Posted by jerrywhite on Jan 29, 2009
“God doesn’t look at the elegancy of your prayers to see how neat they are; nor at the geometry of your prayers to see how long they are; nor at the arithmetic of your prayers to see how many they are; nor at the music of your prayers; nor the sweetness of your voice; nor the logic of your prayers; but at the sincerity of your prayers, how hearty they are.”
Thomas Brooks, quoted in
Magnificent Prayer, by Nick Harrison
July 7, p. 257
And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Matthew 6:7-8 (ESV)
Prayer is a heart issue. It is not a mental exercise or a special formula to be used to obtain something from God. Prayer is a beloved child’s heart calling out to his or her Heavenly Father with thanksgiving, worship, praise, and needs, either for self or for others. Your Heavenly Father does not have to be persuaded by many words to answer you because He loves you intimately and infinitely. He does not have to be told all the details of what He should do because He has perfect wisdom and does not need your counsel. His attention does not need to be gained because He tenderly watches over your whole life every moment and listens to your heart every second. Prayer should be simple, intimate, and trusting. It is a precious heart to heart relationship of a little child with their loving Heavenly Father. He knows your every need long before you ask Him. Asking brings you into relationship with Him, and as your loving Father He enjoys that. Pray simply, and simply pray. Your heart is what matters most to Him.
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Posted by jerrywhite on Jan 26, 2009
“How few of us are concerned about satisfying His heart. How I hear Him saying, ‘I thirst, give me to drink.’ May my Lord never let me grow cold in my longing to be a cup in His hand for the quenching of His own royal thirst.”
Oswald Chambers’ diary, July 12, 1909
From biography by McCasland, Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God, 167
A woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table.
[Jesus said] “She has done a beautiful thing to me.”
Matthew 26:7, 10 (ESV)
One who truly loves considers how to bless the beloved rather than looking for how the beloved can bless them. Selfish human nature wants to receive before it gives, or it gives with a selfish view to what blessing it may receive in return. How corrupt our sinful nature is with selfishness, even in the hidden parts of our being.
The Lord Jesus loves with no strings attached. He loves untainted by selfishness. He wholeheartedly wants the best for you, and He delights to bless you.
Significant progress in your relationship with Him occurs when you become primarily concerned about blessing him. When your desire is ruled by a longing to know His heart, and what you can do for Him rather than what He can do for you, you then enter into a new dimension of relationship. Although it is not wrong to ask your gracious Lord for what you need, if you love Him, you will want to know His heart and how you can bless Him. In the Gospel accounts very few came to give to the Lord Jesus without asking for anything in return. These seemed to touch His heart in a special way. And you can also.
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Posted by jerrywhite on Jan 22, 2009
Flesh is flesh—indwelling sin dominating mental, emotional, and bodily desires. Flesh can either be wicked or religious in its expression, but neither is acceptable before God. There is no such thing as new and improved flesh. Regardless of how long one has been in the way of sanctification, flesh is never transformed to become better flesh. Flesh is only kept at bay—overruled—by a soul walking in the Spirit. The moment a soul ceases to abide in Christ (walk by the Spirit) flesh exposes itself as ugly as ever—unchanged, totally absorbed in self-gratification, and still in rebellion against God. God says, Walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16, ESV).
The only antidote to poisonous flesh is to walk by the Spirit. The Lord Jesus lived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and so must we. There is no other way!
“It takes the omnipotence of God—His complete and effective divinity—to live the life of the Son of God in human flesh.”
My Utmost For His Highest, April 11 reading
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Romans 13:14 (ESV)
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Posted by jerrywhite on Jan 19, 2009
Jesus of Nazareth—
Obeyed His Father perfectly, and yet remained humble.
Did all things well, and yet remained humble.
Conquered all that came against Him, and yet remained humble.
Was praised by some, cursed by others, and yet remained humble.
Was used by God for miraculous works, and yet remained humble.
Was crucified unjustly, and yet remained humble.
Was resurrected triumphantly, and yet remained humble.
Now reigns as Lord on the throne of heaven with all power and authority,
And yet remains humble.
To become like Him is to be humble like Him.
“When I look back upon my own religious experience, or round upon the church of Christ in the world, I stand amazed at the thought of how little humility is sought after as the distinguishing feature of the discipleship of Jesus.”
Humility: The Beauty of Holiness
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility…
Ephesians 4:1-2a (ESV)
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Posted by jerrywhite on Jan 15, 2009
For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
Romans 7: 19, 21 (ESV)
“There is, therefore, a great need for discernment in our self-understanding. Who am I? What is my ‘self?’ The answer is that I am a Jekyll and Hyde, a mixed-up kid, having both dignity, because I was created and have been re-created in the image of God, and depravity, because I still have a fallen and rebellious nature. I am both noble and ignoble, beautiful and ugly, good and bad, upright and twisted, image and child of God, and yet sometimes yielding obsequious [subservient] homage to the devil from whose clutches Christ has rescued me. My true self is what I am by creation, which Christ came to redeem, and by calling. My false self is what I am by the Fall, which Christ came to destroy.”
John R. W. Stott
The Cross of Christ, p. 285
The Lord Jesus alone can save from God’s wrath and penalty for our sin. In the same way He alone can save us from sin’s power that relentlessly attempts to enslave us. In the same manner that He waited for us to call upon Him to save us at our conversion so He now waits for us to call upon Him to save us in our temptations. When Simon Peter began to sink into the water because he doubted he cried out, “Lord, save me or I perish,” and the Lord Jesus with kindness reached out and lifted him up (Matthew 14:30-31). Knowing the disciples were going to be severely tempted the Lord Jesus told them to pray that they would not enter into temptation (Matthew 26:41). With tender love He wants you to call upon Him to be your Savior from sin’s power and flesh’s weakness.
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