For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven,2 Corinthians 5:2(NASB)
In the New Testament circumcision is regarded as spiritual and inward. Paul said it quite emphatically, “Neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh... circumcision is that of the heart” (Rom. 2:28-29). “We are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God” (Phil. 3:3). It is a spiritual thing, an inward thing; it is of the heart. And it simply means that in the Cross of the Lord Jesus, the natural life and the reasoning of the natural life, or the self-life – the willing of the self-life, the desiring of the self-life – has been cut off by the Cross. Every expression and aspect of the self-life has been cut through by the Cross and is put in the place where the door is shut. There is no open door to any expression of the natural life. The Cross says, "The door is closed; death rests upon that." That is spiritual circumcision.
Stephen, in that matchless discourse of his which resulted in his murder, cried at one point to those who were persecuting and about to stone him, “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart” (Acts 7:51). What did he mean by “uncircumcised in heart and ears”? He just meant this, that they were only willing and minded to have what they wanted and nothing more. Prejudice is a certain mark of an uncircumcised heart. Bigotry is the same, and anything that you can find that made up the situation which brought Stephen to his death is a mark of an uncircumcised heart. That is the thought. Still there is the reasoning and the arguing of the Self, of the natural life. There is still the desiring and the feeling of the Self obtruding itself. The Cross, spiritual circumcision, says "No!" to it all.
Who is like the Lord our God, who dwells on high, who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in the heavens and in the earth? § To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. § I spread out my hands to You; my soul longs for You like a thirsty land … Do not hide Your face from me, lest I be like those who go down into the pit. Cause me to hear Your loving- kindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. § Rejoice the soul of Your servant, for to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do.
It is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
Learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors … Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning—yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Watch … for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
That I may know Him" (Phil. 3:10).
It takes us years of trial and error to finally realize that nothing outside the Lord Jesus Christ can fully satisfy and rejoice our hearts. Joy in Him includes the fellowship of His sufferings.' So, rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings' (1 Pet. 4:13).
"We sometimes have the idea that if we were going on rightly, things would be much smoother here for us. Hardly. There is a discipline to correct us and a discipline to develop us. If you are in a wrong path, as you seek the Lord, you will be corrected; but on the other hand, the more you are set for Him here, the more you will find that there is nothing for you here, though at the same time you are daily finding more in Him. We which live are always delivered unto death.' The more you enjoy the Lord Jesus who has been refused here, the more you are practically severed from all here." -J.B.S.
"It is a solemn moment when one who has been going on for years with a flourishing profession wakes up to the fact that his heart is entirely unsatisfied. I believe we have very little idea how natural feelings may be mixed up with what we think is our spiritual joy. Many go on happily because their surroundings are happy, and they have no opposition to speak of - perhaps in a Christian family, or in a happy Christian fellowship. They are carried along by the stream of compatible things around them.
"But anything that outwardly contributes to our joy will sooner or later fail us. Our Father loves us too well to allow us to rest in anything or anyone short of Himself - not even Christian fellowship, or what people call the means of grace.' He wants to be so known by us that He becomes the deep eternal spring of satisfaction and joy for our hearts." -C.A.C.
"Give your mind to the things above" (Col. 3:2).
A river touches places of which its source knows nothing, and Jesus says if we have received of His fulness, however small the visible measure of our lives, out of us will flow the rivers that will bless to the uttermost parts of the earth. We have nothing to do with the outflow - "This is the work of God that ye believe. . . ." God rarely allows a soul to see how great a blessing he is.
A river is victoriously persistent, it overcomes all barriers. For a while it goes steadily on its course, then it comes to an obstacle and for a while it is baulked, but it soon makes a pathway round the obstacle. Or a river will drop out of sight for miles, and presently emerge again broader and grander than ever. You can see God using some lives, but into your life an obstacle has come and you do not seem to be of any use. Keep paying attention to the Source, and God will either take you round the obstacle or remove it. The river of the Spirit of God overcomes all obstacles. Never get your eyes on the obstacle or on the difficulty. The obstacle is a matter of indifference to the river which will flow steadily through you if you remember to keep right at the Source. Never allow anything to come between yourself and Jesus Christ, no emotion, or experience; nothing must keep you from the one great sovereign Source.
Think of the healing and far-flung rivers nursing themselves in our souls! God has been opening up marvellous truths to our minds, and every point He has opened up is an indication of the wider power of the river, He will flow through us. If you believe in Jesus, you will find that God has nourished in you mighty torrents of blessing for others.
And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist; you have heard that he is coming, and he is already in the world now.
1 John 4:3
The two natures of Christ is a simple concept and yet it has a profound reality. Christ was fully God – and as such he had the very nature and attributes of God. He was the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of God’s nature. As God He could legitimately say – I AM the root and the offspring of David. And as God He could rightfully claim – before Abraham was I AM.
But Christ was also fully Man – and as such he had a human nature – yet without sin. He was a man with a mind and emotions and He had a human body, a soul and spirit. As Man He grew weary and could legitimately say, I thirst – give me to drink… and as Man He could rightfully say to the High Priest at His trial – you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.
As God He was still the omnipotent, omniscient, infinite, eternal, universal Creator – as Man He began His life as a babe in Bethlehem – and gave His life a ransom for many. The reality of Christ’s human nature links Him irrefutably with the whole human race, and though Christ must never be divorced from His deity, He became a man and He participated in the history of humankind – having come to this world in the likeness of sinful flesh. It was for us that the perfect uncreated God of the universe, became perfect Man and Who in the fullness of time – and for our sakes become our perfect Saviour.
Both the deity and the manhood of Christ is challenged today in differing quarters butread more
I write unto you, my little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.
1 John 2:12
What a depth of love the Lord had for all His own. How deep the love of the Father.. and John the apostle in his twilight years was submerged in love for His Lord, for he had dwelt on His gracious words, for no man spoke like this Man: “love as I loved; trust as little children; forgive as your Father has forgiven you”.
John had experienced the love and forgiveness of Christ in His own turbulent life, for this son of thunder who thought to strike others with fire and brimstone.. now seeks to smite them with Christ’s forgiveness and the love of Jesus.. for his own dirty feet had been washed, in love, by the gracious Son of God.
This beloved disciple had seen forgiveness flow at Calvary as Christ implored: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. This devoted follower had witnessed words of forgiveness to the burly fisherman: “feed my lambs, feed my sheep” – feed my precious, little children. This ageing apostle longed for others to know the blessings of Christ’s forgiveness. This prophet of God ached that others be washed in the blood of the Lamb.
John knew these children were sinners, both in practice and by nature. He knew the blessings of forgiveness and grace of God were freely open to all, but he also knew the only sacrifice for sin rested on the spilt blood of the Lord Jesus. John knew He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities – for the wrath of God was poured out on Christ to pay that price for all sin.
God’s forgiveness was for HIS sake – for Christ’s sake; for the sake of His Son – it was not for the sake of man’s merit or man’s work, but for His name’s sake. His blood alone could pay the price for sin; all sin; every sin;read more