When Jesus Returns

Posted by Jerry White on Apr 29, 2012

“A consideration of the startling contrasts between His first and second advents will heighten our appreciation of what the latter will mean to Him. Then He came in poverty and humiliation, now in inconceivable riches and glory. Then He came in weakness. Now He comes in power. Then He came in loneliness. Now He is accompanied by innumerable angels and the company of the redeemed. Then He came as a Man of sorrows, but now with radiant joy. Then in mockery the soldiers placed a reed in His hand as scepter. Now He receives and wields the scepter of universal dominion. Then men placed on His brow a crown of acanthus thorns. Now His brow is adorned with the many diadems He has won. Then He was blasphemed, denied, betrayed. Now every knee bows to Him, acknowledging Him as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Small wonder that Frances Ridley Havergal burst into doxology:

O, the joy to see Thee reigning,

Thee, my own beloved Lord!

Ev’ry tongue Thy name confessing,

Worship, honor, glory, blessing,

Brought to Thee with one accord,

Thee, my Master and my Friend,

Vindicated and enthron’d

Unto earth’s remotest end

Glorified, adored and owned.

When Jesus offered His sacerdotal prayer just before His death, He only made one personal request of His Father: ‘Father, I desire that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which Thou has given Me, for Thou dist love Me before the foundation of the world’ (John 17:24). How amazing that the yearning of His heart was the continuation in heaven of the intimacy He had enjoyed with His people on earth!”

J. Oswald Sanders

Enjoying Intimacy with God, 146-147




Posted in Christ's Return

Living Today For Eternity

Posted by Jerry White on Apr 26, 2012

“Only two things on earth will go into eternity—God’s Word and people. God has placed us here to grow in Christ and to reproduce the life of Christ in others. Each of us has specific opportunities to do this in our own spheres of influence, and as we abide in Christ and let his words abide in us, we will bear lasting fruit (John 15:7-8), and the living God will confirm the work of our hands.

The great saints through the ages learned the wisdom of having only two days on their calendars: today and that day (the day they would be with the Lord). If we want a heart of wisdom, we should learn to live each day in light of that day. When we daily remind ourselves of the purpose for our sojourn on earth, we will cultivate an eternal perspective that influences all our work and all our relationships. In 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Paul summarized the vision that determined the course of his life: ‘Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For our momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.’”

Kenneth Boa

Conformed to His Image, 210

~~~

Two little lines I heard one day,

Traveling along life’s busy way;

Bringing conviction to my heart,

And from my mind would not depart

Only one life, ‘twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

C. T. Studd




Posted in Faithfulness

Jesus Wholly Dependent

Posted by Jerry White on Apr 22, 2012

“Jesus possessed the power himself, but…by a preincarnate deliberate decision the eternal Son of God chose that all his intrinsic powers, all his attributes, would remain latent within him during the days of his flesh and he would become truly human and limit himself to the abilities and powers common to all other human beings. Therefore he depended upon the Holy Spirit for wisdom and knowledge and for power to perform the signs and wonders that marked the days of his years.

Thus, in answer to the question of how Jesus differed from other people who depended upon the Spirit for the extra in their lives, it is possible to answer that in terms of his humanness it differed in essentially no way. By this I mean that God the Son, who became flesh in Jesus, became a real human being, and as such he needed the Spirit’s power to lift him out of his human restrictions, to carry him beyond his human limitations, and to enable him to do the seeming impossible. To be sure, only of Jesus was it said that the Father gave to him the Spirit ‘without measure.’ To be sure, the Spirit met with no natural resistance in Jesus as in those of us whose lives have been hardened and scarred by sin. To be sure the Spirit—his influence and guidance—was always central and perfect in Jesus, while this is never so in all others of us. But apart from these differences, which certainly are considerable, Jesus was nevertheless a human being commissioned to do the will of God in this world, and filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit to bring it all to a successful completion. Thus, Jesus Christ becomes an object lesson, the source of tremendous encouragement and hope for every believer who studies his life and aspires to emulate him.”

Gerald F. Hawthorne

The Presence & The Power, 218-219

~~~

I can do nothing on my own (John 5:30 ESV). Jesus chose to live as any human being must live. He denied Himself use of His own inherent Divine ability in order to live a fully human life. He calls us to deny dependence on our own human ability in order to live like Him by dependence on the Holy Spirit. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit (Gal. 5:25 ESV). This is secret of walking with God like Jesus did.




The Spirit’s Purpose

Posted by Jerry White on Apr 19, 2012

When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.

John 15:26 ESV

~~~

“Sometimes we seek for the operation of the Spirit with the purpose of obtaining more power for work, more love in our life, more holiness in the heart, more light on Scripture or on our path. But all these gifts are subordinate to the great purpose of God. The Father bestowed the Spirit on the Son, and the Son gave Him to us for the purpose of revealing and glorifying Christ Jesus in us.

The heavenly Christ must become for us a real and living personality who is always with us and in us. Our life on earth can be lived every day in unbroken fellowship with our Lord Jesus. This is the first and greatest work of the Holy Spirit in the believer, that we should know and experience Christ as our life. God desires that we be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith, so that we may be filled with all the fullness of God’s love. This was the secret of the joy of the first disciples. They had received the Lord Jesus—whom they feared they had lost—as the heavenly Christ into their hearts. And this was their preparation for Pentecost: their attention was completely taken up with Him. He was literally everything to them. Their hearts were empty of everything, so that the Spirit could fill them with Christ. In the fullness of the Spirit they had power for a life and service such as the Lord desired for them. Is this the goal of our desires and our experience? The Lord wants us to know that the blessing for which we have so diligently prayed can be increased in no other way than by the faithful cultivation of intimate fellowship with Christ in prayer every day.”

Andrew Murray

Living a Prayerful Life, 133-134

~~~

“And after you surrender—then what? Your entire life should be characterized by an eagerness to maintain unbroken fellowship and oneness with God.”

Oswald Chambers

My Utmost For His Highest, September 13




Posted in Holy Spirit

Unreliable Feelings

Posted by Jerry White on Apr 16, 2012

“Your position is IN CHRIST. You are standing today in Christ. Never forget to distinguish between your standing and your experience. Your standing is in Christ, your experience is in your emotion. John Bunyan says that our emotion is like our spending money, the money we have in our pocket: it is sometimes more, but generally less; but our standing in our Forerunner is like the money we have in the bank, which is not affected by our daily expenses. [This was long before debit cards.] I am sometimes happy, sometimes worn, over-tired, inclined to be nervous; but I never mind, because it does not matter to me whether I pass through the dark and the valley of sorrow and all transient depression. My position is unaffected because it is settled in my Forerunner, my Priest, my Saviour, my Head, in whom I stand before God. Oh, blessed be God for that! Do not look, therefore, for evidence in your emotions, but look for your title deeds in Christ the Forerunner.”

F. B. Meyer (1847-1929)

The Christ-Life for the Self-Life, 80-81

~~~

“Child of God, learn to live by faith. Let it be fixed with you that faith is God’s way to a blessed life. When there is no feeling of liveliness in prayer, when you feel cold and dull in the inner chamber, live by faith. Let your faith look upon Jesus as near, upon His power and faithfulness; and, though you have nothing to bring Him, believe that He will give you all. Feeling always seeks something in itself; faith keeps it self occupied with what Jesus is….

Between the life of feeling and the life of faith the Christian has to choose every day. Happy is he who, once for all, has made the firm choice and every morning renews the choice not to seek or listen for feeling but only to walk by faith according to the will of God. The faith that keeps itself occupied with the Word, with God himself and Jesus His Son, shall taste the blessedness of a life in God above. Feeling seeks and aims at itself; faith honors God and shall be honored by Him. Faith pleases God and shall receive from Him the witness in the heart of the believer that he is acceptable to God.”

Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

The New Life, 104-105




Posted in Faith

The Lord’s Satisfaction

Posted by Jerry White on Apr 12, 2012

God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good (Gen. 1:31 ESV). God in His infinite goodness created everything and was satisfied that all was very good.

God watched His first woman allow the serpent (Satan) to deceive her into disobeying His command (Gen. 3:1-6). He then saw His first woman tempt His first man with the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:7). When Adam disobeyed his Creator’s clear command the entire human race that was in his seed, and would come from him, plummeted into slavery to sin. As mankind multiplied so did wickedness because every human being born was corrupt, controlled by sin and enslaved to Satan. 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. And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart (Gen. 6:5-6 ESV). The Creator—Yahweh by name—saw His crown of creation that first had been very good become only evil continually. God’s heart went from being satisfied with what was very good to becoming grieved—all because of man’s sin, including yours and mine.

Creator God would now display the beauty of His character. His love and holiness and justice would be made visible to His angels, His enemy and demons, and to mankind. He would sacrifice His own beloved Son in order to redeem individuals from sin’s grip and Satan’s tyranny. He would reconcile repentant believing sinners to Himself and recreate them into the image of His own beautiful character so He could once again see His redeemed as very good. The cost would be His own Son becoming a mere human and be made sin for us in order to be like a slaughtered lamb bearing His Father’s wrath for our sin. It was the only way.

It was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and fill him with grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have a multitude of children, many heirs…. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied (Isaiah 53:10-11 NLT, emphasis mine).

What will He see that will satisfy Him?

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him (Col. 1:22-23 ESV). The Lord is able to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy (Jude 24 ESV).

Yahweh, grieved to his heart because of our wickedness, displayed His love, justice and holiness in the anguish of His Son’s sacrificial death, and the eternal incomprehensible result will be the Heavenly Father’s great joy to see His children holy, blameless, and above reproach in His all penetrating sight—exactly like His beautiful Son. The Father and His Son will be satisfied!

JRW




Posted in Cross of Christ

Unexplainable Christian Life

Posted by Jerry White on Apr 9, 2012

“The Christian life can only be explained in terms of Jesus Christ, and if your life as a Christian can still be explained in terms of youyour personality, your will-power, your gift, your talent, your money, your courage, your scholarship, your dedication, your sacrifice, or your anything—then although you may have the Christian life, you are not yet living it!

If the way you live your life as a Christian can be explained in terms of you, what have you to offer to the man who lives next door? The way he lives his life can be explained in terms of him, and so far as he is concerned, you happen to be ‘religious’—but he is not! Christianity may be your hobby, but it is not his, and there is nothing about the way you practice it which strikes him as at all remarkable. There is nothing about you which leaves him guessing, and nothing commendable of which he does not feel himself equally capable without the inconvenience of becoming a Christian.

It is only when your quality of life baffles the neighbors that you are likely to impress them. It has got to become patently obvious to others that the kind of life you are living is not only highly commendable, but that it is beyond all human explanation. That it is beyond consequences of man’s capacity to imitate, and however little they may understand this, clearly the consequence only of God’s capacity to reproduce Himself in you.

In a nutshell, this means that your fellow-men must become convinced that the Lord Jesus Christ of whom you speak, is essentially Himself the ingredient of the Life you live.”

Major Ian Thomas

His Victorious Indwelling, 133-134

Nick Harrison, Editor

~~~

The horrific, God-ordained death of Jesus of Nazareth as the believer’s substitute and representative cleanses him / her from all sin. As cleansed human vessels each believer is then fit for the Spirit of God to live inside. Why is it important for the Spirit of Christ to live in a believer? Because only He can be the Christian He wants you to be. He will express His life through you as you consciously trust Him like you did at first.




God Answers Best

Posted by Jerry White on Apr 5, 2012

“Without question we all feel that we still have a great deal to learn from the Spirit of prayer. And we feel, too, that if He could teach us this little, but important, secret of prayer, our prayer life would be transformed.

We realize also that this deficiency in our prayer life is really due to the fact that we do not trust our blessed Lord.

We think that we understand better than He does when and how our prayers should be answered. Without intending to do so, our prayers become a struggle with God. We make use of prayer to convince God that we see the matter in the right light, that the answer should be given immediately, and should be as we have planned it. Unconsciously we make use of prayer to try to convince God that in this respect we are in the right.

It is this struggle with God which makes us so restless and anxious when we pray. We are afraid that God will not permit Himself to be convinced by our prayers, but will do as He wills regardless of our supplications. I know of nothing that makes our prayer life so burdensome and trying as this does.

When, therefore, the Spirit has taught us that God is unyielding on this point and that He Himself decides when and how our prayers are to be answered, then we will experience rest and peace when we pray. And if the Spirit can teach us also that there is no danger in leaving with Him the time and the means of answering our prayer, our seasons of prayer will become in truth seasons of rest.

We will begin to see that it is God’s will not only to hear our prayer, but to give us the best and the richest answer which He, the almighty and omniscient God, can devise. He will send us the answer when it will benefit us and His cause the most. And He will send it to us in that way which will give us the best and most abiding results.”

O Hallesby

Prayer, 51-52

~~~

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Matthew 6:7 ESV




Posted in Prayer

The End Of History

Posted by Jerry White on Apr 1, 2012

The end of history is all about the beauty of God. The consummation is all about the admiration and adoration of our Lord Jesus Christ as he is to be revealed in heaven. I’ve heard and read countless explanations for the second coming of Jesus, but none that has adequately grasped the ultimate reason for his return. The inspired rationale is found in Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonian church. Jesus is coming back, said Paul, ‘to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed’ (2 Thess. 1:10).

I need to return momentarily to my love affair with prepositions. Here Paul says that Jesus will be glorified ‘in’ his saints and marveled at ‘among’ all who believe. This calls for careful thought. After considerable study, I think John Stott best captures the essence of Paul’s emphasis. He writes:

So how will the coming Lord Jesus be glorified in relation to his people? Not ‘among’ them, as if they will be the theatre or stadium in which he appears; nor ‘by’ them, as if they will be the spectators, the audience who watch and worship; nor ‘through’ or ‘by means of’ them, as if they will be mirrors which reflect his image and glory; but rather ‘in’ them, as if they will be a filament, which itself glows with light and heat when the electric current passes through it.

Stott’s point is that we will not only see Christ’s glory, we will be enveloped within it, engulfed by its surging splendor, and made experiential participants of it. And that for eternity! We will not glow with his glory for a moment, only to diminish yet again into the darkness of self and sin. ‘We will be radically and permanently changed, being transformed into his likeness. And in our transformation his glory will be seen in us, for we will glow forever with the glory of Christ.

All of this will lead to one passionate, universal response among Christians to Christ: Marvel! This glorious Greek word emphasizes the experience of being overwhelmingly astonished and utterly astounded and absolutely amazed and joyfully surprised and fully filled with wonder and awe. That’s why he’s coming back. All else is subservient to that end. Whatever events may transpire at the end of time, whoever may arise and how ever many may fall, whether it be near at hand or centuries afar, Jesus is coming to be seen in his saints in the beauty and splendor of his eternal majesty”

Sam Storms

One Thing, 185-187




Posted in Christ's Return