Posted by Jerry White on Sep 29, 2013
“The early Christian church prayed for the filling of the Holy Spirit, and this was the secret of its power. It lived in the Spirit, walked in the Spirit, prayed in the Spirit, and sang in the Spirit. Their meetings allowed everyone to pray, sing, or testify as they were moved by the Spirit.
The Gentiles as well as the Jews had their Pentecost when the Holy Spirit fell upon Cornelius, his household, and his friends (Acts 10). After that, Jews and Gentiles were all one in Christ (Rom 3:9; Gal 3:22-28; Eph 2:11-19). The apostle Paul could say to the church at Corinth, ‘Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?’ (1 Cor 3:16). And to Christians in general, the apostle John could write, ‘But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth’ (1 John 2:20). These and many other Scriptures show that the New Testament church was truly a Spirit-filled one. We read concerning the men chosen as deacons of the first Christian church that they were ‘full of the Spirit and wisdom’ (Acts 6:3). With such anointing, it is little wonder that the early Christian church went forth conquering.”
James Gilchrist Lawson
Deeper Experiences of Famous Christians, 10-11
Infinite and eternal Father,
You are beautiful in holiness. You are beautiful in love. You are beautiful in humble Sovereignty. You are astounding in power. Too much do we see the things of man and this world — the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. Too little do we see You in Your beauty and experience Your nearness. Too much do we see what our efforts try to do and too little do we see what Your power can do. Yet, we know that what truly satisfies our soul is when You let us see Yourself.
Gracious Father, please let us see more of You than we ever have. Give us that longing to see who Your Spirit came to reveal, our Lord Jesus Christ. We need the reality of His presence with us. We need Your fullness in us. We need Your anointing upon us. Without that our pantry is empty. Lord, make us thirsty for You and then gloriously satisfy our thirst. Amen.
Posted by Jerry White on Sep 26, 2013
“We have over-complicated our God and His ways of coming to us. We have organized Him, strategized Him and compartmentalized Him. We have reduced His ways of working with us to cute little formulas, and we have stood off in our corners critical of others who seek His face in ways that differ from our own temperaments or styles of perception. But it is clear that God longs to restore a spiritual passion within us.”
Restoring Your Spiritual Passion, pp.217-218
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
1 John 5:2-3 (ESV)
When the Lord Jesus was preparing His disciples for His departure for heaven He told them how to continue without His physical presence with them. He simply said, “Abide in me”. Abiding in Him would happen as they trusted, obeyed, and loved Him. So uncomplicated and peaceful is this way because it is His ordained way. His commands are not a heavy burden. There is no formula by which we can live the Christian life or else He would have given it. No list of principles exists to which we must adhere for godly living or else the Lord Jesus would have listed them for us. Living the Christian life is the overflow and outflow of a simple loving relationship with the Lord Jesus, one of quiet trust in Him and loving obedience to Him. Seeing Him—knowing Him—adoring Him—loving Him—and enjoying Him is the way to keep our passion burning for Him. Each must find his or her way in this. Finding it is life abundant.
Posted by Jerry White on Sep 22, 2013
“The most critical issue facing Christians is not abortion, pornography, the disintegration of the family, moral absolutes, MTV, drugs, racism, sexuality or school prayer. THE CRITICAL ISSUE TODAY IS DULLNESS. We have lost our astonishment. The Good News is no longer good news; it is okay news. Christianity is no longer life changing; it is life enhancing. Jesus doesn’t change people into wild-eyed radicals anymore. He changes them into ‘nice people.’
If Christianity is simply about being nice, I’m not interested.
What happened to radical Christianity, the un-nice brand of Christianity that turned the world upside down? What happened to the category-smashing, life threatening, anti-institutional gospel that spread through the first century like wildfire and was considered (by those in power) dangerous? What happened to the kind of Christians whose hearts were on fire, who had no fear, who spoke the truth no matter what the consequence, who made the world uncomfortable, who were willing to follow Jesus wherever He went? What happened to the kind of Christians who were filled with passion and gratitude, and who every day were unable to get over the grace of God? ….
A. W. Tozer said a long time ago, ‘Culture is putting out the light in men and women’s souls.’”
Michael Yaconelli (1942-2003)
Dangerous Wonder, 23-24
And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
Acts 4:31 (ESV)
Only when individual Christians are full of the Holy Spirit when they come together for worship, will the church overflow with God’s life so that dullness is overruled with God’s presence.
Posted by Jerry White on Sep 19, 2013
The desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other.
Galatians 5:17 (ESV)
“What is meant by ‘the flesh’? Dr. W. G. Scroggie detected ten shades of meaning used in the Bible. In nine of the ten, there is no ethical or theological content. But the tenth, which is the one Paul mainly employs, does have such significance. The flesh may be defined as ‘man’s fallen nature as under the power of sin.’ It is the evil principle in man’s nature, the traitor within who is in league with the attackers without. The flesh provides the tinder on which the devil’s temptations can kindle.
In man there are two conflicting principles, each of which strives for the mastery. It is impossible for them to live together in peaceful coexistence. One principle is carnal, the other is spiritual. One is the principle of fleshly energy. The other is the principle of complete domination by the Holy Spirit. Our wills have the responsibility of choosing whether the carnal or the spiritual shall have the ascendancy.
The only remedy for the fleshly, or carnal, nature is that it be crucified, for it is inveterately wicked and incapable of improvement. But how can that be done, for crucifixion is a death that cannot be self-inflicted? That is true also in the spiritual realm. But it has been achieved in the death of Christ.
“We have been buried with Him through baptism…. We have become united with Him in the likeness of His death…knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him…that we should no longer be slaves to sin’ (Romans 6:4-6, italics added). It is not left to us to crucify the flesh or self-life; that was done for us in Christ’s death. But it remains for us to reckon it to be true for us (6:11). As we take that ground in faith, the Holy Spirit will make it true in experience, and we shall be emancipated from the dominance of fleshly desires.”
J Oswald Sanders
Enjoying Intimacy With God, 81
Posted by Jerry White on Sep 15, 2013
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
John 15:9 (ESV)
Oh, surpassing love of Jesus! With the burden of sin, the fire of justice, the wrath of God, the hate of man, the torture of devils in the sorrows of Gethsemane, the pains of Calvary, and the sea of His own blood all in vivid prospect before Him, He yet went forward, loving not His own life unto the death because He loved ours more.
Oh, let your heart bend low before this amazing love. Yield to its sweet and striking influence; let it draw you from your self, from other people, from all to Him. Are you wounded? Does your heart bleed? Is your soul cast down within you? Is your spirit desolate within you? Still Jesus is love, and He loves you. He has suffered and died for you; if it were necessary, He would suffer and die for you again. Whatever blessing He sees good to take from you, He will never take Himself away. Whatever stream of creature love He sees fit to dry, His own love will never fail. Oh, can the love that brought Jesus from heaven to earth to endure and suffer all this for us fail, or cease to yearn, sympathize, soothe, and support? Be still, then; lie still and low; drink the cup and let the surrender of your sin, your obedience and yourself to Him be as willing and as entire as His surrender of Himself was for you. Then you will, in a blessed degree, be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God’ (Eph. 3:18-19).”
Octavius Winslow (1808-1878)
Evening Thoughts, 490-491
Posted by Jerry White on Sep 12, 2013
Gazing upon the Lord from a heart of worship keeps the vision of Him clear. The result will be the glorious transformation of your own life into His likeness. The Scriptures reveal the secret by saying: But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18 NASB).
The hymn-writer, Freda Hanbury Allen, pens it so beautifully in the hymn, “Within the Veil.”
“Within the veil:” Be this, belov’d, thy portion,
Within the secret of thy Lord to dwell:
Beholding Him, until thy face His glory,
Thy life His love, thy lips His praise shall tell.
“Within the Veil,” for only as thou gazest
Upon the matchless beauty of His face,
Canst thou become a living revelation
Of His great heart of love, His untold grace.
“Within the veil,” His fragrance poured upon thee,
Without the veil, that fragrance shed abroad;
“Within the veil,” His hand shall tune the music
Which sounds on earth the praises of thy Lord.
“Within the veil,” thy spirit deeply anchored,
Thou walkest calm above a world of strife;
“Within the veil,” thy soul with Him united,
Shall live on earth His resurrection life.
What more can be done than has already been done? The work of Christ is finished, and in Him God has blessed you with every spiritual blessing. He is worthy of our worship.
Posted by Jerry White on Sep 9, 2013
As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me; heal me [margin – my soul], for I have sinned against you!“
Psalm 41:4 (ESV)
“There are seasons when the Christian sinks very low in humiliation. Under a deep sense of his great sinfulness, he is humbled before God till he scarcely knows how to pray, because he appears, in his own sight, so worthless. Well, child of God, remember that when thou art at thy worst and lowest, yet underneath thee ‘are the everlasting arms’. Sin may drag thee ever so low, but Christ’s great atonement is still under all. You may have descended into the deeps, but you cannot have fallen so low as the uttermost; and to the uttermost He saves.”
Morning & Evening, November 11, A.M.
“When once we confess it, our sin is immediately and forever put away. God will never mention it again. It need not be a barrier on our service; it should not hinder us from aspiring to and enjoying the most intimate fellowship which is within the reach of mortals. Forget the past sins and failures of your life in the sense of brooding over them with perpetual lamentation.”
F. B. Meyer
His Victorious Indwelling, 49
Nick Harrison, Editor
“Though grace does subdue sin, it does not wholly remove it. We are like Christ, having the first fruits of the Spirit, yet we are unlike Him, having the remainders of the flesh.”
Glorifying God, August 22
“Sometimes, when after a sin committed, I have looked for sore chastisement from the hand of God. Instead, the very next that I have had from him has been the discovery of His grace.” John Bunyan (1628-1688)
Posted by Jerry White on Sep 5, 2013
Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
Isaiah 1:18 (ESV)
“My Lord is more ready to pardon than you to sin, more able to forgive than you to transgress. My Master is more willing to supply your wants than you are to confess them. Never tolerate low thoughts of my Lord Jesus.”
Morning & Evening, August 22, P.M.
“Penitent soul! Dare to believe in the instantaneous forgiveness of sins. Thou has only to utter the confession to find it interrupted with the outbreak of the Father’s love. As soon as the words of penitence leave thy lips, they are met by the hurrying assurance of love, which whilst it hates sin, has never ceased to yearn over the prodigal.”
F. B. Meyer
“Woe, woe is me that I am a sinner, that I grieve this blessed God, who is infinite in goodness and grace!
O, if he would punish me for my sins, it would not wound my heart so deep to offend him;
But though I sin continually, he continually repeats his kindness to me.
At times I feel I could bear any suffering, but how can I dishonor this glorious God?”
The Valley of Vision, 232-233
Edited by Arthur Bennett
I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
Isaiah 43:25 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on Sep 1, 2013
When Jesus was preparing His disciples for His departure through His crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, He promised, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever” (John 14:16). The word He used for “another” means another of the same kind. He further said of this Helper, “You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:17). Jesus Christ, God’s eternal Son made flesh, would no longer be with them bodily, but in response to Jesus’ prayer, the Father would give another person exactly like Jesus to be to them everything He had been while He was with them, and yes, even more. Jesus in His human body could only be with them like we can be with another person, but the Spirit could be with them and in them every single moment. The Helper, who is the Spirit of Christ, would be their ever-present indwelling life, helper, strengthener, counselor, comforter, and teacher all the days of their lives. All the fullness of God in Christ would be theirs to enjoy and live by regardless of what they would ever face.
Through faith in Christ the believer receives astounding gifts of mercy and grace: Christ’s own righteousness —the perfect righteous life He lived on earth for thirty-three years put to the believer’s account; forgiveness for every single sin of one’s entire life because Jesus suffered God’s just wrath for all the believer’s sins; and the gift of Christ’s triumphant resurrection-life to actually live inside the believer through the person of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. Completely forgiven, righteous with God’s own righteousness, and a living temple with God’s Spirit within. Stunning! And yet even though these blessings are permanent gifts of God’s love, we discover that the Holy Spirit can also be grieved like the Father was grieved to His heart, and like Jesus sobbed with deep grief over Jerusalem (Genesis 6:5-6; Luke 19:41-44). God commands believers, Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30). The Holy Spirit is a person. He is not an impersonal power, or a neutral force untouched by a believer’s sin, but a person as real as you are a person. He is exactly like the Father and the Son, and sin in the Christian causes Him grief (Ephesians 5:29-31). Why? He grieves for two reasons. The Holy Spirit loves Jesus Christ, and sin in the believer’s life dishonors Him. Secondly, the Spirit loves the believer, and sin in the believer’s life robs him or her of God’s best blessing and fullness. Excused, ignored, or tolerated sin by a Christian causes sadness to the Holy Spirit.