Posted by Jerry White on May 30, 2013
Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped.
“When enjoying a praise time in church, I sometimes ask, ‘What is it about this that causes me to emote?’ Is it the rhythm impacting my body? Is it the harmony appealing to my mind? Or is it the melody entrancing my spirit?
God—who made me spirit, mind and body—wants me to respond with all my being. (Read Psalm 63:1 again.) So while refusing morbid self-dissection, I nevertheless find it valuable to try and pinpoint what it is that mainly stimulates me to worship what I hope is God.
Moses’ worship is triggered by nothing less than the truth about God’s character (verses 6-7). When this grips my mind, it becomes the deepest of all incentives, drawing out my spirit in wondrous praise.
Only then can melody, harmony and rhythm help me to express authentically what has impacted my mind. Anything less can deteriorate into a worship of worship. Such subjective enjoyment may send a thrill up my spine, but has little to do with worshiping God.
Here then is the watershed test. When the instruments have stopped, the Bible opened and the character of God expounded, does my worship deepen or diminish? If the latter, I would do well to plan periods of absolute quietness, until my mind, singly focused on God Himself, learns to respond in unaided worship.
Once that lesson is learned I will be in less danger of making too much of outward aids. Only then can I more safely use every faculty, as well as the rhythm and harmony of beautiful melodies, to more richly enjoy my worship.”
Thirsting After God, 149-150
When the Spirit reveals the Lord’s presence in alone times of stillness and quietness, then worship will rise up from one’s deepest self unaided by outside stimulus.
Posted by Jerry White on May 27, 2013
“In my teens I knew a man, a miner by trade, whose spiritual freshness and radiance was responsible for turning many people to Jesus Christ. Just before he died, and in the company of several other Christians, I asked him: ‘What is the secret of your spiritual freshness? You always seem to be on top of things, always radiant…tell me how you maintain this inner poise and power.’ He replied in one word—meditation.
I pressed him for some further thoughts on the subject. This is not a verbatim quotation, but as far as I can remember, this is what he said: ‘Meditation is letting your heart become the workshop of the unseen Sculptor who chisels in its secret chambers the living forms that contribute to character development and an increasing likeness to Jesus Christ.’ That old man, now in heaven, was one of the greatest illustrations I have ever known of the spiritual freshness and fruitfulness that comes from meditating on God’s Word. This experience can be ours—if we meditate.”
Every Day Light: Water for the Soul
He [the one who delights and meditates day and night in the law of the Lord, v. 2]
is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.
Psalm 1:3 (ESV)
There is no sweeter sound than to hear the voice of the Lord Jesus through His written Word when His Spirit speaks it to your heart and applies it to your life.
Is meditation on God’s Word a priority in your daily schedule? Does Psalm 1 describe the kind of person you are—one who is planted by streams of water (plural for abundance) in a dry, arid desert, one who is always spiritually fresh and fruitful? Oh, how the enemy likes to attack the weakness of our flesh through busyness in our lives and thereby distract us from meditating on God’s Word day by day. The enemy hates for us to become the blessed, happy person who is radiant to those around us.
Posted by Jerry White on May 23, 2013
“Understanding and appropriating the facts of the cross proves to be one of the most difficult and trying of all phases for the growing believer. Our Lord holds His most vital and best things in store for those who mean business, for those who hunger and thirst for His very best as it is in our Lord Jesus Christ. The believer’s understanding of the two aspects of Calvary gives the key to both spiritual growth, and life-giving service.
‘Calvary is the secret of it all. It is what He did there that counts, and what He did becomes a force in the life of a Christian when it is appropriated by faith. This is the starting point from which all Godly living must take its rise. We shall never know the experience of Christ’s victory in our lives until we are prepared to count (reckon) upon His victory at the cross as the secret of our personal victory today. There is no victory for us which was not first His. What we are to experience He purchased, and what He purchased for us we ought to experience. The beginning of the life of holiness is a faith in the crucified Saviour which sees more than Hs substitutionary work. It is a faith which sees myself identified with Christ in His death and resurrection.’….
Our intelligent faith standing upon the facts of Calvary gives the Holy Spirit freedom to bring that finished work into our daily lives.”
Miles J. Stanford
Principles of Spiritual Growth, 70-71
So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:14 (ESV)
Your entire Christian life must be by faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work. All you need to live a God pleasing and God honoring life Christ accomplished in your behalf. His appointed means for this provision to become yours in experience is for you to receive it in simple faith exactly like you received your justification through faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross. Trust Christ for His Spirit to make real in you your union with Christ (1 Cor. 6:17). Deliberately and inwardly rely on Him to be who He is through you. Day by day keep trusting for this, and transformation will occur.
Posted by Jerry White on May 20, 2013
“The danger of falling out of love with Christ is no less present in our times, and it occasions our Lord as much grief now as then. Intimacy with God is a fragile thing that must be carefully guarded.
M. Basilea Schlink tells of her own experience of waning love.
‘I came to see that my relationship to my Lord Jesus Christ, with the passing years had eroded away, something like a marriage gone humdrum. What did I do when I found a little pocket of spare time, on a Sunday or a holiday? I couldn’t wait to get together with other people—people I liked, people with whom I had something in common—so that we could share ideas and experiences. Or I read a stimulating book. Or I went out to enjoy nature. I even plunged further into my work, doing things that I normally didn’t have time for. But to go to Jesus—to give Him first claim on my spare time, that I did not do.’”
J. Oswald Sanders
Enjoying Intimacy With God, p.43
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
Revelation 2:4 (ESV)
Supreme love for the Lord Jesus can be lost. And sadly so! The Lord Jesus takes it personally when this happens, and His Spirit grieves. This is not because He needs your love. Rather it is because He loves you with all of His infinite and eternal being, and He does not want to see you lose the fullness you have when you love Him supremely and passionately. When our first love wanes, the Lord Jesus waits, like the Father for his prodigal son, longing for our return. His love never ever wanes. We must carefully guard our hearts so that our love for Him does not wane—and quickly repent if it does. Like the Father of the prodigal, He lovingly embraces us when we return, and is glad.
Posted by Jerry White on May 16, 2013
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.
1 Peter 5:6
“The blessed Lord Jesus took the very lowest place; but God has given Him the very highest. He made Himself nothing, but God has made Him everything. He said, ‘I am a worm and no man’; but God has set Him as Head over all. He went into the very dust of death; but God has placed Him on the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.
What does all this teach us? It teaches us that the way to go up is to go down. This is a grand lesson, and one which we very much need to learn. It would effectually deliver us from envy and jealousy, from strife and vain glory, from self-importance and self-occupation. God will assuredly exalt those who, in the spirit and mind of Christ, take the low place; and, on the other hand, He will, as assuredly, abase those who seek to be somebody.
Oh! To be nothing! This is true liberty—true happiness—true moral elevation. And then what intense power of attraction in one who makes nothing of himself! And, on the other hand, how repulsive is a pushing, forward, elbowing, self-exalting spirit! How utterly unworthy of one bearing the name of Him who made Himself of no reputation! May we set it down as a fixed truth that ambition cannot possibly live in the presence of One who emptied himself? No doubt. An ambitious Christian is a flagrant contradiction.”
C. H. MacKintosh
His Victorious Indwelling, 132-133
Nick Harrison, Editor
The Bible (God) commands us to humble ourselves. This does not mean that we fake humility by demeaning ourselves to others or pretending we are nothing. Humility comes from a sober estimate of sinful self before holy, Almighty God. A proper view of self and a true view of Him in His majesty cause a humble state of mind. We must remain near Him in order for humility to reign in our attitude. Humility is freedom—and like Christ.
Posted by Jerry White on May 13, 2013
“There is nothing — no circumstance, no trouble, no testing — that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ, right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose, which I may not understand at the moment.
But as I refuse to become panicky, as I lift up my eyes to him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will cause me to fret, for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is.”
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:2-3 (ESV)
Is there any safer place to be than hidden with Christ in God? Even the Psalmist, who knew nothing about being hidden with Christ in God, could confess with utmost confidence, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1 (ESV). Fretfulness, worry, and anxiety on our part say to the Lord, “I don’t believe you are caring for me. I have no confidence that you are watching over me.” If the Lord Jesus gave all He could give for us, will He not faithfully watch over His little children that He bought with His own life’s blood? He desires that we be at rest in the very safe place of being hidden with Him in God. In this blessed hidden place His love, joy, and peace rules.
Posted by Jerry White on May 9, 2013
He who believes in Me…out of his heart will flow rivers of living water (John 7:38).
“A river reaches places which its source never knows. And Jesus said that, if we have received His fullness, ‘rivers of living water’ will flow out of us, reaching in blessing even ‘to the end of the earth’ (Acts 1:8) regardless of how small the visible effects of our lives may appear to be. We have nothing to do with the outflow—‘This is the work of God, that you believe…’(John 6:29). God rarely allows a person to see how great a blessing he is to others.
A river is victoriously persistent, overcoming all barriers. For a while it goes steadily on its course, but then comes to an obstacle. And for a while it is blocked, yet it soon makes a pathway around the obstacle. Or a river will drop out of sight for miles, only later to emerge again even broader and greater than ever. Do you see God using the lives of others, but an obstacle has come into your life and you do not seem to be of any use to God? Then keep paying attention to the Source, and God will either take you around the obstacle or remove it. The river of the Spirit of God overcomes all obstacles. Never focus your eyes on the obstacle or the difficulty. The obstacle will be a matter of total indifference to the river that will flow steadily through you if you will simply remember to stay focused on the Source. Never allow anything to come between you and Jesus Christ—not emotion nor experience—nothing must keep you from the one great sovereign Source.”
Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)
My Utmost For His Highest, September 6
Oswald Chambers was converted on hearing Charles H. Spurgeon. He studied art and then entered college in 1897 to train for the Baptist ministry. He became a Bible teacher. He died at age 43 never knowing the impact his life would make through his teachings that were compiled by his wife after his death in the classic devotional book known throughout the world, My Utmost For His Highest. The rivers from Chambers still flow.
Posted by Jerry White on May 6, 2013
“How much greater than any of ours was Jesus’ responsibility—the responsibility of saving the world! If there was ever on this earth a being who could be tempted to bustle about, to hurry everywhere, to want to see everyone in order to fulfill His task, it was Jesus Christ. But what do we see? That wondrous calm that shines forth in the Gospels. Jesus had time to speak tranquilly with a woman whom he met at the well….He had time for children. He had time for those who came to Him. And His great mission, His mission for all the entire world, was fulfilled in that total giving of Himself to each person, in that calm and completely personal dialogue with each one.”
“I’m just so busy!”, is a comment often made by believers, as if this is a badge of honor. What does such a statement communicate to others? Does it declare one’s lack of laziness, or a position of importance, or too much to do, or a lack of self-control over the affairs of one’s life? Those who are overwhelmingly busy and speak of it with a strain of weariness do not communicate the sufficiency and presence of the Lord Jesus. Could this be a strategy of the devil in our culture to keep God’s people looking like the frantic, overactive, and busy world we live in rather than demonstrating the serenity and calmness of the Lord Jesus? No greater burden has any man carried so graciously, gently, and unhurriedly as did this beautiful Man from Nazareth. And if He lives within us and truly orders our days then what does it say about our Master if we live rushed, overly busy lives just like lost people? When we live in His calmness then His calmness will be the atmosphere surrounding us in our full days, and our fragrance will be peace and joy—like Him.
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
Posted by Jerry White on May 2, 2013
If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.
2 Timothy 2:13
“Many influences separate Christ and His people; we, alas, allow many walls to intervene and cause Him to stand behind them. What are infidelity, coldness, and many sins of our hearts, other than obstructions to Christ’s full and frequent manifestations of Himself to our souls? But if we were to specify one obstruction in particular, we would mention unbelief as the great separating wall between Christ and His people…. Nothing more effectually separates us from, or rather, obscures our view of, Christ than the sin of unbelief. Not fully believing His word, not simply and implicitly relying on His work, not trusting His faithfulness and love, not receiving Him wholly and following Him fully, only believing and receiving half that He says and commands, not fixing the eye upon Jesus as risen and alive, as ascended and enthroned, having all fullness, all power, all love—oh, this unbelief is a dead, towering wall between our Beloved and our souls!
And yet, does He stand behind it? Does it not compel Him to depart and leave us forever? No, He is there! Oh, wondrous grace, matchless love, infinite patience! Wearied with forbearing, and yet there! Doubted, distrusted, grieved, and yet standing there, waiting to be gracious, longing to manifest Himself. Nothing prevailed to compel His withdrawal. When our coldness, our old nature, our neglect, our ingratitude, and our backslidings might have prevailed, He has never entirely and forever withdrawn. His post is to watch the purchase of His dying agonies with a sleepless eye of love, and to guard His vineyard night and day, lest anything hurt it. Who can adequately picture the care, the tenderness, the love, with which the Son of God keeps His special treasure?”
Evening Thoughts, 218-219