The Process that Magnifies the Treasure

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.  (2Co_4:7-9)

New covenant servants (followers of Jesus Christ) are “earthen vessels” (ordinary clay pots). Yet, in the container of their redeemed humanity dwells “this treasure” (the Son of God Himself). This arrangement calls for the treasure (Jesus), not the vessels (you and me) to be the object of all trust and the recipient of all glory: “that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” Appropriately, the Lord has also arranged a process that magnifies the treasure.

This process involves the every day pressures of life, which come from all sides. “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed.” Clay pots cannot withstand much pressure, but the treasure within us (Christ) is able to keep is from being smashed. “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2Ti_2:1)

The process that draws attention to the treasure also involves many perplexities. “We are perplexed, but not in despair.” We face difficult decisions and impossible issues, but our Wonderful Counselor protects us from hopelessness: “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col_2:3).

Persecutions are included in the process: “persecuted, but not forsaken.” People accuse us, misunderstand us, or lie about us. Still, we know we are not abandoned by our Lord who lives within us. “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’ ” (Heb_13:5).

Even catastrophes are a part of the process that magnifies the treasure who indwells us: “struck down, but not destroyed.” Circumstantial upheavals and overwhelming heartaches occur, but the Lord stabilizes our souls, so we don’t “tip over” under the weight of circumstances. “They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the LORD was my support” (Psa_18:18).

Thus, life comes at us like an overpowering military tank, ready to flatten us. There is no natural hope, because clay pots can’t handle tanks. Yet, as the dust clears, the flower pot of our lives can remain intact (if we are trusting in the able and faithful one who lives in our hearts). There is no attacking tank that can overcome the Lord Jesus Christ. “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1Jo_4:4).

Prayer

Lord Jesus, You are my indwelling treasure. When pressures, perplexities, persecutions, or catastrophes come my way, teach me to trust in You. When others ask how I am sustained through these difficulties, remind me to give all glory and honor to You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Power Of His Resurrection

English: Resurrection of Christ

English: Resurrection of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Php 3:7  But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Php 3:8 Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ Php 3:9  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; Php 3:10  that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, Php 3:11  that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Php 3:12  Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

Joh 10:18No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Col 3:1  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Col 3:2  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Col 3:3  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Col 3:4  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Col 3:5  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: Col 3:6  For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: Col 3:7  In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. Col 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

Rev 22:16  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. Rev 22:17  And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Prayer

In Jesus’ Mighty Name; Mat 22:44  The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? Dear Lord Jesus as you on this day gather your children who will rise with you in a few hours time, while all your enemies (Our enemies) become your footstools, I pray thee my Lord take those that worship you in truth and in spirit with you, remember those that seek you too and those that have not heard about you; also remember those that have heard and continually ignore you Lord to forgive them and give them a chance even though there is not time enough left. Have mercy upon  us your children, for we want to do what is right but find ourselves doing wrong; let your mercy and your favor locate us day and night in Jesus’ name! Thank you Jesus Christ!

 

THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE

Our Lord Jesus Christ

Our Lord Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” – – Rom_8:2.

THE SIMPLEST child knows something of the law of gravitation. The word is from the Latin gravitas, which is the attraction of weight by weight. What gravitation is to matter, the down-pull of the flesh is to the spirit. There is not a single one of us, who is seeking to live the better life, that is not conscious of this down-pull. Indeed the laws of gravitation in the natural world have their counterpart in our inward experience. There is always a down-pull to the center of gravity, i.e. to self–what I like, what I choose, what I prefer! The fall of the soul toward the flesh–or self-life–becomes increasingly rapid, so that every time we yield it becomes easier to yield, and the velocity becomes headlong. The child of God would fall with velocity equal to that of the depraved sinner if it were not for the law of the Spirit of Life which is in Christ Jesus which makes him free from the law of sin and death.

Overcoming the Earth-pull. You may see it in the soaring of the lark, singing as it rises, until you think it will split its tiny throat with song. One of the delights of an ocean voyage is to watch the gulls, as regularly, evenly, and easily they keep level with the progress of the boat. The bird does not float in the air; it balances itself; it measures its wings against its weight, and defies the earth-pull. But if the means of flight are maimed, it drops helplessly on land or water. Alas for the bird, though it be an albatross, that happens to alight on water covered by the oil discharged from an oil-driven vessel. When once its wings have become glued to its body, by immersion in that oil-bath, there is nothing for it but a miserable end!

The Spirit works according to Law,–“the law of the Spirit of Life.” Do not grieve Him by any act of insincerity or hatred. If you are aware of the subsidence of His energy, go back till you have discovered where you dropped the thread of obedience to His gentle promptings. Pick it up by confession and restitution, and again you will become conscious of His mediation to you of a Law of Life that laughs at sin and death! Yours will be the wings of an eagle’s flight, the soaring of a lark, sunward, heavenward, Godward! But you must take time to be holy–in meditation, in prayer, and especially in the use of the Bible.

PRAYER

Help me, O Lord, to find my life according to Thy promise. I thank Thee that Thou hast implanted the germ of Thine own nature. Leave me not, neither forsake me in the upward climb. Teach me to change my strength and mount up with the wings of eagles. In Jesus’ name: AMEN.

Things To Be Let Behind

English: John the Baptist baptizing Christ

English: John the Baptist baptizing Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus.”– Heb_12:1-2.

LEAVE BEHIND your past sins. They have been many and great, more than you can count. But if you have confessed and forsaken them, they have been put away, “as far as the east is from the west.'” Nothing could be more explicit than

1Jo_1:9. It is useless to brood over the past. God has buried it in the grave of Christ. Go and sin no more!

Leave behind your bad habits that encumber you (R.V. marg.). You know what they are, and how they cling–ill-temper, jealousy, pride, evil-speaking, and many another! You have fallen again and again, overtaken by them, tripped up, your robes stained and torn. There should be some finality in your life, a mark on the grass from which you start to run the race. The command to put off the old man is in the definite tense (

Col_3:8-9). It be-speaks one sudden strong act of the will, God-nerved and God-empowered. This, then, is the hour when you must strike for liberty “Ye have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”

Leave behind your accomplished ideals. They were once far in front and above you. As you climbed they seemed almost inaccessible, and mocking voices rang out their defiance of your attempt. But by the grace of God things that once you dreamt of are now realised, and you are sitting on the peak that once seemed to laugh you to scorn. But you must leave it behind! Look up! look forward! Are there not fresh ideals calling to you? Leave behind your attainments and strike your tents. One battle is fought, but a yet stronger foe bars the way immediately in front. It is suicidal to rest on your oars; to do so will expose you to the inevitable backward drift.

The best way to leave behind is to press forward. The Spirit of God bids us “run with patience the race set before us, looking unto Jesus.” He is our Forerunner, always before us, always leading us on. His crest, like the plume of Henry of Navarre, is always in the very thick of the fight. Let the soul follow hard after Him, and it will become almost oblivious to what it leaves behind. The boy who is running for the goal, in his eagerness to win the prize, strips himself of one and another article of clothing. He will not count their worth, so long as he may win the prize. So run that ye may attain! Apprehend that for which you were apprehended! Lay hold on the outstretched crown of life!

PRAYER

Most gracious God, quicken me by Thy Holy Spirit, that I may run in the way Thou hast marked out for me. May I ever be kept looking off unto Jesus. In Jesus’ name; AMEN.

Enoch’s Pleasing Walk With God

By faith Enoch was translated so that he did not see death, “and was not found because God had translated him”; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him. (Heb_11:5-6)
It is the will of God that we learn to walk in a manner pleasing to the Lord: “that you may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him” (Col_1:10). Again, such godly living can only be developed by faith. Much helpful insight into such a life is provided in Enoch’s pleasing walk with God, by faith.
Enoch was one of our earliest forefathers. “Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah” (Gen_5:21). After the birth of Methuselah (who became, at 969 years, the oldest man ever on earth), Enoch began a three hundred year long journey of close fellowship with God. “After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years” (Gen_5:22). After three centuries of spiritual intimacy, Enoch was taken into heaven without experiencing death. “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him” (Gen_5:24). Enoch’s intimacy with God and his unique home going were related to a life of reliance upon the Lord. “By faith Enoch was translated so that he did not see death . . . for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Of course, what was so pleasing to God about Enoch’s walk was his trust in the Lord. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him.”
Enoch is a wonderful reminder of what life is all about — walking with God by faith throughout our days on earth, then walking right on into the presence of God in heaven someday. Many will eventually do this, like Enoch, without facing death. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1Th_4:16-17). Others may face death, but the key ingredient of fellowship on earth right on into heaven is the same. “I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory” (Psa_73:23-24).

Prayer
Dear God, creator of heaven and earth, I desire to please You by a life of faith here on earth. Help me to walk closely with You day by day throughout my pilgrimage here below. I eagerly anticipate the day that I will forever be with You in the fullness of Your glorious presence in heaven above, in Jesus’ name, Thank you Jesus. Amen.