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THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH

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

 
Scripture: "The Lord appeared to Abraham, and said unto him: 'I am God Almighty: walk before Me, and be thou perfect. And I wilt multiply thee exceedingly.'"—GEN. xvii. 1, 2.
        In Abraham we see how God not only asks for faith, and rewards faith, but also how He works faith by the gracious training that He gives. When God first called him, He at once gave the great promise, "In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed" (Gen. xii. 3). When he reached the land, God met him with the promise that the land should be his (Gen. xii. 7). When Abraham returned from the battle against the kings, God again met him to renew the promise (xv. 5). Before the birth of Isaac, in the words of our text, He sought to strengthen his faith (Gen. xvii.). And once more in the plains of Mamre, He spoke: "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" Step by step God led him until his faith was perfected for full obedience in the sacrifice of Isaac. As "by faith Abraham obeyed to go out," so by faith, at the close of forty years, he was able, without any promise, in fact in apparent conflict with all the promises to obey Gods will to the very uttermost.

        Children of Abraham, children of God, the Father makes great demands on your faith. If you are to follow in Abrahams footsteeps, you too are to forsake all, to live in the land of spiritual promise, with nothing but His word to depend upon, separated unto God. For this you will need a deep and clear insight that the God Who is working in you is the Almighty Who will work all His good pleasure. Do not think that it is a little thing and easy, to live the life of faith. It needs a life that seeks to abide in His presence all the day. Bow before God in humble worship, until He speaks to you too: "I am God Almighty: walk before Me, and be thou perfect. And I will multiply thee exceedingly." When Abraham heard this, he "fell on his face: and God talked with him." There you have the secret birthplace of the power to trust God for everything that He promises.

        In this little book we desire to find out what the power of faith is, and what God is willing to work, "according to the exceeding greatness of His power in us who believe." So only can we go out like Abraham when we are called to a life of true consecration to God, and of the obedience of faith to the very uttermost. Walk in the footsteps of Abraham. Hide deep in your heart the testimony of Gods Word: "He was strong in faith, giving glory to God; being fully persuaded, that what He had promised, He was able to perform."

God's Hornets

信心的支票簿 Faith's check book

 
Scripture: "And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee"(Exodus 23:28).
        What the hornets were we need not consider. They were Gods own army which He sent before His people to sting their enemies and render Israels conquest easy. Our God by His own chosen means will fight for His people and gall their foes before they come into the actual battle. Often He confounds the adversaries of truth by methods in which reformers themselves have no hand. The air is full of mysterious influences which harass Israels foes. We read in the Apocalypse that "the earth helped the woman."

        Let us never fear. The stars in their courses fight against the enemies of our souls. Oftentimes when we march to the conflict we find no host to contend with. "The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace." Gods hornets can do more than our weapons. We could never dream of the victory being won by such means as Jehovah will use. We must obey our marching orders and go forth to the conquest of the nations for Jesus, and we shall find that the LORD has gone before us and prepared the way; so that in the end we will joyfully confess, "His own right hand and his holy arm, have gotten him the victory."

Morning, April 4

司布真日間靈修 Morning by Morning

 
Scripture: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”(2 Corinthians 5:21)
        Mourning Christian! why weepest thou? Art thou mourning over thine own corruptions? Look to thy perfect Lord, and remember, thou art complete in him; thou art in Gods sight as perfect as if thou hadst never sinned; nay, more than that, the Lord our Righteousness hath put a divine garment upon thee, so that thou hast more than the righteousness of man—thou hast the righteousness of God. O thou who art mourning by reason of inbred sin and depravity, remember, none of thy sins can condemn thee. Thou hast learned to hate sin; but thou hast learned also to know that sin is not thine—it was laid upon Christs head. Thy standing is not in thyself—it is in Christ; thine acceptance is not in thyself, but in thy Lord; thou art as much accepted of God to-day, with all thy sinfulness, as thou wilt be when thou standest before his throne, free from all corruption. O, I beseech thee, lay hold on this precious thought, perfection in Christ! For thou art “complete in him.” With thy Saviours garment on, thou art holy as the Holy one. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Christian, let thy heart rejoice, for thou art “accepted in the beloved”—what hast thou to fear? Let thy face ever wear a smile; live near thy Master; live in the suburbs of the Celestial City; for soon, when thy time has come, thou shalt rise up where thy Jesus sits, and reign at his right hand; and all this because the divine Lord “was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Evening, April 4

司布真夜間靈修 Evening by Evening

 
Scripture: “Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord.”(Isaiah 2:3)

        It is exceedingly beneficial to our souls to mount above this present evil world to something nobler and better. The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches are apt to choke everything good within us, and we grow fretful, desponding, perhaps proud and carnal. It is well for us to cut down these thorns and briers, for heavenly seed sown among them is not likely to yield a harvest; and where shall we find a better sickle with which to cut them down than communion with God and the things of the kingdom? In the valleys of Switzerland many of the inhabitants are deformed, and all wear a sickly appearance, for the atmosphere is charged with miasma, and is close and stagnant; but up yonder, on the mountain, you find a hardy race, who breathe the clear fresh air as it blows from the virgin snows of the Alpine summits. It would be well if the dwellers in the valley could frequently leave their abodes among the marshes and the fever mists, and inhale the bracing element upon the hills. It is to such an exploit of climbing that I invite you this evening. May the Spirit of God assist us to leave the mists of fear and the fevers of anxiety, and all the ills which gather in this valley of earth, and to ascend the mountains of anticipated joy and blessedness. May God the Holy Spirit cut the cords that keep us here below, and assist us to mount! We sit too often like chained eagles fastened to the rock, only that, unlike the eagle, we begin to love our chain, and would, perhaps, if it came really to the test, be loath to have it snapped. May God now grant us grace, if we cannot escape from the chain as to our flesh, yet to do so as to our spirits; and leaving the body, like a servant, at the foot of the hill, may our soul, like Abraham, attain the top of the mountain, there to indulge in communion with the Most High.

Open My Eyes

荒漠甘泉 Streams in the Desert

 
Scripture: "Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see" (2 Kings 6:17).
        This is the prayer we need to pray for ourselves and for one another, "Lord, open our eyes that we may see"; for the world all around us, as well as around the prophet, is full of Gods horses and chariots, waiting to carry us to places of glorious victory. And when our eyes are thus opened, we shall see in all events of life, whether great or small, whether joyful or sad, a "chariot" for our souls.

        Everything that comes to us becomes a chariot the moment we treat it as such; and, on the other hand, even the smallest trial may be a Juggernaut car to crush us into misery or despair if we consider it.

        It lies with each of us to choose which they shall be. It all depends, not upon what these events are, but upon how we take them. If we lie down under them, and let them roll over us and crush us, they become Juggernaut cars, but if we climb up into them, as into a car of victory, and make them carry us triumphantly onward and upward, they become the chariots of God. --Hannah Whitall Smith

        The Lord cannot do much with a crushed soul, hence the adversarys attempt to push the Lords people into despair and hopelessness over the condition of themselves, or of the church. It has often been said that a dispirited army goes forth to battle with the certainty of being beaten. We heard a missionary say recently that she had been invalided home purely because her spirit had fainted, with the consequence that her body sunk also. We need to understand more of these attacks of the enemy upon our spirits and how to resist them. If the enemy can dislodge us from our position, then he seeks to "wear us out" (Daniel 7:25) by a prolonged siege, so that at last we, out of sheer weakness, let go the cry of victory.

The substance of zoe life

Restoring My Soul (VOL1) Day 68

 
References: Further Study: Rom 10:17 1 John 4:9 1 John 1 1 Cor 15:44 1 John 4:7-20
God expresses His agape love in a fellowship of light, relationship and dialogue. In this fellowship, as the Three – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – relate in this way, the word of God comes forth. So, we would say that the word is the substance of the zoe life of God. This Greek word zoe simply means ‘life-giving’. And the substance of zoe life is given and birthed by a word. The word that comes forth from Their discussion produces faith. This is the faith of God. So, ‘faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God’. It’s Their faith commitment to bring forth the Father’s zoe life in a multitude of sons. It needed the capacity of the Son to empty Himself, and the Holy Spirit’s capacity to empower and sanctify, to fulfil this goal. So we see the faith of God producing the word, and the substance of that word. This is Their covenant dialogue, or discussion, and this all happens ‘outside of time’ and ‘before all things’. As They ‘fellowship in the light’, They are discussing the bringing forth of this new creation called zoe life. Let’s not forget that zoe life was to be a completely new creation, for originally ‘the Word was with God and the Word was God’. One of the Three had to become the Zoe Son, the firstborn and only begotten of the Father. Zoe life isn’t a life force, but is Jesus Christ Himself and His life. Zoe life is only ours as we live in communion with Him in the body of Christ. This new creation of zoe life opened the way for the creation of man and his psuche life. Psuche is simply the Greek word for ‘living soul’, meaning our individual identity.

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The sacrifice of thanksgiving

Restoring My Soul (VOL2) Day 68

 
References Further Study 1 Cor 16:15 Rom 16:5 Heb 13 Lev 22:21 Heb 13:15 Hos 14:2 Rom 12:1 Psa 116:12, 17-18
We are very familiar with the symbolism of the burnt offering. It is the freewill offering of our lives presented as a living sacrifice. And we are familiar with the grain or firstfruits offering, which is the first and the best of everything that we produce and offer to the Lord. We recall that the houses of Stephanas and Epaenetus were firstfruits houses. However, we must also understand the implications of the peace offering. The peace offering was the means by which a vow was fulfilled and thanksgiving offerings were made to the Lord. Hence, it was often called the ‘sacrifice of thanksgiving’. The psalmist asked, ‘What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?’ He then continued, ‘I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and call upon the name of the Lord. I shall pay my vows to the Lord, Oh may it be in the presence of all His people.’ A man offered the sacrifice of the peace offering to fulfil a special vow. And it was a requital or return to God from the substance of His benefits toward him. Of course, it is only by His favour and blessing toward us that we have the capacity to fulfil our vows. In this respect, it is indeed the sacrifice of praise and the ‘fruit of our lips’. In referring to the ‘fruit of our lips’, we are not merely speaking about words of rejoicing. The book of Hebrews is recommending that we offer the substance of our increase according to the vows that we have made before the Lord. In the same way, the prophet Hosea spoke of offering ‘the calves’ or ‘fruit of our lips’.

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A portion of suffering

Restoring My Soul (VOL3) Day 68

 
References Further Study Isa 40:26 1Jn 1:3 Psa 69 Rev 3:2, 5 Ezr 7:23 Joh 2:17 Psa 69:5, 9, 24, 28
Psalm 69 is one of the great Messianic psalms. King David spoke metaphorically of the waters that had threatened his life. He had sunk deeply into the mire. Deep waters and a flood were overflowing him. David was weary from crying and his throat was parched. His eyes were failing while he waited for God. David was in despair because of those who hated him without a cause. He cried out to the Lord saying, ‘It is You who knows my folly, and my wrongs are not hidden from You’. Nevertheless, David was gripped with zeal for ‘Your house’. He said to the Lord, ‘The reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me’. David wept in his soul with fasting and it became his reproach. All of this experience was not simply an injustice for which David sought pity. This was his work. All of this was written in his name. King David was ordained for this before the foundation of the world. Concerning the wicked, he cast himself upon the mercy and judgement of God saying, ‘May they be blotted out of the book of life. And may they not be recorded with the righteous.’ The psalmist entered into the very fellowship of the sufferings of Christ and overcame accordingly. If we walk in the fellowship of the Father and the Son, then we will know our name and thus fulfil the works ordained for us. In this way, He will strengthen our name so that we can overcome and, like Jesus Himself, do the works of God. Isaiah proclaimed concerning the great multitude who are called by His name that ‘not one fails’. Everyone whose name is written in the book of life and overcomes according to their name will receive the reward of their own name.

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The mercies of God

Restoring My Soul (VOL4) Day 68

 
References Further Study 1Ti 1:16 Eph 2:4 Rom 11 Rom 12:1 Rom 11:32 1Jn 1:7 Eze 37:16-17
We are called to present ourselves as a living sacrifice by the mercies of God. ‘The mercies of God’ is the subject of Romans chapter eleven leading to the key verse in Romans chapter twelve verse one. The mercies of God are demonstrated in the way God dealt with the division of ‘the two sticks’, committing all to disobedience so that He could have mercy on all. Now by the mercies of God, we are able to offer ourselves toward the expression of our own name. We will no longer be marred vessels, but vessels of mercy. The apostle Paul was a marred vessel in His hand, but he became a vessel of honour. Indeed, he received such an abundance of revelation that he required a thorn to prevent him becoming leavened once again. In his letter to Timothy, Paul declared, ‘I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life’. The Lord is comforting us at this time. While the sword is in the hand of the desolator, we can be saved, we can have hope. His mercy is toward us. What we must accept is this: we are only cleansed by fellowshipping with Christ in His sufferings. Recall the statement by the apostle John linking fellowship with the cleansing of blood. There are three conclusions to be drawn from his statement. Firstly, the blood is only active in fellowship. Secondly, genuine fellowship is in Christ’s sufferings. Thirdly, in such a fellowship, His blood is actually being poured out. This is the truth and outworking of the Everlasting Covenant made between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is the rich mercy of God that raises us to this glorious fellowship.

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