Deepening Intimacy

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 25, 2016

“It would seem that admission to the inner circle of deepening intimacy with God is the outcome of deep desire. Only those who count such intimacy a prize worth sacrificing anything else for are likely to attain it. If other intimacies are more desirable to us, we will not gain entry to that circle.
The place on Jesus’ breast is still vacant, and open to any who are willing to pay the price of deepening intimacy. We are now, and we will be to the future, only as intimate with God as we really choose to be.”
J. Oswald Sanders
Enjoying Intimacy With God, 17
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You will seek and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you.
Jeremiah 29:13-14 (ESV)
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Saints in the Bible speak of gazing on the Lord, thirsting for God, wanting to know Him, desiring to see His glory, meditating on Him, asking for His presence, waiting for Him in silence, and other terms that express this longing. Saints through the ages have testified through their writings of having this same desire. Augustine wrote, “God thirsts to be thirsted after.” Jonathan Edwards spoke often of what he called “vehement longings of soul.” It is easy for us to agree that desiring God’s presence is good. It is simple for us to agree on the importance of seeking Him diligently. More is needed, however. Ruthless honesty with ourselves is required if we are going to make any progress in our pursuit of God. Am I really like the deer panting for water (Psalm 42:1)? Do I truly anticipate the hour when I can draw aside to be alone with the Lord Jesus (Psalm 42:2)? Am I really content with my present level of intimacy with Him? Or am I willing to make disciplined choices necessary in my daily schedule so that my spiritual thirst can be generously quenched by heaven’s pure water? The Lord alone can work in one’s heart so it is stirred with fresh thirst for Him. He will compassionately answer His child who humbly asks with a believing heart.

Lord, as I diligently seek You, please give me a growing thirst for You.
JRW




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When Darkness Comes

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 18, 2016

“God’s people have no assurance that the dark experiences of life will be held at bay, much less that God will provide some sort of running commentary on the meaning of each day’s allotment of confusion, boredom, pain, or achievement. It is no great matter where we are, provided we see that the Lord has placed us there, and that He is with us.”

John Newton

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“We are moved by the act of God. Omniscience holds no conference. Infinite authority leaves no room for compromise. Eternal love offers no explanations. The Lord expects to be trusted. He disturbs us at will. Human arrangements are disregarded, family ties ignored, business claims put aside. We are never asked if it is convenient.”

Samuel Chadwick, quoted by J. Oswald Sanders Enjoying Intimacy With God, 97

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In your darkest night the Lord of love has not forgotten you. The hand that guides you is nail scared because He loves you. Your Father who directs your steps sacrificed His all for you in His Son. When you have unanswered questions and heaven seems silent you can know your Shepherd is tending you. Jesus said to a father in a dark time of receiving word of his daughter’s death, “Do not fear, only believe” (Luke 8:50, ESV).




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Headed Home

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 11, 2016

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”   (John 16:33, ESV)

In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  (John 14:2, ESV)
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In these turbulent days it is good and profitable to remember that this is a temporary journey towards a glorious destination. Easily we can be so occupied with looking down to where our feet tread that we fail to look up to the beautiful home that will be ours forever.
One of my favorite writers, Octavius Winslow (1808-1878), wrote:
“We are but wayfarers at an inn, abiding only for a night. Here we have no abiding city; we are strangers and sojourners, as all our fathers were. But this, beloved, is the reconciling, animating thought: we are journeying to the mount of God. We are on our way to the good land which the Lord our God has promised us, to the kingdom and the mansion which Jesus has gone to take possession of and to prepare for us. In a word—and this image is the climax of the blissful prospect—we are hastening to our “Father’s house” the home of the whole family in heaven and in earth, the residence of Christ, the dwelling place of God. Each believer in Jesus is journeying to this. The road is difficult; the desert is tedious and sometimes perilous from its smoothness, or painful from its roughness; its confinement now wearing, it’s intricacy now embarrassing. But who will complain of the path that conducts him to his home? Who would yield to the sensation of fatigue when journeying to an eternal rest?” (Morning Thoughts, 336)
Lord, I want to run my race faithfully for You on earth while I look forward to coming Home. Amen!

JRW




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Because of Love

Posted by Jerry White on Jul 4, 2016

God’s kind of love is the strongest and most compelling motivation of all motivations. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son (John 3:16). Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends(John 15:13). If you love me, you will keep my commandments (John 14:15). The Greek word agape is used in all three references. This indicates it is the powerful motivator for sacrificial actions—to give all one can give, to lay down one’s life for another, to obey at all cost. An excellent definition for agape is “the sustained direction of one’s will toward the highest good of another regardless of the cost.”
The greatest commandment according to Jesus is, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27).This is a commandment to be obeyed. Obedience is a choice of the will, not first and foremost a matter of feelings. One chooses to obey a command, with or without affectionate feelings. Anyone can choose with their will. Aligning one’s will to obey God’s command allows the Holy Spirit to unleash His power to make the choice real in one’s heart and soul. Without a deliberate choice, nothing will change. When the choice is made to love God with all of one’s being, the Holy Spirit is free to bear His fruit, and the fruit of the Spirit is love (Galatians 5:22). Being motivated by God’s love filling the soul is why His yoke is easy, His burden is light and His commands are not burdensome. God’s kind of love is a delightful, satisfying and fulfilling motivation.
To regard lightly the Lord’s commands is because of not loving Jesus. To tolerate known sin in one’s life is because of not loving Jesus. Not to spend enjoyable time alone with the Lord is because of not loving Jesus. Not to pursue worshiping the Lord as first priority is because of not loving Jesus. To neglect giving of one’s money freely and joyfully is because of not loving Jesus.
The critical question is, do you love the Lord Jesus with all of your being? Have you made a deliberate and sustained choice with your will to seek the Lord’s highest good no matter what it may cost you? If Jesus asked you, as He did Simon Peter, Do you love (agape) Me? What would your answer be? Do you want the Lord Jesus to be blessed by your love for Him?

JRW




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