The Pursuit of Humility

Humility — the Beauty of Holiness  (audio) by Andrew Murray became a gripping study for me over twenty years ago. In those first years, the conviction of my own need for this trait of the Christian life led me to study and memorize particular quotes. These were truths I had never heard and I began to long for this as part of my relationship and union with Christ.

In 2014, I shared for twelve months on this blog what was published in 2016 as A Broad Review of Andrew Murray’s Humility. Since then I have used my book which highlights the main points that I had memorized as a daily devotional. (A free PDF copy is available upon request.)

Why have I become so intrigued with this subject?

Because I have experienced the difference Christ’s humility has made in my life. I continue to witness of this so that others may come to this knowledge and blessing.

Humility is the least-claimed, the least-owned, and the least-known of the graces of Christ that are given to His people.

Why?

Because humility goes against the grain of all human nature. Pride is so ingrained that only a miracle — a work of the power of the Spirit of Christ — the Holy Spirit sent to transform the minds, hearts, and lives of His brethren — can we be delivered from pride and live a life of humility. This was the total of the life of our Lord and Savior and the abundant life He died to give.

It is the least-owned because it does not belong to us. It is the gift of His grace and the fruit of His Spirit — meekness –even next to the last of the fruit which is temperance (self-control).

And it does not happen overnight. As Murray teaches throughout the book, we must remember the process of all God’s work.

1. Conviction of our need.
2. Desire for the humility of Christ above all else
3. Pray diligently for His working in us.
4. Wait in expectation and live in   praise to Him for what He will do in His timing.

I want to share this week and in subsequent posts the simple statements Murray used in his book that still bring me to my knees, yearning for this “above everything, seeking the holy secret of the knowledge of the nature of God as He works all.” It must be the continual indwelling of Christ within. When we fail, we are reminded to return to where we started — the heart in prayer for His working.

“It is the indwelling Christ who will live His life in us, meek and lowly. We must long for this, above everything, seeking this holy secret of the knowledge of the nature of God as He works all. We must set aside our ordinary religion to secure this, the first and chief of the marks of Christ within us.”

“And begin to praise God that there is opened up to you in Jesus a heavenly humility of which you have hardly known, and through which a heavenly blessedness (which you possibly have never yet tasted) can come into you.”

I share these blessed truths, praying for His Spirit’s conviction and blessing for us as we seek, claim, own, and know the power of His working in us — for His glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name,
Fran

Arrows in the Hands of a Mighty King

As I post this last chapter, it is with a sense that I have not done justice to the truth and power of God’s Word. I cannot do any more than I have done, but remembering Andrew Murray’s words in the Foreward of his book Waiting on God, I quote these words, “I send these out with the prayer that He who uses the feeble may give a blessing with them.”

In three previous chapters of Beyond a Mere Christianity, there have been references to books by authors I read years ago. Each one left an impression, and from these, I have offered a challenge for us as God’s children to go beyond what they wrote to search further into His Word.

God was speaking through them to witness of His kingdom and His salvation through Christ, His Son. They are dead and though they still speak through their books, God is still speaking through all His children today. We have nothing new since He spoke through His Son but each of us is called to witness of more that He reveals in His Word.

No person has all revelation but we each bring something to the feet of our Master for His anointing. It is the same faith, same Lord, same Father, same Spirit, and the same baptism through the person and work of Jesus Christ. But we never stop learning or growing. We continue to search His Word, to pray for more than the average knowledge of our Lord ~ with which some are satisfied.

The title for this final chapter is based on two different ideas ~ the first is explained as we take a statement from a sermon and the second from the texts of Psalm 127:4 and Isaiah 49:2.

By reference to this sermon, we want to see the degree from which and to which, God calls us as His children.

On July 8, 1741, this sermon was delivered by Jonathan Edwards in Enfield, Connecticut. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God is perhaps the most well-known and most moving of sermons ever preached in America. (Instead of listening to an audio, please read it. Edwards was not an eloquent speaker but known for simply speaking word for word from his written documents.)

Let us consider these select words from His text.

The bow of God’s wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and justice bends the arrow at your heart, and strains the bow, and it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry God, without any promise or obligation at all, that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood. Thus all you that never passed under a great change of heart, by the mighty power of the Spirit of God upon your souls; all you that were never born again, and made new creatures, and raised from being dead in sin, to a state of new, and before altogether unexperienced light and life, are in the hands of an angry God. However you may have reformed your life in many things, and may have had religious affections, and may keep up a form of religion in your families and closets, and in the house of God, it is nothing but his mere pleasure that keeps you from being this moment swallowed up in everlasting destruction.

Our thoughts from this part of the sermon are focused on God’s bow and arrow ready for his enemies. We find in the Old Testament such references

In response to the rebellion of His people, Moses records the words of the Lord.

“And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.”
Deuteronomy 32:21-23

And upon His enemies are these words from the Psalmist.

“Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.” Psalm 45:5

At the end of his sermon, Edwards spoke the following words during which many were wailing and crying out for salvation.

And now you have an extraordinary opportunity, a day wherein Christ has thrown the door of mercy wide open and stands in calling and crying with a loud voice to poor sinners; a day wherein many are flocking to him, and pressing into the kingdom of God.
Read here the background and effect of this sermon.

In every generation, upon hearing the gospel, we, as His people have conviction by the power of His Holy Spirit that brings us to repentance and faith.

I like to say that His arrows pierce our hearts and make us tremble at His Word so that we fall prostrate at His feet in need of a Savior. He knows how to stop us in our tracks and turn us to Himself. He has the power to make His enemies not only His footstool but to make them His servants.

“Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” Psalm 110:3 

We see the promises of God’s deliverance recorded in the Psalms and the Prophets.

“The burden of the word of the Lord in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the Lord. And the Lord shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.” Zechariah 9:1, 14 (See Zechariah 9  for the full impact of this promise of deliverance.)

God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Creator of the universe, has turned us from His wrath by sending us a King ~ the King of kings ~ to capture our hearts and turn us to Him. We are no longer His enemies but servants of the Most High God. He has made us His children and heirs to His kingdom.

He makes us thrive in enemy territory, defending us, even as He makes us arrows. We are His quiver ~ His arrows against His and our enemies.

“As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
Psalm 127:4-5

Such is our Father in heaven whose family on earth lives in defense of His kingdom.

 “And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;” Isaiah 49:2

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The Process by Which He Establishes His Army and His Weapons

Through His Word, He reveals Himself and births us into His kingdom, making us soldiers of the cross of Christ, His Son ~ the Mighty King who rules His kingdom. His Word is our manual for training.

His Holy Spirit continues to lead us to know our Master and King, to hear His voice, see Him,  fear Him, love Him, obey Him, worship and serve Him, praise Him and pray to Him, to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ in power and to live for Him.

By His mercy and by His covenant with us, He calls us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices ~ no longer conformed to this world, its god and its standards but transformed by the renewing of our minds by His own Word and Spirit (Romans 12:1-2).

We survive victoriously and thrive in this wilderness so that the enemy knows who and where we are ~ as we live without fear and always ready to defend the faith He alone gives (Jude).

He uses us to make known His name, His kingdom, and His will to others who will follow in His train.

As arrows designed for His purpose in the hands of our Mighty King, His power is wielded in us wherever and whenever He chooses. Each of the following topics forms the shape of an arrow. Starting with KNOW, we continue to the point ~ OBEY ~ and come to the point PROCLAIM.

Living by Faith in Christ is the shaft that the King uses to drive the arrow forward in our obedience to hit the mark.

We will look at references to Know, Hear, See, Fear, Love, and Obey. In Part 2, we will look at references to Serve, Worship, Praise, Pray, Proclaim His Name and Live by faith in Him.

Rather than my commenting on these references, it would be good for us to meditate on each of these (there are actually many more than we have used). We need to establish time for one of these each day to build our repertoire of His manual.

KNOW

“And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, 
All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”
Matthew 28:18 “

“All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.” Luke 10:22

‘According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” 2 Peter 1:3

“Be still, and know that I am God:
I will be exalted among the heathen,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

“Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.” Psalm 106:8

And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.” Jeremiah 24:7

“But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 9:24

 “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:34

 Known by His Shepherds and His Sheep

“And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Jeremiah 3:15

 “Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:3

“And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.” John 10:4

 “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” John 10:14

 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” Matthew 13:11

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” Philippians 3:10

 “the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:” Philippians 3:8Deuteronomy 4:39; Nahum 1:7; Psalm 67:2;Proverbs 22:21;Isaiah 43:10;

HEAR

“And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.” Genesis 3:8

 “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” Isaiah 50:4

“While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.” Hebrews 3:15

“When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the Lord thy God.” Deuteronomy 13:18

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 11:15

 “For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” Matthew 13:17

 “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” Matthew 17:5

 “And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.” Mark 4:24

“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,” Luke 6:27  

“Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.” Luke 8:18

 “And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.” Luke 8:21

 “But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” Luke 11:28

 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” John 10:27

 “Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” John 18:37

 “And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.” John 4:42

SEE “And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that you should know his will, and see that Just One, and should hear the voice of his mouth.” Acts 22:14

“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” Ephesians 1:18

 “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” Matthew 13:16-17

FEAR

 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10

“Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.” Isaiah 51:7

 “Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:5

 “know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.” Ecclesiastes 3:14

 “And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;” Isaiah 11:2

“And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.” Acts 19:17

LOVE

“Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.” Psalm 91:14

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Matthew 22:37

“But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.” 1 John 2:5

 “Herein is love, not that we loved God,
but that he loved us, and sent his Son
to be the propitiation for our sins.”
1 John 4:10

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16

“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;” Philippians 1:9

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35

“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” 1 John 3:14

“Hereby perceive we the love of God,
because he laid down his life for us:
and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
1 John 3:16

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” 1 John 4:7

In the next and last post of this chapter, we will look at the power of living by faith in Jesus Christ that brings about obedience to our Master and King. We will see the effects of  living in obedience as we serve, worship, praise, pray and proclaim the name of Christ.

Gracious Father in heaven, we praise you for the power of your Holy Spirit to bring us captive to Christ, that we may be free to serve and worship you without fear of our enemies. Shape us as your arrows as you are conforming us to the image of your dear Son. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray, Amen.
Fran

Image: Pixabay

Godly Stability

This post did not make it as a chapter in Beyond a Mere Christianity, but the quotes may fit somewhere in the previous chapter, Surviving and Thriving in Enemy TerritoryLord willing, our last chapter should be ready to post on Monday.
Please pray for Jim as he is preparing our next post on Words of Life.

“And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brazen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD”
Jeremiah 15:20

    “Stability in the fear and faith of God will make a man like a wall of brass, which no one can batter down or break. Only the LORD can make such; but we need such men in the church, and in the world, but specially in the pulpit. Against uncompromising men of truth this age of shams will fight tooth and nail. Nothing seems to offend Satan and his seed like decision. They attack holy firmness even as the Assyrians besieged fenced cities.
The joy is that they cannot prevail against those whom God has made strong in His strength. Carried about with every wind of doctrine, others only need to be blown upon and away they go; but those who love the doctrines of grace, because they possess the grace of the doctrines, stand like rocks in the midst of raging seas. Whence this stability? “I am with thee, saith the LORD”: that is the true answer. Jehovah will save and deliver faithful souls from all the assaults of the adversary. Hosts are against us, but the LORD of hosts is with us. We dare not budge an inch; for the LORD Himself holds us in our place, and there we will abide forever.”Spurgeon

May the Lord bless us as His people; that He teach us and prepare us for the battle for His kingdom in this world. We pray His blessings in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

Words of Life ~ BEAR

We begin in Genesis 4:13 as it relates to punishment. Interestingly and profoundly, God’s Word makes reference to the bearing of our sins, its punishment, and its remedy. As we have highlighted these, let us look personally and take them to heart.

H5375 nâsâʼ, naw-saw’; to lift; in a great variety of applications, literal and figurative, absolute and relativeaccept, advance, bring (forth), burn, carry

“And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.” Genesis 4:13

 “And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually.” Exodus 28:29

Leviticus 10:17 speaks of Aaron eating the sin offering to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the Lord. 

“And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.” Leviticus 16:22

And the Levites shall even bear their iniquity. Ezekiel 44:10

Moses was not able to bear all the people alone. Numbers 11:14

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“And even to your old age I am he;
and even to hoar hairs will I carry you:
I have made, and I will bear;
even I will carry, and will deliver you.:
Isaiah 46:4

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Even he shall build the temple of the Lord;
and he shall bear the glory,
and shall sit and rule upon his throne;
and he shall be a priest upon his throne:
Zechariah 6:13

 That Christ shall bear the glory. Glory is a burden, but not too heavy for him to bear who upholds all things. The cross was his glory, and he bore that; so was the crown an exceeding weight of glory, and he bears that. The government is upon his shoulders, and in it he bears the glory, Isa. 9:6They shall hang upon him all the glory of his Father’s house, Isa. 22:24. It becomes him, and he is par negotio-well able to bear it. The glory of the priesthood and royalty had been divided between the house of Aaron and that of David; but now he alone shall bear all the glory of both. That which he shall bear, which he shall undertake, shall be indeed the glory of Israel; and they must wait for that, and, in prospect of it, must be content in the want of that external glory which they formerly had. He shall bear such a glory as shall make the glory of this latter house greater than that of the former. He shall lift up the glory (so it may be read); the glory of Israel had been thrown down and depressed, but he shall raise it out of the dust. Matthew Henry

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H3205 yâlad, yaw-lad’; a primitive root; to bear young; causatively, to beget; bring forth (children, young),

The following are references to the everlasting covenant established with Abraham; revealed and fulfilled in Jesus.

And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.” Genesis 17:19

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 (See reference below John 18:37)

H5445 çâbal, saw-bal’; to bear, bear a load, drag oneself along to carry(literally or figuratively), or (reflexively) be burdensome
The same word is used for labor and burden.

In the center of these references is the well-known prophecy from Isaiah of the Son, Immanuel, who would bear the iniquities of His people.

“He shall see of the travail of his soul,
and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge
shall my righteous servant justify many;
for he shall bear their iniquities.”
Isaiah 53:11

H6030 ʻânâh, aw-naw’; to answer, respond, testify, speak, shout the same word is used for answer and answered

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” Exodus 20:16

H5201 nâṭar, naw-tar’; a primitive root; to guard; figuratively, to cherish (anger):—bear grudge, keep(-er), reserve.

Leviticus 19:18 commands us not to bear any grudge but to love thy neighbour as thyself.

H4910 mâshal, maw-shal’;  to rule:—(have, make to have) dominion, governor, reign, (bear, cause to, have) rule(-ing, -r), have power.

Proverbs 12:24 relates to the diligent who shall bear rule.

New Testament

G3140 martyreō mar-too-reh’-o to be a witness, to bear witness, i.e. to affirm that one has seen or heard or experienced something, or that he knows it because taught by divine revelation or inspiration

 “The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.” John 1:7

“There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.” John 5:32

“To this end was I born, and for this cause
came I into the world,

that I should bear witness unto the truth.
Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.”
John 18:37

“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” 1 John 5:7-8

G5342 pherō  fe’-rō; to bear i.e. bring forth, produce; endure

“Abide in me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
except it abide in the vine;
no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”
John 15:4

 “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.” Hebrews 13:13

 G941 bastazōbä-stä’-zō  perhaps remotely derived from the base of G939 (through the idea of removal); to lift, literally or figuratively (endure, declare, sustain, receive, etc.) The same word is used for bare, bearing and borne

 “And whosoever doth not bear his cross,
and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:27

Must Jesus bear the cross alone and all the world go free?
No, there’s a cross for all His own, and there’s a cross for me.

“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” John 16:12

the strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, Romans 15:1 

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

Paul said, “… for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”Galatians 6:17

G2592 karpophoréō, kar-pof-or-eh’-o; from G2593; to be fertile (literally or figuratively):—be (bear, bring forth) fruit(-ful).

 “seed in good ground beareth fruit.” Matthew 13:23

G3114 makrothyméō ,mak-roth-oo-meh’-o; from the same as G3116; to be long-spirited, i.e. (objectively) forbearing or (subjectively) patient

“And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?” Luke 18:7

G4828 symmartyréō, soom-mar-too-reh’-o; from G4862 and G3140; to testify jointly, i.e. corroborate by (concurrent) evidence:—

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit,
that we are the children of God:”
Romans 8:16

 G5297 hypophérō, hoop-of-er’-o; from G5259 and G5342; to bear from underneath, i.e. (figuratively) to undergo hardship:—endure

 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

G4722 stégō, steg’-o; from G4721; to roof over, i.e. (figuratively) to cover with silence (endure patiently)

“Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:7

G5409 phoréō, for-eh’-o; from G5411; to have a burden, i.e. (by analogy) to wear as clothing or a constant accompaniment:—bear, wear,

“And as we have borne the image of the earthy,
we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
1 Corinthians 15:49

G4064 periphérō, per-ee-fer’-o; from G4012 and G5342; to convey around, i.e. transport hither and thither: (carry) about

 “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” 2 Corinthians 4;10

G399 anaphérō, an-af-er’-o; from G303 and G5342; to take up (literally or figuratively):—bear, bring (carry, lead) up, offer (up).

“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many;
and unto them that look for him
shall he appear the second time
without sin unto salvation.”
Hebrews 9:28

From the beginning, God brings us through His Word to see man’s need for a Savior. We are led to His promises and His provision for redemption, forgiveness, and restoration through Jesus, Lord and Savior to those whose sins He has borne on the cross.

Gracious Father of heaven, earth, and all life ~ we praise you for planning for our salvation before the world began, showing us our need and how you have reconciled us to yourself by putting all our sins upon Jesus. How true that only He, the spotless Lamb, could bear our sins, and only He is able to bear the glory. No wonder the disciples could not bear all when He was here. Thank you for eternity when we will be able to receive all you have planned for us. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
Fran

 

 

 

Reclaiming Sunday as the Lord’s Day

How often does history repeat itself? It sometimes takes centuries and new generations to forget the past. We observe the world and the culture and think that we are experiencing something new, when actually we are only replaying the scenarios our forefathers knew.

The Christian community is looking at the world through the same lens and blaming our culture for the current ills. We want to point a finger at everyone outside our personal environment.

If we look to the Word of God, we find much to explain why we are in such straits as we are.

In a country that began as “a nation under God,” at first living as those who belonged to God, we wonder how things took a different turn.  As His people, we find that we are not much different from our ancestors that liked what other nations had. In their covetousness, they wanted a king to rule over them.

He gave them what they wanted and so they served and yielded the fruit of their own doing. Without Him, they became like other nations and suffered the consequences of living without His direction, presence, and power.

Even when they worshipped Him, they made their own laws, going their own way in idolatry.

Years after Israel’s exile and deliverance from Egypt, they rebelled against His precepts. We see in Daniel 9:1-19 the ramifications of their disobedience.

In the first year of his reign, I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:” Daniel 9:2-5

Prophecy of Jeremiah

“Between the second and the third wave (of their captivity), Jeremiah prophesied that the total time would be 70 years (Jeremiah 29:10). On the one hand this emphasized how serious the sin of Israel was. They would not be saved after a few years, as they expected. On the other hand, it showed God’s grace. For He promised to not forget them, but to save them in the end. And He did. The Persians took over the Babylonian Empire, and released the Jews. As Jeremiah had prophesied, 70 years after the first captivity, the first returnees arrived in Israel. The hard punishment that the Lord gave them for forsaking him, resulted in their repentance.” Biblword

Scripture demonstrates that the Babylonian exile lasted for 70 years and that exile allowed the land to rest for the 70 Sabbath years that the Israelites had failed to observe. (See this link.)

God’s Word for His People

God did not expect the whole world to live by the commandments of His kingdom. He issued His Word to a chosen people for their obedience and dependence upon Him to lead and care for them.

We cannot expect the world to abide by God’s Word but we, as His people, are called to a life separate from the world. When we continue to live as if we are not His people observing the same lifestyle as the world, we are the ones who are in jeopardy. We are the people under His judgment.

“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17

What can we do to change the climate of our nation and the world? We cannot change the world. It will continue in rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ until He comes again in victory over all nations.

As His people, we must pray for ourselves to know His rule in our own hearts and lives.

We must fast and pray for His Church in the world; for knowledge of Him, repentance and faith among His people. We must rise up in obedience to Him and His Word ~ to reclaim His kingdom on earth in us.

We can by His power, start by reclaiming and observing the day He gave us for separation from the world, as a prelude and practice for the eternal rest, honoring Him above all else.

We must begin somewhere to make the presence of His kingdom known.

Pray and Prove

We are already in captivity to our own thoughts and desires ~ in exile to the world’s depravity and culture. We must pray and prove that we belong to Him. We must witness of a different state and a different lifestyle as we continue through this wilderness. We must seek His kingdom and His righteousness through the knowledge of His Word and His commandments. We must live by the filling and leading of His Holy Spirit.

Sunday as we know it, is the Lord’s Day, given by the Father to His Son upon completion of His mission to save His people from this world of sin. The Lord’s Day is His Day to gather His people to Himself, to celebrate His victory over sin for us.

For all that He sacrificed for us ~ for His propitiation for our sins ~ we need to show our love and sacrifice for Him. Even if you are the only one who sees the need, be a witness to others of His will for the Lord’s Day. Plan during the week to make the Lord’s Day His day that He shares with you.

How do you spend Sundays?

How would you change how you spend the Lord’s Day so as to honor and glorify Him?

It will change your whole life and make you a testimony of His grace.

Dear Father in heaven, my heart is heavy, burdened for your name’s sake, when I see your people use the Day you planned for your Son’s honor for themselves. Send your Holy Spirit for conviction; by your goodness, bring us to repentance, renewed faith,  devotion, and commitment to our Lord who gave Himself to save us from this present evil age. In His precious name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

What was the Babylonian captivity/exile?

Words of Life ~ Babe(s)

What a blessing it has been since July of last year to be searching the Scriptures for Words of Life ~ A to Z ~ the Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian.

How wonderful that our last word AWAKE is a springboard ~ A to B ~ onto our next word BABE. Let us think of waking from the dead in trespasses and sin to new life as babes in the heavenly kingdom.

There are three different words for babe in the Old Testament and two in the New Testament.

From the Old Testament, we find the babe Moses in a basket in the river (Exodus 2:6), and in the New Testament we see Jesus, the babe in a manger (Luke 2:12; Luke 2:16).

Old Testament
H5288 as in Exodus 2:6 (babeMoses)
A masculine noun na`ar nah’·ar meansa; boy, lad, servant, youth, retainer

H5768`owlel ō·lāl’; child, boy
from H5763; a suckling:—babe, (young) child, infant, little one.

“Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings
hast thou ordained strength

because of thine enemies,
that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.” 
Psalm 8:2

 Early church history records many amazing instances of the testimony of children for the truth of God, but perhaps more modern instances will be the most interesting.

Fox tells us, in the Book of Martyrs, that when Mr. Lawrence was burnt in Colchester, he was carried to the fire in a chair, because through the cruelty of the Papists, he could not stand upright, several young children came about the fire, and cried as well as they could speak, “Lord, strengthen thy servant, and keep thy promise.” God answered their prayer, for Mr. Lawrence died as firmly and calmly as anyone could wish to breathe his last.

One more instance is still nearer to our time. In a postscript to one of his letters, in which he details his persecution when first preaching in Moorfields, Whitfield says, “I cannot help adding that several little boys and girls, who were fond of sitting round me on the pulpit while I preached, and handed to me people’s notes–though they were often pelted with eggs, dirt, &c., thrown at me–never once gave way; but on the contrary, every time I was struck, turned up their little weeping eyes, and seemed to wish they could receive the blows for me.

He who delights in the songs of angels is pleased to honour himself in the eyes of his enemies by the praises of little children. What a contrast between the glory above the heavens, and the mouths of babes and sucklings! yet by both the name of God is made excellent. Spurgeon

Psalm 17:14 speaks of men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and who leave the rest of their substance to their babes.

H8586 ta`aluwl tah·al·ül’; wantonness, caprice, vexation
From H5953; caprice (as a fit coming on), i.e. vexation; concretely a tyrant:—babe, delusion.to act severely, deal with severely, make a fool of someone

In their rebellion, Israel would experience fulfillment of the Lord’s promise,

“And I will give children to be their princes, and babeshall rule over them.” Isaiah 3:4

New Testament
G3516 
nēpios nā’-pē-os; an infant, little child;  a minor, not of age, metaphorically, childish, untaught, unskilled.

Jesus quotes Psalm 8:2 when the people are shouting “Hosanna.”

“And (the Pharisees) said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babeand sucklings thou hast perfected praise?” Matthew 21:16

Paul speaks in Romans 2:20 of one who is an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.

Paul and the writer of Hebrews speak of immature Christians

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babein Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:1

“For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.” Hebrews 5:13

“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father,
Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things
from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”
Matthew 11:25 and Luke 10:21

How blessed are those who come in humility to learn of Christ and the things of His kingdom ~ things not revealed to the wise and prudent of this world.  These words Jesus spoke before His invitation, “Come to me.”

G1025 brephos bre’-fos;an unborn child, embryo, a foetus

The same word is used for infants and children, but especially of the unborn child in Luke 1:41 when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe (John) leaped  in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

“For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation
sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.”
Luke 1:44

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word,
that ye may grow thereby:
1 Peter 2:2

Dear Father in heaven, whose glory outshines the brightest star, we thank you. For new Life in Christ that satisfies more than any earthly joy, we praise you. How can we express appreciation for your Word and Spirit that enables us to grow in grace and knowledge of you? Work it in us, I pray. In Jesus’ precious and Holy name. Amen.
Fran

Jesus ~ Wrapped for our Glory

Still, in the wonderful process of searching the truths of God’s Word for Filled with Grace and Wrapped in Glory, I am finding more to do with the Lord’s work around us than within us ~ at least a hundred references.~ much of which we are probably not aware.

It is the gleaning of His Word and His promises that bring us to understand His total and complete work on our behalf while we live in this wilderness. His Word reveals His constant presence with us but because we are so inundated by the thoughts, words, and behavior of the multitudes, we have not known and practiced these precious truths of the kingdom.

I had not understood why the term Wrapped in Glory was given in this title. Now, I am delighting in what He is showing me. The first pertains to being Wrapped. (We will share thoughts on His Glory later.) There are three references in the New Testament to Jesus’ being wrapped.

  1. “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger;” Luke 2:7

Jesus came from His glory into this world, was wrapped in human garb so that He could wrap us in the swaddling clothes of His glory.

How low the King of glory stoops, and how gloriously he uplifts the lowly to share his glory! Charles Spurgeon

  1. “And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,” Matthew 27:59

Jesus was wrapped twice in His human helplessness ~ first, as a baby and last, as the sacrificial Lamb.

  1. “And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.” John 20:7

They were lying there in their regular folds as if the body of Jesus had simply evaporated out of them. Matthew Henry

Plainly the effect of thought, care, and composure; and clearly showed, that the body was not taken away in a hurry, or by thieves, since everything lay in such order and decency; and which was done, either by our Lord himself, or by the angels. John Gill

His resurrection reveals His finished work. The last of His earthly wrappings set aside, He would prove His resurrection to His disciples, then ascend to be robed in His heavenly glory.

From the right hand of His Father, He sent His Holy Spirit, as He promised to His disciples before His death (John 14 -16; Acts 1) The Holy Spirit is now revealing and fulfilling all the promises for His people. Even as we are now learning what it means that we are made to sit in heavenly places in Christ, He will finish His work in and through us, in preparation to bring us home to the glory of the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

 Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature
: old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17

Gracious Father, how are we to understand these things, except you give us your Holy Spirit to work them in us ~ to bring us by your power into the arms of our Lord and wrap us in your glory. Thank you for the promises that are ours in Christ as revealed in your Word. In Jesus’ name, I praise you. Amen.