The Nature of Humility (pg. 5)

“When pride cometh, then cometh shame:
but with the lowly is wisdom.
Proverbs 11:2

“Pride is ours, from Adam, and rules in us with such terrible power, because it is ourself — our very nature. Humility (from Christ) must be ours in the same way; it must be our very self, our very nature.   As natural and easy as it has been to be proud, it must –it will be — to be humble. The promise is, “Where,” even in the heart, “sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20)

 A man’s pride shall bring him low:
but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.”
Proverbs 29:23

“Nothing can avail but that the new nature, in its divine humility, will be revealed in power to take the place of the old. It will become as truly our very nature as the old ever was.

“We have our life from and in Christ, as truly, even more truly, than from and in Adam.” Humility Andrew Murray


There is as much difference in pride and humility as in night and day, light and darkness — good and evil. Jesus came to make the difference in His people. The Holy Spirit is doing His work in us now in preparation for eternity with Him. There will be no pride in heaven and without it we will never get there.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name as your kingdom has come and your will is being done in the hearts and lives of your children. Let the world see what Christ does in us. Continue to grow us in the new nature that is ours in Him — for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

free ebook Humility~the Beauty of Holiness Andrew Murray (free audio)
A Broad Review of Andrew Murray’s Humility (free copy upon request)

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A Day of Separation

Should any day be different from another? Do we need technology to keep us posted and aware of the day, who we are and why we are here?

If we read God’s Word ~ how He began with creation and set a pattern for days ~ we have a means of understanding life for us as He meant it to be.

Separation of Night and Day

We see the purpose of separation when we read of His separation of light and darkness and night and day. Every night we die to the world in sleep. We are raised to a new life each morning.

After His creation of the earth and its inhabitants, He made a difference in the week. Months pass into years, years into decades, decades into centuries, etc.

We plan weeks and months for different activities ~ vacations, education, etc. As creatures, we, like our Creator, create so that our lives are not monotonous, boring, and mundane. We try to make ourselves happy, prosperous, free for whatever we want, and on track with society according to what is available in the physical world.

Separation of Days

If our years and decades seem to lose their significance, we need to go back to the system God created for us ~ specifically the days of the week.

Separation of night and day was necessary for simple survival. Whether we believe in God or not, we all agree on three things: Everybody sleeps. Everybody eats. And at some point, everybody dies (until Jesus’ second return).

When the Lord our God created the heavens and the earth and rested the seventh day, He did not need to rest but He, as our heavenly Father, rested and set a precedent for those who belong to Him. HE planned the time and activity He knew we needed.

Before the Fall, man needed a seventh day for rest, but even more so, since the Fall, when we were separated from Him.

So, what difference does a seventh day make? Why did God provide this day before the Fall? The key is separation.

Separation of People

God created everything we would need ~ before He created man.He created the Sabbath (seventh day) as a separate day for a separate people. He separated the nation of Israel for Himself in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, we understand that He has separated a people for Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ. In Christ, we are a separate people who are called to rest and worship on His Day with Him.

This separation is for now and eternity. Jesus told of the time when His people ~ His sheep ~ will be separated from the goats. Throughout God’s Word, He makes a difference in the righteous and the wicked, in that which is holy and the unholy, in the clean and the unclean, in light and darkness, etc. The ungodly will not stand in the judgment with the righteous (Psalm 1:5).

“Intelligent Separation from Turbulence”

The active observance of the Lord’s Day is what our pastor describes as “intelligent separation from turbulence” ~ the idea of God’s people coming out of the world and its chaos for one day a week. He used this phrase in his sermon last Lord’s Day evening as he has been preaching through the book of Exodus (Exodus 31:12-18).

Rest on the Lord’s Day, including His worship, is like dying to the world and waking the next morning refreshed and alive to face the turbulence with added wisdom, vigor, and grace.

Please listen to this special message on the subject of the fourth commandment as it applies to us as followers of Christ. Why We Need to Keep Sabbath Today.

 “And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy,
and have separated you from the peoples,
that you should be Mine.”
Leviticus 20:26 NKJV

The KJV uses the word “severed” in this reference, indicating a total cutting off from those who are not His people. We are His, holy in Christ.

Dear heavenly Father, you are separate from your creation but as you planned to share your kingdom with us through your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, teach us through your Word the difference Jesus makes in our lives. By your Holy Spirit separate us on this holy day in honor of our Lord who was cut off in order to separate us for yourself. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

An Open Letter to Our Granddaughter

Dear Ansley,

When you were a child, you asked me, “Gramama, what is beauty?”

I did not have an answer then and twenty years later, I am still learning.

I grew up hearing that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

“Beauty is only skin deep.”

“Beauty is where you find it.”

“Beauty is all around us, but the blind cannot see.”

There is no answer to describe what may be beautiful to every person.

The only true beauty is in holiness, beauty in God that He reveals to the clean heart; for the eyes reserved for Him to receive what He chooses to give.

Beauty is found in His Word ~ written and Living in Christ.

Beauty in the Heart

“But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart
with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which in God’s sight is very precious.”
1 Peter 3:4

God sees the beauty of His own work in the hearts and lives of His children.

True beauty is seen by the soul; reserved for the humble heart.

There is beauty in the thoughts of those who know that God loves them.

Beauty is seen by the light (the light of Grace) that shines into the heart. The light that reveals the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.

True beauty is hidden from the world because it is heaven-oriented, God-inspired, Spirit-breathed, and Christ-centered in His children.

True beauty, as God reveals it, is seen in His Son, Jesus Christ. Through His eyes, we see what He wants us to see, beyond the boundaries of our own little world.

Beauty is in the cross of the One who died, in Him who with open arms rejoices in those who come to Him.

Beauty is in the Shepherd that carries one of His sheep until he is able to walk on his own.

Beauty is following Jesus and sitting at His feet.

Beauty is the moment a person knows that He is God’s child, born of His Spirit for eternity.

It is His kingdom within us, making us aware of the beauty around us that others cannot see.

Beauty is in the heart that loves what God loves.

Beauty is seen in patiently waiting for the Master.

Beauty is accepting all that the Lord wills for our lives, in disappointments, trials, and suffering.

Beauty is the Spirit of Christ within the human heart speaking wherever we are, in our times of need, or prompting us to minister to someone else’s need.

“And let the beauty of our Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands;
yea, the work of our hands, establish thou it. “
Psalm 90:17

Beauty is in the hands of those who serve Him, and beauty in the work that we do for Him.

Beauty is in the peace of mind that only He gives.

Beauty is in the quietness of a moment, when the world around us is in chaos.

Beauty in Relationships

Beauty is living in humility to serve God and others.

Beauty is God’s love in action.

Beauty is seen in a smile when you least expect it.

Beauty is in gentleness.

Beauty is in an act of compassion.

Beauty is in the generosity of one who cares for others,

Beauty is responding to a need on a spur of the moment.

Beauty is in the sincere words, “I love you.”

Beauty is in a spontaneous hug for someone you don’t know.

Beauty in Nature

Beauty is seeing a butterfly light on a delicate flower petal, or a bee receiving the nectar of God’s provision.

Beauty is seen in the opening of a single flower that receives the rays of the sun after a gentle rain.

Beauty is seeing a flowing leaf find its resting place on the ground.

We have yet to see the beauty of His holiness. It is more than we can endure, now.

We will see His full beauty when He returns for His people, and the beauty of His world which He promises to us. 

I could not answer your question when you first asked. We have both been learning.   I can witness of the true meaning of beauty that is revealed by God to His children. You could add what you have learned since then.

If our eyes are opened to Him, we see His beauty around us and within us. We have the remainder of this life for Him to prepare our eyes to behold Him ~ and eternity to experience the beauty of His holiness and majesty.

As we wait, I am seeing His beauty in you.

In the love of our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, a love that transcends all time and space ~ for His glory and our joy ~
Gramama

Images: Google

Living Sacrifices

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.”
Romans 12:1-2

These verses in Romans 12 cannot be taken out of context but in relation to the whole letter to the Roman Church. Paul gives the means and the reason for His beseeching. Presenting our body (our whole being) is our response to the mercies of God. Afterward, we see the results of the presentation and the commitment of ourselves to Him.

The Reason
Here, Paul brings the believer to consider the truths he has presented in the previous eleven chapters. The key words in this verse are by the mercies of God. Before we do can anything with or for God, there has to be a revelation of Him and the work of His mercy for us.

In Romans 11:29-36 we find the capsule of God’s mercies opened–the door–therefore–for Paul’s beseeching the reader to consider and respond. He calls us as brethren–believers and followers of Christ–to bring to God the Father, the gift of His mercies in earthen vessels for His use. When, by His mercies, He gives us new hearts (Ezekiel 36:26) and lives in Christ, our only reasonable response is to bring ourselves in dedication and commitment to His service and worship

Peter speaks of God’s abundant mercy that has given us new life in Christ.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which according to his abundant mercy
hath begotten us again unto a lively hope
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 
1 Peter 1:3

A Covenant Relationship
We are made holy and acceptable unto God through Jesus’ sacrifice for us.

Before the foundation of the world, the covenant of redemption was planned between the Father and the Son. In the power of His Holy Spirit, through the knowledge of His Word, this covenant–the covenant of grace as we know it–is revealed as God’s plan to win us to Christ, His Son.

We are betrothed to Him through His sacrifice for us.
Paul’s teaching in Romans 12:1-2  show how we are to accept and enter into this covenant with Him. As a wife submits to her husband in the covenant of marriage, we submit to His covenant for life here and for eternity.

It is our agreement with Him that we are His temple, His building, His people, His children.

This is His means to accomplish all He desires in and through us.

“For ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body,
and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
1 Corinthians 6:20

Paul’s purpose of ministry to the Gentiles was that they might glorify God for his mercy (Romans 15:9).

In Romans 10:3 Paul speaks of those who have not submitted themselves unto Him.

We must be humbled to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice. The proud cannot present themselves; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5-6).

“Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:
but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead,
and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
Romans 6:13

Living Sacrifices for a Living God
Paul speaks to the Thessalonians of how they turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 1 Thessalonians 1:9

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 9:14

For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. Luke 20:38

Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. 2 Corintians 3:3

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, Hebrews 12:22

 But if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15

The Results

“And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good,
and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” 
Romans 12:2

When we read all of Romans 12, we find the results of the whole body of Christ living sacrificially for His glory. Except for the offering of ourselves to Him, the remainder of the chapter would mean nothing to us.

When we understand the love and mercy in the sacrifice of our Lord, we willingly bring all to Him to do what He wills in and through us. He died, sacrificing all in His death for our salvation. We sacrifice all to Him to live and prove His perfect will in us. He performs His covenant in our lives when we enter into His covenant with Him, agreeing to His working to conform us to His image (Romans 8:29).

Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. Romans 7:4 

 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude 21

Dear Father in heaven, Only you, by your Holy Spirit, can draw us to Christ. Only through your Holy Word, do we know who you are and your purpose for us. Do your holy, acceptable and perfect will in our lives for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran
Image and Song
Related Article: Radical Mercy

What Do We Make of the Lord’s Day?


God made the heavens and the earth. In six days God had made all that man needed, including the man; and pronounced that it was “very good.” He needed to do nothing more — only to stand back and glory in what He had made. He blessed it, and sanctified it, setting the pattern for a six-day workweek, and a day of rest. God planned it all, made it all, and then left the man to have dominion over it—to make of it what he would. The man failed to make it good by his disobedience to God’s instructions and so, needing something more, God gave His commands in print, for all generations to read.

Now, what do we make of His Law—not the ceremonial law?  That was abolished when Christ said, “It is finished.” It was all nailed to the cross.

We still have the Ten Commandments, all the law that pertains to His kingdom; the way of life that He ordained for His people. We could just as well put aside the sixth commandment, (“Thou shalt not kill”) as to leave off the fourth, for all ten came in the same package. Written together they are each one part of the same covenant, a covenant describing the intents of God’s heart and mind for His own children in His kingdom. Who would disagree that there can be a detriment to the honor of human life when we fail to honor God in the other commandments. Study the history of the Israelites. (They spent seventy years in exile; seventy years corresponding with how long they had profaned the Sabbath.) One thing led to another, even to murder when what seemed to be the lesser of the commandments were disobeyed.

There is more instruction in the Old Testament concerning the fourth commandment than the other ten.

We might say, Father, I understand that you don’t want me to kill anybody; that’s a basic understanding for most of humanity. But, things have changed, and we don’t really see the need for some of the other commandments. It’s hard, these days, to keep a whole day separate and holy. There are so many other things I need to do on the day that I am free from work and other responsibilities.

What we do with the Lord’s Day is a matter of the heart. How do we perceive the finished work of Christ and his new creation for His glory? Where is your heart on the Lord’s Day? I welcome your comments on what the Lord’s Day means to you, and how you and your family prepare for, and observe it.

 “Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy.”
Exodus 20:8

What do you make of this day?  Is it holy unto the Lord—for His glory? Therein is our joy!

Dear Father, We do not deserve anything but you have revealed such grace through the finished work of Christ for us that we desire to be with you on this day. Bring your people to know and observe this day you created for us — for your glory and our joy. In Jesus name. Amen.
Fran
(If you do not agree on a Lord’s Day Christian Sabbath, this post is not written for you — only for those who share the work of Christ on our behalf for our new creation. I say this because we have had comments attacking our faith in the finished work of Christ and the new Sabbath.)
Images: Google

 

A Panoramic View

How blessed we would be if we could see in God’s Word a panoramic view of Him working from beginning to end —the Alpha and Omega— through it all to bring the first and the last scene together.

How blessed we are to be in the middle as God’s people—the body of Christ—to take it all in; turning from page to page to behold His glory, His kingdom, at work in His people; His strong arm upholding His sovereign will and authority over life and death, His hand holding and molding each heart and life taken out of the degradation of sin.

How blessed we are to be turned by the power of His own Holy Spirit to see Him greater than all the circumstances of the human will and the power of the enemy combined; triumph shared with His people for eternity.

This is a view that comes through a lifetime here on this earth. The view is so breathtaking that we cannot bear it except slowly and as God, the Father, in the wisdom He gives through the righteousness and atoning work of Jesus, His Son, prepares our hearts by His Holy Spirit to conceive of Divine reality—“enlightening our eyes” to see what He allows our ears to hear.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

The tour through His Word is conducted one-on-one so that we do not miss anything that He has for each of us. It is the preparation for that which will come in eternity ~ from glory to glory ~ so that we will share in His glory forever.

The glory of God is hidden in Christ and it will take an eternity for us to behold.

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:19

Dear Father in heaven, we praise you for all that you have prepared for us, what our physical eyes cannot now see; what our ears cannot yet hear; the glorious life for which we are being prepared. Continue to work by your Holy Spirit, in light of the truth of your Word, in our minds and hearts to look beyond this present world to the glory that awaits us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Fran

Image:Pixabay

 

Control or Solution

Treatment for pests have become more intense since we discovered snakes in our bathrooms. The supervisor with the company that covers our termite inspections gave me a lengthy explanation of why their company offers pest solutions instead of the usual pest control. He described the differences in how they would treat one home that might be different in another. There are solutions that work for ants and roaches, but not for spiders, which I will not go into here. You certainly would not expect the same treatment for snakes as you would for spiders. The general rule for rats and snakes is to prevent their entry, which means that you will be charged an enormous free for them to seal all the crevices in your home, including cracks under your roof line. Snakes climb and can come into your attic. They are after the rats that come in the same way.

All this may seem impossible to imagine, especially for old folks like Jerry and me. But, it is just more of the same happenings of the wilderness in which we live.

Since we started living by the Glad Rule, we never cease to find something good in all the episodes we experience. In every event, the Lord teaches us and grows us in our faith in Him (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Peter 3:17-18).

We thank the Lord for the snakes. When the exterminator came, he took a video of the water gushing down the back foundation in our basement. We think the solution to stop the water may be unclogging a downspout. We will know when the rain comes today or tomorrow.

Where were we going with the title Control or Solution? Everything of this physical life seems to have a parallel in the spiritual realm. Andrew Murray stated in his book Waiting on God that “all nature becomes a preacher” in our relationship with God.

In this case, my thoughts this morning ran to a recent sermon on the first commandment from the book of Exodus. The difference in the physical and the spiritual is, God gave the commandments for His people to reveal their sin and His requirements. Though they are the rules of His kingdom, He knew they would not control the sins in our lives. They were like putting a No Trespassing sign outside our home for the pests. Even if they could read, they would not understand. They would still come into any opening available. God’s plan was to post what He wanted, but the commandments were, as Paul wrote in Galatians 3, only a precursor to what He would accomplish through the life, death and resurrection of His Son. The law could not keep His people from sinning. The solution for treatment for the pests in our lives would come later.

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Galatians 3:24

The difference in how the Lord works as our exterminator is, that He covers His people with the blood of Christ. He draws us to the cross where we are washed in the blood of the Lamb. He covers the crevices. No place is left open to the enemy of our souls.

We are filled with His Holy Spirit, with saturation of all the counsel of God and under a consuming fire, being kept by His power until the day of Christ’s return (1 Peter 1:5). His Word continues to fill us with His grace, written on our hearts and in our minds, spoken by His Spirit within us to remind us of who He is and whose we are. We are His dwelling place, and will He not take care of His house? Let us relinquish all to Him ~ for His glory and our joy.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Revelation 12:11

Gracious Father, we have no defense of our own; no solution for the cleansing of our sin, except by your provision for us. Fill us with the power of your Holy Spirit, the Spirit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray and live. Amen.
Fran

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