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UNFEIGNED LOVE OF THE BRETHREN

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

 
Scripture: "Seeing ye have purified your souls through the Spirit, unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with o pure heart fervently."—1 PET. i. 22.
        In the beginning of this chapter, Peter had expressed a wonderful truth about our love to Christ: "Whom having not seen, ye love; in Whom ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory" (ver. 8). This was the fruit of the Spirit.

        In our text he speaks of "the love of the brethren." "Ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto the unfeigned love of the brethren." In the days of the Early Church it was clearly understood at conversion that, in con¬fessing Christ, the new convert also promised unfeigned love to the brethren. So Peter continues: "See that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently." Unfeigned, fervent love through the Spirit should be the chief token of a true conversion.

        We see how much stress Peter lays on this point in the three next chapters, as he returns to the subject each time. (ii. 17), "Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king." (iii. 8), "Finally, be ye all like-minded, compassionate, loving as brethren, tender-hearted, humble-minded." These are all signs of the life of God in the soul. And then (iv. 7, 8), "Watch unto prayer, above all things being fervent in your love among yourselves; for love covereth a multitude of sins." Unfeigned, fervent love of the brethren was the indispensable sign of true godliness.

        Gods Word is a mirror into which the Church and each individual member must look, to see that we are truly Christian, showing by our conduct that we take Gods Word as our rule of life If our hearts condemn us, we must turn at once to God, confessing our sin. Let us believe that the Spirit of love does indeed dwell in us, and will shed abroad Gods love in our hearts, and purify us from all hatred and selfishness, and restore the image of Christ within us. Let us not rest content until we have surrendered ourselves wholly to God, that His Spirit of love may reign and rule within us.

The Reason for Singing

信心的支票簿 Faith's check book

 
Scripture: "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in his love, He will joy over thee with singing"(Zephaniah 3:17).
        What a Word is this! Jehovah God in the center of His people in all the majesty of His power! This presence alone suffices to inspire us with peace and hope. Treasures of boundless might are stored in our Jehovah, and He dwells in His church; therefore may His people shout for joy.

        We not only have His presence, but He is engaged upon His choice work of salvation. "He will save." He is always saving: He takes His name of Jesus from it. Let us not fear any danger, for He is mighty to save.

        Nor is this all. He abides evermore the same, He saves, He finds rest in loving, He will not cease to love. His love gives Him joy. He even finds a theme for song in His beloved. This is exceedingly wonderful. When God wrought creation He did not sing but simply said, "It is very good"; but when He came to redemption, then the sacred Trinity felt a joy to be expressed in song. Think of it, and be astonished! Jehovah Jesus sings a marriage song over His chosen bride. She is to Him His love, His joy, His rest, His song. O LORD Jesus, by Thine immeasurable love to us teach us to love Thee, to rejoice in Thee, and to sing unto Thee our life-psalm.

Morning, September 19

司布真日間靈修 Morning by Morning

 
Scripture: “The liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.”(Galatians 5:1)
        This “liberty” makes us free to heavens charter—the Bible. Here is a choice passage, believer, “When thou passest through the rivers, I will be with thee.” You are free to that. Here is another: “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee”; you are free to that. You are a welcome guest at the table of the promises. Scripture is a never-failing treasury filled with boundless stores of grace. It is the bank of heaven; you may draw from it as much as you please, without let or hindrance. Come in faith and you are welcome to all covenant blessings. There is not a promise in the Word which shall be withheld. In the depths of tribulations let this freedom comfort you; amidst waves of distress let it cheer you; when sorrows surround thee let it be thy solace. This is thy Fathers love-token; thou art free to it at all times. Thou art also free to the throne of grace. It is the believers privilege to have access at all times to his heavenly Father. Whatever our desires, our difficulties, our wants, we are at liberty to spread all before him. It matters not how much we may have sinned, we may ask and expect pardon. It signifies nothing how poor we are, we may plead his promise that he will provide all things needful. We have permission to approach his throne at all times—in midnights darkest hour, or in noontides most burning heat. Exercise thy right, O believer, and live up to thy privilege. Thou art free to all that is treasured up in Christ—wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. It matters not what thy need is, for there is fulness of supply in Christ, and it is there for thee. O what a “freedom” is thine! freedom from condemnation, freedom to the promises, freedom to the throne of grace, and at last freedom to enter heaven!

Evening, September 19

司布真夜間靈修 Evening by Evening

 
Scripture: “For this child I prayed.”(1 Samuel 1:27)
        Devout souls delight to look upon those mercies which they have obtained in answer to supplication, for they can see Gods especial love in them. When we can name our blessings Samuel, that is, “asked of God,” they will be as dear to us as her child was to Hannah. Peninnah had many children, but they came as common blessings unsought in prayer: Hannahs one heaven-given child was dearer far, because he was the fruit of earnest pleadings. How sweet was that water to Samson which he found at “the well of him that prayed!” Quassia cups turn all waters bitter, but the cup of prayer puts a sweetness into the draughts it brings. Did we pray for the conversion of our children? How doubly sweet, when they are saved, to see in them our own petitions fulfilled! Better to rejoice over them as the fruit of our pleadings than as the fruit of our bodies. Have we sought of the Lord some choice spiritual gift? When it comes to us it will be wrapped up in the gold cloth of Gods faithfulness and truth, and so be doubly precious. Have we petitioned for success in the Lords work? How joyful is the prosperity which comes flying upon the wings of prayer! It is always best to get blessings into our house in the legitimate way, by the door of prayer; then they are blessings indeed, and not temptations. Even when prayer speeds not, the blessings grow all the richer for the delay; the child Jesus was all the more lovely in the eyes of Mary when she found him after having sought him sorrowing. That which we win by prayer we should dedicate to God, as Hannah dedicated Samuel. The gift came from heaven, let it go to heaven. Prayer brought it, gratitude sang over it, let devotion consecrate it. Here will be a special occasion for saying, “Of thine own have I given unto thee.” Reader, is prayer your element or your weariness? Which?

Trouble is a Messenger

荒漠甘泉 Streams in the Desert

 
Scripture: "My Father is the husbandman" (John 15:1).
        It is comforting to think of trouble, in whatever form it may come to, us, as a heavenly messenger, bringing us something from God. In its earthly aspect it may seem hurtful, even destructive; but in its spiritual out-working it yields blessing. Many of the richest blessings which have come down to us from the past are the fruit of sorrow or pain. We should never forget that redemption, the worlds greatest blessing, is the fruit of the worlds greatest sorrow. In every time of sharp pruning, when the knife is deep and the pain is sore, it is an unspeakable comfort to read, "My Father is the husbandman."

        Doctor Vincent tells of being in a great hothouse where luscious clusters of grapes were hanging on every side. The owner said, "When my new gardener came, he said he would have nothing to do with these vines unless he could cut them clean down to the stalk; and he did, and we had no grapes for two years, but this is the result."

        There is rich suggestiveness in this interpretation of the pruning process, as we apply it to the Christian life. Pruning seems to be destroying the vine, the gardener appears to be cutting it all away; but he looks on into the future and knows that the final outcome will be the enrichment of its life and greater abundance of fruit.

        There are blessings we can never have unless we are ready to pay the price of pain. There is no way to reach them save through suffering. --Dr. Miller.

Intercession

Restoring My Soul (VOL1) Day 188

 
References: Psa 134:1 Luke 22:45 Luke 2:37 Matt 26:41 John 20:13 Psa 35:13, 14 Further Study: Matt 26:36-46
Intercession is prayer for another. If we become people of intercession, this kind of prayer will swamp and consume us. We will travail, we will cry, we will weep, and we will mourn. And we will ‘stand by night in the house of the Lord’. We will go through the night hours, watching and praying. As Jesus went to Gethsemane to pray, He said to Peter, James and John, ‘Wait here. Watch and pray’. He wanted them to wait on Him in prayer. We know Jesus went away with a soul deeply troubled and came back to find them ‘sleeping for sorrow’. In a similar way, the psalmist cried, ‘But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting, And my prayer kept returning to my bosom. I went about as though it were my friend or brother; I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother’. As he prayed, the psalmist’s prayer kept returning to him. We will all have experienced this in prayer at some time. We may be waiting on God in the early hours of the morning and throughout the day, but our prayer keeps returning to our bosom. And we begin to ‘sleep for sorrow’ because the burden of intercession is so heavy upon us. When the ladies took the anointing oil and the spices out to the body of Jesus, they were filled with sorrow and filled with confusion. We could say they were in trauma. They were experiencing what we’d call the ‘trauma of prayer’. This is the grinding of sweet incense which is then producing the essence of our prayer.

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Attributes of His grace

Restoring My Soul (VOL2) Day 188

 
References Further Study Rev 7:12 Rev 5:12 Rev 5 2 Tim 2:1 1 Cor 16:13 2 Cor 12:10 Heb 6:18 Eph 1:19 Prov 18:10 1 Pet 4:11 Rev 3:8
We read in the book of Revelation, ‘Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever’. The elders and the great multitude cry out with a loud voice saying, ‘Worthy is the Lamb’. These seven attributes of His power are indeed the attributes of His grace. We must be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. We must be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Paul testified to the Corinthians that he was well content with weaknesses, ‘For when I am weak, then I am strong’. What a wonderful comfort this is. All His promises are ‘Yes and ... Amen’. There are two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie – Himself and His word. We can take refuge and find strong encouragement if we take hold of the hope set before us. Did you know that the greatness of His power toward us is in accordance with the working of the strength of His might? Let us not be among those who are strong in the flesh. If the Lord is shaking you at this time, then run for refuge within the veil. He is the anchor of your soul. His name is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and are safe. In the congregation where Christ has planted you, why not present yourself? There is a work to do. If your confidence is low then do not recover yourself in the flesh, but serve by the strength which God supplies. At times, we have just ‘a little strength’. But like the church in Philadelphia, there is an open door which no man can close, as long as we keep His word.

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Old and new commandment

Restoring My Soul (VOL3) Day 188

 
References Further Study 1Jn 2:8 2Jn 3 1Jn 2 Joh 10:18 Joh 14:16, 26 Joh 16:13, 15
The old commandment, John said, is simply the word that has been declared from the beginning. The new commandment is ‘manifested’, when it is ‘true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining’. The new commandment is in place when truth and love are manifested in us. John’s epistles and Gospel are the new commandment. By ‘commandment’, he clearly meant an imperative way of life, a culture! There is a commitment that is as much a commandment to us, as was received by the Son Himself, who laid down His life at the command of the Father. The word declared from the beginning is ‘the old commandment’. However, this word is not limited or redundant. It’s simply ‘old’ in relation to the coming of the new creation. When the new creation (commandment) is introduced, it’s ‘in Him’ and also ‘in you’. The darkness is now passing away, and the true light is shining. The word is now being fulfilled! The word which was from the beginning, the word of life by which all things were created, and the very word that became flesh to be seen, heard and touched, is now true in Him, and in you. Purpose achieved, we might say! Once the commandment is true in us, as it is true in Him, then the new creation has come. All this is made possible, Jesus explained, because He will send the Helper. The Holy Spirit will come and dwell ‘in you’ and He will take what is of Christ and declare it to us. The Helper will ‘teach’ us ‘all things’ and ‘guide you into all truth’. He will ‘glorify’ the Son because what is true ‘in Him’ will now be ‘in you’.

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Crucified the flesh

Restoring My Soul (VOL4) Day 188

 
References Further Study Gal 5:24 Zec 3:3, 7 Gal 5 Jas 5:2 Rev 3:4 Gal 5:19-21 1Jn 2:16 Pro 14:30
The sixth provision of the word of the cross is that He has crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Accordingly, He has given us the capacity to live by the Spirit and walk by the Spirit. This was the condition of Joshua the high priest in the days of restoration. Zechariah referred to his filthy robes. These were the garments spotted by the flesh. As a consequence of this, his priesthood was violated. We could say that he had not crucified the flesh. Satan was standing at his right hand to accuse him and encumber the places that he should walk. Evidently, Joshua was not able to do the works prepared beforehand that he should walk in them. The apostle John identified the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. All this must be crucified before we can have an effective priesthood. We are to hate the garment spotted by the flesh. We have to keep ourselves in the love of God. When passions arise, we must recall the words of the wise man, ‘Passion is rottenness to the bones’. We know that the desire of the flesh sets itself against the desire of the Spirit. When we are boastful, challenging one another, and when we envy one another, we are in the flesh. If these traits are governing our motives and actions, then we have no effective priesthood. When the deeds of the flesh are evident, we are not walking by the Spirit. Paul listed the deeds of the flesh as immorality, impurity, sensuality, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, to name a few. Consequently, Satan will be at our right hand as the accuser of the brethren.

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