Archive for September 2014

Our Bodies

September 28, 2014

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Centuries of old Puritan and Victorian practices have stained the intention of our Creator, marking the body as the enemy of the spiritual life. But no such thing is true. Our body was elaborately fashioned by God, created as the dwelling place where we reside with Him.

Contrary to common religious traditions, we are not to deny or despise the body. While speaking to husbands and wives, Paul matter-of-factly states, “no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it” (Ephesians 5:29). It must have brought God deep sadness to cover the beauty of Adam and Eve’s bodies with animal skins after they sinned. His glory is dimmed when we loathe or ignore the magnificence of the human body.

Bill EwingBill Ewing
Rest Assured (2003), pages 136
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Aliens

September 25, 2014

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The saints of God are aliens here on earth. Let that sink in. No believer, as such, can be a Republican, for in his heart he believes in and is related to a kingdom. Republicanism is merely political Arminianism. It believes in human ability in some form. How can a rejected king became a member of a rebellious republic? And if Christ be the King, forget not that we are His Body. Individually we may be ambassadors entreating the world to be conciliated to God, but does England’s ambassador to the United States vote? Can any ambassador legislate in the country to which he is sent? Of course not.

Alan Burns (1884 -1929)
Politician? or Paulician?
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Confidence in Him

September 23, 2014

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But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self (I Corinthians 4:3).

Stop worrying about your brother’s opinion and go on doing what God has called you to do. Why must you worry about the expectations of others? God has called you to be a prototype, not a stereotype – an original, not a copy.

Move with confidence! There is no chance of your veering off course. Why do you fear? Even if somehow you were to “choose” a lesser good, you would still be in good hands – hands that are expert in turning smaller goods into greater ones. He is the Master of time and events, so trust Him.

Charles SlagleAdapted from Charles Slagle’s From the Father’s Heart, pages 71, 96, 99
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Trust Him

September 23, 2014

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Trust Him. When you have done that, you are living the life of grace. No matter what happens to you in the course of that trusting – no matter how many waverings you may have, no matter how many suspicions that you have bought a poke with no pig in it, no matter how much heaviness and sadness your lapses, vices, indispositions, and bratty whining may cause you – you simply believe that somebody else, by His death and resurrection, has made it all right, and you just say “Thank you” and shut up.

The whole slop-closet full of mildewed performances (which is all you have to offer) is simply your death; it is Jesus who is your life. If He refused to condemn you because your works were rotten, He certainly isn’t going to flunk you because your faith isn’t so hot. You can fail utterly, therefore, and still live the life of grace. You can fold up spiritually, morally or intellectually and still be safe. Because at the very worst, all you can be is dead – and for Him Who is the Resurrection and the Life, that just makes you His cup of tea.

Robert CaponRobert Capon (1925-2013)
Between Noon & Three: Romance, Law & the Outrage of Grace
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Progression Toward Maturity

September 23, 2014

So that we, from now on, are acquainted with no one according to flesh. Yet even if we have known Christ according to flesh, nevertheless now we know Him so no longer (II Corinthians 5:16).

I believe that being acquainted with no one according to the flesh includes ourselves. There comes a time in the life of a believer when he or she is to stop thinking of the Savior as the dusty Nazarene and consider Him as He is now, glorified at the right hand of God. This accompanies progression toward maturity. Likewise, mature believers also come to stop considering themselves after the flesh, and concentrate instead on how God sees them: justified in Christ, flawless in His sight. Let’s graduate from immaturity to maturity. Let’s graduate from putting our lives up on graphs and monitoring our progress toward perfection. Instead, let’s walk by faith and focus on what Christ has done for our spirits.

ZenderMMartin Zender
How to Be Free From Sin While Smoking a Cigarette, pages 68-69

His Body, His Fullness

September 23, 2014

Which is His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all (Ephesians 1:23).

God has just as definitely chosen and appointed the ecclesia for the realization of His purpose as He has chosen and appointed His Son. He has just as positively bound Himself and His fullness to the one as to the other. While one is subject to the other, and the medium and vessel of the other, they are one in the matter of purpose.

T Austin SparksT. Austin-Sparks
A Witness and a Testimony, January, 1944
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Our Divine Vocation

September 10, 2014

Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: knowing that whatsoever good thing any man does, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he is bond or free (Ephesians 6:5-8).

This is an amazing passage. In it Paul speaks to those who have the greatest disadvantage in their daily work – slaves. He covered the most extreme working conditions, so we would know that all work, no matter how difficult and trying, no matter how taxing and weary, can be done “as to the Lord, and not to men” – “whether he is bond or free.”

In fact, all we do is to be done “as to the Lord, and not unto men”

And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him … And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men … (Colossians 3:17, 23).

Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God (I Corinthians 10:31).

Even the most severe of working conditions (slavery) can be conducted consciously for our Father. Our labors ultimately are to be for Him.

Paul wanted us to know something about our labor; for in the context of daily work he writes,

Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man does, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he is bond or free (Ephesians 6:8).

And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for you serve the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24).

Work which is done “as to the Lord” shall be rewarded. How can this not be, for with Him living and working through us, all of our labors are “the work of the Lord.”

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (I Corinthians 15:58).

Our labors can be alive with the very life of God – they can be His livelihood in us.

All of life is about Him! Revel in it!

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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