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THE NATURE OF LOVE

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

 
Scripture: "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."--Romans 5:5
        "The Spirit of Love has this original God, as considered in Himself, in His Holy Being, before anything is brought forth by Him, or out of Him, is only an eternal Will to all Goodness. This is the one eternal, immutable God that, from Eternity to Eternity, changeth not, that can be neither more nor less, but an eternal Will to all the Goodness that is in Himself and come from Him. The creation of ever so many worlds adds nothing to, nor takes anything from, this immutable God: He always was, and always will be the same immutable Will to all Goodness. So that as certainly as He is the Creator, so certainly is He the Blesser of every created thing, and can give nothing but Blessing, Goodness and Happiness from Himself, because He has in Himself nothing else to give.

        "Now this is the ground and original of the Spirit of love in the creature. It is and must be a will to all goodness; and you have not the Spirit of Love till you have this will to all goodness at all times and on all occasions. You may indeed do many works of love, and delight in them, because they are not contradictory to your state and temper. But the Spirit of Love is not in you till it is the Spirit of your life, till you live freely, willingly and universally according to it. It knows no difference of time, place or person; but whether it gives or forgives, bears or forbears, it is equally doing its own delightful work. For the Spirit of Love, wherever it is, is its own blessing and happiness, because it is the truth and the reality of God in the soul. For as love has no by-ends, wills nothing but its own increase, so everything is as oil to its flame. The Spirit of Love does not want to be rewarded or honoured; its only desire is to propagate itself, and become the blessing and happiness of everything that wants it. The wrath of an enemy, the treachery of a friend, only helps the Spirit of Love to be more triumphant, to live its own life and find all its own blessing in a higher degree. The infinitely perfect and happy God is mere love, an unchangeable Will to all Goodness, and therefore every creature must be corrupt and unhappy, so far as it is led by any other will than the one will to all goodness."

        May God teach us that as glorious and holy as is His love to us, is the love with which He promises by His Holy Spirit to fill our hearts.

Child Chastisement Not Forever

信心的支票簿 Faith's check book

 
Scripture: "And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever"(1 Kings 11:39).
        In the family of grace there is discipline, and that discipline is severe enough to make it an evil and a bitter thing to sin. Solomon, turned aside by his foreign wives, had set up other gods and grievously provoked the God of his father; therefore, ten parts out of twelve of the kingdom were rent away and set up as a rival state. This was a sore affliction to the house of David, and it came upon that dynasty distinctly from the hand of God, as the result of unholy conduct. The LORD will chasten His best beloved servants if they cease from full obedience to His laws: perhaps at this very hour such chastening is upon us. Let us humbly cry, "O LORD, show me wherefore thou contendest with me."

        What a sweet saving clause is that -- "but not for ever"! The punishment of sin is everlasting, but the fatherly chastisement of it in a child of God is but for a season. The sickness, the poverty, the depression of spirit, will pass away when they have had their intended effect. Remember, we are not under law but under grace. The rod may make us smart, but the sword shall not make us die. Our present grief is meant to bring us to repentance that we may not be destroyed with the wicked.

Morning, August 14

司布真日間靈修 Morning by Morning

 
Scripture: “Thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work.”(Psalm 92:4)
        Do you believe that your sins are forgiven, and that Christ has made a full atonement for them? Then what a joyful Christian you ought to be! How you should live above the common trials and troubles of the world! Since sin is forgiven, can it matter what happens to you now? Luther said, “Smite, Lord, smite, for my sin is forgiven; if thou hast but forgiven me, smite as hard as thou wilt”; and in a similar spirit you may say, “Send sickness, poverty, losses, crosses, persecution, what thou wilt, thou hast forgiven me, and my soul is glad.” Christian, if thou art thus saved, whilst thou art glad, be grateful and loving. Cling to that cross which took thy sin away; serve thou him who served thee. “I beseech you therefore, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Let not your zeal evaporate in some little ebullition of song. Show your love in expressive tokens. Love the brethren of him who loved you. If there be a Mephibosheth anywhere who is lame or halt, help him for Jonathans sake. If there be a poor tried believer, weep with him, and bear his cross for the sake of him who wept for thee and carried thy sins. Since thou art thus forgiven freely for Christs sake, go and tell to others the joyful news of pardoning mercy. Be not contented with this unspeakable blessing for thyself alone, but publish abroad the story of the cross. Holy gladness and holy boldness will make you a good preacher, and all the world will be a pulpit for you to preach in. Cheerful holiness is the most forcible of sermons, but the Lord must give it you. Seek it this morning before you go into the world. When it is the Lords work in which we rejoice, we need not be afraid of being too glad.

Evening, August 14

司布真夜間靈修 Evening by Evening

 
Scripture: “I know their sorrows.”(Exodus 3:7)
        The child is cheered as he sings, “This my father knows”; and shall not we be comforted as we discern that our dear Friend and tender soul-husband knows all about us?
        1. He is the Physician, and if he knows all, there is no need that the patient should know. Hush, thou silly, fluttering heart, prying, peeping, and suspecting! What thou knowest not now, thou shalt know hereafter, and meanwhile Jesus, the beloved Physician, knows thy soul in adversities. Why need the patient analyze all the medicine, or estimate all the symptoms? This is the Physicians work, not mine; it is my business to trust, and his to prescribe. If he shall write his prescription in uncouth characters which I cannot read, I will not be uneasy on that account, but rely upon his unfailing skill to make all plain in the result, however mysterious in the working.
        2. He is the Master, and his knowledge is to serve us instead of our own; we are to obey, not to judge: “The servant knoweth not what his lord doeth.” Shall the architect explain his plans to every hodman on the works? If he knows his own intent, is it not enough? The vessel on the wheel cannot guess to what pattern it shall be conformed, but if the potter understands his art, what matters the ignorance of the clay? My Lord must not be cross-questioned any more by one so ignorant as I am.
        3. He is the Head. All understanding centres there. What judgment has the arm? What comprehension has the foot? All the power to know lies in the head. Why should the member have a brain of its own when the head fulfils for it every intellectual office? Here, then, must the believer rest his comfort in sickness, not that he himself can see the end, but that Jesus knows all. Sweet Lord, be thou for ever eye, and soul, and head for us, and let us be content to know only what thou choosest to reveal.

God's Will

荒漠甘泉 Streams in the Desert

 
Scripture: "Thou couldst have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above" (John 19:11).
        Nothing that is not Gods will can come into the life of one who trusts and obeys God. This fact is enough to make our life one of ceaseless thanksgiving and joy. For "Gods will is the one hopeful, glad, and glorious thing in the world"; and it is working in the omnipotence for us all the time, with nothing to prevent it if we are surrendered and believing.

        One who was passing through deep waters of affliction wrote to a friend: "Is it not a glorious thing to know that, no difference how unjust a thing may be, or how absolutely it may seem to be from Satan, by the time it reaches us it is Gods will for us, and will work for good to us? For all things work together for good to us who love God. And even of the betrayal, Christ said, "The cup which my Father gave me, shall I not drink it?" We live charmed lives if we are living in the center of Gods will. All the attacks that Satan, through others sin, can hurl against us are not only powerless to harm us, but are turned into blessings on the way.--H. W. S.

The vision of Zechariah

Restoring My Soul (VOL1) Day 161

 
References: Further Study: Zech 4:2-3, 14 Eph 4:8 Ex 25:31-40 Zech 4
In his vision, Zechariah saw a golden lampstand with seven lamps. We find this same piece of furniture in Moses’ tabernacle. However, we observe some significant differences. The lampstand in Zechariah’s vision had a bowl suspended above it, and there were two olive trees on either side of the bowl. Zechariah asked, ‘What are the two olive trees?’. The angel answered, ‘These are the two yitzah’, which literally means ‘light producing sons’. Our English translations say ‘anointed ones’. The two olive trees, or sons of fresh oil, are the administrations of kingship and priesthood which ‘stand by the Lord’. These two administrations pour oil into the golden bowl which represents the five ministries of Christ in His fullness. We’ll recall that when Christ ascended on high, He gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. This is the hand of Christ. Zechariah also saw forty-nine pipes attached to the bowl, dispensing oil; seven pipes to each lamp. By this means, the oil is ‘measured’ to each lamp. We could say the ‘right amount’ of oil reaches each lamp at the ‘right time’ and in the ‘right way’. The two olive trees emptied golden oil into the bowl. Like Christ Himself, emptying is the process by which oil is supplied. The administration of the word or the ministry of the messenger is to empty oil into vessels. The significance of this entire picture is that we do not supply our own oil. Oil must be poured out towards us ‘from above’.

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Seven covenants

Restoring My Soul (VOL2) Day 161

 
References Further Study 2 Cor 3:14 Heb 8:13 Heb 8 Luke 22:20 1 Cor 11:25 Heb 6:14 2 Sam 23:5 Exo 19:5
On first observation, the Bible appears to be broken into two parts. We commonly refer to them as the Old and New Testaments. This is somewhat misleading. When the apostle Paul spoke of the Old Covenant, he was referring to the particular covenant which the Lord made with Moses on behalf of the nation of Israel. We refer to this as the Mosaic Covenant or the law covenant. It is not strictly correct to refer to everything that predates the coming of Jesus as the Old Testament or covenant. There were six notable covenants which God made with men before He made the New Covenant with the blood of Jesus ‘as of a Lamb’. Predating all of these covenants is the Eternal Covenant made before the ages. It is most helpful to read the Scriptures in the context of seven covenants. Concerning these seven covenants, there are two particular features which determine the obligations upon the parties involved. Firstly, we find an unconditional covenant. The most notable of all of these are the covenants which God made with Abraham and David. The Lord placed the obligation for the fulfilment of these covenants completely upon Himself regardless of the response of the other party. Hence, He swore by Himself and said to Abraham, ‘I will surely bless you’. It would be foolish therefore, to consider that this covenant is old, redundant, and has passed away. In the same way, when the Lord made His covenant with David, He Himself called it an Everlasting or Eternal Covenant. The covenant which the Lord made with Israel was a conditional covenant. The obligation for its fulfilment rested on both parties fulfilling their covenant obligations. Accordingly, the Lord said to Israel, ‘If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you will be My own possession’.

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Hearing, believing, receiving

Restoring My Soul (VOL3) Day 161

 
References Further Study Joh 3:27, 29 1Jn 5:10 Joh 8 Joh 1:20 Joh 16:13 Joh 8:31-32
John the Baptist prepared the people for the coming of Jesus. By hearing him, they were learning to receive the One who sent him. We must be prepared in the same manner: hearing, believing, receiving. Unless we believe the testimony that we receive from a messenger, we will not receive anything from God. God doesn’t forcefully lay out what is true so that we will believe. No, we must ‘receive’ His testimony, and then we know that He is true. If we don’t believe, we are calling God a liar. The John of our story wrote this very clearly. For the one who believes, the source and reason of things is never in himself. A believer must be able to receive what is from God, receive His testimony, and then the truth is sealed to him as being certain. We are not the source of the truth! We must always be ‘believers’. This is what the Baptist demonstrated. He was having such an impact that many thought he was the Messiah. So he told them clearly: ‘I am not the Christ’. He called himself ‘the friend of the bridegroom’. He was only preparing the reception for someone else. He was only revealing the One who would come after him. He was making it clear that anyone who believes will cease to be the source of his own life, and will begin to reveal the life of someone else. What he was teaching was the way of the Lamb. He was teaching men in all ages to lose their own lives to receive Christ.

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Our priesthood

Restoring My Soul (VOL4) Day 161

 
References Further Study Rev 1:6 Php 3 Rom 12:1 Heb 10:20, 22-23 Hos 6:3
We have been given the privilege of being priests of God. Our work is the ministry of priesting the life of Jesus Christ. Our priesthood is activated by the blood of Jesus, enabling us to be priests of His body and blood. We read in the book of Revelation that He has made us to be a kingdom of priests to His God and Father. Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, makes us the priest of our own offering. ‘Present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God.’ As we offer ourselves in service to God as His sons, the blood, or life, that empowers our offering is the blood of Christ. We do not offer by the power of our own blood, or life. We have confidence to enter the holy place and offer as priests by the blood of Jesus. This is the ‘new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh’. When we are proactive in our priesthood, we will encounter opposition and experience suffering. The blood of Christ becomes operative in suffering, giving life to us and those to whom we minister. If we seek to use the work of Christ as a substitute for suffering, we will be offended at the gospel when tribulation and affliction come upon us. We need to hold fast the confession of our hope of being sons of God without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.’ Let us press on as priests and attain our sonship. That is what Paul was saying. Our offering is to fulfil the works that belong to our sonship, the works prepared for us to do by the Father before the world began.

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