Aug 28, 2012
Good any time..even right now.
Aug 28, 2012
Good any time..even right now.
Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ . . . —2 Corinthians 2:14
The proper perspective of a servant of God must not simply be as near to the highest as he can get, but it must be the highest. Be careful that you vigorously maintain God’s perspective, and remember that it must be done every day, little by little. Don’t think on a finite level. No outside power can touch the proper perspective.
The proper perspective to maintain is that we are here for only one purpose— to be captives marching in the procession of Christ’s triumphs. We are not on display in God’s showcase— we are here to exhibit only one thing— the “captivity [of our lives] to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). How small all the other perspectives are! For example, the ones that say, “I am standing all alone, battling for Jesus,” or, “I have to maintain the cause of Christ and hold down this fort for Him.” But Paul said, in essence, “I am in the procession of a conqueror, and it doesn’t matter what the difficulties are, for I am always led in triumph.” Is this idea being worked out practically in us? Paul’s secret joy was that God took him as a blatant rebel against Jesus Christ, and made him a captive— and that became his purpose. It was Paul’s joy to be a captive of the Lord, and he had no other interest in heaven or on earth. It is a shameful thing for a Christian to talk about getting the victory. We should belong so completely to the Victor that it is always His victory, and “we are more than conquerors through Him . . .” (Romans 8:37).
“We are to God the fragrance of Christ . . .” (2 Corinthians 2:15). We are encompassed with the sweet aroma of Jesus, and wherever we go we are a wonderful refreshment to God.
by Oswald Chambers
The week before He would die by crucifixion, Jesus talked to His disciples about what was to come: After His resurrection, they would receive a Counselor—the Holy Spirit—who’d be with them forever (John 14:16). He would indwell each believer, providing His power to make it possible to live a victorious Christian life. The Lord will also empower us with His divine strength if we cultivate certain Christlike qualities:
• Purity of heart. Prior to our salvation, sin separated us from the Father. When we received Jesus as Savior, God washed us clean (Titus 3:5), clothed us in Christ’s righteousness, and purified us so we could become His people (2:14). Now, our part is to pursue holiness so we can become more like the Lord. Regular confession of our ungodly thoughts and actions brings forgiveness and purifies us from unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
• Obedient spirit. Before we were adopted into God’s family, our nature was in rebellion against His authority. But since trusting in Christ, we have both freedom from sin’s power over us and the ability to choose obedience. While we will live imperfectly, the Lord looks to see if our minds and hearts are committed to following Him. Our sincere effort to obey Him brings a release of His power as we carry out His work.
When we make holiness a priority and demonstrate obedience to the Lord, we’ll receive supernatural strength to choose righteousness. Each day, we will be filled with power as we confess any areas of sin (Ps. 51:1-2, 10), maintain our commitment to God, and follow the Spirit’s lead.
“Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.” (Ephesians 3:7)
In the New Testament, the words for gift and grace are very closely related. The Greek term charis is most frequently translated “grace,” and charisma is most often rendered “gift.” We who are twice-born are to use our “gift” with one another as “good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10).
When God gifts us with faith so that we are saved by His grace (Ephesians 2:8), we are then “created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). This “new man” is granted the potential to understand the “exceeding greatness of his power” (Ephesians 1:19) and to participate in the “divine nature” so that we are able to escape the corruption that pervades the lust of this godless world (2 Peter 1:4).
When we preach the gospel, we are using “the power of God” that will result in the salvation of those who respond (Romans 1:16). Right after the day of Pentecost, the apostles gave testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus in a demonstration of that power so that “great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33). The message and the power and the grace of God are inseparable.
When our lives radically changed in response to the “new man” created in us by God, they did so by “the grace of our Lord” that is “exceeding abundant with faith and love” (1 Timothy 1:14). When we access the strength to rise above our infirmities or difficult circumstances, we are experiencing the Lord’s grace that is sufficient to deal with or overcome whatever may be hindering us (2 Corinthians 12:9).
When we “work out” the salvation God has “graced” us with, we can be sure that God is working in us “both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13). HMM III
Your life is hid with Christ in God.—Colossians 3:3.
Put on therefore a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving each other; even as the Lord forgave you so also do ye.—Colossians 3:12-13 (R. V.).
IT is not the deed we do,
Though the deed be never so fair,
But the love that the dear Lord looketh for,
Hidden with holy care
In the heart of the deed so fair.
HARRIET MCEWEN KIMBALL.
THESE are duties which belong to us alike, whatever our outward lot be, whether rich or poor, honored or despised, amid outward joys or sorrows. For as our life is hidden in Christ, so have we all an outward and an inward, a hidden life. Outwardly, we seem busied for the most part about common things, with trivial duties, worthless tasks. Inwardly we are, or ought to be, studying how, in all, to please God, walking in His sight, doing them in His Presence, seeking to know how He would have them done. So amid trivial things we may be, nay men are, in every station of life, pleasing God, that is, leading angels’ lives, in that they are doing His will on earth, as the angels in heaven. They are “servants of His, doing His pleasure.” EDWARD B. PUSEY.
When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them. Isaiah 41:17
There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? — What hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun? For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. All is vanity and vexation of spirit. — They have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. — I will pour water upon him that is thirsty. — Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.
Psalm 4:6. Ecclesiastes 2:22,23,17. Jeremiah 2:13. John 6:37. Isaiah 44:3. Matthew 5:6. Psalm 63:1.
I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. Jonah 2:4
Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
I forgat prosperity. And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD. — Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord? arise, cast us not off for ever. — Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? — In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance. — We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.
Psalm 49:14,15. Lamentations 3:17,18. Psalm 44:23. Isaiah 40:27. Isaiah 54:8. Psalm 43:5. 2 Corinthians 4:8,9.