But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer;2 Corinthians 1:6(NASB)
Although He was weak when He was nailed to the cross, He now lives by the power of God. We are weak, just as Christ was. But you will see that we will live by the power of God, just as Christ does. (2 Corinthians 13:4 CEV)
One of the most damaging things in the realm of God's work, a thing which eventually leads to shame and confusion and much sorrow, is Natural Soul Force projected by strong-willed, determined, aggressive Christians who have not come to a spiritual state where they are able to discriminate between stubborn indomitableness, personal determination and resolution, and which is altogether another thing: spiritual grace in endurance, perseverance, and Divine in-strengthening. The Lord has often to break the former to make place for the latter. Do not talk about Paul's wonderful will to go through. Let Paul talk to you about the Lord's wonderful grace to continue.
Whenever a man or a woman really recognizing the truth that Calvary means the end of "I" commits himself or herself to the Lord to work it out, the flame of the sword will come round to the point where that "flesh" would seek to enter into the realm where the first Adam no longer has any standing. The features of a personal strength of will are hardness, coldness, death, resentment of interference, suspicion of rivals, intolerance of obstructers, detachment, independence, secretiveness, heat, etc. While spiritual strength is always marked by love, warmth, life, fellowship, openness, confidence, and trust in the Lord.... At the end, in the Revelation, the dragon, the whole power of Satan is overthrown by the Lamb. The Lamb is the synonym for weakness and yieldingness. If the weakness of God can do this mighty destruction, what can His strength not do? Paul says of Christ that "He was crucified through weakness," and, he adds, "we also are weak with Him." Yes, but he also says, "by the Cross He triumphed." Triumphed through weakness!
Truly, in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains; truly, in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel. § The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. § Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. . . . The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. § The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. § So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” § For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect.
By the grace of God I am what I am.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. § There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands… They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable.
You were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. § I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I do not forget Your commandments.
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. . . . I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. • What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law but under grace" (Rom 6:14)
The believer's attitude toward the law is that it is "holy...and just, and good" (Rom. 7:12). He does not belittle it by refusing to be under it; he honors it by acknowledging its fulfillment. "For I, through the law, am dead to the law, that I might live unto God" (Gal. 2:19).
"If I say I am under law, and stop there, I am left in spiritual anarchy. If I say I am under law and under grace, I am in the current Galatian heresy which seeks to combine law and grace. But if I say I am not under the law but under grace, I am giving a biblical and Christian testimony." -C.I.S.
"Our identification with Christ in His death places us in perfect reconciliation to a violated law. God has said, The soul that sinneth, it shall die.' The believer has sinned, and has died in Christ's death. The law has said, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.' None have continued in obedience. But Christ has been made a curse for us'; for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.' Hence, crucified with Christ, we have been accursed in Him. Not one jot or tittle has then passed away from the law, but all has been fulfilled." -A.J.G.
"If, then, when you died with Christ, you put away the childish lessons of outward things, why, as though you still lived in outward things, do you submit yourselves to decrees?" (Col. 2:20, Wey.).
“Labourers together with God.” 1 Corinthians 3:9
Beware of any work for God which enables you to evade concentration on Him. A great many Christian workers worship their work. The one concern of a worker should be concentration on God, and this will mean that all the other margins of life, mental, moral and spiritual, are free with the freedom of a child, a worshipping child, not a wayward child. A worker without this solemn dominant note of concentration on God is apt to get his work on his neck; there is no margin of body, mind or spirit free, consequently he becomes spent out and crushed. There is no freedom, no delight in life; nerves, mind and heart are so crushingly burdened that God's blessing cannot rest. But the other side is just as true - when once the concentration is on God, all the margins of life are free and under the dominance of God alone. There is no responsibility on you for the work; the only responsibility you have is to keep in living constant touch with God, and to see that you allow nothing to hinder your co-operation with Him. The freedom after sanctification is the freedom of a child, the things that used to keep the life pinned down are gone. But be careful to remember that you are freed for one thing only - to be absolutely devoted to your co-Worker.
We have no right to judge where we should be put, or to have preconceived notions as to what God is fitting us for. God engineers everything; wherever He puts us our one great aim is to pour out a whole-hearted devotion to Him in that particular work. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, for by it the elders obtained a good report.
Hebrews 11 tells us a lot about faith, which is trusting God and believing His word. It tells us a lot about the confidence and conviction of the elders of faith in Hebrews 11, and how they gained approval from God, because they trusted Him. We are told that:– faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, and by it the elders obtained a good report.
Unlike us, the elders listed in Hebrews 11, we have received the full canon of scripture and we have a precedent. We have evidence of Christ’s first coming and they only had the promise. These saints that are listed in Hebrews believed God’s word without the same advantages that we have in the 21st century. But like them we too can gain a good report, by faith.
When viewed from todays perspective, what amazing faith these Old Testament saints exhibited, and what lack we demonstrate today. We have a written, geological and other records of the flood; God’s dealings with Israel, Sodom, Gomorrah and Nineveh. We also see God’s judgment poured out at Calvary. God keeps His word and we have a precedent that gives us confidence, that future promises will be fulfilled.
Abel had no president that God would accept His offering, but He trusted God. Enoch had no evidence of a rapture, but he walked by faith, and God took him. Noah had no visible outward proof that the waters of judgment would swamp the earth, but he obeyed God, by faith and Abraham owned no land and had no evidence of his innumerable descendants – but He trusted God.
None of the saints in Hebrews received the promises, but they lived in the confident assurance that God is faithful: and these all, having obtained a good report through faithread more
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing… Whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
1 Corinthians 13:2,9-10
And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, Jesus expounded to them in all the Scriptures, the things concerning Himself.
At twenty-one years of age, my son discovered the beauty of Leviticus! Mum, he said excitedly down the phone: it all points to Jesus! His heart cry over time has grown to echo that of Paul: that I may know Him. Gal.2:20. Lessons we learn in our youth mature over time as we grow older. Glorious petals wither and fall and sweet perfume fails and fades. Blossoms of discovery shrivel-away as ripening fruit replaces them and matures.
The artists outlined sketch on the canvas is not destroyed by the oil or paint. His initial light tracings remain, as the painting develops to its fullness. The original sketching unfolds until each feature glows rich with glorious fullness. No knowledge or experience is lost to the heavenly Weaver, Who skilfully blends heartaches and joys into each life’s canvas. Paul the angry young man with blood-stains on his hands, used that same hand to pen the precious words: the greatest of all is love.
Our Christian life is a life of discoveries, each building on the prior base. Initially, we set out to take the world by storm. It is normal and healthy to begin our Christian life victoriously. But as we mature, God gives us a practical revelation of the sinfulness of self. Our hatred of self is actually developed and strengthened, through the miserable years of slavery to self.
C.A Cotes puts it this way:- “Many of us have probably known what it was to rejoice in the grace of Godread more