The Superior Pleasure

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 31, 2011

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.

Psalm 63:5-7 (ESV)

~~~

“I’m convinced that we have only one of two options. Either we can devote ourselves and our time and our energy to demonstrating the ugliness and futility of sin and the world, hoping that such will embolden our hearts to say No to it as unworthy of our affection, or we can demonstrate the beauty and splendor of all that God has for us in Jesus and become happily and joyfully enticed by a rival affection.

I favor the latter. Both my biblical convictions and my personal experience persuade me that I can talk all I want about how ugly sin is, but I will never enjoy lasting victory over it until my heart is captivated by a comparatively superior pleasure. To put it simply:

The only way to liberate the heart from servitude to the passing pleasures of sin is by cultivating a passion for the joy and delight of beholding the beauty of God in the face of Jesus. What breaks the power of sin is faith in the promise that the pleasures of sin are temporary and toxic but at God’s right hand are pleasures evermore. (see Psalm 16:11)

Holiness does not come merely by creating a list of moral taboos and then exerting our willpower to resist them. ‘Just Say No’ alone doesn’t work. Of course, we must say No. Please don’t misunderstand me. But lasting, meaningful victory will come only if there is something more enticing to which we can say Yes! If we try to fight sin merely with prohibitions and threats, we will fail.

The decision to say No to sin must itself be energized by the assurance of delight in an alternative ‘Yes’. We must fight sin with a massive promise of superior happiness. We must swallow up the flicker of sin’s pleasure in the forest fire of holy satisfaction. The only thing that will ultimately break the power of sin is passion for Jesus. The only thing that will guard me from being entrapped by sin is being entranced by Jesus. In other words, the key to holiness is falling in love!”

Sam Storms

Pleasures Evermore, 31-32




Willing Joyful Obedience

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 28, 2011

“A musician is not recommended for playing long, but for playing well; it is obeying God willingly that is accepted. The Lord hates that which is forced; it then becomes a tax instead of an offering. Cain served God grudgingly. He brought his sacrifice, not his heart.

To obey God’s commandments unwillingly is like the devils who came out of the possessed man at Christ’s command, albeit with reluctance and against their will. Good duties cannot be pressed and beaten out of us as the waters were beaten out of the rock when Moses smote it with the budding rod. Good duties must freely drop from us, as myrrh from the tree or honey from the comb.

If a willing mind be wanting, there wants that flower which should perfume our obedience and make it a sweet-smelling savor unto God. Someone has said that a noble deed for someone else is a step toward God.

The avaricious man is like the barren sandy ground of the desert which sucks in all the rain and dew with greed, but yields no fruitful herbs or plants for the benefit of others.

Only one life will soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Thomas Watson (1620-1686)

Fill Me With Hope, July 21

Compiled by Paul M. Miller

~~~

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.

1 Peter 1:22 (ESV)

~~~

Fill the garden of my soul with the wind of love, that the scents of the Christian life may be wafted to others; then come and gather fruits to thy glory. So shall I fulfill the great end of my being—to glorify thee and be a blessing to men.

The Valley of Vision, 325

Edited by Arthur Bennett




Posted in Obedience

Our Father’s Garden

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 24, 2011

“Recently I sat in the garden with my friend and secretary. We were in perfect health, rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness. We were happy as we sat there reading the Word of God and meditating. Dare we think of being so happy? Within five days I was stricken with disabling pain, and worse, far worse, he was called upon to lose his wife. Here is our comfort: the Lord has done it. The best rose in the garden is gone. Who has taken it? The Gardener. He planted it and watched over it, and now He has taken it. Does anyone weep because of that? No! Everyone knows it is best that He should come and gather the garden’s finest.

Are you deeply troubled by the loss of your loved one? Remember, the next time the Lord comes to your part of the garden, He will only gather His flowers.

Would you prevent Him from doing this, even if you could?”

C. H. Spurgeon

Beside still Waters, 46

Roy H. Clarke, Editor

~~~

“If we are to experience serenity in this turbulent world, we will need to take firmer grasp of God’s sovereignty and trust His love even when we cannot discern His purpose. We must remember that the hand molding the clay is nail-pierced, and that our God’s sovereignty will never clash with His paternity.”

J Oswald Sanders

Enjoying Intimacy With God, 95

~~~

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.

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.”

Job 1:20-21 (ESV)




Posted in Sovereign God

When Peace Rules

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 21, 2011

Let the peace that Christ can give keep on acting as umpire in your hearts.

Colossians 3:15 (Williams Translation)

~~~

“A saintly African Christian told a congregation once that, as he was climbing the hill to the meeting, he heard steps behind him. He turned and saw a man carrying a very heavy load up the hill on his back. He was full of sympathy for him and spoke to him. Then he noticed that His hands were scarred, and he realized that it was Jesus. He said to Him, ‘Lord, are you carrying the world’s sins up the hill?’ ‘No,’ said the Lord Jesus, ‘not the world’s sin, just yours!’ As that African simply told the vision God had just given him, the people’s hearts and his heart were broken as they saw their sins at the Cross. Our hearts need to be broken too, and only when they are shall we be willing for the confessions, the apologies, the reconciliations and the restitutions, that are involved in a true repentance of sin. Then when we have been willing to humble ourselves, as the Lord humbled Himself, the dove will return to us.

Sweet messenger of rest! `

Return, O heavenly Dove, return

I hate the sins that made Thee mourn,

And drove Thee from my breast.

One last word. The Dove is the emblem of peace which suggests that if the Blood of Jesus has cleansed us and we are walking with the Lamb in humility, the sign of the Spirit’s presence and fullness will be peace This is indeed to be the test of our walk all the way along. ‘Let the peace of God rule (or arbitrate) in your hearts’ (Col. 3:15). If the Dove ceases to sing in our hearts at any time, if our peace is broken, then it can only be because of sin. In some matter we have departed from the humility of the Lamb. We must ask God to show us what it is, and be quick to repent of it and bring the sin to the Cross. Then the dove will be once again in His rightful place in our hearts and peace with God will be ours.”

Roy Hession

The Calvary Road, 42-43




Christ’s Abiding Presence

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 17, 2011

Behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).

Matthew 28:20 (Amplified Bible)

~~~

“Because of what we have seen and heard of Jesus Christ, our hearts are ready to say with Martha, ‘I believe you are the Christ, the Son of God.’ However, when it comes to the point of believing what Christ promises us regarding the power of the resurrection life, of His abiding presence every day and all the day, we do not find it so easy to say, ‘I do believe that this omnipotent, omnipresent, unchangeable Christ, our Redeemer God, will actually walk with me all day, and give me the unceasing consciousness of His holy presence.’ It almost looks like too great a challenge to venture out with faith in His abiding presence. And yet, this is the faith that Christ asks us to have and He is waiting to work within us.

We must clearly understand the conditions by which Christ offers to reveal to us in experience the secret of His abiding presence. God cannot force His blessings on us against our will. He seeks in every possible way to stir up our desire, and to help us to realize that He is able and most willing to make His promises true. The resurrection of Christ from the dead is His great plea, His all-prevailing argument. If God could raise the dead Christ, who had died under the burden of all our sin and curse, surely He can (now that Christ has conquered death and is to us the Resurrection and the Life) fulfill in our hearts His promise that Christ can be so with us, and in us in such a sense that He himself should be our life throughout the day.

And now, in view of what we have read and seen about Christ as our Lord, as our redeeming God, are we willing to take His word in all simplicity in its divine fullness of meaning and rest in the promise: ‘I will be with you all the day’? Christ’s question comes to us: ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ Let us not rest until we have bowed before Him and said, ‘Yes, Lord, I do believe.’”

Andrew Murray

The Believer’s Secret of the Abiding Presence, 39-40

Compiled by Louis Gifford Parkhurst, Jr.




Posted in Faith

Acceptance Without Understanding

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 13, 2011

“Maturity [perfection] consists in doing the will of God, not in understanding His designs. The designs of God, the good pleasure of God, the will of God, the operation of God, the gift of His grace are all one and the same thing in the spiritual life. It is God working in the soul to make it like Himself. Maturity is neither more nor less than the faithful cooperation of the soul with the work of God, and is begun, grows, and is consummated in the soul unperceived and in secret. The designs of God and His divine will accepted by a faithful soul with simplicity produces this divine state in it without its knowledge, just as medicine taken obediently will produce health, although the sick person neither knows nor wishes to know anything about medicine. As fire gives out heat, so the designs of God and His holy will work in the soul for its sanctification, not speculations of curiosity as to this principle and this state.

When one is thirsty, one quenches one’s thirst by drinks, not reading books that discuss this condition. The desire to know increases this thirst. Therefore, when one thirsts after sanctity, the desire to know about it only drives it further away. Speculation must be laid aside, and everything arranged by God as regards actions and sufferings must be accepted with simplicity, for those things that happen at each moment by the divine command or permission are always the most holy, the best and the most divine for us.”

Jean-Pierre De Caussade (1675-1751)

Fill Me With Hope, October 23

Compiled by Paul M. Miller

~~~

How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

Romans 11:33 (ESV)

~~~

A Christian Jewish rabbi from Europe said to me recently, “You Americans are always wanting to understand with your minds (as He pointed with his finger to his head), and we Jews respond with out hearts, and worship God.” Trust and obedience is a matter of a heart relationship with the Lord Jesus, not an issue of understanding what He is doing and why.




Posted in Faith, God's Love

Acceptance Without Understanding

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 13, 2011

“Maturity [perfection] consists in doing the will of God, not in understanding His designs. The designs of God, the good pleasure of God, the will of God, the operation of God, the gift of His grace are all one and the same thing in the spiritual life. It is God working in the soul to make it like Himself. Maturity is neither more nor less than the faithful cooperation of the soul with the work of God, and is begun, grows, and is consummated in the soul unperceived and in secret. The designs of God and His divine will accepted by a faithful soul with simplicity produces this divine state in it without its knowledge, just as medicine taken obediently will produce health, although the sick person neither knows nor wishes to know anything about medicine. As fire gives out heat, so the designs of God and His holy will work in the soul for its sanctification, not speculations of curiosity as to this principle and this state.

When one is thirsty, one quenches one’s thirst by drinks, not reading books that discuss this condition. The desire to know increases this thirst. Therefore, when one thirsts after sanctity, the desire to know about it only drives it further away. Speculation must be laid aside, and everything arranged by God as regards actions and sufferings must be accepted with simplicity, for those things that happen at each moment by the divine command or permission are always the most holy, the best and the most divine for us.”

Jean-Pierre De Caussade (1675-1751)

Fill Me With Hope, October 23

Compiled by Paul M. Miller

~~~

How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

Romans 11:33 (ESV)

~~~

A Christian Jewish rabbi from Europe said to me recently, “You Americans are always wanting to understand with your minds (as He pointed with his finger to his head), and we Jews respond with out hearts, and worship God.” Trust and obedience is a matter of a heart relationship with the Lord Jesus, not an issue of understanding what He is doing and why.




Posted in Faith

Our Feelings May Change

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 10, 2011

“We are liable to worry a little when we think of our changeableness. If you are at all like me, you are very far from being always the same. I am sometimes lifted up to the very heavens, and then I go down to the deeps. I am at one time bright with joy and confidence, and at another time dark as midnight with doubts and fears. Even Elijah, who was so brave, had his fainting fits. We are to be blamed for this, and yet the fact remains: our experience is like an April day, when rain and sunshine take turns. Amid our mournful changes, we rejoice to hear the Lord’s own voice saying, ‘Fear not: for I have redeemed thee.’ Everything is not shifting waves; there is rock somewhere. Redemption is an accomplished fact. ‘The Cross, it stands fast. Hallelujah!’

The price has been paid, the ransom accepted. This has been accomplished and can never be undone. Jesus says, ‘I have redeemed thee.’ Our feelings may change, but this does not alter the fact that we have been bought with a price and made the Lord’s own by the precious blood of Jesus. The Lord God has already done so much for us that our salvation is sure in Christ Jesus. Will He begin to build, and fail to finish? Will He lay the foundation in the everlasting covenant, dedicate the walls with the infinite sacrifice of the Lamb of God, give up the choicest Treasure He ever had, the chosen and precious One of God, to be the Cornerstone and then not finish the work He has begun? No, if He has redeemed us, He has, in that act, given us the pledge of all things.

See how the gifts of God are tied to this redemption. ‘I have redeemed thee, I have called thee’ (Isa. 43:1).”

Charles Spurgeon

Joy In Christ’s Presence, 110-111

~~~

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39 (ESV)




Posted in Cross of Christ

All You Need

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 7, 2011

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.

John 14:16 (ESV)

~~~

“When the heart is fully surrendered to Him [Holy Spirit], He becomes its personal, permanent, indwelling Guest; bringing with Him the manifested presence of the Father and the Son, leading into all truth, guiding in all the will of God, supplying all the needed grace, unfolding the life of Jesus Christ in the believer’s daily life, and developing all the fruits of the Spirit in their full variety and complete maturity.

He is the Spirit of light and revelation, of guidance, and of wisdom. He is the Spirit of holiness. He is the Spirit of peace, joy and comfort. He is the Spirit of love, gentleness, patience, meekness, and forbearance. He is the Spirit of prayer and intercession. He is the Spirit of power for service, and the source of all our gifts as well as graces. He is the Spirit of physical life and healing. He is the Spirit of faith and hope, enabling us to claim the promises of God, and revealing to us the glorious prospects of the future. Our whole spiritual life is nourished and cherished by His love and care; and all we are, and have, and may become, in our Christian life, is due to His personal indwelling, and His faithful love and infinite grace.

But in all His work in the believer’s heart and life, He ever represents and reveals, not His own person or ours, but the Lord Jesus: He is the Spirit of Christ; ‘he shall testify of me’; (John 15:26) ‘He shall glorify me’; was the Master’s own language; ‘for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.’ (John 16:14)

He reveals to us our personal union with Jesus and makes Christ actual to our consciousness. ‘At that day,’ that is when He comes, ‘you shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.’ (John 14:20)

A. B. Simpson

Walking In The Spirit, 26

~~~

After the disciples received the Holy Spirit there is no record they ever complained about the bodily absence of the Lord Jesus. They lacked nothing of His presence with them.




Posted in Holy Spirit

Receiving Forgiveness

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 3, 2011

“This is the royal road to comfort. Great thoughts of your sin alone will drive you to despair; but great thoughts of Christ will pilot you into the haven of peace. ‘My sins are many, but oh! it is nothing to Jesus to take them all away. The weight of my guilt presses me down as a giant’s foot would crush a worm, but it is no more than a grain of dust to Him, because He has already borne its curse in His own body on the tree. It will be but a small thing for Him to give me full remission, although it will be an infinite blessing for me to receive it.’”

C. H. Spurgeon

Morning & Evening, March 27, P.M.

~~~

“Penitent soul! Dare to believe in the instantaneous forgiveness of sins. Thou hast only to utter the confession, to find it interrupted with the outbreak of the Father’s love. As soon as the words of penitence leave thy lips, they are met by the hurrying assurances of a love, which whilst it hates sin, has never ceased to yearn over the prodigal.”

F. B. Meyer

Quoted by J. Oswald Sanders

Enjoying Intimacy with God, 52

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“I [the Lord] will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

Hebrews 10:17 (ESV)

~~~

Loving Father, I have grieved You by my sin, but I will not further grieve You by failing to receive Your free and ready forgiveness. I thankfully receive what the Lord Jesus purchased for me. Amen!




Posted in Forgiveness