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BETTER PROMISES

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

 
Scripture: "He is the Mediator of a better Covenant, which hath been enacted upon better promises."—HEB. viii. 6."Ye are come to Jesus the Mediator of a New Covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling."—HEB. xii. 24.
        We have here some of the better promises of the New Covenant. Jer. xxxi. 33: "This is the covenant: I will put My law in their inward parts, and in their hearts will I write it." Jer. xxxii. 40: "I will put My fear in their hearts, and they will not depart from Me." Ezk. xxxvi. 25, 27: "From all your filthiness will I cleanse you, and I will give you a new heart, and I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments to do them." Ezk. xxxvi. 36: "/ the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it. For this moreover will I be enquired of by the house of Israel to do it for them."

        Could there be better or more definite promises than these, that God Himself would put His fear into the hearts of His people so absolutely that they would not depart from Him, and that He would cause them to keep His judgments and do them ?

        This is the New Covenant of which Jesus is Mediator. Through the Holy Spirit He dwells in us and will keep us from sin, so that we shall have the desire and the power to do Gods will in all things. Think of Zachariass inspired words as he prophesied the deliverance Christ would bring. Luke i. 74: "That we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies should serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days." These are the words of God and show what He will do for those who enquire of Him. The promises are sure. The Mediator gave first His blood and then His Spirit. He sees to it that the better promises are fulfilled to those who whole-heartedly and confidently desire and claim them from Him. Alas, how seldom is such a life either preached or experienced!

The Outward, Upward Look

信心的支票簿 Faith's check book

 
Scripture: "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:22).
        This is a promise of promises. It lies at the foundation of our spiritual life. Salvation comes through a look at Him who is "a just God and a Saviour." How simple is the direction! "Look unto me." How reasonable is the requirement! Surely the creature should look to the Creator. We have looked elsewhere long enough; it is time that we look alone to Him who invites our expectation and promises to give us His salvation.

        Only a look! Will we not look at once? We are to bring nothing in ourselves but to look outward and upward to our LORD on His throne, whither He has gone up from the cross. A look requires no preparation, no violent effort: it needs neither wit nor wisdom, wealth nor strength. All that we need is in the LORD our God, and if we look to Him for everything, that everything shall be ours, and we shall be saved.

        Come, far-off ones, look hither! Ye ends of the earth, turn your eyes this way! As from the furthest regions men may see the sun and enjoy his light, so you who lie in deaths borders at the very gates of hell may by a look receive the light of God, the life of heaven, the salvation of the LORD Jesus Christ, who is God and therefore able to save.

Morning, November 21

司布真日間靈修 Morning by Morning

 
Scripture: “Grieve not the Holy Spirit.”(Ephesians 4:30)
        All that the believer has must come from Christ, but it comes solely through the channel of the Spirit of grace. Moreover, as all blessings thus flow to you through the Holy Spirit, so also no good thing can come out of you in holy thought, devout worship, or gracious act, apart from the sanctifying operation of the same Spirit. Even if the good seed be sown in you, yet it lies dormant except he worketh in you to will and to do of his own good pleasure. Do you desire to speak for Jesus—how can you unless the Holy Ghost touch your tongue? Do you desire to pray? Alas! what dull work it is unless the Spirit maketh intercession for you! Do you desire to subdue sin? Would you be holy? Would you imitate your Master? Do you desire to rise to superlative heights of spirituality? Are you wanting to be made like the angels of God, full of zeal and ardour for the Masters cause? You cannot without the Spirit—“Without me ye can do nothing.” O branch of the vine, thou canst have no fruit without the sap! O child of God, thou hast no life within thee apart from the life which God gives thee through his Spirit! Then let us not grieve him or provoke him to anger by our sin. Let us not quench him in one of his faintest motions in our soul; let us foster every suggestion, and be ready to obey every prompting. If the Holy Spirit be indeed so mighty, let us attempt nothing without him; let us begin no project, and carry on no enterprise, and conclude no transaction, without imploring his blessing. Let us do him the due homage of feeling our entire weakness apart from him, and then depending alone upon him, having this for our prayer, “Open thou my heart and my whole being to thine incoming, and uphold me with thy free Spirit when I shall have received that Spirit in my inward parts.”

Evening, November 21

司布真夜間靈修 Evening by Evening

 
Scripture: “Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.”(John 12:2)
        He is to be envied. It was well to be Martha and serve, but better to be Lazarus and commune. There are times for each purpose, and each is comely in its season, but none of the trees of the garden yield such clusters as the vine of fellowship. To sit with Jesus, to hear his words, to mark his acts, and receive his smiles, was such a favour as must have made Lazarus as happy as the angels. When it has been our happy lot to feast with our Beloved in his banqueting-hall, we would not have given half a sigh for all the kingdoms of the world, if so much breath could have bought them.

        He is to be imitated. It would have been a strange thing if Lazarus had not been at the table where Jesus was, for he had been dead, and Jesus had raised him. For the risen one to be absent when the Lord who gave him life was at his house, would have been ungrateful indeed. We too were once dead, yea, and like Lazarus stinking in the grave of sin; Jesus raised us, and by his life we live—can we be content to live at a distance from him? Do we omit to remember him at his table, where he deigns to feast with his brethren? Oh, this is cruel! It behoves us to repent, and do as he has bidden us, for his least wish should be law to us. To have lived without constant intercourse with one of whom the Jews said, “Behold how he loved him,” would have been disgraceful to Lazarus, is it excusable in us whom Jesus has loved with an everlasting love? To have been cold to him who wept over his lifeless corpse, would have argued great brutishness in Lazarus. What does it argue in us over whom the Saviour has not only wept, but bled? Come, brethren, who read this portion, let us return unto our heavenly Bridegroom, and ask for his Spirit that we may be on terms of closer intimacy with him, and henceforth sit at the table with him.

Leave It To God

荒漠甘泉 Streams in the Desert

 
Scripture: "Roll on Jehovah thy way" (Ps. 37:5, margin).
        Whatever it is that presses thee, go tell the Father; put the whole matter over into His hand, and so shalt thou be freed from that dividing, perplexing care that the world is full of. When thou art either to do or suffer anything, when thou art about any purpose or business, go tell God of it, and acquaint Him with it; yes, burden Him with it, and thou hast done for matter of caring; no more care, but quiet, sweet, diligence in thy duty, and dependence on Him for the carriage of thy matters. Roll thy cares, and thyself with them, as one burden, all on thy God. --R. Leighton

        We shall find it impossible to commit our way unto the Lord, unless it be a way that He approves. It is only by faith that a man can commit his way unto the Lord; if there be the slightest doubt in the heart that "our way" is not a good one, faith will refuse to have anything to do with it. This committing of our way must be a continuous, not a single act. However extraordinary and unexpected may seem to be His guidance, however near the precipice He may take you, you are not to snatch the guiding reins out of His hands. Are we willing to have all our ways submitted to God, for Him to pronounce judgment on them? There is nothing a Christian needs to be more scrutinizing about than about his confirmed habits and views. He is too apt to take for granted the Divine approbation of them. Why are some Christians so anxious, so fearful? Evidently because they have not left their way with the Lord. They took it to Him, but brought it away with them again. --Selected

The whole burnt offering

Restoring My Soul (VOL1) Day 233

 
References: Further Study: Ex 12:6 Gen 8:20-22 Ex 12:1-32 Ex 29:38-46
Having come into Christ the firstfruits, we are able to present our bodies a living sacrifice. This offering joins us to the very life of God Himself. We recall that when the burnt offering was placed upon the altar, no one derived any benefit. This offering of total surrender demonstrates a life wholly and continuously given. Having offered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the first month, the lamb was to be continuously offered through the course of the whole year. Morning and evening, a lamb was to be sacrificed as a burnt offering, ascending to the Lord as a soothing aroma. And it is according to this aroma, that God answers us. He confirms our sonship in Christ, the firstfruits. He speaks a word concerning this sonship, in the same way as He spoke to Noah. The experience of Noah gives us the clearest picture of an effective burnt offering. This offering had no reference to sin. The burnt offering was truly an ‘atonement’ offering by which the life of God comes to us. It joins us to the Lord, making us ‘at one’ with Him. In this offering, He promises to meet with us and speak to us. The burnt offering for us is representative of our whole and continual lifestyle and culture. Everything that we are, and everything we possess, must be yielded to the altar of the body of Christ. The phrase ‘burnt offering’ is a rather limited translation of the original Hebrew which means ‘to ascend’. We’ll recall that the Lord smelt the soothing aroma of the offering. If we present ourselves a living sacrifice, then we will most certainly be a fragrant aroma to the Lord.

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The revelation of His name

Restoring My Soul (VOL2) Day 233

 
References Further Study Ex 3:14-15 Col 1:17 Ex 3 Isa 43:11 1 Tim 6:16 Deut 32:39-40
The encounter between Moses and the Lord at the burning bush is among the most remarkable of all. With his sandals removed, Moses stood on holy ground. Moses was commissioned by the Lord to return to Egypt and secure the release of the entire nation of Israel. With this task before him, Moses asked the Lord, ‘Who shall I say sent me?’ And the Lord responded saying, tell them ‘“I AM WHO I AM” ... you shall say to the sons of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you.”’ This name can equally be translated, ‘I was who I was’, and ‘I will be who I will be’. It is the essential testimony of who the Lord is. No further explanation is needed. He is I AM, and there is nothing apart from Him. He is ‘before all things’ and sovereign over all things. We read in the book of Deuteronomy, ‘See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; it is I who put to death and give life’. And Isaiah said, ‘I, even I, am the LORD, and there is no saviour besides Me’. This is the testimony of the Lord, Yahweh, who dwells in unapproachable light, ‘whom no man has seen or can see’. This is the light of Elohim. It is the sanctified life of Their individual spiritual identities. They give Their glory to no other. They are unapproachable and unknowable unless They are revealed by name. Hence, the Lord continued with Moses, ‘Tell them the Lord [Yahweh], the God [Elohim] of your fathers ... has sent me to you’. ‘This is My name forever … this is My memorial-name to all generations.’ It is by this name, the Lord God (Yahweh Elohim), that I AM has revealed Himself to every generation that eagerly searches for Him.

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No one takes our offering

Restoring My Soul (VOL3) Day 233

 
References Further Study Joh 10:18 Lev 1:3 Lev 1 Exo 25:2 Act 20:33 2Co 9:7
The subject of offering has been proclaimed, preached, and taught among us for many years. Paul urged all the churches to make offering because without offering there is no perfection, no protection and no provision in the end of the age. Having said this, no matter how much offering is compelled, it is never taken from us. Our offering must be the expression of our own faith initiative and accountability. Jesus said concerning the offering of His own life, ‘No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative’. The Lord instructed Moses concerning the burnt offering, that ‘he shall offer it of his own free will’. The burnt offering, which represented the person’s life wholly and continually given, was not voluntary, but it did need to be given freely and willingly. When a person brought a burnt offering to the tabernacle, they were required to kill it themselves. In this way, their offering was converted to a sacrifice which is the point where the offering becomes ‘dead’ to us. It no longer belongs to us. We cannot possibly take our offering back, nor can we trade upon it. The Lord commanded the nation of Israel to raise a heave offering in the wilderness. But at the same time, He said to Moses, ‘From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering’. In the same way, the apostle Paul only received offerings from those people who gave them willingly. He could honestly say, ‘I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes’. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, ‘Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver’.

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Fellowship in His body

Restoring My Soul (VOL4) Day 233

 
References Further Study 1Co 10:16 2Co 8:4 1Co 11 Act 2:42 1Co 11:33-34 1Co 3:3 Joh 15:13 1Jn 3:16 Rev 2:4 Heb 10:24-25 1Jn 4:20
The apostle Paul uses the word koinonia to describe seven different aspects of fellowship. We are reminded of the words of Paul, ‘The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion [koinonia/fellowship] of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion [koinonia/ fellowship] of the body of Christ?’ The first and foremost expression of fellowship is in the body of Christ. Our first commitment to fellowship is in the local expression of the body of Christ in the place where we live. We belong to the universal body of Christ, but this is meaningless without tangible commitment to a local group of people. In the places where we live, we need to be gathering together for communion and fully participating in the church’s programme. Our participation is motivated by what we can give, not what we can gain. Paul said to the Corinthians, ‘When you come together to eat, wait for one another. If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home.’ Paul identified four different types of leaven in the Corinthian church that would prevent them from being a viable expression of the body of Christ in their city. They were a church divided by jealousy and strife. The local congregation should be the place where we learn to lay down our lives for the brethren and for our friends. We need to be living together in first love. John said, ‘If someone says, “I love God”, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen’.

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