Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go.Isaiah 48:17(NASB)
Now comes My hour of heart-break, and what can I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour'? No, it was for this very purpose that I came to this hour. (John 12:27 Phillips)
There is one all-comprehending, all-embracing, all-governing purpose to which God has committed Himself, by creation, by redemption, and by union. That purpose is the conformity of a race to the image of His Son. This is man’s chief end and chief good. What more satisfied and ‘happy’ person is there – even amidst suffering and sorrow – than he or she who is most perfect in patience, love, faith, and the other "fruits of the Spirit"? If our requests regarding things were granted, while we were left the same people, unchanged in disposition and nature, it would not be long before we should be in the same unhappy condition over other things. There is possible for us some inherent quality that wears out circumstances and reigns above them. Some of the most radiant people have been the greatest sufferers in infirmity, poverty, or other forms of adversity; whilst the most ‘privileged’ are often the most discontented.
The solution to the problem of suffering does not lie in being philosophical; it is not in fatalistic resignation – ‘This is my lot; I suppose I must accept it.’ It is not in passive or active suppression of desire. It is far removed from self-pity, bitterness, cynicism, or envy, and the rest of their wretched family of wilderness-makers and wanderers. We may have to let go the particular occasion of our trouble, and first recognize, and then embrace with our heart, the fact that in the affliction there resides the immense eternal potentiality of an increase of the image of God’s Son, which is to be the one and the only character and nature of the eternal kingdom. We have too much visualized the ‘Heaven’ that is to be, as geographical and pleasurable, without giving sufficient weight to the fact of a nature which is to be inculcated and perfected.
Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. § There shall by no means enter it anything that defiles. § There is no spot in you.
You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. § As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear. § Put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and … put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. § He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.
There is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you. § Now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. The God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. § In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
The things that thou hast heard from me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2).
Truth based upon law will be presented legally - it will be legislated. Truth based upon grace will be shared graciously, in love. "Adorn the doctrine of God" by "speaking the truth in love" (Titus 2:10; Eph. 4:15).
"There are two things that have to be taken into account in communicating truth. Not merely should there be certainty that it is the truth from God, but it must also be suited truth to those whom you address. They might need it all, but they may not be in condition to receive it; and the more precious the truth, the greater the injury, in a certain sense, if it is presented to those who are not in a state to profit by it."
"We are to serve under His direction, and according to His pleasure; not just because opportunity or need offers. We require His direction, and the knowledge of His pleasure, however favorable the opportunity or the occasion. We see a servant in Acts 8 taken away from an interesting field of service, to meet one man in the desert. "It is not a question of how we succeed; but have we the assurance that we are doing the Lord's pleasure? Happy is the servant who is so led by Him that he always presents the measure of truth suited to the state of souls, and refuses to supply the knowledge that puffeth up."
"Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (1 Cor. 2:13).
“Lovest thou Me? … Feed My sheep.” John 21:16
Jesus did not say - Make converts to your way of thinking, but look after My sheep, see that they get nourished in the knowledge of Me. We count as service what we do in the way of Christian work; Jesus Christ calls service what we are to Him, not what we do for Him. Discipleship is based on devotion to Jesus Christ, not on adherence to a belief or a creed. "If any man come to Me and hate not…, he cannot be My disciple." There is no argument and no compulsion, but simply - If you would be My disciple, you must be devoted to Me. A man touched by the Spirit of God suddenly says - "Now I see Who Jesus is," and that is the source of devotion.
To-day we have substituted credal belief for personal belief, and that is why so many are devoted to causes and so few devoted to Jesus Christ. People do not want to be devoted to Jesus, but only to the cause He started. Jesus Christ is a source of deep offence to the educated mind of to-day that does not want Him in any other way than as a Comrade. Our Lord's first obedience was to the will of His Father, not to the needs of men; the saving of men was the natural outcome of His obedience to the Father. If I am devoted to the cause of humanity only, I will soon be exhausted and come to the place where my love will falter; but if I love Jesus Christ personally and passionately, I can serve humanity though men treat me as a door-mat. The secret of a disciple's life is devotion to Jesus Christ, and the characteristic of the life is its unobtrusiveness. It is like a corn of wheat, which falls into the ground and dies, but presently it will spring up and alter the whole landscape (John 12:24).
My Spirit has rejoiced in GOD……
The first beautiful strains of Mary’s song were to magnify the Lord – to magnify and to lift up the Lord her God. The next harmonious tones were those of rejoicing – jubilant, exultant strains of praise and rejoicing. She indeed discovered the wonderful joy contained in the Sacrifice of Praise. Joy is not the cheap, empty thrill that temporarily replaces a lonely longing inside. No – true joy is a deep, calm and yet glorious knowing. True joy is knowing that God truly and deeply loves you. This is the Spirit’s down-payment to all believers – a down-payment to all believers who alone have the secret of joy. Yes, this is a spiritual deposit that is often left unopened and unaccessed.. in the buried vault of a hurting and disappointed believer’s life.
In Luke we read that: the inhabitants of the rock sing and the stones would immediately cry out. And those that are hidden in the shelter of the Rock – have joy unspeakable. For those willing to fall on that Stone – will permit Self to be replaced with Christ. What joy this young woman experienced at the staggering announcement. What rejoicing she expresses – as she reflected on this awesome thing. The song of joy that escaped Mary’s heart had its focus on her Lord and her God. She recognised early in her young life – that her focus was to be on Him and not on Self.
The joy of the world is short-lived and soon replaced by life’s clamour and discontent. The joy of the world may thrill a few notes to tempt and entice the believer, but the joy of the world sounds a discordant clash as the pain of life returns. When waves of sorrow break on the shores of the world – joy’s voice is drowned. The world cannot maintain joy through loss or bereavement – sorrow or death. The world cannot maintain joy in the fiesta; the partyread more
Listen, do you want to know a secret…. ? My secret will indisputably change your eternal destiny. It has changed countless men and women.. but only those prepared to change! And this is only a secret for the believer, for the natural man is dead in sins. Now this is the thing if you are prepared to change your heart, God will change your mind. But God will never change your heart until you change your mind. Now, this astonishing secret is openly hid within the pages of Hebrews. The knowledge of the Son of God is the secret of the true Christian life. Being conformed into His likeness is the secret to which all have access. This is what God wants for all believers – but not all choose this path.
The glory of the Son of God is demonstrated in the life of the Lord Jesus, and with our permission… He will change each of us to be like Him, but we can resist and remain carnal, OR submit and become like Him. We can quench the work of the Spirit in our life to our detriment, or we can permit Him to work by submitting to His leading – to our advantage.
For 4000 years God had been declaring His glory to man through nature. For 4 millennia God had spoken to man through the words of the prophets of old. But at the end of these days.. God has spoken to us in His Son – and it behooves us to listen carefully to His voice. Knowledge of the Holy is only truly translated to us through one medium – the glory of God is only fully expressed through the person of Jesus Christ. The creative power of God gives light and life and hope to a believing soul, and God points to Jesus when He declared: hear Him, from His fiery throne. Hear Him, we are instructed. Listen to Him, we are directed.
God never changes but He alters His mode ofread more