Gazing On Christ

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 31, 2009

“Gazing on Christ will give rest, satisfaction, and peace to our souls. Our minds tend to be full of countless perplexed thoughts—fears, cares, dangers, distresses, passions, and lusts throw us into disorder, darkness, and confusion. But when our best thoughts are fixed on Jesus, our hearts will be kept holy, serene, and spiritual. For ‘to be spiritual minded is life and peace’ (Romans 8:6 NKJV). Reflecting on Christ takes our minds off things below—things that aren’t worth comparing to the great worth, beauty, and glory of what we see in Christ (compare Philippians 3:7-11). When we take our eyes off Christ, we become strangers to heavenly life, and live without the spiritual refreshment and satisfaction that God offers in his gospel.”
Kris Lundgaard
Through The Looking Glass, 11
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Do you know how to gaze upon the Lord Jesus? Many professing believers do not. Do you arrange your daily schedule so you can sit at His feet to enjoy His nearness and so He can enjoy your undivided attention? Is the Lord Jesus a real Person to you—One who can be delighted or grieved by your behavior—One who enjoys your company alone with Him? Do you let temporal things keep your time occupied so that you neglect eternal investments? Do you realize how much He wants you to be near Him? His sacrificial death and shed blood was so you could come boldly into His presence. He opened the way because He wants you, and all His children, to be near Him. When you draw near so that He can draw near He is delighted (James 4:8). If you are distracted by many things does He say to you, “My beloved child, why do you not want time alone with Me? Why are all these earthly cares and pleasures more important than time alone with Me? Do you not need to keep drinking of the living water that flows from My throne? It will refresh you like nothing else that fills your busy days.”
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My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
Psalm 42:2 (ESV)




Love’s Plan

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 27, 2009

“We all know what it is to plan a pleasure for a child and then watch to see its pleasure. Some of us know what it is to plan the best our love can think of, which yet may be, naturally speaking, a disappointment to that child; and we know how we watch for its response. Love is planning for us. Love has planned the best that Love could plan. Perhaps we cannot help one another more than by praying that we may never disappoint our Father’s faith in us, but always follow our blessed Lord in this as in everything, and answer His trust with the words ‘O yes, Father.’ ‘Are you pleased with My will, My child?’ ‘O yes, my Father.’ ”
Amy Carmichael
Edges Of His Ways, 132
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Yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.
Matthew 11:26 (ESV)
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“Heavenly Father,
If I should suffer need, and go unclothed,
and be in poverty,
make my heart prize thy love,
know it, be constrained by it,
though I be denied all blessings.
It is thy mercy to afflict and try me with wants,
for by these trials I see my sins,
and desire severance from them.
Let me willingly accept misery, sorrows, temptations,
If I can thereby feel sin as the greatest evil,
and be delivered from it with gratitude to thee,
acknowledging this as the highest testimony
of thy love.”  The Valley of Vision, 294




Posted in Will of God

Necessary Trials

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 24, 2009

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations.
1 Peter 1:6 (KJV)
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“Three gracious words, ‘If need be.’ Not one of all my tears has been shed for nothing! Not one stroke of the rod has been unneeded, or that might have been spared.
Your heavenly Father loves you too much and too tenderly, to bestow harsher correction than your case requires. Is it loss of health or loss of wealth or loss of beloved friends? Be still, there was a ‘need be.’ We are no judges of what that ‘need be’ is; often though, in spite of aching hearts we are forced to exclaim, ‘Your judgments are greatly deep.’
God here pledges Himself, that there will not be one unnecessary thorn in the believer’s crown of suffering. No burden too heavy will be laid on him; and no sacrifice too great exacted from him. He will ‘temper the wind to the shorn lamb.’ Whenever the ‘need be’ has accomplished its end, then the rod is removed — the chastisement suspended — the furnace quenched.
‘If need be’! Oh, what a pillow on which to rest your aching head — that there is not a drop in all your bitter cup but what a God of love saw to be absolutely necessary.”
John MacDuff
Fill Me With Hope, September 16
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It is difficult to remember when we are in the midst of trial or tribulation that our heavenly Father has pre-measured it and appointed for us to go through it in order to transform us. It is equally hard to remember that the same love that blesses us richly has purposed the painful time as well. Our hearts must firmly grip two truths if we will live with peace and joy through necessary trials: Our sovereign Father orders our path; our loving Father measures our every burden. The Lord Jesus walked this way before us and understands what it means to learn obedience through suffering (Hebrews 5:8).




The Father’s Plan and Power

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 20, 2009

“Jesus Christ was always looking at the Father’s will, the Father’s plan, and then seeking by faith the Father’s power. That was His yoke.
It came into evidence so often. For instance, when He healed on the Sabbath day, and they accused Him, He said, ‘I could not help it. My Father worketh hitherto, and I could do no other than work out what My Father wrought in.’ He went across the lake to give His disciples a vacation. Five thousand hungry men broke in, and in their advent He saw the intrusion of His Father’s plan, and adopted it. He started for the home of Jairus. A woman with a touch arrested Him, and in her slight touch He saw again His Father’s will and plan, and waited to heal her. Then He moved leisurely forward, knowing that at the house of Jairus He would have sufficient power to raise his daughter. And in the garden it was His Father’s will beneath which He bowed His meek soul, saying, ‘Not My will, but Thine!’”
F. B. Meyer
The Christ-Life for the Self-Life, 119
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If we are wholly submitted to our Lord Jesus then we can believe He is guiding our steps in His will and therefore be at rest. If we are not completely yielded then whatever comes along that does not fit our plans and desires disappoints and frustrates us and results in a complaining spirit. Grumbling is one of the few sins listed in 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 for which the Lord judged Israel on their exodus from Egypt. The Lord Jesus learned to live sensitive to His Father’s will accepting intrusions as from His Father and listening attentively in His quiet times to what the Father may say for Him to do. The very sustenance of His life was to do the will of His Father (John 4:34). Not only that but He knew that He must have the Father’s power to accomplish His will, and so He lived in utter desperate dependence on the power of the Spirit. This is His way for us as well.
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Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)




Posted in Will of God

The Evangelical Mystic

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 17, 2009

“I refer to the evangelical mystic who has been brought by the gospel into intimate fellowship with the Godhead. His theology is no less and no more than is taught in the Christian Scriptures. He walks the high road of truth where walked of old prophets and apostles, and where down the centuries walked martyrs, reformers, Puritans, evangelists and missionaries of the cross. He differs from the ordinary orthodox Christian only because he experiences his faith down in the depths of his sentient being while the other does not. He exists in a world of spiritual reality. He is quietly, deeply, and sometimes almost ecstatically aware of the Presence of God in his own nature and in the world around him. His religious experience is something elemental, as old as time and the creation. It is immediate acquaintance with God by union with the Eternal Son. It is to know that which passes knowledge.”
A. W. Tozer
The Christian Book of Mystical Verse, vi  (Introduction)
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Our Heavenly Father wants us to know Him through His truth (doctrine), and knowing the truth includes experiencing it. Here is the goal of life — to know God. Understanding His truth comes from studying and meditating on the Word of God under the illumination of the Holy Spirit. Experiencing His truth comes from the direct operation of the Holy Spirit upon our hearts (souls). The former affects the way we think. The latter changes who we are. One is an encounter with the truth of God, and the other is an encounter with the God of truth. We need both. Sound doctrine establishes us on a firm foundation. Spiritual experience establishes a very real and personal intimacy with the Lord Jesus. By this God is glorified and by this we are satisfied.
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Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.
John 14:21 (ESV)




Contemplation

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 13, 2009

“I am writing to show you the way to ignite the passion of your soul and to keep it alive, by drawing near to the ‘living fire,’ which is God himself. And the way I will show you is the upward path into the flaming heart of God (John 14:6) where our fire for life and goodness can never be put out.
You will remember that I spoke to you about putting to death the influences that call to your flesh, by the practice of contemplation…by focusing your mind and soul on the deep heart of God. This is a simple practice, very freeing to the soul, and I strongly recommend that you cultivate this as a spiritual discipline you practice every day.
The busy person, and even Christians who know little about the workings of the soul, may look at you and think you are accomplishing nothing. To these people, contemplation is the very beginning of all true works done by the Spirit in us…the first turn of the key that unlocks our imprisoned souls so we are free to serve God with vision and power.”
Thomas a`Kempis
Come Lord Jesus, 36-37
Edited by David Hazard
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I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
Psalm 119:15-16 (ESV)
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A chosen place—a set time—alone—with the Lord Jesus. His Word for meditation—your Father listening to your prayers—your soul in absolute submission. The Heavenly Father delighting in His child’s longing for Him and His child being satisfied with nothing less—this is the path to freedom and fulfillment. This is eternal purpose pursued in our tiny capsule of time. Indeed, in His presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11). Shall we let earthly busyness rob us of heavenly pleasure?




Knowing Jesus Intimately

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 10, 2009

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
Philippians 3:8 (ESV)
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“We may know Him personally, intimately, face to face. Christ does not live back in the centuries, nor amid the clouds of heaven; He is near us, with us, compassing our path in our lying down, and acquainted with all our ways. But we cannot know Him in this mortal life except through the illumination and teaching of the Holy Spirit…And we must surely know Christ, not as a stranger who turns in to visit for the night, or as the exalted king of men—there must be the inner knowledge as of those whom He counts His own familiar friends, whom He trusts with His secrets, who eat with Him of His own bread.
To know Christ in the storm of battle; to know Him in the valley of shadow; to know Him when the solar light irradiates our faces, or when they are darkened with disappointment and sorrow; to know the sweetness of His dealing with bruised reeds and smoking flax; to know the tenderness of His sympathy and the strength of His right hand—all this involves many varieties of experience on our part, but each of them like the facets of a diamond will reflect the prismatic beauty of His glory from a new angle.”
F. B. Meyer
The Epistle to the Philippians, (3:8-9)
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To count everything as loss just for the sake of knowing the Lord Jesus more intimately is a stunning confession. This confession speaks of prior knowledge and experience that has captured this bondservant’s soul. What he has come to know of the Lord’s wondrous beauty has fueled a passionate desire to discover more of His glorious Savior at any cost.
Wherever you find yourself today—whether in pain or sorrow, great happiness or discouragement, bewilderment with life’s circumstances or a time of unusual blessing— you are in a place by the Lord’s appointment so you can know Him more intimately.
This goal in life is the most worthy one you can have. In simple trust go to Him and tell Him that you want to know Him as deeply as possible this side of heaven. Because of His pure infinite love this is what He wants for you, and He will answer your prayer.




Doing God’s Will

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 6, 2009

“No man can do more with his life than the will of God — that though we may never be famous or powerful, or called to heroic suffering or acts of self-denial which will vibrate through history: that though we are neither intended to be apostles nor missionaries nor martyrs, but to be common people living in common houses, spending the day in common offices or common kitchens, yet doing the will of God there, we shall do as much as apostle or missionary or martyr — seeing that they can do nor more than do God’s will  where they are, even as we can do as much where we are—and answer the end of our life as truly, faithfully, and triumphantly, as they.”
Henry Drummond, quoted by Gary Thomas
The Beautiful Fight, 136
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Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”
John 4:35 (ESV)
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Faithfulness is what our Lord wants from us — not greatness, or success, or human recognition and applause. You can do no more than what He has purposed for you, and you should do no less than what He has planned for you. He has called you and equipped you for all He wants to do through you regardless of how insignificant it may appear in the eyes of man. His resurrection life in you is far more ability than you need in order to do His will. The world has made success before men an idol. The Lord honors humble and faithful servants. Our final accounting will not be to men but the Lord Himself. “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy” (1 Corinthians 4:2, ESV) What ever your place in life at this moment, do God’s will faithfully to please Him and He will reward you.




Posted in Will of God

Your Life’s Purpose

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 3, 2009

“That is the object of your life and mine—to do God’s will. It is not to be happy or to be successful, or famous, or to do the best we can, and get on honestly in the world. It is something far higher than this—to do God’s will…. [By this I don’t] mean, are we doing God’s work? — preaching or teaching or collecting money—but God’s will. A man may think he is doing God’s work when he is not even doing God’s will. And a man may be doing God’s will quite as much by hewing stones or sweeping streets as by preaching or praying. So the question just means this—Are we working out our common everyday life on the great lines of God’s will?”
Henry Drummond, quoted by Gary Thomas
The Beautiful Fight, 126
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For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
John 6:38 (ESV)
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The Lord Jesus’ determined purpose was to do the will of His Heavenly Father. For thirty years He lived an obscure ordinary life in Nazareth and no one but His mom knew who He truly was. In His adult years He was the local carpenter. Joseph had probably died during Jesus’ boyhood years. As the eldest son He stayed home to work with His hands and take care of His mother, His four brothers and at least three sisters. At age thirty He went to be baptized by His cousin John. There He learned it was time to begin His public ministry. Until this time He had only worked as a carpenter and cared for His family.  Yet, at His baptism His Father spoke from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” How could this be when Jesus had done no public ministry? He had faithfully done the will of God. This is always the issue — for Him, for you and for me.




Posted in Will of God