Posted by Jerry White on Jun 30, 2013
“Paul says that one weapon in the ongoing fight of faith is the practice of ‘buffeting the body.’ He was not unaware that the desires of the body are deceitful as well as delightful. He said that the ‘old self’ is ‘being corrupted in accordance with the desires of deceit’ (Ephesians 4:22, author’s translation). The nature of this deceit is to lure us subtly into living for the ‘fleeting pleasures’ of the body and mind, rather than the spiritual delights of knowing and serving God….
When I was preaching on fasting and prayer some years ago, a young man came up to me after one of the messages and told me a story that illustrates the kind of buffeting the body in prayer that fits a person for heaven. I had referred to the South Korean church as pacesetters in this regard. That moved the young man to talk to me after the service.
‘I grew up on the mission field in Korea. There is one experience emblazoned on my mind to show the sacrificial dedication to prayer and fasting in Korea. My father worked with a leper colony, and they had prayer meetings that met at four o’clock in the morning. I was a little boy, but my father took me with him, getting me up at about 3:30 A.M. to get there on time. He sat me down in the back where I could see out the door. And I’ll never forget one man who had no legs, no crutches, and was using his hands and crabbing along the ground, dragging his body to pray at 4:00 A.M. I’ll never forget that.’
Rising early is a kind of fast. And coming to pray when it is hard to get there is another kind of fast. When we make such choices, we make war on the deceitfulness of our desires and declare the preciousness of prayer and the all-surpassing worth of God.”
A Hunger For God, 47-48
I discipline my body and keep it under control.
1 Corinthians 9:27 (ESV)
Grace is not freedom from discipline but rather freedom for discipline. Grace has provided the indwelling Holy Spirit so there can be the fruit of self-control
Posted by Jerry White on Jun 27, 2013
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:8 (ESV)
“Too few Christians live radiantly, beautifully, abundantly. We do not rise to the level of the joys that are fitting of God’s heirs.
We do not know the love of Christ in the sense that we are conscious ourselves of being loved by Christ with all infinite tenderness.
There are far deeper joys within our reach than we have experienced. The beauty of the Lord does not shine always in our faces and glow in our characters and appear in our dispositions and tempers.
We are like the Galilean fishermen, toiling and taking nothing. Is it any wonder some of us are discouraged and almost ready at times to give up?
But listen to the Master’s voice as it breaks on our ears: ‘Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught.’ The trouble with us is, we have been trying only the shallows of God’s love. Half consecration knows nothing of the best things of divine grace. We must cut the last chain that binds us back to the shore of this world, and like Columbus, put out to sea to discover new worlds of blessing. We can best hasten the coming of the Kingdom of Christ in its full glory by letting love have its victories in us—the love that bears all things and endures all things—and by doing ever the gentle deeds that comfort lonely hearts and relieve suffering and distress.”
J. R. Miller (quoted)
Magnificent Prayer, 385-386
I know of no one who cut all the chains of the self-life to become abandoned to Christ who regrets the decision and wishes to go back to the shallows. These who cut loose from the shore experience the joy, peace and love of God that many others never experience. They enter the overflowing life Jesus promised in John 10:10. It is a decision by faith.
Posted by Jerry White on Jun 24, 2013
The Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Jeremiah 31:3 (ESV)
“When Moses was on Mount Sinai, God passed before him. So magnificent and overwhelming was the presence of God that Moses threw himself face down on the ground.
What passed before Moses might be described as the bright gleaming facets of God’s nature, His invisible qualities. The sight was so brilliant that Moses was stunned. And later, when he was given the plan for the tabernacle and the holy place, these eternal brightnesses were presented by the ever-burning ‘lamps.’
On Sinai, though, as the Lord passed, He proclaimed His brilliant attributes: The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin…(Exodus 34:6-7.
These are the aspects of God Himself, which struck Moses’ heart so that he loved and knew God more profoundly than even before.
This is the way in which God shines His Light—which contains many lights—into our soul. For His Light is all of His many virtues, and when He allows these to burn within us, we know He has ‘revealed’ himself. Though we do not see Him with our eyes, we say He has ‘shown’ himself within our soul, when the lights of His glory pass within us.
Is it any wonder that the soul feels it is being lifted and opened, rising as if on a current of pure and wordless joy, whenever He is near?… The soul is completely absorbed…and we know beyond human knowing that His love is Life. We long for the day when we are united with Him in eternity and we are filled forever with this Love and this Life.”
John of the Cross
You Set My Spirit Free, 138-139
Arranged and Paraphrased by David Hazard
Posted by Jerry White on Jun 20, 2013
Beholding Thee, Lord Jesus, Now gazing on Thy face,
There I find Thy love anew and Thine abiding grace,
For as I look upon thee, Thine image so divine
Is graven deep within my heart and in this life of mine.
Beholding Thee, Lord Jesus, my weary soul finds rest.
Beholding Thee, Lord Jesus, my longing heart is blest;
I look to Thee to guide me – I need Thee, Lord, beside me,
That I may know the rapture of Thy Presence,
As I behold Thee!
“If you long for Him, He much more longs for you. No sinner was ever half as eager for Christ as Christ is eager for the sinner; no saint was ever one-tenth as anxious to behold his Lord as his Lord is to behold him. If you are running to Christ, He is already near you. If you sigh for His presence, that sigh is the evidence that He is with you. He is with you even now; therefore, be glad.
Go forth, beloved, and talk with Jesus on the beach, for He often walked along the seashore. Commune with Him amid the olive groves, which were so dear to Him in many a night of wrestling prayer. Have your heart right with Him, and He will visit you often. Soon enough, you will walk every day with God, as Enoch did, and so turn weekdays into Sabbaths, meals into sacraments, homes into temples, and earth into heaven. May it be so with all believers! Amen.”
Joy in Christ’s Presence, 15
One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire [meditate] in his temple.
Psalm 27:4 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Jun 17, 2013
Therefore God, your God has anointed you with the oil of gladness.
“He makes us glad, but how can we make Him glad? By our love. Ah! We think it so cold, so faint; and so, indeed, we must sorrowfully confess t to be, but it is very sweet to Christ. Hear His own eulogy of that love in the golden Canticle [Song of Solomon]: ‘How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! How much better is thy love than wine!’ See, loving heart, how He delights in you. When you lean your head on His bosom, you not only receive, but you give Him joy; when you gaze with love upon His all-glorious face, you not only obtain comfort, but impart delight. Our praise, too, gives Him joy – not the song of the lips alone, but the melody of the heart’s deep gratitude. Our gifts, too, are very pleasant to Him; He loves to see us lay our time, our talents, our substance upon His altar, not for the value of what we give, but for the sake of the motive from which the gift springs. To Him the lowly offerings of His saints are more acceptable than thousands of gold and silver. Holiness is like frankincense and myrrh to Him.”
C. H. Spurgeon
Morning & Evening, February 15, P.M.
Self-centered immaturity causes one to think mostly of what he or she wants the Lord to do that will make them glad. We are making progress in the things of God when we begin to be occupied with what will bless our Lord. The lady who washed His feet with her tears and asked for nothing. Mary who broke the very expensive alabaster bottle of perfume and poured it upon Jesus in a pure act of worship. Paul who wanted to know Him more intimately and please Him in all things. These believers delighted the Lord’s heart.
Our deepest joy comes from longing to please and bless and honor and delight the Lord Jesus more than anything else. To love Him is to want to bless Him.
Posted by Jerry White on Jun 13, 2013
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations.
1 Peter 1:6 (KJV)
“Three gracious words, ‘If need be.’ Not one of all my tears has been shed for nothing! Not one stroke of the rod has been unneeded, or that might have been spared.
Your heavenly Father loves you too much and too tenderly, to bestow harsher correction than your case requires. Is it loss of health or loss of wealth or loss of beloved friends? Be still, there was a ‘need be.’ We are no judges of what that ‘need be’ is; often though, in spite of aching hearts we are forced to exclaim, ‘Your judgments are greatly deep.’
God here pledges Himself, that there will not be one unnecessary thorn in the believer’s crown of suffering. No burden too heavy will be laid on him; and no sacrifice too great exacted from him. He will ‘temper the wind to the shorn lamb.’ Whenever the ‘need be’ has accomplished its end, then the rod is removed — the chastisement suspended — the furnace quenched.
‘If need be’! Oh, what a pillow on which to rest your aching head — that there is not a drop in all your bitter cup but what a God of love saw to be absolutely necessary.”
Fill Me With Hope, September 16
It is difficult to remember when we are in the midst of trial or tribulation that our heavenly Father has pre-measured it and appointed for us to go through it in order to transform us. It is equally hard to remember that the same love that blesses us richly has purposed the painful time as well. Our hearts must firmly grip two truths if we will live with peace and joy through necessary trials: Our sovereign Father orders our path; our loving Father measures our every burden. The Lord Jesus walked this way before us and understands what it means to learn obedience through suffering (Hebrews 5:8).
Posted by Jerry White on Jun 9, 2013
“While speaking to adult Christian groups in evangelical churches, several years ago, I (Neil) would make the following statement: ‘Christian maturity is understanding the principles of the Bible and trying as best we can to live them.’ I then asked how many people agreed with that statement. Nearly everybody did. Then I told them I disagreed with almost every aspect of that statement! It’s true that it’s understanding the principles of Scripture that is essential for Christian maturity, but that in itself is not Christian maturity. Christian maturity is Christlike character. If you know all the principles but don’t have the character, then you are only a ‘resounding gong or a clanging cymbal’ that is without love (1 Corinthians 13:1). Also, trying as best you can to live the Christian life will probably bear no fruit because apart from Christ you can do nothing. Only by God’s grace can you live the Christian life.
Progressive sanctification is a supernatural work. Clearly the victory over sin and death through Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection was God’s victory and not ours. Only God can redeem us from the power of sin, set us free from out past, and make us new creations ‘in Christ.’ Even though we have become a partaker of the divine nature due to Christ’s nature due to Christ’s presence in our lives, we still need to be dependent upon God to supply the power to conform us to His image. Becoming a Christian does not mean that we have more power in and of ourselves. It means that we are inwardly connected to the only source of power that is able to overcome the laws of sin and death, which is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). That we are tempted to misunderstand this truth or perhaps unconsciously forget it in our attempt to grow as believers is seen in Paul’s sharp question to the Galatians: ‘Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?’ (Galatians 3:3).”
Neil T. Anderson
The Common Made Holy, 257-258
If you long to become like Jesus in character so that He is seen through your personality day by day, there is only one way: You must consciously and deliberately trust Him to be who He is through you. Otherwise you live out of your self-life (flesh). What a waste!
Posted by Jerry White on Jun 6, 2013
“The life of Jesus was supremely reposeful. All the paths of the Master were paths of peace. That is the inescapable impression which His life makes upon us. But that is not all that has to be said. The significant thing is that, living in the manner in which He did, Jesus still preserved a spirit of calm.
Consider these striking combinations. He lived strenuously, yet there was always about His movements an air of leisure. The strenuousness is unmistakable. The evangelist Mark, more especially, writes of days filled with a swiftly moving succession of exacting tasks. As soon as one task was finished ‘immediately,’ ‘straightway,’ forthwith,’ another claimed His attention. Much of His time was spent with multitudes numbering thousands. Privacy was difficult to obtain.
Yet Jesus was always leisurely. He never hurried. Even when an urgent message came from Bethany that Lazarus was dead, ‘He abode two days still in the same place.’ He required, and took, sufficient time for His plan of action to mature.
Interruptions never distracted Him. He accepted them as opportunities of a richer service. Interruptions were the occasion of some of His most gracious deeds and most revealing words.
He lived intensely, yet entirely without tension. The evidence of intensity is everywhere. In the presence of human need He was stirred to a compassion so deep that it affected Him physically. He was ‘grieved’ at the hardness of men’s hearts. He shed tears of sympathy as He stood with mourners. He was broken with sorrow as He contemplated the judgment of desolation about to fall on Jerusalem. He flamed with indignation as He exposed hypocrisy. Intensity indeed! Yet there is always the quick return to normal composure. If He was shaken by agony in Gethsemane, a calm dignity shows itself through all the rest of the Via Dolorosa.
He lived dangerously, yet always in the calm of an invincible courage…. He told Pharisees and disciples alike that He had accepted His appointed course and, regardless of threats, He would fulfill it. When the twelfth hour of His life’s day had struck, the soldiers sent to arrest Him were over-awed by the majestic calm of the Holy One, shrank back in consternation and fell to the ground.
Such was the repose of the Son of Man.”
G. H. Morling
The Quest For Serenity, 45-47
The Lord Jesus wants us to learn to live like He did—in His peace (John 14:27).
Posted by Jerry White on Jun 3, 2013
“The prophets saw the Lord our God. They saw Him in His beauty, and they tried to describe Him.
They described Him as radiantly beautiful and fair, a winsome being. They said that He was royal and that He was gracious. They described Him as a majestic being; and yet they noted His meekness. They saw Him as righteous and filled with truth. They tried to describe the manner of His love, with its gladness and joy and fragrance.
When the prophets try to describe for me the attributes, the graces, the worthiness of the God who appeared to them and dealt with them, I feel that I can kneel down and follow their admonition: ‘He is thy Lord—worship thou Him.’
He is fair and He is kingly, yet He is gracious in a sense that takes nothing away from His majesty.
The meekness and the majesty of Jesus. I wish I could write a hymn about that or compose music about it. Where else can you find majesty and meekness united?
The meekness was His humanity. The majesty was His deity. You find them everlastingly united in Him. So meek that he nursed at His mother’s breast, cried like any baby and needed all the human care that every child needs.
But He was also God, and in His majesty He stood before Herod and before Pilate. When He returns coming down from the sky, it will be in His majesty, the majesty of God. Yet it will also be in the majesty of the Man who is God.
This is our Lord Jesus Christ. Before His foes, He stands in majesty. Before His friends, He comes in meekness.
It is given to men and women to choose—a person may have either side. If he does not want the meek side of Jesus, he will come to know the majestic side….
When He appears to men again, it will be in majesty. In His kingly majesty He will deal with the pride and conceit and self-sufficiency of mankind, for the Bible says that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord and King.
To really know Him is to love and worship Him.”
A. W. Tozer
Whatever Happened To Worship?, 120-121
Compiled and Edited by Gerald B. Smith