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THE POWER OF OBEDIENCE

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

 
Scripture: "Pie that hath sent Me is with Me; He hath not left Me alone; for I do always the things that are pleasing to Him."—, JOHN viii. 29.
        In these words Christ not only tells what His life with the Father was, but reveals at the same time the law of all intercourse with God—simple obedience.

        How strongly He insisted upon it we see in the Farewell Discourse. In chap. xiv. He says three times: "If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And then I will pray the Father, and He will give you the Holy Spirit, and the Father will love you, and I will love you and manifest Myself to you, and then we will make Our abode with you." And so three times over in chap. xv.: "If My words abide with you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you"; "If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I kept My Fathers commandments and abide in His love"; "Ye are My friends, if ye do the things which I command you."

        Obedience is the proof and the exercise of the love of God that has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. It comes from love and leads to love, a deeper and a fuller experience of Gods love and indwelling. It assures us that what we ask will be given us. It assures us that we are abiding in the love of Christ. It seals our claim to be called the friends of Christ. And so it is not only a proof of love but of faith too, as assuring us that we "ask and receive because we keep His com¬mandments, and do the things that are pleasing in His sight."

        For the abiding enjoyment of the Holy Presence, simple, full obedience is necessary. The New Covenant has made full provision for this: "I will write My law in their hearts; I will put My fear in their heart, that they may not depart from Me"; "I will cause them to walk in My statutes and to keep them."

        Blessed obedience, that enables us to abide in His love and gives the full experience of His unbroken presence. Christ did not speak of an impossibility; He saw what in the power of the Spirit we might confidently expect. Let the thought take deep hold of us, It is to the obedient that the word comes, "Lo, I am with you alway," and to whom all the fullness of its meaning will be revealed.

An Eternal Pledge

信心的支票簿 Faith's check book

 
Scripture: "And I will betroth thee unto Me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving kindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto Me in faithfulness; and thou shalt know the LORD"(Hosea 2:19-20).
        Betrothment unto the LORD! What an honor and a joy! My soul, is Jesus indeed thine by His own condescending betrothal? Then, mark it is forever. He will never break His engagement, much less sue out a divorce against a soul joined to Himself in marriage bonds.

        Three times the LORD says, "I will betroth thee." What words He heaps together to set forth the betrothal! Righteousness comes in to make the covenant legal; none can forbid these lawful bans. Judgment sanctions the alliance with its decree: none can see folly or error in the match. Lovingkindness warrants that this is a love union, for without love betrothal is bondage and not blessedness. Meanwhile, mercy smiles and even sings; yea, she multiplies herself into "mercies" because of the abounding grace of this holy union.

        Faithfulness is the registrar and records the marriage, and the Holy Spirit says "Amen" to it as He promises to teach the betrothal heart all the sacred knowledge needful for its high destiny. What a promise!

Morning, July 22

司布真日間靈修 Morning by Morning

 
Scripture: “I am married unto you.”(Jeremiah 3:14)
        Christ Jesus is joined unto his people in marriage-union. In love he espoused his Church as a chaste virgin, long before she fell under the yoke of bondage. Full of burning affection he toiled, like Jacob for Rachel, until the whole of her purchase-money had been paid, and now, having sought her by his Spirit, and brought her to know and love him, he awaits the glorious hour when their mutual bliss shall be consummated at the marriage-supper of the Lamb. Not yet hath the glorious Bridegroom presented his betrothed, perfected and complete, before the Majesty of heaven; not yet hath she actually entered upon the enjoyment of her dignities as his wife and queen: she is as yet a wanderer in a world of woe, a dweller in the tents of Kedar; but she is even now the bride, the spouse of Jesus, dear to his heart, precious in his sight, written on his hands, and united with his person. On earth he exercises towards her all the affectionate offices of Husband. He makes rich provision for her wants, pays all her debts, allows her to assume his name, and to share in all his wealth. Nor will he ever act otherwise to her. The word divorce he will never mention, for “He hateth putting away.” Death must sever the conjugal tie between the most loving mortals, but it cannot divide the links of this immortal marriage. In heaven they marry not, but are as the angels of God; yet there is this one marvellous exception to the rule, for in Heaven Christ and his Church shall celebrate their joyous nuptials. This affinity as it is more lasting, so is it more near than earthly wedlock. Let the love of husband be never so pure and fervent, it is but a faint picture of the flame which burns in the heart of Jesus. Passing all human union is that mystical cleaving unto the Church, for which Christ left his Father, and became one flesh with her.

Evening, July 22

司布真夜間靈修 Evening by Evening

 
Scripture: “Behold the man!”(John 19:5)
        If there be one place where our Lord Jesus most fully becomes the joy and comfort of his people, it is where he plunged deepest into the depths of woe. Come hither, gracious souls, and behold the man in the garden of Gethsemane; behold his heart so brimming with love that he cannot hold it in—so full of sorrow that it must find a vent. Behold the bloody sweat as it distils from every pore of his body, and falls upon the ground. Behold the man as they drive the nails into his hands and feet. Look up, repenting sinners, and see the sorrowful image of your suffering Lord. Mark him, as the ruby drops stand on the thorn-crown, and adorn with priceless gems the diadem of the King of Misery. Behold the man when all his bones are out of joint, and he is poured out like water and brought into the dust of death; God hath forsaken him, and hell compasseth him about. Behold and see, was there ever sorrow like unto his sorrow that is done unto him? All ye that pass by draw near and look upon this spectacle of grief, unique, unparalleled, a wonder to men and angels, a prodigy unmatched. Behold the Emperor of Woe who had no equal or rival in his agonies! Gaze upon him, ye mourners, for if there be not consolation in a crucified Christ there is no joy in earth or heaven. If in the ransom price of his blood there be not hope, ye harps of heaven, there is no joy in you, and the right hand of God shall know no pleasures for evermore. We have only to sit more continually at the cross foot to be less troubled with our doubts and woes. We have but to see his sorrows, and our sorrows we shall be ashamed to mention. We have but to gaze into his wounds and heal our own. If we would live aright it must be by the contemplation of his death; if we would rise to dignity, it must be by considering his humiliation and his sorrow.

God is Waiting Upon Us

荒漠甘泉 Streams in the Desert

 
Scripture: "And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you...blessed are all they that wait f or him" (Isa. 30:18).
        We must not only think of our waiting upon God, but also of what is more wonderful still, of Gods waiting upon us. The vision of Him waiting on us, will give new impulse and inspiration to our waiting upon Him. It will give us unspeakable confidence that our waiting cannot be in vain. Let us seek even now, at this moment, in the spirit of waiting on God, to find out something of what it means. He has inconceivably glorious purposes concerning every one of His children. And you ask, "How is it, if He waits to be gracious, that even after I come and wait upon Him, He does not give the. help I seek, but waits on longer and longer?"

        God is a wise husbandman, "who waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it." He cannot gather the fruit till it is ripe. He knows when we are spiritually ready to receive the blessing to our profit and His glory. Waiting in the sunshine of His love is what will ripen the soul for His blessing. Waiting under the cloud of trial, that breaks in showers of blessings, is as needful. Be assured that if God waits longer than you could wish, it is only to make the blessing doubly precious. God waited four thousand years, till the fullness of time, ere He sent His Son. Our times are in His hands; He will avenge His elect speedily; He will make haste for our help, and not delay one hour too long. --Andrew Murray

The truth sets free

Restoring My Soul (VOL1) Day 145

 
References: Further Study: John 8:31-32 Heb 2:15 James 1:25 Rom 8:1-2 Luke 4:18 Gal 5:1-13
While speaking to a group of believers, Jesus began to talk about knowing the truth and being set free. He said, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’. This freedom is experienced in a number of ways. Firstly, we are set free from the curse of blindness. The word of truth causes us to ‘stumble’. It breaks our stride, causing us to fall and realise we are walking the wrong pathway. It opens our eyes to the reality of our sin and the damage it causes in all our relationships. At this point, we rightly feel condemned. However, the word of truth also declares the glorious truth of our sonship. This gives us hope. We know that we can change because every sin can be dealt with and sent away in Christ. So, we are also set free from the burden of condemnation. Further to this, the word of truth has the power to set us free from the fear of death. Perhaps this is the most deadly trap of all. Paul spoke of those who ‘through the fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives’. The word of truth proclaims that Christ has destroyed the power of death by His resurrection. He is alive, and He has been raised as the firstborn among many brethren. Death is the birthplace of life and multiplication. This illumination provokes us to lay our lives down in obedience to Christ. By this means, we become His disciples learning to be sons who love one another. We are sons of God walking according to the glorious law of liberty.

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Worthy is the Lamb

Restoring My Soul (VOL2) Day 145

 
References Further Study Rev 3:4 Eph 4:1 Rev 5 2 Thess 1:11 Col 1:10 1 Thess 2:12 Rev 5:1-6, 9-12
Following the cry of ‘Holy, holy, holy’, the apostle John heard another remarkable proclamation. A strong angel with a loud voice asked, ‘Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?’ The entirety of heaven and earth was searched and yet no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it, apart from the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He alone is worthy. Immediately, John beheld ‘a Lamb standing, as if slain’. And he heard the bondslaves of the Lamb singing a new song, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals’. Indeed, this is the Lamb and all who are with Him. It is the Lamb who has redeemed us to God from every tribe, tongue, people and nation by His own blood. He has made us to be king-priests to our God and we shall reign upon the earth. If we continue to walk and overcome, then we will walk with Him in white and be found worthy. We must reject forever the priority of our own salvation as if it can be attained apart from being fellow partakers in His kingship and priesthood. Our eternal redemption and eternal inheritance are exclusively in Jesus Christ. The effect of His priesthood is firstly the gathering of a multitude whose number is ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands and thousands. This multitude cry, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing’. We must not lose sight of our effective priesthood as we walk with Him in white. Indeed, a great multitude is gathering to the Lamb. We must be found worthy of our calling and worthy of the kingdom.

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The light of fire

Restoring My Soul (VOL3) Day 145

 
References Further Study Joh 1:1-4 Joh 3:5-8 Mal 3 Luk 1:35 Heb 6:4-5 Psa 18:28 Mal 3:3 1Pe 2:5 Rom 15:16
It is self-evident that fire is the energy of light. It is also self-evident that fire needs a source of fuel. In this way, the apostle John spoke of the Word who was in the beginning. And then he said, ‘In Him was life, and the life was the Light’. We know that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit. We know that He was born into human flesh by the work of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, when we are born again, we are also born of the Spirit. However, we must not assume that the source of oil is residing within us. The Holy Spirit has come to bring illumination and enlightenment so that the word of God is effective. The oil of the word is the fuel of the lamp. The fire of the Holy Spirit is coming to us so that we might testify like the psalmist, ‘You light my lamp’. This is the distinctive work of the Holy Spirit. He is the Lord of the harvest. However, He is also coming among us as fire to refine us and prepare us for our priestly work. In this way, the prophet Malachi spoke of the One whose coming would refine the sons of Levi so that they could present offerings in righteousness. In one respect, the Holy Spirit is not attending to our offering, He is firstly preparing us for our work. We are to be a holy and sanctified priesthood. Only then can we offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God, by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we must not be surprised by the refining fire, as if something strange is happening to us. The fiery trial is a most positive affirmation of the work of the Holy Spirit among us.

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The readiness for the harvest

Restoring My Soul (VOL4) Day 145

 
References Further Study Joh 4:35 Hos 10:12 Act 13:15-62 1Co 3:6-7 Psa 40:1 Jas 5:7 Rev 14:15
When Jesus said, ‘The fields are white for harvest’, He was evidently saying that the fields were ‘ready’ to be harvested. If we are working in a particular field, it is vital to know whether it is ready to be harvested or not. There is no point running a harvester over a football field. In many cases, there will be a huge amount of preparatory work before a field is ready for the harvester. As we share the gospel with people, we need to know what we are trying to achieve. There will be times when the Lord is ploughing up the fallow ground of a person’s heart by way of tragedy or some other circumstance, and all we have to do is be a good listener. There will be other times when we have the opportunity to plant a seed in a person’s life, or we may be watering a seed that’s been sown by another. We remember Paul said concerning the Corinthian church, ‘I planted, Apollos watered’. Continuing to think of the stages of a harvest, there will be times when we need to wait patiently. The farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. After we begin to share with a person, it may take months, or even years, before they are ready to fully commit their life to Jesus. Having said that, we might just be surprised how quick a person is to respond as well. There will be times when the Lord is unequivocally saying to us, ‘Thrust in your sickle and reap’. Even if we never ‘reap’ personally, we can be implicitly involved in all of the preparatory work that leads a person to salvation.

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