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THE POWER OF TIME

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

 
Scripture: "My times are in Thy hand."—Ps. xxxi. 15.
        The plural implies the singular: "My time is in Thy hand. It belongs to Thee; Thou alone hast a right to command it. I yield it wholly and gladly to Thy disposal." What mighty power time can exert if wholly given up to God!

        Time is lord of all things. What is all the history of the world but a proof of how, slowly but surely, time has made man what he is today? All around us we see the proofs. In the growth of the child of manhood, both physically and mentally, in the success in every pursuit, in all our labours and all our attainments, it is under the law of time and its inconceivable power that we spend our lives.

        This is specially true in religion and the intercourse with God. Time here too is master. What fellowship with God! What holiness and blessedness! What likeness to His image, and what power in His service for blessing to men!—all on the one condition: that we have sufficient time with God for His holiness to shine on us with its light and its heat, and to make us partakers of His Spirit and His life. The very essence of religion lies in the thought: Time with God. And yet how many of Gods servants there are who, while giving their lives to His service, frankly confess that the feebleness of their spiritual life as missionaries, and the inadequate results of mission work as a whole, are due to the failure to make the leisure, and, when secured, rightly to use it, for daily communion with God,

        What can be the cause at the back of this sad confession? Nothing but a lack of faith in the God-given assurance that time spent alone with God will indeed bring into the lives of His servants the power to enable them to use all their time in His fellow¬ship that His abiding presence will be with them all the day.

        Oh, my brother, who complainest that overwork, or too much zeal in doing the work, is hindering thy spiritual efficiency, do you not see that if you would but submit your time-table to the inspection of Christ and His Holy Spirit, you would find that a new life would be yours if you fully believed and put into daily practice the word: "My time is in Thy hand" ?

Perfect Purity

信心的支票簿 Faith's check book

 
Scripture: "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment"(Revelation 3:5).
        Warrior of the cross, fight on! Never rest till thy victory is complete, for thine eternal reward will prove worthy of a life of warfare.

        See, here is perfect purity for thee! A few in Sardis kept their garments undefiled, and their recompense is to be spotless. Perfect holiness is the prize of our high calling; let us not miss it.

        See, here is joy! Thou shalt wear holiday robes, such as men put on at wedding feasts; thou shalt be clothed with gladness and be made bright with rejoicing. Painful struggles shall end in peace of conscience and joy in the LORD.

        See, here is victory! Thou shalt have thy triumph. Palm, and crown, and white robe shall be thy guerdon; thou shalt be treated as a conqueror and owned as such by the LORD Himself.

        See, here is priestly array! Thou shalt stand before the LORD in such raiment as the sons of Aaron wore; thou shalt offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving and draw near unto the LORD with the incense of praise.

        Who would not fight for a LORD who gives such large honors to the very least of His faithful servants? Who would not be clothed in a fools coat for Christs sake, seeing He will robe us with glory?

Morning, July 24

司布真日間靈修 Morning by Morning

 
Scripture: “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.”(Exodus 14:13)
        These words contain Gods command to the believer when he is reduced to great straits and brought into extraordinary difficulties. He cannot retreat; he cannot go forward; he is shut up on the right hand and on the left; what is he now to do? The Masters word to him is, “Stand still.” It will be well for him if at such times he listens only to his Masters word, for other and evil advisers come with their suggestions. Despair whispers, “Lie down and die; give it all up.” But God would have us put on a cheerful courage, and even in our worst times, rejoice in his love and faithfulness. Cowardice says, “Retreat; go back to the worldlings way of action; you cannot play the Christians part, it is too difficult. Relinquish your principles.” But, however much Satan may urge this course upon you, you cannot follow it if you are a child of God. His divine fiat has bid thee go from strength to strength, and so thou shalt, and neither death nor hell shall turn thee from thy course. What, if for a while thou art called to stand still, yet this is but to renew thy strength for some greater advance in due time. Precipitancy cries, “do something. Stir yourself; to stand still and wait, is sheer idleness.” We must be doing something at once—we must do it so we think—instead of looking to the Lord, who will not only do something but will do everything. Presumption boasts, “If the sea be before you, march into it and expect a miracle.” But Faith listens neither to Presumption, nor to Despair, nor to Cowardice, nor to Precipitancy, but it hears God say, “Stand still,” and immovable as a rock it stands. “Stand still;”—keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, “Go forward.”

Evening, July 24

司布真夜間靈修 Evening by Evening

 
Scripture: “His camp is very great.”(Joel 2:11)
        Consider, my soul, the mightiness of the Lord who is thy glory and defence. He is a man of war, Jehovah is his name. All the forces of heaven are at his beck, legions wait at his door, cherubim and seraphim;, watchers and holy ones, principalities and powers, are all attentive to his will. If our eyes were not blinded by the ophthalmia of the flesh, we should see horses of fire and chariots of fire round about the Lords beloved. The powers of nature are all subject to the absolute control of the Creator: stormy wind and tempest, lightning and rain, and snow, and hail, and the soft dews and cheering sunshine, come and go at his decree. The bands of Orion he looseth, and bindeth the sweet influences of the Pleiades. Earth, sea, and air, and the places under the earth, are the barracks for Jehovahs great armies; space is his camping ground, light is his banner, and flame is his sword. When he goeth forth to war, famine ravages the land, pestilence smites the nations, hurricane sweeps the sea, tornado shakes the mountains, and earthquake makes the solid world to tremble. As for animate creatures, they all own his dominion, and from the great fish which swallowed the prophet, down to “all manner of flies,” which plagued the field of Zoan, all are his servants, and like the palmer-worm, the caterpillar, and the cankerworm, are squadrons of his great army, for his camp is very great. My soul, see to it that thou be at peace with this mighty King, yea, more, be sure to enlist under his banner, for to war against him is madness, and to serve him is glory. Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, is ready to receive recruits for the army of the Lord: if I am not already enlisted let me go to him ere I sleep, and beg to be accepted through his merits; and if I be already, as I hope I am, a soldier of the cross, let me be of good courage; for the enemy is powerless compared with my Lord, whose camp is very great.

Believe in Order to See

荒漠甘泉 Streams in the Desert

 
Scripture: "Then believed they his words; they sang his praise. They soon forgot his works; they waited not for his counsel; but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul" (Ps. 106:12-15).

        We read of Moses, that "he endured, as seeing him who is invisible." Exactly the opposite was true of the children of Israel in this record. They endured only when the circumstances were favorable; they were largely governed by the things that appealed to their senses, in place of resting in the invisible and eternal God.

        In the present day there are those who live intermittent Christian lives because they have become occupied with the outward, and center in circumstances, in place of centering in God. God wants us more and more to see Him in everything, and to call nothing small if it bears us His message.

        Here we read of the children of Israel, "Then they believed his words." They did not believe till after they saw--when they saw Him work, then they believed. They really doubted God when they came to the Red Sea; but when God opened the way and led them across and they saw Pharaoh and his host drowned--"then they believed."

        They led an up and down life because of this kind of faith; it was a faith that depended upon circumstances. This is not the kind of faith God wants us to have.

        The world says "seeing is believing," but God wants us to believe in order to see. The Psalmist said, "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."

        Do you believe God only when the circumstances are favorable, or do you believe no matter what the circumstances may be?-- C. H. P.

        Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe. --St. Augustine

Dwelling with us forever

Restoring My Soul (VOL1) Day 148

 
References: Further Study: John 14:16, 17 1 Cor 6:17 Acts 2:33 Acts 13:1-4
We’ll recall that Jesus spoke of returning to the Father so that the Holy Spirit could come to us. More than this, He promised that the Holy Spirit would be ‘with us forever’. This is an interesting thought. The work of the Holy Spirit will not finish when Christ comes again at the end of the age. The Holy Spirit is not simply ‘holding the fort’, so to speak, until Christ’s second coming. He has an integral work in preparing us for Christ’s return, and then His work continues into eternity. Jesus said we will know the Holy Spirit, because ‘He abides with you, and will be in you’. Accordingly, in his letter to the Corinthians, Paul spoke of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. We do not belong to ourselves, and the Holy Spirit is working to sanctify us. He is both separating us from the world, and joining us to the Lord. By this sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit we become one spirit with the Lord, for ‘the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him’. By this means, the Holy Spirit forever enables our sonship, because He joins us to the Lord so that we are eternally one spirit with Him. In this age, the Holy Spirit is joining us to the body of Christ, so that we are of His flesh and of His bones. And in this context, He is bringing the Spirit of the Son into our hearts. In the age to come, He will continue to sanctify the relationship of one spirit between the bride and Christ, and between the many sons and the Father. He is the Holy Spirit, forever the sanctifying Spirit with us.

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The place of the firstborn

Restoring My Soul (VOL2) Day 148

 
References Further Study Psa 89:27 Col 1:18 Rom 11 Rev 1:5-6 Acts 26:23 Acts 3:26 Gal 3:8-9 Eph 2:12 Rom 9:26
Jesus Christ is the firstborn from the dead. This is a most glorious truth. He was brought again from the dead by the blood of the Everlasting Covenant. In that sense, even though He was without sin, He was redeemed. Jesus was redeemed to the place of the firstborn. Hence, the psalmist said, ‘I shall make Him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth’. And more than this, He is the ‘firstborn among many brethren’. What faith and peace this brings! The blood of the Lamb redeems us to the place and position of firstborn sons in Him. And this place is for all believers. Paul recounts that Jesus Christ was the first to proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles. It is of some interest to us that the gospel was preached firstly to the Jews. Paul and Barnabas said to the Jews, ‘It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first’. The gospel was preached firstly to the Jews because they were chosen to be the first of His harvest. However, they judged themselves unworthy of eternal life and the gospel turned immediately to the Gentiles. This has tremendous meaning for all nations who were strangers to the covenant promises. Jesus has redeemed all men and brought them near by His blood. He reconciled both Jew and Gentile in His body. He was raised as the firstfruits of the new creation. Foreseeing that the Gentiles would be justified by faith, this gospel was preached beforehand to Abraham and all those who ‘of faith’ are blessed with believing Abraham. Indeed, speaking of both Jew and Gentile it is written, ‘In the place where it was said to them, “You are not My people”, there they shall be called sons of the living God’.

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The work of the Holy Spirit

Restoring My Soul (VOL3) Day 148

 
References Further Study Pro 15:3 1Pe 3:12 Act 20 Zec 4:10 Psa 127:1 1Co 3:12-15 1Pe 2:5 Act 20:17, 23, 28
When Paul called the Ephesian elders to the port city of Miletus, he desired to meet with them one final time. He was aware of his final work. The Holy Spirit was testifying in every place concerning his way. And He was speaking of bonds and chains that awaited Paul. The apostle spoke similarly to the elders, reminding them that the Holy Spirit had made them overseers. It is quickly evident that this is the work of the Holy Spirit. We know that the eyes of the Lord are in every place. This is another aspect of the work of the seven-fold Spirit of God. He is the eyes of the Lord. It is the Holy Spirit who appoints overseers as watchmen. They are to watch over the flock. Elders and deacons are to be men filled with the Holy Spirit, for without the Spirit the watchmen stay awake in vain. Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it. It is our heart’s desire to build with gold, silver, and precious stones. But more than this, we aspire to the reward of the fiery trial. Every man’s work will be tested by fire. If our work remains, then we will receive our wages. It is within the desire of the Holy Spirit to refine us as an effective priesthood which offers up spiritual sacrifices. There is no other means by which the Lord’s house is built. The house is the fruit of offering. It is our work to present offerings in righteousness. We are offering up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God. In every season of the work, we are to sow and reap accordingly, and bring forth a harvest of righteousness. This is the work of the Holy Spirit among us.

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Invitational and event evangelism

Restoring My Soul (VOL4) Day 148

 
References Further Study Joh 4:29 Mar 2:14-22 Joh 1:41-42, 46
There will be many times when we need to invite people to an event, knowing that more than our own personal input is necessary. In this way, they can be strategically connected to more people or a particular style of ministry. We might invite them to a public church event, or a smaller house-to-house initiative. All of us can and will do this, although there are some people who are particularly effective at this form of invitational evangelism. The woman at the well is a very good example of this. After meeting Jesus, she went into the town and invited all her friends to come and see a man who told her everything she had ever done. Some people are very good at knowing when and how to invite a person along to an event. They know what sort of event will be most helpful for the person, depending on how ready they are for harvest. Some events will be effective in preparing the ground of a person’s heart, sowing seed, or watering. Some events will be specifically targeted toward reaping. We need to know when a person is ready for that. In terms of a household initiative, we could consider Matthew the tax collector. He invited a whole bunch of tax collectors and sinners to a great big party so they had the opportunity to meet Jesus. This is a very effective form of evangelism. We can invite all sorts of different people to our homes, or some other place, along with some of our Christian friends who are good at connecting with people. We learn from Matthew’s experience that we don’t want any Pharisees, or people who will be exclusive and judgmental. We want people who are happy to be the friend of sinners so that they can be connected to Jesus.

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