Mar 18, 2011
This was made for church presentation and later uploaded.
Mar 18, 2011
This was made for church presentation and later uploaded.
Life without war is impossible in the natural or the supernatural realm. It is a fact that there is a continuing struggle in the physical, mental, moral, and spiritual areas of life.
Health is the balance between the physical parts of my body and all the things and forces surrounding me. To maintain good health I must have sufficient internal strength to fight off the things that are external. Everything outside my physical life is designed to cause my death. The very elements that sustain me while I am alive work to decay and disintegrate my body once it is dead. If I have enough inner strength to fight, I help to produce the balance needed for health. The same is true of the mental life. If I want to maintain a strong and active mental life, I have to fight. This struggle produces the mental balance called thought.
Morally it is the same. Anything that does not strengthen me morally is the enemy of virtue within me. Whether I overcome, thereby producing virtue, depends on the level of moral excellence in my life. But we must fight to be moral. Morality does not happen by accident; moral virtue is acquired.
And spiritually it is also the same. Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation…” (John 16:33). This means that anything which is not spiritual leads to my downfall. Jesus went on to say, “…but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” I must learn to fight against and overcome the things that come against me, and in that way produce the balance of holiness. Then it becomes a delight to meet opposition.
Holiness is the balance between my nature and the law of God as expressed in Jesus Christ.
By Oswald Chambers
We live in busy times. For many Christians, sadly, church is an item on their checklist, and they think attending a service fulfills their “spiritual duty.” As a result, God seems distant, so they feel unexcited about His work in their lives and lack compassion for the unsaved. Such believers find it easy to start acting in a worldly manner.
But the heavenly Father desires an intimate relationship with His children. As in Bible times, He still has personal encounters with His people—sometimes to comfort or encourage, at other times to guide or convict of sin.
In today’s passage, the prophet Isaiah wrote of such a meeting with the Lord. His reaction to the holiness of God’s presence was a profound recognition of his own sin: “I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips . . . ; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (v. 5).
As the prophet experienced, when God reveals His presence to us, we are likely to be overwhelmed with awe and a sense of our unworthiness. Then, as we humbly respond in repentance or obedience, we, too, will know that our sins have been forgiven (v. 7).
We cannot manipulate or create divine encounters, but we make them possible by being available to God. Are you spending time with the Lord, praying and reading His Word? Or has life become too busy and your spiritual walk too mechanical?
Ask God for a personal encounter with Him. Spend time praising the Lord, confessing sin, and surrendering all areas of your life to Him. Then expectantly watch for Him.
“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:17)
The second verse of “And Can It Be That I Should Gain?” poses and solves a great mystery:
T’is mystery all! the immortal dies!
Who can explain this strange design?
In vain the first-born seraph tries,
To sound the depths of love divine;
T’is mercy all! Let earth adore!
Let angel minds inquire no more.
Our text reminds us that God is immortal. And yet, “Christ died for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3) to bring us salvation. If this astounds us (and it should), we can take solace in that we are not alone. “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things . . . which things the angels desire to look into” (1 Peter 1:10-12).
Think of it! The Creator, the Author of life, has died to offer eternal life to His creation, for “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23), and the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). He died so that we don’t have to die! This grand plan remains beyond our full grasp, as it always was to the prophets and the angels.
The motive behind His plan is God’s mercy. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us; . . . Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour” (Titus 3:5-6). “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out” (Romans 11:33). JDM
That ye may know that is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe.— Ephesians 1:18,19.
THOU dost well,
And my heaven is here and now,
Day-star of my soul, if Thou
Wilt but deign in me to dwell.
WOLFGANG C. DESSLER.
THROW open all the windows of your soul to the influence of Jesus. By prayer, thought, and action, let His divine power move in and through your life, and be sure that a mighty work is within His power and your possibility. Not that of lifting you into ordinary spiritual vitality, but of transforming you through and through with His Spirit. WILLIAM LAWRENCE.
The life which we are meant to lead under the dispensation of the Spirit who has been given for our guidance into Truth, is one which does not take us out of the world, but keeps us from its evil, enabling us to live a heavenly existence on earth, and so to span over the chasm which divides us from heaven. EDWARD THRING.
I would not live always. Job 7:16
And I said, O that I had wings like a dove, for then would I fly away, and be at rest. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.
In this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. —Having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.
Let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Psalm 55:6,8. 2 Corinthians 5:2,4. Philippians 1:23. Hebrews 12:13. John 14:27.
Where shall wisdom be found?
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. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. — 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. — The only wise God. — Be not wise in thine own eyes.
Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. — All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
James 1:5,6. Proverbs 3:5,6. 1 Timothy 1:17. Proverbs 3:7. Jeremiah 1:6-8. John 16:23,24. Matthew 21:22.