"I have heard the taunting of Moab And the revilings of the sons of Ammon, With which they have taunted My people And become arrogant against their territory.Zephaniah 2:8(NASB)
You must learn to endure everything, so that you will be completely mature and not lacking in anything. (James 1:4 CEV)
We can take one of two attitudes toward the ways of God with us; we can get bitter, sour, hard; or we can have the enlargement by exercise, development by exercise, to develop capacity, to bring us into the large place that we may be intelligently His instrument for government under His Headship in ages to come. Things that enter into our history we cannot always fathom, but the explanation which we can give is that, whatever there may be as second causes, the Lord is Sovereign and He thinks it worthwhile sometimes to allow what the world would call the most terrible thing to overtake for the time being, and that it would seem that His Name and interests suffer through that thing, but through that thing He brings His people to a place of maturity and they get to know the Lord for themselves. Through these terrible things we find the Lord produces something that is very much more worthy of Himself in the life of His children. That is His justification, His vindication; if He could do it in any other way He would.
In the long run He does get spiritual maturity among His people, where they know Him. He would get us to a place where we know the Lord and we have our senses exercised to know. The Lord give us grace to accept all His dealings with us in the light of His great purpose.
The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. § You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. § He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself.
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. § In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. § That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Is this not the carpenter’s son?” § “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” § “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?” § “He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.” § “We know that this Man is a sinner.” § “He deceives the people.” § “This Man blasphemes!” § “Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!”
It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. § For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully… For to this you were called, because Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously. § If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you.
He knoweth the way that I take; when He hath tested me, I shall come forth as gold" (Job 23:10).
In every field, whether the arts, industry, sports, or the Christian life and service in general, the necessary training goes far deeper and is much more rigorous than the actual performance. "Now, at the time, discipline seems to be a matter not for joy, but for grief; yet it afterwards yields to those who have passed through its training a result full of peace - namely, righteousness" (Heb. 12:11, Wey.).
"The Father chooses the servant who is suited to carry out His will; but though that servant be endowed by Him with power to do so, yet unless he be controlled and disciplined by the Spirit of God he will continually fall into the devisings of his own nature, no matter how godly and divine may be his intent. For we greatly err if we think that having the divine thought is all that is necessary as to our service; we must truly and efficiently be expressive of the thought; and this subjects us, as servants of God, to discipline which we often cannot understand.
"Discipline for known faults or shortcomings we can easily comprehend; but when it is that peculiar order of training which fits a man to be God's instrument and witness, we can no more understand it than the plants of the earth can understand why they must pass through all the vicissitudes of winter in order to bring forth a more abundant harvest." -J.B.S.
"God leaves us in the world that we may learn the sufficiency of His grace in practice, as we know the triumph of it in Christ."
"Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hearafter" (John 13:7).
“For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful.” 2 Peter 1:8
When we begin to form a habit we are conscious of it. There are times when we are conscious of becoming virtuous and patient and godly, but it is only a stage; if we stop there we shall get the strut of the spiritual prig. The right thing to do with habits is to lose them in the life of the Lord, until every habit is so practised that there is no conscious habit at all. Our spiritual life continually resolves into introspection because there are some qualities we have not yet added. Ultimately the relationship is to be a completely simple one.
Your god may be your little Christian habit, the habit of prayer at stated times, or the habit of Bible reading. Watch how the Father will upset those times if you begin to worship your habit instead of what the habit symbolizes - I can't do that just now, I am praying; it is my hour with God. No, it is your hour with your habit. There is a quality that is lacking in you. Recognize the defect and then look for the opportunity of exercising yourself along the line of the quality to be added.
Love means that there is no habit visible, you have come to the place where the habit is lost, and by practice you do the thing unconsciously. If you are consciously holy, then there are certain things you imagine you cannot do, certain relationships in which you are far from simple; that means there is something to be added. The only supernatural life is the life the Lord Jesus lived, and He was at home with God anywhere. Is there anywhere where you are not at home with God? Let God press through in that particular circumstance until you gain Him, and life becomes the simple life of a child.
Christianity as a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus, and is liberating. Christianity experienced in any other way is restricting and fruitless. How essential therefore to establish and maintain a right relationship with the Lord. How vital to enter into all that scripture reveals about a right relationship with Him.
Our triune God created a triune man for a triune relationship. The Godhead created Adam with spirit, soul and body, for a threefold life:- a life of salvation, sanctification and service. And the apostle Paul outlines in logical and perfect detail this triplet of experiences.
In his epistle to the Romans He guides us with clarity on the essential guidelines. Man, spiritually dead is separated from God in sin, and it is then that the threefold life begins. Transformation begins when the old life in Adam becomes a new life in Christ. Salvation by Him: Romans 3:21 to Romans 5:21. Sanctification in Him: Romans 6:1 to Romans 8:29. Service for Him: Romans 12:1 to Romans 15:3
We come to the Lord Jesus – for salvation (which is all by grace. We live in the Lord Jesus – for sanctification (which is all by grace). We work for the Lord Jesus – in service (which is all by grace)
Some fail to even come to Him for salvation, as they resist His Holy Spirit, Some start the process of sanctification, but carnal lusts grieve the Holy Spirit. Some attempt service through their own strength, but quench the Holy Spirit. But if we truly seek to learn of Him and to develop our relationship with the Lord, our passion from this day forward, will be to learn of Him and to relate to Him.
How vital that we understand what the threefold life really means to the believer. The free gift of life… of salvation is offered to all sinners: for the wages of sin is death, but God’s gift of life isread more
Fear not.... I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore.
Truly Jesus is a great Comforter - our wonderful 'Paraclete'. Wikipedia tell us it mean 'Advocate' or 'Helper' and it generally refers to the Holy Spirit. And what a precious Comforter He is - sent to indwell all those that believe in Him - sent to do the work of consoling and strengthening all who trust in the Lord Jesus.
But the Lord Jesus Himself is also the great Comforter. The Lord Jesus Himself was the first Comforter - for at His departure Jesus told those that he loved so dearly.... And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever. John.14:16. No words have dropped so graciously from His lips than His words of Comfort.
In little Nazareth, He made His first announcement of this blessed role He bore:- The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. Luke 4:18. At the home of the sin-stricken paralytic in Capernaum He graciously announces:- Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee, Matthew 9:2. He quiets His afflicted disciples - tossed about on Galilee's lake, with the words:- Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. Matthew 14:27
And to the grieving and bereft widow at Nain, His reassuring, Weep Not, is spoken. To the sorrowing sisters at Bethany, His soothing comfort comes with the word - Thy brother shall rise again.... gently scolding them in doubts and tears... Didn't I say that, if you believe, thou would see the glory of God?. John 11:40. Oh -and what blessed words of perfect comfort are spoken to the belovedread more