Posted by Jerry White on Jun 13, 2016
“God is perfectly capable of taking care of His own affairs, and the reason so little is being accomplished by the Church of Jesus Christ today is that we have all too often organized God out of business. Millions of man hours and countless millions of dollars are being misspent on man’s promotional activity, unasked, on God’s behalf. This is not to challenge the sincerity of those who are thus employed, but we so often confuse bustle for business, and plant for power, and perspiration for inspiration. What an embarrassment it would be to you if you had a pair of hands that always tried to demonstrate how busy they were! Do you expect your fingers to tell you each morning what their program is for the day, and then demonstrate their enthusiasm by a vigorous show of uncontrolled activity? Do you think you would be successful in playing the piano on that basis? I would not like to ask a barber who had hands like that to shave me! Surely, what the head demands of every member of the body is restful availability, and prompt response to every impulse of the head in instant obedience, producing the co-ordinated activity of the whole, and the orderly fulfillment of that purpose to which each, as a member of the team, has been committed in particular. The challenge we hear so often today in the name of consecration is ‘Do more! Give more! Be more!’ Go! Go! Go! But God says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’! In other words, quit the panic! Just let God be God!”
Major W. Ian Thomas
The Saving Life of Christ, 64, (1962 edition)
When the Lord Jesus prepared His disciples for His departure from earth, He gave them simple instructions. Among several key commands He left was this one, “Abide in me, and I in you (John 15:4). In simple words, “Obey My Word; follow My Spirit.” Acts recounts how the Holy Spirit empowered the early believers and faithfully led them to fulfill God’s Word. Kingdom growth did not happen because of their astute planning and promotional skills. God’s agenda was accomplished because they learned how to abide in Christ and obey His Spirit’s guidance. Total availability to obey His Word and His Spirit’s promptings is still His way.
Posted by Jerry White on Sep 22, 2014
Frances Ridley Havergal (1838-1879) is best known for her poem / hymn, Take My Life, and Let It Be.” Her best known book, Kept For The Master’s Use, was published by her sister, Maria V. G. Havergal, in Autumn after Frances’ death on June 3, 1879. Frances had just finished revising the proofs for her book before she died. Referring to her poem, Take My Life, and Let It Be,” she wrote in her book, “May I give it to you just as it floats through my own mind again and again, knowing whom I have believed, and being persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him?
Keep my life, that it may be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Keep my moments and my days;
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Keep my hands that they may move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Keep my feet that they may be,
Swift and ‘beautiful’ for Thee.
Keep my voice that I may sing
Always, only, for my King.
Keep my lips, that they may be
Filled with messages from Thee.
Keep my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold.
Keep my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose.
Keep my will, oh, keep it Thine,
For it is no longer mine.
Keep my heart; it is Thine own,
It is now Thy royal throne.
Keep my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Keep my self, that I may be
Ever, only, ALL for Thee.”
It is good to meditate upon and pray over these words for ourselves.
Posted by Jerry White on Jun 27, 2013
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:8 (ESV)
“Too few Christians live radiantly, beautifully, abundantly. We do not rise to the level of the joys that are fitting of God’s heirs.
We do not know the love of Christ in the sense that we are conscious ourselves of being loved by Christ with all infinite tenderness.
There are far deeper joys within our reach than we have experienced. The beauty of the Lord does not shine always in our faces and glow in our characters and appear in our dispositions and tempers.
We are like the Galilean fishermen, toiling and taking nothing. Is it any wonder some of us are discouraged and almost ready at times to give up?
But listen to the Master’s voice as it breaks on our ears: ‘Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught.’ The trouble with us is, we have been trying only the shallows of God’s love. Half consecration knows nothing of the best things of divine grace. We must cut the last chain that binds us back to the shore of this world, and like Columbus, put out to sea to discover new worlds of blessing. We can best hasten the coming of the Kingdom of Christ in its full glory by letting love have its victories in us—the love that bears all things and endures all things—and by doing ever the gentle deeds that comfort lonely hearts and relieve suffering and distress.”
J. R. Miller (quoted)
Magnificent Prayer, 385-386
I know of no one who cut all the chains of the self-life to become abandoned to Christ who regrets the decision and wishes to go back to the shallows. These who cut loose from the shore experience the joy, peace and love of God that many others never experience. They enter the overflowing life Jesus promised in John 10:10. It is a decision by faith.
Posted by Jerry White on Oct 1, 2012
And he called to him the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
“When the Lord told His disciples that they must take up the cross and follow Him, from their frame of reference, they could hardly have understood His meaning. But He wanted to stir up their thinking, and so prepare them for the time when they would see Him carrying His cross. From the Jordan forward, where He had presented himself to be baptized and counted among sinners, He carried the cross in His heart. That is to say, He was always conscious that the sentence of death, because of sin, rested upon Him, and that He must bear it to completion. As the disciples thought about this, and wondered what He meant, only one thing helped them to grasp it: In their day, carrying a cross was the language of a man who had been sentenced to death and must carry his cross to the appointed place.
About the same time, Christ had said, ‘Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it’ (Matthew 10:39). He taught them that they must despise their present life when compared to their life in Christ. Their nature was so sinful that nothing less than death could deliver them. Gradually the conviction dawned on them that the taking up of the cross meant: ‘I am to feel that my life is under sentence of death, and that under the consciousness of this sentence, I must constantly surrender my flesh and my sinful nature, even unto death.’
So in a small sense they were prepared to see that the cross that Christ carried represented the power to deliver them from sin, and that they must first receive from Him the true spirit of the cross. From Him they would learn what self-humiliation in their weakness and unworthiness was to mean, what the obedience was that crucified their own will in all things, in the greatest as well as in the least; what the self-denial was that did not seek to please the flesh or the world.”
Living a Prayerful Life, 138-139
Posted by Jerry White on Aug 19, 2012
“I have never been much for ‘steps’ in the Christian life, though they may be useful to some people. For the most part, my method has been simply to plunge in on the promises of God and let God take care of the ‘steps.’ I would, however, make a few recommendations to anyone seeking a more satisfying and more God-possessed life than he now enjoys.
First, determine to take the whole thing in dead earnest. Too many of us play at Christianity. We wear salvation as a kind of convention badge admitting us into the circle of the elect, but rarely stop to focus our whole lives seriously on God’s claims on us.
Second, throw yourself out recklessly upon God. Give up everything and prepare yourself to surrender even unto death all of your ambitions, plans and possessions. And I mean this quite literally. You should not be satisfied with the mere technical aspect of surrender but press your case upon God in determined prayer until a crisis has taken place within your life and there has been an actual transfer of everything from yourself to God.
Third, take a solemn vow never to claim any honor or glory or praise for anything you are or have or do. See to it that God gets all the honor, all the time.
Fourth, determine not to defend yourself against detractors and persecutors. Put your reputation in God’s hands and leave it there.
Fifth, mortify the flesh with the affections and lusts! Every believer has been judicially put to death with Christ, but this is not enough for present victory. Freedom from the power of the flesh will come only when we have by faith and self-discipline made such death an actuality. Real death to self is a painful thing and tends to reduce a man in his own eyes and humble him into the dust. Not many follow this rugged way, but those who do are the exemplary Christians.”
A. W. Tozer
His Victorious Indwelling, 209-210
Nick Harrison, Editor
Complete Bible knowledge and thorough understanding of the best theology does not make a disciple like Jesus. This only happens when a believer walks out the truth of God’s Word day by day in absolute surrender followed by steadfast faith and obedience.
Posted by Jerry White on Jan 5, 2012
Your self-life wants to blame others or circumstances for disagreeable intrusions into your life. Self sees unwanted happenings as hindrances to fulfilling your desires, goals and plans. The little word if plays a significant role in self’s thinking processes. If she or he had only understood, or, if she or he had only done thus and so, or if this had just not happened it would be different now. When self is king, it rules and quickly blames others, or some thing, when it cannot satisfactorily control the events of life. Self views the present and what will make it happy now.
The Lord Jesus said, If anyone chooses to be my disciple, he must say ‘No’ to self, put the cross on his shoulders daily, and continue to follow me. For whoever chooses to save his lower life will lose his higher life, but whoever gives up his lower life for my sake will save his higher life (Luke 9:22-23, Williams Translation). Note Jesus’ way to a higher life:
1. It is saying NO to your self-life.
2. It is taking up your cross DAILY to accept whatever comes to crucify your self-life.
3. It is continuing to follow Jesus DAILY to do whatever He wants.
4. It is giving up your lower life FOR HIS SAKE (not your sake) to gain His higher life.
Like the Son of God deliberately gave up His heavenly rights (Phil 2:5-7) for your salvation so you deliberately give up your rights FOR HIS SAKE. Like Jesus chose daily to obey His Father through whatever came to Him, so you also trust and accept whatever He sends and obey Him. Like Jesus repeatedly denied Himself in order to do His Father’s will, so you deny self’s reign in order to please and honor Him in all things.
When this is your adopted posture FOR HIS SAKE, then you are delivered from “the blame game” and begin to live in peace without anxiety, worry, fretfulness, and complaining. His peace becomes yours to enjoy (John 14:27). You begin to accept whatever comes in relationships and circumstances as from your Father’s loving hand. You trust His perfect wisdom and love and believe that in ways you don’t understand He is using “even this” to lead you farther away from your lower life and deeper into His higher life. No longer do you blame what you cannot control, but instead you rest in His sovereign control with confidence in His loving goodness towards you. Surely He who did not spare His own Son but delivered Him up to justice for you, how shall He not also with Jesus give you all necessary things since you are His cherished, blood-bought and sealed child (Rom. 8:32; 1 Cor. 6:20; Eph.1:13). Necessary things include disappointments, trials, frustrated plans, hard and difficult places, challenging relationships, sorrows and grief, blessings and provisions—all measured and permitted by His nail-scarred hand in order to deliver you from the tyranny of your lower self-life into the joyous higher life of Christ-likeness.
Posted by Jerry White on Sep 18, 2011
“God is perfectly capable of taking care of His own affairs, and the reason so little is being accomplished by the Church of Jesus Christ today is that we have all too often organized God out of business. Millions of man hours and countless millions of dollars are being misspent on man’s promotional activity, unasked, on God’s behalf.
This is not to challenge the sincerity of those who are thus employed, but we so often confuse bustle for business, and plant for power, and perspiration for inspiration. What an embarrassment it would be to you if you had a pair of hands that always tried to demonstrate how busy they were! Do you expect your fingers to tell you each morning what their program is for the day, and then demonstrate their enthusiasm by a vigorous show of uncontrolled activity? Do you think you would be successful in playing the piano on that basis? I would not like to ask a barber who had hands like that to shave me!
Surely, what the head demands of every member of the body is restful availability, and prompt response to every impulse of the head in instant obedience, producing the co-ordinated activity of the whole, and the orderly fulfillment of that purpose to which each, as a member of the team, has been committed in particular.
The challenge we hear so often today in the name of consecration is ‘Do more! Give more! Be more!’ Go! Go! Go! But God says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’! In other words, quit the panic! Just let God be God!”
Major W. Ian Thomas
The Saving Life of Christ, 64, (1962 edition)
When the Lord Jesus prepared His disciples for His departure from earth He gave them simple instructions. “Stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke24:49, fulfilled on Pentecost). “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). “Love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34). “Abide in me, and I in you (John 15:4). Acts recounts how the Holy Spirit empowered them and faithfully led them to fulfill God’s agenda. It did not happen because of their astute planning and promotional activity. God’s agenda was accomplished because they learned how to abide in Christ and obey His Spirit’s promptings. Total availability to obey His every prompting is still His way.
Posted by Jerry White on Sep 15, 2011
“Remember, Jesus must be Lord of all, or not Lord at all. No man ever works for two firms at the same time. No slave owns two masters at once. Beware lest when you give Him a secondary place as you think, you awaken some day when it is too late to discover that He is not there at all. For He must be Lord of all, or not Lord at all. ‘No man can serve two masters.’
‘Suffer me first,’ said the young man to Jesus. Oh no, not ‘me first’—God First! My interests must always come second to His; never first. ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of God.’
Dr. Graham Scroggie, of Edinburgh, was one time speaking along this line, and at the close of the service he was approached by a young woman, a professing Christian, who had been greatly stirred.
‘And why don’t you yield?’ inquired Dr. Scroggie. ‘I am afraid I would have to do two things if I did,’ responded the girl.
‘What are they?’ questioned the minister.
‘I play the piano in a concert hall, and I fear I would have to give it up,’ explained the inquirer.
‘And the other?’
‘I am afraid God would send me to China as a missionary.’
Dr. Scroggie was wise in his dealings with the anxious. Opening his Bible at Acts 10:14, he explained to the young woman the absurdity of Peter’s answer. A slave never dictates. And to say, ‘Not so,’ and then add the word ‘Lord’ is impossible.
‘Now,’ said Dr. Scroggie, I want you to cross out the two words Not so and leave the word Lord; or else cross out Lord and leave not so.’
Handing her his pencil he quietly walked away. Later he returned. Looking over her shoulder he saw a tear-stained page, but the words ‘Not so’ were crossed out. With a glad light in her eyes she left the church and went home repeating over and over the one word, ‘Lord.’ No longer would she dictate. She was now His disciple and He her Lord and Master. Henceforth it would be, ‘Even so, Father,’ and ‘Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?’”
Oswald J. Smith
The Man God Uses, 49-50
Posted by Jerry White on Jul 3, 2011
Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:33 (ESV)
“The Christian landscape is strewn with the wreckage of derelict, half-built towers—the ruins of those who began to build and were unable to finish. For thousands of people still ignore Christ’s warning and undertake to follow him without first pausing to reflect on the cost of doing so. The result is the great scandal of Christendom today, so called ‘nominal Christianity.’ In countries to which Christian civilization has spread, large numbers of people have covered themselves with a decent, but thin, veneer of Christianity. They have allowed themselves to become somewhat involved; enough to be respectable but not enough to be uncomfortable. Their religion is a great, soft cushion. It protects them from the hard unpleasantness of life, while changing its place and shape to suit their convenience. No wonder the cynics speak of hypocrites in the church and dismiss religion as escapism.”
“Millions call themselves by His Name, it is true, and pay some token respect to Him, but a simple test will show how little He is really honored among them. Let the average man be put to the proof on the question of who is above, and his true position will be exposed. Let him be forced into making a choice between God and money, between God and men, between God and personal ambition, God and self, God and human love, and God will take second place every time. Those other things will be exalted above. However the man may protest, the proof is in the choices he makes day after day throughout his life.”
A. W. Tozer
The Pursuit of God, 103
Posted by Jerry White on May 12, 2011
“We know what the heart is from Scripture, but what is a true heart? Unless we understand this condition and meet it, we cannot acceptably approach God; and we will not experience true worship. I am not saying that we cannot come into the presence of God. We can, but we cannot worship in the way God desires us to worship. We will go through the motions, but that is all. We have seen quite clearly from the Word of God that the first thing in worship is the prostration, the falling down, the submission. There must be a true heart when we come to God in worship; otherwise, our worship is unacceptable.
Bishop Westcott, who wrote a classic on the epistle to the Hebrews, has this to say about a true heart. It is ‘a heart which expresses completely the devotion of the whole person to God. There is no divided allegiance, no reserve of feeling.’ This is perfect self-surrender of the whole person; in other words, it is the intellect, the emotion, and the will.
Another great scholar who has given us a classic on Hebrews is Adolph Saphir. He has this to say, ‘What is meant by a true heart?…Only a whole heart is true.…A true heart is never pleased with itself; but it is at peace, content that Jesus shall be all.’
Andrew Murray, who has given us possibly the best devotional classic on the epistle to the Hebrews, has this to say about a true heart:
In man’s nature the heart is the central power. As the heart is so is the man….our inmost being must in truth be yielded to Him…It is only as the desire of the heart is fixed upon God, the whole heart seeking for God, giving its love and finding its joy in God, that a man can draw nigh to God.
This may possible cause you to think, ‘What hope do I have for a true heart? Can I fix the desire of my heart upon God? Can my whole heart seek for God, giving its love to and finding its joy in God? Can I do that?
If you seek for a true heart with all your heart, you will receive it. It is entirely your decision, for God’s callings are His enablings. He lives in you by His Sprit to meet His own demands. Most certainly, without the enabling Spirit, such a heart is impossible; but with the Spirit controlling, it is the very life into which He will lead you.”
Joseph S. Carroll
How To Worship Jesus Christ, 42-43