VIDEO What Do You Really Want?

What Do You Want?

Do you seek great things for yourself? —Jeremiah 45:5

Are you seeking great things for yourself, instead of seeking to be a great person? God wants you to be in a much closer relationship with Himself than simply receiving His gifts— He wants you to get to know Him. Even some large thing we want is only incidental; it comes and it goes. But God never gives us anything incidental. There is nothing easier than getting into the right relationship with God, unless it is not God you seek, but only what He can give you.

If you have only come as far as asking God for things, you have never come to the point of understanding the least bit of what surrender really means. You have become a Christian based on your own terms. You protest, saying, “I asked God for the Holy Spirit, but He didn’t give me the rest and the peace I expected.” And instantly God puts His finger on the reason– you are not seeking the Lord at all; you are seeking something for yourself. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7). Ask God for what you want and do not be concerned about asking for the wrong thing, because as you draw ever closer to Him, you will cease asking for things altogether. “Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8). Then why should you ask? So that you may get to know Him.

Are you seeking great things for yourself? Have you said, “Oh, Lord, completely fill me with your Holy Spirit”? If God does not, it is because you are not totally surrendered to Him; there is something you still refuse to do. Are you prepared to ask yourself what it is you want from God and why you want it? God always ignores your present level of completeness in favor of your ultimate future completeness. He is not concerned about making you blessed and happy right now, but He’s continually working out His ultimate perfection for you— “…that they may be one just as We are one…” (John 17:22).

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

We are in danger of being stern where God is tender, and of being tender where God is stern.  The Love of God—The Message of Invincible Consolation, 673 L


Seek Not Great Things for Yourself by Joshua Daniel

The Dark Season

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 1 Corinthians 3:5-6

When a seed is planted, there is a season where nothing is visible from the surface. Although the seed’s roots are beginning to sprout and dig into the soil, there is no life above the ground. In Matthew 13, Jesus explains that there are multiple responses to God’s Word. The sower sows generously, but only some of the seeds take root and flourish.

Root work takes time and is aided by continued watering and nurturing. When we share God’s Word with others, it is easy to become discouraged when we see little or no fruit. We may struggle with wondering whether our efforts are effective. While we want to develop and increase our skill at sharing God’s salvation, we must remember that all new life and growth comes from God. Each type of seed has a unique gestational period. When we surrender our efforts to God, we can battle the discouragement that comes from listeners who do not appear to accept the Word of God offered to them.

If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it. Thomas Fuller

The Source of Strength

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Nobody brags about weaknesses. In a culture where independence, physical fitness, and self-sufficiency are highly valued, we try hard to hide any inadequacy or limitation. We want to appear competent and capable of handling whatever comes our way.

But self-reliance is not highly valued by the Lord. Salvation itself requires that we humble ourselves, admit we are helpless sinners, and come empty- handed to Jesus Christ, relying on Him to save us. Even in the church, we are called to share our struggles, confess our sins to one another, and pray for each other.

Weakness is our friend, not an enemy. Human pride is a potent force, which must be uprooted. And weakness is often the tool God uses. In Paul’s life, it was a “thorn in the flesh”; in ours, it might be illness, aging, financial need, or anything else that brings us to our knees. But what a good place this is—kneeling before God, asking for His help.

Everyone has a certain amount of fortitude, but human capacity can carry a person only so far. Some situations sap every drop of energy we have and demand still more. When we can’t take another step, Christ will carry us through.

Our weakness brings us to a place of humility and lets God demonstrate His power in us. Only then do we find the energy, courage, and peace we need to go on living for His glory. He will empower us not only to endure the ordeal but also to go through it with inexplicable gladness.

Still Have Lessons to Learn

“But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Matthew 9:13)

The Lord Jesus called all who would be His disciples to “learn of me” (or “from me,” Matthew 11:29), and our text verse contains the first use of “learn” in the New Testament, thus indicating a basic item we must learn when we become Christians.

The Lord stressed that God cared nothing about the ritualistic offering of animal sacrifices, as such, but rather desired understanding of the meaning of those sacrifices, accompanied by the motivating love and faith of a repentant heart. He referred them back to their own Scripture: “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6). This is the most difficult but most basic lesson to learn by one seeking forgiveness and salvation.

There are many subsequent lessons to learn, of course; many of them very difficult even for sincere, believing Christians. Paul notes one of them he had learned the hard way: “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11). Another difficult but vital lesson has to do with Christian humility in leadership, “that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another” (1 Corinthians 4:6).

Even the Lord Jesus Christ in His perfect humanity had lessons to learn. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). Finally, having learned these and many other such lessons, we must not forget them. Paul, in his final letter, so reminds us: “Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned” (2 Timothy 3:14). HMM

The tree is known by its fruit

Matthew 12:22-37

Matthew 12:22

It would seem that the devil had special licence to do his worst among men during the days of our Lord’s sojourn upon earth. Thus was he the more gloriously defeated by the Son of God in many pitched battles between the two champions.

Matthew 12:23

They spoke honestly, but their leaders were prejudiced, and refused to see what was clear enough to the most ordinary understandings. It is a dreadful thing to be so warped by. education as to refuse to admit what is plain to all.

Matthew 12:27-29

For some of the sons of the Pharisees pretended to be able to heal possessed persons.

Matthew 12:30

Let this always be remembered, and let each one ask himself, “Am I with Christ?” If not, remember you are against him. Can you bear this?

Matthew 12:31, 32

A terrible doom which fell upon these Pharisees and destroyed them. How careful we ought to be to render all reverence and obedience to the Holy Spirit, lest by grieving him away we should be left to final perdition! While the Spirit of God still continues to strive with us we have not committed this deadly sin.

Matthew 12:33

Nothing will suffice but a change of nature. The very root and sap of the soul must be renewed by grace.

Matthew 12:35

That which is in comes out. The stream declares the character of the fountain.

Matthew 12:36, 37

This makes common talk a solemn matter. Who among us can bear such a test? Let us fly to the blood of Jesus for cleansing from sins of the tongue, and to the Spirit of God to bridle that unruly member.

 

Sovereign of heaven! thine empire spreads

O’er all the world on high,

And at thy frown the infernal powers

In wild confusion fly.

 

Like lightning, from his glittering throne

The great arch-traitor fell,

Driven with enormous ruin down

To infamy and hell.

 

Permitted now to range at large,

And traverse earth and air,

O’er captive human souls he reigns,

And boasts his kingdom there.

 

Yet thence thy grace can drive him our,

With one almighty word;

O send thy potent sceptre forth,

And reign victorious, Lord!

 

Enoch Did Escape Death

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death… he had this testimony, that he pleased God. (Hebrews 11:5)

The Genesis record concerning Enoch should speak to us of our own troubled times—for that is the purpose of the Word of God. It should be our concern that we hear and that we obey!

The faith and deportment of the man Enoch compose a vivid picture—a powerful object lesson—to encourage every believer in his or her faith. There is only one conclusion to be drawn—Enoch was translated into the presence of God because of his faith, and thus he escaped death!

It is my strong conviction that Enoch’s experience of translation is a type, or preview, of the coming rapture of the Church, the Bride of Christ, described in the Scriptures.

It is evident that there was no funeral for Enoch. Perhaps members of his family did not fully understand his walk with God, but they could answer with the facts! “He is gone! We thought he was extreme in his beliefs but now he is gone, and we are still here in a troubled world!”

 

God Finishes His Work

“The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me.” Ps. 138:8

He who has begun will carry on the work which is being wrought within my soul. The Lord is concerned about everything that concerns me. All that is now good, but not perfect, the Lord will watch over, and preserve, and carry out to completion. This is a great comfort. I could not perfect the work of grace myself. Of that I am quite sure, for I fail every day, and have only held on so long as I have because the Lord has helped me. If the Lord were to leave me, all my past experience would go for nothing, and I should perish from the way. But the Lord will continue to bless me. He will perfect my faith, my love, my character, my life-work. He will do this because He has begun a work in me. He gave me the concern I feel, and, in a measure, He has fulfilled my gracious aspirations. He never leaves a work unfinished; this would not be for His glory, nor would it be like Him. He knows how to accomplish His gracious design, and though my own evil nature and the world, and the devil, all conspire to hinder Him, I do not doubt His promise. He will perfect that which concerneth me, and I will praise Him for ever. Lord, let thy gracious work make some advance this day!

 

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