"Is not your fear of God your confidence, And the integrity of your ways your hope?Job 4:6(NASB)
It pleased God... to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him. (Galatians 1:15,16)
Since Paul’s day so very much of Christian activity has been the furthering of a movement, the propagating of a teaching, and the furthering of the interest of an institution. It is not a movement, nor to establish a movement in the Earth and to get followers, adherents, members, support. It is not an institution, even though we might call that institution the church. The church has no existence in the thought of God apart from the revelation of Jesus Christ, and it is judged according to the measure in which Christ the Son of God’s love is in evidence by its existence. It is not a testimony, if by that you mean a specific form of teaching, a systematized doctrine. No, it is not a testimony. Let us be careful what we mean when we speak about "the testimony." We may have in our minds some arrangement of truth, and that truth couched in certain phraseology, form of words, and thus speak about "the testimony"; it is not the testimony in that sense. It is not a denomination, and it is not a "non-denomination," and it is not an "inter-denomination." It is not Christianity. It is not "the work" – oh, we are always talking about "the work": "How is the work getting on?" – we are giving ourselves to the work, we are interested in the work, we are out in the work. Nor is it a mission. It is Christ! "...That I might preach Him."
If Christ had remained central and preeminent all these horrible disintegrating jealousies would never have had a chance. All the wretched mess that exists in the organization of Christianity today would never have come about. It is because something specific in itself, a movement, a mission, a teaching, a testimony, a fellowship, a ministry has taken the place of Christ. People have gone out to further that, to project that, to establish that. It would not be confessed; nevertheless it is true, that today it is not so much Christ that is our work. Now beloved, an inward revelation is the cure of all that. Am I saying too hard a thing, too sweeping a thing? It is the existence of all that represents the absence of an adequate inward revelation of Christ.
The world is passing away, and the lust of it. § Surely every man walks about like a shadow; surely they busy themselves in vain; he heaps up riches, and does not know who will gather them. § What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her. § I want you to be without care. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. § The Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. § The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.
The Helper, the Holy Spirit. § Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? § It is God who works in you.
We do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. § A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench.
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
By people who live on milk I mean those who are imperfectly acquainted with the teaching concerning righteousness. Such persons are mere babes" (Heb. 5:13, Wey.).
Promises and blessings have mainly to do with the milk of the Word. In order for a believer to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus, he must fellowship with Him in the Word. There is general Bible study, and there is feeding upon the Lord Jesus in the Word of life. The former serves for foundation, the latter is needed for growth.
"People may receive blessings' and temporary deliverances' in answer to prayer, for God is merciful to His children and His Holy Spirit refreshes and blesses us even apart from the real walk of faith. But it is of greater benefit finally to us, and much greater glory to God, if we simply accept His Word and learn to walk in the power of it by naked faith; which asks no longer certain ecstasies, but being sure of God's truth because it is His truth, maintains an attitude of faith therein; attitude - a fixed heart.
"Faith, when once we see the truth, consists of a believing attitude of the will toward God. This involves a negative attitude toward all doubt of His promises or anything that would raise a doubt; and it also involves a continued refusal to rest upon appearances or feelings, even though these may come in great abundance. It is God's written Word that supplies strength to the heart of faith." -W.R.N.
"It is an easy thing to set sail and get fairly out into the ocean; but when many days have passed and no land is in sight, one is apt to weary. If the heart is not fully occupied with the Lord in the Word, something is taken on board to fill up the void."
"Nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine" (1 Tim. 4:6).
“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.” John 17:21
If you are going through a solitary way, read John 17, it will explain exactly why you are where you are - Jesus has prayed that you may be one with the Father as He is. Are you helping God to answer that prayer, or have you some other end for your life? Since you became a disciple you cannot be as independent as you used to be.
The purpose of God is not to answer our prayers, but by our prayers we come to discern the mind of God, and this is revealed in John 17. There is one prayer God must answer, and that is the prayer of Jesus - "that they may be one, even as We are One." Are we as close to Jesus Christ as that?
God is not concerned about our plans; He does not say - Do you want to go through this bereavement; this upset? He allows these things for His own purpose. The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, nobler men and women; or they are making us more captious and fault-finding, more insistent upon our own way. The things that happen either make us fiends, or they make us saints; it depends entirely upon the relationship we are in to God. If we say - "Thy will be done," we get the consolation of John 17, the consolation of knowing that our Father is working according to His own wisdom. When we understand what God is after we will not get mean and cynical. Jesus has prayed nothing less for us than absolute oneness with Himself as He was one with the Father. Some of us are far off it, and yet God will not leave us alone until we are one with Him, because Jesus has prayed that we may be.
There can be no true Christian experience, except by the work of the Spirit. There can be no salvation, except by the work of the Spirit of God. There can be no sanctification, except by the work of the Spirit of God. There can be no fruitful service, except by the works of the Spirit of God. There can be no satisfactory relationship with the Lord – except by means of His Spirit. All the work is done by the Spirit, but the vessel He works through is man. The mission of the Spirit is a threefold mission:-
FIRST: Salvation is secured through the Spirit at the time of rebirth, but we are given a choice and warned against resisting the Holy Spirit. Those that rejected the Spirit at the time of Stephen’s death were rebuked: you stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always RESIST the Holy Spirit – as your fathers did, so do you. Acts 7:51
There is a sevenfold work of the Spirit of God at our salvation, which can be resisted:- 1) He convicts us of our need of a Saviour (John 16:8-9) 2) He regenerates the forgiven sinner, giving a new life (Titus 3:5) 3) He baptises the new believer into the body of Christ (1Cor.12:13) 4) He indwells the new believer permanently and forever (1Cor.3:16 1Cor.6:19) 5) He anoints the new believer (2Cor.1:21 1John 2:20-21) 6) He earnests a first-fruit pledge of full fruit (Eph.1:14 Rom.8:23) and 7) He witnesses with an assurance of son-ship (Rom.8:16). God desires that all be saved, but He invites and waits for the sinner’s choice.
SECOND: Sanctification is undertaken by the work of the Spirit in a believer, and it’s a lifelong process that He desires to undertake in all believers. And God desires that we are transformed into the image of the Son of His love, but we can hinder His good transforming work in our lives, and grieve His Spirit – and soread more
Be ye kind one to another….. tenderhearted, forgiving…
For the fruit of the Spirit is … GOODNESS…
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering..
And to godliness add brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness add love.
Love is kind, and one very precious fruit of the Spirit of God is goodness. Kindness and goodness seem to be analogous qualities of the Spirit. Kindness and goodness run in tandem together. Both are characteristics that we should wholeheartedly desire. Both are the fruit of the Spirit that we should emphatically pursue. Kindness and goodness combine to affect our inner disposition.
Goodness and kindness amalgamate to influence our outward conduct. These qualities that we all desire are opposite sides of the same golden coin. They blend together, to compliment the other – and act individually to glorify God. They are the quiet sisters of love and joy and faith and self-control. They often hide behind the skirts of faith, forgiveness, peace and long-suffering. These ‘twins’ when assimilated in the heart make us well disposed to the needs of others. These two graces enable us to produce acts of thoughtfulness.. and gestures of love. This duet works in partnership to gently compel us towards godly acts.
We are told to be imitators of God, as His beloved children. Paul tells us in Eph.4:32: be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another..even as God for Christ’s sake, hath forgiven you. Our Lord Jesus is indeed the perfect example of these two graces.. for He went about doing good and healing all oppressed of the devil… for God was with Him. Acts.10:38. Kindness and goodness are both such positive qualities. It is not so much the absence of evil – but rather the presence of grace.
Oh that this fruit might develop to its fullness in each of us.. as we seek to draw close to Him in this season of our earthly lives..as we watchread more