"If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.John 15:19(NASB)
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. (Philippians 2:5-7 NLT)
We have got to draw a very broad distinction between doing a lot of things, as we think "for the Lord," rushing about and being busy and organizing and conducting and speaking and preaching and taking meetings and classes and all this, and we call this "Christian service." We have got to draw a very broad line of difference between that and real service to the Lord. Real service to the Lord is the emancipation of a people from this world for Him and the formation of that people according to Christ for a heavenly vocation, and a heavenly vocation now, not afterwards.
You can test your service by this: the measure of the emancipation of the people who come under your hands and the measure of the formation of Christ that is going on. These are things which are service. And then you will discover that, whereas the other line of things with all the movement and activity and feverish and excited work does not call for very much patience of this kind. It does not call for much real self-emptying, no, it does not call for a great deal of meekness: rather I think it ministers to the opposite. It makes us self-important. It makes us proud. It makes us self-sufficient. It makes us self-assertive. It makes us jealous for our position and our ministry, and resentful if it is interfered with. Yes, Christian work does that with many. The true service can be tested by these things, and the true servant can be tested by the measure of those virtues of Christ: utterly selfless, self-empty.
The Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. § Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
The faithful God … keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments. § All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies. § Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God … who keeps truth forever.
He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. § My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. § He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him. § The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you.
I looked for someone to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
For every … priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God … He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray … So also Christ … Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey. § Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6).
The spiritual babe has faith for the wondrous fact that he will go to heaven when he dies. The spiritual father has faith for the inexpressible fact that he has died in Christ, and that he is now hid with Him in God.
"When I look at this place, He is not here; and when I look at myself naturally I am not fit for Him. How happy then to know that I belong to the place where He is; and that through grace I am made suited to Him in that new place; so that I set my mind and affections there, as the place where my deepest joys are to be realized." -J.B.S.
"The truth is, we have a position in heaven and the Lord Jesus is now our life there; and if this be not simply enjoyed, there will be an effort to modify the desolation here, and an inability to interpret the various inroads which death makes on us."
"My taste is formed in glory, and there it is nurtured and strengthened, and as it is, so do I find nothing here in keeping with my taste. Association with the Son of Man, the One most perfect, and in every way the most beautiful, develops my new nature, which is the same as His. Where He is, is my home - there I feed and rest; but here, on earth, I am learning to set aside in death everything in me which hinders the manifestation of the life of the Lord Jesus." -J.B.S.
"The reason there is so little growth is that there is so little occupation and fellowship with the Lord Jesus where He is. The glory invites now, instead of the law repelling, and the practical effect is changed into the same image.'"
"For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3, ASV.).
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, Who is Christ the Lord.
Jesus Christ has many wonderful names, many beautiful titles, many eternal qualities but perhaps the most excellent and precious of all is that of Saviour – Redeemer. The sin of one man separated the race of humanity from the holiness of God for we are told in the Word of God that sin had separated fallen man from a righteous God, and without a Saviour to save us from our sins – that separation is eternal.
The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. The payment for our sins is eternal separation from God, but He gave His unique Son through Whom comes life. Eternal life is God’s gift – Salvation is God’s gift – Jesus Christ is God’s special gift. The gift of salvation was no afterthought on the part of God. It was God’s purpose to save the race He knew would sin – but it took 4000 years to prepare a lost world.
But finally God’s appointed time arrived and on that special day the angel was finally able to announce, for unto you is born this day in the city of David – a Saviour. A host of angels rejoiced as they raised their voices in a chorus of excited praise singing, glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to men of goodwill.
But holy angels were not in need of a Saviour for they had not sinned, and fallen angels were not the subject of God’s grace, for man alone was made in the image and likeness of God so that God, in the person of Christ could be made in the likeness of human flesh. Christ did not take on the nature of angels nor was He made in their image or likeness. The angel did not announce: unto US is born a Saviour but unto YOU is born this day in the city of David aread more
God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
The death of Christ is the most wonderful thing that deserves our thanks, for through the death of the innocent Victim our sins were forever forgiven. The resurrection of Christ deserves our most glorious worship and praise – for by His resurrection He also broke the power of death in the life of the believer. The death and resurrection merit our greatest gratitude and excellent thanks to God. Both, indeed, deserve the greatest and most triumphant celebrations of all believers.
But what does it mean: this aspect of the cross of Christ, in which we should glory alone? What is this cross, by which the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world? How many truly glory in this sombre aspect of the Cross, which means self-surrender? How many prefer to simply focus on the initial surrender – forgiveness of sins.. rather than the glorious surrender of a life, utterly yielded to Him – a life that is truly, totally, and completely broken before the Lord.
Praise God for those that focus on the initial surrender of a forgiven sinner, but how crucial that we go on to that glorious surrendered life of a saint. What is it that prevents us from keeping our focus on this life, yielded in utter surrender? Well, it is anything that takes the place of Christ …. absolutely anything. Anything that comes before the totally surrendered life becomes a hindrance. Anything that is placed before a life surrendered to Christ becomes an obstacle. Anything that eclipses a life self-surrender to Christ becomes a legalistic impediment. Not one of us should consider ourselves exempt from these interfering encumbrances.
Legalistic rituals, rites, and ceremonies can most certainly impede spiritual growth, but what are these things? How can you identify such hindrances? What can become legalistic rituals, rites, or ceremonies? What can becomeread more