"For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.Matthew 7:14(NASB)
Mine eyes have seen your salvation.
How we just love the glories of sight – to behold the beauties that surround us. How we delight to view the landscape – to gaze into the dazzling starlit night-sky. I once recall walking down a lane, wondering at the intricacy of simple cow parsley, a butterfly’s wing, a glorious sunrise, a golden sunset ~ a craggy mountain peak.
But as aged Simeon gazed at the face of that eight-day old baby boy.. as he held the precious, helpless, new-born babe, bundled in simple wraps, his physical eye was eclipsed by his spiritual eye of understanding. A deep knowledge, a wisdom deep down in his heart, that he was treading on holy ground. And like the great proclamation of Peter it could equally be claimed: flesh and blood has not revealed it unto you, but my Father in heaven. Matt.16:17
And Simeon “SAW” .. the Consolation of Israel. And Simeon “SAW” .. Christ, the Son of the living God. After a lifetime of living by faith and a lifespan of watching and waiting, Simeon saw, and Simeon cried: “mine eyes have seen your salvation.” Luke 2:30
Four hundred years of silence had passed with no sign of the forthcoming Messiah, yet he was not swayed by the changing attitudes of religiosity that swamped Israel. This faithful soul had no gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit as his down-payment. This remnant man had lived a life of blind faith, love, patience.. and he waited. This loyal, godly Old Testament saint exemplifies a true man of faith, who pleased God. For he believed God; he trusted God, he watched and he waited – and yet Simeon: having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise. Heb 11:39 ..
And like all scripture which is given for our learning, Simeon serves as an “ensample” to us – an example and shadow of heavenly things.. just like all the men and women of faith, discovered in the pages of Hebrewsread more
I do know one thing. I used to be blind, but now I can see. (John 9:25 GW)
If you and I were allowed to be perfectly satisfied with what we have got at any stage, and not to feel the absolute necessity for something we never have had, should we go on? Of course not! To keep us going on, the Lord has to bring about those experiences where it is absolutely necessary for us to see the Lord, and know the Lord in a new way, and it must just be so all the way along to the end. It may be a series of crises of seeing and seeing again, and yet again, as the Lord opens our eyes, and we are able to say, as never before, "I see!" So it is not our study, our learning, our book knowledge, but it is a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of our hearts being enlightened, and it is that seeing which brings the note of authority that is so much needed. That is the element, the feature, that is required today. It is not just seeing for seeing’s sake, but it is to bring in a new note of authority.
Where is the voice of authority today? Where are those who are really speaking with authority? We are languishing terribly in every department of life for the voice of authority. The Church is languishing for want of a voice of spiritual authority, for want of that prophetic note – "Thus saith the Lord!" The world is languishing for want of authority, and that authority is with those who have seen. There is far more authority in the man born blind seeing, in his testimony – "One thing I know that, whereas I was blind, now I see" – than there is in all Israel, with all Israel’s tradition and learning. And may it not be that that was the thing about the Lord Jesus that carried such weight, for "He spoke as One having authority, and not as the Scribes" (Matt. 7:29). The Scribes were the authorities. If anybody wanted an interpretation of the law, they went to the Scribes. If they wanted to know what the authoritative position was, they went to the Scribes. But He spoke as One having authority, and not as the Scribes. Wherein lay the authority? Just that in all things He could say, "I know! It is not what I have read, what I have been told, or what I have studied that is with power, but this – I know! I have seen!"
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. § We are all like an unclean thing. § I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.
As many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. § You have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him. § Not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but … the righteousness which is from God by faith.
Bring out the best robe and put it on him. § The fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. § I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness.
Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.
Why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ … So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore.
God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ. § The Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son … [He] has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.
The Great, the Mighty God, whose name is the Lord of hosts. You are great in counsel and mighty in work, for Your eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings.
God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye, always having all sufficiency, may abound to every good work" (2 Cor. 9:8).
Suffering takes us in condition where truth has us in position.
"We will never learn any truth in experience excepting in the deepening knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the lack of this which is the cause of weakness among believers; bare doctrine is not personal fellowship with Him. We have that which is lovely and full of blessing in Him; but if we are to know it as such; to prove its truth, to enjoy it always, it must be in taking these things as connected with Him." -J.N.D.
"The passive power of faith needs for its sustenance closer communion with the Father than its active energy. Action, as it were, nerves us to the conflict; but quiet endurance of wrong, or suffering of any kind, which neither friend nor foe sees, but only God, this indeed needs divine power, and without God's support none would bear the strain. Many a saint has shown the courage of faith before his enemies, as Elijah when he faced Ahab, but who, like him, quails and flees, where there is nothing to do, but quietly trust in God."
"There is but one thought with our Father in disciplining us, namely, to make our trials an opportunity for our heart to learn and discover more of His love, and the resources which are in Him as He has revealed them to us in His Son." -J.B.S.
"There is no way of learning faith except by trial. It is God's school of faith, and it is far better for us to learn to trust our Father than to enjoy life."
"As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things" (2 Cor. 6:10).
“Ye cannot serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:19
Have you the slightest reliance on anything other than God? Is there a remnant of reliance left on any natural virtue, any set of circumstances? Are you relying on yourself in any particular in this new proposition which God has put before you? That is what the probing means. It is quite true to say - "I cannot live a holy life," but you can decide to let Jesus Christ make you holy. "Ye cannot serve the Lord God"; but you can put yourself in the place where God's almighty power will come through to you. Are you sufficiently right with God to expect Him to manifest His wonderful life in you?
"Nay, but we will serve the Lord." It is not an impulse, but a deliberate commitment. You say - But God can never have called me to this, I am too unworthy, it can't mean me. It does mean you, and the weaker and feebler you are, the better. The one who has something to trust in is the last one to come anywhere near saying - "I will serve the Lord."
We say - "If I really could believe!" The point is - If I really will believe. No wonder Jesus Christ lays such emphasis on the sin of unbelief. "And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." If we really believed that God meant what He said - what should we be like! Dare I really let God be to me all that He says He will be?
For God SO loved the world that he GAVE His one and only Son, that WHOEVER believes in Him shall not perish but have ETERNAL LIFE.
The BREADTH of God’s love reaches the four corners of earth and heaven: for God SO loved the world. The Psalmist reminds us: “If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me”. (Psalm 139:9)
The LENGTH of God’s love is eternal.. stretching back before the worlds began, for He gave His only begotten Son.. (John 3:16) the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev.13:8). For as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our sins from us. (Psalm 103:12)
The DEPTH of God’s love reaches the pit of hell.. encompassing all, including me: that whosoever believes in Him should not perish. (John 3:16) for if I make my bed in hell, behold You are there. (Psalm 139:8)
The HEIGHT of God’s Love is to seat you in heavenly places in Christ: so that all who believe shall not perish.. but have eternal life. (John 3:16). Yes His love places you where He is and where we shall ever be.. life for the ages… life for the eternal ages to come…
There is no hypocrisy or insincerity in God’s love. There is no false virtue in His love. There is no affectation or duplicity in His love. There is no false or empty talk in His love. He means what He says and He says what He means – for His Word is Truth.
He will never lower His standards for you or for anyone else.. nor will He force His love upon the unwilling recipient – on you or on anyone else. Christ loved Hisread more