In God’s Will

Posted by Jerry White on Oct 31, 2011

“Only by divine guidance given through the Holy Spirit can the will of God in its beauty, its application to daily life, its ever-growing revelation, be truly known. This instruction will be given not to the wise and prudent but to the babes, the men of childlike disposition, who are willing to wait for and depend on what is given them. Divine guidance will lead in the path of God’s will.

Our secret communion with God is the place where we repeat and learn the great lessons:

(1) The God whom I worship expects of me perfect union with His will.

(2) My worship means ‘I delight to do your will, O God.’

(3) As I seek and cultivate the knowledge of God’s will and the power to perform it

during my secret communion with God, my study of God’s Word and my prayer will

bring their true and full blessing.”

Andrew Murray

The Believer’s Daily Renewal, 90-91

~~~

“God does not need us for anything, yet it is the amazing fact of our existence that he chooses to delight in us and to allow us to bring joy to his heart. This is the basis for personal significance in the lives of all God’s people: to be significant to God is to be significant in the most ultimate sense. No greater personal significance can be imagined.”

Wayne Grudem

Systematic Theology, 162-163

~~~

Is there any greater honor than to do the will of God?

Is there any greater pleasure than to know you have done the will of God?

Is there any greater satisfaction than to know that God is pleased with your life?

~~~

So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.

2 Corinthians 5:9 (ESV)




Posted in Will of God

Reverent Fear Of God

Posted by Jerry White on Oct 27, 2011

Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!

Psalms 96:9 (ESV)

~~~

“I don’t see much terror today among the followers of Christ. In fact, when I say that, people look at me as if I am crazy. Well, I want to know what happened to the bone-chilling, earth shattering, gut-wrenching, knee-knocking, heart-stopping, life-altering fear that leaves us speechless, paralyzed, helpless, and glad. The terror I am speaking of is a mix of wonder, awe, fear, and worship, all happening at the same time.

I am beginning to wonder if we modern followers of Christ are capable of being terrified of God. No fear of God. No fear of Jesus. No fear of the Holy Spirit. As a result, we have ended up with a feel-good gospel that attracts thousands…but transforms no one.

It is time for Christianity to become a place of terror again; a place where God continually has to tell us, ‘Fear not’; a place where our relationship with God is not a simple belief or doctrine or theology, but the constant awareness of God’s terrifying presence in our lives. The nice, non-threatening God needs to be replaced by the God whose very presence smashes our egos into dust, burns our sin into ashes, and strips us naked to reveal the real person within. A healthy, childlike fear should make us more in awe of God than we are of our government, our problems, our beliefs about abortion, our doctrines and agendas, or any of our other earthly concerns. Our God is perfectly capable of both calming the storm and putting us in the middle of one. Either way, if it’s God, we will be speechless and trembling, and smiling, too. It’s time to become people whose God is big and holy and frightening and gentle and tender and ours; a God whose love frightens us into His strong and powerful arms where He dares to hold us in His terrifying, loving presence.

How did we end up so comfortable with God? How did our awe of God get reduced to a lukewarm appreciation of God? How did God become a pal instead of a heart-stopping presence? How can we think of Jesus without remembering His ground-shaking, thunder-crashing, stormy exit on the cross? Why aren’t we continually catching our breath and saying, ‘This is no ordinary God!’? ”

Michael Yaconelli

Dangerous Wonder, 110-111




Posted in Reverent Fear

Unreliable Feelings

Posted by Jerry White on Oct 23, 2011

Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God.

Romans 5:2 (Amplified. Bible)

~~~

“Our experiences are as fickle as April weather—now warm, now cold; now sunshine, now cloud; now dry, now wet. But our standing in Jesus doesn’t change. It is like Him—the same yesterday, today, and forever. Our sure position in Christ did not originate in us but in His everlasting love. It has not been purchased by us, but by His precious blood that pleads for us as mightily and successfully when we can hardly claim it as when our faith is most buoyant. It is not maintained by us, but by the Holy Spirit.

If we have fled to Jesus for salvation—sheltering under Him, relying on Him, and trusting Him—then we are one with Him forever. We were one with Him in the grave, one with Him on Easter morning, one with Him now as He stands in the light of His Father’s smile. No doubt or depression can for a single moment affect or alter our acceptance with God through the blood of Jesus, which is an eternal fact.

Our standing in Jesus is our invested capital. Our emotions at best are but our spending money, which is always passing through our pocket or purse, never exactly the same. Cease to consider how you feel and build on the immovable rock of what Jesus is, has done, is doing, and will do for you in times to come.”

The Best of F. B. Meyer, 22 ((1847-1929)

~~~

Everlasting love never ends. Infinite love has no limit. Unchanging love is never affected. This is God’s love for His children. If you are born from above then you are secure in God’s measureless love for you. He knows your every weakness and loves you. He knows your sinful history and loves you. He knows your every flaw and loves you. He knows your feelings of unworthiness and loves you. Your Heavenly Father wants you to be at rest with great peace in His incomparable love for you. Do you believe this?




Posted in God's Love

The Gentle Spirit

Posted by Jerry White on Oct 20, 2011

“In our religious services, we too often rely on carnal force and energy. We hope that if we make enough noise, create enough excitement, and stir and agitate, we will be identified with the power of God.

How does God touch our hearts? Our Heavenly Father generally uses a soft, tender, gentle, quiet, calm, and peaceful—still, small—voice. Softly and gently, the Holy Spirit works like the breath of spring dissolving icebergs, and melting glaciers. After winter has taken every stream by the throat and held it fast, spring sets it free. No hammer or file is heard as the icy bonds fall off; only the soft south wind blows, and all is life and liberty.

So it is with the work of the Holy Spirit when he comes into the soul. He can be a mighty rushing wind (Acts 2:2), for He comes according to His own sovereign pleasure. Yet when He brings the peace of God, He usually descends as the dove (Matt. 3:16) or as the dew from heaven—all peace, all gentle, and all quiet.

Satan can set the soul on fire with agony, doubt, fear, and terror. Then the Spirit comes in tender love and reveals Christ the Gentle One. He sets up the Savior’s cross and speaks peace, pardon, and salvation. This is what we want and need: the work of the Spirit of God coming in His even manner of living love.”

C. H. Spurgeon

Beside Still Waters, 33

Roy H. Clarke, Editor

~~~

The wind blows where it wishes, and you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

John 3:8 (ESV)

~~~

Jesus said that His followers are light and salt in the world. Light and salt are quietly effective. Light does not come bursting through the window with loud noise calling attention to its presence, but rather it enlightens in stillness. Salt quietly preserves and flavors, and if used correctly does not call attention to its presence but rather enhances what it affects. The Holy Spirit is self-effacing so He can quietly and gently reveal the Savior’s presence. Most often He tenderly works behind the scenes with a mere whisper.




Posted in Holy Spirit

Time to Gaze

Posted by Jerry White on Oct 16, 2011

“We hear of the doctrines of Christ and say we believe them, but never solemnly meditate on them. The mind must be spiritual and holy, not entangled with the things of this world, in order to meditate on the glory of Christ. That’s why most of us are strangers to this kind of meditation—we won’t trouble ourselves to put to death our flesh (Romans 8:6).

Some who seem to be sincere believers never stop to mediate on Christ and his glory. Oddly, they claim that they want nothing more than to see his glory in heaven forever. How can we reconcile this? It’s impossible for someone who never delights to reflect on the glory of Christ as it is revealed in the Scriptures to truly long for it in heaven. How can someone find time to think about every silly thing under the sun, but never seem to have the time or inclination to raise a single thought to the Son?”

Kris Lundgaard

Through the Looking Glass, 39

~~~

“Some people claim to be normal Christians when actually they mean they are nominal Christians. My old dictionary gives this definition as one of the meanings of the word nominal:

‘Existing in name only; not real or actual; hence so small, slight, or the like, as to be hardly worth the name.’

With that definition, those who know they are Christians in name only should never make the pretention of being ‘normal’ Christians.

Is the Lord Jesus Christ your most precious treasure in this world? If so, you can count yourself among normal Christians.

Is the moral beauty which is found only in Jesus Christ constantly drawing you to praise and worship? If so, you are indeed among those whom God’s Word identifies as normal, believing, practicing Christians….

How can anyone profess to be a follower and a disciple of Jesus Christ and not be overwhelmed by His attributes? These divine attributes attest that He is indeed Lord of all, completely worthy of our worship and praise.”

A. W. Tozer

Whatever Happened To Worship, 105-106




Posted in Worship

Confession And Forgiveness

Posted by Jerry White on Oct 13, 2011

“How long does it take between confession and forgiveness? When I was a boy at school and talked to the boy next to me, they sent me down to the bottom of the class and it took me a month to work up. When you do wrong and confess it, God does not put you down and leave you to work up for a whole month, but on the spot, immediately, He forgives you and restores your soul, and puts you back where you were before you fell.

Only, dear soul, abide in Jesus, so that when Satan comes to knock at your door, Jesus will go and open it, and as soon as the devil sees the face of Christ looking through the door, he will turn tail like a whipped cur [mutt]. Let Jesus live in your heart. Do you live in Jesus? When the devil comes, do not meet him your self, but let Jesus meet him, and you stand behind Him.”

F. B. Myer (1847-1929)

The Christ-Life for the Self-Life, 72

~~~

The flesh, our sinful human nature, wants to do penance when there is guilt because of sinful failure. Penance is defined as voluntary self-punishment in order to atone for some past wrongdoing. Our natural tendency is to try to make up for our wrongdoing. We may think, “If I am sorry enough for long enough I can have forgiveness.” Or we may think, “If I confess it to someone, like my pastor or a trusted friend, I will feel forgiveness.” Or we may think, “If I deny myself something I enjoy, God will notice my sincerity and will forgive me.” The truth is God’s forgiveness is by grace through faith just like salvation and the whole of the Christian life. A wise older friend, who is now with the Lord, said it only takes thirty seconds to confess a sinful failure and receive God’s forgiveness. The issue is clear, will I believe God’s Word or will I doubt Him? His sure Word says, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Should you further sin against Him by doubting what He says in love?

He cannot lie!




Posted in Forgiveness

Meditation Plus Contemplation

Posted by Jerry White on Oct 10, 2011

Meditation and contemplation both take time and stillness away from distractions. Jesus practiced going to lonely places. This is difficult in our busy electronic culture and requires discipline motivated by a strong thirst after God. Without meditation and contemplation we will have Christian information without transformation, and we will make the terrible mistake of thinking we are what we know. Transformation requires the Holy Spirit working in the deep hidden recesses of our souls as we soak in God’s truth and gaze upon His beauty. This is the way for us to be transfigured from the inside out so we reflect His glory. The Bible offers no other way, and this way appears to be lost in our “instant grits,” quick fix generation. Those believers who love the Lord supremely and long for Him more than anything else travel this ancient path to transformation and by doing so find peace and rest others suspect must exist but sadly miss.

Dear child of God, Jeremiah 6:16 addresses us pointedly:

Thus says the Lord: Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.

But they said, “We will not walk in it.”

Our choice can be different than theirs. Jesus said, “Come to me—take my yoke—learn from me (Matthew 11:29).

Like Mary you can choose the good part by coming to Him, sitting at His feet, gazing upon Him and communing with Him. Your Shepherd will lead you into the best green pastures and beside the perfect still waters for your unique circumstances of life. Remember: The Lord Jesus wants time alone with you infinitely more than you want it with Him. He will shepherd you if you will follow Him.

JW

~~~

Jesus! All perfections rise and end in Thee;

Brightness of God’s glory, Thou eternally!

Favored beyond measure, they Thy face who see;

May we, gracious Saviour, share this ecstasy.

D. A. McGregor




Contemplating God’s Beauty

Posted by Jerry White on Oct 6, 2011

Communion with the Lord is best experienced when one stands on the solid foundation of accurate Biblical doctrine. However, neither correct theology nor great Bible knowledge is the end. The goal is intimate living fellowship with the Lord Himself. Good theology and accurate Bible knowledge assist with this.

Meditation on the Word of God for spiritual digestion and application is best enjoyed and becomes most beneficial when it leads to contemplation of God Himself. Gazing on the Holy One is what transforms us to become radiant with His likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18). Seeing the splendor of God’s character is what caused Moses to bow quickly and worship (Exodus 34:8). It is the same for us. We must gaze upon His incomparable beauty if we would go beyond thankfulness for what He has done into the realm of awe and adoration for who He is. Thankfulness must ever be in our hearts and expressed with our lips for the incomprehensible Love-Gift the Father so freely gave for our salvation. But exhilaration should fill our souls as we behold Him in His glorious beauty displayed in His character.

Understanding good theology and possessing thorough Bible knowledge is not equal to living in its reality. The former should lead to the latter but often it does not and the result is pride and deception. We are not what we know and understand. Rather we are what we know in our heart by the Spirit’s revelation and by what we experience of that revelation in the crucible of daily living.

Meditation on God’s Word is the foundation for contemplation on God’s glory, and contemplation is the means to transformation into His likeness. The more we meditate on God’s truth plus contemplate His beauty the more we shall become like Him.

JW

~~~

You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.”

(Psalm 27:8 (ESV)




Key To Spiritual Health

Posted by Jerry White on Oct 3, 2011

“Spiritual health, like bodily health, is God’s gift. But, like bodily health, it is a gift that must be carefully cherished, for careless habits can squander it. By the time we wake up to the fact that we have lost it, it may be too late to do much about it. The focus of health in the soul is humility, while the root of inward corruption is pride. In the spiritual life, nothing stands still. If we are not constantly growing downward into humility we shall be steadily swelling up and running to seed under the influence of pride. Humility rests on self-knowledge; pride reflects self-ignorance. Humility expresses itself in self-disgust and conscious dependence on God; pride is self-confident and, though it may go through the motions of humility with some skill (for pride is a great actor), it is self-important, opinionated, tyrannical, pushy, and self-willed. ‘Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall’ (Prv 16:18).

As quinine is the antidote to malaria, so humility is the antidote to pride. In the sense in which Shakespeare’s Orsino in Twelfth Night sees music as the food of love, repentance should be seen as the food of humility. Or changing the picture, repentance should be thought as the exercise routine that maintains humility, and through humility, health in the soul. ‘No cross, no crown,’ said William Penn. ‘No humility, no health, and no repentance, no humility,’ is what I am saying now.”

J. I. Packer

Rediscovering Holiness, 149-150

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Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Matthew 23:12 (ESV)

~~~

Pride and deception walk blindly together toward destruction. Pride is self-centered and self-promoting while deception blinds from the truth about what you really are. Pride was the reason for Lucifer’s fall, and also the reason for Adam’s fall. Pride should be feared for the hideous monster it is. The tragic results of pride’s work are written all through the Word of God and across the pages of human history. Pursue humility with all diligence. Humility results from a true view of God and a true view of self. Gaze on the Lord in His beauty and see yourself in your sinfulness. Keep worshiping, submitting and repenting.




Posted in Humility