The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.Genesis 2:8(NASB)
I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:12)
The certainty and the assurance that was right at the root of his Christian life and service came because of this one thing: he'd seen everything in Jesus. Everything... in Jesus. What liberation that brought to him! What emancipation! We have often said here that there was no power in this world that could have turned that rabid, fanatical Jew, Saul of Tarsus, into a Christian and a lover of Jesus of Nazareth. No power in this world that could have done that, but just seeing Jesus Himself in this way and that did it, that did it! He was emancipated, he was free! No wonder of all his writings the fiercest, the fieriest is his letter to the Galatians, the letter of our liberty in Christ and it begins with this "God revealed His Son in me and that set me free from all other things."
No use telling people that this and that, and the other thing are a limitation and that they should seek enlargement by getting out of it. That is an unfruitful, unprofitable, indeed that's a dangerous line to take with anybody. But again, if only we can bring Christ... with all His divine significance and meaning and comprehensiveness to them and the Holy Spirit can reveal Him in their hearts... oh, that will do it! That will do it; they will never again be content with anything that limits them to the grave clothes of religion. It delivered Paul from Judaism as nothing else would have done. The way of an escape, the way of enlargement, the way of endurance is to see Jesus. It is not by learning, that is, it is not by the schools. Paul had all of the schools, he did, of religion. He didn't get it through the schools and we'll never get it through the schools; along that line of the technical instruction of things Christian or religious. This is not a merely mental or academic or intellectual thing at all. It is a work of the Holy Spirit.
We… rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations. § I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation. § Believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible.
In a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. § To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ.
Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? § God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His Presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them and carried them. § He whom You love is sick. § “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” … Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. § I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
We do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. § In Him we live and move and have our being. § He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. § The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.
Hearken unto Me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord; look unto the rock from which ye are hewn" (Isa. 51:1).
If we care for His glory, we will want to serve. If we care for others, we will want to be well prepared for that service. And that care will enable us to hold still and trust Him through all that is entailed in the preparation.
"When a certain breaking down of self takes place in a believer's life, it produces a marked change in him; but afterwards he has to learn it all in detail." -J.N.D.
"This is a fact borne out in the case of every servant of God in history who has really come under the hand of God - that the real values of their lives for all time have been those which correspond to the wine of the grape, the thing trodden out in the winepress, the agony of heart; and you know that it is true in your case that if ever you have had anything at all which you knew to be worthwhile and which has helped someone else, it has been born out of some travail in your own experience."
"If we knew the heart of our Father we would never question any of His dealings with us, nor should we ever desire His hand lifted off us till we had learnt all He would teach us." -E.D.
"Now, therefore, ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone" (Eph. 2:19, 20).
God has given us vital principles of the Christian life – foundational gospel facts. But how few Christians can live or even accept these simple truths of God’s Word.. constructing arguments to destroy truth – to fit in with a skewed understanding. How many Christians consider that God is better pleased with them through works. How many can’t get their heads around being perfect in God’s sight – through Christ? How many object to His child-training in their life when it becomes uncomfortable? How many distort the character of God to fit their developed, biased perceptions. Well, I can tell you it is probably more than you think, and it all comes back to believing God’s Word and trusting His love…period.
Every spiritual principle of growth, God has set out in His Word. And God is taking a life-time and possibly longer to bring us to maturity. He takes the normal, natural things of life and uses them as His teaching tools. And the history of a myriad of saints – demonstrates this pattern of His working. He brings us to faith through rebirth.. but after a few years of bliss – work begins.
He first teaches us what the old sin nature is capable of… as Paul reminds us:- I know that in my flesh dwells no good thing. Romans 7:18 How patiently he reminds us that He has set aside the first nature to establish the new. And no matter how much you object to this principle, God has said it, and therefore it is so. We may quite like our old sinful nature and be quite proud of its accomplishments! We may not actually agree with God’s ways.. well I am afraid that’s tough!
For we are only accepted by God 'in the Beloved]. He will have no part in the old and we are only complete in Him – and all else must be put in the place of death. Some Christians learn this quicker than others. Some pass throughread more
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
What a beatitude. What a beautiful blessing. What blessedness, grace and benediction flow from these gracious words. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. We are told that there is no place in heaven for anything that defiles.. whether in action or attitude; speech or reaction.. thought or motive. Should not we who soon will be walking through the gates of heaven, not make careful preparations before we enter that Holy Place?
To a little child who desires to play in heaven’s streets of gold.. the wise Christian mother may reply that heaven must enter our hearts first.. for the Kingdom of God is within each of us that loves the Lord. Yes, we read it in John 17:3 and this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom You have sent. Heaven needs to be in us before we can enter the gates of heaven and in the same way, we must become pure in heart before we ‘see’ God.
But what purity. What is heart purity? It is certainly not sinlessness, for all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. A pure heart must first be a clean heart, a washed heart, a penitent heart. Create in me a clean heart O Lord – a new creation in Christ… and renew a right spirit within me – the holy spirit of purity. see Psalm 51:10 A pure heart must first be a clean heart, a washed heart, a penitent heart.. a heart forgiven by God Himself and a heart cleansed by Christ’s blood. Isaiah 1:18 reminds us that, though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.
The pure heart of the believer is one that has been cleansed by Christ’s blood. But the heart of the believer needs to be kept pure, by obedient living and close communion with God, in and through Christ. Scriptureread more