Posted by Jerry White on Jan 31, 2016
When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. 2 Timothy 4:11 (ESV)
Among my many devotional books one of my most treasured, besides my Bible, is my devotional journal. My journal is a collection of my written prayers, quotes, old hymns, special Scripture verses, special words from the Lord and God exalting poems. These are specially chosen from many notes I made through the years—the richest cream that rose to the top. This is not a daily journal..These are my notes for remembrance. From the above Scripture the Apostle Paul must have had something similar with his books and parchments. When I pick up my journal of remembrance to read a few notes it stirs my soul in a fresh and renewing way. The following entry is from this journal examining my devotion to the Lord Jesus.
“Is every part of my being a suitable habitation for my holy Lord?
Can He dwell in my thought life?
Can He dwell in my imaginations?
Can He dwell in my emotions?
Can He dwell in my desires?
Is He able to fill every part of my inner being because He finds nothing there that offends Him—nothing that displeases Him?
Am I able to ascend to His holy place with clean hands and a pure heart? (Psalms 24:3-5)
If not, then how can I offer Him acceptable worship?
Tozer wrote,’No worship is wholly pleasing to God until there is nothing in me displeasing to Him.'”
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 25, 2016
So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.
Acts 24:16 (ESV)
“Have you ‘renounced the hidden things of shame’ in your life—the things that your sense of honor or pride will not allow to come into the light? You can easily hide them…you must maintain continual watchfulness so that nothing arises in your life that would cause you shame.”
My Utmost for His Highest, September 15
“My adversaries are part and parcel of my nature;
They cling to me as my very skin;
I cannot escape their contact.
In my rising up and sitting down they barnacle me;
They entice with constant baits;
My enemy is within the citadel;
Come with almighty power and cast him out, pierce him to death,
and abolish in me every particle of carnal life this day.”
The Valley of Vision, 217
Edited by Arthur Bennett
Lord, make me as sensitive as my eye is to a grain of sand to anything that would hinder me from being pure and holy before You. Give me holy revulsion for all that offends You. May my disgust for sin be greater than any temptation. Amen.
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 18, 2016
Life by the Spirit should flow with the Spirit like rivers. This quality of life through Christ living through a person is distinctly different and visible in a tasteless, dark world. Jesus spoke of His followers being the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13), the light of the world (Matthew 5:14), a lamp in the house (Matthew 5:15), a life overflowing. The Lord Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well, “The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). He later said on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water'” (John 7:38). In both places He was speaking of life by the Spirit. This is not religion, like the Pharisee’s living by their rules and regulations, but rather it is a living, breathing, joyful, peaceful, and enjoyable relationship of love with the beautiful Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
A compartmentalized life does not flow with life. If the truths of the Spirit-life are not known, understood and applied, then very sincere believers have their mental check lists they try to fulfill in order to be a devoted Christian. They are focused on doing the things they have been told that good, dedicated Christians do. They have not yet understood that Spirit-life flows from a heart focused on Christ, and experiences the joy of abiding in Him in a living, breathing and flowing relationship. This true and better way is for all and can be learned.
When I was a boy someone gave me a paint by number set, which included a canvas stamped with a parrot outline, sections marked with numbers, a brush, and small plastic containers numbered with necessary oil paints. When I finished meticulously painting in the sections the various colors, I had a lovely brightly colored oil painting of a parrot. It just didn’t flow with life like a real artist’s painting would. To set my parrot painting beside a true artist’s parrot painting would show the vast difference. They would not even be worthy of comparison.
Many live their Christian life like paint by numbers. It is compartmentalized and reveals self’s effort. Others have discovered a flowing life in Christ where His life springs up within and flows out like rivers of living water. This displays the Master Artist’s ability to make a life beautiful by His workmanship, and thereby His glory be seen.
Jesus said quite clearly, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all” (John 6:63).
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 11, 2016
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. James 1:14-15 (ESV)
“In our members there is a slumbering inclination toward desire, which is both sudden and fierce. With irresistible power, desire seizes mastery of the flesh. All at once a secret, smoldering fire is kindled. The flesh burns and is in flames. It makes no difference whether it is a sexual desire, or ambition, or vanity, or desire for revenge, or love of fame and power, or greed for money….
At this moment God is quite unreal to us. [Remember those words.] He loses all reality, and only desire for the creature is real. The only reality is the devil. Satan does not here fill us with hatred of God, but with forgetfulness of God…. The lust thus aroused envelopes the mind and will of man in deepest darkness. The powers of clear discrimination and of decision are taken from us. The questions present themselves as, ‘Is what the flesh desires really sin in this case?’ And, ‘Is it really not permitted to me, yes, expected of me now, here in my particular situation to appease desire?’…
It is here that everything within me rises up against the Word of God…. Therefore the Bible teaches us in times of temptation in the flesh, there is one command: Flee! Flee fornication. Flee idolatry. Flee youthful lusts. Flee the lusts of the world. There is no resistance to Satan in lust other than flight. Every struggle against lust in one’s own strength is doomed to failure.”
Quoted by Charles R. Swindoll, David, 185-186
Sin in your bodily members continues while you live on earth. Although the Lord Jesus broke its enslaving power over you at the cross, sin’s presence has not been eradicated from your flesh. It just waits for opportunity. Therefore it is a constant threat that must be overcome by your vigilance and dependent cooperation with the Lord.
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 4, 2016
“There must be conformity between Christ and the members of His mystical body. How incongruous it is for a holy Christ to be leading a company of unholy Christians, or a cross-bearing Christ, a band of self-indulgent Christians, whose hearts are often towards Egypt, and who shrink from the least suffering and self-denial! It is only they who have truly followed Him, having known the meaning of this inward Cross, who will ‘have boldness, and not shrink with shame before Him at His coming.’
Why hesitate, therefore, to bear the Cross by which you may gain the crown? In the Cross is salvation, in the Cross is life, in the Cross is safety from enemies; in the Cross is that peace which the world cannot give, in the Cross is courage, in the Cross is joy; in the Cross is the sum of all virtues, in the Cross the perfection of holiness. There is no salvation for the soul, no hope of eternal life in anything else. The Cross is the beginning and the end; and all who would live, must first die; there is no other way to life and to real inward peace but the way of the Cross.”
J. Gregory Mantle (1853-1925)
The Way of the Cross. 42-43
How does one take up the cross in complete submission to Jesus Christ? Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) left us a written record of how he prayed:
“I have been before God
and have given myself,
all that I am and have,
so that I am not
in any respect, my own…
I have given myself clear away,
and have not retained
anything as my own.”