'AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.'"Matthew 2:6(NASB)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3 NIV)
Familiar as these words andthese thoughts are to us, there are tremendous possibilities offreshness, and newness, about the enjoyment of these things.... If there isno fresh glimmer of light and glory associated with thereiteration of this truth, there is all the more reason why weshould ask the Lord what has happened to us, that we couldcontemplate such a thing without a stirring of heart. Now, isthat our Christ, the Christ of our experience, the Christ of ourknowledge? Are we living in the realization of that, not to itsfullness because that fullness will never be exhausted but inthe wonder of the fullness which lies before? A land flowingwith milk and honey, a good land indeed. Any fresh contemplationof our Lord in this way should ravish our hearts: Christ, thefullness of spiritual blessing now, the Sphere of ourexperience, our exploring, our enjoyment, our satisfaction. Thatis heavenly union with the Lord Jesus. Anybody who is in that isin heaven. You have not to define and explain to such people whatit means to be in the heavenlies in Christ. They know of what youare speaking. Spiritual geography is understood by those who walkup and down in Him and enjoy His fullness.
If you are not there, all thatwe can do is to be like the spies, and report upon it, and it isleft with you to say whether you are going in or not. It is leftto the crisis of faith or unbelief, just as it was of old. Do youbelieve that that is the Christ Whom God has presented as theSphere of your life? If so, go up and possess; appropriate byfaith the fullness that is in Christ for every need which arises, for every demand which confronts you.... Let us face the whole issue in this definite way: "Lord, it is clearly represented in the Word that You are the fullness of God for me! Here is aneed, a spiritual need. In order that You should be glorified inme, I by faith take You to meet this need!" That is very simple.That is almost the infant class of things, but it is a veryeffective way of proving the Lord. Do not sink back afterward anddecline into discouragement and say, "Nothing has happened!" Standyour ground just as Israel had to stand their ground and provethereby that the Lord had indeed given.
Do not fear … ,” says the Lord, “for I am with you; … I will not make a complete end of you. I will rightly correct you.” § “For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer … “For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you. “O you afflicted one, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, and lay your foundations with sapphires.”
I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him, until He pleads my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me forth to the light; I will see His righteousness.
When the children of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for them: Ehud … a left-handed man … After him was Shamgar … who killed six hundred men of the Philistines with an ox goad; and he also delivered Israel.
The Lord turned to [Gideon] and said, “Go in this might of yours. Have I not sent you?” So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”
The Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me … lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’”
“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord of hosts. § My brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh" (2 Cor. 4:11).
The growing Christian is often accused of passivity by the doing Christian. The Lord Jesus was not passive; the Apostle Paul was not passive; nor is the believer passive who seeks to "grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). Compulsive activity is not necessarily fruitful, as the "works of the flesh" attest.
"The Lord keep you in the freshness of faith in Himself, going forth in His work, not undertaking more than He gives you grace for. I have pressed upon my brethren not to give up their secular employment until the work of the Lord so increased upon them that they must give up one or the other."
"The one who knows best the Father's love will be the best exponent of that love - the best qualified servant for the Father to send on a mission of interest to those who are ignorant of it. Abide in Him. The only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him' (John 1:18)."
"Under the Mosaic law-system, love for others was to be in the degree in which one loved himself; under grace it is to be in the degree in which the Lord Jesus has loved the believer and given His life for him (1 John 3:16)." -L.S.C.
"Perversion of truth takes its rise from having the eye turned to man, and seeking to make the truth suit him, and not to conform man to the truth; so that the way to resolve this difference is by the simple question, Is it God-ward I am looking, or man-ward?"
"If you only know the work of the Lord Jesus you are prepared to make sacrifices, but if you know Him as your life then you are ready to suffer for Him."
"So then death worketh in us, but life in you" (2 Cor 4:12).
God has established simple principles of spiritual growth – for church-age believers. Most are outlined in detail in Paul’s epistles, but are not always correctly applied – but if we were to comply, our Christian lives and walk would be victorious.
Faith is the first vital step on the believers’ life-long march to spiritual growth, for faith is simply standing on certainties – resting on the facts of the Word of God. If faith is anchored on undistorted, Scriptural truth – nothing will hinder progress. Faith will be sharpened by opposition, while confidence in self will be damaged. Trust in God harnesses the weapons of warfare against the enemy of our soul.
God also takes Time in bringing His children to maturity – and God is never in a hurry, for God always sees a believer’s progress to maturity from an eternal perspective. We want to experience a closeness and produce works WE consider pleasing to God, but He takes us to an end of ourselves, so that our trust is in Him, and Him alone… and often, thru the ‘Valley of Pain’ a believer is nudged towards maturity.
God’s desire is that our attitude towards Him is based on a correct foundation, and Scripture is saturated with stanzas that tell of God’s love for each of His own. God sometimes has to take a lifetime to establish in the heart of a doubting believer that he is Accepted in Christ – it must surely break His heart when His children doubt His love… which is infinite, sacrificial, unchanging and eternal.
Also, understanding God’s Purpose behind life, gives a quantum leap to spiritual maturity – for we are soldiers in the spiritual “battle of the ages,” who have been given spiritual armour in the spiritual warfare in which we are engaged. God’s battle-plan is to bring all things back to Himself through the Man, Christ Jesus – and the way a believer conducts his life-walk in this battle determines the outcome. He will either gain rewards or suffer loss.. butread more
He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
His Word is truth. His promises are altogether sure. He is faithful and true. There is not a thing in heaven or on earth that can separate us from His love. There is nothing in the earthly or spiritual realm that can divorce us from His care. There is no created thing including our own rebellious selves that can remove us from Him.
No man or woman, principality or power can touch you or any blood-bought believer. WHY – because of what you are or what you did? No! Because you are a good Christian who reads the bible and prays? No! Because you have done lots of good deeds and witnessed about the Lord? No! Because you have restrained yourself and tried to follow His good example? No!
God’s faithfulness to you has nothing whatsoever to do with you, but it has everything – absolutely everything to do with the Lord Jesus Christ. You are accepted by God because He has accepted you in the Beloved, in Christ. You are accepted in Christ and you are accepted because of Him alone.
There is nothing too dark or vile that can separate a believer from God. There is nothing so good or worthy that can gain an unbeliever His acceptance – except believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. It never has and it never will depend on man – it all depends on Him.
Many Christians find this total acceptance by God, very difficult to understand.read more