Now it took place in the days of Ahasuerus, the Ahasuerus who reigned from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces,Esther 1:1(NASB)
Amazing grace, How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come,
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun
We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
The word 'beholding' is a strong word; it is not just taking a look, it is 'fixing our gaze.' That is what the New Testament means by beholding - behold. We all, fixing our gaze upon Christ, as He mirrors in His own Person the glory of God, the satisfaction of God, the mind of God in perfection. The point is that you and I must contemplate the Lord Jesus in spirit, and be much occupied with Him. We must have our Holy of Holies where we retire with Him. We must have a secret place where we spend time with Him. And not only in certain special seasons, but we must seek, as we move about, ever to keep Him before us. Looking at the Lord Jesus, contemplating Him, we shall be changed into the same image. The Holy Ghost will operate upon our occupation.
You become like that which obsesses you, which occupies you. Is that not true? You see what people are occupied with, and you can see their character changing by their obsessions. They are becoming like the thing which is obsessing them; they are changing; they are becoming different. Something has got a grip on them; they can never think about anything else, talk about anything else; and that is changing their character. Now Paul said, "For me to live is Christ – being occupied with Him." It is the wrong word to use, but nevertheless it would be a good thing if He became our "obsession," our continuous occupation. As we steadfastly fix our gaze upon Him, the Spirit changes us into the same image.
When we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. § He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. § To will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. § To each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. § Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.
Moses] said, “Please, show me Your glory.” But [God] said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” § No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. § Every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. § I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near.
I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God. § I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness. § We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. § The Lord Himself will descend from heaven. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Always guarded by the power of God through faith.... In such a hope keep on rejoicing, although for a little while you must be sorrow-stricken with various trials" (1 Peter 1:5, 6, Wms.).
There are testimonies, and there are testimonies. Some can testify as to how God cleared up adverse circumstances for the victory; but others can testify to the triumph God gave in the midst of difficult circumstances. The essential consideration is that our Father be glorified in all His dealings with and for us. How He brings it all about should be secondary to us.
"If there is a great trial in your life today, do not own it as a defeat, but continue, by faith, to claim the victory through Him who is able to make you more than conqueror, and a glorious triumph will soon be apparent. Let us learn that in all the hard places our Father brings us into, He is making opportunities for us to exercise such faith in Him as will bring about blessed results and greatly glorify His Name."
"God has put you in exactly the right crucible to burn up what He sees needs to be burnt up. Many think victory' means getting your circumstances put right. No! true triumph is within - when in the midst of your circumstances the Spirit of God can so energize you and strengthen you in spirit, that you can stand quiet in the thick of it all, and say, God is God,' and know that you are held by Him - which is infinitely better than all your trying to hold things steady."
"Therefore, my brethren . . . stand fast in the Lord" (Phil. 4:1).
“Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?” Luke 24:2
Our Lord's Cross is the gateway into His life: His Resurrection means that He has power now to convey His life to me. When I am born again from above, I receive from the Risen Lord His very life.
Our Lord's Resurrection destiny is to bring "many sons unto glory." The fulfilling of His destiny gives Him the right to make us sons and daughters of God. We are never in the relationship to God that the Son of God is in; but we are brought by the Son into the relation of son-ship. When Our Lord rose from the dead, He rose to an absolutely new life, to a life He did not live before He was incarnate. He rose to a life that had never been before; and His resurrection means for us that we are raised to His risen life, not to our old life. One day we shall have a body like unto His glorious body, but we can know now the efficacy of His resurrection and walk in newness of life. Paul said, "I would know Him in the power of His resurrection."
"..Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him." "Holy Spirit" is the experimental name for Eternal Life working in human beings here and now. The Holy Spirit is the Deity in proceeding power Who applies the Atonement to our experience. Thank God it is gloriously and majestically true that the Holy Spirit can work in us the very nature of Jesus if we will obey Him.
Many Christians desire union and communion (or fellowship) with our Lord Jesus, but feel they do not enjoy it as they desire. Many believers confuse union with communion thinking they are the same thing, but they are not. Union with Christ can never ever be stopped, interrupted or ended, while fellowship is a temporal relationship with God, that may be lost or left, but should be eagerly pursued.
Unsaved humanity can be united with Christ through faith. Those who believe on Jesus for salvation are saved, and brought into union with Him by the power of the Holy Spirit. Union with Christ is the condition of all Christians. It is a permanent state, an everlasting union that does not ebb and flow, nor can it ever be lost or left. It cannot fluctuate or be removed by anyone or by anything.
Communion is distinct from union and only born-again believers who are walking in the spirit, can commune with the Father. Clothed in Christ’s righteousness the believer is accepted in the Beloved and can fellowship with God. But the outflow of communion can wax and wane, as our love for our Saviour fluctuates with our feelings or grows weary of well-doing. Communion can also be broken due to sin. But whenever communion with the Father is clouded, it is the responsibility of the individual Christian, and not God.
Fellowship with the Lord should be the experience of all believers as we grow in grace and submit to the Spirit’s work in our lives, as He seeks to conform us into the likeness of Christ, but this is not always the case. Fellowship is broken when a Christian prevents the work of the Holy Spirit in their life, for we can both grieve Him and quench His work in our lives through sin, but how few really understand what sin is.
Sin comes in many guises and disguises, and how we love to hide or ignore it. We can sinread more
In Matthew 12:20 we read that: a bruised reed He will not break, and a smouldering wick He will not quench, while inPsalm 147:3 we read that: He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds, while in Psalm 51:17: the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Could anything be weaker or more pathetic than a damaged, crushed reed.. as its fragile, brittle stem bows its drooping head in the rushes? Even the lap of the river or brush of the wind could bring it to certain ruin. Or could there be a more feeble and useless than a smouldering wick.. as it takes its final flickering gasp before its last smoky spiral expires. Even the faintest breeze could extinguish its remaining smouldering smoke. What could demand less of our concern than such insignificant objects. What could engender more disinterest in our hearts that such mean things.
Yet Jesus says, The smoking flax I will not quench. The bruised reed I will not break. He places value on things that only command our disdain. How gentle is the Son of God toward those of us that are bruised reeds. How tender is our compassionate Lord to we who are failing. flickering flames. In Him is loving-kindness personified. In Him is the embodiment of compassion and mercy. We need never fear harsh treatment from Him or anticipate His cruel disregard. We need not be concerned that He would reject us or ignore us.
A strong brusque man can trample on the tender sensitivity of others.. and being devoid of gentleness can cause much pain. A weak fearful man can engender little confidence in the hurting, injured wick.. and being bankrupt of strength leaves the bruised reed in a desolate limbo. But the Lord Jesus Christ possesses both strength and tenderness. He combines masculine power with feminine gentleness. He is strong and powerful, but He also has a profound understanding. He is competent and able, but He also displaysread more