Humility Before God

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 28, 2012

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the heart of the contrite.

Isaiah 57:15 (ESV)

~~~

Humility toward God is akin to the fear of God: it begins with a high view of God’s person. As we see God in his majesty, awesomeness, and holiness, we are humbled before him. In every occasion in the Scriptures in which man was privileged to view God in his glory, he was brought low or humbled in the presence of God. Moses bowed to the ground and worshiped; Isaiah cried, ‘Woe is me!’ Ezekiel fell face down; John fell at his feet as though dead. Even the four living creatures and the twenty–four elders in heaven of Revelation fell down before the throne of the glorified Lamb.

Humility is every area of life, in every relationship with other people, begins with a right concept of God as the One who is infinite and eternal in his majesty and holiness. We are to humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand, approaching every relationship and every circumstance in reference to him. When relationships with people are good and circumstances are favorable, we are to humbly receive these blessings from his gracious hand. When people are mistreating us and circumstances are difficult, we are to humbly accept them as from an infinitely wise and loving heavenly Father.

This humility before God is basic to all our relationships in life. We cannot begin to experience humility in any other relationship until we experience a deep and profound humility in our attitude toward God. When we are conscious of our (sinful) creature relationship to an infinitely majestic and holy God, we will not wish to selfishly compare ourselves with others. And to the extent that our awareness of our lowly place before God is an abiding one, we will avoid the temptations of pride and competition.”

Jerry Bridges

The Practice of Godliness, 91-92 (1983)

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Humility before God will be expressed by humility towards those with whom we live.




Posted in Humility

Jesus Christ Is Lord

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 25, 2012

“Jesus is Lord because: He came down the stairway of heaven, was born in Bethlehem, was brought up in Nazareth, was baptized in Jordan, was tempted in the wilderness; He performed miracles by the roadside, healed multitudes without medicine; made no charges for His services. He conquered everything that came up against Him. He died on the cross, went down into the grave and cleaned out the grave and made it a pleasant place to wait for the resurrection. On schedule, He rose up out of the grave with every form of power in the orbit of His omnipotence.

Men have tried to rid Him of His power; men have tried to destroy Him. If you were to try to destroy Him, what would you use for power? If you try to destroy Him by fire, He will refuse to burn; if you try to destroy Him with water, He will walk on the water. If you try to destroy Him with a strong wind, the tempest will lick His hand and lie down at His feet; if you try to destroy Him with the law, you will find no fault in Him; if you try to destroy Him with the seal of an empire, He will break it; if you try to destroy Him by putting Him in a grave, He will rise; if you try to destroy Him by ignoring Him or rejecting Him, you will hear a still small voice saying, ‘Behold I stand at the door and knock.’

Jesus is the pearl from paradise and a gem from the glory-land. He is truth’s fairest Jewel. He is time’s choicest Theme. He is life’s strongest cord. Jesus is light’s clearest Ray. He is purity’s whitest Peak. He is joy’s deepest Tide. He is glory’s stateliest Summit. His name stands as a synonym for free healing, friendly help and full salvation. His blessed Name is like honey to the taste, harmony to the ear, health to the soul, and hope to the heart. He is higher than the heaven of heavens and holier than the holy of holies. In His cross is our redemption. In His resurrection is our hope. At his birth men came from the east. At His death men came from the west. And the east and the west met in Him. Jesus Christ is Lord. Hallelujah—the Lord God omnipotent reigneth! At His Name, to His Name, in His Name every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!”

S. M. Lockeridge

The Challenge of the Church, 63-64




Lord Of All

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 21, 2012

God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:9-11 (ESV)

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“Lord is not a word to be lightly, and glibly, and conventionally, and meaninglessly taken on the lips. It is a title which must be taken upon the lips with godly fear. We can see what Jesus meant when He said: ‘Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven.’ Everyone is mastered by someone or something. Christ alone deserves first place. We need a strength stronger than our selves. We need a strength strong enough to help us to stand the stresses and the strains of our struggles. The only rightful Lord of our lives is Jesus Christ. In order for Him to be prince of peace, a coronation service must take place. You must crown Him king in your own heart….

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul penned the arresting announcement that God has given Christ a name which is above every name and he envisioned the time when every knee should bow before Christ and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul declared that Jesus has an unqualified supremacy. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. He is the Head of the church. He is the firstborn from the dead. In all things, He has the preeminence. He precedes all others in priority. He exceeds all others in His superiority and He succeeds all others in His finality. He is Master of the mighty, the Captain of the conquerors, the Head of the heroes, the Leader of legislators, the Overseer of overcomers, the Governor of governors, the Prince of princes, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul declared that we all belong to Christ and are responsible ultimately to Him for everything that we do. We live unto the Lord. If we die, we die unto the Lord. Yea, the great end for which Christ died and lived again was ‘that he might be Lord both of the dead and living’ (Romans 14:9). Jesus Christ Is Lord!

S. M. Lockeridge

The Challenge of the Church, 61-62 (1969)




Contemplate God’s Love

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 17, 2012

“Nothing so warms the heart of the saint as a spiritual contemplation of God’s love. As he is occupied with it, he is lifted outside of and above his wretched self. A believing apprehension fills the renewed soul with holy satisfaction and makes him as happy as it is possible for one to be this side of heaven. To know and believe the love which God has toward me is both an earnest and a foretaste of heaven itself. Since God loves His people in Christ, it is not for any amiableness in or attraction about them: ‘Jacob have I loved.’ Yes, the naturally unattractive, yes, despicable, Jacob—‘thou worm Jacob.’ Since God loves His people in Christ, it is not regulated by their fruitfulness, but is the same at all times. Because He loves them in Christ, the Father loves them as Christ. The time will come when His prayer will be answered: ‘That the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou has loved me’ (John 17:23). Only faith can grasp those marvelous things, for neither reasoning nor feelings can do so. God loves us in Christ: What infinite delight the Father has as He beholds His people in His dear Son! All our blessings flow from that precious fountain.

God’s love to His people is not of yesterday. It did not begin with their love to Him. No, ‘we love him, because he first loved us’ (1 John 4:19). We do not first give to Him, that He may return to us again. Our regeneration is not the motive of His love; rather, His love is the reason why He renews us after His image. This is often made to appear in the first manifestation of it, when so far from its objects being engaged in seeking Him, they are at their worst. ‘Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest [manifestly] mine’ (Ezekiel 16:8).

Not only are its objects often at their worst when God’s love is first revealed to them, but actually doing their worst, as in the case of Saul of Tarsus. Not only is God’s love antecedent to ours, but also it was borne in His heart toward us long before we were delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the Kingdom of His dear Son. It began not in time, but bears the date of eternity. ‘I have loved thee with an everlasting love’ (Jeremiah 31:3).”

A. W. Pink (1886-1952)

The Nature of God, 156-157




Posted in God's Love

The Spirit Already Given

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 14, 2012

Ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit.

Ephesians 5:18, Amplified Bible

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“The simple truth is that the fullness of the Holy Spirit is not merely for super-saints who by their consecration and devotedness may be deemed to have qualified, but sinners and failures who have learnt to repent and who see the perfect, present cleansing available to them in the Blood of Jesus. Thank God, whereas this word is in the imperative mood, it is in the passive voice. This simply means that ‘it is of faith, that it might be by grace,’ and this in turn means that ‘the promise might be sure to all the seed’ (Rom. 4:16), not only to saints of high attainments, but to feeble, failing people like some of us. Grace by its very nature makes the promise sure to failures who admit their failure, and they can do that now. Someone has said, ‘The Spirit’s fullness is not the reward of our faithfulness, but God’s gift for our defeat.’ He was not given to the disciples in Acts 28 as the culmination and reward of their wonderful service, but in Acts 2 when they had proved themselves cowards, meeting behind barred doors.

There is, therefore, no need to struggle for self-improvement first, for that is to seek the Holy spirit ‘not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law’ (Rom. 9:32). Nor is there any need to wait for Him, as some have thought—no need to wait, that is to say, any longer than it takes us to be willing to call sin ‘sin’ and come to the Cross with it. The Holy Spirit has already been given. True, the disciples were of old told, ‘Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high’ (Luke 24:49); but that was because the historic moment of the giving of the Holy Spirit had not yet come. But now that He is given, all may be filled—and filled now.”

Roy Hession

His Victorious Indwelling, 205-206

Nick Harrison, Editor

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A cleansed and wholly yielded vessel can simply trust the Father for the fullness of His Spirit. Without feelings, experience, or signs Christ is honored when you take Him at His Word and receive what He commands and He promises for you to have—His own fullness.




Posted in Holy Spirit

Spiritual Maturity

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 11, 2012

But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people. Corinthians 3:1 ESV

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“Spiritual maturity is directly proportional to Christ-centeredness. To be more preoccupied with the subjective benefits of the faith than with the person and pleasure of Christ is a mark of immaturity. The Spirit bears witness to and glorifies Jesus Christ; spiritual experiences, whether personal or corporate, should center on Christ and not ourselves. The tendency of some people and movements to glorify the gifts of the Giver more than the Giver of the gifts is incompatible with the biblical portrait of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

However, many believers attempt to live the Christian life in their own power instead of the power of the Spirit. As A. W. Tozer remarked in Paths to Power, ‘the average professed Christian lives a life so worldly and careless that it is difficult to distinguish him from the uncoverted man.’ But even among diligent students of the Word there is a temptation to spend more on human initiative and effort than on the power of the indwelling Spirit of God. It is easy and comforting to reduce God to a set of biblical propositions and theological inferences rather than a living person who cannot be boxed in, controlled, or manipulated by our agendas. There are common forms of Bible deism that assume (ironically, without biblical warrant) that God no longer communicates to his people or personally guides them apart from the words of Scripture. When we make assumptions that are closed to the surprising work of the Holy Spirit, they have a way of determining and limiting our experience of the power of God.

Personal attempts to live the spiritual life in human power are written large in corporate attempts to worship and serve in human power. Although the church began and moved in the power of the Spirit, many in the church today are conditioned to think in terms of their experiences rather than the experiences of God’s people in Scripture. This leads to a desupernaturalized corporate expectation that in some way is more informed by a naturalistic, closed-universe world view than by a biblical world view that is open to the unpredictable sovereign acts of God.”

Kenneth Boa

Conformed To His Image 294-295




Rest Necessary

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 7, 2012

And he [Jesus] said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.”

Mark 6:31 ESV

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“I get the feeling we are a tired generation. Evidence of that fatigue abounds in a multitude of articles about health problems related to overwork and exhaustion. Workaholism is a modern word. No matter how hard we are willing to work in our competitive world, there always seems to be someone willing to put in a few more hours than we are.

What is strange about our general fatigue as a people is the fact that we are such a leisure-oriented society. We actually have what is called a leisure industry, and it is among the most profitable in our economy. Whole companies, organizations, and retail chain stores are committed to providing the goods with which people can pursue fun and good times.

We probably have more time for leisure than we ever had before. The five-day workweek is, after all, a relatively new innovation in history; we have moved away from the farm, where there was always more work to do; we can leave work behind if we want and head for leisure. So why is there so much exhaustion and fatigue today? Is it real? Imagined? Or is the contemporary form of exhaustion evidence that we no longer understand genuine rest, which is different from the pursuit of leisure?

There is a biblical view of rest that needs to be uncovered and examined. In fact, the Bible reveals God Himself to be the first ‘rester.’ ‘On the seventh day He rested…’ An even more enlightening comment is made by Moses in Exodus 31:17: ‘In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day, He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.’ The literal translation suggests the phrase ‘He refreshed Himself.’

Does God indeed need to rest? Of course not! But did God choose to rest? Yes. Why? Because God subjected creation to a rhythm of rest and work that He revealed by observing the rhythm Himself, as a precedent for everyone else. In this day, He showed us a key to order in our private worlds.

The rest was not meant to be a luxury, but rather a necessity for those who want to have growth and maturity.”

Gordon MacDonald

Ordering Your Private World, 175-176

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Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28 ESV




Posted in Rest

Blessed Beyond Words

Posted by Jerry White on Jun 4, 2012

The heavenly Father has given His children all that He could give. He has given His infinite best to those who trust His Son Jesus Christ. Nothing more can He provide for His blood-bought children. If you are His child then you are the recipient of your Father’s measureless and beautiful wealth. He has withheld not even the slightest blessing from His beloved child.

An heir can live like a pauper even though his father bestows on him riches beyond imagination. He can live in the ghetto of poverty and wish it were different. Only one act on the heir’s part would make a difference in his lifestyle. If he would live according to the wealth given to him then he must believe his father’s word about his inheritance, gladly and thankfully accept his inheritance, and then live by its bountiful provision.

It is no different for God’s redeemed children. Each son or daughter must believe the Father’s word, joyfully accept the inheritance, and live by its bountiful provision.

Often the way of faith is not easy to grasp. Fallen human nature wants to feel something, or experience something or have some evidence that it is so in order to believe. This is not the way of faith. Abraham did not feel anything or experience anything or have any evidence (Rom. 4:13-25). He simply believed what God said, even though to his sensibilities it was impossible, and he continued believing for fifteen years. He grew strong in faith AS he gave glory to God (Rom. 4:20).

God’s Word is as clear to us today as it was to Abraham. The issue for us is the same as it was for Abraham. Do we believe what God says and will we give glory to God for it? Only by this will we grow strong in faith. The way we lay hold of our unimaginable inheritance is by faith. We trust what God says, keep believing what He promised, and continue giving glory to Him for His word of grace. Growing faith births the promises of God as reality into our lives just like Isaac was finally born through Abraham’s faith.

God’s Word says that ALL His fullness is in Christ and you have this same fullness in Him (Col. 2:9-10). God’s Word says that with His Son He freely gives you all things (Rom. 8:32). God’s Word says that you have already been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3). His fullness! Given all things! Blessed with every spiritual blessing!

Meditate on these stunning truths. Believe your Father’s Word. Thank Him with praise and worship for His infinite love-gift to you. Anticipate how the Spirit will make it profoundly real to your soul even though you do not now feel it or see any evidence of it. Steadfastly maintain this posture, and in His time God’s written word will be etched into your heart so that no words can express your wonder. Beyond words you will be in awe.

JRW




Posted in Faith