Meditations on the True Christian Life
Meditations on the True Christian Life
Glenn H. Jackson
Meditations On The True Christian Life contains anointed writings and quotes of those saints, both past and present, who were [and are] given wholly to God. Because of their consecrated lives God was able, through them, to paint a clear picture of the "true" Christian life we are called to live. The "true" Christian life is the life that is fully and totally controlled, empowered and maintained by the Holy Spirit a life that is always seeking to be in agreement with the Word [Will] of God at all times. The pre-requisite for "maintaining" this life for every believer - regardless of their spiritual maturity - is for them to walk in all of the light [revelation] that has been revealed to them by the Holy Spirit in any given moment that they might be found walking continually from faith to faith and glory to glory.
* "One thing that I realized quite early in my Christian walk is that people can become discouraged quite easily. Christianity really is warfare. It is a race to be run and the crown of glory is our prize. We have a real adversary and demonic warfare is not some antiquated biblical truth. It is real, it is fierce and it can be devastating. Satan doesn't play the game to knock you off the horse, he comes to destroy. Jesus tells Peter that "Satan has asked for you that he may sift you as wheat". Other writers describe Him as a lion, so the devastation that he desires to bring is real and we are in imminent danger. So discouragement is lurking on the horizon for each of us.
* Because of that we need to be encouraging the people of God daily and this takes vital relationships. Encouragement is investing in the life of others for their good, while simultaneously realizing that this may not be reciprocated. It is an emptying of ones self interest. Much encouragement of this world can be for the benefit of the encourager and not the recipient. I believe biblical encouragement to be a total divestiture of self interest and a using of ones resources to invest in the betterment of others.
* Encouragement is coming along side of people and bringing them along side of you. It is a getting underneath an individual and propping him [or her] up and it a gift that we see consistently through the book of Acts - "strengthening the church" [each time Barnabas is mentioned the church is strengthened or grows]. True loving, encouraging shepherding is hard work, you have to die to yourself, be servant of all, you must walk in the Spirit and not in your own strength, you have to really love God's people."
* "Legalism teaches that we must change ourselves after salvation, yet it warns that absolute perfection is not actually possible in this life. The gospel of grace instead says that we are absolutely perfect because of our union with Christ, and therefore can live far above the Law's shallow standards of perfection. Law demands, grace encourages."
* Many Christians are asked as to how one may have the joy unspeakable, the joy that nothing can take away, the joy of the friendship and nearness and love of Jesus filling their heart. We complain that the rush of competition is so terrible that we cannot find time for private prayer. Brother, the Lord Jesus Christ, if He comes to you as a brother and a friend and an abiding guest, can give your heart the joy of the Holy Spirit so that business will take its right place under your feet. Your heart is too holy to have it filled with "business"; let the business be in the head and under the feet, but let Christ have the whole heart, and He will keep the whole life.
* When our minds are conditioned by prejudice or paralyzed by traditional views, we may face a truth in Scripture again and again without its ever touching us. Our spiritual inhibition concerning that truth permits us to see, but not to perceive. The truth lies dormant within, mentally apprehended but not spiritually applied. This is particularly true in relation to fasting. When, however, a truth is first ignited by the Holy Spirit, there is immediate conflict in the minds of most people. The truth of the Bible has suddenly become "alive and powerful" and there is an assault upon our traditional attitudes and prejudices. The outcome of the struggle reveals whether or not we are open to receive and obey fresh light about God, and so grow in the knowledge of the truth.
* A new generation is arising. There is concern in the hearts of many for the recovery of apostolic power. But how can we recover apostolic power while neglecting apostolic practise? How can we expect the power to flow if we do not prepare the channels? Fasting is a God-appointed means for the flowing of His grace and power that we can no longer afford to neglect!
* In New Testament times fasting was a channel of power. As spirituality waned and worldliness flourished in the churches, the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit were withdrawn. With loss of that inward power men could only cling to what they had left, its outward accompaniment. More and more emphasis was placed upon the outward act of fasting, though bereft of the inward spirit that alone could give it value. Asceticism became the mark of piety and spirituality. Paul's prophecy about "the form of religion but denying the power" [2 Timothy 3:5] was being fulfilled. But, God be praised, a new day is dawning, and a new thirst for the Holy Spirit is beginning to awaken the slumbering church. It is a day of spiritual renewal. There are searchings and inquirings, burdens and longings on every hand. The heart-cry of the church is ascending to Heaven. The Spirit of God is stirring. God is determined to have a Glorious Church without spot or wrinkle, a Bride fit for His beloved Son. It is my conviction that, in the travail that will bring to birth, we shall rediscover one of the lost secrets of the early church: the power that is released through the truly biblical practise of fasting unto God.
* "Fasting today! Whatever is to be gained by that?" is the incredulous question of many Christians. If they mean, "What does one personally gain by fasting?" Then there are many answers that may be given, but there is a more important question to answer first. So much of our thinking is ruled by that self-centered principle, "What do I get out of it?" Even in our spiritual desires and aspirations self may still be enthroned. The Cross must work in us if the life is to be centered in God. Only so can our spiritual motivation be radically altered and become Christward instead of self-ward. "He died for all that they which live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto Him" [2 Corinthians 5:15 RV]. God is not merely concerned with what we do but why we do it. A right act may be robbed of all its value in the sight of God if it is done with a wrong motive. The danger of this is acute in the realm of outward religious exercises. "Why have we fasted, and Thou seest it not?" asked the perplexed religionists of Isaiah's day. Swift was Heaven's answer, "Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure" [Isaiah 58:3]. The fasts they undertook, with all their show of piety, were motivated by self-interest and self-seeking. No wonder God asked indignantly, "Is such the fast that I choose?" [vs.5].
* Fasting, like prayer, must be God-initiated and God-ordained if it is to be effective. Prevailing prayer begins with God; He places upon us a burden by the Holy Spirit, and we respond to that burden. Prayer that originates with God always returns to God. So it is with fasting. All this does not of course relieve us of our responsibility. On our part there must be the recognition of the rightness and need of fasting, the willingness for the self-discipline involved, and the exercise of heart before God; but in the final analysis the initiative is His. When we fast, how long we fast, the nature of the fast, and the spiritual objectives we have before us are all God's choice, to which the obedient disciple gladly responds.
The Peace of Wisdom
Dr. Charles Stanley
Godly wisdom can be defined as the capacity to see things the way the Lord sees them and to respond according to His principles. One of the great benefits of this mindset is inner peace and contentment. Generally, when life’s running smoothly and all is well with us and our loved ones, we have no trouble experiencing contentment. But so often when situations become difficult, God’s perspective eludes us, and our peace is rapidly replaced with stress, anxiety, and fear.
To view a difficult circumstance from the Lord’s perspective, we need to see it encompassed by the boundaries of His character and attributes. Even when the particulars of life are beyond our control, the One who rules the universe remains sovereign over all things—down to the smallest details. He loves us unconditionally and always works for our best interest. Therefore, if He has allowed a situation, there is a divine plan and reason, and the outcome will be for our good and His glory.
That wise perspective will lead to a godly response—complete confidence and trust in the Lord despite any pain or hardship. Because of the indwelling Spirit, we have the assurance that He is more than adequate for whatever comes our way, which means we are sufficient in Him.
When difficulty hits, don’t let sound wisdom vanish from your sight. Keep your eyes on the Lord. By seeing every situation through His eyes, you can rest in His wisdom and good purposes. Then stress will lift, anxiety will be replaced with peace, and confidence in the Lord will silence your fears.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
Jeremy Camp - Take You Back
By SIMPLY DIVINE LOVE on Wednesday, April 06, 2011