The Fragrance Of Jesus

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 28, 2010

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.

2 Corinthians 2:14 (ESV)

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My Father,

I want to live in the beauty of holiness.

I want the sweet scent of Jesus Christ

to be breathed into someone’s life…

a beckoning brightness

to shine from Your heart, through me,

into someone’s darkness…

as we pass by together today.

David Hazard

Early Will I Seek You, 78

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As you walk through your days you encounter people who outwardly look quite OK because they have learned to smile and not let anyone know what they really feel deep inside. Some are lonely, some are hurting from a recent loss or deep wounds, some wonder if anyone really cares about them because no one seems to have time to listen, some carry a depressing load of guilt and don’t know what to do with it, some feel that if you really knew them you would not love them, so they are afraid to reveal who they truly are, and even some in church don’t know if God really loves them because they have never seen God’s love among those who are supposed to be His people. The fragrance of Jesus is the sweet smell of compassion, gentleness, humility, a listening, caring heart, and love far beyond any other love found in humans naturally. This fragrance cannot be imitated, rather it comes from an intimate loving fellowship with the Lord Jesus so that His Spirit saturates your soul, and others can touch Him in you.




Assaults Of The Flesh

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 25, 2010

My people are bent on turning away from me.

Hosea 11:7 (ESV)

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“The divine life has its dwelling-place in a fallen fleshly nature. It is encompassed by all the corruptions, weaknesses, infirmities, and assaults of the flesh. There is not a moment that it is not exposed to assaults from within. There is not a natural faculty of the mind or throb of the heart that is favorable to its prosperity, but all are contrary to its nature, and hostile to its advance. As there is nothing internal that is favorable to a state of grace, so there is nothing external that encourages it forward. It has many and violent enemies. Satan is ever on the watch to assault it. The world is ever presenting itself in some new form of fascination and power to weaken it. A thousand temptations are perpetually striving to ensnare it. Thus its internal and external enemies are leagued against it. Is it then any wonder that faith should sometimes tremble, that grace should sometimes decline, and that the pulse of the divine life should often beat faintly and feebly?

The saints in every age have felt and lamented this.”

Octavius Winslow

Morning Thoughts, May 31

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“If we hope to overcome them [the spiritual forces of evil], we shall need to bear in mind that they have no moral principles, no code of honour, no higher feelings. They recognize no Geneva Convention to restrict or partially civilize the weapons of their warfare. They are utterly unscrupulous, and ruthless in the pursuit of their malicious designs.”

John R. W. Stott

The Message of Ephesians, 264




True Happiness

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 21, 2010

“I do not know when I have had happier times in my soul than when I have been sitting at work, with nothing before me but a candle and a white cloth, and hearing no sound but that of my own breath; with God in my soul and heaven in my eye. I rejoice in being exactly what I am—a creature capable of loving God, and who, as long as God lives, must be happy. I get up and look a while out the window. I gaze at the moon and stars, the work of an Almighty Hand. I think of the grandeur of the universe and then sit down and think myself one of the happiest beings in it.”

“ A Poor Methodist Woman” (an anonymous eighteenth-century woman)

Quoted by R. Kent Hughes

Set Apart, 40

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The one who has learned to live in the gladness of the Lord’s fellowship is peacefully content, not because he has much of this world’s goods but because he has true wealth in the Lord Jesus. He has discovered that life does not consist in the abundance of things but in the abundance of the Father’s love. Nothing truly satisfies his or her soul but the Lord’s presence and fellowship with Him. He may possess many things but they do not possess him. He may be poor but it does not matter. His perspective is eternal rather than temporal. As one old saint said, a cup of water tastes like wine when He is present.

The world, the flesh and the devil try to stir up discontent so that there must be one more possession or experience or position in order for there to be true happiness. Little do many suspect that this is the same temptation that drew Adam away from intimate fellowship with his Creator. What the loving Lord provided is not enough, so the temptation goes. How slow we are to learn the serpent’s old tricks.

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Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

1 Timothy 6:6-8 (ESV)




Selling Out His Presence

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 18, 2010

“Sadly, like the biblical Esau (see Genesis 25:29-34), we sometimes feel pridefully tempted to sell this amazing birthright of Christ’s presence for our own presence. We focus on our work, our influence, and our ministry. One of the biggest threats to incarnational living is pride. Instead of manifesting Christ’s presence, we want to showcase our own presence; instead of dispensing Christ’s wisdom, we want to spotlight our own insight; instead of speaking Christ’s truth, we want to spout our own opinions; instead of adopting Christ’s agenda, we want to accomplish our own five- or ten-year plans; instead of building Christ’s kingdom, we want to spread our own ‘ministry.’”

Gary Thomas

The Beautiful Fight, 38

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Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8: 18 (ESV)

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“I was nothing. You had no need of me. Even now my service has not even the value of a laborer tilling his master’s land, because even if I did not work, You would bring forth the same harvest. I can only serve You and worship You with the good that comes from You. It is from You alone that I receive strength and without You I am nothing.”

Augustine

Quoted by Nick Harrison

Magnificent Prayer, 186

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Someone has said that men aspire but God condescends. Our flesh wants to be something, but Christ made Himself nothing. To become like the beautiful Lord Jesus is to become humble and to live humbly.




Posted in Humility

Fasting For God’s Glory

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 14, 2010

And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

Matthew 9:15 (ESV)

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“It is significant that the Lord dealt with fasting as a spiritual exercise distinct from praying. Though fasting and praying are often linked in Scripture and in experience, this is not necessarily the case. We should not think of fasting as a semi-detached house, always joined to praying. On the contrary it stands in its own grounds, and may on occasion serve a spiritual purpose all its own.

Just as there may be praying without fasting, so there may at times be fasting, truly acceptable to God, without praying—at least in the sense of intercession. There is no mention of prayer accompanying the fast we read of in Esther. In the fast of the prophets and teachers in Antioch, they were giving themselves to worship rather than prayer (Acts 13:2).

Because one is not able to give oneself to prayer for the whole of a fast does not mean that the period not accompanied by specific prayer is devoid of spiritual value. Fasting…has many purposes besides the very important one of facilitating intercession.”

Arthur Wallis

God’s Chosen Fast, 22

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“The supremacy of God in all things is the great reward we long for in fasting. His supremacy in our own affections and in all our life-choices. His supremacy in the purity of the church. His supremacy in the salvation of the lost. His supremacy in the establishing of righteousness and justice. And his supremacy for the joy of all peoples in the evangelization of the world.”

John Piper

A Hunger for God, 79




Posted in Prayer

Himself

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 11, 2010

“I prayed a long time to get sanctified, and sometimes I thought I had it. On one occasion I felt something, and I held on with a desperate grip for fear should I should lose it, and kept awake the whole night fearing it would go, and, of course, it went with the next sensation and the next mood. Of course, I lost it because I did not hold on to Him. I had been taking a little water from the reservoir, when I might have all the time received from Him fullness through the open channels. I went to meetings and heard people speak of joy. I even thought I had the joy, but I did not keep it because I had not Himself as my joy. At last He said to me—Oh, so tenderly—‘My child, just take Me, and let Me be in you the constant supply of all this, Myself.’ And when at last I got my eyes off my sanctification, and my experience of it, and just placed them on the Christ in me, I found instead of an experience, the Christ larger than the moment’s need, the Christ that had all that I should ever need who was given to me at once, and forever! And when I thus saw Him, it was such rest; it was all right, and right forever. For I had not only what I could hold that little hour, but also in Him, all that I should need the next and the next and so on, until sometimes I get a glimpse of what it will be a million years afterwards, when we shall ‘shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of our Father’ (Matt. 13:43), and have ‘all the fullness of God.’”

A. B. Simpson

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For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature]. And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature].

Colossians 2:9-10 (Amplified Bible)

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Every grace gift we need is in the Lord Jesus. No gift exists apart from Him. When He comes to live in His followers by the Holy Spirit, all that He is comes to live within. What else do we need besides “Himself” within? It is a matter of quietly trusting Him.




A Personal Posting

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 8, 2010

More than two years ago I began posting twice a week on A Disciple’s Notebook. Doing a blog had never been my desire or dream. One day while mowing my yard and considering some deep concerns I have about what I call “cultural Christianity,” the thought came strongly—and with surprise—“Do a website to encourage believers.” It is not an exaggeration to say that I was not even in kindergarten in my understanding about this sort of thing. I had no idea how to begin or what to do. The Lord would have to undertake to guide and equip me if this was His will. Was it He who impressed my heart that late summer day? I prayed, pondered, and waited until I was as sure as I could be that I was indeed to begin this venture into a totally new arena. Certain elements must come together if I was to proceed, and obviously they did by the Lord’s kindness and provision. One special gift was a talented brother in Christ who agreed to build the site for me. I decided what should go on the site and he put it together. Of course, this was after getting permission from the artists for the painting and music used. June 17, 2008 was my first posting.

Response by emails has been encouraging. I chose not to record how many hits come or where the hits originate. Any money from books or devotional videos goes into a ministry fund to help with ongoing ministry projects.

My desire is to honor the incomparable Lord Jesus by freely sharing His wonderful truth of love and grace as simply, purely, lovingly, and accurately as possible.

I will continue posting as long as I am able and pray readers will be deeply stirred and encouraged in sincere (simple) and pure devotion to Christ. In this day of many distractions we must learn to have a single eye for Jesus. In these times of hell’s assault, each one of us needs encouragement to stay faithful and true to Him who loves us with all that He is and who gave Himself for us. If these postings encourage you to love Jesus Christ more profoundly, enjoy Him more intimately, and follow Him more faithfully, then He will be glorified and I will be satisfied. It is a work of faith and a labor of love.

His bondservant, in the peace and joy of Christ’s love,

Jerry R. White, Jr.




Posted in Personal

God’s Infinite Love

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 4, 2010

“A mother’s love is the fullest love that we have on earth. She loves with all her heart. But there is no love as full as that of God toward His Son. God loves Jesus fully. The whole heart of the Father is, as it were, continually poured down in love on the Lord Jesus. There is nothing in Christ except what draws the infinite love of God. In Him, God sees His own image perfect, His own law acted out, His own will done. The Father loves the Son fully; but when a soul comes into Christ, the same love rests on that soul: ‘that the love with which You loved Me may be in them’ (John 17:26).

True, a creature cannot receive God’s love as Jesus can, but it is the same love that shines on us and Him—full, satisfying, unbounded love. When the sun pours down its beams on the wide ocean and on a little flower at the same time, the same sunshine is poured into both, although the ocean has a vastly larger capacity to receive its glorious beams. So it is the same love that pours down on the Savior and the sinner, although Jesus is able to contain more.

How can God forget what He fully loves? If God fully loves you, He has not forgotten you; He can’t forget you. A creature’s love may fail, because what is a creature? A clay vessel, a breath of wind that passes away and doesn’t return. But the Creator’s love can’t fail; it is full of love toward an object infinitely worthy of His love, in which you share.”

The Best of Robert Murray McCheyne, 59-60

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For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.

John 16:27 (ESV)

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To be in Christ places one in the Father’s love like a bird flying in the air or a fish swimming in the sea or the earth floating in the expanse of the universe. His infinite love is your dwelling place to enjoy–forever.




Posted in God's Love

The Oases Of Life

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 1, 2010

But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.

Luke 5:16 (NASB)

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“For the man or woman who has come to know and love the Lord God in the depths of such intimacy, the times of solitude are the most precious in all of life. They are a rendezvous with the Beloved. They are anticipated with eagerness. They are awaited with expectancy…. For the person who has found in God a truly loving heavenly Father, gentle interludes with him alone are highlights of life. For the one who has found Christ the dearest friend among all the children of earth, quiet times in his company are the oases of life. For the individual conscious of the comradeship of God’s gracious Spirit in the stillness of solitude, these intervals are the elixir of life.”

W. Phillip Keller

Quoted by Joyce Huggett

The Joy Of Listening To God, 64

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“It would seem that admission to the inner circle of deepening intimacy with God is the outcome of deep desire. Only those who count such intimacy a prize worth sacrificing anything else for are likely to attain it. If other intimacies are more desirable to us, we will not gain entry to that circle.

The place on Jesus’ breast is still vacant, and open to any who are willing to pay the price of deepening intimacy. We are now, and we will be in the future, only as intimate with God as we really choose to be.”

J. Oswald Sanders

Enjoying Intimacy With God, 17

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The Lord Jesus’ lifestyle points to the oases in this arid world where we also can drink deeply and become refreshed with Heaven’s pure living water.