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JOY IN GOD

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

 
Scripture: "For the kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost."—ROM. xiv. 17."Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, . . , through the power of the Holy Ghost."—ROM. xv. 13.
        A Christian man said to me, shortly after his conversion: "I always thought that if I became religious it would be impossible for me to do my worldly business. The two things seemed so contrary. I seemed to be a man trying to dig a vine¬yard with a bag of sand on his shoulders. But when I found the Lord, I was so filled with joy that I could do my work cheerfully from morning till night. The bag of sand was gone; the joy of the Lord was my strength for all my work."

        Truly a significant lesson. Many Christians do not understand that the joy of the Lord will keep them and fit them for their work. Even slaves, when filled with the love of Christ, could testify to the happiness that He gave.

        Read the two texts at the heading of this chapter, and see how the kingdom of God is pure joy and peace through the Holy Spirit, and how God will "fill us with all joy and peace in believing," "through the power of the Holy Ghost." Then try to realize that the Holy Spirit will give this joy and peace of Christ in our hearts. To many the thought of the Holy Spirit is a matter of grief and self-reproach, of desire and disappointment, of something too high and holy for them. What a foolish thought, that the great gift of the Father, meant to keep us in the joy and peace of Christ, should be a matter of self-reproach and care!

        Remember Galatians v. 22, and listen attentively to the voice of the Spirit each day as He points to Jesus Christ, who offers you this wonderful fruit: "My Love, My Joy, My Peace." "On whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice greatly with joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Pet. i. 8). Pray in all humility to the Holy Spirit, believing firmly that He will lead you into the joy of the Lord.

Preserved to Work's End

信心的支票簿 Faith's check book

 
Scripture: "The LORD stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of Me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome" (Acts 23:11).
        Are you a witness for the LORD, and are you just now in danger? Then remember that you are immortal till your work is done. If the LORD has more witness for you to bear, you will live to bear it. Who is he that can break the vessel which the LORD intends again to use?

        If there is no more work for you to do for your Master, it cannot distress you that He is about to take you home and put you where you will be beyond the reach of adversaries. Your witness-bearing for Jesus is your chief concern, and you cannot be stopped in it till it is finished: therefore, be at peace. Cruel slander, wicked misrepresentation, desertion of friends, betrayal by the most trusted one, and whatever else may come cannot hinder the LORDs purpose concerning you. The LORD stands by you in the night of your sorrow, and He says, "Thou must yet bear witness for me." Be calm; be filled with joy in the LORD.

        If you do not need this promise just now, you may very soon. Treasure it up. Remember also to pray for missionaries and all persecuted ones, that the LORD would preserve them even to the completion of their lifework.

Morning, October 28

司布真日間靈修 Morning by Morning

 
Scripture: “I have chosen you out of the world.”(John 15:19)
        Here is distinguishing grace and discriminating regard; for some are made the special objects of divine affection. Do not be afraid to dwell upon this high doctrine of election. When your mind is most heavy and depressed, you will find it to be a bottle of richest cordial. Those who doubt the doctrines of grace, or who cast them into the shade, miss the richest clusters of Eshcol; they lose the wines on the lees well refined, the fat things full of marrow. There is no balm in Gilead comparable to it. If the honey in Jonathans wood when but touched enlightened the eyes, this is honey which will enlighten your heart to love and learn the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Eat, and fear not a surfeit; live upon this choice dainty, and fear not that it will be too delicate a diet. Meat from the Kings table will hurt none of his courtiers. Desire to have your mind enlarged, that you may comprehend more and more the eternal, everlasting, discriminating love of God. When you have mounted as high as election, tarry on its sister mount, the covenant of grace. Covenant engagements are the munitions of stupendous rock behind which we lie entrenched; covenant engagements with the surety, Christ Jesus, are the quiet resting-places of trembling spirits.

        “His oath, his covenant, his blood,

        Support me in the raging flood;

        When every earthly prop gives way,

        This still is all my strength and stay.”

        If Jesus undertook to bring me to glory, and if the Father promised that he would give me to the Son to be a part of the infinite reward of the travail of his soul; then, my soul, till God himself shall be unfaithful, till Jesus shall cease to be the truth, thou art safe. When David danced before the ark, he told Michal that election made him do so. Come, my soul, exult before the God of grace and leap for joy of heart.

Evening, October 28

司布真夜間靈修 Evening by Evening

 
Scripture: “His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.”(Song of Solomon 5:11)
        Comparisons all fail to set forth the Lord Jesus, but the spouse uses the best within her reach. By the head of Jesus we may understand his deity, “for the head of Christ is God” and then the ingot of purest gold is the best conceivable metaphor, but all too poor to describe one so precious, so pure, so dear, so glorious. Jesus is not a grain of gold, but a vast globe of it, a priceless mass of treasure such as earth and heaven cannot excel. The creatures are mere iron and clay, they all shall perish like wood, hay, and stubble, but the ever living Head of the creation of God shall shine on for ever and ever. In him is no mixture, nor smallest taint of alloy. He is for ever infinitely holy and altogether divine. The bushy locks depict his manly vigour. There is nothing effeminate in our Beloved. He is the manliest of men. Bold as a lion, laborious as an ox, swift as an eagle. Every conceivable and inconceivable beauty is to be found in him, though once he was despised and rejected of men.

        “His head the finest gold;

        With secret sweet perfume,

        His curled locks hang all as black

        As any ravens plume.”

        The glory of his head is not shorn away, he is eternally crowned with peerless majesty. The black hair indicates youthful freshness, for Jesus has the dew of his youth upon him. Others grow languid with age, but he is for ever a Priest as was Melchizedek; others come and go, but he abides as God upon his throne, world without end. We will behold him to-night and adore him. Angels are gazing upon him—his redeemed must not turn away their eyes from him. Where else is there such a Beloved? O for an hours fellowship with him! Away, ye intruding cares! Jesus draws me, and I run after him.

In The Heavenly Places

荒漠甘泉 Streams in the Desert

 
Scripture: "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ . . . and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:4-6).
        This is our rightful place, to be "seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus," and to "sit still" there. But how few there are who make it their actual experience! How few, indeed think even that it is possible for them to "sit still" in these "heavenly places" in the everyday life of a world so full of turmoil as this.

        We may believe perhaps that to pay a little visit to these heavenly places on Sundays, or now and then in times of spiritual exaltation, may be within the range of possibility; but to be actually "seated" there every day and all day long is altogether another matter; and yet it is very plain that it is for Sundays and week-days as well.

        A quiet spirit is of inestimable value in carrying on outward activities; and nothing so hinders the working of the hidden spiritual forces, upon which, after all, our success in everything really depends, as a spirit of unrest and anxiety.

        There is immense power in stillness. A great saint once said, "All things come to him who knows how to trust and be silent." The words are pregnant with meaning. A knowledge of this fact would immensely change our ways of working. Instead of restless struggles, we would "sit down" inwardly before the Lord, and would let the Divine forces of His Spirit work out in silence the ends to which we aspire. You may not see or feel the operations of this silent force, but be assured it is always working mightily, and will work for you, if you only get your spirit still enough to be carried along by the currents of its power. --Hannah Whitall Smith

        It is your business to learn to be peaceful and safe in God in every situation.

The judgement of the altar

Restoring My Soul (VOL1) Day 216

 
References: Further Study: 1 Cor 11:27, 30 Rev 16:7 Rev 6:9 1 Kings 19:10 1 Cor 11:17-34
We’ll recall the prophet Malachi said that the ‘table of the Lord’ was despised. The people were presenting defiled food upon the Lord’s altar. In the same way, Paul reminded the Corinthians that they should not eat and drink the communion in an unworthy manner. ‘For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep.’ Evidently, if we eat and drink in an unworthy manner, we eat and drink judgement to ourselves. To eat and drink unworthily is to defile the fellowship of the body of Christ. The blood of Christ is the blood of our redemption, but it is also the source of judgement. His blood has been poured out for us. However, when it is under the altar, it is active in judgement. When the fifth seal is opened in the book of Revelation, we find the blood of the martyrs throughout history crying out from underneath the altar. And this altar itself cries out for judgement when the third vial is poured out. It is greatly important we understand that the blood of the martyr speaks, and likewise the altar itself speaks, crying out for judgement. This altar is evidently not a physical object. It is the place of our fellowship in the offering of Christ. When Elijah lamented that the nation had ‘torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets’, he understood that the blood of the martyr was poured out under the altar of the Lord. If the altar was torn down, then the place of fellowship was lost. Nevertheless, the blood of the martyr still speaks. For this reason, it is essential that we rightly discern the body of Christ.

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The wisdom and knowledge of God

Restoring My Soul (VOL2) Day 216

 
References Further Study Rom 11:33-34 1 Cor 1:21 Rom 11:25-36 1 Cor 2:16 Psa 25:14 Job 29:5 Jer 23:18
There is no greater pursuit in this life than to know our Lord. Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and unfathomable His ways! Even the foolishness of God is wiser than men. Yes, His ways are ‘unsearchable’ with our natural mind. Without understanding and illumination we cannot even begin to search the depths of the Lord and His riches. All our human wisdom will fall short and render His ways ‘unfathomable’. It is the wisdom of God to ensure that the world, through its wisdom, will not come to know Him. Quoting the prophet Isaiah, Paul asked, ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord?’ He then concluded triumphantly, ‘We have the mind of Christ’. This is the secret of the Lord, the council of Father, Son and Holy Spirit before all the ages began. Job spoke of a time ‘when the friendly counsel of God was over my tent, when the Almighty was yet with me’. King David called this His council and secret. He understood that the secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and that He will make known His covenant to them. This council occurred within the community of Elohim between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit before all the ages and before the beginning. The prophet Jeremiah asked us, ‘But who has stood in the council of the Lord, that he should see and hear His word? Who has given heed to His word and listened?’ The Lord has hidden these things from the wise, but He is making them known to us if we will search after Him with all our heart.

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Offering and perfection

Restoring My Soul (VOL3) Day 216

 
References Further Study Lev 1:3 Heb 10 Heb 9:14 Eph 5:25, 27 Heb 10:14, 19-25
Why is the culture of offering so important? If we do not live by offering as an entire mode of life, we will not be ready for the Day of Atonement. Without participation in the Lord’s offering, the process of perfection is not active. The book of Hebrews says that ‘by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified’. Those who are being sanctified are set apart to serve before the Lord as priests in His temple. With this in view, Paul continued, ‘Since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus … let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith’. And further to this, ‘Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near’. When Paul spoke of the ‘day drawing near’, he was referring to the great Day of Atonement. This will be fulfilled in the time of the end when Jesus Christ presents to Himself a bride. This is the ‘church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing’. All the offerings of the Old Testament were symbols of the one offering of Christ where He ‘loved the church and gave Himself up for her’. In the end of the age, the church itself is described as being ‘without spot or wrinkle’ because it has fully joined this offering. This was the defining characteristic of the burnt offering. It was presented before the Lord ‘without spot or blemish’. Jesus Christ is the Lamb who ‘offered Himself without blemish to God’ and the church is the Lamb’s wife.

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The natural man

Restoring My Soul (VOL4) Day 216

 
References Further Study 1 Co 2:14 Jas 3:15 Jas 4 Jas 4:2-3, 14 Rom 8:22 Luk 12:20-21 Ecc 4:8 Psa 39:6
To be a son of God is not natural, and it is not very logical. We live in a fallen world, a world that is groaning and travailing. Even the benign world, the world of nature, is a world in travail. It is a world of cold and heat, a world of famine, a world of destitution. It is not an ideal world. Situations that are ‘normal’ to life are outside of our control and impose upon us without warning or consent. We have health issues, work problems, car accidents, sick children and financial struggles. And the natural man sees all this as an unwelcome violation of their right to live and be happy within the parameters that they have chosen. These intrusions bring obligations upon us. But they are seen as a violation of personal freedom and are, therefore, unjust. Let’s consider some particular modes of relating from a natural, logical perspective and approach. In the natural order of things, we claim the right to assess and control our level of involvement in life, particularly within our relationships. Then, because relationship involves obligation, some sophistication is needed to negotiate what is ‘mine’, what is ‘yours’ and what is ‘common or mutual’. Once the status quo is established, any perceived presumption or imposition upon our personal space is considered a violation. It is going to cause stress. Then, if further pressure is exerted, it will result in offence. Finally, a sense of victimisation and the feeling of being abused will result. For many, an imposition upon their life and circumstances causes mental anguish. They are driven by the need to control their environment, programme and lifestyle, so that they can deliver to themselves the happiness they believe belongs to them in life.

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