Liberty and the Standards of Jesus

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Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free… —Galatians 5:1

A spiritually-minded person will never come to you with the demand— “Believe this and that”; a spiritually-minded person will demand that you align your life with the standards of Jesus. We are not asked to believe the Bible, but to believe the One whom the Bible reveals (see John 5:39-40). We are called to present liberty for the conscience of others, not to bring them liberty for their thoughts and opinions. And if we ourselves are free with the liberty of Christ, others will be brought into that same liberty— the liberty that comes from realizing the absolute control and authority of Jesus Christ.

Always measure your life solely by the standards of Jesus. Submit yourself to His yoke, and His alone; and always be careful never to place a yoke on others that is not of Jesus Christ. It takes God a long time to get us to stop thinking that unless everyone sees things exactly as we do, they must be wrong. That is never God’s view. There is only one true liberty— the liberty of Jesus at work in our conscience enabling us to do what is right.

Don’t get impatient with others. Remember how God dealt with you— with patience and with gentleness. But never water down the truth of God. Let it have its way and never apologize for it. Jesus said, “Go…and make disciples…” (Matthew 28:19), not, “Make converts to your own thoughts and opinions.”

from: May 6 – My Utmost for His Highest – Oswald Chambers

God’s Way is Best

hill How comforting to know God’s path for me always leads to Him.

Psalms 18:19
He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me;
because he delighted in me

Fearing to launch on “full surrender’s” tide,
I asked the Lord where would its waters glide
My little bark, “To troubled seas I dread?”
“Unto Myself,” He said.

Weeping beside an open grave I stood,
In bitterness of soul I cried to God:
“Where leads this path of sorrow that I tread?”
“Unto Myself,” He said.

Striving for souls, I loved the work too well;
Then disappointments came; I could not tell
The reason, till He said, “I am thine all;
Unto Myself I call.”

Watching my heroes–those I loved the best–
I saw them fail; they could not stand the test,
Even by this the Lord, through tears not few,
Unto Himself me drew.

Unto Himself! No earthly tongue can tell
The bliss I find, since in His heart I dwell;
The things that charmed me once seem all as naught;
Unto Himself I’m brought.
–selected

Published in: on August 21, 2016 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Too Busy to Sit at Jesus’ Feet?

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Psalm 119:16
I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

What ever happpens let us not be too busy to sit at Jesus’ feet.
We shall not really lose time by enjoying this:
nay, we shall redeem the time;
for there is usually much more time and strength
forteited by friction than by toil,
and we shall gain in blessedness and enjoyment of our work
and gain in the quality of our work;
and above all,
we shall gain in that we shall give Him pleasue
where other wise we might only grieve Him.
And this is indeed the crown of all our endeavors.
He who pleases Him does not live in vain.
Wm. Hay M. H. Aitken

Published in: on August 16, 2016 at 11:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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Ambassadors for Christ

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2Corinthians 5:20
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,
as though God did beseech you by us:
we pray you in Christ’s stead,
be ye reconciled to God.

“What unparalleled condescension
and divinely tender mercies are displayed in this verse!
Did the judge ever beseech
a condemned criminal to accept of pardon?
Does the creditor ever beseech
a ruined debtor to receive an acquittance in full?
Yet our almighty Lord, and our eternal Judge,
not only vouchsafes to offer these blessings,
but invites us,
entreats us,
and with the most tender importunity solicits us
not to reject them.”
Rev. J. Wesley

Rev. Charles Wesley’s poem:

“God, the offended God most high,
Ambassadors to rebels sends;
His messengers his place supply,
And Jesus begs us to be friends.
Us, in the stead of Christ, they pray,
Us, in the stead of Christ, entreat,
To cast our arms, our sins, away,
And find forgiveness at his feet.
Our God, in Christ, thine embassy
And proffer’d mercy we embrace;
And, gladly reconciled to thee,
Thy condescending mercy praise.
Poor debtors, by our Lord’s request
A full acquittance we receive;
And criminals, with pardon blest,
We, at our Judge’s instance, live.”

God at Work

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Philippians 2:13
For it is God which worketh in you
both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

A father and his young son returned home after a trip to the grocery store. The son loved being with his dad and wanted to hlep him finish the chore. In fact, he wanted to carry the largest bag–which was much too heavy for him–inside. The father had a simple solution. He put the bag in his sons’s arms and them picked him up and carried both inside.

What a lovely picture of how our Heavenly Father works with us. He loves our willingness to take on any assignment. But He knows what we can and cannot do in our strength. When the load is too heavy, the assignment too big. He honors our willing spirit by lifting us up and allowing us to do His work. He empowers us to accomplish more than we can in our own strength.

Do all you can — but realize it is God’s ower working through you that makes the difference.

The Lord doesn’t promise to give us something
to take so we can handle our weary moments.
He promises us himself.
That is all.
That is enough.
Charles Swindoll

Cast Not Away

shield

Hebrews 10:35-36
Cast not away therefore your confidence,
which hath great recompence of reward.
that, after ye have done the will of God,
ye might receive the promise.

Cast not away therefore your confidenc

Your liberty of access to God;
your title and right to approach his throne;
your birthright as his sons and daughters;
and the clear evidence you have of his favor, which,
if you be not steady and faithful, you must lose.

Do not throw it away,
neither men nor devils can take it from you,
and God will never deprive you of it if you continue faithful.
There is a reference here to cowardly soldiers,
who throw away their shields, and run away from the battle.

This is your shield,
your faith in Christ,
which gives you the knowledge of salvation;
keep it, and it will keep you.

Clarke’s Commentar

For Consider Him . . .

cross

Hebrews 12:1-3

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about
with so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight,
and the sin which doth so easily beset us,
and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider him that endured
such contradiction of sinners against himself,
lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

FOR CONSIDER HIM . . .
Attentively observe and analyze every part of his conduct,
enter into his spirit, examine his motives and object,
and remember that, as he acted, ye are called to act;
he will furnish you with the same Spirit,
and will support you with the same strength.
He bore a continual opposition of sinners against himself;
but he conquered by meekness, patience, and perseverance:
he has left you an example that ye should follow his steps.
If ye trust in him, ye shall receive strength;
therefore, howsoever great your opposition may be,
ye shall not be weary:
if ye confide in and attentively look to him,
ye shall have continual courage to go on,
and never faint in your minds.
Clarke’s Commentary

The Name and Fame of Jesus

March 29-30  YP cabin trip 002

“There is salvation in no other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” (Act_4:12).

There is only one name that opens heaven’s doors and God’s heart—the name of Jesus. There is only one name that breaks the power of sin and sets the captive free—the name of Jesus. There is only one name worthy of all praise, and deserving of your allegiance—the name of Jesus.

Early on in His public ministry the name and fame of Jesus spread like a prairie fire on a windy day. People all throughout the region—rich and poor, king and commoner, Jew and Gentile—all heard of Him; for His fame was ever-increasing.

His death on the Cross did not have the effect the rulers of the day had hoped. He rose from the dead and His followers became invincible in their faith—so much in fact that in ever-widening circles the number of disciples increased vastly in Jerusalem; and many of the Jewish priests were themselves converted as well.

Paul the Apostle, a few years later wrote, “Finally, dear brothers, as I come to the end of this letter, I ask you to pray for us. Pray first that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and triumph wherever it goes, winning converts everywhere as it did when it came to you” (2Th_3:1, Living Bible).

Jesus Christ!
He is peerless in His exaltation,
unrivaled in His Lordship,
incomparable in His grace,
invincible in His power,
unassisted in His work as Redeemer,
matchless in His mercy,
adored in His glory
and worshipped in the beauty of His holiness.
In His birth is our significance.
In His life is our example.
In His death is our forgiveness.
In His resurrection is our hope.
In His Second Coming is our consummate glory!

Isaiah spoke for us all when he said, “Lord, Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts” (Isa_28:8, NIV).

Friends, we live in a fallen world where hostilities toward God run high and hot. For this reason we must become men and women of vision, passion, discipline and risk—laying ourselves out for the high honor of one Name alone…the name of Jesus.

It is a bold act in a day when all other names are exalted but this One, and to associate with this One is scandalized with every argument the mind of man can muster. But when all is said and done, and the debris of man’s fallen empires lays in shamble at Heaven’s door — Jesus will be there to welcome you, saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Rylisms

With All Prayer

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Ephesians 6:18
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Praying refers to the state of the spirit as well as to the act.

With all prayer – Refers to the different kinds of prayer that is performed in public, in the family, in the closet, in business, on the way, in the heart without a voice, and with the voice from the heart. All those are necessary to the genuine Christian; and he whose heart is right with God will be frequent in the whole. “Some there are who use only mental prayer or ejaculations, and think they are in a state of grace, and use a way of worship far superior to any other; but such only fancy themselves to be above what is really above them; it requiring far more grace to be enabled to pour out a fervent and continued prayer, than to offer up mental aspirations.” Rev. J. Wesley.

And supplication – There is a difference between prayer, and supplication. Some think the former means prayer for the attainment of good; the latter, prayer for averting evil. Supplication however seems to mean prayer continued in, strong and incessant pleadings, till the evil is averted, or the good communicated.

There are two things that must be attended to in prayer.
1. That it be in every time, season, or opportunity;
2. That it should be in or through the Spirit – that the heart should be engaged in it, and that its infirmities should be helped by the Holy Ghost,

Watching thereunto – Being always on your guard lest your enemies should surprise you. Watch, not only against evil, but also for opportunities to do good, and for opportunities to receive good. Without watchfulness, prayer and all the spiritual armor will be ineffectual.

With all perseverance – Being always intent on your object, and never losing sight of your danger, or of your interest. The word implies stretching out the neck, and looking about, in order to discern an enemy at a distance.
Clarke’s Commentary, edited

Published in: on July 15, 2016 at 4:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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Hope and Quietly Wait

1-ps 27 14 wm jpg

It is good that a man should both hope and
quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
Lamentations 3:26

It is good that a man should both hope
Hope is essentially necessary to faith;
he that hopes not, cannot believe;
if there be no expectation,
there can be no confidence.
When a man hopes for salvation,
he should not only waft for it,
but use every means that may lead to it;
for hope cannot live,
if there be no exercise.
If hope become impatient,
faith will be impossible:
for who can believe for his salvation
when his mind is agitated?
He must therefore quietly wait.

Clarke’s Commentary

Published in: on July 12, 2016 at 12:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Love is of God

feb10 evning light 001February 10, evening light

Love is of God;
and every one that loveth is born of God,
and knoweth God.
–I John 4:7.

We may, if we choose, make the worst of one another.
Every one has his weak points;
every one has his faults:
we may make the worst of these;
we may fix our attention constantly upon these.
But we may also make the best of one another.
We may forgive, even as we hope to be forgiven.
We may put ourselves in the place of others,
and ask what we should wish to be done to us,
and thought of us, were we in their place.
By loving whatever is lovable in those around us,
love will flow back from them to us,
and life will become a pleasure instead of a pain;
and earth will become like heaven;
and we shall become not unworthy followers of Him
whose name is Love.
A. P. STANLEY.

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another,
if any man have a quarrel (or “complaint”) against any:
even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
–Colossians 3:13.

Published in: on July 11, 2016 at 1:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Hold My Hand

images.jpg fingers

I the Lord have called thee in righteousness,
and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee.–Isaiah 42: 6.

I do not ask my cross to understand,
My way to see;
Better in darkness just to feel Thy hand,
And follow Thee.
Adelaide A. Proctor

O keep my soul, and deliver me:
for I put my trust in Thee.–Psalm 25: 20.

Published in: on July 7, 2016 at 9:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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Delight in the Law of the Lord

March 29-30 YP cabin trip 002Delighting in the words of God

Psalm 1:2
But his delight is in the law of the LORD;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

from Clarke’s Commentary

But his delight is in the law of the Lord
his will, desire, affection, every motive in his heart,
and every moving principle in his soul,
are on the side of God and his truth.
He takes up the law of the Lord as the rule of his life;
he brings all his actions and affections to this holy standard.
He looketh into the perfect law of liberty;
and is not a forgetful hearer,
but a doer of the word;
and is therefore blessed in his deed.
He not only reads to gain knowledge from the Divine oracles,
but he meditates on what he has read,
feeds on it; and thus receiving the sincere milk of the word,
he grows thereby unto eternal life.
This is not an occasional study to him;
it is his work day and night.
As his heart is in it,
the employment must be frequent,
and the disposition to it perpetual.

All-Sufficient Grace

May 22 peg's iris 001 Iris from a friend

Psalm 138:3
In the day when I cried Thou answeredst me,
and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.

It is not that I feel less weak, but Thou
Wilt be my strength; it is not that I see
Less sin; but more of pardoning love with Thee,
And all-sufficient grace. Enough! And now
All fluttering thought is stilled; I only rest,
And feel that Thou art near, and know that I am blest.
F. R. HAVERGAL.

Psalm 138:7-7
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
thou wilt revive me:
thou shalt stretch forth thine hand
against the wrath of mine enemies,
and thy right hand shall save me.
The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me:
thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever:
forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Published in: on June 11, 2016 at 10:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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Work Together

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Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together
for good for those who love God,
who are called according to his purpose,

How wide is this assertion of the Apostle Paul! He does not say, “We know that some things,” or “most things,” or “joyous things,” but “ALL things.” From the minutest to the most momentous; from the humblest event in daily providence to the great crisis hours in grace.

And all things “work’—they are working; not all things have worked, or shall work; but it is a present operation.

At this very moment, when some voice may be saying, “Thy judgments are a great deep,” the angels above, who are watching the development of the great plan, are with folded wings exclaiming, “The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.” (Ps. 145:17)

And then all things “work together.” It is a beautiful blending. Many different colors, in themselves raw and unsightly, are required in order to weave the harmonious pattern.

Many separate tones and notes of music, even discords and dissonances, are required to make up the harmonious anthem.

Many separate wheels and joints are required to make the piece of machinery. Take a thread separately, or a note separately, or a wheel or a tooth of a wheel separately, and there may be neither use nor beauty discernible.

But complete the web, combine the notes, put together the separate parts of steel and iron, and you see how perfect and symmetrical is the result. Here is the lesson for faith: “What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.”
—Macduff

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