“You Are Not Your Own”

Do you not know that…you are not your own? —1 Corinthians 6:19

There is no such thing as a private life, or a place to hide in this world, for a man or woman who is intimately aware of and shares in the sufferings of Jesus Christ. God divides the private life of His saints and makes it a highway for the world on one hand and for Himself on the other. No human being can stand that unless he is identified with Jesus Christ. We are not sanctified for ourselves. We are called into intimacy with the gospel, and things happen that appear to have nothing to do with us. But God is getting us into fellowship with Himself. Let Him have His way. If you refuse, you will be of no value to God in His redemptive work in the world, but will be a hindrance and a stumbling block.

The first thing God does is get us grounded on strong reality and truth. He does this until our cares for ourselves individually have been brought into submission to His way for the purpose of His redemption. Why shouldn’t we experience heartbreak? Through those doorways God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son. Most of us collapse at the first grip of pain. We sit down at the door of God’s purpose and enter a slow death through self-pity. And all the so-called Christian sympathy of others helps us to our deathbed. But God will not. He comes with the grip of the pierced hand of His Son, as if to say, “Enter into fellowship with Me; arise and shine.” If God can accomplish His purposes in this world through a broken heart, then why not thank Him for breaking yours?

by Oswald Chambers

God’s Special People

1 Peter 2:9-10

Sometimes, even believers have trouble remembering their purpose in life. In the busyness of our day-to-day activities, it is rather easy to forget how wonderfully and purposefully designed we are in the eyes of our Creator. Yet 1 Peter 2:9-10 brings our focus back to God, showing us that He made us to be . . .

1. A chosen race. You did not have to fight for a place in the house of the Lord. Instead, He chose you. The God of the universe actively sought you out because He wanted an unending relationship with you. You were selected by God Himself!

2. A royal priesthood. In the days of the Old Testament, a king could not be a priest, and a priest could not be a king. The two offices were separate and distinct. However, in Christ, God has called every believer into a new category. We are now sons and daughters of the King, and we have unrestricted, intimate access to almighty God. We are royal priests.

3. A holy nation. The word holy simply means “set apart.” The Holy Spirit has sealed all believers as children of God (Eph. 4:30), and nothing can ever dissolve their relationship with the Father.

4. God’s own possession. Do you realize how valuable you are to the heavenly Father? You are worth so much to Him that He purchased your eternal salvation at great cost: the life of His only Son (1 Cor. 6:20).

Nothing about you takes our omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God by surprise. He made you to be His representative in the world and therefore knows you completely. Does your life reflect your God-given position?

Fear of the Lord

“Then had the churches rest . . . and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.” (Acts 9:31)

There is something of a paradox in this requirement to “fear the Lord.” On the one hand, we “have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear” but have received “the Spirit of adoption” (Romans 8:15). On the other hand, we are told to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).

Our text insists that we are to be “walking in the fear of the Lord.” Obviously, the context illustrates a lifestyle of godly behavior that is produced by our attitude toward God’s sovereign majesty and unique holiness as the Creator and Sustainer of all things. We should “worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth” (Psalm 96:9).

It is clear that the “beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7), the “beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10), and the “instruction of wisdom” (Proverbs 15:33) are founded in the fear of the Lord. It is also clear that the fear of the Lord is that which mimics God’s hatred of “evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward [perverse] mouth” (Proverbs 8:13).

But the one who fears the Lord also knows “strong confidence” (Proverbs 14:26) and has an unwavering satisfaction in his or her life (Proverbs 19:23). Indeed, such godly fear promises to prolong our days (Proverbs 10:27) and to be a “fountain of life” that keeps us from the “snares of death” (Proverbs 14:27).

Knowledge of God should produce a “godly fear” (Hebrews 12:28) as we serve in the Kingdom—fear of His power and holiness and omniscience—yet also provide a steadfast rest in the knowledge that we are His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), gifted not with timidity, but with a spirit of “power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). HMM III

That He might gather together in one all things in Christ both which are in heaven, and which are on earth

That He might gather together in one all things in Christ both which are in heaven, and which are on earth.—Ephesians 1:10.

FOR all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia!
Oh, blest communion! fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine,
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia!
WILLIAM W. HOW.

IN the glorious company of the apostles, the goodly fellowship of the prophets, the noble army of martyrs, the holy Church throughout all the world is one. Therefore year by year let us reverently commemorate their names, remembering what they were, but steadfastly gazing at what they are. Their very words are still ringing in our ears: of some the beloved image too is full before
us. Let us live is they would bid us, could they still speak: let us fulfill their known behests, following in their steps, filling up the works that they began, carrying on their hallowed offices, now bequeathed to our care; let us be like them in deadness to sin, and unceasing homage to our unseen Lord. As we grow holier, we grow nearer to them; to be like them is to be with them even now they are not far from us, we know not how nigh. HENRY EDWARD MANNING.

His name shall be called Counsellor

His name shall be called Counsellor. Isaiah 9:6

The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the LORD. And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD.

Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man. O ye simple, understand wisdom: and ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.

The LORD of hosts … is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working. — If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. — Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Luke 11:2,3. Proverbs 8:1, 6, 14. Isaiah 28:29. James 1:5. Proverbs 3:5,6.

Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors

Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. Proverbs 8:34

Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

A continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee. — In all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.

Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father
in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and
they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. — Pray without
ceasing.

Psalm 123:2. Exodus 29:42. Exodus 20:24. Matthew 18:20. John 4:23,24. Ephesians
6:18. 1 Thessalonians 5:17.