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THE MISSIONARY'S LIFE

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

 
Scripture: "Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and righteously and unblameably we behaved ourselves toward you that believe." —1 THESS. ii. 10. R. V.
        Paul more than once appeals to what his converts had seen of his own life. So he says (2 Cor. i. 12): "Our glorying is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and sincerity of God, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we behaved ourselves in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward." Christ had taught His disciples as much of His life as by His teaching. Paul had sought to be a living witness to the truth of all that he had preached about Christ—as able to save and to keep from sin, as renewing the whole nature by the power of His Holy Spirit, as Himself becoming the life of those who believe in Him.

        In the W. M. C. Report (vol. v. p. 218) one finds this expression : "It has come to pass that our representatives on the field, just because they are what we have made them, have far too often hidden the Christ Whom they are giving their lives to reveal. It is only in proportion as the missionary can manifest the character of Christ in and through his own life that he can gain a hearing for the Gospel. Only as far as he can live Christ before their eyes can he help them to understand his message."

        See how Pauls appeal to his life, as holy and righteous and unblameable, gave him courage to put a high standard before his converts. In the same Epistle he calls them to trust God, to establish their hearts unblameable in holiness before God (I Thess. iii. 13). And later in the Epistle (v. 23, 24) : "The God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, Who also will do it." In Phil. iv. 9 he writes: "The things which ye both heard and saw in me, these things do, and the God of peace shall be with you." And in I Tim. i. 14-16: "The grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus, . . . for an ensample of them which should hereafter believe on Him unto eternal life." Let us believe that when Paul said, "Christ liveth in me," "I live no more," he spoke of an actual, divine, unceasing, abiding of Christ in him, working in him from hour to hour all that was well-pleasing to the Father. And let us not rest until we can say, "The Christ of Paul is my Christ! His missionary enduement is mine too."

Bow Down; Be Lifted Up

信心的支票簿 Faith's check book

 
Scripture: "Humble yourselves therefore order the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time"(1 Peter 5:6).
        This is tantamount to a promise: if we will bow down, the LORD will lift us up. Humility leads to honor; submission is the way to exaltation. That same hand of God which presses us down is waiting to raise us up when we are prepared to bear the blessing. We stoop to conquer. Many cringe before men and yet miss the patronage they crave; but he that humbles himself under the hand of God shall not fail to be enriched, uplifted, sustained, and comforted by the ever-gracious One. It is a habit of Jehovah to cast down the proud and lift up the lowly.

        Yet there is a time for the LORDs working. We ought now to humble ourselves, even at this present moment; and we are bound to keep on doing so whether the LORD lays His afflicting hand upon us or not. When the LORD smites, it is our special duty to accept the chastisement with profound submission. But as for the LORDs exaltation of us, that can only come "in due time," and God is the best judge of that day and hour. Do we cry out impatiently for the blessing? Would we wish for untimely honor? What are we at? Surely we are not truly humbled, or we should wait with quiet submission. So let us do.

Morning, July 28

司布真日間靈修 Morning by Morning

 
Scripture: “So foolish was I, and ignorant; I was as a beast before thee.”(Psalm 73:22)
        Remember this is the confession of the man after Gods own heart; and in telling us his inner life, he writes, “So foolish was I, and ignorant.” The word “foolish,” here, means more than it signifies in ordinary language. David, in a former verse of the Psalm, writes, “I was envious at the foolish when I saw the prosperity of the wicked,” which shows that the folly he intended had sin in it. He puts himself down as being thus “foolish,” and adds a word which is to give intensity to it; “so foolish was I.” How foolish he could not tell. It was a sinful folly, a folly which was not to be excused by frailty, but to be condemned because of its perverseness and wilful ignorance, for he had been envious of the present prosperity of the ungodly, forgetful of the dreadful end awaiting all such. And are we better than David that we should call ourselves wise! Do we profess that we have attained perfection, or to have been so chastened that the rod has taken all our wilfulness out of us? Ah, this were pride indeed! If David was foolish, how foolish should we be in our own esteem if we could but see ourselves! Look back, believer: think of your doubting God when he has been so faithful to you—think of your foolish outcry of “Not so, my Father,” when he crossed his hands in affliction to give you the larger blessing; think of the many times when you have read his providences in the dark, misinterpreted his dispensations, and groaned out, “All these things are against me,” when they are all working together for your good! Think how often you have chosen sin because of its pleasure, when indeed, that pleasure was a root of bitterness to you! Surely if we know our own heart we must plead guilty to the indictment of a sinful folly; and conscious of this “foolishness,” we must make Davids consequent resolve our own—“Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel.”

Evening, July 28

司布真夜間靈修 Evening by Evening

 
Scripture: “Who went about doing good.”(Acts 10:38)
        Few words, but yet an exquisite miniature of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are not many touches, but they are the strokes of a masters pencil. Of the Saviour and only of the Saviour is it true in the fullest, broadest, and most unqualified sense. “He went about doing good.” From this description it is evident that he did good personally. The evangelists constantly tell us that he touched the leper with his own finger, that he anointed the eyes of the blind, and that in cases where he was asked to speak the word only at a distance, he did not usually comply, but went himself to the sick bed, and there personally wrought the cure. A lesson to us, if we would do good, to do it ourselves. Give alms with your own hand; a kind look, or word, will enhance the value of the gift. Speak to a friend about his soul; your loving appeal will have more influence than a whole library of tracts. Our Lords mode of doing good sets forth his incessant activity! He did not only the good which came close to hand, but he “went about” on his errands of mercy. Throughout the whole land of Judea there was scarcely a village or a hamlet which was not gladdened by the sight of him. How this reproves the creeping, loitering manner, in which many professors serve the Lord. Let us gird up the loins of our mind, and be not weary in well doing. Does not the text imply that Jesus Christ went out of his way to do good? “He went about doing good.” He was never deterred by danger or difficulty. He sought out the objects of his gracious intentions. So must we. If old plans will not answer, we must try new ones, for fresh experiments sometimes achieve more than regular methods. Christs perseverance, and the unity of his purpose, are also hinted at, and the practical application of the subject may be summed up in the words, “He hath left us an example that we should follow in his steps.”

The Fruit Comes Afterward

荒漠甘泉 Streams in the Desert

 
Scripture: "The Lord hath His way in the whirlwind and storm" (Nahum 1:3).
        I recollect, when a lad, and while attending a classical institute in the vicinity of Mount Pleasant, sitting on an elevation of that mountain, and watching a storm as it came up the valley. The heavens were filled with blackness, and the earth was shaken by the voice of thunder. It seemed as though that fair landscape was utterly changed, and its beauty gone never to return.

        But the storm swept on, and passed out of the valley; and if I had sat in the same place on the following day, and said, "Where is that terrible storm, with all its terrible blackness?" the grass would have said, "Part of it is in me," and the daisy would have said, "Part of it is in me," and the fruits and flowers and everything that grows out of the ground would have said, "Part of the storm is incandescent in me."

        Have you asked to be made like your Lord? Have you longed for the fruit of the Spirit, and have you prayed for sweetness and gentleness and love? Then fear not the stormy tempest that is at this moment sweeping through your life. A blessing is in the storm, and there will be the rich fruitage in the "afterward." --Henry Ward Beecher

The light of life

Restoring My Soul (VOL1) Day 151

 
References: John 1:4 James 1:17 John 12:36 John 8:12 Matt 5:14 Further Study: John 12:27-50 Isa 42:1-7
What is light? The Scripture defines light as the evidence of ‘life’. John began his gospel account by saying of Jesus, ‘In Him was [zoe] life and the life was the light of men’. We know the Father committed His life to the Son. And Jesus came to reveal the Father’s life. The Father’s life in the Son is the light of the world. It is the light of life. Accordingly, Jesus said, ‘I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life’. The Scriptures teach us that the Father dwells in unapproachable light. And further to this, James tells us that every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights. Jesus came from the Father of lights to be the Light of the world. He came to give us the Father’s life. When we are born from above, with this life of the Father, we can rightly be called the ‘sons of light’. While we have set our hearts upon receiving the Father’s life, it is nevertheless not our only goal. He who is the Light of the world, Jesus Christ, declares to us, ‘You are the light of the world’. Our goal is for the life of the Father, which we have all received, to become ‘light’ in us. It is the Father’s purpose that His life be revealed and manifested as light. We are the light of the world if we manifest the life and light of Christ.

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Your word

Restoring My Soul (VOL2) Day 151

 
References Further Study Psa 119:9, 11, 105 Psa 119:1-25 2 Tim 2:15 John 10:6
Did you know that Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible? It is 176 verses long and the psalmist continually speaks of ‘Your word’. Across the centuries and in all nations, people have loved the word of God. King David asked, ‘How can a young man keep His way pure?’ And he answered, ‘By keeping it according to Your word’. He proclaimed, ‘Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You’. And he rejoiced, ‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path’. It is essential that we read and meditate upon His word daily. We believe that the Bible is the infallible, inspired word of God. It must be in our hearts to rightly divide the word of truth. Not everything that we read in the Bible is easily understood. Large portions of the Scripture are written in the language of the symbol. Speaking to His disciples, Jesus spoke of shepherds, strangers, sheep and the door of the sheepfold. He explained that he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The sheep know his voice. He calls them all by name and he leads them in and out to find pasture, but a stranger they simply will not follow. Jesus was revealing the nature of His own ministry as the good Shepherd who gives His life for the sheep. However, the Scriptures account that He ‘spoke this parable to them, but they did not understand what it was which He spoke to them’. Parables employ natural examples to explain heavenly things. The writers of the Bible have employed many different styles of communication and we must apply ourselves to interpret their writings correctly.

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Fellowship with God

Restoring My Soul (VOL3) Day 151

 
References Further Study 1Jn 1:3-4 Joh 21:17 1Jn 1 Act 20:28 1Pe 5:2 Joh 1:29, 36
The aim of the Christian faith is to find fellowship with God and with one another in Christ. Genuine fellowship in Christ is an entire culture; a way of living, relating, participating and serving. If we follow the Lamb through the Gospel of John, we will find this culture of fellowship. When John wrote his first letter, he said: we are writing these things ‘that you also may have fellowship with us’ and our fellowship is indeed ‘with the Father and with His Son’. Let us ask ourselves, ‘Do we know what fellowship is, and have we found it?’ The key is in following the Lamb, which opens up the fullest possible picture of following Christ. John’s is the only Gospel that specifically refers to Christ as the Lamb. So we will examine what John found, and Peter as well, since these two disciples walked together so closely. We may recall that the Gospel of John ends with that striking encounter on the shore of the Sea of Galilee where John and Peter were among those who met Jesus after His resurrection. This was the occasion when Jesus asked Peter whether he loved Him. Then He called Peter to ‘feed My sheep’. At a simple level, finding and loving the Lamb is also about caring for His sheep. In fact, if we follow the Lamb, we will become shepherds, similar to Peter and John. We will be those who love the brethren of Christ, who find fellowship with the Father and Son and with those who are born of God.

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Who is adequate?

Restoring My Soul (VOL4) Day 151

 
References Further Study 2Co 2:16 Est 4:13-14 2Ti 3 2Co 3:5 Jas 4:4 Eph 6:13
We are compelled by the Lord to ‘meet His word’ when it is proclaimed to us. There is always a word coming to us, but sometimes we find it difficult to receive and apply it. Then, because we haven’t met that word, we fall into condemnation. How many have felt that? We can probably all put our hands up. Like the apostle Paul we cry out, ‘Who is adequate for these things?’ You may be saying, ‘I listen to what is preached, and I am relationally connected to the church, but balancing my life with all of the demands placed upon me is quite an effort’. Your personal devotional life might be difficult to maintain and that begins to weigh you down. Family prayer and devotions become sporadic. Not only that, communication in the family also becomes sporadic. Maintaining any initiative becomes a struggle and, before you know it, things start to get away on you. You become spiritually deflated and, therefore, unmotivated and non-communicative because of the concessions that you make to the things of the world. When we are asked to give a testimony about where we stand and what we believe, we feel reactive and ‘on the spot’. Every son of God is likely to feel like this at some point. Nevertheless, the Lord continues to call us forward. Will we stand up to meet Him? What if there is someone the Lord wants to see converted? What if He wants you to lead them to Christ and bring them to church? What if God has a work for you to do? Are you so self-obsessed about your failures that you won’t stand up to meet the word and do it? We are not adequate in ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.

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