Arise from the dead… —Ephesians 5:14
Not all initiative, the willingness to take the first step, is inspired by God. Someone may say to you, “Get up and get going! Take your reluctance by the throat and throw it overboard— just do what needs to be done!” That is what we mean by ordinary human initiative. But when the Spirit of God comes to us and says, in effect, “Get up and get going,” suddenly we find that the initiative is inspired.
We all have many dreams and aspirations when we are young, but sooner or later we realize we have no power to accomplish them. We cannot do the things we long to do, so our tendency is to think of our dreams and aspirations as dead. But God comes and says to us, “Arise from the dead….” When God sends His inspiration, it comes to us with such miraculous power that we are able to “arise from the dead” and do the impossible. The remarkable thing about spiritual initiative is that the life and power comes after we “get up and get going.” God does not give us overcoming life— He gives us life as we overcome. When the inspiration of God comes, and He says, “Arise from the dead…,” we have to get ourselves up; God will not lift us up. Our Lord said to the man with the withered hand, “Stretch out your hand” (Matthew 12:13). As soon as the man did so, his hand was healed. But he had to take the initiative. If we will take the initiative to overcome, we will find that we have the inspiration of God, because He immediately gives us the power of life.
When you are joyful, be joyful; when you are sad, be sad. If God has given you a sweet cup, don’t make it bitter; and if He has given you a bitter cup, don’t try and make it sweet; take things as they come. Shade of His Hand, 1226 L
At every missions conference, I tell God the same thing: “I’m available, Lord. I will go to foreign fields if You say so.” Until He instructs me to pack my bags, I’m going to keep on sending others to work among unbelievers in distant and even remote places.
In Romans 10, Paul asked a series of questions that can be summed up like this: How will the world hear about Jesus if you do nothing? God uses Christians to spread the word that His salvation plan is available to all. He put us in families and communities so we will mingle and share what we know. But some believers are called to carry the gospel farther than others. Those who stay behind are to offer prayer and resources for those who travel.
If you’re shaking your head and thinking, Mission work isn’t where my heart is, I have news for you: Every believer is called to missions as either a goer or a sender. That call comes in dramatic ways for some, but for most of us, it is simply a biblical principle to be followed (Matt. 28:19). What’s missing for those who don’t have a heart for such work is passion. Christians who share, go, and send are often excited about God’s message for unbelievers—and it’s possible for you to become more enthusiastic, too.
I challenge you to ask the Lord, “Am I open to going anywhere You send me?” Our roots in a community should be sunk only as deep as God wills. If you aren’t called to go, then choose to be a sender. Offer your prayers, your money, and anything else that will help to put others on the mission field
“And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.” (Mark 7:37)
Jesus indeed “hath done all things well.” One strong evidence of His deity is this very fact. No matter how carefully we study His deeds, we can find no flaw in any of them—no deficiency, nothing He should have done differently or left undone. He never had to apologize or express regrets, as we often at least ought to do. He was always master of every situation. Peter said that He just “went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Acts 10:38).
The same truth would apply—perhaps even more emphatically—to His words. He never had to speculate or equivocate: “And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes” (Mark 1:22). Jesus never guessed about anything or merely expressed an opinion, as we frequently do. He never suggested a “possible” interpretation. Everything He taught was with absolute authority, for He was (and is) the very Word of God (John 1:1, 14).
His words occasionally were harsh and judgmental when dealing with hypocrisy and false teaching (e.g., Matthew 23:29-33), but more often were kind and forgiving. In fact, “all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth” (Luke 4:22). Even the soldiers sent to arrest Jesus returned empty-handed, for as they said: “Never man spake like this man” (John 7:46).
Indeed, “his word was with power” (Luke 4:32). He was “Jesus of Nazareth . . . a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people” (Luke 24:19). In fact, He was more than a man; He was the perfect man and the only-begotten Son of God! HMM
All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. —Matthew 11:27
The inability of the human mind to know God in a true and final sense is taken for granted throughout the Bible…. God’s nature is of another kind from anything with which the mind is acquainted; hence when the mind attempts to find out God it is confronted by obscurity. It is surrounded with mystery and blinded by the light no man can approach unto….
The Spirit of God is able to make the spirit of man know and experience the awful mystery of God’s essential being. It should be noted that the Spirit reveals God to the spirit of man, not to his intellect merely. The intellect can know God’s attributes because these constitute that body of truth that can be known about God. The knowledge of God is for the spirit alone. Such knowledge comes not by intellection but by intuition.
To know God in the scriptural meaning of the term is to enter into experience of Him. It never means to know about. It is not a knowledge mediated by the intellect, but an unmediated awareness experienced by the soul on a plane too high for the mind to reach.
Thank You, Father, for the ministry of the Spirit in revealing You to Your children. May I no longer simply know about You, but come to know You personally. Amen.
That he might gather together in one, all things in Christ… in heaven and on earth. (Ephesians 1:10)
We trust the Word of God—and the inspired revelation makes it plain to the believing Christian that all things in the universe have derived their form from Christ, the eternal Son!
We are assured that even as an architect-builder gathers the necessary materials needed to fashion the structure he has designed, so God will ultimately gather all things together under one head, even Christ (Ephesians 1:9-10).
Everything in the universe has received its meaning by the power of His word; each has maintained its place and order through Him.
Jesus Christ is God creating!
Jesus Christ is God redeeming!
Jesus Christ is God completing and harmonizing!
Jesus Christ is God bringing together all things after the counsel of His own will!
I can only hope that as we grow and mature and delight in our faith we are beginning to gain a new appreciation of God’s great eternal purpose!
You cannot, though you may think you can, preserve a moderation in sin. If you commit one sin, it is like the melting of the lower glacier upon the Alps; the others must follow in time. As certainly as you heap one stone upon the cairn today, the next day you will cast another, until the heap, reared stone by stone, shall become a very pyramid. Set the coral insect at work, you cannot decree where it shall stay its work. It will not build its rock just as high as you please; it will not stay until there shall be soil upon it, and an island shall be created by tiny creatures. Sin cannot be held in with bit and bridle.