Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him.John 19:1(NASB)
He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
(Luke 24:45 NIV)
As we contemplate the state of things in the world today, we are very deeply impressed and oppressed with the prevailing malady of spiritual blindness. It is the root malady of the time. We should not be far wrong if we said that most, if not all, of the troubles from which the world is suffering, are traceable to that root, namely, blindness. The masses are blind; there is no doubt about that. In a day which is supposed to be a day of unequaled enlightenment, the masses are blind.... The leaders are blind, blind leaders of the blind. But in a very large measure, the same is true of the Lord’s people. Speaking quite generally, Christians are today very blind.
Every bit of new seeing is a work from heaven. It is not something done fully once for all. It is possible for us to go on seeing and seeing, and yet more seeing, but with every fresh fragment of truth, this work, which is not in our power to do, has to be done by the Spirit. Spiritual Life is not only a miracle in its inception; it is a continuous miracle in this matter right on to the last.... We do not seek for new revelation, and we do not say or suggest or hint that you may have anything extra to the Word of God, but we do claim that there is a vast amount in the Word of God that we have never seen, which we may see. Surely everybody agrees with that: and it is just that – to see, and the more you see, really see, the more overwhelmed you feel about the whole thing, because you know that you have come to the borders of the land of far distances, lying far beyond a short lifetime’s power of experience. The Lord make us all to be of those who have eyes opened.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. § Glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
You are … a royal priesthood … that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. § You … as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. § By Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. § I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love. § I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. § Behold the Lamb of God! § As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. § We love Him because He first loved us.
My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away!”
I long to know Christ and the power which is in His resurrection" (Phil. 3:10, Wey.).
The difficult thing for most hungry-hearted believers is to wait in dependence upon the Lord for everything. Truth is not to be grasped, but received - received by faith, mainly through study. How true this is concerning reckoning! Many seek to reckon before they understand the scriptural facts upon which to count, and that adds up to failure. The secret is to learn the truth of our identification with the Lord Jesus so thoroughly that reckoning and its resultant growth will come as a matter of course, just as in our justification.
"The death of our Lord on the Cross has depths of meaning that can only be plumbed by way of discovered need, but then reveals unsearchable riches.' To the believer who still has hopes of attaining' in the Christian life, a verse such as Romans 6:11 is a rather meaningless jargon used by those who give messages on the deepening of the spiritual life.'
"To the believer who has been taught by the Holy Spirit something of his own utter, inbred sinfulness, it comes as a message from God full of hope and encouragement. He grasps the rescue rope flung to him by the right hand of Omnipotence, and with humble thankfulness sets out to learn how he can reckon himself dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Jesus Christ our Lord. When he looks at the Cross he sees there the fact that not only did the Lord Jesus die for him, but that he himself was taken down into His death, in order that the practical reality of His resurrection life might transform him into the divine likeness." -J.C.M.
"For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection" (Rom. 6:5).
“Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him … and did cast himself into the sea.” John 21:7
Have you ever had a crisis in which you deliberately and emphatically and recklessly abandoned everything? It is a crisis of will. You may come up to it many times externally, but it amounts to nothing. The real deep crisis of abandonment is reached internally, not externally. The giving up of external things may be an indication of being in total bondage.
Have you deliberately committed your will to Jesus Christ? It is a transaction of will, not of emotion; the emotion is simply the gilt-edge of the transaction. If you allow emotion first, you will never make the transaction. Do not ask God what the transaction is to be, but make it in regard to the thing you do see, either in the shallow or the profound place.
If you have heard Jesus Christ's voice on the billows, let your convictions go to the winds, let your consistency go to the winds, but maintain your relationship to Him.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Fallen man lives in a fallen world.. a world of sin and a world of suffering. A saved sinner is still a fallen man, who lives in a fallen world. Suffering is due to other people’s sin or it may be self-inflicted but all suffering needs to be addressed. Self-inflicted suffering is often the result of our own volition – our own wrong life-choices.
Some pressures we face are a direct result of the wrong choices we make in our life. Other pressures we face are totally beyond our control and are not caused by our choices. Nevertheless, we are responsible for our actions, reactions and the everyday choices we make. Every day we exercise our volition in a myriad of ways. Some of our choices are good and some are bad, some are wise and others foolish. Have you ever made a bad choice in your life? I certainly have, and I doubt there is one person alive, who has not made poor use of their volition – relational choices; purchasing choices; moving choices; living choices. Just one simple bad choice can change the entire direction of a man’s life.
We are not robots and our capacity to choose can have a devastating result on our lives, but how easy to make bad choices and then blame God for our self-inflicted pain. There are a number of reasons that Christians make wrong choices. One of the most common reasons for bad choices is ignorance of God’s word. I wonder how many believers are under pressure today, due to lack of knowledge. So many of the issues we face in life are clearly outlined in God’s word – if we would but listen. Hosea writes: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Hos.4:6, but how often people make important life-decisions, based on anything but the Word of God.
Another common reason for bad choices is ignoring theread more
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
Christ was made sin for the world, taking the punishment we deserve in His body on the cross, and the veil of the temple was rent in two, from top to bottom, removing forever the barrier that separated sinful man from a holy God. Christ’s sacrificial death opened up the way for all who believe on His name, to approach God’s throne of grace and enjoy sweet fellowship with the Father.
Although union with the Lord can never be broken, lost or removed for all who are in Christ Jesus, fellowship with God and sweet communion with Him can be broken, when sin rears its ugly head in our lives. Each time we sin, fellowship must be restored and John outlines his “fellowship formula” at the start of his first epistle.
But ingrained, religious tradition often causes us to misappropriate John’s teaching, or self-imposed perceptions of what John writes can result in incorrect application. Verse 9 outlines the condition for regaining our lost fellowship: If we confess our sins… If we honestly confess our sins to the Father, He will forgive us and restore our fellowship.
The whole of first John chapter 1, is moving towards this vital point. If we honestly confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. If we confess our sins, He is faithful to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we confess our sins, God us faithful to re-establish fellowship with His children.
But what does it actually mean “to confess” our sin? Well, confess means name them. All we have to do is name our sins, and by His grace, He will forgive our sins and restore us back into fellowship with Himself. But think about it.. there is one great big, huge stumbling block. What do we mean by sin. What is sin, and how canread more