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PERSEVERING PRAYER

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

 
Scripture: "Men ought always to pray, and not to faint."—LUKE xviii. 1.
        One of the greatest drawbacks to the life of prayer is the fact that the answer does not come as speedily as we expect. We are discouraged by the thought: "Perhaps I do not pray aright," and so we do not persevere in prayer. This was a lesson that our Lord taught often and urgently. If we consider the matter we can see that there may be a reason for the delay, and the waiting may bring a blessing to our souls. Our desire must grow deeper and stronger, and we must ask with our whole heart. God puts us into the practising school of persevering prayer, that our weak faith may be strengthened. Do believe that there is a great blessing in the delayed answer to prayer.
        Above all, God would draw us into closer fellowship with Himself. When our prayers are not answered, we learn to realize that the fellowship and nearness and love of God are more to us than the answers of our petitions, and we continue in prayer. What a blessing Jacob received through the delay in the answer to his prayer! He saw God face to face, and as a prince he had power with God and prevailed.
        Christians, listen to this warning. Be not impatient or discouraged if the answer does not come. "Continue in prayer." "Pray without ceasing." You will find it an unspeakable blessing to do so. You will ask whether your prayer is really in accordance with the will of God, and the Word of God. You will inquire if it is in the right spirit and in the Name of Christ. Keep on praying, you will learn that the delay in the answer to prayer is one of the most precious means of grace that God can bestow on you. You will learn too that those who have persevered often and long before God, in pleading His promises, are those who have had the greatest power with God in prayer.

Christ and His Children

信心的支票簿 Faith's check book

 
Scripture: "When Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed"(Isaiah 53:10).
        Our LORD Jesus has not died in vain. His death was sacrificial: He died as our substitute, because death was the penalty of our sins. Because His substitution was accepted of God, He has saved those for whom He made His soul a sacrifice. By death He became like the corn of wheat which bringeth forth much fruit. There must be a succession of children unto Jesus; He is "the Father of the everlasting age." He shall say, "Behold, I and the children whom Thou hast given me."
        A man is honored in his sons, and Jesus hath His quiver full of these arrows of the mighty. A man is represented in his children, and so is the Christ in Christians. In his seed a mans life seems to be prolonged and extended; and so is the life of Jesus continued in believers.
        Jesus lives, for He sees His seed. He fixes His eye on us, He delights in us, He recognizes us as the fruit of His soul travail. Let us be glad that our LORD does not fail to enjoy the result of His dread sacrifice, and that He will never cease to feast His eyes upon the harvest of His death. Those eyes which once wept for us are now viewing us with pleasure. Yes, He looks upon those who are looking unto Him. Our eyes meet! What a joy is this!

Morning, January 18

司布真日間靈修 Morning by Morning

 
Scripture: “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.”(Hebrews 4:9)
        How different will be the state of the believer in heaven from what it is here! Here he is born to toil and suffer weariness, but in the land of the immortal, fatigue is never known. Anxious to serve his Master, he finds his strength unequal to his zeal: his constant cry is, “Help me to serve thee, O my God.” If he be thoroughly active, he will have much labour; not too much for his will, but more than enough for his power, so that he will cry out, “I am not wearied of the labour, but I am wearied in it.” Ah! Christian, the hot day of weariness lasts not for ever; the sun is nearing the horizon; it shall rise again with a brighter day than thou hast ever seen upon a land where they serve God day and night, and yet rest from their labours. Here, rest is but partial, there, it is perfect. Here, the Christian is always unsettled; he feels that he has not yet attained. There, all are at rest; they have attained the summit of the mountain; they have ascended to the bosom of their God. Higher they cannot go. Ah, toil-worn labourer, only think when thou shalt rest for ever! Canst thou conceive it? It is a rest eternal; a rest that “remaineth.” Here, my best joys bear “mortal” on their brow; my fair flowers fade; my dainty cups are drained to dregs; my sweetest birds fall before Deaths arrows; my most pleasant days are shadowed into nights; and the flood-tides of my bliss subside into ebbs of sorrow; but there, everything is immortal; the harp abides unrusted, the crown unwithered, the eye undimmed, the voice unfaltering, the heart unwavering, and the immortal being is wholly absorbed in infinite delight. Happy day! happy! when mortality shall be swallowed up of life, and the Eternal Sabbath shall begin.

Evening, January 18

司布真夜間靈修 Evening by Evening

 
Scripture: “He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”(Luke 24:27)
        The two disciples on the road to Emmaus had a most profitable journey. Their companion and teacher was the best of tutors; the interpreter one of a thousand, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The Lord Jesus condescended to become a preacher of the gospel, and he was not ashamed to exercise his calling before an audience of two persons, neither does he now refuse to become the teacher of even one. Let us court the company of so excellent an Instructor, for till he is made unto us wisdom we shall never be wise unto salvation.
        This unrivalled tutor used as his class-book the best of books. Although able to reveal fresh truth, he preferred to expound the old. He knew by his omniscience what was the most instructive way of teaching, and by turning at once to Moses and the prophets, he showed us that the surest road to wisdom is not speculation, reasoning, or reading human books, but meditation upon the Word of God. The readiest way to be spiritually rich in heavenly knowledge is to dig in this mine of diamonds, to gather pearls from this heavenly sea. When Jesus himself sought to enrich others, he wrought in the quarry of Holy Scripture.
        The favoured pair were led to consider the best of subjects, for Jesus spake of Jesus, and expounded the things concerning himself. Here the diamond cut the diamond, and what could be more admirable? The Master of the House unlocked his own doors, conducted the guests to his table, and placed his own dainties upon it. He who hid the treasure in the field himself guided the searchers to it. Our Lord would naturally discourse upon the sweetest of topics, and he could find none sweeter than his own person and work: with an eye to these we should always search the Word. O for grace to study the Bible with Jesus as both our teacher and our lesson!

The Fiery Furnace

荒漠甘泉 Streams in the Desert

 
Scripture: "Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ" (2 Cor. 2:14).
        God gets His greatest victories out of apparent defeats. Very often the enemy seems to triumph for a little, and God lets it be so; but then He comes in and upsets all the work of the enemy, overthrows the apparent victory, and as the Bible says, "turns the way of the wicked upside down." Thus He gives a great deal larger victory than we would have known if He had not allowed the enemy, seemingly, to triumph in the first place.
        The story of the three Hebrew children being cast into the fiery furnace is a familiar one. Here was an apparent victory for the enemy. It looked as if the servants of the living God were going to have a terrible defeat. We have all been in places where it seemed as though we were defeated, and the enemy rejoiced. We can imagine what a complete defeat this looked to be. They fell down into the flames, and their enemies watched them to see them burn up in that awful fire, but were greatly astonished to see them walking around in the fire enjoying themselves. Nebuchadnezzar told them to "come forth out of the midst of the fire." Not even a hair was singed, nor was the smell of fire on their garments, "because there is no other god that can deliver after this sort."
        This apparent defeat resulted in a marvelous victory.
        Suppose that these three men had lost their faith and courage, and had complained, saying, "Why did not God keep us out of the furnace!" They would have been burned, and God would not have been glorified. If there is a great trial in your life today, do not own it as a defeat, but continue, by faith, to claim the victory through Him who is able to make you more than conqueror, and a glorious victory will soon be apparent. Let us learn that in all the hard places God brings us into, He is making opportunities for us to exercise such faith in Him as will bring about blessed results and greatly glorify His name. --Life of Praise

The mystery hidden

Restoring My Soul (VOL1) Day 12

 
References: Further Study: Col 1:23, 26, 27 Eph 3:3, 8-9 John 3:3 Eph 3
When we contemplate the mystery of God, there are two truths immediately set before us. The first is that the mystery has been hidden in the desire of the Father’s heart. It is a mystery ‘which has been hidden from the past ages and generations’. However, the second truth proclaimed by Paul, is that ‘God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery’. The mystery is now being proclaimed to every man, in every generation, ‘in all creation under heaven’. And so the message of the gospel is the revelation of the mystery. It is the revelation of the hope of our sonship. As one with insight into the mystery, Paul considered his mandate to be the proclamation of the hope of the gospel. Concerning this he wrote to the Ephesians, ‘By revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief’. Paul considered himself to be the ‘least of all the saints’, and yet he had received grace to preach the ‘unfathomable riches of Christ’. He was a messenger of Christ proclaiming the glory of sonship in the Father’s house to all mankind. His earnest desire was to ‘make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God’. We must be born to see. This is the fundamental proposition of new birth. As Jesus said, ‘Unless one is born again [lit. from above], he cannot see the kingdom of God’.

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His flesh is our life

Restoring My Soul (VOL2) Day 12

 
References Further Study Eph 5:30 1 Cor 11:24 John 6:41-58 1 Cor 6:15 John 6:51
The flesh of Jesus is the bread of God which gives life to the world. He was the full expression of zoe life. He was truly the Word of Life who came and dwelt among us. When Jesus came into mortal flesh in the womb of Mary, He was already substantial. By this we mean that He did not ‘begin’ in the womb. He was Yahweh Son who humbled Himself to the womb of the virgin. He was the new creation coming into humankind. Let’s remember that He was a new creation long before He rose from the dead. When He came into human flesh, He was truly the bread from heaven coming to us. He clothed Himself with our flesh so that He could give us His flesh as the life of the world. We do not mean that everyone in the world will take hold of His flesh, but He has made it available to all. As we come into Him by adoption, His life becomes ours. We are born from above. Nevertheless, we must continue to eat His flesh, the bread from heaven, so that we ‘grow up’ in Him. Whatever we eat and drink of Christ while in our mortal bodies, whatever God works and forms in us, is what He raises at the last day in an incorruptible body. We groan inwardly, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven. In taking on our flesh, He gave us His flesh as the substance of our resurrection bodies. He has given us His flesh to eat. Of course, we do not eat His literal flesh, but rather we live by His word. In so doing, we will overcome death and inherit eternal life – body, soul and spirit.

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Proving in our heart

Restoring My Soul (VOL3) Day 12

 
References Further Study Exo 38:24, 29 2Co 9:12 Exo 29:1-28 Heb 13:15 Lev 7:34-36 Psa 26:2
The apostle Paul referred to the offering of thanksgiving on a number of occasions. This is the second level of the peace offering and it is a matter of the heart. According to Moses, the breast of the offering was waved before the Lord. The symbolism of this is quite straightforward. As the heave offering represented the portions of strength, that is, the right thigh and right shoulder, so the wave offering represented the portions which cover the heart. When the priests were ordained they were presented to the Lord as a wave offering. Our thanksgiving is indeed a wave offering. God is trying our hearts as we are testing ourselves to see if we are in the faith. We must always prove within our own hearts, not only our sincerity, but our capacity to fulfil every intention which motivates us. The first level of the peace offering is a sincere and discretionary freewill offering. Nevertheless, it is not a substantial part of an economy. No permanent commitment accompanies it. The wave offering of thanksgiving is notably more substantial. Nevertheless, it is not yet a vow. The wave offering represents the presentation of our heart before God, that He might acknowledge and receive us in the same way that He received the priests of old. The book of Exodus speaks of the gold of the wave offering and also the bronze of the wave offering. In this way, these two precious metals were offered to and received by the Lord. We can consider gold to be the symbol of the divine nature and bronze to be the symbol of judgement at His altar. When we bring a wave offering, the Lord tests our heart and our way so that we become commensurate with the offering we want to bring.

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The Greek empire

Restoring My Soul (VOL4) Day 12

 
References Further Study Dan 8:10-14 Dan 7:9 Dan 8 Dan 12:9 Rev 5:1 Rev 4:5 Dan 11:21, 31, 33-35
Daniel’s prophecies extend down into the time of the Greek empire. Whatever remains as a small lamp of witness is completely overwhelmed by the ‘transgression that causes horror’, the ‘abomination that makes desolate’. Daniel recorded, in symbolic terms, the conquests of Alexander and his four generals, and the succession to the ‘little horn’, Seleucus. The corruption of offering allowed a new horror. We read that ‘because of transgression’, some of the ‘stars’ of the ‘host of heaven’, as well as the ‘truth’ and the ‘sanctuary’, are all cast to the ground. The sanctuary is to be trampled underfoot for 2,300 days (years) all the way to the time of the end. This ‘abomination of desolation’ continued under a ‘vile person’, Antiochus, the descendent of Seleucus. It is in this context that Daniel spoke of the remnant that will be tested by ‘sword, flame, captivity, plundering, the fall of those with understanding, and hypocrisy’ for many days. They will be helped with a ‘little help’, ‘refined’ and ‘made white’ right through until the ‘appointed time’, namely, the ‘time of the end’. This is the time that the sanctuary will be cleansed. This coincides with the time mentioned earlier in Daniel’s prophecies, when thrones are set and the books are opened; referring to the seven-sealed book. This is also the time when the seven lamps are seen to be burning brightly before the throne.

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