Confidence

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 31, 2014

A sense of unworthiness rests upon diligent believers as long as they live on earth. Additionally, sinful failures bring shame, disappointment, and disgust. The enemy uses this sense of unworthiness and awareness of sinful failures as a club to beat down God’s sincere children. How can one approach God with any confidence whenever they have these strong negative feelings about themselves?

God’s Word says, Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19, ESV). We do not enter the holy places of His presence by confidence in ourselves. Never! We must always come before our pure, holy Father because of the blood of Jesus. It is His work on the cross and His righteous worthiness given to us that make it possible for us to come before Him with utmost confidence. We should never come before the Lord based on how we feel about ourselves. We may approach Him confidently by faith in Christ and His finished work, never by faith in self and one’s behavior. On your worst day of falling short, or on what you may consider your best day of measuring up, the necessity of approaching God by the blood and name of Jesus is the same. You can come boldly through Jesus Christ.

Our great high priest, the Lord Jesus, triumphantly entered heaven in our behalf. His shed blood fully paid our sins’ debt and silences the Law’s accusations against us. His perfectly righteous life provided the gift of righteousness Holy God requires of us. He lived a completely human life like us, and was agonizingly tempted throughout His life, but He never sinned. Therefore He sympathizes (shares our feeling) with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:14-15). Because of this, we can therefore with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16, ESV).

Child of God, you will never be worthy in yourself. You still fall short of His glory (Romans 3:23). You continue to stumble in many ways (James 3:2), whether it be in attitude, word, deed, or neglect. Repentance will be an ongoing necessity in your spiritual walk. Do not let this hinder your approach to your loving Father. He sees you in Christ, His beloved Son (Colossians 3:3). He looks at you with incomprehensible tenderness (John 15:9; 16:26-27). Never does He condemn you (Romans 8:1). Rejoice! You can have confidence before your Father because of who Christ is, what He accomplished for you, and the fact that you are clothed with Him.
JRW




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Strengthen Yourself

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 24, 2014

“Sorrow can be greatly alleviated if we give serious thought to the Word. Evidently, this is what Job did when he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD’ (Job 1:21). Here the patriarch recalls at least four subjects for serious consideration, and he draws great comfort from them.
Use Job as your example. Do no merely sit still and say, ‘I shall be comforted.’ Look for themes on which to meditate profitably. Get an anchor-hold on some great and clearly ascertained truth, a truth in which you can have no possible doubt. Then you may begin to be comforted.
Do you remember how David talked to himself as if he were another person? ‘Why are you cast down, O my soul? And Why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance’ (Ps. 42:5). You see, there are two Davids talking and cheering one another. We should always be good company with ourselves. We should always be able to interrogate ourselves, and in deep sorrow we should be able to comfort ourselves.
When you have learned this lesson, you will have learned the art of comforting others.”
C. H. Spurgeon
Beside Still Waters, 81
Roy H. Clarke, Editor
~~~
And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.
1 Samuel 30:6 (ESV)
~~~
The Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit strengthening us, and indeed this is true (Ephesians 3:16). The Psalmist testified, I am severely afflicted, give me life, O LORD, according to your word (Psalm 119:107, ESV) ! We strengthen and comfort ourselves in the LORD by feeding on God’s Word and by trusting His Spirit to be all we need in our affliction. The Spirit and the Word work together. Our part is to cling to specific promises and to wholly rely on His indwelling life.




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God’s Appointments

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 17, 2014

“His permission and His appointments are equally His will. Job thought so, for though Satan blasted his prosperity he said: ‘The Lord hath taken away.’ Joseph thought so, for he said: ‘It was not you that sent me down here, but God.’ David thought so, because he said, ‘God hath let Shimei curse; let him curse.’ Jesus thought so, because when Judas came into the garden to arrest Him He said, ‘The cup that My Father giveth Me to drink, shall I not drink it?’ Though it had been brought to His lips by a Judas, it had been mixed by His Father.

Now it seems to me as if you and I are enclosed in God. An arrow comes from the enemy’s bow. A man that hates me writes an anonymous letter. Someone defrauds me. Some woman sets an unkind story afloat about me. The evil travels towards me. If God liked, He could let the arrow pass this way or that. But if my God opens and permits the evil to pass through His encompassing power to my heart, by the time it has passed through God to me, it has become God’s will for me. He permits it, and that is His will for my life. I do not say that the man will escape his just doom. God will deal with him. I am not going to worry myself about him. In early days I would have taken infinite pains to avert the evil that men wished to do me, or perhaps to repay them, or to show that the evil was perfectly unwarranted. I confess that I have ceased to worry about it. If you silence one man you will start twenty more. It is ever so much better for peace of mind to accept the will of God, to accept His permission and His appointment, to look up into His face, and say ‘Even so, Father.’”
F. B. Meyer (1847-1929)
The Christ-Life for the Self-Life, 120-121, (1965)
~~~

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3, ESV).
This being true, by the time a difficult circumstance, relationship, or an attack reaches you it has come through your Father and Christ your Savior to be used as His instrument to reshape you into the image of Jesus Christ. Quiet acceptance with trust and obedience is the way we cooperate with Him for this trial to have its intended effect.




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Praise

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 10, 2014

The Father in heaven seeks true worshipers who will worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:23). Human beings were created by God to know Him, walk with Him, worship Him, and reflect His character to others. Adam’s transgression destroyed this glorious privilege for mankind. Salvation through Jesus Christ restores individuals to this original purpose. Nothing else satisfies a redeemed human heart like God’s original purpose walked out in daily life.

In our world where every one is beset with a multitude of distractions, how does a sincere believer maintain a heavenly focus (Colossians 3:1; Philippians 4:8)? We always contend with our weak flesh, an alluring world, and myriads of invisible demons who war against us. Much like Simon Peter, we lose our focus on Jesus Christ and begin to sink in the raging wind and waves of daily living (Matthew 14:22-33). Responsibilities demand attention and relationships require investment of energy. How does one keep focused with a holy and eternal perspective?

Psalms means praises. This is the key word in Psalms. Praise, thanksgiving, and adoration are activities of worship. This will be the primary activity in heaven (Revelation 4:9-11). Practicing these expressions of worship now keeps our heart focused on the glory of our great Lord and quickens our love and trust in Him. All through the Psalms we read about praise to the Lord. The last five Psalms begin with Praise the LORD (146-150). Psalm 144 begins, Blessed be the LORD, my rock. Psalm 145 begins, I will extol you, my God and King. The last verse of Psalms admonishes, Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD. Psalm 100:4 commands, Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! Jesus began the model prayer, Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Praise and thanksgiving must be spoken as an act of faith. Sometimes it is a sacrificial offering because our feelings are contrary. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name (Hebrews 13:15, ESV). With our lips speaking thanksgiving, adoration, and praises from our heart, we give our loving Father a sacrifice of worship that blesses Him. What does this do for us? It lifts our soul out of the miry clay of self absorption, worldly occupation, and demanding distractions into the realm of focusing on His beauty, grace, peace, and sovereign sufficiency—and yes, pleasing Him.
JRW




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Awareness

Posted by Jerry White on Mar 3, 2014

Communion with your Father requires awareness of what is true. Wanting to feel God’s presence is a hindrance. It is faith that pleases God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him (Hebrews 11:6, ESV). This issue must be decisively settled in one’s heart and soul: Do I want to please Him? The goal of your life and your pursuit must become to please Him rather than wanting Him to please you. This deliberate choice affects your entire life. Paul wrote, So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him (2 Corinthians 5:9). He made pleasing God his aim. One does not glide into this frame of mind, or even grow into it. One makes a deliberate choice and keeps reaffirming it day by day, circumstance by circumstance, blessed times and hard times. The preeminent issue for life is, “Am I pleasing my Father?” Whether He pleases me or not becomes a death to self matter.

Awareness that He is Sovereign Creator God, and I am merely His creature created for His pleasure, affects how I approach Him for communion—enjoyment of interpersonal fellowship together. One comes to Him believing that He exists and is present. Evidence or feeling has no place in this pursuit. God cannot lie nor deceive, so you can firmly believe that you are in His presence and express thankfulness for it regardless of negative feelings or thoughts. Abraham gave glory to God in spite of the aged condition of his and Sarah’s bodies (Romans 4:18-22). How Abraham felt had absolutely nothing to do with it. He believed and trusted what God said. And God was pleased.

The Lord Jesus said, but when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees is secret will reward you (Matthew 6:6, ESV). In that “alone place” where you go to pray to your Father who is in secret and sees in secret, you can be most assured that He has been waiting on you, and therefore is already present. His ear is already listening to your heart and your words because He is your Father who cares infinitely for you. He will reward you (Matthew 6:6; Hebrews 11:6). This awareness, because you believe and trust what He says, brings peace, comfort, and anticipation. Awareness by faith is the regular and normal way. Sometimes, however, at surprising moments when God chooses, He will by His Spirit communicate His nearness to you, and your whole being will know by experience your Father’s loving, melting presence.
JRW




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