Posted by Jerry White on May 30, 2016
“What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it — the fact that He knows me. I am graven on the palms of His hands. I am never out of His mind. All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me. I know Him, because He first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is no moment when His eye is off me, or His attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when His care falters. This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort — the sort of comfort that energizes, be it said, not enervates —in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love, and watching over me for my good. There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about my self, and quench His determination to bless me. There is, certainly, great cause for humility in the thought that He sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow-men do not see (and am I glad!), and that He sees more corruption in me than that which I see in myself (which, in all conscience, is enough). There is, however, equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that, for some unfathomable reason, He wants me as His friend, and desires to be my friend, and has given His Son to die for me in order to realize this purpose.”
J. I. Packer Knowing God, 37 (1973 edition)
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
Psalm 139:1 (ESV)
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Jeremiah 31:3 (ESV)
Posted by Jerry White on May 23, 2016
Many men of God I have known, and others of previous generations who wrote about living in God’s fullness, speak with one voice about the importance of beginning one’s day with the Lord. This was the practice of men and women who impacted my life by their daily walk in the fullness of God’s Spirit. Early on in my search I concluded that this was the secret of staying fresh and growing in the Lord. Therefore I set out to make this my priority and practice. Looking back over fifty years I see that the Spirit using God’s Word, plus the testimonies of what older and wise pilgrims had discovered and practiced, was truly guiding me.
G. H. Morling in his classic book, The Quest for Serenity wrote:
“I suggest that there be a morning act of faith. The will is central in the life of the spirit. To secure a healthy activity of the will in the first hour is to be well on the way to the sort of day one hopes to enjoy. Get the will functioning early. I suggest a morning act of faith such as this:
I believe that with Christ living within me through the Holy Spirit, recognized, trusted and obeyed, my life today can be happy, restful and strong. Deliberately I surrender my life to Him to do the mighty work within of cleansing and empowering.
I believe also that God will manage my affairs today if I hand over the control to Him. I do that now and refuse to take anything back into my own care.
In this faith I go out into the day with quietness and confidence as my strength.
You may prefer a shorter statement which could be committed easily to memory and repeated throughout the day. I am concerned to make clear that the Christian life is a matter of multiplied new beginnings. Every morning may be and should be, the occasion of a new departure.”
(84, 1964 edition)
O GOD, You are my God, earnestly will I seek You; my inner self thirsts for You, my flesh longs and is faint for You, in a dry and weary land where no water is.
Psalm 63:1 (Amplified Bible)
Posted by Jerry White on May 15, 2016
“The danger of falling out of love with Christ is no less present in our times, and it occasions our Lord as much grief now as then. Intimacy with God is a fragile thing that must be carefully guarded.
M. Basilea Schlink tells of her own experience of waning love. ‘I came to see that my relationship to my Lord Jesus Christ, with the passing years had eroded away, something like a marriage gone humdrum. What did I do when I found a little pocket of spare time, on a Sunday or a holiday? I couldn’t wait to get together with other people—people I liked, people with whom I had something in common—so that we could share ideas and experiences. Or I read a stimulating book. Or I went out to enjoy nature. I even plunged further into my work, doing things that I normally didn’t have time for. But to go to Jesus—to give Him first claim on my spare time, that I did not do.’”
J. Oswald Sanders
Enjoying Intimacy With God, 43
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
Revelation 2:4 (ESV)
Supreme love for the Lord Jesus can be lost. And sadly so! The Lord Jesus takes it personally when this happens, and His Spirit grieves. This is not because He needs your love. Rather it is because He loves you with all of His infinite and eternal being, and He does not want to see you lose the fullness you have when you love Him supremely and passionately. When our first love wanes, the Lord Jesus waits, like the Father for his prodigal son, longing for our return. His love never ever wanes. We must carefully guard our hearts so that our love for Him does not wane—and quickly repent if it does. Like the Father of the prodigal, He lovingly embraces us when we return, and is glad.
Posted by Jerry White on May 9, 2016
With what attitude should God’s redeemed children approach Him, either in private or in corporate worship? Does it change how we should approach Him because we are in God’s grace and can approach His throne boldly? (Hebrews 10:19-20) Does our knowledge of His mercy, grace and love give us permission to treat Him casually, carelessly and flippantly? Has loss of respect for authority in our society affected our attitude toward this all majestic, holy God of the universe?
I have visited churches where people enter the worship service with food and drink like they are attending a sporting event. I have heard professing Christians speak of Almighty God with unworthy and disrespectful terms. Why is this so? Only one answer is possible. We live in a time when church attendees do not know in their heart who God truly is. They do not take seriously who God is according to His Word, nor have they ever encountered His presence revealed by the Holy Spirit so they know by experience that they are before the face of this pure, sovereign, invisible One.
Webster’s Dictionary defines reverence as, “profound awed adoring respect.” In your church do the people gather for worship with a profound awed adoring respect? When you meet with the Lord in private is your soul humbled with a profound awed adoring respect for the One who authored and purchased your salvation?
The Bible gives us illustrations of this attitude. Moses went to meet with God and heard Him speak, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” …And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. (Exodus 3:5) Isaiah had a vision of the throne of God with the seraphim nearby. These angelic beings were pure—never sinned— and yet their response in God’s presence is described: Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. (Isaiah 1:2) When the beloved apostle John saw His enthroned Lord in the Revelation he fell at His feet as one dead. (Revelation 1:17) I have seen God’s Spirit reveal the Lord’s pure presence so that those present were silenced and motionless before Him.
Deep heart awareness of who God is in His overwhelming beautiful majesty causes one’s heart to bow in profound awed adoring respect and worship, both privately and corporately.
Posted by Jerry White on May 2, 2016
“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Isaiah 1:19-20 (ESV)
“Sometimes a person comes to a spiritual advisor and says, ‘I have no joy, and I’ve experienced very little for years.” The older, wiser Christian asks, ‘Did you once have joy?’ ‘Yes, for some time after my conversion to God.’ Again the adviser asks a question: ‘Are you aware of a time when you refused to obey some distinct command, a directive from God that you ignored?’
Then the face is cast down, the eyes fill with tears, and the answer comes with difficulty. ‘Yes, years ago I used to think that God required a certain thing of me. I felt sure God was calling me to do something . But I did not heed the call. I did not do what He wished and was uneasy for sometime about it. After a while, though, it seemed to fade from my mind, and now it does not often trouble me.’
The mature Christian responds, ‘My friend, that is where you have gone wrong, and you will never regain your joy until you go back through the weary years to the point where you dropped the thread of obedience. Retrace your steps and complete that one thing God requested of you so long ago. Then watch and see how the burden is lifted.’
Is this the cause of depression for thousands of Christian people? They are God’s children, but they are disobedient to their Father. The Bible rings with one long demand for obedience. The key phrase of the book of Deuteronomy is this: ‘Observe and do.’ The cornerstone of Christ’s farewell discourse is, ‘If you love Me, keep My commandments.'”
The Best of F. B. Meyer, 24-25
Edited and Compiled by Stephen W. Soreson