“Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed”
“We may regard this inspired prayer as containing within itself the assurance that those who keep close to the Word of God shall never have cause to be ashamed of doing so.
See, the prayer is for soundness of heart. A sound creed is good, a sound judgment concerning it is better, but a sound heart towards the truth is best of all. We must love the truth, feel the truth, and obey the truth, otherwise, we are not truly sound in God’s statutes. Are there many in these evil days who are sound? Oh, that the writer and the reader may be two of this sort!
Many will be ashamed in the last great day when all disputes will be decided. Then they will see the folly of their inventions, and be filled with remorse because of their proud infidelity and willful defiance of the Lord; but he who believed what the Lord taught, and did what the Lord commanded, will stand forth justified in what he did. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun. Men much slandered and abused shall find their shame turned into glory in that day” Charles Spurgeon
Soundness of heart is an authentic heart, a heart free from duplicity and hypocrisy. The inward reality is congruent with the words spoken and the life lived.
“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart”
“The righteous who walks in his integrity — blessed are his children after him!”
Integrity as parents does not mean that everything we do is right; it means that we walk in an authenticity that is communicated to our children. Parenting is a very demanding and often heart-wrenching experience as we discover our own lack of wisdom, our own selfishness, and above all our need to learn from our heavenly Father. Parenthood offers an opportunity to grow and develop in wisdom. The grace of integrity is what communicates our relationship with Christ in a way that is most understood by our children. Despite our mistakes, shortcomings, and our own ignorance, it is most critical to display a walk of integrity. Duplicity, hypocrisy, and deceit are most damaging to our children. The greatest sermon to our children is the one we live. Mistakes and personal faults are inevitable in our dealings within our families and without. It is what we DO with them that determines the blessings we pass on to our children.
“So speak ye and so do”
The above scripture may be the clearest definition of integrity. It is a description of one whose inward life is correlated with the outward one. In our earnest pursuit of an authentic walk, the words of our mouth are validated by the life we live. This lifelong quest is one filled with moments of inconsistencies and failure yet having the integrity to embrace our deficiencies as a means of our growth in God is a vital lesson for our children to see the grace of God still at work in our own lives.
“Train up a child in the way he should go – but be sure you go that way yourself”
The Legacy of Life is a chief concern of those in whom the fire of Christ burns. There is an intense desire to pass on the truth of His power and His might to the next generation. They no longer seek their own legacy; they choose to live life in such a way that the next generation would know in a much greater way the wonder of His Glory. Their singular intent is that His Light would grow “more and more unto the perfect day” in succeeding generations.
“So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come”
The love of Christ reaches out to others. It frees us from self-centered objectives through the workings of the Cross of Christ within. There is a new desire to touch the lives of the coming generation with the pure truth of Christ.
“…since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things”
2 Peter 1:14-15
“A Righteous Person
is one who lives
for the next generation” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The idiosyncratic life describes the true Disciple of Christ – Christ likeness creates a life lived outside the norm of any culture, worldly protocols and the conformity to the Ethos of the world. His purpose is to prepare a people who are home in His World and in so doing the disciple must be freed from this one.
“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory…”
1 Peter 1:8
“A real Christian is an odd number anyway. He feels supreme love for One whom he has never seen, talks familiarly every day to Someone he cannot see, expects to go to heaven on the virtue of Another, empties himself in order to be full, admits he is wrong so he can be declared right, goes down in order to get up, is strongest when he is weakest, richest when he is poorest, and happiest when he feels worst. He dies so he can live, forsakes in order to have, gives away so he can keep, sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, and knows that which passeth knowledge. And all the while he may be confounding his critics by his unbelievable practicality: his farm may be the most productive, his business the best managed, and his mechanical skill the sharpest of anyone in his neighborhood”
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord… and I will receive you“
2 Corinthians 6:17
“I have been crucified with Christ”
“What does it mean for me to be “crucified with Christ”? I think the answer is best summed up in the words the crowd used of Jesus: “Away with Him!” God never allows this matter of being crucified with Christ to remain for us a mere theory, though I confess that for many years it was no more than that to me. I myself had preached the Cross in these very terms without knowing it in my own experience–until one day I saw with dramatic suddenness that it had been I. Nee To-sheng, who died there with my Lord. “Away with Him!” they had cried, and in saying it of Him they had also, unwittingly, echoed God’s verdict upon me. And that sentence of God upon me was carried out in Him. This new discovery affected me almost as greatly as did my first discovery of salvation. I tell you, it left me so humbled as to be for a while quite unable to preach at all, whereas till that day, I have to admit, preaching had been my consuming passion.”
“Between the idea And the reality Between the motion And the act Falls the Shadow For Thine is the Kingdom”
Experiential truth is the bridge between the idea and the substance, between the shadow of words and the Light of the Truth.
“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power”
1 Corinthians 4:20
The Truth of His Kingdom in each of us is as real as the truth which reigns in us. The power to be is the purpose of His coming:
“I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it more abundantly”
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications…”
“He is called the Spirit of supplications because without Him there cannot be any such thing as sincere and acceptable prayer; and this view of His character is added to show that wherever He is received as a Spirit of Grace, He must be received as a Spirit of prayer. By this, we may detect the hypocrisy of those who pretend to have grace, maintain they are not absolutely grace-less, and yet restrain prayer before God. It was as wise to say that a human body may have life and never breathe, so as to say that a soul can have the Spirit of grace and never pray. The apostle Paul before his conversion, like other Pharisees, made very long prayers; yet it was not till he was made partaker of the Spirit of grace that the God of truth said of him, “Behold he prayeth.” All the prayers of the Pharisee had gone down to oblivion without the notice of the Hearer of prayer, but the first feeble cry of the gracious soul is heard and observed. But as we may thus bring men to the test whether they have the Spirit of grace, so may we ascertain in what measure they have it and to what degree they exercise it: for the more grace, the more supplication: the less grace, the less supplication.He is the Spirit of grace, that He may be the Spirit of supplications: “Pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” Jonathan R. Anderson (Excerpt from Sermon)
Abiding in the Spirit of Grace for today is the power and the source of fresh and fervent prayers daily.
“The Word of God is called a light unto our feet, not to our tongues, merely to speak about–but to our feet, to walk by. Getting knowledge is your work; opening your hearts to understand is the work of the Holy Spirit. But you must ask Him for wisdom and believe He will give it to you. God has promised wisdom to those who “ask in faith, nothing wavering” (James 1:6). Strive for wisdom, not so that men will respect and admire you, but so that they will celebrate God’s greatness. The end of every human effort should be to magnify His Name. Go to God with David’s prayer on your lips: “Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works” (Psalm 119:27). William Gurnall
“Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet…”
For continuous illumination, His people are to walk in the way of His precepts for the lamp at our feet will only illuminate that in which we walk.
“Suppose God tells you to do something that is an enormous test of your common sense, totally going against it. What will you do? Will you hold back? If you get into the habit of doing something physically, you will do it every time you are tested until you break the habit through sheer determination. And the same is true spiritually. Again and again, you will come right up to what Jesus wants, but every time you will turn back at the true point of testing until you are determined to abandon yourself to God in total surrender. Yet we tend to say, “Yes, but— suppose I do obey God in this matter, what about…?” Or we say, “Yes, I will obey God if what He asks of me doesn’t go against my common sense, but don’t ask me to take a step in the dark.”
Jesus Christ demands the same unrestrained, adventurous spirit in those who have placed their trust in Him that the natural man exhibits. If a person is ever going to do anything worthwhile, there will be times when he must risk everything by his leap in the dark. In the spiritual realm, Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold on to or believe through common sense, and leap by faith into what He says. Once you obey, you will immediately find that what He says is as solidly consistent as common sense.”
– Oswald Chambers
They who know in-depth of heart, the power of Salvation’s reach, feel within mercy’s grasp the debt of love to Christ alone. While many use empty words and quote the scriptures from lukewarm hearts there burns a blaze that lingers through their earthly days. It is the Hunger of the redeemed, longing for full redemption. Not some idle chat of this and that but a pure burning desire to be fully garmented in the Life of Christ the source of Holy Flame.
“And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out…”
An excerpt from a poem by Tim Shey
“A circle of fire Surrounds me Protecting me From Satan’s arm, Warning me Of Satan’s charm, Keeping me From Satan’s harm.
An intense burning Within me Is stoked by The Word of God. A deeply felt yearning Within me To warn them Of the wrath of God.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Elijah, I know you well, Because I am baptized With the same Holy Ghost Fire That empowered you And kept you from Hell.
Jesus died So that I can see Events Before they are born. I was birthed— Not of flesh Nor of the will of man— I was birthed In violence By the Precious Blood of God.
His body was pierced So that my eyes Could pierce The dark night of Adam And help unblind the blind. The white-hot heat of Heaven Is the color Of my sight That leads us upward and onward, Spirit-filled warriors of mankind.”
“I would that you were cold, or hot” Revelation 3:15
“Men ablaze are invincible. Hell trembles when men kindle. The stronghold of Satan is proof against everything but fire. The Church is powerless without the flame of the Holy Ghost. Destitute of fire, nothing else really counts; possessed of fire, nothing else really matters. The one vital need is fire. Without the flame and fervour of the Holy Ghost the Church will never accomplish its mission”
– Samuel Chadwick
“John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire“
“Fire is the evidence of the Holy Spirit”