True reading of the Bible involves thought; meditation and preparation of ourselves; a readiness to find Him; everywhere; preparing for prayer; the process of recollection; the important element of thanksgiving; the desire to please Him always is necessary; be wholehearted; responsiveness to the Lord’s approaches.
Preparing for the Guest – Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones Sermon
Ephesians 3:19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (20 December 1899 — 1 March 1981) was a Welsh Protestant minister, preacher and medical doctor who was influential in the Reformed wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. For almost 30 years, he was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London.
Thank you to the Martyn Lloyd-Jones Recordings Trust for permission to use this audio sermon. http://www.mljtrust.org/
So Peter went out and wept bitterly. Luke 22:62
Thomas Edison failed nearly a thousand times to find the proper filament for the electric light bulb. But Scottish nature photographer Alan McFadyen would have been happy with such a short quest. He wanted to take the perfect picture of a kingfisher diving into the water in search of a fish—the bird perfectly vertical; the point of its beak touching the water; the bird mirrored exactly in the flat, glassy water’s surface. And he did it—after spending 4,200 hours and taking 720,000 digital images.
All those pictures weren’t failures, of course; but there was only one he counted as a success. That’s how failure works. Sometimes it’s complete, like when an electric light bulb doesn’t work. And sometimes it’s just not the very best. You know you can do better. However we define failure, it can be a stepping-stone to success if we will let it. Like Peter did. He once failed miserably in his loyalty to Christ, but had the wisdom to accept the second chance he was given. And we can do the same.
With failure, it is not a question of “if,” but of “when” and “how.” We must live prepared to fail—but also prepared to succeed as we grow in grace.
The perfect Christian is the one who, having a sense of his own failure, is minded to press toward the mark. Ernest F. Kevan
God has prepared work He wants us to do, and our delays in carrying out His plan constitute disobedience. That makes habitual procrastination a serious problem.
Praying, tithing, and daily Bible reading aren’t the only things Christians can put off. We can also delay:
Serving in the church. We volunteer to serve, but when the call comes, we say no. If asked, we might reply it is the length of the commitment that doesn’t suit us. At other times we say the position itself is not a good fit. In both cases, if we examine our feelings, we will find we are dodging what we do not like or feel inadequate to do.
Sharing our faith. We can get very anxious about how to express ourselves, what reaction we’ll get, and whether we’ll be able to give adequate answers. When insecurity threatens us, we often choose inactivity over obedience.
Surrendering our will to the Lord’s. Just thinking about giving God control in certain areas makes many of us feel fearful. So we cling to our way and avoid His. True submission says, “Lord, I am willing to do whatever You want in this situation. I will obey Your Word.”
After a while, because of our procrastinating ways, our spiritual growth is inhibited. Then our usefulness to God and our sense of joy in Him diminish.
The Lord has asked us to be His ambassadors, who represent Him to a hurting world according to His plan and timetable (2 Cor. 5:20). Therefore, procrastination has no place in the life of a believer. Which areas of your life does this bring to mind?
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)
This verse is sometimes used by those who would insist that our salvation requires “works” either to obtain or to maintain the “new birth.” Even a casual reading of the New Testament does not support that view (John 5:24; 6:37; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 4:24; etc.).
This passage, both in context and by specific word choices of the Holy Spirit, is focused on what we are to do with our salvation—obey and produce! The writer of the Hebrews letter spoke of “things that accompany salvation” (Hebrews 6:9). And even the Old Testament prophet Isaiah insisted that we should “draw water out of the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3).
Two parables speak specifically to this work: the gift of the talents and the gift of the pounds. God illustrated His grace by the gift of “talents” (Matthew 25:14-30) to His workers, as well as His expectation of their productivity for the profit of the Owner. Differing amounts were given to the servants based on their abilities, and judgment was based on their efficiency, or the percent of their return. In the gift of the pounds (Luke 19:13-27), God is the investor and His servants are all of us who receive (John 1:12) the gift of salvation. What we do with this gift is our responsibility. The same amount was given to each servant, without the mention of abilities. Judgment was then based on the servants’ effectiveness, or gain.
It is no wonder, then, that Paul exhorted us to “work out” the priceless salvation that has been given to us with “fear and trembling.” God is “working” in us, and He expects us to “will and to do his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). HMM III
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. —Philippians 2:10-11
When the prophets try to describe for me the attributes, the graces, the worthiness of the God who appeared to them and dealt with them, I feel that I can kneel down and follow their admonition: “He is thy Lord—worship thou Him.”
He is fair and He is kingly, yet He is gracious in a sense that takes nothing away from His majesty.
He is meek, but it is the kind of meekness that likewise takes nothing away from His majesty….
The meekness was His humanity. The majesty was His deity. You find them everlastingly united in Him. So meek that he nursed at His mother’s breast, cried like any baby and needed all the human care that every child needs.
But He was also God, and in His majesty He stood before Herod and before Pilate. When He returns, coming down from the sky, it will be in His majesty, the majesty of God. Yet it will also be in the majesty of the Man who is God.
This is our Lord Jesus Christ. Before His foes, He stands in majesty. Before His friends, He comes in meekness.
Lord, I praise You for both Your majesty and Your meekness. You are my king and my friend. Amen.
Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard… the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
The Bible tells us that eye has not seen nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of men, the things that God has laid up for those who love Him!
That is why the apostle goes on to remind us that God has revealed these mysteries to us by the Holy Spirit.
Oh, if we would only stop trying to make the Holy Spirit our servant and begin to live in His life as the fish lives in the sea, we would enter into the riches of glory about which we know nothing now. Too many of us want the Holy Spirit in order to have some gift— healing or tongues or preaching or prophecy.
Yes, these have their place in that total pattern of the New Testament, but let us never pray that we may be filled with the Spirit for a secondary purpose!
Remember, God wants to fill you with His Spirit as an end in your moral life. God’s purpose is that we should know Him first of all, and be lost in Him; and that we should enter into the fullness of the Spirit that the eternal Son, Jesus Christ, may be glorified in us!
My own sight of the precious blood is for my comfort; but it is the Lord’s sight of it which secures my safety. Even when I am unable to behold it, the Lord looks at it, and passes over me because of it. None can tell His delight in Jesus. Now rest we in calm security. We have God’s sacrifice and God’s word to create in us a sense of perfect security. He will, He must, pass over us, because He spared not our glorious substitute. Justice joins hands with love to provide everlasting salvation for all the blood-besprinkled ones.