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Hungry Heart Daily Devotional Anthology -mjs

Discussion in 'Bible Study Forum' started by Netchaplain, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Netchaplain

    Netchaplain Ordained Chaplain

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    If it's ok, I'm going to be posting (starting 4/12/12) a daily devotional from Miles J Stanford's (1914-1999) book, "None But The Hungry Heart".

    1-1. NOTHING DAUNTED

    "Blessed are they that . . . seek Him with the whole heart" (Psalm 119:2).

    Once the Holy Spirit instills within our hearts the hunger for God's very best, all must and will become secondary to this supreme goal: " . . .the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14). Our puny, worthless all exchanged for the One who is All in all! "For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to Whom be glory for ever. Amen" (Romans 11:36) .

    "A sage of India was asked by a young man how he could find God. For some time the sage gave no answer, but one evening he asked the youth to come and bathe with him in the river. While there he gripped him suddenly and held his head under the water until he was nearly drowned. When he released him the sage asked him: 'What did you want most when you were under the water?' 'A breath of air,' he replied. To which the sage answered, 'When you want God as you wanted the breath of air, you will find Him.'" -G.G.

    "Every Christian will become at last what his desires have made him. We are all the sum total of our hungers. The great saints have all had thirsting hearts. Their cry has been, 'My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God....' Their longing after God all but consumed them; it propelled them onward and upward to heights toward which less ardent believers look with and entertain no hope of reaching."

    "For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness" (Psalm 107:9).

    1-2. LIFE'S PURPOSE

    "For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9).

    Our Lord the Vine provides all that His branches will ever need for fruit-bearing. All provision is according to our Father's riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
    "Christian growth is the becoming real in ourselves, of what is already true of us in the Lord Jesus. 'I am the vine, ye are the branches, He says. But the vine furnishes the branches, not only with the principle of life, but with the type of life. No pressure or molding from without is needed to shape them to the pattern of the parent stock. Every minutest peculiarity of form, and color, and taste, and fragrance is determined by the root, and developed from it. A true believer, therefore, will ask no better thing of the Lord than that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in his body (2 Corinthians 4:11). For such a manifestation will, by a necessary principle, be the unfolding within him of every needed element of joy and sorrow, of suffering and triumph." -A.J.G.
    "Straining, driving effort does not accomplish the work God gives a man to do; we must partake of Christ so fully that He more than fills the life. It will then be not overwork but overflow."
    "And ye are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power" (Colossians 2:10).

    I would like to add that we are to remember we do no produce the fruit but bear it. Many Christians work needlessly in attempting to do works by the Lord instead of allowing the Lord to do the works by us. "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples"(John 15:8).

    1-3. RELENTLESS PURPOSE

    "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him" (2 Chronicles. 16:9).

    All of God's thoughts concerning us are centered in His Son, where He has placed us. Hence they are "thoughts of peace, and not of evil" (Jeremiah 29:11). Others may do evil against us, but our Father turns it into our good, for Jesus' sake.

    "The purpose of God is that through the conditions and sufferings of my life should develop in me the features of His Son. On the one hand, the features of the old creation may be seen to be more and more terrible and horrible, as I recognize them in myself; but over against that God is doing something which is other than my old self. He is bringing into being Another, altogether other, and that is His Son, my new life. Slowly, seemingly all too slowly; nevertheless something is developing. The sonship is not very much in evidence yet, but it is going to be manifested. What God has been doing will come out into the light eventually conformity to the image of His Son." -T. A-S.

    "Afflictions are in the hands of the Holy Spirit to effect the softening of the heart in order to receive heavenly impression. Job said, 'God maketh my heart soft' (Job 23:16). As the wax in its natural hard state cannot take the impress of the signet, and needs to be melted to render it susceptible, so the believer is by trials prepared to receive, and made to bear, the divine likeness."

    "Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving''(Colossians 2:7).


    1-4. DESERT RICHES

    "And He said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart, into a desert place, and rest a while" (Mk 6:31).

    In the early days of our lonely pilgrimage, the desert is nothing but burning heat and barren sand. As we "keep on keeping on," we see our desert become full of springs and blossom as the rose.

    "Has the Father led you into the desert? Has He plucked from under your feet all that you depended upon? Then a glorious experience is yours. See if this be not a way whereby God will glorify you! Do not complain about what you have lost, and do not yearn to have it back again, for then you are like Israel who wished to turn back to Egypt. God leads on, and instead of the flesh-pots He gives you bread from heaven, and instead of water from the Nile, water from the Rock. But you must put your trust in Him also in the desert, and through the days of darkness and difficulty. This is possible, however, only for those who have lost their self-assurance in the desert whereto God beckons His children."

    "Are there sorrows that sorely test our hearts? Be assured that our Father intends every one of them to be a road for us to Christ; so that we may reach Him and know Him in some character of His love and power, that otherwise our souls had not known." -C.A.C.

    "And they thirsted not when He led them through the deserts: He caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them. . . ." ". . .for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ" (Isaiah 48:21; 1 Corinthians 10:4).



    1-5. LOVE DRAWS AND CONFORMS



    "Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee" (Jeremiah 31:3).

    God is the first and only Cause. He always makes the first move. "For God so loved. . . that He gave"; "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you" (John 3:16; 15:16). Even the hunger of heart necessary for our response to His love comes from Him. "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus" (I Peter 5:10). He brought us to His Son; He will make us like His Son.

    "If you feel the drawing of God within, cherish it as you would cherish a great treasure. If you are aware of a deep hunger, if you are entering into a closer walk with Him, do not look upon it carelessly, nor treat it lightly. But if you do not feel the divine drawing and hunger for God, cry to Him that He will give it you; and ever remember that the desire for hunger is the beginning of hunger, and that you cannot feed upon the Lord Jesus Christ until you are spiritually hungry." -H. McI.

    "Our Lord is generous in His provision, but He is neither casual nor wasteful. There must be a real hunger and felt need. It is a fixed principle with the Lord that He does not move until something like desperation makes it evident that it is His move." -T. A-S.

    "No one is able to come to Me unless the Father who sent Me attracts and draws him and gives him the desire to come to Me" (John 6:44, Amp.).





    "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" (Isaiah 2:22).

    As Christians we are going to be controlled by one of two powers: the self-life (old man), or the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. The former will make life hell, the latter, heaven.

    "He who knows that awful power of the self-life within; its enmity with God; its carnality; its grieving and quenching of the Spirit; its deadly blighting of all the blessed fruits of the Spirit; its fierce and desperate resistings of his hunger to enter into the full life of the Spirit, needs no other explanation of the lack of the fulness of the Spirit than the fulness of self." -J.H. McC.

    "Do not seek to shatter the mirror which reflects your soul's lack of beauty; rather welcome the truth, and believe that next to knowledge of the Lord Jesus nothing is so important as the knowledge of self."-N.G.

    "There is nothing in self worth holding on to; it ought to be handed to the Cross; we have submitted ourselves to such a life as that, and our Father is going to give us every opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to hold the old nature in the place of death, with the glorious end in view that our Lord Jesus will have the preeminence." -F.M.

    "I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:5,6).

    1-7. LIFE'S MOTIVATION

    "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Romans 8:14).
    It takes a good many years of sin and failure in order to see through our own motives. The growing believer finally learns to trust but one source of motivation: "the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:2).

    "All of our motives will be tested by fire. Are we seeking personal influence, popularity, reputation, prestige, acceptableness, success? We may think our motives to be perfectly pure; but not until we pass into daily death, death to any or all of the above, and find ourselves 'despised and rejected of men,' our names cast out as evil, and a real hold-up (seemingly) of our work, do we really come to face the true purpose and motive of our having any place in the service of God. The Cross separating us from everything Adamic both within and without is a good test of motives.

    "Men of God who have been truly used by Him have gone this way. Not upon our flesh whether it be the gross flesh or the refined, soulish, educated flesh will God allow His Spirit to come. Before there can be life for others there must be death for us (2 Corinthians 4-12). Before there can be the fire of God there must be an altar and a sacrifice; and it must be the burnt offering." -T. A-S.

    "Present your bodies a living sacrifice. . . which is your reasonable service" (Romans 12:1).
     
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  2. Shirley

    Shirley New Member

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    I'm in the fire and it is not pleasant but God has made himself so real to me! Showing me when I am in the spirit and when I am not. My deep hunger to walk in the Spirit has brought me to look deeply at myself and say I don't want this any more. I wish to surrender! I wish to stay in you! Please make me decrease so you can increase! I consecrate my whole self to you God! I wish to surrender and my flesh does not wish to.

    Thanks to all for the prayers as they help!
     
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  3. Netchaplain

    Netchaplain Ordained Chaplain

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    Hi sister Shirley and God's blessings to you! It's in the hard times, which God foreknows, that we learn the deepest truths and grow the most in Christ, for our union with Him in His cross keeps the sinful nature in check and from ruling us (Rom 6:12). Sin's presence and our learning the depths of its depravity, is for us to learn that God is teaching us through it. To know God's holiness is to know our decadence.

    The lesson in it all is to realize that our part in the finished work of Christ's cross in our lives is to yield, the Spirit does the rest, that's why its called the "fruit of the Spirit". We many times needlessly put the onus on ourselves concerning the production of the fruit, but it's the Vine which produces, the branch just bears. "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples" (John 15:8). Yielding is our only part, and God does the rest--through and by us! "Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead" (Rom 6:13).

    The book I post this material from can be viewed free on withchrist.org.

    Love You In Christ Sis


    1-7. LIFE'S MOTIVATION

    "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Romans 8:14).
    It takes a good many years of sin and failure in order to see through our own motives. The growing believer finally learns to trust but one source of motivation: "the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:2).

    "All of our motives will be tested by fire. Are we seeking personal influence, popularity, reputation, prestige, acceptableness, success? We may think our motives to be perfectly pure; but not until we pass into daily death, death to any or all of the above, and find ourselves 'despised and rejected of men,' our names cast out as evil, and a real hold-up (seemingly) of our work, do we really come to face the true purpose and motive of our having any place in the service of God. The Cross separating us from everything Adamic both within and without is a good test of motives.

    "Men of God who have been truly used by Him have gone this way. Not upon our flesh whether it be the gross flesh or the refined, soulish, educated flesh will God allow His Spirit to come. Before there can be life for others there must be death for us (2 Corinthians 4-12). Before there can be the fire of God there must be an altar and a sacrifice; and it must be the burnt offering." -T. A-S.

    "Present your bodies a living sacrifice. . . which is your reasonable service" (Romans 12:1).


    1-9. POWERLESS RECIPIENTS

    "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Romans 8:37)
    The world, the flesh, and the devil say, Be powerful. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit say, Be powerless "for My strength is made perfect in [your] weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9)

    "There would be little harm in trying to imitate Christ if such an endeavor did not hide from us what our Lord really desires; and so keep us back from 'life more abundant.' Christ has come Himself into our hearts to dwell there, and what He wants is to live His life in us, as the Apostle Paul says, 'For to me to live is Christ.' Christ was the very source and mainspring of all he was and did. What a wonderful thing this is! We would be driven to despair if Christ had simply left us an example to follow or imitate, for we have no power within ourselves to do it. We must have a new source; a new spring of action, and Christ Himself wants to be just that for us." -E.C.H.

    "The man in Romans Seven is occupied with himself, and his disappointment and anguish spring from his inability to find in self the good which he loves. The man of Romans Eight has learned there is no good to be found in self. It is only in Christ; and his song of triumph results from the joy of having found out that he is 'complete in Him.'" -H.A.I.

    "I have strength for all things in Christ who empowers me; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses inner strength into me" (Philippians 4:13, Amplified).


    1-10. REST IN HIM

    "He has created us through our union with Christ Jesus for doing good deeds which He beforehand planned for us to do"(Ephesians 2:10, Wms.).


    The turning point in our Christian life comes when we begin to "let God be God," the day we throw all caution (fear) to the winds and look to Him to carry out His purpose for us in His own time and way.

    "Our Father never does a thing suddenly: He has always prepared long, long before. So there is nothing to murmur about, nothing to be proud of, in the calling of God. There is also no one of whom to be jealous, for other people's advantages have nothing to do with us. 'It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that hath mercy' (Romans 9:16). Our heritage, our birth, our natural equipment: these are things already determined by God. We may pick up other things in the way, for we are always learning; but the way is His way. When we look back over our life, we bow and acknowledge that all was prepared of God. To have such an attitude of heart, that is true rest." -W.N.


    "Let us take care lest we get out of soul-rest in seeking further blessing. God cannot work whilst we are anxious, even about our spiritual advance. Let us take Him at His Word, and leave the fulfillment of it to Him."


    "For it is God Himself whose power creates within you the desire to do His gracious will and also brings about the accomplishment of the desire" (Philippians 2:13, Weymouth).


    Remember, except for receiving salvation, nothing which God does results from anything we do, for He "works all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:11). Nothing He blesses us in is merited but foreknown and preplanned. "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate . . . ." (Rom 8:29).

    1-11. DESIGNER AND DESIGNED

    "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3)

    Since the sovereign God has every atom in the universe precisely timed and controlled for the carrying out of His perfect will, it should not be difficult for us to understand why He is so meticulous in His development of us as His instruments. "Being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:11).

    "You are one of God's rough diamonds, and He is going to have to cut you so that you may really shine for Him. It takes a diamond to cut a diamond. You are to be ground and cut, and hurt by other diamonds, by other Christians, by spiritual Christians. But the more cutting and the more perfecting, the more you are going to shine for your Lord." -G.M.

    "God in His wisdom has ordained our trials, and it is our folly that causes us not to welcome them. God sends us such trials as are exactly fitted for us. Our Heavenly Father knows what will best serve us. He serves us by trials and by comforts. Let us remember that our trials are few our evil ways are many; our worthiness nothing; our comforts great. When God tries us let us consider how we have been trying Him. By grace we will not murmur, but humble ourselves under His mighty hand, and He will exalt us in due time."

    "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you" (1 Peter 4:12).
     
  4. Shirley

    Shirley New Member

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    I want to shine for God!
     
  5. Netchaplain

    Netchaplain Ordained Chaplain

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    1-12. DEPENDENT RECEPTION


    "Walk in [dependence upon] the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16).

    Those who have thoroughly learned full dependence on Him for justification will come to understand that sanctification is by the same faith principle. We are to rest in His finished work both for birth and for growth.

    "We are not to overcome the lusts of the flesh in order that we may walk in the Spirit. We are to walk in the Spirit in order that the lusts of the flesh may be overcome. The enemy can hold up young Christians on this point for a long time, so that they do not really get started on the Christian walk. They feel they cannot expect to begin to walk in the Spirit until they have, in some degree at least, dealt with the lusts of the flesh.

    "They wait for some vague time when they hope they will have reached a more satisfactory position in regard to the lusts of the flesh, and will feel more confident about attempting a walk in the Spirit. But that is all the wrong way around. If we are to wait until we have, in some degree, mastered the lusts of the flesh before we venture to walk in the Spirit: if we are to wait until we feel that we can give some sort of security to ourselves and to God that we shall do a bit better in the future than we have done in the past, then we never will walk in the Spirit. For until we walk in dependence upon the Spirit we shall not, and cannot, overcome the lusts of the flesh." -D.T.

    "Be filled with [controlled by] the indwelling of the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18, Cony.).





    1-13. SOURCE OF SIN

    "I am a sinful man, O Lord" (Luke 5:8).

    When the believer first becomes aware of the sinful self-life, he often makes the mistake of attempting to deal with its symptoms. He struggles to curb his sins and tries to live righteously. The resultant failure leads him to reliance upon the work of the Cross, which is effectively applied to the root of the matter by the Holy Spirit. The old life is crucified; the new life is manifested.

    "We are apt to think that what we have done is very bad, but that we ourselves are not so bad. God is taking pains to show us that we ourselves are wrong, fundamentally wrong. The root trouble is the sinner; he must be dealt with. Our sins are dealt with by the Blood, but we ourselves are dealt with by the Cross. The Blood procures our pardon for what we have done; the Cross procures our deliverance from what we are." -W.N.

    "It is for want of a complete or adequate realization of the meaning of the Cross, that so many Christians are carnal, or try to live for God out of themselves. This goes to the root of the ever-present weakness and poverty of spiritual life. There is much prayer for 'revival,' and much effort for 'the deepening of the spiritual life.' The only answer to this is a new knowing of the Cross, not only as to sins and a life of victory over them, but as to Christ as supplanting the natural man." -T. A-S.

    "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9).





    1-14. THE ALL-PERVADING CROSS

    "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Galatians 6:14).

    It will save years of frustration and effort for one to understand that prayer can never be learned, or developed. Prayer is the outflow of the new life; as one grows, as the Cross frees the new from the old, there is the growth of effective prayer.

    "Without the Cross, prayer becomes a mere religious formality without prayer, the Cross is arrested in its purpose. As the Cross works in us, keeping in the place of death every assertion of the old man, and everything in our natures that is against God, our spirit finds a clear way up to the communion at the throne and a clear way out into conflict with our enemy.

    ''Prayer is the spring of power in conflict, and conflict gives the proof of the value and need of prayer. It cannot be too frequently emphasized that for the believer, the ground or basis of prayer is the death of Jesus Christ the victory won by the Son of God on Calvary, just as the ground and basis of His intercession at this moment is His propitiation on the Cross. Away from the Cross prayer becomes nothing more than an ecclesiastical ordinance or a religious exercise expressed in devotional phrases; and I beg of you, when you read a book on prayer, to find out the place in it which the author gives to the Cross, and you will be able to estimate its value." -G.W.

    "God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you" (1 Samuel 12:23).



    1-15. "DISCIPLE ALL NATIONS"

    "If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed" (John 8:31).

    The plague of personal work is the quick, the easy, the maneuvered decision. No matter how long it takes, our Lord allows the necessary time for a heart to be prepared of the Spirit in order that it might be truly born of the Spirit. Adequate preparation before bringing the soul to Christ will eliminate much disappointment and frustration (for all concerned) after conversion. Once we see that the Lord Jesus saves individuals with the purpose of making them His disciples, we will aim to be more thorough in our witnessing and subsequent soul-winning.

    "The commission given to the apostles was to make disciples, not just 'converts,' of all nations; and we can never set aside our Lord's commands without laying up for ourselves a whole store of unnecessary suffering and frustration. I wonder how many promising 'converts' have been swept into the ranks of the sects whose teachings are based in error, because of this omission?"

    "In our day we promote elaborate 'follow-up' schemes to keep our 'converts' in the right way, but I sometimes wonder if a little more time spent right at the outset in ensuring that these converts are properly 'born,' so that they can be receptive of the Spirit's teaching, would not save much heartache and make certain that God's work in their lives is done in His way." -J.C.M.

    "Woe to the worthless shepherd that leaveth the flock" (Zechariah 11:17, ASV).


    1-16. MUTUAL VIEWPOINT

    "That ye may know what is the hope of His calling and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints" (Ephesians 1:18).
    In order to share effectively with needy believers it is essential to know what the Father has purposed for His own. And this understanding results from personal growth in the Lord Jesus. Those who are merely well-versed may be able to teach, but they cannot truly share; their understanding of the needs of the heart is deficient, and this becomes all too evident to the hearers. Head-knowledge (study) must be integrated with heart-knowledge (experience) in order for there to be Spirit-motivated sharing.

    "The true hope makes all the difference to us in our ministry. Our expectations have been personally proven. It makes possible joy in the midst of sorrow, confidence in the midst of defeat. It changes our attitude toward those to whom we minister. We see them not as they are at the moment but as we know the Lord is going to make them. Then patience and forgiveness are easy, for we already see the Lord's finished work. It changes our prayer for them. We ask not for some little progress or partial blessing for them but for the Lord's complete victory. It changes our teaching ministry to them. Instead of fearfully giving a little more of God's truth, we confidently declare all the counsel of God. There is ever before us the joy of the finished work which we know the Lord is going to accomplish." -A.M.

    "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).
     
  6. Netchaplain

    Netchaplain Ordained Chaplain

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    "The blessings of God can become confusing when we think they must be earned, because our motives become misguided labors. All His blessings come to us, not by merit but by way of sovereign appointment, which are preordained, being foreknown. To sincerely work for God cannot be discouraged but how to work is the issue because this determines its fruitfulness.

    God continually increases the believers walk to involve more from the new man--through the Spirit, than that from the old man. As God ceased (rested) from creating in the natural realm, never needing to repeat it, so does He cause the believer, "from glory to glory", to cease from his old-man-related works. "For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his own works as God did from His" (Heb 4:10).

    Works do not produce faith, but is the evidence of faith for, "I will show you my faith by my works” (Jam 2:18). Works are said here to “show faith”, not produce it. Vast difference!" -Netchaplain


    1-18. DEVELOPED GIFT

    "But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil" (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

    Though we receive our faith from Him, it must be developed in us by Him. Undeveloped faith never progresses beyond the babe-in-Christ, milk-of-the-Word stage. "But solid food is for adults that is, for those who through constant practice have their spiritual faculties carefully trained to distinguish good from evil. Therefore leaving elementary instruction about the Christ, let us advance to mature manhood" (Hebrews 5:14-6:1, Weymouth).

    "You will never learn faith in comfortable surroundings. God gives us promises in a quiet hour; He seals our covenants with great and gracious words. Then He steps back and waits while we believe; then He lets the tempter come, and the test seems to contradict all that He has spoken. It is then that faith wins its crown. Then is the time to look into His face and say, 'I believe, Lord, that it shall be done as it was told me.'"

    "Without trials of faith we should all be ruined. These trials give us opportunities of linking on to the mighty promises of God and finding through the trials come blessing that wonderfully glorifies Him, or else, missing God, turns the blessing into a burden that fills the heart with weariness and pain." -G.W.

    "Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy" (James 5:11).

    Late Post!



    What did John the Baptist mean by "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30)? He was referring to that part which determines what he is--his nature; less activity of the old-nature and more activity of the new nature.

    You may have heard it said that "if we desire to accept God, He accepts us the way we are, but loves us too much to leave us that way." It's the addition of our new nature that changes us at rebirth because this nature is partaker of Christ's divine nature (1Pet 1:4; Eph 4:24; Col 3:10).

    What we do doesn't determine what we are but reveals what we are (Mt 12:33; Luk 6:44). What we are determines what we do and this is all determined by our "nature". A sinner isn't a sinner because he sins. He sins because he's a sinner!

    1-17. RESTFUL ACTIVITY

    "In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength" (Isaiah 30:15).

    There is a great difference between sloth, and rest; between deadness, and quietness. There is also a vast difference between constant nervous busyness, and Spirit-controlled activity; between working for God, and having Him do His work through us. It is the infinite difference between self, and Christ,

    "In God and man working together, there is nothing of the idea of a partnership between two partners who each contribute their share to a work. Rather, the true plan is that of co-operation founded on subordination. As the Lord Jesus was entirely dependent on the Father for all His words and all His works, so the believer can do nothing of himself. What he can do of himself is altogether sinful. He must therefore cease entirely from his own doing, and wait for the working of God in him. As he ceases from self-effort, faith assures him that God does what He has undertaken, and works in him.

    "And what God does is to renew, to sanctify, and waken all his energies to their most useful power. So that just in proportion as he yields himself a truly passive instrument in the hand of the Father, will he be wielded of Him as the active instrument of His will and power. The soul in which the wondrous combination of quiet passivity with the highest activity is most completely realized, has the deepest experience of what the Christian life is." -A.M.

    "So He fed them according to the integrity of His heart; and guided them by the skillfulness of His hands" (Psalm 78:72).

    Everything we have of God in our salvation is regulated by our "patience" because Jesus said in Luke 21:19, "By your patience possess your souls” and James wrote, “But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (1:4).

    The more we trust that “all things work together for good to those who love God” (Rom 8:28), the lesser is the effort required to apply patience because it's easier to await that which we're assured of.



    1-19. NOT "HOW?" BUT "WHAT?"

    "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you" (2 Corinthians 9:8).

    Once we come to rest in the fact of what He has accomplished for us in Christ, there need be no concern as to how and when He will carry it out in our daily life.

    "How many a child of God remains weak and timid because, instead of being occupied with what God has promised, he is considering how it can be fulfilled. But we have nothing to do with the how; it is enough that our Father has given us His Word. Whatever, therefore, may be the nature of the suffering or trial through which we have to pass, let us ever account that God is able to fulfill all His promises.

    "Let nothing ever lead us to doubt the certainty of His Word, though we may be utterly at a loss to understand the manner in which He may see fit to accomplish it. We shall then be able to testify, with Joshua of old: 'Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof' (Joshua 23:14)." -E.H.

    Our Father often encourages the weak in faith by giving speedy answers to prayer; but the strong in faith will be further developed by God's delays. Delayed answers to prayer are not only trials of faith, but opportunities of honoring God by our steadfast confidence in Him."

    "For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen" (2 Corinthians 1:20).

    1-20. SATISFYING PORTION

    "God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever" (Psalm 73.26).
    Finally, when all else fails us, we find that God is enough. That which we most need in life; love, unfailing love; is abundantly and satisfyingly ours in the Lord Jesus. But we so often seek it elsewhere.

    "Nothing can be sweeter than the repose in divine love when it is known and the heart is free to rest in it. The soul may have a long journey to reach it experientially; there may be many needs and exercises to be met and removed on the way; self and the world will have to be learned; but the great end of all our exercises; and, I may add, of all our deliverances; is that we rest in the thoughts of divine love, and that love becomes in a very real way the portion of our hearts. If our hearts are not in the circle of divine love they have really got nothing, for as Christians we have no portion on earth. Thank God! it is a blessed and satisfying portion." -C.A.C.

    "There is no reserve in God's love; He has given the best in heaven for the worst on earth, and in this way has rebuked distrust and established confidence, so that 'the works of the devil' might be undone in our hearts. If we only want what God gives us we shall be perfectly happy. Nothing is of real value to us that we cannot take from our Father's hand and thank Him for."

    "And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God" (2 Thessalonians 3:5).


    1-21. PREARRANGED

    "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him" (Colossians 2:6).

    How readily and eagerly we take His Word when He says, "I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2), yet how slow of heart we are to believe that He has prepared a walk for us, here and now! "For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us, (taking paths which He prepared ahead of time) that we should walk in them living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live" (Ephesians 2:10, Amp.).

    "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3, ASV). If you can run over in your mind and find one single blessing with which God might bless us today, with which He has not already blessed us, then what He told Paul is not true at all, because He said, 'God hath....' It is all done, 'It is finished.' God hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies! The great pity of it all is that we are saying 'O God bless us, bless us in this, bless us in that! and it is all done; He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ in the heavenlies. It is our place to believe and receive." -L.L.L.

    "According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3).





    1-22. FREEDOM TO "BE"



    "Having died to that wherein we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter"(Romans 7:6, ASV).

    The law was applied to the natural man, that he might produce; grace is given to the spiritual man, that He might produce.
    "Almost every believer makes the same mistake as the Galatian Christians. Very few learn at conversion at once that it is only by faith that we stand, and walk, and live. They have no conception of the meaning of the Word about being dead to the law, freed from the law, about the freedom with which Christ makes us free (Romans 7:6). Regarding the law as a divine ordinance for our direction, they consider themselves prepared and fitted by conversion to take up the fulfillment of the law as a natural duty. They cannot understand that it is not to the law, but to a living Person, that we are now bound, and that our obedience and growth are only possible by the unceasing faith in His power and life ever working in us (Philippians 2:13)." -A.M.

    "Good and holy and perfect as the law of God is, it is entirely powerless either to justify or sanctify. It cannot in any way make the old nature better; neither is it the rule of the new nature. The old man is not subject to it, and the new man does not need it. The new creation has another object before it, and another power that acts upon it, in order to produce what is lovely and acceptable to God Christ the object, realized by the power of the Holy Spirit." -W.K.

    "Not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life" (Hebrews 7:16).





    "Mary . . . sat at Jesus' feet, and heard His Word. But Martha was encumbered about much serving" (Luke 10:39,40).

    A malingering student will make a poor servant; a diligent student will make a good servant. "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed" (2 Timothy 2:15).

    "Do not look for service, look for preparation for it. Everyone has to serve an apprenticeship. We do not know what we are to be fitted for, but if we keep at His feet He will prepare us for the very thing for which He has designed us. We hinder both ourselves and His work by attempting things to which we have not been called."

    "If you begin with serving (as many do nowadays), you will never truly sit at His feet; whereas if you begin with looking unto Him you will soon serve well, wisely and acceptably. When the serving quiets the conscience, and the sitting is overlooked and neglected, the enemy gains an advantage, for it is at the sitting that the conscience is enlightened, and the pleasure and mind of the Lord become better known. I never met with anyone making his service prominent who knew what it was to sit at the Master's feet; but, thank God, I know indefatigable workers who enjoy sitting at His feet above any service. It is clear that those who abide in Him must be most competent to serve, and most in His confidence, which, after all, is the clue to all effective service" -J.B.S.

    "Behold as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters... so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God" (Psalm 123:2).

    The responsibility of fruit production is the Lord's. Ours is, as the text discloses, to bear or display it, for it is the vine that produces the fruit and not the branch. "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples (John 15:8).

    This means the fruit, i.e. righteousness, holiness, justification and sanctification always originates from Christ and cannot be replicated, but must be transferred by imputation. “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (not in ourselves--1 Cor 1:30, 31). -NC


    1-24. ABIDE IN ABUNDANCE

    "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me" (John 15:4).

    The quality of the fruit of the branch depends upon the quality of the life of the vine. Neither quality nor quantity is the product of the branch, for the branch merely receives what is produced by the vine.

    "To walk with God in hallowed fellowship is not only the secret of joy and growth, it is the condition of all acceptable service, of all real usefulness. The value of what we do depends very much upon what we are. And what we are depends upon where we abide. The mightiest power for usefulness is the quiet influence of a life that abides habitually in the secret place of the Most High. Such an one dwells in the source of all life, of all purity, of all fruitfulness." -E.H.H.

    "It is just a matter of taking a position that is already yours. The enemy has filled the minds of many believers with the delusion that they are poor, and in their poverty they must work and grind and toil in order to buy the blessings which are already theirs in Christ. It is time to see that all you need you have in Christ. There is no need of yours which is not fully met in Him. And you are in Him. You only need to take the position which is already yours. Abide!" -D.T.

    "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (2 Corinthians 9:8).

    Our warfare is not a win or lose battle but a won war, for Christ, “having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Col 2:15).

    This means regardless of how decadent the Lord shows us of our still-indwelling old self and how good we think we're supposed to be, we’re to rest in God’s resolution to it all, in His Son’s atonement and not confide in our works to effect acceptance and assurance.

    The ever-abiding sin, self, Satan and society teaches and causes us to depend only on God for us to be “kept in perfect peace” (Isa 26:3). -NC


    1-25. AUTHOR OF PEACE

    "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace" (1 Corinthians 14:33).

    The day we were saved, total war was declared between sinful self and the Holy Spirit. Lasting peace will come when we rest in Calvary's conquest of sin and self, and allow that victory to be applied by the faithful Spirit of God.

    "The Holy Spirit does not reason from what man is for God, but from what God is to man. Souls reason from what they are in themselves as to whether God can accept them. He does not accept you thus; you are looking for righteousness in yourself as a ground of acceptance with Him. You cannot get peace in this way. 'But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us'" (Romans 5:8).

    "The Holy Spirit always reasons down from what God is, and this produces a total change in my soul. It is not that I abhor my sins; indeed I may have been walking very well; but it is 'I abhor myself.' The Holy Spirit shows us what we are, and that is one reason why He often seems to be very hard and does not give peace to the soul, as we are not relieved until we frankly, from our hearts, acknowledge what we are. Until the soul comes to that point He does not give it peace He could not; it would be healing the wound slightly. The soul has to go on until it finds there is nothing to rest on but the Cross-proved goodness of God; and then if God be for us, who can be against us?'' -J.N.D.

    "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus"(Philippians 4:7).




    1-26. PARTAKERS



    "If, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God" (1 Peter 2:20).
    Affliction and suffering are the lot of all men, the privilege of all believers. Our sufferings bring forth need, and our need brings forth His comfort and consolation. Blessed need! "As ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation" (2 Corinthians 1:7). Blessed promise!

    "If you aspire to be a son of consolation; if you would partake of the priestly gift of sympathy; if you would pour something beyond commonplace consolation into a tempted heart; if you would pass through the intercourse of daily life with the delicate tact that never inflicts pain; you must be content to pay the price of a costly education; like Him, you must suffer."

    "There are blessings which we cannot obtain if we cannot accept and endure suffering. There are joys that can come to us only through sorrow. There are revealings of divine truth which we can get only when earth's lights have gone out. There are harvests which can flow only after the plowshare has done its work."

    "Comfort does not come to the light-hearted and merry. We must go down into 'depths' if we would experience this most precious of God's gifts comfort, and thus be prepared to be coworkers together with Him."

    "I take... pleasure in weaknesses, insults, distresses, persecution, and difficulties, which I endure for Christ's sake, for it is when I am consciously weak that I am really strong" (2 Corinthians 12:10, Wms.).

    Confiding in self voids Christ’s place of support in us and only self-condemnation can result because it puts the responsibility of atonement on our works instead of the Lord’s finished works of salvation. We can take pleasure in the good works Christ produces through us, for it is by them our Father is glorified (Mat 5:16). I believe our works can affect our fellowship with God and our eternal rewards (Mat 13:23; Mar 4:20; Luke 16:10-13; 1 Cor.3:13, 14), but they do not determine our union with Him, or His blessings to us in this life. Therefore, we can “rest in God” knowing, “it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13).

    It isn’t that we’re not to have confidence. The issue is where confidence is placed and when it is in Christ, there’s no place to be found for a self-condemning conscience. “Beloved, if our heart condemns us not, [then] have we confidence toward God” (1John 3:21).

    It’s been well stated that “if we are disappointed it’s because we’ve trusted in the arm of flesh, for God does not disappoint.” -NC


    1-27. CHRlST-CONFlDENCE

    "For we worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3:3).

    Contrary to general opinion, there is no place for self-confidence in the Christian life. Confidence is essential, but not from the source of self. The awakened believer is so keenly aware of the sinful self-life that, for him, self-confidence is out of the question. In time, his "O wretched man" complex is replaced by "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 7:24, 25). Christ-confidence is the basis for the healthy Christian's walk. Sinful self-confidence is the basis for the sickly Christian's defeat.

    "Our Father takes all things from under our feet until we have nothing left but Him. God has always the highest goal in view, namely, to lead us into the denial of self. Everything is directed toward teaching us to entrust ourselves to Him. Therefore we must often suffer defeat. You fight with all your might against sin and find yourself surrounded by failure. You pray fervently and sincerely: 'O God, help me and stay by me.' But it seems that He does not hear. You cry yet more earnestly for help, but He seems to have no concern for you. Is He then really merciless? No! Just because He is merciful, He cannot help you. If He did, you would not be free from your self-confidence; you would not learn to fight the good fight of faith and thus obtain the victory which the Master has won; you would not learn to say 'the Lord Jesus only,' but you would still continue to say 'Jesus and I.'"

    "For the Lord shall be thy confidence" (Proverb 3.26).





    "My grace suffices for you, for power matures in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9, Weymouth).

    There can be no true and intelligent rejection of the self-life without thorough heart preparation by the Holy Spirit. We read in the Word that self is to be hated and rejected, but the development of this attitude may be long removed from the initial revelation. Years of processing separate Romans Three from Colossians Three, in our experience.

    "Why are we so deficient in divine power? Simply because we do not like the way it begins. Its beginning is to hate one's own life, and this is an awful start; but there is no 'tower' built without it. You must refuse human material, or you cannot build to true structure. Power enabled Elisha to take hold of his own clothes and tear them into two pieces. It begins with self-abnegation. This explains the reason why there is so little power. Very often one lingers over his losses like an exile, but he must rise out of it; he must bury his dead out of his sight; it is a great day when that comes to pass, and then he can be useful to others." -J.B.S.

    "To be willing to accept crucifixion with Christ, to leave all yourself, your plans and your longings, your abilities and your possessions, all of them at the Cross, so that you only trust and love and live for the Lord Jesus, hurts a great deal. It requires an absolute venture of faith; but beyond it, God says, 'much fruit.' And the way to it is 'into the ground and die it is the only way; His way."

    "Most gladly therefore will I boast of my infirmities rather than complain of them; in order that Christ's power may overshadow me" (2 Corinthians 12:9, Weymouth.).




    1-29. SACRIFICIAL SELF

    "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7).

    It is essential for the believer to see that his old nature has been completely rejected by God at Calvary, and that as a "new creation" he is fully and eternally accepted in the Lord Jesus. Otherwise, self will continually seek to be something for God, to please Him, to merit His approbation.

    "It is very possible that our sacrifices and self denials may be altogether selfish. Self can pray, and say, What a lovely prayer! It can preach a fine message, and pat itself on the back and say, That was splendid, what a useful man you are! How, then, can it become 'not I, but Christ'? Well, we must above all else see the reality and danger of the thing, we must look at it frankly, and choose to be free of its domination. The worst and the saddest part of it is its deception. It says, How that fits So-and-so, not me. But you must pass sentence upon it, or it will pass sentence upon you."

    "Through the victory won on Calvary we enter into newness of life; and as the old nature seeks to assert its supremacy, each uprising of it must be handed over to the Lord Jesus Christ, that He may deal with it. That He has dealt with it, through His death on the Cross, in a way which satisfies God and makes deliverance possible for us, is the foundational fact for Christian life and work." -G.W.

    "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life"(Galatians 6:8).


    There’s nothing that can be done against our sinful nature—the “old man”, except continually yield it to the Holy Spirit (Rom 6:13) and He applies the Cross of Christ to it. We take it up, “daily” (Luk 9:23), but He applies it, “so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal 5:17).

    Neither feel guilty because of the sinful self (1Jo 3:20), nor glory in the divine-partaker of the new self, but glory in the Lord (1Cr 1:31; 2Cr 10:17) because of His continual victory over sin in our lives.

    -NC

    1-30. SPIRITUAL BALANCE

    "Not I, but Christ" (Galatians 2:20).

    Any abiding spiritual progress must be based upon our taking sides with God against the old life. Why? "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7). "Enmity" knows no reconciliation; crucifixion is the only alternative!

    "The life of Christ is the holiness of Christ. The reason we so often fail in the pursuit of holiness is that the old life, the flesh, in its own strength seeks for holiness as a beautiful garment to wear and enter heaven with. It is the daily death to self out of which the life of Christ rises up." -A.W.T.

    "In receiving Christ we receive the divine-human life, a life that is death to the life of fallen nature, which finds its fruit in sin and self. The tragic mistake of thousands of believers is in trying to live in two worlds at the same time in nature and in God, in self and in Christ, in the flesh and in the Spirit, by faith and in independence, by abiding and by effort. To have life is not enough: the life of the Lord Jesus demands the death of the flesh, if that life is to be fully developed and become fruitful in us. Here is the crux of the whole matter."

    "That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering, being made conformable unto His death" (Philippians 3:10




    1-31. WORTH WAITING FOR



    "But ye are sanctified but ye are justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:11).

    The fact of our position, which we can see in the Word, may take years to realize in life. Many believers feel that their appropriation of a truth must result in same-day experience of that doctrine. It is true that we are often given a foretaste, a brief experience of its reality, but we must then settle down to the daily processing of the Spirit, whereby He slowly and thoroughly translates the apprehended truth into character and walk. Paul testified, "I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12). He pressed toward the mark.

    "As a gift of grace, sanctification is conferred on each believer as soon as he believes. But it is a gift yet held on deposit, 'hid with Christ in God,' to be appropriated through daily communion and gradual apprehension. So, while the believer's realized sanctification appears painfully meager, at most a thin line of light, like the crescent of the new moon, yet he sees it ever complemented by the clear outlines of that rounded wholeness which is his in the Lord Jesus, and into which he is to be daily waxing till he grows to 'the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ' (Ephesians 4:13)" -A.J.G.

    "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:23).





    "That I may know Him" (Philippians 3:10).

    Immaturity is selfish; maturity is selfless. "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30). "The question for the tried and tempted, the harassed and oppressed, is this: 'Which would you rather have, the power of Christ's hand in deliverance from trial, or the sympathy of His heart in the midst of trial?' The carnal mind, the unsubdued heart, the restless spirit, will, no doubt, at once exclaim, 'Oh! let Him only put forth His power and deliver me from this insupportable trial, this intolerable burden, this crushing difficulty. I sigh for deliverance. I only want deliverance.'

    "But the spiritual mind, the subdued heart, the lowly spirit, will say, and that without a single particle of reserve, 'Let me only enjoy the sweet company of the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ in my trial, and I ask no more. I do not want even the power of His hand to deprive me of one drop of consolation supplied by the tender love and profound sympathy of His heart. I know He can deliver me, but if He does not see fit to do so, if it does not fall in with His unsearchable counsels, and harmonize with His wise and faithful purpose concerning me so to do, I know it is only to lead me into a deeper and richer realization of His most precious sympathy.'" -C.H.M.

    "The same faith that sees glory for us at the end of the path sees God for us all through the path. This is the secret of real strength. What unbelief does is to compare ourselves and our own strength with circumstances. What faith does is to compare God with circumstances."

    "For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ" (2 Corinthians 1

    “The life of a mature Christian is the life of the vicariously-lived life of Christ. The Lord Himself—through the Spirit, lives His life in us and is evident by the works of righteousness which He does using us.

    “I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh (physical body) I live by the faith of the Son of God” (Gal 2:20). “By”, not on the faith of Christ. We live on and in Christ, by or through faith. We do not live on faith but by faith, because it’s Christ we live on.” -NC

    “By the faith of the Son of God”: “not that faith which Christ, as man, had, but that of which He is the author and object, by which the just man lives; not upon it, for the believer does not live upon any of his graces, no, not upon faith, but by faith on Christ, the object; looking to Him for pardon, righteousness, peace, joy, comfort, every supply of grace, and eternal salvation: which object is described as "the Son of God"; who is truly God, equal with His Father; so that he did not live upon a creature, or forsake the fountain of living waters, but upon the only begotten Son of God, who is full of grace and truth.” –J Gill

    2-2. FACT FINDING

    "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord" (2 Peter 1:2).

    We cannot too highly value and appreciate heart-hunger for the Word. It is of the Spirit of Truth. We may have been born again without knowing much of the Bible, but we certainly are not going to grow to any extent apart from a careful and persistent study of the Word of God. Yes, the maturing believer is a Spirit-dependent student of the Scriptures, "whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1.4).

    "Christian progress is not a question of attaining to some abstract standard, or of pressing through to some far-off goal. It is wholly a question of seeing God's standard in God's Word. You advance spiritually by finding out what you really are (in Christ), not by trying to become what you hope to be. That goal you will never reach, however earnestly you may strive.

    "It is when you see you are dead unto sin that you die to it (daily); it is when you see you are risen that you arise; it is when you see you are a 'new creation' in Him that you (progressively) grow. Seeing the accomplished fact in the Word determines the pathway to the realizing of that fact. The end is reached by seeing, not by desiring or working. The only possibility of spiritual progress lies in our discovering the truth as God sees it; the truth concerning Christ, the truth concerning ourselves in Christ." -W.N.

    "Come and see the works of God" (Psalm 66:5).



    2-3. NEED, THEN SUPPLY



    "Not as though I had already attained. . . but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also l am apprehended of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12).

    The heavenly Husbandman develops a believer on the same principle that He does a tree: planting, growth, consolidation, rest, and then more growth. There are stages. We are shown our sin and need--self. Then we hunger for freedom and life--Christ. This is a progression. At first, we consider the shocking revelation of self the greatest of calamities; later, we realize that it is the pathway to the blessed revelation of our life in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    "Before we can take on the likeness of the Lord Jesus, we must see ourselves and know how we look; we must be brought into the place where we are not dismayed nor cast down when we discover how little we are conformed to His image. It is only as we see our need, that we can be supplied." -C.McI.

    "It does us no good, but only discourages us if we see our failures and shortages and do not behold the beauty of Christ, and apprehend and experience our sufficiency in Him. On the other hand, if we see only what we are in Him and do not discern our defects; if we do not apprehend that which must be appropriated and worked out in us; if we do not see all that must be put off, and that Christ must be put on in actual control and manifestation, we become self-satisfied and puffed up--we lose our invaluable 'need.'" -C.McI.

    "I certainly do count everything as loss compared with the priceless privilege of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord" (Philippians 3:8, Wms.).

    "We should not be looking for confirmation but conformation. Though certain experiences can reveal truth, scripture and not experience is the final source to use as the base of our support because the Word of God shows what everything should be.

    Now that we’ve been delivered from sin’s guilt---by His blood, we need continued deliverance from sin’s rule---by His Cross:

    Christ’s blood only once applied
    But His cross continually
    To our old man we die
    (Rom 6:2)

    Our works are not to be the medium for salvation but the evidence of it and wherever we base our assurance for acceptance and security, there our trust for salvation will be." –NC


    2-4. FREEDOM'S FOUNDATION

    "I have been crucified with Christ, and I myself no longer live" (Galatians 2:20, Wms.).

    Upon conversion, the new believer feels that every opposition to a joyous, fruitful Christian life has been overcome once for all. Later, when the world and self begin to insinuate themselves once again, he thinks that determination and self-effort will keep him free. Finally, after a seemingly endless struggle, the defeated believer is brought back to the Cross. Here is the source of liberation from the power of self and the world.

    "Sinners are not saved until they trust the Savior, and saints are not delivered until they trust the Deliverer. God has made both possible through the Cross of His Son." -L.S.C.

    "The believer can never overcome the 'old man' even by the power of the 'new' apart from the work of the Cross, and therefore the death of Christ is indispensable, and unless the Cross is made the basis upon which he overcomes the 'old nature,' he only drops into another form of morality; in other words, he is seeking by self-effort to overcome sin and self, and the struggle is a hopeless one." -C.U.

    "Just as the Lord Jesus came into this world where this old humanity was and came into it not to ally Himself with it but to take it into death by the Cross, even so He now by the Holy Spirit, in regeneration, comes into us where there is this old fallen life and not to ally Himself with it, but to hold it in the place of death by the same means--His Cross." -N.D.

    "But may it never be mine to boast of anything but the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world!" (Galatians 6:14, Wms.).





    "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24).

    Are we aware of the importance of a personal assurance of salvation? Healthy spiritual growth is founded upon it. Many Christians seem unable to enter Romans Six and Eight simply because they are not truly established in Romans Three, Four and Five. Full assurance as to our eternal security in the Lord Jesus is the basis for the ever-deepening experience of our identification with Him.

    "The defect in souls in general is the incompleteness of their conversion. It is pardon that is apprehended and not acceptance. Acceptance embraces God's side--how He feels, and this should be chief, for we as sinners have offended Him. The offender has been removed from His eye by a Man--the Lord Jesus Christ, and He can receive us on the ground of the Man who glorified Him in bearing our judgment.

    "We cannot enjoy acceptance but in the way in which it was acquired or effected for us, and if we are in the acceptance we know that no improvement of the flesh could commend us to God, and that we cannot be before Him but in Christ. But if we are in any degree dark as to the crucifixion of the old man, we are not in acceptance experientially, we are not in the daily benefit of it, and our liberty by the Spirit can never go beyond our conscious acceptance." -J.B.S.

    "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2).



    2-6. HEART OF ROMANS



    "Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead" (Romans 6:13).

    Deliverance from the reign of sin, and liberty in the life of Christ, are set forth as a doctrinal unit in Romans Six, Seven and Eight. This area of truth has but one key--the Cross. This is the great master key to spiritual life and liberty.
    When we begin to comprehend Romans Six, we know that our death in Christ unto sin was completed at Calvary. When we have been in Romans Seven for a time, we come to realize that we have been struggling to produce that which God has already accomplished for us in Christ. When we thereby come to Romans Eight, we know at last that the Holy Spirit will produce in our experience what God completed for us on the Cross and in Christ our life.

    "In Romans Six we see the foundation of our deliverance--the fact that we died with Christ; and also the conditions of our deliverance--that we reckon ourselves dead unto sin and yield to God as those that are alive from the dead. Romans Eight tells us the means and the method of our deliverance--that it is through the blessed Holy Spirit alone that we are actually delivered in everyday life, from sin's reign; the moment we cease from all our own efforts and let Him do all the work, He will begin delivering us from the power of sin. How long it takes some of us to come to the end of our own efforts can be seen in Romans Seven!" -W.R.N.

    "That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:4).





    "For they disciplined us only a short time, as it seemed proper to them; but He does it for our good, in order that we may share His holy character" (Hebrews 12:10, Wms.).

    It is only natural to feel that our need requires immediate victory, but the truth is that we cannot come to maturity apart from the Holy Spirit's processing and development of our life, day by day. A quick and easy victory would cripple our usefulness in these two ways: we would not understand the all-important principle of processing; we would not appreciate the needs of others. If we are unable to share, we abide alone like the grain of wheat that does not die.

    "So often in the battle we go to the Lord, and pray, and plead, and appeal for victory, for ascendancy, for mastery over the forces of evil and death, and our thought is that in some way the Lord is going to come in with a mighty exercise of power and put us into a place of spiritual maturity as in an act. We must have this mentality corrected. What the Lord does is to enlarge us to possess. He takes us through some exercise, through some experience, takes us by some way which means our spiritual expansion, an increase of spirituality so we occupy the larger place spontaneously because of our growth 'I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased' (Exodus 23:29, 30)." -T. A-S.

    "Now for the time being no discipline [child-training] seems to be pleasant; it is painful; later on, however, to those who are trained by it, it yields the fruit of peace which grows from upright character" (Hebrews 12:11, Wms.).



    seems to be pleasant; it is painful; later on, however, to those who are trained by it, it yields the fruit of peace which grows from upright character" (Hebrews 12:11, Wms.).
    2-9. EXPERIENCE SUPERSEDED



    "And they who know Thy Name will put their trust in Thee" (Psalm 9:10).

    Our experiences must be judged by God's Word, never the Word judged by our experiences. Normally, the Spirit of Truth will reveal a truth to us from the Scriptures and, as we exercise faith in what we have been shown, will begin to take us into the experience of it. Abnormally, a Christian will yearn for an 'experience,' and then attempt to find corroboration for it in the Word.

    "Knowledge must carry the torch before faith." Always give God's Word first place, "for the Word of God liveth and worketh, and is sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, yea, to the inmost parts thereof, and judging the thoughts and imaginations of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12, Cony.).

    "A person may easily know his sins forgiven, but it is a further truth to know that he himself has 'died to sin.' He finds this conflicts with his experience. Suppose I tell you a debt of a thousand pounds which you owed was paid by someone, it would not be a question of experience, but of simply believing my statement. Just so with God. He tells us our sins are forgiven, and it is a question whether we believe Him. But when He tells us we have died to sin, we look inside and say, 'Ah, sin is still at work; how is that?' A person must be taught of God to know really the truth that he has died to sin." -J.N.D.

    "It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God" (Luke 4:4).





    "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me" (Psalm 138:8).

    After the believer enters into life by faith, he wonders why it was so difficult for him to see that it was all of grace--the humble reception of a finished work. And yet he goes through the faithless struggle once again before he sees that his daily Christian life is also a finished work--complete in Christ.

    "'God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord' (1 Corinthians 1:9). What believers need is the simple faith that the establishing in Christ, day by day, is God's work--a work that He delights to do, in spite of all our weakness and unfaithfulness, if we will but trust Him for it. To the blessedness of such faith, and the experience it brings, many can testify. What peace and rest, to know that there is a Husbandman who cares for the branch, to see that it grows stronger; who watches over every hindrance and danger, who supplies every needed aid!

    "What peace and rest, fully and finally to give up our abiding into the care of the Father, and never have a wish or thought, never to offer a prayer or engage in an exercise connected with it, without first having the glad remembrance that what we do is only the manifestation of what our Father is doing in us! The establishing in Christ is His work: He accomplishes it by stirring us to watch, and wait, and work." -A.M.

    "Now He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, . . . is God" (2 Corinthians 1:21).



    2-11. PROFIT





    "Heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ--sharing His inheritance with Him; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory" (Romans 8:17, Amp.).

    The term "profit and loss" is reversed in the Christian life to "loss and profit." The principle never varies: our losses are all in the realm of the old, never the new. Every loss in the life of self brings greater gain and profit in the new--our life in Christ. And, conversely, every gain for the self-life is loss for our growth and His glory. "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ" (Philippians 3:7).

    "It is not the design of God to deprive His children of happiness, but only to pour the cup of bitterness into that happiness which the believer has in anything outside of Christ." -F.F.

    "Everything that tries us, that is a check upon us, that causes exercise of heart, and makes us sensible of weakness in ourselves, is of the nature of chastisement (child-training). It may come in the way of difficulties in the path of faith; or in the shape of such trials and sorrows as are common to all men--loss of property, loss of health, or bereavement; or it may be as the governmental consequences of sin; but in one way or other all have it. It is 'for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness' (Hebrews 12:10). That is, it serves to break down that which is not of God in us, that the life of the Lord Jesus might be made manifest." -C.A.C.

    "When He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold" (Job 23:10).



    2-12. THE CROSS FOR SELF




    "I have been crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20, ASV).

    The Cross is the height of paradox; it is at once God's greatest agony, and His eternal glory. For the growing believer it means daily crucifixion, and at the same time freedom from the penalty and the power of sin and self. "But may it never be mine to boast of anything but the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world!" (Galatians 6:14, Wms.).

    "We need to enter deeply into the truth that Christ the Beloved Son of the Father could not return to the glory of Heaven until He had first given Himself over to death. As this great principle opens up to us, it will help us to understand how in our life, and in our fellowship with the Lord Jesus, it is impossible for us to share the fullness of His life until we have first in very deed surrendered ourselves every day as having died to sin and the world."

    "Many believers appear to think that when once they have claimed Christ's death in the fellowship of the Cross, and have counted themselves crucified with Him, they may now consider it as past and done with. They do not as yet understand that it is in the crucified Christ, and in the fellowship of His death, that they are to abide daily and unceasingly. The fellowship of the Cross is to be the life of a daily walk--His taking the form of a servant, His humbling Himself and becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross; this mind that was in the Lord Jesus is to be the disposition that marks our daily life."

    "Have this mind [attitude] in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5, ASV).





    "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Romans 8:9).


    The believer knows that he is indwelt by the Holy Spirit on the testimony of the written Word; others know when the believer is filled with the Holy Spirit by the growing manifestation of the Living Word.

    "There are believers who need the reminder that deeper than mind and feeling and will, deeper than the soul, where these have their seat, in the depths of the renewed spirit, there comes, at re-birth, the Holy Spirit to dwell forever. His indwelling is there, first of all, and all through, to be recognized by faith. Even when I cannot see the least evidence of His working, I am quietly and reverently to believe that He dwells in me. In that faith I am restfully and trustfully to count upon His working, and to wait for it. In that faith I must very distinctly deny my own wisdom and strength, and in childlike self-abnegation depend upon Him to work.


    "His first workings may be so feeble and hidden that I can hardly recognize them as coming from Him; they may appear to be nothing more than the voice of conscience, or the familiar sound of some Bible truth. Here is the time for faith to hold fast the Master's promise and the Father's gift, and to trust that the Holy Spirit is within and will guide. Out of the hidden depths His power will move and take possession of mind and will, and the indwelling in the hidden recesses of the spirit will grow into a being filled with His fullness." -A.M.


    "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His" (Romans 8:9).


    We do well to know that the Christian life is to be the vicariously-lived Christ-life; not us trying to live the Christ-life but a “yielded life to God” (Rom 6:13), so that Christ can un-hinderingly live His life in and by us—through His Spirit. This involves understanding that we partake of all godly attributes, e.g. righteousness, justification, sanctification, holiness, etc., by way of imputation ((1Cr 1:30), not impartation, because everything we have in Christ originates from and is permanently retained (Jude 1:24) by Him. –NC

    2-16. LEGAL CONFLICT

    "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1)

    If we are weak in understanding the principle of complete justification by faith, we will be strong in seeking to produce our own sanctification.

    "In Romans Seven Paul is describing the inevitable conflict that every believer knows when he undertakes to lead a holy life on the principle of legality. He feels instinctively that the law is spiritual, but that he himself, for some unexplained reason, is fleshly, carnal, and in bondage to sin. This discovery is one of the most heart-breaking a Christian ever made. Yet each one must and does make it for himself at some time in his pilgrimage.

    "The believer finds himself doing things he knows to be wrong, and which his inmost desires are opposed to; while what he yearns to do he fails to accomplish, and does, instead, what he hates. But this is the first part of a great lesson which all must learn who would matriculate (enroll) in God's school. It is the lesson of no confidence in 'the flesh'; and until it is learned there can be no true progress in growth. The incorrigibility of the flesh must be realized before one is ready to turn altogether from self to Christ for sanctification, as he has already done for justification." -H.A.I.
    "As conviction of guilt goes before known justification, so the experiential knowledge of self before sanctification. No effort clears the guilt; no effort effects the growth."

    "That they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith" (Acts 26:18).

    The enemy of the believer can hinder his fellowship with God but cannot produce anything against his union with God (John 10:29; Rom 8:35, 38, 39). Understanding our position in Christ helps us to properly deal with our condition in life.

    The Father has identified the believer’s spiritual life with His Son in where He is—in Heaven with the Father (Eph 2:6) and what He is—Son of the Father (Rom 8:16).

    Our condition on Earth—victorious or not, cannot effect our position in Heaven because “it is finished” (John 19:30). Regardless of our understanding, the knowledge of our place in Heaven can always be used as an aid while we “endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2Ti 2:3), “because as He is, so are we in this world” (1Jo 4:17).



    2-17. HIGHLY PLACED

    "O our God . . . we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee" (2 Chronicles 20:12).

    Many believers have gone only as far as justification can take them--spiritual birth, and a bit beyond. There they stagnate, in dire need of the fresh streams of living water that come from seeing their position in Christ. "God . . . hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). "Always begin with your position, where you are; and then think of your condition, what you are." -R.P.

    "Christians are at their wits' end. Many have given up the fight. They still go to church; but secretly they feel that victory is out of the question. They have no weapons for such an hour. Frankly, they have capitulated to the prince of this world, for all their efforts to rout the foe have failed.

    "But victory is the believer's right, as truly his as the air he breathes. However, he must understand the conditions. He must see himself enthroned with Christ. He must see himself according to God's own Holy Word, as crucified with the Lord Jesus, dead, buried, raised and made to sit in heavenly places with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Without this he will go down in ignominious defeat in spite of all his strivings and his prayers. With this position he is more than conqueror through Him who loved him and gave Himself for him." -F.J.H.

    "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith"(1 John 5:4).

    The enemy of the believer can hinder his fellowship with God but cannot produce anything against his union with God (John 10:29; Rom 8:35, 38, 39). Understanding our position in Christ helps us to properly deal with our condition in life.

    The Father has identified the believer’s spiritual life with His Son in where He is—in Heaven with the Father (Eph 2:6) and what He is—Son of the Father (Rom 8:16).

    Our condition on Earth—victorious or not, cannot effect our position in Heaven because “it is finished” (John 19:30). Regardless of our understanding, the knowledge of our place in Heaven can always be used as an aid while we “endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2Ti 2:3), “because as He is, so are we in this world” (1Jo 4:17).



    2-17. HIGHLY PLACED

    "O our God . . . we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee" (2 Chronicles 20:12).

    Many believers have gone only as far as justification can take them--spiritual birth, and a bit beyond. There they stagnate, in dire need of the fresh streams of living water that come from seeing their position in Christ. "God . . . hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3). "Always begin with your position, where you are; and then think of your condition, what you are." -R.P.

    "Christians are at their wits' end. Many have given up the fight. They still go to church; but secretly they feel that victory is out of the question. They have no weapons for such an hour. Frankly, they have capitulated to the prince of this world, for all their efforts to rout the foe have failed.

    "But victory is the believer's right, as truly his as the air he breathes. However, he must understand the conditions. He must see himself enthroned with Christ. He must see himself according to God's own Holy Word, as crucified with the Lord Jesus, dead, buried, raised and made to sit in heavenly places with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Without this he will go down in ignominious defeat in spite of all his strivings and his prayers. With this position he is more than conqueror through Him who loved him and gave Himself for him." -F.J.H.

    "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith"(1 John 5:4).


    "Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love" (1 Thessalonians 1:3).


    The Cross cost God all that He had, for us. That same Cross will cost us all that we are, for Him, for growth, for others."For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you" (2 Corinthians 4:11,12).


    "Devotion, utter devotion, to God's purpose concerning His people, is going to make the uttermost demand upon any servant of God. It is going to test and find out our spirit of service. And if we are going to be used of God in this utter way, it is going to bring us to the point where we have nothing left to fall back upon, either of personal interest, position, or blessing: it is simply a matter of God, and God only! If God does not do it, we are finished. We have no alternative; we have no second line; we are in this matter of the Lord's purpose to the last drop of blood. The purpose of God in His people will demand that. It is no use--we cannot have any alternatives; we cannot have a second course: it is everything or nothing." -T. A-S.


    "There are those who would be more useful in the Lord's work if only they were more devoted. They are absorbed in something else, and this not only distracts them from their work, but when they do set themselves to it, there is not that maturity, that finished condition of soul, that knowledge of hearts, and of the way in which the Word suits itself to their needs, which gives lasting value to ministry." -J.N.D.


    "They loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12.11).


    Our decisions are based on what we desire and for the believer, the Father—through the Spirit, is ever at work causing us to choose rightly. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for [His] good pleasure” (Phil2:13). “Therefore choose life that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deu 30:19).

    Self cannot cast out self anymore then “Satan can cast out Satan”, so it must be done by an external entity—the Holy Spirit. “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal 5:17).

    This accomplishment is not a legal matter, such as our good works overcoming the indwelling sin, because our good works are for the sole purpose of acknowledging God (Mat 5:16). It’s a matter of Grace, by just being aware of our old, Adamic nature and continually yielding it to Christ’s atonement, then“casting your care” of it on Him (1Pe 5:7). The Spirit through the Cross’s power will “bind the strong man” (Mat 12:29) and you will noticeably grow in your fellowship with the Father and the Son. -NC

    “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD (Zec 4:6).


    2-19. NOT OBLIGATED

    "The carnal mind is enmity against God" (Romans 8:7).

    Early in the Christian life we naturally feel that it is our obligation to overcome self and become spiritual. We do not yet realize that time and processing are required before we are able to give up self-effort for our growth. It is the work of the Holy Spirit, not our obligation. "God hath chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit" (2 Thessalonians 2:13)."

    The self-life is surely our first and most bitter foe, and the believer who will serve God acceptably must learn His way of victory over this subtle and dangerous enemy. The flesh is irrecoverably fallen and you and I make no real progress in the Christian life until we have learned in experience to say with the apostle: 'For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh dwelleth no good thing' (Romans 7:18)." -J.C.M.

    "Paul's great endeavor, in all his great struggle of Romans Seven, was to make 'the flesh,' his old self-life, consent to do that holy law which his new self approved. Paul had not yet despaired of himself. The fact is, he had not yet realized the absolute distinction between the old and the new creations. And it was through this terrible experience that he found the new or 'inward' man to be distinct from the old man; that the realm of 'the spirit' was absolutely separate from that of 'the flesh', that all of the old self, with its life and energy, was to be despaired of, not sanctified."

    "For it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7).


    "Neither give place to the devil" (Ephesians 4:27).


    To a large extent, we will be pawns of the devil until we stand on the specific facts of the Bible and assert, "I belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, and am a new creation in Him on the basis of the finished work of Calvary. He is my life; my death in Him on the Cross separated me from the dominion of all the old creation. As far as my Lord and I are concerned, Satan, sin, self, the world, and the law, all are on the other side of that death." "We never get into conflict with Satan until we realize our privileges in Christ. We cannot cross the Jordan without finding the Canaanites in the land."


    "Satan may challenge my clearance and my acceptance; he may raise all kinds of questions about what I am and what I have done, but he can raise no questions as to the worthiness or acceptance of my Savior. The forgiven man is on an altogether new ground with God; he is on the ground of grace--grace which is set forth in Christ. The apprehension of this is redemption, and it puts the soul beyond the reach of the oppression and harassing of the enemy." -C.A.C.


    "If the first step in the Christian course were definitely understood the saints would have a happier time. If they saw that the power of the old man was broken on the Cross, and that in Christ they are new creations before God, they would walk here in deliverance. 'You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.'" -J.B.S.


    "Your great accuser, the Devil, is going about like a roaring lion to see whom he can devour. Withstand him, firm in your faith" (1 Peter 5:8,9, Wey.).



    "So then let us once for all quit the elementary teaching about Christ and continue progressing; toward maturity"(Hebrews 6:1, Wms.).


    When the standard of the Christian life is low, the responsibility for growth is placed upon the believer. But when it is known that God's standard for us is His Son, all expectation of maturity must be placed in Him--"for it is God which worketh in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).


    "The Lord Jesus Christ is the Christian's very life, and the Holy Spirit dwells within our spirit to manifest Him, to work out all that is in Him and to reproduce Him in us. We must remember that there is something in the sight of God that is higher than work. There is Christ-likeness. That is our Father's purpose, and it is His work." -A.M.


    "It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to the Lord Jesus. A holy ministry is an awful weapon in the hands of God." -R.M.Mc.


    "In a great many evangelical churches the Gospel of salvation is magnificently presented, seekers are led to Christ; but the totality of the Gospel, the Gospel in its ultimate category, is by no means so clearly presented, nor maybe even understood by teacher as well as pupil. It is evidenced by exhortation to Christian living being mainly challenges to pray more, study more, give more, witness more, surrender more. The emphasis is predominantly on the active dedication of the Christian to his Lord, and to a much less degree on the dynamic remolding of the believer by his Lord."


    "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:10).


    Until I receive further confirmation from WithChrist.org, I will no longer be posting Hungry Heart material. You can view it from the above site. My apologies and God’s blessings to you.
     
  7. Netchaplain

    Netchaplain Ordained Chaplain

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    I thank the Lord and WithChrist.org for allowing us to continue to share the Hungry Heart material with one another!
    I'll be posting two each for four days so all the websites who receive this will catch up to the non-websites I message this material.


    2-22. WAITING ON GOD

    "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him" (Psalm 37:7).

    In times of crisis, we are prone to question His care; in times of calm, we tend to forget our need of His care.

    "Don't look at earthly difficulties. Saul said, 'Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not. . . therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me' (1 Sam. 13:11,12). It is fatal to look around and at consequences, especially in times of crisis, for it will be impossible to be still, and wait God's time for deliverance. Jesus came to them in the fourth watch of the night (Matthew 14:25). It is always His way. God is never behind time! However dark the path may be, wait; do not go before Him, don't force yourself, like Saul. 'The crisis demands action,' we say! Nay, 'dwell in stillness and wait for clearness'--wait until you are sure of the will of God, and leave the 'Philistines' to Him." -T. A-S.

    "Victory comes through the reckoning of faith and not through struggling and striving. 'But,' it may be asked, 'are we not exhorted to 'fight the good fight'? Yes, that is so, but you must please finish the text, 'Fight the good fight of faith,' and faith never struggles for victory. Faith stands in victory."

    "The unbelieving heart looks at the circumstances, and leaves God out. Faith, on the contrary, looks only at God, and leaves circumstances out. Faith delights in man's extremity, simply because it is God's opportunity. It delights in being 'shut up' to God--in having the platform thoroughly cleared of the creature, in order that God may display His glory."

    'My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him" (Psalm 62:5).

    2-23. MOUNT SINAI, MOUNT ZION

    "For you have not come to a material object all ablaze with fire, and to gloom and darkness and storm and trumpet-blast and the sound of words" (Hebrews 12:18, Wey.).

    Most of us know that we are not under the Law as summarized in the Ten Commandments, yet we continue to labor under the principle of law. We seek to attain, instead of to obtain. Not until we are driven to the end of Romans Seven will we know the freedom of Romans Eight.

    "So long as one thinks that his blessing depends in any way, or in any degree, upon himself, he is under the shadow of Sinai, and naturally we all gravitate in that direction. Many truly converted persons are more occupied with themselves, and in trying to improve their own condition, than in seeking to learn the grace of God. The result is that where there is a shallow work in the soul they get lifted up with pride and conceit, and perhaps deceive themselves so far as to think there is no sin in them.

    "On the other hand, if souls are upright and sincere they get into terrible distress, and experience what it is to have to do with Sinai-blackness, darkness, and tempest, so that a holy man like Moses could only 'exceedingly fear and quake.' Thank God! we are not come to that mountain, but to another--even to Mount Zion." -C.A.C.

    "On the contrary you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the ever-living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to countless hosts of angels, to the great festal gathering and Church of the first-born, whose names are recorded in Heaven" (Hebrews 12:22,23, Wey.).

    2-24. ABIDING FAITH

    "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him" (Colossians 2:6).

    One day we came to Him in utter need and reliance, and received life. Every day we are to abide in Him in utter need and reliance, that He may live that life in and through us. We are born again by faith, and we are to live anew by faith. "He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).

    "There are earnest Christians who are jealous for a free Gospel, with acceptance of Christ, and justification by faith alone. But after this they think everything depends on their diligence and faithfulness. While they firmly grasp the truth, 'justified by faith,' they have hardly noticed the larger truth, 'the just shall live by faith.' They have not yet understood what a perfect Savior the Lord Jesus is, and how He will each day do for the sinner just as much as He did the first day when they came to Him.

    "They know not that the life of grace is always and only a life of faith, and that in the relationship to the Lord Jesus the one daily and unceasing duty of the disciple is to believe, because believing is the one channel through which Divine grace and strength can flow into the heart of man. The old nature of the believer remains evil and sinful to the last; it is only as he daily comes, all empty and helpless, to his Savior to receive of His life and strength, that he can bring forth the fruits of righteousness to the glory of God." -A.M.

    "Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving" (Colossians 2:7).

    __________________________________________________________________________________________

    Fellowship with God is the ultimate obtainment with man and the degree of that fellowship is determined by the nearness of its union. To be in Christ involves more unification than to follow Him. To follow Christ is to attain an exemplary of Christ's life but to be in Christ is to obtain the life of Christ Himself which He lives out in us. “I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20).
    -NC

    2-25. UNITY OF DESIGN

    "So now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death" (Philippians 1:20).

    If we look to other Christians as examples to follow, we will soon be discouraged by the prevailing low standard. If we look to Christ as our example, we will be utterly discouraged because of His infinitely high standard. Hence it is essential that we understand that the Lord Jesus Christ is our life; He is not a legal example to emulate, but the source of life from which we grow.

    "It is not in any conventional standard of frames and feelings that the disciple is to find the measure of attainment required of him. It is not by any painful reproducing of another's spiritual history that he is to acquire the true comfort of spirit which he longs for.

    Outward imitation, though it be of the perfect Example Himself, has little place in the order of spiritual growth--little place because little possibility. 'Without Me (i.e., apart from Me, in separation from Me) ye can do nothing.' To abide in Christ is the only secret of Christlikeness; for only thus is obtained the likeness of unity, which is perfect and enduring, instead of the likeness of conformity, which is only partial and transient." -A.J.G.

    "In the pathway of discipline and trial we learn by bitter experience the truth of Paul's confession, 'In me. . . in my flesh dwelleth no good thing.' Coupled with that is the lesson that God waits with infinite patience, like the potter, to work out a design and beauty with such frail material." -M.H.F.

    "And He is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in all things He might have the preeminence" (Colossians 1:18).

    2-26. ACCEPTABLE CONSECRATION

    "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7).

    If a Christian does not realize his identification with Christ in His death, he does not know true consecration. Crucifixion is the path to, and foundation of, consecration. The deeper truths are not entered into through consecration--they are its basis. "The price of consecration is crucifixion."

    "'Present yourself unto God as alive from the dead' (Romans 6:13). This is the true ground of consecration. For believers to 'consecrate themselves to God' ere they have learnt their union with Christ in death and resurrection is only to present to God the members of the natural man, which He cannot use. Only those 'alive from the dead'--that is, having appropriated their likeness with Him in death--are bidden to present their members as instruments unto God."

    "The modern teaching of consecration, which is tantamount to the consecration of the 'old man,' seeks to bypass the death sentence and therefore only leads to frustration and failure. When, however, you and I are prepared, in simple humility, to make the fact of our death with Christ our daily basis of life and service, there is nothing that can prevent the uprising and outflow of new life, and meet the need of thirsty souls around us." -J.C.M.
    "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors bound not to the Flesh, that we should live after the Flesh [but to the Spirit]"(Romans 8:12, Cony.).


    2-27. FACTUAL FREEDOM

    "You were set free from the tyranny of sin" (Romans 6:18, Wey.).

    There are two extremes that keep many of us in bondage. The one is ignorance as to the possibility of freedom; the other, ignorance as to the extent of freedom. Careful attendance to the facts of the Word will solve both these crippling conditions.

    "The New Testament teaches that the flesh is representatively dead in virtue of the Cross, but it nowhere says it will become actually dead by standing on that fact. What it does say is that, when reckoning the fact true, self will lose its governing power over me. In Romans Six we find that through the death of Christ, sin shall not have dominion over you--the idea is of bondage, ruling, governing, dominating. There is no such view presented as the annihilation of the thing, the exclusion of its presence, but the loss of its governing power. So you see if we are looking for the actual death of the old nature in us, we are looking for something that will never come to pass in this life." -N.D.

    "Our Lord has never promised that we shall be able to look within, and say that self is gone. Whilst we really believe God's Word that we have died with Christ unto sin, and count upon Him as the Living One to manifest His life through us, others will see that self is inoperative, whilst we are occupied with Christ."

    "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free" (Galatians 5:1).

    2-28. CANAAN CONFLICT

    "We will pass over armed before the Lord into the land of Canaan, that the possession of our inheritance . . . may be ours" (Numbers 32:32).

    If our Lord were to give rest from the processing required for spiritual growth, by what means would He accomplish His work in us? True, the war has been won at Calvary, but there are many "mopping up" battles to be fought. Victory is ours, but we must learn how to wear our armor and handle our weapons. We must also come to know and appreciate our Captain as we enter into what He has accomplished on our behalf.

    "The Christian who imagines that life in the Promised Land is one of rest from temptation and conflict, is due for a surprise. There is not less temptation, but more strong and subtle temptation. There is no less conflict, but more constant conflict. The difference lies in the fact that in Canaan the battle is not fought under our own leadership, but under that of the Victorious Man with the drawn sword, who has never suffered defeat. It is not rest from conflict, but rest in conflict. In Canaan, Israel lost only one battle in seven years, and that was because of culpable disobedience and sin." -O.S.

    "It has been well said that spiritual believers are honored with warfare in the front line areas. There the fiercest pressure of the enemy is known. But they are also privileged to witness the enemy's crushing defeat, so abundant is the power of God, and thus highly is the spiritual believer honored." -L.S.C.

    "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper.... This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord" (Isaiah 54:17).

    2-29. LIBERATED From LEGALITY

    "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).

    One of the most subtle, tenacious, and all-pervading errors amongst Christians is slavery to the legal principle (the Galatian error). And, as in deliverance from the power of sin, there is no freedom from law apart from the death we shared in Christ on the Cross. "You too in the body of Christ have ended your relation to the law" (Romans 7:4, Wms.).

    "It is a harmful perversion of the truth of God to teach (as did the Puritan theologians) that while we are not to keep the law as a means of salvation, we are under it as a 'rule of life.' Let a Christian only confess, 'I am under the law,' and straightway Moses fastens his yoke upon him, despite all his protests that the law has lost its power.

    "Men have to be delivered from the whole legal principle, from the entire sphere where law reigns, ere true liberty can be found. This was accomplished on the Cross. There we 'died unto the law' (Galatians 2:19); we were there 'discharged from the law' (Romans 6:14). And those who believe this enter the blessed sphere where grace reigns. The Holy Spirit, indwelling the believer, performs in him the will of God, whose will, at last, is a delight (Romans 8:3,4; 12:2)." -W.R.N.

    "Law taught me to love my neighbors as myself--made my love for self the measure of my duty to my neighbor. Christianity looks for having no self at all, but giving up ourselves for our neighbors."

    "He Himself, through Jesus Christ, accomplishing through you what is pleasing to Him" (Hebrews 13:21, Wms.).


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Pre-cross, Christ’s disciples would “take up their cross” (Mat 16:24). This involved emulating Christ’s pre-cross life of cheerfully and patiently enduring afflictions and evil, which was just an external work performed by themselves until Christ’s ascension provided the Spirit’s internal work of applying Christ’s cross to our old self (Rom 8:13). Everything pre-cross was externally temporary. Everything post-cross is internally eternal (John 14:16).

    The Blood of Christ addresses the symptom—sins, which provides forgiveness from sins (Eph 1:7); the Cross of Christ addresses the cause—sin (old self), which provides immunity to the tyranny of sin (Rom 6:12, 14).

    Before the Spirit was given (John 7:39), our sinful nature could only be identified and addressed externally through legal obedience and the old nature still ruled the believer’s thoughts and emotions. Now that the Spirit has been given He, not us, restrains our sinful nature (Gal 5:17), which is still present (Rom 7:14-25), by His application of the Cross. The old nature, which remains post-regeneration, still effects our thoughts and emotions but not as it did pre-regeneration—as a ruler (Rom 6:12, 14). -NC



    2-30. ADMINISTRATION OF THE CROSS -MJS

    "For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3, ASV).

    It is futile for us to attempt to curb our sins while we ignore their source, the indwelling principle of sin. In trimming the branches (sins), we strengthen the root (self). Rather, as we count upon the finished work of Calvary, the Holy Spirit will apply the Cross to the old life. And as that death cuts deeper and deeper into the root, the branches will wither and fall away.

    "The Lord Jesus has been waiting for us to come to the end of our own efforts. He sends the call, 'Come back to the Cross.' At last we can see we have been standing and working on the wrong ground, and we hear Him say, 'It is you who are in My way. I can do My work myself. I simply need empty vessels. You parted with your sins, but you kept yourself. Come now, part with yourself, take your place where I put you. When I died you were in Me on that Cross.' 'Now I see! What next, Lord?' 'Now you pass to another sphere where you become aware that you are joined to Me as your life.'"

    "Our identification with Christ in His death was a death unto Sin--the principle of Sin as a master and a tyrant--Sin, not sins. The Holy Spirit is ready to apply that finished work of death to the depth of our self-life, until Sin loses its mastery at point after point. It goes deeper than the cutting off of visible and external things. The Cross deals with the cause, not symptoms."

    "Christ, who is our life" (Colossians 3:4).

    2-31. "KNOW YE NOT?"

    "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2).

    To deal directly with sin brings certain defeat to the Christian. Satan, sin, self, the world, and the law--all have been fully dealt with by the Lord Jesus on the Cross. Our dealings with these enemies are to be through the finished work of Calvary, hence indirect. This can be wonderful news to us when we have had enough of the struggle and failure of Romans Seven.

    "The believer who sees that self is incurably evil ('know'), and that it has been taken into death ('reckon'); who gives self utterly to that death as he sinks before God in dependence and surrender to His working ('yield'); who consents to death with Christ on the Cross as his position, and in faith accepts it as his only deliverance; he alone is prepared to be led by the Holy Spirit into the full enjoyment of the Christ-life. He will learn to understand how completely death makes an end of all self-effort, and now, as he lives in Christ to God, everything henceforth is to be the work of God Himself." -A.M.

    "It is not by renunciation, or effort, that we are morally apart from sin and self and the world, but by our death on the Cross with the Lord Jesus Christ."

    "Believers today seek the blessing and power of Pentecost apart from a personal crucifixion with Christ, and the result is a counterfeit experience. Calvary is always before Pentecost, historically and experientially. The only way into the riches of the fullness of Christ is through our acceptance of our crucifixion with Him." -L.L.L.

    "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Galatian 6:14).


    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Nothing in the Christian’s life which God causes to occur is ever out of punishment from anger but chastisement for correction. “For they indeed for a few days chastened [us] as seemed [best] to them, but He for [our] profit, that [we] may be partakers of His holiness” (Heb 12:10).

    It is an extremely comforting thing to realize God never does anything to His own out of anger, but always out of love. Even when we’ve mistakenly done wrong and think we may have incurred something undesirable, it doesn’t anger Him. Even though it may displease Him, He uses it to teach us. Regardless of what occurs in the believer’s life, God causes it to benefit him. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose” (Rom 8:28). -NC


    3-1. SOVEREIGN PROVIDENCE

    "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:11).

    Not only is God our Father not dead, but He is in eternal control of both life and death. He who is our very life is "the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom" (2 Timothy 4:1). The sovereignty of our God is not only universal, but also personal. What a source of heart rest!

    "We find in Romans 8:28 a great marvel: All things work together for good to the believing lovers of God. This involves that billion billion control of God's providence--of the most infinitesimal things--to bring them about for 'good' to God's saints.

    "When we reflect on the innumerable 'things' about us--forces seen and unseen of the mineral, vegetable, and animal worlds; on man at enmity with God; on Satan, and his principalities and powers, in deadly array; on the uncertainty and even treachery of those near and dear to us, and even of professing Christians, and of our own selves--which we cannot trust for a moment; upon our unredeemed bodies; upon our general complete helplessness in ourselves--then, to have God say, 'All things are working together for your good,'--reveals to us a Divine providence that is absolutely limitless." -W.R.N.

    "THERE IS NO LIMIT TO GOD'S FAVOR TOWARD THOSE IN CHRIST." -W.R.N.

    "All things are Thy servants" (Psalm 119:91, ASV). (WithChrist.org/mjs)
     
  8. Netchaplain

    Netchaplain Ordained Chaplain

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    3-2. REST OF FAITH[

    "In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God"(Philippians 4:6, ASV).

    Faith does not create or produce, but rests and rejoices in what God has already done. His finished work at Calvary was the basis for our birth, and His completed work in our risen Lord Jesus is the source of our growth. "For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved [daily delivered from sin's dominion] through His [resurrection] life" (Romans 5:10, Amp.).

    "A great many people have the faith that seeks, but they have not a faith that rests. The Lord Jesus is here, rest in Him, let the burden go. 'Lord, I trust Thee now; I abide in Thee now. Lord, as I think about my home problems, my business pressures, my personal difficulties in every sphere of life, I bring them all, and give them all to Thee.' And believe that He keeps you. I am sure this rest of faith is the center of all activity.

    "You cannot work without friction until you have this rest of faith--complete dependence not only on what the Lord has done, but on what He is to you this very moment. Rest in Him. 'God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye always [not sometimes] having all sufficiency in all things, may abound unto every good work' (2 Corinthians 9:8)." -E.H.

    "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus"(Philippians 4:7, ASV).





    3.3

    "Feed the flock of God which is among you" (1 Peter 5:2).

    It should grieve us to realize how many abandoned babes in Christ there are--spiritual orphans. In these days of spiritual dearth there is an ever-increasing need for the ministry of nurturing new believers, that they may be "rooted and built up in Him, and established" (Colossians 2:7). "The greatest proof of your love for Christ is that you care for those who belong to Him; 'if you love Me, feed My sheep'." -J.B.S.

    "Let us not feel that our task is done with the rebirth of a soul. The great burden of the Christian ministry should be that Christ may be formed in men, and that they, in turn, may be living witnesses to others. Notice Peter's words: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.' But for what purpose has all this been accomplished? He goes on to say, ' . . . that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light' (1 Peter 2:9). 'But ye are...that ye should.' We believe in Christ's power and desire to win others, but for what? The whole purpose of salvation is that men and women may grow in the deeper stable characteristics of the Christian life--that they might be conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ." -G.D.

    "The Christian life is not merely a converted life nor even a consecrated life, but it is the Christ-life. It is the consuming desire of the Lord Jesus to reincarnate Himself in the believer." -R.P.

    "Neither as being Lord over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock" (1 Peter 5:3).




    3-4. DOCTRINAL--EXPERIENTIAL

    "Ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you" (Romans 6:17).

    The only true, consistent, and Christ-honoring experience is that which emerges from clear-cut faith in the explicit facts of the Word. Sound doctrine is the one basis for a mature walk and effective service. "Thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus
    Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine" (1 Timothy 4:6).

    "We must remember that our death to sin was once for all accomplished at the Cross. There the believer shared the death of the Lord Jesus; for when he became a believer, the life he received was life in Christ, that is, life out of death, resurrection life, 'newness of life'; and the relation to sin and the law which Christ had, became those of the believer! Our experience of it all is simply the entering by faith into what has already happened at the Cross.

    "God now commands each of us to reckon ourselves as having died with Christ to sin--and therefore as now dead unto sin; and as having risen with Christ, and therefore now alive to God (Romans 6:11). Now it is always on the basis of what God has done that He asks us to reckon, to appropriate. God makes the facts and tells us to take the attitude that befits these facts; and when we obey, He increasingly works our experiential victory in and through us." -W.R.N.

    "Give attendance . . . to doctrine" (1 Timothy 4:13).


    3-5. SUBSTITUTE--REPRESENTATIVE

    "Crucified with Him" (Romans 6:6).

    Often when a believer finally sees his identification with the Lord Jesus in His death and resurrection, as set forth in Romans Six, he will then seek to experience it by self-effort. The net result: Romans Seven!

    "As our Substitute He went to the Cross alone, without us, to pay the penalty of our sins; as our Representative He took us with Him to the Cross, and there, in the sight of God, we all died together with the Lord Jesus. We may be forgiven because He died in our stead; we may be delivered because we died with Him.

    "God's way of deliverance for us, a race of hopeless incurables, is to put us away in the Cross of His Son, and then to make a new beginning by re-creating us in union with Him, the Risen, Living One. It is the Holy Spirit who will make these great facts real and true in our experience as we depend upon Him; and so the plague of our hearts will be stayed, and we shall go on to be conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ." -J.C.M.

    "The Holy Spirit so unites us to Christ that Christian experience becomes a reproduction in us of the essential facts of Christ's fourfold revelation He died unto sin: with Him we died (Colossians 2:20). He arose: with Him we are risen (Colossians 3:1). He is in heaven: our life is hid with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). He will appear again: with Him we shall appear in glory (Colossians 3:4)." -N.B.H.

    "Risen with Christ" (Colossians 3:1).



    3-6. RESPONSIBILITY

    "These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace" (John 16:33).

    There are far too many irresponsible believers. At the same time, there are far too many over-responsible believers who are seeking to carry out the Lord's responsibilities. Our primary concern is to trust Him, and rest in Him, while 'it is God who confirms and makes us steadfast and establishes us...in Christ'" (2 Corinthians 1:21, Amp.).

    "The good fight is the fight of faith. Nothing is easier than to step out of faith into feeling, or sight. But then it is failure, and no longer a fight of faith. When we abide in the Lord Jesus, the force of the assault is borne by Him. He takes the strain and the burden; whilst the believer passes into His triumphs, and is kept in perfect peace through it all.

    "The believer then understands the meaning of Asa's words: 'Lord, it is nothing with Thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power....O Lord, Thou art our God; let not man prevail against Thee...' (2 Chronicles 14:11). Against us? No; against Thee! Why? Because the battle is the Lord's! How often we have looked at the battle as ours and have asked that man shall not prevail against us. But perhaps you are not wholly on the Lord's side; and this may be the secret of your failure. If you want continuous victory, you must be on the side of Him who knows no defeat. The question is not whether the Lord is on your side, but whether you are on the Lord's side." -C.A.F.

    "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3).
     
  9. Netchaplain

    Netchaplain Ordained Chaplain

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    "Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator" (1 Peter 4:19).


    Initially, all we are able to trust God for is our justification. During this stage we are usually satisfied to remain spectators in the battle of life. Later, when we know Him better and are thereby able to trust Him more fully, we become willing to let our Father take us down into the arena and make us participators. "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier" (2 Timothy 2:4).


    "If you would know victory you must have conflict; it is ridiculous to talk about having a victorious life when you have never been in conflict. You must be prepared to enter the arena with the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and He will give you lessons day by day. No one can enjoy freedom without paying the price, even in the ordinary values of life. If you would know what it is to triumph, you must certainly pass through tribulation. If you want patience, then it is tribulation; if you want victory there must be conflict."


    "Does Paul regret the thorn in the flesh that drew forth words that have comforted countless millions? Do the men for whom the winds were contrary wish they had been spared the storm that brought their Lord to them, walking on the sea, and caused Him to speak that immortal 'It is I; be not afraid'?"


    "The things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel" (Philippians 1:12).



    "For the death which He died He became, once for all, dead in relation to sin; but by the life which He now lives He is alive in relation to God" (Romans 6:10, Wey.).


    When we seek to suppress self in one area, it will express itself in another. If we attempt to prune the branches of the old life, we find that its root has thereby been strengthened. The one answer to this enemy, both God's and ours, is the daily crucifixion of the Cross.


    "Romans Six is one of the most blessed portions of the New Testament, teaching us that our 'old man,' our old nature that is in us, was actually crucified with Him, so that now we need no longer be in bondage to sin. But remember it is only as the Holy Spirit makes Christ's death a reality within us, that we shall know, not by force of argument or conviction, but in the reality of the power of an endless life, that we are in very deed dead to sin." -A.M.


    "Not by a stringent 'cutting off' of exterior things, nor by seeking a mental apprehension of 'death with Christ' in the conscious life, but by a simple reckoning upon His death as yours--shall you experience in the inner depths of your life, servant of God, the divine spiritual reality that 'Christ in you' is in truth your very life, displacing the old life of nature and continually 'making to die' its inclinations and habits"


    "In the same way you also must regard yourselves as dead in relation to sin, but as alive in relation to God, because you are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 6:11, Wey.).


    The miracles of God are not for the converting of the soul but to lead to conversion. It’s not the miracles which will transform an individual but the One from whom they flow because it’s faith, not proof, which God uses to convert sinners from the error of their ways.

    The more physical proof one has of God, the less room remains for faith (John 20:29)and I believe this is why He has not chosen to use works of miracles as He did in the past; so faith can be at its’ strongest, since this is the only life faith will be extant. This doesn’t mean not to request and pray for blessings of which He wishes to bestow in our lives but they’re not to be relied on. We’re to rely on Him. We’re to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2Cr 5:7) and this means not to let what Christ does for us in the physical, but what He does to us in the spiritual, to be what supports and increases our faith (Luke 17:5). It’s not to be what He can do, but who He is.

    Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him” (John 6:26, 27).

    Therefore they said to Him, "What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? "But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe” (John 6:30, 36).

    Believing is seeing!
    -NC


    3-13. NOT INFLUENCE, BUT LIFE

    "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free" (Romans 8:2).

    The more fully the Lord Jesus controls within, the less we will be influenced by externals. The more we are affected by externals, the less freedom He will have within.

    "The Lord Jesus' miracles did not have a character changing effect upon the people who saw them or participated in them. They were but for a testimony to who He was. With all His miracles, in the end the principle of unbelief has not been rooted out of a single individual! Though they saw all that He did, the deep-rooted unbelief was untouched. The amazing thing--even with the disciples themselves--was that they were still capable of deep-seated unbelief. 'O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe....' 'He upbraided them with their unbelief....' With all they saw, it did not touch character, it did not touch their nature." -T. A-S.

    "As in the apostolic days so now the desire exists for the manifestation of the Spirit in marvelous ways; but a life sober, righteous, holy, lived in the hope of the glory to come, is the more excellent way of the Spirit's manifestation and undeniable proof of His indwelling. The prayer should not be so much for this or that gift, or this or that result, as for Christ Himself to be made manifest to us and through us. The Apostle who was most filled with the Spirit sums all up in that one great word, 'For to me to live is Christ.'" -W.F.E.

    "It is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20
     
  10. Netchaplain

    Netchaplain Ordained Chaplain

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    3-14. LIGHT AND SHADOW

    "Before I was afflicted l went astray: but now have I kept Thy word" (Psalm 119:67)

    The head-knowledge of Spirit-taught study becomes the heart-knowledge of Spirit-led life, via Romans 8:28 and 29. How good it is to have a sovereign Father controlling all!

    "You will find that no one learns truth easily. He who built on the rock was not secure merely because he built on the rock; but he also digged deep. What springs up quickly has no root. The more you understand the nature and scope of the Word, the more will you see the demand it makes on you and how unreserved must be your subjection to it; while as you are subject to it, you learn the blessedness and virtues of it.

    "The true value of anything is known only when it is wanted. For this reason bright days must be succeeded by dark ones. In the dreary and desolate hour to nature, we begin to know the value of the truth communicated to us in the bright day. The learning is at one time, and the proving at another. In fact, we ought to be prepared for the dark hour; so that, though it be dark, there is something so blessed, so suited, pouring its comfort and sustenance on our souls, that, after all, the dark and dreary hour becomes a more really festive time to the heart, because of the virtues of the truth now made known, than the time of its reception, which was so happy and exhilarating." -J.B.S.

    "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while . . . stablish, strengthen, settle you" (1 Peter 5:10).












    3-15. EARTHLY, OR HEAVENLY?

    "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3).

    The New Testament believer's spiritual growth is not based upon Old Testament doctrine. We are not to neglect the Old, but its introduction of the law was designed to lead to the grace of the New. For a believer who is not yet established in the risen Lord Jesus, it is a temptation to go to the promises of the Old Testament for comfort. This may result in some help at times, but also may bring frustration. It is simply not our ground. "So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but under [obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life]" (Romans 7:6, Amp.).

    "'The Law made nothing perfect' (Hebrews 7:19). It was given to discover sin and imperfection, not to impart holiness or perfection. The Lord Jesus has poured out His blessed Spirit that we believers, while on earth, might walk in that spirit of life and liberty that prevails in heaven where Christ is. God has given unto us His human-divine nature, and put within us His Holy Spirit. Shall we not therefore walk in that liberty in which Christ liveth? For He lives the same life of blessed freedom from bondage, and of joyful service to God, within us by His Spirit, as He does seated in a body, in heaven before God His Father." -W.R.N.

    "If I would bring forth fruit and live to God, I must see myself as having died to law. Law is a principle on which we cannot live to God any more than we can be justified."

    "For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God" (Galatians 2:19).











    3-16. CHRISTIAN CULTURE

    "And He shall stand, and shall feed His flock in the strength of Jehovah, in the majesty of the name of Jehovah his God: and they shall abide" (Micah 5:4, ASV).

    To an overwhelming degree "we are what we eat--spiritually as well as physically. "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O Lord God of hosts"(Jeremiah 15:16).

    "The best merely human literature that was ever written will not feed the new nature. You may bring the noblest thoughts which ever sprang from a human mind, you may couch them in the most fragrant rhetoric that ever distilled the perfume of literature in the book lover's nostrils and you will not quicken a single pulse of the new and spiritual life. Shakespeare may analyze, Milton soar, Bacon lead us step by step up the royal stairway of induction to the throne of logic, yet not a gleam of light or pulse of strength will be added to the Christ within." -I.M.H.

    "With God all is uncultured which is not in accord with the likeness of Christ--of Him in whose image man was first created. Christ is the typical Man, and all in our education which is not after the pattern, after His likeness, is uncultured--only a caricature. We have only that degree of culture which results from the measure in which the image of the Lord Jesus Christ has penetrated us."

    "But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Hebrews 5:14).


    _________________________________________________________________________

    Righteousness is said to be fulfilled, not by us but “in us” (Rom 8:4). We must be “made righteous”, for as we know we have no input concerning righteousness, only its output--by the Spirit in His fruit. We never produce righteousness because it cannot originate from us, for Christ “is made unto us . . . righteousness” (1Cr 1:30). This helps us to understand that righteousness, along with justification, is imputed and not imparted.

    Realizing it’s all God—through us, allows us to rest in Him, “ceasing from our own works” (Heb 4:10) and yielding (Rom 6:13) to Him to be the input. He must work it into us; “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13).

    “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts” (Zec 4:6).

    -NC


    3-17. PAST HISTORY

    "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).

    The Lord Jesus was in our place of death and judgment; we are in His place of life and glory.

    Romans Seven describes the experience of the believer who has been shown by the law principle the terrible consequences of his position in Adam. Romans Eight describes the experience of the believer who knows what it is to be"in Christ," and who is being made free experientially from "the law of sin and death" by "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus."

    "It is of immense importance for every Christian to know that 'our old man' has been fully judged and ended before God. Not changed or forgiven but utterly condemned in the death of the Lord Jesus. 'God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh' (Romans 8:3). Where sin brought us, love brought the Lord Jesus--even to death; and His death is the end before God of all that we were as children of Adam--men in the flesh.

    "On the other hand, we have life in One who is risen from the dead. We did belong to the race of which Adam was head; but the death of Christ is, in God's reckoning, the termination of our history in Adam. A new Head has been provided for us, and we have been transferred by divine grace from Adam to Christ." -C.A.C.

    "He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves; but unto Him" (2 Corinthians 5:15).



    3-18. COST OF LEADERSHIP

    "Love suffereth long, and is kind" (1 Corinthians 13:4).

    The price of leadership remains high and hard; it may be cheap and easy for the dictator, for the hireling, but never for the shepherd. The dictator dominates; the hireling flees; but the good shepherd loves his sheep and is loved by them. He lays down his life for the sheep. True spiritual leadership involves this principle: "Death working in me works life in you" (2 Corinthians 4:12, Cony.).

    "It is the quality of leaders that they can bear to be sat on, absorb shocks, act as a buffer, bear being much plagued. Moses put up with the complaints and the waywardness and revolt of the people. He pursued a steady course, enduring as seeing Him who is invisible. The wear and tear and the continual friction and trials which come to the servants of God are a great test of character." -F.M.

    "Bridge the gaps! A bridge means something--generally a life laid down. The very simplest bridge, a plank thrown across a stream, was once part of a tree standing erect, sapping life from the earth, and beautifying all the area around it. Now it is dead, but perhaps saves other lives; anyway it helps to make others useful, and is content to push others on, unnoticed, unthanked. 'Seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not,' just be a bridge. It is so simple. See that others are placed on the right track with God through the Lord Jesus. When they get there, they will not thank you, will never look back probably at the bridge; but the Great Architect will know and love and care." -E.W.

    "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5).










    3-19. EFFORTLESS GRACE

    "God . . . called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me" (Galatians 1:15, 16).
    Just think! Our Father has placed us in eternal and living union with His Son, that He, not we, may "be." Moreover, He has placed His Holy Spirit eternally within us that He, not we, may "do." Further, He has given us the necessary faith and Scripture that we may rest in this wonderful reality, trusting Him "to will and to do of His good pleasure." This is a far cry from futile struggle and frustrating self-effort!

    "Christians in the main groan and strive and struggle largely on the basis of human effort where the grace of God, though acknowledged, is scarcely operative--only to come to grief. Even at their best, they find the purpose of the Lord Jesus remains an ideal infinitely beyond their reach. The trouble lies in the fact that they are proceeding on the wrong basis.

    "God does not expect them, as a result of their own endeavors, to be like the Lord Jesus. He expects them to realize the utter impossibility of such a thing (as in Romans Seven, where Paul comes to the end of himself). He expects them to know the Lord Jesus as their very life, disowning any other. He expects them to realize their position of absolute oneness with Christ, for He 'has blessed them with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ' (Ephesians 1:3)." -F.J.H.

    "Be strengthened in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 2:7, ASV).


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    Before there can be a feeding on the meat of the word (maturing in Christ) there must be a feeding on the milk of the word (babe in Christ). Many have yet to progress beyond infancy due to insufficient establishment in “the principles of the doctrine of Christ” (Heb 6:1). These are the fundamentals or foundation from which we progress towards maturing “to the image of His Son” (Rom 8:29).

    We are instructed to “leave the principles” or progress to “go on unto maturity”. One must first be properly established in “the principles” before progressing towards “maturity”. This is why maturity in Christ is uncommonly found among today’s Christian’s and regardless the desire and sincerity, maturity cannot be achieved without prior proper establishment.

    A structure remains intact when it is supported by the proper foundation, regardless the situation (Mat 7:250). If we often find more disappointment than encouragement it’s only due to the lack of proper understanding “which be the first principles of the oracles of God”(Heb 5:12).

    Only the true “doctrine of Christ” can be built upon and lacking this will only bring repetitious failure. Failure to understand what we are growing by is expected until success is achieved but absence for the desire of the truth has no equal in perpetual failure. We’re to ask God to keep us desirous for His word and only hunger for the truths of the word of God will bring one to where “the Lord give thee understanding in all things” (2 Tim 2:7) and “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Col 1:9).
    -NC










    3-20. RISEN FARE

    "He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna" (Deuteronomy 8:3).

    The wilderness wanderers were maintained by manna, but those in Canaan flourished on "the old corn of the land." The carnal Christian exists on the milk of the Word, while the hungry-hearted believer feeds and matures on the meat of the Word.
    "
    The old corn of Canaan typifies what the risen and ascended Lord ministers directly to us now by the Holy Spirit. Those who appropriate their position in Christ feed no longer merely on the manna, which represents Christ as supporting our life while we yet 'know Him not' as regards any intimate fellowship.

    "If positional truth, rather than the duties of attainment, were taught first to the saints, much more satisfactory results would follow the ministry of many Christian workers. We should note most carefully that Israel was brought into Canaan, all uncircumcised and unworthy as they were, before they were asked to take the circumcised, separated position as the people of God, or enter upon their warfare.

    "So we, as believers, have been already brought by Jesus Christ our Head, in His death and resurrection, into the 'heavenly places,' and to us have been given 'all things that pertain unto life and godliness' (2 Peter 1:3). And it is always on the ground of where we already are, and what we already are, and what we already have, that the Holy Spirit shows us our blessed privileges and responsibilities of 'the calling wherewith we are called.'" -W.R.N.

    "And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land" (Joshua 5:12).



    3-21. THE CROSS, THEN CONSECRATION









    "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be"


    The Cross is the altar upon which God sacrificed His Son. It is upon this same Cross (take up your Cross "daily"), this same altar (the place of death), that I am to be consecrated to God as "a new creation" (2 Corinthians 5:17). This eventuates in my intelligently yielding myself to Him as one who is "alive from the dead" (Romans 6:13).

    "God asks us to present our bodies as living sacrifices to Him (Romans 12:1). Until we have done this, there is nothing else we can do. But notice that this exhortation comes after Romans Six. There is a reason for this order--crucifixion comes before consecration. Uncrucified self refuses to be consecrated (to say nothing of God's refusing to accept it). That is why so many people with all sincerity walk down the aisles again and again, consecrating uncrucified self to God." -H.D.

    "We must learn to know Him and to love Him. Then we will not have to struggle to move into consecration. The heart will lead into it. A lover never thinks about giving himself to a loved one. He cannot do otherwise. He loves to do it. Is there not here a key to consecration? Why do we not yield? Because we do not love. Why do we have to fight the battle and vow and groan and struggle? Because we do not know Him." -C.A.C.

    "That I may know Him...and the fellowship of His sufferings" (Philippians 3:10).











    3-22. DEEPENED CHANNELS

    "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord" (1 Corinthians 1:9).


    We want fellowship with the Lord Jesus in His peace and joy, and naturally fear and seek to avoid suffering. However, it is in the fellowship of His sufferings that we partake of His peace and joy.

    "The Lord has a wonderful way of bringing us into the fellowship of His sufferings, even when everything outside looks prosperous. Sometimes the most apparently prosperous lives have the deepest sufferings at the back of them. The Lord must one way or another teach us fellowship with suffering, or we cannot be of much use. We dwell much upon the side of being filled with joy, but let us not forget there are broken hearts all round us, and if we are to be channels of divine comfort to them, we must learn something of the fellowship of His sufferings in our own experience."

    "We shall err if we think that life in the Sanctuary, hidden with Christ in God, means freedom from suffering, sorrow, and trial. Rather will the soul be strengthened inwardly to be trusted more and more with the 'fellowship of His sufferings, becoming conformed unto His death' (Philippians 3:10)."

    "Our Father can advance His children into conformity to the image of His Son, more by suffering in one day, than in many years of ease from trial."

    "See how we call those who thus endured happy! You have heard how patiently Job endured and have seen how the Lord finally blessed him, because the Lord is tenderhearted and merciful" (James 5:11 Wms.).

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    3-23. CALVARY AND PENTECOST

    "But now that you have been set free from the tyranny of Sin, and have become the bondservants of God, you have your reward in being made holy" (Romans 6:22, Wey.).


    When the believer truly sees Calvary he says, "There, through the work of the Cross, I died with the Lord Jesus unto sin." When the believer truly sees Pentecost he says, "There, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, I was baptized into the risen Lord Jesus." Here are the two mighty pillars of our freedom from the power and domination of sin.

    "The believer is to rejoice in the double blessing of Calvary and Pentecost. He is freed from condemnation because of the Blood shed, and he is set free from the law of sin and death by the indwelling Spirit that he received when he came to the Lord Jesus. It is not only that there is no condemnation, but there is liberty.

    "'The law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death' (Romans 8:2). '...hath made me free....' Let me walk in it; let me enjoy it, and I am free. I am not struggling to get free; I have been set free in the Spirit, and I am bidden to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made me free (Galatians 5:1). I am not struggling for victory; I am standing in victory. I have not to struggle to get out of the horrible pit. He lifted me out; set my feet on the Rock and established my goings; and He bids me, 'Stand fast in the victory that I have gained for you.' Believe and rejoice in it, and you will know what it is to be free." -G.G.

    "Walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:4).


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    Regardless the insignificance something in our life may seem, God already knows all of which we will encounter in our thoughts and all we will do and uses these and everything “for our good” (Rom 8:28), which works towards continually increasing our conformance “to the image of His Son” (v 29).

    The more we learn of God’s holiness, the more we learn of the decadence of our old nature which means our knowledge of this decadence will be commensurate with the knowledge of His holiness. The goal of it all is to completely depend on God for everything by avoiding self-dependence for anything. After all, “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven” (John 3:27).

    We must realize holiness, righteousness, justification and sanctification is imputed to us and not imparted and remembering this will keep us “humble” (Jam 4:10; 1Pe 5:6) and “satisfied” (Psa 17:15, 90:14). It bears repeating that we will be disappointed when we confide in the arm of man instead of the arm of God because God never disappoints.
    -NC


    3-24. PATTERN OF MERCY -mjs / withchrist.org

    "That He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory"(Romans 9:23).

    Mercifully, day by day, He unfolds before our startled eyes the evil depths of the self-life. It is thus we come to know Him as the "God who is rich in mercy," and ourselves as "vessels of mercy."

    "Today sinful men, not angels, are entrusted with the preaching of the Gospel, and before they can be used of God must first of all have plumbed the depths of their own sinfulness, and have, therefore, discovered the heights and glories of God's longsuffering. In this way they can become a pattern of His mercy, by means of which He can demonstrate His grace to others." -J.C.M.

    "The power effectively to present Christ as Lord, is by means of revelation deep within us, bringing into being an unshakable knowledge of His authority and might, and making us content to accept our weakness and nothingness in order that we may see the pleasure of the Lord prosper in His hand (Isaiah 53:10)." -J.C.M.

    "The more useful anyone is, the more he requires to be brought to an end of himself, and to find that his all is in the Lord Jesus. We find some of His servants deeply chastened at first, in order to prepare them for a useful course; and some after a useful period are brought low and afflicted in order that they might learn how truly and fully our Father is sovereign." -J.B.S.

    "From Me is thy fruit found" (Hosea 14:8).


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    3-26. THE HAND OF GOD


    "For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God" (1 Peter 2:19, 20).


    When self reacts correctly in a difficult situation, it can only result in the sin of self-righteousness. In order for Christ's righteousness to be manifested, the Holy Spirit must hold self inoperative by means of the Cross.

    "Accustom yourself in everything that happens, to recognize the hand of the Father. Before you fix your thoughts on the person who did it, first be still, and remember, God allows me to come into this trouble to see if I shall glorify Him in it. This trial, be it the greatest or least, is allowed of God, and is His will concerning me. Let me first recognize and submit to God's will in it. Then in the rest of soul which this gives, I shall receive wisdom to know how to behave in it. With my eye turned from man to God, suffering wrong is not as hard as it seems.

    "The Lord Jesus knew that His Father would care for His rights and honor. But he who lives in the visible, wants his honor to be vindicated at once here below. He who lives in the eternal, and as seeing the Invisible, is satisfied to leave the vindication of his rights and honor in God's hands; he knows that they are safe with Him. Giving one's all into God's keeping brings rest and peace." -A.M.

    "When He suffered, He . . . committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously" (1 Peter 2:23)


    _________________________________________________________________________

    Concerning that which transpires in our lives, the significant issue isn’t what occurs as it is what we do about it. It’s comforting to realize God knows and already has resolved everything which occurs in the Christian’s life.

    Knowing this doesn’t remove the hardness but can enable us to properly “endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim 2:3). “For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God” (1 Pet 2:20 NKJV).

    Patiently trusting God in the hard times yields the most concerning our “partaking of Christ's sufferings” (1 Pet 4:13) and it’s the only time of “the trying of your faith” (Jam 1:3), which I believe produces the highest worship and honors God the most: “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 1:7).
    -NC









    3-27. SOFTENING SORROW


    "Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us" (2 Corinthians 7:6).


    All of us are going to have sorrow, and none of us should miss its spiritual benefits. "Godly sorrow worketh repentance...while the sorrow of the world worketh death" (2 Corinthians 7:10).

    "God's purpose is to conform us to the image of the Lord Jesus. God had one Son, without sin, but not without sorrow." -A.S.

    "Sorrow reveals unknown depths in the soul, and unknown capabilities of experience and service. God never uses anybody to a large degree, until after He breaks that one. It takes sorrow to widen the soul."

    "We cannot do good to others save at a cost to ourselves, and our afflictions are the price we pay for our ability to sympathize. He who would be a helper must first be a sufferer. 'Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God' (2 Corinthians 1:4). We cannot have the highest happiness of life in succoring others without tasting the cup which our Lord Jesus drank. The school of suffering graduates rare scholars."

    "Well, it is but a little while and He will appear to answer all inquiries and to wipe away all tears. I would not wish, then, to be of those who had none to wipe away, would you?" -J.H.T.

    "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes" (Revelation 7:17).


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    When we understand the known will of God (scripture) we can pray with increased expectations and our prayer life will be effective. James 5:16 writes, “. . . The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” I believe the significance of this passage is on righteousness, not necessarily on effectiveness and fervency because regardless the degree of the latter, there will be no production if the righteousness isn’t in proper prospective. To me, this passage is saying the prayer of the righteous is effectual and fervent.

    It’s humbling (Jam 4:10) to understand that we cannot add to anything we have of God because it’s all vicarious. We work from what He has imputed to us, i.e., righteousness, but cannot contribute to that which is vicariously imputed. This means “your good works” (Mat 5:16; 1 Pet 2:12) and “your righteousness” (Mat 5:20; 2 Cor 9:10) is yours, but only vicariously because we are just the vessels it is being done by. We’re not to seek credit in anything, any more than a pen would seek credit for writing. Ours is but to be lovingly grateful for being partakers in it all, because God is doing it all--using us, “the vessels of mercy” (Rom 9:23).

    Understanding it’s all God and that it’s not cooperation but co-operation, as in altruism, permits us to expect everything on the basis of what Christ has done and not on what we do. Our good works and righteousness is an effect, not a cause and is used by God to draw (John 6:44) others to Christ because “it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13).

    Since our position is now with Christ in Heaven (Eph 2:6) we can pray to God, from Heaven to earth and not from earth to Heaven—looking down, not up!
    -NC









    3-28. DIRECTED PRAYER

    "Be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:17).

    Prayer to God must come from God. There can be no prayer in the full assurance of faith apart from the known will of God in the matter. "The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know His will" (Acts 22:14).

    "I do not think that a petition that misses the mind of God will ever be answered (1 John 5:14). Personally, I feel the need of trusting Him to lead me in prayer as well as in other matters. I find it well to preface prayer not only by meditation but by the definite request that I may be directed into the channels of prayer to which the Holy Spirit is beckoning me (Romans 8:26, 27)." -J.O.F.

    "When we once have the deep, calm assurance of His will in the matter, we put in our claim, just as a child before his father. A simple request and nothing more. No crying, no beseeching, no wrestling. No second asking, either." -J.O.F.

    "The Lord may see it needful, for the trial (development) of faith, to seem for a season not to regard our supplications; yet, if we patiently and believingly continue to wait upon Him, it will be manifest in His own time, and way, that we did not call upon Him in vain." -G.M.

    "My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him" (Psalm 62:5).


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    The suffering, death, resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus isn’t what saves us, it only made salvation provisional. It’s our spirit’s suffering, death and resurrection in the Lord that appropriates salvation.

    The lost need deliverance from the curse of sin and the saved needs deliverance from the power of sin! Deliverance, not from the presence of sin but from its ruling power: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body . . . For sin shall not have dominion over you . . . .” (Rom 6:12, 14).

    Our Father has allowed the source of sin (our human nature) to remain but not its ability to cause a believer to "sin willfully" (Heb 10:26; Num 15:25-30). Remorse, confession and a repentant heart abides in the wake of the sins of a true believer because the Holy Spirit makes it his constant desire not to displease God: “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Gal 5:17).

    The works of the Christian are non-effectual towards salvation but are fruitful because of salvation. Christ “finished” (John 19:30) the work of salvation on the Cross and therefore needs nothing added, so, we’re admonished to “. . . work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12). This means we’re to work out of, or from, our salvation; neither for its attainment, nor to retain it. One cannot keep himself saved any more then he can save himself because it’s God who will “. . . keep you from falling . . . .” (Jude 1:24).
    -NC











    3-29. TYRANNY OF SIN

    "You were set free from the tyranny of sin" (Romans 6:18, Wey.).

    The tyranny of sin over the lost necessitated the death of the Lord Jesus on the Cross. The tyranny of sin over the saved necessitated the death of the believer in the Lord Jesus on that same Cross. The dual truths of Calvary: His death for our sin, as payment; our death with Him unto sin, for deliverance.

    "The believer sees that Christ by dying for him has completely delivered him from the penalty of sin. So it is his privilege to see that because he is identified with the Lord Jesus in that death, he is also delivered from sin as a ruling principle. Its power is broken. He is in that sense 'free from sin' (Romans 6:18, 22)." -E.H.

    "Through my life-union with Christ in His death and resurrection, I have 'died to sin.' His death to sin is my death to sin. In my very humanity, Christ so took me up with Himself in death that, when He died unto sin, I too was executed and there died to sin's reign and power. Has Christ so dealt with sin that He has exhausted its every claim and dominion? And do I share with Him His death unto sin? With bold and explicit reckoning, then, let me count on my death-resurrection relationship to God through the Lord Jesus. In Christ crucified I have been discharged from sin's domination." -L.E.M.

    "When victory does not tend to worship, we and God part company, so to speak, as soon as the victory is achieved. How sad to see victory often leading to mere joy, instead of still greater dependence on, and delight in, God!" -J.N.D.

    "But now, being freed from the bondage of sin . . . your fruit is growth in holiness" (Romans 6:22, Cony.).

    3-30. PREVIOUSLY PREPARED

    "Let the same disposition be in you which was in Christ Jesus." "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh is at rest from sin" (Philippians 2:5, Wey; 1 Peter 4:1m).

    Too late! Too late! If we seek to deal with sin by reckoning at the moment it becomes an issue. Our stand and attitude from the beginning of each day is to be a settled matter as we rest in our risen Lord Jesus: the death of the Cross separates me from the enslavement of sin and self, and I continually abide in my new life, Christ Jesus. My life is "hid with Christ in God"(Colossians 3:3).

    "The reckoning believer is to meet every proposal of self-gratification armed with the mind to suffer in the flesh. Sin is the gratification of self, but 'he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from the domination of sin.'
    "If you allow yourself to entertain a suggestion of self-gratification--if you consider it, and give it a place in your mind--you are defeated. You have laid aside your armor, and will fall an easy prey to the foe. But there will be no response to the suggestion or temptation if you stand armed with the mind to suffer in the flesh. That which is proposed to you is exactly opposite to what you are set for. It is suggested that you should be pleased and gratified in the very thing in which you are fully minded to suffer. You are now in conflict with sin--not going along with it; you suffer in the flesh, and have ceased from the practice of sin." -C.A.C.

    "So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires but [he lives] for what God wills" (1 Peter 4:2, Amp.).

    - MJS / WithChrist.org

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    3-31. NOW NO CONDEMNATION


    "Ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God" (Romans 7:4).

    Romans Six reveals our position as having died unto the principle of sin; Romans Seven teaches us our position as having died unto the principle of law. Both must be counted upon if we are to abide in Christ, and walk in the Spirit, as set forth in Romans Eight.

    "We have to look at ourselves and see how far we are devotedly following the Lord Jesus, with full purpose of heart--how we can say, 'This one thing I do'; but we must take care at the same time not to get into legal bondage by this standard. If I say, 'Here is a rule of conduct: follow it,' this cannot reach the heart, the affections. The ministration of the letter brings only failure, and condemnation; for it prescribes a rule which man, being a sinner, can never follow. It does not change a man; it proves him 'ungodly and without strength.'

    "We may turn even Christ into that letter of condemnation; we may take His life, for instance, and make it our law. Nay, we may turn even the love of Christ into our law; we may say, 'He has loved me, and done all this for me, and I ought to love Him, and do so much for Him, in return for this love,' etc. Thus if we turn His love into a rule of life, it becomes the ministration of condemnation."

    "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage" (Galatians 5:1).


    4-2. CONSTANT CARE

    "The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust" (Ruth 2:12).

    The Lord Jesus not only died for every sin in our life, but He lives for every second of our life. We cannot rest in Him until we realize that there is never an instant that He is not caring for us. It is as though each of His own were His only one.

    "So many saints are disturbed, so many are restless, because they are not living in the knowledge that they are under the care of the Lord; and then there is no power to walk. Why have you so little power in walk or service? It is because you are not yet clear that the Lord is caring for you, that He is in all watchfulness over you, that He has let down the strong pinions of His protecting care till they sweep the ground around you, and, if you are wise, you will creep up close under His wings, into the very down." -J.B.S.

    "It belongs to the nature of our pilgrimage and life of faith, that we cannot see the land for which we are bound. If only thou hast bid farewell to thy past, have confidence in thy God; trust Him to bring thee into a better land than the one thou art leaving. Should we find that Divine things do not at present correspond with our hopes, we may be quite sure they will eventually exceed our expectations; we shall realize above all we ask or comprehend." -O.S.

    "And a man shall be like an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; like rivers of water in a dry place, like the shadow of a great rock in a weary land" (Isaiah 32:2).








    4-3. GROWTH FOR SERVICE

    "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you" (Galatians 4:19).

    A ministry of life, whether it be at the kitchen sink, or from the First Church pulpit, must flow from the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. That life must be developed in and shared through the growing believer, by the Holy Spirit. We are to rest in Him for spiritual growth, and He will work through us for spiritual service.
    "He, whom the Lord cannot trust with the faithful care of his own vineyard, will not be trusted with the tending of God's Vineyard of living, immortal souls. How shall we face the Owner of the Vineyard, if we have neglected our own lives; if we have not entered into that which God has shown us; if we must say, when He asks us about the lack of fruit and the neglect which is so sadly evident: 'Lord, I was so busy tending Thy Vineyard, that my own vineyard I have not kept' (S.S. 1:6)." -C.H.MacI.

    "Our Lord is more concerned for a testimony than for a work. We need to get clear on that. A good deal of confusion comes in when you begin to think of things in the light of a work. When you get a lot of people leaving their employment to go into 'the work,' all kinds of complications arise. It is not that we aren't to serve the Lord, but in the first place it is not the work the Lord is after, it is a testimony, it is a light, a living flame."

    "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:10)


    __________________________________________________

    The significance in the lesson learned isn’t as valuable as the process of learning the lesson. Trusting that “all work all things together for good to those who love God” (Rom 8:28), esp. in the hardest of times is more faith building than arriving at the moment of obtaining that which is sought, because it teaches us to know our support is not in the need being fulfilled but in the Fulfiller.

    “Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him” (John 6:26, 27).

    Conformation (Rom 8:29) and not confirmation is where the work of the Spirit resides (2 Cor 3:18) and until a mature level in Christ’s image is attained (through accurate bible study) it will be expected of a Christian to seek more in the evidence of the Provider than in trusting Him to provide.
    -NC

    4-4. INTERNAL PRIORITY

    "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27).

    Beware! The world, both secular and religious, is seeking to destroy your individuality by conforming you to the mass of faceless ones. But our heritage and destiny in the Lord Jesus Christ is to be conformed to His image--not at the loss of our individual personality, but by the gain of His nature and character. "I in you"; "Christ liveth in me" (John 15:4; Galatians 2:20).

    "Something has got to be done in us as well as for us. We want to proceed on the line of having things done for us, heaven intervening for us, our difficulties removed for us, having a straight path made for us. Heaven may be ready to come in, the Lord may be prepared to work for us, but it is not sufficient for Him--and it would not prove good enough for us--if that were all. The very principle of spiritual growth and maturity demands that He keep the objective and the subjective balanced; that is, that something is done in us as well as for us." -T. A-S.

    "We are apt to think that if and when the circumstances and conditions of our lives are changed and we are in another position than the one we now occupy, then something will happen, the purpose of God will begin to be fulfilled. But the Lord says, 'No, it is not circumstances, not conditions, at all; it is you.'"

    "Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). - mjs/withchrist.org

    __________________________________________________________________


    I like recalling the story of the “Prince and the Pauper” because it reminds me more of whose (Christ) we are than what (saved) we are. It’s not a matter of doing as much as it is of being; just as Mary “hath chosen that good part” (Luke 10:42)--to know Christ, more than to serve Him because our love for God is commensurate with our knowledge of Him. We serve God, not out of debt, for salvation is free but out of love and gratitude and our desire in our love for God will always exceed our practical love for Him until we learn His ways, which are revealed by His Spirit in His written Word.

    Our place in the Lord has preeminence to our work in the Lord because it is our position which determines our production. To know our position in Christ is to realize our condition in this life—possessing sin (Rom 7:17, 20) but not in sin (Rom 8:9). We possess sin by birth; we vicariously overcame sin by rebirth. If we are to know the depth of God’s holiness we must know the depth of our decadence (old man) and thus, we will realize more the depth of our freedom, which will enhance our continued growth in Christ’s image.
    -NC






    4-5. RAGS TO RICHES

    "But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members" (Romans 7:23).

    Self is the believer's indwelling enemy; its degrading bondage is his deepest heartache. However, the reign of self is overthrown by its own enmity, since it creates the needs that cause us to hunger for and appropriate Christ's life and liberty.

    "A sense of spiritual poverty is necessary to spiritual growth. This awareness of failure becomes acute to the believer during those days when he is attempting to attain holiness of heart through self-effort. Knowing what he ought to be and do, he proceeds to try to reach those goals. He purposes, resolves, promises, struggles, weeps, and fails again. His testimony, with Paul, is, 'The things that I want to do, I do not do, and the things that I do not want to do, I do' (Romans 7:15).

    "What a delightful day it is for him when he realizes that 'in him, that is, in his flesh, dwelleth no good thing' (Romans 7:18).Only then does he, in his failure, cry out, 'Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?' 'I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord' (Romans 7:24, 25) comes back the reply. He begins to recognize that God expects only failure from the flesh, never success, but that 'in Christ' is his sanctification, his growth. Thus it is that freedom comes through bondage, life through death." -W.W.

    "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2). -mjs/withchrist.org
    ___________________________________________________________________

    4-7 Hand Hewn​

    "Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace" (2 Thessalonians 2:16).


    It has been well said that "it takes a lifetime to learn real dependence upon God, and to accept practically our own inadequacy." We are going to learn this only through experience, and now is the time to settle down to this schooling--a day at a time.

    "We are to understand that God loves us, and that He justifies us by the work of His Son. We have no longer conscience of sins before God, because He Himself has taken them away before His eyes; we know that being united to the Lord Jesus Christ, who has fully glorified God in that which concerns our sins, we have been made the righteousness of God in Him. So the heart is free to enjoy His love in the presence of the Father." -J.N.D.

    "I no longer attempt to produce that which will satisfy God from myself as originator. I know that even if I try I shall only fail. But I do seek to please God by faith in the activity of Another. The Son of God who indwells me by His Spirit is able and willing to carry out in me 'those things that please Him'; and I count upon Him to do so. Consciously, day by day, I take the attitude that I trust Him to work the will of God in me, and in that attitude I go forward and serve Him. I do not trust myself. 'I live by faith in the Son of God.'" -A.I.K.

    "Comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work" (2 Thessalonians 2:17).



    4-7. HAND HEWN

    "Hearken unto Me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord; look unto the rock from which ye are hewn" (Isaiah 51:1).

    If we care for His glory, we will want to serve. If we care for others, we will want to be well prepared for that service. And that care will enable us to hold still and trust Him through all that is entailed in the preparation.

    "When a certain breaking down of self takes place in a believer's life, it produces a marked change in him; but afterwards he has to learn it all in detail." -J.N.D.

    "This is a fact borne out in the case of every servant of God in history who has really come under the hand of God--that the real values of their lives for all time have been those which correspond to the wine of the grape, the thing trodden out in the winepress, the agony of heart; and you know that it is true in your case that if ever you have had anything at all which you knew to be worthwhile and which has helped someone else, it has been born out of some travail in your own experience."

    "If we knew the heart of our Father we would never question any of His dealings with us, nor should we ever desire His hand lifted off us till we had learnt all He would teach us." -E.D.

    "Now, therefore, ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone" (Ephesians 2:19, 20).


    __________________________________________________________________________


    When is victory over a trial present for the Christian? When it transpires? Is it in the midst of the trial or at the beginning? Even if we have yet to realize it, all of our victories are present prior to the beginning of all our trials!​

    Kicking or screaming, hardly enduring or “patiently enduring” (Heb 6:15; 2 Pet 2:20; 2 Tim 2:3); how we respond to all our trials does not determine their outcome because God has already ensured they will eventuate to our benefit for the purpose of Christ-conformity (Rom 8:28, 29). Our response to all things is not a cause, but an effect which reveals the presence of a cause. “For it is God who works in you (cause) both to will and to do (effect) for His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13).​

    If the strength of our faith in God is in our power and might (Zec 4:6), our trials will “trouble us” (John 14:1, 27) but God’s blessings will remain ours. The level of our position in Christ, mature or immature, does not determine the Father’s blessings to us because they were all foreordained (1 Pet 1:20) and cannot be withdrawn (Rom 11:29).​

    It's better to go through a trial with God than to go around one without Him!​

    We can needlessly labor with besetting weights​
    And be troubled, harassed and assailed​
    Or take pleasure in infirmities​
    Either way you’re in the Lord and will not fail​
    (Heb 12:1; 2 Cor 2:10; Jude 1:24)​
    –NC​


    4-8. TRIUMPH IN TRIAL​

    "Always guarded by the power of God through faith.... In such a hope keep on rejoicing, although for a little while you must be sorrow-stricken with various trials" (1 Peter 1:5, 6, Wms.).​

    There are testimonies, and there are testimonies. Some can testify as to how God cleared up adverse circumstances for the victory; but others can testify to the triumph God gave in the midst of difficult circumstances. The essential consideration is that our Father be glorified in all His dealings with and for us. How He brings it all about should be secondary to us.​

    "If there is a great trial in your life today, do not own it as a defeat, but continue, by faith, to claim the victory through Him who is able to make you more than conqueror, and a glorious triumph will soon be apparent. Let us learn that in all the hard places our Father brings us into, He is making opportunities for us to exercise such faith in Him as will bring about blessed results and greatly glorify His Name."​

    "God has put you in exactly the right crucible to burn up what He sees needs to be burnt up. Many think 'victory' means getting your circumstances put right. No! true triumph is within--when in the midst of your circumstances the Spirit of God can so energize you and strengthen you in spirit, that you can stand quiet in the thick of it all, and say, 'God is God,' and know that you are held by Him--which is infinitely better than all your trying to hold things steady."​

    "Therefore, my brethren . . . stand fast in the Lord" (Philippians 4:1).​
    -mjs/withchrist.org​

    _____________________________________________​

    [background=rgb(251, 252, 253)]4-9. LlTTLE-KNOWN REQUISITE [/background]​


    [background=rgb(251, 252, 253)]"My beloved children, I am again bearing the pangs of travail for you, till Christ be fully formed within you" (Galatians 4:19, Cony.).[/background]​


    [background=rgb(251, 252, 253)]It is essential that we "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ," for three reasons: (1) that our Father may be glorified; (2) that the Lord Jesus might be manifested in us; (3) that the Holy Spirit might have a suitable instrument through which to win and establish others.[/background]​


    [background=rgb(251, 252, 253)]"Paul had one great consuming purpose to be brought to birth by his sufferings for the Galatians, and that was the living expression of the Lord Jesus Christ in them. Nothing less could satisfy God, and nothing less than this should ever satisfy a servant of God. Numbers were still good in Galatia, activities well maintained and zeal unabated, but the Lord Jesus was being crowded out--and that is the greatest tragedy possible." -H.F.[/background]​


    [background=rgb(251, 252, 253)]"It is a marvellous grace that we should be conformed to the image of God's Son. I think it is very sad that the highest thought which God has about us, and that which His heart is set on, is that which is least known by Christians; for I know no truth that is so little realized as union with Christ." -J.B.S.[/background]​


    [background=rgb(251, 252, 253)]"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (2 Tim. 1:9).[/background]​

    [background=rgb(251, 252, 253)]-mjs/withchrist.org[/background]​

    ______________________________________________________________

    Is our sufficiency resting on experiences, as Israel, esp. in the wilderness, required signs and wonders (1 Cor 1:22) or in the “more sure word of prophecy” (2 Peter 1:19)? Faith constructed by experience can be misleading because it accustoms the believer to that which is by sight (temporal) and not by faith (eternal) (2 Cor 5:7). Faith in God differs from faith about God. Can one know God exists (wilderness Israel) without trusting Him? “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief” (Heb 3:19).

    This always eventuates in disappointment because the expectation is not in Christ alone as much as it is in His physical confirmations. Faith and sight teeter in opposition to one another, so when physical evidence is up, faith is down. God uses that which is seen to confirm His existence (Rom 1:19, 20), not to confirm our faith, which requires no physical proof.

    Faith is to be our substance (Heb 11:1) before God confirms anything in the physical. I believe proof is being reduced to its minimal form so that faith can be allowed to be at its greatest potential, because this life is the only opportunity for faith to be at its greatest activity. “Hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?” (Rom 8:24)?

    We “will come to revelations of the Lord” (2 Cor 12:1) but they will come only through Scripture. It is commonly said that “it is to be Scripture which imparts credence to experiences and not the opposite”, so that faith has room to increase (Luke 17:5).

    Let our joy already be sufficed in times of need by knowing “that all things work together for good to those who love God” (Rom 8:28), regardless of our maturity status in Him.
    -NC


    4-10. TRUTH, THEN EXPERIENCE

    "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18).

    The Christian who relies mainly upon "experiences" for growth will manifest little spiritual discernment, dependability or maturity, whereas the believer who relies upon doctrinal truth will be found to manifest these aspects of a healthy walk. If we bypass truth, we fall short of spiritual reality.

    "Many people today are seeking for a new religious experience and when the last grows old, they seek to get yet another experience. The actual need of most believers today is not an experience, but a true apprehension of what the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross for us and of our present day union with Him.

    "When a person begins to apprehend what it means to be united to the Son of God and what he has through this union, he will at once realize that his spiritual growth depends upon a clear understanding of truth rather than upon an experience. However, those who really appropriate this truth cannot fail to have daily experiences with the Lord." -L.L.L.

    "Nowhere in Scripture is it taught that there is a sudden leap to be taken from carnality to spirituality, or from a life of comparative unconcern as to godliness to one of intense devotion to the Lord Jesus. On the contrary, increase in piety is ever presented as a growth, which should be as normal and natural as the orderly progression in human life from infancy to full stature." -H.A.I.

    "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them, that thy profiting may appear to all" (1 Timothy 4:15).
    -mjs/withchrist.org

    The most effective witness for outreach is one in whom the Lord takes up every place in him so that the work is, not by us in the Lord, but by the Lord in us—everywhere in us. It’s very instructive to know there is no place in us the Lord is not to take up and that it is attained by the law of displacement.

    John the Baptists inspiringly stated, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Similar to as we have two physical eyes we also possess two spiritual “I’s”—the old I and the new I. The Lord does not want to displace you, but your nature. He does not want it to be, all Jesus and none of you, but Jesus and you. God’s desire is to have you in your personhood, plus the new nature!

    Notice John did not say, “I must be eliminated”. This does not design the removal of the old nature but its restraint (Gal 5:17), because the Lord continues use the Adamic nature to teach us for our growth in Christ, just as He used it to draw us to Christ. We came to Christ because we were made to realize the seriousness of sin and the more we are shown the depths of its decadency, the more we realize the depths of God’s holiness.

    I like what John Gill commentated concerning something Christ said on the Cross; “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Jesus was referring to their ignorance to the fact that they did not realize they were crucifying the Messiah, nor the prophecies concerning Him, nor the evil they were committing in putting Him to death: not that their ignorance excused their sin; nor was it without sin; nor does Christ use it as a plea for pardon, or found His intercession upon it, which is always done upon His own propitiatory sacrifice; but this is mentioned as descriptive of the persons Christ prays for, and points out a branch of His priestly office He exercises, in having compassion on the ignorant, and them that are out of the way. (J. Gill bible commentary)

    The issue of sin is not so much the wrongs of people as much as it is their lacking the realization of the seriousness of the wrongs; which comes not by discovery but by revelation--by the Spirit’s enlightenment (John 14:26). One cannot judge, nor expect an unregenerate person to live the Christ-life any more than expecting a pig to stay out of the mud after cleaning it. A sinner is expected to sin willfully just as a pig is expected to willfully return to the mud. If the model is to keep a clean pig, the goal is not in cleaning its body but in addressing its nature. -NC

    “Most would say, “The work of the Holy Spirit is to save souls.” Yes, but why? Just to have them saved? No; but in order that the Lord Jesus might have His place. These souls are the residence of Christ. The Spirit may instruct believers and build them up—for what purpose? Just that they should be more mature Christians? Not at all; but so that the Lamb of God shall have a larger place. No matter what the Holy Spirit does, He has one all-inclusive object and end—the glorifying of the Lord Jesus Christ; that is, giving Him place and then filling all things with Him. Do not think of the “being filled with the Spirit”, or the “fullness of the Spirit”, in any other way than this: the Holy Spirit’s filling of all things with the Lord Jesus—He is “all, and in all” (Col 3:11). –MJS/Person To Person/WithChrist.org.

    “. . . that in all things He may have the preeminence.” (Col 1:18).




    4-11. INWROUGHT FOR OUTREACH

    "Rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving" (Colossians 2:7).

    At first our concern is to be used, to serve; but it is our concern. Then He begins to impress His concern upon our hearts, that we be like Him. Finally, it is His concern and ours that others may be reached by Him and established in Him.

    "The Holy Spirit indwells us and thereby accomplishes our sanctification--an adjustment of our personal lives to His own person and character, to the dropping away of sin's power over us and the implanting of His Christ-imparting attributes in us. But to what purpose is all of this? For the beautifying of our personal lives? To terminate upon us? Not at all. His work in us is that He may have an instrument adjusted to His use, thus to work through us to the blessing of others. -N.B.H.

    "It is not so much a matter of our attainments or full conformity to Christ, but rather our progressive movement towards the final goal. Even if we were perfect in ourselves, that would not make us ministers, for ministry consists in the Spirit's manifesting in our lives something more of Christ that was not there before, and then making it shine out for the blessing and transformation of others." -H.F.

    "And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men" (1 Thessalonians 3:12). -MJS/WithChrist.org


    "Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1).

    We never question how He works, once we know Him for who He is. When I gain the treasure of knowing Him, I can well afford to trust Him.


    "The heart that is captivated by an object could never be at rest until it was with the one who had won it; for satisfaction you must be where He is. Love really does not think of anyone but its Object until it is quite sure of its place with Him, and then when at rest about itself it studies the mind and heart of the Object.


    "I find that Christ loved me, and gave Himself for me when I was in a most unattractive state; but He makes me suitable to Himself, and I am so assured of the permanency of His love and of my association with Him that my heart is free to study Him. The more I am in His company, the more I acquire the tastes and characteristics which answer to His mind."


    "There is an amazing effect of beholding the Lord's glory. You may be transformed from some old taste without even feeling it; but you are transformed! and you cannot tell how. It is not the process that occupies you, but you are engrossed with the Lord. We are united to the glorified Lord where He is at home, and, blessed by God, that is our home, our life is there." -J.B.S.


    "Your life is hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3).
     
  11. Netchaplain

    Netchaplain Ordained Chaplain

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    The Christian life is not living by what Christ can do but by what He has already done. There is nothing we do not already possess in order to ever increasingly be conformed (Rom 8:29--by the Spirit through the Cross) to the Christ-life. “Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ” (Eph 1:3). Nothing can be added to that which “is finished” (John 19:30) and makes us “complete in God’s will” (Col 4:12).

    This first involves realizing we work from and not towards God’s spiritual blessings, by appropriating--through reckoning. Paul’s pressing toward the prize was in reference to the resurrection of his body (Phil 3:11) because his spirit had formally been regenerated and this was due to already possessing God’s blessings. As the Holy Spirit increases our understanding of the written Word, the presence of all of God’s blessings in our lives will become more evident.

    We reckon--by faith, and to reckon on God’s written Word is to be convinced it is always true. I believe the most crucial issue concerning reckoning, faith and God’s written Word is to know that God’s blessings are in our lives “through the faith of the operation of God” (Col 2:12), esp. when at times (some call it a “pause”) our faith may seem weak (2 Cor 12:9, 10).

    Regardless whether or not we think we deserve His blessings, He “works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Eph 1:11), not according to the performance of our lives. For Christians this means we do not receive something good because we do good, nor do we receive something bad because we did something bad.

    Everything is foreknown by God and is being used to teach us of Himself. A Christian’s desire is always toward pleasing God and therefore, in spite of mistakes, is sowing to the good. The totality or summation of everything a person does is toward good or evil and only “He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God” (3 John 1:11).
    -NC


    4-13. DUAL RECKONING

    "For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9).

    "Reckoning" on the work of the Cross is the only relief from the carnal burden of self. Then comes the spiritual burden of Christ--to be more like Him. "Reckoning" is the answer there, too. "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through [in] Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6.11). If we seek to escape the death, we will not experience the life.

    "We are not to try to crucify self, but we are to agree (reckon) with what God has said and done. In the lives of most believers self has usurped the place belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a criminal worthy of death, but the trouble is that they do not realize that this self-life has been crucified on the Cross. They do not believe the facts of the Word, and sin therefore reigns in their lives; they live in bondage to sin, praying for deliverance, praying that they may die to sin, but refusing to believe what God says He has already done." -L.L.L.

    "The constant tendency is to try to improve the manner of one's life here below by adopting Christian principles, whereas you will never arrive at it unless you start from 'crucified with Christ.' Then it is not thinking of what I am, but of what He is, 'Christ liveth in me.'" -J.B.S.

    "And ye are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power" (Colossians 2:10).

    -MJS/WithChrist.org

    ___________________________________________________________________

    After being saved, the next most significant issue is our worship to God, which involves everything we do (John 4:23, 24) and it is how we glorify Him (Mat 5:16). The next most significant issue after our worship to God is our witness to others. After all, outreach to others is how everyone comes to Christ, by God using those who are His to draw them to Christ, beginning with the twelve.

    So, this is a list of three pillars in the faith: personal salvation; worship to God; outreach to others. Is anything missing from the list? What could be your next item? How about personal growth in our salvation? Yes, this concludes the pillars of faith to be four and this last element is as significant as the first because it will determine the effectiveness of the second and third elements.

    As we know, God uses His Spirit to conform us to the life of Christ and the Spirit’s primary item of use is the written Word of God. Just as the more Sun we’re exposed to, the more tanned we get; the more Word we’re exposed to, the more Son we get. Concerning God’s word, our primary responsibility is to continue to expose ourselves to it and it is God’s responsibility to cause it to mature us in His Son’s image (Rom 8:29).

    “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim 3:16, 17). “It is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13).

    The quickest and most effective growth in the life of Christ involves direct Son-light, which is by the written Word of God because it is the only source unfiltered.
    -NC


    4-14. APPRECIATION, NOT DEPRECIATION

    "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly" (Colossians 3:16).

    As believers we rejoice in the fact that the Lord Jesus died for us, but few are affected by the fact that He arose for us. Fewer still realize that we died and arose with Him. Learn the facts! There will be continual struggle and failure until we gain adequate understanding of the liberating truth.

    "The Lord Jesus on the Cross removed the barriers which separated me from God--my guilt, my sin, the law; and He dealt with my enemies--the world, the flesh, the devil. These six things were dealt with, so that we need no longer be in bondage through fear and that we may come boldly to the throne of grace.

    "Have we given a hearty assent to these things which the Lord Jesus did for us? Or have we, as we read the Word, drifted by them, taking it all for granted? Let us lay hold of that for which God has laid hold of us. Let us gird up the loins of our mind and consent to that which He did for us. Let us enter into all that which being united to Christ as our Life means. Let us rejoice in all that was accomplished for us on Calvary." -L.L.L.

    "It is necessary that the truth conferred by grace should be known as a possession and the virtue of it apprehended, before there can be any walk in keeping with it. For if there be ignorance or misapprehension, the truer the conscience, the more defective is the practice." -J.B.S.

    "Set your affection on things above" (Colossians 3:2)
    -MJS/WithChrist.org
    _______________________________________________________________________

    The Father in His mercy has been teaching you that there is no solid advancement in growth apart from personal fellowship with Himself. It is not only His infinite love that you need, but it is your own heart-love that He longs for. Think of it, the Creator yearning for the love and companionship of the re-created.

    Ponder the infinite pathos of the Lord Jesus’ plea to the Twelve, while many of His disciples were forsaking Him: “Will you also go away?” (John 6:67). Does not your heart all but break as He asks the same of you? Surely your loving response can be no less than that of Peter’s: “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:88). –MJS/Person to Person/withchrist.org


    4-15. PURPOSE, PROVISION, PROCESS

    "I beseech Thee, show me Thy glory" (Exodus 33:18).

    There are three vital factors that will keep us on the path, and in the power, of spiritual growth: (1) study to know that God's purpose in saving us is to conform us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28, 29); (2) learn to reckon upon the finished work of the Cross as His provision for that purpose (Romans 6:11); (3) yield to the Holy Spirit as He carries out the daily process of that purpose (2 Corinthians 4:11).

    "Christ Jesus' earthly life showed the path, His heavenly life gives the power, in which we are to walk. What God hath joined together no man may separate. Whosoever does not stand in the full faith of the Redemption, has not the strength to follow the Example. And whosoever does not seek conformity to the Image as the great purpose of Redemption, cannot fully enter its power. Christ lived on earth that He might show forth the image of God in His life; He lives in heaven that we may show forth the image of God in our lives." -A.M.

    "God has but one way of revealing Himself, it is 'Christ in you.' He has no other way of showing Himself to men except as Christ lives in us; not by the Shekinah glory in the temple built with hands of men, but in lives redeemed and freed and cleansed as they walk about in this dark world with Christ living in them." -L.L.L.

    "And we all, while with face unveiled we behold in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are ourselves transformed continually into the same likeness; and the glory which shines upon us is reflected by us, even as it proceeds from the Lord, the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18, Cony.).

    mjs/withchrist.org

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I believe the most applicable word to describe everything in our life as a Christian and our fellowship with God could be “vicarious”, because nothing we do or have (esp. salvation) of God originates from us.
    Everything which has to do with God in our life precedes forth from the Holy Spirit through our regenerated self--by way of the “new man” because this new nature within us is created after the image of Christ (Col 3:10) and Christ is the image of the Father (2 Cor 4:4; Heb 1:3).

    “Yielding ourselves unto God” (Rom 6:13) means presenting our new self to Him, not the old self. When we are discouraged it’s because we’ve yielded our old self, which He cannot use (Rom 8:7). It bears repeating that when we are disappointed it’s because we’ve based our support on human strength (Eph 6:10) and not on God, because He never disappoints.

    Therefore, it is a refreshing thing to realize that “he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works” (“own works” which are apart from God--Heb 4:10). It’s God’s works and not ours which “keeps us from falling” (Jude 1:24).
    -NC


    4-16. HANDICAPPED FOR CHRIST

    "My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in [your] weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

    In self we are crippled; in Christ we conquer. The secret is to face up to the former, and rest in the latter. The disadvantaged believer has all the advantage--he knows it must be "not I, but Christ."

    "It is a great step when the believer fully consents to his own weakness, and the abiding consciousness of it, and so works faithfully on, fully assured that his Lord is working through him. He rejoices that the excellence of the power is of God, and not of us. Realizing his oneness with his Lord, he considers no longer his own weakness, but counts on the power of Him of whose hidden working within him is assured.

    "It is this secret assurance that gives a brightness to his look, and a gentle firmness to his tone, and a perseverance to all his efforts, which of themselves are great means of influencing those he is seeking to win. He goes forth in the spirit of one to whom victory is assured; for this is the victory that overcometh, even our faith. He no longer counts it humility to say that God cannot bless his unworthy efforts. He claims and expects a blessing, because it is not he, but Christ in him, that worketh. The great secret of abiding in Christ is the deep conviction that we are nothing, and He is everything." -A.M.

    "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God". (2 Corinthians 3:5).

    -MJS/withchrist.org

    __________________________________________________________

    Until we learn to “labor to enter His rest” (Heb 4:11) much of our work will be unnecessary because instead of it being “Not I, but Christ” it will be “Not Christ, but I”. Continuing in our “own works” delays, but not inhibits, God’s work in our life. Our old man-related works are to be shunned in order to yield to God to work through us—“by His Spirit in the inner man” (Eph 3:16). It is the Spirit of God who causes us to avoid many wrongs in our lives which we would otherwise encounter (Gal 5:17).

    As God rested from His works of creation (Gen 2:2, 3) and never needing to repeat it, He will progressively reduce in our life works which derive from our "old man" which, by law of displacement, will allow more works which derive from the "new man"--through the Spirit.. “For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His” (Heb 4:10).
    -NC



    4-17. REST AND RECEIVE

    "I long to know Christ and the power which is in His resurrection" (Philippians 3:10, Wey.).

    The difficult thing for most hungry-hearted believers is to wait in dependence upon the Lord for everything. Truth is not to be grasped, but received--received by faith, mainly through study. How true this is concerning reckoning! Many seek to reckon before they understand the scriptural facts upon which to count, and that adds up to failure. The secret is to learn the truth of our identification with the Lord Jesus so thoroughly that reckoning and its resultant growth will come as a matter of course, just as in our justification.

    "The death of our Lord on the Cross has depths of meaning that can only be plumbed by way of discovered need, but then reveals 'unsearchable riches.' To the believer who still has hopes of 'attaining' in the Christian life, a verse such as Romans 6:11 is a rather meaningless jargon used by those who give messages on the 'deepening of the spiritual life.'

    "To the believer who has been taught by the Holy Spirit something of his own utter, inbred sinfulness, it comes as a message from God full of hope and encouragement. He grasps the rescue rope flung to him by the right hand of Omnipotence, and with humble thankfulness sets out to learn how he can reckon himself dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Jesus Christ our Lord. When he looks at the Cross he sees there the fact that not only did the Lord Jesus die for him, but that he himself was taken down into His death, in order that the practical reality of His resurrection life might transform him into the divine likeness." -J.C.M.

    "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection" (Romans 6:5).

    -MJS/withchrist.org

    4-18. ABIDING LIBERATION

    "For we preach not ourselves, but Jesus Christ the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake" (2 Corinthians 4:5).
    Our Father took the old fleshly life into death at the Cross (Romans 6:6). He gave us new spiritual life in Christ at the resurrection (Romans 6:4, 5). As we keep our eyes upon the Cross for the old, and upon the Lord Jesus Christ for the new, all that will remain for others to see will be "not I, but Christ."

    "In Romans Seven, the personal pronouns 'I,' 'me,' 'my,' are used 47 times in 18 verses. This is the way in which believers live who do not know or who do not recognize the fact of their union with the Lord Jesus Christ.

    "To be occupied with self is to be defeated and to have failure and live in sin; but to be occupied with the Lord Jesus will mean victory. He must be the center, He must be everything to me. In Him is liberation; apart from abiding in Him is defeat and failure. Are you trying to please God, or trusting the One to whom you are united, the One who did 'always the things that are pleasing to Him'?" -L.L.L.

    "In our Position (union) in Him we are made manifest to God; we are holy and complete in Him. In our Possession of Him He is manifested to men; He lives out His life through us. As we are accepted in Him, so may He be manifested in us." -N.B.H.

    "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" (2 Corinthians 4:7).
     
  12. Netchaplain

    Netchaplain Ordained Chaplain

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    Due to the potentially excessive controversy which can be generated concerning Israel and the Church, I chose not to comment but rather suggest a link which I have found to be the most helpful on this issue.
    http://withchrist.org/newcovenant.htm. I would gladly welcome any comments or questions concerning this material, but only in the spirit of neighborly love (Eph 4:15). Blessed Be God!
    -NC




    4-19. LAW OF LIFE

    "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).
    We need not submit to the law, nor do we need to struggle against it. It is now a matter of our standing on heavenly ground in our risen Lord, free from the influence and demands of the entire principle of law. In Christ Jesus we are motivated by a higher law, 'the law of the Spirit of life' (Romans 8:2).

    "There is no way of deliverance from the law and its bondage, into that liberty for which Christ set us free except to believe, and to keep reckoning, that we died to the law with Him, and are now risen, and joined to Another, the Risen One--even as Romans 7:4 asserts: 'Ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ; that ye should be joined to another, even Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God.'" -W.R.N.

    "In man the law and the flesh always go together. The Cross was the end for both in the sight of God. The flesh was judged and condemned there; it was treated as a dead thing before God--dead and buried; and the law which deals with the flesh we are dead to. We have passed out of both; we are not in the flesh (Romans 8:9), and we are not under the law (Gal; 2:19). -W.K.

    "But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the [Holy] Spirit of God [really] dwells within you--directs and controls you" (Romans 8:9, Amp.).

    MJS/withchrist.org

    ______________________________________________________________

    Previously I posted a thread entitled “That Inadequate Feeling” which I claimed that the Christian will at times feel like there’s something wrong but can’t put a finger on it. I stated that I believe it comes from the still indwelling of our old nature because we cannot still have it and not notice it.

    I’ve learned there is such a thing referred to as “the pause” and I also briefly mentioned it in another post but now I would like to expound a little on it. The pause is that time in a Christian’s life that all can seem temporarily neutral, not good or bad, happy or sad, but empty. This is unavoidable as it eventually occurs to all in the Body of Christ and I believe its purpose, as any other thing, is to cause us to learn to not be moved by adversity, regardless the type.

    Justice is receiving what we deserve. Mercy is not receiving what we deserve and Grace is receiving what we do not deserve. As we know, the last mentioned here is the crux of it all and the more we center and draw on it, the more we are learning to know God, which develops our desirous love for God into more practical love for Him.

    Our Position is our place with Christ where He is and our Condition is Christ’s place in us where we are. In our Position, regardless of what we think, God “Hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6). In our Condition, regardless of what we feel, Christ’s presence in us eventually overcomes our hardships, “For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” and “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul concluded, as we should too, “For when I am weak, then am I strong” (Heb 13:5 ;1 Cor 12:9, 10). The weaker we are in ourselves, the stronger He is in us. The more we rely in our Position, the less we’re moved by our Condition.

    -NC

    4-20. SOLID GOLD TRIALS


    "For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God" (2 Corinthians 4:15).

    Since He is both my God and my Father, and since all of the hardships He takes me through are specifically designed to conform me to the image of the Lord Jesus, how can I help but trust Him and rejoice in His faithfulness?

    "It is well to remember that the deepest and truest spiritual qualities are not learnt or established in us by our happy or enjoyable times, but in the difficult ones! There is nothing wrong in times of great joy and spiritual blessing; in fact we long for more of them, and look back perhaps to some days of much blessing in our lives or in the work of the Lord; but in the securing of Christ in greater measure in our lives, we find that it is by the things which we suffer that we learn most. So let us give thanks for the joyful days, and learn all that the Lord intends by the days of waiting and difficulty." -C.J.B.H.

    "Faith asks for no props from the men and things around it; it finds 'all its springs' in God; and hence it is that faith never shines so brightly as when all around is dark. It is when nature's horizon is overcast with the blackest clouds, that faith basks in the sunshine of the divine favor and faithfulness." -C.H.M.

    "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Corinthians 4:17).

    MJS/withchrist.org

    ____________________________________________________________






    4-21. TRINITY-TRAINED

    "He comforts us in our every affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction by means of the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted of God" (2 Corinthians 1:4, Wey.).

    It is a great comfort to know that everything our Father takes us through--much of which may be hard and heartbreaking--has a dual purpose. That which He utilizes to cause us to grow spiritually is at the same time designed to prepare us for His service. He does nothing in vain; He wastes nothing.

    "In the very service itself God makes the servant fit to carry it out. A person is first disciplined for service, and then in the
    service he is made fit by it for the character of it. God has not servants ready made. He makes them fit for His own service in connection with the race they have to run. The word 'chasten' is the same as that used in Ephesians with respect to bringing up the children: it is nurture. We attach too much the idea of severity, or retribution, to it." -J.B.S.

    "Why does God take some through such deep and trying experiences? Why is it that He does not allow some of His children to have an easy way and to be satisfied and gratified with elementary things? The needs of others--that is why.

    "We know quite well if any have been able really to help others, it is because they have gone through deep experience, they have pioneered this way, they have paid a great price for this freedom. It has been costly, but worthwhile if others can be really helped."

    "But to God be the thanks who in Christ ever heads our triumphal procession, and by our hands waves in every place that sweet incense, the knowledge of Him" (2 Corinthians 2:14, Wey.).

    ________________________________________________________________


    Why we do what we do is superior to what we do and how we do it. Motive, message and method are involved in all we do, esp. in our outreach which is our ongoing witness and example.

    It is a restful thing to know there is nothing required for us to remain saved, for it is retained in the same manner it is given—by Christ. If we feel it is up to us to remain in God’s Grace, we haven’t understood how we have received it. We do not keep God, He keeps us (John 10:29; Rom 8:35, 38, 39), because it is He who drew (John 6:44) us to receive and it is He who “keeps us from falling” (Jude 1:24).

    Working to keep our salvation would be the same as working for it because fearing its loss if we think we’re not up to an acceptable performance would mean regaining it upon an acceptable performance.
    We work, not for salvation but from or out of it. The design in “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” is modeled to intended "work about your salvation"; employ yourselves in things which accompany salvation (Phil 2:12).

    If we do not depend upon the Spirit to work in and by us, we are trusting our treasures to the frailty of self and will gain no ground of spiritual growth. Self does not possess the required ability concerning the things of God because they must be worked into us, “For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil 2:13). We’re working but it’s Him doing the work!
    -NC







    4-22. GUIDING COMFORTER

    "If ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under bondage of effort to please God by works of the law" (Galatians 5:18).

    The motivating principle of the old life is the law; the motivating principle of the new life is "the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." The one produces "the works of the flesh"; the other, "the fruit of the Spirit."

    "To be guided by the Holy Spirit is to be moved through the most delicate relationships the heart can know. The 'bit and bridle' of the law must give way to the glance of the eye of grace (Psalm 32:8, 9). At this point Satan, appearing as 'an angel of light,' will seek to misdirect the believer's life by making use of a morbid conscience, a mistaken impression as to duty, or a lack of understanding as to the exact teaching of God's Word. However, Satan's leadings are to be detected since they are irksome, painful, and disagreeable. The leading of the Holy Spirit is sweet and satisfying to the heart of the one who is yielded to God. We must remember that the will of God is said to be 'good,' 'acceptable,' and 'perfect' (Romans 12:2)." -L.S.C.

    "The believer has an all-engaging responsibility of continuing in an attitude of reliance ('by means of the Spirit be walking') upon the Holy Spirit. This is the believer's divinely appointed task and place of cooperation in the mighty undertakings of God. Thus, and only thus, can the Holy Spirit possess and vitalize every human faculty, emotion, and choice." -L.S.C.

    "If we are living in the Spirit's power, let our conduct also be governed by the Spirit's power" (Galatians 5:25, Wey.).

    MJS/withchrist.org

    ___________________________________________________________________


    Everything operates within a principle or law, i.e. law of gravity, law of thermal dynamics, etc. Society must live within “the law” or be punished. Ancient Israel was instructed by God to live within “the Law” which He revealed to them by Moses. Paul said the Gentiles live by “a law which is unto themselves” (Rom 2:14) which was similar to “the things contained in the Law” which “showed the work of the Law written in their hearts” (v 15), because “the matter and substance of the moral law of Moses agrees with the law and light of nature” (John Gill).

    The purposes of any law, upper or lower case L is not to make a bad person good but to restrain him. A Christian requires no restraint of any law (Gal 5:23), except “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” because he is no longer restrained by “the law of sin and death” (Rom 8:2). The sole restraint of the Christian is the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:17)!!
    -NC






    4-23. FULFILLED LAW

    "For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law but under grace" (Romans 6:14)

    The believer's attitude toward the law is that it is "holy...and just, and good" (Romans 7:12). He does not belittle it by refusing to be under it; he honors it by acknowledging its fulfillment. "For I, through the law, am dead to the law, that I might live unto God" (Galatians 2:19).

    "If I say I am under law, and stop there, I am left in spiritual anarchy. If I say I am under law and under grace, I am in the current Galatian heresy which seeks to combine law and grace. But if I say I am not under the law but under grace, I am giving a biblical and Christian testimony." -C.I.S.

    "Our identification with Christ in His death places us in perfect reconciliation to a violated law. God has said, 'The soul that sinneth, it shall die.' The believer has sinned, and has died in Christ's death. The law has said, 'Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.' None have continued in obedience. But Christ has been 'made a curse for us'; for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.' Hence, crucified with Christ, we have been accursed in Him. Not one jot or tittle has then passed away from the law, but all has been fulfilled." -A.J.G.

    "If, then, when you died with Christ, you put away the childish lessons of outward things, why, as though you still lived in outward things, do you submit yourselves to decrees?" (Colossians 2:20, Wey.).

    MJS/withchrist.org

    ______________________________________________________________






    4-24. MY FATHER CARES!


    "I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear" (Job 42:5).


    The heart that is hungry to have God's purpose worked out in his life is going to be neither disappointed, nor pampered. When it comes to seeing self for what it is, there can be no pampering; when it comes to seeing the Lord Jesus Christ for who He is, there can be no disappointment.

    "Why are the people of God suffering?--that they may be conformed to the image of His Son. Of course, we may not need a world upheaval to do this, but God is going to use all conditions to that end, and, tragically enough, there are multitudes of the Lord's people who do need a world shaking.

    "They are so bound up with the externalities of Christianity, with its whole structure and system, that nothing but that which will overthrow, disintegrate, destroy, and raise tremendous questions about the whole business, will bring them to the place where the Spirit of God can begin really to do the work He has come to do in them." -T. A-S.

    "Job was a true servant of God; but he needed to learn himself, as we all do. He needed to have the roots of his moral being laid bare in his own sight so that he might really abhor himself, and repent in dust and ashes. And furthermore, he needed a truer and deeper sense of what God was, so that he might trust Him and justify Him under all circumstances." -C.H.M.

    "But now mine eye seeth Thee" (Job 42:5).

    MJS/withchrist.org

    _____________________________________________________________

    The most significant item on the Christian’s daily to-do-list is the same as that which will be the number one priority in eternity—fellowship with God! Our order of priorities is often misarranged if we have yet to realize our fellowship with God is the main purpose of all that He places in our lives, because this will be our priority in the next and the effectiveness of our outreach to others is determined by the condition of our fellowship with God.

    Our union with the Father has been established through His Son and is “irrevocable” (Rom 11:29 NKJ), but the nearness of our fellowship is determined by our maturity in His Son. “Our life is hid with Christ in God” (Col 3:3) and through Christ we are “accepted in the beloved” (Eph 1:6), which means, how near we are to God (Jam 4:8) is commensurate with our level of conformity “to the image of His Son” (Rom 8:29).

    It is reassuring to know that we are not to conform ourselves (which is an impossibility regardless the level of desire), because it is written that we are “to be conformed” (Rom 8:29). This means we are growing “up into Him in all things” (Eph 4:15) and that each and every individual Christian, from where his level of maturity stands, is constantly being lovingly conformed by our Father.

    This also involves the comforting fact that God is already aware of all our choices in this life, which encourages us to know that our unintentional wrongs and mistakes (which all the wrongs of the true believer are undesirable--Heb 10:26), even those which can result in misfortune and adversity from bad choices, are used in His prearranged plans to “work all things together for good to them that love God” (Rom 8:28).

    I love referring to this as “The Magoo Factor” because regardless of our decisions and outcomes, He will “keep us from falling” (Jude 1:24)!
    -NC




    4-25. FIT FIRST




    "And the servant of the Lord must not strive" (2 Timothy 2:24).

    Our one responsibility, that of concentrating upon the Lord Jesus, has a three-fold result: (1) fellowship with Him; (2) growth in His image; (3) ministry of life to others.

    "The love of the Lord culminates in this, that we should be with Him. He died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him (1 Thessalonians 5:10). I find the one who is set on usefulness (Martha) does not advance like the one set on personal affection to Him (Mary). The Lord give us to be more personally attached to Himself; then we shall be useful according to His good pleasure."

    "There is one thing that all can do--be 'meet for the Master's use' (2 Timothy 2:21); and this is the secret of usefulness. Usefulness is not activity; it is not merely being used, but it is fitness, cleanness, preparedness, and separation of heart, singleness of eye, the affections set on things above--all, in fact, that proceeds from the judgment and denial of self, and the manifestation of Christ in the life by faith."

    "All my ability to act for the Lord Jesus here depends on my conscious identification with Him where He is, not where He was for me; though as I receive power from Him I walk here even as He walked; His life is manifested in me. -J.B.S.

    "But be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient" (2 Timothy 2:24).

    MJS/WithChrist.org

    ___________________________________________________________________


    To believe in somebody and to just believe about him are prominently distinct issues. We can believe one is capable of performing and be knowledgeable of what he can do and who he is but if this is as far as it goes, this is just belief about him without doubting he’s real. A good example is when God appeared to men (esp. wilderness Israel) in ancient times which confirmed their belief of Him being real but with many, it was not “mixed with faith” (Heb 4:2) because they did not believe in Him.

    In other words, many even after seeing, did not trust in God and “with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness” (1 Cor 10:5). James 2:19 writes “Even the demons believe--and tremble!” They believe about God by sight but do not believe in Him by faith or trust.

    A great truism is that the unsaved need to come to Christ for deliverance from the guilt of sin and the saved need to know Christ for deliverance from the ruler-ship of sin. The best example is the visit of Jesus to the two sisters Mary and Martha. Mary was concerned more with knowing Jesus than serving Him and He told Martha “Mary has chosen that good part” (Luke 10:38-42).

    The more we read, study and share God’s written Word, the more He causes us to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (2 Pet 3:18; Eph 4:13). Our part is to read; His part is to enlighten what we read. I like the analogy of computer programing and operations. As an operator can only utilize the content of the program, God utilizes the input of His Word in us.
    -NC




    4-26. KNOW TO GROW


    "And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).

    The heartbreaking knowledge of self brings a life-giving compensation, which is knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. The needs generated by the realization of the sin of self produce the necessary motivation and hunger which cause us to focus upon the Lord Jesus and become conformed to His image. "And we all, while with face unveiled we behold in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are ourselves transformed continually into the same likeness" (2 Corinthians 3:18, Cony.).

    "Many a new believer has obtained relief in his conscience from his sins, because of faith in the Blood of Jesus Christ; that is, he does not see further than Romans 3. He has faith in the work of Christ, but has not yet come in faith to Christ. He is like the woman who touched the hem of His garment, assured of His work but not yet acquainted with Himself." -J.B.S.

    "It is one thing to believe on the Lord Jesus, to be born again, to be saved. That is a glorious thing as a beginning, but it alone will not take you right through all you have to meet; and if you are really in the Lord's hands He will see to it that by virtue of need you are drawn into knowing more and more of His Son. It is the normal course of a true, Holy Spirit-governed Christian life that, in order to get through, an increase of Christ, a growing discovery of Christ, is necessary." -T. A-S.

    "That I may know Him" (Philippians 3:10).

    MJS/WithChrist.org


    ___________________________________________________________________________

    The work of the Holy Spirit is performed for the glorification of the Father and His Son (John 15:26), and within this life He leads us in our salvation to also glorify the Father and the Son (Mat 5:16).

    It’s written that Jesus was led of the Holy Spirit into the wilderness (Mat 4:1; Luke 4:1) which eventuated in His death at the Cross. It’s also written that Christians are led of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:14; Gal 5:18) which also eventuates in our death at His cross by being “crucified with Christ” (Gal 2:20). We were “dead with Christ” (Rom 6:8), but this does not include our “old man” or, old nature.

    Nowhere is it viewed in Scripture that our sinful nature is dead, but rather “crucified” (Rom 6:6) We “are dead to sin” (Rom 6:2) but it is not dead to us. We left the cross to be “buried with Him by baptism into death” (Rom 6:4) so “that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4). We died and were raised in our spirit (Eph 2:6). Our condition involves the possession of the Spirit in this life but our position, while in this life, involves the fact that God has “made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6).

    We, as a spirit being, along with the addition of a “new man” or new nature, have left the cross with Christ; but our “old man” or old nature, which still dwells within us (Rom 7:17, 18 - flesh meaning old nature, 20, 21, 23, 25), is still on His Cross. It is not written that it was “crucified” (Rom 6:6) but “is” crucified. It is the Spirit’s initial application of Christ’s Cross to us and our “old man” which brought about our regeneration, and it is the Spirit’s ongoing application of the Cross (Luke 9:23) to this sinful nature which restrains it from ruling us.

    To serve or be ruled and dominated by the sinful nature is to be obedient to it without the possibility of refusing its influence; but If one usually refuses its influence (only through the Spirit - Gal 5:17) he is no longer being ruled and dominated by it. “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. . . “For sin shall not have dominion over you” (Rom 6:12, 14).

    John wrote, “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9). His “seed” is not Christ, nor the Spirit, but is something from Them (not Him but “seed” from Him) which is attributed to the reason why the one born of God does not sin. The one “born of God” is not Christ because it is not limited to Him by the use of “whosoever”, and the phrase “born of God” intends the same as “born again”, which Christ did not require.

    This leaves us with one remaining possibility, which is the “new man” or new nature, because it is sinless, being created “after the image of Him that created him” (Col 3:10) and I believe the Spirit uses this new nature to make us “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet 1:4). I believe this passage designs that those who are “born again” do not sin; in that life of them which is of the “new man”; similar to Paul’s, “If I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I (as the new man) who do it, but sin (his old man) that dwells in me” (Rom 7:17, 20).


    The Cross and Me!

    When I picture the Cross I see one positioned
    Without crown barely alive in condition

    He was once there and so was I
    So who do I see there with my eye?

    Not the Lord or me but who could it be
    But my old man until I am free (Rom 8:23)
    -NC




    4-27. THE CROSS AND THE SPIRIT

    "But God forbid that I should glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Galatians 6:14).

    The Lord Jesus carried out the work of the Cross as to our eternal position. The Holy Spirit carries out the work of the Cross as to our present condition. "He will take the things that are Mine and will transmit them to you" (John 16:15, Amp.).

    "We cannot separate the Cross from the Holy Spirit. We can have no Easter and no Pentecost, until we have first had a Good Friday. Through the Cross alone we are prepared for life in the fulness of God; only he who is crucified with Christ can be a vessel unto honor. Our 'old man' must be crucified with Christ, and in His resurrection we find the roots of our new life. Whosoever loses his life, shall find it. We must learn the lesson of the Cross, as condemned and rejected ones, who have been crucified with Christ.

    "Then the door will be open for a life of power and blessing. All that belongs to death must be turned over to the death of the Cross, even as the body is laid away in the earth, because it belongs to the earth. The Holy Spirit, the Eternal Spirit, is unchangeable. He brought Christ our Head to the Cross, and us His children with Him. For this work in us is twofold. On the one hand, it leads us to death; and on the other hand, to that life which God has placed within us and which leads from glory to glory." -A.M.

    "And all of us, with faces uncovered, because we continue to reflect like mirrors the splendor of the Lord, are being transformed into likeness to Him, from one degree of splendor to another, since it comes from the Lord who is the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18, Wms.).
    MJS/WithChrist.org


    __________________________________________________________________________________

    Our prayers to the Father can be fueled by remembering not only is He our God but also that He is our Father (Abba – Mar 14:36; Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6). “Go to My brethren, and say unto them I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God” (John 20:17).

    Paul wrote that “We do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us” (Rom 8:26). I like to think of it as this, that due to the “weakness” and “infirmities” of our carnal nature we cannot at times express enough to God, by prayer, the fervency of our heart and mind, esp. in times of distress or elations, but the Spirit “helps us” in our shortcomings.

    When our mind is on God, esp. when praying, our best honor to Him is remembering to center our focus on Him (along with Son and Spirit of course) more than on His blessings, because they are intended for this self-same purpose!

    “Lest--when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God” (Deu 8:12-14).
    -NC




    4-28. THE ONENESS OF PRAYER

    "And we have an assured confidence that whenever we ask anything in accordance with His will, He listens to us" (1 John 5:14, Wey.).

    The Christian life is the expression of the Lord Jesus Christ through the believer to men in the world, and in the church. The prayer life is the expression of the Spirit of Christ through the believer to the Father in Heaven. As there is growth in Christ, there will increasingly be prayer in the Spirit (Romans 8:26).

    "Through the Lord Jesus every true believer is united to God in Heaven by a life-link. We are not praying down here on earth to One who is a long way off in Heaven. We are one with Him there and He is one with us here! The devil is all the time trying to create a sense of distance between us and the Lord: but there is no distance between if we abide in Christ, for no one can be closer to the Father than the Son, and we are in Him! -T.L.M.

    "Efficacious prayer is to the glory of the Father (John 14:13), in the Name of the Son (John 14:14), and in the enabling power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26, 27). Compliance with these conditions insures that the human will is in agreement with the divine will. Transforming things, mighty indeed, are wrought by prayer, but only such things as comport with the will and purpose of God." -L.S.C.

    "If we want our own way we will find that everything is against us; but if we have chosen that God shall be sovereign in our lives then everything is for us."

    "And since we know that He listens to us, then whatever we ask, we know that we have the things which we have asked from Him" (1 John 5:15, Wey.).
    -MJS/WithChrist.org


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    4-29. LOVING KINDNESS

    "Now the God of peace . . . make you perfect [complete, mature] in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ" (Hebrews 13:20, 21).

    My life is not only in His hands, but He is my very life. "For by Him were all things created . . . and by Him all things consist" (Colossians 1:16, 17). He controls and maintains the universe, and we can surely depend upon Him to care for us who share His life.

    "We are all of us prone to forget the weighty fact that 'God trieth the righteous.' 'He withdraweth not His eyes from the righteous' (Psalm 11:5; Job 36:7). We are in His hands, and under His eye continually. We are the objects of His deep, tender, and unchanging love; but we are also the subjects of His wise moral government. His dealings with us are varied. They are sometimes preventive; sometimes corrective; always instructive.

    "We may be bent on some course of our own, the end of which would be moral ruin. He intervenes and withdraws us from our purpose. He dashes to fragments our air-castles, dissipates our golden dreams, and interrupts many a darling scheme on which our hearts were bent, and which would have proved to be certain destruction. 'Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, to bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living' (Job 33:29, 30)." -C.H.M.

    "Now thanks be unto God, who always causeth us to triumph in Christ" (2 Corinthians 2:14).
    MJS/WithChrist.org



    _______________________________________________________________​

    4-30. LIBERTY FOR ALL

    "If ye died with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, do ye subject yourselves to ordinances?" (Colossians 2:20, R.V.).

    When it comes to spiritual growth and walk, any help from ourselves is a hindrance to us. The source is wrong. On the death side, we are to receive deliverance from sin's power through the Spirit from the Cross; on the life side, we are to receive growth through the Spirit from the Lord Jesus. It is a matter of receiving, not contributing. We are branches, not vines.

    "The old elementary legal rudiments of a legal age are for those 'living in the world' (having an earthly temple and worship). Believers are seated in the heavenlies in Christ, and are spiritual people with a sanctuary in Heaven. 'Touch not,' 'taste not,' 'handle not'; such commandments of men have no value. They perish with the using (Col 2:22).

    "'Voluntary humility,' 'neglecting of the body,' 'fasting,' etc., have a show of wisdom. They gratify religious pride and self-righteousness, they 'puff up the fleshly mind,' but they are 'not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.' The flesh is not subdued by fasting, nor pride by whipping, nor worldliness by neglect of the body. These are of 'no avail' though men glory in them. Only the Holy Spirit brings one into liberty--and that via the Cross. 'The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death' (Romans 8:2)." -G.G.

    "Stand fast, then, in the freedom which Christ has given us, and turn not back again to entangle yourselves in the yoke of bondage" (Galatians 5:1, Cony.).

    mjs/WithChrist.org



    4-31. WHY STRUGGLE?

    "But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18).
    Our Father allows the believer to struggle with self, not for victory, but for defeat. Then the "wretched man" learns to rest in the Victor.

    "Once you have begun the Christian walk, and know the blessedness of it, you are not trying to correct yourself, for you know that all has been removed from the eye of God; and you insist on the fact that self has been to the Cross, and that Christ is your life. The old man was crucified, and you cannot reform him; all attempts of amiable people to reform him are only denying the fact that he has been dealt with in judgment. The responsible (law) man is not before God now. It is now the day of grace. Everyone who receives His grace is set free from the domination of the old man. The appeal to the believer now is not to do, but to look." -J.B.S.

    "The believer is never told to 'overcome sin,' but to reckon, on the ground of his death with Christ, that he has died to it. On the basis of death, he is told not to 'let' sin reign in his life. It is to be dealt with by an attitude of death, not by 'overcoming.' The believer therefore is not to be spending his whole life in getting victory over sin, but understanding his position as having died unto sin."

    "[We] are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18).
    mjs/WithChrist.org
     
  13. Netchaplain

    Netchaplain Ordained Chaplain

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    ___________________________________________________________________

    “While we were yet sinners” it was all about us making our way to God. Now, being in God, it is all about us drawing close to Him (Psa 73:28; Jam 4:8). Christ’s first descent procured the redemption of our spirit (Gal 3:13); His last descent will procure “the redemption of our body” (Rom 8:23), then we shall finally see the face of “the invisible God” (Col 1:15), who is the Father and “do we with patience wait for it” (Rom 8:24).

    I do not believe absence makes the heart grow fonder but that it causes us to be more appreciative of its object. Loving God “with all of our heart” is a constant degree of intensity which never varies, but our gratitude for it will never cease to increase!

    Love is at the pinnacle of its gratefulness when in the company of its object, so entering our eternal union with God is only part of grace; the other part is to also be in fellowship with Him, which is where He wants us.

    Regardless the level of our understanding in what God has shown us, the believer is unified with Him and He’s causing everything to make us to be “true worshipers” in our fellowship with Him because “the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (John 4:23).
    -NC


    None But the Hungry Heart #5​
    What is shared herein is designed to further your acquaintance with the Lord Jesus on high, and to enrich your fellowship with Him and with the Father. Through prayerful meditation in None But the Hungry Heart #5, we trust the Holy Spirit will bring about a strengthening of faith and an upward drawing of heart.

    Furthermore, it is hoped that these thoughts may provide you an opportunity to try your "faith wings"--to learn more fully the need to abide above, and thereby walk here below in the "Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:2).

    "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment (discernment); that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God" (Philippians 1:9-11).
    • -Miles J. Stanford; Sept. 1973
    5-1. THE GREATEST

    "We love Him, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).

    We first come to know something of the Lord Jesus' love by what He did for us; but that is only the basis for coming to know His love in what He is to us. The first is known at the Cross, the latter is entered into through personal fellowship with the risen Lord.

    "There are three steps in appreciation of His love for us. First, I learn that He loves me so much that He saved me. He is our treasure 'My Beloved is mine' (Song of Solomon 6:3). The second step of affection is the consciousness that He loves me so much that He has a right to me. He would have me for Himself. 'I am my Beloved's' (Song of Solomon 6:3).

    "The third step is the consciousness that He loves me so much that He wants my company 'His desire is toward me' (Song of Solomon 7:10). Love's delight is found in the company of its object. May we know in a deeper way, and in a fuller measure, the sweetness of personal intimacy with 'the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me' (Galatians 2:20).

    "Much ministry is lost upon us as to any practical result, because we are not prepared to be detached from things here, so as to be simply here for Christ. And the preparation for this is to come personally under the influence of the blessed attractiveness of the Lord Jesus. When we sit under His shadow with great delight, everything else becomes so small, and loses its hold upon our hearts." -C.A.C.

    "But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

    _________________________________________________________________
    The believer can encounter many learning experiences from Scripture when the understanding of the right insight concerning the theme of Christianity is apprehended. One has said that religion is man reaching to God and Christianity is God reaching to man. I believe the theme of Christianity is well displayed in the following scriptural passage: “Your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col 3:3).

    Everything we have of God is hidden from the world, from the natural man who does not see with the eye of spiritual discernment (1 Co 2:14). The method of being “in God” is being "hid with Christ", which also involves His intention of manifesting Himself only to those who are His. This was understood by Judas (not Iscariot) when He asked, "Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world" (John 14: 21,22)?


    The most prepared readiness is to remember to address everything in this life with the life of Christ and not our own, because “Christ is our life” (Col 3:4). This will teach us to realize the immensely significant difference in God’s plans, for us, between an earthly life and a heavenly life.

    The earthly life of Adam, even “before sin entered the world” (Rom 5:12), was not a position as elevated as “the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom 8:18), for being with God on the Earth is a lesser position of glory than being in Him in Heaven.

    This has been God’s plan in His thoughts of us from eternity past which He has pre-arranged, that we, through “the natural life first, then afterward that which is spiritual” (1 Cor 15:46), would “inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Mat 25:34).
    -NC


    5-2. INITIAL PREPARATION

    "Saul armed David with his armor.... And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not tested them" (1 Samuel 17:38, 39).

    Years of preparation are worth a moment of truth! Rest assured that once we are developed and trained by the Holy Spirit, the work whereunto He has called us will be ready and waiting (Acts 13:2). "Our Lord must have an instrument which He has formed in the fire and to which He has given peculiar knowledge of Himself."

    "The greater the knowledge committed to a servant, the more necessary and important it is that he should be much alone with God about it, in order that he may realize the nature and effect of it on himself before he undertakes to make it known to others.

    "It rebukes the haste and readiness with which many now enter the ministry, attempting to impress others with a measure of the truth which they have not proved for themselves. Surely the servant should ever be able to say: 'I believed, and therefore have I spoken' (2 Corinthians 4:13). It is better to lose time as to work in preparation for service than to lose time in repairing one's mistakes in undertaking a work for which one is not yet qualified."

    "A servant's discipline must always be in advance of the service prepared for him. He cannot lead beyond the point to which he himself has been led. But when the depth and reality of the truth has been established in his own soul, he is made the channel of it."

    "I have found that many a thing which I had presented in an extreme way because I was sure of it, I put forth in a simpler and a more real way when I had touched it in my own experience." -J.B.S.

    "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you" (1 John 1:3).
    MJS/WithChrist.org
     
  14. Pelaides

    Pelaides New Member

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    Is this your mission in life,to post this Miles Stanford stuff on every Christian forum?
     
  15. Netchaplain

    Netchaplain Ordained Chaplain

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    Sorry Pelaides! I'm not sure if I should be responding to your reply because I don't want to present the possibility of appearing contentious but, for the sake hoping the best for you I have. The answer is yes, until one of two occurrences exist: The Admin. requests me to desist or I encounter deeper truths of God's Word to share. Even if I wanted to stop, I couldn't justify such action for the sake of a few over the possible encouragement of many.

    I forgive whatever reason caused you to post an attempted offense (none taken - Mat 11:6) and I would like to hope that whatever it is will eventually no longer trouble you. I would suggest avoid viewing the posts but that would not be the answer, because the answer must come from yourself and nobody else.

    Regardless, please be encouraged and God's blessings to your Family!
     
  16. Pelaides

    Pelaides New Member

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    I asked you the question out of curiosity,if the spirit wants you to share this with everyone,then God bless you.
     
  17. Netchaplain

    Netchaplain Ordained Chaplain

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    ____________________________________________________________
    "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26). Of course, this passage is not Christ instructing us to hate anyone because it would conflict with His “second great command”, to “love one another”.

    He is using a hyperbolic expression to intensify the desire of our love for Him compared to our love for self and all others. It intends that to be His, we would need to love Him, even if loving Him required hating family and self, which would never be (hyperbole). Matthew 10:37 clearly delineates this which writes, "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me”.

    Both of these passages are followed by, "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me”. Instead of not preferring people to Christ, this passage is in reference to not yielding to things, trials and hardships which compromises, not our desirous love to Him but our practical love for Him. One may have a desirous love to Christ without an actual practicing love for Him.

    The crux of the preceding material focuses on making Christ our object instead of self, which I believe J.B Stoney so aptly commented concerning true devotedness: “When I rest in the Lord Jesus, then I begin to find all my joy and strength in Him, and I occupy myself with Him. This is the first step, or the foundation of true devotedness. I do not become devoted in the true sense until I have found rest in Him. I am, up to this, rather looking to receive from Him, thus, I am more an object to myself; but when I find how fully I am an object to Him, then my heart is at liberty to make Him its object, He having made me His.”
    -NC

    5-3. APPREHENDED TO APPREHEND

    "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord" (Philippians 3:8).

    Positionally, our Father subjected our old nature to the Cross and its resultant death. Experientially, He applies the work of the Cross to our old life, thereby progressively holding it in the grip of that death. He is "unforming" the old nature in death, and conforming the new nature in life.

    "Life more abundant requires that what He did for us shall be made good in us. In His Cross He dealt with our sins, and He also dealt with ourselves; but that is something which has to be made good progressively. It is as we ourselves are dealt with in the power of the Cross that the way is made for His life to express itself in ever deepening fullness.

    "The fact is that it is the old life which is in the way of the new life and its full expression. It is the natural life which obstructs the course of the divine life. Thus what has been done for us has to be done in us, and as it is done in us that life becomes more than a deposit, more than a simple, though glorious possession; it becomes a deepening, growing power, a fullness of expression." -T. A-S.

    "You may have been in the fires and have been having a pretty hard and painful time in your spiritual life, but that only means that God has been preparing you for something more. No, God is not a God who believes in bringing everything to an end. He is always after something more. And if He has to clear the way for something more by devastating methods (Cross), well, that is all right, for it is something more that He is after. There is so much more, far, far transcending all our asking or thinking."

    "I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12).

    __________________________________________________________
    The believer is always in a life and death situation. The living-dead are fictional but there are those who are the dead-living because as a believer, “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col 3:3) and therefore we, “walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4). Being “dead indeed unto sin” results in being “alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 6:11).

    Reckoning ourselves to be “dead indeed unto sin” does not cause us to be dead unto sin. We are dead to sin because we are “alive unto God” and therefore we “reckon” or realize we are dead to sin. In other words, we cannot make ourselves dead to sin; this was Christ’s work on the Cross. All we can do is count is so, that it has been done and know that it is an ongoing crucifixion to our old nature – by the Spirit. This causes us to live in the new life we have in God through Christ.

    We count none our victories, esp. that over death, as results of what we do, but what God is always doing. What we do results from what He does; not, what He does results from what we do. He is always the cause and we are the beneficiaries of the effect--life out of death. His best for our worst!
    -NC



    5-4. FIXED POSITION

    "And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me" (Luke 9:23)

    True spiritual experience will result from our standing immovable in our position "in Christ." All too often believers allow certain "experiences" to move them from the faith-ground of their objective position, and they are soon adrift on the sea of subjective feelings and unscriptural influences.

    "The Christian life is essentially a continuous dying, and a continuous living. Of course, there may come a particular crisis in experience where the Spirit of God brings the soul face to face with a definite issue as to a willingness for the Cross, and a yielding of the life to God. Yes, the first revelation of the secret of victory also may constitute a real crisis in the life of the believer, but that crisis or experience can never, in itself, avail for the future.

    "There is a subtle danger in relying upon some isolated experience of 'sanctification,' so-called. The victorious Christian life is a Person, not an experience. Following the crisis, whatever phase or landmark in the life that may represent, there must be the daily reckoning, the moment-by-moment abiding and the control of the Holy Spirit. Whatever may have been our experience of holiness, and the measure of spiritual attainment in the past, we can never get beyond the need of abiding in Christ and the continuous reckoning of faith." -R.W.

    "For we, alive though we are, are continually surrendering ourselves to death for the sake of Jesus" (2 Corinthians 4:11, Wey.).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

    5-5. OLD REJECTED, NEW ACCEPTED

    "You were set free from the tyranny of Sin, and became the bondservants of Righteousness" (Romans 6:18 Wey.).

    The principle underlying resurrection life is, of all things, death. "For since we have become one with Him by sharing in His death, we shall also be one with Him by sharing in His resurrection. Surrender your very selves to God as living men who have risen from the dead" (Romans 6:5, 13, Wey.). Let the facts of your position overwhelm the feelings of your condition.

    "By exercising faith in the Word, apart from any feelings, be 'planted together with Him in the likeness of His death' (Romans 6:5). Only by thus standing in your position will you begin to experience 'the likeness of His resurrection. Reckon on your life-union with Him. Reject the old life on the basis of your death in Christ on the Cross, and count yourself alive in Him until He makes experiential your resurrection position. Do not forget that you must stand firmly upon the specific truths: 'dead indeed unto sin--alive unto God in Christ Jesus' (Romans 6:11).

    "The sharing of His life is our blessed experience just in the measure in which we share His death. So many of us are content merely that the Cross should be the power to save us from the penalty of sin, but death was not the end of the manifestation of Christ. It was resurrection, and it is the risen life, shining forth in the believer, that alone can carry out the purpose of God in redemption. The believer, in whose daily attitude the mark of resurrection is seen, becomes what the world is looking for, a convincing witness to the power of the Living Redeemer." -G.W.

    "That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection" (Philippians 3:10).
    MJS/WithChrist.org


    _______________________________________________________________________
    As we encounter the experiential realizations of God’s blessings we are to understand that they come by way of His truths, so, our faith is to be in the truth of the blessing and not in the blessing. The blessings are the effects of our faith in God’s truths and faith in what He has said is to have faith in Himself.

    Encountering God’s blessings brings salvation and the joy which comes from all within it, but the primary purpose of salvation isn’t just to be saved but to be in union with God. It’s normal for one young in the Lord to be more caught up with the blessings than the Blesser, as a child’s focus and sustenance is on the parent’s provisions more than parent. But as the child advances, his attention eventually focuses more on the parent as he realizes that his trust is not in the provisions, which are the effects and not the cause of his union with his parent. Faith is the substance of our objective and Christ is our objective! (Heb 11:1)
    -NC

    “Attainment follows faith in the truth”, not faith in the blessing, which H.F. Witherby aptly explains: ‘We speak of the truths themselves, not of the experiential realization of them. We realize what we believe. Realization is not a stepping-stone to faith. Faith is the foundation of practical realization. Experiential acquaintance with the truth is not the truth itself, thank God! And the truth of God, not our realization of it, is our confidence and rest. Therefore, as our souls, by the ministry of the indwelling Spirit, enter into the truths of our Father respecting our blessing, we begin to experientially enter into the blessing we seek. We obtain by faith, not to faith.’”





    5-6. TRANSFERRED AND TRANSFORMED

    "If [since] ye, then, be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1).

    The growth truths seem complicated and difficult to understand on first encounter. However, with progress in grace we find them to be as clear and logical as the truth of justification. For both time and eternity, all is summed up in John 17:3: "And this is life eternal. . . [to] know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ." Study on!

    "The marvel of divine grace is that not only has everything according to the heart of God been secured for me through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, but that I, a child of Adam, should be, not only in peace with God where I was under His judgment, but that I am transferred from Adam to Christ, and I am to have Christ formed in me now.

    "I am born of God--of new and divine origin--a new creation to be here on earth now where I was a child of Adam, in the grace and beauty of Christ, led by His own power to stand for Him; daily more and more 'transformed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord' (2 Corinthians 3:18)."

    "I used to study this passage and that passage to obtain guidance and light. I see now that if I were really near Him beholding His glory (2 Corinthians 3:18), I should be transformed, should come from Him so impressed with Himself that His interests would, as it were, naturally control me." -J.B.S.

    "When the heart has found its rest and satisfaction in Him, it can turn to Him naturally and continually in every circumstance."

    "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth" (Colossians 3:2).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

    It can be difficult at times to picture ourselves in Heaven, “where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God” (Col 3:1), even though we are presently positioned there, because the Father has “raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6). As often as we can, we’re to “seek those things which are above” and “Set your mind on things above” (Col 3:1, 2). Doing these things will not affect our position above but our condition below.

    It’s encouraging to realize that regardless of our present understanding in all things, our condition cannot affect our position. We can go through with joy and singing or kicking and screaming, but regardless which, we are going through because “He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day” (2 Tim 1:12). What is it that Paul committed to God, but his soul, as Peter wrote, “Commit the keeping of their souls to Him” (1 Pet 4:19). Speaking of keeping, God “is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24).
    -NC


    5-7. ABIDE ABOVE

    "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:6).

    The Cross has separated us from the power of sin (Romans 6:11), the old man (Romans 6:6), the world (Galatians 6:14), the law (Romans 7:4), and the devil (Hebrews 2:14). The Spirit has joined us to our risen Lord, and we are "hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3). We are free--to abide above; free--to fellowship with our Father in glory.

    "The lack I find in souls is, that while they know that their sins are forgiven, they do not know their new place. What place do you have? Is it earth or heaven? It could not possibly be earth, for the Lord Jesus was rejected from the earth. It has a great moral effect upon a person to be able to say, 'I have a place in heaven; I have no property on earth at all, it is all in heaven.'

    "'It is the Lord's property I have on earth, but in heaven I have my own.' In the garden of Eden, man lost his place; the question to him then is, First--Where art thou? then, What hast thou done? Every believer seeks to be clear as to the latter, but very few are clear about the former." -J.B.S.
    "Many do not go beyond Christ's resurrection; they do not extend to His ascension. They do not know Him in glory. They are occupied with Him in relation to their own side. He was at my side and glorified God there both in His walk here and in His death; but He is now at His own side, and it is there I intelligently realize the vastness of my life, for He is my life."

    "My mind must rise above what I am to what God is; then it is that one is formed by the revelation of what God is. To this we are called." -J.N.D.

    "Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

    ___________________________________________________________________

    The law of sin and death states that “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Eze 18:4, 20). God first introduced this law, or, principle in Genesis 2:17 when He revealed to Adam His first command just prior to creating Eve.

    Before “the elect” are “drawn” (John 6:44) to salvation, they are, by the Father, poised for Christ. After being in God they are positioned in Christ, so, “as He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). There remains nothing for the Christian to obtain (in order to secure his assurance of eternal life) but, to attain, in his earthly walk of (of which the Spirit, and not the believer, has overall control - Gal 5:17) “godliness” which “is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Tim 4:8).

    Righteousness, justification and esp. holiness are attributes the Christian already possess, so, we work from these elements, not for them, as C.H. Mackintosh explains: “The more we realize the truth that everything has been accomplished on the Cross, for the perfect establishment of our peace in connection with the holiness of God, the more we shall see how futile is every thought about ourselves. A question as to the believer’s peace, is, in reality, a question as to the accomplished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you touch one, you touch the other; for ”Christ is our peace.” Our Father’s estimate of Him and of us is the same – “Ye are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power” (Col 2:20). “Wherein He hath made us the accepted in the Beloved” (Eph 1:6).

    The believer needs only to understand to appropriate, by reckoning, all that he now possess in Christ because God “hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Pet 1:3).
    -NC


    5-8. POSITION POSSESSED

    "The God of peace . . . working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ" (Hebrews 13:20, 21).

    Abiding involves a dual choice. We can abide in the old nature and thereby become the victims of the internal civil war as depicted in Romans Seven. Or, we can abide (rest) in the risen Lord Jesus, the Source of our new nature, and thereby become the glad recipients of His life and liberty, as depicted in Romans Eight. "The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2).

    "How do we abide? 'Of God are ye in Christ Jesus' (1 Corinthians 1:30). It is all the work of God to place you there, and He has done it. Now stay there! Do not be moved back onto the ground of the old nature. Never look at yourself as though you were not in the risen Lord Jesus Christ. Look at Him and see yourself a new creation in Him. Look at Him as the very source of your Christian life. Abide in Him. Rest in the fact that God has placed you in eternal union with His Son, and let the Holy Spirit take care of His work in you. It is for Him to make good the glorious promise that 'sin shall not have dominion over you' (Romans 6:14)."

    "We should be spared years of struggle and failure if we learned at once--as the converts did in the days of Paul--that we ourselves were taken through the death of the Lord Jesus. The past blotted out, the pardoned sinner accounted crucified with the crucified Lord, henceforth joined as a new creation to the risen Lord and now sharing His life (Romans 5:10)."

    "The Lord Jesus is all that we need for all that we are."

    "Your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

    ________________________________________________________________

    The problem is not just sins (effect); it goes deeper than that. It is sin itself (cause). The source of man’s sin is his carnal nature, not the devil. The devil is the originator of the sins of angels but not of the sins of man because man’s sin is internal (self), not external (devil). It’s not as if the Enemy put something in but rather, brought something out.

    Therefore, man is blamed and accountable for himself. This is evidenced by the two companion verses Gen 3:6 and 1 John 2:16: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food (lust of the flesh), and that it was pleasant to the eyes (lust of the eyes), and a tree to be desired to make one wise (pride of life).

    God forgives sinners but not their sins. When God “forgives us our sins” (1 John 1:9), He is forgiving us, but not the sin, because sin has always been inexcusable and condemned; and that, at its source – the old man (Rom 6:6; 8:3).

    “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom 8:8). Many a Christian has still yet to realize what our focus is to be centered on concerning our fellowship with God in this life. Just as the vertical part of the Cross aligns with the Father and us, and the horizontal part aligns with one another, the sacrificial ministry of Jesus joins them at the center and is always, in every issue, the center of focus.

    When we rely on self to do the work of God in us, we do not understand that it is “He who works in us” (Phil 2:13), not we. Since the things of God in us must be done by Him, the things of God from us must also be done by Him. Who do you choose to depend on, self or Christ? Whatever we seek to receive our security of assurance from is what we depend on to suffice all our needs. If we feel threatened, it’s because we’ve depended on self-performance and not on Christ’s performance. “It is finished.”

    The sooner we are aware of the won battle we are in, the sooner we find that He “will give you rest” (Mat 11:28). When did we win? When we chose to take His yoke upon us (Mat 11:29). If we are “heavy laden” it’s because we have yet to utilize His yoke by “casting all our cares on Him” (1 Pet 5:7), as through His yoke all hardship is transferred. To take on the “yoke” of Christ means you are paired with Him, but it’s not the same type as oxen yoke, where the work is shared. This yoke causes us to rest (Heb 4:10) because Jesus does the work; and the work of Christ can only be done by Christ—through the Spirit, of course.
    -NC

    5-9. WRONG SOURCE

    "Rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3:3).

    There are two ways in which God reveals to us the true condition of the natural man. The first is via the Word: "In me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing" (Romans 7:18). The second is via experience: years of struggle with the constant sinfulness and failure of that old nature. If we were more willing to face up to the incorrigibility of the Adamic life within, it might not take us so long to be freed from its domination.

    "It is quite possible for every one of us to have a perfectly good conscience. A happy state to be in! Have you a good conscience? Are you under accusation, under condemnation? Are you fretting and worrying about the badness of your own heart? That means that you have not the answer of a good conscience to God. What is the matter? You are still looking for something from nature, from the old man. You had better give it up, as that is the only way out; repudiate it.

    "Tell yourself and tell the accuser once for all that in you, that is, in your flesh, dwelleth no good thing, and you never expect to find anything. The enemy knows it, and yet he is trying to get you on an impossible quest for something he knows you will never find, and that is how he worries you. Years of it! Then why not come onto the Lord's ground and out-maneuver him? Let us settle it that we can never expect to find any good in our old nature. All our good is in another, even our Lord Jesus. It is'the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus' (Romans 8:2)." -T. A-S.

    "Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty with which Christ hath made us free" (Galatians 5:1).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

    Our strong-hold is “the new man” or new nature, and I believe this is the medium the Spirit works through to conform us to the life of Christ (it being created after Christ – Col 3:10). Our weak-point is our carnal nature, which I also believe is the only medium through which the Enemy can influence us, and is more of a Trojan-horse than an Achilles-heel, because the Christian has no fatal vulnerabilities (Jude 1:24).

    Walking after, or, in the Spirit does not mean to follow but to be in the Spirit, which is related as a control issue, not just instructional. The Spirit who “teaches you of all things” (1 John 2:27) first enlightens us, then controls (conforms) our (Gal 5:17) lives to the things of God.

    In this Spirit-Saint relationship we are helpless as to performing the things of God because He is the only one qualified for the work. We cannot “conform” ourselves but are “to be conformed” (Rom 8:29) and “are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor 3:18). In this light we can understand that everything we do, as pertaining to the things of God, is being done by the Spirit using us, not by us using Him. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of hosts” (Zec 4:6).

    Our part is but to continually “yield yourselves” (Rom 6:13) to the Spirit and, even in this He controls us to do; as a rescuer must wait for the drowning victim to become helpless, so does the Holy Spirit first reveal the futility in our attempts to yield, or present our carnal nature, instead of our new nature, to God.

    The first realization pertaining to the holiness of God is in being knowledgeable of the indwelling enmity (Rom 8:7; 7:17, 20), because the comprehension (never fully) of knowing the holiness of God is commensurate with the level of understanding the depths of the decadency of our carnal nature, as the Spirit progressively reveals to us.

    The lesson-learned is in realizing we cannot, within ourselves, address the carnal nature as to its influence on us. This is the Spirit’s continuous work in us through the work of the Cross of Christ; for it is not the old man “was crucified” but, “is crucified” (ongoing – Rom 6:6).
    -NC


    5-10. "SEARCH ME, O GOD"

    "I, the Lord, search the heart" (Jeremiah 17:10).

    During the early, carnal years we are afraid to face up to the sinful nature within, not fully realizing that it was dealt with in condemnation to God's full satisfaction at Calvary. When we come to see that all the old nature was taken down into the death of the Cross, and in Christ Jesus we are completely clear of its penalty and power, then it is that we begin to welcome the work of the Cross upon all that of which the Holy Spirit convicts us.

    "The natural man cannot bear the thought of being searched by God; he cannot stand to think of being found out in his true condition and character. But to the truly hungry believer it is a positive comfort to be assured that God knows everything about us; He knows the very worst that can be discovered. He has searched out all that we are, and in spite of all He has thoughts of blessing concerning us. There is, therefore, no fear of anything coming to light that might cause Him to change or reverse His thought of blessing and acceptance." -C.A.C.

    "Our acceptance with God in Christ is perfect, and therefore unimprovable. It never alters; never varies. And it is very important for us not to mix the acceptance itself with our enjoyment of it. Our acceptance is 'in Christ,' and therefore eternal; the enjoyment is 'by the Spirit,' and therefore (because of the working of the flesh) often hindered." -J.B.S.

    "The sense of His goodness removes the guile of heart that seeks to conceal its sin." -J.N.D.

    "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end" (Jeremiah 29:11).
    MJS/WithChrist
     
  18. Axehead

    Axehead New Member

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    It is plain to see that Miles Stanford's association with the Plymouth Brethren, Calvinism and Dispensationalism have affected his theology.

    NetC, you should try setting aside Standford's teachings for a season and just read the word depending only on the Holy Spirit and see what He gives you. Hopefully, your thoughts will not be colored by Standford's teachings.

    Would love to read your own thoughts.

    Axehead
     
  19. Netchaplain

    Netchaplain Ordained Chaplain

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    ________________________________________________________________
    Where our dependence is, that’s where our faith rests. The proper placement of our faith brings independence and dependence: The Cross of Christ brings independence from the rule old the “old man” (Rom 6:12, 14); and the Spirit of Christ (Holy Ghost) brings dependence on God in the “new man” (Eph 3:16).

    If we are discouraged there are two unnecessary weights (Heb 12:1) at, or in, hand: depending on man; and not depending on God. Is there anything we can do which He has not already done (Eph 1:3; 2 Pet 1:3) that we might remain encouraged? Remember, disappointment means to trust in man and not God for He never disappoints!

    Until we learn consistency, it’s acceptable to be occasionally distracted from remembering God is always “for us” (Rom 8:31), that is, we in our new nature; and it helps our memory to realize that this also means God is against us, that is, we in our old nature, but threat not for “the Lord of the harvest” (Mat 9:38; Luke 10:2) has foreseen not to harm you in the new man, during His judgment in this life on the old man (Mat 13:27—30).
    -NC

    5-11. RELIANT REST

    "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts" (Zechariah 4:6).
    Our Father allows us to be independent until by that means we come to know our own weakness and need. "Strength is always the effect of having to do with God in the spirit of dependence."

    "Some say, 'I want to feel that I am strong.' What we need is to feel that we are weak; this brings in Omnipotence. We shall have a life of feeling by-and-by in the glory; now we are called upon to lead a life of faith. What believer but knows from the experience of the deceitfulness of his own heart, that, had we power in ourselves instead of in Christ, we should be something. This is what God does not intend."

    "The very essence of the condition of a soul in a right state is conscious dependence. Now one may use the fact of completeness in Christ to make one independent. Two things are implied in dependence: first, the sense that we cannot do without God in a single instance; and, secondly, that He is 'for us.' In other words, there is confidence in His love and power on our behalf, as well as the consciousness that without Him we can do nothing." -J.N.D.

    "We are to walk humbly and lean ever and only on the mighty arm of the living God. Thus the soul is kept in a well-balanced condition, free from self-confidence and fleshly excitement, on the one hand; and free from gloom and depression, on the other. If we can do nothing, self-confidence is the height of presumption. If God can do everything, despondency is the height of folly."

    "But my God shall supply all your need according; to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

    5-12. TRUSTED TRAINER

    "He knoweth the way that I take; when He hath tested me, I shall come forth as gold" (Job 23:10).

    In every field, whether the arts, industry, sports, or the Christian life and service in general, the necessary training goes far deeper and is much more rigorous than the actual performance. "Now, at the time, discipline seems to be a matter not for joy, but for grief; yet it afterwards yields to those who have passed through its training a result full of peace--namely, righteousness" (Hebrews 12:11, Wey.).

    "The Father chooses the servant who is suited to carry out His will; but though that servant be endowed by Him with power to do so, yet unless he be controlled and disciplined by the Spirit of God he will continually fall into the devisings of his nature, no matter how godly and divine may be his intent. For we greatly err if we think that having the divine thought is all that is necessary as to our service; we must truly and efficiently be expressive of the thought; and this subjects us, as servants of God, to discipline which we often cannot understand.

    "Discipline for known faults or shortcomings we can easily comprehend; but when it is that peculiar order of training which fits a man to be God's instrument and witness, we can no more understand it than the plants of the earth can understand why they must pass through all the vicissitudes of winter in order to bring forth a more abundant harvest." -J.B.S.

    "God leaves us in the world that we may learn the sufficiency of His grace in practice, as we know the triumph of it in Christ."

    "Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter" (John 13:7).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

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    [background=rgb(252, 252, 255)]NOTE TO ADMIN: Please inform me if any of my materials become excessive. God's blessings to your Families for your labors![/background]


    5-13. FREE, TO SERVE


    "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier" (2 Timothy 2:4).

    God has a unique plan concerning each one of us. The secret of realizing our personal calling is not to look at others, but simply to walk in close fellowship with the Father. "My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him" (Psalm 62:5).

    "No one Christian has a right to stop on his way for another; he must go forward himself in individual faithfulness. The effort to drag others along with us is in reality but a device of Satan to keep ourselves back. Note Jehovah's word to Jeremiah, 'Let them return unto thee; but return not thou to them' (Jeremiah 15:19). Are any desirous of going forward, let them not stop to carry along with them 'the men of Ephraim.' Far better is it to go on with but a few to follow, than to get numbers with us who are only halfhearted."

    "You may say, 'Show me a pattern man.' We all like to copy; but there is no gain in copying. You have to learn the Lord for yourself. All you learn for yourself will remain, and nothing else. Every one has his own history."

    "It is plain enough that every believer is called of God to something definite. The real difficulty is to ascertain the specialty, and this I do not think can be discovered but in nearness to the Lord, and when you are interested in His interests. We first learn that He is interested in us, and then we gradually become interested in His interests. It is then you apprehend your mission in life." -J.B.S.

    "And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully" (2 Timothy 2:5).
    MJS/WithChrist

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Hi Ax and God's blessings to your Family!

    Thankfully, I do not find your addresses to me as being derogatory and my perception of your posts are admirable as to your labors in the Word and let it be known that those who labor properly will utilize it the most. The more presence there is of scriptural content, the more I'm drawn to view it because where there is an abundance of the Word there will be little conjecture, which aids in accelerating the learning.

    Within the first twenty-five years of my thirty-five year Christian life I spent most of my Bible reading in repetitiously reading the N.T., which amounted to about twenty times and the O.T. three to four times. A significant advantage I've noticed from this is that it's easier to identify error than truth because in this manner of reading one has been exposed to more truth than error and therefore the error is isolated and is easily seen.

    Within the last thirteen years I've spent most of my reading in the above materials of which you've listed because the teaching materials maintain a significant level of scriptural content, which keeps the teaching material in check. I still occasionally read through the N.T. and use to the O.T. often, but the Word-exposure of the aforementioned teaching material is well sufficiently supplied to maintain a healthy Word-diet for spiritual growth.

    Once salvation is obtained, spiritual growth becomes the primary objective because it's the medium of our "drawing neigh" for an ever increasingly closer fellowship with Whom we are in union, which increase the effectiveness of our witness and outreach.

    Who the teaching material comes from is not as much an issue as it is the source utilized, and if kept in check with "the Word of truth", it's good; and "it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing" (Gal 4:18).

    I've discovered the earlier commentators and spiritual growth authors (15Th-18Th centuries) are the forerunners of the choicest spiritual growth teachings because these were the times of history when Christendom was oppressed the most, due to religious tyranny. This was when the struggle for freedom to propagate the Word of God was at its greatest, thereby producing the most accurate biblical materials yet extant.




    5-14. FULL PROVISION

    "Let him ask in faith and have no doubts; for he who has doubts is like the surge of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed into spray. A person of that sort must not expect to receive anything from the Lord--such a one is a man of two minds, undecided in every step he takes" (James 1:6-8, Wey.).

    First, we are to rest in the fact that our Father has made full provision for all our needs; positionally, we are complete in the Lord Jesus Christ. Then it is that we can trust Him daily for His "exceeding abundantly above." "But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19)

    "It is true that all God requires of us we lack; but it is also true that all we need He supplies. The believer can give thanks that God has supplied all his need as to standing, and He engages to supply all his need as to walk. But while we see our Father's requirement, and recognize His provision, let us not overlook our responsibility.

    "When we fail it is to this our failure may be traced. It is not because the provision has been insufficient, or unavailable, or afar off--but because the channel has been obstructed, the avenues of the soul have been closed, so that the need has remained unsupplied. Our responsibility lies in the exercise of faith." -E.H.

    "I will not think of the infinities of my need, except to lead me to the divine simplicity of the infinity of His supply." -H.C.G.M.

    "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us; and if we know that He hear us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him" (1 John 5:14, 15).





    5-15. THE FIRST CAUSE

    "A man's goings are established of Jehovah; and he delighteth in His way" (Psalm 37:23, ASV.) .

    Throughout time and eternity the God of circumstances has every situation planned for our good and for His glory (Romans 8:28, 29). That is all that should matter to us. "Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee" "For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God" (Psalm 76:10; 2 Corinthians 4:15).

    "What the other person said or did to you was undoubtedly wrong and cannot be justified. Nor did he do it at God's direction; but God permitted him to do it for some wise reason which will yet prove to have been abundantly worthwhile for you. By the time that action reached you it had become the will of God for you, since to a yielded believer there are no second causes.

    "He believes the Psalmist's declaration that every step of his life's pathway has been ordered by the Lord. No trial or affliction can reach you who are abiding in Him, without His permission. You can, therefore, be confident in every circumstance of life, however baffling, that it has been permitted in your own best interest by the wisest and most loving of fathers, who knows our 'load-limit' (1 Corinthians 10:13)." -O.S.

    "All that we pass through is that we may get a fresh view of the Lord Jesus, or a deepening of a former one; but often we are so occupied with ourselves and the circumstances, that we fail to 'behold the glory of the Lord.'" -C.T.
    "If the external plannings of men or Satan further God's plans, they succeed; if not, they come to nothing." -J.N.D.

    "Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand" (Psalm 37:24).
    MJS/Withchrist.org


    The strongest love treats each person as if they were the only one in existence - because they are! Each person is the only one in existence like their self, because there is only one of you. We may have similar characters, desires and habits, but each is unique in identity, the same as no two fingerprints are alike; similar but not identical.

    This surely is how God’s love is to all and is our goal in His neighborly-love training class. This lesson is reciprocal when we “in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves” (Phil 2:3). A common acronym for “joy” represents Scripture’s order of priority – Jesus, others then you. Love is selfless, but pride is self-first and there is no single individual who does not need to realize the latter and practice the former.

    As the result of selflessness can be reciprocal, so is the method in its lesson. We become increasingly selfless when we persevere in the mindset of self-last. It’s not to avoid thinking of self at all, just last. Every time the Spirit causes us (Phil 2:13) to put others before ourselves, we place Christ first.

    This is the crux of the “two commands” of Christ (Mat 22:36-40), which are reciprocal, in that we keep the first by keeping the second; “For he that loves not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
    -NC





    5-16. SELFLESS SERVICE

    "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will!" (Ephesians 1:11).

    It is easy to just "let George do it," but it is so unrewarding. There is a Christ-honoring ministry of being and sharing awaiting each believer, and the secret is to let Christ do it!

    "Our Father has a different line of things for everyone, and each of us has been sent into this world for some special mission. It is not a question whether it is great or small; it may be only a flower to shed fragrance, though this is really the greatest of all.

    "There is no higher service than moral influence, 'thy whole body . . . full of light'; and this, of all the highest moral order, is within the compass of all. 'Christ shall be magnified in my body whether by life or by death' (Philippians 1:20)." -J.B.S.

    "A mark of the true servant is that he is consciously nothing. John could speak of himself as only a 'voice,' and a greater than John was consciously 'less than the least of all saints.' The moment we think ourselves to be anything, we are out of the servant's true position and spirit. There is a beautiful contrast between John's account of himself, and the Lord's description of him (John 1:22-27; Luke 7:26-28). The more worthy we are of the Lord's commendation, the less do we think of ourselves." -C.A.C.

    "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

    ___________________________________________________________________________

    Our battle of “wrestling” (Eph 6:12) is not a matter of winning or losing the war of sin, for the believer fights an already won war (John 19:30). Our battles involve the issue of our posture in our salvation; “that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day [trialing times]” (v 13). We can go through crawling or standing, but regardless of how we respond to our trials, He’s taking us through; “and having done all, to stand” (v 13). Of course, the goal is to endure the trials (2 Tim 2:3) and not allow them to “trouble” you (John 14:1, 27) and in doing so can teach us to grow in our faith in Christ.

    Like the story of the women on a ship at sea in a storm, she became so fearful that she ran to the wheelhouse and asked the captain concerning their seemingly dilemma. The captain pointed out to her the large shaking plank in the port side and said, “If that board falls off, we’re going down.” Then he pointed out the billows of smoke from the boiler stack and said, “If that boiler blows, we’re going up.” Then he finished with, “But unless either one occurs, we’re going through!”

    Let it be known that the Enemy will not be allowed to overcome the believer, as evidenced in Job’s case, but beware that the Enemy is allowed to use his primary devices (old self, society in general - 2 Cor 2:11) and can distractingly trouble you, but “He is able to keep you from falling” (Jude 1:24).
    -NC

    5-17. FRUSTRATED ENEMY

    "Then saith Jesus unto him, Begone, Satan" (Matthew 4:10).

    There is a great difference between a foe, and; defeated foe. A conquered enemy can be put to valuable use in the hands of the victor, and that is exactly what God is doing with that old serpent. Satan is allowed to sift, and try the believer; he is used of God as a winnowing machine to clear away the chaff in us.

    "No power in present things allowed to Satan annuls the will of the invisible God." -W.K.

    "The story of Job shows clearly that it is God who sets the limit to the extent of the devil's activities and power. From the human viewpoint the Cross looks like a colossal failure. In it the victory of the power of evil seemed complete. But 'the weakness of God is stronger than men' or the enemy, and by the power of weakness having 'spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it' (Colossians 2:15)." -C.J.M.

    "It is inevitable that in a world like this the faith of Christians must be tried. For we are in an enemy's land, and he resents our presence. And we have an enemy within our gates--the old man--that opposes us too. But take heart fellow believer, the trials of your faith will be 'found unto praise, honor and glory at the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ' (1 Peter 1:7). The happy outcome is a foregone conclusion. Trials work patience, experience, hope--and these are abiding qualities. Satan, as it were, is God's scavenger, and all he can do is to remove out of your life those things that mar your joy, your growth, and your service."

    "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy [undo] the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

    5-19. ABIDING PRAYER

    "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us" (1 John 5:14).

    In order for us to pray according to His will, we must first know His will; not only that, but His blessed will must become our will. "If ye abide in Me . . . ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you" (John 15:7). Prayer is the fellowship of an intimate, living union; as with all of the Christian life, it must be carried on in dependence upon the Holy Spirit. He is known as "the Spirit of grace and of supplications" (Zechariah 12:10).

    "If I ask anything of God, and have received His answer, I then act with assurance, with the conviction that I am in the path of His will; I am happy and contented. If I meet with some difficulty, this does not stop me; it is only an obstacle which faith has to surmount.

    "But if I have not this certainty before I begin, I am in indecision, I know not what to do. There may be a trial of my faith, or it may be that I ought not to do what I am doing. I am in suspense, and I hesitate; even if I am doing the will of God, I am not sure about it, and I am not happy. I ought therefore to be assured that I am doing His will before I begin to act." -J.N.D.

    "All flows from the soul being consciously in the place where it is set, in Christ risen. He can then trust us with the knowledge of His will; He can trust the sons of the family with the family affairs."

    "And if we know that He hear us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him" (1 John 5:15).
    MJS/WithChrist.org


    5-20. SPIRIT-MOTIVATED SURRENDER

    "Keep on seeking the things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God (Colossians 3:7, Wms.).

    When the Spirit of Christ has the hungry heart prepared, there will be surrender. No struggle; no questions. "We reason when we ought to repose; we doubt when we ought to depend. Confidence in our Father's love is the true corrective in all things.""For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him" (2 Timothy 1:12).

    "If a believer surrenders or lays aside anything without an adequate divine motive, he will either secretly hanker after it, and probably long to return to it, or he will take credit to himself for having given it up, and will thus reveal self-righteousness and spiritual pride.

    "A certain school of religious teachers make much of 'surrender' as the way to attain blessing, but it ends in self-sufficiency, because the only motive that is presented for it is the acquisition of a better spiritual state, or power for service, or something of that kind. A divine motive and attraction is needed if souls are to be drawn into the race and prepared to surrender in a truly spiritual way, and this divine motive and attraction is our risen Lord in Glory." -C.A.C.

    "Communion with the Lord Jesus requires our coming to Him in the Word. Meditating upon His person and His work requires the prayerful study of His Word. Many fail to abide in Him because they habitually fast instead of feast." -J.H.T.

    "Lord, Thou wilt ordain peace for us; for Thou also hast wrought all our works in us. O Lord our God, other lords beside Thee have had dominion over us; but by Thee only will we make mention of Thy name" (Isaiah 26:12, 13).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

    5-21. FULLNESS OF LIFE

    "To know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:19).

    Our Father's fullness of supply infinitely exceeds the sum of our needs. Positionally it is so: "For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him." Conditionally it is so: "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Colossians 2:9, 10; Romans 8:32).

    "As to the Gospel and the work of the Lord Jesus, I do not find that it is adequately apprehended that the benefit conferred by the Father is far beyond the need of the sinner. You cannot measure the benefit by the need. You may ask, 'Does it not cover the need?' It does; but you get no clue to the benefit from the measure of the need. You cannot find it in your own thoughts or expectations; it cannot be found anywhere save in our Father's heart. It is 'above all that we ask or think. . . . '

    "How little, indeed, do we enter into the fullness of the benefits of the Gospel! The elder brother in Luke 15 did not object to his brother being forgiven, but it was unwelcome to him to see the wonderful excess of grace bestowed on him by the Father. 'Thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.' Many have the sense of forgiveness without the knowledge of His abundance." -J.B.S.

    "We shall never be able to glorify God, if we only take what we need."

    "Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory" (Ephesians 3:20, 21).






    "For it is God who works in you both will and deed" (Philippians 2:13, Cony.)

    As we mature we come to see more and more clearly that our Father just as fully controls our lives as He does the universe. As C.A. Fox said, "Climb on, and you will find the correcting, the chastening, the cleansing, the calming of the deep affection of God."

    "All the testing and trying is to first deal with, by the Cross, that which can never stand the stress and which must be forever failure to the Lord, and then to develop that which is Christ within us. That is the spiritual life--Christ in us in all His fullness. 'I will make him a pillar.' 'I will write upon him the name of my God.' He is going to do it. All the striving will never bring that end about, but He will do it.

    "The great majority of us would say, 'If it all depends on me, then it is a bad lookout!' Well, of course, that is true, but let us look at the blessing of Joseph--'The arms of his hands were made strong, by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob . . . even by the God of thy father' (Genesis 49:24, 25)." -C.O.

    "Let a man renounce himself, and see himself as crucified with Christ, and soon another Himself--the Lord Jesus Christ--will take the central place in the heart, and quietly bring all things under His sway."

    "It is a great thing to offer the Lord Jesus Christ as the Saviour to sinful man, but it is still greater to express Him in a world where He is rejected." -J.B.S.

    "According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

    5-24. GRACE CROWN




    "The God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect (mature), establish, strengthen, settle you" (1 Peter 5:10).

    At first, the old nature hides from us. Then, we try to hide from it. But when we begin to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus, we are able to face up to the awful facts concerning the old man and his condemnation at the Cross. As the Holy Spirit reveals the old man (Colossians 3:9), we count upon death; as He reveals the new man (Colossians 3:10), we count upon life (Romans 6:11).

    "The believer, at the opening of his course, never knows his own heart; indeed, he could not bear the full knowledge of it; he would be overwhelmed thereby. 'The Lord leads us not by the way of the Philistines lest we should see war, and so be plunged into despair. But He graciously leads us by a circuitous route, in order that our apprehension of His grace may keep pace with our growing self-knowledge." -C.H.M.

    "It was not for nothing that God let Satan loose upon His dear servant, Job. God loved Job with a perfect love; a love that could take account of everything, and, looking below the surface, could see the deep moral roots in the heart of His servant--roots which Job had never seen, and, therefore, never judged. What a mercy to have to do with such a God! to be in the hands of One who will spare no pains in order to subdue everything in us which is contrary to Himself, and to bring out in us His own blessed image!"

    "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you" (1 Peter 5:6, 7).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I wanted to mention, which I think I should have done at the outset of these messages, that those who would like to reply with comments or questions may please feel free to do so and it's also fine if you have no questions or comments! God's blessings to your Families and "Blessed be God"!


    [background=transparent]5-22. FROM MILK TO MEAT[/background]

    [background=transparent]"By people who live on milk I mean those who are imperfectly acquainted with the teaching concerning righteousness. Such persons are mere babes" (Hebrews 5:13, Wey.).

    Promises and blessings have mainly to do with the milk of the Word. In order for a believer to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus, he must fellowship with Him in the Word. There is general Bible study, and there is feeding upon the Lord Jesus in the Word of life. The former serves for foundation, the latter is needed for growth.

    "People may receive 'blessings' and temporary 'deliverances' in answer to prayer, for God is merciful to His children and His Spirit refreshes and blesses us even apart from the real walk of faith ("real walk" meaning "a mature walk" - comment - NC). But it is of greater benefit finally to us, and much greater glory to God, if we simply accept His Word and learn to walk in the power of it by naked faith; which asks no longer certain ecstasies, but being sure of God's truth because it is His truth, maintains an attitude of faith therein; attitude--a fixed heart.

    "Faith, when once we see the truth, consists of a believing attitude of the will toward God. This involves a negative attitude toward all doubt of His promises or anything that would raise a doubt; and it also involves a continued refusal to rest upon appearances or feelings, even though these may come in great abundance. It is God's written Word that supplies strength to the heart of faith." -W.R.N.

    "It is an easy thing to set sail and get fairly out into the ocean; but when many days have passed and no land is in sight, one is apt to weary. If the heart is not fully occupied with the Lord in the Word, something is taken on board to fill up the void."

    "Nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine" (1 Timothy 4:6).
    MJS/WithChrist.org
    [/background]


    5-25. STAND WHERE YOU ARE!

    "God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love with which He loved us . . . hath made us alive together with Christ . . . and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:4-6).

    Believers are not occupying their position! At best, most are trying to attain a victorious position by means of prayer, Bible study, commitment, reconsecration, surrender, and so forth. But the answer is simply to abide where we have already been placed--in our risen Lord Jesus Christ. Abide above, and keep looking down!

    "Our Father has taken us over Jordan and placed us in Canaan, but the reality of it is never known until by faith we accept the fact on the basis of having died with Christ, and that therefore heaven is our place, and we know it to be our place now; and that this side is not our place, and we know that it is not.

    "The more we abide in the Lord on the other side, the less disappointed we will be here, for when we are there we import new joys and new hopes into this old world, from an entirely new one, and we therefore in every way surpass the inhabitants of this lost world."
    -J.B.S.
    "You must abide in Christ in heaven before you can descend with heavenly ability to act for Him down here. The great secret of all blessing is to come from the Lord. Most Christians go to Him."

    "Christian experience is our measure of apprehension of that which is already true of us in the Lord Jesus Christ." -A.J.

    "Stand fast in the Lord" (Philippians 4:7).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

    5-26. "GOOD GROUND"

    "Jesus answered and said unto him, Before Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee" (John 1:48).

    "And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bore fruit an hundredfold" (Luke 8:8). The more fully and thoroughly hearts are cultivated before conversion the more healthy and fruitful they will be after conversion. Many Christians hurriedly seek to plant the seed in unprepared soil, and then wonder why it is so soon withered, choked, or snatched away. "Good ground are they who. . . having heard the Word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience" (Luke 8:15).

    "I believe that a work of God sometimes goes on behind a particular man or family, village or district before the knowledge of the truth ever reaches them. It is a silent, unsuspected work, not in mind and heart, but in the unseen realm behind these. Then, when the light of the Gospel is brought, there is no difficulty, no conflict. The battle has been won.

    "It is, then, simply a case of 'stand still and see the salvation of God.' This should give us confidence in praying intelligently for those who are far from Gospel light. The longer the preparation, the deeper the work. The deeper the root, the firmer the plant when once it springs above the ground. I do not believe that any deep work of God takes root without long preparation somewhere." -J.O.F.

    "Concentrate your prayers on behalf of some soul or souls and pray for such, night and day, until they come to Christ. Then continue to pray for them until Christ is formed in them!" (Galatians 4:19).

    "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me" (Malachi 3:1).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

    5-27. SLOW BUT SURE

    "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; fret not thyself" (Psalm 37:7).

    Our Father moves on the basis of His finished work, therefore hurry is not a factor with Him nor should it be with us. We are to 'walk in the Spirit,' and the blessed Holy Spirit will see to it that we obtain all that our Father has for us, step by step. "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delighteth in His way" (Psalm 37:23). Don't be discouraged--Enoch walked with God for three hundred years before he was translated!

    "We cannot become spiritual all at once; we must be content to begin as babes. Spiritual maturity and strength do not come by effort but by growth; and growth is the result of being nourished by proper food. But if we do not grow by effort it is important to remember that we do not grow without exercise.

    "God begins by giving our hearts a sense of the blessedness of the grace in which He has called us, that we may be awakened and enhungered to pursue the knowledge of all this with purpose of heart and prayerful study." -C.A.C.

    "Whatever we do accurately must take time and collectedness of mind, and there is no accuracy in all the world like keeping company with God, and yet nothing so free from bondage or tediousness. By going slow with the Lord we accomplish more than by going with a rush, because what we do is done so much better and does not have to be undone. It is done in a better spirit, with deeper motives, and bears fruit far out in the future, when all mushroom performances have been dissipated forever." -G.B.W.

    "Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart" (Psalm 37:4).
    MJS/WithChrist.org
    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    I've heard it said that "one can be too heavenly-minded to be of any earthly good". On the other hand, I've also heard it said that "one can be too earthly-minded to be of any heavenly good".

    I'm my opinion, one cannot be "too heavenly-minded" because we're to contemplate it as much as lies within us (Col 3:2), and to be truly "heavenly-minded" is to be focused on neighborly-love, “especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal 6:10), and neighborly-love is the primary maturity-gauge (1 John 4:20).

    Every growth-hungry Christian is aware that the more we think on the Lord, the more we are comforted. No thought on the heart of a believer can surpass that of the one which is fixed on Him who won it. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isa 26:3).

    Our Father has so identified us with His Son that They are here with us in our condition, while we are there with Them in our position. So when we pray, instead of going to the Throne, we can come from it. Therefore—“Keep Looking Down”!
    -NC

    5-28. HEAVEN NOW AND FOREVER

    "[God] hath raised us up together; and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:6).

    In the first stage of our Christian life we seek to bring the Lord Jesus down to our level, for our use; later on we learn to take our position in Him at His level, for His use.

    "The desire of many and the tendency of all is to connect the Lord Jesus with ourselves on this earth, instead of accepting that we are in living union with Him in heaven. The Lord give us to apprehend the reality of our true position; that we are outside this scene when we are in our true place. We are thankful that Christ was here, and that He made a pathway through the wilderness, but we have properly to come from Him in glory to learn the path and to find His succor in it."

    "If you do not know your union with the Lord Jesus in heaven, you cannot come out in the power of the heavenly Man to act from Him on earth, to be descriptive of Him. You can never be heavenly by effort. Many seek to be heavenly by prayer, reading the Word, devotedness, but the only pathway to it is to be brought by the Holy Spirit to realize union with our risen Lord. You are heavenly by union, by nature. Abide in Him."

    "Are we prepared to accept our union with the crucified and risen Lord, not only as the basis of being received by the Father, but also as the way we walk day by day? If this question was honestly faced, and answered affirmatively by the members of our churches, there would be no need to endeavor to whip up a 'revival.' There would be a spontaneous upsurge of life and blessing--the direct work of the Spirit of God Himself." -J.C.M.
    "Risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead" (Colossians 2:12).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

    5-29. CHRISTO-CENTRIC

    "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5).

    Just whose side are we on? The enemy who would occupy us with ourselves, or the Comforter who would occupy us with the risen Lord Jesus? The spirit of death, or the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus? "Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" (Romans 6:16).

    "If we have only learned the Lord at our own side, the tendency is to be occupied with ourselves, or to seek to be an object of consideration; whereas if we have been led by the Spirit to His side, His interests and concerns will singularly occupy us."

    "The natural inclination is to make oneself the center of everything passing, how it pains or cheers oneself, even musing on oneself as if one were the one solitary object for the sunshine or the cloud to rest on. If I am a hero, or a martyr to myself, I look at and regard divine things as they suit my thinking about myself, and not as answering to what He is thinking of me. I am confining the Lord to myself instead of rising up and seeing myself lost in Him, and then following Him in all the greatness and blessedness of His work and ways down here." -J.B.S.

    "We may love as Jonathan, and follow as Ruth, but until we know that we are united to the Lord Jesus Christ in glory, we will not be free enough from our own interests, to take up His."

    "[Who] made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant" (Philippians 2:7).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

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    When we are undergoing a trial, it’s helpful to know and remember that its purpose is to “glorify God on this behalf” (1 Pet 4:14, 16).

    Here is an encouraging thought from J.B. Stoney: “I come to a wall and I say I would like to have a door here. The Lord says, ‘if I were simply for you I would make one, but I am in you and you must go over the wall.’ That power is the Holy Spirit who dwells in you. When sorrow, or trial, or weakness comes, the thing is to look for grace to be above it. If trial is impending, it is better to be quiet. I have association and fellowship with the Lord Jesus where He is, and I have the power of my Lord where He is not. If you want to be effective, to have practical power while walking down here, it must be by abiding above, by fellowship with the Lord Jesus where He is.”

    "My grace is sufficient for you" (2 Cor 12:9). “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col 3:1, 2).


    5-30. "LOVE NEVER FAILETH"

    "And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:19).

    God led the children of Israel into the desert with its thirst, that He might bless them. "For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:4). It is for no less a reason that He takes us into the desert at times. "How shall He not with Him [Christ] also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:2).

    "Our Father disciplines us that we may be more fully free from the old nature, and find everything in the Lord Jesus. But He begins the lesson with the assurance, 'I love you perfectly.'

    "'I bring you into the desert to learn what you are, and what I am; but it is as those I have brought to Myself!' He gives us a place with the Lord Jesus, but then shows us what He is and what we are. The discipline of the way teaches this; but if He, in His love, strikes the furrows in the heart, it is that He may sow the seed which shall ripen in glory."

    "Those who receive deliverance from their troubles never grow like those who get strengthened in the difficulties."

    "How slowly one learns that His sympathy is not expressed in removing the affliction but in raising one above it to Himself, so that He becomes so endeared to the heart that He is more an object to the heart than oneself." -J.B.S.

    "The hand of God never deals but in concert with His heart of infinite love towards us." -J.N.D.

    "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them who are exercised by it" (Hebrews 12:11).
    MJS/WithChrist.org.

    5-31. ETERNALLY NIGH

    "But now in Christ Jesus ye who once were far off are made near by the blood of Christ" (Ephesians 2:13).

    Until we know our position in the risen Lord Jesus, we can never really face up to the sinfulness of our old nature. But "hidden with Christ in God," we can both face up to and face away from the old, "looking unto Jesus, the author and perfecter [marg.] of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).

    "God sets me in nearness to Himself in the Lord Jesus; and as I learn my nearness to Him, I am prepared for the exposure of my natural distance from Him, and I am, through grace, morally apart and sheltered from it (Romans 8:9), at the very moment when I see it. The greater my height, the greater the enormity of the depth appears; but I am safe from it. As a consequence I'rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh' (Philippians 3:3)."

    "Two things mark spiritual growth; one is a deeper sense of the sinful old nature, the other is a greater longing after the Lord Jesus Christ. The sinfulness is discovered and felt as the power of the Holy Spirit increases; for many a thought and act passes without pain to the conscience where the Lord Jesus is less before the soul, which will be refused and condemned as the knowledge of the Lord increases in spiritual power within." -J.B.S.

    "When the Lord Jesus Christ is enjoyed, things unlike Him drop off like fading leaves."

    "For the word of God is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

    6-1. TIME TO GROW

    "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him" (Psalm 37:7).

    Lincoln said that "a short speech requires great preparation; a long speech can be given anytime on short notice. "Now, are we going to "spend our years as a tale that is told" (Psalm 90:9); or are we going to settle down and grow in the image of our eternal Lord?

    "In our spiritual experience we often find that not least of our trials is the fact that God seems so slow to respond; sometimes it would appear that He is careless or indifferent--and that just when our needs are most acute. Two of the major elements in the spiritual life and experience of His own are the seemingly slow and hidden ways of God, and the demand for persistent faith in His servants." -T. A-S.

    "The work of God in the lives of His people is designed to make them 'partakers of His holiness.' He undertakes their training in His school with the intention that, however difficult in practice the course may be, it will yield 'the peaceable fruit of righteousness' in the lives of those who undergo it.

    "This evidently represents His norm--no shortcuts and no exceptions. At least, He did not make an exception of Abraham, or Joseph, or Moses, or any of the great men and women whose names are listed in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. Their training lasted for decades and led them into painful situations and difficult places. But their lives, as a result, were incomparably fruitful." -J.P.

    "My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him" (Psalm 62:5).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

    6-2. CROSS OF LOVE

    "Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:39).

    John 3:16: The Saviour laid down His life for His enemies. 1 John 3:16: We are to "lay down our lives for the brethren." The death of the Cross spells love for both friend and enemy.

    "If we get a wrong idea about the inward working of the Cross we shall lose our own enjoyment of God's love and fail to manifest that love to others. We have no doubt that, for the sinner, the Cross is the outstanding exp<b></b>ressi&#111;n of God's love, but unless we realize that it brings us, as believers, into a very personal experience of being crucified together with Christ, we are apt to lose sight of the love of God.

    "We set our teeth, as though making up our minds that from now on everything is going to be grim and harsh. It almost seems that the carnal Christian may be cheerful and happy, but the crucified ones must expect to pass into a gloomier experience. Nothing is farther from the truth. The Cross will always bring us back to the love of God in ever-increasing fullness."

    "The challenge of the Cross, the insistence that we have been crucified with Christ, may sometimes appear to be a dark and forbidding message. The Cross is not the end: It is the way through to His end. God is working for something beyond the immediate; He is working towards the glory." -H.F.

    "I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end" (Jeremiah 29:11).
    MJS/WithChrist.org

    6-4. GAZE AND GROW

    "Who (Jesus), being the brightness of His (God's) glory, and the express image of His person" (Hebrews 1:3).

    Basically, the Bible is the Biography of the Beloved. Its primary object is to provide the Object for our contemplation and conformity.

    "Many a Christian has not got beyond this: Christ is a shelter for me, and takes care of me. Souls look for their barrel of meal not to waste, and their cruse of oil not to fail. But is that all? Is it that Christ comes and dwells with me and cares for me?

    "I make bold to say it is not. Is it shelter only? No! You are mutilating Christianity if you confine it to that. God says: I have saved you by My own Son, and now another factor must come in; you are to live by the One who has saved you; My purpose is that you are to be conformed to His blessed image."

    "There comes a moment when the soul knows union with Christ. Has your soul ever got a glimpse, by the Spirit, of Christ risen? Of 'the mark' of which Paul speaks? It is Christ in heaven; He is my Object!

    "Practically it is what souls have lost sight of. They do not look for acquaintance with Christ Risen. The first thing is the education of the Word; the second, Christ Himself must be seen (2 Corinthians 3:18). The Word delights the heart, but till the eye of your spirit has rested on the Person of Christ, you have not the model for the Word to take; there is no formation."

    "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).
    WithChrist.org/MJS

    6-5. "FREE BORN"

    "If God be for us, who can be against us"? (Romans 8:31)

    Faith in the facts alone gives the rest of reliance.

    "Is there an accuser, a judge, or an executioner, still after us? The accuser may go away rebuked by this, that God has justified us; the judge may go away rebuked by this, that the Lord Jesus has died--has already suffered the judgment, and His work has been accepted to the full in heaven itself; the executioner may go away rebuked by this, that all the malice of earth and hell together shall never drag us away from the firm embrace of our God. And if there be now neither accuser to charge, nor judge to condemn, nor executioner to slay, the court is cleared!" -J.G.B.

    "It is a blessed thing to be shown our enemies and told with Gideon, that Jehovah has delivered them into our hands (Josh. 8:7). Our old man has been crucified (Romans 6:6), the world 'overcome,' and its prince 'judged' (John 16:33, 11). If we are walking by faith, as risen with the Lord Jesus Christ, Satan, the world, and the flesh are under our feet." -J.N.D.

    "Not a hair of the child of God can fall without God's permission. Satan is but the unintentional instrument to accomplish God's will; he can do no more than he is allowed to do. If trials come as a host against us, we know that the Almighty is between us and them. They will but work out for us His own purpose of love."

    "What shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? . . . Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Romans 8:35, 37)
    WithChrist.org./MJS

    6-6. CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

    "If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf" (1 Peter 4:16).
    Often the lapidary will polish the jewel with its own dust. Just so our Father makes use of the weak and beggarly element of our nature to produce the mirror-like luster in which His image is finally reflected for all to see. "They shall be Mine. . . in that day when I make up My jewels" (Malachi 3:17).

    "Those who know the Lord best are those who have gone the deepest way. Those who go the deep way of trial do so because God puts the premium upon their knowledge of Him. They are the people who are shut up to God. But this knowledge is firstly, constitutional: that is, it is to constitute a certain kind of person and character; and secondly it is vocational: it does not end with the person concerned, but is the essence of service, in time and eternity. God is very practical, and requires that things in His service are never merely theoretical but real and true to life." -T. A-S.

    "Our path ought to be the mold, the opportunity, for the exp<b></b>ressi&#111;n and virtue of Christ's life. Saints seek to use Him rather in order to get through their circumstances, instead of seeing in the circumstances the mold in which they are to be taught the strength and power of the Lord Jesus. May we grow in Him, knowing Him, not only as helping us through circumstances, but using the circumstances which He puts us through as opportunities for enlarging our souls in Himself."

    "But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings, that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy" (1 Peter 4:13).
    WithChrist.org/MJS

    6-7. PROFFERED PROVISION

    "We have known and believed the love that God hath to us" (1 John 4:16).
    The Spirit convicts us of sins that we may be convinced of God's cleansing. We do not deserve to be forgiven, but the Lord Jesus deserves to be trusted.

    "We find the greatest difficulty often in bringing our sorrow to God. How can I do so, some may be saying, as my sorrow is the fruit of my sin? How can I take it to God? If it was suffering for righteousness' sake, then I would, but I am suffering for my sin; and can I, in the integrity of my heart towards God, take my sorrows to Him, knowing I deserve them?

    "Yes: the Lord Jesus has been to God about them. This, then, is the ground on which I can go. There has been perfect atonement for all my sins; Christ has been judged for them. Will God judge us both? No; I go to Him on the ground of atonement, and God can justly meet me in all my sorrow, because Christ's work has been so perfectly done." -J.N.D.

    "The guilt which the throne detects, the altar removes. If in the light of the throne one object is seen, namely, ruined, guilty, undone self; then, in the light of the altar, one object is seen, namely, a full, precious, all-sufficient Christ. The remedy reaches to the full extent of the ruin, and the same light that reveals the one reveals the other likewise. This gives settled repose to the conscience. God Himself has provided a remedy for all ruin which the light of His throne has revealed."

    "If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).
    WithChrist.org

    6-8. THE WORD'S WORD

    "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus" (Hebrews 10:19).

    The written Word is meant to reveal the Living Word, not to hide Him. Many know prophecy better than the Prophet. Our Father gave us His written Word that we might know His Son, not only as Saviour but as our very Life. "Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy Word is truth" (John 17:17).

    "The knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ is the basis of the believer's life. That is, it underlies our very relationship with God; it underlies all our growth in grace; it underlies every fragment of our service. There is nothing which comes within the compass of the life of the Christian which does not depend upon the knowledge of the Lord Jesus." -T. A-S.

    "Heart acquaintance with Christ is the secret of spiritual growth. One may know all the truths of the Bible, and yet be practically ignorant of the person of the Lord Jesus. It is possible to go back into the world with acquaintance with the scriptures, but it is virtually impossible to return thither with the scriptural acquaintance of Christ in the heart."

    "The believer should have but one object: knowing Christ has laid hold of him for glory, his heart is running after Him. He is to have no other object, though he may have many things to do. The Lord Jesus is 'in all' believers as the power of life, and He is 'all' as the object of that life. He is 'all and in all' (Colossians 3:11). And, 'all to Him I owe.'"

    "Having an high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith" (Hebrews 10:2l, 22).
    WithChrist.org

    6-9. VICTORIOUS VINEDRESSER

    "No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them who are exercised by it" (Hebrews 12:11).

    Vision: The Word gives us the true picture of growth. Verification: The Spirit gives us a taste thereof. Vindication: The Lord Jesus, later, gives us maturity.

    "A great mystery surrounds the spiritual growth of the hungry-hearted believer. The Spirit gives a foretaste of a deeper life before the believer is led into the fulness of it. Many believers mistake their foretaste for the fulness, not realizing that the Lord is just beginning to lead them

    "The forwardness of nature is the failure of our youth--our spiritual youth, as well as our natural youth; eagerness to run in God's path, but not apprehending what the path is, or what it requires to walk in it. On the other hand, when the cost is counted, and our weakness known, the energy begotten of self-confidence being gone, we need a stimulating call on God's part, to get out of the persistent occupation with our weakness now, as with our strength before." -F.W.G.

    "Suffering is not meant by God to be loss and deprivation. Satan says that it is. God means suffering to result in increased spiritual capacity, which is the basis of added responsibility, trust, and fruitful sharing. The branch of the vine may bleed from the drastic pruning and feel stripped of much glory; but more and better fruit is the vinedresser's vindication."

    "As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (1 Corinthians 15:49).
    WithChrist.org

    6-10. DIVINE LAYAWAY

    "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12).
    In faith we apprehend the growth truths; in fact the Lord Jesus apprehends us for growth in those truths.

    "I have been much struck by the thought of the hiddenness and slowness of God's workings. It must be a matter of distinct faith. If we do not understand this it will make us impatient. If we understand it will teach us to rest in God and to yield ourselves all the more joyfully to Him to work out His purpose. In all creation time is the great perfecter of growth. So with us, God will perfect that which concerns us."

    "'Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness' (Romans 4:3), when his faith apprehended the promise of God; yet it was nearly 40 years after that this Scripture was fulfilled, when he offered his son. The faith had its apprehension and enjoyment for many a year before the work of faith.

    "In proportion as the revelation is of God, in like measure must there be an answer to it sooner or later. Effect must follow cause. If the light has been received, the day will come that it must assert and obtain an exp<b></b>ressi&#111;n of itself."

    "Two glad services are ours,
    Both the Master loves to bless.
    First we serve with all our powers,
    Then with all our helplessness."

    "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14).

    6-11. TREASURE TROVE

    "But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Romans 8:9).

    The Spirit's ministry is to make Christ all to each.

    "We are the objects of the continual care and discipline of our heavenly Father. If we walk after the flesh, instead of after the Spirit, this may call for His loving rebuke and chastening (child training); but that in no way interferes with the precious truth of our continual acceptance and position in the risen Lord Jesus Christ, by whose one offering we have been perfected forever.

    "Through grace, we are not in the flesh, but in Christ, yet the flesh is in us; but our part is to reckon it as having been, before God and to faith, judicially put to death in Christ crucified, thus setting us free to be so constantly occupied with the triumphant Son of God, as to find all our resources, all our strength, all our springs, in Him." -H.H.S.

    "If we have the Lord Jesus, we have all--without Him, we have nothing. You can be happy without money, without liberty, without parents, and without friends, if He is yours. If you have not Christ, neither money, nor liberty, nor parents, nor friends can make you happy. Christ, with a chain, is liberty; liberty without Christ is a chain. Christ without anything is riches--all things, without Christ, is poverty indeed."

    "If children, then heirs--heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ--if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together" (Romans 8:17).

    WithChrist.org/MJS

    6-13. THREE-FOLD CORD

    "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).

    The Word of life, the Lord of life, and the exigencies of life all must combine to give us a ministry of life.

    "There is no personal knowledge of God but as we count on Him, as we are practically conscious of depending on Him and of His caring for us. One without straits, and victories, really has no growing acquaintance with God; and where there is not this, however great the intelligence or sincerity, there is little or no savor."

    "It is the trials and difficulties of the way that are the opportunities for our hearts to grow in acquaintance with Him; and it will be found, while there may be a great enjoyment in ministry, and in the unfolding of truth, that really there is not strength but in proportion as one has learned how God has been for and with one in the trials and sorrows of the way; and as one has known Him in them, so is one able to speak of Him."

    "The one purpose which our Father has in view, in all His ways, is to conform us to the image of His Son. This may explain our perplexities as to the past; it will govern our behavior in the present; it is to be our guidance in the future. The chief concern of our Lord is not to instruct us about a multitude of details, not to explain to us the reason for the trials which we are called to pass through. He is working out everything to serve His supreme purpose in displaying the character of His Son in His redeemed ones."

    "For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God" (2 Corinthians 4:15).
    WithChrist.org/MJS
     
  20. Netchaplain

    Netchaplain Ordained Chaplain

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    It is sometimes the trials of seemingly empty-meaninglessness that can be the most surprising because there’s nothing to see, only feel. Unlike trials that involve visible elements whereby we can utilize our senses, trials involving invisible elements can be puzzling. This is when opportunity for faith can be most appropriated, because there’s less opportunity for your senses to be of use.

    Therefore, the seemingly empty-meaninglessness trials can be the most fruit-bearing because faith is at its greatest substance (Heb 11:1) when visibility is at its least (Rom 8:24). Since only in this life faith will be used, we would do well to maximize the “trying of your faith” by exercising, as much as is within us, that which it produces first—patience (Jam 1:3; Rom 5:3). “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7); in eternity it will be inverted to walking by sight, not by faith.

    Along with neighborly love, our patience is also the most usable gauge when evaluating the position of our conformity to Christ. As we know, Scripture has much to say concerning patience and it was the Lord Himself who said, “By your patience possess your souls” (Luke 21:19 NKJ). -NC

    6-14. "THY WILL BE DONE"

    "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into various trials" (James 1:2).

    You can be sure that you are in the will of God when He keeps you dependent upon Himself, walking in the Holy Spirit, and abiding in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    "Often all we think of is, having our need met; but how little a thing is that with God! It would cost Him nothing, we may say, to meet the need of a lifetime in a moment; and a lesser love than His would supply it at once, and get rid of the constant burden.

    "But that is not His way. To supply the need is a small thing; but to supply it in such a way as to make us feel in each seasonable supply the Father's heart never withdrawn from us, the Father's heart ever employed about us--that is what He means. 'Give us our daily bread': is it not much more than to ask, 'Give us now, that we may not have to come again?'"

    "The God-given experience of the Spirit's working many a time passes away, and leaves the soul apparently dull and dead. This is only until the double lesson has been fully learnt: (1) that a living faith can rejoice in the Living God, even when feeling and experience appear to contradict the promise (Romans 8:28, 29); and (2) that the divine life only predominates as the life of the flesh is held in the place of death, inoperative (Romans 6:11a). The life of the Lord Jesus is revealed as His death works in us (2 Corinthians 4:11, 12), and as in weakness and nothingness we look to him (2 Corinthians 3:18)." -A.M.

    "Knowing this, that the testing of your faith worketh patience" (James 1:3).
    WithChrist.org/MJS

    Philippians 4:8 encourages us to think on that which is true, honest, just, etc. and the more often the more encouraged we are. As we contemplate such, we are not to find our sufficiency in them but in who procured them.

    Our helm is to be guided by “things above, not on things on the earth“ (Col 3:2) but our craft of life is settled in the work of Christ’s atonement. Though salvation and the blessings it brings are unsurpassed in joy, our contentment is not to be in this, but in what our Father settles His contentment in concerning us—His Son and what He has “finished”.

    God “gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Tim 6:17) and even justification, righteousness, holiness, etc. are not to be considered our support, but effects of our Supporter. There is some time involved to learn to base our security and assurance on the work of Christ alone and this is what the Spirit will be teaching us in all things. -NC

    6-15. "RAISON D'ETRE"

    "These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace" (John 16:33).

    Great will be the day when you come to realize that the sole reason for the existence of your Bible, your soul and your spirit is to glorify--and share--the Lord Jesus Christ.

    "The moment we begin to rest our peace on anything in ourselves, we lose it. And this is why so many saints have not settled peace. Nothing can be lasting that is not built on God alone. How can you have settled peace? Only by having it in God's way. By not resting on anything, even the Spirit's work within, but on what the Lord Jesus has done entirely outside you. Then you will know peace--conscious unworthiness, but yet peace.

    "In the Lord Jesus alone, God finds that in which He can rest concerning us, and so it is with His saints. The more you see the extent and nature of the evil that is within, as well as without, the more you will find that what the Lord Jesus is and did, is the only ground at all on which you can rest.

    "Alas! the freedom which the Gospel brings may be used to take things easy, and, more or less, retain or gain in the world; but where this is the case, it is seldom a soul possesses any large measure of spiritual enjoyment, and it is never accompanied by solid peace. The soul becomes thus unsettled and uncertain. These oscillations may go on for a certain time, until God carries on the work more deeply in the heart."

    "As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God" (1 Peter 2:16).
    WhithChrist.org/MJS

    6-16. UNDIVIDED ATTENTION

    "Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God" (Deuteronomy 8:11).

    Our Father would be free to favor us with far more of His riches in Christ Jesus if we would keep more in mind that grace is unmerited favor--so that "He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy" (Romans 9:23).

    "It seems so natural, when one is surrounded with blessings, and thus sensible of being an object of divine favor, that the eye is turned from God to oneself; for when God is before one, self gets no place, though there be the deepest awareness of His favor.

    "Hence it is the saint who is the object of the greatest favor who needs to be on his guard, that he allow not his eye to rest on himself where the favors are sent, but on God from whom they come. If his eye turns to himself because of the favor, then the favor has been the means of turning his heart from God to a mere gift of His."

    "If there be a growing up into the measure of the stature of Christ, there must be a conscious refusal of that which would tend to revive or invigorate the old nature. The saint is not only a new creature to grow into the likeness of the Lord Jesus, but he has to watch and beware lest the things he has to do with should in any way minister to another will in him, which would divert him from God to himself. Self is the circle and center of man's mind in his fallen state; but when Christ is formed in the soul, God is the center and source of everything." -J.B.S.

    "For we . . . worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3:3).
    WithChrist.org/MJS

    6-17. SATISFACTION GUARANTEED

    "And you, that were once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in His sight" (Colossians 1:21, 22).

    In order for our Father to be satisfied with us, He placed us in His Son. In order for us to be satisfied with our Father, we"rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3:3).

    "On what ground is our faith tested? It is on the ground of our very relationship with God and God's attitude toward us. The concentration of the enemy is upon that point--to interfere with our link with God.

    "What is our link with God? It is this--the Lord Jesus Christ, as the answer to God and to Satan for us. It will never be what we are in ourselves. If you are expecting a day to come when in virtue of what you are in yourself you can satisfy God, you are destined to an awful disillusionment. The day will never come when we can satisfy God in ourselves, not even more or less."

    "How could there be any doubt about the believers perfect security if his position in the Lord Jesus were realized? It would be impossible. Can He change? Or will God say to Him, I cannot any longer accept You as standing for this people? Or, once again if standing for them, is He on probation? Is His work completely done, or still to do?" -F.W.G.

    "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses" (Colossians 2:13).

    WithChrist.org/MJS

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Christian life is that which is beyond human morality, which evaluates goodness by men “measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves” (2 Cor 10:12). For the believer, it is that “which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Cor 2:13).

    While we are aware that where “sin abounded”, we are also aware that ”grace abounded much more” (Rom 5:20). This means that as the Spirit continues to take us into a deeper realization of the degradation and decadency of our Adamic nature, we can know that grace provides for us “a good conscience toward God” (1 Pet 3:21).

    “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God” (1 John 3:20, 21). -NC

    6-18. BELOVED OBJECT

    "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:10).

    The Holy Spirit creates within us a hatred for the old nature, and a hunger for the new nature. Without a rejection of the old, there cannot be a projection of the new.

    "I want a testimony that delivers me from the things I am occupied about in myself when I am suffering from them. I get it from God's gift that is perfect. I am 'accepted in the Beloved' (Ephesians 1:6). You say, There is something about myself I cannot get over. Remember, the testimony of the Spirit in us is the contrary of the testimony of the Spirit to us. In me, He takes notice of every fault that is not righteousness; but the testimony to us is, 'Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more' (Hebrews 8:12)."

    "If we make morality our standard, we will be sure to fall below what we purpose. Whatever we put before us as our criterion, there will be always a falling short. If we have the Lord Jesus Christ risen and in heaven as our Object, we shall prove the power of His resurrection, not only in lifting us up when we are conscious of our exceeding short-comings, but in strengthening us to 'press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus' (Philippians 3:14)."

    "The Word of God teaches me union, but the Person of Christ brings out all that I derive from union with Him. The Word is always my authority for my position, but acquaintance with the Person confirms and manifests my position."

    "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord" (Ephesians 6:10).

    WithChrist.org/MJS

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    With this message I leave on a ten-day vacation and will be doing my best to maintain the posts and replies. I thank the Lord for all in “the Household of God” and may His Spirit’s instructions continue with us!

    Blessed Be God


    6-19. PROPER PRESENTATION

    "The things that thou hast heard from me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (2 Timothy 2:2).

    Truth based upon law will be presented legally--it will be legislated. Truth based upon grace will be shared graciously, in love. "Adorn the doctrine of God" by "speaking the truth in love" (Titus 2:10; Ephesians 4:15).

    "There are two things that have to be taken into account in communicating truth. Not merely should there be certainty that it is the truth from God, but it must also be suited truth to those whom you address. They might need it all, but they may not be in condition to receive it; and the more precious the truth, the greater the injury, in a certain sense, if it is presented to those who are not in a state to profit by it."

    "We are to serve under His direction, and according to His pleasure; not just because opportunity or need offers. We require His direction, and the knowledge of His pleasure, however favorable the opportunity or the occasion. We see a servant in Acts 8 taken away from an interesting field of service, to meet one man in the desert. "It is not a question of how we succeed; but have we the assurance that we are doing the Lord's pleasure? Happy is the servant who is so led by Him that he always presents the measure of truth suited to the state of souls, and refuses to supply the knowledge that puffeth up."

    "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (1 Corinthians 2:13).

    WithChrist.org/MJS

    6-20. SELF-ABANDONMENT

    "Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin" (Romans 6:11a).

    All of the cults, from TM to ST to SDA, are simply self-improvement aberrations. The Cross alone provides death to self and life in the Lord Jesus Christ. "God forbid that I should glory, except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Galatians 6:14).

    "What becomes us now is to have the Lord Jesus before us, and not the correction of the old man. The snare of trying to improve oneself is very common, and it is important to see, that however well-meaning it may be, it is really a denial that our old man has been crucified, and a revival of that which has been judged in the death of the Cross.

    "It is plain that if you are clear of the domination of the old man you can have no man before you but the Lord Jesus, and the more sensible you are of how ready the flesh is to intrude."

    "God never means me to be able, with the Pharisee, to thank Him for the goodness that I find in myself. If I will be at it, He leaves me to find in this irreparable flesh, which cannot be mended, what I may break my heart over, but never alter.

    "It is a quicksand which spoils all my building--a morass impracticable to cultivation; and God uses this, in His sovereignty over evil, to wean me from self-confidence and self-complacency, and to cast me upon Himself."

    "Likewise, reckon ye also yourselves to be. . . alive unto God through Jesus Christ, our Lord" (Romans 6:11b).

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