But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.2 Corinthians 2:14(NASB)
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him" (Ps. 37:7).
Lincoln said that “a short speech requires great preparation; a long speech can be given anytime on short notice.” Now, are we going to “spend our years as a tale that is told” (Ps. 90:9); or are we going to settle down and grow in the image of our eternal Lord?
"In our spiritual experience we often find that not least of our trials is the fact that God seems so slow to respond; sometimes it would appear that He is careless or indifferent - and that just when our needs are most acute. Two of the major elements in the spiritual life and experience of His own are the seemingly slow and hidden ways of God, and the demand for persistent faith in His servants." -T. A-S.
"The work of God in the lives of His people is designed to make them partakers of His holiness.' He undertakes their training in His school with the intention that, however difficult in practice the course may be, it will yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness' in the lives of those who undergo it.
"This evidently represents His norm - no shortcuts and no exceptions. At least, He did not make an exception of Abraham, or Joseph, or Moses, or any of the great men and women whose names are listed in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. Their training lasted for decades and led them into painful situations and difficult places. But their lives, as a result, were incomparably fruitful." -J.P.
"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him" (Ps. 62:5).
God, whomade His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6 NIV)
We stand by revelation, "God who shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." "God... called me through grace to reveal His Sonin me." - Gal. 1:16. How are we going to be made to stand, to be established? How is this endurance going to be put in us? By knowing the Lord Jesus in this inward way, by revelation. The people who are going to stand are those in whom this thing has become a living revelation; "God hath shined in our hearts," this is one side. The other is, "pressed on every side, perplexed, pursued, smitten down... yet not unto despair" - 2 Cor. 4:6-10. We are troubled and pressed down... why? "That the LIFE of JESUS might be made manifest in our mortal bodies" - 2 Cor. 4:11.
Is not that endurance? Pressed on every side yet not strangled! "In pressure Thou hast enlarged me" - Ps. 4:1. What was meant to be "pressed down," God has made for enlargement. Cast down, yet a wonderful rising up. Why? How? It is "God who hath shined in our hearts... in the face of Jesus Christ," therefore you can go through and survive. Nothing can carry us through but the revelation of the Lord Jesus by the Holy Spirit in our hearts; an inside knowledge of Him - not mental assent to a creed or a doctrine, but a living, vital reality in our very being.
The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.
Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love. § Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. § The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. § Love suffers long and is kind.
In due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. § Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. § The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. § Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh.
God … has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.
The first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, … Jesus came and stood in the midst … Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord … After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them … Then [ Jesus] said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” … Thomas … said … “My Lord and my God!” § Unto us a Son is given, … called … Mighty God.
“Son of man, can these bones live?” Ezekiel 37:3
Can that sinner be turned into a saint? Can that twisted life be put right? There is only one answer: "O Lord, Thou knowest, I don't." Never trample in with religious common sense and say - "Oh, yes, with a little more Bible reading and devotion and prayer, I see how it can be done."
It is much easier to do something than to trust in God; we mistake panic for inspiration. That is why there are so few fellow workers with God and so many workers for Him. We would far rather work for God than believe in Him. Am I quite sure that God will do what I cannot do? I despair of men in the degree in which I have never realized that God has done anything for me. Is my experience such a wonderful realization of God's power and might that I can never despair of anyone I see? Have I had any spiritual work done in me at all? The degree of panic is the degree of the lack of personal spiritual experience.
"Behold, 0 my people, I will open your graves." When God wants to show you what human nature is like apart from Himself, He has to show it you in yourself. If the Spirit of God has given you a vision of what you are apart from the grace of God (and He only does it when His Spirit is at work), you know there is no criminal who is half so bad in actuality as you know yourself to be in possibility. My "grave" has been opened by God and "I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing." God's Spirit continually reveals what human nature is like apart from His grace.
There is an increasing misconception of Who God is and what He is capable of doing. There is a parallel delusion of who man is and what a Christian is able to do. Despite a multitude of scriptural verses confirming that I can do nothing of myself, believers have spent 6000 years attempting to please God with their own efforts. The only way to please God is to have faith – faith that I can do all things through Christ – that without Him I am nothing and can do nothing of myself to please the Father.
Scripture tells us the truth of Who God is, what God is and of what God is capable. Scripture exposes the truth of man’s inadequacies and incapacities – and man’s egocentricity. Scripture is the plumb-line that outlines what a believer can and can’t do. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him (through the Lord Jesus Christ), might be saved. How important to reflect on His Word, knowing that His mercy is everlasting, His grace is new every morning and His truth endures from generation to generation.
Adam was made in the image and likeness of God. Adam was made in a state of innocence and Adam walked naked and was not ashamed and in his innocence, Adam knew nothing of evil – for evil was not there to be known. And yet, Adam had no need of conscience – man gained his conscience through the fall. You see, the serpent said: your eyes shall be opened and you shall be as gods knowing good and evil. Gen.3:5. But the serpent omitted some vital truth in this earliest and most malignant lie. The serpent left out the material part of the truth – the shocking, awful truth.. that Adam would know good without the power to do it and that Adam would know evil without the power to avoid it.
The point where man triedread more
take every thought captive to obey Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5
As my own daughter searched frantically for her lost keys one day – she heard: Mummy you will find your keys now.. I have prayed to Jesus… and she did. Those were the words of a child – not yet three years of age, but a child that trusted God. Simple, trusting, child-like faith means having a true and correct perspective of God.
A right concept of God makes for right theology and righteous practical living. Simple isn’t it, and yet how difficult when we have built up false perceptions of Him. Right thinking about God is the bedrock of belief. Right thinking about God is the foundation of faith: for no other foundation can be laid than that which is laid – which is Jesus Christ. 1Cor.3:11
Any false notions we have allowed to develop in our minds must be laid aside. Any incorrect attitudes we have allowed to dull our vision of God must be banished.. but His true identity often lies buried beneath the rubbish of religious indoctrination. His perfect attributes are often distorted by the emotional damage we have sustained – or His character is all too often superimposed over the destructive actions of others. But such a God is one birthed out of the shadow of a bruised and bloodied heart.
Wrong thoughts toward God and imperfect attitudes about Him are a death knoll, for all doctrinal error has its roots in a wrong perception of God and His Christ. Such thoughts must be banished and such attitudes must be corrected. The curious thing is that we are warned in scripture of this very problem: for as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. This incredibly simple text is heavily pregnant with meaning and truth: for as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.
Have you ever stopped to consider your thoughts – and what you think? For as a man thinks in his heart, so isread more