Jesus’ Heavenly Presence

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 29, 2009

“To comfort the disciples, Christ gave them the promise of the Holy Spirit, with the assurance that they would then have Him (Christ himself) in His heavenly presence in a sense far deeper and more intimate than they had ever known on earth. The law of their first vocation remained unchanged: being with Him, living in unbroken fellowship with Him, would give them the secret power by which they would preach and tell others about Him….
The early disciples never for a moment regretted His bodily absence. They had Him with them, and in them, in the divine power of the Holy Spirit.
Through a living faith, the Christian’s success in his work depends upon his consciousness of the abiding presence of the Lord Jesus with him. An essential element in the preaching of the gospel is a living experience of the presence of Jesus in our lives.”
Andrew Murray
The Believer’s Secret of the Abiding Presence, 15, 16

The wondrous mystery of the Holy Spirit’s ministry is to reveal the presence of the Lord Jesus to every obedient believer. Is His presence real to you? Do you possess a deep consciousness that His Spirit actually lives within you and that the Lord Jesus is with you more profoundly than the breath in your lungs and the blood in your veins? The Lord Jesus wants to be just as real to you as when His disciples walked beside Him on the dusty roads of Palestine. Do you believe this? His heavenly presence tasted now satisfies like nothing else, and His fully disclosed presence in heaven will be our ecstasy. He promised—The person who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me, and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father. And I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him—I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him (John 14:21, Amplified Bible).

Posted in Holy Spirit

Margins For Restfulness

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 24, 2009

“Margin, the space that once existed between ourselves and our limits, was an early casualty. When you reach the limits of your resources or abilities, you have no margin left. So as history and progress picked up speed, we hit limit after limit. Slowly, margin began to disappear. Then when exponentiality took over the controls, margin vaporized.
Now that we have exceeded so many of our limits—personal, emotional, relational, physical, financial—we have no margin at all. Yet because we don’t even know what margin is, we don’t realize it is gone. We know that something is not right, but we can’t solve the puzzle beyond that. Our pain is palpable, but our assailant remains unnamed.”
Richard A. Swenson, M.D.
Margin, 55

The Lord Jesus did not have a watch, or a calendar, or a schedule book, and yet, when He came to the end of His life He said to His Father, “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do (John 17:4, ESV). He never seemed rushed, or in a hurry, or fretted about not having enough time, and yet, He was always on time according to His Father’s will. He lived without all the electronic gadgetry we have for keeping in touch with others, and yet He talked with, ate with, and was in touch with all those the Father appointed for Him to encounter. We are in danger of being swept along like debris in a flooded river by the swift current of our culture so that we miss the best our loving Father has for us. If we will enjoy His promised rest in this overly busy and distracting society, then we must learn from Him in quietness and aloneness at His feet. This is how the Lord Jesus lived. His lifestyle is our prescription— if we will become like Him. His Life within us is our strength—if we will walk as He walked—in childlike faith, with implicit obedience and by simple abiding. The Lord Jesus tells us it is possible.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 (ESV)

Prayer Dialogue

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 22, 2009

“If we think of prayer within the limited boundaries of fixing our problems and meeting our needs, then it becomes fulfilling only if we get what we ask for. Our intuition tells us, however, that prayer is more than merely obtaining answers.
Prayer is larger and more encompassing than asking and receiving from God, although that is certainly included. It is communion with God. When we think of communion, we usually think of the Lord’s Supper. Communion, according to the first definition in Webster’s Dictionary, is the ‘act of sharing.’ Consider that carefully. Roget’s Thesaurus offers the synonyms ‘close relationship, intimacy, affinity.’ Now we have a better understanding. Prayer is a dearly loved child sharing a close, intimate relationship with his heavenly Father. It involves talking and listening, openness and honesty. Sometimes it is just being silent while enjoying one another’s presence. Prayer in these terms is far more encompassing than merely requesting something.”
Fellowship With God, 50

“One reason why the discipline of prayer is not attractive is that people do not know how to pray. Their stock of words is soon exhausted, and they do not know what else to say. This happens because they forget that prayer is not a soliloquy where everything comes from one side, but it is a dialogue where God’s child listens to what the Father says, replies to it and then asks for the things he needs.”
Andrew Murray
Teach Me To Pray, September 30

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
Colossians 4:2 (ESV)

Posted in Prayer

Heart Vision

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 18, 2009

“All our reasoning abilities amount to nothing, even if we search out theological complexities. Why? Because reason does not create in you a heart that perceives God, so that you are caught up in His holiness and beauty. Only then do you forsake all other pursuits, so your heart is ‘separated’ from the world, and you live a simple, clean, and holy life.”
Thomas a` Kempis
Come Lord Jesus
Devotional Readings from The Imitation of Christ, 24-25
Edited for Today’s Reader by David Hazard

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—
1 John 1:1 (ESV)

The disciples did not have formal training in theology and were considered by the rulers and elders and scribes to be “uneducated and common men”. But those leaders “recognized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13, ESV). Intimate heart knowledge of the Lord Jesus is far more than becoming conversant in systematic theology or possessing massive amounts of Bible knowledge. True knowledge that affects the atmosphere of your life and the way you live comes from spending time alone with the Lord Jesus so that He becomes intimately real to you.  Your knowledge then is not hearsay, or something you have been taught, or something you have read about, but rather it comes from having been in His very presence. It comes from having heard Him for yourself and seeing Him with your eyes of heart and touching Him in His nearness. You have been with Him, and His wonderful sweet fragrance has permeated your soul.

We Shall Behold Him

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 14, 2009

Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
John 17:24 (ESV)

“God will restore and glorify our eyesight in heaven until we can out-see the eagle. And he’ll do this for one reason: so that we can eternally take in the Lamb and his glory, in answer to our Lord’s prayer in John 17:24. With the very eyes that you now see the tokens of Christ in the bread and wine of communion, you’ll one day see him in the flesh. Doesn’t that give you goose bumps? And you won’t just see his human nature. You’ll see the perfection of infinite wisdom, love, and power in him. All the glories of Christ that we have so weakly and faintly reflected on in this life will fill our eyes forever.”
Kris Lundgaard
Through the Looking Glass, 158

When John, the very one who was so close to Jesus at the last supper that he could lean back against Him  (John 13:21-25), saw the same Jesus enthroned and glorified as Lord in the Revelation, he fell at His feet as though dead (Revelation 1:12-17). When we see our Lord Jesus Christ at His return we shall become like Him  (1 John 3:2), and Jesus said “the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matthew 13:43, ESV). The superlative blessing of heaven will be to see the glorified Lord Jesus Christ. We have partial glimpses now, but we will have full revelation then. Our redeemed souls long to see the One whom we love but have never seen (1 Peter 1:8), and when we finally do, we will be thrilled beyond any earthly human language. This is the living hope to which we are born again (1 Peter 1:3). We shall behold Him!

Posted in Heaven

The Art Of Stillness

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 11, 2009

“Many of us suffer from the delusion that activity, accomplishments, size, and hubbub endear us to God and confirm his blessing. Although it runs against the grain of our surrounding culture, we must learn to practice the art of stillness, of quietness, of listening, and of receiving if we desire to be intimate with God. Because it takes time and loving attention to sustain a quality relationship, the Lord is more interested in our presence with him than in our performance for him. While we come to love God by knowing him, it is just as true that we come to know God by loving him. Contemplative prayer seeks to apprehend God through love and faith in such a way that theology is not merely speculative but lived.”
Kenneth Boa
Conformed To His Image, 167

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.
Psalm 62:1 (ESV)

“I accept the rebuke that religious busyness, ‘over activism,’ is a sign that one is still in spiritual adolescence. Maturity is marked by the repose in which lieth power. Therefore, I believe that, increasingly, I should endeavor to be silent unto God and should take time for that blessed culture. Already I have found that, when calm is upon the spirit, one is drawn out more readily in adoration.”
G. H. Morling
The Quest For Serenity

Faithful Witness

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 8, 2009

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 (ESV)

Loving devotion to the Lord Jesus means we embrace the desires of His heart. His heart is for a lost world. He came to seek and to save the lost and to give His life a ransom for many. With a price more costly than we can ever imagine He sacrificed Himself on the cross for lost people. Before He departed for heaven He commissioned His followers, the church, to continue what He came to do, to preach the Good News to the ends of the earth. And He gave the power of His Spirit to accomplish His assignment.
If I love Him I want to satisfy His heart. If I love Him I want to do my part to reach the lost. If I love Him I want to express His compassion to those without Him. It is so easy to be immersed in my Christian world of church-life, Bible studies, growth groups or whatever is meaningful to my own Christian life and forget to reach out intentionally to the unsaved. Can I say that I love the Lord Jesus and yet remain silent around lost people I encounter along life’s path? Can I say I want Him to be glorified and yet not engage in that which satisfies His heart’s desire—the rescue of those facing God’s eternal punishment?

“God’s counsel will stand, and He will accomplish all His purpose (Isa. 46:10). His triumph is never in question, only our participation in it—or our incalculable loss. We can be drunk with private concerns and indifferent to the great enterprise of world evangelization, but God will simply pass over us and do His great work while we shrivel up in our little land of comfort.”
John Piper
Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, 190

Posted in Evangelism

Keep Being Filled

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 4, 2009

“The filling of God’s Spirit is not a one-time experience, but rather an ongoing relationship. This fullness flows from a love relationship with Jesus. It is maintained by keeping a clean conscience, continuing wholly yielded to Him as Lord, drinking regularly from the Fountain of His Life by intimate and personal communion with Him through prayer and meditation in His Word, and asking for His fullness. The longer you walk this way the greater your desire and capacity for His fullness becomes within you. Then the more His lovely character becomes visible through your unique personality. Not only does this fullness in your life glorify God, it also deeply satisfies your own heart.
Any Christian life not filled with the Holy Spirit is like a rosebud that never blooms, wheat that never becomes bread, and fruit that never ripens in sweetness. It is indeed a rosebud and wheat and fruit, but never does it fulfill its destiny for the pleasure of God and the enjoyment and growth of others.”
The Spirit and Presence Of Christ, 111

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the (Holy) Spirit.
Ephesians 5:18 (Amplified Bible)

When we know that we must have the Spirit’s fullness or else we live in our fleshly poverty, and when we long with our whole heart to glorify the Lord Jesus in life and ministry, we will faithfully pursue Him for what He alone can give to satisfy our thirst and need.

Posted in Holy Spirit

Lord, I Come

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 1, 2009

“Lord, I come to You in Jesus’ name! I have sinned and gone astray like a lost sheep; I have followed the devices of my own heart, I have wandered after other lovers, I have wounded my peace, and grieved Your Spirit; but, behold, I come to You, I fall down at Your feet, I dare not so much as look at You, I blush to lift up my face. Receive me graciously, pardon me freely; so I will loathe myself, hate the sin You pardon, and love and adore and serve the God who forgives and remembers it no more! As one whom his mother comforts, so may You comfort me!”
(Updated and personalized)
Octavius Winslow
Morning Thoughts, August 5 (p. 403)

For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.
Psalm 38:4 (ESV)

The total price for your sin has been paid. “It is finished!” The debt is cancelled. God’s justice was completely satisfied. The pen of your Heavenly Father’s sovereign grace has written with the ink of His own Son’s blood, “You are forgiven for all, and you are Mine forever.” Nothing more can be done. No one can sew back the veil that was torn in two at the entrance to the Holy of Holies. The Father Himself tore it from top to bottom because His Son’s torn flesh and shed blood paid the full price. Bring your sin and shame before Him and He will cleanse your soul and conscience once again, and He will do it as often as you need it. You can rejoice—truly rejoice—in His steadfast love for you. Hate the sin and shame because of the grief it causes your Heavenly Lover; be honest with Him about it; thankfully receive the gift bought by His Son, the Lord Jesus, and rejoice with praise.

Posted in Repentance