Friday, December 09, 2016

 

The Christmas Gift Outlines

 

A Christmas Message.. Taking Hold Of The Gift Of Christmas

Proverbs 4:13Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life

 

Children love to hold on to their favourite toy, particularly on Christmas Day, in a two year old's hands the favourite toy may be the most unremarkable, but if you try to tear that toy from their hands, you will invoke terrible cries and distress. It is the favourite toy, and they have laid hold of it. There is no giving it up.

CH Spurgeon said " Faith may well be described as laying hold upon divine instruction."  God has condescended to teach us and we should lay hold on it.   Today is the day where we are reminded that God has condescended to come to earth as our Saviour in His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.   Here is teaching we must lay hold of.  To not lay hold of it, though it may seem the most unremarkable gift,  He is the MOST remarkable gift.  My job today is to show you a Saviour Who is the MOST REMAKABLE GIFT you can ever receive.  And He is laid out for us today.   Will you take hold of Him?

 

1.How are you to lay hold of this gift?

Acquire Him.

Proverbs 4:5 Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

Proverbs 4:7 "The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding.

John 1: 9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

Keep Him 

Proverbs 4:4 Then he taught me and said to me, "Let your heart hold fast my words; Keep my commandments and live;

 

Guard your heart about Him

Proverbs 4:13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life.

Proverbs 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.

 

Mark 4: 3                And He said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How will you understand all the parables? 14 "The sower sows the word.15 "These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. 16 "In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; 17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 "And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, 19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 "And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold."

This parable is about the heart of man.  The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.  Have you laid hold of the Lord from the depth of your heart? Or is your religion just surface?  If its surface, you will drop out the back door. You will not be one who displays they have taken in the Word of God, the seed of the good news that has been sown.  Take hold of it deeply.  Let the gospel search the depths of your heart and change who you are right down deep.

 

2. Why Lay Hold on Him?

a. The End is Better

Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble.

b. The Journey is Better

c. He is Life to us.

John 6:60  many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, "You do not want to go away also, do you?" 68 Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. 69 "We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God."

 

3. What Stops You Laying Hold of This Gift?

a. The World  

Its  Demands

Its Distractions

Its Difficulty.    Reading is not so easy, controlling our hearts is not so easy.

 

b. the flesh

 

c. the devil

 

4. Why Lay Hold On Jesus?

He will be your best friend.

 

He will be your greatest treasure

 

He will be your guide to life

Proverbs 4:12 When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; And if you run, you will not stumble.

 

 

 

 

 

Romans 10 The Christmas Gift Of Salvation

 

Christmas is about giving and receiving gifts.

Christmas reminds us of the Greatest Gift God has given us.

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a Saviour.

 

D A Carson put it this way "If God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, he would have sent an economist. If he had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, he would have sent us a comedian or an artist. If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician. If he had perceived that our greatest need was health, he would have sent us a doctor. But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, our alienation from him, our profound rebellion, our death; and he sent us a Savior.

 

1.     The Freeness of this Gift of Salvation

Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3 For not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

 

 

People stumble on this all the time.  They think they have to do something to earn this free gift from God.

 

 

They think they have to do something to repay this free gift from God.

God's Word reminds us that we are not the first to stumble over this.

Romans 9:30                What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 just as it is written, "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed."

 

God's Word reminds us that this was prophesied that people would stumble over it.

Don't stumble over this.  Accept Jesus as the free gift for your salvation.

 

John 1: 9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

2. The Nearness of this Gift of Salvation

 

Romans 10:5 For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. 6 But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' (that is, to bring Christ down), 7 or 'Who will descend into the abyss?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)." 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart"--that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,

 

 

Its Near Because Jesus has Already Come And Done All That Needed To Be Done.

 

Its Near Because He Comes To You Today and Says Believe It and Receive It.

 

 

Romans 10: 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart"--that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." 14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!" 16 However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?" 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

 

Believe  What You Have Heard. Mix it with faith.  Trust What God said.

 

Confess Him As Your Saviour.. You needed a great Saviour.  You have a great need of a Saviour.  He is the Great Saviour for your need.

 

Its A Heart thing. He is no further away than your own heart.  You can receive Him and know Him.

Call on Him… He is as close as a call away. There were no phones in those days. If you wanted help the person better be nearby.  He is.  He is everywhere present. Psalm 139. He is all around us.  And He wants you to call on Him.

Anyone can call on Him.

You can call on Him right now.

 

3. The Richness of this Gift Of Salvation'

Romans 10:12 abounding in riches for all who call on Him;

 

He is Rich in Forgiveness… and that Forgiveness can be yours now.

Everyone needs forgiveness.

 

He is Rich in Fortune… and that Fortune can be yours now.

 

He is Rich in Fellowship… and that Fellowship can be yours now.

1 John 1: 3     what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

 

He is Rich in Family… and that Family can be yours now.

1 John 3: 1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

 

 


 

The Christmas Gift Outlines

A Christmas Message.. Taking Hold Of The Gift Of Christmas Proverbs 4:13Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life Children love to hold on to their favourite toy, particularly on Christmas Day, in a two year old’s hands the favourite toy may be the most unremarkable, but if you try to tear that toy from their hands, you will invoke terrible cries and distress. It is the favourite toy, and they have laid hold of it. There is no giving it up. CH Spurgeon said “ Faith may well be described as laying hold upon divine instruction.” God has condescended to teach us and we should lay hold on it. Today is the day where we are reminded that God has condescended to come to earth as our Saviour in His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Here is teaching we must lay hold of. To not lay hold of it, though it may seem the most unremarkable gift, He is the MOST remarkable gift. My job today is to show you a Saviour Who is the MOST REMAKABLE GIFT you can ever receive. And He is laid out for us today. Will you take hold of Him? 1.How are you to lay hold of this gift? Acquire Him. Proverbs 4:5 Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Proverbs 4:7 "The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding. John 1: 9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. Keep Him Proverbs 4:4 Then he taught me and said to me, "Let your heart hold fast my words; Keep my commandments and live; Guard your heart about Him Proverbs 4:13 Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life. Proverbs 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Mark 4: 3 And He said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How will you understand all the parables? 14 "The sower sows the word.15 "These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. 16 "In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; 17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 "And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, 19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 "And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold." This parable is about the heart of man. The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart. Have you laid hold of the Lord from the depth of your heart? Or is your religion just surface? If its surface, you will drop out the back door. You will not be one who displays they have taken in the Word of God, the seed of the good news that has been sown. Take hold of it deeply. Let the gospel search the depths of your heart and change who you are right down deep. 2. Why Lay Hold on Him? a. The End is Better Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble. b. The Journey is Better c. He is Life to us. John 6:60 many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, "You do not want to go away also, do you?" 68 Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. 69 "We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God." 3. What Stops You Laying Hold of This Gift? a. The World Its Demands Its Distractions Its Difficulty. Reading is not so easy, controlling our hearts is not so easy. b. the flesh c. the devil 4. Why Lay Hold On Jesus? He will be your best friend. He will be your greatest treasure He will be your guide to life Proverbs 4:12 When you walk, your steps will not be impeded; And if you run, you will not stumble. Romans 10 The Christmas Gift Of Salvation Christmas is about giving and receiving gifts. Christmas reminds us of the Greatest Gift God has given us. If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a Saviour. D A Carson put it this way “If God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, he would have sent an economist. If he had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, he would have sent us a comedian or an artist. If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician. If he had perceived that our greatest need was health, he would have sent us a doctor. But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, our alienation from him, our profound rebellion, our death; and he sent us a Savior. 1. The Freeness of this Gift of Salvation Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3 For not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. People stumble on this all the time. They think they have to do something to earn this free gift from God. They think they have to do something to repay this free gift from God. God’s Word reminds us that we are not the first to stumble over this. Romans 9:30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 just as it is written, "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed." God’s Word reminds us that this was prophesied that people would stumble over it. Don’t stumble over this. Accept Jesus as the free gift for your salvation. John 1: 9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 2. The Nearness of this Gift of Salvation Romans 10:5 For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. 6 But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' (that is, to bring Christ down), 7 or 'Who will descend into the abyss?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)." 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart"--that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, Its Near Because Jesus has Already Come And Done All That Needed To Be Done. Its Near Because He Comes To You Today and Says Believe It and Receive It. Romans 10: 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart"--that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." 14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!" 16 However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?" 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Believe What You Have Heard. Mix it with faith. Trust What God said. Confess Him As Your Saviour.. You needed a great Saviour. You have a great need of a Saviour. He is the Great Saviour for your need. Its A Heart thing. He is no further away than your own heart. You can receive Him and know Him. Call on Him… He is as close as a call away. There were no phones in those days. If you wanted help the person better be nearby. He is. He is everywhere present. Psalm 139. He is all around us. And He wants you to call on Him. Anyone can call on Him. You can call on Him right now. 3. The Richness of this Gift Of Salvation’ Romans 10:12 abounding in riches for all who call on Him; He is Rich in Forgiveness… and that Forgiveness can be yours now. Everyone needs forgiveness. He is Rich in Fortune… and that Fortune can be yours now. He is Rich in Fellowship… and that Fellowship can be yours now. 1 John 1: 3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. He is Rich in Family… and that Family can be yours now. 1 John 3: 1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

 

Fwd: 2 Thessalonians and the apostasy




 1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,1  2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness2  is revealed, the son of destruction,3  4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits4  to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.
 16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.


Ἐρωτῶμεν δὲ ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, ὑπὲρ τῆς παρουσίας τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ ἡμῶν ἐπισυναγωγῆς ἐπ' αὐτόν, 2 εἰς τὸ μὴ ταχέως σαλευθῆναι ὑμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ νοὸς ⸀μηδὲ θροεῖσθαι μήτε διὰ πνεύματος μήτε διὰ λόγου μήτε δι' ἐπιστολῆς ὡς δι' ἡμῶν, ὡς ὅτι ἐνέστηκεν ἡ ἡμέρα τοῦ ⸀κυρίου. 3 μή τις ὑμᾶς ἐξαπατήσῃ κατὰ μηδένα τρόπον· ὅτι ἐὰν μὴ ἔλθῃ ἡ ἀποστασία πρῶτον καὶ ἀποκαλυφθῇ ὁ ἄνθρωπος τῆς ⸀ἀνομίας, ὁ υἱὸς τῆς ἀπωλείας, 4 ὁ ἀντικείμενος καὶ ὑπεραιρόμενος ἐπὶ πάντα λεγόμενον θεὸν ἢ σέβασμα, ὥστε αὐτὸν εἰς τὸν ναὸν τοῦ ⸀θεοῦ καθίσαι ἀποδεικνύντα ἑαυτὸν ὅτι ἔστιν θεός. 5 οὐ μνημονεύετε ὅτι ἔτι ὢν πρὸς ὑμᾶς ταῦτα ἔλεγον ὑμῖν; 6 καὶ νῦν τὸ κατέχον οἴδατε, εἰς τὸ ἀποκαλυφθῆναι αὐτὸν ἐν τῷ ⸀ἑαυτοῦ καιρῷ· 7 τὸ γὰρ μυστήριον ἤδη ἐνεργεῖται τῆς ἀνομίας· μόνον ὁ κατέχων ἄρτι ἕως ἐκ μέσου γένηται. 8 καὶ τότε ἀποκαλυφθήσεται ὁ ἄνομος, ὃν ὁ κύριος ⸀Ἰησοῦς ⸀ἀνελεῖ τῷ πνεύματι τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ καὶ καταργήσει τῇ ἐπιφανείᾳ τῆς παρουσίας αὐτοῦ, 9 οὗ ἐστιν ἡ παρουσία κατ' ἐνέργειαν τοῦ Σατανᾶ ἐν πάσῃ δυνάμει καὶ σημείοις καὶ τέρασιν ψεύδους 10 καὶ ἐν πάσῃ ἀπάτῃ ⸀ἀδικίας τοῖς ἀπολλυμένοις, ἀνθ' ὧν τὴν ἀγάπην τῆς ἀληθείας οὐκ ἐδέξαντο εἰς τὸ σωθῆναι αὐτούς· 11 καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ⸀πέμπει αὐτοῖς ὁ θεὸς ἐνέργειαν πλάνης εἰς τὸ πιστεῦσαι αὐτοὺς τῷ ψεύδει, 12 ἵνα κριθῶσιν ⸀πάντες οἱ μὴ πιστεύσαντες τῇ ἀληθείᾳ ἀλλὰ εὐδοκήσαντες ⸀τῇ ἀδικίᾳ.
 13 Ἡμεῖς δὲ ὀφείλομεν εὐχαριστεῖν τῷ θεῷ πάντοτε περὶ ὑμῶν, ἀδελφοὶ ἠγαπημένοι ὑπὸ κυρίου, ὅτι εἵλατο ὑμᾶς ὁ θεὸς ⸀ἀπαρχὴν εἰς σωτηρίαν ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος καὶ πίστει ἀληθείας, 14 εἰς ⸀ὃ ἐκάλεσεν ὑμᾶς διὰ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου ἡμῶν, εἰς περιποίησιν δόξης τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. 15 ἄρα οὖν, ἀδελφοί, στήκετε, καὶ κρατεῖτε τὰς παραδόσεις ἃς ἐδιδάχθητε εἴτε διὰ λόγου εἴτε δι' ἐπιστολῆς ἡμῶν.
 16 Αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς καὶ ⸀θεὸς ⸀ὁ πατὴρ ἡμῶν, ὁ ἀγαπήσας ἡμᾶς καὶ δοὺς παράκλησιν αἰωνίαν καὶ ἐλπίδα ἀγαθὴν ἐν χάριτι, 17 παρακαλέσαι ὑμῶν τὰς καρδίας καὶ ⸀στηρίξαι ἐν παντὶ ⸂ἔργῳ καὶ λόγῳ⸃ ἀγαθῷ.



A word meaning is often determined by its context.
There has been debate about the meaning of apostasia in verse 3.  ὅτι ἐὰν μὴ ἔλθῃ ἡ ἀποστασία πρῶτον καὶ ἀποκαλυφθῇ ὁ ἄνθρωπος τῆς ⸀ἀνομίας, ὁ υἱὸς τῆς ἀπωλείας,

The root of the word is apo .. from... stasia  stand .. or stand away from.
Apostasia sounds like our English word "Apostasy".
Some see it as indicating the rapture.. when believers are seized away.
This is a possible meaning, as there are similar uses of the word elsewhere in the New Testament.
Stand away from....
Elsewhere in this passage a similar word derived from the same basic root is used.

15 ἄρα οὖν, ἀδελφοί, στήκετε, καὶ κρατεῖτε τὰς παραδόσεις ἃς ἐδιδάχθητε εἴτε διὰ λόγου εἴτε δι' ἐπιστολῆς ἡμῶν.

16 Αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ κύριος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς καὶ ⸀θεὸς ⸀ὁ πατὴρ ἡμῶν, ὁ ἀγαπήσας ἡμᾶς καὶ δοὺς παράκλησιν αἰωνίαν καὶ ἐλπίδα ἀγαθὴν ἐν χάριτι, 17 παρακαλέσαι ὑμῶν τὰς καρδίας καὶ ⸀στηρίξαι ἐν παντὶ ⸂ἔργῳ καὶ λόγῳ⸃ ἀγαθῷ.

Similar concepts of stengthening flow over into chapter 3 πιστὸς δέ ἐστιν ὁ κύριος, ὃς στηρίξει ὑμᾶς καὶ φυλάξει ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ. 4 πεποίθαμεν δὲ ἐν κυρίῳ ἐφ' ὑμᾶς, ὅτι ἃ ⸀παραγγέλλομεν καὶ ποιεῖτε καὶ ποιήσετε. 5 ὁ δὲ κύριος κατευθύναι ὑμῶν τὰς καρδίας εἰς τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ εἰς τὴν ὑπομονὴν τοῦ Χριστοῦ.

it appears that Paul's central idea is the believers are chosen, and their election is proven by their continuing to stand in the truth of the gospel and in the love of God. satan opposes these two things. In fact, during the last time the one who establishes beliebvers in the truth and restrains Satan will be taken away.  Then the antichrist will be revealed, and those in the world will be deceived and follow on in his lies, deceived through his miracles, and through God's judgement on them allowing them to be decieved.

καὶ νῦν τὸ κατέχον οἴδατε, εἰς τὸ ἀποκαλυφθῆναι αὐτὸν ἐν τῷ ⸀ἑαυτοῦ καιρῷ·

At a particular point in time, before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, before satan is revealed, sitting himself in the temple of God proclaiming himself to be God,  the Restrainer (I would say from the repeated reference to the Holy Spirit throughout this passage that the Person referred to is the Holy Spirit) will be taken away (apostasia verese 3), and then everything else will proceeed from bad to worse as satan gains power, until the return of the Lord Jesus in glory to destroy him and those who followed him in oppressing Christians ( 2 Thess 1:8-10).

Hence:
One day the Holy Spirit's influence on the world will be removed.
People will joyfully and willingly follow Satan.
The Lord Jesus will return and dedstroy Satan and his works.
Given that reference is made in 2:1-3 of  1 Thessalonians , and rapture of the believers in 1 Thess 4 and 5, I would assume that the removal of the Holy Spirit from the world is at the same time that believers are removed from the world at the rapture, when the Lored Jesus returns for His Church, true believers.
Then the Antichrist will be revealed and reign on earth for a period of time (maybe 7 years of the book of Revelation).
Then the Lord Jesus Christ will return to destroy satan and His works.



 


 

For me to live is Christ

Phil 1:21 For me to live is Christ

. 21 ἐμοὶ γὰρ τὸ ζῆν Χριστὸς καὶ τὸ ἀποθανεῖν κέρδος. 22 εἰ δὲ τὸ ζῆν ἐν σαρκί, τοῦτό μοι καρπὸς ἔργου — καὶ τί αἱρήσομαι οὐ γνωρίζω· 23 συνέχομαι δὲ ἐκ τῶν δύο, τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν ἔχων εἰς τὸ ἀναλῦσαι καὶ σὺν Χριστῷ εἶναι, πολλῷ γὰρ μᾶλλον κρεῖσσον, 24 τὸ δὲ ἐπιμένειν ἐν τῇ σαρκὶ ἀναγκαιότερον δι' ὑμᾶς.

20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith,

Ephesians 3:14-21

17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

[I pray that]you, being rooted and firmly established in love,  18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth [of God's love],  19 and to know the Messiah's love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

 

There are many distractions in life.

I saw a sign on the side of the road the other day. It said "report illegal mobile phone use", and then it had a phone number to ring.  I almost rang it! 

Quite a number of times driving up Richmond road I wind up behind a lady putting her make up on in the car as she is driving.  Now I put a camera in the front… and when they look in their revision mirror I smile and point at the camera. I must figure out how to turn it on one day.

We get distracted by the lights and glitters, the worries of this life, and we forget what life is all about.

We stand here face to face with one of the sublimest and greatest statements ever made, even by this mighty Apostle of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. There is a sense in which anyone who faces this verse must feel that we stands on very sacred ground. This is a key verse in this epistle. In fact it should be a "key verse" in the life of every saint.  For Paul life is summed up in Christ. Christ is its inspiration, its aim, its end. To trust, love, obey, preach, follow, suffer,—all things are with and in Christ. For you and I our whole life is to be found in Christ.

Sometimes our self identity can be moulded by the events that happen in our lives.  There is a Greek story of a young baby born into a royal family of Thebes.  Sadly an oracle had been made about the child, that he would be the downfall of that family's kingdom. So the father tied the boys feet together and assigned the mother the queen to kill the child. She couldn't do it, so they threw the child out into a field so that it would be exposed to the cold and die.  Someone took the child in, and he was raised  by the King of Corinth, named him "swollen Feet" Oedipus, and he grew up to overthrow his former family.

The story of course, was typical of what occurred in those days. A child would be cast out, and sometimes, others would raise the child to sell as a slave. A book was written, how to identify a child who might survive and make a valuable sale as a slave. How would you feel were you like that? 

However, many of us grow along with our hurts that we receive in life. No life is free from hurts, rejection by parents, rejection by family, rejected love, unfaithfulness, failure in school, failure through addictions, failures through ill health. All these things hurt us deeply and mould our identity.  

But now in Christ you and I have the opportunity to have a new identity.  "For me to live is Christ!"  

I was sitting in a lonely state recently wondering if any one understood my situation or even really cared!  But, as a Christian you cannot think that way. Because now for a Christian "for me to live is Christ!!"

There is a whole new place to find your identity.  Don't get distracted from your true identity in Christ by the things in life that will disillusion you. There are so many things that can happen in your life to disillusion you. These will distract you from your true identity in Christ.

There is Something Personal Here

For to me - With this phrase, Paul is saying "I can't speak for you but I can speak for myself." Paul is being very personal. Paul's statement is similar to our common expression "As far as I am concerned" Paul was in prison and facing the prospect of death at the hands of the Roman government. Is it not true of all of us that in those "dying times" one usually thinks about the things that are most important in life. It was not difficult for Paul to explain what was of utmost importance to him. What makes your life worth living? your family? your work? your reputation? 

What is the focus of your life?

Ray Pritchard - Consider the phrase "to live is Christ." What does it mean? F. B. Meyer said that Christ is "the essence of our life…the model of our life…the aim of our life…the solace of our life…the reward of our life." Think of the prepositions that express relationship. We live in Christ … for Christ … by Christ … through Christ … and from Christ. He is the beginning, the middle and the end of life. He is truly the Alpha and Omega, the A and Z, and every letter in between. Here are three statements to ponder: A. Christ is life. B. Christ transforms life. C. Christ transcends life.

"Php 1:21 becomes a valuable test of our lives. "For to me to live is____ and to die is____." Fill in the blanks yourself. "For to me to live is money and to die is to leave it all behind." "For to me to live is fame and to die is to be forgotten." "For to me to live is power and to die is to lose it all." No, we must echo Paul's convictions if we are going to have joy in spite of circumstances, and if we are going to share in the furtherance of the gospel. "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain! "No matter how you look at it, nothing can steal a man's joy if he possesses the single mind! "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Php 1:21). Maltbie Babcock, who wrote "This Is My Father's World," has said, "Life is what we are alive to." When my wife and I go shopping, I dread going to the dress department, but I often have to go because my wife enjoys looking at fabrics. If on the way to the dress section I spot the book department, I suddenly come alive! The thing that excites us and "turns us on" is the thing that really is "life" to us. Christ was his life. Christ excited him and made his life worth living."  Does Christ make your life worth living?

 

 

 

 

 

There is Something Practical Here   For me to live is Christ

Paul's words mean more than most men think; they imply that the aim and end of his life was Christ-nay, his life itself was Jesus. In the words of an ancient saint, he did eat, and drink, and sleep eternal life. Jesus was his very breath, the soul of his soul, the heart of his heart, the life of his life.Can you say that this is true for you?  Can you honestly say that for you to live is Christ? Your business-are you doing it for Christ? Is it not done for self- aggrandizement and for the money? Do you do your work to get some self-identity from it, so that you feel more worthwhile? Your work will never make  you feel worthwhile; sometime you will have to retire. Sometime your work life wont mean a thing! Then what will your worth be worth?   Or is your whole life for Christ?  We sang last week "I surrender all" but have you? Is He truly the centre of your life?

In these words we are surely brought face to face with the most important questions that can ever confront us - What is life? What is living? What does it mean to us? What is it all about? Is it not one of the major tragedies of life, indeed, is it not the greatest of all tragedies, that amid all our concerns about life, all our intellectual activity, all our discussions, the one thing which men and women are never concerned to face is the first and most obvious thing of all, namely life itself, and living. Not only is this a most important question in itself, but I want to go further and point out that here we stand face to face with the most thorough test we can ever encounter of our profession of the Christian faith. Because, of course, this is a word which is more or less meaningless to someone who is not a Christian. So, then, is living to us, Christ? I wonder whether we can make that statement that was made by Count Zinzendorf, the Moravian leader who helped John Wesley both before and after his conversion. He had never had the vision that Paul had on the road to Damascus, but to him, too, Christ was in the centre. Can we make his motto our own? 'I have one passion, it is he and he alone.' 'To me living is Christ.' Oh that we all might have this passion! I believe we could transform our land in a day, I believe a great revival would come, if only we had this passion. He and he alone! Let us dwell upon him; let us meditate upon him; let us ask the Holy Spirit to reveal him to us. Let us pray for it; let us spend time with it; let us absorb it; let it take the central place; let us do all we can to get to know him better, for to know him is to love him. I have one passion—it is he and he alone. 

All for Jesus! All for Jesus!
All my being's ransomed powers;
All my thoughts and words and doings,
All my days and all my hours
Mary D James .

 How do you make this work?

There is Something Powerful  here    For me to live is Christ


Christ--The Origin of our Life.

                                                           

If you had asked the Apostle just what he meant, he would probably have replied, as William Tyndale brings out in his translation, that Christ must be the origin of our life. The Day of Pentecost meant that from that moment, and onward, the Holy Spirit should bring the germ of the Christ-life, and sow it in the soil of our spirits, so that the very nature of Jesus glorified, transfigured and Divine, might be sown in the soil of our humanity, as incorruptible seed, to reproduce in endless succession the growth of the Christ-life.


The Essence of our Life.

 

Christ must be the essence of our life. As we reckon ourselves dead to our own selfish existence, Jesus Christ will take its place, so that we may be able to exclaim with the Apostle: "I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me."


The Aim of our Life.

 

Christ must also be the aim of our life. We desire to make Him known, loved, and revered, that His will may be done on earth as it is done in Heaven; that others may know Him as we know Him, love Him as we love Him, live for Him as we live for Him; that He may be the crowned King of men, putting down war and strife, and hastening on that glorious consummation, for which the Church prays and creation groans.


The Comfort of our Life.

 Christ must be the Comfort of our life. Amid all the storm, strife, and tumult, there is no cleft where the Christian finds safe abiding, but in the riven Rock of Ages, in the side of the pierced Christ, in the heart of the Redeemer, the doors of which always stand open, and He is evermore bidding us come to Him for rest.


The Reward of our Life. Christ must be the reward of our life.

The one reward for every Christian man is to get more of Christ; the one crown for every brow is to know Him better; the one infinite gain that comes for every labour, every tear, every act of sacrifice, is that Christ gives Himself, nearer, dearer, better than ever.

 

He is the Love of your Life

Paul reminds us in his prayer that he desires that believers "that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,"

The Height of His love is that it has no comparison.

The love of God is greater far Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star, And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care, God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled, And pardoned from his sin.

Refrain O love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure The saints' and angels' song.

When years of time shall pass away, And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray, On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God's love so sure, shall still endure, All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam's race— The saints' and angels' song.

Refrain

Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above, Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,  Though stretched from sky to sky.

The Depth of His love is that it has no conditions

Romans 5:8

The Breadth of His love is that it reaches to even us here. It has no confining.

His love is not limited racially, nationally politically socially or in any other way. It reaches to you.

The Length of His love is that it has no conclusion

 

Living for Jesus who died in my place,
Bearing on Calv'ry my sin and disgrace;
Such love constrains me to answer His call,
Follow His leading, and give Him my all. 
--Chisholm

 

'Lord, it belongs not to my care

Whether I die or live;

To love and serve Thee is my share,

And that Thy grace must give.'

 

The Heidelberg catechism

1.

Q.

What is your only comfort in life and death?

A.

That I am not my own,  but belong with body and soul,

both in life and in death,  to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ. 3

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,   and has set me free from all the power of the devil. 

He also preserves me in such a way  that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation.  Therefore, by his Holy Spirit he also assures me of eternal life  and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for him.

 

 

 

 


Saturday, July 30, 2016

 

Its no longer I that liveth but Christ who liveth in me!


Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Ephesians 3:14-21

I and David, attended a funeral  yesterday for Jenny Wu, the mother in law of one of our students at Life Ministry College; a deeply godly woman who knew the strengthening of God through all of her life.  

Where do you get spiritual strength?

I chatted with someone we love dearly, and would love to come to know the Saviour. Struggling with cancer he said to me "how can I get through this?"

Where can we get the spiritual strength we need?
Isa 40:  28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?

The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He does not faint or grow weary;  his understanding is unsearchable.
 29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.
 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;
 31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

I. We have, first, the prophet's appeal to the familiar thought of an unchangeable God as the antidote to all despondency and the foundation of all hope. The life of men and of creatures is like a river, with its source and its course and its end. The life of God is like the ocean, with joyous movement of tides and currents of life and energy and purpose, but ever the same and ever returning upon itself. Jehovah, the unchanged, unchangeable, inexhaustible Being, spends and is unspent; gives and is none the poorer; works and is never wearied; lives and with no tendency to death in His life; flames—with no tendency to extinction in the blaze.

II. Notice, next, the unwearied God giving strength to wearied men. The more sad and pathetic the condition of feeble humanity by contrast with the strength, the immortal strength, of God, the more wondrous is that grace and power of His which are not contented with hanging there in the heavens above us, but bend right down to bless us and to turn us into their own likeness. It is much to preserve the stars from wrong; it is more to restore and to bring power to feeble men. It is much to uphold all those that are falling so that they may not fall; but it is more to raise up all those that have fallen and are bowed down.   He is called:

  Jehovah-Rohi – The LORD My Shepherd

  Jehovah-Jireh – The LORD Will Provider

  Jehovah-Shalom – The LORD My Peace

  Jehovah-Raphi – The LORD My Healer

  Jehovah-Tsidkenu – The LORD My Righteousness

  Jehovah-Shammah – The LORD Is There

  Jehovah-Nissi – The LORD Our Banner

  Jehovah-M'Kaddesh – The LORD My Sanctifier

  Jehovah-El Elyon – The LORD Most High

 

III. The last thing in these words is, the wearied man lifted to the level of the unwearied God and to His likeness. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength." That phrase means, of course, the continuous bestowment in unintermitting sequence of fresh gifts of power; as each former gift is exhausted, more is required. Grace abhors a vacuum, as nature does; and just as the endless procession of the waves rises on the beach, or as the restless network of the moonlight irradiation of the billows stretches all across the darkness of the sea, so that unbroken continuity of strength after strength gives grace for grace according to our need, and as each former supply is expended and used up God pours Himself into our hearts anew. That continuous communication leads to the perpetual youth of the Christian soul.

Paul's prayer reveals the depths of his heart.  There is the Trinity here in Ephesians 3; The trinity indwelling.

16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

What does it mean for God to dwell in you?

1.    God wants you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit!

Being Strengthened through His Spirit is A Present Reality

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh

Ephesians 3:14 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

He gives that blessed sense of forgiveness, but he wants you to go on from this first wonderful blessing to something even  more.  God wants you to have the present experience that you be strengthened by His Spirit in your inner being.  Are you experiencing this? Is your Christianity real?

The word "now" gives emphasis to the reality of the believer's present condition. He is not dealing in strange mysteries for a few select saints. He is talking about the spiritual condition of all believers. As we come to understand more of the work of Christ on our behalf, more of what took place in justification, we will find ourselves living in greater dependence upon Jesus Christ in daily life. How are you living "now"? We are not in any respect bordering upon "New Age" thinking of god-consciousness or being a god. Paul says, 'No, I'm still living in this body. I am flesh and blood. But I am not living in this body the same way I used to live'. That is because of the reality that the old Paul was crucified with Christ. The old Paul with his animosity and hatred, with his pride and covetous spirit, met the judgment of God at the cross. There is a new resident in his life: Jesus Christ. "Christ lives in me!" God wants you to have this NOW!!!

Being Strengthened through His Spirit is A Personal Reality

that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

Peter calls it the 'hidden man of the heart'

                             For your Soul

Maclaren "It is this inner self, then, in which the Spirit of God is to dwell, and into which it is to breathe strength. The leaven is hid deep in three measures of meal until the whole be leavened. And the point to mark is that the whole inward region which makes up the true man is the field upon which this Divine Spirit is to work. It is not a bit of your inward life that is to be hallowed. It is not any one aspect of it that is to be strengthened, but it is the whole intellect, affections, desires, tastes, powers of attention, conscience, imagination, memory, will. The whole inner man in all its corners is to be filled, and to come under the influence of this power, 'until there be no part dark, as when the bright shining of a candle giveth thee light.'"

There are no rooms of the house of my spirit into which He may not go. Let Him come with the master key in His hand into all the dim chambers of your feeble nature; He will strengthen your understandings, and make you able for loftier tasks of intellect and of reason than you can face in your unaided power; He will dwell in your affections and make them vigorous to lay hold upon the holy things that are above their natural inclination, and will make it certain that their reach shall not be beyond their grasp, as, alas! it so often is in the sadness and disappointments of human love. He will come into that feeble, vacillating, wayward will of yours, that is only obstinate in its adherence to the low and the evil, as some foul creature, that one may try to wrench away, digs its claws into corruption and holds on by that. He will lift your will and make it fix upon the good and abominate the evil, and through the whole being He will pour a great tide of strength which shall cover all the weakness.

For Your Struggles and For your Suffering

The parallel passage to this in the twin epistle to the Colossians is-'strengthened with all might unto all patience and long-suffering with gentleness.' We have all of us, in the discharge of duty and in the meeting of temptation, to face such tremendous antagonisms that unless we have grace given to us which will enable us to resist, we shall be overcome and swept away. God's power given by the Divine Spirit does not absolve us from the fight, but it fits us for the fight. It is not given in order that, holiness may be won without a struggle, as some people seem to think, but it is given to us in order that in the struggle for holiness we may never lose 'one jot of heart or hope,' but may be 'able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.'

                             For Your Service

Luke 24 "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and3  forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48  You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.

Acts 1:8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

There is no such force for the spreading of Christ's Kingdom, and the witness-bearing work of His Church, as the possession of this Divine Spirit. the selfishness and the sloth, which stand in the way of so many of us, are all consumed and annihilated, and we are set free for service because the bonds that bound us are burnt up in the merciful furnace of His fiery power.

Why is your witness weak and feeble? You don't wait upon God. You don't know His Spirit strengthening you.

Lord, take my life and make it wholly Thine; Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine.
Take all my will, my passion, self, and pride; I now surrender, Lord—in me abide. —Orr

Being Strengthened through His Spirit is A Powerful Reality

that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

Sometimes we falter. I used to hear people talk years ago about whether one was doing this in one's own strength, and therefore failing, or in dependence upon the strength of the Lord.  Occassionally now I see strong Christians falter. Why? Perhaps we have forgotten that the Lord wants to strengthen us aaccording to the riches of his glory.

Phil 4:13 says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 

Isaiah 40 reminds us that they that wait  upon the Lord shall renew their strength.

Are you waiting on the Lord for your desperate situations? Are you finding His strength for your needs?  Waiting on the Lord is not an easy thing, nor a quick fix.. it takes time!!!!  Time reading God's word. How much time have you spent reading God's word today? Yesterday? This week? If you haven't waited on the Lord, don't expect His strength!

How much time have you spent this week in prayer?

Jenny Wu spent 2 hours every day reading God's word and spending time in prayer. She rose at 4 am to do this, and always had since she was a young mother, working three jobs each day. What about you?

Lord, grant me strength from day to day— How prone I am to go astray!
The passions of my flesh are strong; Be Thou, my God, a shield from wrong. —D. De Haan

2.     God Wants Jesus To Dwell in Your Heart so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.

There is the Extinguishing of the old life

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.

This is a past event. If and when you became a Christian you died!

Col 3:3  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God

Romans 6: 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self1  was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free2  from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

Donald Campbell "The self-righteous, self-centred Saul died. Death with Christ ended Paul's enthronement of self; he yielded the throne of his life to Another, to Christ. But it was not in his own strength that Paul was able to live the Christian life; the living Christ Himself took up His abode in Paul's heart: Christ lives in me."

George Mueller, when questioned about his spiritual power, responded simply, "One day George Mueller died. There was a day when I died, utterly died — died to George Müller, his opinions, preferences, tastes, and will; died to the world, its approval or censure; died to the approval or blame even of my brethren and friends — and since then I have only to show myself approved to God."

D. L. Moody was visiting New York City when he consciously died to his own ambitions.

And evangelist Christmas Evans, putting down on paper his surrender to Christ, began it by writing: "I give my soul and body to Jesus." It was, in a very real sense, a death to self.

Have you extinguished your old life by surrendering it all to the Lord Jesus? Does He dwell there unopposed as Lord of your life?

There is the Relinquishing to the new life

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith

This is a present event Col 3:3  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God Col 3:4 When Christ who is your  life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Hudson Taylor said that Galatians 2:20 taught what he referred to as "The Exchanged Life". Taylor understood that none of us can live the Christian life in our own strength or resist temptation by our own will power. He came to realize that only Christ can successfully live the victorious Christian life for it is, after all, His resurrection life which reflects His victory over the power of sin and death. Hudson Taylor understood that when one comes to Christ in surrender, Christ begins living His life through us. On one level Christ lives His life through the yielded believer, producing the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22, 23 "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control..."), this "fruit" being essentially the character of Christ Himself! The other arm of "the exchanged life" is Christ working His works through us. Paul reiterates this same truth of Christ working through the yielded saint.

Lloyd Ogilvie, who has a powerful personality and an eloquent presence, tells about being in Scotland as a theological student. One day he was confronted by Thomas Torrence, the noted theologian. Torrence said to him, "Ogilvie, you've got to die." Lloyd was startled until he realized it is only in the surrender of death to self that we can give our spirits to God. Then the darkness vanishes, and His face shines upon us

Wesley wrote that "Christ lives in me" and as such...Is a fountain of life in my inmost soul, from which all my tempers, words, and actions flow.

Puritan Thomas Watson observes that..."Christ is the PRINCIPLE of my life. I fetch my spiritual life from Christ, as the branch fetches its sap from the root. "Christ lives in me."

One day Augustine had to attend to some business in his old haunts in Rome. As he walked along, a former companion saw him and began calling, "Augustine, Augustine, it is I!" He took one look at the poor, disreputable woman whose company he had formerly enjoyed, and he shuddered. Reminding himself of his new position in Christ, he quickly turned and ran from her, shouting, "It's not I! It's not I!" Augustine had found the secret of Paul's words: "I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me"

How is your Christian life? Are you a person strengthened by God's Spirit in the inner person? Are you experiencing the indwelling Christ in every area of your life? Have you died to the old life? Are you no longer the same?

Oh, to be saved from myself, dear Lord,  Oh, to be lost in Thee;
Oh, that it may be no more I,
 But Christ that lives in me.  —C. H. Forrest

In the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (1/17/98) Judy Zmerold writes:

Three-year-old Katie was taken to her pediatrician during a recent bout with the flu. As the doctor examined her ears, he asked, "Will I find Big Bird in here?"

Apprehensively, Katie replied, "No."

Then, before examining her throat, he asked, "Will I find the Cookie Monster in here?"

Again, "No."

Finally, listening to her heart, he asked, "Will I find Barney in here?"

With innocent conviction, she looked him directly in the eye and said, "No, Jesus is in my heart. Barney is on my underwear."
Let me put the matter this way: It doesn't matter who is on your underwear so long as Jesus is in your heart. A Christian is a person in whom Christ now lives. If we opened your heart today, would we find Jesus Christ there?

You need to be right with God!

Get right with God now and experience His strengthening, His indwelling.

 


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