Faith or Experience?

…the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. —Galatians 2:20

We should battle through our moods, feelings, and emotions into absolute devotion to the Lord Jesus. We must break out of our own little world of experience into abandoned devotion to Him. Think who the New Testament says Jesus Christ is, and then think of the despicable meagerness of the miserable faith we exhibit by saying, “I haven’t had this experience or that experience”! Think what faith in Jesus Christ claims and provides— He can present us faultless before the throne of God, inexpressibly pure, absolutely righteous, and profoundly justified. Stand in absolute adoring faith “in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God— and righteousness and sanctification and redemption…” (1 Corinthians 1:30). How dare we talk of making a sacrifice for the Son of God! We are saved from hell and total destruction, and then we talk about making sacrifices!

We must continually focus and firmly place our faith in Jesus Christ— not a “prayer meeting” Jesus Christ, or a “book” Jesus Christ, but the New Testament Jesus Christ, who is God Incarnate, and who ought to strike us dead at His feet. Our faith must be in the One from whom our salvation springs. Jesus Christ wants our absolute, unrestrained devotion to Himself. We can never experience Jesus Christ, or selfishly bind Him in the confines of our own hearts. Our faith must be built on strong determined confidence in Him.

It is because of our trusting in experience that we see the steadfast impatience of the Holy Spirit against unbelief. All of our fears are sinful, and we create our own fears by refusing to nourish ourselves in our faith. How can anyone who is identified with Jesus Christ suffer from doubt or fear! Our lives should be an absolute hymn of praise resulting from perfect, irrepressible, triumphant belief.

by Oswald Chambers

Grace Extended

Colossians 1:3-6

Grace is God’s goodness and kindness freely extended to the utterly undeserving—you and me. Because of His grace, He offers salvation through Jesus Christ so that anyone who trusts Him as Savior might have a new relationship with the Father. As a result, God . . .

• Declares we are righteous. The Father sees Christ’s righteousness as our own (2 Cor. 5:21). The guilt and shame of sin have been removed (Rom. 8:1), and we can live boldly for Jesus, no matter who we were before.

• Claims us as family. A spiritual adoption has taken place so that we could become children of God and call Him “Father.” The world would have us believe the lie that we are insignificant, but God’s view is the truth: As believers, we are children of the eternal King and have great worth.

• Provides an inheritance for us, as co-heirs with Christ. Our inheritance is guaranteed and kept for us in heaven. We are set free from the trap of possessions because we’re rich in the only way that matters (2 Cor. 8:9).

• Gives us, who were spiritually dead, a new heart and a new spirit.
We are born again. God has given us a fresh start in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).

• Raises us out of the life we once lived and into a new life with Him.
Believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, whose fruit is love, joy, and peace.

• Sets us free from the power of sin, Satan, and self. Obedience and victory become a reality in our life as our faith in Jesus Christ grows.

Praise God for His unending grace.

The Eyes of the Lord

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)

Since God in His essence is Spirit (note John 4:24) and is omnipresent, one might wonder how He could have physical eyes. The fact is, however, that the Bible frequently refers to His eyes. In fact, this phrase, “the eyes of the LORD,” occurs no less than 21 times in the Bible.

While this is hard to understand in one way, it is wonderfully clear when we remember that God is omnipotent and omniscient, as well as omnipresent. “He that formed the eye, shall he not see?” (Psalm 94:9). We may not be able to understand the actual seeing mechanism of spiritual eyes; nevertheless, “the eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3).

The prophet Zechariah reminds us not to “[despise] the day of small things,” for they will be observed by “the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth” (Zechariah 4:10). The phrase is used first of all in connection with those terrible times when “the wickedness of man was great” and “the earth was filled with violence” (Genesis 6:5, 11). Yet God could still see righteous Noah there. “Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8), and he and his family were saved through the awful worldwide Flood.

The last usage of the phrase is in Peter’s epistle, quoting Psalm 34:15: “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil” (1 Peter 3:12). We do well to remember always that one of the great names of God is “Thou God seest me” (Genesis 16:13) and then conduct ourselves accordingly, aware that our God is indeed watching us with deep love and concern. HMM

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Jesus Christ.—Philippians 3:12.

LET no man think that sudden in a minute
All is accomplished and the work is done,
Though with thine earliest dawn thou shouldst begin it,
Scarce were it ended in thy setting sun.
FREDERIC W.H. MYERS.

NOTHING so purifies the thoughts, heightens the acts, shuts out self, admits God, as, in all things, little or great, to look to Jesus. Look to Him, when ye can, as ye begin to act, to converse, or labor; and then desire to speak or be silent, as He would have you; to say this word, or leave that unsaid; to do this, or leave that undone; to shape your words, as if He were present, and He will be present, not in body, but in spirit, not by your side, but in your soul. Faint not, any who would love Jesus, if ye find yourselves yet far short of what He Himself who is Love saith of the love of Him. Perfect love is heaven. When ye are perfected in love, your work on earth is done. There is no short road to heaven or to love. Do what in thee lies by the grace of God, and He will lead thee from strength to strength, and grace to grace, and love to love. EDWARD B. PUSEY.

Through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father

Through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Ephesians 2:18

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.

Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. — There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one LORD, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. —When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven.

Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way … let us draw near.

John 17:23. John 14:13,14,16,17. Ephesians 4:4-6. Luke 11:2. Hebrews 10:19,20,22.

Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word

Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word Ephesians 5:25,26

Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. — Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. — Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. — Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. — Thy word hath quickened me.

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

Ephesians 5:2. 1 Peter 1:23. John 17:17. John 3:5. Titus 3:5. Psalm 119:50. Psalm 19:7,8.