Tag Archives: Jesus

A Quote To Meditate On….

For those of us who have had a passing thought on the quality of their prayer life, and of wondering how to know the will of God as most of us have or do from time to time I’d like to share this.

“Doing God’s will, and having His Word abiding in us, is an imperative of effectual praying. But, it may be asked, how are we to know what God’s will is? The answer is, by studying His Word, by hiding it in our hearts, and by letting the Word dwell in us richly. “The entrance of Thy word, giveth light.”

To know God’s will in prayer, we must be filled with God’s Spirit, who maketh intercession for the saints, and in the saints, according to the will of God. To be filled with God’s Spirit, to be filled with God’s Word, is to know God’s will. It is to be put in such a frame of mind, to be found in such a state of heart, as will enable us to read and interpret aright the purposes of the Infinite. Such filling of the heart, with the Word and the Spirit, gives us an insight into the will of the Father, and enables us to rightly discern His will, and puts within us, a disposition of mind and heart to make it the guide and compass of our lives.

Epaphras prayed that the Colossians might stand “perfect and complete in all the will of God.” This is proof positive that, not only may we know the will of God, but that we may know all the will of God. And not only may we know all the will of God, but we may do all the will of God. We may, moreover, do all the will of God, not occasionally, or by a mere impulse, but with a settled habit of conduct. Still further, it shows us that we may not only do the will of God externally, but from the heart, doing it cheerfully, without reluctance, or secret disinclination, or any drawing or holding back from the intimate presence of the Lord.”

E.M. Bounds, (The Necessity of Prayer)

Can You Find The Source of These Quotations?

If you like a challenge, try this. All these quotations are taken from the same source. Hint: I’ve mentioned before.

“God’s rules of action are immutable and therefore what He did to one company of His people He will do to others of them. God is Sovereign but yet He acts according to His unchanging Nature so that from one of His proceedings we may infer the rest.”

“God gave you all Covenant blessings in Christ Jesus according as He chose you, in Him, from before the foundation of the world. God saw you in Christ as His elect, His Beloved, His redeemed and therefore for you He prepared a kingdom which you inherit through His Grace. If you have now the confidence to believe in Christ Jesus and to say, “My Beloved is mine, and I am His,” then you shall know that in grasping gracious blessings you do but come to your own!”

“Beloved, who among us knows all that is ours in Christ? He is a case which is all ours, but we do not open its doors and take out all its treasures! Our possessions in Christ are very wide but we need to be bid, like Abraham, to lift up our eyes to the north and to the south and to the east and to the west, that we may form a clearer idea of the goodly land which the Lord our God has given us! We see the blessings of the Covenant but do we feed on them as we might! Do we drink deep into them and is our soul satisfied as with marrow and fatness by them? I fear we do not”

” it is your high privilege to have access to the Mercy Seat—but do you use that access and come often and boldly to the Throne of Grace? Do you avail yourselves of your opportunities? Do you make the utmost use of prayer?”

A Thought on “Defiant Beauty”

I’ve been reading a book called, “Authentic Faith” by Gary Thomas. In it, he uses a term called “Defiant Beauty,” and the following is a direct quote, “In a world where people live self-centered lives, where ugly things happen, where sin seems to spread unchecked, where daily assaults take their toll, we can point to the defiant beauty of a selfless life, seeking first the kingdom of God, putting others first, and even sacrificing ourselves in the process, if need be-all to proclaim a transcendent truth that is greater than ourselves.” Right before he says this, he writes, “Beauty in the midst of chaos or ugliness is stunning. It’s onstage, and it seizes your attention.”

Within those few words is a truth that lies at the heart of what I’ve often sensed is the biggest hindrance to “Christianity” today, and with, sad to say, too many of us who call ourselves, “Christians.” Could it be that the reason “Christianity” and “Christians” are failing is because we’re failing to be the ” defiant beauty” in the midst of all the ugliness around us?

We live in a world of “ungrace” where practically everyone and everything is in direct opposition to what “grace” is, and what it’s about. We look down on and despise the concepts of “grace, forgiveness and mercy” when Jesus shows us that these are our most powerful weapons.

Jesus calls us to love, and when we do that as He has called us to, then we show the “defiant beauty” that characterized and defined His life here on earth and turned the lives of all those He touched upside down.

From “Morning and Evening” by C. H. Spurgeon

“The forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”
– Eph_1:7

Could there be a sweeter word in any language than that word “forgiveness,” when it sounds in a guilty sinner’s ear, like the silver notes of jubilee to the captive Israelite? Blessed, for ever blessed be that dear star of pardon which shines into the condemned cell, and gives the perishing a gleam of hope amid the midnight of despair! Can it be possible that sin, such sin as mine, can be forgiven, forgiven altogether, and for ever? Hell is my portion as a sinner-there is no possibility of my escaping from it while sin remains upon me-can the load of guilt be uplifted, the crimson stain removed? Can the adamantine stones of my prison-house ever be loosed from their mortices, or the doors be lifted from their hinges? Jesus tells me that I may yet be clear. For ever blessed be the revelation of atoning love which not only tells me that pardon is possible, but that it is secured to all who rest in Jesus. I have believed in the appointed propitiation, even Jesus crucified, and therefore my sins are at this moment, and for ever, forgiven by virtue of his substitutionary pains and death. What joy is this! What bliss to be a perfectly pardoned soul! My soul dedicates all her powers to him who of his own unpurchased love became my surety, and wrought out for me redemption through his blood. What riches of grace does free forgiveness exhibit! To forgive at all, to forgive fully, to forgive freely, to forgive for ever! Here is a constellation of wonders; and when I think of how great my sins were, how dear were the precious drops which cleansed me from them, and how gracious was the method by which pardon was sealed home to me, I am in a maze of wondering worshipping affection. I bow before the throne which absolves me, I clasp the cross which delivers me, I serve henceforth all my days the Incarnate God, through whom I am this night a pardoned soul.

Romans 8:1-6 (King James Version)

 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

From “Morning Thoughts” by Winslow

“Leaning upon her Beloved.” Solomon’s Song, 8:5

WHAT more appropriate, what more soothing truth could we bring before you, suffering Christian, than this? You are sick-lean upon Jesus. His sick ones are peculiarly dear to His heart. You are dear to Him. In all your pains and languishings, faintings and lassitude, Jesus is with you; for He created that frame, He remembers that it is but dust, and He bids you lean upon Him, and leave your sickness and its issue entirely in His hands. You are oppressed-lean upon Jesus. He will undertake your cause, and committing it thus into His hands, He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday. You are lonely-lean upon Jesus. Sweet will be the communion and close the fellowship which you may thus hold with Him, your heart burning within you while He talks with you by the way. Is the ascent steep and difficult? lean upon your Beloved. Is the path strait and narrow? lean upon your Beloved. Do intricacies and perplexities and trials weave their network around your feet? lean upon your Beloved. Has death smitten down the strong arm and chilled the tender heart upon which you were used to recline? lean upon your Beloved. Oh! lean upon Jesus in every strait, in every want, in every sorrow, in every temptation. Nothing is too insignificant, nothing too mean, to take to Christ. It is enough that you want Christ, to warrant you in coming to Christ. No excuse need you make for repairing to Him; no apology will He require for the frequency of your approach; He loves to have you quite near to Him, to hear your voice, and to feel the confidence of your faith and the pressure of your love. Ever remember that there is a place in the heart of Christ sacred to you, and which no one can fill but yourself, and from which none may dare exclude you. And when you are dying, oh! lay your languishing head upon the bosom of your Beloved, and fear not the foe, and dread not the passage; for His rod and His staff, they will comfort you. On that bosom the beloved disciple leaned at supper; on that bosom the martyr Stephen laid his bleeding brow in death; and on that bosom you, too, beloved, may repose, living or dying, soothed, supported, and sheltered by your Savior and your Lord.

 

From “Morning Thoughts” by Winslow

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24

IF, then, the first implantation of the divine life in the soul is sudden; the advance of that work is in most cases gradual. Let this be an encouragement to any who are writing hard and bitter things against themselves in consequence of their little progress. The growth of divine knowledge in the soul is often slow-the work of much time and of protracted discipline. Look at the eleven disciples-what slow, tardy scholars were they, even though taught immediately from the lips of Jesus; and “who teaches like Him?” They drank their knowledge from the very Fountain. They received their light directly from the Sun itself. And yet, with all these superior advantages-the personal ministry, instructions, miracles, and example of our dear Lord-how slow of understanding were they to comprehend, and how “slow of heart to believe,” all that He so laboriously, clearly, and patiently taught them! Yes, the advance of the soul in the divine life, its knowledge of sin, of the hidden evil, the heart’s deep treachery and intricate windings, Satan’s subtlety, the glory of the gospel, the preciousness of Christ, and its own interest in the great salvation, is not the work of a day, nor of a year, but of many days, yes, many years of deep ploughing, long and often painful discipline, of “windy storm and tempest.”

But this life in the soul is not less real, nor less divine, because its growth is slow and gradual: it may be small and feeble in its degree, yet, in its nature, it is the life that never dies. How many of the Lord’s beloved ones, the children of godly parents, brought up in the ways of God, are at a loss, in reviewing the map of their pilgrimage, to remember the starting-point of their spiritual life. They well know that they left the city of destruction-that by a strong and a mighty arm they were brought out of Egypt; but so gently, so imperceptibly, so softly, and so gradually were they led-“first a thought, then a desire, then a prayer”-that they could no more discover when the first dawning of divine life took place in their soul, than they could tell the instant when natural light first broke upon chaos. Still it is real. It is no fancy that he has inherited an evil principle in the heart; it is no fancy that that principle grace has subdued. It is no fancy that he was once a child of darkness; it is no fancy that he is now a child of light. He may mourn in secret over his little advance, his tardy progress, his weak faith, his small grace, his strong corruption, his many infirmities, his startings aside like “a broken bow,” yet he can say, “Though I am the ‘chief of sinners,’ and the ‘least of all saints’-though I see within so much to abase me, and without so much to mourn over, yet this ‘one thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see.’ I see that which I never saw before-a hatefulness in sin, and a beauty in holiness; I see a vileness and emptiness in myself, and a preciousness and fullness in Jesus.” Do not forget, then, dear reader, that feeble grace is yet real grace. If it but “hungers and thirsts,” if it “touches but the hem,” it shall be saved.

A Thought on Peter

I don’t know about any of you, but I have a habit of looking at my past, and when I do, I admit that I often see my failures far more often than I see my successes.  Ask me how I’ve failed, about my short comings, my temptations, my lack of confidence, and I can tell you all of them.  Seeing myself and all the bad things about me has never been my problem, but seeing the good things about myself has been, and quite truthfully still is.

I don’t like admitting this, but it is what it is.  Tonight I was reading about the apostle Peter.  There are times when I see a lot of myself in Peter.  I can look at his life with Christ, and I can see many of his failures in myself.  Peter denied Christ three times.  He told Christ Jesus he would never deny Him.  He did.  I have too.

I don’t like admitting this either, but it’s true.  Like Peter, I didn’t and don’t intend to, but it’s happened, and happens.  Do I go around telling people I don’t believe in Jesus.  No.  Maybe not with my voice, but in so many ways.  There are as many ways to deny love as to accept it, and there are as many ways to express hate, prejudice, bigotry, selfishness, and disdain and intolerance as there are ways to express the opposite.

Peter knew these things, felt these things, showed them in his life-even as He walked with Jesus.  Peter knew his failures.  Jesus knew them, too, and forgave them.  Peter was transformed by the love of Jesus.  Peter in the beginning was as we all are…an enemy…and yet through the love of Jesus became a pillar of the early church, and was so steady and brave in his devotion and love of Christ that he helped to change the world he lived in for Christ.  He lived and died loving Christ Jesus because He had experienced grace in His presence.

In the beginning Peter knew failure…In the end He knew success…in the middle grace had its affect, and it’s effect, and it still does…

 

 

From “Rylisms” by James Ryle

Glory Just Around the Corner

“Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.” (1 Peter 4:12-13. The Message).

Sometimes things can get so difficult that even the most ardent believers look heavenward with serious questions about whether or not God is involved in our affairs anymore. Even Jesus Himself cried out on the cross, “My God, why have you forsaken me?”

Sometimes God pulls just far enough away to awaken and alarm us by His absence. Perhaps we may have grown so accustomed to His blessings and benefits, that we inadvertently began taking them for granted; failing to humbly acknowledge His presence and His provisions in our daily lives. Living presumptuously, without showing our gratitude to God for who He is and what He does.

Nothing snaps us out of that indifferent daze more quickly that a good dose of real difficulty, with a side order of God’s perceived absence. When all hell breaks loose, and heaven is no where to be found — that will get your attention!

But, God is not absent, nor is He distant. He’s just silent; watching and waiting for how we handle the situation. Will be bellow in unbelief like those who know not God at all? Or will we, like Job of old, trust Him though He slay us.

The truth is that the difficulty you are facing is a spiritual refining process; God is separating the gold from the dross in your life. And if you will quietly trust Him through the ordeal you will soon discover it was worth it all — for glory is just around the corner.