The Life To Know Him

. . . tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high —Luke 24:49

The disciples had to tarry, staying in Jerusalem until the day of Pentecost, not only for their own preparation but because they had to wait until the Lord was actually glorified. And as soon as He was glorified, what happened? “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear” (Acts 2:33). The statement in John 7:39 — “. . . for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified”— does not pertain to us. The Holy Spirit has been given; the Lord is glorified— our waiting is not dependent on the providence of God, but on our own spiritual fitness.

The Holy Spirit’s influence and power were at work before Pentecost, but He was not here. Once our Lord was glorified in His ascension, the Holy Spirit came into the world, and He has been here ever since. We have to receive the revealed truth that He is here. The attitude of receiving and welcoming the Holy Spirit into our lives is to be the continual attitude of a believer. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive reviving life from our ascended Lord.

It is not the baptism of the Holy Spirit that changes people, but the power of the ascended Christ coming into their lives through the Holy Spirit. We all too often separate things that the New Testament never separates. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not an experience apart from Jesus Christ— it is the evidence of the ascended Christ.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit does not make you think of time or eternity— it is one amazing glorious now. “This is eternal life, that they may know You . . .” (John 17:3). Begin to know Him now, and never finish.

How to Walk Wisely

Proverbs 28:26

According to 2 Corinthians 5:7, believers are to walk by faith. However, with so many voices clamoring for us to follow worldly paths, we often struggle to hear and apply God’s wisdom. For example, it is hard to ignore our natural impulse to withhold mercy, even though the Lord says we must forgive (Eph. 4:32).

Godly wisdom is the capacity to view things as the Lord does and to respond according to biblical principles. This discernment isn’t automatic. Yes, God’s Holy Spirit lives inside believers to prompt them to do right. However, each individual chooses whether or not to pursue the wise way.

To walk wisely, a person must commit to remaining on the right path—that is, to determine in his or her heart, I will follow God no matter what. Pleasing the Lord and conforming to His likeness are always the right things to do.

Resolving to honor God transforms the way we make decisions. It means choosing to seek His viewpoint in a given situation instead of following instincts or impulses. And rather than relying on other people’s advice, it involves a decision to search Scripture for verification of what God seems to be saying. As a result, the Spirit’s quiet voice becomes easier to discern, and those worldly shouts fade.

You have a loving heavenly Father who honors the heartfelt commitment to walk according to His will. God assumes responsibility for offering His children sought-after wisdom and enabling them to keep walking on the right path (Prov. 3:5-6). Following Him is always the best decision.

Every Creature Under Heaven

“If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.” (Colossians 1:23)

Before the Lord ascended back to heaven, He commanded His disciples to “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15), and one might receive the impression from the words of our text that this had already been accomplished, just 30 years after the command was given.

Yet, it is hardly plausible to infer from this that Christian missionaries had already reached the entire globe. The problem may be our far-too-limited appreciation of God’s witness in the creation. The phrase “to every creature” in our text could better be read “in everything created.” That is, the gospel that was now being brought in explicit terms to the Colossians was consistent with what they already should have known from God’s great witness in the very structure and behavior of everything He had created.

This is the testimony of such familiar verses as Psalm 19:1 (“the heavens declare . . .”); Romans 1:20 (“the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen”); Acts 14:17 (“he left not himself without witness”); and Acts 17:28 (“in him we live, and move, and have our being”). In the verses just preceding our text (Colossians 1:16-22), Paul had defined this universal gospel as embracing the creation, salvation, and consummation of “all things” by Christ (vv. 16-17, 20). The essence of this truth can be seen (if one’s eyes are willing to see it) in “all the world” (v. 6) in the beauty, complexity, unity in diversity, purposefulness, continuance of energy, and process, as found in “every creature which is under heaven.” Every aspect of God’s creation has been designed to reveal Christ as Maker and Savior. HMM

A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another

A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.—John 13:34.

ONE with our brethren here in love,
And one with saints that are at rest,
And one with angel hosts above,
And one with God forever blest.
ISSAC WILLIAMS.

ALL extreme, sensitiveness, fastidiousness, suspicion, readiness to take offence, and tenacity of what we think our due, come from self-love, as does the unworthy secret gratification we sometimes feel when another is humbled or mortified; the cold indifference, the harshness of our criticism, the unfairness and hastiness of our judgments, our bitterness towards those we dislike, and many other faults which must more or less rise up before most men’s conscience, when they question it sincerely as to how far they do indeed love their neighbors as Christ has loved them. He will root out all dislikes and aversions, all readiness to take offence, all resentments, all bitterness, from the heart, which is given up to His guidance. He will infuse His own tender love for man into His servant’s mind, and teach him to “love his brother as Christ has loved him.” JEAN NICOLAS GROU.

Enjoying each other’s good is heaven begun. LUCY C. SMITH.

So run, that ye may obtain

So run, that ye may obtain. 1 Corinthians 9:24

The slothful man saith, There is a lion without. — Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

I press toward the mark. —I … so run, not as uncertainly; I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, … I myself should be a castaway. The fashion of this world passeth away.

Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent. —Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 22:13. Hebrews 12:1,2. 2 Corinthians 7:1. Philippians 3:14. 1 Corinthians 9:26,27. 1 Corinthians 7:31. 2 Peter 3:13,14. 1 Peter 1:13.

We look for the Saviour

We look for the Saviour. Philippians 3:20

The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. — We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. — And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Titus 2:11-14. 2 Peter 3:13,14. Hebrews 9:28. Isaiah 25:9.