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.


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Free Hit Counter