Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Love, the greatest thing in the world

   This little book of only 111 pages is packed with ideas on the art of living and loving abundantly, as Christ intended, and inspire you to begin today to share God’s love through unselfish acts of kindness that can bring you and those around you closer to God.
   Dwight L. Moody praised Henry Drummond, “The one great need in our Christian life is love, more love to God and to each other.”

The Greatest Thing in the World
Love
Inspiration from
1 Corinthians 13
By Henry Drummond
   Following are a few experts from this small book:

“Souls are made sweet not by taking the acid fluids out, but by putting something in-a great Love, a new Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. Christ, the Spirit of Christ, interpenetrating ours, sweetens, purifies, transforms all. This only can eradicate what is wrong, work a chemical change, renovate and regenerate, and rehabilitate the inner man: Will-power does not change men. Time does not change men. Christ does. Therefore ‘Let that mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.’”

“What was Christ doing in the carpenter’s shop? Practicing. Though perfect, we read that He learned obedience. He increased in wisdom and in favor with God and man. Do not quarrel therefore with your lot in life. Do not complain of its never-ceasing cares, its petty environment, the vexations you have to stand, the small and sordid souls you have to live and work with. Above all, do not resent temptation; do not be perplexed because it seems to thicken round you more and more, and ceases neither for effort nor for agony nor prayer. That is the practice which God appoints you; and it is having its work in making you patient, and humble, and generous, and unselfish, and kind, and courteous. Do not grudge the hand that is molding the still too shapeless image within you. It is growing more beautiful though you see it not, and every touch of temptation may add to its perfection.”

“Yet this is what Christianity is for-to teach men the Art of Life. And its whole curriculum lies in one word-‘Learn of Me.’ Unlike most education, this is almost purely personal; it is not to be had from books or lectures or creeds or doctrines. It is a study from the life. Christ never said much in mere words about the Christian graces. He lived them, He was them. Yet we do not merely copy Him. We learn His art by living with Him, like the old apprentices with their masters.
   Now we understand it all? Christ’s invitation to the weary and heavy-laden is a call to begin life over again upon a new principle-upon His own principle. ‘Watch My way of doing things,’ He says. ‘Follow Me. Take life as I take it. Be meek and lowly and you will find Rest.’”

“David a man after Mine own heart, who shall fulfill all My will.”
All our ideal man… 
  • wants is a reason for his being alive at all. Hebrews 10:7
  • needs is Sustenance. John 4:34
  • needs is Society. Matthew 12:50; Mark 3:35
  • wants is Language. He must speak to his Friend.
  • does not always pray. There is such perfect blessedness in praying the ideal prayer that language fails him sometimes. Psalms 119:54
  • wants is an Education. Psalm 143:10 wants is a Promise. 1 John 5:14 wants to know is how long? 1 John 2:17

Saturday, March 28, 2015

"Healing of Memories" by David A. Seamands

Healing of Memories by David A. Seamands
   “The pain, the pain is so strong. That is all I feel. I was raised that real men don’t cry. I don’t care anymore. I started crying the day after and I cry a lot now and am not ashamed of who sees me…I was supposed to be there. I was to go to work that day. I got up but was sick and I went and laid back down. I turned on the TV just in time to see the second plane go into the building.”

In Luke 4, we read the purpose of Jesus coming to earth.
First Jesus read from Isaiah 61:1-2a.
    “17   And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18   The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised…
21   ‘Then he said, ‘This Scripture has come true today before your very eyes!’”

   David Seamands writes, “I define a counselor as a temporary assistant to the Holy Spirit. Both of the italicized words are important. Assistant, because the goal of all Christian counseling is to assist people to become emotionally and spiritually mature enough to relate directly with the Holy spirit, the Great Counselor. Temporary, because dependence on the counselor should never become permanent. If it does, then the counseling itself becomes a part of the problem and not a means of solution; a part of the disease, not the cure. It is only a temporary means to an end, the goal of total dependence on the spirit. However, this in no way underestimates the crucial importance of counselors in the healing process. All through history God has used humans as assistants, not only to carry out His work, but also to ‘stand in the gap’ as His intermediaries who show people what His character is really like. There are vast numbers of people who feel like the scared little girl whose mother was trying to comfort her with the assurance of God’s presence. ‘I know that,’ she said, ‘But I need a God with skin on Him!’ The counselor fills this need. For many counselees, this is the first time in their lives they have experienced a stable, trustworthy, and truly loving (accepting yet confrontation) relationship. Thus the very being of the counselor is the commencement of healing…
   …the uniqueness of memory healing is walking back into our past with the Lord and asking Him to heal us at a specific time and place of need…Our prayers should be to Jesus, asking for His direct intervention and healing presence… Memories include feelings, concepts, patterns, attitudes, and tendencies toward actions which accompany the pictures on the screen of the mind. This is the way the Bible uses the concept of remembrance, or stirring us up to remember something. When Scripture commands us to ‘remember the Lord,’ it does not mean to simply have a mental picture of God. It is a command to whole persons to orient all our thoughts and actions around God…

   …It is the Spirit who takes all that He made possible by His sufferings, death, and resurrection and makes it actual in our lives now. The Holy Spirit is the paraklete. Para-alongside, and kaleo-to call. The One Called Alongside. And Romans 8:26-27 assures us that the Holy Spirit helps us with our infirmities, our cripplings, and our weaknesses. The Greek word for help is a compound of three words meaning ‘to take hold of on the other side.’ It is a beautiful and sensitive picture of the knowing, understanding, caring God who is not participating with us in our healing.” 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"We Would See Jesus" by Roy Hession, pat 3

We Would See Jesus by Roy Hession

   “We are now in a position to understand the reasons for many of the frustrations in the spiritual life. We have sought peace, holiness, victory, revival, as blessings apart from and additional to the Lord Jesus, and they have for this reason eluded us. We have prayed and struggled for them and sought to fulfill all sorts of conditions, but in vain. We have even been willing to walk the humbling Way of the Blood of Jesus, and to let Him convict us and bring us to repentance; but even so, the great baptism of love and power is looked upon as something yet to be received. Romans 10:4 ‘Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.’  He is our peace; He is our power; He is our victory; He is our revival. There is nothing beyond Him.”
   Seeing Jesus-For Others, the last chapter, is very rich in describing John 15 and Isaiah 5. “I am the Vine, ye are the branches.”
   “This was the way in which He walked in His relationship with the Father, and it is the way in which we must walk in our relationship with Him. Said He, ‘The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do; for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise’ (John 5:19). And we, to, can do nothing but what we see the Lord Jesus doing. Until we see that, we are helpless, and our service is nothing more than self-initiated striving. But if we will first seek to see what the Lord Jesus is doing in a situation, then we can move with Him, even as the Son moved with the Father; and in that cooperation between man and God the true works of God are produced. It is not ours to originate anything, but simply to yield ourselves to Him to be the channel of what He initiates and caries through-and to trust Him to do so through us…Let us state the truth simply and boldly: the Lord Jesus is for others. Just as the vine does not bear its grapes for its own refreshment but for the refreshment of others, so has this Divine Vine chosen to be and to act only and always for others…this determines what His purpose is. It is to recover these others to God and Himself through the redemption of His Cross, by the mighty working of His Holy Spirit among them…
   Jesus is the Vine so our reason for failure is simply that we are trying to be the vine; we have been trying to find a holiness and a love for others in ourselves and from ourselves which Scripture never encourages us to expect to find there…The responsibility for producing fruit is no longer ours. God has His own true Vine, the risen Lord Jesus, who is well able to produce all the fruit that God requires for others, and to fulfill all the purposes of His grace for men…But we-where do we come in? Simply as branches in Him, the Vine. We do not produce the fruit, but simply bear what He produces as we permit Him to live in us.
   It is possible for any of us at any time to assume the position, often unconsciously, of the vine. We start the day as if it were our day and we make our plans for our day and fully intend to do our best for the Lord. The responsibility and government is really on our shoulders, and we have subtly become the vine. But just because it is our day and we are the vine, things soon go wrong. People and circumstances upset our schedule and interfere with what we wanted to do, and there is a reaction of hardness, irritation and resentment in our hearts, and often a sharp retort on our lips. The very responsibility of trying to be the vine makes us tense, and tenseness always predisposes us to further sin. If we are charged with the responsibility of some special piece of Christian service, our tenseness and reactions are often far worse, and we can go into that piece of service without calling them sin. It is little wonder that we return abashed and defeated. ..The way of repentance, however, is always open to us…He invites us to return to Him in repentance and to confess the source of these things as being our attempt to be ourselves the vine, and to receive from His hands forgiveness and cleansing. Immediately He becomes the Vine to us again and we become the branch that rests in Him…We must be continually seeing by faith Jesus to be the Vine…There must be the willingness to be broken and become available to Him as a branch.

   We must be seeing Jesus as the Vine and ourselves as part of Him, and be willing to be His branches for others.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"We Would See Jesus"by Roy Hession, part 2

We Would See Jesus by Roy Hession

   “Whenever a sense of sin lies upon our conscience, two persons, it seems, fight to get hold of that conviction-the devil and the Holy Spirit. The devil wants to get hold of it in order to take it and us to Sinai, and there condemn us and bring us into bondage. (Law) The Holy Spirit, however, wants to take us and our sin to Calvary, there to bring us through the Door into peace and freedom. (Grace)… The whole purpose of the devil in these accusations is to get us into striving and self-effort, and thus into real bondage…The Holy Spirit takes that sin, and us with it, to Calvary, to Jesus our Door. There He shows us that that sin, and much else, was anticipated and settled by the Lord Jesus in His death upon the cross…The word of promise is for us…Having returned-that is, having repented-we can rest, and we can do so because we see that Jesus has done a finished work for us on the cross…The Holy Spirit is not concerned primarily to get us to try to be better, but to repent deeply of the sin there is; not to try to be more loving to that person, but to repent of having been jealous and critical towards him… Then having repented, the Holy Spirit would bid us rest as sinners at the cross, where sin is cleansed away, and so be at peace. As we rest as sinners in that low place, Jesus pours into our hearts His own love for that other person…a forbearance towards him that was never there before… ‘Not I, but Christ liveth in me,’ for it is into His love, patience, and victory that we enter, not ours. And so it is that we learn by experience, ‘In returning and rest shall ye be saved.’…While Satan accuses only to bring despair, bondage and striving, the Holy Spirit convicts only to bring comfort, freedom and rest…
   “A ‘door,’ then, speaks of the beginning or a crisis, while a ‘way’ speaks of the going on. Both are fully provided for in the Lord Jesus…God calls us to walk in continuous, present-tense fellowship with Him…Basically this difficulty is due to the fact that we are not seeing Jesus as the Way but are trying to make other things the way, and they just do not work. Some feel that prayer is the most important thing in the Christian life, and it becomes the way for them. Others would put Bible study in that place, others fellowship, others personal witnessing…It is felt that if we do these things we shall then be really living the full Christian life-and so we consider them to be the way onward…None of these things, however, is the Way, and they only make the Christian life hard and barren…Only the Lord Jesus Himself is the Way; to attempt to walk on any other is to fall and to despair…The Lord Jesus Himself is the Way. None else will suit our stumbling feet…Living with Jesus in the now.
   “Since finding Him, men have not only found the Way but the End too. We do not have to go beyond Him to something else to satisfy our needs. He is the End of all that we need, and the simple, easily accessible way to that End…Our End is to be the Lord Jesus Himself. The reason for getting right should not be that we might have revival, or power, or be used of God, or have this or that blessing, but that we might have Him. He knows all ends will not satisfy our hearts, for we are made for Him, and we are restless till we rest in Him. Moreover, such ends, if that is all we come to, would fail to satisfy His heart, for the Bible tells us that the whole purpose of Jesus on the cross was to reconcile us ‘unto Himself.’ (2 Cor. 5:19)… So it is that He allows us to be frustrated and disappointed in our strivings after this or that end until at last He comes to us and says, ‘My child, I never promised you that if you would surrender, repent and get right with Me, you would have an eased situation, great power, success in your service, or even revival. What I do promise you is that, if you will walk with Me and allow Me to show you sin as soon as it comes in, and cleanse you from it, you will have not these things but-Me. Make Me your desired End and you will surely have that End, and you shall be satisfied, lacking nothing that is in the will of God for you.’… ‘predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself’ (Eph. 1:5), and that Jesus gave Himself for us ‘that He might…purify unto Himself a peculiar people.’.(Titus 2:14)


 He is our peace; He is our power; He is our victory; He is our revival. There is nothing beyond Him.

Monday, March 23, 2015

"We Would See Jesus" by Roy Hession, part 1

He is our peace; He is our power; He is our victory; He is our revival. There is nothing beyond Him.

We Would See Jesus by Roy Hession
The book and companion study guide are full of everyday useful tools. Scripture backs all of the instruction.
   First we need to see God and His purpose for life. Then we see God in the face of Jesus Christ. Next we learn that Jesus Christ is all we need. The following chapters allow us to see Jesus as the Truth, the Door, the Way, and the End. The following are just a few random quotes from the book or study guide.
   “Two emphases stand out today…First of all, instead of stressing holiness in order to see God, the emphasis is on service for God…There tends to be today an emphasis on the seeking of inner spiritual experiences…not as much from a hunger for God as from a longing to have an inner experience of happiness, joy and power, and we find ourselves looking for ‘it’ rather than God Himself…Both these ends fall utterly short of the great end that God has designed for man, that of glorifying Him and enjoying Him forever. They fail to satisfy God’s heart and they fail to satisfy ours…the purpose of life: to see God, and to allow Him to bring us back to the old relationship of submission to Himself…that to see God and be in living relationship with Him is the supreme goal of life is not to insist on anything strange or unnatural. It is the very purpose for which we were created…In what ways are you trying to use a formula to make the Christian life ‘work’?
   “All we need to know of the Father has been revealed in the Lord Jesus with such simplicity that a child can understand…perhaps with such simplicity that unless we become as little children we will not understand, for so often it is our intellect that gets in the way…for, seeing Him, we see all, and every need of our hearts is met…
   “it is not merely that He supplies our need, but He becomes Himself the fulfillment of our need. He is ever ‘I am that which My people need.’ Oh, the grace of it…
   “…our first and basic need? It is to know the truth-about ourselves and about God…our first step is to be willing to see the whole truth about ourselves and the God with whom we have to do, as it is revealed in Jesus Christ…He Himself is the truth. Therefore, truly to see Him is to see the truth. If we are asked, Where do we see Jesus as the truth, we reply, Supremely on the cross of Calvary. There in Him we see the whole naked truth about sin, man, and the God with whom each of us has to do. The very scene that reveals the richest and sweetest grace of God towards man also reveals the starkest truth as to what man is. If grace flows from Calvary, so does truth, for both ‘grace and truth come by Jesus Christ’ (John 1:17)…
   “…The Bible tells us that it is sin, and only sin, that separates man and God (Isa. 59:2). By ‘sin’ it means the attitude of self-centeredness and independence of God which is common to us all, and the many acts of transgression which have issued from that attitude…sin always builds a wall between us and God…However, even when a Christian identifies the sins that have separated him from God, he often occupies himself with the problem of how not to sin again rather than with getting back to God and to peace… It is just here that we flounder for lack of knowing how to get back; how to get through the many barriers that sin has brought…Truly our need, then, is to see a way through the wall.  This is the point at which the Lord Jesus meets us again…He Himself is the Door. (John 10:9)…Jesus stands immediately available to us as our Door, open on street level, and we could so quickly enter in if we were willing to bow our heads at His cross…(The author gives quite an explanation of the location of the door; it is always open and how to get in.)

Friday, March 20, 2015

"The Calvary Road" by Roy Hession

  

The Calvary Road by Roy Hession
 Do you want life man’s way that leads to conflict and frustration or God’s way that leads to inner peace? Colossians 3:15

   What is my attitude? Am I willing to be honest and truthful with myself? Do I have peace with God in my heart? Do I have love and concern for others? Do I want a better home life? 

   Some random quotes from this everyday, where road and rubber meet, practical Biblical based book:
  • Everything that comes between us and another, such as impatience, resentment, or envy, comes between us and God.
  • The first effect of sin in us is always to make us hide; with the result that we are pretending, we are wearing a mask, we are not real with either God or man.
  • God is the All-revealing One, who shows up every man as he really is.
  • It is utterly impossible for us to be walking in any degree of darkness and have fellowship with God…We cannot have true fellowship with our brother either-for we are not real with him, and no one can have fellowship with an unreal person.
  • Being broken is both God’s work and ours. He brings His pressure to bear, but we have to make the choice…we are not likely to be broken except at the Cross of Jesus.
  • It was into the home that sin first came. It is in the home that revival first needs to come.
  • I suggest that the beam in our eye is simply our unloving reaction to the other man’s mote.
  • When God is leading us to challenge another, let not fear hold us back. Let us not argue or press our point. Let us just say what God has told us to and leave it there. It is God’s work, not ours, to cause the other to see it.
  • When we are challenged, let us not defend ourselves and explain ourselves. Let us take it in silence, thanking the other; and then go to God about it and ask Him.
  • Blood cannot be applied to the sins of our proud hearts until we have been broken in repentance as to what has already happened and as to what we already are. This will mean allowing the light of God to go through every part of our hearts and into every one of our relationships.
  • Humility, lamblikeness, the surrender of our wills to God, are what He looks for supremely from man. It was to manifest all this that God ever created the first man. It was his refusal to walk this path that constituted his first sin (and it has been the heart of sin ever since). It was to bring this disposition back to earth that Jesus came.
  • Every sin we ever commit is the result of the hard unbroken self taking up some attitude of pride, and we shall not find peace through the Blood until we are willing to see the source of each sin and reverse the wrong attitude that caused it by a specific repentance, which will always be humbling.
  • There then is our choice-to protest our innocence and go down to our house, unblessed, dry of soul, and out of touch with God. Or to justify God and to enter into peace, fellowship, and victory through the Blood of Jesus.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

"The Ins and Out of REJECTION" by Charles R. Solomon

the ins and out of REJECTION
By Charles R. Solomon, Ed. D.

“When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” John 5:6

Jesus Christ is the only one who can meet all our needs.
John 14:6   In part one of this book, the author describes the behavior of people who have not had their inner need for security and unconditional love met.
Acceptance
Oh, to know acceptance
In a feeling sort of way;
To be known for what I am-
Not what I do or say.
It’s nice to be loved and wanted
For the person I seem to be,
But my heart cries out to be loved
For the person who is really me!

To be able to drop all the fronts
And share with another my fears,
Would bring such relief to my soul,
Though accompanied by many tears.
When I find this can be done
Without the pain of rejection,
Then will my joy be complete
And feelings toward self know correction.

The path to feeling acceptance of God,
Is paved with acceptance on earth;
Being valued by others I love
Enhances my own feeling of worth.
Oh, the release and freedom He gives
As I behold His wonderful face –
As Jesus makes real my acceptance in Him,
And I learn the true meaning of grace.
A pity it is that so late we find
His love need not be earned;
As we yield to Him all manner of strife
A precious truth has been learned.
Then, as we share with others who search
For love, acceptance, and rest;
They’ll find in us the Savior’s love.
And experience the end of their quest.
C.R. Solomon

The way out of a discouraged defeated, and/or psychologically disturbed life is the way of the cross-Galatians 2:20; 
Journey to the End of Self

When I cam to Jesus
For the cleansing of my sin, (John 3:3)
My heart was set at peace
As the Saviour came within. (2 Cor. 5:17)

Looking to His promise
Of a life of victory, (2 Cor. 2:14)
My faith was sadly taxed
As I struggled to be free. (Rom. 7:24, 25)

The burdens that I bore
Were heavier day by day;
It seemed God didn’t care (Ps. 142:4)
As I labored in the way.

I searched for other means
For relief from trials sore;
No comfort could I find
And I yielded to Him more. (Rom. 12:1)

My Lord had heard my cry; (Ps. 142)
And began to guide my way; (Ps. 37:5)
Tho’ comfort was not giv’n
He refused to let my stray.

My strength was well nigh gone,
And continued to decrease;
Until there was no more
And He gave to me His peace. (John 14:27)

My heart was filled with peace
That passeth understanding; (Phil. 4:6.7)
I knelt in heartfelt awe
My soul was not demanding.

Tho’ pain had been my lot, (Phil. 1:29,30)
In His suffering I was blest; (Phil. 3:10)
Crucified with Christ, (Gal. 2:20)
I have found in Him my rest. (Matt. 11:28,29)
C. R. Solomon

Self or flesh is at enmity with God. It cannot be changed; it cannot be improved. The only proper place for it is death at the cross… So long as the self-life has the place of dominance, the habitual manner of behavior will remain a part of our lives…When Christ is in control we’re victorious. When self or flesh returns to control, we’re defeated. Satan can only oppress us while we are controlled by self. He cannot defeat the life of Christ in us.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

"When I Saw Him" by Roy Hession, part 2



Roy Hession wrote in his book, When I Saw Him, about the experiences of Isaiah, Saul, the Disciples, and Joshua and then writes, “What Is Your Vision?”

   When the Disciples saw Him, they had a vision of the blood. Seeing Him risen from the dead and seeing His hands and His side, the sad were made glad. Jesus risen from the dead and He was brought again from the dead through the blood of the everlasting covenant.
   “There are three aspects to what may be called the victorious life.
   First, and most basic, there is His victory over me. Victorious life is not me conquering sin, but Him conquering me and breaking me each time that sin comes in, and taking me to the Cross.
   Then there is His victory for me, in setting me free from the hangover of guilt and self-accusation. This is not celebrating the attainment by the saint of some higher ground of sanctification, but the victory over guilt, self-recrimination, and sadness-which the most sinful of us may have when we see the blood of Jesus again.
   The third aspect of the victorious life is His victory in me; that is, Jesus Christ living His life again in me. It is illustrated by the Lord’s parable of the Vine and the branches. We naturally begin by making the mistake of trying to be the vine ourself, by doing our best to produce those fruits which we imagine a Christian ought to produce. We fail utterly, because ‘in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing.’ Rom. 7:18 But Christ is the Vine, not us, and we but His branches. When, weary of our attempts to be a good vine, we take our place as branches and begin to abide (or dwell) in Him, He promises to abide (or dwell) in us. And what can be more victorious than Jesus dwelling in us? That which is produced is now not characteristic of the branch but of the Vine, who dwells in the branch by the sap, that is, but the Holy Spirit.
   This aspect of the victorious life, however, is based on the first two aspects. Only as we are willing for Him to be breaking us and bringing us to the cross, and only as we are finding peace as sinners through His blood, does He give to us through His life within what we confess we otherwise lack so completely.”

   When Joshua saw Him as Captain. Joshua 5:12-6:3 “A falling on his face before the Captain of the host and an attitude of positive faith in Jehovah were the two effects of this vision on Joshua.”
   “’And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship.’ This was the most crucial moment in the whole campaign in which Israel was engaged, when their leader prostrated himself before the Captain of the hosts of the Lord. Before the walls of Jericho could fall, Joshua had to fall. In doing so, he vacated his own place and surrendered completely to the captaincy of the Captain of the hosts of the Lord, confessing the sin and folly of trying to be captain himself.”
   God lets us know that our victories are His… They are not from our self-will, self-effort, or self-glory… “When Jesus is allowed to be Captain in a situation, the victory is never in doubt, not for a moment. When we see Jesus as Captain of the hosts of the Lord, ours it is to fall on our faces before Him and worship-that is to confess the self-will, self-effort, and self-glory that have dominated us and deeply surrender to Him as the Captain, and be willing for Him to make the decisions, give the orders, and be the doer of the work. This is ever the turning point in our lives and in the enterprises we are engaged upon. We cannot be too low at His feet if He is to cause the walls of our Jericho to fall. He will have no difficulty with those walls if He can get us to fall first.”


      “What is it that we have that others may not have? Our discovery is simply that we are bigger sinners than we thought we were and that Jesus is a bigger Saviour than we thought He was-no cause for pride in that, surely. Let us not fear, then, to see the need and blindness of those around us, for we shall not otherwise get the Lord’s vision for them. Our vision for them is, first, that they might know that they don’t know, that they might begin to realize there is something lacking; then, that they might see the hidden things about themselves that God would have them see; and then, that they may know Jesus coming to them to cleanse them from their sin and take over, as symbolized in the live coal.

   Do not fear, then, to look around you with complete realism I the light of what you have seen in yourself. Your fellowship group, your church, your minister, the other churches throughout the land and, closer at hand, the dear ones in your own family-everywhere you look people are going on in this double blindness, not knowing, and not knowing that they don’t know. And then get God’s loving vision for them, that He wants to open their eyes and bring them to a new reality and liberty.”

Friday, March 13, 2015

"When I Saw Him" by Roy Hession, part 1

   When God draws us closer to himself, He uses the same methods for all of us; His grace leads us through brokenness, forgiveness, and surrender to an intimate relationship. Each one of us must come alone; no one can do this for us or anyone else.
 
   Roy Hession wrote in his book, When I Saw Him, about the experiences of Isaiah, Saul, the Disciples, and Joshua and then writes, “What Is Your Vision?”

   In Isaiah 6:1-9, the reader is taken to Isaiah’s view of the throne. “Woe is me! for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips...” God desires that we see Him in His holiness: that our service has been done in the flesh, perhaps for many years, and that without our knowing it. Self has intruded even into holy things, and so much of what has been done has been only in the power of the self-life rather than in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit convicts of sin. We read about three main forms of the self-life. First of all, there is self-will-I make the plans; I, rather than the Lord, initiate things. As each day dawns, I am the king of that day and if I want to indulge in something, I will. The second form of the self-life is self-effort-I trying to do God’s work for Him by my own efforts, expedients, and schemes. What begins with me, has to be done by me. This applies not only to service, but to the Christian life itself. And then the third form of the self-life, self-glory- the desire for people to think well of us; the doing of things ostensibly for God, but really for our own glory, hoping that people will think “What a victorious Christian!” God’s plan is completely otherwise. Read Romans 11:36. When we see the Lord we are convicted of this right down to details, in the holy as well as the secular part of our lives.
   Saul of Tarsus saw Him, Acts 9:1-9; what effect did this vision of Jesus have on Saul on the inside? Paul describes himself as being full of pride, though at the time he was quite unaware of it. That is the usual thing with pride: you are quite unaware of it until the Holy Spirit shows you; then you see you are full of it. Even God, he thought, must have regard to a man with these things to his credit. The first was pride of ancestry; the second was pride of orthodoxy; the third was pride of activity; the fourth was pride of morality. Now all these things had to do with Saul’s righteousness, that is, his rightness with God. All his efforts were directed to adding to his store of righteousness. He wanted to excel. How many of my activities are directed to adding  to my store of righteousness before God and before other fellows?
   Now what was revealed to him when he had this vision? Saul saw the brokenness of Deity. This was Saul’s final surrender of self. What was the effect that this vision had on Saul? Let him speak for himself by reading Philippians 3:7-8. Doing so, he cast away his own pathetic righteousness in order to embrace Christ as his own.
    “…what the Lord desires to do is to take us all much deeper in what we already know and give us a much deeper conviction of sin and brokenness than we have ever experienced before and with regard to areas we have never allowed Him to touch before. It might be His purpose for these pages to be stained with the tears of the one who reads them, as he looks again on Him whom he has pierced and mourns for Him, and as a result be brought into an altogether new liberty and fruitfulness.”

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"When I Saw Him" by Roy Hession

When I Saw Him by Roy Hession

   The following little chorus was brought back to England in 1947 from East Africa.
“Lord, bend that proud and stiff-necked I,
Help me to bend the neck and die;
Beholding Him on Calvary,
Who bowed His head for me.”

   Then the author goes on to write, “I cannot do better than to include here a short writing by the Rev. John Collinson on the subject of brokenness.” So, copied below is the entire selection from page 49-50.
   “Sometimes it is asked what we mean by brokenness. Brokenness is not easy to define but can be clearly seen in the reactions of Jesus, especially as He approached the cross and in His crucifixion. I think it can be applied personally in this way:
   When to do the will of God means that even my Christian brethren will not understand, and I remember that ‘neither did His brethren believe in Him,’(John 7:5) and I bow my head to obey and accept the misunderstanding, this is brokenness.
   When I am misrepresented or deliberately misinterpreted, and I remember that Jesus was falsely accused but He ‘held His peace,’ and I bow my head to accept the accusation without trying to justify myself, this is brokenness.
   When another is preferred before me and I am deliberately passed over, and I remember that they cried ‘Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas,’(Luke 23:18) and I bow my head and accept rejection, this is brokenness.
   When my plans are brushed aside and I see the work of years brought to ruins by the ambitions of others, and I remember that Jesus allowed them to ‘lead Him away to crucify Him’(Matt. 27:31) and He accepted that place of failure, and I bow my head and accept the injustice without bitterness, this is brokenness.
   When in order to be right with my God it is necessary to take the humbling path of confession and restitution, and I remember that Jesus ‘made Himself of no reputation’ and ‘humbled Himself…unto death, even the death of the cross,’(Phil. 2:7,8) and I bow my head and am ready to accept the shame of exposure, this is brokenness.
   When others take unfair advantage of my being a Christian and treat my belongings as public property, and I remember ‘they stripped Him,’ and ‘parted His garments, casting lots,’(Matt. 27:28, 35) and I bow my head and accept ‘joyfully the spoiling of my goods’ for His sake, this is brokenness.
   When one acts towards me in an unforgivable way, and I remember that when He was crucified Jesus prayed ‘Father forgive them; for they know not what they do,’(Luke 23:34) and I bow my head and accept any behavior towards me as permitted by my loving Father, this is brokenness.

   When people expect the impossible of me and more than time or human strength can give, and I remember that Jesus said, ‘This is my body which is given for you…’(Luke 22:19) and I repent of my self-indulgence and lack of self-giving for others, this is brokenness.”

Sunday, March 8, 2015

"Thy Hidden Ones" by Jessie Penn-Lewis

The Hidden Ones by Jessie Penn-Lewis

Gleanings from Chapter 22

Leaning on the Beloved

   “Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her Beloved?” (Song of Songs 8:5)
   “A pause, and again the daughters of Jerusalem exclaimed. ‘Who is this?’ as they behold the hidden one emerging from her time of rest in the Well-Beloved’s care. They see her now leaning upon her Beloved, for she has learned that she can only keep in step with Him as she leans upon Him every moment in utter dependence and helplessness.
   It is possible that in the activity of service, pressed on every hand by the claims of ‘open doors’ or by the gathering in of  ‘precious fruits,’ she had failed to keep sacred her hours of waiting on her Lord.
   In the full assurance of union with Him, and in the abundance of His life working through her, she may have thought that He would supply her need and renew her strength in the midst of busy service. This He never fails to do when the ‘claims’ are real needs; but warped and unreasonable ‘claims’ come that are not of Him: ‘souls’-who seek to draw nourishment from the earthen vessel instead of from God Himself; ‘questions’-from hearts that should learn to trust and not attempt to trace the dealings of God until He pleases to reveal His purposes; ‘calls’-from Christians who have sought guidance after making their own plans! All these things come to those who faithfully seek to be the ‘servants of all.’
   The ‘hidden one’ must learn that the pressure of the needs of others, fancied or real, must never intrude upon the sacred hours of waiting on the Lord. Active service especially demands these times alone with God. The Master needed them, for do we not read: ‘Great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed…But He withdrew Himself in the deserts, and prayed’ (Luke 5:15-16)?
   In the face of all the real needs, He withdrew! Nay, child of God, it is not waste of time; it is economy, for our service is fruitless without the full power of His abundant life, which must be renewed at His feet day by day.
   As soon as there is a sense of ‘pressure,’ it is all important that we should get alone with God. The ‘claims’ may make this seem impossible, but He can make the way clear if we know our need and are willing to retire from the vineyards as soon as we hear His call-leaving His work to Him who is alone responsible, recognizing that He is in control…
   ‘Leaning upon her Beloved!’
   To bring the soul to entire reliance and dependence upon Him is ‘the end of the Lord’ (James 5:11)-the purpose of His varied dealings, whether in the ‘valley’ or on the ‘mountaintop.’
   ‘Leaning upon the Beloved!’ This is the outcome of the life of union-what life more simple or more blessed! In this privileged position the hidden one comes forth to renewed service and activity. ‘Leaning upon her Beloved’ to be taught by Him.”
   Next the author writes about the Well-Beloved’s instructions concerning the earthen vessel and concerning the jealousy of God. Jessie Penn-Lewis also writes about our communion with the Well-Beloved, the King’s business and the King as counselor.

   If this book had not come so highly recommended by Marie Hearn, I would not have committed to reading it. My understanding of word pictures in abstract thinking is very challenged. Many times I prayed, “Lord Jesus please make sense out of what I am reading.” (Matt. 7:7) Jesus Christ met and exceeded all of my desires to know Him more intimately.

   Jessie Penn-Lewis has presented scripture is such a way that the reader wants to continue digging and learning so as to know Christ personally and not just about Christ.

"I am my Beloved's, and His desire is toward me."

I am my Beloved’s, and His desire is toward me. Come, my Beloved, let us go forth into the field.
Song of Songs (Solomon) 7:10-11

   “Her attitude is one of restful faith; she says, ‘I am my Beloved’s, I am at His entire disposal, separated unto Him and unto the gospel (Romans 1:1). In the shadow of His hand He has hidden me; He has made me a polished shaft (Isaiah 49:2). His desire is toward me; His will is to use the vessel He has thus prepared. And His desire toward me moves in me toward Him. Come, my Beloved; I may not, I dare not, go without Thee. Come, let us go forth into the field, the great field of the world!’
   The soul hidden in His hand says nothing now about herself; she is wholly taken up with Him and His desire. This is the divine remedy for self-consciousness and shyness. A God-consciousness that excludes the remembrance of self bestows the highest culture and the truest grace. The inward revelation of Christ had this effect so long as His presence was powerfully manifested to the consciousness; but abiding deliverance comes from such a knowledge of one life in common with the Well-Beloved that the soul is drawn out of itself, so to speak, to dwell in Him.
   …In early days, even though Christ was ‘dwelling in her heart by faith,’ she was still disposed to the ‘self’ center which grasps to itself all things and sees them only in their relation to itself. She manifested this in her words, ‘My beloved is mine!’ ‘I am His’ was a secondary thought (2:6).
   Later on, we watch her losing her ‘self’ center as she rests upon His hold of her and says, ‘I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved is mine’ (6:3).
   Now even the ‘mine’ has vanished, for she is centered wholly upon Him. He fills her whole mental and spiritual vision. What she has, what she is, what concerns herself, is all out of the range of her consciousness. That He may have His way; that His heart’s desire may be fulfilled; that His inheritance in the saints may be given Him; that she may be all He wants her to be-this fills her mind and thoughts. He will care for her and will fulfill her every need; and she only needs what He thinks she needs. She only desires what He desires, and what He will desire in her…
   She is now God’s fellow-worker in service…The world lies before her in the light of God. ‘my church, my mission, my cause’ has given place to the great field of the world” This is a quote starting on page 169 of Thy Hidden Ones by Jessie Penn-Lewis.

Now read a few paragraphs from the preface of
Thy Hidden Ones by Jessie Penn-Lewis.

   “The ‘Song of Songs’ is the very last portion of the sacred Scriptures that I would personally have chosen to write upon, but during a period of enforced rest it was so illuminated to me as the heart-history of a soul in its progress in the divine life that I was constrained to write; and as I did so, the conviction grew that I dared not withhold the light given.
   The language of the ‘Song’ must be read as pertaining to the spiritual realm alone; and there is no book in the Bible requiring more reverent reading, greater freedom from all earthly sentiment, and deeper recollectedness of the majesty of the High and Holy One who inhabits eternity.
   It is often described as a love song between Christ and His Church, but it is also a mirror upon which the Divine Spirit flashes photographs, so to speak, of the glorified Lord, first from one standpoint and then from another, so that beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, the soul may be transfigured into the same image, from glory to glory.”

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sit, Walk, Stand

Sit, Walk, Stand by Watchman Nee

Watchman Nee in his book, Sit, Walk, Stand concludes with “The Christian life consists of sitting with Christ, walking by him and standing in him. We begin our spiritual life by resting in the finished work of the Lord Jesus. That rest is the source of our strength for a consistent and unfaltering walk in the world. And at the end of a grueling warfare with the hosts of darkness we are found standing with him at least in triumphant possession of the field.
‘Unto him…be the glory…forever.’”

   This book, only 78 pages long, is a concise, brief study of Ephesians demonstrating the Exchanged Life message. May I suggest, that before studying this book, read entirely the book of Ephesians in one sitting?

   Using the key words of sit, walk and stand, Mr. Nee writes: 
  •  Our Position in Christ “Sit” 2:6 
  •  Our Life in the World “Walk” 4:1  
  • Our Attitude to the Enemy “Stand” 6:11

   Please note the order and the connection in which these words are used.

  SIT  Our Christian life begins with the discovery of what God has provided…Christianity begins not with a big DO, but with a big DONE…we are invited at the very outset to sit down and enjoy what God has done for us…
   What does it really mean to sit down? When we walk or stand we bear on our legs all the weight of our own body, but when we sit down our entire weight rests upon the chair or couch on which we sit. We grow weary when we walk or stand, but we feel rested when we have sat down for a while. In walking or standing we expend a great deal of energy, but when we are seated we relax at once, because the strain no longer falls upon our muscles and nerves but upon something outside ourselves. So also in the spiritual realm, to sit down is simply to rest our whole weight-our load, ourselves, our future, everything-upon the Lord. We let him bear the responsibility and cease to carry it ourselves.
 WALK  Though the Christian life begins with sitting, sitting is always followed by walking. When once we have been well and truly seated and have found our strength in sitting down, then we do in fact begin to walk. Sitting describes our position with Christ in the heavenlies. Walking is the practical outworking of that heavenly position here on earth…Eight times in Ephesians the word ‘walk’ is used…It brings immediately before us the subject of Christian conduct…’Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you...’5:2, ‘Walk as children of the light…proving what is well-pleasing unto the Lord’ 5:8, 10.

STAND ‘Stand against the wiles of the devil…’6:10,11,13-18
We war against Satan to maintain and consolidate the victory which Christ has already gained. By the resurrection God proclaimed his Son victor over the whole realm of darkness, and the ground Christ won he has given to us.

   God never asks us to do anything we can do. He asks us to live a life which we can never live and to do a work which we can never do. Yet, by his grace, we are living it and doing it. The life we live is the life of Christ lived in the power of God, and the work we do is the work of Christ carried on through us by his Spirit whom we obey. Self is the only obstruction to that life and to that work…the end and object of all work to which God can commit himself must be his glory. This means that we get nothing out of it for ourselves. It is a divine principle that the less we get of personal gratification out of such a work the greater is its true value to God. There is no room for glory to man in the work of God. True, there is a deep, precious joy in any service that brings him pleasure and that opens the door to his working, but the ground of that joy is his glory and not man’s. Everything is ‘to praise of the glory of his grace’ 1:6, 12, 14.”

Monday, March 2, 2015

Forgiveness, part 3


   Forgiveness is complete when we have experienced the forgiveness of God; we can forgive others who have wronged us; we are able to forgive ourselves.

   “Forgiveness is based on the atoning work of the Cross, and not on anything we do. God’s forgiveness does not depend on our confession, no does his fellowship. Confession is a means for releasing us from the tension and bondage of a guilty conscience. When we pray, God, You are right. I've sinned against You. I am guilty of this act. I am guilty of that thought, we achieve release.”

   Dr. Stanley writes about the consequences of not forgiving ourselves. He writes several paragraphs explaining each of the following consequences of a self-directed unforgiving spirit:
  •   We punish ourselves on an ongoing basis.
  •   We live under a cloud of uncertainty.
  •   We develop a sense of unworthiness.
  •   We attempt to overcome our guilt by compulsive behavior and excesses in our lives.
  •   We develop a false sense of humility when we feel permanently judged guilty and sentenced by God.
  •   We deprive ourselves of things God wants us to enjoy.
   How do we forgive ourselves? Regardless of how long we have been in bondage, we can be free if we follow four biblical steps. Again, Dr. Stanley writes paragraphs explaining how to forgive ourselves, starting on page 150 we read:
  •   We must recognize and acknowledge that we have not forgiven ourselves.
  •   We must repent of that sin for which we cannot forgive ourselves. And we must thank Him for His forgiveness as we confess our sin to Him.
  •   We must reaffirm our trust in the testimony of Scripture. Psalm 103:12
  •   We must confess our freedom and choose to receive it freely.
   If we are willing to follow these simple steps, not only will we be set free, but also the healing process will be initiated.
   When we choose by an act of the will to accept what God has said as true, we accept God’s acceptance of us.

The chapter titles include:
  • Forgiveness and Freedom
  • The Only Solution
  • Our Forgiving Father
  • Handling Our Hurts
  • Bitterness
  • When a Brother Stumbles
   In conclusion, Dr. Stanley writes, “ Forgiveness is liberating, but it is also sometimes painful. It is liberating because we are freed from the heavy load of guilt, bitterness, and anger we have harbored within. It is painful because it is difficult to have to face ourselves, God, and others with our failures. It seems easier to blame others and go on defending our position of being right, even though we continue to hurt. But the poison of an unforgiving spirit that permeates our entire lives, separating us from God and friends, can never be adequately defeated. It is devastating to our spiritual and emotional well-being and to our physical health…
   Before you close the cover of this book, forgive the one who has hurt you even as your heavenly Father had forgiven you and be really free!”

   “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. [part 3]