"If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.John 15:19(NASB)
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame. (Hebrews 12:2)
The passion of the Cross is the way of our release, and if you consider your own spiritual experience, those of you who have any experience of a walk with God, you know quite well that it has been through times of deep and acute suffering that you have found fresh releases; fresh releases in your spiritual life. Is it not true? Yes, we pass into a time of excruciating spiritual and soul suffering. We do not know what the Lord is doing, what He means by this, what He is after, but we know the features of our experience and know what it is that we are suffering, and it goes on. We, of course, ask the Lord to stop it, to bring it to a quick end, to deliver us from it. He takes no notice of us, and it is only those people who get out the other end who say, hank God, He did not take any notice.In the meantime, we think He is anything but kind and good and doing the right thing, but as we get on under His hand, we begin to see and to sense that He is dealing with something. Maybe He is dealing with our pride, our independence, or our irresponsibility, for example. That is the issue that comes up, and we are faced all the time with something about ourselves that is almost devastating. We would not have believed that that was so strong in us.
Oh, of course we were always ready to believe that that is in mankind and in us as a part of mankind in a general way. Yes, we would never have resented being told that there was pride or something like that about us, but we would never have believed how deeply rooted and terribly strong that thing is until it was put to a fiery test and everything was held up, and we saw that everything in our life and work for God was held up on that point.... And we know quite well that what the Lord was after was not the pulverising of us, as we thought, the winding up of us, but to bring about enlargement, to bring about release, and release always lies along the line of the Cross, the passion. Enlargement always lies in that direction.
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. § Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. § You cannot serve God and mammon.
You shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. § Serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts.
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. § For man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. § Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.
He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. § The Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith.
Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
Of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. § Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. § [Look] for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust" (Ruth 2:12).
The Lord Jesus not only died for every sin in our life, but He lives for every second of our life. We cannot rest in Him until we realize that there is never an instant that He is not caring for us. It is as though each of His own were His only one.
"So many saints are disturbed, so many are restless, because they are not living in the knowledge that they are under the care of the Lord; and then there is no power to walk. Why have you so little power in walk or service? It is because you are not yet clear that the Lord is caring for you, that He is in all watchfulness over you, that He has let down the strong pinions of His protecting care till they sweep the ground around you, and, if you are wise, you will creep up close under His wings, into the very down." -J.B.S.
"It belongs to the nature of our pilgrimage and life of faith, that we cannot see the land for which we are bound. If only thou hast bid farewell to thy past, have confidence in thy God; trust Him to bring thee into a better land than the one thou art leaving. Should we find that Divine things do not at present correspond with our hopes, we may be quite sure they will eventually exceed our expectations; we shall realize above all we ask or comprehend." -O.S.
"And a man shall be like an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; like rivers of water in a dry place, like the shadow of a great rock in a weary land" (Isa. 32:2).
How blessed.. the one that can watch the dried brook and trust in God’s unfailing faithfulness; the one that holds an empty cruise of oil and yet believes in God’s provision; the one that stands by the Red Sea’s raging waters and expects his deliverance; the one whose barren womb can spring forth with life, by faith – the one who amidst the flooding tsunamis of life, can simply rest in His love. How blessed the one that is not living at crossed purposes with the purpose of God.
God uses all life’s circumstances, including years of carnality, to perfect His saints. Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Matt.4:1 But He says to us, through the apostle Paul: My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2Cor.2:19
The Lord was led to the wilderness immediately after the glories of His baptism.. after the wonderful experience of the Holy Spirit descending on the ‘Beloved Son’. But then immediately followed the terrible experience of the wilderness testings. Spiritual privileges do not exempt us from the fiery trials. It is often at the height of the mountain top, that the vast wilderness looms before. Too frequently a period of blessedness transforms into a long season of wretchedness. Following a time of tender intimacy and gracious communion with God.. a time that has been spent hidden behind the closed portals of His love, the door is flung open to the enemy’s most fiery trials and evil suggestions.
What is it that ignites Satan’s wrath against a believer? It is not the lukewarm believers, who have responded to the entreaties of the world. It is not the carnal Christian, that has been enticed back into fleshly pursuits.. for they have already been seduced by the world and lured by Satan’s wiles. It isread more
Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the Lord: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.
Even when we were dead in our trespasses, He made us alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved. God, is rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us
Am I proud of my humility? Are you? Remember, let him who thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall. 1Cor.10:12. There are two important considerations that keep us from relapsing into prideful inclinations. The first is acknowledging the state from which I have been brought – by grace. The second is bearing in mind the fast-approaching day of judgment.. a day to which we are hastening.
Last autumn I used a very strong weed-killer on the surrounding paving stones in my home. I jet-washed the entire area, and poured in blessed sand and cement to complete the task! It was weed-free for a few glorious months.. and I smugly rejoiced with exceeding great joy! Yet now a few short months later weeds of all sorts and shape abound on my driveway – in greater profusion than ever before! In the same way…am I proud of my humility?
Am I proud that the weeds of self-importance were weeded out in some bygone days. Do I rejoice that weeds of presumption have been flushed away from my character? Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall again. We are apt to forget that unholy weeds of self-worth, ego, pride or arrogance.. too readily spring back up to choke lovely flowers – like hearts-ease and other precious things.
What a catalog of ‘weeds’ have we been delivered from. What a list of Scriptures remind us of who we were – and where we are going. We have been delivered from the pit of corruption – the miry clay.. rescued from the hand of our enemy – deliveredread more