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THE DISCIPLES' PRAYER

慕安德烈每日靈修 God's Best Secrets by Andrew Murray

 
Scripture: "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplica¬tion."—ACTS i. 14. "They continued steadfastly in fellowship and in prayers."—ACTS ii. 42.
        What a lesson it would be to us in the school of prayer to have a clear apprehension of what this continuing with one accord in prayer meant to the disciples.

        Just think of the object of their desire. However defective the thoughts were that they had of the Blessed Spirit, this they knew, from the words of Jesus, "it is expedient for you that I go away," that the Spirit would give the glorified Christ into their very hearts in a way they had never known Him before. And it would be He Himself, in the mighty power of Gods Spirit, Who would be their strength for the work to which He had called them.

        With what confidence they expected the fulfilment of the promise. Had not the Master, who had loved them so well, given them the assurance of what He would send upon them from the throne of the Father in Heaven ?

        And with what intensity and persistency they pleaded; in the midst of the praise and thanksgiving that filled their hearts as they worshipped their Lord in heaven, remembering all He had taught them about importunity, in the full assurance that however long the answer might be delayed, He would most assuredly fulfil their desires. Let us nourish our hearts with thoughts such as these, until we realize that the very same promise that was given to the disciples is given to us, and that we too, even though we have to cry day and night to God, can count upon the Father to answer our prayers.

        And then, and this is not the least,—let us believe that as they continued with one accord in prayer, we also may unite as one man in presenting our petitions even though we cannot be-together in one place. We can—in the love wherewith His Spirit makes us one, and in the experience of our Lords presence with each one who joins with His brethren in pleading the blessed Name—we can claim the promise that we too shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.

Commonest Things Blessed

信心的支票簿 Faith's check book

 
Scripture: "Ye shall serve the LORD your God, and He shall bless thy bread, and thy water"(Exodus 23:25).
        What a promise is this! To serve God is in itself a high delight. But what an added privilege to have the blessing of the LORD resting upon us in all things! Our commonest things become blessed when we ourselves are consecrated to the LORD. Our LORD Jesus took bread and blessed it; behold, we also eat of blessed bread. Jesus blessed water and made it wine: the water which we drink is far better to us than any of the wine with which men make merry; every drop has a benediction in it. The divine blessing is on the man of God in everything, and it shall abide with him at every time.

        What if we have only bread and water! Yet it is blessed bread and water. Bread and water we shall have. That is implied, for it must be there for God to bless it. "Thy bread shall be given thee, and thy waters shall be sure." With God at our table, we not only ask a blessing, but we have one. It is not only at the altar but at the table that He blesses us. He serves those well who serve Him well. This table blessing is not of debt but of grace. Indeed, there is a trebled grace; He grants us grace to serve Him, by His grace feeds us with bread, and then in His grace blesses it.

Morning, May 26

司布真日間靈修 Morning by Morning

 
Scripture: “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee.”(Psalm 55:22)
        Care, even though exercised upon legitimate objects, if carried to excess, has in it the nature of sin. The precept to avoid anxious care is earnestly inculcated by our Saviour, again and again; it is reiterated by the apostles; and it is one which cannot be neglected without involving transgression: for the very essence of anxious care is the imagining that we are wiser than God, and the thrusting ourselves into his place to do for him that which he has undertaken to do for us. We attempt to think of that which we fancy he will forget; we labour to take upon ourselves our weary burden, as if he were unable or unwilling to take it for us. Now this disobedience to his plain precept, this unbelief in his Word, this presumption in intruding upon his province, is all sinful. Yet more than this, anxious care often leads to acts of sin. He who cannot calmly leave his affairs in Gods hand, but will carry his own burden, is very likely to be tempted to use wrong means to help himself. This sin leads to a forsaking of God as our counsellor, and resorting instead to human wisdom. This is going to the “broken cistern” instead of to the “fountain;” a sin which was laid against Israel of old. Anxiety makes us doubt Gods lovingkindness, and thus our love to him grows cold; we feel mistrust, and thus grieve the Spirit of God, so that our prayers become hindered, our consistent example marred, and our life one of self-seeking. Thus want of confidence in God leads us to wander far from him; but if through simple faith in his promise, we cast each burden as it comes upon him, and are “careful for nothing” because he undertakes to care for us, it will keep us close to him, and strengthen us against much temptation. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.”

Evening, May 26

司布真夜間靈修 Evening by Evening

 
Scripture: “Continue in the faith.”(Acts 14:22)
        Perseverance is the badge of true saints. The Christian life is not a beginning only in the ways of God, but also a continuance in the same as long as life lasts. It is with a Christian as it was with the great Napoleon: he said, “Conquest has made me what I am, and conquest must maintain me.” So, under God, dear brother in the Lord, conquest has made you what you are, and conquest must sustain you. Your motto must be, “Excelsior.” He only is a true conqueror, and shall be crowned at the last, who continueth till wars trumpet is blown no more. Perseverance is, therefore, the target of all our spiritual enemies. The world does not object to your being a Christian for a time, if she can but tempt you to cease your pilgrimage, and settle down to buy and sell with her in Vanity Fair. The flesh will seek to ensnare you, and to prevent your pressing on to glory. “It is weary work being a pilgrim; come, give it up. Am I always to be mortified? Am I never to be indulged? Give me at least a furlough from this constant warfare.” Satan will make many a fierce attack on your perseverance; it will be the mark for all his arrows. He will strive to hinder you in service: he will insinuate that you are doing no good; and that you want rest. He will endeavour to make you weary of suffering, he will whisper, “Curse God, and die.” Or he will attack your steadfastness: “What is the good of being so zealous? Be quiet like the rest; sleep as do others, and let your lamp go out as the other virgins do.” Or he will assail your doctrinal sentiments: “Why do you hold to these denominational creeds? Sensible men are getting more liberal; they are removing the old landmarks: fall in with the times.” Wear your shield, Christian, therefore, close upon your armour, and cry mightily unto God, that by his Spirit you may endure to the end.

Praise in Advance

荒漠甘泉 Streams in the Desert

 
Scripture: "Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it" (Num. 21:17).
        This was a strange song and a strange well. They had been traveling over the deserts barren sands, no water was in sight and they were famishing with thirst. Then God spake to Moses and said:

        "Gather the people together, and I will give them water," and this is how it came.

        They gathered in circles on the sands. They took their staves and dug deep down into the burning earth and as they dug, they sang,
"Spring up, O well, sing ye unto it," and lo, there came a gurgling sound, a rush of water and a flowing stream which filled the well and ran along the ground.

        When they dug this well in the desert, they touched the stream that was running beneath, and reached the flowing tides that had long been out of sight.

        How beautiful the picture given, telling us of the river of blessing that flows all through our lives, and we have only to reach by faith and praise to find our wants supplied in the most barren desert.

        How did they reach the waters of this well? It was by praise. They sang upon the sand their song of faith, while with their staff of promise they dug the well.

        Our praise will still open fountains in the desert, when murmuring will only bring us judgment, and even prayer may fail to reach the fountains of blessing.

        There is nothing that pleases the Lord so much as praise. There is no test of faith so true as the grace of thanksgiving. Are you praising God enough? Are you thanking Him for your actual blessings that are more than can be numbered, and are you daring to praise Him even for those trials which are but blessings in disguise? Have you learned to praise Him in advance for the things that have not yet come? --Selected

All faith comes from God

Restoring My Soul (VOL1) Day 106

 
References: Further Study: James 2:19 Deut 7:9 Rom 10:17 Gal 2:20 Rom 10
When we think about faith, we are most likely considering our personal belief in God. It will come as a new thought for many that all faith comes from God. True faith is not something we can whip up within ourselves. Nor is it the result of simply believing in God, for James tells us that even the demons believe. So what is faith, and how do we receive it? We need to consider that God is ‘faithful’, meaning that He is ‘full of faith’ toward us. Faith is the substance of the dialogue between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In this communication, the Father expressed His faith and desire to have many sons. We then see the Son’s faith, as He offered Himself to the Father to fulfil this purpose. He emptied Himself to become the firstborn Son. By this means, He participated in the faith of the Father and became the Word of the Father. It’s as the Word of the Father, that He made known to us God’s faith for many sons. Christ is the one who declares God’s faith for all mankind. He does this by bringing a specific and individual word of sonship to each of us. It’s as we receive the word of Christ, that faith is born in us. ‘So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.’ We cannot say we truly have faith, if it is not born in this word of God to us. Believing Christ’s word, allows us to participate in the faith of God. In this way, His faith becomes our faith. Paul summed this up well by saying, ‘The life I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God’.

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The blessing of Abraham

Restoring My Soul (VOL2) Day 106

 
References Further Study Gen 12:1,3 Heb 11:8 Gen 12 Gal 3:14 Gen 1:28 Heb 6:14 Gen 22:8, 16-17
We learn many things from the life of Abraham. He was a most remarkable man. The Lord compelled him to leave his own country and go to a land that He would show him. Abraham obeyed this word and went out ‘not knowing where he was going’. Throughout his pilgrimage he encountered many experiences. Perhaps the greatest of all was the call upon him to offer Isaac as a burnt offering. And in the midst of this most pivotal test of faith, Abraham declared that the Lord would see and provide Himself a Lamb. It was by the sacrifice of this lamb that the blessing was guaranteed and confirmed to him. The Lord swore by Himself saying, ‘I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you’. When the Lord first spoke to Abraham He said, ‘I will bless you … and so you shall be a blessing … and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed’. The Scriptures begin and end with blessing. But there is no blessing apart from the promises which God made to Abraham. This is central to the teaching of the apostle Paul who spoke of the blessing of Abraham. What is blessing? At its most essential level, it is the portion that the Father invokes upon a firstborn son as his inheritance. It is the double portion of kingship and priesthood. When God made Adam and Eve in the garden, He commissioned mankind to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. But before He gave this directive, He blessed them. We might surmise that He laid His hands upon them, thus imparting to them His very own capacity. He empowered them to fulfil His will. We know they disobeyed and the blessing was lost.

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Our name and work

Restoring My Soul (VOL3) Day 106

 
References Further Study Eph 1:4 Rom 8:29 Eph 1 Eph 2:10 Rev 21:27 2Co 7:1 Eph 4:7 Mat 13:3
Each and every person has a pilgrimage to walk. We have a life to live. Do we have the faith to believe that God is with us every day of our lives? We are important to Him. He recorded our names long before we were ever created. The Bible tells us that we were foreknown and predestined before the foundation of the world. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit had a great discussion concerning each one of us. And they rejoiced together when each one of us was named. The Lamb’s book of life has a record of your name and your works, both in this age and in the age to come. It records who you are and what you are to do. Without becoming proud, we have to accept the dignity and the accountability that goes with the identity that God has given to us. We must walk circumspectly, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Walking with wisdom, it is incumbent upon us to fulfil the mandate of the grace that God has given to us. The Lord has committed to each person a measure of grace. And we steward this grace as faithful slaves who will one day stand before our Master and give an account. This same meaning is carried by the foremost of all parables; the seed and the sower. A word is declared to each of us concerning who we are and who we are to be, and we are responsible to receive that word and bear the fruit of it. Even if we only touch the basics of who we are in this present world, we are being prepared for the age to come when we will bring forth fruit in everlasting increase for all eternity.

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The unfathomable ways of God

Restoring My Soul (VOL4) Day 106

 
References Further Study Rom 11:24-33 Isa 35 Rom 9:21-22 Isa 59:1 Jud 1:22-23
To catch Paul’s mindset, we need to consider the unfathomable ways of God. He has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all. Speaking of Israel, the natural branches, Paul said, ‘From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable’. The Lord has not abandoned the natural branches. ‘The deliverer will come from Zion, and He will remove ungodliness from Jacob’, quoted the apostle Paul. The Lord has shown mercy to us. We have been grafted in as wild branches into a cultivated olive tree, but ‘how much more’ will the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree? If you know somebody who is lost and walked away, two things are critical. Firstly, the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable and God is able to graft them back in. And secondly, if a person turns to obedience, He can make a vessel of wrath into vessel of mercy. The Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save. When the Lord stretches forth His hand in mercy, we can only proclaim, ‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God’. His wisdom is coming down and bringing us forth in the exercise of His will. The mercy of God comes out of His wisdom. The mercy of God is the ability of God to gather back to Himself. But more than this, it is His ability in us as vessels of mercy. As vessels of mercy, we are learning how to save some who are doubting and to snatch a brand from the fire.

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