Posted by Jerry White on Mar 30, 2009
“Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is for me to have no trouble; never to be fretted or vexed or irritated or sore or disappointed. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me: to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and be at peace and in a deep sea of calmness when all around and above is trouble. It is the fruit of the Lord Jesus Christ’s redemptive work on Calvary’s Cross, manifest in those of his own who are definitely subjected to the Holy Spirit.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.
1 Peter 5:6 (ESV)
Pride is a cunning, deceitful snake that lurks in every believer’s fallen nature. Its origin is the devil, and its ugliness is repulsive when put beside the beautiful humility of the Lord Jesus. Pride has a thousand disguises, but regardless of which one it may use there is always the same putrid smell. Because it is so deceitful, the one who does not choose to be humble by the Lord’s grace is totally unaware of its ugly manifestation in their own life through their words, attitudes, and deeds. The Christian who is proud is not aware of his own spiritual bad breath that is offensive to others. Pride always wants to be somebody before others, and humility is willing to be nothing before others. Seeing the beauty of Jesus’ humility causes one to despise their own pride and diligently pursue the humble way before God and others. Even when sinful flesh tries to be spiritual and humble it reeks with pride’s putrid smell. Only the Spirit of God can produce in us the lovely humility of the Lord Jesus, and when He does it brings the fragrance of heaven upon us. Please do it, Lord, because I utterly despise the stinking pride that lurks in my natural being.
Posted by Jerry White on Mar 26, 2009
“My hope is found in this: [Jesus Christ] wrestled with justice, that I might have rest; He wept and mourned, that I might laugh and rejoice; He was betrayed that I might go free; He was apprehended, that I might escape; He was condemned, that I might be justified, and was killed, that I might live; He wore a crown of thorns, that I might wear a crown of glory; and He was nailed to the cross with his arms wide open, to show with what freshness all His merits shall be bestowed on those who come to Him. He will receive them into His bosom.”
Fill Me With Hope, October 7 reading
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9 (ESV)
For a Christian to live as a spiritual pauper is a disgrace to the name of Jesus Christ. Infinite spiritual wealth has been provided in Him for every believer. He has done all He could do so that we can live in the richness of all that He is. This infinite wealth is ours just as much as if we possessed it in ourselves. Like a branch draws all it needs from the vine, so by simple faith—which is child-like trust—we can depend on Him to be in us all that He wants us to be. Do you know how to draw from His wealth like withdrawing cash from an unlimited bank account? In the Lord Jesus you have more than you need for your every spiritual need. You can touch His compassionate heart with simple faith. You can receive by deliberate dependence what He is so willing to give. He delights when you trust Him.
Posted by Jerry White on Mar 23, 2009
A number of years ago our daughter Laura learned one day that her second son, age four, had a very serious and massive cancerous tumor in his chest. She had been separated from her husband for fifteen months and was alone with her two children. As her parents we already knew deep and heavy pain because of her failed marriage, and now there was added to it the heart wrenching pain of our grandson’s life threatening cancer, plus watching our daughter go through the dark eighteen months of unsuccessful treatment of her son Jonathan and eventually his death at age five. During those very sorrowful days someone sent us the following prose in a card, and it encouraged us to remember what is true in times of deepest pain.
Pain, you are a terrible deceiver…
Parading yourself as an angry foe,
Pretending to be unyielding.
You shadow me, hound me, taunt me,
As if by your mere presence
You could conquer my spirit.
But I have learned to measure
Your ultimate strength,
Not by how much hurt you can inflict,
But by how much of God’s grace you call forth;
Not by how deeply you can wound,
But by how frail you really are
When put in perspective by his power…
And I have learned, at last,
To believe that, even at your worst,
You can never outlast a promise of God…
You can never outlive his love.
B. J. Hoff
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him [Jesus Christ]. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. 2 Corinthians 1:20 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Mar 19, 2009
“Our human perspective on current events is naturally low-centered. We tend to look at the circumstances of life in terms of what they may do to our cherished hopes and convenience, and we shape our decisions and reactions accordingly. When a problem threatens, we rush to God, not to seek His perspective, but to ask Him to deflect the trouble. Our self-concern takes priority over whatever it is that God might be trying to do through the trouble. One of the harder lessons of life is to learn that our low-centered, sense-oriented subjectivism militates against our effective cooperation with God in His purpose for us in a given trial.”
R. Arthur Mathews
Born For Battle, p. 120
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV)
Unhurried time plus careful attention is required to listen to another’s heart. Distractions and rush interfere with true listening. Being quick to speak before listening carefully to another prevents hearing. This is true of every personal relationship, and God is a Person who has made it possible for you to have a very personal relationship with Him. He wants a close, intimate relationship with you, and it cost Him His utmost so He could have it. He wants you to hear His heart so that you can ask for what He wants to do, but what He cannot do until you ask. The Lord Jesus spent adequate time alone with His Father so He could listen to Him as well as speak with Him. By this He gave us a pattern for our praying. The Lord Jesus wanted His Father’s perspective before He asked for anything, and that is why He always knew the Father heard Him. Listening is vital for all relationships, and this includes prayer.
Posted by Jerry White on Mar 16, 2009
“I ask myself, I ask you: where is the ‘Oh’ in our response to God? Where is the intensity of awe and amazement that a true knowledge of the Holy One of Israel ought to evoke? Much of the church has lost the ‘Oh’ in her relationship with and response to God. Do you want to know why so many believers are muddling through the Christian life, just trying to stay out of hell and to get by with as little discomfort and risk as possible? It is because when they think of God, instead of ‘Oh’ their response is a ‘Who?’ of ignorance, or a ‘Huh?’ of disinterest, or a ‘So what?’ of indifference. It isn’t exclamatory excitement but a religious snore that emanates from the soul of so many in the church today when the character of God is at issue.
It grieves me to say this, but the primary reason people are in bondage to sin is because people are bored with God. One of Satan’s most effective tactics is to convince us that God is a drag. And the church has contributed in its own way to this dismal image that God has among His people.”
Pleasures Evermore, pp. 108-109
“If we belong to a reigning, ever-present, all-powerful Lord, who possesses all authority in heaven and on earth, then should we not expect to see Him do what would cause us to have, in the words of A. W. Tozer, ‘astonished reverence’? Should we not experience, again in Tozer’s words, ‘admiration to the point of wonder and delight’? Should we not be renewed again and again by glimpses of His glory with us?”
The Spirit and Presence of Christ, p. 159
The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
Psalm 99:1 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Mar 11, 2009
“How do you nurture a growing love relationship with Jesus? Quite simply, it is nourished when you spend time alone with Him. Staying on the path of fullness requires staying in close communion with your Lord. James wrote, ‘Draw near to God and He will draw near to you’ (James 4:8). Here is an exquisite promise! Can you imagine anything more magnificent than Almighty God personally drawing near to you? Your Heavenly Father cherishes your nearness. He delights when you share your heart with Him and when you hear His heart. Here is intimacy beyond anything the world can offer, and it is more personal than any other relationship you can have. It is exhilarating, satisfying, stimulating, and peaceful. This is drinking from heaven’s abundant living water that flows from the throne of God (Psalm 36:8). God’s plan is for you to be near Him for continuous fellowship, to continue drinking of His life through meditation on His Word (Psalm 1:1-3), to know Him ever more deeply (Philippians 3:10), to become like Him in heart and soul, and to become a living expression of His beautiful character as rivers of His love flow from you to those around you.”
The Spirit and Presence of Christ, pp. 97-98
“We should make a private chapel of our heart where we can retire from time to time to commune with Him, peacefully, humbly, lovingly.”
Brother Lawrence (1605-1691)
Posted by Jerry White on Mar 9, 2009
“We live but once. The years of childhood, when once they pass, are gone forever. It matters not how ardently we may wish to live them over; it avails us nothing. What is gone is gone.
So it is with other stages of life. The past is no longer ours. It has gone beyond our reach. Regardless of our social standing, bank accounts and investments, education, or anything else—we cannot reach back. What we have made of our past days shall remain. There is no power in heaven or on earth that can change our yesterdays. The record of our past stands forth in bold and ineffaceable characters, open to the all-seeing eyes of God. There it stands, and one day we shall give an account of it.
The present moment alone is ours. Today is a day that we never had before, which we shall never have again. It rose from the great ocean of eternity and again sinks into its unfathomable depths.”
Thomas DeWitt Talmage
Fill Me With Hope, April 11 reading
Someone has said that the apostle Paul had two dates on his calendar, today and that day. He lived today for that coming day before the Lord. It will be our eternal loss if we do not live today for that day in our Lord’s presence. The Lord Jesus lived each of His days for the eternal day. Our motivating motto can be: DOING EVERYTHING WITH ETERNITY IN VIEW.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
2 Corinthians 5: 10 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Mar 5, 2009
Many years ago years ago when I was a young man an attitude change had a profound impact upon my fellowship with God. I wrote about it in my simple and brief book, Fellowship With God.
“It did not come through some dramatic event but from a quiet inward shift in perspective. For years I had entered upon my devotions desiring that they be meaningful to me. I read the Bible searching for new truth and understanding. I prayed, but it was often difficult. Sometimes there was the blessing of his presence, but frequently my devotions seemed just empty routine. It was as if God were in another galaxy, even though I believed in his omnipresence.
One night the thought came, tomorrow I will spend my quiet time giving pleasure to God, not to get but to give him blessing. I awoke before my alarm went off and eagerly went to my prayer place. What a morning that turned out to be! I was rewarded as never before. No longer seeking personal fulfillment, I was caught up in the desire to please the Lord. My focus had changed from ‘my desire’ to ‘his pleasure.’ The love of the Holy Spirit in me started flowing toward him. I began to learn what it means to commune with him as a person.”
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Psalm 103:1 (ESV)
“See, loving heart, how He delights in you. When you lean your head on His bosom, you not only receive, but you give him joy; when you gaze with love upon His all-glorious face, you not only obtain comfort, but impart delight.” Charles Spurgeon
Posted by Jerry White on Mar 2, 2009
“What strange thing is this, my Lord?—that there is anything to gain by winning the approval and favor of other men and women. After all, they are only created beings, as we are.
It does not matter one whit if everyone speaks highly of me. It matters only that I live without blame in your sight, my Lord!”
Theresa of Avila
Majestic Is your Name, p. 127
Edited by David Hazard
For am I now seeking the approval of man or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10 (ESV)
Every human being needs approval. It is a major issue for each person. Even pet dogs respond to approval. Approval affirms and encourages. When our first parents disobeyed in the Garden of Eden they instantly knew guilt and fear and were met with God’s disapproval. Their souls became corrupted with pride and independence, but their need for approval was still present. Separated from their Creator by sin mankind began to look other places for approval rather than to their sovereign Creator. Social approval became more important than God’s approval—sinful man approving other sinful people according to what perverted sinful souls deem acceptable. When one becomes a follower of Jesus Christ the source of approval changes. The believer must learn to look only to their Master for approval. The nature of sinful flesh, which never changes, always wants the approval of fellow human beings. When one loves the Lord Jesus more than anyone or anything else the result is a longing to please the Master in all things, and this becomes the only approval that truly matters. Ruthless honesty is required for us to examine whose approval we really want—the Lord’s or someone else’s.