I will bring distress on men So that they will walk like the blind, Because they have sinned against the LORD; And their blood will be poured out like dust And their flesh like dung.Zephaniah 1:17(NASB)
Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ. (Ephesians 4:15 NIV)
We know of many children of God who have been the Lord’s children for years and they have been working for the Lord many of them, and yet they have come to a standstill; they have come under an arrest. Why? Well in some way, at some point, somehow, something of themselves, their old self has come up, has come into evidence, and has come into the way. It may be some of their old mind, some of their old will, some of their old affections, desires and feelings. They are in their own way somehow. They are not in the Lord’s way. What is needed is not that they should die again, but that they should come to accept their once-for-all death in Christ in relation to whatever that may be that has come up, and let it go and be set free from that law of sin and death. “Repentance from dead works.” That is exactly what the apostle is saying to these Hebrews: "You have come to a standstill. You simply ceased to go on. You went so far, now you have got to a certain point and for years you have not budged a bit from that position. You have never got past foundations, you are not going on to full growth. You have not settled it once and for all that you died when Christ died. You ended the whole system and order of the old creation religiously and otherwise when you came to Christ. Christ is the end of the law and Christ is the end of the old creation, and He is the beginning of everything new. Do not be wearied at repetition of old truths, they are very important as foundations, and this is foundational."
We are destined, whether we now accept it or not, whether we like it or not, we are destined to discover that God’s foundation stands. This is true, and no one will ever get through in relation to God and His things while still bound by the old creation, on the old creation level. This new way of Life is so narrow that we cannot take ourselves into it, we have to leave ourselves behind.
You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.
It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. § If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. § I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.
Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. § Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind.
Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!
Your heart is not right in the sight of God. § Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
They first gave themselves to the Lord. § In every work that [Hezekiah] began … to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered.
Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.
Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord. § As bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men. § I will run the course of Your commandments, for You shall enlarge my heart.
[God] hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6).
There aren't many truly happy Christians simply because there aren't many who really abide in the Lord Jesus Christ. Our risen Lord is the source of our happiness as we rest in Him - triumphant over circumstances; not hopelessly underneath them. Happy is the abiding believer, "hid with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3).
"I must not only see my position in the Lord Jesus, but I must come near to the One who set me there. Many are disappointed that after hearing with delight and receiving the truth of their position they are not more affected by it.
"The reason is that they rest too much in the position and have not occupied themselves increasingly with their risen Lord; have not drawn nearer to Him, and recognized Him as the only One who can make it all experiential in them." -J.B.S.
"Is the living Person now in heavenly glory really the Object of our hearts? For some time after I knew the Saviour I used to think of Him as One who had lived and died on earth long years ago, and I well remember the day when I knelt down with a dear brother who prayed that we might know the Lord Jesus as a living Person in heavenly glory, and it dawned upon me that there was a present Object for my heart in heaven. Our hearts will never be satisfied until that glorified Lord Jesus becomes our Object bright and fair." -C.A.C.
"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth" (Col. 3:2).
“Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.” Hebrews 10:24-25
We are all capable of being spiritual sluggards; we do not want to mix with the rough and tumble of life as it is, our one object is to secure retirement. The note struck in Hebrews 10 is that of provoking one another and of keeping together - both of which require initiative, the initiative of Christ-realization, not of self-realization. To live a remote, retired, secluded life is the antipodes of spirituality as Jesus Christ taught it.
The test of our spirituality comes when we come up against injustice and meanness and ingratitude and turmoil, all of which have the tendency to make us spiritual sluggards. We want to use prayer and Bible reading for the purpose of retirement. We utilize God for the sake of getting peace and joy, that is, we do not want to realize Jesus Christ, but only our enjoyment of Him. This is the first step in the wrong direction. All these things are effects and we try to make them causes.
"I think it meet," said Peter, ". . . to stir you up by putting you in remembrance." It is a most disturbing thing to be smitten in the ribs by some provoker of God, by someone who is full of spiritual activity. Active work and spiritual activity are not the same thing. Active work may be the counterfeit of spiritual activity. The danger of spiritual sluggishness is that we do not wish to be stirred up, all we want to hear about is spiritual retirement. Jesus Christ never encourages the idea of retirement - "Go tell My brethren . ."
I wonder if you have ever wondered what God was really, REALLY like. Well, you are not alone in your wonderings! Man has puzzled about what God was really like for millennia. From the first man who sought to discover God, and desired to be like Him, man has been curious about his Creator. Mankind has been desirous to comprehend who God is.
Religionists and scientist alike have ruminated over this God of the universe. Philosophers and kings likewise have battled furiously at the astonishing dilemma. Mountains of books have been penned in an attempt to explore the inexplicable. Numerable speculations have been postulated – trying to uncover this secret enigma. And imperfect man, with imperfect minds muse imperfect thoughts, about a perfect God. But it is not possible to gatecrash the mind of God - yet foolish man pursues his quest.
And it is not feasible to penetrate the thoughts and the actions and the will of God.. for God is unknowable and God in incomprehensible, for God is beyond our grasp. Even the most vigorous minds and astute intellects cannot discover His ways. But imaginations race to the extremity of the universe to search out the way of God.
Why do we do this? Why does there seem to be an insatiable urge to discover God? Because God in His wisdom planned it this way. We read in Ecclesiastes chapter 3 that, God has put eternity in our hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes.3:11
Yes, God in His wisdom has placed a deep yearning for Himself in our inner beings. He knows our deepest need is clear, clean, beautiful fellowship with Himself. But God also knows that man’s heart is intrinsically wicked and riddled with sin, and in His wisdom has withheld much that prideful man desires to know of God.
There are two ways to discover God and uncover His thoughts and heart.read more
Now, when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea.. behold, there came WISE MEN from the east to Jerusalem.
The birth of a child is a wonderful, mysterious event, a miracle of human life. The birth of Jesus was the most wonderful birth that occurred in this world. His birth was accompanied by so many remarkable and astonishing events. Angel’s sang – Shepherd’s were amazed. Stars spoke – Glory shone all around – Wise Men came.
The Son of God slept in a manger as the shepherds watched in amazement. The infant Child slumbered in the house – and the Wise Men came. Wise men from the Galilean hills left their flock, to come to the Lamb.. the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. John 1:29. Wise Men from the East followed the star, to come to the King of the Jews – the Lamb that sits upon the throne. Revelation 5:13
Wise men and wise women for 2000 years have come to the Saviour of the world. Come and see…. we have found the Christ, the Son of God… John 1:46, 41. Born again in Him. New life and new hope. Eternal life and eternal hope.
How God could become flesh is a mystery. How the One from eternity past could take on the form of man remains a mystery. How the One Who is the fountain of all life, laid aside His majesty for us is astonishing. How Jesus, creator of the universe loves us – is mind-blowing. How we are accepted in the Beloved shatters the imagination – but it is true, for His Word says it – and His Word is truth.
He indwells us when we come to Him and we are born again. He lives in us and works through us as we get to know Him and obey Him. The Magi travelled hundreds of difficult and perilous miles to discover Jesus. We ought to reckon no toil or sacrifice too great for theread more