For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.Philippians 2:21(NASB)
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3 NIV)
What do we expect when we go on with God, when we come right out for God? What have we in view? Well, the answer to that question will decide whether, in relation to God, we have ambitions for something on the earth. Do you get the point? You see, it is so possible to swing over your natural ambitions to spiritual aims. It is the same thing still at work, and the only difference is the direction or sphere. You can be as ambitious in the work of God as you can be in the world, and it is the same natural ambition. It is the ambitiousness of nature. You desire what do you desire? To see something, to have something, to be in something? Ambition for success; yes, once it was in the world now the same ambition transferred to other things....
It is a mark of going on when we can come to the place where it is true before God that we have let go all the prosperity and success even of Christian work and Christian ministry as men would count it. To be able to let go the great opportunities and the great advantages that may be had amongst Christian people, and the prizes that can be grasped, and to say, t is all right, the Lord knows; it is for Him to give or withhold. I am not going to make a line for those prizes. I am not going to allow those things to influence my walk with God. Ambition is not going to dictate my course,is a sure sign of growth. It may not seem here on earth to mean very big things; wide open doors and all that, but somehow you may take it that there is Life there, spiritual influence there, something that is counting there. In the end it will have counted. But this does sometimes first of all necessitate that conflict with ambition where all those suggestions and influences have to be laid low, and we come to the place where we see that the way of Life is to go on with God though it costs us everything. The law of the Spirit of Life works in that way.... The way of Life demands that we shall get before the Lord again, and say, ord, though all my earthly prospects fade, though all my ambitions are disappointed, it is You I want. You are my ambition, my goal. If I have You, these other things will count for much less.I believe that, as we can get there and not many of us have got a long way on that road but as we can get there, we find the secret of Life, of joy, of release.
The hope which is laid up for you in heaven. § If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. § We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God. § Whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. § No one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this.
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! § The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. § Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory. § Through [Him] also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil. § “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
How precious … are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You. § O Lord, how great are Your works! Your thoughts are very deep. § Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us.
Not many mighty, not many noble, are called. § Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom? § Having nothing, and yet possessing all things. § The unsearchable riches of Christ.
Having. . . boldness to enter into the Holiest" (Heb. 10:19).
We are to draw nigh in faith where we already are in position.
"Instead of the priest coming out to bless, as in Judaism, we are to go in for blessing. There are no barriers now. The Father has removed every hindrance and now it is for me to go in and abide. The teachers of Christendom have practically stitched up the veil which He rent. The rent veil in the Gospels is the Father's coming out, but the rent veil in Hebrews is the believer's going in." -J.B.S.
"Judaism has all the sanction of a divine origin and the splendor of an imposing ritual; yet, for the early Christians, all this was a weight to be laid aside, a useless encumbrance, a positive hindrance. And we have the same hindrance to lay aside today, for Christianity has been perverted into a modified kind of Judaism, in which people are occupied with religious things on earth, and thus hindered from running the race to heaven." -C.A.C.
"Typical of the past, there is a great deal of Judaising in Christianity today. The Ten Commandments have a place assigned to them as the sine qua non, the recognition of which was necessary for true religion while man was in the flesh and under law. To insist on their having that place now tends to bring men into fearful bondage, and to hinder them getting into the full liberty of the children of the Father." -G.V.W.
"Judaism, in its full results, is the manifestation that God is come down to man upon the earth; and this will again be displayed in the millennial days of Israel's blessing. But Christianity is based upon the wondrous fact that man, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, is gone up to the Father into the heavens."
"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith" (Heb. 10:22).
The picture Our Lord gives is not that of a channel but a fountain. "Be being filled," and the sweetness of vital relationship to Jesus will flow out of the saint as lavishly as it is imparted to him. If you find your life is not flowing out as it should, you are to blame; something has obstructed the flow. Keep right at the Source, and - you will be blessed personally? No, out of you will flow rivers of living water, irrepressible life.
We are to be centres through which Jesus can flow as rivers of living water in blessing to every one. Some of us are like the Dead Sea, always taking in but never giving out, because we are not rightly related to the Lord Jesus. As surely as we receive from Him, He will pour out through us, and in the measure He is not pouring out, there is a defect in our relationship to Him. Is there anything between you and Jesus Christ? Is there anything that hinders your belief in Him? If not, Jesus says, out of you will flow rivers of living water. It is not a blessing passed on, not an experience stated, but a river continually flowing. Keep at the Source, guard well your belief in Jesus Christ and your relationship to Him, and there will be a steady flow for other lives, no dryness and no deadness.
Is it not too extravagant to say that out of an individual believer rivers are going to flow? "I do not see the rivers," you say. Never look at yourself from the standpoint of - Who am I? In the history of God's work you will nearly always find that it has started from the obscure, the unknown, the ignored, but the steadfastly true to Jesus Christ.
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham… Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus Who is called the Messiah.
Jesus, when He began His ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as it was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli...
God is never surprised by what we do or how history plans out. He knows everything. God uses everything whether it is good or evil to forward His plans and purposes. Throughout history, the old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, has attempted to thwart God’s plans and purposes, and use them to his own evil end and advantage.
But God is omniscient, knowing the end from the beginning. He has ordered every day of our lives and no matter what happens, it will be to our advantage and to His glory. And God is omnipotent and His will and purpose will be accomplished at the right time and nothing and no-one can stand in His way or prevent its ultimate fulfilment.
Matthew started his gospel (whose targeted audience were the Jews) with a royal genealogy that started at Abraham and ended with Joseph, the husband of Mary. It was a regal lineage that traced Jesus’ ancestors through the great kings – David and Solomon and terminated with the Messiah’s adoptive father, Joseph the carpenter.
Luke’s family tree, was for Gentile readers, starting with Adam as federal head of the human race and tracing Christ’s parentage to Heli, father of Mary – not of Joseph. The antecedents in Luke’s gospel were still of David’s royal line but through Nathan, his son – and travelled down through a second kingly line to Mary the mother of Jesus. Hundreds of prophecies were fulfilled to the letter in Jesus, Who is called – Messiah.
Like all descendants of Abraham and David, Jesus had a right to the throne of Israel, but unlike allread more
Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate said unto them, Behold the Man!
It was Pilate who uttered these words that are so impregnated with mystery. He presented a Man: scourged; mocked, bleeding; torn and crowned with thorns.. but there was a depth of meaning enveloping these words: "BEHOLD, THE MAN!" Priests and people alike recognised these words, written in their scriptures. They were words from God, spoken by a prophet, about their future Saviour. They were prophetic words, given to the people, about the coming Man.
This was no ordinary Man, for He was the coming Seed, Who was to redeem His people. This Man was the Word of God, Who in the beginning flung galaxies into space. This was the incarnate Son of God, made flesh – indeed He was the Man. This was the Man, Who entreated, “come to Me”, throughout His earthly ministry. This was the anointed One, the Christ, of whom Zachariah prophesied, saying: "this is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘BEHOLD THE MAN whose name is the Branch, and He will branch out from His place and build the temple of the LORD'".
Israel beheld the Man Who was their Messiah, yet screamed: away with Him. The nation beheld that One for Whom they had waited for so long, yet crucified Him. Little did Pilate understand the deep pathos of his eternally shattering words: Behold, The Man – Behold the Son of God, Who taketh away the sin of the world. Jesus put Himself to open shame so the world could 'Behold the Man'.
Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness so that all could behold it and live, and now Jesus was lifted up on the cross – so that ALL could look and live. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up – for all that look will live. But His cruel rejection by man, enabled humanity toread more