Posted by Jerry White on Dec 29, 2011
If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.
John 7:37 (ESV)
“Oh, how many people seem to come to Jesus and yet don’t drink! How few Christians are like a tree planted by the rivers of water. What would you have thought of the Jews if they had refused to drink when Moses struck the rock (see Num. 20:11)? Or what would you have thought if they had only put the water to their lips? Yet such is the way with many Christians.
It pleased the Father that in Christ all fullness should dwell. The Holy Spirit was given to Him without measure. The command is given to us to draw out of His fullness, yet who obeys? Not one in a thousand. A Christian in our day is like a man who has a great reservoir filled with water. He is at liberty to drink as much as he pleases because he never can drink it dry. But instead of drinking the full stream that flows from it, he dams it up and is content to drink the few drops that trickle through. Oh that you who have come to Christ would draw out of His fullness! Don’t be misers of grace. There is far more than you will use in eternity. The same waters are now in Christ that refreshed Paul, that gave Peter his boldness, that gave John his affectionate tenderness. Why is your soul less richly supplied than theirs? Because you will not drink.
If you will come to Jesus and drink, you will become a fountain, you will be changed into the image of Christ. Through your heart, through your words, and through your prayers, the stream of grace will flow into other hearts.”
The Best of Robert Murray McCheyne, 144-145 (1813-1843)
Edited and compiled by Stephen W. Sorenson
Drinking is by believing. It is active, conscious dependence on the Lord Jesus who dwells in you as a believer (John 14:17; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:27). It is inwardly relying on Christ with mind and heart to be who He is in you and to do what He alone can do through you in any given situation. Drinking is drawing from His life like a branch from a vine. This must be learned as a habit of life, and the Holy Spirit will teach you. Ask!
Posted by Jerry White on Dec 26, 2011
“The One who calls you to a life of righteousness is the One who by your consent lives that life of righteousness through you! The One who calls you to minister to the needs of humanity is the One who by your consent ministers to the needs of humanity through you! The One who calls you to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, is the One who by your consent goes into all the world and preaches the Gospel to every creature through you!
This is the divine genius that saves a man from the futility of self-effort. It relieves the Christian of the burden of trying to pull himself up by his own bootstraps! If it were not for this divine provision, the call to Christ would be a source of utter frustration, presenting the sorry spectacle of a sincere idealist, constantly thwarted by his own inadequacy.
If you will but trust Christ, not only for the death He died in order to redeem you, but also for the life that He lives and waits to live through you, the very next step you take will be a step taken in the very energy and power of God Himself. You will have begun to live a life which is essentially supernatural, yet still clothed with the common humanity of your physical body, and still worked out both in the big and the little things that inevitably make up the lot of a man who, though his heart may be with Christ in heaven, still has his two feet firmly planted on the earth.
You will have become totally dependent upon the life of Christ within you, and never before will you have been so independent, so emancipated from the pressure of your circumstances, so released at last from that self-distrust which has made you at one moment an arrogant, loud-mouthed braggart, and the next moment the victim of your own self-pity—and, either way, always in bondage to the fear of other men’s opinions.
You will be free from the tyranny of a defeated enemy within. You will be more than conqueror, for even death itself is conquered by His life. Christ through death destroyed ‘him that had the power of death, that is, the devil’ (Hebrews 2:14). This is indeed victory!”
Major W. Ian Thomas
The Saving Life of Christ, 15-16 (1962 edition)
Posted by Jerry White on Dec 22, 2011
Not one of us perceives the depth of sin that perverted the human race through Adam. Sin’s entrance converted Adam from God-centeredness to self-centeredness and from that moment every descendent born looks at every relationship, circumstance, and situation from a selfish point of view. Sin controls people’s thought processes so that unconsciously each one thinks about how every happening, whether good or bad, affects him or her. God speaks in Genesis 6:5-6, The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually [emphasis mine]. And The Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. Man’s heart had become only evil continually with sinful selfishness and self-centeredness ruling him in all things. We will not make much progress with the Lord until we realize this is actually true of us —you and me— and personally accept it as God’s assessment of our condition. David said, in sin my mother conceived me. He was saying, “from birth I have a sinful nature that rules me.”
Because of this selfish and self-centered perspective we think that forgiveness of sin is for us, and His leadership in our lives is for us, and the church is for us. The core of our heart must be changed to realize that the church is His body, and His bride, and His temple, and His family. Our forgiveness is for His sake (1 John 2:12), and He leads us in paths of righteousness is for His Name’s sake (Psalm 23:3). Does He not say, For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen (Romans 11:36 ESV)?
Do you see? The incarnation, perfect life, crucifixion, resurrection and enthronement of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, is for His sake that He might find eternal enjoyment. The Father will behold His glorified Son along with myriads upon myriads of His redeemed and perfected children gathered around Him. That will delight His father-heart because He gave all that He could give in order for us to be with Him, completely healed and holy.
We who are His by faith, expressed through repentance from sin and total surrender to His rule, are the beneficiaries of His unfathomable Gift of love. If we love our Heavenly Father, then we rejoice that although He was grieved to His heart because of our sin, He will be glad when He sees us glorified because of Jesus, the Son He sent to earth.
Posted by Jerry White on Dec 19, 2011
“It is, no doubt, hard to believe that someone clearly manifesting a transcendent life could still be human. One of the most serious and severe doctrinal struggles in the early church was over the question of whether Jesus was authentically human. A primary function of the doctrine of the virgin birth, when first introduced, was to secure the fact that Jesus really did have a human body, since he was literally born of a woman. His body came forth from a womb. Still earlier, in ‘the days of his flesh’ when his humanity was quite visible through his literal bodily presence and processes, his closest friends and associates apparently could not see his divinity. Philip, as the end drew near, said, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus could only reply, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father’ (John 14:8-9).
Jesus was human, yet divine; divine, yet human. We must understand this precarious balance if we are to do justice to the realities of Jesus’ redemptive presence in history.
It is fairly easy to state, but only the gracious inward assistance of God will enable us to base our lives upon it.”
Hearing God, 34
And while they were there [Bethlehem] the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
Luke 2:6-7 (ESV)
The eternal Son of God was born to peasant parents in an animal shelter, and heaven’s announcement was made to lowly shepherds out in the field watching their sheep. Sovereign God, who rules all things as He pleases, arranged for His only begotten Son to come into this world with lowest humble conditions. No doubt God is showing how He treasures lowliness and humility. He despises pride but gives grace to the humble. Does He see you as a humble one who is lowly before Him with no rights of your own?
Posted by Jerry White on Dec 15, 2011
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
Matthew 1:23 (ESV)
“The implications of the name Immanuel are both comforting and unsettling. Comforting, because He has come to share the danger as well as the drudgery of our everyday lives. He desires to weep with us and to wipe away our tears. And what seems bizarre, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, longs to share in and to be the source of the laughter and the joy we all too rarely know.
The implications are unsettling. It is one thing to claim that God looks down upon us, from a safe distance, and speaks to us (via long distance, we hope). But to say that He is right here, is to put ourselves and Him in a totally new situation. He is no longer the calm and benevolent observer in the sky, the kindly old caricature with the beard. His image becomes that of Jesus, who wept and laughed, who fasted and feasted, and who, above all, was fully present to those He loved. He was there with them. He is here with us….”
Quoted by Ken Gire
The Reflective Life, 188
“What is it that is characteristic about Jesus? It is tempting to pin down his divinity. That way you can keep some distance. He’s got to remain a bit of a stranger. The more divine, the less dangerous. All too human is risky business. And it makes sense doesn’t it? It’s not for nothing is it, that Jesus is called ‘son of God’? Of course, but not ahead of time. He gets this title only later. He first has to become it. It isn’t that easy. It’s the man Jesus with whom the Gospels are so taken.”
Hans Bouma, Quoted in Introduction
He Was One of Us
Posted by Jerry White on Dec 11, 2011
“Greek mythology abounds in stories of gods, who walked the earth like men. They looked like men. They acted like men. But at the critical point they would throw aside their disguise and by using their divine power show themselves for what they were. They were never really men, but gods in disguise.
To this day some Christians think of Jesus in much the same way. They picture Him as God, walking among men. He looked like a man. He spoke like a man. He lived like a man. But they do not think of Him as really being a man. They shrink from taking seriously those parts of Scripture which speak of His limitations. In effect they understand Him as God, not man…. There were some early Christians who said that Jesus was not a man but only seemed to be one. They came to be called ‘docetists’ (from the Greek word for ‘to seem’). But when the church thought about what these men were saying they rejected them as heretics. Christians have always agreed that Jesus must be seen as fully man. To say less is to be a heretic. It may not be easy to combine the thoughts of deity and humanity, but the evidence allows us no alternative.
We know little about Jesus’ early life. Such evidence as there is, however, shows a normal growth and development. The first and third Gospels preserve genealogies, which point to human descent. He was born as others are. (The virgin ‘birth’ is actually a misnomer. It was the conception that was miraculous; we know of nothing abnormal about the birth.) Twice Luke tells us how Jesus grew (Lk. 2:40, 52), and both times we get the impression of a perfectly normal life.”
Dr. Leon Morris, (1914-2006) a respected New Testament scholar.
The Lord From Heaven, 42-43
But as he [Joseph] considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 1:20 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Dec 5, 2011
“We talk glibly of the ‘Christmas spirit’, rarely meaning more by this than sentimental jollity on a family basis. But what we have said makes it clear that the phrase should in fact carry a tremendous weight of meaning. It ought to mean the reproducing in human lives of the temper of Him who for our sakes became poor at the first Christmas. And the Christmas spirit itself ought to be the mark of every Christian all the year round.
It is our shame and disgrace today that so many Christians—I will be more specific: so many of the soundest and most orthodox Christians—go through this world in the spirit of the priest and the Levite in our Lord’s parable, seeing human needs all around them, but (after a pious wish, and perhaps a prayer, that God might meet them) averting their eyes, and passing by on the other side. That is not the Christmas spirit. Nor is it the spirit of those Christians—alas, they are many—whose ambition in life seems limited to building a nice middle-class Christian home, and making nice middle-class Christian friends, and bringing up their children in nice middle-class Christian ways, and who leave the sub-middle class sections of the community, Christian and non-Christian, to get on by themselves.
The Christmas spirit does not shine out in the Christian snob. For the Christmas spirit is the spirit of those who, like their Master, live their whole lives on the principle of making themselves poor—spending and being spent—to enrich their fellowmen, giving time, trouble, care and concern, to do good to others—and not just their own friends—in whatever way there seems need. There are not as many who show this spirit as there should be. If God in mercy revives us, one of the things He will do will be to work more of this spirit in our hearts and lives. If we desire spiritual quickening for ourselves individually, one step we should take is to seek to cultivate this spirit. ‘Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.’ ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.’ ‘I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart’ (Ps. 119:32).
J. I. Packer
Knowing God, 55-56
Posted by Jerry White on Dec 1, 2011
For I the LORD your God am a jealous God.
Deuteronomy 5:9 (ESV)
“Believer, your Lord is jealous of your love. Did He choose you? Then He cannot bear that you would choose another. Did He buy you with His own blood? Then He cannot endure that you would think you are your own or that you belong to this world. He loved you with such a love that He would sooner die than you should perish. He cannot endure anything standing between Him and your heart’s love.
He is jealous of your trust. He will not permit you to trust in an arm of flesh. He cannot bear that you should hew cisterns that can hold no water (Jer. 2:13).
When we lean on Him, He is glad. But when we transfer our dependence to another, when we rely on our own wisdom or that of a friend, or worst of all, when we trust in any works of our own, then He is displeased , and He will chasten us to bring us back to Him.
He is also jealous of our company. There should be no one with whom we converse so much as with Jesus. To abide in Him alone is true love. To fellowship with the world, to find sufficient solace in our carnal comforts, is grievous to our jealous Lord. He wants us to abide in Him and enjoy His constant fellowship. Many of the trials He sends are to wean our hearts from the creature and fix them more closely on Him.
Let this jealousy, which should keep us near Christ, also comfort us. If He loves so much as to care about our love, we may be sure that nothing will harm us, for He will protect us from all enemies.”
C. H. Spurgeon
Beside Still Waters, 177
Roy H. Clarke, Editor
Do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?
James 4:5 (ESV)