We Pray That The Seeds Of Truth Contained In This Blog Will Penetrate The Good Soil Of Your Heart And Bear Much Fruit.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

What Does The Church Exist For?


John 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

John 1:13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 

What, in the thought of God do Christians exist for? What does the Church exist for?

There is only one answer.

The existence and the function is to be an expression of Christ.

There is nothing less and nothing more than that.

Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, and all between!

Let that be the starting point; let that be the governing rule and reality in all matters of life and work, and see at once the nature and vocation of the Church.

This vast, incomprehensible heavenly system, of which Christ is the personal embodiment, touches every detail of life, personally and collectively.

But remember only the Holy Spirit sees and knows how it is so;

Hence, as at the beginning, there has to be an utter submission to and direction by the Lordship of the Holy Spirit.

What the bloodstream is to the human body, the Divine Life is to and in "the Church which is His body."

What the nerve system is in the physical realm, the Holy Spirit is in the spiritual.

Understand all the workings of those two systems in the natural, and you begin to see how God has written His great heavenly principles, first in the person of His Son, and then in His corporate Body.

As an individual believer is the result of a begetting, a conception, a formation, a birth and a likeness, so, in the New Testament, is a true church.

It is a reproduction of Christ by the Holy Spirit.

Man cannot make, form, produce or "establish" this. Neither can anyone "join" or "enroll," or make himself or herself a member of this organism.

First it is an embryo, and then a "formation" after Christ.

The beginning is in a seeing of Christ.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Revelation In Relation To Power

We stand by revelation, God who shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

God called me through grace to reveal His Son in me.

Gal 1:16  To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

How are we going to be made to stand, to be established?
How is this endurance going to be put in us?

By knowing the Lord Jesus in this inward way, by revelation.

The people who are going to stand are those in whom this thing has become a living revelation; "God hath shined in our hearts," this is one side.

The other is, "pressed on every side, perplexed, pursued, smitten down... yet not unto despair" - 2 Cor. 4:6-10.

We are troubled and pressed down...why? "That the LIFE of JESUS might be made manifest in our mortal bodies" - 2 Cor. 4:11.

Is not that endurance? Pressed on every side yet not strangled!

In pressure Thou hast enlarged me

Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. Psalm 4:1

What was meant to be "pressed down," God has made for enlargement.

Cast down, yet a wonderful rising up. Why? How?

It is "God who hath shined in our hearts...in the face of Jesus Christ," therefore you can go through and survive.
 

Nothing can carry us through but the revelation of the Lord Jesus by the Holy Spirit in our hearts; an inside knowledge of Him - not mental assent to a creed or a doctrine, but a living, vital reality in our very being.

For strength to overcome and press on, only a revelation by the Holy Spirit in us can suffice - but it can!

A revelation that is within one's spirit and not a mental appreciation of truth even though it is truth about God.
 

Oh, the power to be able to say "I KNOW," not I have heard or read, but "I KNOW".

It is an experience nothing can rob us of.

It is absolutely essential to have this revelation by the Holy Spirit because we have to meet forces of evil against which nothing can stand save that which is of God.

In pressure Thou hast enlarged me. How? Because of the constant uprising of THE LIFE within.

Trouble, trial, sorrow...we are subject to these things, they are common to all men, but we rise above them through the strength of His might within.

We are strong because of the Light given in the knowledge of God.

The enemy mightily withstands revelation; to mar or hinder that, he'll stop at nothing!

Light and Strength go together; endurance is by revelation, "I know".

Establishment in the truth by revelation of the truth, this brings an impact on Satan and his hosts; light leading to might.

When the Lord opens eyes you see what happens, "the eyes of your heart being enlightened, that ye may know" this is the result of opened eyes.

2Co 4:14  Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

I send thee to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God.
 

Act 26:18  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Paul was sent by the Lord Jesus with a message to open the eyes of the people that would turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to their inheritance in God; this, the inheritance of eyes being opened.
 

Sovereignty follows opened eyes.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Fire Of Provocation

Luke 12:49  I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? 

It was the fire of inevitable provocation.

No sooner had the Spirit come, the fire fallen and begun to move over the earth, than there was tremendous and terrific uprising of antagonism.

It is inevitable. If you and I are going to be men and women of the Spirit, we are not going to have an easy time. Hell will see to that.

At once the clash arises and it is true that the more the Holy Spirit is able to have His way in us and to lead us into all the will of God, the more we find this opposition, this antagonism. 

And it not only comes between us and the world, it sometimes comes in the circle of the Lord's own people.

It is inevitable provocation.

You wonder why, sometimes.

As you read the New Testament you wonder, What is the matter with these people?

Why should they be so upset and so annoyed? 

And why should it be so spontaneous, this thing? And persistent; so unreasonable?', but there it is.

There is the fact. It is inevitable.

You see, this thing that the Lord came to do and is doing, will not allow for any neutrality.

It is going to be one thing or the other. It is going to be for or against.

The eyes of flame (here the fire comes in again) the eyes of flame will not allow lukewarmness or anything that is of the Laodicean character. 

The fire is a positive element always, and it will create positive situations.

If everything is all just nice and quiet, no disturbance, no trouble and no antagonism and opposition, you have reason to question whether the Holy Spirit is doing much, because He does aim at such a positiveness, which is a very, very costly thing.

It is either with the Lord, or not with the Lord, and there is nothing between.

It is going to come out sooner or later and be precipitated.

Now, the Lord says that is what He came to do. 

This is not an accident, a chance or things having gone wrong or miscarried.

This is exactly what He came to do - to scatter fire on the earth and these are the inevitable effects of the fire. They are going to work out.

~T. Austin Sparks~

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Spirit Testing The Money

Are there not many who say all their money is their Lord's, and that they hold it as His stewards, to dispose of it as He directs, and yet who, in the amount they spend on God's work, as compared with that on themselves, and in accumulating for the future, prove that stewardship is but another name for ownership?

Without being exactly guilty of the sin of Judas, or Caiaphas, or Pilate, in crucifying our Lord, a believer may yet partake with them in the spirit in which he acts.

Even so we may be grieving the Holy Ghost, even while we condemn the sin of Ananias, by giving way to the spirit in which he acted, and withholding from God what we have professed to give Him.

~Andrew Murray~

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The One True Aim In Living


We Have The One True Aim In Living When We Do What GOD Sent Us Here To Do!

                                                                                

Monday, July 4, 2016

How Can They Escape?

The Lord sees His poor scattered pilgrims traveling through a valley of tears...journeying through a waste-howling wilderness...

A path beset with baits, traps, and snares in every direction.

How can they escape?

Why, the Lord 'keeps their feet'. He carries them through every rough place...as a tender parent carries a little child.

When about to fall...He graciously lays His everlasting arms underneath them.

And when tottering and stumbling, and their feet ready to slip...He mercifully upholds them from falling altogether.

But do you think that He has not different ways for different feet?

The God of creation has not made two flowers, nor two leaves upon a tree alike...and will He cause all His people to walk in precisely the same path?

No. We have...each our path, each our troubles, each our trials, each peculiar traps and snares laid for our feet.

And the wisdom of the all-wise God is shown by His eyes being in every place...marking the footsteps of every pilgrim...

Suiting His remedies to meet their individual case and necessity - appearing for them when nobody else could do them any good...

Watching so tenderly over them, as though the eyes of His affection were bent on one individual and carefully noting the goings of each...

As though all the powers of the Godhead were concentrated on that one person to keep him from harm!

~J. C. Philpot~

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Refreshing Sleep


Psalm 127:2  It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

Ours is not a life of anxious care but of happy faith.

Our heavenly Father will supply the wants of His own children, and He knoweth what we have need of before we ask Him.

We may therefore go to our beds at the proper hour and not wear ourselves out by sitting up late to plot, and plan, and contrive.

If we have learned to rely upon our God, we shall not lie awake with fear gnawing at our hearts; but we shall leave our care with the Lord, our meditation of Him shall be sweet, and He will give us refreshing sleep.

To be the Lord's beloved is the highest possible honor, and he who has it may feel that ambition itself could desire no more, and therefore every selfish wish may go to sleep.

What more is there even in heaven than the love of God?

Rest, then, O soul, for thou hast all things.

Yet we toss to and fro unless the Lord Himself gives us not only the reasons for rest but rest itself.

Yea, He doth this.

Jesus Himself is our peace, our rest, our all, On His bosom we sleep in perfect security, both in life and in death.

Sprinkled afresh with pardoning blood, I lay me down to rest As in the embraces of my God, Or on my Saviour's breast.

~Charles Spurgeon~

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

They Want To Keep Just As Near To Sodom As Possible!

Run for your lives! Do not stop anywhere in the plain. Do not look back! Escape to the mountain, or you will die!

Gen 19:17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

This is still the gospel message. We are in danger of God's judgment and must escape from it if we would live.

We must not stay anywhere in all the plain of sin-for there is no safe spot, no shelter anywhere, no place where the fires of judgment will not fall.

Some people would like to compromise; they are willing to flee from some sins but not from others. 

There are some professed Christians who like to stay on the borders of their old life. They are continually asking whether they can do this or that, go here or there and still be Christians.

They want to keep just as near to Sodom as possible so as not to be burnt up in Sodom's destruction! 

The answer to all such questions is, "Run for your lives! Do not stop anywhere in the plain. Do not look back! Escape to the mountain, or you will die!" Even the borders are unsafe!

The only safe place is the mountain, the mountain where Christ's Cross stands!

Lot's wife 'looked back'. There had been a specific command, Do not look back!

Why Lot's wife looked back is not explained. Was it curiosity to see the nature of the terrible destruction that she heard roaring behind her?

Or was it her dismay as she thought of her beautiful home, with all its wealth of furnishing and decoration, and all her jewels and garments and other possessions which were now being consumed in the great conflagration?

It would seem to be, that she was appalled at the thought of leaving and losing all her beloved possessions, and paused in her flight and looked back, with the hope that possibly she might yet run back and snatch some of the ornaments or gems...something, at least, from the awful destruction.

But Lot's wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt! 

Remember Lot's wife! Luke 17:32.

We should not miss the 'lesson' which our Lord Himself teaches us from the tragic fate of this woman: we cannot have both worlds!

Lot's wife could have escaped with her husband and her daughters but she could escape only by resolutely and determinedly leaving everything she had in Sodom.

Her love for her possessions, cost her her life!

Just so, there are thousands today, to whom God's message comes, "Run for your lives! Do not stop anywhere in the plain. Do not look back! Escape to the mountain, or you will die!

They somewhat desire to follow Christ but their love for the world is so intense that they cannot give it up-they cannot renounce it.

They must decide, however, which they will renounce Christ or the world.

They cannot keep both! 

In Lot's wife we have an example of one who was almost saved and yet lost! 

She was lost because she loved the world.

Remember Lot's wife!

~J. R. Miller~

Monday, June 27, 2016

Strengthened Inwardly By The Spirit


Eph 3:16  That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

The strength of the Lord's people is none other than the strength of the Holy Spirit in the inward man.

Right at the very center of the being, deeper than thought or reason, deeper than emotion or feeling, deeper than all that which comprises the more outward man which, under given circumstances, may prove weak and incapable of standing up to the situation.

In the variations of our soul life, the changes of our moods, our ideas, our attitudes, our feelings, our minds; deeper down there is that strength which does not let us go.

That is the true nature of spirituality.

It is not the tremendously forceful conviction of our intellects or the mighty power of our wills. 

When these cannot stand up to conditions of intense spiritual antagonism, opposition or perplexity, there is that more inward thing, right in the inward man, which is of God – the Holy Spirit: “Strengthened with might by His Spirit into the inward man.

Test that out and the result is that when the mind is bewildered by the perplexity of a situation, and the arguments are all in the direction that a mistake has been made, a wrong course has been taken, everything is false – when all the feelings are churned up, disturbed, anxious, fearful, or when there are no feelings at all, they are simply petrified by the position – when circumstances are all arguing in the opposite direction of that which we, in the purest moments of our fellowship with God determined upon.

The world around us – and very closely around us, even within the sphere of our own natural life, our own soul life – is an inexplicable mystery.

Then spirituality is proved by that inward strength which abides: that standing when you cannot go forward; that holding when you can do nothing; that remaining when all the forces are seeking to sweep you off your feet.

That represents a measure of spirituality. That is the true nature of the child of God.

The opposite is to be carried away by argument, reasoning, appearance, circumstance, and all such things.

That proves a lack of true spirituality.

In a sentence, true spirituality is not to live on the outside; it is to live with God right down deep in the inner part of your own being, where He, the Spirit, is.

~T. Austin Sparks~ 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Evil Speaking Not To Be Listened To

Psa 15:1  LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

Psa 15:2  He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.

Psa 15:3  He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
                                                 

Nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. Then we are not only forbidden to speak evil, we are forbidden to listen to it.

We are not only forbidden to cast a slander, we are forbidden to take it up when another has hurled it. 

To repeat a thing is to incur guilt quite as much as if we originated it.

I think that one of the great needs of our day is the grace of sanctified hearing. How much the Master made of the responsibility of possessing ears!

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. "Take heed how ye hear."

There is a discriminating way of listening.

There is a listening which encourages the speaker of slander, and there is a closing of the ears which reduces the slanderer to silence.

There would be much less evil speaking if there was much less evil listening.

The evil speaker yearns for the reward of attention and applause. 

If these are withheld he will soon tire of his nefarious trade.

The companion of the Lord listens for commendations, eulogies, and repeats them to others.

He likes to hear a good thing of somebody, and he sings it again into the ears of somebody else. 

~J. H. Jowett~




Wednesday, June 22, 2016

An Anxious, Selfish Fool

Then Jesus told the story of the rich fool, and as He told it His mind went back to Nabal (1Sa 25:1-44).

For "Nabal" just means a foolish man, and as his name was, so was he.

Like Nabal, too, this churl was not a badman. He had not stolen the wealth that was to wreck him.

It was God's rain that had fallen on his seed. It was God's sunshine that had ripened his harvest. It was God's gentleness that made him great.

But for all that, his riches ruined him. He gave his heart to them: he gave his soul.

Then suddenly, when he was laying his plans, and dreaming his golden dreams about tomorrow, God whispered, "Senseless! 

This night they want thy soul!" Who the they is-or so it reads in the original-we cannot say.

They may be the angels of death; they may be robbers.

In any case they are God's instruments, and the rich man must say goodbye to everything.

O folly, never to think of that! He had thought of everything except his God. "And so is he that layeth up treasure for himself, if he is not rich towards God."

Now there are three things we must notice about this man; and the first is how very anxious he was.

When we are young we think that to be rich means to be free from anxiety altogether. 

We can understand a pauper being anxious, but not a man who has great heaps of gold.

But this rich man was just as full of cares as the beggar without a sixpence in the world.

He could not sleep for thinking of his crops.

That question of the harvest haunted him. It shut out God from him, and every thought of heaven, just as that family inheritance we spoke of silenced the music of Jesus for the questioner.

Who is the man who we sometimes call a fool?

It is the man with the bee in his bonnet, as we say. But better sometimes to have a bee in the bonnet than to have nothing but barns upon the brain.

The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.

See next how very selfish the man was. Do we hear one whisper of a harvest-thanksgiving? Is there any word of gratitude to God?

You would think the man had fashioned the corn himself, and burnished and filled the ears with his own hand, he is so fond of talking of my corn.

Do you remember what we learned in the Lord's Prayer. It is never my there, it is always our.

And the Lord's fool is at opposite poles from the Lord's Prayer, for he is always babbling about my.

And then were there no poor folk in his glen? Was there no Naomi in yon cottage in the town? Did not one single Ruth come out to glean when the tidings traveled of that amazing harvest?

If the bosoms of the poor had been his barns, he would have been welcomed at the Throne that night.

O selfish and ungrateful!-but halt, have I been selfish this last week? There are few follies in the world like the folly of the selfish man.

Then, lastly, think-and we have partly traveled on this ground already-think how very foolish the man was.

Had he said, "Body, take thine ease, eat, drink, be merry!" there might have been some shadow of reason in it.

But to think that a soul that hungers after God was ever to be satisfied with food-is there any folly that can equal that?

The world itself, says James Renwick, could not fill the heart, for the heart has three corners and the world is round!

Let us so live, then, that when our soul is summoned, we shall say, "Yea, Lord! It has long been wanting home."

And to this end let us seek first the kingdom. For where our treasure is, there will our heart be also.

~George Morrison~

Monday, June 20, 2016

What We See Depends On What We Are

And so passing into deeper regions we detect the truth the Master is proclaiming. He is proclaiming that what we spiritually see really depends on what we are.

As the lamp conditions the aspect of the room, so does the inward eye condition everything.

We see by life and character, by all that we have made ourselves, by every secret sin that we have cherished, by every battle we have fought and won.

There was He, moving in their midst, shining in the splendor of good deeds.

He was set on a candlestick, visible, conspicuous, radiant in loveliness of life. 

Yet some said He was beside Himself, and some that He was a glutton and a wine-bibber, and others that He cast out devils by Beelzebub.

They saw by what they were.

Bound in their ancient prejudices, angry at being interfered with, eager to justify themselves, convicted of their sin, they described the Carpenter, but could not see the LORD.

If any of my readers are like that...if they see the Carpenter but cannot see the LORD...let me ask them, tenderly and quietly, What kind of life have you been living?

~George Morrision~

Saturday, June 18, 2016

None To Help But GOD

2Ch 14:11  And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee.

Remind GOD of His entire responsibility. "There is none beside thee to help." 

The odds against Asa were enormous. There was a million of men in arms against him, besides three hundred chariots. It seemed impossible to hold his own against that vast multitude.

There were no allies who would come to his help; his only hope, therefore, was in GOD.

It may be that your difficulties have been allowed to come to so alarming a pitch that you may be compelled to renounce all creature aid, to which in lesser trials you have had recourse, and cast yourself back on your Almighty Friend.

Put GOD between yourself and the foe.

To Asa's faith, Jehovah seemed to stand between the might of Zerah and himself, as one who had no strength. Nor was he mistaken.

We are told that the Ethiopians were destroyed before the LORD and before His host, as though celestial combatants flung themselves against the foe in Israel's behalf, and put the large host to rout, so that Israel had only to follow up and gather the spoil.

Our GOD is Jehovah of hosts, who can summon unexpected reinforcements at any moment to aid His people.

Believe that He is there between you and your difficulty, and what baffles you will flee before Him, as clouds before the gale.

~F. B. Meyer~

When nothing whereon to lean remains, When strongholds crumble to dust; When nothing is sure but that GOD still reigns, That is just the time to trust.

Tis better to walk by faith than sight, In this path of yours and mine; And the pitch-black night, when there's no outer light Is the time for faith to shine.

Abraham believed GOD, and said to sight, "Stand back!" and to the laws of nature, "Hold your peace!" and to a misgiving heart, "Silence, thou lying tempter!" He believed GOD.

~Joseph Parker~
     
     

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The WILDERNESS Of The Turned-AWAY Face Of GOD



A wilderness is always a type of desolation and death through the curse.

The wilderness came when the Garden was lost. 

It was the very fruit of the curse.

In other words, it was THE outcome of GOD'S face being turned away, and from that time we find the wilderness again and again coming up in the picture of human life.

Israel in the wilderness spoke of the curse, desolation and death.

In that wilderness, if Heaven had not intervened, they certainly would have perished and they knew it, too.

There was nothing there to assure of life.

It was only because there was a Testimony in their midst that they could possibly live in the wilderness;

And when their hearts were rightly adjusted to that Testimony, they lived above the wilderness.

In the midst of death they were in life:

In the midst of desolation they were in plenty: 

In the midst of the curse they were in blessing. 

And that Testimony was the Testimony of Jesus.

When, later, they went into the far captivity and knew the desolation again for seventy years, and at last the seventy years' accomplishment came into view, the prophet cried with his gospel of hope..."Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your GOD.

Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished. 

Isa 40:1  Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.  

The issue of that is that "the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose".

Isa 35:1  The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
 

Isa 35:6  Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
 

~T. Austin Sparks~