Archive for January, 2012


Himsights v355 – Womb Service

Womb Service

In the movie Tombstone with Kurt Russel playing the part of Wyatt Earp, there is a scene where he asks Josephine what her idea of heaven is. She answers very succinctly “Room service”. And when we all hear it, don’t we get a little smile in our heart in the imagination of everything and everyone serving us? Room service is the ultimate in power and control. We just let our need or desire be known and then it appears magically on a silver platter.

This is absolutely the appeal that our greatest enemy makes to us, “Do not deny yourself anything”. In fact, so much of commercial marketing psychology is based on this very philosophy – that you will act on selfish impulse and intentions – “Have it your way”, “You deserve a break today”, “Because you’re worth it”, “Just do it”, “Go for the gusto”, while at the same time minimizing or deceitfully hiding the cost. Go ahead eat the fruit, you will not surely die. It really is a poison apple and we are all Sleeping Beauty, the Bride of Christ whose Beloved must break the curse of our sin-choice and redeem us. We lie in a stupor-like sleep, half-dead, half-alive waiting for our Prince to come, trapped in a childlike state.

Here we remain in a state of living-death. A seemingly safe and sustained state of existence. We have provision and protection but at what cost? And this is the very appeal of womb service – that we might remain in this state, enjoying the seeming bliss of the darkness in which we sleep – all the while Reality and full life is waiting for our transformation from innocence (e.g. childlikeness) to a fully  mature son formed in His likeness (e.g. godlikeness).

Yet, we love womb service. By nature we are the fruit of the womb. But it was intended and designed that we be born, and leave that place within our mother (our earth) and enter into a full relationship in our Father (Spirit) and that we travel from our natural home to the Home that He has prepared in Him. This is our spiritual journey – leaving the place where our soul was happy with the pleasures it experiences to passing through the Wilderness where we are presented with the opportunity to trust and obey our Father, thus denying our self, ultimately arriving where we find our contentment and joy – in Him.

It is in dying to ourselves that we become like Him – a safe-place for others. When we have arrived we are no longer interested in self-serving but in laying down our lives for Him and others. It is Love that energizes this dying, for there is no other power strong enough to bring us in to Him, and it is Love that calls us to leave this earthly womb of our mother and calls us to enter into our Father. Entering this Love is the destiny of our journey.

In that very place, God Himself provides our womb service. “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” John 15:16.

Without going into drawing pictures, I want you to see and hear for yourself how this journey is relayed more than once. We must put aside the innocence of childlikeness (not knowing right from wrong) and through a series of moral choices (based on obedience to Him) travel the Way of Sanctification by death to Self, that we may arrive in Him.

Just reflect on these examples set before us of moving from the womb of the earth (natural), through the process of sanctification, to the Womb of God (supernatural). From childlikeness to a fully mature son or daughter of God.

Examples to consider:

Noah from the pre-flood earth through the fires of ridicule, through the flood to the earth now cleansed by the washing of water.

Abram from  Ur of the Chaleans, his natural country to Abraham to “a land that I will show you” by way of Egypt (a type of the world system).

Jacob from exile from his natural home to be processed though the events of working with his father-in-law, wrestling with God and becoming Israel, facing a Giant (fear of what his brother might do to him), losing his very own son through death (apparent) only to be be found alive again.

Joseph from the place of the most loved of his earthly father, processed through being sold to slavery, forgotten in a prison, to saving his people, and leading them out of Egypt.

Moses from living with the king of this world, through the Exodus out of Egypt into the Wilderness to the threshold of the Promised Land (Thats as far as the Law can take you)

David from the court of the king of this world to fleeing Saul in the Wilderness to the throne of the King.

There are so many more examples, practically every person who you recognize as a saint (a called out, sanctified one) in the Bible shows a clear example of this – being born in this world, dying to it through a process where they learn to trust and obey God to finally entering in to Him, thus providing a safe-place for others.

God does not want to deny us room service, it is in giving up our lives for Him and others, in an act of faith that we enter in and receive womb service – the provision and protection of our Father.

“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Matt. 20:28.

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Suffering is Your Opportunity to Show Your Quality (Part 2)

Last week I introduced you to the concept of your suffering not only being permitted by God but even promoted to an end that is beyond our normal understanding. Make note that I am not saying that God is causing your suffering, in fact if it were not for His grace and mercy that hold back the tsunami of evil,  an unlimited flood of affliction and suffering would come at you with full assault and devastating fury. No, a thousand times no, God is not the orchestrator of evil and wickedness in the world but He does use it for His purposes and can pinpoint its application by just withdrawing His protective hand. What results we experience is but a small taste of what would happen were it not for Him.

So get this straight. God is not evil, and does not tempt anyone. God is Sovereign and as such all the activity that happens in the world is allowed by Him but not necessarily caused by Him. We are really good at bringing on our own pain and suffering. It was Adam, our great grandfather (about three hundred generations ago) that unleashed sin into the world. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Rom. 5:12. And we have been busy about perfecting all the nuances of it since then. If you want to blame someone for sin in the world go to the nearest mirror and you will find one of its chief proponents. Don’t get that, “Who me?” innocent look, “Yes you.” Apart from the saving grace of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit living and abiding in you and yielded to by you, you are in the business of profuse sinning.

I said all this to prevent us from heading down the trail of what a “Good God” would and wouldn’t do. Lets just say, “Let him who is without sin, throw the first stone.” You are not “good” but He is, so don’t even go there trying to judge God. By the way, it is the prerogative of God to do whatever He wants to do, whether we like it or not. I am thankful that He is a Good God. Consider the alternative. That settled, God can do whatever He wants and He chooses to use suffering for His purposes. What purposes?, you might ask.

To name a few:

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Gen. 1:26

“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace.” Gal. 1:15.

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Rom. 8:29.

“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.” Philip. 2:10.

“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.” Heb. 2:10.

“To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.” Eph. 3:10.

God made man (you and me) to show “the principalities and powers in heavenly places” “by the church (those called out ones)”, “the manifold wisdom of God.”

You see, certain angels were not at all excited about God’s plan: “Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands.” In fact they got more than a little miffed about the whole thing and set out in a rebellious rage led by one notorious Lucifer. This act of rebellion was in essence a challenge as to God’s suitability to lead heaven and earth based upon His choice of man to be His sons, the recipients of His Love and co-heirs with Himself.

Now of course God could have just unleashed a bolt of divine correction, frying the whole lot of them bringing about the “end of discussion” but what fun is that? Instead, because of the Good God we know and serve, He has set up a stage on earth to play out in realTime the unveiling of His wisdom.

So how does one go about being like his or her heavenly Father in cases where your integrity and righteousness are in question. You let it play out in Time. You do not have to prove anything. Wisdom is proved right by her children. In other words, right choices yield right results. Time will tell. It always does… eventually.

All the world is a stage, and you and I may very well be put on display if we, in fact, are the true sons of God. Thats what happened to Job, unbeknownst to himself. Job had an opportunity to show his quality through the things he suffered.

“For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” 1 Cor. 4:11.

More next week.

Quote Title Quotation Source
Spiritual Things Must Be Discerned Spiritually Each word of the Scriptures must be read with the same spirit in which it was written. Thomas aKempis – The Imitation of Christ circa. 1420 © 1999 Bridge-Logos Publishers
Run For the Roses, As Fast As You Can Run in such a way as to get the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24) Entering the race does not make you a winner only a contestant “to all who received him, to those who believed in His name (e.g. contestants), he gave the right to become children of God (i.e. winners)” Every aspect of your life: physical, soulical, and spiritual has its battle. The physical battle will determine if a man is healthy or diseased. The soulical battle determines whether a man is moral (e.g. rigtheous) or immoral (e.g. unrighteous). The spiritual battle will prove those who are holy and those who are unholy and the prize is none other than eternal life. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forcerful men lay hold of it. Make no mistake you are at war. Tom Van Hoogen
Worldly Attitudes vs. Beattitudes This world has its own idea of blessedness. Blessed is the man who is always right. Blessed is the man who is satisfied with himself. Blessed is the man who is strong. Blessed is the man who rules. Blessed is the man who is rich. Blessed is the man who is popular. Blessed is the man who enjoys life. These are the beatitudes of sight and this present world. It comes with a shock and opens a new realm of thought that not one of these men entered Jesus’ mind when he treated of blessedness.
— Ian Maclaren
F. W. Boreham – The Heavenly Octave: A Study of the Beatitudes, Copyright 1936 by F. W. Boreham
Walking the Thin Line of Christianity Therefore, St. Paul, in this letter, teaches us in order to comfort us and to confirm us in the perfect knowledge of this most Christian and excellent righteousness, for once we lose our belief in justification, all true Christian doctrine is lost. There is no middle ground between righteousness of the law and Christian righteousness. Anyone who strays from Christian righteousness must fall into the righteousness of the law; in other words, when people lose Christ, they slip back into reliance on their own works. Martin Luther – Commentary on Galatians – circa 1520; Crossway Publishing © 1998 by Watermark
Beauty, A Reflection Of Grace All lovely sights tend to keep the soul pure, to lift the heart up to God. The senses filled with the delights and splendor of creation reveal to us hints of His majesty, goodness, and love. What ever is beautiful is of God, and it is only ignorance or a low condition of heart and soul that does not prize what is beautiful. George MacDonald – The Best of George MacDonald © 2006 Cook Communications Ministries.
Vengeance Grows in the Dark While You Sleep Vengeance is the most deeply rooted passion in the human soul, and the impersonation of it is the devil. The devil has an absolute detestation of God, an immortal hatred of God. Satan s sin is at the summit of all sins; our sin is at the base of all sins. If sin has not reached its awful height in us, it may do so unless we let God alter the springs of our heart. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
He’s Everywhere, He’s Everywhere The carnal mind sees God in nothing, not even in spiritual things, His Word and ordinances. The spiritual mind sees Him in everything, even in natural things, in looking on the heavens and the earth and all the creatures. — Robert Leighton Charles H. Spurgeon – The Treasury of David abridged by David Otis Fuller, circa 1880, © 1968 by David Otis Fuller, Published by Kregel Publications
Fighting Will Only Make it Worse A cross which comes from God ought to be welcomed without any concern for self. And when you accept your cross this way, even though it is painful, you’ll find that you can bear it in peace. But when you receive your cross unwillingly, you will find it to be doubly severe. The resistance within his harder to bear than the cross itself! But if you recognize the hand of God, and make no opposition to His Will, you will have peace in the midst of affliction. Happy indeed are they who can bear their sufferings with this simple peace and perfect submission to the will of God! Nothing so shortens and soothes suffering as the spirit of non-resistance. Fenelon – Let Go, circa 1690, copyright 1973 Whitaker House
The Word, Divides Soul and Spirit We may say that it is quite customary in the church today to work by psychic means. How often psychological methods are used in ministry meetings to attract people! How psychic ways are engaged in believers meetings to stimulate the audience. By observing the methods used, one can judge what kind of work is being done. Let me say frankly that many sermons can only help people’s souls, but not their spirits. Such messages are merely spoken out of the soul, hence they can only reach man’s soul and afford him a little more mental knowledge. We ought not labor this way, because such work never penetrates into man’s spirit. Watchman Nee – The Latent Power of the Soul, circa 1939, copyright 1972 by Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.
Get Your Daily Bread Bread must be eaten daily, and the same is true of God’s Word. This psalmist wrote, “Blessed is the man… [whose] delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2); “O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97). To secure a strong and powerful spiritual life, an intake of God’s Word every day is indispensable. Andrew Murray – Andrew Murray 365 Day Devotional, © 2006 Whitaker House.

“and whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Rom. 14:23

Suffering, trials, afflictions and such are avoided at all costs by the people of this world. There seems to be this idea that a Christian can go through the world enjoying its pleasures and every material blessing it offers, seeking only self and Self’s satisfaction and then in the end hop over to the next world and enjoy all the pleasures there. This is not so. God has made it very clear that anyone who lives to enjoy this world and its pleasures is forsaking the next world and that only those who forsake this world  for the sake of Christ are invited to enjoy the pleasures in the next. Luke 9:24.

Why would we think that our walk through this life would be easy and without trial when our Lord’s was wrought with pain and grief and suffering. God came to take the sting out of death, not out of living of this life. If we are to be like our master we will have to follow him down a difficult road led by the power of the Spirit that offers victory through faith.

Far too many who call themselves Christians live moment by moment only consulting their own mind, heart and will to decide what they will do. The life of Christ is lived by faith and obedience to God’s will. If you always do what you want to do and what you think is best for you, where is the faith in that? Without faith it is impossible to please God. And whatever is not of faith is sin. It is when we choose to obey God and perform his will against all we think or want that we truly exercise faith. There is absolutely no faith in exercising what I think will work best for me.

My reading yesterday from one of my devotions brought this point out very nicely. I share that with you now below:

“The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18

Since faith is “the assurance of things hoped for”, it is our best help, in suffering, for it teaches us to counterbalance our temptations with our hopes. When the devil would make you faint and lazy in the work of the Lord, faith reveals the present difficulty as temporary. When the devil creates irksome thoughts of duty, faith represents the endless delights to follow. The believer determines it is better to go to heaven with labor, than to hell with pleasure. This made Moses so victorious (Hebrews 11:26). Looking upon the reward greatly influences our life. Foretastes of heaven will bring such a strong influence in the heart of the believer, that all the reasons in the world cannot alter or break the force of our spiritual purpose. When we are tempted to neglect duty for worldly advantages, our faith looks on to our high calling, and the riches of the heavenly Jerusalem. If we are tempted to seek worldly honor, faith takes a look at the crown of righteousness that God will give us on that day. If the fear of disgrace makes us loosen and slacken our duty, our faith considers the confusion of face the wicked shall see as they appear before the throne of the Lamb. When we are tempted to murmur and repine under the cross, faith will assure that though the way is rough, the end of the journey will be sweet. His promises protect our hearts from poison and preserve the soul in a holy bravery for God. They tell us of the rivers of pleasure that stream out of the heart of Jesus Christ, and the sweet contentment we shall enjoy with God forever more. O! When time begins to draw to an end to go into the other world, what would we give to live our lives again? Oh how diligent, watchful, and serious we would be if we had the sense of eternity upon our hearts!
–Thomas Manton, By Faith, Sermons on Hebrews 11

Suffering is Your Opportunity to Show Your Quality (Part 1)

I would not be surprised if some of my readers were taken aback by my continual reference to suffering, trials, afflictions and the like. I am sure I sound like a morbid person. And quite probably I am. You see, I am a Christian and Christians by nature should be morbid persons since they are continually experiencing death to Self. Yet it is through this death that life emerges and we may rejoice and be glad in it.

“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: 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.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Rom. 6:3-6.

I have titled the message “Suffering …”, when it could have just as easily been titled, “Dying to Self is Your Opportunity to Show Your Quality.” It is this “dying to Self”, that I have synonymously labeled suffering. And it is this living of the life of Christ that is continually approached and entered through dying.

I want to expand, explode and explore the Book of Job in the next number of weeks to the end that you are left without a doubt of the value of dying to Self. It is the very heartbeat of the Christ-life and your Christian daily walk. If you are not walking this way, quite frankly you are not walking in the Spirit. Those who are living for their Self are in direct, adversarial and red-handed rebellion to God and His will.

For today I want to just take an overview of some of the verses that come to mind that speak to this issue of dying to self and living for God. I hope that God’s Word will speak for itself regarding His will in the matter and at the same time reveal some of the rewards and value of suffering and dying to Self.

Please note that this suffering is not suffering for human stupidity and earned consequences but for righteous and godly living, which will always attract, invoke and ensure trials, afflictions and persecution from this world system.

Death/Dying

Revelation of John 12:11: And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Philippians 3:10: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

Philippians 2:8: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

II Corinthians 4:11: For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

II Corinthians 1:9: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

I Corinthians 4:9: For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.

II Corinthians 4:10: Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

Suffering

I Peter 2:19: For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

Romans 8:17: And 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.

Philippians 1:29: For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

I Timothy 4:10: For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

II Timothy 2:12: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

II Timothy 3:12: Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Hebrews 11:25: Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

I Peter 2:20: 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.

I Peter 3:14: But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

I Peter 4:16: Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

Persecution/Affliction

Romans 8:35: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Psalms 34:19: Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

II Corinthians 6:4: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,

Colossians 1:24: Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

I Thessalonians 3:3: That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.

II Timothy 1:8: Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

II Timothy 4:5: But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Hebrews 10:32: But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;

II Corinthians 8:2: How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

I Peter 1:7: 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:

I Peter 4:12: Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

James 1:2-4: My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Matthew 16:24:
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

II Timothy 1:12: For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Final thought:

Mark 8:38: Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Quote Title Quotation Source
Wrong Tools for the Job He tells us that our strength and our fruitfulness depend upon our prayers. He reminds us that the fullness of our joy depends upon answered prayer (John 16:24). And yet we allow the devil to persuade us to neglect prayer. He makes us believe that we can do more by our own efforts than by prayers, our intercourse with people than by our intercession with God. It passes one s comprehension that so little heed should be given to our Lord s sevenfold invitation – command – promise. How dare we work for Christ without being much on our knees? Unknown Christian – The Kneeling Christian, circa 1890, © 2007 Bidge-Logos.
Pray Determinedly, Not Impulsively Determination means to fix the form of our choice, and God demands that we use this power when we pray. The majority of us waste our time on mere impulses in prayer. There are many verses in God s Book which refer to this power in the heart to choose voluntarily. Impulse is not choice; impulse is very similar to instinct in an animal. It is the characteristic of immaturity and ought not to characterize men and women. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
God of Extremes It is the glory of the Christian faith that it is immense enough to be able to contain within itself aspects and elements that at first sight seem strangely conflicting. I heard a preacher exulting in the tenderness and beauty of God’s infinite love. The very same day I heard another speak of the severity and exactness of God’s infinite justice. Surely he was speaking of a different God! But no; it is the same God, but such a God! There is no conflict or confusion. We are simply gazing at a sea of glass, mingled with fire. He is a “just God and the Savior.” And those who know Him and worship Him are like unto him. F. W. Boreham – The Luggage of Life, 1912, published by Kregel Publications
Unknown Except Through the Mind of Christ We may, and we do, have all sorts of thoughts of God, we may conjecture this or imagine that, but we are wasting our energies in it all. We simply cannot know, no man can, except through the revelation of Christ. Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
It is a strange phenomenon how many come out of the woodwork and into the pews when the message concerns end times and God’s wrath and judgment on the unrighteous. Yet when the messages are concerning God’s commands for righteousness, dying to self, loving your enemies, submission to authority and the like, the same brood are nowhere to be found. Perhaps they are hiding back in the woodwork. They will not come to Him out of love and devotion but because of fear for Self they come. Who told you, you brood of vipers to flee the wrath of God? Repent and be saved! Tom Van Hoogen
Fence Sitting is Painful Business The well-defined spiritual life is not only the highest life, but it is also the most easily lived. The whole cross is more easily carried than the half. It is a man who tries to make the best of both worlds who makes nothing of either. — Henry Drummond A. W. Tozer – The Pursuit of God
The Beginning Is Merely a Start Since, then, the conduct of these beginners upon the way of God is ignoble, [61] and has much to do with their love of self and their own inclinations, as has been explained above, God desires to lead them farther. He seeks to bring them out of that ignoble kind of love to a higher degree of love for Him, to free them from the ignoble exercises of sense and meditation (wherewith, as we have said, they go seeking God so unworthily and in so many ways that are unbefitting), and to lead them to a kind of spiritual exercise wherein they can commune with Him more abundantly and are freed more completely from imperfections. St. John of the Cross – Dark Night of the Soul, circa 1560
Rejoice!, Again I Say, Rejoice! I am amazed at the power that comes to us through suffering; we are worth nothing without the cross. Of course, I tremble and agonize while it lasts, and all my words about the beneficial effects of suffering vanquish under the torture. But when it is all over, I look back on the experience with deep appreciation, and am ashamed that I bore it with so much bitterness. I am learning a great deal from my own foolishness! Fenelon – Let Go, circa 1690, copyright 1973 Whitaker House
Peace Of, With and Through God Those who know their God have great contentment in God. There is no peace like the peace of those whose minds are possessed with full assurance that they have known God, and God has known them, and that this relationship guarantees God’s favor to them in life, through death and forever. This is the peace of which Paul speaks in Romans 5:1 — “since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”– and those whose substance he analyzes in full in Romans 8. “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus… the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children… heirs of God… We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him… Those he justified, he also glorified… if God is for us, who can be against us?… Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?… Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?… I am convinced that neither death nor life… neither the present nor the future… will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” J. I. Packer – Knowing God, © 1973 InterVarsity Press
Same Family, Same Love Pray that you will love your fellow believers with the same love with which Christ loves you. If we abide in Christ’s love and let that love fills our hearts, supernatural power will be given to us to love all God’s children. As the bond of love between the Father and the Son, and between Christ and His followers, is close, so must the bond of love be between all God’s children. Andrew Murray – Andrew Murray 365 Day Devotional, © 2006 Whitaker House.
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