Feb 19, 2016
It starts as broken glass. Ruined. Thrown away. But then something amazing happens. Over time, the useless shards are rolled and tumbled until something beautiful is created. It’s just like how God takes our broken pieces and crafts beauty.
Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? —John 14:9
Our Lord must be repeatedly astounded at us— astounded at how “un-simple” we are. It is our own opinions that make us dense and slow to understand, but when we are simple we are never dense; we have discernment all the time. Philip expected the future revelation of a tremendous mystery, but not in Jesus, the Person he thought he already knew. The mystery of God is not in what is going to be— it is now, though we look for it to be revealed in the future in some overwhelming, momentous event. We have no reluctance to obey Jesus, but it is highly probable that we are hurting Him by what we ask— “Lord, show us the Father…” (John 14:8). His response immediately comes back to us as He says, “Can’t you see Him? He is always right here or He is nowhere to be found.” We look for God to exhibit Himself to His children, but God only exhibits Himself in His children. And while others see the evidence, the child of God does not. We want to be fully aware of what God is doing in us, but we cannot have complete awareness and expect to remain reasonable or balanced in our expectations of Him. If all we are asking God to give us is experiences, and the awareness of those experiences is blocking our way, we hurt the Lord. The very questions we ask hurt Jesus, because they are not the questions of a child.
“Let not your heart be troubled…” (14:1, 27). Am I then hurting Jesus by allowing my heart to be troubled? If I believe in Jesus and His attributes, am I living up to my belief? Am I allowing anything to disturb my heart, or am I allowing any questions to come in which are unsound or unbalanced? I have to get to the point of the absolute and unquestionable relationship that takes everything exactly as it comes from Him. God never guides us at some time in the future, but always here and now. Realize that the Lord is here now, and the freedom you receive is immediate.
Beware of isolation; beware of the idea that you have to develop a holy life alone. It is impossible to develop a holy life alone; you will develop into an oddity and a peculiarism, into something utterly unlike what God wants you to be. The only way to develop spiritually is to go into the society of God’s own children, and you will soon find how God alters your set. God does not contradict our social instincts; He alters them. Biblical Psychology, 189 L
We have been learning about the Lord’s amazing plan to save us for all eternity. A persuasive argument for believing in eternal security is found in two of the apostle Paul’s questions in Romans 8.
Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? The answer is simple: No one can bring an accusation against believers and make it stick. Satan certainly tries, but God has justified us through His Son Jesus Christ—He has declared that we are no longer guilty. No matter what new sin we might commit after we are saved, we can’t be tried in God’s court a second time. If you fall into a stage of unbelief or sinful living, you may lose your reward, but you cannot lose your eternity in heaven with God (1 Cor. 3:12-15).
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Undoubtedly, there are many experiences that test our faith, but we are ultimately saved by God’s grace. Jesus understands our trials and doubts, and He is not interested in casting us away at our first misstep. God always knew we would make thousands of mistakes after receiving Christ, but He saved us anyway.
Some followers of Jesus Christ worry that embracing eternal security will motivate people to go out and live a life of sin because they have nothing to lose. If we think about the wonder and majesty of our heavenly Father, doesn’t it make more sense that people would be motivated to praise Him for saving them out of the filth of their disobedience? The more we know of Jesus and His love for us, the more we will love Him and want to please Him. Forever.
“Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.” (Psalm 40:6)
That Psalm 40 is primarily a Messianic psalm speaking mainly about the work of Christ is evident from its quotation as such in Hebrews 10:5-10. The psalm is prophesying particularly of His incarnation, as He says: “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me” (Psalm 40:7).
Burnt offerings and sin offerings had indeed been required from God’s people under the law, but these were not an end in themselves. These sacrifices were meaningless unless they were offered out of a willing heart, obedient expressions of submission to a forgiving God.
That was the implication of the “opened ear,” a symbolic expression indicating one’s willingness thenceforth to hear only the voice of his master and to submit to His will in all things. If a freed bondservant “shall plainly say, I love my master . . . I will not go out free: Then his master shall . . . bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever” (Exodus 21:5-6). This was the testimony of the coming Messiah, as reported in our text.
Then note its application as recorded in Hebrews 10:5: “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.” That is, the phrase “mine ears hath thou opened” is translated by the Holy Spirit as “a body hast thou prepared me.” The perfect submission of the Son to the Father required that He become a man, with a very special human body prepared by His Father. Then Psalm 40:7 becomes (in Hebrews 10:7): “Lo, I come . . . to do thy will, O God. . . . By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:9-10). HMM
And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. —Exodus 33:19
There has been a lot of careless teaching that implies that the Old Testament is a book of severity and law, and the New Testament is a book of tenderness and grace. But do you know that while both the Old Testament and the New Testament declare the mercy of God, the word mercy appears in the Old Testament over four times more often than in the New?…
God’s infinite goodness is taught throughout the entire Bible. Goodness is that in God which desires the happiness of His creatures and that irresistible urge in God to bestow blessedness. The goodness of God takes pleasure in the pleasure of His people. I wish I could teach the children of God to know this. For a long time it has been drummed into us that if we are happy, God is worried about us. We believe He’s never quite pleased if we are happy. But the strict, true teaching of the Word is that God takes pleasure in the pleasure of His people, provided His people take pleasure in God….
“The mercy of God is an ocean divine, a boundless and fathomless flood.” Let us plunge out into the mercy of God and come to know it.
Thank You, Lord, for your mercy, that out of Your goodness You delight in the happiness of Your children. Amen.
Do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. (Deuteronomy 5:32)
In the scriptural accounts, there are many examples of men and women being tested, and I think it is plain that the Holy Spirit rarely tells a believer that he is about to be tested.
Abraham was being tested when the Lord asked him to take his only son up into the mountain. He thought he was being ordered. He did not know he was being tested.
Peter was unconsciously tested. Paul was tested and tried. There does come a time when we have heard enough truth and the Holy Spirit says, “Today this disciple is going to be tested.”
The people of Israel in their time of testing came to Kadesh-Barnea and instead of crossing into the promised land, they said, “We will not go over!” God simply let them make their own test and they flunked it!
Are there any among us who have an honest desire to be Christlike? We should all be aware that every day is a day of testing. Some come to their own Kadesh-Barnea and turn back.
What a solemn thought: that many of the persons whom God is testing will flunk the test!
Oh new-born soul, trembling with anxiety, if thou hast not yet beheld the fair face of thy beloved, if thou canst not as yet delight in the majesty of his offices, and the wonders of his person, let thy soul be fully alive to the richness of his grace, and the preciousness of his blood. These thou hast in thy possession, the pledges of thine interest in him; love him then for these, and in due time he will discover unto thee fresh wonders and glories, so that thou shalt be able to exclaim, “O staff of my life and strength of my heart, I will sit and sing tinder thy shadow, yea, I will sing a song of loves touching MY WELL-BELOVED.”