Posted by Jerry White on Nov 28, 2011
Do you see God as a person or do you think of Him as an impersonal force?
Do you deeply know that God is a person whom you can either delight or grieve?
Do you think of God as somewhere up there, out there, far away, or are you aware of His stunning nearness that is closer and more intimate with you than the breath in your lungs?
Do you enjoy His nearness because you love Him and passionately desire Him more than anything else on earth?
Such relationship with God sounds strange to our ears in the midst of this twenty-first century lukewarm church culture. When one reads the Bible passage about longing for God more than a thirsty hunted deer pants for the water brooks (Psalm 42), the words sound nice, but for many who sing the words of a lovely chorus, and agree with the beautiful imagery of those words, it is just not true. We so quickly agree with meaningful words of Scripture while the reality of those words is a stranger to our souls. We play the game of agreeing without experiencing, and sadly, we often do not even make the choices necessary so we can enter into the experience others have known and have testified about. God is no respecter of persons. Our lack is because of our own choices. As much as anyone else, you can enjoy the Lord’s indescribable nearness and wonderful realized presence—if you will draw near! (James 4:8) Someone has said that we are as close to God as we want to be, and he is right.
The Bible clearly reveals that our relationship with God is meant to be one of love— sacrificial love. Where this kind of love rules there is a compelling desire to want what is best for the beloved. The Lord wants what is best for you no matter what it costs Him. And this is how your love should be for Him, if He is your beloved Father.
If you truly love God with your whole heart then you want to know what is in His heart. Do you want to know God’s heart? Do you think primarily about what God can do for you, or do you want to know His heart and seek to bless Him according to His desire? Dear child of God, seek to know the heart of God. It is more blessed to give than to receive, even in your relationship with your Heavenly Father. Satisfy His heart!
Posted by Jerry White on Nov 24, 2011
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)
“If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead, and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% in the world. 1.1 billion live on less than $1.00 per day. If you have money in your wallet, in the bank, and spare cash in a dish, you are among the world’s top 8% of the world’s wealthy. 85% of the poorest nations are located in the least evangelized parts of the world. Christians send only 1.2% of mission funds to 1.1 billion who live in the least evangelized parts.
If you attend a worship service without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death you are more blessed than 3 billion people. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million. If you have read this, you are more blessed than 2 billion who cannot read. During the time you have been reading this, 250 children will have died from preventable diseases, 100 will have died from bad drinking water, 15 will have been sold into prostitution, and 1,500 will have been born into an unevangelized part of the world. You are blessed—not simply to be blessed—you have been blessed in order to be a blessing to others.”
Linleigh J. Roberts’ newsletter, 2002
Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20 (ESV)
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Nov 20, 2011
I understand the sense of smell is the strongest of the five senses to trigger memories. Suddenly you may catch a whiff of an aroma that takes you back to your childhood, whether the memory is good or bad. A passing fragrance of familiar perfume or after-shave is a powerful catalyst for memories.
Fragrance occupies a significant place in Scripture. Although God does not have a nose, because He is not flesh but Spirit, He prescribed a formula for holy incense to be used by the priests in the Tabernacle, and eventually the Temple, and it was never to be used for secular purposes. It was for worship before holy Yahweh to honor Him, and it is a reminder of an eternal reality that points to the everlasting worship of Yahweh. When the Bible speaks of God smelling the pleasing aroma, it is His way of saying He was pleased with the worship given from the heart through faith (Genesis 8:21). No doubt, the repeated smell of this special incense was a strong reminder to the people of worship to Yahweh. In Revelation incense is included in the heavenly vision given to John.
When the wise men came to see the new born King they brought their expensive treasures—gold and frankincense and myrrh (Matt. 2:11). The perfume resin was as expensive as gold, and each costly gift was brought to worship the Lord Jesus.
When Mary took a pound of expensive ointment worth a whole year’s wages and anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair, it was an act of worship. The result was the fragrance from her worship was upon her, filled the house and pleased the Lord Jesus (John 12:3-8).
Paul wrote, For we are the aroma of Christ to God (2 Cor. 2:15). Are you the aroma of Christ to God? Is your worship of God a wholehearted, sacrificial worship so that the fragrance of Christ saturates your soul? Are you the aroma of Christ to satisfy your Father’s heart? Without complete submission there is no worship. Without worship there cannot be the fragrance of Christ upon you.
“If you will not worship God seven days a week, you do not worship Him on one day a week.”
A. W. Tozer
Posted by Jerry White on Nov 17, 2011
In timeless eternity past God existed without you. He did not need you as if He lacked something that you could do for Him. He needed nothing outside of Himself, but for His own pleasure God created all that exists.
He uniquely created you. If He had not purposed for you to exist then there would be no “you”. He knit you together in your mother’s womb. He decided what your temperament should be. He gave you your abilities. He chose the purpose for your life as much as He created the sun to provide heat and light. With sovereign choice He called you to be His own forever. No one else can fill the place the Lord created for you; it is singly and only yours. If you are not in that place then no one can be. No one else is like you. No one else can be like you. No one else can fill your place. It is your unique place in all of human history, yea, in all of creation. Almighty God personally created you for this place at this time in His plan. When death takes you from this earth your place will be vacant— vacant for the rest of time. Nothing else can fill it in God’s scheme of things.
The ultimate purpose for this incomprehensible Divine scheme is the glory of God. It is for His pleasure. If you hold on to your life, Jesus said you would lose it. But if you lose your life for His sake you will find true life in Him (Luke 9:24). If you are His by faith in Jesus Christ, then it is your life, but it is your life for His pleasure—created by Him, redeemed by Him, indwelt by Him. As you deliberately abandon yourself to Him daily, actively trust Him with all that you are, and lovingly obey Him in all that you do, you will enjoy the highest fulfillment you can possibly experience.
Your morning confession can be:
“My entire being I submit to You, my Lord, to do only Your will today for Your honor, pleasure and glory.”
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139:14 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Nov 13, 2011
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
“We were created to worship Jesus Christ. We were created for Him, to become something to Him in order that He might find pleasure in us. But this demands discipline. This demands self-renunciation. This demands the mortifying of the flesh. This demands the taking out of our lives everything that does not contribute to the one great objective.”
Joseph S. Carroll
How To Worship Jesus Christ, 19
“I say that the greatest tragedy in the world today is that God has made man in His image and made him to worship Him, made him to play the harp of worship before the face of God day and night, but he has failed God and dropped the harp. It lies voiceless at his feet.”
A. W. Tozer
Worship: The Missing Jewel of the Evangelical Church, 12-13
“We should make a private chapel of our heart where we can retire from time to time to commune with Him, peacefully, humble, lovingly.”
Brother Lawrence (1605-1691)
“What we need to understand is that the habit of living at a low level of devotion to our Lord IS a habit.”
Know Your Christian Life, 167
Posted by Jerry White on Nov 10, 2011
“Just as there is a continuity between earthly and heavenly relationships with the people of God, so those who cultivate a growing appetite for the experiential knowledge of God in this life will presumably know him better in the next life than those who kept God in the periphery of their earthly interests. As A. W. Tozer put it, ‘Every Christian will become at last what his desires have made him. We are the sum total of our hungers. The great saints have all had thirsting hearts. Their cry has been, ‘My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?’ Their longing after God all but consumed them; it propelled them onward and upward to heights toward which less ardent Christians look with languid eye and entertain no hope of reaching.’ I can conceive of nothing more significant and compelling than the beatific vision of the living God, and if our capacity for this vision relates to faithfulness in this life, every other concern should pale in comparison.”
Conformed to His Image, 140
My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.
Isaiah 26:9 (ESV)
A story has been told of two men crossing the desert in the black of night. Suddenly a voice spoke, “Stop and fill your containers with what your hands find on the ground.” Reluctantly, because of weariness from their long journey, they obeyed the unknown voice even though they could not see in the dark what they were picking up. They continued their journey, and when daybreak came they looked into their containers to discover with amazement they had picked up diamonds. They had both gladness and regret—glad that they had obeyed the voice in the dark of night and regretful they had not enthusiastically gathered more. The Lord promises to reward those who seek Him now with all their heart. Those who do so on earth will be glad they did when in the light of the new day they see what they gathered by faith and not by sight. Those who do not diligently seek Him now will regret it in that day when they see what they missed that will affect their whole eternity. Now—today— is the time to lay up treasure in heaven.
Posted by Jerry White on Nov 7, 2011
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
John 14:27 (ESV)
“Learn the true way of coming to peace—by looking to Jesus. Some of you think you will come to peace by looking into your own heart. Your eyes are riveted there. You watch every change there. If you could only see the glimpse of light there, oh, what joy it would give you! If you could only see a melting of your stony heart. If you could only see your heart turning to God. If you could only see a glimpse of the image of Jesus in your heart, you would be at peace. But you cannot. All is dark within.
Dear soul, it is not there that you will find peace. You must avert the eye from your heart altogether. You must look to a declared Christ. Spread out the record of God concerning His Son. The Gospels are the narrative of the heart of Jesus, of the work of Jesus, of the grace of Jesus. Spread them out before the eye of your mind until they fill your eye. Cry for the Spirit to breathe over the page—to make a manifested Christ stand out plainly before you. The moment you are willing to believe all that is spoken there concerning Jesus, that moment you will wipe away your tears, exchange your sighs for a new song of praise.”
The Best of Robert Murray McCheyne, 47
Edited and Compiled by Stephen W. Sorenson
Someone has said that for every one look you take of yourself take ten of Jesus. The Lord instructs us that we should run our race looking to Jesus who is the founder (author) and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2). The enemy’s relentless attack is to distract us from keeping our inner vision focused on Christ. If the devil cannot fill your eyes with worldly distractions, because you are serious about following the Lord, then he will accuse you. With his schemes of accusation he will endeavor to get you to focus on how you feel, how you fail, how you are doing, and your sense of unworthiness. Christ and Christ alone is your peace, and looking to Him alone gives you His peace. Gaze on Him!
Posted by Jerry White on Nov 3, 2011
“In the history of the Church two great truths stand out. Where there is much prayer, there will be much of the Spirit; where there is much of the Spirit, there will be ever-increasing prayer. When the Spirit is given in answer to prayer, it stimulates more prayer to prepare for a fuller revelation and communication of His divine power and grace. If prayer was the power by which the early Church flourished and triumphed, is it not the one need of the Church today?
Perhaps these should be considered axioms in our ministries:
1. Heaven is still as full of stores of spiritual blessing as it was then.
2. God still delights to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.
3. Our life and work are still as dependent on the direct impartation of divine power as they were in Pentecostal times.
4. Prayer is still the appointed means for drawing down these heavenly blessings in power on ourselves and those around us.
5. God still seeks for men and women who will, with all their other work of ministering, specially give themselves to persevering prayer.”
Teach Me To Pray
“Where is our delight in praying? Where is our sense that we are meeting with the living God, that we are doing business with God, that we are interceding with genuine unction before the throne of grace? When was the last time we came away from a period of intercession feeling that, like Jacob or Moses, we had prevailed with God? How much of our praying is largely formulaic, liberally larded with clichés that remind us, uncomfortably, of the hypocrites Jesus excoriated?”
D. A. Carson
A Call To Spiritual Reformation, 17
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.