lord does not agree. He has given Elijah a part in His great, eternal purpose, and so he will come up again.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. § Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
We walk by faith, not by sight. § We do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. § An inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away [is] reserved in heaven for you.
My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. § All these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come.
“Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. § Aaron held his peace. § It is the Lord. Let Him do what seems good to Him.
Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you. § He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
Ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you" (Rom. 6:17).
The only true, consistent, and Christ-honoring experience is that which emerges from clear-cut faith in the explicit facts of the Word. Sound doctrine is the one basis for a mature walk and effective service. "Thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine" (1 Tim. 4:6).
"We must remember that our death to sin was once for all accomplished at the Cross. There the believer shared the death of the Lord Jesus; for when he became a believer, the life he received was life in Christ, that is, life out of death, resurrection life, newness of life'; and the relation to sin and the law which Christ had, became those of the believer! Our experience of it all is simply the entering by faith into what has already happened at the Cross.
"God now commands each of us to reckon ourselves as having died with Christ to sin - and therefore as now dead unto sin; and as having risen with Christ, and therefore now alive to God (Rom. 6:11). Now it is always on the basis of what God has done that He asks us to reckon, to appropriate. God makes the facts and tells us to take the attitude that befits these facts; and when we obey, He increasingly works our experiential victory in and through us." -W.R.N.
"Give attendance . . . to doctrine" (1 Tim. 4:13).
“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself.” Acts 20:24
It is easier to serve God without a vision, easier to work for God without a call, because then you are not bothered by what God requires; common sense is your guide, veneered over with Christian sentiment. You will be more prosperous and successful, more leisure-hearted, if you never realize the call of God. But if once you receive a commission from Jesus Christ, the memory of what God wants will always come like a goad; you will no longer be able to work for Him on the common-sense basis.
What do I really count dear? If I have not been gripped by Jesus Christ, I will count service dear, time given to God dear, my life dear unto myself. Paul says he counted his life dear only in order that he might fulfill the ministry he had received; he refused to use his energy for any other thing. Acts 20:24 states Paul's almost sublime annoyance at being asked to consider himself; he was absolutely indifferent to any consideration other than that of fulfilling the ministry he had received. Practical work may be a competitor against abandonment to God, because practical work is based on this argument - "Remember how 'useful you are here", or - Think how much value you would be in that particular type of work." That attitude does not put Jesus Christ as the Guide as to where we should go, but our judgment as to where we are of most use. Never consider whether you are of use; but always consider that you are not your own but His.
Oh that men would PRAISE the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”
When they began to SING and PRAISE, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.
God delights in our praise and thanksgiving – He loves a grateful heart. And here is one of the innermost secrets of Christian living and walking with Christ.. an attitude of praise and gratitude, from a humble heart : broken – in love – for Him. What joy filled Christ’s heart when the one leper returned to give thanks for healing.. but His felicity and delight was tinged with such a depth of disappointment.. were there not TEN lepers healed .. where are the other NINE… ? For the ONE whose grateful thanks dropped like fresh dew on the ears of Jesus – there are many more who take the free gift, that cost God so much – and simply, walk away.
With what jealousy I must guard this attitude of grateful thanks and praise. I must day-by-day safeguard against my failure to rehearse and practice thanksgiving. Why – why is it so good to praise the Lord and to sing praises unto our God. The Psalmist motivates us to come and sing… Come – come let us sing unto the LORD… let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.” Psalm.95..
However deep the shadows – however dark the path – we have cause to praise. Wherever the dark disappointments that mar your vision and break your heart – there is cause to praise Him and a reason to approach Him too. But how.. you scream at me, how can I praise God in the midst of despair. How can I be thankful for my loss, my pain, my distress, my loneliness, my illness ….. How? God knows… I don’t – but this I do know…. He takes every painread more
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
1 John 4:11
The love of God was love in deed and in truth. It did not materialise from an inward emotion. It was not based on selfish need. The love of God was expressed in a way that we can never doubt:-
The Father loved us so much –
that He gave His Own Son.
The Son loved us so much –
that He gave His Own Life.
The Spirit loved us so much –
that He tracked us down.
He convicted us of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. He brought us to the point of repentance. He opened our understanding to the Word of God. He gave us spiritual discernment. He took us deeper into Jesus. The love of God IS love in deed and in truth.
Such love pours out itself in giving gifts to the object of its love. Such love expresses itself in forgiveness of the object of its love. You are that object of His giving heart. You are the object of His forgiving love. Day by day we recognise that His love is changeless and abiding. Moment by moment we understand that His grace is all embracing. God does not deal with man according to his sins, He does not reward us according to our iniquities. Psalm 103:10
The disposition of God Himself is to be the guide of our actions and attitudes. The nature of God is to be the indicator of our moods and motives. The character of God is to be the pattern of our words and wisdom. The fruit of God’s Spirit are to mellow into gentleness, goodness and grace. If our path leads us into disagreement.. if our conversations lead us into misunderstandings.. if our opinions lead us into disputes – run quickly to search out an immediate solution. Hurry to initiate a gracious reply. Ours is to be the initiative to the point of self-humiliation.read more