"But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.Luke 6:35(NASB)
I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. But I have this against you.... (Revelation 2:19 ESV)
Oh, that we should get some better idea of what the service of the Lord is than that it is platforms and pulpits and open-air meetings. Beloved, service for the Lord is just as important when it is rendering some kindly act of helpful service to some rather depressed child of God in the ordinary domestic things of daily life; just as valuable as getting on the platform and giving a message. You see it is strengthening the hands of the Lord's children, it is coming in to check the crushing overweight of the adversary, coming alongside to lift up the testimony in some life or home where the enemy is trying to crush the testimony out and the testimony is something maintained in domestic relationships, in family life, private life. There are too many who want to give up their domestic service and go to Bible College, failing to recognize that that service there may be just as valuable to the Lord as their going out to the mission field. It is spiritual, not technical, not organized, and you may be as much a priest of the Lord in going round to some home tomorrow where the enemy is pressing in, and giving a practical hand in helping with the washing, as you may be a priest in standing on the platform....
There are many priests of God whose voices have never been heard in public, who have never been seen in a public way, who are unknown, hidden very often in the assembly and yet in secret history fulfilling a most valuable ministry. Get adjusted over this thing. We have to come to the point where we deliberately decide as to whether the Lord is worthy of this, and abandon ourselves to it because of our appreciation of Him, the Master. You see, this servant abandons himself freely, voluntarily, for all time to the service of his master because he has come to love his master.
You know how we exhorted … and charged every one of you … that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. § You may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. § Being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. § Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes.” … Thus says the Lord God: “I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them.”
If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.
Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have what- ever he says.
For you have had the privilege granted you on behalf of Christ - not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer on His behalf" (Phil. 1:29, Wey.).
The Father prepares His sufferers, by means of their sufferings.
"I believe in perpetual favor with God, but I do not believe in unbroken sunshine here. On the contrary, we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake.' I say this that you may not think it strange when the collar which you have rightly accepted becomes trying or difficult to you; for surely if it be service it must be so; the servant must be more or less a sufferer."
"The Lord grant you to be so assured in heart of His interest in you, that daily you may more and more answer to His pleasure; and not be in any way cast down because you apparently do so little. The fragrance of His name is a crown of glory to the greatest invalid."
Unto you is given on the behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake' (Phil. 1:29). Yea, if we suffer, we shall also reign with him' (2 Tim. 2:12). The gracious gift of suffering is as distinct and specific a gift as any other of God's gifts. But this gift transforms the blessed recipient more surely perhaps than all the others into resemblance to Himself, and is for this fellowship, the highest, greatest, noblest of them all."
"We naturally shrink from trials and sorrow, but when we find ourselves enjoying the resources that are in our Father, to which our trials have caused us to have recourse, we remember no more the path of affliction which led us thereto."
"The child of God is ever in the light, though not always in the sunshine."
"If we suffer, we shall also reign with him" (2 Tim. 2:12).
His kingdom will never end.
There are intricate yet interlinking story-lines that are woven together in the Word of God. There is the story of Israel together with the covenant promises God made to them through the fathers. But there is also a wider world that is in equal need of redemption from sin and everlasting life from above. There was the intriguing story of Moses the prophet, who was raised up by God to lead His people out of Egyptian bondage, and to guide them safely them through their wilderness walk, who declared:- the Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own people. You must listen to everything He tells you.
We read of Melchizedek, who was priest and king of Salem and Aaron the high priest of Israel, whose individual lives and unique characters were types of our great and eternal High Priest – Who down through the centuries has been interceding for His church – for we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but in every respect has been tempted as we are – yet without sin.
There was the land covenant given to Abraham and the kingdom promise made to David. The songs of Zacharias and Mary are touching pictures of God’s faithfulness down through the centuries – to fulfil all that He promised to His people Israel. There are many glimpses of the love of God, which is seen to extend beyond the boundaries of Israel, and there are even some hidden hints of the future church of Christ for the everlasting King, Who is to sit on David’s throne is the Prince of Peace, Whose kingdom will last forever, and Whose glory will cover the earth.
The eternal Son of the Father is identified as the perfect Son of Mary – and the deity of Christ is married with the humanity of our Kinsman-Redeemer – as the never-ending love-story of redemptionread more
I have heard it said that man’s disappointments are God appointments. I have heard people say that man’s coincidences are God instances. How can life’s stumbling blocks become wonderful stepping stones? How can onerous obstacles be transformed into effortless opportunities? I believe it depends on the attitude of a Christian’s heart.. and the choices he makes in his the human conscience. I believe it’s through a Christ-centred approach rather than a self-centred life.
It seems the word of God is full of antonyms and seeming contradictions, for instance, Paul tells us, “For my strength is made perfect in weakness.” and: “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it”. Luke 9:24. How can this be? How can we “count it as joy when we fall into various trials”? How can God take the negatives and transform them into glorious positives? How can we possibly thank God for our trials and for life disappointments? How can our hearts be unfeignedly thankful for life’s deep embarrassments?
We would all prefer glorious green and verdant pastures, but God sends us thunderclouds and distressing disasters instead, and we are in anguish that God should so treat His own children! But such anomalies are God’s amazing methods to prepare us for future service. Such absurd contradictions are the moulding tools He uses to train His children.
God gives us “treasures of darkness” to prepare us for jewels of light, and He leads us through the valley of the shadow into His own place of peace and rest. We would never guess that His best treasures are hidden in deep distresses, and yet we are often required to walk the path of pain and perplexity, with no explanation and a heart that would fain but break. Yet the valley gives time for reflection to enable us to draw close to Him. God wants each of His children to recognise His sovereignty and our own lack.
Sometimes He removes life’s carpet of flowers and poolsread more