“Even Christ pleased not Himself. He was utterly consumed in the zeal of His Father’s house. As man He ever moved for God. As God He ever moved for man“
– Geoffrey T. Bull
In the development of Christ within us, we too shall be moved for the welfare of “Our” Father’s House with the same zeal and the same love to see her radiate His Glory and to reveal His Unity among the true saints of God. The life of Him within will ever move us for His purposes and will in so doing by His Spirit we too will know the moving of God for man.
This Light was nothing less than the indomitable Life of Jesus illuminating the dark world in which He walked; a Light of such magnitude that the whole earth was lit with His glory. It was a Life clothed in humility in stark contrast to Roman arrogance and power. It was a Life of purity in the face of the darkness and corruption of the religion of the Jews. It was the breath of heaven bringing hope and power to those who were bound. He was in fact the fulness of the Godhead and the pure manifestation of the Father.
“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily”
He would declare without compromise “he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father”. The enormity of this truth ought to stagger the human race. The disclosure in this declaration is so grand, so high and so vast that without the power of a living faith no man could grasp its significance. The One who uttered this incomprehensible truth came to inject the very Life of God into the human race in order to raise up those who would walk, speak and, with the same purity of heart, minister that Love to all. In other words, to fully manifest the Glory of the Father in the Face of Jesus Christ. He came with one purpose: to be that living seed which would fall into the ground and die in order to be sown into the hearts of men, and that that same resurrection Life would raise up those who would bear His likeness in this darkened world of men.
“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17
To the natural mind His purposes in Christ are a fable and considered too high to be attainable. Without the power of a living faith, “reasonable” expectations, ministered by faithless teachers, produce nothing but vain religion. The Living Faith of Christ empowers His Own to “unattainable” heights of His Life. They are not staggered by their own limited resources of self. They refuse to comply with faithless expectations and unholy living; they recognize compromise and apathy as enemies.
“They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him…”
Those who have His Life (present tense) shine His Light into this present world. They cannot profess one thing while in fact living another. His Life is the Light of Men. It is in the shining forth of His Light into the world whereby we reveal the truth of who we are. The measure of the Light that shines from each of us is the revelation of the depth of our living and walking in Him. May we again be struck anew with the force of the call of God to each of us:
“…as He is, so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17
This Holy truth cannot be taught. It can only be manifested through the power of relationship. To be “as He is” requires a moment by moment dwelling in Him just as the branch simply bears fruit by being One with the Vine from whom the power and life-force flows.
Relationship with Christ is the solitary hope of man. It is one thing to talk about abiding in Him but the undeniable evidence is a growing dependency upon Him.
“He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked”
1 John 2:6
Talking the talk without walking the walk is folly and deception. Faith without the evidence is the lie of religion. It is the result of feeding from the Tree of Knowledge rather than the Tree of Life. “As He is” is the call to each of us and knowing this leaves us no choice but to grow into an ever-deepening relationship with Him who is The Life.
“He that loveth his brother abideth in the light…”
1 John 2:10
This pulse of Christ Jesus within makes it impossible not to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. To love is to care. The true Love of God is a fire and the spring from which flows admonition and exhortation. We cannot remain silent in the face of compromise; we care too much to see them settle for anything less than God’s purpose. One cannot read the epistles and not feel the burning which stirred within. Their lives were engulfed in the fire of God. If there was ever a time to admonish and exhort one another unto the Life and the Works of God, it is today! Love will never be silent in the face of apathy!
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching”
What is to be the temper and the purpose of gathering together? To exhort one another and so much more as we see the Day approaching. What are we to exhort one another unto?
“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works”
There is a deceptive gospel which separates Faith from Works. It is the lie and horror of religion to make people feel comfortable in a state in which their faith lays no claim upon their life. It comforts the soul without emancipating it.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”
“And the light shineth in darkness”
“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. *For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins”
* Consider the context of this verse…“for if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth”. What truth? The exhorting and provoking one another unto love and good works. May we take heed to the Word of God as we see the Day approaching!
“For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God”
True servants withhold nothing of God’s counsel for fear of losing the approval of men. They speak the truth because they love the truth. Within their hearts beats the singular desire to live unto the Lord alone. They seek His approval alone.
“But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God…”
2 Corinthians 6:4
To live unto Christ is to be free from the fear of man. Truth is the person and majesty of Christ Himself. This dynamic of His Life can only be known as we abide in Him. This ONE who purged the filth of man’s pollution from the Temple, also revealed the tenderness of mercy to the woman at the well; His Life cannot be held by the mere doctrines of men. The necessity of abiding in Him is what frees us to express Him in the moment, in the situation we are facing. It is the only means by which His Truth can be expressed! To speak of kindness when the Spirit of God seeks to confront a situation, is error. To speak judgment when God’s Spirit is soft and gentle is to miss Him grievously. A carnal concept of God has always been the bane of religion! To try and live by the precepts of Christ will inevitably end in failure and sin for we are to be in this world as HE IS in the moment.
Only His life can rightly express His heart. We are called unto a Life of abiding in Him to the intent that
“…as HE IS, so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17
The truth of our walk in Him must culminate in a life of abiding in Him. Present truth can only be known by those who live in the presence of God. As His Life becomes ours, we know the truth; His truth for the moment. Peter in dealing with Ananias and Sapphira did not violate the Love of God; He revealed it. Those who walk in a concept of the love of God will be offended by this expression of truth. Naaman the Syrian had a concept of how the Lord would heal him. Had it not been for the wisdom of one of his servants he would have missed God and remained a leper the rest of his life.
His prophets spoke the Word of the Lord to the situation they found themselves in. The Word spoken was present truth, The Word for His people in the Day in which they lived. It was not a random Word, pulled from history’s pages, but truth for moment.
“…they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks…”
Yet in another day the word given was:
“Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears”
His Spirit will never violate the Word but it will breathe the life and wonder of God INTO His Word. Such enablement, grace and wisdom can only be known to those who abide in the ONE who is the sum of all Grace and Truth. Jesus did not come to expose the world to a new teaching or a new religious concept; He came to fill us with Himself. He did not come to give us A new life but to give us HIS Life that we might know the power of His indwelling word.
The “marks” (brands) of the true servant of God are those who withhold not His truth and counsel regardless of the “consensus” of men. Only as we are freed from self are we truly able to be His servant.
“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ”
The true servant of God is one who is poured out in service to Christ. He seeks no following and does not desire the finances of this world. His only desire is to be true to the ONE who enlisted him into His service. Only then is he free enough to declare the whole counsel of God to his generation.
“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ” ……………………………………. Romans 1:1 “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” .. James 1:1 “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ…. 2 Peter 1:1 “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ” ………………………………….. Jude 1:1
“For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God…”
“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
The Marks of a True Servant is a series of writings revealing the tried and true character of Paul as he met with the Church at Ephesus for the last time. His life was the testimony of a man who had spent his life as a true bond-servant of Christ. May God complete His work in each one of us. Blessings to All who have made it their life purpose to serve and honour Him.
“Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice”
Peter’s love and commitment was based on emotion and the utter ignorance of his need for brokenness and grace. In his mind his resolve to follow Jesus to whatever end was unquestionable. How utterly confused he must have been by the certainty of Jesus’ statement regarding Peter’s failure to come in the hours ahead.
To be told by his beloved Master of his failure, even down to the time a certain rooster would crow at a particular place, must have been utterly unnerving. How could He know of this sequence of events? How could He be so precise in His Word?
I can only imagine that Peter must have gone to sleep that night mulling over this warning. How he must have resolved in his heart to not fail his Lord! Tears and self-doubt would have dominated his thoughts as he contemplated what the next day might hold. His Master’s words had been uttered with no sense of anger or resentment in His voice, but just a knowing of who Peter really was. In spite of all his soul-searching the night before, the next day, in the heat of the moment, he denied his Lord and wept bitterly.
“And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept”
God, in dealing with His own, prepares everything for the Master’s use; the mundane as well as the great. All tools in His hands are to bring His Own to the end of themselves and the beginning of God. As the master builder must build the foundation upon the rock beneath, so God brings us to the Rock of Christ. Only here can the real building start and our true life in God proceed. Authenticity is the only rock upon which He will build. Pretense and hypocrisy, though they may cause others to think well of us for a time, will leave the soul in poverty and lead to spiritual death. Christ knows all, sees all and will judge all. The light we refuse on this side of heaven will surely be faced in the Courts of His Justice in that Day. It is here and now that we must free ourselves from the need to please men and bring ourselves to the piercing light of Christ. Then we may stand in that Day as those who have passed from judgement unto the right-being (righteousness) that can be found in Christ alone. He alone can make us right; He gave His Life to make it so.
“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17
As our love is made perfect in Him, we will have the grace and boldness to be “as He is” in this world and in the Day of Judgment.