And He will judge between many peoples And render decisions for mighty, distant nations Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they train for war.Micah 4:3(NASB)
God places the lonely in families. (Psalm 68:6 NLT)
The higher position of "Ephesians" is this – that now, being quickened and raised together with Christ and seated in the heavenlies is a matter of relatedness to other believers, and in that relatedness, you are going to find your fullness. You are never going to find spiritual enlargement just as an isolated, separate individual, but in relation with other believers. "God setteth the solitary in families" (Ps. 68:6), and there is no doubt about it, whether or not you understand or accept the doctrine of it, you can prove very quickly in experience that our spiritual enlargement does come by way of true spiritual and heavenly relatedness with other believers. That is proved by the fact that it is not always easy for Christians to live together for very long. It sounds a terrible thing to say, but you have a lot of other factors to reckon with. If you were ordinary people in this world, you might get on very well, but being Christians you have to meet the whole force of Satan working upon any little bit of natural life he can find. So he makes for difficulty between Christians that they would not find if they were not in a heavenly position. They are meeting forces in the heavenlies. There are the rub and friction and all the cross currents that try to divide Christians but which do not try to divide other people, because there is so much bound up with true spiritual oneness amongst the Lord's people – so much for the Lord, and so much against Satan. Satan is going to break up that spiritual oneness if he can. He knows what that means for him, and the Lord knows what that means for Himself – and hence the special and extra difficulties when it is a case of Christians living together, especially for a long time.
Now what is the upshot? When these difficulties arise we must say, "It is evidently necessary for me to get a new spiritual position, to get on top of this. If I am not going to give it up and leave, I must come to some spiritual enlargement; I have to know the Lord in a new way, to have more grace, love and patience." That is spiritual enlargement, and it comes by relatedness. (Of course, that is only one way; there are many others by which spiritual enlargement comes by relatedness.) If only we can keep together in prayer, there is spiritual enlargement.
Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; though they join forces, none will go unpunished.
O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand. Do not be furious, O Lord, nor remember iniquity forever; indeed, please look—we all are Your people! § You have chastised me, and I was chastised, like an untrained bull; restore me, and I will return, for You are the Lord my God. Surely, after my turning, I repented; and after I was instructed, I struck myself on the thigh; I was ashamed, yes, even humiliated, because I bore the reproach of my youth. § It is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth.
Affliction does not come from the dust, nor does trouble spring from the ground; yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
When the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God …” He answered and said, “It is written … It is written … It is written … ” Then the devil left Him.
“I cannot return with you. For I have been told by the word of the Lord, ‘You shall not eat bread nor drink water there … ’” He said to him, “I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (He was lying to him.) So he went back with him … The man of God … was disobedient to the word of the Lord. Therefore the Lord has delivered him to the lion, which has torn him and killed him, according to the word of the Lord. § If we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. § Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1 Thess. 5:18).
Relief from pressure may seem merciful, but support in the pressure produces growth and maturity.
""There is a greater blessing for us than relief; there is the Father's support, for it imparts to you an acquaintance with Himself which relief does not. Relief makes one more satisfied with things here. I have known some who could tell you of a long list of mercies, most touching, truly proof of the tenderness of God.
""Thank God, we all know something of His tenderness. But then there is a greater blessing, namely, that He does not remove the pressure, but raises you above it, so that, though you are not relieved, you are better off than if you were merely relieved, because you know His heart who supports you in the pressure. You have made a deep acquaintance with your Father, and your heart is more attached to Him."" -J.B.S.
""It is not getting away from our circumstances, our environment, our associations, that we need, but the Lord Jesus' likeness where we are. The Father placed us there, permitted the trials for a purpose, and He stands ready to bring us out into a life of liberty, if we will stand with Him in trust and endurance while He works it out.""
""Have you asked to be made like your Lord; that it might be not I, but Christ'? Have you longed for the fruit of the Spirit, and have you prayed for patience and love? Then fear not the stormy tempest that is at this moment sweeping through your life. A blessing is in the storm, and there will be a rich fruitage in the afterward.'""
"The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deut. 33:27)."
“Lord, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest.” Luke 9:57
Our Lord's attitude to this man is one of severe discouragement because He knew what was in man. We would have said - "Fancy losing the opportunity of winning that man!" Fancy bringing about him a north wind that froze him and "turned him away discouraged!" Never apologize for your Lord. The words of the Lord hurt and offend until there is nothing left to hurt or offend. Jesus Christ has no tenderness whatever toward anything that is ultimately going to ruin a man in the service of God. Our Lord's answers are based not on caprice, but on a knowledge of what is in man. If the Spirit of God brings to your mind a word of the Lord that hurts you, you may be sure that there is something He wants to hurt to death.
Luke 9:58. These words knock the heart out of serving Jesus Christ because it is pleasing to me. The rigour of rejection leaves nothing but my Lord, and myself, and a forlorn hope. "Let the hundredfold come or go, your lodestar must be your relationship to Me, and I have nowhere to lay My head."
Luke 9:59. This man did not want to disappoint Jesus, nor to hurt his father. We put sensitive loyalty to relatives in place of loyalty to Jesus Christ and Jesus has to take the last place. In a conflict of loyalty, obey Jesus Christ at all costs.
Luke 9:61. The one who says - "Yes, Lord, but . . ." is the one who is fiercely ready, but never goes. This man had one or two reservations. The exacting call of Jesus Christ has no margin of good-byes, because good-bye, as it is often used, is pagan, not Christian. When once the call of God comes, begin to go and never stop going.
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life – through His name.
The gospel of John tells us how to be saved : what we must do to be redeemed. John even wrote his gospel to show that Jesus, the Word made flesh and Son of God, is the Messiah – Who died for our sins so that we might live – by simply believing on Him. Believe in Christ… believe on Jesus.. believe: Believe: BELIEVE: -just BELIEVE. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved Believe on the only begotten Son of God and you will not be condemned.
The epistle of the Romans tells how to be redeemed – what we must do to be saved. He takes us step by step to show us that salvation is not of the law or of works. He shows us that salvation is all by God’s grace, which came through Jesus. When anything is added to, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” it is not of grace.
When man is required to add something to the cross of Christ, it nullifies His work, but many, many ministries today are adding to the simple gospel message of GRACE. If we are told we are to believe AND do something – it is adding to Christ’s cross. John tells us that as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God – even to them that believe on His name… believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
But what does it actually mean to ‘believe’ – to ‘believe on the name of Jesus’ ? Well Paul cites Abraham as a man of faith – an example of one who believed God. Abraham did not waver in unbelief at God’s promise – but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, because he was fully convinced that what God hadread more
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power ( … the excellence of the power) may be of God and not of ourselves”.
2 Corinthians 4: 7
I will not give My glory to another.”
What a great army assembled against the Midianites – 32,000 fighting men. The mighty army of Gideon was indeed an impressive statement of Israel’s power. but the Lord is jealous of His name – and will not give His glory to another. And lest Israel cry, ‘My own hand has saved me‘, the fearful were sent away. “Remove those whose faith is lacking,” Gideon was told and many walked away. So the numbers were cut right down – 10,000 fighting men.
But the Lord also delights in obedience – watchfulness – faithfulness – vigilance, and He tested His warriors, removing all who did not keep watch for the enemy. And so the numbers were slashed to a mere 300 fighting men. Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not to you own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5, Lest they falsely boast themselves, the mighty army was axed to 300 watchful servants.
God is not mocked. He uses only those that keep their eye on the goal of their calling. The true witness of God is one that faithfully trust Him in all circumstances, The faithful servant: the steadfast soldier – is the one that keeps watching. So trust in the Lord with all your heart – that you enter not into unbelief. Be vigilant and watch –the enemy as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Fix your eyes upon Jesus – for He is the Author and Finisher of your faith.
And how this little army of men reflects those called today, to be a true witness. The little army of Gideon carried their earthen vessels, and a glorious light was hidden deep within those earthern vessels. But weread more