Untroubled Relationship

marriage relationship
In that day you will ask in My name…for the Father Himself loves you… —John 16:26-27

“In that day you will ask in My name…,” that is, in My nature. Not “You will use My name as some magic word,” but— “You will be so intimate with Me that you will be one with Me.” “That day” is not a day in the next life, but a day meant for here and now. “…for the Father Himself loves you…”— the Father’s love is evidence that our union with Jesus is complete and absolute. Our Lord does not mean that our lives will be free from external difficulties and uncertainties, but that just as He knew the Father’s heart and mind, we too can be lifted by Him into heavenly places through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, so that He can reveal the teachings of God to us.

“…whatever you ask the Father in My name…” (John 16:23). “That day” is a day of peace and an untroubled relationship between God and His saint. Just as Jesus stood unblemished and pure in the presence of His Father, we too by the mighty power and effectiveness of the baptism of the Holy Spirit can be lifted into that relationship— “…that they may be one just as We are one…” (John 17:22).

“…He will give you” (John 16:23). Jesus said that because of His name God will recognize and respond to our prayers. What a great challenge and invitation— to pray in His name! Through the resurrection and ascension power of Jesus, and through the Holy Spirit He has sent, we can be lifted into such a relationship. Once in that wonderful position, having been placed there by Jesus Christ, we can pray to God in Jesus’ name— in His nature. This is a gift granted to us through the Holy Spirit, and Jesus said, “…whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” The sovereign character of Jesus Christ is tested and proved by His own statements.

by Oswald Chambers

The Power of God’s Holy Spirit

Romans 8:11-14

Yesterday’s reading offered scriptural proof that the Holy Spirit is a person. Yet there’s a persistent misconception that casts Him as some kind of intangible force. The underlying assumption is that “the power of the Holy Spirit” is something Christians wield for themselves. But in fact, the phrase refers to His work in the believer’s life.

Jesus was clear that serving God is not a one-man or one-woman show. It takes two—a believer and the Holy Spirit—to live the Christian life victoriously (Luke 24:49). The Spirit takes up residence in a person the moment that individual receives Christ’s forgiveness for sins. From then on, His job is to equip the believer so he or she can consistently model Jesus to the world.

When the apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through [Christ] who strengthens me,” he was talking about the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence (Philippians 4:13). What this means is that within the believer is an indescribably rich power source. The Spirit works through people to get done what is impossible for them to accomplish alone. In fact, the Bible says that He can do “far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). And Paul certainly proved that with his prolific ministry.

What is God calling you to do that’s “far more abundantly” beyond all you think you can achieve? Stop making excuses and get to work! Within you lies untapped potential—not your own strength and abilities, but the unlimited might of the Holy Spirit. His power will be unleashed in response to your acting on faith.

The Crucial Point

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” (Galatians 6:14)

Whenever people speak of “the crucial point of the issue” or “the crux of the matter,” they are inadvertently acknowledging the centrality of the cross of Christ, for these words are derived from the Latin crux, meaning “a cross.”

The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is right at the very heart of Christianity and also at the very heart of the opposition to Christianity. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

It was at the cross, and on the cross, that Christ defeated Satan. “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:14-15).

And it is at the cross that we also must be crucified, spiritually, if Satan is to be defeated in our own lives. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20). “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:24). “Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Romans 6:6).

Crucifixion, of course, is exceedingly painful, and therefore there is a very real “offense of the cross” (Galatians 5:11). Many Christians resist the demands on the life and the mind and the body that are entailed in such total identification with Christ. They would rather glory in earthly things. But how much better it is to glory, as Paul did, only in the cross, crucified unto the world. HMM

Too Much Originality

O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called. —1 Timothy 6:20

Some preachers have such a phobia for repetition and such an unnatural fear of the familiar that they are forever straining after the odd and the startling. The church page of the newspaper almost any Saturday will be sure to announce at least one or two sermon topics so far astray as to be positively grotesque; only by the most daring flight of uncontrolled imagination can any relation be established between the topic and the religion of Christ. We dare not impugn the honesty or the sincerity of the men who thus flap their short wings so rapidly in an effort to take off into the wild blue yonder, but we do deplore their attitudes. No one should try to be more original than an apostle.

Give me a word from heaven, Father, that will fly without my weak efforts at cute originality! Amen.

The Holy Spirit: More Than a Poetic Yearning

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth… and he will show you things to come. John 16:13

The continued neglect of the Holy Spirit by evangelical Christians is too evident to deny or impossible to justify.

Is it not strange that so much is made of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament and so little in Christian writings supposed to be based upon the New Testament? One of the church fathers, in a treatise on the Trinity written in the third century, defended the deity of the Spirit yet said twenty times as much about the Father and the Son as about the Spirit.

It is only fair to admit that there is more in the New Testament about the Son than about the Spirit, but the disproportion is surely not so great as in the writings referred to above, and certainly the all but total neglect of the Spirit in contemporary Christianity cannot be justified by the Scriptures.

In the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit is necessary. There He works powerfully, creatively. In popular Christianity, He is little more than a poetic yearning or at most a benign influence. In the Scriptures He moves in majesty, with all the attributes of the Godhead; here He is a mood, a tender feeling of good will.

Everything that men do in their own abilities is done for time alone: only what is done through the Eternal Spirit will abide eternally!

A Great Moral Blunder

By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified… This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders. ACTS 4:10-11

Of all the people on the earth, the nation of Israel surely was the best prepared to receive the Christ of God. The children of Abraham, they were called to be a chosen people in an everlasting covenant with God, the Father.

Yet they failed to recognize Jesus as Messiah and Lord. There is no doubt that theirs was the greatest moral blunder in the history of mankind. He came to His own people, and they rejected Him!

Jesus taught frankly that He was asking His followers to throw themselves out on the resources of God. For the multitude, He was asking too much. He had come from God but they received Him not!

It seems to be a comfort to some Christians to sit back and blame and belabor the Jews, refusing to acknowledge that they have information and benefits and spiritual light that the Jews never had.

It is surely wrong for us to try to comfort our own carnal hearts by any emphasis that Israel rejected Him. If we do that, we only rebuild the sepulchres of our fathers as Jesus said!

Lord, would I have mocked You? Denied You? Ignored who You really were? I only know that I wholeheartedly worship You today as the King of kings and Lord of lords!