For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.Romans 16:19(NASB)
May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. (1 Thessalonians 3:12 NIV)
Love for those of our own company may not be so difficult. But the Word adds "and toward all men." That goes deeper. I have of late felt more deeply and strongly than ever before the force of very familiar words – "Knowledge puffeth up, but love buildeth up" (1 Cor. 8:1), and other words such as "maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love" (Eph. 4:16). If we are going to be affected by that which is present in other people, all those features in Christians and in Christian work and activity which are repugnant to us, we are going to close up and withdraw in heart and nothing is going to be done in the way of mutual helpfulness and edification. Again and again the very practical question arises – because of this or that which we meet in another can anything be done, is anything possible? And very often, in the acute consciousness of so much that appears on the surface, we have revolted against it; and then, going to the Lord about it and facing it out with Him, we have been enabled to go on, and something has happened and the Lord has wrought, and we have been surprised, and rebuked for our original offendedness. We have to look through all that to the heart, and be reminded every time that the Lord looks on the heart. We are looking on all this which is largely the result of ignorance, lack of proper teaching and so on, and this can offend us. But the Lord looks on the heart; He sees if there is something deep down under all these preponderances, if there is a real heart love for Him, and He knows if this is really the endeavor to express that love.
There may be misapprehension, there may be ignorance, there may be other causes, but this which offends us is, on the part of those concerned, their way of showing their love for the Lord, and we must not be turned aside – we must get close to them and find what possibilities there are for the Lord. He is going on, He is not giving up; He is making all He possibly can of the least bit of heart love for Himself and for all men. The challenge of this is very practical and very searching for us.
Your lamb shall be without blemish. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you. § The blood of sprinkling. § Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. § Being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God. § According to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.
We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? § He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him. § [He] Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree. § Having become a curse for us.
Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory. § Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. § He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.
O my soul, march on in strength! § We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. § They overcame … by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to test you, as though some strange thing happened unto you" (1 Peter 4:12).
The joy of sowing is exceeded only by the joy of harvesting; and yet both sowing and reaping are a matter of death.
"If we follow and note the history and ways of any true servant of the Lord, we shall see, that on the one side they, like Moses on the Mount, or Paul in Arabia, are entranced with the brightness and most marvelous display of divine glory; yet on man's side, those who know most of the divine ways, suffer most because of the indifference of those who have professed to be the Lord's people.
"It is nowhere admitted in Scripture that a servant can be merely the herald of the light of God's grace; that is, that he should only have the joyful side of service. For every real servant, be he evangelist, teacher, or anything else, there must be the side of suffering, burden, and humiliation."
"We must bear in mind that, while it is the Father's purpose, in His dealings with Job, to vindicate His own estimate of His servant; it is, at the same time, shown us how He educates or disciplines that servant so as to render him worthy of that estimate."
"In every trial, however gloomy, there are gleams of light and relief; but full deliverance is often delayed by our anxiety to obtain it. God Himself, and not the deliverance, is to be the satisfaction of His servant; consequently the deliverance is often postponed until we are without prospect or expectation of it; and then it may be accorded in a manner so transcendently beyond our conception, that we must see and understand the love and interest which surrounded us during the whole period of our trial."
"But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings, that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy" (1 Peter 4:3)
“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
An average view of the Christian life is that it means deliverance from trouble. It is deliverance in trouble, which is very different. "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High…there shall no evil befall thee" - no plague can come nigh the place where you are at one with God.
If you are a child of God, there certainly will be troubles to meet, but Jesus says do not be surprised when they come. "In the world yet shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world, there is nothing for you to fear." Men who before they were saved would scorn to talk about troubles, often become "fushionless" after being born again because they have a wrong idea of a saint.
God does not give us overcoming life: He gives us life as we overcome. The strain is the strength. If there is no strain, there is no strength. Are you asking God to give you life and liberty and joy? He cannot, unless you will accept the strain. Immediately you face the strain, you will get the strength. Overcome your own timidity and take the step, and God will give you to eat of the tree of life and you will get nourishment. If you spend yourself out physically, you become exhausted; but spend yourself spiritually, and you get more strength. God never gives strength for to-morrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the minute. The temptation is to face difficulties from a common-sense standpoint. The saint is hilarious when he is crushed with difficulties because the thing is so ludicrously impossible to anyone but God.
God wanted to make known among the gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
There are many qualities that an intercessor needs to be an effective prayer warrior. Perhaps the most important is a believer’s attitude towards his Captain and Lord – combined with a totally revised view of his own self and importance in this battle.
God requires intercessors that are veritable bond-servants.. willing bond-servants – bond-servants that are prepared to be slaves to their Master – to the uttermost. God demands men and women to intercede, who are swallowed up in His will.
God needs praying people to serve Him.. disregarding their own needs or interests – people bound up, devoted and wholly given over to carrying out his purposes to the uttermost.
Ironically, a position of bond-slave in the world is the lowest scale of status. It is a position in life we pity or shun – a position which we earnestly strive to avoid. But bondage in God’s service expresses the highest commitment and constancy. It is a position that is bound by the chains of deep devotion and steadfast love.
Think about it… the apostle Peter told us what our position as intercessors is: but you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people… 1Pet.2:9 A royal priesthood – Christ’s intercessors, that are to stand in the gap.
The writer to the Hebrews reminds us, "therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and HIGH PRIEST of our confession, Christ Jesus… Who ever liveth to make intercession for us." Hebrews.3:1
And Jesus Himself has already told us that: I pray for them. I do not pray for the world .. I pray for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. John.17:9 And dear old Paul comes in to tell us the what and how to pray… and it is found in Colossians chapters 1read more
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men….. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
1Timothy 2 :1,4
God delights to have His children come to Him in prayer. It is often said, “There is power in prayer“, and James 5 is a much-quoted passage on prayer: The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16 But the real power behind the prayer is God, to Whom the prayers are offered. It is God Who hears the cries of His children and He is a God that answers prayers. No business transacted touches a life so deeply as prayer, No work undertaken throughout our life – so deeply affects those we love.
Paul exhorts that: men ought always to pray, and to pray without ceasing. But believers ought also to learn to pray aright – to pray in spirit and in truth. We ought to search out the heart of God, so as to pray into His will and purpose.
How we long for loved ones to be drawn by the Holy Spirit to a saving faith in Jesus, and our intercessory prayers can often have a part to play: for no man comes to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him John 6:44. How we need to pray that God’s will is done in their lives and in our life too. The Lord is not willing that any should perish. The Lord wills that all should come to repentance. 2Peter 3:9
How we need to pray that God will lift the veil of unbelief from the eyes of so many – a veil the evil-one has placed over the eyes of so many of our loved ones. How we need to plead that the Spirit will reveal to them the truth about the Lord.. toread more