Posted by Jerry White on Jan 29, 2012
An unforgiving heart blocks the free flow of God’s grace.
Because we live in a world where Satan is prince and all people are sinful, it is inevitable that you will be hurt, offended and scarred by others around you. This occurs intentionally by some and unintentionally by others. The issue from the Lord’s perspective is will you forgive the one who sins against you whether they intended to or not. If not, then you prevent experiencing God’s forgiveness in your own heart.
The magnitude of our sin against God and the incredible unlimited forgiveness He gives to us demonstrates what we are to do towards others. The Lord Jesus said, And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses (Mark 11:25 ESV). The only additional commentary the Lord added to His model prayer was, For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matt. 6:14-15 ESV). Love expressed through forgiveness is God’s will; forgiveness withheld is contrary to His heart and grievous to Him.
The Lord Jesus reveals that not forgiving another becomes even more serious. If you are not willing to forgive another human being for the little they have done against you compared to the immense sins you have committed against God, then your Father will hand you over to the torturers (Matt. 18:21-35). The torturers (tormentors) are demonic spirits belonging to the devil. God who rules all permits these evil beings to torment the one who persistently refuses to forgive another. This “handing over” is God’s discipline and the torment will continue until forgiveness is granted towards the offending person (Hebs. 12:3-11).
Forgiveness towards others is obedience towards God. Hurt feelings are not the issue unless you want to live a self-centered life. The core issue is about loving God more than yourself so that you choose against self to obey His will. Jesus said, “Forgive.” It is a will choice just like Jesus said, not as I will, but as you will (Matt. 26:39). In prayer, by an act of your will, speak to your Heavenly Father that you forgive whomever—by name—for their sin against you and ask Him to bless them (Matt. 6:43-46). This act of obedience pleases God, releases your soul from wrong attitudes and delivers you from the devil’s grip. This opens your heart to the free flow and experience of God’s grace. Father and child once again can walk together.
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 26, 2012
God requires no waiting period after sinful failure until you feel worthy of His forgiveness. His forgiveness rests alone upon the finished work of His Son. Christ’s perfect life and shameful death satisfied the Law’s just demands in our behalf. Never does anything in us merit God’s forgiveness. Never does our merciful and gracious Father forgive us because He sees how sorry we are or how deeply repentant we are. The Father never loses sight of what His Son did for us. The brilliance of Christ’s sacrifice overrules the shadows of our sinful stumbling. His Son’s sacrifice is what absorbs the Father’s attention. He sees the full redemption price paid for all our sins—past, present and future. He has removed even those too deep for our level of spiritual maturity to comprehend. Unnecessarily some sincere believers sink into the quagmire of self-condemnation. Must any child of His suffer guilt and shame long enough until their regret, sorrow and sincerity of repentance is proven? Never!
It is sorely true that with our sinful thoughts, words and deeds comes shame, regret and sorrow. It should! Sometimes there comes rebuke and chastening from the Father, but it is never accompanied by an unwillingness to forgive or requires a waiting period before He extends it. All the forgiveness you need is available to you every moment—instantly.
True repentance comes from sorrow towards God (2 Cor. 7:10). Because sin grieves His Spirit a quickened soul that loves the Lord Jesus becomes grieved (Eph. 4:30). Sins happen when sinful flesh expresses its wicked ugliness (Romans 7:19-20). Because you are in a relationship with Christ with a longing to please Him, sin makes you ashamed before Him with regret and sorrow. This is a good thing because He uses it to train you as His child to grow in holiness.
Sin’s stain should be removed quickly from your conscience. The way is plain and simple. When the Spirit convicts you, immediately speak to the Lord whom you love and who loves you with all that He is.
Be honest with your Heavenly Father about your sin and confess it to Him by name.
Express your sorrow to Him that you grieved Him.
Thank Him for His unchanging love and readiness to forgive you.
Thank Him that all your sins were fully punished in His Son on the cross.
Choose to believe that He fully forgives and cleanses you this moment from your sin.
Rejoice that you are freely forgiven and thoroughly cleansed from all unrighteousness.
Call upon Him to enable you to walk in purity and righteousness as you go forward.
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 23, 2012
The eternal Son of God left the infinite bliss of heaven to fulfill God’s perfect will on earth. His finished work was for our full salvation so that the Father in Heaven would be satisfied and glorified. Anyone born by His Spirit can confidently and gladly confess:
I am God’s child through new birth and faith in Jesus Christ.
I am redeemed from sin and death through Christ’s shed blood, death and resurrection.
I am forgiven for all my sin and declared righteous before God by God Himself.
I am set apart by God to be a holy child who lives righteously before Him.
I am to be pure as He is pure and therefore will pursue purity in thought, word and deed.
I am sealed by the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption.
I am in Christ and therefore have all His fullness available to me every moment.
I am the temple of the Holy Spirit who lives within me.
I am created, redeemed and called for a unique purpose in God’s plan.
I am loved and treasured by my Father far beyond my comprehension.
I am one with Jesus Christ and thus possess all the benefits of His life and death for me.
I am a bondservant of the Lord Jesus with no rights of my own.
I am wholly the Lord’s to do with me whatever He wills.
I am purposed to know Jesus Christ, love Him, please Him, and to make Him known.
I am set on the wondrous path to become like Jesus Christ so that I reflect His beauty.
I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ.
I am a vital part of His Body on earth that functions with Him as Head.
I am a member of His redeemed family that spans the centuries and the globe.
I am a living stone fit together with others to be His temple.
I am a part of the Lord’s bride being prepared for His wedding day in heaven.
I am an eternal worshiper of Jesus Christ, my sovereign Lord.
I am an unworthy servant even if I do all I am supposed to do.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:23 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 19, 2012
When God’s child has a spirit of prayer then he or she does not have to force their soul to pray. Prayer bubbles up spontaneously with a glad heart like a flowing fountain. One with a spirit of prayer ruling their soul does not think in terms of, “I ought to pray”, but instead the desire to pray takes over, and prayer comes forth quickly, spontaneously and freely. This kind of praying is clearly seen in Jesus’ life and Paul’s letters. It was like their prayers gushed forth from an overflowing heart of love for people and with a deep passion for God’s glory. It was the natural expression of their fervent love for and intimate relationship with their Heavenly Father.
A spirit of prayer like this is not a burden or drudgery but rather a delight and a spiritual release. It warms the heart of the one praying as well as blessing the one prayed for. It touches the heart of God when we ask for what is in His heart that He wants to accomplish. For reasons we do not understand God has bound Himself to the prayers of His people. He teaches us that there are things we do not have because we do not ask (James 4:2). The Lord Jesus taught us to ask for God’s kingdom to come, our provisions to be given, temptations not to overwhelm us, and deliverance from the evil one (Matt. 6:9-13). The use of the plural “our” rather than the singular “my” teaches us that in God’s family we pray for one another as well as ourselves. We are responsible for one another in His family. An obvious lesson from the lips of our Teacher is that it is necessary to ask in order to receive all God wants to give. Without asking we live far below the wondrous spiritual provisions our loving Father wants to give both to us and to others.
A spirit of prayer is a gift that comes from seeking. If one wants a spirit of prayer then sufficient time alone with the Father cultivates a prayerful attitude and strengthens one’s longing to pray. Praying on every occasion cultivates a spirit of prayer (Eph. 6:18). Developing the habit of praying about everything throughout your day encourages a spirit of prayer (Phil. 4:6). Charles Spurgeon said one should speak with God more than anyone else. Another well-known servant said that when he no longer had the spirit of prayer he went aside to be alone with God until it returned.
Living with a spirit of prayer is living in the Father’s delight. He is well pleased when you want to share His heart and ask very simply for what He wants to do. This refreshes and renews you; this allows His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. And oh, how it blesses others!
Pray without ceasing.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 15, 2012
I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see you.
Job 42:5 (ESV)
“Do let us realize, dear friends, that there is a great difference between knowing God by hearing and knowing Him by seeing. Job confessed that his knowledge of God in the past had come by hearing; which is to say, that it had been indirect and informational in character and had therefore not been intimate, personal, and experiential enough. It had been more a mental than a spiritual knowledge. Such knowledge is entirely inadequate, since it puffs up a person instead of bringing him low. Knowing God only by hearing makes one into a somebody, but knowing Him by seeing reduces one to a nobody; to dust and ashes. And this was truly Job’s experience. Through the Lord’s painful dealing, he has at last seen God. Through the Lord’s affliction he has come into a very close and personal encounter with Him.
It is good that in afflictions we meet God. It is He who solves our problems, yet not by explanation but by appearance. Our problems are solved when we see Him. For when we see God, we are not so much concerned with our problems as we are concerned with ourselves being the problem; so that we abhor our very selves and repent in dust and ashes. In giving up ourselves we receive more of God, just as John the Baptist expressed it when he confided, I must decrease but He must increase. As we become nothing, God becomes everything.”
His Victorious Indwelling, 19
Nick Harrison, Editor
Every circumstance of life is an opportunity to grow experientially in the knowledge of God. Mental knowledge alone does not make mature children of God. It can in reality lead to frustration, disappointment, and disillusionment. Life’s journey through thorny paths, treacherous steeps, days of ordinary existence and moments of bright sunshine has one purpose: to discover more of the wondrous experiential knowledge of God. Herein one discovers contentment, joy and peace no matter what circumstances may come.
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 8, 2012
At ninety-three years of age, with a body worn out, my widowed mom longed to be with Jesus. She often asked me to ask the Lord to take her home, and she did not understand why the Lord left her here. I would respond that I trusted Him to take her in His time that was appointed before she was born (Psalm 139:16). After her broken hip, her decline was quite stark both mentally and physically. We visited her in July (900 miles away) and even though her ability to remember and speak clear sentences was greatly diminished, one day when I was sitting alone with her she said with strong voice and passionate affirmation, “I just want to go be with Jesus!” I knew she meant it with every ounce of her being. I once again assured her of our Lord’s perfect plan and timing for His will to be done. We trusted and rested in His gracious will.
This morning (Sunday, January 8, 2012) at five o’clock the Lord Jesus called His redeemed child to Himself, and now she gazes on the glorious splendor of His majesty.
There are moments of grief for the loss of Mom who loved me so much, her only child, and faithfully prayed for me all these years. Yet there are moments when my soul inwardly stands up and shouts Hallelujah! We believers are born again to a living hope (1 Peter 1:3).
O death we defy thee!
A stronger than thou
Hath entered thy place;
We fear thee not now!
O sing Hallelujah! O sing Hallelujah!
O sing Hallelujah, be joyful and sing,
The grave cannot scare us—Christ Jesus is King!
Our Lord Christ hath risen!
Day breaketh at last;
The long night of weeping
Is now well-nigh past.
O sing Hallelujah! O sing Hallelujah!
O sing Hallelujah, be joyful and sing,
Our foes are all conquered—Christ Jesus is King!
Lord Plunket –Bishop of Meath (1629-1681)
(Note: I will not post again until these days for mom’s funeral are past.)
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 5, 2012
Your self-life wants to blame others or circumstances for disagreeable intrusions into your life. Self sees unwanted happenings as hindrances to fulfilling your desires, goals and plans. The little word if plays a significant role in self’s thinking processes. If she or he had only understood, or, if she or he had only done thus and so, or if this had just not happened it would be different now. When self is king, it rules and quickly blames others, or some thing, when it cannot satisfactorily control the events of life. Self views the present and what will make it happy now.
The Lord Jesus said, If anyone chooses to be my disciple, he must say ‘No’ to self, put the cross on his shoulders daily, and continue to follow me. For whoever chooses to save his lower life will lose his higher life, but whoever gives up his lower life for my sake will save his higher life (Luke 9:22-23, Williams Translation). Note Jesus’ way to a higher life:
1. It is saying NO to your self-life.
2. It is taking up your cross DAILY to accept whatever comes to crucify your self-life.
3. It is continuing to follow Jesus DAILY to do whatever He wants.
4. It is giving up your lower life FOR HIS SAKE (not your sake) to gain His higher life.
Like the Son of God deliberately gave up His heavenly rights (Phil 2:5-7) for your salvation so you deliberately give up your rights FOR HIS SAKE. Like Jesus chose daily to obey His Father through whatever came to Him, so you also trust and accept whatever He sends and obey Him. Like Jesus repeatedly denied Himself in order to do His Father’s will, so you deny self’s reign in order to please and honor Him in all things.
When this is your adopted posture FOR HIS SAKE, then you are delivered from “the blame game” and begin to live in peace without anxiety, worry, fretfulness, and complaining. His peace becomes yours to enjoy (John 14:27). You begin to accept whatever comes in relationships and circumstances as from your Father’s loving hand. You trust His perfect wisdom and love and believe that in ways you don’t understand He is using “even this” to lead you farther away from your lower life and deeper into His higher life. No longer do you blame what you cannot control, but instead you rest in His sovereign control with confidence in His loving goodness towards you. Surely He who did not spare His own Son but delivered Him up to justice for you, how shall He not also with Jesus give you all necessary things since you are His cherished, blood-bought and sealed child (Rom. 8:32; 1 Cor. 6:20; Eph.1:13). Necessary things include disappointments, trials, frustrated plans, hard and difficult places, challenging relationships, sorrows and grief, blessings and provisions—all measured and permitted by His nail-scarred hand in order to deliver you from the tyranny of your lower self-life into the joyous higher life of Christ-likeness.
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 1, 2012
When the eternal Son of God left the infinite bliss of heaven, He made Himself nothing. One translation says He “emptied Himself” (Phil. 2:7, NASB). Even though He retained His divinity when He became a fetus in Mary’s womb, and later was born to be Jesus of Nazareth, He deliberately chose to live fully as a human being just like us. He would learn like us, grow up like us, work like us, and hurt like us. In every respect He was fully human, and therefore He would be able to understand all we go through in life.
For His first thirty years on earth no one knew His true identity except His earthly parents. Indications are that His earthly father, Joseph, died while Jesus was a boy. Therefore, Jesus, the eldest of at least seven children and perhaps more, would assume the role of caring for His widowed mother, and help her care for His younger siblings.
Following in His earthly father’s footsteps he became the carpenter of Nazareth in order to support His mother and siblings. Day after day He worked His carpenter trade, served His family, studied God’s Word and prayed. The human needs of the world were as great then as they were when He began His public ministry, but living an ordinary life in Nazareth for thirty years was His Heavenly Father’s will in spite of humanity’s lost condition and suffering. Somehow the residents of Nazareth who watched Jesus grow up did not suspect who He really was. His own siblings did not even believe in Him after His public ministry began (John 7:5).
When Jesus obeyed God’s call through John the Baptist to be baptized, He went to where John was preaching and baptizing. Even though He was without sin, He identified Himself with sinful humanity as a picture of what He would do on the cross. John resisted baptizing Jesus at first until Jesus said it was necessary to fulfill all righteousness (Matt. 3:15). As soon as John baptized Jesus, God spoke, This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. His Father was pleased with Jesus’ quiet ordinary life of working a “blue collar” job, caring for His widowed mother and siblings, meditating on God’s Word, spending time alone with His Heavenly Father in prayer, and obeying His Father’s Word in simple duties of daily life. You also can delight your Heavenly Father in your ordinary life of every day duties. The same Holy Spirit who enabled Jesus will enable you. This is why the Spirit of Christ dwells in you. Simply trust Him, and obey!