Archive for February 2009

The Spirit of Sonship and Our “Off” Times

February 22, 2009

By what means does God reach His end in His people? What is God’s means of achieving His purpose? It is by the Spirit of sonship through the Cross. There is no hope of reaching God’s end, or even taking the first step in that direction, without the Spirit as the Spirit of sonship.

 First there must be the faith’s cry, “Father!” There must be that relationship brought about by the Spirit. Then the Spirit of sonship, once He is within, must proceed fully to form Christ in us. Thus Paul the Apostle says, “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you” (Galatians 4:19). It is not a case of my struggling toward God’s end. Oh, that we had faith here! If you really have faith on this particular point, you will have the secret of a profound rest.

 You know, we have our “off” times spiritually – “off” times in the prayer life when it seems impossible to pray; “off” times in many other ways spiritually. No matter how we struggle, we can make nothing of it. What are we going to do?

Well, if my experience is of any value to you – I have come to this position: Through the Spirit Christ is in me, and everything is with Him – not with me. It is not what I can do, not what I cannot do, nor how I am today; all is with Him. Today, maybe, I am not conscious of His indwelling, but on the contrary very conscious of other things that are not Christ. Well, that is my state; but He is faithful, He is true. He has given me certain assurance – about perfecting unto the day of Christ a good work which HE hath commenced (Philippians 1:6). He started this thing – I did not; He undertook this thing. Before ever I had a being, He had undertaken to carry through His perfect work in anyone who would trust Him. That was all undertaken for me before ever I saw the light of day, so that I did not start this – it is not commenced with me. My one thing to do is to trust Him – trust Him!

There are “off” times, and I am not sure that the Lord does not allow us to have such times lest we should begin to build again upon works. He takes us right off that basis and throws us upon Himself, where there is no alternative but to trust Him.

I find I have these “off” times, but as I definitely trust the Lord, and say, “Lord, this is Your responsibility, and I know this will not last; and I am trusting you in the meanwhile.” It does come back, and in greater fulness and greater blessedness.

Trust Him. “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20); He has the whole matter in hand. Positive faith in Him is the secret of everything in the will of God.

 T. Austin-Sparks (1888-1971
A Witness and a Testimony (January 1940)


He Is Our Life

February 22, 2009

Jesus Christ did not just come to show us the way: He is the way. He did not just teach us some truth: He is the truth. He did not just leave us a manual to live by: He is our life. Whatever the need of the human heart, Christ offers Himself as the solution. His eternal answer is “I am.”

Much Christian teaching today is “ten steps to spiritual maturity,” “the five-minute Christian parent” or “six ways to overcome grief.” It is as if the Bible were nothing more than an instruction manual, a positive-thinking guide to success in any area of life, with just enough religious talk to calm our consciences …

Rather than digging out of the Bible principles that we apply like a technician to repair our own lives, we are to go to the Word of God to get to know the Person of Jesus Christ, the living Word! …

I’m convinced that the devil doesn’t care what our eyes are on, as long as they are off of Jesus. And that includes any one of a hundred good things, like Bible knowledge, fellowship, service, giving or worship experiences. Anything we do that is not centered on the living Christ is a substitute for Christ.

Bob George
Growing in Grace (1991)

An Exchanged Life

February 22, 2009

God had no plan for making something beautiful of your life – that do-it-yourself life inherited from Adam. … God did not change your life, He exchanged your life – your old life for Christ as life.

Bill Gillham
What God Wishes Christians Knew About Christianity (1998)

What Grace Is

February 22, 2009

There is nothing I can do to make God the Father love me any more. There is nothing I can do to make God the Father love me any less. His love for me is not based on my performance. This is what grace is.

Peter M. Lord
Bless and Be Blessed (2004), page 93

God Working

February 22, 2009

Since it is God working in the believer (Philippians 2:13), for any believer to say that he is failing or has failed is to say that God is failing or has failed, or in short, to say that God is a failure. What believer would talk to God and dare state such an accusation against his loving Father?

 Andre Sneidar
Daily Email Goodies

Heirs of the Divine Nature

February 22, 2009

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The child inherits all the nature of its father: so we are heirs of the Divine nature; and no power can or will disinherit one of us. And in this self-evident position I rest. Neither fear, nor doubt, nor creed can shake my trust.

L.M. Andrews (1836-?)
Voices of the Faith (1887)

Religious Service Is Not the Answer

February 16, 2009

Religious service is not the answer to inner peace. When the world looks for a model of religious service, Mother Teresa of Calcutta comes to mind as an outstanding example. Few realized that she hid her inner darkness behind a mask. Her heart was empty and longed for something more – something real and genuine.

Her story of great struggle is revealed in the 2007 book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light.

I am told God lives in me – and yet the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul,” she wrote at one point. “I want God with all the power of my soul – and yet between us there is terrible separation.” On another occasion she wrote: “I feel just that terrible pain of loss, of God not wanting me, of God not being God, of God not really existing. – Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light (2007)

Paul, apostle to the nations, knew all to well the vanity and struggle of such religious service. Paul could say concerning all his past religion,

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ(Philippians 3:8).

Paul had rested in his good moral character and good religious deeds. He took pride in his list of “do and don’t” performance. Paul could match his “self-righteous” lifestyle with anyone.

What was Paul’s conclusion to his great superiority? Paul counted it dungrefuse, waste. What caused the change in Paul’s value system? It was the living person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He met Him. He made the difference.

Dead works (Hebrews 9:14) are “good works” which do not proceed from the life of God. They are lifeless – not the fruit of divine life. There is quite a difference between dead works and the living God. The living God” changes our dead-men-working into living dependence upon Him.

Religion has no divine person who can impart life. The Lord Jesus Christ did not come to establish a religion but to bring life. Religion is man’s striving after God. Jesus brought God to man, and man to God. We only need rest in that.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Daily Goodies

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