Posted by Jerry White on Jan 31, 2013
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13 (ESV)
“Paul faced life with an air of sublime confidence because he was conscious of possessing reserves adequate for meeting any situation whatsoever. His assertion is so remarkable that we should be quite clear about the nature of the power that made such poise possible.
It was not human power. No man, however strong in himself, would dare to say, ‘I can do all things.’
It was not human power reinforced. We have heard of the soldier in Wellington’s army who asked to be allowed to grasp the Iron Duke’s ‘all-conquering hand’ before going on a dangerous mission. A magnetic personality can do much to brace the flagging morale of another.
But the power of which Paul spoke was more than that. It was nothing less than Christ’s own power communicated to him and into him through the medium of mystic union. We might translate still more accurately: ‘I am strong for anything in Him Who infuses strength into me.’
Christ’s own strength within me! I see the Man of Nazareth moving from task to task in a great calm that was never disturbed. He knew no defeat. He was never thrown off balance. In one day He was confronted successively with a raging sea, a raving demoniac, a disease that no man could heal, and finally with death itself. He was equal to everything.
The power that made Him competent for His tasks is available to make me competent for mine. Should I not live in Union with Him and use the power? Then I, too, shall have the rest of adequate resources.”
G. H. Morling
The Quest for Serenity, 84-85
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 24, 2013
“Seek, cherish, and cultivate constantly and habitually a broken heart for sin. Do not think that it is a work which, once done, is to be done no more. Deem it not a primary stage in your spiritual journey, which, once reached, never again occurs in your celestial progress. Oh no! As in the natural life we enter the world weeping, and leave it weeping, so in the spiritual life: we begin it in tears of godly sorrow for sin, and we terminate it in tears of godly sorrow for sin, passing away to that blessed state of sinlessness, where God will wipe away all tears from our eyes. The indwelling of all evil; the polluting nature of the world along which we journey; our constant exposure to temptations of every kind; the many occasions on which we yield to those temptations of every kind; the perpetual developments of sin unseen, unknown, even unsuspected by others; the defilement which attaches itself to all that we put our hands to, even the most spiritual and holy and heavenly; the consciousness of what a holy God must every moment see in us—all these considerations should lead us to cherish that spirit of lowliness and contrition, self-abhorrence and self-renunciation, inward mortification and outward humility of deportment, that belong to and truly prove the existence of the life of God in our souls.
What prompts a constant return to the atoning blood? What endears the Savior who shed that blood? What is it that makes His flesh meat indeed, and His blood drink indeed? What is it that keeps the conscience tender and clean? What enables the believer to walk with God as a dear child? Oh, it is the sacred contrition of the lowly spirit, springing from a view of the cross of Jesus and, through the cross, leading to the heart of God.”
Octavius Winslow (1808-1878)
Evening Thoughts, 30-31
I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin.
Psalm 38:18 (ESV)
Repentance must be ongoing in our lives if we will abide in Christ because we have not yet reached perfect purity in God’s sight. We still fall short of God’s holy standard and therefore constantly need the cleansing of the blood of Jesus Christ. Instant forgiveness and cleansing is ours upon our confessing and forsaking our sins (Proverbs 28:13).
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 21, 2013
“Blessed the man who learns the lesson of stillness and fully accepts God’s Word, ‘In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.’ Each time he listens to the word of the Father, or asks the Father to listen to his words, he dares not begin his Bible reading or prayer without first pausing and waiting, until the soul be hushed in the presence of the Eternal Majesty. Under a sense of the Divine nearness, the soul, feeling how self is always ready to assert itself, and intrude even into the holiest of all with its thoughts and efforts, yields itself in a quiet act of self-surrender to the teaching and working of the Divine Spirit. It is still and waits in holy silence, until all is calm and ready to receive the revelation of the Diving will and presence. Its reading and prayer then indeed become a waiting on God with ear and heart opened and purged to receive fully only what He says.
‘Abide in Christ!’ Let no one think that he can do this if he has not daily his quiet time, his seasons of meditation and waiting on God.”
Abide In Christ
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.
Psalm 37:7a (ESV)
With sound readily available to us through electronics, solitude and silence in our day are neglected disciplines. Those accustomed to sound may even find stillness and aloneness a bit frightening. Aloneness with His Father in a quiet place was a regular practice of the Lord Jesus. He found it absolutely essential for His daily life and ministry. If it was true for Him, is it not true for us also? If I were to entertain a very godly person for meaningful fellowship and conversation would I be so rude as to do so while listening to something else? Those who want to grow in conformity to Christ cultivate the blessed habit of being alone with the Lord Jesus in silence with single-eye focus and reverence so they can wait upon Him to hear His heart, and sometimes just enjoy the safe stillness of His presence
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 17, 2013
“The heart and soul of a relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ the Lord is love. This is not ordinary human love; rather it is a love beyond human emotion and affection. It is a quality of love that is self-sacrificing for the highest good of another without any expectations of a return benefit. It is love where God alone is its source. John 13:1 contains a tender reference to this kind of love Jesus had for His disciples. ‘Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end’ (margin, ‘to the uttermost; or eternally’). He then commanded them to love each other with the same kind of love with which He loved them (John 13:34). Then He said, ‘If you love Me, you will keep My commandments’ (John 14:15).
The obvious inference is that this quality of love Jesus has for His followers is the kind of love that will motivate them to obey Him. He further expounds this essential truth when He says, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him’ (John 14:23). He adds to this paramount theme in John 15:9, ‘Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.” The next verse explains that the way to abide in His love is by obedience to His commandments. He continues to emphasize this same indispensable truth of a love relationship with Him in later verses (John 15:12-14, 17; 16:27).
From this brief overview of Jesus’ last instructions to His disciples, it is plain to see that God’s marvelous plan for His children is that they enjoy a wonderful, loving relationship with Him as their heavenly Father. Nowhere is it in the heart of God that the Christian life should be a burden to bear or a drudgery to endure or mere duties to be done. He purposes that we live a life saturated with His love (Ephesians 3:18-19, 5:1-2). He wants and has made every provision for you and me to enjoy our Christian life with Him with joy and peace (John 14:27, 15:11).”
The Spirit and Presence of Christ, 49-50
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 14, 2013
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians10:31 (ESV)
“Concern for the glory of God in all things was the heartbeat of God’s Son, Jesus. When only one of ten lepers (and he a Samaritan) whom Jesus had cleansed returned to thank Him, Jesus said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’ (Luke 17:17-18, emphasis added here and following). Jesus wasn’t indignant because He received so little thanks for healing these men. He wasn’t thinking of Himself; rather, He was jealous over the lack of glory God received for this wonderful miracle.
According to John 12:27-28, Jesus has realized that the time for His arrest and crucifixion is at hand. Knowing He will soon die under the wrath of God, listen to His primary concern: ‘Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? “Father, save Me from this hour”? But for this purpose I came to this hour, Father glorify Your name.’ A short time later, just hours before He was taken into custody, Jesus taught us to ask in His name when we pray. Notice the reason why He promises such prayers will be answered: ‘And what ever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son’ (John 14:13). The passion that propelled the entire life and ministry of Jesus Christ was His zeal for the glory of God.
From matters as crucial as the death of Jesus, to those as mundane as eating and drinking, the Bible presents the glory of God as the ultimate priority and the definitive criterion by which we should evaluate everything.”
Donald S. Whitney
Simplify Your Spiritual Life, 45-46
When your heart is captivated by the love of God and your soul overflows with deep passion to please Him in every relationship and circumstance, then your motive will be to glorify Him in all you do. You will see that nothing else really matters—at all.
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 10, 2013
And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
Matthew 17:8 (ESV)
Is this the motto of every true believer? Who does his heart, in its best moments and holiest affections and most intense yearnings, supremely desire? The answer is, ‘Jesus only.’ Having by the Spirit enthroned Jesus there, having affections won by the power of His love and the attractions of His beauty, the breathing of the soul now is, ‘Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee” (Ps. 73:25). Blessed is that soul, the utterances of whose heart are the sincere and fervent expressions of a love of which Christ is the one and supreme object! Oh, to love Him more! Worthy, most worthy, is He of our first and best affections….
In all the spiritual circumstances of the believer’s history, it is still ‘Jesus only.’ In the corroding of guilt upon the conscience, in the cloud that veils the reconciled countenance of God from the soul, where are we to look, save to ‘Jesus only’? In the mournful consciousness of our unfaithfulness to God, of our aggravated backslidings, repeated departures, the allowed foils and defeats by which our enemies exult, and the saints hang their heads in sorrow, to whom are we to turn, but to ‘Jesus only’? In the cares, anxieties, and perplexities that gather around our path, in the consequent downcasts of our soul, and in the disquiet of our spirit within us, to whom shall we turn, but to ‘Jesus only’? In those deep and mysterious exercises of travail in our souls, which the saints of God cannot always fully understand—when we see a hand they cannot see and when we hear a voice they cannot hear; when we seem to tread a lonely path or traverse a sea where no fellow-voyager ever appears; the days of soul-exercise wearisome, and its nights long and dark—oh, to whom shall we then turn, save to ‘Jesus only’? Who can sympathize with all this, but Jesus? To Him alone, then, let us run with every sin, with every burden, with every temptation, with every sorrow, and with every mental and spiritual exercise, thankful to be joined exclusively to ‘Jesus only’.
Octavius Winslow (1808-1878)
Evening Thoughts, 14-15
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 7, 2013
I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am holy.
Leviticus 11:44 (ESV)
Being reminded of God’s will is vital for continuing spiritual health. The Bible contains many accounts of professing believers in both Old and New Testaments who either lost sight of God’s desire, commands, and instructions for His people or they rebelled because of their own sinful desires. Their rebellious disobedience is a warning for us (1 Cor. 10:1-13). God says we are to pursue holiness (Hebs. 12:14). Without it we will not see the Lord.
I still agree with words I wrote in a book nearly forty years ago (You Shall Be Holy):
“What does it mean to be holy? Often when we hear about being holy our impression is vague and other-worldly. It is difficult for some to see it in relationship to normal and practical every day living. The ambiguous notion is held that to be holy is a full time endeavor only attainable by those who retreat from the world to live in a monastery. Equally so, when some think of a holy man, the almost unconscious thought is of a man with solemn countenance who has given up the affairs of normal, everyday life to spend all his time seeking God. Happiness is not apparent, and seriousness marks his entire being.
Such a notion regarding a holy life is foreign to God’s Word. Man’s self-striving attempts to be holy will lead to such a state as we have described, but it will be an unnatural condition. Holiness of life by the means of God’s grace, however, grants fullness of love, joy, and peace, even in the usual routine of daily tasks. The provision of holiness by the Lord frees a man to be the unique person he is in Christ—relaxed, natural, and manifesting through his personality the beauty of the Lord. This gift of holiness is more than external conduct. It begins as a deep inward reality and flows upward and out through the life as living water refreshing all whom it touches. It is not calculated but spontaneous. There is always an eternal freshness about it, and wherever such a life goes, it is as though it brings a fragrant atmosphere with it. The most commonplace things become enriched by what seems to be a heavenly touch, and the beauty of the Lord is beheld.”
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 3, 2013
I have no wit, no words, no tears;
My heart within me like a stone
Is numb’d too much for hopes or fears;
Look right, look left, I dwell alone;
I lift mine eyes, but dimm’d with grief
No everlasting hills I see;
My life is in the falling leaf:
O Jesus, quicken me.
My life is like a faded leaf,
My harvest dwindled to a husk:
Truly my life is void and brief
And tedious in the barren dusk:
My life is like a frozen thing,
No bud nor greenness can I see:
Yet rise it shall—the sap of Spring;
O Jesus, rise in me.
My life is like a broken bowl,
A broken bowl that cannot hold
One drop of water for my soul
Or cordial in the searching cold;
Cast in the fire the perish’d thing;
Melt and remould it, till it be
A royal cup for Him, my king:
O Jesus, drink of me.
Revived passion to love, please, and honor the Lord begins with new repentance.