"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)
The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. (Luke 18:27)
All hangs upon this one thing (as simple as it may seem) that if Christ is present (which means nothing else than that God is present) anything is possible at any moment. Are you waiting for some day when things will be better? It is not a matter of time at all, it is a matter of Him. He says, "I am time and eternity all in a moment, and you need not accept anything in the matter of time; you accept Me, and you may be well-nigh dead in the morning and be very much alive before the day is over. 'I am the resurrection and the life.'" Martha said, “I know that He will rise again in the last day.” For her resurrection was a matter of time. Oh no. Resurrection was right there.
As long as it takes to break a loaf you have gone from seed-time to harvest. "'Do you not say, There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest?' (John 4:35). I am here, and there can be harvest at any moment when I am here." It is not a matter of time, of circumstance. We are dealing with God, and He is not bound by anything that is known to our human life at all. Eternity dwells in any moment when He is present. All things are bound up with any moment when God is present. The centurion said, "Just say the word and my servant will be healed." "You need not come. Distance does not matter, time does not matter, just speak the word and it will be done." The Lord said, "I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel." The word was uttered, and when the enquiry was made as to when it happened it was found to synchronize with the moment when He spoke. He takes everything into His hands, and says "My hour..." and when that comes, there is no postponement. Oh, that we should lay hold of that more, live on that, never surrender to conditions, never surrender to the inevitable from the standpoint of the human, but say, "We have Him; He is our future, He is our circumstance." Anything can be at any moment with the Lord present.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. § Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past. For behold, the Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. § In the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by. § Your life is hidden with Christ in God.
He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. • 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.
It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! § [Jesus], being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death. § Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?” § Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross.” § For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6).
The Cross has separated us from the power of sin (Rom. 6:11), the old man (Rom. 6:6), the world (Gal. 6:14), the law (Rom. 7:4), and the devil (Heb. 2:14). The Spirit has joined us to our risen Lord, and we are "hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3). We are free - to abide above; free - to fellowship with our Father in glory.
"The lack I find in souls is, that while they know that their sins are forgiven, they do not know their new place. What place do you have? Is it earth or heaven? It could not possibly be earth, for the Lord Jesus was rejected from the earth. It has a great moral effect upon a person to be able to say, I have a place in heaven; I have no property on earth at all, it is all in heaven.'
"It is the Lord's property I have on earth, but in heaven I have my own.' In the garden of Eden, man lost his place; the question to him then is, First - Where art thou? then, What hast thou done? Every believer seeks to be clear as to the latter, but very few are clear about the former." -J.B.S.
"Many do not go beyond Christ's resurrection; they do not extend to His ascension. They do not know Him in glory. They are occupied with Him in relation to their own side. He was at my side and glorified God there both in His walk here and in His death; but He is now at His own side, and it is there I intelligently realize the vastness of my life, for He is my life."
"My mind must rise above what I am to what God is; then it is that one is formed by the revelation of what God is. To this we are called." -J.N.D.
"Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it" (1 Thess. 5:24).
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?” Luke 14:28
Our Lord refers not to a cost we have to count, but to a cost which He has counted. The cost was those thirty years in Nazareth, those three years of popularity, scandal and hatred, the deep unfathomable agony in Gethsemane, and the onslaught at Calvary - the pivot upon which the whole of Time and Eternity turns. Jesus Christ has counted the cost. Men are not going to laugh at Him at last and say - "This man began to build, and was not able to finish."
The conditions of discipleship laid down by Our Lord in Luke 14; 26; 27 and 33 mean that the men and women He is going to use in His mighty building enterprises are those in whom He has done everything. "If any man come after Me, and hate not…he cannot be My disciple." Our Lord implies that the only men and women He will use in His building enterprises are those who love Him personally, passionately and devotedly beyond any of the closest ties on earth. The conditions are stern, but they are glorious.
All that we build is going to be inspected by God. Is God going to detect in His searching fire that we have built on the foundation of Jesus some enterprise of our own? These are days of tremendous enterprises, days when we are trying to work for God, and therein is the snare. Profoundly speaking, we can never work for God. Jesus takes us over for His enterprises, His building schemes entirely, and no soul has any right to claim where he shall be put.
But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were taught, and having been liberated from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness.
A believer must know and understand the nature of his new life in Christ and apply it, and he must understand the nature of his old sinful life to oppose it. Man is born with an old sin nature, which means he is physically alive but spiritually dead. In Ephesians 2 Paul tells us that everyone is born dead in their sins, which means they are physically alive but spiritually dead. It means that the essence of their being is rooted in an old sin nature. They have no link to God, because they have not yet trusted in Christ as their Saviour and been given a new, born-again spirit.
In Romans 6 Paul describes the condition of the natural man.. the unbeliever, who is dead in his sin, and he reminds the Roman believers that they were like this before they were saved. He looks back to their pre-salvation life and reminds them: at one time you also were servants and slaves of sin. Before salvation they were enslaved by the old sin nature – they were in bondage to sin and slaves of sin, but after salvation they were given a new nature and became servants of Christ – with a new life and a born-again spirit.
Sin in this verse does not refer to the actual acts of sinning, which are specific sins we actually commit, whether in the body or mind. Sin is anything we do that is performed in our own strength and apart from God. The word sin in Romans 6 refers to the inner being of man – the old sin nature within man, that everyone inherits from Adam. An unbeliever has only one way to function – through the old sin nature, which makes every human being a servant toread more
Ye shall be my witnesses…
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.
2 Timothy 4:2
My son once reminded me of the maxim attributed to Francis of Assisi, Preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words. What a sublime comment to preach and teach the Word – by example. If we are truly to bear witness of the Lord, this old adage had a valued point, for it is only as we look to Jesus and know Him that we can bear witness of Him.
It is as we behold Him and His beauty, that He is reflected in and through us. Christ, mirrored in all we do – and Christ the motives behind all our doings. Christ, reflected in all we say – and Christ the thoughts behind our sayings. Christ, living in all we are – and Christ the very core of our being. Christ, our very life – living in and through me. And I am reminded of the words of the old hymn, Let Christ be seen in me. Let Christ be seen in you.
As as we start to absorb Him and gaze upon Him – we start to reflect Him. As as we start to reflect Him and mirror Him, we will be changed into His glorious image. As we start this glorious transformation.. we shall be changed from glory to glory – and this inner transformation is only carried out by the Spirit of the Lord – in us. This newness of life does not involve strenuous effort in our witnessing of Jesus – for is it not in Him that we should live and move and have our being.
The light and the love that must pour forth from us – is none of me but all of Him.. for His light is the self-revealing light and He needs to be lifted up and honoured. Jesus said, I, if I am lifted up will draw allread more