Posted by Jerry White on May 25, 2014
God “has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4, ESV). Absolute assurance is given to us when God’s Word says, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him [Jesus Christ] (2 Corinthians 1:20, ESV).
What benefit are the promises of God if we only read them in the Bible but never deliberately trust Him for their fulfillment? He speaks clearly in Hebrews 11:6, “without faith it is impossible to please him.” Faith trusts the trustworthy character of God and therefore believes what He says by His commands, declarations, and promises. This intentional act of trust honors and pleases Him, and it is the way we continue to partake of His divine nature.
When there is a crisis or deep difficulty in someone’s life, selfish human nature can look through the Bible or glance through a book of Bible promises and arbitrarily find a promise to believe. The consequence of this fleshly approach is often disappointment with the accusation that God does not keep His Word. The Lord does not respond to our self-centered desires that attempt to use Him and His Word for our selfish benefit. He will not be manipulated.
Those who are wholly submitted to the Lord Jesus and want only what will glorify His Name are in the position to hear when the Holy Spirit quickens God’s Word to them. They are not searching for a promise to claim selfishly because of trouble, but rather they are seeking God for His glory. They want to become like Jesus Christ and God’s promises are the way to partake of His divine nature. While alone with the Heavenly Father—meditating in His Word, and communing with Him in prayer—the thirsty one is alert to His very great promises and confidently expresses his or her trust that God in His steadfast faithfulness will do exactly what He promises. He or she understands that without deliberately believing God’s promise and actively trusting His Spirit to make it real, transformation into Christ-likeness will not take place. “Lord, I receive this promise and trust You to keep Your Word so I can become more like the beautiful Lord Jesus.”
Charles Spurgeon wrote, “No item in the list of our divine promises is unfulfilled. God remembers every promise that He ever made, and He honors each in the experience of those who believe in Him….” (Beside Still Waters, 155) With steadfast trust receive God’s promises.
Posted by Jerry White on May 18, 2014
It is valuable to read and pray over hymns and poems written by fellow Christian pilgrims through previous generations. Their human experiences and needs were the same as ours. They left a rich legacy to encourage us. Frederick William Faber (1814-1863) wrote the following:
Jesus! why dost Thou love me so?
What hast Thou seen in me
To make my happiness so great,
So dear a joy to Thee?
Wert Thou not God, I then might think
Thou hadst no eye to read
The badness of that selfish heart,
For which Thine own did bleed.
But Thou art God, and knowest all;
Dear Lord! Thou knowest me;
And yet Thy knowledge hinders not
Thy love’s sweet liberty.
Ah, how Thy grace hath wooed my soul
With persevering wiles!
Now give me tears to weep; for tears
Are deeper joy than smiles.
Each proof renewed of Thy great love
Humbles me more and more,
And brings to light forgotten sins,
And lays them at my door.
The more I love Thee, Lord! the more
I hate my own cold heart;
The more Thou woundest me with love,
The more I feel the smart.
What shall I do, then, dearest Lord!
Say, shall I fly from Thee,
And hide my poor unloving self
Where Thou canst never see?
Or shall I pray that Thy dear love
To me might not be given?
Ah, no! love must be pain on earth,
If it be bliss in heaven.
Posted by Jerry White on May 11, 2014
“Have you ever read a few chapters in your Bible, closed it, and then realized, ‘I don’t remember a thing I’ve read’? When this happens, don’t blame your age, IQ, or education, for they’re not the cause. Nearly all Bible readers frequently experience this forgetfulness. In most cases, however, the problem has more to do with this method of engaging God’s Word than anything else. For if you merely read the Bible, don’t be surprised if you forget most—-if not all—-of what you’ve read.
What’s the simple solution? (And I do believe that benefiting from the intake of God’s Word must be fundamentally simple because the Lord expects it of all His people, regardless of age, IQ, or education.) The solution is not only to read the Scriptures, but to meditate on them. Reading, of course, is the starting placed. Reading is, the exposure to Scripture, but meditation is the absorption of Scripture. And it’s the absorption of Scripture that leads to the transformation of our lives.
The Bible itself explicitly warns that if we do not look intently at (that is, meditate on) God’s perfect Word, we’ll forget it: ‘But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does’ (James 1:25, NASB). Just as hearing the Word of God without meditation on it causes a person to be a ‘forgetful hearer,’ so anyone who reads the Bible without meditation on it becomes a forgetful reader. And if you can’t remember what you read, you probably won’t experience or be changed by what you read.”
Donald S. Whitney
Simply Your Spiritual Life, 62
Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
James 1:21 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on May 4, 2014
When I considered some months ago transitioning this blog site to the point of shutting it down there came an overwhelming response by various means of communication. Some asked that I please continue with the site, and others asked if there was some way the postings could be preserved. Many wrote very kind and encouraging words. My wife and I prayerfully considered each letter written and every suggestion made. In time I became impressed that I must continue with one posting per week instead of two, as I had done since it’s beginning, and that I should pursue printing a book of posted articles.
I am in the process of putting a book together (with my wife’s assistance). It will include 120 articles in a handy carrying size with easy to read print. We want it to be of excellent quality at a reasonable price.
All funds that come go into a ministry fund in order to cover the costs of publishing, reprinting, and necessary expenses to maintain adisciplesnotebook.com. My purpose is to encourage God’s people in how to become all He has redeemed them to be.
We hope to have this book ready by late summer or early fall. We will notify you with a posting when it is ready and explain how you may order a copy. Different ones who know about the book have already indicated they want a copy. Interestingly, as I have worked on it, I am looking forward to having my own copy.
If the Lord’s favor is upon this, we will pursue a second volume with the same format. With over 500 postings available to choose from, there could even be more volumes.