Posted by Jerry White on Apr 28, 2011
“Charles G. Finney was born August 29, 1792, and heard almost no gospel preaching during his early years. At the age of twenty-six he joined a law office in the small town of Adams, New York. Here he was able to attend church services and prayer meetings regularly. He constantly analyzed the Christians’ prayers and could not see that they were being answered.
The church members asked him if he did not want them to pray for him. He told them, ‘No. I suppose I need to be prayed for, for I am conscious that I am a sinner; but I do not see that it will do any good for you to pray for me, for you are continually asking, what you do not receive. You have been praying for revival of religion ever since I have been in Adams, and yet you have it not. You have been praying for the Holy Spirit to descend upon yourselves and yet complaining of your leanness…You have prayed enough since I have attended these meetings to have prayed the devil out of Adam, if there is any virtue in your prayers. But here you are praying on, and complaining still.’”
Revival Fire, 93-94
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Mark 11: 24 (ESV)
Asking the Father without faith prevents answers to prayer. Asking selfishly, or contrary to God’s will, results in heaven’s silence. Asking in faith and according to God’s will with a persistent heart will bring answers to prayer. Christians can ask in a way that is no more than wishful hoping. Genuine faith lays hold of God and uses His promises with a determination that for His glory He must answer. As our Father, He is not reluctant to answer, but He wants us to mature in persistent faith and thereby learn how absolutely faithful He is when we honor Him with steadfast confidence. We please Him when we trust that He will answer in His perfect time in the very best way.
Do you see your prayers answered?
Posted by Jerry White on Apr 25, 2011
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
1 John 3:16 (ESV)
“Agape means that God offers the world the love of the cross and never withdraws it—but that does not mean that all men will be saved. There are always those men who will reject God’s love, preferring their comfortable sins and their selfishness.
True love is not simple and soothing like a lullaby; it is demanding. To see love for what it is—the reckless self-giving so wonderfully shown on Calvary—is to realize that selfishness is not an option. No one can persist in seeking the best for himself while he keeps before him what Christ has done for him on Calvary. Love does not mean that there is no judgment; love guarantees judgment, because it points up the ugliness of sin like nothing else does. Sin against one’s fellowman or against oneself is bad enough, but sin against the sacrificial love of God is infinitely worse. The man who spurns the love he sees on Calvary writes a damning judgment against himself.”
Testaments Of Love, 167
The foundation for walking with God is twofold. It comes from knowing deep within that God loves you with all that He is, and secondly, from knowing deep within that you love God with all that you are. When these two factors are joined together, then your walk is stable, fulfilling and fruitful. The Lord becomes the longing of your heart and the delight of your soul. You crave to drink regularly from His living water so that you can be an expression of His wonderful love to those around you—family, friends and anyone else you meet along the way. The alternative is to walk in selfishness, self-centeredness and sin.
Posted by Jerry White on Apr 20, 2011
“The first thing for all of us to do is to present ourselves to God as alive from the dead and our bodies as living sacrifices. The path of blessedness can be entered by no other gate. Only as we refuse to be conformed to this world, and yield ourselves to be transformed by the Holy Spirit, can we learn all that God will do for us. He is prepared to be and do all things in us, if only we will lie open to Him as the land lies open to the summer sun.
Those who live the yielded life do not need to ascertain God’s will by signs. They recognize it by the whisper of His voice and the touch of His hand. As we refuse to be molded by the world, we give ourselves up to the transfiguring Spirit of God, that we might prove what is good, acceptable, and perfect. But more than that, we begin to live for others and draw by faith from the fullness of God that we may minister to them correctly.
We can never realize divine ideals of service merely through reluctant, begrudging obedience. We must be compelled by a holy love for our Lord and one another. That holy love comes from Him.”
The Best of F. B. Meyer, 108
Edited and Compiled by Stephen W. Sorenson
I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.
Romans 12:1 (Amplified Bible)
The wording of this verse indicates this is a decisive act. It is a definite act done as deliberately as giving yourself in marriage. It is the only appropriate response in view of all the mercies of God expressed through the Good News of Jesus Christ. If our Lord gave Himself for us in order to give Himself to us, then can we do less for Him?
Posted by Jerry White on Apr 17, 2011
“Our Lord Jesus Christ is both God for man and man for God; he is God’s incarnate Son, fully divine and fully human. We know him as both the mediator of divine grace and the model of human godliness. And what is human godliness, the godliness that is true holiness, as seen in Jesus? It is simply human life lived as the Creator intended—in other words, it is perfect and ideal humanness, an existence in which the elements of the human person are completely united in a totally God-honoring and nature-fulfilling way. (Since God made humanity for himself, godliness naturally fulfills human nature at the deepest level. As experience proves, no contentment can match the contentment of obeying God, however costly this may prove.)….
Genuine holiness is genuine Christ-likeness, and genuine Christ-likeness is genuine humanness—the only genuine humanness there is. Love in the service of God and others, humility and meekness under the divine hand, integrity of behavior expressing integration of character, wisdom with faithfulness, boldness with prayerfulness, sorrow at people’s sins, joy at the Father’s goodness, and single-mindedness in seeking to please the father morning, noon, and night, were all qualities seen in Christ, the perfect man.
Christians were meant to become human as Jesus was human. We are called to imitate these character qualities, with the help of the Holy Spirit, so that the childish instability, inconsiderate self-seeking, pious play acting, and undiscerning pigheadedness that so frequently mar our professedly Christian lives are left behind. ‘Holiness, rightly understood, is a beautiful thing, and its beauty is the beauty and tenderness of divine love’ [James Philip, Christian Maturity, 65]—which is precisely the beauty of truly mature humanity. I need to remember all this, and take it to heart, and set my sights accordingly.”
J. I. Packer
Rediscovering Holiness, 26-29
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Apr 14, 2011
Thirst is a metaphor often used in the Bible to speak of deep spiritual longing. It is found in both Testaments. This kind of compelling desire to know God and to experience His presence can become the driving force in one’s life and be the habitual focus of one’s heart.
David wrote in his devotional journal, 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 (Psalm 63:5). Does this confession sound strange to you? Meditative thoughts about the Lord while lying on his bed was as richly satisfying to David’s soul as rich and fat food was satisfying to his palate, taste buds and mouth? The reason for this was because David greatly thirsted for God and the result was that he sought Him earnestly (Psalm 63:1). He knew by experience that God’s steadfast love for him was better than life itself (Psalm 63: 3).
From The Parallel Commentary on the Psalms by Walter Mark comes the following:
“Thirst is an insatiable longing after that which is one of the most essential supports of life; there is no reasoning with it, no forgetting it, no despising it, no overcoming it by stoical indifference. Thirst will be heard; the whole man must yield to its power; even thus is it with that divine desire which the grace of God creates in regenerate men; only God himself can satisfy the craving of a soul really aroused by the Holy Spirit. My flesh longeth for thee; by two words soul and flesh, he denotes the whole of his being.”
Do you thirst? Our merciful and gracious God can stir your heart to thirst like David’s. It matters not how much you have going on in your life, it is possible for you to thirst for God like a man without water in the desert. The Lord who spoke creation into existence can create in your soul a wonderful thirst for Him, and then He can satisfy it beyond your highest imagination. If you thirst for God like this you are a blessed one (Matthew 5:6). If you do not thirst this way, why not ask your merciful and gracious Father right now to stir your heart until you do? Persist in asking until your heart craves His fellowship and presence. You will be satisfied as with fat and rich food.
Posted by Jerry White on Apr 11, 2011
The Lord Jesus invites anyone spiritually thirsty to come to him and drink (John 7:37). The church is not him. The Bible is not him. A home group is not him. Nothing can be a substitute for him as a living person to whom you can come. Nothing else truly satisfies.
We cannot come to his physical presence and kneel at his feet. His physical presence is in heaven where one day His followers will behold his glorified bodily form. His spiritual presence is with us by His Holy Spirit whom he promised to be with us and in us (John 14:17). His spiritual presence now is just as real as his physical presence was when he walked on the earth. When he said on the last day of the feast, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink (John 7:37), he could not have meant a physical coming but rather a spiritual coming. Our inner spiritual being can come to his very real spiritual, invisible presence.
Our eyes do not see the air we breathe, but does that make it less than real? We cannot see the molecules that compose the chair on which we sit but does that make them less than real? So it is with coming to the living resurrected Lord Jesus who is truly present by his Holy Spirit. His invisibility does not make him less real. His spiritual presence is dynamically real and with your inner being you can behold him, sense him, be near him and commune with him. This will require a settled and still soul and a heart that believes what the Lord Jesus said. If you open your heart to him in simple child-like faith, then your awareness of his nearness becomes your sweetest experience on earth, and this gives a partial foretaste of what you will experience in the glories of heaven.
Dear child of God, he who cannot lie said his presence would be with you. Believe it with all your heart. The world clamors through your five senses to keep you mentally occupied with the physical plane in which you live. Quietness of soul in a place alone, with your heart open to his spiritual presence, allows the Holy Spirit to guide you to the Lord Jesus so that your inner being actually touches his very real spiritual presence. Like the woman with a twelve year discharge of blood who pressed through the crowd to touch Jesus’ garment in faith (Matthew 19:20-21), press through all the distractions until your inner being touches his spiritual presence, and just like that woman of faith, power will flow from the Lord Jesus into you to meet you at your point of need. Come to him!
Fellowship With God, Afterword, 75-77, (From upcoming reprint)
Posted by Jerry White on Apr 7, 2011
“The Lord was pleased to visit me with a slight illness in my late journey. The Lord gave me much peace in my soul, and I was enabled to hope He would bring me safe home, in which I was not disappointed. I have reason to speak much of His goodness, for it was sweetened with abundant mercies. I thought that had it been His pleasure I should have continued sick at Oxford, or even have died there, I had no objection. Though I had that joy and sensible comfort which some are favored with, yet I was quite free from pain, fear, and care, and felt myself sweetly composed to His will, whatever it might be. Thus He fulfills His promise in making our strength equal to our day; and every new trial gives us a new proof how happy it is to be enabled to put our trust in Him.
Take it for granted upon the warrant of His word, that you are His, and He is yours; that He has loved you with an everlasting love, and therefore in loving-kindness has drawn you to himself—that He will surely accomplish that which He has begun and that nothing which can be named or thought of shall ever be able to separate you from Him. This persuasion will give you strength for the battle. Be strong therefore, not in yourself, but in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
John Newton (1725-1807), formerly a slave trader
Fill Me With Hope, April 17
Compiled by Paul M. Miller
Through him [Jesus Christ] we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand.
Romans 5:2 (ESV)
As God’s child you are always steadfastly in His grace and nothing can ever remove you from that secure position. It needs to be settled in your heart that whatever comes to you comes by the Father’s permission, tenderly measured by Him, in order to accomplish in your soul His eternal purpose for you. If you do not live with this strong conviction, then you have no anchor for your soul, and you will be tossed to and fro by whatever happens.
Posted by Jerry White on Apr 4, 2011
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 (ESV)
Lo! He comes, with clouds descending, once for favored sinners slain;
Thousand thousand saints attending swell the triumph of his train;
Alleluia! Alleluia! God appears on earth to reign.
Ev’ry eye shall now behold him, robed in dreadful majesty;
Those who set at naught and sold him, pierced, and nailed him to the tree,
Deeply wailing, deeply wailing, shall the true Messiah see.
Ev’ry island, sea, and mountain, heav’n and earth, shall flee away;
All who hate him must, confounded, hear the trump proclaim the Day;
Come to judgment! Come to judgment! Come to judgment, come away!
Now redemption, long expected, see in solemn pomp appear!
All his saints, by man rejected, now shall meet him in the air;
Alleluia! Alleluia! See the Day of God appear!
Yea, amen! Let all adore thee, high on thine eternal throne;
Savior, take the pow’r and glory, claim the kingdom for thine own:
O come quickly; O come quickly; alleluia! Come, Lord, come.
Charles Wesley, 1758 (Stanzas 1, 2, 5)
John Cennick, 1752 (Stanzas 3, 4)
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
Revelation 22:20 (ESV)