"That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.John 3:6(NASB)
The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. (Acts 1:7 NLT)
We are apt to think that if and when the circumstances and conditions of our lives are changed and we are in another position than the one we now occupy, then something will happen, the purpose of God will begin to be fulfilled. The Lord would say, "No; it is not circumstances, not conditions, at all; it is you." Some think that it is a matter of graduation and ordination and office, and that when they get into an official position, and have recognition there, then they will begin to fulfill the purpose of their lives. So they are waiting until they are either ordained or appointed to their work. The Lord says, "No, it is not office, it is not ordination, it is not placing; it is you; you are the key."
And alongside that, many are looking to organization, the society, the mission, the church connection to which they are related, and expecting a new day for themselves to originate there, and that when the institution, whatever it may be, takes action, then the work of their lives will begin. And the Lord says, "It is not the church, the mission, the organization, the society, the institution; it is you." These men in Acts 1 were waiting for something to happen outside of themselves. They called it the restoring of the kingdom, the setting up of an order which would be a national - perhaps an international - movement: a new order outside of themselves in which they would find their place and probably be allocated, appointed or ordained to it. And the Lord simply swept the board of all those ideas and said, "No, it is not that, it is you." That is how it proved, how it worked out. We individually may be the key to everything in the purpose of God.
The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. § We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.
Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. § And it will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”
The lazy man says, “There is a lion outside!” § Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
I press toward the goal. § I run thus: not with uncertainty… I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. The form of this world is passing away.
Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent. § Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
[God] hath raised us up together; and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6).
In the first stage of our Christian life we seek to bring the Lord Jesus down to our level, for our use; later on we learn to take our position in Him at His level, for His use.
"The desire of many and the tendency of all is to connect the Lord Jesus with ourselves on this earth, instead of accepting that we are in living union with Him in heaven. The Lord give us to apprehend the reality of our true position; that we are outside this scene when we are in our true place. We are thankful that Christ was here, and that He made a pathway through the wilderness, but we have properly to come from Him in glory to learn the path and to find His succor in it."
"If you do not know your union with the Lord Jesus in heaven, you cannot come out in the power of the heavenly Man to act from Him on earth, to be descriptive of Him. You can never be heavenly by effort. Many seek to be heavenly by prayer, reading the Word, devotedness, but the only pathway to it is to be brought by the Holy Spirit to realize union with our risen Lord. You are heavenly by union, by nature. Abide in Him."
"Are we prepared to accept our union with the crucified and risen Lord, not only as the basis of being received by the Father, but also as the way we walk day by day? If this question was honestly faced, and answered affirmatively by the members of our churches, there would be no need to endeavor to whip up a revival.' There would be a spontaneous upsurge of life and blessing - the direct work of the Spirit of God Himself." -J.C.M.
"Risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead" (Col. 2:12).
“And in that day ye shall ask Me nothing.” John 16:23
When is "that day"? When the Ascended Lord makes you one with the Father. In that day you will be one with the Father as Jesus is, and "in that day," Jesus says, "ye shall ask Me nothing." Until the resurrection life of Jesus is manifested in you, you want to ask this and that; then after a while you find all questions gone, you do not seem to have any left to ask. You have come to the place of entire reliance on the resurrection life of Jesus which brings you into perfect contact with the purpose of God. Are you living that life now? If not, why shouldn't you?
There may be any number of things dark to your understanding, but they do not come in between your heart and God. Jesus says, "And in that day ye shall ask Me no question" - you do not need to, you are so certain that God will bring things out in accordance with His will. John 14:1 has become the real state of your heart, and there are no more questions to be asked. If anything is a mystery to you and it is coming in between you and God, never look for the explanation in your intellect, look for it in your disposition, it is that which is wrong. When once your disposition is willing to submit to the life of Jesus, the under standing will be perfectly clear, and you will get to the place where there is no distance between the Father and His child because the Lord has made you one, and "in that day ye shall ask Me no question."
Now these things were for our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Wherefore I was grieved with this generation and said “they do always err in their hearts and they do not know my heart
1 Corinthians 10:6, Psalm 95:10
As I’ve discovered the value and meaning of scriptural types my heart has rejoiced. As I have seen the physical walk of Old Testament saints translated into spiritual reality, I have been awed by the wisdom of God: how unsearchable are His ways. And as I’ve understood the value and meaning of scriptural types my heart has trembled.. as I have seen the physical walk of Old Testament saints translated into spiritual reality – I have seen the finger of God – pointing accusingly at MY bloodied heart.
The man of flesh and the man of spirit is exemplified through Cain and Abel. The man of flesh and the man of spirit is compared through Esau and Jacob. The man of flesh and the man of spirit is contrasted through Amalek and Israel. Yet the man of flesh and the man of spirit is also seen through one man:- Jacob and Israel. Jacob the man of flesh, but Israel the Prince with God , the spiritual man. And one of the key elements in this change from flesh to spirit was humility.
In John 4:48 we read: except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe and in James 1:4 we read: God, giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not. Jacob wrestled with God. For a whole night Jacob prayed. Striving in intercession, is often misinterpreted as striving against God and struggling in prayer – is often seen as forcing God to act or move on our behalf, but battling with an angry God to extract a blessing is not a scriptural concept. It is the worlds concept of a pagan deity and not the truth about the God of the Bible. Ourread more
Just as newborn babes require milk from the breast, so too spiritual babes must be fed. Paul instructs us: as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow. 1Pet.2:2. A new born believer will grow by reading and delighting in the Word of God, and faith in that young believer with grow – for faith comes by hearing God’s Word.
Job tells us that he has treasured God’s words. We read: We read in chapter 23: I have treasured the words of His mouth – more than my necessary food.. Job 23:12. While the Psalmist found the sweetness of the Word of God” sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. Psalm 19:10. Oh but how Paul laments the arrested, stunted growth of the carnal Corinthian Christians. He couldn’t speak to them as spiritual, but carnal. They were still babes in Christ. Despite his teaching, Paul could only feed them with simple truths.. not ‘meat’, for spiritual growth must be desired – we are told to: desire the milk so that you will grow.
It was the Lord Jesus Himself Who set this president for desiring spiritual food. He tells us: My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work. John 4:34, and the astonishing thing is that this God-Man only worked through the Holy Spirit.. demonstrating the only way that man can live a spiritual life. We read: I do always those things that please Him, for My Father is in Me, and I in Him, and I speak only that which I have seen my Father do. John 8:29.
Spiritual growth comes only by abiding in Him and He in us. This type of life is not easy.. it is a moment by moment challenge. This is a daily walk in the Spirit – this is the daily prayer that cries: Thy will not mine be done. We have the choice toread more
Peter tells us in 1 Peter 4:8: Above all things have fervent love among yourselves. Above all things, for: love will cover a multitude of sins. And John goes further with his profound statement: God is Love. Paul identified Love as the “Summum Bonum” of all graces. “The Supreme Good.” Yes, love is the greatest thing of all.
Pointing to love as the “Supreme Good'” is no prejudice on his part. Love was not Paul’s strong point in his early years. He was the angry young man of Acts chapter 7, who consented to Stephen’s murder. Paul’s whole ministry was surrounded by contentions and hard talking. He had to contend with distresses, beatings, accusations and back-bitings. He was no stranger to hero-worship nor was he free from jealousies. He was a hard-working individual, and yet one that received much criticism. Paul was ready to offer both correction and encouragement and Paul was able to be identified with soldier and athlete alike. But an observant student can detect a maturing tenderness as Paul gets older – a graciousness that grew and ripened and mellowed with his advancing years, for it was Paul that wrote that love is the “Supreme Good. – for the greatest of all is love. 1Cor.13:13
Love is greater than faith. Paul identified faith as the essential key to unlock our hearts to God’s love.. but the end goal is greater than the means of achieving it. Love is greater than prophecy and knowledge which will one day pass. He identified prophecy as a mere signpost to point us to incarnate love.. because the final destination is greater than the signposts along the way. Love is greater than charity and all good works, for charitable works or ‘helps‘ are only one face of a pure cut diamond.. because the whole is greater than the part. Love is greater than speaking in the languages of men or of angels. for the language of praise is the channel used to glorifyread more