Saturday, February 28, 2015

Forgiveness, part 1

The Gift of Forgiveness by Dr. Charles Stanley

   “Whatever your situation, whatever has happened in your past, remember that you are the loser if you do not deal with an unforgiving spirit. And the people around you suffer, too. You have within you the power to forgive, to be healed, and to be set free to live your life to the fullest.” This is on the back jacket to Dr. Stanley’s book, Put the past behind you and give…
The Gift of Forgiveness.
  “Forgiveness is ‘the act of setting someone free from an obligation to you that is a result of a wrong done against you.’ …Forgiveness involves three elements: injury, a debt resulting from the injury, and a cancellation of the debt. All three elements are essential if forgiveness is to take place…A person who harbors unforgiveness always loses.
   Through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins (Acts 10:43)…Christ is God’s solution for dealing with sin. Only through Christ can we find forgiveness. But once it has been found it is a settled issue-past sin, present sin, and future sin. The details of what we have done, why we did it, and how many times we did it are irrelevant. Sin is sin; lost is lost; paid is paid; forgiven is forgiven. Either we have it, or we don’t… Forgiveness is available only to the man or woman who has put personal trust in Christ…God’s gift of forgiveness must be appropriated; that is, it must be accepted on an individual basis…
   Settle in your mind once and for all that your sins are forgiven; that God is in no way holding them against you; that from His perspective, they are no longer obstacles to fellowship.
   …Begin to view your past failures as a reminder of God’s grace…Your past sins should become memorials to the grace of God in life. When Satan accuses you of being unworthy because of things you have done in the past, you can respond by saying (and I recommend actually speaking out loud). ‘That is exactly right. I did do that, and that’s not all. But before I ever committed my first sin Jesus Christ died and paid for my sins-not just the ones you have reminded me of-all of them. Now they stand in my past as memorials, reminders, of God’s goodness and grace toward me. Thanks for the reminder.’..This is a confession of truth…
   …God wants to take any emotional stumbling block out of the way and flood you with the assurance of His forgiveness and acceptance. He wants you to live with a sense of security and intimacy with Him.”
   Dr. Stanley writes of forgiveness with Luke 15:11-24 as a Biblical reference. The following are just the highlights of the explanatory paragraphs in chapter five Our Forgiving Father.

  •   Our heavenly Father’s love has no limits.
  •   Our heavenly Father’s love is patient.
  •   God is eager to express His love.
  •   God the Father’s attitude is that His focus in on the sinner, not the sin…You are His focus.
  •   God receives the sinner back into fellowship joyfully.
  “When any child of God turns from sin, God rejoices. If it is possible to assign emotions to the heavenly Father, He ‘feels’compassion for you and therefore experiences joy at your homecoming. He does not wrestle with feelings of hurt and jealousy. He has dealt with that once and for all. Instead, He identifies with your hurt and frustration and takes joy in seeing you set free…
   …You have a heavenly Father who is free to identify with your situation and who takes great joy in seeing you restored to your rightful place as His child. Your forgiving Father’s greatest concern is you, not your sin. His focus is on you and your willingness to comply with His will for your life.
   Heavenly Father,
Sometimes it is difficult for me to see You as You really are. By faith in the testimony of Jesus, however, I accept You as my forgiving heavenly Father.
A Father who love me with unlimited love;
A Father whose patience is inexhaustible;
A Father who is eager to have fellowship with me;
A Father who focuses on me and my position as Your child, not on my sin;
A Father who rejoices when I turn to You from my sin, whether it be one single act or a season of rebellion.

Expose the errors in my thinking toward You and fill me with the truth, for I know that in discovering the truth I will be set free. Amen.”

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Rest of the Gospel

   Quoting from page 155, “For you who have told God that you want to go on with Him, that you want to know Him and Him only, the victory is to press on beyond the human situation. We move past what something looks like and feels like, to see by faith that God is involved in it. He has a purpose in it for us.
   For those who have come to know this, one of the best things we can do is speak this word of truth to those who, in the midst of their circumstances, can’t see God acting. We know He is acting in those circumstances and we can be a word of encouragement to them. Often believers do not see that what they are going through is the way God is going to give them what they really want: Him.
   …What the Christian needs is 50/20 vision…Referring to Genesis 50:20.”

   The above quote and the following quotes are just a few of the many encouraging thoughts from reading, The Rest of the Gospel, When the partial Gospel has worn you out by Dan Stone and Greg Smith.

   In the preface by Dan Stone, “’Christ in you, the hope of glory’ (Colossians 1:27). Christ living is us and through us, as us, is the only hope we have of experiencing the glory God intends for our lives…We start from this question: what is God’s intent…We are not the center of the universe. The Son is…God had a purpose for us before the foundation of the world. (see Ephesians 1)…We exist for the praise of His glory…God, in His love and grace, has made us a part of His plan. But we are not the center of it; Christ is. We are participants in the plan…
   The authors divide the book into four parts:
V  Union with Christ
V  Who are you?
V  Knowing God’s ways
V  Living in union

   This book is very reader friendly, easy reading, yet with plenty of depth to study and chew.

Chapter nine talks about The Real You.
  “We are born into a tough existence. As infants, every day is a new challenge to ensure all our needs are met. Before we are even aware of it, we learn to play the world’s game of life…It isn't much longer before we learn that if we behave a certain way, Mamma and Daddy like that, and if we behave another way, they don’t like it…Going through school, if we have a personality that others are attracted to, we become one of the most popular kids in school. We learn how to operate in that…In high school, if we have a boyfriend or girlfriend, we learn how to adapt to that, or we learn how to get along without it…When we get into the work world we learn what will earn us advancement and what will earn us the pink slip. Then we get married and things are going to be wonderful. It’s God’s trick. Marriage is meant to sandpaper you into Him, not to provide you bliss. If you happen to find bliss, it’s not permanent, is it? Marriage is not like that. Marriage is for discovering real intimacy. So we learn to adjust to that, or fail to…From the moment we were born into the world dead in trespasses and sins-dead in spirit, separated from God- the world and the devil conspired to create this self in us that could try independently to get along. It’s what I call the false self.
   The Bible calls the false self flesh. The flesh self is a soul based self. It is the soul operating independently of its Source…The life of God through us must be expressed through the soul. But His life is expressed through a soul dependent upon it Source, not acting independently of it.

   Nothing happens in our life for which there isn't a God reason.”

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Lifetime Guarantee by Bill Gillham

Lifetime Guarantee: Making Your Christian Life Work and What to Do When It Doesn't 
by Bill Gillham

   This is a foundational book to knowing your identity in Christ. Galatians 2
20   "I have been (1) crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but (2) Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in (3) the Son of God, who (4) loved me and (5) gave Himself up for me.”
  1. Rom 6:6; Gal 5:24; 6:14
  2. Rom 8:10
  3. Matt 4:3
  4. Rom 8:37
  5. Gal 1:4
   In this book the author is willing to be transparent. Bill Gillham has struggled; and he is willing to share his daily turmoil to help others understand their life problems. The audio sets, “How to Live the Victorious Christian Life” and “How to Live the Victorious Christian Life: Advanced Series” along with this book are the foundation to our subject of "Christ in you."
   On page 170 and 171, Dr. Gillham summarizes what has been written so far:
Ø  When Christ died, you died an ‘old man.”
Ø  When Christ arose, you were born as a “new man.”
Ø  Christ is now the only life you have. Any other technique you employ for living is “death.”
Ø  Christ is now resting in heaven and so are you in Him.
Ø  You have the same rights Jesus had when He left heaven and came to earth-none. You are a “living sacrifice.” You are to “see God first” and He will supply all your needs.
Ø  You must believe the above based on revelation by the Holy Spirit to you from God’s Word.
Ø  Moment by moment, by faith, you are to act as though Christ is expressing His agape life through you to accomplish His will.
Ø  You are to apply all diligence to the task.
Ø  You are to study God’s Word so the Holy Spirit can train you to discern good and evil, that you might not prostitute the life of Christ by living for self while claiming it to be a life of Christ through you.
Ø  You are to rest in your mind that your method (faith and obedience) is correct.
Ø  You are to rest in you mind that the results are Christ’s results through you, and you are to praise Him whether “successful” or not.
Ø  You are to recognize that your emotions are not your primary barometer of truth. God’s Word is.

   Bill Gillham writing about my new nature on page 92, I read, “You are not grubby. You are glorious in your nature! The new natural you is really someone special. You are a child of God as Jesus said in John 1:12, and as the Word repeats in many verses such as Galatians 3:26: ‘For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.’ And He is now your life. He will live the same life through you that He lived through His own earth-suit when He walked the planet if you will cooperate with Him. This means a supernatural life of agape, not a life of constantly striving to get your needs met. Jesus Christ wants to express through you what the Father expressed through Him, bringing love and hope to a hurting world, beginning with your own house.”

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Set Free in Christ

Bondage Breaker by Neil Anderson
    “We are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ…to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Eph 4:15, 13)

God has given us everything we need to grow to maturity in Christ (2 Peter 1:3). But Satan is opposed to our maturity and will do anything he can to keep us from realizing who we are and what we have in Christ. Since we wrestle against principalities and powers instead of flesh and blood (Eph 6:12), we must experience victory over the dark side before we can fully. Page 11-12 Bondage Breaker
   The Bondage Breaker starts with Free at Last! and ends with Helping Others Find Freedom in Christ.
   The chapter titles in between include: You Don’t Have to Live in the Shadows, You Have Every Right to Be Free, Jesus Has You Covered, The Lure of Knowledge and Power, Don’t Believe Everything You Hear, and Appearances Can Be Deceiving.
   Before reading and understanding this material, I felt like a pawn in a giant chess game.
   “You are not the helpless victim of a tug-of-war between two nearly equal heavenly superpowers. Compared to Satan’s limited power, God is completely off the charts in His omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience-and you are in Him! Sometimes the reality of sin and the presence of evil may seem more real than the reality and presence of God, but that’s part of Satan’s deception. He is a defeated foe, and we are in Christ the eternal Victor. That’s why we worship God: to keep His divine attributes constantly before us in order to counter Satan’s lies. A true knowledge of God and our identity in Christ is the greatest determinant of our mental health. A false concept of God and the misplaced deification of Satan are the greatest contributors to mental illness…
   Deception is the most subtle of all satanic strongholds…Lying is an evil defense promoted by the father of lies, Satan (John 8:44)…Satan’s lies are at the heart of addictive behavior…
   Faith is the biblical response to the truth, and believing the truth is a choice…Faith is something you decide to do, not something you feel like doing. Believing the truth doesn’t make it true; it’s true, so we believe it…
   Your faith is only as great as your knowledge of the object of your faith.”
   When writing about forgiveness, Dr. Anderson writes, “You don’t forgive someone merely for their sake; you do it for your sake so you can be free. Your need to forgive isn’t an issue between you and the offender; it’s between you and God.
   Forgiveness is agreeing to live with the consequences of another person’s sin. Forgiveness is costly; we pay the price of the evil we forgive. Yet you’re going to live with those consequences whether you want to or not; your only choice is whether you will do so in the bitterness of unforgiveness or the freedom of forgiveness. That’s how Jesus forgave you-He took the consequences of your sin upon Himself…
   Forgiveness deals with your pain, not another’s behavior.”
Have you met the Bondage Breaker?

Jesus Christ will set you free!

Monday, February 16, 2015

God does not call you a sinner; you are a saint!!!

Victory Over The Darkness by Neil Anderson
   “God doesn’t call you a sinner; He calls you a sainta holy one…What you do doesn’t determine who you are; who you are determines what you do.” Page 45 Victory Over The Darkness by Neil Anderson

WOW!!! What a statement!!!
   My actual salvation experience dates back to April 1953. At that time my aunt was attempting to teach me the Apostles Creed. I believed that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins. I believed that if I accepted Jesus Christ personally as my Savior, when I died I would be in heaven with Himperiod end of lessons. The rest of my life I am to try to conform to the image of Christ. As you can read by all the “I’s” above that this has been a long process.
   For many, many years John 8:32 was my prayer, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” I keep asking, “What is the truth?” Finally in 1992, I met someone who told me that truth is not what but who. In John 14:6, “Jesus told them, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life…’” I was introduced to the Neil Anderson books Victory Over The Darkness and Bondage Breaker. The following are a few of the highlights from Victory Over The Darkness.

   “…But ultimately every Christian is responsible for his or her own maturity and freedom in Christ. Nobody can make you grow. That’s you decision and daily responsibility. Nobody can solve your problems. That’s a process you must initiate and follow through with. Thankfully, however, none of us walks through the disciplines of personal maturity and freedom alone. The indwelling Christ is eagerly willing to walk with us each step of the way…
   …Before you can be truly free from your past, you need to know who you are in Christ…
   …The only identity equation that works in God’s kingdom is you plus Christ equals wholeness and meaning.
   …Your Christian walk is the direct result of what you believe about God and yourself…Walking by faith simply means that you function in daily life on the basis of what you believe…Your belief system determines your behavior…
   Anger signals a blocked goal…Feelings of anger should prompt us to reexamine what we believe and the mental goals we have formulated to accomplish those beliefs…
   Anxiety signals an uncertain goal…You are hoping something will happen, but you have no guarantee that it will. You can control some of the factors, but not all of them.
   Depression signals an impossible goal…Some forms of depression can be caused by chemical imbalances…Depression often signals that you are desperately clinging to a goal you have little or no chance of achieving, and that’s not a healthy goal…
   If Satan can destroy your belief in God, you will lose your source of hope. But with God all things are possible. He is the source of all hope. You need to learn to respond to hopelessappearing situations as David did: ‘Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, the help of my countenance, and my God’ (Ps. 43:5).
   A godly goal is any specific result reflecting God’s purposes for your life that does not depend on people or circumstances beyond your ability or right to control…The only person who can block a godly goal or render it uncertain or impossible is you…
   A godly desire is any specific result that depends on the cooperation of other people or the success of events or favorable circumstances you cannot control. You cannot base your self-worth to your personal success on your desires, no matter how godly they may be, because you cannot control their fulfillment…”

   On page 115 of the study guide, Neil Anderson writes, “Healing emotional wounds from the past will enable you to find victory over the darkness and freedom in God’s light. Dealing with any rejection you’ve experienced is also essential to realizing victory.” There is a word of prayer in which Dr. Anderson writes, “All-knowing and all-loving God, I come before you with David’s words on my lips, ‘Search me, O God’ (Ps. 139:23a). Maybe there is something in my past that, brought to light, into Your healing light, can mean freedom for me. Show me, merciful and gentle God, who I need to forgive and of what I need to forgive them.”

Friday, February 13, 2015

Experiencing Go Through Prayer

Experiencing God Through Prayer by Madame Guyon
   The reader finds on page nine that God delights when we come to Him in simple, childlike confidence.
   Madame Guyon teaches this simple truth and childlike confidence. We must learn to pray from our heart, not from our head. She explains how to sit quietly (while being active) and wait on God.
   “I would emphasis my statement to you-you are called to enjoy God-not only His gifts to you…
   The whole desire of our heavenly Father is to give Himself to every creature according to the capacity in which we will receive Him.”
   This is a small book of only 90 pages, yet it is difficult to try to limit the wisdom and knowledge to just one page.
   Starting on page 31 of chapter 7 The Bitter and the Sweet reads:
   “Be patient, dear ones, during suffering. It was through His suffering on Calvary that Jesus gave the greatest display of love.
   Don't be like those who give themselves to Jesus at one season only to withdraw from Him at another. They give themselves to Him only to be caressed, yet when in times of trouble, they turn back to man for consolation.
   No, beloved friends, you will not find consolation in anything other than the love of the cross and total abandonment. If you will not savor the cross you cannot savor the things of God. (See Matthew 16:23).
   It is impossible to love God without loving the cross. If you savor the cross, you will find even the most bitter things to be sweet.
   ‘To the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet’ (Proverbs 27:7), because it finds itself hungering for God in the same proportion as it is hungering for the cross...
   Jesus Christ Himself chose to endure the utmost severity of the cross...
   (John 14:6)  Abandon [surrender] yourself then in Jesus. Follow Him as the way. Wait for Him to reveal truth to you. Allow Him to animate us with life.
   Abandonment [surrender] is the means God uses to reveal His mysteries to us.
   To bear all the marks of Jesus Christ is much greater than merely meditating on them. Paul said, ‘I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus’ (Gal 6:17). He does not say he merely thought about them, he says he bore them.
   As you abandon yourselves to Jesus, He will reveal those marks to you. You have no choice but to reach after Him. Dwell with Him. Sink into nothingness before Him.
   Accept indiscriminately all His gifts whether sweetness or bitterness. Let nothing retard your course for even one moment...
   If you sincerely love God, you will love all that belongs to Him.”
   In another chapter we read, “The only genuine means of bringing about change is by inward means. You must commit yourself wholly into the hands of a loving God. The simple act of commitment in every circumstance where self exerts itself will, in time, produce a separation of the sensual from the spiritual…
   The nearer your spirit draws to God, the further you become separated from the soulish demands…
   God himself will show you the areas of your life which need attention. Those who are  faithfully abandoning all to God will indeed be purified, polished, and perfected in His timing…”
   A quote from the chapter entitled Matters of the Heart. “Sin takes possession of the soul deficient in faith and prayer. If we would but teach our wandering brethren to simply believe and diligently pray, rather than engaging them in endless reasoning's, we would lead them sweetly into the arms of God.” And for references Madame Guyon gives Psalm 19:7, 119:130; Matthew 19:14, 11:25.
   Other chapter titles include: Thirsting For God, Scriptural Meditation, Surviving Dry Periods, Distractions, Put Off The Old, The Reward of Silence.
   Could our goals in life, our aim for class members, this book and the other resources we use as tools be:
   “To teach man to seek God in his heart, to think of Him, to return to Him whenever he has wandered, and to have a single eye to please Him, is leading that person to the source of all grace. There he will find everything necessary for sanctification…
   Teach the young to pray, not by reasoning or by method or by understanding, but by the prayer from the heart-the prayer of God’s Spirit rather than man’s invention…

   There is no better way to learn how to love God than to simply love Him.”

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Victory in Christ

Victory in Christ from Victorious Life by Charles G. Trumbull

Mr. Trumbull starts by asking a question, a rather uncomfortable question, “Is your kind of Christianity worth sending to the non-Christian world”?
   Not, “Is Christianity worth sending?” There is no question as to that. But what about your kind?-the kind that you showed by your life this morning, yesterday, last week, last year. Is that what the non-Christian world is waiting for, what is needed to revolutionize lives there?
   Now there is a kind of Christianity worth sending to the non-Christian world. It is the kind that Jesus Christ lives, the kind that He has always lived. And the Christianity that Christ Himself lives is the only kind worth sending.
   The kind of salvation that Jesus offers is the only salvation worth offering to anyone. So the kind of Christianity that Jesus lives, moment by moment, is the only kind of Christianity worth living…
   Jesus, you know, makes two offers to everyone. He offers to set us free from the penalty of our sin. And He offers to set us free from the power of our sin. Both these offers are made on exactly the same terms: we can accept them only by letting Him do it all…
   Trying is what we do, and trusting is what we let the Lord do…
   Victory is by faith; but faith must be fed; and faith cannot be fed apart from daily nourishment from the Word of God, and daily time alone with God in prayer…
   Having surrendered the whole life to the mastery of the Lord, having given up the pride of the flesh, all luxuries and self-gratification, there is the peril of asceticism. Perhaps fine clothes, or jewelry, or overindulgence in food were among the things that had to go when we surrendered wholly to the Lord. As we find our new joy in Him, not in these things, we may be driven beyond the will of God into an asceticism that dishonors Him. More than one wholly surrendered Christian has mistakenly become indifferent and careless about personal attire or appearance, and has actually become repellent to others because of this mistake. Or, having been delivered from the sin of luxury in jewelry, we may be driven beyond the will of God into supposing that every bit of gold or silver we have should now be given away or sold and the proceeds given directly to the Lord’s service. Christian women have actually sold their wedding rings under this form of sadly mistaken asceticism. The spirit is commendable, but neither the guidance nor the results are necessarily of God.
   We are to maintain a golden mean between the extremes of asceticism and luxury. We are to take care of our personal appearance, our cleanliness, our clothing, so as to be attractive to our fellow men; it is a positive duty to be attractive Christians, both in dress and in appearance, that others may be won to us in order that we may win them to our Lord. We are to do all things to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31).
   This includes our pleasures as well as all else. We are not to believe the lie of Satan that everything that is pleasurable or attractive is sinful. We are to enjoy our meals, for example, not reduce them to the minimum of mere physical sustenance. And so of other temporal details of our life.
   We may get the mistaken idea that when we have a choice between something that is hard and something that is easy, the hard thing is always God’s will. His will may be just the opposite. There is not necessarily any virtue in difficulty, and there is not necessarily any sin in ease. The only question is, What is God’s will for us in each matter that comes before us?
   “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God” (1 John 4:1). And we are never to abandon our God-given common sense in the Victorious Life.
   Here is one way of distinguishing between God’s leading's and Satan’s “angel of light” leading's. To the really surrendered Christian, who is trusting Christ for victory, God’s leading's and promptings never nag, or worry, or harass. Satan’s do just this. If one has a seeming “leading” to do something that in itself is good, yet with the impulse there is a sense of nagging disquiet, almost as though a mosquito or a gnat were buzzing about to try to drive us in a certain direction, that is Satan’s earmark, his calling card; and his false “leading” is to be instantly recognized and rejected. The Holy Spirit’s leadings to the surrendered and trusting Christian come with a sense of peace and quiet, even if they point in a really difficult direction which only the grace of God can enable one to follow.
   The Victorious Life is a supernatural life: it is a living miracle, a thrilling adventure, for it is God’s work and God’s working…
   God wants us to trust, not in supernatural experiences, but in Himself. It is for Him to decide when the unusual shall come into our life, and when our life shall be commonplace and humdrum so far as things of sight and sense are concerned…

   The secret of complete victory is faith: simply believing that Jesus has done and is doing it all

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Demolishing Strongholds

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Demolishing Strongholds by Marie Malcom Hearn

The forward to Marie’s book was written by Dr. Albert Scardino, [past] Director of Counseling, First Baptist Church of Atlanta.
   Al writes, “Spiritual warfare is real. Satan has a well-organized army and no Christian is exempt from his attacks…(Ephesians 6:10-18)
   On the other hand we know that Satan was defeated at the cross through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ…
   We have found that many people who come to us for counseling are bound up in spiritual strongholds. These strongholds must first be broken before substantial progress can be made in counseling. It is only after a person is released from bondage that they can move forward to freedom in Christ…”
   Marie writes in the preface, “This book is written for Christians who are struggling, puzzled as to why Christianity is not working for them.”
   In Chapter 23, Testing the Spirits, Marie writes, “There are only two supernatural forces in the universe, God and Satan. God does not just ‘have’ power. He is power. Satan is a created being and only has the power that God has allowed him. Spiritual power and spiritual phenomenon have always been a temptation to man. Man has always been fascinated with the supernatural. The natural man likes some ‘feeling’ and ‘manifestations’ to go along with his faith and often falls into the trap of deceiving spirits…”
   (See 1 John 4) “By this you know the spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God…”
   “John is speaking of the spirit. It is the spirit that is to confess the Lord Jesus, not the person themselves to confess.
   Jesus came in the flesh to defeat Satan. Jesus was completely God, yet He was completely man. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, God is Spirit, and as Spirit He could not die and shed His blood for the redemption of mankind. It was in Jesus’ humanity that He defeated Satan. Jesus never sinned, even one time; therefore He could be the perfect Lamb of God to shed His blood for the redemption of man.
   Jesus never used His authority as God to meet His needs as man. He defeated Satan as man; therefore, spirits will not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh…
   Jesus Christ came in the flesh to destroy the works of the devil and He expects His children to join Him in the battle. Satan has not been completely annihilated, but he has lost his power. He has spiritual lockjaw! His head is crushed. His neck is broken. Satan is not a fierce lion; he is only trying to frighten people with his loud roar. Jesus Christ is the ‘Lion of the tribe of Judah.’
   …Any teacher that is not in harmony with the Word of God is false. The Holy Spirit never denies His Work. If a teacher distorts the Scripture, or adds the thoughts of man to it, it is obviously a lying spirit speaking through the false teacher.
   John gives us another way to discern truth from error. God is a God of love. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. A sincere teacher will love God and love others. A false teacher will not manifest God’s love.
   When our spirit is troubled and disturbed about something that is being taught, we should search the Word, wait before God in prayer, and be careful to avoid a judgmental, critical spirit. Satan can gain ground there also. However, we must be aware that not everything supernatural is from the Holy Spirit.”

   Mrs. Hearn’s book has more material, more pertinent material than can be covered in one page. I would like to end with this quote from Chapter 27, “Although we must never forget that we have an adversary, and always alert to his attacks, our focus must never be on the enemy. Our minds must be stayed on the Lord Jesus Christ. However, we must understand our adversary’s schemes and methods of attack in order to maintain our freedom over him.”

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Daily Experience With God

Excerpts from Daily Experience With God by Andrew Murray

   This book is for everyday practical lessons. The author explains the need for and how to have a morning quiet time with God.

   “Let God’s Word every day, and before everything else, lead us to God. Let every blessing in it be a matter of prayer, especially our need for divine teaching. Let our intense attachment to it be our childlike plea and confidence that the Father will help us. Let our prayers be followed by the vow that as God quicken and blesses us, we will obey His commandments. Let all that God’s Word brings to us make us more earnest in longing to carry that Word to others.

Prayer and the Word
   Prayer and the Word are inseparably linked together: power in the use of either depends upon the presence of the other. The Word gives me matter for prayer, telling me what God will do for me. It shows me the path of prayer, telling me how God would have me come. It gives me the power for prayer, the assurance that I will be heard. And it brings me the answer to prayer, as it teaches what God will do for me. Prayer prepares the heart for receiving the Word from God Himself, for the teaching of the Spirit to give the spiritual understanding of it, for the faith that is made partaker of its mighty working.
   Prayer and the Word have one common center–God. Prayer seeks God; the Word reveals God. In prayer, man asks God; in the Word, God answers man. In prayer, man rises to heaven to dwell with God; in the Word, God comes to dwell with man. In prayer, man gives himself to God; in the Word, God gives Himself to man.

Christ became the Son of Man to show us how to live in complete dependence upon God.

Christ came and showed, in a human life, how man has but one thing to live for: to do the will of God. He showed us how there was one way of conquering self-will–by a death to it, in obeying God’s will even unto death.

The question of how we spend our leisure time is very important. It is then that I turn freely and naturally to what I love most.

‘Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven’ Matthew 6:10. The will of God is the living power to which the world owes its existence.

Deception takes place when the outward–that which pleases the eye, interests the mind, or gratifies the taste–takes the place of truth in the inward part, that hidden wisdom in the heart which God gives.

   The daily, returning morning hour is the time for daily renewing of the Holy Spirit into the image of God as righteousness and holiness. We need a time of meditation and prayer to get our heart set upon God’s purposes. We need a true vision of how the inward man can be renewed day by day into the very likeness of God, changed into the same image by the Spirit of the Lord. Let nothing less be your aim or satisfy your aspirations. The image of God, the life of God, is in you, and His likeness can be seen in you. Do not separate yourself from God and His likeness. Let all our trust in Him mean nothing less than finding His likeness formed in you by the renewing of the Holy Spirit.

   Let this be your daily prayer–to be renewed after the image of Him who created you.”