Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him.John 19:1(NASB)
Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts" (Zech. 4:6).
Our Father allows us to be independent until by that means we come to know our own weakness and need. "Strength is always the effect of having to do with God in the spirit of dependence."
"Some say, I want to feel that I am strong.' What we need is to feel that we are weak; this brings in Omnipotence. We shall have a life of feeling by-and-by in the glory; now we are called upon to lead a life of faith. What believer but knows from the experience of the deceitfulness of his own heart, that, had we power in ourselves instead of in Christ, we should be something. This is what God does not intend."
"The very essence of the condition of a soul in a right state is conscious dependence. Now one may use the fact of completeness in Christ to make one independent. Two things are implied in dependence: first, the sense that we cannot do without God in a single instance; and, secondly, that He is for us.' In other words, there is confidence in His love and power on our behalf, as well as the consciousness that without Him we can do nothing." -J.N.D.
"We are to walk humbly and lean ever and only on the mighty arm of the living God. Thus the soul is kept in a well-balanced condition, free from self-confidence and fleshly excitement, on the one hand; and free from gloom and depression, on the other. If we can do nothing, self-confidence is the height of presumption. If God can do everything, despondency is the height of folly."
"But my God shall supply all your need according; to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19).
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:29 NIV)
The great business of Christians is to learn Christ. This is not just a subject to study. I want to ask you: What is the greatest desire in your life? I wonder if it is the same as mine! The greatest desire in my heart – and the longer I live the stronger it grows – is to understand the Lord Jesus. There is so much that I do not understand about Him. I am always coming up against problems about Him, and they are not intellectual problems at all, but spiritual ones: problems of the heart. Why did the Lord Jesus say and do certain things? Why is He dealing with me as He is? He is always too deep for me, and I want to understand Him. It is the most important thing in life to understand the Lord Jesus. Well, we are here that He may bring us to some better understanding of Himself. The material of the Word will not be new – it will be old and well-known Scripture. Perhaps we think that we know the Gospel of John very well. Well, you may, but I do not. I am discovering that this Gospel contains deeper truth and value than I know anything about....
The one business of disciples is to know Him, and to do what He called His disciples to do: "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me" (Matthew 11:29). Jesus came to bring heavenly knowledge in His own person, and in His person we come into heavenly knowledge. It is not just what He says: it is what He says He is. Every true teacher is not one who says a lot of things, but one who, when he says things, gives something of himself.
You are all sons of light and sons of the day. . . . Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
It is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. § Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. § Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. § Lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. § Little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
I sleep, but my heart is awake; it is the voice of my beloved! He knocks, saying, “Open for me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one.”… I opened for my beloved, but my beloved had turned away and was gone. My heart leaped up when he spoke. I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.
Speak, for Your servant hears. § When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. § I will hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people and to His saints; but let them not turn back to folly.
“Add to your brotherliness … love.” 2 Peter 1:7
Love is indefinite to most of us, we do not know what we mean when we talk about love. Love is the sovereign preference of one person for another, and spiritually Jesus demands that the preference be for Himself (cf. Luke 14:26). When the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ is easily first; then we must practise the working out of these things mentioned by Peter.
The first thing God does is to knock pretence and the pious pose right out of me. The Holy Spirit reveals that God loved me not because I was lovable, but because it was His nature to do so. Now, He says to me, show the same love to others - "Love as I have loved." "I will bring any number of people about you whom you can not respect, and you must exhibit My love to them as I have exhibited it to you." You won't reach it on tiptoe. Some of us have tried to, but we were soon tired.
"The Lord suffereth long. . . ." Let me look within and see His dealings with me. The knowledge that God has loved me to the uttermost, to the end of all my sin and meanness and selfishness and wrong, will send me forth into the world to love in the same way. God's love to me is inexhaustible, and I must love others from the bedrock of God's love to me. Growth in grace stops the moment I get huffed. I get huffed because I have a peculiar person to live with. Just think how disagreeable I have been to God! Am I prepared to be so identified with the Lord Jesus that His life and His sweetness are being poured out all the time? Neither natural love nor Divine love will remain unless it is cultivated. Love is spontaneous, but it has to be maintained by discipline.
What does being a Christian mean to you? To some, it is having the right doctrine. it’s a matter of what you believe. To others it is having the correct ethic.. a matter of doing good works. To some, it is a matter of doctrine. To others, it is a matter of duty. To some it is fulfilling of both requirements – believing and doing.
Some emphasise that faith without works is dead.. so believe. Others stress that works without faith is dead.. so do. Faith and works are the opposite sides of the same coin. Both are so important and yet without a third element, both are fruitless, for Christianity has its own three-fold cord. Christianity has its own glue, that cements both faith, and works together.
Faith alone is an impersonal, dead understanding of being a Christian. Works alone is also an impersonal, dead understanding of being a Christian. Faith and works together, is an impersonal, dead, fruitless view. You see, being a Christian is a matter of relationship with a person – the Lord Jesus Christ.
Unless faith and works have His Life in-breathed into them, they are of little worth. Without a personal relationship with Christ, faith, and works both rely on me. Without a personal relationship, you have an impersonal view of Christianity. Having an impersonal view of Christianity throws us back on our own resources,
Faith and works without the breath of life will be marked by failure. Works and faith if not quickened by the Lord, end in defeat and disappointment. Jesus said: without Me, ye can do nothing.. neither faith nor works. Without Me your faith is dead. for faith comes through Him alone: and the life which I now live in the flesh.. I live by the faith of the Son of God. Gal.2:20. And without Me your works are dead, for works come through Him alone: for it is God Who works in you, both to will andread more
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth
I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
One of the things I learned as a little girl was how to sing the books of the Bible. When my children were small they also followed in the same pattern. Now my little granddaughter can sing them through herself. Learning the same truths that my own mother was taught at her mother’s knee.
In GENESIS the world was made by God’s creative hand.
In EXODUS the Hebrews marched to gain the Promised Land.
LEVITICUS contains the Law, Holy and Just and Good;
NUMBERS records the Israel tribes – all sons of Abraham’s blood.
Moses in DEUTERONOMY records God’s mighty deeds.
Brave JOSHUA into Canaan’s land the hosts of Israel leads.
In JUDGES their rebellion oft provoked the Lord to smite,
But RUTH records the faith of one well-pleasing in His sight.
In First and Second SAMUEL of Jesse’s sons we read;
Ten Tribes in First and Second KINGS rebelled against his seed.
The First and Second CHRONICLES see Judah, captive made;
But EZRA leads the remnant back by princely Cyrus’ aid.
The city wall of Zion, NEHEMIAH built again;
Whilst ESTHER saves her people from the plots of wicked men.
In JOB we read how Faith can live beneath afflictions rod;
And David’s PSALMS are precious to every Child of God.
The PROVERBS like a lovely string of goodly pearls appear;
ECCLESIASTES teaches man how vain are all things here.
The mystic SONG of SOLOMON extols sweet Sharon’s Rose,
Whilst Christ the Saviour and the King, the rapt ISAIAH shows.
The warning JEREMIAH gives – apostate Israel scorns;
His plaintive LAMENTATIONS their awful downfall mourns.
EZEKIEL tells the wondrous words of dazzling mysteries;
Whilst Kings and Empires yet to come, DANIEL in vision sees.
Of judgment and ofread more