Intimate With Jesus
These words were not spoken as a rebuke, nor even with surprise; Jesus was encouraging Philip to draw closer. Yet the last person we get intimate with is Jesus. Before Pentecost the disciples knew Jesus as the One who gave them power to conquer demons and to bring about a revival (see Luke 10:18-20). It was a wonderful intimacy, but there was a much closer intimacy to come: “…I have called you friends…” (John 15:15). True friendship is rare on earth. It means identifying with someone in thought, heart, and spirit. The whole experience of life is designed to enable us to enter into this closest relationship with Jesus Christ. We receive His blessings and know His Word, but do we really know Him?
Jesus said, “It is to your advantage that I go away…” (John 16:7). He left that relationship to lead them even closer. It is a joy to Jesus when a disciple takes time to walk more intimately with Him. The bearing of fruit is always shown in Scripture to be the visible result of an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ (see John 15:1-4).
Once we get intimate with Jesus we are never lonely and we never lack for understanding or compassion. We can continually pour out our hearts to Him without being perceived as overly emotional or pitiful. The Christian who is truly intimate with Jesus will never draw attention to himself but will only show the evidence of a life where Jesus is completely in control. This is the outcome of allowing Jesus to satisfy every area of life to its depth. The picture resulting from such a life is that of the strong, calm balance that our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him.
WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS
We never enter into the Kingdom of God by having our head questions answered, but only by commitment. The Highest Good—Thy Great Redemption, 565 R
“Abraham – The Call” – Genesis 11:27 – 12:3
Feb 19, 2017
This week, we study one of the forefathers of our faith. Abraham, an obedient servant, who – through faith – trusted God, His provisions, and His guidance, has established a blueprint for how to live a life pleasing to Him. As Abraham was called, so too are we all called. Trust that this call is personal, missional, and will take us out of our comfort zone. It is an invitation for us to live for something bigger than ourselves. Listen in as Pastor Jason Fritz delves deeper into this story.
What do you do when you lack clarity in the midst of a trial? Oftentimes we are tempted to do something, anything. But the wisest approach is to pray and wait on the Lord for direction. But how do we begin?
Prayer starts with transitioning our thoughts from the situation at hand to the Lord. What we need is His perspective on the difficulty we’re facing. Then we can ask Him to do what He’s purposed to accomplish through the challenging circumstance—whatever that may be. When we pray God-centered prayers according to His will, we can be certain that He will give us what we have requested (1 John 5:14-15).
In addition, the prayer pattern that Jesus Christ taught His disciples in Matthew 6:11-13 reveals the type of needs our Father wants us to bring before Him. As He provides for us, we will learn to trust Him more and more. Keeping a prayer list is helpful because it becomes a record of our interactions with the Lord. When we see a direct correlation between our requests and His answers, it will become increasingly evident that God has worked in our life. Specific prayers are even better than general requests because God’s faithfulness is even more undeniable.
One request God promises to answer with a “yes” is the desire for wisdom. Whenever we need understanding, particularly in trials, we are to petition our heavenly Father, and He will give it generously as we fill our minds with scriptural truths. And as our wisdom increases, joy and trust in the Lord will too.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
This verse contains important information. We are told God’s power resides in the gospel, and that the purpose of this power is the salvation of both Jew and Greek. This passage is intended to incorporate spreading the gospel to all humanity and is specifically stated by the Lord Jesus: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
Evidently, the event that takes place when one is twiceborn is nothing less than a supernatural creation by the Creator Himself (Ephesians 4:24)! There is no need for salesmanship or psychology or finesse or technique; the dunamis (power) of the Living God is transmitted, applied, and exercised as the gospel is spoken and a person listens.
• Ephesians 2:8—“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”
• Romans 10:17—“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
• John 6:63—“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
• 1 Peter 1:23—“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
• 1 Corinthians 15:3-4—“Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
To be successful (not to mention obedient) to the Lord’s command, we must surely use the power of God that has been made available to us in the Scriptures! HMM III
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.
—1 Timothy 1:12
“Your calling,” said Meister Eckhart to the clergy of his day, “cannot make you holy; but you can make it holy.” No matter how humble that calling may be, a holy man can make it a holy calling. A call to the ministry is not a call to be holy, as if the fact of his being a minister would sanctify a man; rather, the ministry is a calling for a holy man who has been made holy some other way than by the work he does. The true order is: God makes a man holy by blood and fire and sharp discipline. Then he calls the man to some special work, and the man being holy makes that work holy in turn….
Every person should see to it that he is fully cleansed from all sin, entirely surrendered to the whole will of God and filled with the Holy Spirit. Then he will not be known as what he does, but as what he is. He will be a man of God first and anything else second. WTA059-060
Keep me focused today on being the person You want me to be, no matter how significant or insignificant the work You ask me to do. Amen.
Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good.—Romans 15:2.
Let us consider one another.—Hebrews 10:24.
Look around you, first in your own family, then among your friends and neighbors, and see whether there be not some one whose little burden you can lighten, whose little cares you may lessen, whose little pleasures you can promote, whose little wants and wishes you can gratify. Giving up cheerfully our own occupations to attend to others is one of the little kindnesses and self-denials. Doing little things that nobody likes to do, but which must be done by some one, is another. It may seem to many, that if they avoid little un-kindnesses, they must necessarily be doing all that is right to their family and friends; but it is not enough to abstain from sharp words, sneering tones, petty contradiction, or daily little selfish cares; we must be active and earnest in kindness, not merely passive and inoffensive.
Little Things, 1852.
The labor of the baking was the hardest part of the sacrifice of her hospitality. To many it is easy to give what they have, but the offering of weariness and pain is never easy. They are indeed a true salt-to-salt sacrifices withal.
“Thou shalt see greater things than these.” John 1:50
This is spoken to a childlike believer, who was ready to accept Jesus as the Son of God, the King of Israel, upon one convincing piece of argument Those who are willing to see shall see: it is because we shut our eyes that we become so sadly blind.
We have seen much already. Great things and unsearchable has the Lord showed unto us, for which we praise His name; but there are greater truths in His Word, greater depths of experience, greater heights of fellowship, greater works of usefulness, greater discoveries of power, and love, and wisdom. These we are yet to see if we are willing to believe our Lord. The faculty of inventing false doctrine is ruinous, but power to see the truth is a blessing. Heaven shall be opened to us, the way thither shall be made clear to us in the Son of man, and the angelic commerce which goes on between the upper and the lower kingdoms shall be made more manifest to us. Let us keep our eyes open toward spiritual objects, and expect to see more and more. Let us believe that our lives will not drivel down into nothing, but that we shall be always on the growing hand, seeing greater and still greater things, till we behold the Great God himself, and never again lose the sight of Him.