Religious Busyness

Posted by Jerry White on Oct 21, 2009

“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.
It is in the silence that the Father’s care, the Savior’s cleansing, and the Comforter’s strengthening are experienced, and worship becomes almost inevitable.”
G. H. Morling
Quest For Serenity, 72

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

Someone said, “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” It is difficult to learn to be quiet before the Lord in our culture with many distractions. How tempting it is to overload our schedules with much activity the Lord Jesus never intended. Over busyness satisfies our self-life but robs the Lord Jesus of His glory in our lives. Stillness before Him ushers us from the noisy rush of the world into the quiet of His Presence. Like dew falling upon grass after the heat of the day so He refreshes our souls as we quietly enjoy Him and wonder that He loves us so. He flung the door open the day His Son died and said, “come—come freely to my throne of grace and mercy. I want you near me.”

A Lonesome Spiritual State

Posted by Jerry White on Oct 18, 2009

On my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but found him not. I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but found him not.
Song Of Solomon 4:1-2 (ESV)

“Our glorious husband, the Lord Jesus, sometimes withdraws himself from our spiritual experience, so that we have no refreshing sense of his love, no fresh communications of his consoling grace. Those who never feel his absence likely have never enjoyed his presence. But those whom he has visited with his love, whom he has refreshed, relieved, and comforted—they know what it is to be left by him even for a moment. They are distressed when they look for him but can’t find him.
If you find yourself in this lonesome spiritual state, turn back to the Song of Songs and learn from the beloved. Don’t give up your hunt for Christ in prayer, meditation, and mourning; in reading and hearing the Word; in public and private worship; in diligent obedience—until you find him or he returns to you. And when you find him, never let him go.”
Kris Lundgaard
Through The Looking Glass, 41

Thirsty souls yearn for His nearness. Nothing else satisfies. All else seems meaningless without the Lord’s presence with them. This is not a “let’s pretend” presence. It is real and living and comforting and invigorating. Lord, please give us foretastes of heaven now — on earth — and by this cause us to thirst more for You.

You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13 (NASB)

Posted in God Manifested

Special Benefits

Posted by Jerry White on Oct 15, 2009

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
Psalm 91:1 (ESV)

“The blessings here promised are not for all believers, but for those who live in close fellowship with God. Every child of God looks towards the inner sanctuary and the mercy-seat, yet all do not dwell in the most holy place; they run to it at times and enjoy occasional approaches, but they do not habitually reside in the mysterious presence. Those who through rich grace obtain unusual and continuous communion with God, so as to abide in Christ and Christ in them, become possessors of rare and special benefits, which are missed by those who follow far off, and grieve the Holy Spirit of God.”
Charles Spurgeon
The Treasury of David

Do you want to be one of the few who enter into the Lord’s richest blessings and enjoy His “rare and special benefits”? Any believer can. It is not an exclusive group because the Lord arbitrarily shuts some out. It is limited because many do not thirst for Him above all else in their lives. They are distracted by many things (Luke 10:41-42). He rewards those who with a single eye diligently seek Him with all their heart (Hebrews 11:6; Jeremiah 29:13). We can ask Him for this kind of heart.

What Shall I Say?

Posted by Jerry White on Oct 12, 2009

“When she [Sarah Edwards] heard that her husband Jonathan had died of a smallpox vaccination at the age of fifty-four, leaving her with ten children, she wrote to her daughter:
What shall I say? A holy and good God has covered us with a dark cloud. O that     we may kiss the rod and lay our hands on our mouths! The Lord has done it. He     has made me adore His goodness, that we had him so long. But my God lives; and     He has my heart. O what a legacy my husband, and your father, has left us. We     are all given to God; and there I am and love to be. “
John Piper
Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, 95

And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

Job 1:21-22 (ESV)

Can God, who gave His all for you, ever do wrong by you? Shall you accept the good from His hand and then charge Him with wrong doing when something does not go your way? Shall you thank Him when He blesses you with what you approve but not thank Him when it seems bad and painful for you? Is He worthy of praise only when His acts please you? His chosen way for you is always good and perfect and best. He is evermore worthy of thanksgiving and praise, even in the darkest times. Your trust in the dark so pleases your Heavenly Father. Your praise in pain honors Him.

Patience In Growth

Posted by Jerry White on Oct 8, 2009

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
Philippians 3:12 (ESV)
“In a culture that promotes instant gratification, it can be wearisome for us to wait patiently for God’s timing. Many of us are tempted to bypass grace and take matters into our own hands as we seek some method, technique, seminar, or experience that will give us the results we want when we want them. But we are as incapable of changing ourselves through our own efforts as we are of manipulating God to transform us more quickly.
In his grace, the Lord invites us to cooperate with the formative work of his Holy Spirit in our lives by engaging in the disciplines of faith, repentance, and obedience and by trusting in his ways and in his timing. Inevitably, God’s timing will seem painfully slow to us, but as we grow in wisdom, we learn to be more patient with the divine process, knowing that he alone knows what we need and when we need it. Thus spiritual formation is nourished by years of disciplined fidelity to the sovereign call of God. Indeed, we will fail and disobey and do many foolish and grievous things throughout the process, but fidelity means that we get up and return to Jesus each time we fall. ‘Each day has enough trouble of its own’ (Matthew 6:34). May we allow the ordinary demands of everyday living to drive us to the grace of Jesus, to the love of the Father, and to the fellowship of the Spirit (2 Corinthians13:14).
Kenneth Boa
Conformed to His Image, 258-259

Dear Christian reader, press on persistently to know the Lord Jesus; seek His face regularly that your heart may gaze upon Him; exercise discipline habitually so that you fully cooperate with Him in your transformation; and love Him passionately so that your heart stays close to Him. Be settled in your heart: This is a lifelong process.

Love The Brethren

Posted by Jerry White on Oct 5, 2009

“Reading about the powerful but pathetic disciples has given me pause whenever I speak of fellow believers, particularly those who come from other branches of God’s church. Sometimes we’re so eager to differentiate ourselves from certain denominations or spokespeople that we lose all sense of proportion and become outright critics. Let’s honor what God has done, is doing, and will do through his imperfect church, even while trying to reform it. Not one disciple of Jesus lacked some serious faults — and yet Jesus still loved, called, and used each one.
God loves his church, and he loves the individuals who compose it. If we become critics instead of encouragers, we risk offending God. I know, I know — there are a million things the contemporary church could be doing better, and we could spend our entire lives doing nothing but pointing out each other’s shortcomings, theological prejudices, and stylistic embarrassments. But ask yourself this: If the current church is so bad, so ineffective, and so irrelevant, how did you come to faith while being a part of it?
Our sisters and brothers may have different hairstyles, speaking styles, and worship styles and even different emphases in their preaching, but they are still God’s people. Sometimes our pride makes us ashamed to be a part of others who embarrass us, but from the perspective of spiritual formation, anything that assaults our pride is a good thing — even if it means being categorized with someone with whom we may have legitimate disagreements.”
Gary Thomas
The Beautiful Fight, 217

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:1-3

Posted in Love For Others

Holy Spirit Required

Posted by Jerry White on Oct 1, 2009

“Jesus Christ was God as well as man, but it was through the manhood He revealed the life and nature of God. He was perfect Man in all respects, with body, soul and spirit complete; and in the actions of His manhood in the exercise of all its various activities, he required the assistance and support of the Holy Ghost just as really as we ourselves do. He taught, gave commandments, worked miracles through the Holy Ghost. The humanity of the Eternal Son required the assistance of the Divine Spirit. Christ sought that Divine aid in prolonged communion with His Father and His God, and then went forth to work His miracles and give His commands. Prayer and the gift of the Spirit and the works and marvels of Christ were closely connected together, even before the open descent of the Spirit and the wonders of Pentecost.”
Gerald F. Hawthorne
The Presence & The Power, 167

Apart from me you me you can do nothing.
John 15:5 (ESV)

Fully human the Lord Jesus lived with the same limitations as any human, and this required that He live in complete surrender and dependence upon the power of the Holy Spirit for everything. The same Holy Spirit that explains His entire life, ministry and resurrection He has given to every true follower. It is astounding to realize that the Holy Spirit who empowered Jesus for life and ministry is wholly available to us as well. For a mother with little ones His Spirit is needed and is available. For a man struggling at work His Spirit is needed and available. For a marriage in trouble His Spirit is needed and available. For a pastor discouraged and feeling powerless His Spirit is needed and available. For a single person lonely and bewildered His Spirit is needed and available. The Lord Jesus said to ask the Father and you will receive (Luke 11:13). But He also said to ask with faith (Mark 11:24). Your loving Father is more ready to give than you are to ask — if you will believe.

Posted in Holy Spirit