"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.Deuteronomy 6:5(NASB)
Be on your guard not to be carried away by the deception of people who have no principles. Then you won't fall from your firm position. (2 Peter 3:17 GW)
From the high altitude of the first years as set before us in the book of the Acts, the church began to decline. When we get out of the apostolic age we find that decline steadily going on, until the church publicly, generally, becomes a thing of this world, even becoming politically attached to the earth. The battle all through the ages has been in this very connection, as to whether the church would maintain or retrieve the loss of its heavenly high position, or for any reason at all, by prosperity or adversity, accept something lower. What is and has been true throughout all its history is true today and is true with us. It is true in the case of every individual believer, as it is of the whole the tendency to come down; and everything from the side of the enemy is directed towards creating a lower level of things than God intended, and therefore a lower level than that to which the Lord can wholly commit Himself. It is only as the Lord position for His people is held that the Lord can commit Himself.
It is at this point that we need to recognize something that may solve some problems or just give the final answer to a lot of our difficulties. That to which the Lord really does commit Himself wholly is the spiritual side of things, not the temporal side of things, even in relation to His work. He may facilitate; He may help; He may send resources; He may rule and overrule in temporal matters; but we would agree that it would be very dangerous for the Lord to make that His realm of complete operations. That is, whenever a difficulty arises in the temporal realm, if the Lord immediately came right in and swept that out of the way and gave an easy, clear path to His work and His servants, it would really militate against true spirituality, and it would bring the whole thing down to a temporal level, and you can see what would happen. Multitudes would come in because of the advantages. "It is a good thing to be a Christian; God does everything for you if only you will be a Christian," and so you become "rice Christians," as they are known in certain parts of the world. So the Lord neither can, nor will, nor does, commit Himself fully to the temporal aspects of His own work.... Spiritually the position in union with a heavenly Lord means fullness, and the measure of fullness depends entirely upon that heavenly life and the heavenly nature of everything.
Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. § I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. § We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. § Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. § Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. § You He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world … we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh.
Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed. § Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and You heard my voice. For You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the floods surrounded me; all Your billows and Your waves passed over me. § We went through fire and through water; but You brought us out to rich fulfillment.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
Oh, wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Rom. 7:24).
As sinners, the law revealed our need of deliverance from the penalty of sin; as believers, the law reveals our need of deliverance from the power of sin.
"Our Father knows that we are weakness incarnate; that we can do nothing. The trouble is that we do not know it. He must bring us all to the place where we see that we are utterly weak and helpless.
"The more we try to keep the law the more our weakness is manifested and the deeper we get into Romans Seven, until it is clearly demonstrated to us that we are hopelessly weak. The Father knew it all the time, but we did not, and so He has to bring us through painful experiences to a recognition of the fact."
It is God who worketh in you' (Phil 2:13). Deliverance from law does not mean that we are free from doing the will of our Father. It certainly does not mean that we are going to be lawless. Quite the opposite! What it does mean however is that we are free from doing that will as of ourselves.
"Being fully persuaded that we cannot do it, we cease trying to please God from the ground of the old man. Having at least reached the point of utter despair in ourselves so that we cease even to try, we put our trust in the Lord Jesus to manifest His resurrection life in and through us, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit' (Rom. 8:4)."
"What would be effected by the law, if all its commands and precepts were carried out and maintained? It would form man in the flesh; it would make Adam what he ought to be for God in the world. The law would form Adam in us." -C.A.C.
"I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord" (Rom. 7:25).
“Then He took unto Him the twelve.” Luke 18:31
The bravery of God in trusting us! You say - "But He has been unwise to choose me, because there is nothing in me; I am not of any value." That is why He chose you. As long as you think there is something in you, He cannot choose you because you have ends of your own to serve; but if you have let Him bring you to the end of your self-sufficiency then He can choose you to go with Him to Jerusalem, and that will mean the fulfilment of purposes which He does not discuss with you.
We are apt to say that because a man has natural ability, therefore he will make a good Christian. It is not a question of our equipment but of our poverty, not of what we bring with us, but of what God puts into us; not a question of natural virtues of strength of character, knowledge, and experience - all that is of no avail in this matter. The only thing that avails is that we are taken up into the big compelling of God and made His comrades (cf. 1 Cor. 1:26-30). The comrade ship of God is made up out of men who know their poverty. He can do nothing with the man who thinks that he is of use to God. As Christians we are not out for our own cause at all, we are out for the cause of God, which can never be our cause. We do not know what God is after, but we have to maintain our relationship with Him whatever happens. We must never allow anything to injure our relationship with God; if it does get injured we must take time and get it put right. The main thing about Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain and the atmosphere produced by that relationship. That is all God asks us to look after, and it is the one thing that is being continually assailed.
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Paul outlines, in magnificent detail, the Christian’s armour in the “Day Of Trouble.” The armour of Ephesians 6 is not for occasional use – during an enemy attack.. it is the lifelong uniform of a believer in this world of suffering and sin.
The battle in which Christian’s are engaged is a lifelong – 24/7 onslaught. The strategies and wiles of the enemy seek to unnerve and unseat the believer, but our spiritual amour, combined with one final weapon, is a winning combination.
For every piece of the armour is Christ Jesus – and we need to ‘wear’ Him daily. But that final strategic weapon is outlined in Ephesians 6 verse 18: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. Ephesians 6:18
Most prayers of the saints are ineffective – never reaching a peripheral target. The majority of our intercession is impotent – falling short of the desired mark. One reason for powerless prayer is not applying 1 John 1 9 – by first confessing sins. One reason for impotent prayer is not getting into fellowship via confession to God.
This is not a man-made confession with a rosary or other unbiblical customs. This is not man-made repentance in a little confessional box – to a man. Christians are instructed to go boldly to the throne of grace in time of need. The veil of the Temple was rent from top to bottom giving access to the Father. What an amazing privilege we have as believers to petition the throne of heaven – but God wants all His children to stay in fellowship by admitting their sins to Him.
Another reason for ineffectual prayers is a self-arrogance – so deep-set within us all. This is a proud reliance upon self, instead of humble dependence upon the Father. Self-reliance excludes Christ-reliance – and God only sees us as in the Beloved.read more
The day when Jesus stood alone,
And felt the hearts of men like stone,
And knew He came but to atone—
– that day ‘He held His peace.’
They witnessed falsely to His word,
They bound Him with a cruel cord,
Mad mockingly proclaimed Him ‘Lord’;
– but Jesus held His peace.
They spat upon Him in His face,
They dragged Him on from place to place,
They heaped upon Him all disgrace;
– “but Jesus held His peace”
My friend, have you for far much less,
With rage, which you called righteousness,
Resented slights with great distress?
– your Saviour “held His peace.”
What a picture of our sublime, silent Saviour. He held His peace. He answered not a word to the brutal ones who so cruelly maligned Him.
He Who threw stars into space and painted the butterfly’s wing. He Who set the planets into motion and keeps our tears in a bottle.
He Who orders the tides of the oceans.. “Thus far and no more”. He Who is from eternity to eternity – God Almighty. He could have brought twelve thousand legions of angels to His aid.
He Who came to bind up the broken-hearted and set the captives free. He Who fed the masses with bread and offered the Living Bread of Life to all. He Who turned water to wine and offered Himself as the Living Water to all. He permitted them to say and to do their worst – and yet, He held His peace.
He Who with one breath could have laid them prostrate before His feet. He Who was their Creator – with one fiery rebuke could have silenced them forever. He, without Whose power and authority they could not draw one more breath. He stood before them – God’s Holy Lamb – led as a lamb to the slaughter.
Why? To redeem you and to redeem me. This is your God, and this is my indescribable God.