As soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables.Mark 4:10(NASB)
The Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as His son. (Hebrews 12:6 NIV)
What is the purpose of sonship? It is to bring us into the place of spiritual responsibility. God never puts responsibilities upon ‘official people,’ but upon sons. Therefore He has to train us as children in order to develop sonship in us, to bring us there where we can take responsibilities for God. He seeks to bring us to a state of spiritual maturity, to full growth. This cannot be done in some Bible school, or by putting people ‘into the ministry.’ God never works on an official side. Oh yes, God does take us into His school. He can also take us into His school in some training institute. And it is a blessed thing if He does.
But God’s school is something very different from mere scholarly activity. His Word says: “My son, regard not lightly the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art reproved of Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” Note this word “whom He receives.” The exact meaning in the Greek is not ‘receives,’ but “whom He positions” or places. It is a matter of position. God is seeking to develop a state in us where He can trust us. When God is dealing with us, there is behind it a wonderful assurance that He is going to put His trust in us. He is bringing us into a position of trust. We do not just want to be servants, bits of a machine, but sons who have become one with the Father, and in whose hands He can put spiritual responsibilities. When we truly recognize this, we begin to understand why God is dealing with us as He does. But because God is in it we know that the end is sure. He will bring His children through.
He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. § On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper.
God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
I beseech you … , brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. § The love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. § Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
The Lord will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory.The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. § They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light.
You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light. § [Give] thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. § For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.
We are not of the night nor of darkness.
The path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9).
"Reckoning" on the work of the Cross is the only relief from the carnal burden of self. Then comes the spiritual burden of Christ - to be more like Him. "Reckoning" is the answer there, too. "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through [in] Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6.11). If we seek to escape the death, we will not experience the life.
"We are not to try to crucify self, but we are to agree (reckon) with what God has said and done. In the lives of most believers self has usurped the place belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a criminal worthy of death, but the trouble is that they do not realize that this self-life has been crucified on the Cross. They do not believe the facts of the Word, and sin therefore reigns in their lives; they live in bondage to sin, praying for deliverance, praying that they may die to sin, but refusing to believe what God says He has already done." -L.L.L.
"The constant tendency is to try to improve the manner of one's life here below by adopting Christian principles, whereas you will never arrive at it unless you start from crucified with Christ.' Then it is not thinking of what I am, but of what He is, Christ liveth in me.'" -J.B.S.
"And ye are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power" (Col. 2:10).
“Cast thy burden upon the Lord.” Psalms 55:22
We must distinguish between the burden-bearing that is right and the burden-bearing that is wrong. We ought never to bear the burden of sin or of doubt, but there are burdens placed on us by God which He does not intend to lift off, He wants us to roll them back on Him. "Cast that He hath given thee upon the Lord." (R.V. marg.) If we undertake work for God and get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility will be overwhelmingly crushing; but if we roll back on God that which He puts upon us, He takes away the sense of responsibility by bringing in the realization of Himself.
Many workers have gone out with high courage and fine impulses, but with no intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ, and before long they are crushed. They do not know what to do with the burden, it produces weariness, and people say - "What an embittered end to such a beginning!"
"Roll thy burden upon the Lord" - you have been bearing it all; deliberately put one end on the shoulder of God. "The government shall be upon His shoulder." Commit to God "that He hath given thee"; not fling it off, but put it over on to Him and yourself with it, and the burden is lightened by the sense of companionship. Never disassociate yourself from the burden.
That we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes – but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him Who is the Head, even Christ.
I believed in Jesus as a child, but don’t remember the day I trusted Him as saviour. At times I wished I’d had the earth shattering salvation “experience” of many saints. But however a sinner becomes a saint, it is the start of an eternal union with Christ. It is an everlasting ticket into the presence of God in the power of the Spirit – the first step on a lifetime journey of spiritual growth.
Peter exhorts us to grow in grace and: as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby, 1 Peter 2:2 while Paul reminds us to: speak the truth in love, so we may grow up into Him in all things. Ephesians 4:5 God wants us to become spiritually mature: so grow in grace, and grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18.
The reason to grow, is because we have been commanded to grow. The responsibility to grow, is incumbent on each believer. The rate of growth, is always very slow. It takes a lifetime to grow.. and growth can be both joyful and painful. Spiritual growth is either a forward or a backwards growth, but there is no standing still.
Sadly many new believers are left to ‘grow’ without good discipleship or sound teaching. Others are pushed into leadership positions, while still babes in Christ. Most have to fend for themselves, which is both irresponsible and unscriptural, and the inevitable result is a belief system founded on man-made doctrine, rather than the God’s Word.
Such a biased belief system, often produces false perceptions of Godread more
And we know that all things work together for good to those that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
How we delight to stand on the precious promise of God, in those times of difficulty and distress, knowing they are all ‘yes’, and ‘amen’ in Christ. How encouraging to call to remembrance the wonderful truths of the Word of God, knowing that all things work together for good to those that love God.. to those that are called according to His good purpose. How comforting it is to know that Christ is preparing for us a home in heaven.. and how edifying to know that He is one day coming back to take us to be with Himself. Oh.. how we rejoice to rest in the precious promises of God.
It is good and wise for us rest on the truths in His Word, especially as we face the particular challenges of each day. It is vital to trust in the promises that flood through the Holy Scriptures for they are indeed food for the soul; refreshment for the weary; hope for the dejected and sufficient for all our needs in the day of trouble. Christ truly is our sufficiency. Jesus Christ alone is the God of our Salvation – and He it is that causes all things to work together for good to them that love God – to them that are the called according to His purpose.
Every believer in Christ rejoices in their salvation, knowing that their sins have been forgiven and that they have received eternal life – knowing that they have a glorious inheritance, which is laid up for them in heaven. But there is so much more that is contained in the purposes of God, which were determinedread more