Cultivate Insatiable Hunger

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 28, 2011

“Cry out to the Lord Jesus to fill the dry beds of your rivers until they overflow, and then empty the channels that have until now been filled with your own self-sufficiency. Ask Him to fill these also with His superabundant grace. If your heavy trials cause you to sink deeper in the flood of His consolations, be glad of them; and if your vessel sinks to its very bulwarks, be not afraid. I would be glad to feel the masthead of my soul twenty fathoms beneath the surface of such an ocean. As Rutherford said, ‘Oh, to be over the ears in this well! I would not have Christ’s love entering into me, but I would enter into it and be swallowed up by that love.’

Cultivate an insatiable hunger and an unquenchable thirst for this communion with Jesus through His communications. Let your heart cry forever, ‘Give, give,’ until it is filled in paradise.

O’ercome with Jesu’s condescending love,

Brought into fellowship with Him and His,

And feasting with Him in His house of wine,

I’m sick of love,—and yet I pant for more

Communications from my loving Lord.”

Charles Spurgeon

Joy In Christ’s Presence, 91

~~~

The most natural response to loving someone deeply is to want to be with them. The thirsty want to drink. The hungry want to eat. Lovers want to be together. If we thirst for the Lord’s presence, hunger to hear Him speak, and love Him with all our heart, then we will crave His nearness and make every effort by whatever means we must to seek Him. He said, You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord (Jeremiah 29:13-14, ESV). The Lord can cause you to thirst, if you ask. The Lord can stir you to pursue Him diligently, if you ask. The Lord can work in you to make Him the supreme passion of your soul, if you ask. David wrote, Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy (Psalm 86:1, ESV).

When we know we are poor and needy we will ask, and He will answer—faithfully.




Posted in God's Love

Unhurried Quiet Time

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 25, 2011

“Understand that since you are Christ’s, the blessed Comforter is yours also. He is within you as He was within your Lord. In proportion as you live in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, and open your entire nature to Him, you will find yourself illuminated with the light of His glory. And as you realize that He is in you, you will realize that you are always in Him. Thus the beloved apostle wrote, ‘By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit’ (1 John 4:13).

Perhaps you say, ‘I know rationally that the Spirit is within me, but I so infrequently experience His power, guidance, and comfort. Why?’

It is because your life is so hurried. You do not take time enough for meditation and prayer. The Spirit of God cannot be discerned while the heart is occupied with anxieties, the pulse beats quickly, or the brain is filled with troubling thoughts. It is when water stands still that it becomes translucent and reveals the pebbly beach below. Be still, and know that God is within you and around you. In the hush of the soul, the unseen becomes visible and the eternal real. Let no day pass without silently waiting before God and allowing His Spirit to reveal Himself to you.”

The Best of F. B. Meyer (1847-1929)

62-63

~~~

“Beloved, while we do not neglect external things, which are good enough in themselves, we ought also to see to it that we enjoy living, personal fellowship with Jesus. See to it that sitting at the Saviour’s feet is not neglected, even though it be under the spacious pretext of doing Him service. The first thing for our soul’s health, the first thing for His glory, and the first thing for our own usefulness, is to keep ourselves in perpetual communion with the Lord Jesus, and to see that the vital spirituality of our religion is maintained over and above everything else in the world.”

Charles Spurgeon

Morning and Evening, January 24, P.M.




God Desires Our Fellowship

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 22, 2011

“The God who desires our fellowship and communion is not hard to please, although He may be hard to satisfy. He expects of us only what He has Himself supplied. He is quick to mark every simple effort to please Him and just as quick to overlook our imperfections when He knows we meant to do His will.

This is the best of good news: God loves us for ourselves. He values our love more than He values galaxies of new created worlds. He remembers our frame and knows that we are dust.

The God we love may sometimes chasten us, it is true. But even this He does with a smile—the proud, tender smile of a Father who is bursting with pleasure over an imperfect but promising son who is coming every day to look more and more like the One whose child he is.

We should revel in the joy of believing that God is the sum of all patience and the true essence of kindly good will. We please Him most, not by frantically trying to make ourselves good, but by throwing ourselves into His arms with all our imperfections and believing that He understands everything—and loves us still.

The gratifying part of all this is that the intercourse between God and the redeemed soul is known to us in conscious, personal awareness.

It is a personal awareness, indeed. The awareness does not come through the body of believers, as such, but is known to the individual, and to the body through the individuals composing it.

And, yes, it is conscious; it does not stay below the threshold of consciousness and work there unknown to the soul.

This communication, this consciousness is not an end but really an inception. There is the point of reality where we begin our fellowship and friendship and communion with God. But where we stop no man has yet discovered, for there is in the mysterious depths of the Triune God neither limit nor end.

When we come into this sweet relationship, we are beginning to learn astonished reverence, breathless adoration, awesome fascination, lofty admiration of the attributes of God and something of the breathless silence that we know when God is near.

A. W. Tozer

Whatever Happened To Worship, 29-30




A Right View Of Grace

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 18, 2011

“Legalism makes believers think that God accepts them on the basis of what they do. Licentiousness makes believers think that God does not care what they do. Both errors have terrible spiritual consequences.

Jesus said, ‘If you love me, you will obey what I command’ (John 14:15). Grace should not make obedience optional. When God removes good works as a condition for his acceptance, he does not remove righteousness as a requirement for life. The standards of Scripture glorify God and protect his people from spiritual harm. We cannot undermine the legitimate standards of the Bible without grave consequences.

God does not love us because we obey him, but we cannot know the blessings of his love without obedience. Thus, a grace focus that undermines Christ’s own demand for obedience denies us knowledge of and intimacy with him. This is not grace.

Grace that bears fruit is biblical. Grace that goes to seed uses God’s unconditional love as an excuse for selfish indulgence. Such egocentric living ultimately burdens us with the guilt and consequences of sin that God has designed his grace to remove.

Resting on God’s grace does not relieve us of our holy obligations; rather it should enable us to fulfill them (See Eph. 4:7-13). As the assurance of God’s love allows us to cease striving to please him for our own benefit, our good works will begin reflecting more of the selfless righteousness that is truly holy.

Through such other-oriented obedience our lives become more Christlike. God’s glory and the good of others increasingly replaces self-centered motivations. And, as our obedience becomes a gratitude response to God’s grace rather than an attempt to bribe God for blessings, holiness more and more characterizes our actions (Titus 2:11-14). We increasingly and forever serve God in the holiness he grants by his grace, making the pursuit of his holiness our delight (2 Tim. 2:1).”

Bryan Chapell

Holiness By Grace, 12-13

~~~

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!

Romans 6:14-15 (ESV)




Posted in Grace

Christ’s Promised Nearness

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 15, 2011

“In Christ God has come near, so very near to us, and now the command comes: If you would have God come still nearer, you must come near to Him. The promised nearness of Christ Jesus expressed in the promise, ‘And surely I will be with you always,’ can be experienced only as we come near to Him.

First of all, draw near to Him at the beginning of each day. Yield yourself to Him anew for His holy presence to rest upon you. Voluntarily, intentionally, and wholeheartedly turn away from the world and wait on God to make himself known to your soul. Give time and all your heart and strength to allow Him to reveal himself. It is impossible to expect the abiding presence of Christ with us through the day unless there is the definite daily exercise of strong desire to be with Him and childlike trust in His word: ‘Come near to God and he will come near to you.’

Second, make a simple childlike offering of yourself and your life to do His will alone in everything, and seek above everything else to please Him. His promise is sure: ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him’ (John 14:23).

Then comes the quiet assurance of faith that God is with us, even if there is not much feeling or sense of His presence. We also are assured that as we go out to do His will, He will watch over us, keep us, and, what is more, strengthen us in the inner man with divine strength for the work we have to do for Him.

Child of God, let these words come to you with a new meaning each morning: ‘Come near to God and he will come near to you.’ Wait patiently and He will speak in divine power: ‘And surely I will be with you always.’ ” (Andrew Murray)

“Think often on God by day and by night, in your business and in your recreation. He is always near you and with you; do no leave Him alone. You would think it rude to leave a friend alone who came to visit you; why then must God be neglected? Do not forget Him, but think on Him often. Adore Him continually, live and die with Him: this is the glorious business of the Christian. If you do not know this business, then you must learn it.” (Brother Lawrence)

The Believer’s Secret of the Abiding Presence, 123-124

Compiled by Louis Gifford Parkhurst, Jr.




Your Best And Worst Days

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 11, 2011

But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

Romans 11:6 (ESV)

~~~

“If God’s blessings were dependent on our performance, they would be meager indeed. Even our best works are shot through with sin—with varying degrees of impure motives and lots of imperfect performance. We are always, to some degree, looking out for ourselves, guarding our flanks, protecting our egos. It is because we do not realize the utter depravity of the principle of sin that remains in us and stains everything we do, that we entertain any notion of earning God’s blessings through our obedience. And it is because we do not fully grasp the fact that Jesus paid the penalty for all our sins that we despair of God’s blessing when we have failed to live up to even our own desires to live a life that is pleasing to God.

Here is an important spiritual principle that sums up what I’ve said thus far:

Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.

Every day of our Christian experience should be a day of relating to God on the basis of His grace alone. We are not only saved by grace, but we also live by grace every day. This grace comes through Christ, ‘through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we not stand’ (Romans 5:2, emphasis added).

A significant part of the Mosaic Law was the promise of blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience (see Deuteronomy 28, especially verses 1-2 and 15). Some Christians live as if that principle applies to them today. But Paul said that ‘the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith’ (Galatians 3:24). Christ has already borne the curses for our disobedience and earned for us the blessings of obedience. As a result we are now to look to Christ alone—not Christ plus our performance—for God’s blessings in our lives. We are saved by grace and we are to live by grace alone.”

Jerry Bridges

The Discipline Of Grace, 18-19




Posted in Grace

A Terrible Delusion

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 7, 2011

“It is a terrible delusion to be content, even delighted, at hearing the Word and yet not being willing to do it. Actually, it is quite common for multitudes of Christians to listen to the Word of God regularly and earnestly and yet not obey it. If their own employee, for example, were to listen to their instructions but not do what was asked of him, they would be very displeased. And yet so complete is the delusion, they seldom realize that they are not living consistent Christian lives. What is the cause of this delusion?

For one thing, people mistake the pleasure they have in hearing the word for spirituality and worship. The mind delights in having the truth clearly presented; the imagination is gratified by its illustration; the emotions are stirred by its application. To an active mind, knowledge gives pleasure. A man may study some field of science—electricity, for example—merely for the enjoyment the knowledge gives him, without the least intention of applying it practically to that line of work. And so many people go to church and enjoy the preaching—but they have no intention of doing what God asks. The unconverted and the converted man alike may remain content to continue sinning, confessing, and sinning again.”

Andrew Murray

The Believer’s Daily Renewal, 44-45

~~~

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

James 1:22 (ESV)

~~~

An illustration of how many Christians have not obeyed God’s simple word, even though they have heard it proclaimed, is Romans 12:1, which commands to present your body as a living sacrifice. This is done as a decisive act before God just like a sacrifice of the Old Testament was a decisive act. It is done in response to His command. This is the gateway necessary for knowing the will of God and becoming a pleasure to His heart. Have you read this or heard it proclaimed and yet not done it? If so, you have deceived yourself.




Posted in Obedience

Nothing But Grace

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 3, 2011

“In the New Testament grace is not a blessing or an influence from God which we receive, but rather an attribute of God which governs His attitude to man, and can be defined as the undeserved love and favour of God. Romans 11:6 says, ‘And if by grace, then is it no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace.’ The whole essence of grace is that it is undeserved. The moment we have to do something to make ourselves more acceptable to God, or the moment we have to have a certain feeling or attribute of character in order to be blessed of God, then grace is no more grace. Grace permits us to come (nay, demands that we come) as empty sinners to be blessed, empty of right feelings, good character, and satisfactory record, with nothing to commend ourselves but our deep need, fully and frankly acknowledged. Then grace, being what it is, is drawn by that need to satisfy it, just as water is drawn to depth that it might fill it. This means that when at last we are content to find no merit nor procuring cause in ourselves, and are willing to admit the full extent of our sinfulness, then there is no limit to what God will do for the poor who look to Him in their nothingness. If what we receive from God is dependent, even to a small extent, on what we are or do, then the most we can expect is but an intermittent trickle of blessing. But if what we are to receive is to be measured by the grace of God quite apart from works, then there is only one word that adequately describes what He pours upon us, the word which so often is linked with grace in the New Testament, ‘abundance’! The struggle, of course, is to believe it and to be willing to be but empty sinners to the end of our days, that grace may continue to match our needs.”

Roy and Revel Hession

We Would See Jesus, 6-7

~~~

Pride is woven into the fabric of our fallen nature from conception. We naturally think of ourselves as fairly good people, and if we try harder to do better, then surely we will deserve more blessing from God. We know not how blind we are to our own sinfulness and unworthiness. Only the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth, can open our inner eyes to see ourselves in God’s light for what we really are. When God’s searchlight shines into the deep recesses of our souls we see the shocking truth about our true condition and discover that indeed there is not one thread of worthiness in the fabric of our souls.




Posted in Grace

Coming Before God

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 1, 2011

“An awakened soul feels that his chief happiness is in coming before God. This was the case with Adam before he sinned. He felt like a child under a loving father’s eye. It was his chief joy to come before God, to be loved by Him, to be like a speck in the sunbeam, to bask continually in the sunshine of His love where no cloud or veil comes between. This is the joy of the holy angels, to come before the Lord and bow before the high God. In His presence is fullness of joy. ‘Their angels always see the face of My Father’ (Matt. 18:10). On whatever errand of love they fly, they still feel that His eye of love is on them, this is their daily, hourly joy. This is the true happiness of a believer. Hear David: ‘As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God’ (Ps. 42:1-2)? He panted not after the gifts of God, nor His favors or comforts, but after Himself.

A believer longs after God, to come into His presence, to feel His love, to feel near to Him in secret. Dear brethren, have you ever tasted this blessedness? There is greater rest and solace in God’s presence for one hour than in an eternity in man’s presence. To be in His presence, under His love, under His eye, is heaven wherever it is.”

The Best of Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843), 92-93

Edited and Compiled by Stephen W. Sorenson

~~~

Does this sound foreign and strange to you like some distant unfamiliar land? In our culture of busyness, rush, and noise this appears utterly different from what we usually hear in church or see in other believers’ lives. Yet, is this not what true believers long for deep inside? Is this what you long for? The consensus of testimony by Godly men and women throughout the generations underscores the primal importance of coming regularly before our glorious God to bask in His presence and to gaze on His beauty.

It is not as difficult as it may seem. Even children have given testimony to this supreme delight that far exceeds anything of earthly enjoyment. Dear reader, if you are a disciple of the Lord Jesus, you can enter into this blessed land of His presence to enjoy Him.

The Holy Spirit is your indwelling Teacher. He will instruct you and show you the way.