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OUR DEATH AND LIFE IN CHRIST

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

 
Scripture: "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."--Romans 8:11
        "Why could not the Apostles, who had been eye-witnesses to the whole process of Christ, testify with their human apprehension the truth of such things, till they were baptized with fire and born again of the Spirit? It is because the truth of such things, or the mysteries of Christs process as know-able by man, are nothing else in themselves, but those very things which are done by this heavenly fire and Spirit of God in our souls. Therefore every man, however able in all kinds of human literature, must be an entire stranger to all the mysteries of Gospel redemption till they are verified, fulfilled and witnessed to by that which is found and enjoyed of the whole process of Christ in his soul. As the work of the Spirit consists in altering that which is the most radical in the soul, bringing forth a new spiritual death and a new spiritual life, it must be true, that no one can know or believe the mysteries of Christs redeeming power, but only and solely by an inward and experimental finding and feeling the operation of them, in that new death and new life, both of which must be effected in the soul of man, or Christ is not known as its salvation.

        "Behmen prefixed as a motto to most of his epistles the words of Scripture: that our salvation is in the life of Jesus Christ in us. This truth of truths fully possessed and firmly adhered to, turns the whole faith of man to a Christ that can nowhere be a Saviour to him but as essentially born in the inmost spirit of his soul by the immediate inspiration and working power of the Holy Spirit within him. To such a man the words of Christ and His Apostles fall like a fire into him. And what is it they kindle there? A holy flame of love, to be always with, always attending to, that Christ and his Holy Spirit within Him, which alone can make him to be and do all that which the words of Christ and His Apostles have taught. For there is no possibility of being like-minded with Christ in anything that He taught, or having the truth of one Christian virtue, but by the nature and Spirit of Christ essentially living in us."

        We need ever to remember that the great work of the Holy Spirit is to reveal Christ in us.. Not to the mind as a matter of knowledge, but in the heart and life, communicating to us the very death and life of our Lord. It is thus that Christ is formed in us, has His abode in us, and works in us and through us all that is well-pleasing to the Father. Take time to yield yourself to this blessed truth; in it lies the true secret of the Christian life.

Waiting, Not Running

信心的支票簿 Faith's check book

 
Scripture: "Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from Him cometh my salvation"(Psalm 62:1).
        Blessed posture! Waiting truly and only upon the LORD. Be this our condition all this day and every day. Waiting His leisure, waiting in His service, waiting in joyful expectation, waiting in prayer, and content. When the very soul thus waits, it is in the best and truest condition of a creature before his Creator, a servant before his Master, a child before his Father. We allow no dictation to God, nor complaining of Him; we will permit no petulance and no distrust. At the same time, we practice no running before the cloud and no seeking to others for aid: neither of these would be waiting upon God. God, and God alone, is the expectation of our hearts.

        Blessed assurance! From Him salvation is coming; it is on the road. It will come from Him and from no one else. He shall have all the glory of it, for He alone can and will perform it. And He will perform it most surely in His own time and manner. He will save from doubt, and suffering, and slander, and distress. Though we see no sign of it as yet, we are satisfied to bide the LORDs will, for we have no suspicion of His love and faithfulness. He will make sure work of it before long, and we will praise Him at once for the coming mercy.

Morning, August 11

司布真日間靈修 Morning by Morning

 
Scripture: “Oh that I were as in months past.”(Job 29:2)
        Numbers of Christians can view the past with pleasure, but regard the present with dissatisfaction; they look back upon the days which they have passed in communing with the Lord as being the sweetest and the best they have ever known, but as to the present, it is clad in a sable garb of gloom and dreariness. Once they lived near to Jesus, but now they feel that they have wandered from him, and they say, “O that I were as in months past!” They complain that they have lost their evidences, or that they have not present peace of mind, or that they have no enjoyment in the means of grace, or that conscience is not so tender, or that they have not so much zeal for Gods glory. The causes of this mournful state of things are manifold. It may arise through a comparative neglect of prayer, for a neglected closet is the beginning of all spiritual decline. Or it may be the result of idolatry. The heart has been occupied with something else, more than with God; the affections have been set on the things of earth, instead of the things of heaven. A jealous God will not be content with a divided heart; he must be loved first and best. He will withdraw the sunshine of his presence from a cold, wandering heart. Or the cause may be found in self-confidence and self-righteousness. Pride is busy in the heart, and self is exalted instead of lying low at the foot of the cross. Christian, if you are not now as you “were in months past,” do not rest satisfied with wishing for a return of former happiness, but go at once to seek your Master, and tell him your sad state. Ask his grace and strength to help you to walk more closely with him; humble yourself before him, and he will lift you up, and give you yet again to enjoy the light of his countenance. Do not sit down to sigh and lament; while the beloved Physician lives there is hope, nay there is a certainty of recovery for the worst cases.

Evening, August 11

司布真夜間靈修 Evening by Evening

 
Scripture: “Everlasting consolation.”(2 Thessalonians 2:16)
        “Consolation.” There is music in the word: like Davids harp, it charms away the evil spirit of melancholy. It was a distinguished honour to Barnabas to be called “the son of consolation”; nay, it is one of the illustrious names of a greater than Barnabas, for the Lord Jesus is “the consolation of Israel.” “Everlasting consolation”—here is the cream of all, for the eternity of comfort is the crown and glory of it. What is this “everlasting consolation”? It includes a sense of pardoned sin. A Christian man has received in his heart the witness of the Spirit that his iniquities are put away like a cloud, and his transgressions like a thick cloud. If sin be pardoned, is not that an everlasting consolation? Next, the Lord gives his people an abiding sense of acceptance in Christ. The Christian knows that God looks upon him as standing in union with Jesus. Union to the risen Lord is a consolation of the most abiding order; it is, in fact, everlasting. Let sickness prostrate us, have we not seen hundreds of believers as happy in the weakness of disease as they would have been in the strength of hale and blooming health? Let deaths arrows pierce us to the heart, our comfort dies not, for have not our ears full often heard the songs of saints as they have rejoiced because the living love of God was shed abroad in their hearts in dying moments? Yes, a sense of acceptance in the Beloved is an everlasting consolation. Moreover, the Christian has a conviction of his security. God has promised to save those who trust in Christ: the Christian does trust in Christ, and he believes that God will be as good as his word, and will save him. He feels that he is safe by virtue of his being bound up with the person and work of Jesus.

Rejoice in the Lord

荒漠甘泉 Streams in the Desert

 
Scripture: "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation" (Hab. 3:17, 18).
        Observe, I entreat you, how calamitous a circumstance is here supposed, and how heroic a faith is expressed. It is really as if he said, "Though I should be reduced to so great extremity as not to know where to find my necessary food, though I should look around about me on an empty house and a desolate field, and see the marks of the Divine scourge where I had once seen the fruits of Gods bounty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord."

        Methinks these words are worthy of being written as with a diamond on a rock forever. Oh, that by Divine grace they might be deeply engraven on each of our hearts! Concise as the form of speaking in the text is, it evidently implies or expresses the following particulars: That in the day of his distress he would fly to God; that he would maintain a holy composure of spirit under this dark dispensation, nay, that in the midst of all he would indulge in a sacred joy in God, and a cheerful expectation from Him. Heroic confidence! Illustrious faith! Unconquerable love!--Doddridge.

The supply of oil

Restoring My Soul (VOL1) Day 160

 
References: Further Study: Ecc 9:8 Eph 4:16 Phil 1:19 Phil 4:18 2 Cor 4:10,12 Phil 1
The supply of oil to the lamps was constantly replenished by the priests. By this means, the lamps burned continually. In the same way, we need a constant supply of oil in our lives. This is the supply of the Spirit of Christ, enabling our light to ‘shine before men’. We read in the book of Ecclesiastes, ‘Let not oil be lacking upon your head’. The apostle Paul understood that the Spirit of Christ is produced in the midst of trial and affliction. For this reason, He spoke of ‘always carrying in our bodies the dying of Jesus’. In the worldly sense, affliction produces nothing but death. However, when we commit our lives to the Lord, all our suffering becomes a participation in the ‘dying of Jesus’. We join the sufferings of Christ. This is full of meaning. Our affliction begins producing oil and we find the capacity to reveal Christ in our flesh. If we have a supply of the Spirit of Christ, we have something to give others. This is why Paul spoke of ‘death working in us, but life in you’. Offering and prayer become the two ways that we tangibly supply the Spirit of Christ to others. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul described the body of Christ being held together and growing ‘by that which every joint supplies’. He also rejoiced that the Spirit of Christ was being supplied to him by the prayers of the Philippian church. By the offering and prayers of this faithful group, Paul knew abundance and was amply supplied. We could say that he had no ‘lack of oil’ upon his head.

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The whole counsel of God

Restoring My Soul (VOL2) Day 160

 
References Further Study 1 Cor 2:7 Ex 34:20 Eph 1 Heb 5:5 Heb 7:17 Heb 13:20 Acts 20:20, 27 John 1:29, 36
When we read our Bibles, we are indeed reading the counsel of God. Paul did not shrink from declaring the whole counsel of God to the Ephesian church and elders. This is a remarkable thought. We might read the Bible and appraise it with intellectual and critical eyes. No doubt, it will be concealed and we will not understand it. The language of the symbol is the language of the Bible. How else could we understand the magnitude of the Son of God coming in the flesh? Those who saw Him, most certainly did not observe Him in the attire of the high priest of the former tabernacle. And likewise, they did not understand His ministry in the true tabernacle. The tabernacle, or temple, was the venue or context in which the priest served and fulfilled his covenant duty. Of course, this duty was the presentation of offerings. The Lord commanded the Israelites of old, ‘None shall appear before Me empty handed’. What a perplexing statement: ‘Behold the Lamb!’ This Lamb and His blood was the offering of the Eternal Covenant. These symbolic pictures have no practical relevance to a modern society. Unless their meaning is revealed to us, we have no capacity to understand the coming of Jesus according to the counsel of God. The Eternal Covenant is the bond which substantiates the counsel and will of God. All subsequent covenants are simply types and shadows of this ‘so-greater’ Eternal Covenant. In that sense, each covenant was a symbol of that which was made or cut ‘before the ages’. The priesthood of Melchizedek is the right of participation in the Eternal Covenant. And of this order, Jesus is the great High Priest. No one takes this honour to himself. Even Jesus did not appoint Himself. Because He was willing to empty Himself, He was appointed a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

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Turning the fathers to the children

Restoring My Soul (VOL3) Day 160

 
References Further Study Mat 11:12 Mal 4:6 Act 13 Php 4:15 Joh 1:29 Mar 1:2
John the Baptist came to turn the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers. He was also to turn the disobedient back to the wisdom of God. There was about to be an awakening, a rediscovery of the covenant given to the fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It would be as if these fathers would once again recognise their offspring in the covenant. Men and women were to turn their hearts back to the fathers, and fathers were to turn their hearts to their children coming after them. Seeing, hearing, and turning, they were to learn the way of God Himself – giving to one another, and receiving from one another. This was the birthplace of fellowship. This was the preparation for the revelation of the Lamb. John the Baptist was preparing people to believe the testimony of God that would be revealed by His coming messenger, Christ. This is exactly how the Baptist prepared the people. By hearing him, they were learning to receive the One who sent him. We must be prepared in the same manner: hearing, believing, receiving. The ones who are sent to preach the gospel are revealing Christ. We must hear them, and we must believe their testimony. If we do not first receive the ones who are sent, we will not be able to follow the Lamb. Many did believe John the Baptist, the messenger who was sent to precede the Messiah. Many were prepared. Many pressed in with ‘violence’ to enter the kingdom. Others did not believe John’s word; his testimony about someone else. So when Jesus came, sent by the Father, testifying about the Father, they did not believe Him either.

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A prayer

Restoring My Soul (VOL4) Day 160

 
References Further Study Eph 2:10 Isa 44:2 Jer 1 Rev 4:5 Rom 8:1 Php 2:15
As you go to work today, will you pray this prayer? ‘Father, I am Your son because You sent Jesus Christ to gather me and bring me back to Your house. I can now fulfil the works that You have foreordained for me before the foundation of the world. You are my Father. You not only begot me, or caused me to be brought forth, but You also planned the works that I am to do in this world and in the age to come. You grant me power through the blood of Christ, and through the fullness of the seven Spirits of Yahweh, to proceed to be what You have called me to be.’ ‘I pray, Lord, that my heart will be stirred in faith right now. I pray that I will be able to move past my own sense of failure, my own incapacities according to the flesh, and that I will be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Cause me to stand and meet the word, the word of my name, the word that You have given to me to obey. I want to fulfil Your will for my life today, and in all the days that You have laid before me.’ ‘Lord, I pray that I will be obedient to You. I pray that I will come out of my “room”, as it were, of my own condemnation and come and meet You. I ask for Your forgiveness where I need cleansing, and Your help to walk in the light and be relationally connected in everything that I do. I pray that I can stand up to be a son of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. Lord, You have appointed me to be a light in the midst of this world today.’

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