Posted by Jerry White on Jan 28, 2010
“What will turn our hearts from the passing pleasures of sin? What can strengthen our wills to reject the temptations of the flesh? What will energize our souls to turn from worldly delusions? What has the power to transform our desires and reconfigure our longings and stir our emotional chemistry that we might love what God loves and hate what He hates? Only one thing. Not rules and threats and fear and punishment. Only one thing. Jesus, in all His beauty. Jesus, in all that He is for us now and will be tomorrow. [Jonathan] Edwards is certain that only Jesus can satisfy our soul’s desire. He says:
[In Jesus] the longing soul may be satisfied and the hungry soul may be filled with goodness. The delight and contentment that is to be found here, passeth understanding, and is unspeakable and full of glory. It is impossible for those who ever tasted of this fountain, and know the sweetness of it, ever to forsake it. The soul has found the river of water of life, and it desires no other drink; it has found the tree of life, and it desires no other fruit.
Pleasures Evermore, 163
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
John 21:17 (ESV)
The Lord Jesus exposed to Simon Peter the reason for his sinful failure after Peter denied three times that he even knew Jesus. The question Jesus pressed to him three times, no doubt reminding Peter of his three denials, was regarding his love for Jesus. “Do you love me?” From Peter’s failure and Jesus’ response we learn the vital key to being faithful to the Lord Jesus: Deep, adoring love for this beautiful person that compels you to stay in intimate fellowship with Him. When you profoundly love Him, loss of intimate fellowship with Him becomes your greatest fear. This satisfying love relationship can be chosen and cultivated. Then the Holy Spirit delights to make it real—intensely real.
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 25, 2010
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
Galatians 5:17 (ESV)
“The point I am developing out of Paul’s words in verse 17 is only this: The Christian who thus walks in the Spirit will keep discovering that nothing in his life is as good as it should be; that he has never fought as hard as he might have done against the clogging restraints and contrary pulls of his own inbred perversity; that there is an element of motivational sin, at least in his best works; that his daily living is streaked with defilements, so that he has to depend every moment on God’s pardoning mercy in Christ, or he would be lost; and that he needs to keep asking, in the light of his own felt weakness and inconstancy of heart, that the Spirit will energize him to the end to maintain the inward struggle. You cannot achieve as much in the way of holiness as you want to achieve. Paul evidently sees this as belonging to the inside story of all human saintliness. Who, now, is gong to say that he is wrong?”
J. I. Packer
Keep In Step With the Spirit, 37
I have found it both comforting and encouraging through the years in my own struggle with indwelling sin to read from other men who have experienced the same in their pilgrimage. The enemy wants to make us feel like we are alone in our inner battle with thoughts, desires, affections, and weaknesses, which we know are ungodly. The devil raises slanderous questions about what is wrong with us when other serious believers we know seem to be doing quite well and not having the struggles we experience. You are probably glad that no one else can see what is really going on inside of you. Make no mistake; this inner battle is the common lot of all true followers of the Lord Jesus regardless how others may appear on the outside. The conflict is necessary in the sanctification process in order for you to be schooled in becoming a victor through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 21, 2010
“Life is not easy for any of us. No branch escapes the pruning knife, no jewel the wheel, no child the rod. People harass and vex us almost beyond endurance. Circumstances strain us until the cords of our hearts threaten to snap. Our nervous system is overtaxed by the rush and competition of our times. It is an understatement to say we need patience.
We must pray for God’s help never to indulge in unkind or thoughtless criticism of others; never to utter the hasty word or permit the sharp retort; never to complain except to God; and never to permit hard and distrustful thoughts to lodge within the soul. We must ask the Father to help us always be more thoughtful of others than self; to detect the one bright spot in the clouded sky; to be on guard when tempted toward bitterness and betrayed.
We cannot live such a life until we have learned to avail ourselves of the riches of the indwelling Christ. Our heavenly Father asks that we demonstrate patience and forbearance in all things, and it is only through Him that we are able to do so.”
F. B. Meyer
I recently was tested in patience by unnecessary attacks on people I care about. These two situations happened in one week, and I wanted to react in a way that would probably further enflame the situation. After quieting my soul I realized that it was a test of my heart’s focus. Would I trust the Lord by leaving it with Him, or would I seize it with my own hands and act unbecomingly? Would I honor the Lord by drawing on His life so that He was in control, or would I violate my commitment to let Him rule and therefore grieve Him? Every circumstance is an opportunity to trust Him and every relationship is an opportunity to be a river of His love. The Lord Jesus in us living His beautiful life through us is our only hope to glorify God. For this reason I will trust Him, because if I don’t, I will miserably fail.
And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:4 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 18, 2010
“It belongs to God to set us free, not only from punishment and curse, from disquietude and terror, but from sin itself. You know that He was manifested that He might take away our sins. Let us receive the thought deep into our hearts: it is for God to take away our sins from us. The better we apprehend this, the more blessed shall our life be.
All do not receive this. They seek chiefly to be freed from the consequences of sin, from fear and darkness, and the punishment that sin brings. Just on this account they do not come to the true rest of salvation. They do not understand to be saved is to be freed from sin. Let us hold it fast, Jesus saves through taking away sin. Then we shall learn two things.
The first is to come to Jesus with every sin. The sin that still attacks and overmasters you, after you have given yourself over to the Lord, must not make you lose heart. There must also be no endeavor merely in your own strength to take away and overcome sin. Bring every sin to Jesus. He has already brought it to nought upon the cross and broken its power. It is His work, it is His desire to set you free from it. Oh, learn then always to come to Jesus with every sin. Sin is your deadly foe; if you confess it to Jesus and surrender it to Him, you shall certainly overcome it.
Learn to believe the above fact firmly. The second point is this: Understand that Jesus, Jesus himself, is the Saviour from sin. It is not you who must overcome sin with the help of Jesus, but Jesus himself—Jesus in you. If you would thus become free from sin, if you would enjoy full salvation, let it be the one endeavor of your life to stand always in full fellowship with Jesus. Wait not till you enter into temptation ere you have recourse to Jesus. But let your life beforehand be always through Jesus. Let His nearness be your one desire. Jesus saves from sin; to have Jesus is salvation from sin.”
The New Life, 57-58
She shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 18, 2010
“It belongs to God to set us free, not only from punishment and curse, from disquietude and terror, but fr
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 14, 2010
“We have no direct control over our feelings, but we have control over our will. God does not hold us responsible for what we feel but for what we will. Furthermore, in His sight, we are not what we feel but what we will. Let us, therefore, not live in the summerhouse of emotion but in the central citadel of the will, wholly yielded and devoted to the will of God. When we are in communion with the Lord, our soul is often flooded with holy emotion, the tides rise high, the swelling tides of joy rise, and every element in nature joins in the choral hymn of rapturous praise. But tomorrow comes, and life has to be faced in the trying workplace, the dingy shop, the noisy factory, the godless workroom. As the soul compares the joy of yesterday with the difficulty experienced in walking humbly with the Lord, it wonders whether it is quite as devoted and dedicated as it was. But during such a time, how reassuring it is to say with confidence that the will has not altered its position by a hair’s breadth. We can sincerely declare, ‘My God, the spring tide of emotion has passed away like a summer brook, but in my heart of hearts, in my will, You know I am as devoted and as loyal to You as during the blessed moment of communion with You.’ This is an offering with which God is well pleased.”
F. B. Meyer
The Best of F. B. Meyer, 27
My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.
Matthew 26:39 (ESV)
How liberating to know that the primary concern of the Lord Jesus is not what you feel or don’t feel, but rather what you choose. You can choose to forgive another who has hurt you deeply even though you still feel hurt and disappointment. You can choose to worship and thank the Lord in the face of disappointing news. You can choose to draw near to God even though your feelings resist because of coldness of desire and deadness of emotions. The Lord Jesus fully understands what you feel, or don’t feel, and will honor what you will.
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 11, 2010
“David Hazard wrote, ‘Theresa (of Avila, 1515-1582) agonized all her life, and found it impossible with human language to explain the ‘appearances’ of Jesus. She ‘saw’ Him with the eyes of her heart. She caught sight of a new type of beauty that came from of old and extended to everlasting—and a holiness that walked among sinful men, lofty in its intense humility.’ [Majestic Is Your Name, Bethany House Publishers, 1993, 13]
Because the Spirit is just like Jesus, He can reveal any facet of Christ’s character at any time He chooses. He may unveil for a moment the brightness of Christ’s holiness. He may softly speak whispers of compassion. He may have the uncontainable river of Jesus’ love wash over you, or He may lead you to a secret sanctuary of His peace. He may startle you with a display of His awesome power. These special visitations of Christ through the means of the Holy Spirit will increase and deepen your love for your Savior and will remind you profoundly of His great sacrifice for you. When your relationship with Christ deepens and grows, it is because He has drawn near and touched you soul. John Piper said it well when he wrote, ‘There is no reality more breathtaking than Jesus Christ. He is not safe, but He is stunning.’ [The Dangerous Duty of Delight, Multnomah Publishers, 2001, 8]”
The Spirit and Presence of Christ, 156
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
John 14:18 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 7, 2010
“The only difference between the presence of Jesus with His disciples when He lived bodily on earth and His presence with them after Pentecost was the means by which He made His presence known. With Jesus’ bodily presence on earth, they could touch and see and hear God incarnate. After Pentecost, this same Jesus was present with them, not in His body but by His Spirit. The presence of Jesus would be just as real. They would not be able to touch His flesh, but they would sense His spiritual presence. They would not hear His human voice, but they would know His voice in their inner beings. They would not see His human form, but with the eyes of their hearts they would see His glory. By His Spirit, He would be present with them in larger dimension than He was when He walked with them in the flesh.
When the first church met, they fully expected the Spirit of Jesus to be present in their midst. And He was, as the book of Acts reveals. We can and should anticipate this same experience of Jesus’ presence in our individual lives and churches today. When we encounter the shining brightness of Jesus through the presence of the Holy Spirit, all earthly things pale.”
The Spirit and Presence of Christ, 155-156
A couple of years ago I wrote in my journal,
“I AM WEARY OF:
1. Church form without God’s presence
2. Commercialized Christianity.
3. Self-exalting, self-promoting ‘ministries’.
4. Praise music without humble worship.
5. Fleshly efforts to build churches according to man’s plans.
I LONG FOR:
1. Christ’s sovereign, humble presence and power.
2. Only that which He authors and which glorifies Him.”
Oh Lord, please stir, awaken, and revive your people.
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 4, 2010
“Many neglect the precious Word of God altogether. They have no theology, no doctrine, no objective revelation of truth.
Others, I fear, are legalistic about biblical truth. They have extensive and profound knowledge of the Scriptures, but their hearts are barren and their creed leaves them cold and formal.
How can we be liberated on the one hand from no creed at all, and on the other from a frozen dogma that imparts no freshness or vitality to our hearts?
Dear friend, may the good Lord help us perceive the organic union between the Word of God and the voice of God. By the Word of God I mean the revelation of God in the person of the Lord Jesus in the Scriptures. The Bible is the Word of God. The voice of God which comes through the Word of God is also a revelation, an illumination. It is a revelation of the revelation.
The Word of God is objective; the voice of God is subjective. The voice of God is the special revelation of the Lord Jesus in the Bible brought home by the Holy Spirit to our hearts.
The voice of God in the Word of God makes the Bible ‘living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword.’ The naked Scriptures alone do not search the spirit, dividing joints and marrow and the thoughts and intentions of the heart. It is the voice of God that unveils the Christ of the Bible, and says to us (in Hebrews 3),
Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.
If we would indeed be grounded in the Word of God, we must become increasingly sensitive to the voice of God. Bible memory, systematic study, extensive research, or a workable knowledge of the original languages will never by themselves impart a warm and living creed; only the voice of God can do that. God must speak through His Word by the Holy Spirit of truth, who reveals and glorifies the Lord Jesus by taking what is His and making it known to us (John 15:26, 16:13-14).
There is life only in Him who is the Truth. If we are grounded in His voice, we will be grounded in His Word.”
Letters to the Thirsty, 75-76