“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Work in us,
That we may work out,
The grace you pour in.
Grant us faith for the impossible,
That we may believe for the impossible.
Give us eyes to see the Invisible,
That we may become like Him.
Grant us power to become nothing,
That Christ may become all.
Grant to us the fear of the Lord,
That we may not stray.
Cause us to know your Love,
That we may Love others.
Cause us to know Righteousness,
That we may preach Righteousness.
Cause us to see You
That we may be freed from ourselves.
“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness:
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness”
Commenting on the Scripture: Colossians 2:1
“For I would that ye knew what great conflict
I have for you, and for them at Laodicea,
and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh”
“Why should Paul the Apostle enter into any “conflict” about people or concerning people whom he had never seen? It is to be remembered that the Apostle Paul is writing to persons who had never seen him in the flesh, whom he had never seen, and with whom he had only opened indirect communication by a fellow-labourer. Yet he says he has a “great conflict” for the Colossians and the Laodiceans and the dwellers in Hierapolis. Why this conflict? Why not let the people alone? Why not be concerned simply for those who are round about you? What is this passion in the sanctified heart that will go out to the ends of the earth, clothed in charity, burning with Christly ardour? If there be any persons who are strangers to this passion they cannot enter into the music of the Apostle’s Epistle to the Colossians. They may call themselves practical people, they may find refuge in narrow maxims, such as, “Charity begins at home.” Christianity knows nothing about such maxims. Christianity takes in all time, all space, all human nature; Christianity is not willing to sit down to the feast so long as there is one vacant chair at the banqueting table: Christianity never ceased to say, “Yet there is room”; specially is there room for those who least think of it, or who least suspect their fitness to occupy it. There is no room for the self-contented, the pharisaical; there is always more room for the broken-hearted, the self-renouncing, the Christ-seeking soul. Paul lived in conflict: on the other hand, we are amongst those who avoid everything like controversy, friction, and sharp, mutual confrontage. We love quietness. Yet we do not know what quietness is; we think that quietness is indifference, carelessness, indisposition to concern oneself about anybody’s interests. That is not quietness, that is more nearly an approach to death: peace is not indifference, it is the last result of the operation of ten thousand conflicting forces. We are only at peace after we have been at war, and after we have accepted the music of the will of God.”
Brendan Jaster replied to this:
“The last sentence in that quote made me think, we can “accept the music of the will of God,” or we can face the music, as the saying goes. It is going to be one or the other.”
“Because they have no changes,
therefore they fear not God”
Transformation and change are the natural order of those who are active and current in their relationship with Jesus. Those who merely subscribe to the tenets of the “Christian” faith remain unaffected by the wonder of His life and Being. Change comes from seeing Him who is invisible, tasting of His Goodness, Mercy and Holiness. One cannot touch His presence and not grow in the reverence of who He is. Without change there is no understanding of the fear of the Lord.
Knowledge may increase, familiarity with the things of God may have the appearance of being good and deep, but it is in the crucible of growth that our relationship is revealed. He came moreover He is come to work within our hearts fundamental and revolutionary transformations from what we are into the image of Christ. This transition from fallen Adam to the Risen Christ is the vehicle and means by which we are moved from an isolated and selfish entity into the substance of being “members one of another”. The validity of our walk with God is revealed in those who are being united by faith into One Body, One Life and One Heart! Jesus prayed for this, He gave Himself up to cruel and wicked men to pay the price of redemption to this end. Not only did He give Himself as an offering but He is even now giving of Himself to us to make it so. Those who do not feel the pull and the cry for this union of hearts within the wonder of His life have become distant and unable to hear the Spirit of Truth.
“Again I write a new commandment to you which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true Light already shines. The one saying to be in the light, and hating his brother, is in the darkness until now. The one loving his brother rests in the light, and no offense is in him. But the one hating his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness blinded his eyes” 1 John 2:8-11
Indifference is hatred held in apathy. They who are indifferent to the members of the Body of Christ around them are walking in the darkness. Darkness is the absence of light. Light is simply the life of Jesus beating within our hearts.
“In him was life;
and the life was the light of men”
“My beloved spake, and said unto me,
Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
Song of songs 2:16
The call of God to His own is always one to new places of intimacy in relationship. Not only does He call but He speaks words of endearment to those who follow after Him. His own know Him as “Beloved” and He calls us “my fair one” There is no plurality here; He is not speaking to a congregation or a crowd. He is calling out to one who is the object of His great love.
In religious circles the call is broad; it is a generic call and the references are impersonal. Those who are His know this intense and personal relationship. There is a singular flow of His life and love unto those who are following Him. The focus of the individual’s heart is all about Him. In the seeing of Him the world becomes dim and distant and its temptations start to lose their power and attraction. It is out of this wonder of Him drawing near that we feel the power of His love rising in our hearts to respond to the call of a deeper knowing of Him. This call is characterized by words of incomprehensible beauty: “my fair one”. Who can resist such undeserved love? Who is able to fathom such redemptive love? How can we ever measure or understand its cause or the depths from which its flows?
Lost within the broad landscape of religion, and a world gone mad with the voices and the rantings of men who think they have the answers, there is the “still small voice”. It draws the heart with whispers of grace and affection; “come away my fair one… come to Me”.
Within this growing relationship the need to fortify our place in Him with the teachings and doctrines of men disappears for His love itself becomes our surety and solace. His love constrains us to willingly arise from where we are to follow on to deeper places of affection and wonder. We touch the holy atmosphere of His cords of love that embrace us setting our own hearts ablaze with their fervency. The words flowing between the “beloved” and the “my fair one” are the language of this holy union:
“I am my beloved’s,
and my beloved is mine”
Song of songs 6:3
He is hers because she is His!
“Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
and my record is on high.
My friends scorn me…”
Throughout all ages those who preach righteousness have done so at great cost. The pursuit of righteousness and truth brings alienation and separates the wheat from the chaff. While many would live at ease, satisfied with doctrinal declarations and teachings, the true seeker of righteousness will know separation and loneliness. Loneliness is not only a result of righteousness it may also be the path into righteousness for it brings the heart to a new and deeper dependency upon God Himself. The cost is trivial compared to the reward of growing in Him. While many accuse of legalism the true seeker of righteousness (His righteousness) knows full well his inherent inability to walk in this righteousness apart from the Life of Christ within. His Life becomes the only hope of a life of purity and authenticity. The covering of the “leaves” of religion will never bring true peace.
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost”
Without righteousness there can be no abiding peace. When one is at home in God there is Peace. Where there is Peace there is a deep and settled Joy in the Holy Spirit. It is the Joy of God Himself beholding and approving our life in Him. These things cannot be apprehended by teaching and religious declarations; they must be wrought in our lives by the working of His Spirit within us.
“Anything the church doesn’t want to do it calls legalism”
The pursuit of righteousness will separate even good friends. God’s end in His own is righteousness not popularity. In truth the separation from friends and companions is part of the way into this righteousness; it affords opportunities to grow in forgiveness and long suffering. It is the means to bring us into the very heart of Christ Himself as Job discovered in the trial with his friends.
“And the Lord turned the captivity of Job,
when he prayed for his friends”
The individual seeking true righteousness will discover sooner or later not only the bitterness of their own heart but an inherent ability to pray for those who withdraw themselves and even speak evil of them. That is the righteousness of Christ. Righteousness is treating others rightly regardless of how they treat us. God spoke to my own heart the other day this powerful truth:
“It is impossible to hold true righteousness
without knowing the Love of God”.
Love must cause us to treat others rightly. Righteousness is the fruit of love. Love is the very righteousness of God expressed in the deeds it produces within an individual’s life. Without Love there can be no righteousness, no real peace and no joy in the Holy Spirit.
“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that doeth righteousness is righteous…
In this the children of God are manifest,
and the children of the devil:
whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God,
neither he that loveth not his brother”
1 John 3:7,10
Doing right is not optional for the true child of God.
“Draw near to God,
and He will draw near to you”
Being a child of God has great privileges. One of the awesome rights we have in Christ Jesus is to draw near to Him at all times. This right of entrance into His Holy Presence has been secured for us by the merit and blood of the precious lamb. True relationship is only known by the free choice of the ones involved. This requires an expression of desire to interact with one another in order to deepen and grow that relationship. In this verse the action of drawing near to God is initiated by the child of God! In drawing near to HIM we have the promise that God will reciprocate by drawing near to the one who is seeking HIS presence. The Father will always respond to HIS beloved child! Love ever seeks out the object of its desire. It is that LOVE of HIM in us that initiates the drawing closer to HIM! How God loves those who seek HIM out; it is the fruit of His love in us.
“Jehovah is with you while you are with Him.
And if you seek Him, He will be found by you.
But if you forsake Him, He will forsake you”
2 CHRONICLES 15:2
We have a promise given by God himself that if we draw near to HIM, we can expect the ever faithful ONE to draw near to us. In weakness, temptation and trial HE is our portion. HIS promises stand as a beacon in the midst of all of our troubles. DRAW NEAR to HIM and we will surely find that HE has already been moving toward us. Even as the father of the prodigal son saw him afar off and ran out to meet him, so the God of all Grace responds to the one who is drawing near unto Him.
Let us rise every morning and start the day with a true heart that draws near to Him. The provision of that fresh touch of His Spirit is ours by the very Covenant of God Himself. This opportunity of drawing near is secured for us; it rests not upon feelings or merit. These provisions have been eternally secured by the God who cannot lie. The inherent right of every child of God is there for us to appropriate!
“Let us draw near with a true heart
in full assurance of faith”
“GOD is Love”
1 JOHN 4:8, 16
The scriptural statement “God is Love” conveys to us the verity of one powerful conclusion…LOVE is the very nature and essence of all that HE IS. The enormity of what this means is staggering and glorious. Were we to actually reconsider our understanding of the scriptures, and the import of such a wonder, the ramifications of it would revolutionize the very operandi of the Body of Christ. For if that glorious God who IS LOVE is seen only through the lens of a pure heart (Matthew 5:8), and by the apprehension of HIS HOLINESS (Hebrews 12:10, 14), then we must reconsider the pale notions of what religious men pass off as “love”.
Paul in writing to the Church at Ephesus prays in Chapter 3…
“…that He may give you, according to the riches of His glory,
by His power to become mighty in the inward man through His Spirit,
that through faith Christ may dwell in your hearts,
having been rooted and founded in love,
that you may be given strength to grasp*, with all the saints,
what is the breadth and length and depth and height,
and to know the surpassing knowledge and love of Christ,
that you may be filled to all the fullness of God”
(Green’s Literal Translation)
Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, prays that they may be given strength to grasp (lay hold of, appropriate and make one’s own) the surpassing knowledge and the love of Christ. The love presented today requires nothing; it is casually discussed and preached. The LOVE that Paul speaks of requires a ministration of the strength of God to enable us to see and pursue its depth and power. Such is the contrast of our day. The presentation of a love based upon human strength and concepts (in HIS name) results in a lukewarm and ineffectual presentation of the Gospel. A love that removes accountability, that leaves men in apathy or hopelessness, is NOT the fruit of God’s love. A Gospel that says you are loved of God, without imparting the corresponding power and the resources to walk in victory, is a total misrepresentation of the very purpose of God in Christ. This LOVE that initiated God to send His only begotten Son to fully deal with SIN in the earth has come to abide in our hearts by faith to make this so. To put this all into perspective Paul ends the prayer mentioned above with …
“Now to Him being able to do
exceedingly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power working in us”
(Green’s Literal Translation)
Do we believe this? HIS ABILITY to do in our lives is in proportion to the power that is at work in us. We read in 1 Corinthians 13 that “LOVE BELIEVES ALL THINGS”! True love does not stagger at the promises of God. True love pursues those promises. True love pursues holiness. It pursues with the intent to lay hold of (Philippians, Chapter 3). We talk about love as if it were comfortable with unbelief, stagnancy, compromise with sin and a “tolerance” with the status quo of the day! The LOVE of God in the Son PRODUCED the zeal that caused the Son to go into the temple that day and cleanse it from the horror of the deeds of men in God’s name. The same LOVE that came to the aid of the woman caught in the very act of adultery (and silenced the same men who were content with the money changers) also spoke to the woman “go and sin no more”. Somehow in our well-meaning “love” this aspect is always left out of the story. A love that is able to forgive sin must by its very nature impart the power to free us from that sin. To leave a soul in the misery of the wages of sin is not love. To be free from a thing is freedom; that is why His name is Jesus.
“…and thou shall call HIS NAME JESUS
for HE shall save HIS people
FROM their sins”
Love is the very fuel and fire of faith (Galatians 5:6). Faith expresses the fire of the love that fuels it. A tepid religious love is the antithesis of God’s love. The strange fire that was offered by the “priesthood” in Exodus was judged by the same God as Ananias and Sapphira in the Book of Acts.
His power motivated by HIS LOVE is the reason we can be more than conquerors through Christ.
“Now to Him being able to keep you without stumbling,
and to set you before His glory without blemish, with unspeakable joy;
to the only wise God, our Savior,
be glory and majesty and might and authority,
even now and forever. Amen.”
(Green’s Literal Translation)
*NOTE: G2638. καταλαμβάνω katalambanō; fut. katalēpsomai, from kata (G2596), an intens., and lambanō (G2983), to take. To apprehend, attain, obtain, find. (I) To lay hold of, seize, with eagerness, suddenness (John 8:3, 4). Of an evil spirit which seizes, takes possession of a person (Mark 9:18). Figuratively of darkness or evil, to come suddenly upon someone (John 12:35; 1 Thess. 5:4; Sept.: Gen. 19:19; 31:23; 1 Kings 18:44). (II) In allusion to the public games, to obtain the prize with the idea of eager and strenuous exertion, to grasp, seize upon (Rom. 9:30; 1 Cor. 9:24; Phil. 3:12, 13, “for which very end I also have been taken hold of by Christ” [a.t.], v. 12).
“The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament”