"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)
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. (Colossians 2:8 NIV)
It is absolutely useless, dear friends, to refer to tradition and say, “Well, God did this in the beginning, and this is the place where the oracles of God are found and the temple of God is and the great tradition of Israel as the chosen people. It is here, and we rest on that.” No, tradition will not support now. History will not support now. Institutions will not support now. It seems as though God has no regard, at length, for temple or ark or altar or priesthood. He cries through the prophets: “Away, away with you all. I want none of your sacrifices” in Isaiah 58. What a chapter! “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice.” Then, what follows? “Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways.” “I will have none of it”, says the Lord. “I will have none of it. These are not the sacrifices I want. This ritual is not what I am after. This traditional system is not what I desire. It is a spiritual state.” And only on that can the Lord associate Himself, ally Himself, to Zion....
If you look again at this letter to the Hebrews, you will see that we are come to Zion. We are not come to some thing, some religious thing, some tradition, we are not come to historical Christianity – if I may put it that way – we are come to a spiritual situation which is calculated to startle us. Oh, we say, “We are in the day of Grace. This is the dispensation of Grace.” True! Is the Letter to the Hebrews on any other ground than the ground of Grace? Surely not, but do you know that in this letter the most awful things in the Bible are written? “How shall we escape (we, we escape, we Christians, we believers of this dispensation) how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation? ...Our God is a consuming fire... it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.” This is said to these people, these Christians; and other things like that are said. But I am pointing this out, that this letter is written in the day of Grace; and it is a day which brings into view not some new Christian system, nor the formation of a new Christian tradition, but a spiritual condition, without which everything else is as nothing. You have come to Zion, yes, but you have come to the controversy of Zion. You have come, we have come, to the great battle of Zion; and it is a spiritual battle.
Get wisdom! Get understanding! § The wisdom that is from above. § The deep says, “It is not in me”; and the sea says, “It is not with me.” § We were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.
Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. § [God] made us alive together with Christ … and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
Those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. § Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility.
Peter followed Him at a distance. § Among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. § The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.
The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. § A bruised reed.
He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench. § Faith as a mustard seed.
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord. § Little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. § Whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.
For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace" (Rom. 6:14).
Hatred for others comes easy for some; but to fully hate one's old man comes hard for all. The Lord Jesus loves us too much to allow us to go on loving ourselves.
"The Christian's victory is not over others, but over himself. His sword is drawn, not to slay his fellowman, but to slay himself. He wins by losing. He triumphs by being defeated. He lives by dying. His crown is a crown of thorns. His throne is a Cross. His weapon is not strength but weakness.
"His victory is not found in establishing his own cause but in establishing that of his fellow-men; the poor, the sick, the disinherited, the brokenhearted, the wayward, the lost. This may be foolishness to men. But we must not forget that the foolishness of God is stronger than men' (1 Cor. 1:25). -F.J.H.
"How blessed it is to know, and at the same time how solemn to realize, that the sin of the child of God is against his Father, and that it is the love of relationship that is called into exercise about it - love which acts towards us for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness'" (Heb. 12:10).
"It is impossible that He should treat it lightly; and it will be impossible in the end for any one of His own to treat it lightly either. Grace abides towards us; and because grace abides, sin cannot be permitted to have sway over the objects of it." -W.K.
"Let not sin, therefore, reign. . . " (Rom. 6:12).
“Jesus did not commit Himself unto them for He knew what was in man.” John 2:24-25
Disillusionment means that there are no more false judgments in life. To be undeceived by disillusionment may leave us cynical and unkindly severe in our judgment of others, but the disillusionment which comes from God brings us to the place where we see men and women as they really are, and yet there is no cynicism, we have no stinging, bitter things to say. Many of the cruel things in life spring from the fact that we suffer from illusions. We are not true to one another as facts; we are only true to our ideas of one another. Everything is either delightful and fine, or mean and dastardly, according to our idea.
The refusal to be disillusioned is the cause of much of the suffering in human life. It works in this way - if we love a human being and do not love God, we demand of him every perfection and every rectitude, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive; we are demanding of a human being that which he or she cannot give. There is only one Being Who can satisfy the last aching abyss of the human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Why Our Lord is apparently so severe regarding every human relationship is because He knows that every relationship not based on loyalty to Himself will end in disaster. Our Lord trusted no man, yet He was never suspicious or bitter. Our Lord's confidence in God and in what His grace could do for any man, was so perfect that He despaired of no one. If our trust is placed in human beings, we shall end in despairing of everyone.
How important it is as intercessors to pray into God’s will. Daniel exemplified this in his greatest of intercession for his nation – in Daniel 9, He understood God’s will – He prayed into God’s will – He discovered more of His will.
There are many mysteries in the New Testament that are veiled in the Old. One such shrouded mystery, is the mystery of God’s intention : the mystery of God’s will. Paul tells us in Ephesians chapter 1 verse 9 that:- having made known to us (the Church) the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one-all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth – in Him Ephesians.1:9
And HOW has God determined to do this… ? Well like all good commanders-in-chief he lays out His strategy – for his soldiers. It is working a work.. a deep, deep work in the inner man of the new creation.. till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, into a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ Ephesians.4:13 And that’s the new man in Christ.. The new man is to come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
And WHY has God determined to do this… ? Well, we are told in Hebrews chapter 2 verse 10 that:- it was fitting for Him, for Whom are all things and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, (that’s US – we are these sons…) and to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Hebrews.2:10
The context of these strategies from God – are for the mature believer. He is talking of sons not children.. for son-ship is reflected in maturity, (check out the context of sons andread more
I was reflecting on the many earthquakes that have recently been rocking the world..quakes and distresses have been striking the globe with increased intensity and frequency, and earthquakes are just one pointer to the soon return of the Lord in power and great glory.
But my thoughts transferred to a different earthquake – one the prophet Elijah saw. My mind sped to his shattering experience with his violent earthquake. He stood in the presence of the Lord and experienced a devastating wind – a fierce and mighty wind. And after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice… 1Kings 19:12. And through the gentle whisper of God’s voice, Elijah knew his God in a new and powerful way.
I want to share a special reflection from, ‘Way of Faith,‘. – about that quiet, gentle stillness:- A soul who made rapid progress in her understanding of the Lord was asked once the secret of her easy advancement. She briefly replied, “Mind the checks ! Mind the checks !”
Perhaps the reason that many of us do not know and better understand Him.. is that we do not give heed to His gentle checks.. His warning whispers – His balanced counsel. His quiet restraints and gentle constraints are often passed unheeded, in the clamour of life.
The Lord still whispers in His small and gentle voice… a still voice can hardly be heard; a still voice must be almost felt; a still voice is like a steady, gentle pressure upon the heart and mind – a still voice is like the touch of a morning zephyr on your face. A still voice is a small voice, quietly, almost timidly spoken in your heart. A voice that if heeded, will grow noiselessly clearer to your inner ear.
His voice is spoken into the ear of love, for love is intentread more