Quote for Today
“Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil,
and let us see what we are made of”
“Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil,
and let us see what we are made of”
Notes on the Scripture – John 16:7
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth;
It is expedient for you that I go away…”
“For example, here is a mother who is teaching her little child to walk. You know what a pleasure it is to see a little creature taking its first walk from one chair to another! I do not think I shall ever forget the first time I taught a little child to walk, and the joy I had in seeing the little toddling creature manage to go three steps without my help. There came to me a sense of triumph, a sense of something done. Well, here is a mother teaching her child to walk from one chair to another, and she begins by holding the child’s waist gently with both hands, and as the little thing steadies itself, and seems to have found its feet, she just takes away her hands little by little. Why does she take away her hands? Does she say, “I am tired; I do not like this posture of embracing thee, or of holding thee”? No, but she says in effect, “It is expedient for thee, my little child, that I take away this motherly support; thou must learn to walk by thyself;” and so the hands go away, not because the mother is weary, but because the child must be taught, sooner or later, self-reliance.”
Joseph Parker – The People’s Bible
“That which does not die cannot be raised”
“Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened,
except it die”
1 Corinthians 15:36
“He will rest in his love”
We see and feel the unrest and turmoil in the world today as men seek to rule by the lust for power and the desire for pre-eminence. The sense of the growing disrespect for one another, the clamour of voices and mounting hatred eroding the last bit of civility left is the precursor of the things to come. The voices for calm and deference are being drowned out in the escalating animosity against all that is good and descent. The pride and arrogance of men and the vanity of the nations all seek to conspire against God and His Anointed. The conferences, peace treaties and all of the political scheming of our day will avail them nothing.
“Why do the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed…”
Psalm 2:1-2, Acts 4:25-26
In the Book of Revelation, we read the fulfillment of this Psalmic prophecy.
“And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb…”
God’s response to these things?
“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh:
the Lord shall have them in derision”
The Great I AM, sits enthroned in glory, majesty and power. The hand-breadth of the universe is merely the created marvel of the One who set man within its vast domain. He who rules all things and is the matrix of all things remains reposed within the power of the greatest of all powers… Love. Love cannot be conquered and it cannot be denied. It forbears the evil, wrath and blind rage of those who spend themselves beating upon its tender breast. It will outlast them all. Let the heathen rage, let men conjure up evil beyond imagination. The Eternal One will triumph in the end. The Cross of Christ still stands to declare its edict against the malice of wicked men and spiritual principalities in high places. It stands triumphant against their seeming victory and the Lamb’s resurrection exposes their weakness and their shame.
Even now in many places His own are hunted out, trampled and murdered for simply loving Him who is Love. These enemies mock and once again declare their seeming victory over the weak and helpless lambs of God. We can hear the taunts and the blasphemous cries of victory and feel the hatred of a world gone mad. Yet God will have His way. It is as we see and touch the eternal purposes of God that we too can rejoice; by the living faith of Christ we feel the certainty of His victory and the triumph of Good over evil. The eternal things of God remain unmoved. His promises are sure and the judgement of the wicked is as certain as the very resurrection of Christ.
God is at rest in His Love. His throne is immovable and so are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Take comfort oh tossed ones; stay true in fervent love, hold fast to Him and His promises for the storm will pass and the expanse of His Kingdom will be seen. His Banner of Love will wave freely over all who remain true.
“For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell, Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away”
Song of songs 2:11-13
“His banner over me was love”
Song of songs 2:4
“I preached as never sure to preach again,
And as a dying man to dying men”
“”Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets,
That the one who reads it may run”
The purpose of the Word of God is to communicate His thoughts and His purpose. They are not to convey a doctrine as it were but to define a “mark”; Paul the Apostle abandoned his life to this (Philippians 3:14). His Word is to portray vision and exhort quest. The Lord spoke to Habakkuk to make plain the vision of God to the intent that men and women would be empowered, encouraged and set aflame to pursue its fulfillment. While many have knowledge few understand they are to “run the race” set before them. “Run” is a New Testament word; it describes the posture we are to have in life. Paul exhorted the Church at Corinth to run. To what end? That ye may attain!
“So run, that ye may obtain”
1 Corinthians 9:24
In other words, there is no obtaining without the running and pursuit of Him. In the minds of many of God’s people “running” is not even a concept. The ministers of the Word of God have failed to set before His people a goal to be reached. The general message is often one of encouragement to support the church, witness when you can and try and be a good person. The true ministration of the Word of God should be one of exhortation and encouragement to “know Him” and to be “found in Him”. The pursuit of Him is that we might attain His likeness.
Make the Vision Plain
to the intent
That they who have eyes to see
ears to hear may Run…
with endurance the race set before them
Where there is no true and living vision the people of God will compromise with the goals and temptations of the world. They lose the motivation to run and the empowerment of the Spirit to live a life of passion and single-hearted devotion unto Him.
“Where there is no vision,
the people cast off restraint…”
We must rise up out of the drowsiness and lethargy of this hour. Let us seek Him alone who can spark the fire and wonder of a fresh vision of God and His purposes. May we be the very flame of God to one another that we might run this race with a new fervor and determination to obtain the prize which is Christ Jesus!
“They that love beyond the world
cannot be separated by it.
Death cannot kill what never dies”
“Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle,
even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me”
2 Peter 1:14
The life of the true believer is lived with the reality of eternity in view. Our life is to be held in the context of our departure and our readiness to stand and give an answer for the life we have lived here (2 Corinthians 5:10)*. Peter’s epistle is the result of seeing his life from the eternal perspective. His exhortation to the people of God is one of “endeavoring” to remind them to continue to add to their faith, to grow in the virtue of Christ unto godliness and love. There is a calm and settled approach to his departure from this world. His care is not for himself; his heart is for the condition and welfare of the Body of Christ. They who live with an eternal perspective cannot be uninvolved in the welfare of His people.
“And I will make every effort to ensure that after my departure,
you will be able to recall these things at all times”
2 Peter 1:15
A life unaffected with a concern for the condition of God’s people is the revelation of a life lived unto itself. The eternal Love of God in Christ must produce within His own an expression in harmony with the things that concern Him; to love the things He loves and to hate the things He hates. His anointing rests upon those who walk and live as He is.
“But unto the Son he saith…
Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity;
therefore, God, even thy God, hath anointed thee
with the oil of gladness above thy fellows”
“Transiency is stamped on all our possessions, occupations, and delights. We have the hunger for eternity in our souls, the thought of eternity in our hearts, the destination for eternity written on our inmost being, and the need to ally ourselves with eternity proclaimed by the most short-lived trifles of time. Either these things will be the blessing or the curse of our lives. Which do you mean that they shall be for you?”
– Alexander MacLaren
* “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad”
2 Corinthians 5:10
“I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost; Christianity without Christ; forgiveness without repentance; salvation without regeneration; politics without God; and Heaven without Hell”
– William Booth
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables”
– 2 Timothy 4:2-4
“If any man among you seem to be religious,
and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart,
this man’s religion is vain”
The mystery of religion is that there exists, embedded within its own truths, an ease with which one can slip into a deep and dark deception. In this verse we are warned of a deception which is fatal in terms of our life in God; one of which I need a constant reminder. The tongue reveals our walk. It is by this member that the seemingly religious are ferreted out and fully exposed. Lately I have been struck with my own carelessness in this matter. It is easy to get caught up in the religious rhetoric of discussion rather than the expression of Christ. How blessed we are to have His word to cut through the vanity of words and bring us back to the real purpose of life.
Let us consider the power of this piercing word. If we do not bridle our tongue our religion, our profession and our hope of conveying His life to others is pointless. It matters little how much we know His Word, how often we pray or how well we can teach others; if we do not master the tongue we are walking in vain religion.
“I said, I will take heed to my ways,
that I sin not with my tongue:
I will keep my mouth with a bridle…”
The tongue is merely the spout through which the inner waters of our heart flow. It takes very little to discern what kind of waters flow from an individual for they proceed from the abundance of the heart.
“…for out of the abundance of the heart
the mouth speaketh”
The tongue is like a mirror of the heart; it simply expresses what is there. The bridling of the tongue, though a good place to start, is not the cure. The real issue is the state of the heart. Salvation is all about the change and transformation of the heart. It is not about modifying our behavior; it is about the crucifixion of this unruly, unholy and untamed self. It cannot be fixed, managed or made right (Romans 8:7) other than through the inner working of the power of Christ.
The tongue then is simply the revelation of the depth and verity of our salvation. It is in the crucible of everyday life, in our most unguarded moments, that our true relationship with Christ is revealed.
Jesus is God’s spoken Word, He is the summation of God’s being and the matrix of all creation. His purpose is to bring us to the place of such abiding in Him that His words become ours by virtue of relationship. It is here where we become like Him in word and in deed.
Years ago the Lord told me that if I do not watch over my words
He will not entrust me with His.
The things of God are measured out to us according to the development of our life in Him. He may give spiritual gifts without measure and without condition; however, His authority will never be given apart from Himself. He is our salvation. It is not my belief in a teaching about Him whereby I am saved. It is His presence and His person keeping me from sin and iniquity wherein lies the power and substance of my salvation.
In order for us to speak the words of life we must in fact be governed by that ONE who is the Word of life. The Words He speaks are spirit and they are life (John 6:63). To the measure we walk with Him will be a corresponding expression of the very life and power of Christ Himself.
“Let the words of my mouth,
and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in thy sight,
O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer”