"For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.Matthew 7:14(NASB)
I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. (Leviticus 26:4)
You do not get the fruit until the blossom has gone. It is the Summer, not the Winter, that follows the blowing away of the blossoms. Of course, we all like to see the blossom in its time, but we should have some strange feelings if we saw the blossom there all through the Summer. We should say: "There is something wrong here, it is time that blossom went." We look closer, and we see something in its place, full of promise, and of much more value. This early blossom may be a sign of life, but it is not the life itself. A sign of early life belongs to the early Spring, showing that the Winter is past and resurrection is at work. It is a sign, but it is not the thing itself, and it passes with spiritual infancy. These early enthusiasms are not the real basis of our union with God, but are the signs of something that has happened in us. They are of ourselves, they are not of God. He is something other than that. He is not going to blow away. The Life is working and will show itself in stronger and deeper forms....
But if, on the one hand, eternal Life operates to cut us off from our natural life as the basis of our relationship with God, on the other hand, it is perfectly wonderful what is done. It is "the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes." The Lord even comes in as our physical life to the doing of more than would have been possible to us at our best, and certainly far beyond the present possibility, because He has made us know that as men we are nothing, even at our best. Life does that. Life forces off one system and brings on another, making room for it as it goes.
The Lord is not slow to fulfil His promises as some count slowness.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth… so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness has seized the hypocrites: “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” § We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us. § The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. § Knowing therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.
Be ready in season and out of season. § Others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire. “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord of hosts § [He] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you" (Gal. 4:19).
A ministry of life, whether it be at the kitchen sink, or from the First Church pulpit, must flow from the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. That life must be developed in and shared through the growing believer, by the Holy Spirit. We are to rest in Him for spiritual growth, and He will work through us for spiritual service.
"He, whom the Lord cannot trust with the faithful care of his own vineyard, will not be trusted with the tending of God's Vineyard of living, immortal souls. How shall we face the Owner of the Vineyard, if we have neglected our own lives; if we have not entered into that which God has shown us; if we must say, when He asks us about the lack of fruit and the neglect which is so sadly evident: Lord, I was so busy tending Thy Vineyard, that my own vineyard I have not kept' (S.S. 1:6)." -C.H.MacI.
"Our Lord is more concerned for a testimony than for a work. We need to get clear on that. A good deal of confusion comes in when you begin to think of things in the light of a work. When you get a lot of people leaving their employment to go into the work,' all kinds of complications arise. It is not that we aren't to serve the Lord, but in the first place it is not the work the Lord is after, it is a testimony, it is a light, a living flame."
"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Col. 1:10)
“If thou hadst known … in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” Luke 19:42
Jesus had entered into Jerusalem in triumph, the city was stirred to its foundations; but a strange god was there, the pride of Pharisaism; it was religious and upright, but a "whited sepulchre."
What is it that blinds me in this "my day"? Have I a strange god - not a disgusting monster, but a disposition that rules me? More than once God has brought me face to face with the strange god and I thought I should have to yield, but I did not do it. I got through the crisis by the skin of my teeth and I find myself in the possession of the strange god still; I am blind to the things which belong to my peace. It is an appalling thing that we can be in the place where the Spirit of God should be getting at us unhinderedly, and yet in crease our condemnation in God's sight.
"If thou hadst known" - God goes direct to the heart, with the tears of Jesus behind. These words imply culpable responsibility; God holds us responsible for what we do not see. "Now they are hid from thine eyes" - because the disposition has never been yielded. The unfathomable sadness of the "might have been!" God never opens doors that have been closed. He opens other doors, but He reminds us that there are doors which we have shut, doors which need never have been shut, imaginations which need never have been sullied. Never be afraid when God brings back the past. Let memory have its way. It is a minister of God with its rebuke and chastisement and sorrow. God will turn the "might have been" into a wonderful culture for the future.
God has a plan and purpose for each of His blood-bought children which is to be like Jesus.. and it is by faith in God that He performs this change – and He takes His time! God uses life’s circumstances, (good and ill). to prepare us for ultimate maturity and though we are accepted in Him, we need to be conformed into His likeliness. And so God has built His universe upon certain unchangeable principles and precepts -life principles -relational principles -business principles -national principles. As with the dispensation of Law, there are specific of principles for the age of grace… for we are not under the law, but under grace. Rom.6:14
But one, comprehensive, universal, foundational principles – is ‘need‘… Whether sinner or saint, saved or unsaved, Jew or gentile, God has built ‘need‘ into man. The unsaved sinner needs a Saviour. He has a “God-shaped hole,” as C.S.Lewis called it. The unsaved sinner has the need of a Saviour and the Spirit convicts him of this need. When the unsaved sinner has been born again this initial need is satisfied – and from that day he is accepted in Christ.. as perfect in God’s sight as His only begotten Son. The saved saint similarly has ‘need’, without which spiritual growth will fail. He is accepted in the Beloved fully and perfectly, for time and through eternity.. but now he is to start being conformed into the likeness of Christ and God uses one, comprehensive, universal, foundational principle –’need‘.
One essential ingredient for faith, growth and service rests on God’s principle of ‘need‘.. and God uses this inbuilt operative of the human heart, to develop faith. God uses this innate function of man’s soul, to turn him from self to Christ. When others fail us, it is to the open arms of His comfort that we fly. When things go wrong, it is to the one source of His supply that we turn.read more
In Isaiah 55:8-9 we read:- My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways.. and My thoughts than your thoughts…”
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” Rom.11:33. “How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” Psa.139:17. Jesus said, “I have made known to them Thy name, and will make it known; that the love with which Thou hast loved Me may be in them and I in them.” John 17:26. “For who has known the mind of the Lord, who shall instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1Cor.2:16 God’s profound and wondrous thoughts are beyond my scant understanding. His perplexing and peculiar ways are too mystifying for my poor mind to grasp.. but in His mercy He shows enough to us, for our salvation and godly conduct. No unlearned wanderer or little child can be in error or these dear truths.
His love and mercy towards us all is new each morning and fresh every day. Our love and gratitude towards Him should be our daily rejoicing. But still.. God’s profound and wondrous thoughts are beyond our scant understanding. His perplexing and peculiar ways are too mystifying for our poor minds to grasp. His thoughts and ways are so different from our own considerations.
His dealings with men are often beyond the realms of our understanding. His practice with nations, remain outside the sphere of our grasp. His actions towards His own sometimes bring us to the point of melancholy.. as we see the pain of the poor and the defenceless appear to go unnoticed.. as we watch the Church of God being harassed and persecuted – as we question why He permits wicked man to trample our rights. And still… God’s profound and wondrous thoughts are beyond our scant understanding,read more