Thought for Today
“Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill.
living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what s done for Christ will last”
“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be”
– Revelation 22:12
“Herein is my Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”
“Trees have their seasons at certain times of the year when they bring forth fruit; but a Christian is for all seasons”
“And Adam knew Eve his wife;
and she conceived…”
Travail is the fruit of conception. While many may know the teachings and scriptures of God’s Word the travail of the mystery is lacking. Conception is the fruit of relationship; deep, intimate relationship. It is a sharing that goes beyond the casual relationship, beyond the confines of religious prayer meetings and Sunday services. It is an affair of the heart where intimacy and love is known between the Bride and the Bridegroom. While a man may have many friends and acquaintances, there is something far deeper and more profound in the relationship with his wife. From that intimacy we see conception, travail and the birth of something new. There is the wonder of a new creation, a separate being which is the expression of the love shared. This natural expression is simply the revelation of something deeper, purer and holy in God’s wisdom (Ephesians 5:31-32) concerning His purposes in the earth.
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary:
for thou hast found favour with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb,
and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS”
This purpose is for all who have received Him into their lives; the bringing forth of the Son in all of His Glory, humility, grace and wisdom. Just as a woman cannot conceive by her own will so it is in the Spirit. Conception is the fruit and wonder of relationship. It is not of the work of men but the result of intimacy with God in the Spirit. Those who do not know the stirring and moving of God deep within their hearts will never experience the conception and travail of His Spirit. While many are content with the forms and appearances of religion there is something deep at work within those who have conceived of the wonder of “another life” growing within the womb of their spirit.
Mary’s life was the means of the very incarnation of God. In the wisdom and glory of God, by means of the Holy Spirit, “…the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us”. In like manner that same transaction between God and man has been occurring for centuries in those who yield to the purpose and Lordship of the Holy Spirit. The expression of every individual will be in proportion to the depth of relationship between them and their God. What each of us do with the sowers seed, the given talents and the “pounds” spoken of in the parables, determines the fruit of our lives. The interaction between every believer and God is not determined by what one knows but by how one loves and obeys Him.
It is on the basis and the very essence of His Life within us (conception) that we are being born again as His nature is imparted and augmented in the human heart. This is the interaction of God in man. It is not the result of someone uttering a prescribed prayer or statement; it is the result of receiving the very person of Christ Himself into the human heart.
“But as many as received him,
to them gave he power to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name”
The power to become sons is on the basis of receiving Him. The human egg within a woman must receive the life of the man in order for conception to occur. This is the Holy Truth of His Life within us. May God open our eyes to the miracle and wonder of His birth within us. It is “not by might, nor by power but by His Spirit” that these things are true.
The validity of conception is revealed by the changes wrought within the life of a believer because of another life living within. Religious conformity will never accomplish the revolutionary power of change that only comes by the transforming life of the Son.
“And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”
Religion is about conforming to a teaching or a prescribed mode of behavior. Living truth is about transformation whereby we are changed from the fallen Adam into the “express image” of God Himself.
The power and truth of this is portrayed in the heavens concerning this day. The Bride of Christ is with child, crying out and travailing in birth, in pain, to bring forth this Holy expression in the earth (Romans 8:19-23). Those of His Bride know this travail. The religious cannot understand such things for it can only be known through the impelling force of being with child.
“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered”
(To be continued in Part Two)
“But his delight is in the law of the Lord;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night”
Those who love God love His Word. The delight of a right heart is in the law of the Lord. Within His Word His Face is seen, His Ways are discovered and His Bread is offered. Those who find their “delight” in meditating upon the wonders of His Word grow in the stability of His Character and His Fruitfulness and are made partakers of “the law of life”. This Psalm continues with the blessings afforded those who so cherish His Word…
“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither;
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper”
Therein lies the Mystery of Godliness. In the eating of His Word there is a quiet work of the Spirit of Grace that takes a man’s weakness and frailties to engraft them into the living vine. Out of this union we see His strength shining through the inherent weakness; we see beauty and favor where once was a barren field. Instead of impotence and failure we see God’s fruitfulness in every season. The meditated word manifests power to bring a man to obedience which is the pathway to authenticity and freedom in Christ.
The reading of His Word is one thing; like a man window shopping at the “goods” offered in the Word of God. But a heart that begins to savor and desire it is destined to walk within its wonder.
“The slothful man roasteth not
that which he took in hunting:
but the substance of a diligent man
While many read the Word and may even find good things it remains uncooked, un-roasted and its effect upon a man is mere speculation and information. The diligent, however, meditate, roast and eat of His word whereby the substance of faith is produced.
The Word of God is living, vibrant and powerful. It is in our abiding in it that our lives are changed, prayers heard and His life revealed.
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you,
ye shall ask what ye will,
and it shall be done unto you”
“When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight:
and as he drew near to behold it,
the voice of the Lord came unto him”
So should His Word be unto us.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast,
unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labour
is not in vain in The Lord”
As God’s people we are to be ALWAYS abounding in the work OF The Lord. This is not to be confused with work FOR The Lord; rather it is work OF The Lord. While visiting some relatives this week I noticed this scripture on a plaque in their home. It was in another version and it really struck me with great conviction. “Always abounding”! This phrase can only be applied to Disciples. This is not a part time occupation, not a scarce and rare moment in the life of a true believer. It speaks of being occupied with His Work and a fulfilling of His desires in our daily life. The “always” is based upon a faith that knows “that your labour is not in vain”. It is a deep assurance that if we walk faithful to Him, “abounding” in His Work, we shall surely reap fruit unto His Glory. Men who believe little, do little. This walk and journey of life can only be according to the faith which is at work in our hearts. We reap according to our sowing, we grow according to our doing, and our faith is exercised by the doing of His will.
Those who are “always abounding in the work of The Lord” are “steadfast” and “unmovable” in The Lord. By the handling and working of the things of our Father we remain engaged in the power of His reality. There is a subtlety in just “knowing” things about God; without the “doing”, the things of the Spirit become distant, doctrinal and mysterious. They become ethereal and rare rather than the simple flow of Him in and through our lives. Many speak of the “will of The Lord” as a hidden thing that is hard to find. Let us be reminded that Paul is speaking to His brethren in Corinth; not a select few, but the whole church there. We must put away wrong thinking and seek this life of “always abounding in the Work of the Lord”.
“Wherefore be ye not unwise,
but understanding what the will of the Lord is”
“And behold! The Word of Jehovah came to him saying,
This one shall not be inheriting. But he that shall come
forth out of your own bowels shall be your heir”
Genesis 15:4 (LITV)
These are days of greatly increased communication and connectivity with the transfer of information available to everyone. Men are inclined to be influenced by what others are doing in other parts of the world. Nowhere is this truer than in the world of religion. We see and hear much of what others are doing and we are tempted to be influenced by these things. The Word of God to us is “out of your own bowels” shall come forth the promise of God. We must understand these promises of God in the New Testament will only come to pass as we hear and see within the core of our own hearts what God would have us do. I receive a lot of information, by texts, emails and phone calls, of what others are doing elsewhere and how God is blessing this and that; I am sure some of these things are true and valid. However, the promise remains that out of my own being, out of my own relationship with God, shall flow rivers of living water and the flow will be the result of my obedience and attention to His Voice in my life.
“The one believing into Me, as the Scripture said,
Out of his belly will flow rivers of living water”
John 7:38 (LITV)
It is in us “believing INTO Him” that the promise of bearing fruit unto Him will become the reality of our lives. It is not to be known in any other way. We may run here and there chasing things externally, seeking to identify with some move, teacher, prophet or organization but to no avail. The bringing forth of the Son of promise from our own lives will only come to pass by a personal and vital union with the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord. Some think that by association with others they are assured of a life of fruitfulness all the while neglecting “the still small voice” within their own hearts. Jesus said “My sheep hear my voice” and they will not follow another. True and valid ministry is to bring the people of God to the place of hearing HIS VOICE within their own hearts; to bring others to a realization of the fear of The Lord to such an extent they discover the glory and the solemn obligation of walking with God for themselves. This is the only means by which the true unity of the faith will become the reality of the Body of Christ.
“And when he was demanded of the Pharisees,
when the kingdom of God should come,
he answered them and said,
The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!
for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you”
It is in His people being attentive to His voice and His Spirit in their own hearts that there shall in fact be an entering into the Kingdom of God. We are not to discount the other things but we must understand it is in our obedience to His leadings in our own hearts that we have hope of being truly joined and made one in the Body of Christ.
“If any man serve me,
let him follow me; and where I am,
there shall also my servant be”
“Thy Rod…comforts* me”
Without correction and accountability personal growth and fruitfulness becomes stagnated and stunted. Men who refuse correction cease to grow and cease to live. Jesus said “every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit”. We see this truth so aptly revealed in the world around us. Everything concerning life needs to be channelled in order to have direction and purpose. A river without banks is a flood, electricity without a path and a purpose we call “static” and a believer in God who has no personal vision or “mark” (Philippians 3:14) is one who will be without discipline or purpose. A good landscaper prunes his garden that it may grow and become all that he has purposed and envisioned it to be when he planted it. Jesus said that His father was the Vinedresser and they that are of this Vine (Jesus) are to bear fruit that the Father may be glorified. Therefore Fruit is anything that pleases and glorifies the Father.
It is in us receiving of His correction that we grow in fruitfulness and the inherent ability to bring forth expressions of the Son to glorify the Father. Let us hear the admonition from God’s Word; “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights” (Proverbs 3:11 – 12) The proof of God’s Love and His ongoing investment into our lives is REVEALED IN HIS ROD. We read In the Old and New Testament of the evident Hand of God actively expressing His Love and correction in the lives of people; some were EXERCISED by it and others refused it with eternal consequences. Men who refuse correction choose a life that eventually comes to ruin. God’s Word has summed up this truth in one powerful verse…
“He who keeps instruction (Hebrew: correction) is in the way of life,
But he who refuses correction goes astray”
Does this not convey to us the reason behind the apostasy in our land today? Is there not a reason that the LOVE OF MANY has grown cold and indifferent? People are content to go through the motions of religion while failing to realize that we are here to BEAR FRUIT unto HIM who has called us out of darkness into HIS LIGHT that we might ever live to GLORIFY HIM.
God’s Word to HIS PEOPLE today is one of grave importance; one that reveals and lays bare the reason that we are in such disarray, impotence and apathy….
“I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets,
daily rising up early and sending them.
Yet they did not obey Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck…
This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the Lord their God
NOR RECEIVE CORRECTION.
Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth”
JEREMIAH 7:25 – 28
It is a Day for us to turn, to receive correction and to be EXERCISED in it that we may come forth as Gold tried in the Fire; purified and freed from our own agendas to DO THE WILL OF HIM that there may be Glory and Honour in His House.
King David knew well the power of change and repentance found in the ministration of truth from others in His day and the fruit that comes from the receiving of it.
“Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness.
And let him rebuke me: It shall be as excellent oil;
Let my head not refuse it”
“Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance,
baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession,
absolution without personal confession.
Cheap grace is grace without discipleship,
grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ”
* See Psalm 23 Part 12 for the definition of the Hebrew Word used here