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INTERCESSION OF THE SPIRIT FOR THE SAINTS

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

 
Scripture: "He that searcheth the hearts knowetk what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the Will of God." — ROM. viii. 27.
        What a light these words cast upon the life of prayer in the hearts of the saints! We know not what we should pray for as we ought. How often this hinders our prayer or hinders the faith that is essential to its success. But here we are told for our encouragement, that the Holy Spirit maketh intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered: "He maketh intercession for the saints according to the Will of God."

        What a prospect is here opened up to us! Where and how does the Spirit make intercession for the saints ? In no other way than that, in the heart which knows not what to pray. He secretly and effectually prays what is according to the Will of God. This of course implies that we trust Him to do His work in us, and that we tarry before God even when we know what to pray, in the assurance that the Holy Spirit is praying in us. This implies fur¬ther that we take time to tarry in Gods presence, that we exercise an unbounded dependence upon the Holy Spirit who has been given us to cry "Abba Father" within us, even when we have nothing to offer but groanings and sighs that cannot be uttered.

        What a difference it would make in the life of many of Gods saints if they realized this! They have not only Jesus the Son of God, the great High Priest, ever living to intercede for them, they have not only the liberty of asking in faith, what they desire, and the promise that it shall be given them, but they have actually and in very deed the Holy Spirit, "the Spirit of grace and supplica¬tion," to carry on, in the depths of their being, His work of interceding for them according to the Will of God.

        What a call to separate ourselves from the world, to yield ourselves wholeheartedly to the leading and praying of the Spirit within us, deeper than all our thoughts or expectations !
        What a call to surrender ourselves in stillness of soul, resting in the Lord and waiting patiently for Him, as the Holy Spirit prays within us not only for ourselves, but specially for all saints according to the Will of God.

One a Majority!

信心的支票簿 Faith's check book

 
Scripture: "One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, He it is that fighteth for you, as He hath promised you"(Joshua 23:10).
        Why count heads? One man with God is a majority though there be a thousand on the other side. Sometimes our helpers may be too many for God to work with them, as was the case with Gideon, who could do nothing till he had increased his forces by thinning out their numbers. But the LORDs hosts are never too few. When God would found a nation, He called Abram alone and blessed him. When He would vanquish proud Pharaoh, He used no armies, but only Moses and Aaron. The "one-man ministry," as certain wise men call it, has been far more used of the LORD than trained bands with their officers. Did all the Israelites together slay so many as Samson alone? Saul and his hosts slew their thousands but David his ten thousands.

        The LORD can give the enemy long odds and yet vanquish him. If we have faith, we have God with us, and what are multitudes of men? One shepherds dog can drive before him a flock of sheep. If the LORD sent thee, O my brother, His strength will accomplish His divine purpose. Wherefore, rely on the promise, and be very courageous.

Morning, May 24

司布真日間靈修 Morning by Morning

 
Scripture: “Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer.”(Psalm 66:20)
        In looking back upon the character of our prayers, if we do it honestly, we shall be filled with wonder that God has ever answered them. There may be some who think their prayers worthy of acceptance—as the Pharisee did; but the true Christian, in a more enlightened retrospect, weeps over his prayers, and if he could retrace his steps he would desire to pray more earnestly. Remember, Christian, how cold thy prayers have been. When in thy closet thou shouldst have wrestled as Jacob did; but instead thereof, thy petitions have been faint and few—far removed from that humble, believing, persevering faith, which cries, “I will not let thee go except thou bless me.” Yet, wonderful to say, God has heard these cold prayers of thine, and not only heard, but answered them. Reflect also, how infrequent have been thy prayers, unless thou hast been in trouble, andthen thou hast gone often to the mercy-seat: but when deliverance has come, where has been thy constant supplication? Yet, notwithstanding thou hast ceased to pray as once thou didst, God has not ceased to bless. When thou hast neglected the mercy-seat, God has not deserted it, but the bright light of the Shekinah has always been visible between the wings of the cherubim. Oh! it is marvellous that the Lord should regard those intermittent spasms of importunity which come and go with our necessities. What a God is he thus to hear the prayers of those who come to him when they have pressing wants, but neglect him when they have received a mercy; who approach him when they are forced to come, but who almost forget to address him when mercies are plentiful and sorrows are few. Let his gracious kindness in hearing such prayers touch our hearts, so that we may henceforth be found “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.”

Evening, May 24

司布真夜間靈修 Evening by Evening

 
Scripture: “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ.”(Philippians 1:27)
        The word “conversation” does not merely mean our talk and converse with one another, but the whole course of our life and behaviour in the world. The Greek word signifies the actions and the privileges of citizenship: and thus we are commanded to let our actions, as citizens of the New Jerusalem, be such as becometh the gospel of Christ. What sort of conversation is this? In the first place, the gospel is very simple. So Christians should be simple and plain in their habits. There should be about our manner, our speech, our dress, our whole behaviour, that simplicity which is the very soul of beauty. The gospel is pre-eminently true, it is gold without dross; and the Christians life will be lustreless and valueless without the jewel of truth. The gospel is a very fearless gospel, it boldly proclaims the truth, whether men like it or not: we must be equally faithful and unflinching. But the gospel is also very gentle. Mark this spirit in its Founder: “a bruised reed he will not break.” Some professors are sharper than a thorn-hedge; such men are not like Jesus. Let us seek to win others by the gentleness of our words and acts. The gospel is very loving. It is the message of the God of love to a lost and fallen race. Christs last command to his disciples was, “Love one another.” O for more real, hearty union and love to all the saints; for more tender compassion towards the souls of the worst and vilest of men! We must not forget that the gospel of Christ is holy. It never excuses sin: it pardons it, but only through an atonement. If our life is to resemble the gospel, we must shun, not merely the grosser vices, but everything that would hinder our perfect conformity to Christ. For his sake, for our own sakes, and for the sakes of others, we must strive day by day to let our conversation be more in accordance with his gospel.

Wait on God's Time

荒漠甘泉 Streams in the Desert

 
Scripture: "Sarah bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him" (Gen. 21:2).
        The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations" (Psalm 33:11). But we must be prepared to wait Gods time. God has His set times. It is not for us to know them; indeed, we cannot know them; we must wait for them.

        If God had told Abraham in Haran that he must wait for thirty years until he pressed the promised child to his bosom, his heart would have failed him. So, in gracious love, the length of the weary years was hidden, and only as they were nearly spent, and there were only a few more months to wait, God told him that "according to the time of life, Sarah shall have a son." (Gen. 18:14.)

        The set time came at last; and then the laughter that filled the patriarchs home made the aged pair forget the long and weary vigil.
Take heart, waiting one, thou waitest for One who cannot disappoint thee; and who will not be five minutes behind the appointed moment: ere long "your sorrow shall be turned into joy."

        Ah, happy soul, when God makes thee laugh! Then sorrow and crying shall flee away forever, as darkness before the dawn. --Selected

        It is not for us who are passengers, to meddle with the chart and with the compass. Let that all-skilled Pilot alone with His own work. --Hall

        "Some things cannot be done in a day. God does not make a sunset glory in a moment, but for days may be massing the mist out of which He builds His palaces beautiful in the west."

The curse of the law

Restoring My Soul (VOL1) Day 104

 
References: Further Study: Acts 7:53 Rom 6:23 Eph 4:10-11 Col 2:14-15 Rom 8:1-17 Rev 12:9-10 1 Pet 2:23 1 Cor 15:56-57 Eph 4:1-16 Gal 3:19
When the people of Israel were being afflicted by fiery serpents in the wilderness, Moses made a bronze serpent and placed it on a pole. We might assume that this object represented Satan who is also called the ‘serpent of old’. This is true, but more specifically, Moses had been asked to make a bronze seraph. This is the literal translation of the Hebrew word. We know the seraphim were the angelic messengers in the Old Testament. We are told in the book of Acts that the law was given by the direction of angels. When Jesus was lifted up at Calvary the law was also nailed to the cross with its entire angelic administration. After His resurrection, Jesus Christ ascended far above the heavens. And as He ascended, He disarmed principalities and powers in the angelic dimension and gave gifts to men. He removed the mandate of the messenger from the province of angels, and appointed some as apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers and pastors. The curse of the law is the condemnation of death when the law is broken. Satan, whose name means adversary at law, is our foremost opponent and accuses us day and night according to the law. When Jesus was lifted up, bearing our sin in His body, He was accursed for us. Satan rose up to accuse Him, and yet ‘while being reviled, He did not revile in return’. As the Lamb slain, He did not open His mouth. The Father brought Him back from the dead as the great Shepherd of the sheep, bringing all believers back with Him. Jesus removed the curse of the law for those who look upon Him. The serpent, the ruler of this world, was likewise lifted up on the pole at Calvary to be disempowered and cast out.

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The Lord listens

Restoring My Soul (VOL2) Day 104

 
References Further Study Acts 2:24-25, 28, 38 Ex 19 Prov 12:28 Prov 15:24
When those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, the Lord listened. There are always three participants in our communications together – you, me, and the Lord. The Lord takes our communication very seriously. Malachi tells us that when they spoke to one another, the Lord listened and a book of remembrance was written before Him. This is the book of life. On account of all of this, He said, ‘They will be Mine on the day when I make up My jewels’. This is the same word as ‘peculiar’, ‘special’ and ‘a treasured possession’. Certainly, the Lord wants to possess us and make us His own. Having committed our lives to Jesus Christ and having chosen Him, we did not necessarily choose one another. It is imperative, nonetheless, that we give ourselves to proper communication and relationships together. Because of the fear of the Lord, we speak to one another and the Lord listens and gives attention. Many of our relationships in the body of Christ are founded in the fear of the Lord, meaning that in the normal course of life we would not have crossed paths. We are so different from one another, with such diverse backgrounds. This is not normally the way of society. People meet together because of common interests or personal similarities. In that respect, we are quite peculiar. We are a ‘peculiar’ people. The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him and who hope in His mercy. If we walk in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit we will be multiplied. The eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear Him. He listens as we speak to one another.

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The fruit of the house

Restoring My Soul (VOL3) Day 104

 
References Further Study Mat 7:7 Luk 11:9 Mat 7 Mat 12:33 1Co 16:15 Joh 15:5-8, 13-15
When a worthy house receives a messenger it becomes a centre of proclamation for the word of that messenger. Hospitality, friendship and fellowship are evident in this worthy house. Each house must abide in the fellowship of the vine, thus proving to be disciples and bringing forth enduring fruit. Such a householder is devoted to serving and deaconing the saints. In turn, they are able to disciple others in the culture and fellowship of offering in the body of Christ. As Christ has laid it down to us, so it is that a worthy house is able to love in the same way. We are to lay down our life for our friends. He calls us friends when we keep His commands and obey the word of a messenger. If we do not abide in the vine, that is, in the fellowship of one communion, then we will be an unfruitful branch. This type of branch dries up and is eventually cast into the fire and burnt. If we abide in the vine, then His words will abide in us. Accordingly, Jesus said, ‘Ask, and it will be given to you’. This is the life of Christ in a worthy house. From the fellowship of prayer, we go forth to bear much fruit and prove to be His disciples. In this way, a worthy house can become a unique and distinct firstfruits house. It is the type of fruit that identifies the nature and characteristic of the house. A tree or, in this case, a house is known by its fruit. We are reminded that the Corinthians ‘knew’ the house of Stephanas. They were known as a shepherding house, devoted to the deaconing of the saints according to the fruit of their house.

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Vessels of wrath

Restoring My Soul (VOL4) Day 104

 
References Further Study Jer 18:4 Eph 5:6 Rom 9 Col 3:6 Rom 9:21-22 Rom 11:17-21, 25, 32-33
The natural branches were broken off because of their unbelief and disobedience, and we were grafted in. Nevertheless, Paul said that we should not be arrogant against the branches that were broken off because God is able to graft them in again. And He is willing to break us off, if we do not continue in faith and obedience. We cannot be wise in our estimation. A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. This is the pinnacle! God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all. Paul could only say, ‘Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and unfathomable are His ways!’ This is His proposition. The Lord can turn a vessel of wrath into a vessel of mercy by the obedience of the vessel. A marred vessel that submits itself under the mighty hands of the Potter can be made into another vessel. Does not the Potter have a right and prerogative over the clay to make a vessel as He chooses? The Father has the right to do with you, as a vessel, whatsoever He chooses. He can make another vessel that pleases Him, as long as we grant Him that prerogative. There is something about the obedience of a person that gives the Potter access to their vessel of wrath so that it can be remade. A vessel of wrath is most simply a vessel that will not submit and a vessel that will not obey. He is filled with envy, malice and wrath. It is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience.

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