"For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.John 13:15(NASB)
Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in My Name, claiming I am the Christ, and will deceive many. (Matthew 24:4,5 NIV)
A word about the religious, for the same thing holds good here adapted by the Deceiver to the realm in which he is working, the type of people with whom he is dealing, the religious. Yes, religiously deceived, to put it in another way, deceived by their very religiousness, and that is a very strong and a mighty delusion. There is power in that delusion that seems so often to defy every kind of attempt to deal with it. Deceived by religiousness. What more can be expected than the recognition of the fact of God and the giving to God of reverence, acknowledgment, and recognition: of taking active interest in things which relate to God, attending religious services, and being very busy in religious activities and interests, and finding your chief interest in religious things and the religious realm? What more can be expected? What is the matter with that?
Be patient, bear with me if I say with very great emphasis: that may be one colossal delusion. So often that very thing obscures one fundamental thing, a true living relationship with God. “Ye must be born again,” and religion very often obscures that issue. Oh, religion is no argument for salvation. Religion can be found in the darkest places of the earth. Universally there is religion; depraved and very low in many places, but universally there is the consciousness of standing in relationship to some supreme object of worship, demanding worship; and then men's minds or imaginations get to work to give some kind of expression to that consciousness, of that supreme object of worship, and the imagination produces that something out of a tree, a stone, or in the heavenly bodies; somehow it is expressed, but it is the thing that is there, behind all the forms of expression which is universal. All the highly civilized forms of that brought into the realm of Christendom are only the same thing developed. It does not say that Christendom’s more intelligent, civilized, educated interpretation of God, even though it gets its start from the Bible, is salvation. It may be a mighty delusion and very often is.
Take careful heed to do the commandment and the law … to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul. § Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. § Abstain from every form of evil.
While the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: “Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!” Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
Brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble. § Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching.
If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well. § “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” … “I am willing; be cleansed.” § Faith as a mustard seed.
Do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. § Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
First the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. § Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. § The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. § Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day.
Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God" (Deut. 8:11).
Our Father would be free to favor us with far more of His riches in Christ Jesus if we would keep more in mind that grace is unmerited favor - so that "He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy" (Rom. 9:23).
"It seems so natural, when one is surrounded with blessings, and thus sensible of being an object of divine favor, that the eye is turned from God to oneself; for when God is before one, self gets no place, though there be the deepest awareness of His favor.
"Hence it is the saint who is the object of the greatest favor who needs to be on his guard, that he allow not his eye to rest on himself where the favors are sent, but on God from whom they come. If his eye turns to himself because of the favor, then the favor has been the means of turning his heart from God to a mere gift of His."
"If there be a growing up into the measure of the stature of Christ, there must be a conscious refusal of that which would tend to revive or invigorate the old nature. The saint is not only a new creature to grow into the likeness of the Lord Jesus, but he has to watch and beware lest the things he has to do with should in any way minister to another will in him, which would divert him from God to himself. Self is the circle and center of man's mind in his fallen state; but when Christ is formed in the soul, God is the center and source of everything." -J.B.S.
"For we . . . worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Phil. 3:3).
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend.” John 15:13,15
Jesus does not ask me to die for Him, but to lay down my life for Him. Peter said - "I will lay down my life for Thy sake" and he meant it; his sense of the heroic was magnificent. It would be a bad thing to be incapable of making such a declaration as Peter made; the sense of our duty is only realized by our sense of the heroic. Has the Lord ever asked you - "Wilt thou lay down thy life for My sake?" It is far easier to die than to lay down the life day in and day out with the sense of the high calling. We are not made for brilliant moments, but we have to walk in the light of them in ordinary ways. There was only one brilliant moment in the life of Jesus, and that was on the Mount of Transfiguration; then He emptied Himself the second time of His glory, and came down into the demon-possessed valley. For thirty-three years Jesus laid out His life to do the will of His Father, and, John says, "we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." It is contrary to human nature to do it.
Am I a friend of Jesus? I have deliberately and carefully to lay down my life for Him. It is difficult, and thank God it is difficult. Salvation is easy because it cost God so much, but the manifestation of it in my life is difficult. God saves a man and endues him with the Holy Spirit, and then says in effect - "Now work it out, be loyal to Me, whilst the nature of things round about you would make you disloyal." "I have called you friends." Stand loyal to your Friend, and remember that His honour is at stake in your bodily life.
Whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us….to give LIGHT.
In the beginning, God spoke…"let there be light"…and the Spirit moved. In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was.. light. Here the very heart and kernel of the Lord’s work was to bring light. “I am the light of the world: he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12
At the day-spring of God’s creation, His Word brought light. At the day-spring of His visitation to the earth, He was that light. At the day-spring of the new creation, His Spirit moves to bring light: "Ye are the light of the world". John 8:12. "Ye are light in the Lord: walk as children of light. Eph.5:8
Jesus is not only the Light that lights every man that comes into the world, He is the Day-Spring Himself - the Bright Morning Star. “for the day-spring from on high hath visited us”. Luke 1:78. Throughout Scripture, our hearts are warmed by the rising day-spring. Throughout time men of faith looked for the day when the day-star would appear, for it is at one point on life’s horizon, at the break of the day, that the Son arises.
But in Zacharias’ thrilling song, the Day-spring would visit, the Day-star appear. Here he learned of the eventual visitation to the earth of the long-awaited Messiah. Here Zacharias rejoices to discover that 'bone of his bone' it to become the forerunner of the long-awaited the Day-star.. the Anointed One – Israel’s Messiah. John is to be that voice shouting in the wilderness: “prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God”. Isaiah 40:3.
What a joy for that father to realise that the one soon to come was to be his son. That his son was to announce the Coming Son.. the long-awaited Messiah,read more
Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he’ll not depart from it.
Bring up children in the training and admonition of the Lord.
"Spare the rod and spoil the child.." What an important element child-training and correction is in the realm of mankind, and how we lament the indoctrination of humanity by this world system. What an important factor child-training is for the maturing of the believer, but how we lament the chastening of the Lord, as He seeks to mature His own.
'Suffering' is a word with many meanings – each understands suffering differently. What is intense suffering to one is not considered to be much suffering by another. Some suffer with little apparent distress – others suffer intolerable agonies. The Lord knows His own, and to each He brings that measure of training required. He brings each one to their point of distress – to bring each a knowledge of Himself.
Whatever form of suffering God’s training takes, it will do His work in each one. We should not kick against the pricks of our own child- training and chastening. We should not scorn the child-training and chastisements he gives to others. The Lord knows His own – and to each, He brings that measure of training required. But let us no longer regard suffering as penalties, punishment, or judgments. The Lord knows His chosen ones – and He will deal with each believer appropriately. The Lord chooses His way and His time, to bring many sons to glory. The Lord selects suffering that will bring His children to the fullness of Christ and like their Lord, to make their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Some are blessed to discover the treasures of Christ through the hour of suffering. He comforts us in all our sufferings, so that we can comfort others who suffer -so that we will be able to give them the same comfort that God has given us. 2Cor.1:4 It is as eachread more