VIDEO The Surrendered Life – I Have Been Crucified With Christ

The Surrendered Life

I have been crucified with Christ… —Galatians 2:20

To become one with Jesus Christ, a person must be willing not only to give up sin, but also to surrender his whole way of looking at things. Being born again by the Spirit of God means that we must first be willing to let go before we can grasp something else. The first thing we must surrender is all of our pretense or deceit. What our Lord wants us to present to Him is not our goodness, honesty, or our efforts to do better, but real solid sin. Actually, that is all He can take from us. And what He gives us in exchange for our sin is real solid righteousness. But we must surrender all pretense that we are anything, and give up all our claims of even being worthy of God’s consideration.

Once we have done that, the Spirit of God will show us what we need to surrender next. Along each step of this process, we will have to give up our claims to our rights to ourselves. Are we willing to surrender our grasp on all that we possess, our desires, and everything else in our lives? Are we ready to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?

We will suffer a sharp painful disillusionment before we fully surrender. When people really see themselves as the Lord sees them, it is not the terribly offensive sins of the flesh that shock them, but the awful nature of the pride of their own hearts opposing Jesus Christ. When they see themselves in the light of the Lord, the shame, horror, and desperate conviction hit home for them.

If you are faced with the question of whether or not to surrender, make a determination to go on through the crisis, surrendering all that you have and all that you are to Him. And God will then equip you to do all that He requires of you.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

It is an easy thing to argue from precedent because it makes everything simple, but it is a risky thing to do. Give God “elbow room”; let Him come into His universe as He pleases. If we confine God in His working to religious people or to certain ways, we place ourselves on an equality with God.  Baffled to Fight Better, 51 L


I Have Been Crucified With Christ (Robin Mark)

No Secrets

But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?” Mark 2:8

When children are very small, they develop a predictable short list of answers to some of their parents’ routine questions: “Did you eat the cookies?” “No.” “Will you go and pick up your toys?” “I’m too tired.” “Please come and help me set the table for supper.” “Okay—in just a minute.” Parents understand these responses because they are childish versions of their own (occasional) responses to their own responsibilities.

Sanctification involves learning to think and act honestly and righteously before God. And one of the primary motivations for righteous acts and thoughts is that God knows what we think, and what we think about doing, all the time. We have no secrets before God. When a group of men brought their friend to be healed by Jesus, a group of Pharisees took exception—silently—to Jesus’ compassion on the man. Jesus called them out on their self-centered and non-compassionate thoughts (Mark 2:1-12).

Jesus knows the human heart like parents know their child’s heart. Rather than be “called out,” far better to have thoughts we are willing for God and man to know.

When anger was in Cain’s heart, murder was not far off.  Matthew Henry

Ending the Blame Game

Galatians 5:19-25

There’s something within our human nature that resists being controlled by others. Although we may outwardly submit to authority, submissiveness may not reach into our hearts. Inwardly, we could very well be acting like a child who is being disciplined by a parent: outwardly obeying by sitting for time out, but thinking, I’m standing up on the inside!

This is the attitude that leads to the deeds of the flesh described by Paul in today’s passage. Although we have no power to control what others do or say, we have the Holy Spirit, who can govern how we respond. Too often we try to blame our responses on the behavior of someone else. We justify our actions by saying, “But he made me so mad!” In reality, we chose to be angry—justifiably or not.

Whenever someone hurts or frustrates us, we can decide whether to react in a godly or worldly fashion. No matter how much blame we attempt to offload onto others, the Lord is not misled by our maneuvering. He looks at the heart. Each of us is accountable to Him for both our attitudes and responses.

We may think the blame game makes us look better, but God is not fooled. Followers of Christ are called to sow peace and bear the spiritual fruit of love, joy, and kindness (Gal. 5:22-23). If we are clinging to blame, all that is growing are the emotional “weeds” separating us from God. The responses He desires are forgiveness when we are hurt and repentance when we have sinned against another person.

The Flame of Gifts

“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.” (2 Timothy 1:6)

The apostle Paul uses more unique words in his writings than any other Bible author. Such is the case with the verb anazopureo, translated as “stir up” in our text for today, which is a compound of three Greek terms.

Ana, a primary preposition and adverb, is most often translated as “again” or “each,” depending on its context. Zoon is a frequently used noun meaning “life” or “living creature.” And pur is a root word meaning “fire” or “fiery.” Since it is only used this one time in the Scriptures, the translation is a bit difficult to coin an adequate English word or phrase for.

“Bring the fire alive (again)” is certainly implied from the syntax. “Make each fire alive” would emphasize the implied multiplicity of gifts. The tense indicates an ongoing process, and the direct object (the gift) seems to emphasize the need for Timothy’s action—since God gave Timothy the special leadership gift(s) when Paul personally ordained Timothy.

Paul’s first letter to Timothy implies that the young disciple had allowed the “fire” to grow weak in his ministry. Difficulty, discouragement, or doubt can attack anyone. Apathy, pessimism, worry, or lack of confidence can spin into lack of support or encouragement from friends or coworkers. Whatever the cause, the results are the same.

We can quench the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19) so that we no longer sense His leading. We can even grieve the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30), bringing conviction to us in an effort to bring repentance and restoration. Such discipline is not pleasant but is necessary (Hebrews 12:11). But if we are to live in active joy while serving the Lord, we must “stir up” the gifts that He has carefully given us. HMM III

There shall be a fountain opened

Zechariah 4:1-10

Zechariah 4:1-4

The Jewish church was aptly set forth by the golden candlestick; and the two olive trees, mysteriously supplying the lamps with oil, were admirable emblems of the secret manner in which grace is infused into the saints by the energy of the Holy Ghost. Other lamps must be fed with oil by human labour, but the Lord himself supplies the golden candlestick of his church.

Zechariah 4:5, 6

God will work in his own way despite the feebleness of his people, or the power of their foes.

The vision was intended to teach Zerubbabel that, by secret means, God would keep his cause safe from decay by poverty, or destruction by opponents.

Zechariah 4:7-9

The Samaritan opposition came to nothing, and by the aid of Darius the house was joyfully completed.

Zechariah 4:10

God blessed the work, and it went on under his supreme protection, angels watching over it. The spirit of the people was stimulated so that they did not flag, their enemies were restrained, and all materials for the temple were given them; and all this not by their own might, but by the Spirit of God. Let us learn to trust in God when we are most weak, and friends are most few, for he will appear and glorify himself in us.

Zechariah 12:9-14

The prophet also uttered a remarkable prophecy as to the future conversion of the Jewish people.

Zechariah 12:9-10

O that this long-expected day would come, that so poor Israel might take her proper place in the household of grace!

Zechariah 12:11-14

Repentance must be personal and private, or it cannot be real. Do we understand such repentance? Have we felt it for ourselves?

Zechariah 13:1

Zechariah 13:1

When a soul mourns for sin, its pardon is near. True repentance weeps at the foot of the cross. We sorrow not as despairing sinners do, for we have washed in the atoning blood, and are clean.

 

Know What We Believe

If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled… not moved away from the hope of the gospel. (Colossians 1:23)

The hope of the Christian church still lies in the purity of her theology, that is, her beliefs about God and man and their relation to each other.

It is a fact that positive beliefs are not popular these days. I sense that the modern efforts to popularize the Christian faith have been extremely damaging to that faith. The purpose has been to simplify truth for the masses by using the language of the masses instead of the language of the church. It has not succeeded, but has added to rather than diminished religious confusion.

A mistaken desire to maintain a spirit of tolerance among all races and religions has produced a breed of Janus-like Christians with built-in swivels, remarkable only for their ability to turn in any direction gracefully!

Our Christian beliefs have been revealed by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the sacred Scriptures. Everything there is clear-cut and accurate. We dare not be less than accurate in our treatment of anything so precious!

 

Our Substance Blessed

“Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.” Deut. 28:5

Obedience brings a blessing on all the provisions which our industry earns for us. That which comes in and goes out at once, like fruit in the basket which is for immediate use, shall be blest; and that which is laid by with us for a longer season shall equally receive a blessing. Perhaps ours is a handbasket portion. We have a little for breakfast, and a scanty bite for dinner in a basket when we go out to do our work in the morning. This is well, for the blessing of God is promised to the basket. If we live from hand to mouth, getting each day’s supply in the day, we are as well off as Israel; for when the Lord entertained His favored people He Only gave them a day’s manna at a time. What more did they need? What more do we need?

But if we have a store, how much we need the Lord to bless it! For there is the care of getting, the care of keeping, the care of managing, the care of using; and, unless the Lord bless it, these cares will eat into our hearts, till our goods become our gods, and our cares prove cankers.

O Lord, bless our substance. Enable us to use it for thy glory. Help us to keep worldly things in their proper places, and never may our savings endanger the saving of our souls.

 

%d bloggers like this: