Posted by jerrywhite on May 6, 2013
“How much greater than any of ours was Jesus’ responsibility—the responsibility of saving the world! If there was ever on this earth a being who could be tempted to bustle about, to hurry everywhere, to want to see everyone in order to fulfill His task, it was Jesus Christ. But what do we see? That wondrous calm that shines forth in the Gospels. Jesus had time to speak tranquilly with a woman whom he met at the well….He had time for children. He had time for those who came to Him. And His great mission, His mission for all the entire world, was fulfilled in that total giving of Himself to each person, in that calm and completely personal dialogue with each one.”
“I’m just so busy!”, is a comment often made by believers, as if this is a badge of honor. What does such a statement communicate to others? Does it declare one’s lack of laziness, or a position of importance, or too much to do, or a lack of self-control over the affairs of one’s life? Those who are overwhelmingly busy and speak of it with a strain of weariness do not communicate the sufficiency and presence of the Lord Jesus. Could this be a strategy of the devil in our culture to keep God’s people looking like the frantic, overactive, and busy world we live in rather than demonstrating the serenity and calmness of the Lord Jesus? No greater burden has any man carried so graciously, gently, and unhurriedly as did this beautiful Man from Nazareth. And if He lives within us and truly orders our days then what does it say about our Master if we live rushed, overly busy lives just like lost people? When we live in His calmness then His calmness will be the atmosphere surrounding us in our full days, and our fragrance will be peace and joy—like Him.
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
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Posted by jerrywhite on Apr 4, 2013
“The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night. For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his love, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, and a wife (Luke 14:18-20). The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable and almost incurable.”
A Hunger For God, p. 14
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Psalm 34:8 (ESV)
We taste Thee, O Thou living Bread,
And long to feast upon Thee still;
We drink of Thee, the Fountainhead
And thirst our souls from Thee to fill.
Bernard of Clairvauz (1091-1153)
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Posted by jerrywhite on Mar 28, 2013
Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, ”Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”
Matthew 9:14-15 (ESV)
“Fasting is a future-oriented counterpart to the past-oriented celebration of the Lord’s Supper….
But by not eating—by fasting—we look to the future with an aching in our hearts saying: ‘Yes, he came. And yes, what he did for us is glorious. But precisely because of what we have seen and what we have tasted, we feel keenly his absence as well as his presence. The Bridegroom has gone away. He is not here. He was here, and he loved us to the uttermost. And we can eat and even celebrate with feasting because he has come. But this we also know: he is not here the way he once was. As Paul said, ‘While we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.’ And his absence is painful. The sin and misery of the world is painful. The people of Christ are weak and despised—like sheep in the midst of wolves (Matthew 10:16). We long for him to come again and take up his throne and reign in our midst and vindicate his people and his truth and his glory.”
A Hunger For God, pp. 83-84
The Lord Jesus taught us to ask and continue asking for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). If we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us as His children then why would He instruct us to keep on asking our Father for the Spirit? For the same reason that the Lord Jesus told us when the bridegroom was taken away we would fast. We need the Lord’s presence here and now. He is physically absent from us and we want to know the reality of His presence with us on earth. His Spirit alone can communicate His presence. When we thirst to know this reality and cannot live without it, then we will pray persistently, and even fast, as we seek Him to satisfy our longing for His presence. He promises to answer the one who persistently seeks, asks, and knocks with faith. And when He does we will know that the Lord Jesus is here.
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Posted by jerrywhite on Aug 22, 2011
“The God who desires our fellowship and communion is not hard to please, although He may be hard to satisfy. He expects of us only what He has Himself supplied. He is quick to mark every simple effort to please Him and just as quick to overlook our imperfections when He knows we meant to do His will.
This is the best of good news: God loves us for ourselves. He values our love more than He values galaxies of new created worlds. He remembers our frame and knows that we are dust.
The God we love may sometimes chasten us, it is true. But even this He does with a smile—the proud, tender smile of a Father who is bursting with pleasure over an imperfect but promising son who is coming every day to look more and more like the One whose child he is.
We should revel in the joy of believing that God is the sum of all patience and the true essence of kindly good will. We please Him most, not by frantically trying to make ourselves good, but by throwing ourselves into His arms with all our imperfections and believing that He understands everything—and loves us still.
The gratifying part of all this is that the intercourse between God and the redeemed soul is known to us in conscious, personal awareness.
It is a personal awareness, indeed. The awareness does not come through the body of believers, as such, but is known to the individual, and to the body through the individuals composing it.
And, yes, it is conscious; it does not stay below the threshold of consciousness and work there unknown to the soul.
This communication, this consciousness is not an end but really an inception. There is the point of reality where we begin our fellowship and friendship and communion with God. But where we stop no man has yet discovered, for there is in the mysterious depths of the Triune God neither limit nor end.
When we come into this sweet relationship, we are beginning to learn astonished reverence, breathless adoration, awesome fascination, lofty admiration of the attributes of God and something of the breathless silence that we know when God is near.
A. W. Tozer
Whatever Happened To Worship, 29-30
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Posted by jerrywhite on Sep 14, 2009
“We were made to enjoy Him. Our minds were shaped and fashioned to think about God, to reflect and meditate on His majesty and beauty and to experience the intellectual thrill of theological discovery. Our emotions were made to feel His power, love, and longing for us. Our wills were made to choose His will and ways; our spirits were formed to experience the ecstasy of communion with Him; our bodies were fashioned to be the temple where He Himself would delight to dwell!”
Pleasures Evermore, 50
When I was a young man in my first pastorate I had an insatiable desire to know how to walk with God. I had learned some basic principles for living the Christian life and I was pursuing with determination what I knew to do.
My wife and I had read a book that introduced us to the wonderful truth of the indwelling Christ living His life through our personality. The author of that book (from England) was scheduled to speak at a church in a nearby city. We wanted to hear him and if possible have some private time with him. We asked him if he could go with us for some refreshment afterwards and he graciously accepted. As we rode to the restaurant my wife asked him a simple question. I do not even remember her question, but I will never forget his response. He said to her gently and forthrightly, “Why don’t you just relax and enjoy the Lord and let Him enjoy you.” We had never thought of such a thing. Enjoy the Lord and let Him enjoy us? After these many years we know well that this is exactly what our Lord Jesus wants for us every day. He finds great pleasure when we enjoy Him and allow Him to enjoy us in a precious loving relationship.
He brings me to the banquet hall, so everyone can see how much he loves me. Oh, feed me with your love—your ‘raisins’ and your ‘apples’—for I am utterly lovesick!
Song of Solomon 2:4-5 (NLT)
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