Monthly Archives: April 2015

THE FIRST AND CHIEF NEED OF OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE

The first and chief need of our Christian life is, Fellowship with God.

The Divine life within us comes from God, and is entirely dependent upon Him. As I need every moment afresh the air to breathe, as the sun every moment afresh sends down its light, so it is only in direct living communication with God that my soul can be strong.

The manna of one day was corrupt when the next day came. I must every day have fresh grace from heaven, and I obtain it only in direct waiting upon God Himself. Begin each day by tarrying before God, and letting Him touch you. Take time to meet God.

To this end, let your first act in your devotion be a setting yourself still before God. In prayer, or worship, everything depends upon God taking the chief place. I must bow quietly before Him in humble faith and adoration, speaking thus within my heart: “God is. God is near. God is love, longing to communicate Himself to me. God the Almighty One, Who worketh all in all, is even now waiting to work in me, and make Himself known.” Take time, till you know God is very near.

When you have given God His place of honour, glory, and power, take your place of deepest lowliness, and seek to be filled with the Spirit of humility. As a creature it is your blessedness to be nothing that God may be all in you. As a sinner you are not worthy to look up to God; bow in self-abasement. As a saint, let God’s love overwhelm you, and bow you still lower down. Sink down before Him in humility, meekness, patience, and surrender to His goodness and mercy. He will exalt you. Oh! Take time, to get very low before God.

Then accept and value your place in Christ Jesus. God delights in nothing but His beloved Son, and can be satisfied with nothing else in those who draw nigh to Him. Enter deep into God’s holy presence in the boldness which the blood gives, and in the assurance that in Christ you are most well pleasing. In Christ you are within the veil. You have access into the very heart and love of the Father. This is the great object of fellowship with God, that I may have more of God in my life, and that God may see Christ formed in me. Be silent before God and let Him bless you. Andrew Murray, The Deeper Christian Life (read the book on our site here)

The first and chief need of our Christian life
Not to pray for wealth and a life without strife
To bow low before The Mighty God above
Once fallen, now a Saint, lost in His love

STILL THEY BELONG TO HIM

Isaiah 50:1 Thus says the LORD: “Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce, with which I sent her away? Or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you?

“There is one other thing here perhaps most precious of all. I have to look at the first verse of the next chapter to find it. But it completes the picture. For it tells me God’s love is inexhaustible in it’s patience. “Thus says the Lord, where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you?” Do you understand the picture? When the Jew put away his wife he gave her a bill of divorcement and without that the divorce would not be complete. And Israel now in exile they are imagining themselves like a divorced wife, forgotten and forsaken of God.

But the Lord interrupts this kind of thinking and challenges His people and says “Where is the bill of divorcement? Produce the bill and show me where I divorced you and cut you off.” But she can’t do it. She can’t find it because He never given it to her. God cannot divorce those whom He has taken into covenant relationship with Himself. Backslidden? Perhaps; Rebellious? Maybe; faithless? For awhile, perhaps. They may be all of that but still they belong to Him.

You can search the universe but if your a child of God you will never, never find a bill of divorcement from God. Even the devil can’t produce it and show it to you. Satan would love to do that, would love to come to some disconsolate Christian who’s absolutely beaten and hopeless and produce to you proof that God has cut you off, but he cannot do it.” Alan Redpath, sermon

For the love of God is broader,
Than the measure of man’s mind,
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.
Faber

“I will recognize that this amazing love of God will never let me go is that upon which I can rest everything and count upon him to take me out into victory.” Alan Redpath

JESUS REVEALS GOD BECAUSE HE IS GOD

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature

In the exalted Christ the unknowable God becomes known. We behold “with unveiled face the glory of the Lord,” and so “are changed into the same image” (2 Corinthians 3:18), The Expositor’s Greek Testament

“I once read of a great European cathedral whose ceiling was adorned with a painting of God, drawn in brilliant colors. But the ceiling was so high and the cathedral so narrow that it hurt visitors to crane their necks to view the painting. The ingenious rector placed a mirror at ground level, tilted so that worshipers, by looking in the mirror, could study the image of the painting above. Hebrews 1:2 says that Jesus Christ is the “express image” of God’s person. Colossians 1:15 calls the Christ-child, “the image of the invisible God.” Colossians 2:9 adds, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Illustration, Rob Morgan

To call Christ the image of God is to say that in Him the being and nature of God have been perfectly manifested—that in Him the invisible has become visible. F F Bruce

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see.
Hail the Incarnate Deity.
Pleased as man with men to appear,
Jesus! Our Immanuel here!

Lightfoot: He is the perfect image, the visible representation, of the unseen God. He is the Firstborn, the absolute Heir of the Father, begotten before the ages; the Lord of the universe by virtue of primogeniture, and by virtue also of creative agency.

GOD OMNISCIENT, GOD ALL-WISE

Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.

“God’s knowledge is pure. It is not contaminated with the object. Though God knows sin—yet it is to hate and punish it. No evil can mix or incorporate with his knowledge, any more than the sun can be defiled with the vapors which arise from the earth. God’s knowledge is facile; it is without any difficulty. We study and search for knowledge. Prov 2:2. “If you seek for her as for silver.” The lamp of God’s knowledge is so infinitely bright, that all things are intelligible to him.

God’s knowledge is infallible; there is no mistake in His knowledge. Human knowledge is subject to error. A physician may mistake the treatment of a disease; but God’s knowledge is unerring. He can neither deceive, nor be deceived. He cannot deceive–because he is truth; nor be deceived—because He has infinite wisdom.

God’s knowledge is instantaneous. Our knowledge is successive, one thing after another. We argue from the effect to the cause. God knows things past, present, and to come—at once; they are all before him in one entire prospect.

God’s knowledge is retentive; he never loses any of his knowledge; he remembers as well as understands. Many things elapse out of our minds—but God’s knowledge is eternalized. Things transacted a thousand years ago, are as fresh to him as if they were done but the last minute. Thus he is perfect in knowledge.” Thomas Watson, Body of Divinity

God omniscient, God all-wise,
With Thy ever-searching eyes,
Look within me, view my heart;
Keep me pure in every part.

Refrain:
God of love, God of light,
Guide my trusting soul aright;
God of wisdom, God of pow’r,
Be Thou with me every hour.
Daniel Otis Teasley

“The atheist cries, “No God”; and he who would deny to God universal knowledge is twin brother to him. As good have no God as a God who does not know.” C. H. Spurgeon

SUNDAY SERMON AND SABBATH THOUGHTS, 26 APRIL 2015

Sunday Sermon

Power By The Cross, G. Campbell Morgan

The aspect of the cross of Christ which is now to occupy our attention is one that has application only to a certain number of people, whom the Apostle refers to in the words, “to us which are being saved.” We have spoken in this series of meditations first of pardon, and then of purity, and lastly of peace by way of the Cross.

We are now to speak of a third blessing-power by way of the Cross. continue reading here

 

Sabbath Thoughts

From The Sunday At Home, 1st June 1867

THE DOOR OPENED IN HEAVEN

“After this, I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven.” Rev 4:1
What a vision was this! How marvellously fitted to comfort the exile of Patmos! Despised and rejected like the master whom he loved, by men on earth, he was permitted to ascend in spirit and take refuge in heaven. Closed as that door now is, let us think that heaven is as real,m and its glorious scenes a surely and truly in existence now, as when beheld by John.

It is not far off from any one of us; we know not how soon this world may close, and that eternal world may be opend for us. And if the veil were suddenly withdrawn, how overwhelming would be the surprise of many a wrldly man who thinks himself wise in his generation, and scorns as dreamers those whose treasure is all laid up above! This world of sense and time is but a little part of God’s dominions, and let us ever remember that there is a region-not the less real because hidden from our eyes-where, as in a great council-chamber the almighty God dwells and reigns, and from which he governs all his creatueres on earth.

The door in heaven was opened to the sight of John; it is opened to us by faith now. We cannot see the glories that surround the throne; it doesn not even enter into our hearts to conceive them; but we believe in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, in whose holy name we are baptized and whose threefold blessings are poured forth upon us continually from the midst of that light which no man can approach unto. Let us earnestly pray that God would elad us by his owrld and Spirit into such a knowledge and belief of His truth, that when this world and its scenes shall have closed upon us for ever, the door may be opened in heaven in glory, but through the merits of our Saviour, be enabled to enter therein, and be for ever with the Lord.

Round the Lord in glory seated,
Cherubim and seraphim
Filled His temple, and repeated
Each to each the alternate hymn:
“Lord, Thy glory fills the heaven,
Earth is with its fullness stored;
Unto Thee be glory given,
Holy, holy, holy Lord!”

A. W. TOZER, THE DAYS OF THE MARTYRS HAVE RETURNED

The Days of the Martyrs Have Returned

A few short years ago the phrase “The days of the martyrs” referred to a time in ancient history when the enemies of Christ attempted to destroy His Church by killing large numbers of Christians. It all seemed so far off and long ago that we found it hard to realize that the persons involved were real people and their suffering real flesh and blood sufferings. What vague notions we had of it were stored away with the half-forgotten items of history which rise to the threshold of memory only rarely in the course of our busy lives. But all that is changed now.

Christians are suffering in many parts of the world, and it is a solemn and touching thought that many of them are suffering for that very faith which we ourselves have taught them. They heard our missionaries and believed on our Christ! It is for this faith that they suffer today.

Without complicating the page with hard-to-grasp and easy-to=forget statistics we may simply point out that the fortunes of ideological warfare have shifted so radically that in some places merely to believe of Christ constitutes a serious political offense. The enemies of God have gotten into power and are now able to enforce their ban against the faith of our fathers.

The plight of the evangelical in Europe has received considerable publicity and is for the reason quite well known to the public generally. With the rise of the brilliant but criminally insane Hitler the war against the saints went into a new and intensified phase. From that time onward all Christians in Hitler’s (and later Stalin’s) Europe have been living in constant peril. The description of their suffering sounds like passage from the book of Revelation. When history has sifted the facts and written its finding for all men to read the world may be horrified to learn how vast was the number of those who perished in the time of terror.

The suffering of the Church in China was never greater than now. The whole philosophy of Communism is against Christianity, and we may be sure that wherever they can do so the Communists will destroy every vestige of it. The attitude of Communists authorities toward the work of Christ in the countries which they occupy is summed up with wry humor by the Christians in China. “First,” they say “they nod their heads at us.” Then they shake their heads at us. Then they cut our heads off.

The bitter persecutions which our brethren are suffering in parts of Indo-China are no secret. The Vietnamese believers are living in constant danger. The opposition in some sections has assumed a particularly cruel form, that of dispossession to a point where thousands of believers are living in poverty and rags and many are actually starving to death.

In some of the Latin American countries to believe on Christ is to set off an explosion that soon involves every evangelical in the community. There the boycott is practiced. The new-born Christians sets out to do his marketing and finds that he is unable to buy a cent’s worth of goods anywhere. He tries to sell, and no one will by his wares. He applies for a job, and no one will hire him. He tries to rent a house, and no owner will take his money. This has become so severe in certain quarters that some evangelicals have fled and are living the hills after the manner of the saints in the eleventh of Hebrews.

Upon the political aspect of this we cannot hoe to have much influence. But where Christian brethren are suffering we do not need to ask what to do. The way is before us too plain to miss. One thing is certain: We Christians who live in plenty dare not desert our suffering brethren in their time of agony. We dare not win them and leave them to starve. We must use our money to feed and clothe those who go in poverty for the faith we ourselves have taught them.

And whatever we do must be done soon. Men do not live long without food and women and children die of exposure. We can help to prevent this waste of life if we will.

A. W. Tozer, The Days of the Martyrs Have Returned editorial from the Alliance Weekly 24 June 1950, transcribed to the net by the editor at Deeperlifehaven.com

Please consider helping out today’s martyrs at such ministries as Voice Of The Martyrs, and others.

ALONE WITH GOD

John 6:3 Just And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.

“Just prior to this miraculous multiplying of the bread and fish, Jesus “went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples”(6:3). That fact is noteworthy. It seems plain that Jesus withdrew purposely from the great press of people who had been pursuing Him.

There are some things that you and I will never learn when others are present. I believe in church and I love the fellowship of the assembly. There is much we can learn when we come together on Sundays and sit among the saints. But there are certain things that you and I will never learn in the presence of other people.

Unquestionably, part of our failure today is religious activity that is not preceded by aloneness, by inactivity. I mean getting alone with God and waiting in silence and quietness until we are charged with God’s Spirit. Then, when we act, our activity really amounts to something because we have been prepared by God for it…. Now, in the case of our Lord, the people came to Him, John reports, and He was ready for them. He had been quiet and silent. He had sat alone with His disciples and meditated. Looking upward, He waited until the whole hiatus of divine life moved down from the throne of God into His own soul. He was a violin tuned. He was a battery recharged. He was poised and prepared for the people when they came. Faith Beyond Reason, 130,133. “Lord, I’ll spend a lot of time in the company of people today, but just now I come in quietness and silence to wait for You to fill me. Amen.” A. W. Tozer

’Tis there I find new strength for duty,
As o’er the sands of time I plod;
I see the King in all His beauty,
While resting there alone with God.

Alone with God, the world forbidden,
Alone with God, O blest retreat!
Alone with God, and in Him hidden,
To hold with Him communion sweet.
s: Johnson Oatman, Jr.

“when He gets us absolutely alone, and we are totally speechless, unable to ask even one question, then He begins to teach us.” Oswald Chambers

 

NOTHING CAN HARM YOU IF YOUR IN THE WILL OF GOD

Nothing can harm you if your in the will of God

Hebrews 6:1a Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection.

Nothing can harm you if your in the will of God. So f if you’ll do these two things; let the love of God burn within you until it consumes everything and we’ll never be a slave to any earthly yearnings. We’ll have them and we’ll have earthly loves and people you love and care for and would weep to part with. Jesus wept beside the grave of His beloved friend Lazarus. There’s no harm in weeping when we must say goodbye.

You can have your dislikes. I’d run a mile from having a needle put in my arm. I don’t say the deeper life, the spirit filled life meant that you won’t be normally gloomy. If the lightening strikes near you, you’ll jump. If somebody comes at you with a needle you’ll shrink. You’re human. But that’s one thing, it’s quite another thing to walk around chained by human fears. Chained by the fear of death and fear of sickness and the fear of poverty and the fear of friends and the fear of enemies. God never means for his children should thus be afraid.

Well, all that I preached to you now isn’t a dream, it isn’t a mystic ideal that nobody can reach. It’s the normal Christian lif. Anything short of it is abnormal or subnormal. Shall we not obey God and go on to perfection? I believe you want to or I wouldn’t be preaching to you. May God grant that together we may press on into the deep waters, yeah, waters to swim.” A. W. Tozer, The Deeper Life, pt 2

2. Thy Savior, who upon the cross
Thy full redemption paid,
Will not from thee, His ransomed one,
Withhold His promised aid.

3. A safe retreat and hiding-place
Thy Savior will provide:
And sorrow cannot fill thy heart,
While sheltered at His side.
César Malan

Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

PURIFIED INWARDLY BY THE HOLY GHOST

1 Thessalonians 4:3 This is the will of God, even your sanctification.

In one sense sanctification is an act, a thing done at once, like justification. The moment the blood touches us…we are “clean” (John 15:3), “sanctified,” set apart for God…As the vessels of the sanctuary were at once separated to God and His service the moment the blood touched them, so are we.

This did not imply that these vessels required no daily ablution afterwards: so neither does our consecration intimate that we need no daily sanctifying. The initiatory consecration through the blood is one thing, and the continual sanctifying by the power of the Holy Ghost is another.

The former is absolutely indispensable to any progress in the latter; yet it does not supersede it, but makes it rather a greater necessity. To this very end are we consecrated by the blood, that we may be purified inwardly by the Holy Ghost.” Horatius Bonar

Oh, the cross has wondrous glory!
Oft I’ve proved this to be true;
When I’m in the way so narrow,
I can see a pathway through;
And how sweetly Jesus whispers:
“Take the cross, thou need’st not fear,
For I’ve tried the way before thee,”
And the glory lingers near.
Warner-Hunter

“Give up the struggle and the fight; relax in the omnipotence of the Lord Jesus; look up into His lovely face and as you behold Him, He will transform you into His likeness. You do the beholding – He does the transforming. There is no short-cut to holiness.” Alan Redpath

I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS

Matthew 28:20b I am with you always, even unto the end of the age

What is this that God, the Son, here says to His disciples, and through them to us? “Lo,” He says, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the age. Amen.” And that be it well remarked just after He had said “this also; “I ascend to my Father.” And this; “I go to prepare a place for you.” And this; “It is expedient for you that I go away.” And this; “If ye loved me, ye would rejoice because I said, I go unto the Father.” And then, with all that, He actually says this self-contradictory-looking word; “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age. Amen.”

We must never for one moment forget this-who and what He is, who says to His disciples, and to us these seemingly so contradictory things. Mark with all you might that it is not God, the Father who says these startling things,-these at first sight so impossibly-looking things, about going away till the end of the age; and then in the next breath, about remaining and abiding present all the time with men on earth. It is not God the Father who says these strange things. Neither is it God the Holy Ghost. It is God the Son who alone so speaks. It is the Word made and remaining flesh. It is the God-man. It is Immanuel, God with us…”The only Redeemer of God’s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who being the eternal Son of God became man, and so was, and continues to be God and man in two distinct natures and one person forever.” Dr Alexander Whyte. From Alliance Weekly 11 April 1925

Once far from God and dead in sin,
No light my heart could see;
But in God’s Word the light I found,
Now Christ liveth in me.
Daniel Webster Whittle

Colossians 1:27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.