The Person of Christ

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 29, 2013

The one known as Jesus Christ lived in eternity past as the Son of God before He was born as a human being and given an earthly name. He, like God the Father, was sovereign, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable. In His pre-conception state He, like His Father, was all-knowing, all-present, and all-powerful. He and His Father were equal in essence, power, and glory. Again, like the truth of the trinity, this infinite truth cannot be fully grasped by finite human minds — one God but three distinct persons in perfect union. A pastor said that he did not understand electricity, but he didn’t plan to it in the dark until he did. Even though this truth cannot be explained, illustrated, defined or fully understood, it can be believed through faith and have a profound impact on you.

The eternal Word of God, which refers to God’s Son, became flesh and lived among us exactly like we have to live as human beings (John 1:1-3; 14). This incarnation of God’s eternal Son through a young virgin, who became impregnated by the Holy Spirit, is profound beyond words (Matthew 1:21-23; Luke 1:30-35). His humiliation by natural birth into our sinful, evil world as a helpless baby is an incomprehensible display of God’s love. He gave up His infinite bliss with His Father in glory to dwell in this world where Satan rules (John 12:31; 13:30; 16:11). Jesus lived fully as a human being wholly dependent on His Father—by choice and self-denial with no rights of His own (Philippians 2:6-8). Someone said that He was the most helpless man who ever lived (John 5:19). He was completely human just like us, except without a sin nature. He lived without sin, even though tempted severely, by trusting His Father and obeying Him.

All the fullness of God dwelt in Him bodily (Colossians 2:9). This means that nothing in Jesus was unlike God’s character and nothing in God’s character was lacking in Jesus. Jesus was the exact image of the invisible God (Hebrews 1:3). To see Jesus Christ is to see the Heavenly Father (John 14:9).

When God saw mankind’s wickedness was great in the earth He was grieved to His heart (Genesis 6:5-6). Jesus also grieved over sin. He showed tender compassion to repentant ones, but to the unrepentant, hard-hearted ones he became grieved and angered (Mark 3:5). “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him” (John 1:11). One day when Jesus approached Jerusalem, because they had rejected God’s visitation and truth through Him, He wept. It was not a cry of silent tears trickling down His cheeks and beard. The Greek word “wept” means He sobbed and wailed out loud, so deep was His grief over their condition and what was going to happen to them because His own people had rejected His Father’s offer of salvation (Luke 19:41-44).

Jesus was the full expression of the Father’s heart. Sin and unbelief grieves God to His heart.

JRW




The Person Of God

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 26, 2013

God is a person, an invisible Spirit person but a real person. Even though He is all-knowing, all-present, and all-powerful, he is not untouchable. Even though He is sovereign, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, He is intensely personal. We can dare to say He is profoundly intimate. Not a sparrow falls apart from His will (Matthew 10:29). He feeds the bird of the air (Matthew 6:26). He clothes the lilies of the field (Matthew 6:28). He calls each star by name (Psalm 147:4; Isaiah 40:26). He numbers the hairs of your head (Luke 12:7). Not a thought crosses your mind but what He knows it perfectly (Psalm 139:2). He is acquainted with all your ways (Psalm 139:3). He numbered your days before there was yet one of them (Psalm 139:16). Not an atom moves without His control (Colossians 1:17).

The Trinity is the most intimate relationship in existence, one in three and three in one—tri-unity. Far beyond human comprehension are three distinct persons in one God, each knowing Himself distinct from the others but each equal in essence, power, and glory with the other persons, and each fulfilling His particular role in the Godhead. We must rest content that there is no possible way we can grasp, illustrate, or explain with finite minds this infinite, wondrous truth.

All of creation reveals what God can do, but mankind was created to reveal what God is like. God intended mankind to be the visible expression of His invisible and magnificent character. Just as Jesus declared that he who had seen Him had seen the Father (John 14:9), so God intended the same to be said of us (Ephesians 4:24). He created us in His image to manifest His beautiful character.

Eve, the first woman, was deceived by Satan into eating the forbidden fruit, and then by her temptation to the first man, Adam disobeyed God’s clear command (Genesis 3:1-7). His disobedience brought the entire human race into slavery to sin, and death followed, just as God had promised (Genesis 2:16-17; Romans 5:12).

In time, as the human race increased, God saw that man’s wickedness was great in the earth. He further saw that every imagination of man’s heart was only evil continually, and He was sorry that He had made mankind (Genesis 6:5-6). Then follows this stunning statement about sovereign, infinite, eternal God—and it grieved him to his heart. God as a person can be grieved to His heart by our sin—yours and mine. Love grieves over loss. Our behavior affects God with either grief or delight,

JRW




Posted in Sovereign God

Morning Watch

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 21, 2013

O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.

Psalm 5:3 (ESV)

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Through the centuries godly men have agreed that morning is the best time to meet alone with the Lord. Before the busyness of day begins, while the soul is quiet and the body more rested, spiritual men have taught believers to have a morning watch. This way one enters their day renewed by God’s Word, presence, and fellowship.

It is not so easy in this generation when there is shift work requiring people to work while others sleep. For some day is night and night is day. However, there is a “morning time” to anyone’s day regardless of when it occurs in the twenty-four hour clock, a time when one’s day begins. This can be their time for their “morning watch.”

The Lord Jesus sometimes rose up a great while before day and went out to a solitary place to pray. At other times He slipped away in the dark of night to pray. Even a casual reading through the gospels reveals that the Lord Jesus let nothing keep him from His time alone with His Father. He urgently needed it, desired it, and diligently pursued it.

Godly men have found it helpful to remember and confess truth in their morning watch.

H. C. G. Handley Moule (1841-1920) did so when he wrote “My Morning Act of Faith”:

I believe on the Son of God, therefore I am in Him,

having redemption through His blood and life by His Spirit.

HE IS IN ME and all fullness is in Him.

To Him I belong by creation, purchase, conquest and self-surrender:

To me He belongs for all my hourly need.

There is no cloud between my Lord and me.

There is no difficulty inward or outward which He is not ready to meet in me today.

I believe I have received not the Spirit of fearfulness,

but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

The Lord is my keeper.

Amen.




Divine Possibilities

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 15, 2013

“I dare say that—

It is possible, for those who reckon on the power of the Lord for keeping and victory, to lead a life in which His promises are taken as they stand and found to be true.

It is possible to cast all our care upon Him and to enjoy deep peace in doing so.

It is possible to have the thoughts and imaginations of our hearts purified, in the deepest meaning of the word, through faith.

It is possible to see the will of God in everything, and to receive it, not with sighing, but with singing.

It is possible, by taking complete refuge in divine power, to become strong through and through; and where previously our great weakness lay, to find that the things which formerly upset all our resolves to be patient or pure or humble, furnish today an opportunity—through Him that loved us, and works in us an agreement with His will and a blessed sense of His presence and His power—to make sin powerless.

These things are divine Possibilities, and because they are His work, the true experience of them will always cause us to bow lower at His feet and to learn to thirst and long for more. We cannot possibly be satisfied with anything less than—each day, each hour, each moment, in Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit—TO WALK WITH GOD.”

H. C. G. Moule (1841-1920)

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I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13 (ESV)




Time Is Master

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 12, 2013

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 5:15-16 (ESV)

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“Time is lord of all things. What is all the history of the world but a proof of how, slowly but surely, time has made man what he is today? All around us we see the proofs. In the growth of the child to manhood, both physically and mentally, in the success of every pursuit, in all our labors and all our attainments, it is under the law of time and its inconceivable power that we spend our lives.

This is especially true in religion and fellowship with God. Here time is also master. What fellowship with God! What holiness and blessedness! What likeness to His image, and what power in His service for blessing to men! All on the one condition: that we have sufficient time with God for His holiness to shine on us with its light and its heat, and to make us partakers of His Spirit and His life. The very essence of religion lies in the thought: Time with God….

Oh, you who are complaining that overwork, or too much zeal in doing the work is hindering your spiritual efficiency, do you not see that if you would but submit your timetable to the inspection of Christ and His Holy Spirit, you would find that a new life would be yours if you fully believed and put into daily practice the word: My time is in thy hand?”

Andrew Murray

The Believer’s Secret of the Abiding Presence, 87-88

Compiled by Louis Gifford Parkhurst, Jr.

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Dare we say to the Lord who has given us time, “I do not have time for You?”

Would we be so honest with Him as to say, “I have filled up all the time You gave me with earthly business and pleasure, so I cannot spend any time at Your feet to enjoy fellowship with You? Forgive me, Lord, but I am just so busy — too busy for You.”




A Holy Loving Father

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 8, 2013

“The whole spirit of Old Testament religion was determined by the thought of God’s holiness. The constant emphasis was that man, because of his weakness as a creature and His defilement as a sinful creature, must learn to humble himself and be reverent before God. Religion was ‘the fear of the Lord’ —a matter of knowing your own littleness, of confessing your faults and abasing yourself in God’s presence, of sheltering thankfully under His promises of mercy, and of taking care above all things to avoid presumptuous sins. Again and again it was stressed that man must keep his place, and his distance, in the presence of a holy God. This emphasis overshadowed everything else.

But in the New Testament we find that things have changed. God and religion are not less than they were; the Old Testament revelation of the holiness of God, and its demand for humility in man, is presupposed throughout. But something has been added. A new factor has come in. New Testament believers deal with God as their Father. ‘Father’ is the name by which they call Him. ‘Father’ has now become His covenant name — for the covenant which binds Him to His people now stands revealed as a family covenant. Christians are His children, His own sons and heirs. And the stress of the New Testament is not on the difficulty and danger of drawing near to the holy God, but on the boldness and confidence with which believers may approach Him: a boldness that springs directly from faith in Christ, and from the knowledge of His saving work. ‘We have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him’ (Ephesians 3:12). ‘Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…’ (Hebrews 10:19ff.). To those who are Christ’s, the holy God is a loving Father; they belong to His family; they may approach Him without fear, and always be sure of His fatherly concern and care. This is the heart of the New Testament message.”

J. I. Packer

Knowing God, 183-184 (1973 edition)

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I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

2 Corinthians 6:18 (ESV)




Posted in God's Love

The Secret Of Spiritual Freshsness

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 5, 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.”

Selwyn Hughes

Every Day Light: Water for the Soul

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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)

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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.




Utmost Blessings

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 1, 2013

You have been filled in him [Christ], who is the head of all rule and authority.

Colossians 2:10 (ESV)

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“We ought to rise higher in experience. How much of the fullness of Divine grace we know almost nothing of! How much belongs to us in Christ that we have never claimed as personally our own!

To say that it is the privilege of every Christian to enjoy to the utmost the blessings that flow to him from his union to Christ is not to say enough. It is his duty as well. We not only may be, but ought to be, ‘Strengthened with all might by His spirit in the inner man,’ ‘abounding in hope,’ ‘kept in perfect peace.’ But do we really seek this? Do we actually attain it? Is it uncharitable to say that most Christians are only barely alive?

Their spiritual pulse is feeble; their spiritual progress is slow; their spiritual victories are few; their spiritual joys are poor. There is no vigor in their faith. If they see at all it is only dimly. The full sunshine they never know. The clouds hang always low and trail heavily across their sky. This poor and meager experience is certainly better than no experience of grace at all; just as a sick man is better than a dead man. But when Christ comes to do His saving work upon us, He does not restore us from death to sickliness; He restores from death to the fullness of happy life.

Why do we not enjoy the assured position He gives us? Why do we walk so often with drooping face and downcast eye when Christ has risen a Conqueror, to make us sharers in His triumph over sin and death and hell? Looking upon our gloom-covered faces, listening to our cheerless, half-faithless tones, who would ever dream that we were the heirs of a glorious liberty obtained for us by the Christ who dies, and rose again, and lives for evermore?”

G. H. Knight

His Victorious Indwelling, 421

Nick Harrison, Editor

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All of God’s fullness is in Christ, and all His children have this fullness in Him. Nothing is lacking for God’s child to live overflowing with joy, peace and love.