'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.'Revelation 2:7(NASB)
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you. (Ephesians 1:18 NIV)
It is a seeing of the immense significance of Jesus in the eternal and universal order. With the Apostles that seeing was subsequent to the days of physical association. During the forty days after His resurrection it was like the dawning of a new day. First, those intimations, as when the uncertain light just passes over the heavens. Then more steady and certain rays, leading to the Day of Pentecost, when the sun appeared in full glory over the horizon dispelling the last shadow of uncertainty. On that day they saw Him as by an opened heaven. The mystery of the past was dispelled. The Bible lay open like a new book. They saw Him in the light of eternity. They began to see that, while He was the glorified, personal, Son of God, He was Himself the embodiment of a great, a vast heavenly and spiritual order and system. This seeing was absolutely revolutionary. It was a crisis out of which a new world and a new creation was born. True to this fundamental principle, all that vast revelation, which has come down the centuries from and through the Apostle Paul took its rise from that crisis described by him as "It pleased God... to reveal His Son in me" (Gal. 1:16). "I received it... by revelation of Jesus Christ" (vs. 12). All the implicates were in the crisis; the full content was a progressive and ever-growing revelation.
While there was some initial testimony, the Apostles did not formulate in conference an enterprise, a mission, with all the related arrangements and organization. The new Life forced off the old leaves and dressed the new organism with a new vesture from within. The might, energy and urge of the Holy Spirit within produced a Way and an order, un-thought-of, unintended by them, and always to their own surprise. What was happening was really that Christ was taking form within them, individually and corporately, by new birth and growth. The believers and the companies were becoming an expression of Christ.
We are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. § [God] has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. § Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.” § Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you!
As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wings, so the Lord alone led him. § He bore them and carried them all the days of old.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. § For I am persuaded that neither … height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them" (Gal. 3:10).
None can be born again by the law, and none can live anew under the law - neither its precepts, nor its principle. "The life I now live by faith - by adherence to and reliance on and (complete) trust - in the Son of God" (Gal. 2:20, Amp.)
"The Gentile never was under the law; and being set in the Lord Jesus Christ, now that he believes, he stands on other ground, to which the law does not apply. Every believer is regarded by God as alive from the dead, to bring forth fruit (not works) unto God. The law only deals with a man as long as he lives, never after he is dead.˜Ye are become dead to the law by the body of Christ' (Rom. 7:4).
"And that is not at all what is said of us, after a second blessing,' or any other step of imaginary perfection. We begin with. . . alive in Christ.' I am identified with the Lord Jesus dead and risen. It is no longer the law dealing with me to try if it can get any good out of me. I have relinquished all by receiving Christ, and I take my stand in Him dead and risen again, as one alive from the dead, to yield myself as a new creation' to God and walk in newness of life.'" -W.K.
"The teachings of grace are perfect and sufficient in themselves. They provide for the instruction of the believer in every situation which may arise. There is no need that they be supplemented, or augmented, by the addition of precepts from either the Law of Moses or the teachings of the kingdom." -L.S.C.
"What an indignity religion puts on every Person of the Godhead alike, on the grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ, when it drags souls back to the dread distance of Judaism." -W.K.
"I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law then Christ is dead in vain" (Gal. 2:21).
“When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and pray to thy Father which is in secret.” Matthew 6:6
Jesus did not say - Dream about thy Father in secret, but pray to thy Father in secret. Prayer is an effort of will. After we have entered our secret place and have shut the door, the most difficult thing to do is to pray; we cannot get our minds into working order, and the first thing that conflicts is wandering thoughts. The great battle in private prayer is the overcoming of mental wool-gathering. We have to discipline our minds and concentrate on wilful prayer.
We must have a selected place for prayer and when we get there the plague of flies begins - This must be done, and that. "Shut thy door." A secret silence means to shut the door deliberately on emotions and remember God. God is in secret, and He sees us from the secret place; He does not see us as other people see us, or as we see ourselves. When we live in the secret place it becomes impossible for us to doubt God, we become more sure of Him than of anything else. Your Father, Jesus says, is in secret and nowhere else. Enter the secret place, and right in the centre of the common round you find God there all the time. Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything. Unless in the first waking moment of the day you learn to fling the door wide back and let God in, you will work on a wrong level all day; but swing the door wide open and pray to your Father in secret, and every public thing will be stamped with the presence of God.
Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift!
2 Corinthians 9:15
One mark of Christmas is the giving of presents to one another and it is lovely to give gifts to those we love – for we read in Scripture that it is better to give than to receive. But no matter how beautiful or expensive a gift may be, it will wax old and deteriorate, and it is all too likely to be replaced in time by something else that piques the interest. But Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians writes of the indescribable gift that God in His grace gave to humanity – a gift with eternal consequences, that will never age nor lose its value – a perfect gift of grace and beauty that can never be replaced. However magnificent a gift we receive from family or friends, it pales to insignificance in comparison with the inexpressible gift of Christ Jesus, the eternal Son of God – "for God so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes on His name, would not be condemned (as he justly deserves) but be given eternal life".
God’s indescribable gift is appropriate for all ages and genders; all nationalities and groups; all Jews and Gentiles – all who are fabulously wealthy or living in dire poverty. God’s indefinable gift is suitable for every generation and for all families. It’s suitable for all occasions no matter what the time – and for all persons whether bond or free. God’s unutterable gift of His Son multiplies into a plethora of additional gifts, which explode into an astonishing display of God’s amazing grace and unconditional love. Spiritual death is removed and the new life of Christ is breathed into our dead spirit – we were dead in our sins, but made alive in Christ. We were blind but now we can see. Our spiritual blindness has gone and God’s wrath is removed for there is now no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus – for we areread more
How that by revelation He made known unto me….. the mystery of Christ”
The mystery of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ resides within His own nature, “What think ye of Me?” was the critical question Jesus asked His disciples. He knew what men considered Him to be – the reincarnation of some past prophet: ”But who do you say that I am?” was His question, “what think ye of Me?” Each one of us needs to consider Jesus. Each of us needs to be equipped with a right thinking of Him.
The multifaceted, superlative attributes of God are indeed most astonishing, and we do well to consider them in reverence and awe. For He is almighty, immutable, transcendent and eternal. He is divinely omniscient. He is the omnipotent, omnipresent, tri-unity – He is indeed sovereign and infinite. And yet these holy and godly abstractions are condensed into concrete reality.. in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and He asks His simple yet searching question, “what think ye of Me?”
We are not expected to attempt to understand mental abstractions of God’s character.. although His unsurpassed, preeminent, excellent magnificence is ever before us. Yet in the simplest and most wonderful way, He told us Who He is: “He that has seen Me has seen the Father.” He who has seen Me has seen God. John 14:9
We are expected, by faith, to listen to His Word and to accept His explanation, for Jesus is the only medium, the only link – the only channel to the Father. He has made us His dwelling place and we are indeed the temple of the most High. But modern ethics and thinking considers God and humanity as one and the same! But this is to distort the simple fact that God was manifest in the flesh in Jesus, so that He might become the generating centre of all Who believe in His name.
Jesus proclaimed ‘I and Myread more