Archive for April 2, 2011

The Big Picture – Part 16

Enter Into My Joy

“Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Hab. 3:18.

We, the sons of God, shall both rejoice in the Lord — what He has done and who He is — and we shall joy in the God of our salvation, we shall enter into the joy which is our God. We shall live and move and have our being IN Him. He is our joy for there is no other place we can obtain the purpose for which we have been created than in Him.

Religious pundits would have us believe that our salvation is all accomplished the day we decide to accept as true that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. It is not. Our redemption is accomplished, but our salvation is still in the works. Jesus has already purchased us all back, and I mean all of us, paying the debt for the sins laid to our account which were against us. Our redemption is already accomplished in Christ on the Cross having been chosen in Him even before the foundation of the world. It was first in heaven and is now on earth as it is in heaven.

Yes, we have been redeemed in Christ (everybody has) but our salvation is another matter altogether. We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

“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 Thess. 5:23. Our salvation must be worked out from within, by the spirit, through the soul and unto the manifestation through the flesh.

This is where the fruit can be seen and partaken of by others, in the flesh. This is where Christ is made obtainable to others, through the fruit of the Spirit deposited in us. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14.

God, by His Word places the seed of Christ into your heart, the soil. Your spirit is saved. Behold all things are become new. That seed within you has a purpose — to accomplish that for which it was sent — to produce fruit, the offspring of the progenitor, the Father. Guess what?, the fruit looks just like the Father, the very likeness and image of Him, not physically, but spiritually. God is Spirit.

Now the seed in the spirit must work in your heart to bring forth fruit. Your soul — your mind, will and heart — must be made to become transformed by the working and washing of the Word. This is the process of sanctification, the working of the Word to accomplish, or bring forth a son.

When the work of sanctification is complete then the son is made manifest in the flesh, the body. This is how you are sanctified (set apart) wholly, your whole spirit, soul and body. This is how you are in fact saved, through your sanctification. We have been saved in our spirit — justification; we are being saved in our soul — sanctification; we shall be saved in our new bodies — glorification.

And there is no better sanctifying agent than the blood of Christ. You must come to the Cross, our modern day altar, and offer a daily living sacrifice and be washed in the blood. This purging and washing take place as we present ourselves to Him and offer our very lives to Him as a reasonable act of worship.

The law showed us what must be done. In the Old Testament believers were to bring their offering to the altar, it would be slain and left there. In the New, you are the offering, you must offer yourself — and then arise to newness of life, resurrected — dead, yet living. I am crucified yet I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me

Now what you need to know is that this is not as easy some make it seem. Why would Christ suffer and die and we who are to be like Him, not do the same? We too must suffer with Him through death on the Cross to ourselves.

I want to tell you, the Christian life used to be so easy when all I had to do was believe some things in my head, but it became a Reality when I became grounded in truth and faith in the Word, that would not allow me to say I believe something I did not live. The Christ-life is to be lived not thought about and felt good about. Dying is hard, real hard. Self will not lay down willingly, it must be crucified.

The day I purposed to do God’s will and not my own, the process of dying to me began. And I am “confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philip. 1:6. Dying hurts every day till you are dead. Dead men are done with dying. It is the dying part that is so difficult. I am certain that I have a long way to go, but I press on toward the high calling.

Why would anyone do this? Why would they subject themselves to suffering and death, even death on a cross? Why would they give up the riches and pleasures that this world offers and seek a home whose builder and maker is God? Why would anyone choose to die to themselves, their own will and desires and hopes for something that is not seen but only promised? We should ask Jesus these questions. Why would God do it?

We all know the answer intuitively — for love. That is why. And that is what a son does for their father. They walk this same path and demonstrate in the same way as Christ their love for the Father. To be sure there is a reward, an exceedingly abundant great reward. But we do it for love of the Father. We love Him because He first loved us.

Love, “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” I Corinthians 13:7

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” James 1:12.

“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Tim. 4:8.

Oh, to be sure, there is great honor and glory for those who endure to the end. “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Mark 13:13.

“and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Rev 4:10-11.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” John 1:12.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14.

“For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Hebrews 2:10.

“His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matt. 25:23.

Enter into My Joy!

Quote Title Quotation Source
How Oft I Would, But You Would Not He is not afaid of your presumptuous approach to Him. It is you who are afraid to come near Him. He is not watching over His dignity. It is you who fear to be sent away as the disciples would have sent away the little children. George MacDonald – The Best of George MacDonald © 2006 Cook Communications Ministries.
Growing Together By contrast, devout conversation about spiritual things greatly promotes our spiritual growth, especially when persons of one mind and spirit are gathered together in God. Thomas aKempis – The Imitation of Christ circa. 1420 © 1999 Bridge-Logos Publishers
There is Much Work to Be Done When we are first saved (if we are truly saved) there is at once a strong desire and passion to share with others — to be witnesses unto Jesus Christ. And then the “religion” gets hold of us and places us into its program of attending church functions, fellowshipping, singing songs together, enjoying our new life in Christ. Witnessing unto Christ is something we only do periodically according to scheduled times and an established program. The joy we first had diminishes and we seek once again to have a sense of God’s will. We become so caught up in doing religious things that we lose sight of His will. Thank God, when He saved us, He does give us something to do. Go, make witnesses unto me. We are debtors to every man because of the Redemption of Jesus Christ. Tom Van Hoogen
The Rest Is Up to Him The Christian life from start to finish is based upon this principle of utter dependence upon the Lord Jesus. There is no limit to the grace God is willing to bestow upon us. He will give us everything, but we can receive none of it except as we rest in him. Watchman Nee – Sit, Walk, Stand, copyright 1957 by Angus I. Kinnear
We Are Not Home Yet Once grief touches a man he is full of reaction, he says spiteful things because he is hurt, but in the end grief leads a man to the right point of view, viz. that the basis of things is tragic. As long as I am happy and things go well, I say what a famous philosopher said This is the best of all possible worlds. It plainly is not, and the Bible reveals why it is not. The world as God originally designed it, was the best of all possible worlds, but it has now become the worst of all possible worlds; Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Forcing the Pieces of the God-Puzzle Left to ourselves we tend immediately to reduce God to manageable terms. We want to get Him where we can use Him, or at least know where He is when we need Him. We want a God we can in some measure control. We need the feeling of security that comes from knowing what God is like, and what He is like is of course a composite of all the religious pictures we have seen, all the best people we have known or heard about, and all the sublime ideas we have entertained. A. W. Tozer – The Knowledge of the Holy, © 1961 Aiden Wilson Tozer
The Fire of Trials is a Purifier There must come a holocaust of your own values and judgments and will. Michael Molinos – The Spiritual Guide – circa 1675, copyright 1982 by Seed Sowers
Moving is Not Necessarily Getting On The larva, that is to say, were in advance of the mature animal which developed from them. The unseen constabulary of the universe can move us on; but it is not in their power to see that the movement shall be progress. They move us on as the wind moves the ships: it is for us to trim our sails to suit our destinies. For there are two great principles involved in getting on. There is the principle of the propeller, and there is the principle of the rudder. The propeller may make the pace, but only so far as it is checked and directed and controlled by the rudder can we be sure of “getting there.” It is so fatally easy to move on. F. W. Boreham – The Luggage of Life, 1912, published by Kregel Publications
The Nature of Grace To do evil for good is human corruption; to do good for good is civil retribution; but to do good for evil is Christian perfection. Though this be not the grace of nature, yet it is the nature of grace. — William Secker Charles H. Spurgeon – The Treasury of David abridged by David Otis Fuller, circa 1880, © 1968 by David Otis Fuller, Published by Kregel Publications
Coming Into His Presence So that you can see him more clearly, let me describe the way in which you come to the Lord by the simple act of beholding him and waiting upon him. You begin by setting aside a time to be with the Lord. When you do come to him, come quietly. Turn your heart to the presence of God. How is this done? This, too, is quite simple. You turn to him by faith. By faith you believe you have come into the presence of God. Next while you are before the Lord, begin to read some portion of Scripture. As you read, pause. The pause should be quite gentle. You have paused so that you may set your mind on the Spirit. You have set your mind inwardly on Christ. You should always remember that you are not doing this to gain some understanding of what you have read; rather, you are reading in order to turn your mind from outward things to the deep parts of your being. You are not there to learn or to read, but you’re there to experience the presence of their Lord! Jeanne Guyon – Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ – circa 16800; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
He is For the Weak and Lowly I have always been thankful that the feeble-minded are especially mentioned by Paul in his exhortations to the Thessalonian Christians, when he is urging them to comfort one another. In effect he says, Do not scold the feeble-minded, but comfort them. The very ones who need comfort most are the ones that our God, who is like a mother, wants to comfort not the strong-minded ones, but the feeble-minded. Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
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