Posted by jerrywhite on Aug 5, 2012
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments!
Psalm 112:1 (ESV)
“What ought to be the real objective of the Bible student? God’s Word is food, bread from heaven; the first prerequisite of Bible study is a great hunger after righteousness, a sincere desire to do all God’s will. The Bible is a light; the first condition to its enjoyment is a hearty longing to walk in God’s ways. Is this not what our texts teach us? ‘Blessed…are those who hear the word of God and obey it’ (Luke 11:28). The Word is nothing if it is not obeyed. If any man will do God’s will, he will know what it is. All true knowledge of God’s Word depends upon there being first a will to obey it. This is the very lesson we are enforcing. God will unlock the real meaning and blessing of His Word only to those whose will is set upon obeying it. I must read my Bible with one purpose: Whatever He says, I will do.
This is easily understood when we think of what words are meant to do. They stand between will and action. If someone decides to do something for you, before he does it, he will formulate his thoughts or purpose in words, either to himself or to you, and then he will do what he says he will do. So also with God. His words derive their value from what He does or has done. In Creation His word was with power; He spoke and it was done. In grace He does what He says He will do. David prays in 2 Samuel 7:25, ‘And now, Lord God…do as you promised.’ …Through the prophets, God says, ‘I the Lord have spoken it; and I will do it.’ And they reply, ‘What you have spoken is done.’ The truth and worth of God’s promises consist in the fact that He fulfills them. His words of promise are meant to be fulfilled.
This is no less true of His commands, which He intends that we obey. If we do not obey them; if we seek to know them and admire their beauty and praise their wisdom, but do not obey them, we delude ourselves. They are meant to be obeyed; as we obey them, their real meaning and blessing can be revealed to us. Only as we obey can we grow in the divine life.”
The Believer’s Daily Renewal, 40-41
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Posted by jerrywhite on Aug 7, 2011
“It is a terrible delusion to be content, even delighted, at hearing the Word and yet not being willing to do it. Actually, it is quite common for multitudes of Christians to listen to the Word of God regularly and earnestly and yet not obey it. If their own employee, for example, were to listen to their instructions but not do what was asked of him, they would be very displeased. And yet so complete is the delusion, they seldom realize that they are not living consistent Christian lives. What is the cause of this delusion?
For one thing, people mistake the pleasure they have in hearing the word for spirituality and worship. The mind delights in having the truth clearly presented; the imagination is gratified by its illustration; the emotions are stirred by its application. To an active mind, knowledge gives pleasure. A man may study some field of science—electricity, for example—merely for the enjoyment the knowledge gives him, without the least intention of applying it practically to that line of work. And so many people go to church and enjoy the preaching—but they have no intention of doing what God asks. The unconverted and the converted man alike may remain content to continue sinning, confessing, and sinning again.”
The Believer’s Daily Renewal, 44-45
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
James 1:22 (ESV)
An illustration of how many Christians have not obeyed God’s simple word, even though they have heard it proclaimed, is Romans 12:1, which commands to present your body as a living sacrifice. This is done as a decisive act before God just like a sacrifice of the Old Testament was a decisive act. It is done in response to His command. This is the gateway necessary for knowing the will of God and becoming a pleasure to His heart. Have you read this or heard it proclaimed and yet not done it? If so, you have deceived yourself.
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Posted by jerrywhite on Mar 28, 2011
“A musician is not recommended for playing long, but for playing well; it is obeying God willingly that is accepted. The Lord hates that which is forced; it then becomes a tax instead of an offering. Cain served God grudgingly. He brought his sacrifice, not his heart.
To obey God’s commandments unwillingly is like the devils who came out of the possessed man at Christ’s command, albeit with reluctance and against their will. Good duties cannot be pressed and beaten out of us as the waters were beaten out of the rock when Moses smote it with the budding rod. Good duties must freely drop from us, as myrrh from the tree or honey from the comb.
If a willing mind be wanting, there wants that flower which should perfume our obedience and make it a sweet-smelling savor unto God. Someone has said that a noble deed for someone else is a step toward God.
The avaricious man is like the barren sandy ground of the desert which sucks in all the rain and dew with greed, but yields no fruitful herbs or plants for the benefit of others.
Only one life will soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
Thomas Watson (1620-1686)
Fill Me With Hope, July 21
Compiled by Paul M. Miller
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.
1 Peter 1:22 (ESV)
Fill the garden of my soul with the wind of love, that the scents of the Christian life may be wafted to others; then come and gather fruits to thy glory. So shall I fulfill the great end of my being—to glorify thee and be a blessing to men.
The Valley of Vision, 325
Edited by Arthur Bennett
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Posted by jerrywhite on Jan 14, 2010
“We have no direct control over our feelings, but we have control over our will. God does not hold us responsible for what we feel but for what we will. Furthermore, in His sight, we are not what we feel but what we will. Let us, therefore, not live in the summerhouse of emotion but in the central citadel of the will, wholly yielded and devoted to the will of God. When we are in communion with the Lord, our soul is often flooded with holy emotion, the tides rise high, the swelling tides of joy rise, and every element in nature joins in the choral hymn of rapturous praise. But tomorrow comes, and life has to be faced in the trying workplace, the dingy shop, the noisy factory, the godless workroom. As the soul compares the joy of yesterday with the difficulty experienced in walking humbly with the Lord, it wonders whether it is quite as devoted and dedicated as it was. But during such a time, how reassuring it is to say with confidence that the will has not altered its position by a hair’s breadth. We can sincerely declare, ‘My God, the spring tide of emotion has passed away like a summer brook, but in my heart of hearts, in my will, You know I am as devoted and as loyal to You as during the blessed moment of communion with You.’ This is an offering with which God is well pleased.”
F. B. Meyer
The Best of F. B. Meyer, 27
My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.
Matthew 26:39 (ESV)
How liberating to know that the primary concern of the Lord Jesus is not what you feel or don’t feel, but rather what you choose. You can choose to forgive another who has hurt you deeply even though you still feel hurt and disappointment. You can choose to worship and thank the Lord in the face of disappointing news. You can choose to draw near to God even though your feelings resist because of coldness of desire and deadness of emotions. The Lord Jesus fully understands what you feel, or don’t feel, and will honor what you will.
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Posted by jerrywhite on Feb 12, 2009
“The Christian should never complain of want of ability and power. If we sin, it is because we choose to sin, not because we lack the ability to say no to temptation…Too often we say we are ‘defeated’ by this or that sin. No, we are not defeated; we are simply disobedient! It might be well if we stopped using the terms ‘victory’ and ‘defeat’ to describe our progress in holiness. Rather we should use the terms ‘obedience’ and ‘disobedience’. When I say I am defeated by some sin, I am unconsciously slipping out from under my responsibility. I am saying something outside of me has defeated me. But when I say I am disobedient, that places the responsibility for my sin squarely on me.”
The Pursuit of Holiness, p. 84
If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
John 14:15 (ESV)
The Lord Jesus says obedience is the way we express our love to Him. Conversely, disobedience indicates a lack of love for Him. The Lord leaves no room for excuses. He considers our obedience or disobedience a very personal love relationship issue. Obedience is far more than fulfilling a list of impersonal commandments. Obedience is the way we show our love for our beloved Savior. If I think failure in obedience is no more than disobedience to an impersonal commandment then what harm is done except for my own guilt and shame? Surely asking for forgiveness will remove that. But if I see that disobedience is very personal toward the Lord Jesus, and that it reveals my lack of love for Him, and that it grieves Him, then I become concerned about Him and the true need of my own heart to love Him more than I do. Disobedience requires ruthless honesty: “Lord, I do not really love you like I should, nor like I want to. I disobey you because I love myself, and my sin, more than You. Please be merciful to me, and do a deeper work in me that will result in my loving You passionately and supremely. Change my heart so that I can’t stand the thought of grieving You by disobedience.”
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