Feb 7, 2014
Love Your God to the Last Breath by David Wilkerson
Feb 7, 2014
Love Your God to the Last Breath by David Wilkerson
We are God’s fellow workers… —1 Corinthians 3:9
Beware of any work for God that causes or allows you to avoid concentrating on Him. A great number of Christian workers worship their work. The only concern of Christian workers should be their concentration on God. This will mean that all the other boundaries of life, whether they are mental, moral, or spiritual limits, are completely free with the freedom God gives His child; that is, a worshiping child, not a wayward one. A worker who lacks this serious controlling emphasis of concentration on God is apt to become overly burdened by his work. He is a slave to his own limits, having no freedom of his body, mind, or spirit. Consequently, he becomes burned out and defeated. There is no freedom and no delight in life at all. His nerves, mind, and heart are so overwhelmed that God’s blessing cannot rest on him.
But the opposite case is equally true– once our concentration is on God, all the limits of our life are free and under the control and mastery of God alone. There is no longer any responsibility on you for the work. The only responsibility you have is to stay in living constant touch with God, and to see that you allow nothing to hinder your cooperation with Him. The freedom that comes after sanctification is the freedom of a child, and the things that used to hold your life down are gone. But be careful to remember that you have been freed for only one thing– to be absolutely devoted to your co-Worker.
We have no right to decide where we should be placed, or to have preconceived ideas as to what God is preparing us to do. God engineers everything; and wherever He places us, our one supreme goal should be to pour out our lives in wholehearted devotion to Him in that particular work. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
Jesus Christ is always unyielding to my claim to my right to myself. The one essential element in all our Lord’s teaching about discipleship is abandon, no calculation, no trace of self-interest. Disciples Indeed, 395 L
1 Peter 1:13-16
First Peter 1:16 says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” What an overwhelming command! But that is exactly what the Lord is committed to do in our lives—make us holy. His grand plan can be summed up in one word: sanctification. This is the three-stage process by which He sets us apart for His purposes.
Stage one occurs at the moment of our salvation. When God declares us righteous, we are positionally holy. The second stage is a progression of growth as we become more and more in practice what we already are in position. This process will continue for as long as we are alive on this earth.
The Father has predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29), and He is continually working to shape our character, conduct, and conversation. Although God is the one who accomplishes the transformation, we have some responsibility in the process. If we don’t cooperate with Him, the world will squeeze us into its mold, and we will miss the great plans He has for us.
The third stage of sanctification is our ultimate perfection when we will possess absolute holiness. Upon our physical death, the soul and spirit are freed from sin, and in the resurrection, our bodies will be made perfect. We will stand faultless and spotless before Christ.
If we could just get a glimpse of what the third stage is like, we would never moan and groan about the difficult sanctification process we endure now. Our eyes would be fixed on the goal, and our greatest motivation would be to glorify God by submitting to Him as He transforms us.
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)
The burial of Christ after His death was extremely important for two reasons. First, it assures us that His death was a physical death and that His resurrection was a bodily resurrection. Second, His burial—like His death and resurrection—has profound doctrinal and practical significance for the believer’s individual life.
All this is pictured, as our text points out, by the ordinance of baptism, displaying symbolically the death of Christ for sin and the death of the believer to sin, then the burial of the corruptible body of flesh (which, for all but Christ, returns to dust in accordance with God’s primeval curse). And finally, the resurrection, demonstrating Christ’s eternal victory over sin and death, and, in the case of the believer, the beginning of the new life in Christ.
The same truth appears again in Colossians 2:12: “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” Although these are the only New Testament passages where the doctrinal implications of Christ’s burial are specifically mentioned, the spiritual truths taught thereby permeate all the Scriptures. If our old bodies of sin are—at least positionally—already in the grave, then it is altogether grotesque for them still to be walking around in sin. “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Romans 6:5). We shall (not “should,” as misleadingly rendered in our text) walk in newness of life, triumphant daily over sin through the implanted resurrection life of our victorious Savior. HMM
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved). —Ephesians 2:4-5
When through the blood of the everlasting covenant we children of the shadows reach at last our home in the light, we shall have a thousand strings to our harps, but the sweetest may well be the one tuned to sound forth most perfectly the mercy of God.
For what right will we have to be there? Did we not by our sins take part in that unholy rebellion which rashly sought to dethrone the glorious King of creation? And did we not in times past walk according to the course of this world, according to the evil prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience? And did we not all at once live in the lusts of our flesh? And were we not by nature the children of wrath, even as others? But we who were one time enemies and alienated in our minds through wicked works shall then see God face-to-face and His name shall be in our foreheads. We who earned banishment shall enjoy communion; we who deserve the pains of hell shall know the bliss of heaven. And all through the tender mercy of our God, whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us.
Lord, let me begin even now to sing of Your great mercy. My voice may be poor and my earthly instrument rusty, but my heart is full. Amen.
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings. (1 Peter 4:13)
The Apostle Peter stated a great Christian truth in the form of an amazing paradox: the obedient Christian believer will continue to rejoice and praise God even in the midst of continuing trials and suffering in this earthly life!
God’s people know that things here on this earth are not all they ought to be, but they refuse to join the worry brigade. They are too busy rejoicing in the gracious prospect of all that will take place when God fulfills His promises to His redeemed children.
This ability to rejoice is demonstrated throughout the Bible and in the New Testament it rings forth like a silver bell!
The life of the normal believing child of God can never become a life of gloom and pessimism, for it is the Holy Spirit of God who keeps us above the kind of gloomy resignation that marks the secularism of the day.
We are still able to love the unlovely and to weep with those who weep, for in Peter’s words, “when Christ’s glory shall be revealed you may be glad with exceeding joy!”
Aged and mellow saints have so sweet a savor of Christ in them that their conversation is sweetly refreshing to him who delights to hear of the glories of redeeming love. They have tried the anchor in the hour of storm, they have tested the armor in the day of battle, they have proved the shadow of the great rock in the burning noontide in the weary land; therefore do they talk of those things, and of Him who is all these unto them. We must dive into the same waters if we would bring up the same pearls.